Caged Wolf

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Chapter Eight: Hayley

Song of the Chapter: Little Do You Know by Alex and Sierra

I think about the possessive act Joey did, when he placed his hand on my back in front of the Wolves, as I walk and the thought frustrates me because in reality I am not Joey’s to possess, he and I are not together and we never truly will be. I simply seek to protect him from my notion of what Wolves tend to be, monsters.

“I’m glad you don’t hate me for being feral when you found me.” Crane’s voice reaches my ears snapping me from my Joey thoughts.

I glance over at him as he matches me stride for stride as we walk.

“Who said I don’t hate you?” I respond to him but my tone lacks the conviction I normally feel towards the topic of hate.

“I can feel the truth Hayley, plus, that was the most pathetic attempt to convince me otherwise.” He pokes his tone light and playful.

Before I really think about my actions I’m letting out a light laugh that turns into a full one. Crane laughs along with me and his laugh is something to behold as it is deep and full of a pleasant timbre. I watch the way his face muscles change as he loses the dangerous edge he is always carrying about him. Right now he could just be a regular guy laughing with a regular girl, nothing more. At this moment I take in the creation that is Crane’s figure, he is chiselled all hard muscle as all Wolves are thanks to their metabolism. Yet, something about Crane’s body is different than the rest, maybe it is the scar on his chest or maybe it’s the haunted eyes he wears. Something about Crane, in general, calls to me. The idea of his hands touching me makes my blood sizzle and conjures up erotic fantasies that I didn’t even know I was capable of creating. I move closer to Crane caught up in the moment as he goes still staring down into my eyes. I shouldn’t do this, it’s wrong and goes against everything, plus the Reaper is watching. I mould my body to Crane’s as I lead him back to the cavern wall, the Reaper watches but I can’t stop myself. Crane’s eyes fill with lust, need, and primal fear. The fear confuses me because it counter-acts everything I know, everything I believe in, everything I’ve ever seen in my time studying the Wolves. I tilt my head towards his offering up my lips to him.

“We shouldn’t do this.” He whispers out but his voice lacks the conviction to convince me even though the Reaper let’s out a light sigh as if he agrees with Crane.

“Why not?” I press lightly as I slide my hands into his hair and put my weight into him causing him to let out a low groan.

“You’re on the wrong side of this, plus, this moment means something more to me than it does to you. I don’t like to take advantage, not anymore.” His words are firm as they burrow into me.

Something about his words tells me that Crane knows, she knows my biggest demons. Panic enters my mind consuming me causing me to push him off and take off down the hallway. Crane easily catches up to me grabbing my arm halting my progress. His eyes search my now tear-filled ones. Suddenly he embraces me in his arms, this move is not sexual in any way, it’s reassuring. My eyes meet the Reaper’s as he stands past Crane’s shoulder watching us curiously.

“Your secrets are not mine to share,” Crane whispers in my ear and immediately my panic ebbs because Crane will keep my secrets, they both will.

“I did terrible things, I’ve murdered,” I whisper in a moment of trust, I can trust Crane.

“Everyone regrets and wishes they could change their worst moments. We have a bloodlust in us that left unchecked can end up hurting those we most care about, but, together we can change. We can become more than our inner demons. Maybe one day we can be protectors, protectors of those who can’t protect themselves.” Crane declares into my ear, his words paint a soothing future for us a future full of hope.

His lips brush my forehead ever so lightly than he lets me go stepping away from me towards Reaper. They both let me compose myself before we begin walking again. Guilt eats at me, guilt and pain for what I’m about to lead Crane too, for the battles he is about to face.

“You need to forgive yourself, you both do.” Crane murmurs his words clearly for both myself and the Reaper.

“You won’t forgive me for what I’m leading you to,” I whisper almost hoping they won’t hear me, the Reaper tenses but Crane doesn’t react.

I stop turning so I can look at Crane’s eyes, there I see a regretful resolution enter his eyes before he turns to Reaper nodding at him. Then he turns back to me.

“Death doesn’t scare me anymore, Hayley. I just wish I could have righted all my wrongs before it takes me.” Crane states simply his words surprising both myself and the Reaper.

I look between these two Wolves and the Reaper and I seem to come to the same thought path. Crane truly doesn’t fear death, not this way anyway because he feels he deserves to die for his past actions. I’m surprised by how similar he and I seem and by how easily I can relate to everything he has said so far. Crane causes me to open up in ways I never thought possible and suddenly I think I understand his earlier fear. Suddenly I think I get what’s going on here between him and I. I let us loop into silence as each of us falls into our own thoughts. Guilt eats at me more ferociously for leading Crane to his own potential death, or what is supposed to be his potential death if he chooses it.

“Goodbye Hayley, Reaper.” Crane murmurs to us before turning away from us to handle his fate on the other side of the doors we have come to.

Something inside of me cracks and I know I can’t just let Crane go in there and die. Though I’m not ready to accept it I need Crane, I need him alive.

“Crane, wait!” I call out before running to him and pulling him into a hug then I step onto the balls of my feet and press my lips to his again just in case.

Everything around us fades away leaving just us, even Reaper has faded. Our lips move quickly as passion explodes inside of me and I hop up wrapping my legs around his waist, locking my wrists together behind his neck. His tongue presses on my lower lip and I open up for him as a guttural growl escapes his chest becoming a purr. The purr awakens my body to the feel of his as he presses me into the cave wall hard stones digging into my back. As quickly as I initiated it all Crane ends it by pulling his lips away. Our foreheads rest upon one another as we breathe heavily and our eyes meet holding. This all means something very big to him, which is good because it means something to me too. I need Crane to survive so that he can help me forgive myself for my sins, so he can help me change my mind about Wolves.

“Crane I need you to fight against the other omegas and survive for me, it will be like the arena. You need to show you are not one of them.” I tell him hope flaring through me before lighting his eyes.

He slides me down him and steps away from my eyes slightly hooded.

“I need you to move past Joey. I can’t and won’t do this with you if you are caught between us. I’m no one’s second choice, I’m not some afterthought. I come first.” Crane explains his voice as a mixture of pain and raspy-sexiness.

“Joey’s life is my responsibility. I owe him that much but he doesn’t own me. I’ll clear things up with him if you choose to survive and help me. Then I can try to convince myself your pack is worth fighting for.” I try to reassure Crane as his soul seems to hang onto my words.

“Hayley don’t expect Joey to forgive you right away. Dusk, my sister can be trusted.” Crane suggests and then he turns walking away leaving me to feel more guilt than ever because right now I’m the one who can’t be trusted.

I’m sending Crane to his death exactly as I’ve been instructed to do.

“Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind if Crane dies, he’d deserve it but what you just did is cruel.” The Reaper’s voice comes from behind me before he turns leaving me standing alone feeling like I have even more blood on my hands.

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