Chapter 3: Dark Brown Eyes
Artemis and I have been running for who knows how long. I know for a fact it’s been at least several hours.
We have relied on hunting to get our food when we got hungry, mostly squirrel and small birds. I also found a raspberry bush not fair from the trail that I was on. It was an elderly lady’s garden. I was walking by and she stopped me to chat. But of course with my pack close on my trail, I told her that I couldn’t stay because I needed to get back home. A small lie that I felt bad for telling, but I didn’t want her to get caught in the middle of this. Luckily though she understood and she offered to give me a container of some freshly picked raspberries.
‘Some actual food would be nice.’ I thought to myself as I plucked the feather’s off the small pigeon.
‘This is actual food you dork.’ Artemis laughed.
I rolled my eyes at her, but cracked a small smile. ‘I’m talking about some steak and mashed potatoes.’
‘I see your point. But if you look around right now, you would see that we aren’t in a fancy five star restaurant.’
‘No need for that sass.’ I laughed as the fire crackled. ‘I’m just saying. It would be nice to eat like for once.’
‘Okay I’m sorry. I promise I’ll stop.’
‘Thank you.’ I sighed in relief.
‘For now.’ Artemis added sweetly.
I knew it was too good to be true.
‘But come on girl. It’s getting late, we should head in for the night.’ Artemis mentioned as I looked up at the sky.
The sky was starting to turn dark as the sun set over the horizon. The breeze was a little on the chilly side, so I scooted closer to the fire.
Is it just me or is spending the night deep in the forest by yourself kind of creepy.
“Okay Athena, just breathe. You are a werewolf. A very ferocious creature of the night. You can do this, I believe in you.” I whispered to myself as I looked around my surroundings.
All of the sudden there was a rustle in the bush next to me and I let out an ear piercing scream as whatever was inside of it jumped out.
A little squirrel just stood there and stared back at me before running off.
‘Yeah. Ferocious creature of the night my ass.’ Artemis scoffed.
‘I hate you.’ I growled. ‘I really do.’
‘Quit lying to yourself.’
‘Just go to bed you very ferocious creature of the night.’
I growled to her as she just laughed.
After fixing my small blanket on the ground, I finally laid down and closed my eyes listening to the crackle of the fire.
Right as I was about to fall asleep, I heard a twig snap in the distance.
‘Athena?’ Artemis asked.
‘I heard it.’ I said as I sat up on high alert. ‘It sounded close, but a little ways away.’
‘Maybe we should find a new spot.’ Artemis asked as I threw dirt on the fire.
Once I made sure it was finally out, I started to slowly pack my belongings back into my bag trying to be as quiet as possible.
‘Stop!’ Artemis yelled as I was about to grab the zipper.
I froze and held my breath. What is she sensing? I closed my eyes and listened.
Another twig snapped before I was tackled.
I let out a grunt as I pinned to the ground.
“You’re hard to find.” A deep voice chuckled from above me.
I shook my head, trying to get away from the dust before opening my eyes.
“Zack.” I spat.
He was a very good fighter as well as a very talented tracker. Alpha Rick used him for many missions and he always proved himself worthy.
“I’m surprised you remember me.” I laughed.
I scoffed. “How could I ever forget you. You put me in the hospital last year.”
Zack smirked. “Not my fault you couldn’t fight.”
“I had just shifted!” I shouted. “It wasn’t fair to begin with.”
He rolled his eyes. “Enough child’s play. Get this shit and let’s go. Alpha Rick has a bounty on your head and he wants you back alive.”
I growled as I hooked my feet from under him and pushed him off. He let out a grunt as he hit a tree.
“I’m not going back.” I spat standing up.
Zack growled at me when he stood up and dusted himself off. “If it wasn’t for him ordering us to bring you back, then I would kill you right her, right now.”
Zack gave me an evil laugh. “He has almost the whole pack looking for you.”
“I’m not going back.” I stated firmly.
“Looks like I’m going to have to force you.” Zack smirked. “That won’t be too hard.”
I gasped as he ran towards me with speed that I didn’t know he had.
I let out a grunt as he checked me in my stomach and I felt my back slam on the ground.
‘Athena!’ Artemis yelled worried.
‘I good.’ I grunted as I felt my head spinning.
‘Fight back!’ She yelled.
“This is going to be so easy.” Zack laughed as he circled around me. “You’re so weak. Always have been and always will.”
“I am not.” I coughed in pain as I clutched my stomach.
I looked up to see Zack lean down and hover over my face.
“Poor Athena. Actually thinking you have a purpose in life and thinking that you belong here. You went against your pack and do you know what that means?” Zack smirked. “You committed treason and that is punishable by death.”
I let out a grunt as he kicked my stomach.
“I’m going to enjoy watching you get killed. I wonder how he is going to do it. Maybe cut your head off? Maybe shoot you with a silver bullet? Maybe rip you to shreds?”
I let out a growl and tried to kick him.
He laughed as he jumped out of the way.
“Hey lookie here!” He smiled as his eyes sparkled mischievously. “We got a fighter.”
“I’m not going back with you.” I growled as I spit on his foot.
He gave me a low growl as he grabbed me by my throat and pulled me off the ground.
I’m pretty sure I looked like a fish out of water as I crawled at his hand.
“Listen here bitch. You are coming back with me whether you like it or not and I’m going to personally ask Alpha Rick if I can join in on killing you. It’s going to be so much fun.” Zack growled in my face.
“I told you to bring her back to me. Not cut off her air supply.” A voice sounded behind me.
Zack dropped me and bowed. “My apologies alpha.”
Alpha Rick walked around Zack and squatted down so he could be eye level with me.
He chuckled as he lifted up my chin. Again, I felt no sparks. “You gave us quite the goose chase you know.”
With a growl, I jerked my head and his hand fell as he threw a glare my way.
“Let’s go Athena.” Alpha Rick commanded as he stood up.
“No.” I said sternly as I too, stood up.
“Excuse me?” He asked as he turned around to face me. “Did I just hear you correctly?”
“Did I stutter?”
Alpha Rick laughed as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Look who grew a backbone. I’m impressed.”
‘What are we going to do?’ I asked scared.
‘Fight Athena! You need to fight.’ Artemis yelled at me.
“So what’s it going to be Athena?” Alpha Rick asked.
‘Artemis. He’s an alpha.’ I shot back.
‘I know you’re scared. I am too. But you have to fight back. You either fight or you die. Pick one.’
I looked Alpha Rick in the eye while Artemis’ words rushed through my brain.
She’s right. If I don’t fight I’ll die and even if I do fight, I still might die. But I would have died fighting and trying to protect myself. That alone was enough for me to make my decision.
“I’m not going back with you.” I said strongly as I got into a fighting stance. I tried to look tough but on the inside I was dying and by the laugh he gave me, I’m sure he saw it too.
“You’re kidding right? You are going to fight me?” Alpha Rick asked shocked.
I gulped and nodded. “I’m staying right here.”
That earned me a loud growl from him. “You need to stop being a hero and get your ass back. You are not tough Athena. You are a wimp so quit the act.”
I suddenly felt the anger course through my veins as I gave him a growl back. “I am not going to bow down to you ever again. I was a punching bag for your pack for too long and I’m done with that life. I am so much more than you guys think and I finally realized that. I am not going back with you, Rick.”
As soon as his name came out of my mouth, he eyes glowed and he let out a low threatening growl.
So maybe that wasn’t the best thing to say at the moment.
He took a step closer to me and balled his fists. “You’re dead to me.”
Can I do this?
He charged me and I quickly dodged the blow.
I smiled to myself as I realized what I just did.
‘Do it again!’ Artemis howled in excitement.
Rick turned around and gave me a growl before charging again.
I quickly jumped out of the way and smiled.
I can do this!
I smiled proudly as I narrowed my eyes and ran after him. Right as I landed in front of him, I drew my fist back and shot it forward.
The sound of my fist hitting his nose was a noise I would never forget. With a crunch, he spun around and I watched as his face slid against a tree. He then landed on his back and his hands shot up to his face.
He howled in pain and that’s when Zack decided to join in on the fight.
“Kill her.” Rick whispered as he coughed up blood.
“You are going down Athena.” Zack promised as he charged me.
‘Take him out.’ Artemis cheered me on.
I quickly stepped aside before shifting into my wolf.
Artemis let out a growl and chased after Zack. She finally caught up to him and grabbed his leg throwing him a couple feet away from us.
Rick slowly got up off the ground.
I gave him a warning growl and ran towards him.
He quickly got out of the way, but grabbed my tail at the last second.
I let out a sharp breath at the pain before he pulled me back. He wrapped his arms around my waist and threw me into the nearest tree. But before I could get, he punch me in the face making me hit my head against a rock.
He let out another growl as he grabbed me again and threw me into another tree.
I looked up through blurry eyes and saw Zack running back over to us.
Right as they were about to shift, a ball of flame landed between us.
Zack sniffed it before jumping back and pulled Rick with him. “Alpha don’t go near that! That’s wolfsbane.”
Rick coughed a couple times before plugging his nose. “It might be hunters.”
“We need to get out of here.” Zack wheezed.
Another ball of flame landed next to the first one and more smoke was emitting from the flames.
“We need to leave now Alpha Rick!” Zack coughed as he brought his arm up to hopefully stop the wolfsbane from hitting them. “Let Athena deal with them. She won’t make it out alive; she’s too hurt to get away.”
Rick looked at me one more time before growling. “Fine.”
I watched as they both backed up and shifted before running out of here.
The smoke kept growing and the wolfsbane caused me to shift back.
‘A-Athena.’ Artemis said weakly. I could tell the wolfsbane was starting to affect the both of us.
It was getting harder to breathe and I laid there gasping for air.
The last thing that I saw before blacking out was a pair of dark brown eyes staring back at me.