Logically, the woods which expanded beyond the pack shouldn’t have been different from the ones elsewhere.
Logically, they should look, smell and feel the exact same. The trees shouldn’t look more vibrant than any other.
But they did...
They looked so much more alive than any plants I’d ever laid eyes on. I tried to convince myself that I was imagining the slight glow that peeked through the cracks of the tree trunks. But I don’t think I was- I couldn’t be.
I couldn’t be imagining this scent. This mind-numbing scent that radiated throughout the entire space and held me captive.
My legs kept moving, excitement driving me forth in what ever direction my spirit led me. It was almost as if I was in a bubble of spectacular landscape that held me encased in a new world away from modernity, completely untouched by man and their inflictions.
Wow - Caspar whispers, making me jump a little as I look down at him. I’d completely forgotten he was beside me.
It’s so beautiful - I whisper back, foolishly scared of the possibility of completely shattering this dreamlike reality.
Cause that’s exactly what it was like- a dream.
A dream because for once in my life, in a place I knew nothing of and was foreign to, I was free. Completely and utterly free.
No obligations lingered in the air. No self-inflicted pressures tied me down. No saddening thoughts filled my mind. Nothing reminded me of who I was and all I’d gone through.
Nothing possessed my thoughts and I was left with an airy feeling of belonging. I belonged here- I could feel it deep in my veins and all the way in my bones. I belonged here and nowhere else.
The crunching of leaves suddenly pops me out of my carefree mindset. I spin on my heals quickly to look towards the direction the sound came from. Caspar stood in front of me protectively as we both take a defensive stance.
Our eyes stay glued to an arrangement of shrubs, the crunching and shuffling of leaves continuing. The thin hairs on my arm stand as a small dose of fear pumps it’s way into my veins.
What if it’s that thing?
No. No fucking way was it that beastly creature. I’d be dead by now if it were.
I cast the thoughts out of my head and take a gentle step towards the greenery. I immediately take one back as it shakes furiously and a pitiful squeal escapes from its depths, only for a small fawn to appear.
I release a heavy breath before letting my shoulders slouch as Caspar relaxed as well. I look to the small creature with a glare, mentally cursing it for making me so scared. But the feelings of hatred immediately fade away when those big innocent eyes look up at me.
I crouch down slowly and inch a hand towards it. To my surprise, the creature takes a step forward, tilting its head in the cutest way before taking another step. I stretch the tip of my finger a little but before my skin could meet its fur, Caspar jumps forth with a roar making the precious creature scurry away.
I turn to a now laughing Caspar, small meows escaping him as he rolls in delight.
“What is wrong with you?” I snap, ignoring his antics.
You know I love scaring animals - He replies with amusement lacing his words. Besides, you should only find me adorable.
“Goddess you’re a mess.” I sigh out in frustration. “Come on, let’s go.”
We make our way deeper into the woods that honestly felt like more of a jungle from the way loose vines fell from the abnormally large trees.
The sun shone through the leaves like single puzzle pieces scattered on the earth.
I kept looking over my shoulder, the feeling of eyes boaring into my back, intense and unimagined. But I refused to go explore what it could be. I’d watched enough movies to know that’s how you die. And despite how sad my life was, I liked living.
Time to head back - Caspar says gently once the three hours were up.
“I know.” I mumble sadly as I look around, desperate to mentally memorize the images.
I linger for a moment longer before turning and returning the way I came with Caspar at my side, equally as disappointed as I was.
But I’d be able to come back again, and that thought brought a smile back to my lips.
As I climbed the small molehill that rested before the border, voices came tumbling in and I couldn’t help but smile in recognition.
“Are you sure he read everything on the list?” Dad says, his voice reaching my ears loud and clear, immediately followed by an exasperated sigh. “What if he gets dehydrated?!”
“Then he’ll die.” Po deadpans making me smile oddly enough. “Jewels, stop stressing. He’s fine.”
“He was supposed to be here at four.” Dad insists further and I smile wider as the two come into vision.
Dad was standing with his arms intertwined with his mate’s, whom of which was holding him from behind, his eyes rolling in annoyance.
“He’ll be here any min-”
“Levi!” Dad all but screams as he tears himself from his mate and immediately comes barreling into my arms.
I chuckle loosely as I hug him back, the stinging in my spine a painful reminder of what I was. Thankfully he withdraws quickly, though his hands remain on me as he searches my face for pain or discomfort. His hands followed his eyes as he checks me about three hundred times.
“Dad,” I chuckle holding his wrists to stop him, “I’m fine.”
“Thank Goddess.” He says releasing a breath before walking me over the pack border. Everything was now noticeably a lot less lively than the place I’d just left.
“Ah shit, I was hoping you’d die out there.” Aiden says sadly and Julian punches him angrily. “Shit. Babe, I’m just kidding.”
“It’s fine dad.” I say stopping him from hurting the adult baby any more.
“Let’s go home.” Julian sighs, wrapping a loving arm around my shoulder.
Caspar pounces on Aiden who curses loudly before shifting. The two wrestle and play for a bit before running off back to the house. I laugh to myself before I pay all my attention to dad.
“So, how was it?” He asks withdrawing his arm from me.
“Amazing.” I basically swoon as images of what I just left behind fill my mind.
“So there’s no way you’re not going back?” He questions skeptically and I shake my head no. “I always knew I couldn’t keep you from there forever. For now, I’m just happy you’re safe.”
“I didn’t run across it.” I say to emphasize just how okay I was, but he only tensed in response.
“That’s good. I don’t know what I’d do with myself if anything ever happened to you.” He says truthfully and I smiled weakly at him. “I love you so much Levi.”
“I know dad. I know.” I say truthfully as I pull him into a hug, ignoring the pain and soaking in the pleasure instead. “I love you too.”
“I refuse to cry.” He says after a moment once he pulls away with a small glare to himself more than for me.
“That’s impossible.” I say making him raise a brow. “You’re kind of a crybaby.”
Before I could dodge his outstretched leg, I find my face kissing the dirt while he just continues to walk forward as if he didn’t just trip me.
“It’s annoying how many people forget I’m an alpha.” He groans blankly, looking at me from over his shoulder. “Make the same mistake again and I’ll do much worse than trip you.”
“I’m your son.” I say in place of an excuse.
“And?” He muses and I shiver in fear. He chuckles at this and keeps walking. “Come on, let’s go home.”
“What was it like?” Josey asks.
“Was it scary?” Hagen shoots out, pushing her aside.
“Was it pretty?” Josey asks pushing him away.
“Did you see a lion?” Hagen asks causing Josey to turn to him with a frown.
“Yes Einstein. He saw a Lion in the forest.” She deadpans before rolling her eyes and looking back at me. “How was it?”
“It was great.” I chuckle out as I look around at my eager siblings. “Really, really great. I’ve never seen so much open, fertile land before. It all just felt so peaceful, I don’t know... it just... e-everything is just so... natural. Like nobody’s ever touched it before.”
Hagen, Peter and Josey look up at me with absolute wonder and amazement in their eyes.
“Did you meet Tinker Bell too?” Damon shoots and I roll my eyes.
“Demon, go back to hell and shut the fuck up.” Josey growls before looking back at me. “I’m happy you enjoyed it Levi.”
“Thanks Jo.” I say reaching a hand out to squeeze her shoulder gently.
“Boo-Hoo.” Damon cuts in. “Did you or did you not see that son of a bitch?”
“Damon, would I be alive and talking to you right now if I did?” I question and he rolls his eyes before walking away angrily.
“Josey and I are going for a run, we’ll see you later.” Hagen says before walking away with his twin.
I look down at Peter, him being the only one remaining. He looks up to me, biting his lip before asking what I knew he’d been dying to since I got back.
“D-Did you see any b-bunnies?” He stutters out with hope engulfing his bright blue eyes.
Peter loved bunnies.
I had no idea why or where the obsession came from, but the kid loved bunnies.
As a kid, the few occasions where he’d actually leave the house, it was to go look at bunnies.
But a couple years back, when he saw a pack member sinking its teeth into a bunny, he kind of lost his shit.
It didn’t help that less than a month after that, all of the species that previously lived in the extensive pack lands disappeared.
So yeah, even though I didn’t see one today, there was no way I was killing his dreams of seeing another bunny in the wild.
“Yeah. I’ve never seen so many in one place.” I say enthusiastically and he lights up like a lantern, air seeming to fill him as he stands taller.
“Really? Levi, really?” He questions taking a step forward.
“Yeah, they were really friendly too.” I add and he releases a small squeal. He mutters something I didn’t understand before running away towards his room.
“Now I’m going to have another kid on my ass to get out there.” Dad grumbles as he leans against the doorframe.
“I apologize in advance for the additional wrinkles.” I reply and he frowns. “I’m heading out with Sam tonight. I’ll probably crash at her place.”
“Yeah no problem kid.” He says swatting me off. “Just don’t do anything your dad over there would do.”
“He’s not that bad.”
“Because having a tree branch knock you out of a car isn’t that bad.” He deadpans and I laugh.
I’d heard the story of dad’s first party enough times to re-tell it by heart and I loved hearing it again every time.
“Well, I’m going to get some, so I’ll see you later.” He says patting my shoulder.
“What is wrong with you?!” I groan loudly in disgust. He just keeps laughing heartily, heading in the direction of his awaiting mate.
Fast forward a few hours, a couple of shots and one mental breakdown later and Sam and I were dancing o the middle of the overly packed dance floor.
I wouldn’t lie to myself and say I was a good dancer, but I wouldn’t say I was a bad one either. Sam on the other hand- she moved like liquid, as if she was connected to each and every beat.
I was one of the many tonight who envied her, especially the way she moved her body in such a sensual way that drew so many men in.
I hadn’t drawn in any guy, not that I was surprised. Finding a gay guy in this town was almost as hard as finding nemo.
I didn’t necessarily want to draw in alot, I just wanted a quick hook up with someone. To quickly sedate my growing needs and never see them again but apparently, Goddess wasn’t on my side.
“Would you please stop sulking!” Sam pants over the music as she ran a hand through her hair, sweat circling her forehead, her highlighted cheekbones glistening under the flickering club lights.
“Sorry!” I shout back, shaking my head in a physical attempt to clear my head.
“If you can think, you can drink!” She exclaims before dragging me to the bar.
She elbows her way through the crowd, kicking and pushing anyone who was in her way.
When we arrive at the counter, she drops her arms on the top and releases a ragged breath.
“Whose idea was it to come here? I’m tired.” She groans and I shoot her a hateful glare. She sends me a cheeky wink before waving a bartender over.
“Vodka or vodka?” Sam questions after flittering playfully with the man who was now waiting patiently despite the yells from several others.
“Ummmm, vodka.” I answer and she smiles.
“Great man you are, great man.” She mocks and we both laugh before she requests three shots for each of us.
This was going to be a long, long night.
End of double update! Cry face😭.
Did you like? Thoughts on everything and everyone?
I really hope you enjoyed!
I liked writing it.
I’m currently stranded at a Buffalo Wild Wings - stupid car won’t start 😰. Remember kids, fuck push ignitions.
Until next time,