I woke up with a cold gasp from the terrifying dream. Cold sweat ran down my forehead, and my eyes searched my room to check that I wasn't back in that snowy landscape where my pack was killed. I sighed as I realized I was still in the inn room I checked out, easing myself to rest on the creaky bedpost. Get a hold of yourself, Anne. That happened years ago. My lip quirked downwards in the slightest tinge of sorrow. ..There's no time to dwell on the past, right?
Sunlight creeped in through the stained-glass window and gave the room a nice glow. Life as a rogue could be tiring from the constant traveling and hunting without a pack backing you up, and I had needed a place to stay for the night. Luckily, this inn in the middle of nowhere happened to be open around the time of midnight when I stumbled upon it's doors, and the keeper of the place invited me in. It was cheap, but the conditions were decent, and dare I say it, one of the nicest places I'd stayed at in two years.
I heard a knock on the door, and I perked up, tense. Standing up from the bed and slowly approaching the entrance, I grabbed my dagger sitting on the counter and slowly opened it. Instead of one of my enemies standing there like I'd expected, it was just the innkeeper with what looked like an outfit. He gave me a knowing wink and whispered, "If ya wan' blend in, this might help." Before I could react, he'd already dropped the folded clothes on my hands and left.
Well..I guess this will have to do, I thought with a furrowed brow, laying it out on the bed. He'd given me a pair of raggedy military pants and a black hoodie. This did seem more generic than anything I had packed, so I quickly slipped it over my nightgown. Leaving the room, I sneaked down the hallway. Down in the lobby where the keeper was doing his shift, I slipped the hoodie over my head and gave him a subtle-thumbs up as I passed by. I couldn't tell exactly, but I think he nodded.
It was unexpectedly warm outside. The trees were green, the birds had already gathered around to sing, and the flowers were in full bloom..I smiled, remembering a distant memory on a day like this. Such gorgeous days were rare, so I took the time to stroll through the woods and inhale the wilderness scent.
"You can't stay inside ALL day, Anna! It's so beautiful outside!" the mother insisted. Her little girl, almost eight years old, pouted and turned up her nose. "Ew, no! I won't go outside, Mommy!!"
The mother sighed, then muttered, "If I baked you something, would you agree?" She hated bribing her children, but her daughter was so very stubborn. A little grin spread across the girl's lips as she agreed. "Sure."
We have to hunt soon, the voice whispered. I blinked in surprise, snapped out of my daydream, but I couldn't disagree with my wolf at the abrupt growling of my stomach. Almost instantly my hunting instincts took full swing, and I could smell some deer not too far away. Dashing at full speed, it wasn't long before I caught up with them and took one down. I pounced on it, and halfway through mid-air I was in wolf form. My paws firmly landed on the ground as my teeth sunk into the animal's neck.
I thought, quite satisfied with my morning breakfast. The other deer wasn't difficult to catch, and I could still taste the sweet aftermath of the meat. I could hear my wolf moaning in delight as well. I had rested my back against this shady tree after dining.
I decided that that was enough lazing around for today and stood up, venturing deeper and deeper into the forest. Of course, I made sure to stay clear of pack boundaries that I had mapped out. Invading a pack's territory could turn nasty real quick. While I was out and about looking for a site to set up camp in tonight, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. A cloaked figure, standing between the trees, watching me. It seemed that whoever they were wasn't interested in picking a fight, because they instantly ran off when I started approaching them. Shrugging it off, I figured it was a weak newbie and finally found a nice place.
It was a colorful valley, and I decided that the top of one of the hills would do fine for camp. The only con was that it was a clearing, meaning no trees were nearby in case of a speedy hide-out. Though I highly doubted I would have trouble fighting whoever came through here, I still didn't want to start a pack war.
Almost five hours must've passed by, spent using sticks and whatever else I could get my hands on to build shelter, before I heard more rustling nearby. It was two wolves, no, rogues. My eyes narrowed in disgust and I ducked into the tall grass of the valley, watching as they passed by. It was two ripped dudes, and one was talking about something that caught my interest.
"Hey, bro, you ever heard of someone named 'Anna Eclipse'?" one of the guys asked nonchalantly. His friend nodded. "'Course I have. Bitch is famous for revenge. I feel sorry for anyone who's crossed her," he snickered. I smirked, remembering the last rogue I hunted down and tore apart for helping in my pack's murder. I feel sorry for them too, the wolf muttered pridefully.
"Well, the Black Hunter's Alpha sent out a bounty for her head, like, an hour ago," the guy stated, shaking his head. The other guy scoffed. "Wait, no way! The Black Rider alpha wants her? Wonder why.."
"I heard rumors that she wants her alive too," the first guy said. "Must be some kind of old grudge!"
They both walked off laughing and talking, but I stopped paying attention to them and stood back up. Of course I'd heard of the Black Rider's who lived here. During my family's prime time, they were the only ones who could match our prestige and strength. The Black Rider's were a little like royalty, living in mansions and stone plazas, but were also dangerous. And their Alpha, she had an even worse reputation.
I tapped my chin, trying to think if I ever wronged her. If she put this bounty out an hour ago, that must mean it was recently. Then, I remembered the cloaked figure in the woods and my eyes widened. Maybe they had something to do with this.
Rushing back to the spot where I'd seen them, I examined the exact place they were standing. Almost instantly I picked up on their trail, and surprisingly enough, it was one of the most delightful things I'd ever smelled..like, well, a mix of butterscotch and the beach.
Following the path through the trees, I found myself more and more enamored with finding this person. What did they have against me that they'd manipulate someone as dangerous as an Alpha, just to get to me? Maybe a relative of someone I'd killed, but I wasn't sure, exactly. And that's what I hated. I had to be sure, because I despised being caught off guard by stuff like this.
Suddenly, the trail stopped, froze dead in it's tracks. I stood there, confused, until I looked up from the clearing path and actually realized where I was. Still in the woods, sure, but in the wrong part of the woods, because I was standing in Black Rider territory.
I mentally facepalmed. How could I have been so stupid? This was obviously a trap. Before I could turn around and get the hell out of there, another werewolf blocked my way. He was much taller and had sandy blonde hair, and was wearing something that resembled a guard uniform.
"What are you doing in our territory?" he barked out. I could tell by his tone of voice that I was dealing with a Beta.
"Beta, sir, I don't mean any harm," I stated. "I was led here by prey." He narrowed his eyes, releasing a low, throaty growl. "You honestly think me to believe that? You're coming with me." Before he could grab my arm my combat instincts had already taken over and flipped him over. My eyes had turned violet, the color of the Eclipse's, and I was dangerously close to turning right now. His eyes widened as he saw my eyes and realized who he was dealing with. No other werewolf had violet eyes, after all.
"A-anna Eclipse?" he whispered, his voice paralyzed. "The one and only," I said. "So let me go now or I will tear you to shreds. Trust me, it won't be that hard."
He shakily responded with, "Our Alpha's been looking for you, Eclipse. And," his eyes drifted behind me, "she's here now to take what's hers."
Well, shit, I thought, the smell of an Alpha's presence invading my nostrils. He was right, she was standing behind me, wasn't she?However, I quickly realized that the smell,, it was...the same as the cloaked figure. So she led me here on purpose, huh?
I quickly calculated my odds. I wasn't sure if I could take on an Alpha, even with the powers of the Eclipse family. Slowly turning around, my eyes met hers and I think my heart dropped.
Her long, brown hair came down around her waist, as her light golden eyes pierced mine, and her beautiful pale skin and smooth cheeks made her all the cuter.
Control yourself!! I screamed, but my wolf was chanting a different story. The Alpha looked me over and smirked, waving the Beta away. "You can leave now, Damen. I'll handle this."