The Moon Baby

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Chapter 31 - Safe

Illyria’s POV

I ran all night. Well, it at least seemed like it was all night. It had to have been several hours at least. Time isn’t exactly a thing that you think about when you’re running for your life. It’s all about getting the hell away from whatever you are running from. Yay survival instincts.

My entire body hurt so much, but I wouldn’t stop, I couldn’t. I keep checking up on the names of the different towns that I passed so that I could keep tabs on where I was. More specifically I was keeping up with my directions so that I could make it back home. The nice part about this area was that there were a decent amount of small towns.

I had passed half a dozen those as I zig zagged across the area. It would take more time to get back to RiverRun this way, but if Riley was going to track me, and I wasn’t betting on her not, I was going to make it damn hard for her to do. Scenting me out wouldn’t be hard for her, not with her training and the fact that she had spent too much time up close and personal with me recently.

I would have some concerns about running around populated areas, but towns out in these areas were few and far between. If it wasn’t a pack territory then it was a tiny town. And I could sniff and tell what was and was not a pack territory. The place Riley had stashed me didn’t have any other packs between it and RiverRun, thank the Goddess. That made it infinitely easier to keep doing what I was.

That’s all I would need, to cross over into another pack’s territory, probably be hunted down, and more than likely have to explain what the hell was going on. Nope, that was way too dangerous, too many variables there. I didn’t know any of the politics involved with RiverRun. Treaties or otherwise, such as hostile situations for instance, hadn’t been something I had looked into yet. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, I should have started spending time with my boys as soon as I could, to learn these things. I should have spent time with them while they were going over pack details. Then maybe I could have taken refuge somewhere closer, somewhere safe.

Nope, my thoughts had drifted into touring the territory. That’s all well and good and there’s nothing wrong with it, but I should have tried to do both. Had I spent any time with my boys, I would be better prepared.

My Boys. I wanted to see them so bad right now. I just wanted them to cuddle with me and make the pain of this whole experience go away. I wanted Damien talking about whatever stupid plan he’d have now to protect me. I wanted Ian to hold me, his silent way of doing the same.

That’s what is motivating me right now, getting home. That’s the only motivation I really needed too. Getting back to them, to their safety, to protect the pup. That was all I needed.

I had no idea what time it was when I eventually ran over a pack boarder. You can always tell based on scents. Packs tend to do that, scent their territory. It was a good thing too because if another wolf crossed that line, well, they’d know it. Meaning it would be intentional. No chance that it was a stupid mistake.

I’m pretty sure, hopefully sure, that this is RiverRun’s Territory based on my memories of where I was at, but I’m also so damn fuzzy right now that I could be wrong. I hope not, but I’m so damn tired that I can’t honestly be sure. I had done a lot of touring with Tori, but it wasn’t like we went from edge to edge. No that would have given my mates heart attacks. So all I had to go on was my general knowledge of the territory and scent.

I kept running towards the center of the territory, where the pack house is or should be. As I do so, I smell and start to sense other wolves approaching. Since I’m not slowing down, they give chase. Good wolves, they should do that.

Any wolf that they didn’t know, crossing the border, should be chased down. You would never know what an unknown wolf was after or what their intentions were. Rogues didn’t stop until they hit their goal either.

I can’t mind link anyone since I’m not part of the pack and I don’t know who knows my smell so I don’t dare stop either. My wolf is speedy so I’m able to outrun them pretty easily. I can’t take the chance that there will be someone with them that knows my scent. Most of them may know what I look like, but I didn’t know their protocol and they could pounce before they realized who it was. No matter though, I knew they were raising alarms. That would only make more come out and either someone would know my scent or I’d have a bunch of very defensive wolves on me. No chances here.

The only guaranteed safety is getting to the pack house so I can shift. Hopefully, someone will be awake to help me because I’m not going to last much longer. I knew the wolves around the pack house, they knew me. That was why it was the only guarantee.

More howls are erupting and the patrols are coming at me. Now I know that they don’t recognize my scent. I mean, to their credit, it may have changed a bit already. Either that or whatever Riley did to get me out of the pack territory without them tracking me still hasn’t fully worn off.

She had said that her concoction had worn off enough that she could tell I was pregnant but would that translate to those around me? I zoned out for a few moments until I felt someone try to catch my hind leg with their teeth. Try is the key word as I avoided it and might have kicked the wolf in the snout. I didn’t mean to but it is what it is. Again, survival instincts here. I’d apologize later.

That act also basically told me that they had no idea about who I was. If they had, there would be no nipping. No, they’d all be doing what they could to signal me instead. No wolf would nip at their Luna intentionally. Not unless they were wanting to die.

More warning howls were being directed at me. You can tell a lot from the sounds that wolves make. Even without being able to mind link, you can tell angry or irritated wolves from the growls they let out. You can also tell that they are trying to warn an intruder to stop with their combined growl and howls. All of this as happening and it was pointed at me.

Well just fracking great. Yay and all that. Too bad I’m not going to listen to any warnings. Even if I wanted to howl back, I was too tired to do anything but run.

I wondered for a minute if they had any hesitation given my coloring. I know I am a bit dirty at this point, but you can’t mistake this fur damn it. It must not be something they’re registering through, because it sure wasn’t stopping them.

Patrols must have been upped and continue to be heavy after Riley took me. This was another point of hindsight is that the pack would have no idea what my wolf even looks like. No one had seen her. Hell, most of the pack hadn’t even met me until a few nights ago. Goddess being naive sucks right now.

I have to start weaving around as wolves come at me, some even trying to jump on me. I don’t dare stop. I know no one would harm me if they knew who I was, but until they could see me and know, they could be aggressive. I didn’t need anyone else bruising me. The likelihood was that if I stopped and attempted to shift, I would get rolled over if not bit, mid-shift. The worse part is that when wolves feel there is an intruder amongst them, one that isn’t stopping and could be a risk, they’ll go for areas to incapacitate the wolf first. They’d go for legs, the neck, or even the stomach...I can’t have them do that.

I had to appreciate how much these patrols were seriously working now. I know I’m fast and the likelihood of them catching me is slim, but hell are they trying hard. Hopefully, I’d be able to get to my mates and tell them to applaud everyone before they starting biting heads off. I didn’t doubt that those two would go a bit crazy about this mess.

After some pretty extensive tuck and weave maneuvers, and probably now a good two dozen wolves chasing me around, I see the pack house. I’m 100% taking them all for a weird roller coaster ride as I continue to move around the area toward my goal. After this is all over, we may have to have a talk about how to address an actual intruder pulling something like this. Right now though, I’m happy they haven’t figured out a way to stop me. Again, they are doing really, really good, I’m just better.

My best bet is to get to the stairs, shift as I keep moving and try to get inside the doors. Warriors tend to see each other naked often, I know, but I really don’t want to be showing off any of my lady bits. I’m not ashamed of myself by any means, but I’m not an exhibitionist. Taking my chances I try and shift mid jump to the stairs. Except with how exhausted I was, that plan failed epically.

I got to the steps and went to shift, but the moment I did, I passed out.

I’m really sick of passing out.

I came to still feeling awful. I was getting pretty tired of waking up feeling that way too. I tried to open my eyes but everything was spinning around me, so I shut them again, immediately. I know I’m in a bed, pretty sure my bed based on the smell. Maybe? I can barely scent where I am and I can’t open my eyes. I move my hands around my middle, checking for any injuries. I remember my failed attempt to effectively shift and hope that no one attacked. What I don’t know is what happened after.

“Stop moving, you need to rest.” I think that’s...Laura? It’s definitely Laura. I can smell her, lightly, but I still can.

“Where am I?”

“You’re in your room. The patrolling warriors caught up to you as you shifted and lucky for you, the closest one to you when that happened was Jason. He immediately stopped everyone and then got you inside, then got us all up.” Thank the Goddess for that. Too bad I didn’t know he was there or I would have shifted sooner. Maybe. Maybe not though too.

“Who is us all? My vision is too blurry to open my eyes.”

“Well obviously me, then your mother, who is currently passed out in a chair across the room, Tori, who is sleeping next to you, and Kota, who is guarding the door. No one is leaving you out of their sights.” Laura explains.

I just hummed an acknowledgement. I’m honestly very happy to hear who is near me right now. I wanted to ask where my mates are though. Laura was already explaining things.

“I’m not going to ask how you’re feeling, you looked like absolute crap when we got to you. We know Riley did this; she had messaged Mark basically trying to trade you for a spot in their pack. Her intent was to trade you to just Mark and Daniel though. Unbeknownst to her, we were all together and working together, at least for the purposes of getting you back safely. I’m actually kind of impressed, no one had any issues about it, even after all that arguing. I will say, as a side note, that you’re the talk of the patrol group now. You and your super speedy trip through the territory.”

“What about my pup?” Everyone can be amazed about my running later, I cared more about what was going on around me right now. And as of right now, I still couldn’t sense anything and that was scaring the hell out of me.

“Calm down dear. We had the doctor come to check you out. We couldn’t tell the extent of any injuries and like I said, you looked awful. We had to get you all cleaned up and the doc says that you don’t have any broken bones but there is some pretty excessive bruising. That and you’re not in the best shape, he said it was obvious you’d been running for far too long.” She wasn’t getting to the part I cared about.

“Okay, fine, but my pup?”

“Sorry, I like getting everything out. The pup is fine. The doc did an ultrasound and even gave me a picture! Don’t worry it’s all yours. He did say that we need to get some major nutrients in you when you woke up before there is any real concern to the pup. So I’m going to help you sit up and help you eat some soup. I have a sandwich here too.”

Laura helped me sit up, which hurt, more than it did, um, yesterday?

“How long have I been gone, and how long has it been since I passed out? Where are Damien and Ian?” I was trying to open my eyes, one at a time, which seemed to help. I had just realized that someone had put clothes on me. And she hadn’t told me yet where my mates are.

“Damien, Ian, Charles, and your father went with Mark and Daniel to retrieve you and capture Riley. She’s going in front of the pack with backup from the counsel. She will be sentenced as soon as they get back. Evidentially when she showed up without you, they jumped her and forced her to backtrack so they could track you. But you, my darling, were already just about here I guess.” She chuckled at me. “It’s six am now, you got here at one-ish, and it’s been a few days since she took you. The men are all on their way back and should be here soon.”

Laura started helping me eat the soup and then handed me a sandwich to try and eat. I was so hungry that I downed them both. She told me I needed to pace myself so I didn’t get sick and held off giving me the other part of the sandwich. She did give me what seemed like a gallon of water to drink though.

“You need to lay back and rest more. There wasn’t any sign of a concussion so I’m going to let you sleep. I’ll wake you up in a few hours so you can eat again.” She worked to help me get back to laying down, asking me how much I remembered and talking to me about what they knew.

I got what I assume what the shortened version of events for what had transpired here after I was taken. At least I assume it was the shortened version since it was all of a few tidbits. Laura then asked me what had all happened that I remembered.

I told her everything, Riley injecting me with something, going in and out of consciousness while she was obviously driving, and of course, her insane rants. That part Laura had latched on to and had gotten pretty upset about. I’m sure it was because I told her everything that Riley had said to me. I mean everything. Mama wasn’t happy about any of this. In fact, mama looked like she wanted to tear someone up.

A bit of crying and some careful hugs later, I went back to sleep. All the while hearing Laura mumble how she was going to kill Riley and might just have to whoop the shit out anyone she could name, including her son.

I would have responded back that Riley was really the only one to blame for this aspect, but I couldn’t stay awake enough to respond to her mumbles.

I did; however, hear her telling everything to my mother, who had woken up. That made two incredibly upset females. I’m sure as soon as Tori was awake, that number would be upped to three.

I almost had pity for anyone that would walk into this room. I knew that Tori could get ugly and I had no doubt that my mother and Laura could get that way too. Female protective instincts and all.

I was obviously feeling at least safe because my thoughts were wandering and I was thinking about how I would love to be awake and have some popcorn when the next person walked in. I don’t think it would matter who it was, these three would go off on someone soon. It was boiling and Goddess protect anyone who pissed them off right now.

Yes, I was totally feeling a lot safer with these three surrounding me.

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