Meet Me in the Woods

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Chapter 21

Nik’s POV

When I wake up I find myself tangled up in Ellie, my favorite place to be. The sun streams through the window and the clock reads 11:27 am. I have overslept but I know my body needed the rest. I feel refreshed mentally and physically.

My father pushes into my mind and I let him in. The snow storm has created a problem for all of us. It’s not going to be easy even in wolf form to go back but I know I need to.

Everyone is accounted for and the generators are holding up. You can stay with Ellie for now if you need to. How is her father?

Yeah, about that... there was a couple here when we came back last night. Raza and Mackenzie. They claim to have a cure or something for the physical sickness taking over wolves and humans who lose their mates.

How did they know of our existence? The people will be in danger. We can’t move them, the snow is too deep.

He says he is a doctor. He was raised on a reservation in the Dakotas.

Do you know what tribe?

No, but the man who raised him was called Amell. I came back to protect Ellie. I’m not sure I trust them.

Stay there. I will be there shortly.

His presence leaves and I’m left wondering what to do. I wake Ellie and we both get dressed and wait in the kitchen for my father. Everyone else is already up and eating lunch. Grams makes me a plate and I hug her. I love that meddling woman.

“Good afternoon love birds. Glad you could join the human race.” Grams snickers.

“I would’ve slept longer but I smelled your amazing dumplings cooking on the stove.”

“You know you don’t have to kiss up dear. I’ve always liked you. I’m just happy that someone’s willing to marry Ellie. Doesn’t hurt that you’re good looking either.” I can’t help but laugh. She knows exactly how to rile Ellie up.

“Grams! Am I really that terrible? I’ll have you know I dated a few people in college and they, okay, never mind. They thought I was weird.” Ellie sounds exasperated already.

“My point exactly.” Grams chimes in.

“Wait, you had boyfriends? How many? Where are they so I can kill them?”

“Nik, it’s not a big deal.”

“Uh, yes it is to me.”

“I never made it past a second date. I was too busy wishing you were there.” She kisses my cheek and I decide to let it go for now. I should’ve expected guys would try to get with her. She’s gorgeous, caring and smart but I never thought about it.

A knock on the door startles everyone. I clear my throat and every eye is on me.

“That would be my father.”

“I’ll make him a plate.” Grams heads to the stove and the awkwardness is tangible.

“Nate is here?” Greyson asks curiously. I nod.

“Well don’t leave him in the cold. It’s rude.” Leroy says and I walk to the door to let him in. His hair falls down his back and he wears a flannel shirt and black jeans. He slips off his boots and walks in, dusting the snow fro his clothes.

Everyone just stares and I feel like maybe I should’ve warned them. Dad raises a brow at the table and I shove my hands into my pockets wanting to disappear.

“Hello, Nate. Come on in. I’ll pull up a chair for you.” Ellie says and I smile gratefully. He smiles too.

“Thank you Ellie. I don’t want to impose. It seems Nik didn’t mention I was coming by.”

“That’s alright. You’re welcome here anytime.” Grams chimes in. Leroy gives her the eye and she gives it back. She wins the stare down and he goes back to his bowl of dumplings.

“Thank you. I’ve come to see how you are Greyson.”

“And to meet Raza I’m sure.” Leroy chimes in. Greyson smiles.

“Thank you, Nate.” Is all he says.

“I am curious about your friends here. That’s no secret.” Dad says and Raza smiles warmly at him.

“Hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you. This is my wife, Mackenzie.” They shake hands and spend the next few hours talking. Dad seems semi relaxed which I take as a small form of trust. I’m still leery of them but if he’s willing to listen I suppose I am.

“Well, I suppose if Greyson here is willing to try the medicine and it works I may be willing to do the same for my people. I would like you to meet with Winnie, she’s our only doctor right now.” They set up a meeting and then begin Greyson’s treatment.

“I have concocted a serum of wolfs bane, gingko and morphine. This helps with the initial burning sensation. I have found the person must be committed to surviving for the concoction to work. I’ll also put him on a bone broth cleanse so his body can release all of the toxins. We should see a transformation in about a month. For shifters it takes around a week.”

“How long will he have if this works?” Ellie asks eagerly.

“Until around April I would estimate. But of course that’s up to him. If he fights for time or not.” Mackenzie tells her. They inject him and he cries out as the serum flows through his veins. They hold him down until he falls asleep.

My father goes to leave and Ellie and I follow.

“We have to postpone the ceremony and wedding. I’m sorry son.”

“I understand.” I tell him.

“Nate, I would like to ask the council to consider burying my father with Raven and giving him a proper ceremony.” Dad looks angry and before he can shoot her down I chime in.

“She came to her at Robert’s funeral. She said she can only be with her mate if you will perform the ceremony. If not they can’t reunite.” I say and he sighs.

“You ask much of me, Ellie.”

“I know. And I wouldn’t have asked if Raven didn’t tell me to.” She whispers.

“Let’s just see if the serum works first.” He says and then leaves.

Ellie spends the day watching over Greyson and I ask many questions to Raza. He doesn’t seem so bad. He knows much about the tribes and their ways. If this works we could save lives. I tell Koda to bring Winnie so that she can meet them and maybe help them find an answer for those who lose their minds.

She arrives awhile after with snow in her hair and a curious look. It’s odd seeing our tribe here in this home. But it’s also a sign that they are willing to embrace a new beginning. Fate is a strange thing.
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