The Stronger Mind
Shay had already shifted. He wasn't going to let Archer and me run by ourselves. He had been a little bit too protective lately but I guess that the history between Archer and me gave him a good reason to be.
I let Archer run the first minute before I sprinted off catching up to him in no time with Shay right behind me.
I could feel the excitement radiating from Archer. The first run was something that not even Archer could deny being one of the most special moments to ever happen.
It wasn't my first run but I remember it like it was yesterday. Every run had some meaning but the first run was without a doubt the most important. It was the first time you really felt the connection to one's wolf.
Archer ran faster and faster. Everything seemed to be alright but I needed him focused. We didn't have the time to play and run.
"Archer?" I said to his mind. I could see his eyes fall on me shortly before returning to the road ahead. He was listening. "Focus. I know that this feels amazing but you can't let your emotions control your right now. Follow me."
I sprinted past him and put myself right in the front. I made a direct turn and headed for the more dense part of the forest. We were to train coordination.
I avoided every tree I came across. I only heard a few loud thumps behind me from Archer slamming into trees. He was doing well until I felt his presence fade a bit.
I looked back and saw that I was far ahead of him. I could still see him but I needed him to run faster. "Come on, Archer! You were doing so good!" I shouted.
I let him catch up and we continued. We jumped over rocks, climbed them too. Wiggled through dense branches and bushes until we reached the garden again.
Even I was out of breath, so I could only imagine how Archer would feel. I looked back to praise his efforts but Archer had already collapsed on the ground. Exhausted.
Everly ran to his side with a bottle of water. Shay covered me in a blanket and I returned to my human form.
I slowly approached them to see if he was alright. He was gasping for air and eagerly accepted the water that Everly was pouring directly into his mouth.
"Listen, Rieka, " Everly said without breaking her concentration from the bottle. "I know that you are doing this to protect him, and you think that pushing him will accelerate his learning curve but you might be pushing him too hard. His skin is still new."
I could see her point. I wanted Archer to be ready, to avoid the possible pain that Icarus would be able to inflict. But by pushing him, I might do more bad than good, because I thought that everyone could learn the same way as I did, as fast as I did.
I squatted and let my hand run through his fur. "I'm sorry, Everly. I'm just afraid of what Icarus will be able to do when he returns..." I admitted.
"And we will do everything we can to make sure that we are all ready but this will only make it worse. Break his mind and Icarus will have direct access..."
Breaking his mind? Of course! Icarus's trick was to enter the mind! "You're a genius, Everly!" I exclaimed. She broke away from the bottle and looked at me confused.
"His mind!" I said loudly as if it would make her understand better. "His mind is the key!"
I turned to Archer's head. "I'm sorry that I pushed you so hard today. I will be a better teacher from now on, I promise."
Archer was too exhausted to respond so I let him rest. Harvey and Everly could manage to help him with the shift back to human.
I headed straight towards the house again with Shay right behind me. "You sound like a wolf with a plan, " he claimed. I looked back and smiled. "I have the perfect plan, but I will need your help to figure out the how."
He looked intrigued. This was different than training Archer as a wolf. We were going to try and break his mind. Enter his being. And then find a way to build an impenetrable wall around it.
We were still going to make sure that he was able to control his wolf but this was the most important part of training him.
Shay helped me work out a plan for the next few days. Surprisingly enough, he had a lot of other ideas than just the ones concerned about breaking Archer's mind. Not that he was useless regarding that part, quite the contrary.
We had been at it for hours before Shay finally lost patience and started touching me lightly. My shoulders, my neck, my cheek and finally my chin.
His fingers effortlessly hooked it and turned my face towards his where he lightly placed a kiss on my lips. It was so slow, so light, so intimate that it lit a spark in my stomach.
Something so innocent shouldn't make me react like that. But Shay had a different idea.
"You have been focusing too much on that hunter, Rieka. I fear that you might be forgetting me soon, " he whispered into my ear and pulled my back towards his torso with a hand on my stomach.
I put down my pen without thinking. Shay sensed my impatience but that wasn't enough for him. "I haven't seen you much, " he continued. "You're not beside me every night. I long for you." He placed a kiss on my neck which made me moan.
I could feel him smirking. I was in his control. Under his spell. My body hadn't felt his for so long and I could feel the longing now more than ever. Like a piece of me was missing.
I couldn't wait for him to lead me. I got up from the chair and kissed him eagerly. I might have surprised him more than I surprised myself. He had to take a few steps backwards to regain balance.
Then he wrapped one arm around my waist to pull me closer and another to my face where his fingers slid behind my hair and to my neck. He returned my kissed and we ended up in a heated act. His mouth going everywhere and me taking all of him in.
He grabbed my thighs and carried me to his bed. No foreplay was needed. Our clothes hit the floor and we could finally be one after so long. My hands touching every part of his body and his touching every part of me.
We carried on for half of the night before we fell asleep in each other's arms. I had a dreamless sleep. After countless nights with one nightmare after the other, my mind was finally at peace.
We had a plan. To fight for the Stronger Mind.