Chapter 15: Hunt
The whispers of the Alpha and his Beta outside the door awakens me, prompting me to listening in on their conversation.
“The patrol caught a group of rogues sniffing around our territory. They chased them further out into rogue territory and lost them, but one of them injured one of our guys. He’s at the hospital now.”
“Grab your gear then. We’re going rogue hunting today,” Everett announces in a confident whisper.
“What about Rory?”
“What about her?”
“Is she coming with us?”
“Are you completely insane?” Everett seethes in a harsh tone.
“What? It’s a hunt. We hunt in big groups. She would be safe. A Luna has to know how to hunt with us.”
“You have gone insane. Or you’re trying to further prove to me that Aurora wouldn’t make a good Luna. Either way, she’s not coming, ever.”
“Then I don’t know how you expect her to ever be Luna. And if you don’t, you need to cut her loose.” Cut me loose? What is that supposed to mean? He doesn’t think I can go on a hunt with them. I mean, I’m destined to get hurt, but I can still go. I heal like the wolves do thanks to my insane gifts, maybe eve faster than they do. I can help other wolves that are injured. I can help. But Everett doesn’t think I can. He thinks I’m useless. He thinks that I wouldn’t make a good Luna. He’s wrong.
“Let’s just go. Come on.”
I’m going with them. I’m going to be useful, maybe. But I’m going to prove them wrong.
I gear up myself, changing into my sweatpants and a hoodie in case it gets chilly outside. I sneak outside and follow the wolves as they ready to venture into rogue territory. Tracking them at a very far distance because Everett would be able to smell me, I’m careful of the sounds beneath my feet, the plants brushing against me, even my own breathing. When going on hunts for rogues, this pack takes big groups into rogue territory, mostly warrior wolves, and I must be careful due to their heightened senses.
Why are wolves so superior?
“Aurora,” a quiet voice whispers, making my head snap in every direction to search for the source. It creates an unsettling feeling right to my core. And it reminds me of something...
“Aurora,” a voice whispers, causing my head to swing around, searching for the source.
“Aurora,” another voice chimes in, almost hissing it. Soon enough, others join the calling of my name, for some unknown reason.
From when I died the last time. Voices calling for me. It wasn't the same voice, but it was the same tone: menacing, eerie, haunting.
"Aurora..." This time, the voice is closer, as if it were behind me, raising the hairs on the back of my neck. Who is this? But I can't make a sound. I can't alert the pack that I'm out here.
I hurry faster and further into rogue territory in an attempt to get away from whoever it is. They know my name. They could know more about me. They can't be human, maybe not even a wolf.
And then I'm lost. Completely lost, well into rogue territory, yet again. Even though I've been lucky with rogues in the past, they are still dangerous, especially to humans, especially to weak little human girls. There's a reason all the pack wolves hate rogues. They have no rules, they follow no code, they have no morals. That's what they've told me anyway. But the rogue I met, he seemed... principled, honorable.
I hear branches crack around me, and the wind making the trees dance wistfully. Someone is there. Someone's watching me. Light growls echo through the trees, decreasing the distance between us.
A grey wolf hurtles through the trees and pounces on me, pinning me down to the ground and growling in my face. My eyes widen at him, small whimpers leaving my lips, and my body squirms underneath him. As recognition crosses his face, he begins to shift, revealing Ace's distraught expression. He also rapidly removes himself from me in loyalty to his Alpha and acknowledgment of his possessiveness, even at me which he's not sure of.
"Rory, what the fuck are you doing out here?" he growls, his eyes piercing into my soul like I'm some evil demon he wants to destroy.
"I was just... exploring," I lie fruitlessly. However, my real reason may sound a little pathetic, especially since Everett and Lucius were right. Me hunting is completely insane, and I'll never make a good Luna for the pack. Everett should just reject me. And that thought stabs me in the gut and them saying it only twists the knife deeper.
"Are you stupid? You're in rogue territory, Rory. The place where we found you before, covered in blood, exhausted and frightened. You were exploring, were you?" he hisses, rolling his eyes in irritation. He outstretches his hand to me and pulls me up to my feet, checking to see if I'm hurt. "Alpha will be furious, but he'll be even more furious if you're hurt in any way."
"Where is he then?" I ask.
"Well, I heard noises coming over from this way so I went to check it out alone and then-" Rustling from among the trees breaks his attention away and he defensively pushes me behind him. When I begin to hear low growls from all directions, and the fact that Ace has become warier, I know these are not pack wolves. These are rogues. "We're outnumbered, and with you with me, I can't risk anything happening to you by fighting. I'm going to pick you up now so don't scream or anything," he whispers and just at that moment, he slings me over shoulder as if I was a sack of flour and sprints away, further into rogue territory though.
I can only stare at his back, not moving in case I do something accidental that causes instrumental consequences. We soon slow down once he deems it far enough away from the rogues we ran into. But he doesn't put me down. He just walks at a relatively normal pace for a wolf with me dangling off his shoulder.
"Are you going to put me down now?" I ask him innocently and quietly. I know he's irritated at me, he could have taken on those rogues if I wasn't there. I know he saw me as a problem before, like Lucius, and this has only reinforced that idea.
"No. You've already caused enough problems. I'm going to mind-link Alpha Everett and he'll deal with you," Ace announces.
"No, please don't. Can't we just go back to the pack?" I ask hopefully. But he slams me down onto my feet and gives me a harsh glare which makes me slightly cower.
"Do you have any idea what could have happened? Everett would go berserk if anything did."
"Everett doesn't care. He doesn't want me as his Luna but the mate bond is keeping him unable to reject me just yet. When he builds up enough strength, he will reject me," I state. His eyes soften a little as he listens to me. "And then I'll have no one. What am I supposed to do when he rejects me and kicks me out of the pack? I have no home. I have no family. My old pack tried to kill me. I don't have anything." I decide to walk away from him in a huff, my eyes watering a little in my realization. They would flood if I was alone, but I have too much pride. Everett will reject me, and I'll soon be alone. What's the point in even trying to get Everett's approval, or Ace's or Lucius'. I'll never see them again once I go.
"Rory..." He's at a loss for words because he knows it's the truth. He believes Everett will do what's best for the pack, and what's best for the pack is rejecting me as the Luna and his mate. It will leave me heartbroken and I barely even know him. I just feel so connected to him, even as a human. The mate bond may be weaker for me than for Everett, but it will still tear me apart if he leaves. I guess that's why I've been lusting for his approval, because I need him. It doesn't help that he was the one who saved me at my weakest point, after I had just been killed by my pack and was out in rogue territory. "Let's just go back to the-" He's suddenly cut off and it snaps my attention back to him. I swivel around.
My eyes widen at the sight in front of me. Ace's loud groan rings through my ears as I rush to his side.
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