The sound of ruffling irritated Lukas’ ears. He ran a hand over his face. The stubble that pricked his fingers reminded him of how rowdy he looked. He was in urgent need of a shower.
The first thing his eyes focused on was the blue sky. The morning had arrived.
He sat up and brushed clumps of snow off his hair. He slept on the ground that night, still shirtless since Zena still held most of his clothes captive. Although the snow was cold, it was the closest thing to a bed that he had laid on in the past five days.
Unlike him, princess Zena got a first class seat. She slept cozily in his arms for the fifth consecutive night.
He turned his head, wondering where the cavewoman was.
The sleepiness was knocked out of him once his eyes landed on Zena’s smooth and bare back. She was on her knees, pushing her dress off her shoulders. Lukas stared, mesmerized, as the cloth dropped lower and revealed her tempting back dimples.
An image of him dipping his tongue into the luxurious dents made his cock grow stiff and his pulse quicken.
“Are you demented? What the hell are you doing?!” he exclaimed and dragged his eyes away. He clenched his fists from both the anger and desire that struck him.
“My wolf is back. I can shift!” Zena yelped excitedly and pushed her dress down her legs. She jumped away and shifted into her brown wolf.
Lukas looked at her once he heard her bones re-shape. He found the grown woman rolling in the snow and yipping excitedly. He stared with a raised eyebrow as she ran in circles, looking like a newly shifted pup.
He got off the ground and picked up his shirt and jacket. He tied them around his waist and then stripped his pants which he also tried around himself. After he secured the clothing, he shifted and pulled his shoes into his mouth.
He heard Zena shift to human and made sure to not look into her direction. She tied her dress around herself and shifted back.
The two of them then started running. Zena was able to move effortlessly with her healed wrist and thigh. They ran down the mountain for four hours before they finally found what they were so desperately seeking- society.
They stood on a hill, examining the town that sat a mile away. A small collection of houses and businesses littered the area. The town’s population couldn’t have been anywhere over 100.
Smoke emitting from chimneys clouded the air. The sound of socializing humans and machinery reached the alphas’ ears.
Zena shifted back and covered herself with her dress. “We need to lay low and earn some cash.”
Lukas simply nodded. As tempting as stealing sounded, they really didn’t need the Canadian authorities after them. They already had Bella’s minions to deal with.
Zena started putting her ratty dress on. Lukas shifted back and pulled his clothes on as well. Their appearance would surely drop some jaws. They doubted that this isolated town received many visitors. Especially bloodied and dirty Americans.
“We need a phone and laptop. We must get in touch with Adrian,” Zena shared as they approached the road.
They walked for about fifteen minutes before a startled cry grabbed their attention. “Shit!” a male yelled.
The alphas shared a look before they stepped into the woods, wanting to check out the situation. They located a small wooden cabin and ducked by the bushes.
Zena scanned the area and spotted a lanky human struggling to lift an axe. He was a lumberjack... one that was heavily out of shape.
Lukas placed his hand on Zena’s, grabbing her attention. She looked at him with a curious look.
“Let’s see if he’s offering employment,” he suggested. Zena nodded, agreeing with the idea.
The two of them stood and made their presence known.
“Jesus Christ!” the human all but screamed when he saw the couple approach him. They looked like savages. They had mud layered skin, patches of blood coating their ripped clothes, sloppy hair. They looked very much like the plane crash survivors that they were.
“Hey, I don’t want trouble! I don’t have anything of value with me!” he hollered fearfully.
Ths female looked like a fair challenge. She shared his height and weight. The male though... well that was another story. He was a goddamn rhinoceros.
“We’re not looking for trouble either. A job, actually. We were wondering if we could help cutting wood,” the woman explained.
Francis watched cautiously as the two likely homeless persons neared him. His hand gripped his axe tighter, his fight or flight system activating.
He lived in the woods so he never received many visitors. He also lived alone. If these people were interested in hurting him then there wasn’t a single soul around to stop them.
The two weirdos stopped in front of him. “I’m Cassie and this is my brother, Jacob. So about those jobs...” Zena trailed off.
Lukas held back a scoff. Wow, brother zoned... That’s new.
Francis gulped. He wanted to tell them to get lost but Jacob’s fist looked as hard as a sledgehammer. He had never gotten injured by one of those before and he wasn’t planning on starting now.
He glanced at the pile of wood that needed cutting and then at the beast of a man that stood in front of him. He looked able-bodied and strong. Francis was an older man, 55. His back no longer functioned like it was supposed to. Some days it felt like working properly, some days it felt like being a pain in the ass. Today was one of those days.
Francis cut wood for the town for years but it looked like it was time to find a different job.
“Well... you do look like a damn tractor...” Francis muttered, staring appreciatively at the broad shoulders of the man. The things he would give to be young again.
Lukas raised an eyebrow. He had been called many things in his life but “tractor” was not one of them.
Fearing what they would do if he turned them away, Francis nodded.
“Okay... I don’t have much. I can offer you $100,” he told Lukas before turning to Zena. “And you $30.”
Zena’s left eyebrow raised so high that it nearly popped off her face. Why was Lukas receiving three times what she was getting?
Francis noticed her expression. “I don’t have that many dishes or clothes that need washing,” he explained as if he was discussing the weather.
Zena’s jaw tensed. She glanced at Lukas and found him staring blankly, finding nothing wrong with what the just man said.
“Can I borrow your axe, please?” she asked through gritted teeth.
Francis frowned. “Its kind of heavy dear, be careful,” he warned sweetly.
Zena snatched it out of his hands and with a mighty roar swung the axe in an arc and ruthlessly brought it down on the log that sat in front of her. It easily split down the middle.
Francis blinked. Fair match his ass. This girl could single-handedly immobilize him.
“Right. Well, $100 for you too. Finish this pile here and you’ll get your money. I’ll uh... I’ll be inside doing dishes if you need anything.” He then scrambled off, not liking how the woman was glaring at him while clutching a weapon.
Lukas wordlessly grabbed a spare axe that was resting on a tree trunk, pulled his shirt off, and started to effortlessly swing the blade in the air.
Zena watched his muscles strain every time he lifted the axe over his head and brought it down on the wood.
She saw his bare torso many times, hell, she slept on that thing, but seeing him in action was a whole other story.
The axe never wavered in his grasp. It became an extension of his toned arms, a part of him fueled by his sheer energy.
Oof.. boy I’d like to see those shoulders tense as you hover your body over mine.
With a smirk, Zena grabbed her own axe and started slicing blocks of wood.
Francis wiped his hands on the towel once he heard a knock. He pushed the cabin’s door open and peeked outside. Zena stood there with splinters in her hair.
“Done,” she announced.
Francis’ mouth went dry. They were done with the pile? Only thirty minutes had passed! It would’ve taken him three hours to burn through that load.
“R... right. Wow, that’s impressive. I’ll go get your money now. Give me a second,” he excused himself and walked into his bedroom.
He passed by his daughter’s old room on his way and remembered Zena’s attire.
Francis’ daughter was in Toronto, attending college. He doubted she would mind if he donated some of her old clothes.
He returned minutes later with $200, a blouse, jacket and jeans for Zena, and one of his bigger T-shirts for Lukas. None of his jeans would fit the tall man so Francis didn’t have any to offer.
Zena smiled appreciatively. “Thanks, you didn’t have to.”
She was glad the man wasn’t nosy and asked questions that didn’t concern him- such as where they came from and why they looked like waste pickers.
“No problem. You can change in the bathroom if you want,” he suggested courteously.
Zena took up his offer and walked into the room he directed her to. She itched for a shower but didn’t want to overstep.
She changed into the black skinny jeans. They were a bit small for her but they would do. The white blouse and jean jacket fit just fine. She washed her hands and face in the sink and then joined Lukas outside. His face was wet and clearer, meaning that he also freshened up.
The two alphas walked down the road, headed for the town.
Since they looked far cleaner, Zena wasn’t expecting to draw much attention. She was surprised when multiple females giggled and one went as far as pointing in their direction.
Wow. Weren’t Canadians supposed to be nice and Americans the assholes?
Once she saw a teenage female blush, she stopped in her tracks so abruptly that Lukas slammed into her back. “What is it now?” he asked irritably.
Zena turned and looked into his bored blue eyes. His hair was wet and some strands were glued to his forehead. She moved her eyes downwards, looking for anything out of place.
The most obnoxious and un-ladylike snort escaped her lips once she noticed what was making all the women so giddy. The man had a hole in his shirt! On his nipple!
She bent over and laughed maniacally. Lukas looked down with confusion. “Did you eat more of those berries?” he asked.
The question made her laugh harder. Unable to reply, she simply pointed to his chest. Lukas followed her finger and sighed. He quickly slid on his jacket, covering the embarrassing hole.
With a grumble, he continued walking. Zena stumbled after him, trying to compose herself but failing.
He walked into a repair shop and looked around for cellphones. Zena, who seemed to have finished her laughing spree walked to his side. “I’ll go get a laptop. I’ll meet you here,” she said.
Lukas nodded and walked to the retail clerk, wondering where the phones were.
Zena walked to the far end of the shop, where a crystal case containing used laptops sat. A round man with an oily nose, fading hair, and an ugly yellow tie greeted her. “How may I help you?” he smiled.
“Hey, I’m just looking for a new laptop since mine broke down. Do these come with chargers?” she quizzed. “They sure do. See any that you like?” he replied.
Zena nodded and pointed to the third Dell in the row. All of the machines seemed to have collected a thick layer of dust. They have clearly been sitting there for years.
The man pulled out the bulky laptop Zena selected and placed it on the table.
She opened it and wasn’t too pleased with the inside. The keyboard was missing a key.
“Windows 7... are there any other operating systems?” she asked once she read the sticker near the trackpad.
He shook his head. “I’m sorry ma’am but this is the latest we’ve got.”
“What’s the CPU?” she continued. The clerk’s jaw slacked. “I’m not too sure... sorry.”
“Okay... how much do you want for it?” she questioned.
“Ninety dollars,” he replied.
“Ninety fucking what?!”
Lukas looked away from the cellphone in his hand when he heard Zena’s scream. He rushed to her side.
I can’t take her anywhere he thought to himself.
“You want $90 for a piece of scrap? Did you mean 90 cents? How many gigs of RAM does this dinosaur even have? Two?!” she demanded.
The clerk blushed. “I’m not sure what RAM is...”
“I’ll give you twenty dollars. This thing is used, an old model... Goddess you didn’t even wipe the hard drive!” she raged once the machine powered on and she spotted the screen.
“Okay, twenty!” the man agreed. She slapped her $100 bill on the table, fuming. The flushed man quickly finished the transaction and walked off.
“Why must you be so loud?” Lukas asked with a sigh. “The old bastard wanted to scam me!” she replied and collected her bag. They walked to the cellphone department where Lukas bought a cheap burner phone.
Now, they just needed a room and they could finally get in touch with Adrian.