Haven was with the pack for three days and was learning a lot about herbs and the way of pack life. Haven was having a particularly hard time distinguishing which berries were safe to eat and which ones weren’t. River told him it was nothing to worry about since he didn’t have heightened senses.
On the third day River was going over how to crush up the herbs to make a salve to put on cuts to mask the scent of blood, and it could be used to stop the bleeding faster as well when a young boy about Haven’s age was carried into the Healer’s home.
Beta Zaid laid him down on one of the beds as Charity rushed to his aid. The boy was bleeding badly and he was pretty pale, from where Haven was standing he didn’t look like he was breathing.
The boy’s black hair was matted and clinging to his face which was covered in blood and dirt. Haven watched in horror waiting for Charity to say she couldn’t do anything for him. River shifted and moved to pull Haven out of the room but stopped and let Haven go when Charity motioned for him to join her. He quickly stepped over next to her and started working on the boy.
The boy took in a shallow and shaky breath and in response Haven let go of the one he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. The boy looked small and fragile with all the blood slowly drying on him and with the three adult hovering over his tiny figure he looked helpless even though they were there helping him.
Haven was happy the boy wasn’t dead; he didn’t want to stand next to another grave of someone he barely knew. Haven remembers standing next to Karen as she cried clinging to his hand tightly and muttering about a haven.
“What happened?” Charity asked as she examined the boy while River cleaned off his face a bit and brushed the boy’s dirty hair from his face. As the dirt and blood was wiped from his skin Haven could see the boy’s darkly tanned skin marked with scratches that were already scabbing over.
“We found him in the woods while patrolling we don’t know where he came from. With the recent rains all the scent trails are faint and sometimes really messed up. We think he might have come from Electric Rain.” Beta Zaid explained. Haven had met Beta Zaid on the second day. Beta Zaid came in completely bruised up and bleeding. Haven was surprised a day later to see Beta Zaid completely healed up and walking around fine, when yesterday his mate Beta Raph had to carry most of his weight as they came in. Charity nodded and ripped off the kid’s shirt to get a better look at the large gashes running across his chest.
“These aren’t claw marks.” Charity said.
“This is a lot of blood is he even going to survive the night?” River questioned and his mother flicked him on the nose.
“Shame on you River, don’t lose faith just because the outlook is bleak.” Haven figured her words were supposed to be some kind of Zen thing but he didn’t get it. It sounded more like an insult to the boy then a lecture for River.
“It doesn’t smell like another wolf attacked him.” Beta Zaid said as he glanced over to Haven and giving him a look as if he blamed Haven for the boy’s injuries, Haven frowned at him but said nothing.
“There aren’t any signs of silver.” River added, “So he isn’t Rouge. Besides he’s t young to be tossed out like that.” Charity nodded in agreement then looked at Beta Zaid.
“Will take care of this, I’ll send River when he wakes.” Haven had gravitated closer. Closer up the boy looked older than he had at first glance. His features were soft and calm despite the condition of his body.
Beta Zaid nodded to Charity and left the room as River and his mother set to work cleaning and dressing the wounds. Haven was standing by River by now watching quietly.
“He could be a run away; we could get into trouble having him here.” River said to Charity. Charity shook her head fiercely.
“No, I’m not throwing him out onto the street just because he could bring the pack some trouble. We can handle ourselves and it’s not like we’re going to keep him.” River looked to his mother and nodded mutely.
The boy had pointed ears and a tail like everyone else in the village. The boy’s ears and tail were black; Haven had learned that the ears and tail meant he was a Werewolf, and that since they were black he was destined to be a dominate wolf.
River grabbed Haven’s arm suddenly, “Go to your room and wait there.” He ordered and pushed him out of the room and shut the door behind him.
Haven frowned at the closed door before trudging up the stairs to the room they let him use while he waited out the Hunting Season. It wasn’t as big as the room he had at home and the bed was smaller too, and less comfortable.
The room was designed for temporary stay. Nobody was expected to live there for very long. River told him most of the rooms in the house were the same and were for patients who needed to stay longer than a few days.
Haven really wanted to go home he wanted to see his mom’s face again and he wanted to hear his dad’s goofy laugh. But most of all Haven wanted to see Karen smile again, yeah she was annoying and cried a lot but they grew up together he was at her house playing with her all the time before the accident.
He made it sort of his mission each day to see Karen smile at least once. After the accident it became an impossible mission. Karen only cried now when he tried to make her laugh. Haven flopped down on the bed and sighed sadly and cried himself.
Later that day, River came up and got Haven for lunch. As they walked down the stairs River patted his back and said, “The boy is up if you want to talk to him.” He offered a quick reassuring smile. Haven nodded.
“How many more days do I have to stay until I can go home?” He asked and looked up at River.
“Three more days’ kiddo and you can be with your family again.” River explained as Haven nodded in response. Charity was in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on lunch, she was making something heavily meat involved again. Charity glanced over to Haven and her son and offered up a calm smile.
“Go and say hello to our guest Jace while I finish up here.” Haven looked up at her and nodded.
“Okay ma’am.” He said and left to the infirmary. The boy with black hair was sitting up and brooding. His entire chest, arms, and his left leg were wrapped in bandages his right cheek had a bandage on it too. Haven walked in hesitantly as the boy looked over and glared at him with his intense hazel eyes.
“Hi.” Haven greeted and waved weakly. The boy just stared; he looked more ferocious then when he was passed out. Haven walked over to him despite everything telling him to leave the room, Haven was never one to follow that little cautionary voice in his head. He was always more inclined in following that insatiable need to explore. The boy’s frowned deepened as Haven stepped up to the bed. The boy leaned forward some and sniffed the air then wrinkled up his nose.
“Yes.” Haven answered even though he knew it was more of a statement then a question. River had told Haven that wolves can smell that sort of thing so he wasn’t that shocked by it. However he was still impressed the boy could tell so quickly.
“What are you doing here?” The boy asked.
“I was kidnapped by fairies.” Haven said, River had explained that too. The boy stared at him for a moment.
“You’re not a fairy.”
“I know.” Haven answered again. He mock smelled the air then said, “You’re a wolf.”
“I’m not a wolf, I’m a pup. I’m not a wolf until I reach sixteen summers.” The boy said as Charity walked in with lunch. The scent of rich gravy poured from the bowls she had sitting on the tray she was carrying. Charity smiled lightly offering up her most disarming expression.
“How are you feeling little one?” She asked the boy as she handed him a bowl. The boy took it and shrugged silently. Charity handed Haven his bowl and checked the boy’s injuries prodding his side. The boy flinched when she touched his right side. Charity tisked, “Broken rips, it’s to be expected with how you were found.” She commented
“Do you remember what happened?” She questioned after a short pause of awkward silence. The boy however just shrugged. Charity frowned briefly but nodded. Haven situated himself on the bed next to the boy’s and started eating the meaty stew.
“Well, my name is Charity and this is Jace. What’s yours?” She smiled but yet again the boy shrugged. Charity glanced at Haven and frowned thoughtfully again. Haven looked up at her but said nothing as he shoved another spoon full into his mouth.
“Do you have any family in the area? Where is your pack?” Charity tried again. The boy just shrugged, Charity fixed the boy with a hard stare as he ate quietly.
Charity shook her head and left the room. Haven looked at the boy quietly as they both ate. Haven tilted his head to the side as he chewed on a piece of potato. The boy wasn’t paying him any attention so Haven looked down to his food and said nothing.
After a while the boy looked at Haven who was eating happily in the seemingly comfortable silence and didn’t notice the stare directed towards him. The boy frowned and sighed heavily Haven looked up and froze. The boy’s hazel eyes were intense and hard, Haven could tell the boy had seen a lot of heartache. He had the same look Karen started having after her parent’s death.
“What?” Haven asked.
“You look familiar.” The boy said.
“What’s that mean?”
“I think I know you.” The boy explained with a roll of his eyes. Haven frowned and shrugged.
“I don’t know you.” He said simply.
“I know that.” The boy said. Haven sat quietly after that, just watching the boy watch him. They stared at each other for a long time until Haven decided to break the silence.
“What’s your name?” The boy looked back to his food and shrugged. Haven huffed and slurped at his spoon just watching the boy thoughtfully when a thought occurred to him.
“Hey, check this out. I bet your wolfiness can’t figure out how I do this.” Haven licked his spoon and put it on his nose. “Tada,” Haven said as it stuck there and Haven smiled proudly as the boy laughed, though the laughter was cut short when the boy winced in pain. Haven grabbed his spoon from his nose, “Sorry.”“Derek.” The boy said quietly, “My name is Derek Hunter.” Haven smiled at that and said, “I’m Jace, it’s nice to meet you Derek.”