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Chapter 23

The next day, Alex awoke atop her rock and yawned widely. “Stupid jail floors.” She grumbled, slowly standing.

“What about’em?” asked a voice nearby.

Alex glanced over to see Cassidie lounging beside her, tail waving lazily. “You’re here?” Alex whispered.

“In the fur.” Cassidie shrugged.

Alex stared at Cassidie for a moment before growling and batting Cassidie as hard as she could.

“Ow! Allie what-ouch! Alex! Oof! Alex, stop!”

When Alex’s energy had run dry and she was panting heavily, she glared at Cassidie. “How could you?” the angry girl spat. “How could you do that to us? To me? You’re my best friend and I thought you were dead. I was about ready to rip out everyone’s throat. How could you put everyone through that stress! You could’ve told us about the spell!”

“Alex,” Cassidie interrupted. “I didn’t know how long it would be until my soul was replaced into my body. I couldn’t have told you about the spell until I woke up.”

Alex flicked her tail and muttered, “Let’s just get to the prince’s announcement ceremony.”

Cassidie nodded and the duo took off, Cassidie still sore and Alex still fuming. They made it to the ceremony in time to see that Vincent was just walking onstage. Alex looked around and noticed that all his wolves were there. She signaled with her tail for her team to follow. They slowly snuck away and found tons of swords, knives and other weapons that had been confiscated from the citizens. They filled their large bags as quickly as possible with as much armor and weaponry as they could.

Soon the armory was barely full and the team trekked to Cassidie’s cave house. Slipping into the basement, the group of scavengers hastily deposited their load and headed back to the announcement. Alex took her place next to Cassidie and gave her two claws up. Cassidie nodded and turned back to listening to Vincent’s extremely long speech about world domination and such.

Finally, Vincent said what they were waiting for. “Now, citizens,” the great black wolf puffed out his chest. “I am proud to announce my heir and son, Jacob!”

Jacob strolled up and smiled lazily, waving to the crowd as halfhearted applause went up. Cassidie, Alex and their friends cheered for their friend though; Jacob looked at them and shot them a smile.

When the crowd was released, Alex strode lazily to her cave-like home and made sure everything was still in place. Surprisingly enough, everything was still there. Alex looked around, but just as before, she couldn’t find her parents. Alex sighed and decided to do a bit of combat practice in preparation for the coming day.

As she was padding for her front door, Alex felt tingles spread throughout her body and the purple wolf touched the pendant on her throat for comfort. Alex decided to go through the back door rather than face whatever was at her front entrance. Before she could reach the back door, Alex heard crashes from all sides and found herself surrounded by wolves once more. Guess, I’m getting that combat practice now. Alex thought, preparing for a fight.

The black wolf came forth and Alex glared at him. “Hey Vince,” she said slowly.

“So you plan to overthrow me tomorrow?” Vincent mocked maliciously. “Well, I guess I’ll have to stop that in its tracks, hm?”

“How did you find out?” Alex demanded.

Vincent snapped his whip-like tail and one of the wolves came forward, pushing Brother Jacko in front of him. Alex’s eyes narrowed. “You traitor!” Alex hissed.

“Mendez, please!” Jacko said imploringly. “I didn’t want them to kill me. I had to tell them.”

“You should have died, you coward!” Alex growled. “You should have died rather than selling out your city. He killed my best friend; you pledged to my best friend. If he doesn’t kill you, then I will because you broke a pledge on Cassidie.

Jacko’s eyes widened as the wolf led him away and Alex dropped onto all fours, waving her tail threateningly at Vincent. “What are you going to do?” she asked suspiciously.

“Oh, just kidnap you and keep you in my palace dungeon so you can’t get back to your friends. That should stop this little rebellion of yours; no one can act without a leader.”

He flicked his tail at her. “Grab her.” He commanded lazily.

Two wolves lunged for Alex, but she sent them both flying with two punches of her enormous red paws. The wolves were wary after that and Alex smirked at them. Five wolves charged at her and Alex had to narrowly avoid being crushed. She stuck out her paw to trip one wolf while bending backwards to punch another in the stomach as it dove over her. Whirling, Alex jumped and kicked two wolves in the chest before landing and jabbing the fifth wolf in the jugular, temporarily impeding her ability to breathe.

Alex took advantage of the wolves’ temporary shock to bolt out the back door and run as fast as possible. She managed to get to a secluded alley and unclasped the necklace, eyeing it speculatively. Pushing in on the amethyst nose, Alex spoke to a small speaker.

“Go to Cassidie. Tell her I’ve been captured. Tell her not to abort the mission, but go through as planned. Go hurry.”

Alex let the necklace float away as paws thundered on all sides. The purple wolf grit her teeth as she swallowed her pride and kneeled on the ground, waiting for the wolves to come. They pulled her roughly to her feet and smirked at her before guiding the red-eyed girl to the palace. I hope that necklace is safe. Alex thought as she was led to her new cell.

Cassidie paced furiously, waving her tail in agitation. “Where is she?” she whispered worriedly. “It’s not like her to be late.”

“Maybe she got sidetracked?” Kate asked gently.

“But to be this late?” Cassidie demanded. “Alex wouldn’t let that happen. She’d-.” The purple-pawed wolf stopped when she saw something floating toward the clearing. Her friends gathered around her as the object floated to Cassidie.

“What is it?” Mike asked.

“It… it’s Alex’s necklace.” Kate murmured.

“Not just any necklace,” Cassidie whispered. “It’s the one I bought her. It increases her magical ability and by pressing a button you can send a message with it.”

Cassidie pressed the pendant’s nose and everyone heard Alex’s voice filter out, telling the group that she’d been captured. Cassidie sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose.

“You know,” she muttered. “This guy is really grinding on my nerves.” The white wolf sighed again. “We’re going to rescue Alex cats.” She murmured to her friends.

“So we’re not doing the plan?” Mike asked.

“Oh, we’re doing the plan,” Cassidie affirmed. “We’re just taking a little detour beforehand.”

The others nodded and used the rest of the night to plan it out. Kate was sent to Vincent’s castle because she was the only one who could change shape in order to avoid detection. With camera contacts in her eyes, Kate showed the team the different obstacles they’d have to go through in order to get to the dungeon.

Cassidie chewed her claws, waiting for Kate to get to Alex’s cell. There the purple wolf lay, shuddering with cold as she tried to get to sleep. Cassidie saw this and quickly chanted a charm. Everyone saw a blanket appear on the screen and wrap itself around Alex. Gradually, the brunette stopped shivering and slipped into slumber. The group of friends sighed in relief and watched as Kate came back.

When she finally made it back to the clearing, Cassidie said, “Killer Kate. Now we know which way to go once I teleport us in. Everyone should get some sleep. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow.”

The others nodded and climbed off the rock to settle on the ground; since Cassidie had been too busy to turn them back into themselves, they were stuck as wolves for the time being. Cassidie sat with her back straight, staring off at the destroyed city in the distance before laying flat on her back and staring up at the stars sadly.

“Don’t worry, Allie,” murmured the glum Goth. “We’ll get you back and this time we’ll keep you.”

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