Part 3 - Chapter 33
There was something very particular about the taste and smell of it. It was like rust, but different. Rust made your nose wrinkle when you smelt it, like when you touched a rusty tap you could almost taste that rust. But blood...it was slightly different. It might be grosser than rust, yet that metallic smell was somehow addictive.
Rust didn't make you feel things. Rust didn't make you angry, sad or vulnerable. Rust wasn't the life and death.
But the semi lukewarm liquid in my wolf's mouth was the difference. The difference between the whimpering before silence, difference between the stillness after thrashing for someone's life. The difference to what made me feel even worse as a human, or a wolf.
When I felt his body go limp, my wolf finally let go of him, and she felt no remorse.
Yet every bone and feeling in my body felt for him, felt more for Cameron than I had for my own brother. And the pain, at the back of my throat told me that this backstab meant more to me than anything ever would. Was I sorry he was dead? Yeah.
But would I take it back? Not when it concerned Noel.
I tried to take control of my wolf, call her back to me as she turned around heading towards her injured mate and Noel. She had a mind of her own as he prowled towards the boy, casting a look at Hercules on the ground. He also seemed a bit doubtful, that look in his eyes as my wolf neared them. Hercules reached for Neol but froze when she snarled at him.
A look that told me that he didn't trust her, no more than I did. But she was strong, and her willpower was even more.
My wolf felt an arm against her neck, Hercules' hand trying to almost tell her it was close enough, but when was that ever going to stop her. She pushed past his arm nearing Noel till she was only a breath away. Noel didn't move, he must have thought it was me. It might have also been the first time he had seen me like this, the only other one would have been my mum and she never shifted unless she had to.
"Hill?" Noel's soft voice asked.
My wolf took half a step forward and my heart stopped when she opened my mouth, but instead of her razor sharp teeth, her tongue slipped out giving the side of his face a lick. I shuddered hoping he couldn't smell the blood in her mouth. She gave him another gentle lick before crouching down, half on Hercules letting him carry half her weight.
I felt another hand on her fur, Hercules giving her a little scratch, something she didn't mind too much.
I could hear a scream in the distance, but I was distracted by her nuzzling Noel as he wrapped his hands around me, or her, thinking it was me. I could almost feel his body against mine.
My wolf turned towards the sharp female, a threat, but instantly calmed when it was my mum running in, with just a shirt covering over her.
"Oh god, thank god you guys are ok."
She rushed towards us, my wolf stepping aside as she reached for Noel, "Oh baby, are you ok?"
She turned her attention towards Hercules, who was handling the pain better than he was showing it, she leaned over inspecting his wound. "We need to get you to the house, I'll get my kit. We need to get out of here the water has risen," she said, and I realised that it was up to her calf now.
My wolf leaned over sniffing Hercules' wound, only just realising the trace of silver.
"I'm okay," he said.
Hercules' grey eyes met mine, he wasn't good. She growled. He reached up, patting her wet nose, which she didn't like taking a step back. I felt another hand on my back, mum. "Shift."
My wolf huffed.
Mum groaned, "Come on, not now. Your dad needs you."
My wolf sat down, nudging Hercules' leg with her nose, in no hurry to shift back. It had been years since she had been released and now she wanted to stay, she was just like me sometimes, stubborn.
I tried getting control of her, her head twitching as her paws came to her nose trying to get me off her, but I was inside her mind.
Her eyes closed, and I was transported to a memory.
It was a picture of me, and my brother Adam, when we were much younger. I was on his back as he carried me to the caves. We were so happy, neither of us knowing what wolves were at that age, just wanted to play and not get caught by our mother.
Then the memory shifted, it was me when I was much older when I was helping Adam plant all the trees in the orchard. He was chucking fertiliser at me while my father kept yelling at us to do our job properly.
Then it finally shifted to Noel, crying as a baby, walking as a toddler, and his first words were Hill.
Why was she showing me all this?
Then I felt her eyes water, like she was crying, perhaps remorse for everything she had done, the same way I did. Maybe we weren't that different.
Truce I thought, I regret how I treated her and everyone else, perhaps she was just as scared on her first shift.
Then I felt the pain, my bones cracking as a yelp came out of my throat as I felt my spine snap. Shifting wasn't meant to be painful for people but for me, it felt like death every time because it felt unnatural.
I felt the icy cold ocean water around my body before warm hands lifted me up, "Here." Hercules said as he helped me wear his shirt over my naked body.
The shirt was warm, with blood soaking against me and I looked at him, realising that he was shot in the shoulder.
"We need wolfsbane." I said. I knew exactly how much silver was in that bullet, and far too much for him to survive.
"You guys need to get out of here." Hercules said as the water rose higher.
"I'm not leaving you here, can you shift?" I asked, already knowing the answer.
I leaned towards him, looking at the charred skin around the bullet hole, he tensed as he felt my hand and I could tell he was in pain.
"We can't lift him." mum said from beside me, concern in her eyes. "Ilargia, bite him."
"Ew what?" I asked, confused.
"You need to mark him."
"Can I even do that?" I was confused.
"Just fucking do it." she said, placing a hand on Noel's head, "Hurry." she muttered standing up.
I bit my lip instead, I don't think I ever bit someone as a human...I don't think I can. My wolf tasted blood, but I didn't.
"You need to let her take over."
But I just got control over her.
"I will, you both need to go find dad, the barn is a trap don't open the door."
"I can't leave you guys here."
"Mum go, take Noel out of here before the water comes up and get dad please. If he wakes up and opens the door the barn will get on fire!"
Reluctantly she left us and I grabbed Hercules trying to move him towards the side of the cave, to prop him up.
I leaned closer looking at his neck, which side? Where? I had no idea where to even begin, I looked at him concerned that I was going to do it wrong.
I felt his arm on my lower back as he opened his eyes, ""You don't have to do anything you're uncomfortable with." He whispered.
"I do." I said. He never gave up on me, so it was my turn.
I leaned down placing a hand on his chest for support, and then looked at him panicking.
"I can't." I said, shaking my head "I mean...I don't know how to."
I could see his skin turning pale, I just had to.
"I just...bite yeah?" he nodded, "I haven't done this before like obviously so yeah should be good. Like chomping on an apple." I said nervously.
"Maybe not chomping that hard."
"Okay so softer yeah?"
The grip on my waist tightened as he closed his eyes. Shit, wasting time. I leaned down placing my lips against his neck, was I even in the right spot. I sat up, Hercules opened his eyes.
"Look sorry if I chomp down too hard...or too soft...or end up killing you cause I don't know what I'm doing and I think it'll be ok but yeah if you die I'm sorry and I sort of do like you for what you are so far so please don't die." I bent down brushing my lips with his before closing my eyes and calling for my wolf as I placed my teeth against his neck.
I felt the vein.
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