Ancient Wolves - Prophecy of the Ruins

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Chapter 49

I stared after his car until he drove left, disappearing from my sight. Being with Gunnar helped me to feel at ease and safe while allowing me to feel vulnerable. It was something I had to get used to because I always tried to look invincible for George. It all seemed like an act, which made our entire relationship together feel even worse.

I entered the building, the hot air hitting me in the face. After I quickly paid for the entry and changed into my bathing suit, I was ready to go for a long swim. Luckily, it was pretty late, so most people left already, and I had tons of space with no one swimming in my way.

It didn’t take long for me to get into a good rhythm and to feel the tension leaving my body. It cleared my mind from everything I learned today and even made the encounter with George slip away. I didn’t have a heavy heart about it anymore. After speaking to Gunnar, I felt like I did the right thing. There was no use to keep thinking about what happened when it won’t ever return to what it used to be. Not even reconciling with George felt right anymore- and it’s not because my wolf kept growling at me whenever I thought about it.

Gunnar made me see that there are other things in life I had to focus on, and that I needed someone in my life who would offer me what I needed. Someone like Gunnar.

But was I even ready to think about him like this? Was it appropriate to consider another man when my breakup was this fresh still?

I dipped my head underwater, diving deep down, touching the ground, and shooting back up. Water splashed when I resurfaced. It didn’t matter. Love and men could wait until I was done with renovating my house. Besides, I had to find out what the ancient mages had to do with my pack’s death.

After my swim, I took my time to shower, even when the showers here weren’t the most luxurious. It reminded me of cheap showers in youth hostels we used to stay in during school trips. But it was warm water, and it was clean. It was all I needed right now.

Blow-drying my hair with that cheap blow-dryer here was a new form of torture, though. I was quite sure these were still the old ones they had when I was still a child. After fifteen minutes of fighting with it, I gave up and made my way home without damp hair.

It was already dark outside by now, and walking home would probably take thirty minutes. I didn’t want to call a cap for the short walk, even when the cold air was biting on my skin. Besides, I didn’t plan to walk on two legs all the way home. My wolf jumped up and down in the back of my mind, excited she would get her to turn to run again.

When we reached the woods, I let her run free, and she howled with excitement as she dashed through the forest.

“Don’t be so loud! We don’t want unnecessary attention.”

My scolding stopped her howling, but not her excitement, and her happiness made me feel euphoric, too. I enjoyed the forest ground below my feet and the earthy smell around us.

I was almost home when a foreign smell hit my nose, and I stumbled to a halt, sniffing the air. The hairs on my neck stood up as I realized that there was a foreign wolf in my territory. Nose to the ground, I followed the track, trying to find whoever was invading my space. It could just be someone passing by, but what if it was more than that?

I didn’t have to search long when a wolf came into view, turning around when it heard me.

I growled. “Who are you, and what are you doing here?”

The wolf observed me, not looking scared or concerned in the slightest.

“Answer me!”

“Are you from the Ruinas pack?”

I tried to keep my heartbeat under control, hearing him mentioning my pack, and inched closer to see him better. “What if I was?”

It almost seemed as if a grin spread over his face when he jumped at me. I rolled to the side and out of his way to avoid his sharp teeth.

I got back on my feet and hurled the bag I was carrying around my neck to the floor. There was no space for extra luggage right now.

We circled each other as saliva dropped off his mouth.

“Leave if you want to live,” I said.

He attacked me again, but this time I was prepared and avoided him with ease. I realized that his skill wasn’t the best. He must be a rather young wolf, as he seemed to focus on brute force. Besides that, he also seemed rather exhausted, and his attacks were sloppy.

I let him attack me a few more times before I took my chance to tackle him from behind, bringing him to the floor and biting his throat, without actually hurting him. Yet.

He stared up at me with wide eyes as he tried to push me off of him. I was a small wolf, but I still had more strength than he did, and I had the better position.

He tried to kick me a few more times with his hind legs, getting a few good kicks in, but I only groaned, and I bit into his throat until I could taste blood.

He whined and fell limp under me, breathing quickly.

“Now again, who are you and what are you doing here?”

I tried to remain calm, but the bloodlust from tasting this invader’s blood almost made me lose my control. My wolf wanted to shred him into pieces for attacking us, but I couldn’t let her. I knew better than to mindlessly kill.

The wolf remained silent, and it didn’t seem that he planned to tell me anything. I let go of him and stared down at him. He remained on his back, tail tucked between his legs.

“Leave! Next time I will see you here, I will kill you.”

In a hurry, he got back to his feet and ran away without looking back. I huffed, staring after him. My wolf was unhappy with me. She thought I was being too lenient, but I didn’t take it to heart. I was a human for too long to kill as easily as this. He might have attacked me, but he was weaker. It wasn’t right.

I looked for my bag and picked it up before running home the rest of the way.

Who was this unknown wolf, and what was he doing here? He knew about my pack. Could he be from the Vindictoria pack? Did they find me already?

Before I left the forest, I changed back, running home with aching lungs. My heart raced in my chest, and peeping in my ears made it hard to focus.

I unlocked the door and stormed inside, quickly shutting it behind me again and locking it. Thinking about sleeping outside felt like the worst idea in history now, so instead, I grabbed the mattress and pulled it inside the house, which didn’t work without letting the air out. I carried it upstairs into my old room, followed by the rest of my things.

It might still be full of dust in here, and it smelled kinda funny, but at least I had solid walls around me. Gunnar might have been right. It wasn’t as safe as I imagined it to be.

After I slowly settled in, the adrenaline left my body like air leaving a balloon, and I realized I had some bite marks on me. They weren’t deep, but bled a bit and hurt slightly. I quickly cleaned the wounds and bandaged them. Thankfully, I took a first aid kit with me.

I would probably also get some bruises, but it hopefully wouldn’t be too obvious. I didn’t want anyone to worry, and I had to find out more about this situation before alerting Gunnar and Tyra. They might overreact and start something they shouldn’t.

I brushed my teeth and quickly went back inside. At least it wouldn’t be as cold tonight, now that I was inside.

But that still didn’t help me sleep any better.

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