The night sky was enveloped in darkness, only moments ago the blood moon shine in all its glory. The memoir that nights were not always the same. This was the last we'll have of it until the next couple of months. I lead the pawful of wolves down the slope keeping in the shadows, moving steadily towards where we'd heard piercing screams only moments ago. We had to be vigilant. The hunters were here, and though we were curious as to what caused the scream, safety came first.
My body tensed once more, an annoying feeling that had been bothering me for days in end. My skin prickled under all the fur and my groans came out in low growls.
I stopped placing my nose against the wind and sniffed, a low snarl rumbling through my body picking up the scent of a hunter just meters ahead. The others had become restless too finally picking up the scent as I had.
We ran ahead quietly, the forest now a crypt of silence, as higher predators roamed, namely us. Owls stood on high branches nestled in their holes, rats and other rodents keeping themselves scarce. Lifting my head to the cloud covered moon, I howled, the small pack sprinting off in attack, the smell of fear and trepidation now filling the air from the scared shitless hunter. In groups, they felt invincible but lonely they were all but back and no bite.
The teams ran behind him, snapping at his heels, him tripping over his feet a few times before he fell weeping. With his gun cocked the idiot placed it to his head pulling the trigger, blood splattering against the green grey background of the dirt.
Annoyed, they pulled him apart limb from limb, discarding his remains over the ground erratically, before mournfully lifting their heads howling. We lost wolves tonight. That's a feeling you never forget, but it's a sacrifice we all make heading away from the pack. Self preservation was key to our survival.
My nose leads me pass the blood and grime, towards a ledge leading downwards into darkness. Taking a leap, I tracked towards the scent, that was obviously another human. The thought made my paws dig deeper into the soil, my steps intentional, another presence walks behind, another wolf I note. Veron. He won't ever leave my side. Veron growls behind me reaching out destination, finding a human girl lying unconscious on the ground-well at least she seemed to be. The faint smell of blood lingers around, but there's no visible sign of injury thus far. Cautiously I nudged her with my nose, receiving no response in return.
"What are you thinking?" Veron asks after shifting, his dark eyes remained on the figure before us.
I track forward again, pushing her body over this time, spying the occasion for the smell of blood.
"Get her to the others" I respond through our mind link before rushing off.
I needed to run.
"You've been silent all morning"
"Hello, are you even listening to me?"
" Rider! "
My eyes snap to my Alpha's sister, who was turning every shade of red as she stood next to me inside the office. My mind had wondered again. I groaned running a hand through my hair, feeling exhausted. Not physically just mentally. I've gone through the odds of my situation last night into this morning. It was a hundred to one, only I had the worst odds because I got the one.
The worst part, I'm not even sure if she's friend or foe, and with wolves humans were automatically our enemies. How am I supposed to protect a pack from the one person that's supposed to be- I'm not going there.
I'd only made it back at dawn, the need to have the poison of the human's blood out of my senses. Now more than ever I felt imbalanced, on edge, not even sane, just hollow.
"I swear it's like talking to brick wall with you today"
"Oh right, you were saying?"
Allison's fists curled into a ball before thrumming them against her brother's desk in irritation. But like other days, her anger was the least of my worries.
Our eyes meet another pack member standing at the door.
"Oh sorry, I thought he was alone"
"What's wrong?" I ask my tone filled with apprehension .
"Gale thought you might want to know the human is awake"
Allison's eyes widen like saucers her steps mimicking mine as I hear to the infirmary.
"We've got a human?" She asks
"It's not as great as it sounds"
"What'd you mean?" She tugs on my hand pulling me to a stop. "What's going on Rider? I need to know now. Are we in trouble? "
I shake my head taking another step when she tugs me back-well I let her. She's pregnant, we can't have her losing her pup to a fall.
"Is it a hunter?" Allison's hands automatically go to her stomach protectively while her eyes dig into mine.
"I don't know, I doubt it. But we'll see"
The moment my feet makes contact with the floor of the infirmary the whole sensation from last night returns. The tingling feeling, the overwhelming anger that she was hurt-a stranger. Mostly utter confusion. Only, if I thought that was the worst, I couldn't be more wrong. For the first time since I knew myself, I've never felt completely empty, hollow, deprived.
The stranger unbeknownst to me was sitting, granted she fidgeted every now and again, wincing and prying the doctor's hand away from her head, swearing beneath her breath; but she was mine.
A part of me wanted to tear her away from Gale, snarl and threaten her not to come closer. But I knew better, fought against my instincts to do anything but maintain my distance. I knew nothing about this woman, for all we knew this could've just been a plot to get her here- into our community.
I couldn't give in to my based instincts.
"How does it look?" I ask the doctor.
She shrugged still moving to bandage the girl's wound.
"She's a fighter. There's no infection" Gale glanced at the human before her who was now glaring, with her hands folded, before turning back to me. "But she needs to rest"
I nod, staring at the girl who was now glaring in my direction very much pissed off, before it turned into complete fascination.
"You're growling" Whispered Allison.
Dammit. No wonder she was looking at we weird.
I turn on my heels ignoring her, needing to breathe, run, hide maybe. I've heard of mates and bonds, I just didn't realize it made you twisted and irrational and I could do without the irrationality right now.
My feet takes me across the field to the training grounds with Allison in tow. Why she felt like being obnoxious today, only the moon knows.
"Okay that's it Rider" she says parking herself before me. "What's gotten into you? You've been edgy all week, and you've just walked out without interrogating the human. What's wrong?"
Allison snorted glancing at me from beneath her blue eyes. Even with Jax gone, I still have him to deal with in the form of her body.
"It's not like she's your mate"
I turn away, grabbing a few weights.
She's not my mate
She can't be my mate.
My silence and solemnity answers her question.
"Oh my gosh Rider!" Allison exclaims clapping her hands. "You've found your mate! Isn't that great? "
"She's not my mate" I mumble.
"It all makes sense, the unusually mood swings, spacing out, getting territorial. Why didn't I think of that?"
"Allison, she's not my mate"
"Right, right" She nods sarcastically. "I can't wait to tell Jax!"
"Did you not hear what I said?" I ask incredulously though i knew it was a lost cause. Allison was a hopeless romantic.
"I heard what you said, big bad wolf" She replied poking me in the chest. "Deny it all you want, but I've know you since we were kids. Nothing rattles you"
"Are you gonna drop this?"
"Nope" she answers enthusiastically .
My mouth opens but I don't get the words out hearing other wolves calling for me.
"Rider!" Veron comes to a stop between us his posture rigid. "We've found another one"