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Chapter 25

Song: Hans Zimmer - Time.
Play when told, or don’t.

Jayson’s P.O.V

I’ve been running for two days, the longest I’ve ever been in wolf form. My legs had gone numb some time yesterday, my mouth dry in desperate need of water and the rest of my body screamed for me to stop.

Don’t even think about it - Roger growled viscously in my head.

I won’t - I snap back, even though I wanted nothing more than to stop and take a break.

But I couldn’t.
I had to keep him safe.

I didn’t have to look at him to know that he was still crying. He’d been crying since the moment I laid eyes on him, a sight which pained me more than I knew it could. It was like a burn that festered continuously, never dwindling.

I dreamt of meeting him for years. Seeing how he’d changed since the first moment I had the pleasure of laying eyes on him. I dreamt of many different first interactions; ones where he was just as happy to see me as I was to see him, others where we grew close as friends first, ones where we were a little awkward and took it slow, but not one of those many fantasies included our pack in flames and his face laced with tears.

I never dreamt it’d hurt this much.

I wanted to comfort him, to make it all better. But I couldn’t even begin to start unravelling the damage the attack would have on him. I had to keep him safe above everything else. I would get us as far away from our pack as physically possible, even if that meant running until I couldn’t anymore.

I’d do anything to keep him safe. Anything.


I’d fallen and managed to stumble on a few times now and every time, getting up was even harder than the last. I slowed my pace considerably and I knew if I kept going I’d put us in greater danger if I couldn’t move.

Looking around carefully, I search for a safe, hidden place we could rest. I followed the sound of rushing water, relieved to eventually find a stream which fed nearby plants some of which included food plants I recognized.

I took a quick break to lap up as much water as my stomach would let me before letting Levi do the same, though he didn’t drink much.

I understood why.

I keep moving until I spot a high clifftop with an opening that could be a cave. I hoped, no prayed, to Goddess above that it was.
If it were, it would hide us well enough and protect us from any oncoming storms. Nobody would be able to see us and I’d already made sure to mask our scent every couple hours, so nobody could sniff us out.

Trodding my way up the steep cliff, I take careful steps, watching for loose rocks. My muscles cried out for relief but I needed to make sure he was safe first, then I’d rest. Only then.

When I finally reached the top, a wave of relief flooded me at the sight of a wide, empty cave.

I sniff it out to make sure we weren’t entering another animal’s home. I looked through every crevice for any sign of life or habitude, whining in relief when I found none.

It was vacant.

Pressing my paws down, I lay close enough to the floor for Levi to slide off easily and he did just that. But as I rose, he kept a firm grip on my dark fur, my eyes met his teary ones and I could see exactly what he was silently begging me not to do.

He didn’t want me to let go.
I wouldn’t dare.
I would never let go.

I shift then, needing so desperately to rest and now that I knew we were safe, my body was quickly shutting down. I sink to the floor and drag myself to the back of the cave, resting my back on the hard surface. Levi follows closely, his grip tight as he stares at me with those big eyes I wished weren’t so broken.

“We need to rest, both of us.” I say, gently patting the spot beside me. He sat quickly but whimpers when his back met the cold, rigid wall. I immediately pulled him into my lap so that his legs dangled on each side of my own. His small arms circled me and buried his face into my chest, small and desperate hiccups shaking against me as he cried into himself until he fell asleep. To my relief, for the first time in four days, he stopped crying.

The wave of relief at that sight alone was enough to calm my mind. I closed my eyes and let myself rest as well. Goddess knows I needed it.

-------------------- play song

My eyes dart open at the sound of sobs which belonged to none other than Levi, I glance around quickly for him, startled and panicked to find my lap empty.

I almost didn’t see him, my eyes washing over the small figure in the back. He was in the opposite corner of the cave, knees tight to his chest as he cried into himself, shaking uncontrollably in his spot.

I made my way to him, reaching my hand out to touch him but he immediately withdrew, looking up at me with a river of tears I wished I could calm.

It pained me. Ached me to see him so broken, so fragile and weak. In need of so much I couldn’t offer, things I wish I could offer.

“Levi.” I call and he hiccups into another heart-wrenching sob.

“I w-want mama.” He cries through his sobs, his words barely understandable through his heaving. “I want mama...... a-and papa..... I-I want to go home.”

My outstretched hand dropped instantly, despair and defeat flooding me quickly. I couldn’t give him any of that, no matter how much I wished that I could. I wish I could give him his parents, my alpha and luna, I couldn’t.
I couldn’t risk going back to the home he so gravely mourned, even if by some grace of Goddess herself it was still standing, I couldn’t risk it. Not with what laid out there.

“Levi, I’m sorry.” I say causing him to break down even further with a new wave of sobs. “I’m sorry, but it’s just me and you now.”

“I want papa.” He sobbed again.

I didn’t know how to make this better. How to possibly make him stop crying, how to take away his suffering. If possible, I’d add his own pain to my own, in any shape or form it came. I’d take it all, take whatever he couldn’t bare and even more. I’d make it easier for him.

He buries his face back between his arms which circled his knees, making him almost disappear with the little light the night sky provided in this dark cave.

With almost all hope lost, no solutions or quick fixes, a memory resurfaces.

“You do have your papa.” I say, my voice cracking with my obvious desperation. His eyes raise to mine, his lips trembling as he frowned slightly in confusion. “He’s right there.” I say pointing to his chest and he quickly lays his palm over his chest.

“Papa.” He sobbed clenching onto his shirt desperately.

“He said that he’d always be with you, right there.” I remind him. Recalling the promises he made to him only a few days ago, in the midst of all the destruction and misery, he’d managed to calm his son enough to reassure him that we’d make it out okay. I just wish we all did. “Remember?”

He nods frantically and I open my arms for him. With smaller sobs, he retakes his position in my lap where he held onto me for dear life. I retook my position against the cave wall, rubbing his back gently as I rest my head against the cold surface.

“I’ll protect you Levi.” I whisper as his sobs quiet down, exhaustion surely weighing him down. “Once we stay together, we’ll be okay.”

“P-Promise?” He asks peeking up to look at me, his chin resting on my chest. His bright green eyes wide and glistening before me.

“Promise.” He stares at me for a long moment before tucking his head back into its place.

It took longer this time for him to fall asleep. But eventually, he did and only then.... only then did I let my own tears run.

The walls holding them back, broke and crumbled into nothing as the reality of it all sunk in and I couldn’t hold it back.

They were gone.

They were all gone.
A-All of them.

Clenching onto Levi, the only anchor I had left after losing everyone. I cried.
Long, unruly and uncontrollable tears ran down my face accompanied by my wretched sobs. I bit into my hand to silence myself, not wanting to wake Levi when he was finally at peace.

But it didn’t stop.

The sorrow came hard and fast and so did the memories of that horrid night. That despicable night in which I lost it all. I saw my father, fighting to protect my sister and me, only to be torn down by three rogues.

I saw their teeth sinking into his flesh and tearing it out, some them break his bones like feeble twigs. I saw the light leave his eyes as he left us.

I sobbed and wailed, hating myself for not being able to fight back, for not being able to protect him the way he’d always protected me. The way he’d done that, right until his last breath.

...there was nothing you could do - Roger reminds me, his voice heavy with grief.

That doesn’t make me feel any better

Alpha Reyez saved my sister and I, but he couldn’t protect both of us.

My heart clenched and unclenched, thumping vigourously against my chest as it all came crashing down on me.

I felt my heart splitting until it shattered, the feeling just as torturous as the feeling of the pack link breaking through as every member was slowly struck down, one by one.

Only Levi and I were left, but he was too young to use the pack link, so it was just me.

Just me.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.

Levi wasn’t supposed to meet me like this, so young. He was supposed to meet me when he was old enough, in a ceremonial gathering where the Alpha and Luna gave us their blessings while my sister and father watched, happy for me, proud of me. We were supposed to spend every day after that getting to know one another

.....we were supposed to be happy.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.
None of this was in the plan.

But I couldn’t change the past, I couldn’t fix this. This was it, there was nothing I could do to make it all better.

The only thing I could do was mourn them. So I did.

I cried for my dad, my sister, my home, the pack.

I cried for my life before the rogues came.

I cried.

I cried and cried until my eyes became heavy and sleep took me away from the reality I never wanted to return to.


First sneak into Jayson! Jayson with Levi after the Prolouge.

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