Hope Springs

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Chapter 24

I stood beside Max, with my arms crossed as pack members streamed to the clearing to discuss what should be done about Loup Chasseur. I didn’t think that we should wait to attack, but I was probably being too rash. I feared that if we waited too long to attack that we would just be in added danger. Max glanced down at me and my eyes flickered up to meet his.

Are you okay, He asked, and I nodded. I think you’re lying Trinity. What’s on your mind?

What if we wait too long to attack Loup Chasseur? Will the pack be put in even more danger? I don’t want that. I answered, and Max slowly wrapped his arm around my waist, pulling me to his side.

We are tough. We will be fine. Max said, trying to assure me. We have been attacked by hunters before, we know what to do. I doubt my father will let Loup Chasseur surprise us, especially since you found Finley’s letter.

But what if Finley is now in danger because of that? What about Rhea?

If what Finley said was true, and he is very valuable to them, they will keep him alive. You don’t need to worry about him-

When we found him, he was nearly dead! I shot back and Max sighed.

He will be fine. Now listen. Max hissed and I sighed, turning my eyes to Mr. Judge.

“We have gotten information that Loup Chasseur is planning an attack against us,” Mr. Judge began, “We need to formulate a plan and be prepared for every possibility. We will not be using anyone as bait, because that will be too dangerous. Any other suggestions are welcome, but I don’t want to put anyone in any unnecessary danger. Patrols will include a few more wolves and will occur more frequently. I will also be imposing a curfew, and would like to order that if you go out you need to go with someone else or with multiple people. Is that clear?” Everyone voiced their consent and Mr. Judge raised his brows, silently asking for suggestions for a plan.

“What can we do,” Someone questioned, “If we can’t use anyone what are supposed to do? Just wait for them to attack us?”

“Of course not,” Hadley snapped, “We could go scouting for their base, or something. It’d be suicide to wait for them to attack us, wouldn’t it?”

“Not necessarily,” Someone else said, “We-”

That person was interrupted and soon, people were fighting to be heard over each other and Max let out a small growl. The voices were rising in volume and my ears were starting to ring because of the cacophony of noise. I wasn’t used to the heightened senses yet, and this was getting to be a little much. There was a sharp cracking noise and all at once everyone started to shift, I looked at Max in fear but he was already in his wolf form. I hesitated for a moment but when there was another gunshot, I flinched and shifted. I stepped a little closer to Max, my eyes scanning the trees.

What’s going on?

We’re being attacked. Max said grimly, There is supposed to be this grand ceremony when inducting someone as a member of the pack, but we don’t have time for that. Trinity, as son of the Alpha and future Alpha, I proclaim you as a member of the pack.

Instantly a flood of voices greeted me and my eyes widened as I stared at Max. He nudged me towards the trees and we took off running. Everyone else was already fleeing into the woods and I urged myself to go faster, I didn’t want to get left behind. Max kept pace beside me and a golden wolf streaked past me.

There was another gunshot and I heard a yelp. I turned my head, seeing a light brown wolf stumbling. I slowed my pace, so that I was running beside the wolf and my eyes met familiar blue eyes. Hadley?

Hadley? I asked for confirmation.

Hi, she replied meekly, a whimper escaping her as she tried to run faster. More wolves were passing us and she was starting to get nervous. I was too. I nudged her, trying to get her to go a little faster.

Go ahead Trinity, Hadley murmured, You don’t need to put yourself in danger, for me.

Since when were you so selfless?

Well, I’m not selfish! Maybe a little bit...But I know when to put the packs' needs before my own, and the pack needs you. Max needs you.

A dart struck her hind leg and her eyes drooped. She dropped to the ground and I noticed a silver wolf stop in his tracks, tensing. He spun and headed towards us, at full speed and that was when I realized that it was Alex. His lips were pulled back into a snarl and he took a protective stance over Hadley. He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye.

Go. I’ll protect Hadley. His eyes roved over the fallen bodies of some of the other wolves. Go, before they get you too.

I’m sorry, I whispered before running. I pushed myself to go as fast as I could, and soon I was passing the wolves who had passed me before. Even though they had told me to go, I couldn’t help but feel extremely guilty for abandoning both Alex and Hadley.

My paws pounded on the ground, and slowly I could feel my body starting to hurt. I was relieved when we finally stopped running. I collapsed to the ground, breathing harshly and Max padded over to me, sitting down and laying by my back. He curved his body, so that I was nestled against his front. He leaned his head on my shoulder, giving me an affectionate nuzzle.

Are you okay, He asked, I was worried when you dropped back.

It was Hadley. She was hurt, I answered. She was struck by a dart, and Alex made me leave. I-

It was good that they made you leave. Max interrupted me and I stiffened. Don’t get upset, Trinity. They won’t be hurt. Not yet. They were trying to protect a fellow pack member, and Hadley had Alex as protection.

Will they be okay?

He didn’t answer me and I placed my head on my paws, staring forlornly at the ground. I felt so guilty. I should have stayed behind with them or something instead of just leaving.

Stop Trinity. Max growled and I huffed.

Several hours later, Mr. Judge finally made an announcement. By that time though, I was half asleep. When I finally stirred, it was morning and several wolves were already awake and wandering around.

Max, what was your dad’s announcement last night? I asked, but he didn’t reply. His breathing was deep and even and that was when I realized that he was still asleep. I felt relieved that I hadn’t disturbed him.

Rhea? I tentatively asked and a golden wolf, who was lying not far from where we were, lifted her head. What was Mr. Judge’s announcement last night?

He said that we are going to attack Loup Chasseur soon and get our pack members back. First we have to find their stronghold, base, whatever you want to call it. We also have to make sure that we have enough people to back us up in case something bad happens. Rhea answered, yawning. I’m going out with one of the parties.

How many people were taken?

Fifteen. Josh, Anya, Alex and Hadley were among them.

Josh and Anya were taken too? I couldn’t hide the dismayed tone of my voice and Rhea stared at me for a moment. But the two of them were ahead of me.

Anya saw someone injured and she wanted to help. Kind of like how you wanted to help out Hadley. Stop worrying so much Trinity. She gave me a look, None of this is your fault. I don’t want to hear you keep pitying yourself. Now, I would like to get a little more sleep and you should too, we may not be getting much sleep tonight.

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