Beloved Runt: Part I

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10- Edmon Huntington

The girl had a fire to her. At first glance you would never see it, but it was there if you pushed enough. She cared about the pack. I had hit a sore spot there and she had rightfully put me in my place. It was almost amusing to see someone stand up to me. I wanted to continue our conversation to learn more about the pack but was interrupted when Atremis’s whole body went rigid. Her whole body began to tremble in fear as her eyes wide and open began searching all around.

I was caught off guard by the sudden change in behavior. Did I say or do something to cause such a reaction? Before I could apologize for whatever I did Artemis walked away from me with a simple “excuse me.” She was so lost in thought, she didn’t even realize she ran in to my arm as she passed. I watched her as she hobbled as fast as she could across the yard. In front of her stood one of the warriors. At her call he ran over to her looking concerned. They spoke in whispers for a moment to quiet for even my ears to hear. The warrior grew concerned at whatever she said and put his arm around her has he helped her walk quickly to the pack house. Something was going on.

I decided to follow them. This might give me more information about everything that is going on here. Before I could reach the packhouse bells started tolling and everyone rushed inside. Rogues!

I ran into action rushing into the packhouse. Dalton was already there giving orders as men assembled ready to meet the danger. I saw conviction in each of their eyes as they were prepared to fight if needed. As I joined the others, I heard Dalton give the commands to the others.

“We are headed south east where the river meets the ridge,” He quickly explained. “Teddy you take your group and approach them from the west. We’ll meet them from the north. Hopefully we can push them further into the ravine. If they go across the river it will be harder to find their scent. Russell you stay here in case we need and updated location. Everyone understood? Alright let’s go.” Everyone started to head outside to shift but I stopped Dalton before he could leave with them.

“I’m coming with you,“ I declared. Dalton didn’t look happy about that.

“I appreciate the offer my lord, but we really can manage.”

“I don’t think you heard me right,” I pushed. “I wasn’t asking I was telling. I am far bigger than any of you and I’m not going to just sit here while rogues are on a pack’s land that is under the protection of the crown. I’m coming.” Dalton thought for a second and look behind him towards Russell. After a moment Russell nodded to Dalton and left the receiving area headed to wherever his silent orders sent him. Why wasn’t he joining the group?

“Alright my lord. If you would...” Dalton gestured toward the door and I followed him out. Most of the warriors were already shifted. I stripped quickly not caring for propriety. Speed was needed more. As soon as I had stripped, I called my wolf forward which allowed me to effortlessly shift into my wolf form. My wolf had a lighter gray color than the warriors dark browns and grays around me, alleging to my status as an ancient. I looked towards Dalton who had shifted into his dark gray wolf. He let out a howl and ran into the forest. The rest of us followed.

It only took us a few minutes running at full speed to reach the area that Dalton identified earlier. The ground here was rocky and that added with the snow made things slippery. I had to dig my claws in more to make sure I didn’t trip or fall.

The more we ran into the forest the more frustrated I became. When searching for rogues, strategy stated that a group of warriors fan out to search and find the rogue before compacting together in order to attack. All the warriors around me had not done that. They instead stayed together in a tight formation. This gave them a great defensive stance, but it increased the chance for the rogues to slip through.

Shouldn’t we spread out more to find the rogues?

I knew he wouldn’t be able to answer back to me but even then, I could tell I was being ignored.

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