I sat in my basement room looking at everything around me one last time. We were headed to the capital and I would be leaving everything behind. I only had a small bag to take with me containing a few outfits and keepsakes. Lord Edmon said I wouldn’t need much, that most everything would be provided for me.
This was a good opportunity for me. I was being given a place at the palace, trained by the best there was, and yet I felt like I was loosing everything I held dear. At least Dalton was coming. The plan was to have him train with the Royal Guard until it came time to take over for his father. I wonder if I would be ready to return by then as well.
Turning off the light one last time I climbed the stairs and left out the front pack house door. The winter cold bit at my cheeks. Out in front of the clearing Lord Edmond was talking to the soldiers. Dalton was standing short of them talking to his father.
As I approached the two of them Alpha Langston turned to me and opened his arms for a hug. I went straight into it savoring as much as I could.
“Be safe little Artie,” he whispered to me. “This pack can never repay all you have done.” As we parted the glisten in his eyes matched my own. This man was basically a father to me. Not wanting to break down I turned toward Dalton who splayed his hand on my back moving me towards the group. When Lord Edmon saw us approach he dismissed the captain he was taking to and walked to meet us.
“Everything all set?” He asked the two of us.
“Yes sir,” Dalton replied. I could only give a sad smile. Lord Elton looked at us for a moment before nodding in satisfaction.
“Alright then,” he said. “Artemis why don’t you just ride on Dalton. Your wolf is still new and I’m not sure she is ready for such a long journey.” I was a little disappointed. Since my wolf had returned I had only shifted twice and both times I couldn’t remember what happened. I had hoped that maybe shifting by my choice might allow me to experience what I was missing. But I didn’t want to upset Lord Edmon. I was grateful for all he was doing.
Lord Edmon walked over to the soldiers and the group started stripping what clothing they did had. I turned to look away out of respect. Being in a wolf pack you saw a lot of naked bodies but I tried to avoid it when I could.
I didn’t move until I felt a wet nose nudge the back of my head, and turned to see Dalton’s dark gray wolf nuzzling me. I gave his neck a good scratch before patting his coat. Dalton at my beckon lowered himself so I could climb on. Once I was settled, Dalton walked to join the rest of the group. He fit right in with them. They were all giant wolves with power and authority. The largest wolf was a pale gray. I assumed it had to be Lord Edmon.
At his signal Lord Edmon and the other dashed into the woods. My hold on Dalton’s fur tightened. I burrowed myself into the fur. Not only would it keep me warm but I wouldn’t tire out as much. As I heard the many feet pad accords the ground and felt the rise and fall of each stride my mind wondered to what laid next for me. Only time would tell..
END OF PART I
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