Pitter Patter… Pitter Patter… Pitter Patter…
“Come on we must keep moving! They are coming!” The rain slouched under our feet as we swiftly moved through the darkness. In the distant, faint ferocious voices followed behind us along with the moving traffic blurring them out every once and awhile. His little faint breaths moved out of order while I pulled him along behind me, his hand continuously slipped out of mine. I halted us and picked up his feeble body, slamming him against my chest and moving forward. The harsh, sharp rain pelted against our skins as I turned towards a river’s edge. “Hold your breath and don’t let go.” He looked up to me with his chocolatey eyes and nodded hesitantly. Taking one glance behind me, I gathered my courage and plummeted into the icy water. I could feel his body tense against mine as I pulled us to the surface, we gasped for air and swam to the shore, and darted into the woods. The stupid collar burned against my skin as the whole time my mind wandered back to all the events that had just occurred before.
***A Few Hours Before***
“Who is it?” My voice was nothing but somehow they still heard me, the bathroom handle turned, however, it didn’t budge. “Hang on. Give me a second to change.” I spoke as I picked my body off the floor. Quickly, I slipped my clothes on, and hesitantly walked out of the bathroom. Sat impatiently on Hayden’s bed was the King’s Pet from earlier, he looked much worse with his sunken eyes and pale skin. “Everything okay?” I questioned as a flash of lightning filled the night sky, the boy figure straightened as his eyes went wide. Soon enough, he was to his feet and blabbering about freedom. “We must leave. We are the only ones not brainwashed. WE must hurry.” He grabbed my wrist and attempted to drag me out of the room, I easily pulled out of his grip. “Just calm for a second. How in the name of all that is holy do you think we even get out of here? Plus! How do I know this isn’t a trick? I mean, I don’t even know you.” I knew I was being a bit cruel but trust was hard to come by in the castle.
“Just trust me, please.” He held out his hand and with his big round eyes, I melted. A hefty sigh ripped itself out of my lips as I put my hand in his, “If this is a trap, I swear to The Divines!” With a tight grip, he dragged me through the halls at a slow pace. We passed many guards but none looked at us, it was almost like they were statues but it was just an amount of time before the statues came to life when Hayden finds out I’m gone. We moved towards the big entrance hall and came face to face with two guards, “Where are you two off?” One spoke with the thickest Scottish accent. The boy’s face paled as he tried to come up with something to say, “We are…” He began stumbling as he went. “WE! Have special orders from my Master to go into the garden.” I splattered. The other guard looked unsure and very suspicious, “In this stormy weather?” And as if on cue lightning struck. “My Master asked you not to question his decision or he will have you flogged in the streets.” Like that they straightened and paled in colour, back in their fear-stricken boots. A small smile filled my lips as they opened the large oak doors letting us out into the pouring rain.
An hour later, a loud growl thundered from the castle as the clock tower chimed and I knew exactly who it was, but it was too late, we were already halfway into the village just north of the castle. As we ran, we could hear the roars of soldiers coming in our direction. “Come on we must keep moving! They are coming!” The rain slouched under our feet as we swiftly moved through the darkness.
The fire chuckled as it spat scorching splinters in our direction, “I’m Nathaniel Woodard, but people used to call me Nathan.” He whispered as we sat close together to persevere whatever heat was left. I held out my hand in a greeting, “Nice to meet you, Nathan. I’m Emily but I guess you already knew that, somehow.”
Nathan sighed and leaned his head against my shoulder, out of instinct, I pulled my arms around him. “Everyone knows of you, you are the daughter of Mark and Opal Lakemen. One of the greatest wolf pack leaders known throughout this land.” I could feel my cheeks heat and the pride boil inside my chest, my parents were legends apparently. “I see.” Was all I could whisper as I glared into the fire, I could feel Nathan’s breaths get slower and his body getting heavier. It was now quite obvious that this boy was sleeping as quiet snores entered the woodland surrounding. I sighed heavily and watched the last bits of raindrop lightly on the puddles mud, I had no clue what to do from here onwards, I looked up to the sky. “Oh Selene, if you truly care, please guide us to safe land. I beg of you.” I pleaded as the stars watched over us, it wasn’t long until my eyes began to feel heavy and the long waited sleep took over my weakened body.
I woke up to the tug of my collar, “Agh!” I screamed as it was pulled away from my neck, taking melted skin along with it. “Sorry!” Nathan cringed as he watered the wound making me scream once again. I looked towards him as he held the collar in his left hand, I rubbed my neck in hopes it would soothe the pain. Nathan looked at me with guilt and blabbered about why he did it, “Okay okay. It’s alright, I’m fine. You did the right thing just at the wrong time,” I slightly laughed trying to lighten the mood and thankful he laughed along. “Now throw it in the bushes.” Without hesitation, he did as he was told and with a loud thump it was gone, I was more than relieved. I could feel my beast again but it was still weak and I doubted I could shift just yet, “We should get moving, I doubt they’ve stopped looking.” Nathan simply nodded and gathered what little food he could get from the village. We walked further, what we thought was, North in hopes of finding my family’s whereabouts that Nathan had heard about in John’s meetings.
It took us about three days to reach where they were last sighted and we barely made it, we came across many of Hayden’s men but thanks to kind people we remained hidden and made many allies. Unfortunately, they weren’t there and no one had ever seen them. So, I gave up and decided that the best thing for Nathan and I was that we just found a place far from Hayden and settled. After about 6 months, I had grown quite attached to Nathan and treated him as if he was my own son, he was my new found everything and he had even started to call me mom, it was like fate was meant to bring us together. To become each other’s, new family. I had to do many things to get food and shelter for Nathan and me, some that I am not proud of but it was all part of the journey. Thankfully, I was able to shift again making traveling much faster and easier. We ended up somewhere in Canada, I wasn’t too sure where we decided to live in a city where we couldn’t be found.
I was able to get a stable job at a diner in the city centre called ‘The Starling grill.’ and put Nathan into an elementary school. We lived in a little one-bedroom apartment and we were also able to change our names, Nathan and I were now Dan and Jessica Thornton. We like how our lives had turned out and we didn’t want it to change.