My paws pounded the dirt as I ran and ran. I wasn’t stopping until she told me to. I forgot what it was like to just let go of everything going on in the pack and just let my wolf take over. The moon wasn’t full, but in just a little over a week it would be, just in time for the mating ritual. There’s something I didn’t want to think about.
My wolf snorted at the new smells I came into contact with. It’s been a long time since I set foot or paw on these grounds. I weaved through the stones that lay raised on the ground until my wolf reached the one she ached for. I let my body of fur plop to the ground, my snout resting on the stone. Oh Moon Goddess, why did things turn out this way?
Isabella R. Clark
Beloved Mate and Mother
November 4, 1974 - February 20, 2010
The stone was carved with her remembrance just like the other 21 stones that scattered across the land where the law firm once stood. The last time I was here there were still ashes on the ground. The elders came and planted grass to cover the ground before the stones were laid.
My wolf whimpered at the pain the memory of this land brought.
I’m sorry I couldn’t get to you. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop whoever did this. I’m sorry I lost you.
My wolf howled at the pain. Ten years was too long. Ten years without anyone being held responsible for the pain they brought 22 families.
You need to let this go, Emma. A huge black wolf stood just a foot away from me. His golden eyes filled with pain and sorrow.
Leave me alone, Nick. I felt his presence only get closer to me. I turned my head to him and growled, warning him to back off. He stopped where he stood, his hind legs giving out as he sat next to me.
I lost my uncle that day. I remembered the man he was with. The explosion happened just feet from me. It took a while for me to recover, everything was covered in smoke and debris. I couldn’t find anyone alive on that floor so I ran. Honestly, I was just looking for a way out when I heard you screaming.
Why did you save me? Why didn’t you just get out?
I couldn’t just leave you in there.
I can’t let this go, Nick.
You have to.
Please don’t make me.
Nick, please. I have to know who did this. I have to know who killed her, who came after me. I have to know. Why do you want to hide it?
No! Why are you trying so hard to cover this up? Nick stood up, his huge wolf form towering over me. He growled deep from within his belly. The kind of growl that told any wolf to back down. So how did I have the courage to stand to my feet and challenge his orders?
I won’t fight you on sacred grounds. I have no reason to explain myself to you and I won’t. Do yourself a favor and follow my orders for once. He nodded to my mother’s stone. Say your peace to your mother and go home. He turned his back on me and ran off into the trees.
What was I doing? The simple life sure as hell wasn’t going against my alpha’s orders and challenging him. Was I trying to get myself banished from my pack? That was all I needed. No life is simpler than the life of a rogue. Was that what I wanted? To defile my alpha until he banishes me from the pack so I can lead the life of solitude as a rogue with no home? Not even close. No wolf wanted that life, that’s why it was such a punishment. I’ve heard of wolves in this pack being banished but that was long before my time. I’ve never seen one in person. Rogues often lost their humanity which was why so many of them attacked packs. They were either looking for power or looking for a fight. Some rogues even lost the ability to shift back into their human form. Our pack was what separated us from them. Our alpha kept us safe. Nick was trying to keep me safe but I couldn’t figure out why. Was he trying to get me to back off to keep me safe? Or was he trying to stop me from uncovering something? Either way, I knew I had to find out.