Chapter 26 - Find Me
His scent lingered on the walls of our house, in the same way it lingered in the pack house and the streets, the same way his presence and power floated around us, bound us, strengthened us.
I felt it and I saw it, he was still alive – just.
I tore the dress from my body, ripping it at the seems until it fell to the floor. Once I might have thought it was a shame, I would have cared about how much it cost, about the waste of beautiful fabric, about the person who put in hours of their life sewing it to fit my body perfectly. Like every other piece of clothing Nate had bought for me.
I removed my bra, tossing it over the railing as I acceded the stairs, allowing my body to breath, and as I entered out bedroom, I wrapped my arms around myself. His scent hit me like a train, and I felt my wolf whining inside me, writhing under my skin.
The house was cold, our room was cold, empty and lifeless. The shadows of the streetlights and moon light, cast a cool darkness across the room as his scent worked it’s way into my lungs, like drinking water after eating something minty. The sensation sent chills down my body and my knees fell out from under me.
My nails found their way into my skin as I stopped myself from shifting, as I let out a scream that rattled myself, as I realised, he was gone, as my wolf realised – truly accepted, he was gone.
* * * * * * * * * *
My skin felt like it was being stretched across my skin and I knew I’d lost weight. I didn’t have to look in the mirror to see it, to see that my skin had greyed and my face looked hollow. Like I hadn’t eaten in weeks or months, and I wasn’t sure if it was because I was pregnant, or because he was gone.
It had been sixteen days since I’d seen him, it had been two weeks since he’d vanished, and yet the pain inside me, it was far greater than when I’d left him and the pain that seared down my chest – it made me wonder if this was what I had put him through, if this was how he had lived for a year.
I turned from the mirror and bent over, running my fingers through my hair as I pulled it into a pony tail and secured it with a hair band. Walking into the wardrobe, I let the robe fall to the floor and pulled on a pair of long thick socks and then a pair of cargo pants. I tucked the grey tank top in and covered it with a thick warm jacket that zipped up under my chin.
Finally, I strapped the silver blade to my thigh and looked at myself in the warm light that illuminated the room.
“You look quite the striking figure,” Pet said, making me jump.
I shot her a scowl, “you’re early,” I replied.
She smiled and sat down on my bed, lowering her small pack onto the bed and rested back against the pillows, “I told mum I was spending the night with you, she thought it was a good idea,” I smiled.
I nodded and slipped my hiking boots on, lacing them tightly and triple knotting them to make sure they were well secured, “thank you,” I said, looking up at her as I slipped another silver blade into my shoe, “for helping me.”
“I’m not doing it just for you,” she replied, and I looked up at her, I could feel the anxiousness of her wolf prowling beneath her skin, how she had to clasp her own hands to stop herself from shaking.
“I know, I hope we find them, as much for your sake as my own.”
She nodded, “what time do you want to leave?”
“Nine forty three,” I replied.
“That’s oldly specific.”
“The guards out the front will be in the middle of hand over, they’ll be talking and there for occupied. Six minutes later the patrol guards on the wall are doing hand over, same procedure, but we do it just before, we sneak up behind them, and the noise gets brushed off as their own.”
I sheathed a garter of silver blades around my ankle and tucked my pants over the top, “that way we slip in and out of the city without anyone noticing. Jamie will deny my disappearance and will cover for us.”
“What about our scent?” she asked.
“After Jamie found me because of Angel’s scent, I decided to try masking someone else’s scent,” I replied with a shrug, straightening my jacket and glancing at myself as I left the wardrobe.
“Did it work?” she asked, her eyebrows raising.
I felt my eyes glow dangerously, “this isn’t the first time I’ve been out tracking for Nate. But for now, we wait…”
* * * * * * * * * * *
I took in a deep breath, and as I exhaled, I masked our scents from the guards out the front of our house, their chatter and laughter drifted through the evening air, as idel as the birds chirping, like the soft wind that danced through the garden and lawn.
Patricia slipped out the back door and I followed, slinking in her shadow, syncing our movements and footsteps how we’d practiced in training. I clicked the backdoor closed, concealing the noise with their heavy footsteps as they shook the house and echoed across the wooden deck. We danced in the shadows, cast by the clouds as they streaked across the moon lit sky, it would have been a midnight darkness to any human, but to a wolf. Well, our movements had to be just as practiced, just as rehearsed.
As we hit the forest edge behind the house, I took the lead. I had walked this path countless times, I now knew every stick and branch that lay there, I knew every patrol guards movements and voices, I knew the scent of every animal that lived in the trees and the bushes, where each den and test sat, tucked behind the thicket.
I knew that this was our best chance to slip away into the night, into the darkness.
I knew that Jamie would be seething, I knew that if we failed, if I was hurt, Patricia would be punished heavily – for allowing the pregnant Luna to leave the pack, even if it was to try and save the Alpha. I was needed in the pack, to rule, to priorities our child.
But I couldn’t do any of that, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t shift. I couldn't do anything I loved, I couldn’t even pretend to do anything.
I held up my hand, and Patricia sunk into my shadow as we neared the clearing next to the wall – we’d made good time, now we just had to wait.