Chapter 9- Training
I woke up to the sun setting across the forest lighting all the trees in a gorgeous golden glow. The trees seemed to flow and dance in the song the wind sang for them, bathing in the light that shone down on them.
It was relaxing to see and I lay there watching the sunset over the trees before it dipped down and I couldn't see it anymore. Sighing I knew I needed to get up and face what had happened but, I wanted to just stay in this bed and hide forever not having to face the reality of the situation.
There was also the matter of the mate's incident that needed sorting and I just didn't know what to do.
Ryker seemed nice, caring and protective, not like he would intend to hurt me but that fear was still there, still swirling around in the bits of my stomach, holding me back from making any type of decision.
I wasn't really thinking earlier as he comforted me. I knew he would never take advantage of me in my venerable state but, hadn't I taken advantage of him?
I knew what the mating bond could do to you, how it could take over you and all your senses. I knew this and I still let him comfort me, hold me and he even kissed my forehead! What on earth was I thinking?
Clearly I wasn't. I didn't want Ryker thinking that after earlier that everything was sorted because it wasn't in my eyes. I still needed time, it's like my wolf and body knew because I wasn't feeling any sort of mating bond at the moment, as if my body had shut down to let me make up if what I wanted, if this is what I wanted.
Sighing, getting out of the bed I needed an escape as a headache was forming from all the thinking that I was doing.
Making my way across the room I walk into the en suite that is behind one of the doors, I smile to myself once I notice that there are supplies in here that I can obviously use. Turning the shower on to let it heat up, I strip out of the clothes that feel like tare sticking to my body before I step under the water and let it wash away all my problems.
Picking up the Mango shower gel I wash myself in it generously, knowing that werewolves have a stronger sense of smell and the last thing I need right now is for someone to say I smell.
Deciding that I should wash my hair as well, I grab the lavender shampoo and slather it into my hair, making sure to get all the grease out. After rinsing it out I apply the conditioner to my hair before brushing and washing that out as well.
Sighing, as I shut off the shower and step out wrapping myself in a blue fluffy towel provided I feel less dirty and less stressed about everything going on.
Who said a shower couldn't help solve your problems?
Feeling more relaxed I walked out into the bedroom with the towel wrapped around me and slipped into some joggers and an oversized hoodie for extra comfort, I pulled some fluffy socks onto my feet and I was ready to find some food for my grumbling stomach.
Making sure my hair was pulled into a bun on top of my hair to stop the droplets of water from soaking my back, I pulled open the door and followed my nose. Literally. All the way to the kitchen to see a few pack members hanging around ready to get anything left over.
Keeping my head down I walk past as quickly as I could and grab whatever I can onto a plate before rushing the heck out of there because I didn't want anyone to mention what happened earlier and I most certainly didn't want to talk to anyone about it.
I wandered my way outside to get some peace and quiet, somewhere to clear my head and think some things through. Am I going to stay here with Ryker?
Did I want to stay with Ryker?
To be honest I didn't know how to answer those questions. I'm not sure if I even could at the moment. Maybe I needed to give myself a little longer here to see if this is where I wanted to stay, maybe I should stop thinking that Ryker will be just like everyone else because so far he has shown me nothing but kindness.
Maybe I just needed to give everything a try because maybe he deserves it but most importantly, I deserve it too!
Smiling to myself and feeling proud to have made a decision and learning to start to trust myself I finally allowed myself to dig into the food I had brought with me. Sitting on a massive fallen oak tree I settle down and just take in my surroundings.
There's little light that filters through the trees as the sun continues its descent into darkness. The birds that filter through the sky sing their final songs as they start to get ready for a night of peace.
It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders after finally accepting everything that has happened.
You can't live in the past and be fearful for the future. The only one holding you back is yourself, I don't want to live in the past anymore, to let it hold me back from all the things that life has to offer me. I want to live in the present because you only get one life, that's what makes it so special and precious.
I will not allow myself to live in fear anymore. To live in the dark afraid of everything. This is my life and I will do with it as I please, no one can tell me any different.
Feeling a lot lighter after coming to the conclusion I smile to myself as I let the breeze whisper over my face, rustling my hair gently, coaxing it into a dance. I decided this would be better in my wolf form, to run free and explore these grounds.
Feeling Keres rise to the surface with joy bubbling through our veins, I give the control over to her as we start to shift ready to go on an adventure.
The experience isn't as painful as before, I still scrunch up my face but this time I don't scream as all the bones snap in my body and start to fuse together in different places. My mouth elongates and fangs push out my teeth as white fur sprouts along my body.
Finally I am on all fours as Keres has full control and I am in the passenger seat watching through her eyes. She lets out an excited yip before darting off into the forest.
Her big paws pound on the forest foliage , digging up small pieces of dirt as we go. The trees soar past in a blur and yet everything around us is clear. We can see every branch and rock, every tree which stands in our way, knowing we aren't going to crash into anything is a slight relief as I enjoy the feeling of the wind rushing through our fur.
It is a strange feeling being allowed to run free and experience the connection I have with Keres, normally I have felt this empty pit inside me, full of darkness growing and growing until it has consumed me from the inside out.
With Keres, the darkness has shrunk back, hiding from the light, growing smaller and smaller. I have never been happier.
"Maybe you're happier because you have found a mate that really cares about you." Keres' voice was soft and it startled me when I heard a sound in my head.
Thinking about what she says floors me. I don't think I have been unreasonable but maybe I haven't been as understanding as I could have been?
I've barely allowed Ryker to explain anything to me, to be honest before today I wasn't willing to give this whole mate thing a try.
Sighing I don't bother to reply and just focus on the run that we are both enjoying. I know I can't run away from my problems however, just this once I'll allow myself not to worry about too much.
Coming to a halt in a clearing in the forest, my breath was stolen by the wind. A little brook was flowing through the forest, running over the rocks creating the most peaceful sound. A few fireflies lit up the evening sky, I had never seen something so beautiful and peaceful.
Keres' lay down resting her head on her front paws as we watched the scene before us. Crickets chirp in the grass and the wind sways allowing all to dance within the music the brook creates. It's a beautiful scene to watch unfold and the night gets darker and the wind cools down, stars start to dot the darkening sky and a crescent moon sends a silvery glow across the clearing and down the brook making it look like liquid silver.
Keres sighs in content, we must sigh there and watch it all unfold before the sound of crickets disappear and the fireflies seem to turn their lights off, as if to hide from the unknown now lurking in the woods.
Keres jumps to her feet, her ears perked up and eyes scanning our surroundings, her fur starts to stand up on end and her teeth are bared as she stares at nothing but shadows. Even the moon has decided to hide its face, not wanting to watch the monster that lurks in the woods.
A low growl emits from our throat making the eerie silence that hangs over the forest like a fog break.
A pair of eyes appears in the darkness, bright blood red and glowing, I know these aren't the eyes of Ryker this is something worse, something more sinister. Keres sniffs the air, but there doesn't seem to be any scent coming from the creature apart from blood.
Lots of different scents of blood.
The creature started to stalk towards us as if we were prey, it made no noise but it's eyes were so bright it was hard to miss it moving around.
The whole forest held its breath as it watched what was about to happen. A twig snapped to our left and Keres head shot towards the noise, relaxing slightly when she saw Ryker's wolf appear. He was a large wolf, larger than most she had ever seen and as dark as midnight. Hs red eyes looked at her but, there was no darkness in his, no evil.
Keres turned her head back to the creature but it had disappeared. Letting out a huff of air in frustration we trotted over, still on guard in case it was lurking someone else. Keres lifted her head into the air and smelled, but there was nothing but a slight smell of blood where she stood.
Putting her nose down to the ground, the smell was there but it didn't seem to lead anywhere, looking behind us Ryker watched us carefully. All of a sudden a cry of help rang out in the woods, Keres and Ryker both looked at each other before shooting off in the direction of the noise.
I knew Keres was fast, faster than most but, I was slightly surprised that Ryker could keep up with us. I knew alpha's were fast, maybe I wasn't as fast as I thought I was. The thought struck me as odd because I had seen wolves running in the forest back at home all the time and when I ran with Keres it seemed to be quicker, a lot quicker.
Shrugging the thought aside, there were more important things at hand right now. Like finding out who was hurt and what had caused it.
My gut feeling told me it was the creature that I had seen in the woods but I didn't want to jump to conclusions, pushing Keres to run faster. We were a blur of white in the woods till we came to a halt in front of a young girl who had her stomach sliced open.
There was blood everywhere, staining her clothes and the ground, her skin was pale and she lay there with tears streaming down her face. Keres was shocked that all she did was stare until I had a gut feeling about what I needed to do, gaining back control I let my body shift till I was able to hold the girl in my arms.
I tried not to move her too much as the last thing I wanted to do was cause her any more pain. The wound itself looked deep and jagged but it was hard to make out much with the blood obscuring my view.
Kneeling down next to her I gently placed my right hand on her head and my left hand on her stomach. Closing my eyes I tried to focus on her pain, I looked inside her mind for it and I willed it to seep into my body, to take it away so she could be at peace, even if it was just for a little bit.
Slowly I felt the pain seep into my body but I didn't mind, it was better for me to take it then to let her suffer. I could see the pain slowly moving from her body to mine, red strings were making their way out of her body and into mine.
Slowly I opened my eyes to see her face relaxed, my hand on her stomach was covered in blood but it was helping to stop the bleeding, even just a little bit.
I looked up and saw Ryker staring at me, he had a pair of basketball shorts on and a top was clenched in his fist, he chucked it at me and looked away as if trying to give me some privacy.
Flushing a bright red as I realised the state I was in I quickly pulled the blue shirt over my head and watched it fall to my mid thighs.
Turning back to the girl I watched as other members of the back treated her on the forest floor before lifting her on a stretcher and rushing her to the pack hospital. I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding, having a gut feeling that she would recover.
My eyes shifted to Ryker who still stood there shirtless watching me with a curious gaze. I knew what he was thinking but I didn't have any answers for him because I don't know what just happened. I did it out of instinct, as if nothing else mattered. It was as if I knew that it would help her, and that was all that mattered in that moment.
I avoided his gaze, but it was piercing a hole through my soul, searching desperately for answers I didn't have. When he realised he was going to get anything from me, he walked over and gently he pulled me into his chest, stroking my hair.
It was only then that I realised I was shaking and trying to rub off all the blood from my body, I let a few tears soak into his chest before pulling away to look up at him. He made me feel safe and content and I was grateful he knew exactly what I needed at that moment.
Ryker let out a sigh as I leaned down and placed a soft kiss on my forehead, I felt my insides go all gooey and soft as I melted back into his embrace. He held me like that for a while and slowly, the forest around us came back to life. It was dark and I could barely make out his face when he leaned me back with a serious expression on his face.
"Were you ever put through training for anything?" His voice was careful and I knew he didn't want to upset me which made me smile. I shook my head in answer as I didn't trust my own voice.
He wore a thoughtful expression as if he was trying to calculate something in his head and it wasn't coming out in his favour.
"Well, I think it would be good for you to join the training immediately. You can start in the basics class with all the junior wolves but I always want you to do extra lessons with me, something is coming and I need you to be prepared because as much as I want to be able to protect you, I know deep down you want to be able to protect others. That thought alone makes me so proud and worried for you however, I trust you. All I need you to do is to trust me." I could tell he was nervous as he said it all in a big rush, I'm not sure what he expected me to say but it definitely wasn't the answer I gave him.
"I trust you."