That evening Brett and I did our homework together as normal at the den since we could talk about everything without my parents overhearing.
“If on the odd chance that Connor has told his parents and they are sending word to your old pack. Where will we go I mean your pack would be able to track you by scent wouldn’t they?”
“They could but my dad taught me a way to throw other wolves off using scent, I assume it is why they didn’t find me when I came here. And as for where we will go, there is a legend about a place where supernatural creatures can go to hide and the land around you will keep you hidden from those who you don’t want to find you.”
“A land that hides you from others?” I repeat skeptically.
“That is what the legend says it often is referred to as the supernatural safe haven. But it is just a legend so there is no telling if it is true or not.”
“Has no one gone there and come and said they have found it.”
“No, I would assume because the only people who go in search of it are those who are hiding and need to remain hidden or it could just not exist and that’s why no one has ever found it and told anyone.”
“Well we can always look for the safe haven and if we don’t find it we can just find somewhere to hide out in the woods far away from here.” Brett nodded in agreement as we went back to working on the homework set before us. When it started to get to the time my parents would want me home for dinner Brett walked me to the front door of my house. Before we could say goodbye the door opened and my mom stood on the other side.
“Oh, Erica your home I was just about to go to the car to get my phone and call you.”
“Why is your phone in the car?”
“I seem to have left it there after work and just realized I didn’t have it when I went to call you.”
“And is dad’s phone in the car as well?”
“Oh no he is on the phone with your grandparents you know how his mom can be she just loves to talk.” she turns to Brett as if noticing him for the first time. “Brett it is nice to see you again.”
“Nice to see you too Mrs. Wagner, but I should probably head home now.” He is about to turn and leave when my mom speaks up and stops him.
“Oh you should stay for dinner if your parents wouldn’t mind that is, we don’t need you getting in trouble with them.”
“I think they wouldn’t care if I stayed, thank you for the invitation. I would love to stay for dinner.” Brett says without missing a beat.
“Well then it’s settled, you two go in and make yourselves comfortable I will just go and grab my phone.” We headed inside and I dropped my backpack near the stairs before joining Brett in the living room. Since Brett practically lived here for a month while my parents were away I was pretty accustomed to him having dinner here so it was a pleasant surprise when my mom invited him to stay. As I sat down next to Brett my mom reentered the house with her phone in hand before she returned to cooking.
“Do you need any help in the kitchen mom?” I ask, turning to look over at her.
“I think I have it covered thanks for asking but if you could go tell your father that dinner is almost ready that would be helpful.”
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” I say getting up and heading down the hall to my dad’s office study room. When I get to the door I knock lightly as I open it and my dad turns to face me. “Dinner is almost ready and mom invited Brett to stay.”
“I will be right there, thanks for telling me, Erica.” My dad says before turning his attention back to the phone call. Soon dinner is ready and the four of us are all sitting at the table eating and talking. It was a rather pleasant conversation through dinner. My parents were talking about the business trip while asking what we were up to while they were gone. Though we had to come up with lies as we could not tell them the truth about what we have been up to. The other day I had told them a few things but didn’t go into much detail but today they seemed to want every single detail of what happened. Carefully Brett and I weaved the truth and the lies together to create a believable story of what we had done while they were away. After dinner, Brett bid my parents a goodnight before I walked outside to the edge of the woods with him.
“I will see you tomorrow then,” I say as we stop at the edge of the woods.
“Yeah, and I am sure that Connor will be at school tomorrow so there is no need to worry.”
“I know Brett I have to trust that we will be okay and everything is okay.” he gives me a quick kiss goodbye before heading into the woods and shifting. He looks back at me and inclines his head before running off to the den. The next morning I meet Brett at the entrance of school I can tell that he is a little nervous but is trying his best to hide it. I walk up to him and reach my hand out for him to take which he does. Together hand in hand we walk into school hoping and praying that Connor is somewhere on the school grounds and that Brett and I are still safe. But there was no sign of Connor anywhere. I tried to not be too alarmed because sometimes it wasn’t until lunch that we saw Connor so I held on to some hope.
Lunch rolled around and there was still no sign of Connor and I had to put a lot of power into not freaking out and to not let fear force me to shift. I could tell that Brett too, was on edge though he did not seem to be as scared as I was as he has dealt with things like this his whole life. I was about to say something to Brett about the situation but gave me a look that said to wait until we were alone. The rest of the day seemed to drag on but when the bell finally rang both Brett and I basically bolted out of the school and towards the backfield where we could safely shift. We were stopped short when we noticed Connor looking anxious at the edge of the woods.
“Guys I am so sorry I tried not to tell them but they were relentless and I just couldn’t take it anymore,” Connor says as we come to a halt in front of him.
“What do you mean Connor? What is going on and where have you been?” Brett says clenching his fists to keep from shifting.
“My parents realized I have been acting a little differently lately after you guys confronted me about having been lying. I tried to insist that I didn’t know anything but they didn’t believe me. They locked me in my room and practically beat the truth out of me. They gave me little food and water and did this.” He pulls the sleeves of his jacket up to reveal red marks all up and down his arms. After a minute he pulled his sleeves back down covering up the terrible marks on his arms. “It is from a belt and it is not just on my arms it is on my back too. I tried to bear the pain but it got too much. I had to tell them they would know if I were lying.” Both Brett and I remained silent as I was trying to not break down in tears or shift. After what felt like hours Brett finally spoke.
“So you told them about us, about me.”
“I tried to bend the truth but I just couldn’t. I had to tell them about you, about how you had a friend in your old pack that told you about Esther and everything they were furious that I didn’t tell them about you sooner so that they might have been able to prevent what happened. They then locked me in my room so that I wouldn’t try to come to warn you.”
“Then how are you here now?” Brett says holding back his anger.
“I snuck out my window while they were focused on getting into contact with your old pack. The message will take a few days to a week to get to them and then I have no idea how long it will take for them to get here but I had to warn you so you could get a head start on them.” Brett turns to me and I nod.
“We have to go, but thank you for warning us, you should go before your parents find out you left,” I say before turning and following Brett into the woods and shifting to run to my house and the den. When we reach the den there is the scent of another wolf lingering but the wolf was long gone already. Brett and I shared a wary glance before shifting back to human form and searched for the source of the smell. We soon came upon a note folded neatly and placed with Brett’s books in the den. Brett inhaled the scent of the letter.
“It’s from Arthur.”