The Mournful Howl

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Chapter 7

The rogues had found him sleeping on their turf, and now he was wounded and running for his life.

Gabriel had never been taught how to survive outside of a pack. No matter which way he turned, he seemed to be running into the open jaws of another vicious, rabid rogue.

From somewhere off in the distance he hear a woman calling his name, but he couldn’t find her to protect her.

He was Alpha born, it was his job to find her and keep her safe.

He was immediately awakened when he felt a hand touch his scruff.

Growling, he lunged at the intruder, knocking them over.

Looking at his victim through his wolfs eyes, he saw Jayne, her neck bared to him in open submission.

Needing to make sure she was real, Gabriel’s wolf ran his tongue across her shoulder and neck, begging to be allowed to mark her and make her his mate.

Shifting, he allowed himself the pleasure of running his own lips along the same path his wolf had taken, kissing his way to her jaw line.

He’d only been brought to his senses when Jayne finally spoke.

Shaken out of the twilight zone that existed between sleep and wakefulness, he leaned back and looked down at her.

Seeing the fear in her eyes, he realized what he’d been doing.

Pushing away from her, he moved across the room and tried to wipe the evidence of his crime from his lips.

By the time he looked back, she was gone.

Cursing himself for his lack of control, Gabriel quickly pulled on some clothes and boots before heading out to find her and apologize.

Jayne didn’t seem to be heading back to her cabin, instead her trail wandered aimlessly through the trees.

He followed it until he saw her standing shirtless, leaning against a tree, the bandages that he’d put around her abdomen laying on the ground.

Moving towards her, he saw Jayne look up at him, her cheeks stained with tears as blood ran from the wounds she’d made yesterday, the nails and fingertips of her right hand covered with blood as well.

It dawned on him that she’d clawed her cuts open.

Concerned, he tried to reach for her, but Jayne backed away.

“Don’t,” she hissed, pulling away from him.

Without another word, she scooped up her top and walked away leaving Gabriel in stunned silence watching her disappear into the trees.

Reaching her cabin, Jayne went to her bathroom and pulled out her bottle of rubbing alcohol. Taking a towel, she held it under her lowest cut and poured the clear, stinging liquid over the whole area until the cloth was saturated. She then pressed the towel over the wounds and pressed it in until she saw stars.

With no regard for the pain, she wiped the area clean and applied a fresh dressing.

Looking up, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and was so overwhelmed by the sight of how ugly she looked, her face pail from the pain, her cheeks streaked with tears and dirt.

Screaming, she shoved her fist through the glass wishing she could demolish herself at the same time.

She had nothing, she was nothing, even another pack outcast like her found her disgusting.

The anger at herself for being stupid, she started collecting the pieces of glass and throw them away.

Finally calm, Jayne decided to restart her day. She pressed her side until the pain cleared her mind and headed to the kitchen to figure out something for breakfast.

After she’d managed choke down a breakfast bar, she carried her cup of coffee to her work table and began loading batteries into the cameras she planned on placing around the area where the wild wolves had been seen hoping to pinpoint the location of their den.

When that was accomplished, she pulled out her topographical map and made marks where she planned to place them. If she left at first light tomorrow, she would only have to spend one, maybe two nights roughing it to make the whole circuit.

Retrieving her laptop, Jayne began making sure that each of the cameras could connect to the satellite and she could download any images.

Cascade Mountain Range - Wolf Study Project

Day 3 - September 17th, 2021

Camera's have been charged and tested. I was able to download test shots via satellite.

Planning to head out at first light tomorrow to make sure I that I can get all the camera placed before first snowfall.

I've marked topographical map with twenty-four locations for placement.

Once I have a better idea where the den is located, I will move misplaced cameras to said area to begin in-depth study of pack behavior and impact on local flora and fauna.

Jayne knew she should probably do more work, but with everything she'd put her body through the last few days she decided to have a quick dinner and call it an early night.

Stretching from her hunched over position, Jayne winced in pain having forgotten the cuts she'd aggravated earlier that day.

"Fuck," she hissed out loud, quickly wrapping her arms around herself.

Closing her eyes, she rubbed her hand across her forehead, breathing deeply until the pain stopped.

While she usually relished the pain her cuts caused, she hadn't been expecting it when she stretched.

Finally able to move, she went into her small kitchen and looked through the cabinets and fridge trying to decide what to eat.

Not seeing anything that tempted her, she opted to pack her rucksack for her trip instead.

With her study equipment, overnight supplies, change of socks and underwear, food and sample kits, her pack ended up weighing almost ninety pounds.

"Damn lithium batteries," she sighed, hefting the back on her shoulders to test the weight. "It's gonna be a long trek."

Unpacking the bag, she tried to see if there was anything she could take out, but aside from some her small one person tent, there wasn't anything she couldn't do without.

Shaking her head, she repacked everything and set the bag by the door so she was ready to go in the morning.

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