Vengeful (A Dark Witch Series #2)

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Chapter 22

Bright moonlight shone down on the valley and the brown wolf laying on the top of one of its hills could clearly see his ward from the far distance. He had heard the collective death howl echo across the hills about thirty minutes ago, but refrained in joining in not to scare her down in the valley below.

The red she-wolf had sprinted out of the ring and forest at a pace that suggested she was being chased, and the new Beta struggled to keep up. Even though he raced to catch up with her, he could still appreciate the natural, flawless gait of her form dodging trees and racing through the brush. Fearless for such a new creature in a new place.

Now, after circling back to a quiet valley she had first rushed past, she was now stalking a group of deer settling for the night. Hidden behind a large patch of brush, he could see the form resting on her stomach, calmly watching them starting to bed down.

From behind him, the trot of the larger dark brown wolf could be heard approaching fast, and the new Alpha, if the death cries were correct, came up beside him. The Beta eyed the new scar on his face that mirrored the old one before dipping his head in acknowledgment and looked out to where she was resting, the Alpha followed his gaze. Eventually he spotted her and sniffed in satisfaction. The first wolf looked to the sky, feeling the wind pick up and clouds quickly move in, soon the full moon would be covered.

Looking behind them, back across the hills in the direction they came, the larger wolf indicated it was time for the other to go. This was between him and her, and the smaller wolf understood that its role was now finished. Retreating, he left silently to go and celebrate his new role in the pack, and the Alpha wolf stood up to see her better in the waning moonlight. She herself had risen and was slowly stalking behind the deer, downwind. They were still unaware of her presence and he could almost feel her rising excitement of getting so close without their notice.

He was about to go down and join her, when one of the deer suddenly heard her and from his place on the hill, saw all the herd stand at attention. Not yet able to see her, but sensing danger close. She took her shot and sprinted towards the buck of the group, launching herself onto his body and the wolf on the hill watched with growing intensity as it tried to kick her off. The rest of the herd scattered down the lowlands and the buck became wild with the growing prospect of death, trying to reach around to gore her with its antlers.

The slight wind from the North had now become a gust and the moon was nearly covered with thick clouds. After a few minutes of kicking into the air, the weight of the red wolf became too much for the deer and with her jaws around his neck and he knelt on the ground. She quickly adjusted to him and clasped her second throat of the night and the two remained locked in the intimate position, resigned to stay until the other gave up.

The alpha trotted down to the scene and she growled through clenched teeth at him, like he was a poacher and wanted to steal her kill. Calmly, he stopped and laid down, thirty feet away from the pair, waiting it out until the buck finally laid his head down and the red wolf, understanding that he was no longer a threat started to eat, essentially ignoring him.

He looked her over. Physically, she was superior to every other female in their pack. Bigger but still athletic, and his man noted with satisfaction that he had known she would be this way. Beautiful but menacing.

Slowly, he inched himself closer to her, and the pair locked eyes. Her hackles raised every time he did it, until when he was nearly close enough to see her teeth gleam, she finally snapped at him and backed away from the buck, baring teeth in hostility.

Larger than she, he grew tired of the distance between them, and sensing a storm starting to blow in, he wanted to get their pairing over with. Kindness and tolerance did not seem to achieve anything with her, but making others submit to his size had always worked in the past. He echoed her stance and bared teeth, the two starting to circle for a dominant position.

He jumped over to her, still more playful than aggressive and was met with a snap aimed at his throat. The Alpha paused, unsure if she actually really wanted to kill him. Snarling for the first time, she mimicked him and the man chimed in angry at the resistance,

Pin and mark her!

The wolf had to agree and he lost the friskiness he came into the valley with. They circled once more, and using his height advantage, lunged up and pushed her down with his paws and body. She tried to roll him off, but he grabbed her scruff in his jaws, mindful not to bite down yet. He growled down to her through his teeth, signaling for her to comply.

Abruptly, both sets of furs on the animals' bodies stood at attention, and the distinct buzz of electricity in the air put both animals on alert. Instinctively, he laid down to cover her, and he was rewarded with another snap that caught him on his neck.

In the clouds above the valley, a bolt of lightning struck and the crash reverberated in the hills. The large brown wolf winced at the pain in his neck and the sound and quickly got off her, now looking up at the sky. She quickly rose and started to stalk towards him, ignoring the impending storm and his advances as a mate. This wolf had been caged for too long, she didn’t recognize his intentions, or if she did, didn’t care.

Frustrated with her, he charged, butting his head into her chest and she clipped his ear in return. He looked around the space for cover. There. Under a clump of trees was a low lying scrub. He pushed her form again with his head in the direction of the cover as she was starting to rise from the ground and she snapped at him again. He growled darkly at her, not used to playing games or being denied.

The air electrified again, but now he ignored it, intent on taming her. Baring his teeth and setting his sights on subduing the wild bitch, she seemed to finally understand he wouldn’t be dissuaded and positioned herself to fight to the death like she had with the recently dead human Beta. She was feral and raged against the idea of being controlled. The beast had been without a pack for too long, without a male apparently. But while he was angry now at her refusal, he would be patient with her and teach her, later.

He lunged for her, and another flash of lightning hit the tree he had been pushing them towards. It was quickly followed by another, and in between flashes of light and the booms of thunder, he saw her howl up to the sky like she was reveling in the uncontrollable force of nature raining destruction around them. She howled right up until a bolt hit the large oak tree next to her and the explosion of wood and debris knocked the wolf from her stance and unconscious to the ground.

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