When I woke in the morning my face was stiff from the dried tears. I needed a shower, to rinse off the funk I was in. I couldn’t believe he had just shut me down like that. Shaking the thought from my head I stood in the shower, the warm water calming me. I pulled on some shorts and a flowy, pale pink top. Honestly, I didn’t want to see him today. What he said had stung and even my wolf seemed disappointed at the way he had acted and had been silent all night. I had slept in until almost ten, but instead of making my way downstairs for breakfast which was most likely over anyway, I opted to stay in the quarters. Sitting down on the stool perched at the small island in our kitchen, I slowly drank some tea and nibbled on a muffin. I needed to do something, not just sit here sulking because of Slade. My wolf growled and I knew what she wanted.
“How about a run my friend?”
I snuck out the back and shifted as I hit the tall grass. My wolf was petite and fast. She was covered in dark, chocolate brown fur and my turquoise eyes turned a charcoal gray. I hadn’t gone on a run since being here and it felt good. I ran fast and hard and was in awe of the openness. Back home you had to navigate through trees and over mountains and rocks. Here it was open, free, and breathtaking and it was a plus that I was now miles away from dealing with Slade. I stopped at the top of a hill to watch some deer, not really in the mood for a hunt.
After sitting and clearing my head for a while I turned back and headed for home. As I turned I heard a grunt only to be confronted by a giant grizzly bear. They had grizzlies back home and I knew to avoid them as they tended to be aggressive and much stronger than wolves. But this one was right in front of me, and apparently thought I was the competition for those deer down the hill. It towered over me and roared. Terrified and frozen, I didn’t know what to do. I tried to make myself small, knowing that’s what you do when you come across them in human form. That didn’t work though and as the bear inched closer I gathered my courage and tried to run past it, knowing I could outrun the bear with ease. But as if the bear heard my thoughts it swiped to the side with one of its large paws and I let out a yelp as I felt a burning sensation in my shoulder and down my back. It had caught me and made contact. I fell from the injury and as I attempted to get up, the bear charged at me, teeth bared. I gathered my strength and barely got myself out of the way, but took advantage of how the bear overshot me, and I bit down hard on its back leg, locking my jaws to make my bite effective. The bear hollered in pain.
RUN.. my wolf yelled to me.
The bear grunted and I mustered every bit of strength I possessed and took off running. I knew the bear wouldn’t chase after me, not with an injured leg. But I ran as hard and as fast as I could until I couldn’t anymore.
It was getting late, I could tell the sun was making the sky less bright. My injuries were bad and I knew I had to stay in my wolf form if I was going to make it back to the packhouse. Walking slowly, mostly limping, I made my way home. I found hope when I could see the far off lights of the packhouse. With how much blood I lost I knew I was starting to fade and all of the distant lights were a bit blurry. I took a deep breath and pressed on, praying I made it home.
Where is she?? I sat at the kitchen island while some pack members made the finishing touches for dinner. I had been watching for her all afternoon and was starting to get worried. The dinner bell rang and my head snapped up. She’ll be coming now, I thought, hoping to finally catch her. Random pack members started filing in, taking food and a seat. Then nothing.
“Slade, where the hell is Addie?” Hannah approached, worry on her face.
Just then, the back doors of the common room crashed open. I had never seen this wolf before. Slender and a beautiful, chocolate brown coat. It reminded me of Addison's hair.
I was shaken from my thoughts when Hannah gasped beside me. As I looked closer I saw the deep gashes and blood streaming down onto the floor. Everyone gasped as the wolf collapsed and shifted back to its human form.
“LUNA!” The entire pack seemed to scream. I was first to reach her, followed by Sam and Hannah.
Covering her body with my shirt, I began shouting commands in the tone only an Alpha has.
“Olivia, call Dr. Thomas and tell him we are on our way. Hannah go find her some clothes! Sam, you are in charge!” And with that, I scooped her up and ran to the medical building next door.
“Slade…” she managed to whisper.
I pulled her closer, “Addison, please just hold on. We are almost there.”
It took two whole minutes to make it to the building, but it felt like longer. Barreling into the building I went full Alpha once again. “Where is Dr. Thomas?!”
“I’m here Alpha, set her down and let me have a look at her.”
Dr. Thomas and several nurses quickly started assessing her. Now that she was back in human form you could see the extent of her injuries. She had massive gashes down her back and on her shoulder along with a lot of bruising. Thankfully wolves heal at a fast rate, but Addison’s body was so badly in shock it would take some time. “These cuts are deep, we will need to stop the bleeding before we can take her to X-Ray. And I want an IV with fluids and antibiotics.”
As the doctor and nurses rushed around, attempting to clean and pack Addison’s wounds, I just stood outside the room with a look of pain and worry across my face. After taking her to X-Ray they took her into a procedure room to try and remove some of the debris from her back. When Addison was settled into her room in recovery Hannah walked in with tears in her eyes. I had been sitting in a chair next to the bed holding her hand and got up to hug my sister.
“What happened to her?” She asked, trying to wipe the tears away.
“She hasn’t been awake since collapsing at the house, I have no idea what happened.”
Looking at Addison in that hospital room, she looked small. And I blamed myself, I should have gone looking for her.
I let go of Hannah and walked back over to the bed. I sat down next to her and took her hand. Smoothing down her hair with my other hand and looking at her face I spoke, “This is all my fault.”
“Slade this is not your fault! Don’t you dare go there!” Hannah spat.
“If I hadn’t been such a complete jerk and just opened up to her she wouldn’t have left and this wouldn’t have happened.” I lowered my head. I needed her to be okay. I needed to see those deep turquoise eyes, hear her infectious laugh, feel her warm smile.
Hannah sat in the chair next to me and waited with me. Sam and Olivia stopped in to check on her but Addison still hadn’t woken up. Olivia and Hannah shared tears and an embrace, worrying for their friend.
The doctors weren’t sure why she hadn’t woken up yet but kept chalking it up to her body recovering from the shock.
“I don’t know how long she was like that, how far she had to walk with her injuries, but she had lost a lot of blood. I’m honestly amazed she made it back to the packhouse, let alone survived. Give her body some time to catch up,” Dr. Thomas offered as he tried to give us something to cling to as we waited. Hearing that made me proud. She was strong.