“I’ll protect you.” Hunter said before Haven could even get a word out.
Haven didn’t believe him,
He wanted to, he really did.
He wanted to believe that Hunter would lay next to him in his wolf form with his teeth right by his neck and not end it all while Haven was sleeping.
But he couldn’t,
His self-preservation was too strong. In fact it was so strong Haven wasn’t totally sure he was in control of his body when he tossed the book at Hunter and bolted.
He wasn’t sure if Hunter was following him or where he was actually going. His mind was just shut off during that mad dash to get away from the danger. Haven wasn’t proud for running and sure as hell wasn’t happy with how panicked he became.
Later he thinks he’ll blame it on to much information to hand all at once and he just broke momentarily.
When he finally came around and forced himself to stop, this consisted of him skipped to a stop and slipping on the wet leaves. Then promptly fell down a ravine and tumbling through the underbrush of the forest he found himself in.
He was pretty sure he’d have bruises and cuts when he finally came to a stop. He was certain without even a glance down that his red jacket would be ruined as well. His lungs burned from the excursion, he wasn’t the most athletic person in his school. But he was sure anyone who ran as long as he did would be tired.
After all the library wasn’t anywhere near the forest.
As he stared up to the sky through the late autumn leaves and bare branches of the trees. The sun was long gone and the stars had come out. It was dark Haven couldn’t see any sign of the moon but the stars twinkled as they always did. Haven couldn’t help but listen to the light breeze and let the cool air wash over him drying the sweat and easing the ache in his chest as he took in large lung fills of the sweet air.
Sweet, the air was sweet.
Haven sat up suddenly with a stiff twinge of pain where he thinks he hit a few rocks on his way down. He vaguely recognizing the scent, he knew it but couldn’t place it. Something was wrong and he needed to leave,
Looking around he saw no flowers or any kind of plant that would possibly give off the weird nerve inducing scent. Scrambling to his feet he suddenly didn’t want to be there.
But it was too late.
The crashing and stomping of angry hooves were already there, speeding towards him.
He moved turning and clawed his way up the ravine the best he could, however he didn’t get far until they were on him.
Seven very angry and huge horses were on him circling and stamping irritably; their riders tugging and jerking on the reins to keep them under control as they stared down at Haven. Flashes of forgotten memories and sounds dredged up by the scene unfolding in front of him.
“Red,” One of the riders said. Getting a better look at them in the dark was impossible but Haven knew they weren’t normal. Not when they were riding these beasts, all white but radiated an aura that scared Haven to the core.
“Red,” Another repeated.
“Take him, the wolf child.” The one who rode the only horse that had armor on spoke then and the other six launched into action.
Haven’s pretty sure he just fainted after that.
Hunter returned to Haven’s home rubbing his jaw.
That was so uncalled for, Haven didn’t have to throw a thousand paged hard cover at him.
He wasn’t hurt but he’s pride was a little bruised. Haven didn’t have to run; he really meant what he said. He would never hurt Haven, Night howled in frustration at the very thought of it.
Why would he be the protector if he was just going to kill Haven?
The stupid kid needed to start using his head. He can’t just run off like that, not with the hunters crawling all over like cockroaches. Hunter was even skittish as he walked by others on the street, half expecting them to attack right on the spot.
He’d been with Haven for long enough to give him a false sense of safety. Now he was relearning it all again. It sucked, it sucked a lot. He never expected to lose sight of the Lone Wolf he was so fast. It was all Haven’s fault, for just being there. Hunter couldn’t really blame Haven; it was his own fault for staying so long. Now he doesn’t think he can leave.
Hunter let out a slow sigh as he shifted forms and stepped over the small fence and into the back yard. He could hear one person within the house and it wasn’t Haven.
That wasn’t a good sign.
Haven groaned and held his head, it pounded like a drum. He wasn’t sure what happened, but the way his body and head ached he’s pretty sure he was hit by a truck,
Or better yet a train.
Everything hurt and tingled like someone tossed hot water on him, or that he was in hot water. The sound of running water got his attention first. He was still too tired to actually open his eyes. The next thing he noticed was something was touching him. Haven gasped and forced his eyes open.
Four pairs of eyes stared back, all pure black and almond shaped. The scene around him was a stark contrast to the dark forest he was pretty sure he’d been in moments ago. Four white barked trees rose up and their leafless branches tangled into a thick canopy above Haven; who sat in a steaming pool with four others who’d backed off of him.
He wasn’t sure what they were, but they were NOT human. Their sharp beauty pulled at Haven. At first he was entranced but then memories rushed in like the flood gates had been opened. It wasn’t like he could recall everything but he knew that these things were not a good sign.
“You’re awake.” Haven jumped and spun around to see a tall woman staring at him with those creepy black eyes. Her white hair and white attire blended in with the white surroundings. She wore what looked like a crown atop her hair that her hair was woven into the detailed weaving of the metal Haven thinks was silver but could also be white branches from the white trees.
Nothing about this woman was human.
Nothing about any of this was normal. Everything seemed so surreal, like he was in a dream as steam rose up fogging the air.
Maybe he was dreaming, maybe not.
“Little Red Riding Hood,” She woman said with slow precise movements of her mouth. Her skin was white with a touch of skin tone here and there like swirling marks as what looked like butterfly wings or maybe dragonfly, some kind of insect wings twitched behind her.
Haven just stared saying nothing in return though the woman seemed to be expecting some kind of response.
“It took us a long time to find you, hiding in plain sight, flaunting about without a care in the world.” With more silence the woman was clearly losing her patience.
“Uh… What?” Haven stumbled out finally glancing back to the four as they got out of the water, all of them were naked. Haven quickly looked away feeling his face flush.
“Years of looking and a Fea had been with you this whole time.” Her eyes drifted over him for a moment before continuing.
“You are nothing special. I thought maybe you would have been different, but no you are just human.”
“Sure.” Haven said once she paused long enough to indicate she was looking for him to answer. She hadn’t really asked any questions so Haven had no idea what she was expecting when she stopped talking.
“Why?” Her question brought up so many snarky responses like,
‘Because I was born that way’ or ‘isn’t that the whole nature nurture debate?’ Haven said nothing like that though instead, “Uh…”
“Such an important task set on the shoulders of a squishy human.” Her voice turned up in superiority and slight disgust.
“Gee, Thanks.” Haven rolled his eyes just then noticing the huge audience standing around. Just outside of the white trees stood countless others all with black eyes staring, unblinking, all at him.
These things looked like walking trees, majestic and older beyond any number could count, all with sharp beauty and all with that scary aura that set Haven on edge.
“Regardless of what you are, you are the one we’ve been looking for, the sacrifice, Little Red Riding Hood.” Haven looked at her again turning his attention away from the audience. His heart sank,.
They weren’t Werewolves, that was for sure but if they thought he was the sacrifice he was screwed. More screwed then when he was with Hunter. Haven had to get out of this.
“I don’t understand I’m not any sacrifice. I’m Jace Moore just a kid.” He said then quickly added, “A squishy human.” He shifted only then noticing he was naked. He sunk lower into the murky water and glanced around at the audience.
“I, as the Queen of the Light Court do not make mistakes. You are the one we’ve been looking for; you are the sacrifice moon child.” Nervous laughter bubbled up in Haven; he didn’t know what to say to that, He was so screwed.“You will stay here for the rest of your days; you will be your brethren’s down fall.” Yup Haven was fucked.