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Wolf Moon Ritual

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Chapter 2

Arora’s POV

I have been on the run now for so many god damn years it is starting to annoy me. I want to settle down, put down roots and just stop but I know that is not going to happen. They will never stop coming for me. No matter what I do I can’t seem to out run them.

I have changed countries several times but still they find me. I don’t even know how they seem to just know where I’ll be. I wondered if it was because I was connected to my father by blood but even when I tried to bleed myself to the point of death and replaced it with donated blood, it still did not stop them from coming after me.

I could trust no one but myself. The life of a rouge was so lonely but I had to just keep going and hope that in the end I would out live my father and find peace.

“Can I get you anything hun?” The old waitress asked as I huddled to my bag in the corner of a small road side diner. I took a long sniff of the air around me, its the tenth time I have done this in the last 5 minutes, but I had to make sure no wolves were around before I lifted my face towards hers. At the very end of my inhale a very faint taste of a wolf hit my tongue but not enough for it to still be around.

With that and not sensing a wolf in or around the diner, I took the risk to lift my chin and face her. “No thank you. Just escaping from the rain for a little bit.” She sighed looking annoyed that I wasn’t buying anything but quickly relented and poured me a cup of hot coffee anyway. “On the house.” She smiled before walking away from me.

I rolled my eyes, clearly she thought I was a run away, they always did. I guess she wasn’t too far from the truth but then so far from it, it didn’t even exist. The only thing that bugged me the most was the look of pity she shot me before walking away, I despised that emotion with a passion. Catching a glimpse of myself in the reflection of the diners glass windows, I had to blink twice. For god sake, I thought to myself, I really did look that bad.

Dirt and grime plastered my hair to my head and clung to my skin. Great another diner bathroom clean up it is I thought with a reluctant sigh. I wrapped my fingers around the hot beverage and relaxed as its warmth seeped into my bones.

The rain was coming to an end, a rush of need swept over me. I needed to keep moving forward. I could not linger to long in one place. I stood, hauling my small back pack behind me and entered the restroom. It was empty and good enough for me. After using the facilities I turned on the tap hoping for at least a bit of warm water to wash my face in.

Unfortunately, it did not warm up as I had hoped. I spread soap onto my hands from my pack and began the process of cleaning myself off and looking like I belonged instead of a hobo. “Honey, come with me.” Embarrassed I dipped my head and shyly wiped the suds from my face. She raised her eyebrows as if scolding a small child. “Come along now, don’t got all day.” Zipping my bag back up I put my coat back on and left the restroom.

I fully expected her to just kick me out the front door. Ridding herself of a transient, that was not in any way contributing to the profits of this establishment. “Here put this on, bus some tables and clean them down ’til the end of the day and there’s a hot meal and a proper shower in it for ya.” She smiled down at me.

Looking at her properly now, I could see that she had warm hazel eyes surrounded by a heart shaped face. Her nose was pointy and her greying curls hung just past her ears. She reminded me of what a grandmother would be like but I never had any of those, so don’t know for sure.

I bit my bottom lip her offer sounding so tempting, I hadn’t had a shower in months and a hot meal was normally out of the question. I took the red and white checked apron and tied it round my waist, the strings were that long that I had to double them over and tie the material around the front of me. “Oh child your so skinny. We’re going to have to fix that.” Her comment made me smile, a little warmth spreading in my chest.

“My names Marcy, this here is Brett. He’s the chef.” She pointed over her right shoulder, showing me an aging older gentleman flipping burgers on the grill. The smell of fresh cooking made my stomach growl. She guided me behind the counter and pointed to a shelf I could store my bag while I worked.

“Now the tables are numbered 1 to 22 from left to right, and the stools at the bar are numbered similarly but from 1 to 11. Keep the coffee mugs filled, the tickets go to Brett and I will sort the cheques out, just let me know when there ready to pay. The dinner rush will be starting soon. I hope your ready.” She confidently squeezed my shoulders and left me stunned in front of an influx of hungry people.

It took me a moment to snap out of my daze before starting with the first table to sit down. She wasn’t kidding when she said to get ready. It had been 10 minutes and I was already wishing it were over. I could just walk out. I was not really in need of food and a shower. My stomach growled achingly and I knew instantly that I had to stick it out.

The thought of food pushed me on, after about an hour I got the hang of it, even finding a little rhythm to the chaos. Three hours quickly ticked by. “You did good sweetheart.” Brett wheezed through the ticket window. “Thank you. I enjoyed it.” I beamed. I was overly excited at doing well at some thing for a change.

“Over here sweetheart.” Marcy called from the table I was sat at earlier this morning. I walked over thinking I had missed cleaning a table. I was momentarily confused as the food was piping hot and completely untouched. “Don’t look so concerned sweetie, its all for you.” I was dumbfounded on the table before me were a deluxe burger with fries and a side of onion rings, a large chocolate thick shake and as if that wasn’t enough a massive serving of apple pie and cream.

“Sit, eat and enjoy.” Marcy saw my hesitation and before I could say anything she pushed me forward and into the booth. She smiled satisfied now she knew I was going to eat well. Marcy left me alone to eat while she went to pour coffee and serve the last of the dinner rush. I could not resist any longer as the mouth watering smell of food enveloped every one of my senses.

I pushed well past the boundaries of eating too much, not wanting to waste a single bite. “My, my you were hungry.” Marcy said as she checked up on me. I was resting back in the booth as much as possible, making room for everything I just ate. I’ve never in my life had such a big meal.

I was so grateful towards Marcy and Brett but I needed to go, it would break me seeing them get hurt because of me. “Thank you. That was amazing.” Brett had join Marcy and rested an arm over her shoulders and placed a sweet kiss to her temple. “I know I’m the best.” He cockily replied to my comment. We laughed as we took the crockery into the kitchen to wash. I loaded the dishwasher and set it off as the distinct ring of the little bell above the front door sounded, indicating a new customer.

I turned to go serve them when I stopped dead in my tracks. That smell. That woodsy and earthy smell was a stronger version of the faint smell that lingered. Marcy saw panic cast me frozen to the spot. “What’s wrong dear?” She asked concern filling her voice. “I... I...” Was all I managed before I turned to the back door ready to run. “Wait, your things.” But I was gone.

After leaving the diner behind I dashed quickly into the woods. My heart was pounding so fast I thought it would break out of my chest, the scent of that wolf filled my head making me dizzy and I could feel my instincts go on red alert, emotions heightened, and a slight feeling of glee inside me.

I worked to calm myself down, only then could I think rationally and escape from them. I did find it odd that no one had yet chased me down. But I would not risk it, I had to keep going. I looked to the ground at my feet only then realising that I left my bag in the diner. ‘Damn it’ I scolded myself before giving up and declaring it lost.

I wondered around the forest for a few miles north trying to find a safe place to sleep for the night. I entered a clearing that was so beautiful, wild flowers grew in shades of violets and blues. A sprinkling of yellow here and there warmed the area up and made it so inviting.

The lake looked like it was glittering as it reflected hundreds of stars back towards it. The sound of water softly lapping at the bank soothed my frayed nerves. The moon was close to being full but it wouldn’t happen for another few days yet.

I sat next to a log and just reminisced about my past. After that night I was to be the sacrifice I was screamed at to run. My mother had saved me. As my father went to plunge the knife into my heart, she threw her hands over my chest and stacked them together causing the knife to pierce both of her hands. Sparing me from that fatal blow.

She screamed in agony as it pinned her hands together atop my chest. My father’s weight was then knocked of me and someone was dragging me from the stone alter. My eyes could no longer find my mother as I was forcibly dragged behind someone.

The person pulling me away from her was speaking to me but I couldn’t comprehend a single word. The whole pier had erupted in fighting. Every wolf there was savage and the scene was brutal. Blood was sprayed everywhere, howls of victory was mixed with those of pain.

My legs were no longer moving, but I was moving. Too overwhelmed with the events that just happened, I slowly turned my head to face my next situation. Sheila was quickly rowing a boat away from the scene. The boat and I was quietly slipping away from the madness and away from the pier and into the shadows of the night.

Shaking them thoughts from my brain quickly I looked back up at the moon, letting it calm me down. My exhaustion was getting the better of me and my eyes were starting to droop. Curling up next to a fallen log along the river bank seem like as good a place as any to sleep.

Birds chirping, the light sound of flowing water and the sun’s beaming rays were a peaceful way to wake up I thought. Not wanting to spoil the unnatural amount of peace that I felt in my heart, I kept her eyes closed. 5 more minutes wouldn’t hurt as I smiled to myself.

“I see sleeping beauty is a wake.” A calm male voice said to me. My eyes flew open in shock and fright. Making quick work of getting to my feet but still in my sleepily groggy state I stumbled and fell backwards over the log that was used last night for cover. My back landed with a thud, I only just now realised that my ankles were bound in shackles of silver.

“Let me go.” I shouted at the unknown male that spoke earlier, completely ignoring the pain in my spine from where I heavily landed. My arms unable to break my fall as they to were bound together. Strolling footsteps neared my squalled position and leaned into my personal space. “No.”

Anger boiled within my blood and a low growl erupted from my throat in warning to the guy. Lifting my head to face him I was met with beautiful warm chocolate brown eyes, sharp cheek bones and a strong angular jaw. Hair of ash blonde, he was so handsome. I had never felt this attracted to someone before, my head began to spin and I couldn’t think of anything else other than him.

My natural wolf instincts were to howl and submit to him, hoping that he would claim me. I was itching to get loose and shift into my wolf form. I did not understand what was going on, or my bodies responses towards him I needed to get out of here. Get as far away as possible from my father’s men. The panic was rising within me but I needed to calm down, think logically and make a plan to escape.

The intensity of my instincts, the want I felt for him and the need to submit. ‘Mate’, that one word stopped me dead in my struggles, I looked back at him and into his amazing human eyes and saw his pale grey wolf staring back at me.

The wolf was huge, twice the size of mine. His body was lean but every bit of him was pure muscle and strength. His chocolate shaded irises were lighter, they were now a hazel that shone slightly golden. No emotion were shown they just watched me closely and I could tell my face pulled up into a smile just for him, but was met with a grimace and large sharp canines appearing from under his muzzle.

I shrank back in horror, did he not feel the same way? Has he rejected me? “I will never accept you.” Pulling my gaze back to the male in front of me I released a loud saddened gasp. My heart felt as if it was breaking and despair had swallowed me up.

“Get up. Your coming with me.” Anger took over all my emotions of sadness. “Fuck you. I’m not going anywhere with you.” I pulled again at my binds harder than before. He just watched amused as he continued to see me struggle from his seated position on the log and played with a hunting knife. The tip picking the dirt from under his finger nails.

I twisted my body to the right, resting my bound wrists on the ground at the side of my hip. It was an awkward angle and the muscles in my left shoulder resisted the stretch but if I could get the silver coated rope under the spike on my belt I would be able to get myself free. I just needed to keep his sharp eyes away from what I was doing.

“Who do you work for?” Knowing damn well he works for my father. He smirked at my question but made no answer. “Why are you doing this?” I tried again. “Because I can.” His arrogance was astounding, but that smirk did all kinds of things to my body. I did my best to ignore my raging hormones and asked another question. “What’s in it for you?” He was starting to get irritated by my questions. I needed to hurry if I were to escape. Where there is one there is more.

Racking my brain for another question, I could not stop myself from saying the next words. “What’s your name?” His scowl grew, the furrow between his eyes were deeper and the veins in his neck pulsed. I did not really know what was so wrong with my question but clearly it was too personal for him. He closed his eyes, and cracked his neck. This was it, my chance. I twisted more and hooked the rope under the spike and pulled with all the strength I had. Thanking Marcy and Brett for feeding me that massive meal last night. The threads were coming loose but not quickly enough, my heart raced and my mind pleaded for the rope to break and thankfully it did.

The snapping sound however alerted him to my escape. Swinging his legs over the log and planting them firmly on the ground, he readied himself to lunge at me. I needed to put all the fighting skills I had to good use, or at least I had to try anyway. Supporting my weight on my palms, I pushed up with my heels sending them upwards and into the chin of the man as he got closer to me. He fell to the left with a groan, at least he would know I’m not a push over.

He spat blood from his mouth, and smirked again flashing his perfectly straight teeth that were now stained with his own blood. “I’m going to enjoy this.” He menacingly stated as he stalked me. The look in his eyes were predatory, as if hunting down his pray. I fought to regain composure and not let panic overtake me again.

“You won’t get away from me.” He taunted. Still I pushed away from him, as if I were a wriggling worm, fleeing from a hungry bird. His movements were slow and calculated wanting to instil as much fear into me as he could. “First, I think I’ll strap you down to that log.” He pointed his thumb over his shoulder. “Then I’ll take great pleasure in cutting each limb, just enough for you to bleed out slowly and watch as you become nothing. Your wolf will be so weak she won’t even be able to help you heal.” He grinned. “Or I might just make you swallow silver dust and rip her away from you.” He shook a small vial that was filled with a shiny powder. Silver. So it was not just a threat, he had the means to actually do that to me.

With horror clear in my expression he laughed at my realisation of just how dire my situation were. He was getting off by scaring me, threatening to do unthinkable things to any wolf. If I were to lose her, I would go mentally insane and agonisingly bleed out from a broken heart. Tears swam in my eyes I could not stop now, I blinked them back and wriggled away faster.

His dark chuckle spurring me on, but just as quick as a blink, he was on top of me gripping my throat. His hold wasn’t overly painful or one to cut off my air supply but enough to hold me in place as his foot pressing down on my right wrist. “Please... Please don’t take her away from me.” He stared down at me with so much anger, his breathing was heavy. “Come with me quietly and without a fuss and I’ll think about it.” I nodded frantically. In this moment knowing I would do anything from losing her. I have already lost too much.

Even though I had agreed and he knew I wouldn’t jeopardise my wolf. He stayed in this position, his features relaxing just a fraction as his eyes never left mine. He brought my face closer to his, his lips whispering over mine as he spoke. I was so lost in the burning heat radiating off him to listen to what he said.

His shake jolted my focus back to him. “What?” I blinked knowing he had told me to do something but I didn’t know what. “Run. If I catch you, you come with me as my slave. If you get away then I’ll leave you alone.” The shackles dropped with a clang from his hands. I didn’t even know he had removed them. “Why are you doing this? Just please let me go.” He pulled me to my feet in one quick motion. “Because I can.”

He turned his back to me and started to count. 1... I couldn’t get my head around what was happening. 2... ‘run now’ my mind shouted at me, comprehending the danger was in much quicker than me. 3... He looked over his shoulder at my still form. “Your making this to easy. It’s like you want to be my slave.”

I gulped. I never want to become anything other than free. 4... He chuckled. Snapping out of my trance, I ran north. His counting became faint the further away I got, how long would he keep counting for. I didn’t have an answer but I kept going, no time to spare contemplating that question. I thought back to Sheila’s survival training. Although it was limited I followed every rule she taught me. I marked every tree I could, leaving my scent everywhere. Doubling backed over myself, hiding which way I truly went. Even walked in the little streams I found to cover my tracks, and urinated to mark my territory at a caves entrance.

It had been ages and he still hadn’t found me, this was a small victory and I allowed myself a small rest at the base of a cliff. I panted hard, bent over clutching my knees, trying to pull as much oxygen down into my lungs. I stumbled forward when I heard a waterfall splashing onto the rocks below it. I wondered in the direction of its sound needing a drink.

After quenching my thirst I stood underneath its cold temperature cooling myself down, waking myself up in the refreshing water and preparing myself to run again. I didn’t even have chance to turned round before being seized around my waist and chest by strong arms and being trapped to his large muscular body. I looked to my right and up being met with rich chocolate brown eyes. “Got ya.”

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