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A friend- chapter 4

"Hello little wolf, I'm Koby, where do you come from?" .
Such innocence in his little eyes, no fear at all.
I tell Azeera she needs me to be me again so we can talk to Koby, Azeera totally ignores me and grabs a mouth full of the iv line and gently pulls it out for him.
Koby didn't even flinch, such a brave boy.
With his brown scruffy bowl like hair, and his big baby brown eyes, he looks maybe 7 years old at most. He was wearing the same gown I had on earlier. Then I noticed a little blood trickling down his forearm. The mark where the cannula was didn't have any pressure to build a clot to stop it from bleeding and I panic seeing the blood, hoping his ok. Azeera licks his wound and that's when Koby notices the blood, not fussed at all he just wipes himself clean and hops off the bed.
"I've been trying to mind link my pack but I'm too far, wherever we are wolf, we are far from my house." Koby says as he slowly limps over to the door, holding it open, he asks me with his eyes if we can leave.
Azeera walks right over to him, and crouches allowing Koby to hop on.
Looking out the door to the hall again where we leave two motionless, limbless bodies, Azeera carefully walks over them and to the exit sign.
Koby leans in and opens the door, his body so small and fragile that the door seems too heavy for his poor frame. Azeera puts her nose between the gap of the door and frame and uses her head and neck to rip the door open with such force the door swings open with a bang when the door meets the back wall.
The light is bright, a set of metal steps head straight down to the ground level outside at a loud road.
This is an apartment building i realise and we were only on the second floor with many floors above us. I new I would be coming back, looking around with Azeera taking in pictures in our mind so we can remember this apartment and come back for others when the time is right.
For now we must help little Koby find home.

Azeera must have just realised she was out in the open air, in front of humans. And I also just took the first breathe of fresh air and also realised, I must not be one of them, pure human.
Azeera took one look toward her back at Koby and nodded with a warning she was about to go.
With that we gallop down the steps, touching only every 4th step as we leap and bound and hit the grass running.
Deciding to not cross the road that looks as though it heads into town, we head the opposite direction which looks to be a lonely road, and only a few houses on the block before it starts to open up and I can see a sign.
Oakland, okay we need to head this way I say to Azeera.
Azeera listens and takes stride.
I've been around towns with my family, we holidayed alot, my parents wanted me to explore as much as I could. Meet new people everywhere. But we always came back home.
Grateful that happened as I vaguely remember the way home, a 16 hour drive or so, yet we are on legs. Well at least four legs instead of two. And I start to ponder how fast we can move.
Azeera must be listening because she takes off faster, pumping her legs more and more as she take directions from me and we start to slowly make the long way home.
Koby has fallen asleep snuggled up in Azeera's fur.

After running a few hours, we reach Nashville.
Azeera needs a rest and I really need to have a talk with Koby, find out what he knows, why he isn't scared of Azeera and more importantly where he is from so we can return him to his loving family whom I'm sure are so concerned for his well-being.
We stop off at the back of a service station. The neighbours have washing hanging out and I ask Azeera to take me over their fence, with no hesitation she pops over the into the strangers yard and grabs some items off the line, then quickly we bounce back over the fence line and head into a toilet cubicle once again at the back of the station. Placing Koby on the floor as she crouches, Azeera needs a rest so I come forward as she curls up in the dark of my mind.
And then the horrible feelings and noises start as im once again flesh instead of fur covered.
I reach for the freshly washed clothes and chuck an oversized t shirt and some baggy shorts on.
Not really my upbeat style of clothing but also better than being naked and changing to and from a wolf your clothes are sort of shredded.
Koby woke when the noises started of my coming back to being myself started and he waited and stayed staring at the ground until I was dressed.
When I leant down my human hand to him and helped him up off the floor.

Koby looked up smiling and hugged my knees.
"What's your name? And your pretty you know? Your wolf is really cool, you know she likes me i reckon." He said smiling at me.

" oh you think do you Koby" I retaliated giggling at his positivity toward my wolf. "Azeera is taking a liking to you for sure, I'm Isla and thank you for saying im pretty. You're rather adorable, and how old are you Koby?"

We start to walk out from the cubicle and out to the front door, into the diner where I order us a meal and milkshakes. I don't have money so we will have to run like hell when they realise and we have finished, but ill take the chance as we cannot afford to starve after all of this.

"Well I'm 9 but ill be 10 soon, and my brother is 19 and then there's mum and dad, and..."
Koby trails off but his saddened face gets me worried.

"What is it Koby?" I ask like an over protective mother.

"My family, I just want to go home. Where are we?" He stammered.

"Oh well see Azeera needed a rest and so we are at Nashville, where are you from so I can get you home?" I am hoping Koby knows where he is from. We sit at the booth opposite each other. His head just above the table.

"The Ironclaw pack" he puffs his chest out so proudly as he says it.

"Right and what exactly is this pack for?" I ask wondering how this kid can remember a kids club name but not the town his from?

"Mmm its our wolf pack Isla, your silly, what's your pack called?" He grins at me.

"Oh so you belong in a pack of wolves, so your one too? Wait thats what i am? Am I?"
I start questioning this boy and realisation hits me again, but this time I have the chance to take it in and ponder on these answers.

"Well yeah, that's her, Azeera. She's your wolf, and she lives uh in your brain I think. Mum tried to tell me, but I don't get mine till I'm older. Dad said at 18 ill be able to let him come forward sometimes you get to talk to them younger in your head and I can't wait." Koby says ecstatically.

This kid is seriously eager to become a wolf, I mean, I see why, Azeera is amazing but isn't this all written in the goosebumps books and we are the bad bits? The wolves are howling and scary.
"Do we eat people?" I literally blurted out before I even had a chance to process that a little better.
The people behind us look over the booth and then just slowly turn back as I try to give off a little laugh that says "I'm kidding"

Koby looks shocked too and then instead of answering the question he asks another, "did you know you had a wolf?"

"No" I simply return and stare at the plate of breakfast the older lady serves us up along with our strawberry shakes.

"Oh its okay, we can learn things together on our way home. I don't know a lot but mum always made sure I know enough so I wasn't scared when I first meet my wolf and change"
Koby says with a full heart of love.

"Thanks Koby that would be fun, hey let's eat real fast and then we shoot off out the back door and you ride Azeera again yeah?" Hoping he won't notice thats theft and we are doing a runner!

We shovel down the pancakes, eggs and bacon and slurp up all the milkshake until there's nothing left we aren't sure when we even ate a real meal that filled up our bellies last.
Then we smile, nod and make a break.

Outside the back door and I pull the clothes off so fast but I can hear yelling, they figured out we've left. I shake Azeera in my mind, please help, come on girl, let's go.
Azeera is snoozing and not budging.
I'm getting worried and then Koby looks at me, behind him I see a man come from the back door he latches both his hands onto Koby's shoulders and tries to pull him away from me.
Azeera wakes, she comes forward in anger and I welcome her to the party finally.

"Let him go, I'm warning you." I try to scare off the innocent human who is just trying to get us to pay for the meals we have taken. But we can't get stuck here, and I cannot pay him.

The gentleman let's go, he doesn't want a fight, so he asks politely " where are you headed today?"

I'm shocked but I reply that we don't have the money and we are runaways from home who are just trying to get back.

This gentle giant takes a big breath in and slumps his shoulders forward as he let's the air escape his mouth.

"I know, life is tough, take what you need, but pass on this kindness, that's all I ask." He brings a small smile to the corner of his lips and I promise him I will.

We escape unscathed, and we start the next leg of the race back home.
Azeera taking the lead again with Koby riding freely.

When we finally reach Foot Hills State Forest, along the road, Koby asks me to leave him here.

"If you don't have a pack Azeera, that makes you a rogue, and I don't want anyone to hurt you."
Koby says, with a sad smile.

I was saddened, I felt Azeera hurt too, she leaves and I'm forced to be me. After all the bones finish re aligning I'm naked again. Koby runs to the tree's and grabs an oversized t-shirt for me. I can't help but look shocked, what is a rogue, and why would I hurt him when I just saved his life?!

Koby seeing the confused look, says " maybe its best you do come with me, I'm really not sure you'll last out here alone, as a rogue. My brother, will help teach you things."

So we continue the walk on our human legs, together.

Within minutes of walking we hear a howl, coming right up ahead. Its almost nightfall, the sun is set, and I'm petrified of who is awaiting Koby's return.

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