Celia couldn’t stop trembling. She had just gotten back to her office, organizing the Bloodvacs according to doses, and as she tried desperately to place them into their containers, she couldn’t help but recall the look in Auden’s eyes and the voice with which she spoke.
I’ll call when I need you. Don’t worry. You won’t wait long. Celia held her breath. What if Ezra heard? What the hell was Auden planning? A knock on the door made her shudder in fear before in walked Ezra himself.
“I’ll be going away this evening for a meeting,” he said and Celia nodded her head stiffly. He gave her a long discerning look. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” she said, her voice low like a whisper. He walked towards her and Celia’s heard thudded loud against her chest. Ezra lifted a hand and Celia immediately flinched before he rested his hand at the top of her head. Memory after memory flipped through Celia’s thoughts and yet, to her surprise, nothing about her encounter with Auden showed through.
“Still scared of me,” Ezra said, sighing. He then ruffled Celia’s hair, choosing to ignore how much his sister trembled underneath his touch. “Don’t do anything stupid. I have a meeting with grandfather. I’ll return in an hour or two.” And with that, he turned around and left.
Celia let out a huge breath, her heart pounded against her chest… He didn’t know. He didn’t know she’d visited Auden… and he didn’t find out about what Auden told her. Something was different. Auden was different.
Nice thought process. Auden’s voice said and Celia jumped in her seat. I need to know if you’re ready to leave this place for good. Are you? She froze. She was tired of Ezra’s mind games, tired of being mind-read every day, fearing some mistake… She was afraid of what her brother could do… and she just wanted to be free from it all. She took a deep breath, slowly releasing it before she made contact.
How can I help?
Celia had packed as well as she could. She took every necessity – Bloodvacs, her research notes, and other whatnot’s into a backpack, making sure to pack clothes for both her and Auden. To be safe, Celia took a handgun too. She looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair’s natural curls looked all over the place, she pulled it into a tight bun and shoved her feet into a pair of sneakers. Breathe, Celia… breathe… She told herself.
I’m ready. She said, hoping Auden heard her.
So am I. But first, contact Ignus. Auden replied and Celia grimaced. She promised she’d try to let Auden figure out to contact them… and she could only imagine what Ignus would think if she warned him.
Don’t worry about that. Auden interrupted. Contact him. Then head to the cellar – I’ll meet you there.
How will you get out?What do I tell him? Celia asked, but she knew she wouldn’t get a response. She looked at herself in the mirror again and pulled the right sleeve of her sweater, revealing the mark on her neck.
Ignus. Celia called out. She closed her eyes and prayed for a response.
So the princess calls. I thought I’d hear from Auden.
No time. Something’s happening. Auden told me to contact you. So… be ready. Celia said and she hoped he’d say anything… But he didn’t. Celia couldn’t help the feeling of dejection that hit at her heart. She covered up her mark. She had to go.
She was probably a hundred feet away from the entrance to the cellar from the ground floor, when she felt an overwhelming aura consume the air around her. Celia found it difficult to breathe, to see, and to move forward. It was an unfamiliar aura, definitely not her brother’s – definitely not any of the usual hounds at the estate… so there could’ve only been one person it was coming from.
Where are you? Celia called out and as she slowly managed to make it in front of the doorway to the cellar… she froze. The door had been torn down to pieces and the dark staircase leading down to the cell felt ominous. Celia swallowed a lump in her throat.
“Auden?” She called out. She was greeted by a loud growl as heavy padded footsteps, followed by the soft sound of clicking crept up the darkness.
The first thing she saw were claws, huge, black, claws… and then fur… and Celia could swear her heart had stopped as a giant wolf appeared in front of her… On instinct, Celia found herself drop to her knees and bow her head, the aura of the wolf overpowering her every being. The wolf huffed, seemingly giving Celia permission to rise. So she did, and she was met with a pair of chocolate brown eyes…
“Auden?” Celia said again and the wolf rolled their eyes.
Any idea where Bo is? Auden’s voice asked and Celia hesitantly shook her head. Auden’s wolf was bigger than any that Celia had ever encountered – and she’d seen a good amount of them. Auden probably stood seven feet tall, she had a mane of long black fur that covered her upper half, but from her lower jaw all the way down to her stomach, she was a golden brown color. Her claws were long and black and Celia immediately found herself looking over at Auden’s mouth. She didn’t smell of blood. But Celia knew there had to have been at least four guards that would’ve been alarmed-
They’re all down there. They’re fine. Auden said.
Do you have everything you need? Celia nodded. Then get on. Apparently Bo’s waiting outside.
Auden knelt down and Celia hesitated before she stepped forward and climbed over Auden’s ginormous form. She gripped Auden’s fur tightly and tried to mentally prepare herself for the trip.
Are you gonna run the whole way out? Celia asked.
Want a vac?
No. Not yet. Auden replied, surprising Celia. Sorry Celia, but I’m gonna have to search your head for the way out, we’ll get out quicker if you don’t have to tell me where to go. Celia didn’t respond and Auden turned her head, to get a glimpse of her.
May I? Auden asked and Celia had thought it was obvious. Actually… she had never been asked.
Of course. Auden barked in response and Celia smiled before she felt the wolf beneath her rear back and launch herself forward.
Auden sped through the hallways, using Celia’s mind as a guide to get out of there. Celia, on the other hand, kept reaching out to Bo, making sure all was going well. She didn’t exactly know what the plans were, other than making a run for it, but she knew that they had a bit of time before everyone found out. Ezra was out, which meant that the estate would be quiet and calm. That didn’t mean there weren’t people loyal to him, though.
He’s out? Auden asked, interrupting Celia’s thoughts.
Yeah. He said he had a meeting with our grandfather.
Who’s that? Auden asked as she suddenly stopped at a corner and everything became dead quiet.
What’s the problem? Celia asked, looking around.
People. Auden replied before she lay down on all fours.
What are we doing?
Waiting… Auden said and Celia gave her a look of confusion. Two men suddenly appeared from the corner and as if they were invisible, they walked without even noticing the giant fur ball that had lay down.
There’s no way they didn’t see-
Aurelia. Auden said simply.
What? Celia asked.
That’s all I’ll say for now. Auden replied before she got up and eyed the wide doors in front of her.
It’ll take us forever if we take that route. Celia said and she knew Auden was chuckling as the wolf beneath her huffed.
Window. Auden responded and Celia raised her brows. Brace yourself. Without another warning, Auden reared her body back, curling up and forcing Celia to grab hold, as she launched herself at a window, crashing it open before landing with a thud onto the cool grass of the garden outside.
You okay? Auden asked. Celia checked her hands and felt around her neck for any cuts.
I’m good. Auden let out a soft bark in response before she took off. Celia reached for the gun in her bag and prepped it.
How many guards in the forest? Auden asked.
Ten at several different points. It’d be best to sneak past them. Celia turned off the safety on her gun and grabbed on as Auden pushed through the forest, weaving herself expertly around the trees. Celia would’ve been lying if she said she wasn’t impressed… Auden was travelling faster than any werewolf, which meant that her bloodhound instincts had mingled with her wolf’s… but she was definitely running on just that – instinct.
Auden, you’re gonna need a bloodvac soon. Celia said.
But- Auden let out a growl and although Celia first thought it was targeted at her, it took her a second to realize that they’d been found out.
“Lookie here…” A woman said, her eyes aglow as she stepped out, along with two other bloodhounds behind her. “Two traitors… one big reward.” She said, looking straight at Celia.
“Let us out, Quinn, we don’t want any trouble,” Celia said, holding the gun in her hands.
“I could let the whole place know you’re escaping-“ Quinn began but she froze as Celia felt a heavy aura swallow her whole, making it impossible to speak and made it hard to breathe.
Celia watched as the three bloodhounds trembled in front of them. Auden let out a snarl before she lurched forward, trapping Quinn down in between her two front paws. Quinn let out a short squeal before fear swallowed the rest of the noise in her voice and she curled up on the ground below Auden’s huge form. The other two bloodhounds flinched and though they tried to step forward, Auden merely let out a loud growl and the two found themselves unable to move.
Auden didn’t let up on the aura, she exuded such immense power that Quinn let out soft noises of fear, quaking and shivering beneath her. Celia watched as Auden began to salivate, her wolf’s drool falling to the ground, grazing Quinn’s skin…
Auden, we have to go. Celia said, afraid but aware she had to get them out of there. She was met with silence. Celia watched over Auden’s shoulders as the heaviness around them lifted and the bloodhounds began to breathe normally. Quinn immediately began to release heavy breaths before she gave Auden a cold hard stare and a smirk – Celia felt her heart drop – but just as she was about to panic, Auden’s jaw expanded…