A few hours later, him and I, now fully dressed and sat side by side. We ate the protein bars he packed and shared a water bottle together. From the change in lighting in the cave, we knew it was getting darker.
“Stay here, Amelia. I am going to go check to see if the snowstorm has died down enough for us to walk back to the jeep.” He ordered.
I nodded and hugged his jacket closer to me. I watched him disappear to the entrance of the cave. He was gone for a long period of time and I was afraid he must have left without me. A part of me told me I was being foolish and that Cassius won’t leave me but it still didn’t calm the fear inside of me.
After another few minutes, he appeared again. The grim look on his face was loud and clear. The snowstorm has not gone away yet. I bit my lips nervously.
“Will we be staying here for the night?” I asked.
He glanced down at me with worried reflecting in his eyes before nodding, “I am sorry, Amelia. I didn’t think we will be stuck in the snowstorm. I thought I could get a signal for my cell phone but it looks like the storm is affecting the signal connection as well.”
I laughed to stop him from worrying, “It’s okay. At least we packed well in case we were stuck in a situation like this.”
He flashed me a warming smile, “That’s right.”
He went for his backpack and pulled out his thick sleeping bag. I grabbed mine and pulled out mine. He made sure we were closer to the hot spring but not close enough that we could get wet.
After he was done, we sat on top of sleeping bags in an awkward silence. The wind howled inside the cave loudly with a slight echo. Still in my winter jacket, hat and mittens, I got into my sleeping bag to warm up my legs.
He picked up his winter jacket and placed it over my upper body. It helped warmed me up and it also somewhat calmed me down. I figured it was because his jacket smelled like him.
I pulled it closer and inhale discreetly.
“I’m sorry, Amelia.” He said again.
I gave him an assuring smile, “You really shouldn’t worry. I lived this life. I know how to survive this weather. A hot spring is gold in these kinds of conditions.”
He chuckled before adjusting and laying back on his sleeping back. He used his arm as a pillow by propping it behind his head. He looked up at the cave ceiling.
“I forget. You hunted wolves.” He said.
I followed his actions and laid back on my sleeping bag, bringing his jacket closer to me. I turned to face him. He was truly handsome, just like the first day I met him. He still manages to knock me off my feet. All this before me and he was all mine.
“There was one time, my dad took me out to hunt. We got stuck in a snowstorm just like this one. I think I was thirteen at that time. A wolf got inside the cave. I think he was also trying to find shelter.” I spoke, remembering that specific day.
“He was a small wolf, almost looked like he was an omega. My dad saw him, handed me a gun, and told me to shoot.” The wolf was so small and seemed almost malnourished. I didn’t want to kill him.
“I told my dad that I couldn’t but my dad replied if I didn’t when he grows he will come and kill another human. He asked if I wanted that to happen...” The images of the wolf’s pool of blood and the look in his eyes.
“I saw the look in his eyes when I shot him. He was afraid of me.” I whispered and felt pain sear through me. I pulled Cassius’s jacket closer as if it could help take away the pain.
“It’s okay,” Cassius answered and my eyes moved from the cave wall to look at him. He was now turned to his side to face me.
“It didn’t feel right at all,” I uttered the truth.
“Then why do you continue to do this?” He questioned but not in an accusing way.
I gave sad laugh, “It is the only thing I know. My family died because of them.”
“Is that way you have their names tattooed onto your chest?” He asked.
I’m surprised he noticed that. My parents and sibling’s name was indeed tattooed over my heart.
“It is to remember them,” I told him.
“And to remember to revenge them?” He added in question.
“I don’t want to do it anymore,” I replied.
He nodded before turning back onto his back, “That’s good to hear. Not all monsters are monsters. Most of them just want the same thing you want.”
While looking at him, I realized he was also talking about himself. Werewolves were not monsters. They just wanted what I wanted.
Cassius shifted again and reached for his lamp. He turned it off.
“We should conserve as much as we can. We don’t know how long we will be here.” He said.
The cave was completely dark and I realized I never slept like this before. There was always a fire going on or I brought enough light to keep me company. It was too dark for my liking.
“Cassius?” I whispered hesitantly.
“Hm?” He hummed that he had heard me.
“Can I sleep closer to you?” I asked.
He was quiet for a while before I heard his sleeping bag shift and he moved closer to me. I felt one arm slip underneath me bringing me to the crook of his body and the other wrapped around me, turning me to face him. I snuggled closer to his body.
“Better?” He asked.
I nodded, my head hitting his chin lightly. I closed my eyes and let sleep talk over. It didn’t take long. Sleeping next to Cassius, I never felt safer and the first time I fell into a deep sleep.
I woke up again and noticed how dark the cave was. The wind has stopped howling like crazy but I was getting cold. Shivering, I moved closer to Cassius but it did nothing to ward off the chills.
I adjusted my position again and looked for his jacket but my movement woke Cassius’s up. I heard his breathing changed and then his sleepy voice.
“Amelia?” He asked in confusion. “What are you doing?”
“I-I’m cold, Cassius.” I stammered.
Immediately, I felt his hand touch my cheek. His hands were warm. It was times like this that I wished I was a werewolf.
“Shit.” He cursed and then I heard his sleeping bag moving. Seconds later, he was sitting next to me.
“Your skin is ice cold.” He growled in panic.
“I-I’m f-fine.” I stammered again.
He scoffed, “You are not fine. We need to get you warmed up.”
“I’m not going back into that hot spring again. It’s too late and I’m tired.” I mumbled while still stammering.
He sighed and I can literally see him running his fingers through his hair in frustration.
“I have an idea but I am not sure you will like it.” He said a few minutes later.
“I’ll take anything other than hopping into the hot spring.” I stammered.
He exhaled, “My wolf is a lot larger than me. He can keep you warm. His body heat is twice mine.”
I remember the only time I had seen his wolf and it was when he came to see me at my cottage. I never got near him and although I was curious about him. I was also afraid of him.
He waited for me to answer.
“You don’t have to worry. I can control him. He won’t harm you. He will just want to protect you.” He assured me.
I hesitated for a moment in the dark before answering him, “Ok.”
I heard Cassius’s stand up and the sound of clothes rustling. Then the sound of bone breaking can be heard in the cave and I knew he was shifting. Honestly, a part of me was quite curious how their shifting was but a part of me was glad I didn’t get to see it. It sounded painful.
A few minutes later, a soft wolf whimper came from where Cassius was just standing. The sound of paws padding towards me before I felt a wet nose brush against my cheek and down my neck affectionately. Sparks flew from that touch and I knew it was Cassius.
He was indeed warmer than Cassius. I couldn’t help but moan with relief and pulled him closer to me. Cassius’s wolf was making pleasing sounds when he felt me pulled him closer.
His large body wrapped around mine. I inhaled and found that he also smelled like Cassius. I hummed in pleasure.
“You smell the same. It’s so addicting.” I murmured before burying my nose in his neck. His tail wagged and thumped on the cave ground.
I giggled before snuggling closer to him. He was definitely a nice heater. It wasn’t long before I fell asleep again and I was no longer cold.
When I woke up again, it was morning. The cave was filled with a little bit more light. I sighed and snuggled closer to Cassius’s wolf only to have my lips meet a bare human neck. Cassius was again asleep with me. He held me in his arms.
“You’re awake.” He whispered softly. I nodded and noticed that he had somehow gotten dress after shifting again because he was now back in his shirt and jeans.
“I’m a little disappointed. I liked sleeping with your wolf.” I murmured.
I heard Cassius’s huff in irritation and I hid a smile. Cassius’s was actually jealous of his wolf. It was ridiculous because his wolf was a part of him.
“Do you know what time it is?” I asked.
He checked his cell phone, “It’s about 8:30.”
“It sounds like the storm is gone now.” I got up from where I was sleeping.
“It’s still snowing but not as bad.” He told me.
Together, we rolled up our sleeping bags and put them away. We brushed our teeth with the travel pack toothbrush and toothpaste. Once we were done cleaning up, Cassius put on his jacket and together we both walked towards the entrance.
It was still snowing but not as bad. We can see our way back but before we left, Cassius helped put on my winter gloves. Once he had his gloves on, he took hold of my hand and led me down the hill.
Ten minutes later, we smelled smoke and immediately knew people were nearby. Cassius tensed and his eyes were distant. His ears twitched like how a dog’s ears will twitch. Did he hear something?
A growl left his lips and anger flashed in his eyes. His fiery amber gold eyes met mine.
“We have to leave now.” He ordered. I don’t know what he saw or sense but by the looks of it, it wasn’t something I wanted to wait and see.
We ran back to the jeep. Thankfully, it wasn’t buried under snow. He threw our backpacks to the back before making sure I was in the jeep. Once I was in, he got in his side and put the car in reverse before pulling us back onto the road home.
“What is it?” I asked him. “Why were you in such a hurry?”
He shook his head, “It’s nothing.”
“It must be something. You freaked out.” I pointed out.
“It’s nothing, Amelia. Let it go.” He snapped, his eyes moved to mine and I can he was still very angry.
“Fine!” I snapped back. “I won’t ask you again but if you’re going to act like that, don’t even think about talking to me.”
We drove the rest of the way home in silence.