Chapter 7: Oh, What Big Eyes You Have!
My entire body was paralyzed with fear as the most monstrous wolf I’ve ever seen in my life stepped into the small clearing where I was lying battered and in pain.
I’ve seen those yellow eyes before.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think.
The wolf forced a breath of air out through his nose as if trying to get my attention. My body shook like a leaf as I kept my eyes firmly stationed on the monster's feet, terrified to meet its eyes. If he took it as a challenge of its dominance, I would be ripped to shreds in seconds - no doubt. When my eyes wander upwards slightly, I got an eyeful of what hung between his legs. Jesus Christ, definitely a male.
With every step the beast took, the ground minutely shook under his paws. My breathing grew loud and labored until he was just a hair’s breadth away from me. I could feel his warm breath washing over me with each exhale. When I felt his wet nose press into my cheek, an accidental whimper escaped my lips. He seemed to ignore my slip up and began to sniff near my open wound.
I thought I was going to have a brain aneurysm when I felt his wet tongue begin to gently lap against the tender torn skin of my forehead. I didn’t dare move a muscle or even blink as he continued to clean my open wound.
Once done, he started sniffing down my body until he reached my now double-in-size ankle. I let my body relax just the tiniest bit when I came to the conclusion that it didn’t appear as if he wanted to hurt me. I was also able to process the fact that he didn’t smell like a rogue either - which meant he had to be another member of the pack.
“I-I can’t move. It’s too swollen,” I rasped out, my voice just barely above a whisper. He made another noise, almost as if acknowledging what I’d said. He looked around the clearing for a few seconds before using his head to shove my body to the ground. I made a squeak of surprise before he pushed his snout at my side to forcefully roll me onto my stomach. I was utterly confused as to what was going on, but immediately grew angry when I felt him prod his head around my sex between my legs.
Without thinking, I whipped my hand back and smacked his snout. “Hey!” I yelled. I’m sitting here injured and he’s trying to cop a feel?
He growled at me in warning before shoving his head up under my pelvis in a single go before slowly sliding his body along the underside of my own. Realization dawned on me when I was now perfectly straddling his monstrous body while tightly gripping his fur in my hands. I was enamored with how high up I was perched on his back. I had to be at least seven, eight feet off the ground. I squeezed my eyes shut and buried my face into his fur while trying to calm my queasy stomach.
The slow movement with each step he took caused pain to radiate through my ankle and down into my foot. I bit into the inside of my cheek to stop from screaming out, just biding my time until he let me down once again.
What felt like an eternity later, he stopped and released an ear-shattering howl into the air. Members came rushing out of the pack house, making me wish the ground would open up and swallow me whole as their gazes moved from the beast I was currently riding, to my pain-laced face.
No one moved a muscle as they all waited for him to make the next move. When he cranked his head back and bit into the back of my shirt, I knew he was planning to pull me off his back by the fabric. I didn’t think before smacking his snout for the second time.
“You’ll ruin my shirt!” I scolded before carefully swinging my good foot over to the same side as my bad and slowly sliding down his body before settling on the floor. I stationed all of my weight on my un-injured foot while leaning my body against his beastly frame for support.
“Poppy...what’s happened?” the Alpha carefully asked while cautiously eyeing the animal next to me.
“It’s a long story, but I fell. My ankle is really swollen, I think it might be broken,” I winced while casting a painful look towards the area in question.
“Someone get the pack doctor!” the Alpha yelled out to the crowd behind him. My eyes began to droop as I grew tired from all the strain my body had been through from being hurt and scared out of my mind at the same time.
A male in a white lab coat came running out of the pack house towards me, but the second the beast laid its eyes on him, he growled maliciously while shifting his paw so I was positioned between his two legs. The pack doctor stopped in his tracks with his hands up in front of him in a surrender position. I could see sweat accumulate on his forehead when he moved to take a single step forward. The action caused the beast to release another vicious growl of warning.
“Simon, retreat,” the Alpha ordered. Just then Grace, who I realized was amongst the crowd of on-lookers, took a few careful steps forward as if testing the water. When the beast remained silent, only offering an annoyed huff, she continued her slow ascent.
“Come, Poppy. We need to get that looked at,” she whispered, her eyes remaining on the ground for what I assumed was the same reason I had earlier. I grabbed her outstretched hand and looped my arm around her shoulder before she began to assist me in hobbling towards the pack house. Once inside, Grace lost her cool.
“Jesus fucking Christ! What were you thinking, Poppy!?” she yelled. I could hear her heart pounding away in her chest as her chest heaved up and down. “Do you have a death wish?” she demanded.
“What are you talking about?” I asked as she set me down in a hospital-type bed, confusion lacing my tone.
“Nevermind, it’s nothing. Just don’t ever wander into the woods on your own ever again. You’re too isolated out in your cabin,” she spoke with a worried expression.
“God, now you sound like my father and ex-Alpha,” I huffed in frustration to which she shook her head.
“What were you even doing to cause this much damage to yourself?” she asked in astonishment before looking from my ankle to my forehead as she set me down in one of the rooms located in the medical wing.
“Well, I was trying to cut down a tree for some wood when the ax got stuck. I saw something that freaked me out, so I started running for my car when my phone Kiara sent with me started to ring. It distracted me and I tripped and fell,” I explained quickly while feeling for the phone that I’d thankfully thought to shove in my pocket just before the beast from earlier made its presence know.
“Did you speak with her?” Grace asked, looking as desperate as I’d felt in that moment half an hour ago.
“Yes. I need to speak with Alpha Aaron as soon as they bandage my injuries,” I stressed, conveying the seriousness of my message with a single look.
"Shit. Alright, hold on,” she murmured before peeking her head out into the hallway.
“Simon! Light a fire under your ass and let’s go!” she yelled into the hallway before coming back to my side. I snorted at her antics.
“So lady-like,” I retorted sarcastically. She just shrugged her shoulders before beginning to tap her foot impatiently.
“Always a pleasure dealing with you, Grace,” Simon grumbled while entering the room with an armful of supplies.
“Yeah, yeah. Let’s speed this process up. She’s got information about her old Alpha that Alpha Aaron needs to be informed of ASAP,” she explained before beginning to examine the chipped nail polish on her fingernails. I was amazed at how much Grace interpreted from my lack of words and a single look a few seconds ago. Simon seemed to realize that Grace wasn’t playing around and got to working on my injuries right away.
Half an hour and a pair of crutches later, I was exiting the medical wing towards the Alpha’s office.
“Uh, just a little problem,” I stated while pointing one of my crutches at the stairs. There was no way I was getting up four flights on stairs.
“Good thing there’s an elevator right here, dipshit,” she joked while jerking her thumb over her shoulder. I blushed at my obliviousness before making my way into the lift after her.
Grace had to show me the way as I had no idea where I was going after only being shown one time. We knocked on the door before entering when given the okay.
“Oh, Poppy! I’m so glad you’re okay, honey!” Luna Caroline gushed before rushing over to me and pulling me into a gentle hug. I accepted the embrace instantly, letting her powerful presence rid my body of some of my pain.
“Thank you. I was hoping I could speak with you about something urgent,” I said, causing Luna Caroline’s face to morph into one of concern.
“Of course, dear. What is it?”
“I got a call from Kiara. My old Alpha took her and my mother into custody for interrogation after they realized I’d disappeared, and now Alpha Williams is threatening to start a war if I’m not found and returned to him in the next three months,” I whispered, a slight tremor of fear in my voice. Alpha Aaron released a deep sigh before leaning forward on at his desk, appearing to be in deep thought.
"Shit. This is bad. We can’t come clean to your back about housing you under the pretense of wanting to help fight against Alpha Williams because I have no doubt they would wage a war against us alongside Alpha Williams. I’m not worried about us in combat - because, you know - it just doesn’t feel right wiping out two entire packs. But, on the other hand, we can’t sit back and do nothing because Alpha Williams is known for keeping his promises,” Alpha Aaron explained before forcing a puff of air out through his lips.
“I’m so sorry,” I mumbled, my tone heavy with remorse.
“Don’t you dare apologize. Not a single part of your past issue or this current one facing both packs is any of your fault. This was brought about by three selfish men trying to play God; your father, ex-Alpha, and Alpha Williams. Why don’t you go home and try and rest up, maybe elevate your foot a bit? The Alpha and I will discuss some possible solutions. We’ll keep you in the loop, alright?” Luna Caroline said with a soft smile before ushering me out of the office.
While I still felt terrible for being the reason surrounding three packs possibly going to war, I knew that what Luna Caroline had said was true. This isn’t my fault.
“Jesus, Poppy! This place is practically an iceberg!” Grace scolded while standing in the middle of my living room floor. “Why didn’t you just come back to Jason and I’s place? This is ridiculous,” she huffed with a shake of her head.
“I didn’t want to be a burden,” I murmured quietly while twisting my fingers together in front of me.
“Nonsense. Asking for help doesn’t automatically make you a burden, Pops. Now, let’s get that foot elevated and iced while we do some online furniture hunting,” she ordered with an excited smile while pulling her laptop out of her bag.
Three hours later and I had six cans of paint, a new roll of carpet, new wood floor panels, and new tile on the way. I was shocked when Grace told me that Alpha Aaron and Luna Caroline had set up a store-like building in the closest town that was about an hour away and acted like a massive PO box for the entire pack. I hadn’t ever heard of anyone doing anything so clever. I never imagined I’d be able to online shop, as most packs were located in the middle of nowhere where delivery wasn’t an option. No one had ever put enough thought into a solution - until now, that was.
It took Grace twenty minutes to talk me into using the pack’s credit card to pay for everything, ensuring me that everyone used it now and then and that’s why they had it.
“You can always pay it back once you find a job,” Grace insisted before shutting her laptop. “Or, if you find a mate that’s loaded,” she joked causing me to jab her in the stomach with my elbow.
There was a lull in the conversation, making me feel like now was a better time than ever to ask the questioned that had been on the tip of my tongue all day.
Turning to her with a serious expression, I said, “Grace, what do you know about that Lycan in the pack...Carmichael, I think they said his name was?” I asked. Her expression looked like she’d rather be anywhere but here right now talking about anything else, which only caused my interest to peak even further.
“I don’t know much about him, and I don’t wish to. He coexists in our pack and that’s all you need to know,” she said, too forcefully to be natural. It was almost as if she were warning me to keep my nose out of it and just turn the other cheek.
“Look, I already like you more than half the other bitches in this pack and I don’t want to find you lying face up in the forest, okay? Just please leave it alone,” she begged before hoisting herself off my bed and making her way to the front door. She inspected it for a few seconds before giving me a disdain-filled look.
“We’ve got to replace this door. It’s barely hanging on its hinges,” she observed to which I burst into giggles. She joined me seconds later with a shake of her head. “Jason cut a few logs of wood for you that should last you into tomorrow morning. They’re out here on the porch. If you need us for any reason, no matter the time, don’t hesitate to come over. Okay?” she insisted before blowing me an air kiss and leaving.
Checking the time on my phone, I noted that it wasn’t super later, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t already exhausted.
Deciding it was totally acceptable to go to bed right now, I changed into a fresh pair of pajamas and slipped under the covers. I was out like a light, the now-familiar sight of those glowing yellow eyes on my mind.