“Whose a pretty dog? You are! Yes, you are,” Olga babied the giant fleabag of fur.
Jax narrowed his eyes on his pink newly polished nails.
He scampered by her with a bone to pick and a fresh pile of raw steak to eat.
Rollo stood up with haste seeing the big dog veer from the kitchen. The dog treated the entire couch as its throne, beat up and stained as it was.
“Damn, Olga, keep that thing in a cage!”
“Uncle! You know Jax always sleeps there. The rocking chair is always open and there’s a cup holder on the armrest.”
The older man grumbled a mild curse at the monster of a mutt. He had a hunch it was a wolf, not a dog. It had saved his niece’s life one winter, but that was a decade ago. Rollo knew it had grown in size since his brother and wife died in the small space that bitter winter.
The tiny cabin was getting cramped.
“Uncle?” Olga echoed.
She knew that look. He turned on the TV, moving to the rocking chair with that faraway look in his aging cloudy brown eyes. He sipped his beer with a trembling hand and then set the bottle down to take a snooze.
The young woman moved to put away his beer. The kitchen was right behind the couch. Her wheelchair squeaked as it moved across the hardwood floor.
The old lumberjack jumped awake hearing the fridge door shut.
Police tape and images of red snow flashed across the TV screen, he leaned forward.
“I’m telling you, it’s the Russian mafia. That’s where all their ancestors are from. Another body was found bitten up,” he conspired in a mumble. “You know they’re the only ones who host dog fights around here.”
She wasn’t sure if that was true, but it was no secret the town had the issue on the rise with more dog rings being discovered and a creeping amount of murders.
“Who was it this time?”
Rollo rubbed his chin while eyeing the victim’s name on the screen. “A cop!”
Olga frowned. “That’s a shame.”
“You keep the shotgun loaded behind the coat hanger.”
She laughed at his worry.
“I know, uncle,” she replied lightly. Her voice was confident, “They’d freeze to death before finding us out here though. You shouldn’t worry so much. I’m not hosting any dog fights and I know you aren’t, so we should be safe.”
Truthfully, Olga didn’t want anything to do with the weapon. She knew it was registered, but she wasn’t registered to use it – Rollo was. So she never really had a problem with it being in the cabin.
Rollo changed the channel and quickly fell back asleep. Olga turned the TV off and covered him in a checkered red and black blanket. Then she moved over to the coat hanger and put on her old winter boots and faded purple coat.
After bundling up, she grabbed the empty wood bag by the door.
“Let’s go, Jax,” she murmured.
The big black dog stepped down lazily from its make-shift bed.
Olga pulled her hood up. Alpha Jax waited by the door as she struggled to step out of her wheelchair. She wasn’t as close to her crutches as she thought.
The ground was cruel, and cold, to her already bruised knees. The dark-coated wolf yapped near the side of her head.
“I’m alright, Jax,” she hushed. She petted his dark warm fur. “Don’t wake up uncle Rollo. He’s been at the lumber yard all day. The least I can do is get the wood.”
Her right leg was paralyzed from the waist down. The wood stack was just outside the front door. She managed to stand back up and get her crutches.
With his giant jaw, the wolf bit the door handle and nuzzled it open for the crippled young woman.
Careful, the alpha worried over her.
He had other places to be and the human was taking too long for the simple task. What happened next was almost routine.
Alpha Jax watched as her crutches slid across the icy ground.
His pack was depending on him to finally make this move and take over the town’s most profitable business. He didn’t know if Olga knew just how well it was doing, she barely went to the lumber yard because of her condition.
He offered his back. The young woman used it as leverage to get back up with her crutches.
It’s not like she’s capable of running the business with her injury, the alpha thought.
The old uncle of hers planned to sell it off to a neighboring pack anyway. Snow tickled his snout as Olga hobbled by him with the wood bag in arm.
“Come on,” she urged her pet.
His grey eyes followed her back until she made it safely into the tiny cabin.
The alpha of Frost Lock had other places to be. He couldn’t stay the night, not when his pack kept losing in the dog ring.
It was hosted out the back of his pack’s house.
We’re literally being eaten alive! You coming or not? his beta spoke through the pack mind-link.
Jax could hear shouting and growling in the background.
I’m coming. Pull out of the bet, he instructed his right-hand.
“Jax? Jax, come inside!” Olga called.
He barked, watching the woman come up to the door.
Olga watched him take off into the night.
She couldn’t chase him in her wheelchair. All she could do was keep yelling as she remained put in her seat while the dog disappeared into the snowy trees.
Above her, smoke drifted from the small cabin’s chimney. Light from the cabin made the humble home glow like a beacon in the wooded territory as night drew on.
Camouflaged in the white powder, a big wolf paused behind the seclusion of trees.
Strong cedar and clove. Baked meat and a mouthwatering gravy. The window was cracked open, and just on the other side, a meat pie rested.
Jax? So that is the name of this town’s alpha, the devilish wolf gathered.
The feral pack leader watched as the old man made the woman come back inside the cabin until the door closed and shut off his full view of his thought-to-be-dinner.
Ulrich knew she would be strong if turned. Too strong for that damned little alpha to handle.
At any rate, she’d be eaten soon enough. His teeth would sink nicely into that fine milky skin and the fatty muscle of those thighs.
Females always tasted better - more fleshy and warm to the taste. The kill was more than just about a good meal. It was about the experience. The control. Ulrich knew there was something different about this meal-on-wheels.
He couldn’t let his heart rule his head though.
The two-hundred-something-pound wolf led his pack away into the blustery night.
He would take care of the alpha first.