Two Hearts, One Soul

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Chapter 2

It rained overnight and the next morning, Sam was awakened to the sound of someone approaching the barn. She quickly shifted and tied her now dry clothes back around her leg and then shifted back. She sniffed the air and smelled a human. She peeked through the cracks of the barn wall to see if she could tell anything about him. He was an older man in overalls, a plaid shirt that was rolled up at the sleeves and a hat on his head. He had what looked like a shotgun on his arm. He was whistling as he walked through the field towards the barn. His eyes were on the ground but then suddenly he looked up at the sky and stopped to put his hand to his eyes.

Sam was torn between trying to run or to hide. If she was going to run, she needed to do it now. If she was going to hide, she needed to shift and get dressed. He might not hurt a girl but he more than likely would shoot a wolf. Sam didn’t have any experiences with humans and was afraid to risk finding out now when she was so close to being free.

That decided, she took a deep breath, squeezed through the opening she had come in and took off running. She heard the farmer swear and then she heard him cock his gun. She was running so fast that she was out of his range before he was able to fire but she heard him swear some very colorful language before she made it to the trees. She stopped to catch her breath and slow her heartbeat as she watched the farmer kick at the built up dirt and weeds away from the door and swing it wide.

She didn’t stick around to watch him anymore but took off to circle his property. Now that she had an idea of what direction she was going by the position of the sunrise, she knew which way she wanted to go. Her mother had come from the White Feather pack about 100 miles north east of the Red Moon pack. She was hoping to reach them and that they would be kinder than her Uncle Lou and would take her in.

The problem now was that she didn’t know if she would have to travel through any other pack territories to get to her mother’s pack and she was on constant alert for rogues. She wondered if she might be able to catch anything to eat as she had never hunted before. In reality the thought of catching and killing something like a bunny rabbit was totally disgusting to her. Maybe a fish?

She walked along, keeping all of her senses on alert, her eyes open for anything like berries or familiar roots she might be able to eat. Her mother had taught her a lot about herbology and plants when she was young and Sam cherished those memories of them spending time together in the garden outside of their home. Hopefully she would be able to count on those lessons now to keep her alive. With her nose and ears on alert for water, rogues or anyone who might hurt her she walked along searching for something to eat.

As she walked along she remembered her mother telling her about her old pack and about how hard it had been to leave them. She had shown her pictures of her parents and her friends and told her funny stories about things she and her best friend, Natalie had done together.

Sam had inherited her looks equally from her parents, but looked mostly like her mother, having inherited her facial features of large gray blue eyes, small button nose, and cupid bow shaped lips and her smaller stature. Her mom had only been 5’4” and was delicate but not skinny, like Sam had become, but that was mostly because she didn’t get enough to eat.

She had gotten her light caramel tan complexion and milk chocolate hair color from her father. But back then, her father and Alpha Raymond Glass had been in charge of the Red Moon pack and life had been good.

After Alpha Raymond and her father had been killed, her Uncle Louis Madison and his cronies, Raymond’s younger brother, Nelson Glass had taken over and the pack had changed. Uncle Lou was older than Alpha Nelson and basically took charge. It was more like Uncle Lou was the Alpha and Nelson was the Beta as Nelson followed along with just about everything Lou said.

Uncle Lou and Sam’s father had been born from two different mother’s and the two of them couldn’t have been more different in personalities. Sam’s father, Rafe Madison, had been kind and gentle but was strong and smart. His mother had been killed in an airplane accident when she was returning home from business across the country for Luna, who had been pregnant with her only daughter at the time. The baby died not long after it was born. Rafe had been just a toddler at the time and never remembered his mother but he had been quite close to his father.

Rafe’s father, Beta Nathan Madison, had been devastated but he pulled himself together because he had a young son to raise on his own now. He had remarried a couple of years later to a chosen wife. Sasha had been a beautiful woman but she had been greedy and felt their son, Lou, should have special privileges. She had been cruel and controlling to Rafe. She had favored her own son over her step son and let him know it at every turn. She had been killed in a car accident coming home from another unnecessary shopping trip not long after Rafe was killed. She had been quickly spending her way through the pack’s money on stuff she didn’t really need. Lou took after her a lot!

The two boys were only 5 years apart in age but had never really gotten along. Lou had always been jealous of his older brother because he got to do so many things before Lou was considered old enough to do them too. Uncle Lou was mean and cruel with the backbone of a jellyfish but he was a smart, conniving, manipulative bully who was as greedy as his mother. Lou had been very upset when Beta Nathan had chosen Rafe over him when Alpha Raymond’s parents retired and moved to Europe.

Sam finally found a big blackberry bush and filled up on them. Her fingers were purple afterwards and she had stained her clothes but at least they took the edge off of her hunger. She alternated between walking and running, mostly at night, for the next two days, finding whatever she could to eat and praying that she was going in the right direction when she came close to the edge of a small town.

She was having to zig zag back and forth to stay hidden and realized it was probably taking her a lot longer to reach where she wanted to go than it would have if she could stick to the main roads. She wondered if she had gotten off track by traveling at night so much but she always watched the sun come up and felt pretty confident that she was headed in the right direction, or at least she hoped so.

As the sun began to go down, the wind changed slightly and Sam could smell people’s meals cooking and the temptation to see if she could find something other than berries to eat became overpowering.

There wasn’t much there except for a gas station, a small truck stop diner and a general store along with a few houses, from what Sam could see. Sam was well hidden as she lay close to the ground in an empty lot behind the diner and watched people come and go in and out of the diner for a while and waited for someone to throw leftovers away. Hopefully she would be able to find something to eat that wasn’t totally disgusting. Her stomach growled as she waited to see if anyone brought out the trash.

The smells coming out of the diner were making her mouth water and she wished she had some money and could go in and order like everyone else. The last time she had had any money of her own was when her parents were alive and her father had given her twenty dollars to buy her mother a birthday present and then told her she could keep the change. It had only been a little over a dollar left and she had spent it on candy.

If she had some better clothes to wear, she would have considered asking if she could wash dishes or wait tables in exchange for a meal but as it was, the short shorts and tank top she had on was going to attract trouble for her, trouble she didn’t need. Her matted hair and the dirt on her skin wouldn't help any either.

She finally spotted the back door of the diner open and a short bald man came out and dumped what looked like some food scraps in the trash. Sam waited until he went back inside and then trotted down to investigate. Her luck was good. There was a half eaten hamburger right on top with a partially eaten baked potato. Sam quickly ate both of them and was just about to investigate more when the back door opened again.

The short bald man stepped out again holding a cigarette between his lips. He lifted his hand and lit his lighter before he noticed Sam, peeking around the trash can.

Sam crouched down, watching him and was surprised when the man smiled. “Hey, girl. What a pretty dog. Hungry girl?” He reached out to let her sniff his hand, curling his fingers in for protection.

She stepped forward and sniffed his fingers and wagged her tail. She let her tongue hang out the side of her mouth and gave her best “doggie smile”.

“I tell you what, you wait here and I’ll bring you some stuff you won’t have to fight the flies for. OK?” the bald man said with a gaping smile. Half of his teeth were missing and the ones that were left were yellow from years of smoking and drinking coffee but he had a kind face so Sam wagged her tail even harder and gave him a small yipping bark. She had never barked before so it felt strange but apparently he bought it. He put his cigarette down on a ledge by that back door and stepped back inside.

A few minutes later, he came back out with a foil pan that held a variety of meats and some potatoes and even some vegetables. He sat it down in front of her with a bowl of water and she allowed him to pet her on the head before she bowed her head and quickly devoured the food, keeping her eyes on the man the whole time. She lapped up some of the water and gave him another big doggie smile and he said “Looks like you were hungry. Did someone drop you off around here or”

Just then the back door opened again and a big fat man yelled at the small man “Henry! Your break was over 5 minutes ago. What the hell are you..........Hey! That’s a wolf!” The fat man bellowed, pointing at Sam.

“No it’s not. It’s just a dog. She’s really sweet!” Henry said as he watched Sam run away towards the woods.

She heard the fat man scolding Henry for not knowing the difference between a wolf and a dog. She growled low in her throat at the fat man but thankfully he couldn’t hear her. She started walking again, thinking she should run or she would never get there but she was so full!

She couldn’t help but wonder how far she had come and how much farther she had to go. She remembered her mother had told her that the White Feather pack was located near something with the word Lake in it but wasn’t sure of the full name or of how much farther she had to go.

She lost track of how many days she had been running and it didn’t really matter because she was free! The only thing was, she didn’t feel safe and it was so hard to find something to eat. She was so damned hungry and tired. She hadn’t been able to fall into a deep sleep in she couldn’t even remember how long, because she was constantly afraid. She was afraid of someone catching her or attacking her.

She had no idea what day it was or how long she had been on the run when she came up on another stretch of highway. After looking both ways and only seeing black top pavement and more trees, she decided to follow it to see if she could find a sign that would tell her something. She stuck as close as possible to the trees but kept getting a feeling that someone was watching her. She couldn’t tell what it was that had her on edge but something was making the hair on the back of her neck stand up, like it was telling her to be on alert.

Since she had shifted back to her human form while she was near the road and she had been walking and jogging in her human form but felt maybe it was time to get back in her wolf form. She could run faster as a wolf than she could as a human. She slipped back into the woods and stripped, tied her clothes around her leg then shifted and smelled water. She followed her nose, weaving her way through the trees until she found the source. There was a small stream running just inside the tree line and she was thirsty. She carefully watched the area around her, her ears standing straight up and twitching back and forth, listening to every sound in the woods as she drank.

Suddenly her heart beat jumped to almost double speed when she heard a twig snap to her right. She whipped her head around and saw a pair of red eyes staring straight at her. Rogue!

At the same time, she heard a low growl slightly behind her and then a flash of black fur leaped over her head and raced towards the rogue. Sam was stunned as she watched the huge black wolf attack the rogue. The rogue was almost as tall but was half the size in body weight and it was basically no contest. The two wolves tangled for a few seconds and then the black wolf snapped the rogue’s neck and threw him to the side.

Sam felt frozen in place as the large black wolf turned to her and she saw his eyes. They were golden and almost shining as he looked over at her. He slowly turned and stepped behind a tree and shifted. He untied the pants that had been tied around his ankle and pulled them on before stepping out to confront her.

He was as big in his human form as he had been in his wolf form except you could now see each muscle clearly defined and he bulged with them everywhere! She couldn’t look him in the face but her eyes wandered over really wide shoulders, massive long arms led down to some of the biggest hands she had ever seen. His hairless chest was impressive as were the ridges of muscles that lined his torso down in a tantalizing V that disappeared in the band of his low riding shorts. She forced her eyes down to huge muscular thighs and calves. The only part hidden from her view was the area his low riding shorts covered, but the tight material did nothing to hide a large bulge in the front that hung slightly down on to his thigh. She was afraid to look at his face. She had learned the hard way that looking a person of authority in the eye was disrespectful and painful.

He was amazed that she had not moved and seemed to be frozen in place as she inspected him.

“Shift!” He commanded.

Her eyes got wide and she shook her head.

“I said Shift!” He commanded again.

She shook her head and then turned in a circle. He understood that she wanted him to turn around first. He smiled and chuckled but did as she requested. He turned his back on her and heard some material rustling and then she whispered “Ok, you can turn around now.”

His eyes widened when he saw the tiny little woman with hair like milk chocolate and skin the color of pale caramel standing before him with her head slightly bent as if she was afraid to look him in the face.

“Thank you for saving me.” Sam whispered as she watched him through her lashes. She took a step back when he took a step forward but he stopped right away.

“You’re welcome. Who are you? What are you doing on our land?” He asked.

“My name is Sam Madison. I’m looking for the White Feather pack. Can you tell me if I’m close or not?” Sam replied, still not looking directly at him.

“Another mile or so and you would be at the pack house if you took the right fork in the road up here about a hundred yards around the next bend. Why are you looking for the White Feather pack?”

“My mother was originally from the White Feather pack. My parents are dead and I ran away from my old pack because they are cruel and abusive. I overheard the pack’s Alpha’s son when he said he wanted to make me a breeder. I was terrified the Alpha was going to allow it so I ran. I’ve been running for.......... I’m not even sure how now.” She said softly. “Can I talk to your Alpha please?”

“You already are.” He said. “I’m Alpha Matthew Stone.”

With that, Sam’s head snapped up and her eyes got wide as she stared at him for a moment before she dropped to her knees and bent her neck, showing submission to him. Her head swam at the quick movements and then everything went black.

~~~Matthew’s POV~~~

Matthew had spotted her about a mile down the road, weaving her way through the trees, staying close to the road as if she didn’t want to lose sight of it. He was deeper in the trees and the attraction he felt was undeniable but confusing. He had followed her as he wondered who she was? What was this beautiful golden caramel wolf doing on White Feather Pack land? Why had he not smelled her and why couldn’t he now? She had only the scent of a wild flower that he couldn’t identify right off the bat.

She was obviously not a rogue but he had not received any messages about a neighboring pack asking for permission for a member of their pack to cross his territory. She almost looked lost. He knew she was going to be reaching the entrance road to his property soon so he jogged slightly faster, wanting to get ahead of her so that he could meet her at the entrance but kept a close eye on her.

He had received a report earlier of a rogue in the area and wanted to be sure that no harm came to her before she reached her destination. He hadn’t been able to catch her scent yet, like she had hidden it, which made him more curious about her.

Suddenly he smelled something else. He stopped in his tracks and looked around. He saw the female wolf stop at the small stream that ran along the edge of the tree line to take a drink. She was obviously on alert because her ears kept twitching. He saw her lift her head and then freeze. Her eyes were wide and were the most beautiful blue he had ever seen. He heard the twig snap and he snapped his head around. The rogue! He was less than fifty yards from her and crouched as if he was going to attack. Matt was about a hundred yards away from him but he used his Alpha speed to quickly close the distance.

Matt ran towards them, coming up behind her, he jumped over her head and charged the rogue. The rogue was seriously malnourished and no contest for him. Within less than a minute, he snapped the rogue’s neck and tossed him to the side. Then he turned towards the golden wolf and realized if they were going to be able to talk, they needed to shift first. He stepped behind a large tree and quickly untied the shorts he had tied around his calf and pulled them on.

He stepped out from behind the tree and took several steps towards her. She seemed to be frozen in place and hadn’t moved a muscle.

“Shift!” He commanded.

Her eyes got wide and she shook her head.

“I said Shift!” He commanded again, pushing a bit of his Alpha power forward .

She shook her head again and then turned in a circle. He understood that she wanted him to turn around first. He smiled and chuckled but did as she requested. He turned his back on her and heard some material rustling and then she whispered “Ok, you can turn around now.”

His eyes widened when he saw the tiny little woman with hair like milk chocolate and skin the color of pale caramel standing before him with her head slightly bent as if she was afraid to look him in the face. She was rather busty but otherwise really skinny, like she hadn’t been eating well for a long while. She wasn’t what he would call boney and her small, slender frame suggested well defined muscles, but she definitely needed to put on some weight.

“Thank you for saving me.” Sam whispered as she watched him through her lashes. She took a step back when he took a step forward but he stopped right away.

“You’re welcome. Who are you? What are you doing on our land?” He asked.

“My name is Sam Madison. I’m looking for the White Feather pack. Can you tell me if I’m close or not?” Sam replied, still not looking directly at him.

“Another mile or so and you would be at the pack house if you took the right fork in the road up here about a hundred yards around the next bend. Why are you looking for the White Feather pack?”

“My mother was originally from the White Feather pack. My parents are dead and I ran away from my old pack because they are cruel and abusive. I overheard the pack’s Beta’s son when he said he wanted to make me a breeder. I was terrified the Alpha was going to allow it so I ran. I’ve been running for....... I’m not even sure how long now.” She said softly. “Can I talk to your Alpha please?”

“You already are.” He said. “I’m Alpha Matthew Stone.”

With that, Sam’s head snapped up and her eyes got wide as she stared at him for a moment before she dropped to her knees and bent her neck, showing submission to him. Her blue eyes in her wolf form had been beautiful but the deep gray blue of her large human eyes were amazing. He had never seen eyes like hers. They seemed to look right through him.

Suddenly she fell to the side and lay still. He rushed to her side and grabbed her arm. It was like he had grabbed hold of a live wire as the shock ran up his arm, straight into his chest and he jerked his hand back.

“Is she my mate? Why can’t I smell her?” He slowly reached out and pushed her hair back out of her face and she looked pale. He ignored the electrical shocks that ran up his arms as he scooped her up holding her tightly to his chest, he ignored the warm electric shocks that ran through him and ran to the pack clinic as fast as he could go. He covered the almost two mile stretch through the trees and across the yard in under two minutes.

He kicked the clinic doors open and yelled “Doctor Andy! I need you now!” He pushed his Alpha voice out.

Nurse Abby and Doctor Andy came racing down the hall and were amazed to see their Alpha in nothing but shorts, carrying what looked like a child in his big powerful arms with a look of total fear on his face.

“Follow me. What happened? Who is she?” Dr. Andy asked, as he led the Alpha into an exam room. “Lay her down here.”

“I think she’s my mate and I don’t know what happened. We were in the forest just talking and suddenly she just passed out.” Matt said in bewilderment.

“Well, go outside and let me check her over. I’ll be out in a few minutes to talk to you.” Dr. Andy said, giving the large Alpha a stern look.

Matt didn’t want to leave her but knew he needed to give the doctor room to work. He reluctantly left the exam room and paced back and forth while he waited. What the hell was taking so long? He wondered after the first 15 minutes, that felt like it had been hours. Finally Dr. Andy stepped outside and he looked concerned.

“What? What’s wrong with her?” Matt demanded.

“Sit down, Alpha. And remember, no one here did this to her.” Dr. Andy said and wished his parents or Beta were here.

Matt’s heart rate jumped into overdrive. Was he going to lose his mate right after meeting her?

“Is she going to be OK? Who did what to her?” Matt asked, his voice shook slightly.

“Well, she’s still unconscious so I can’t question her and her first and most urgent problem is that she is seriously malnourished. Looks like she hasn’t been eating well for a long time. We’ve got her on an IV but what she’s going to need is food, especially meat and green vegetables. Her iron counts are very low.” Dr. Andy told him but Matt could tell from the sorrowful look on his face that her being hungry was not the whole story.

“What else doc? I can tell there’s something else.” Matt said, almost afraid to hear what he had to say.

“She’s been beaten, Matt, repeatedly over a long period of time. Her back is covered in scars, so whatever they were hitting her with must have been soaked in wolfsbane or silver otherwise the scars wouldn’t be as bad as they are. It must have taken a long time for them to heal. I’d like to take some x-rays to be sure but I suspect that she’s had some broken bones in the past.” Dr. Andy said quietly and got the reaction he had suspected he was going to get when Alpha Matt stood up and punched a hole in the wall.

“Breaking your hands and destroying my clinic is not going to help her, Matt. Nurse Abby is going to stay with her until she wakes up but right now, what she needs is rest and then food. Be gentle with her Matt. I’ve got a feeling she’s been through a hell of a lot. What’s her name?”

“Sam Madison. She said her mother was originally from our pack.” Matt replied, as he sat back down. His legs suddenly didn’t feel strong enough to hold him up anymore.

“Rafe and Angie Madison’s daughter?” Dr. Andy’s eyebrows went clear up to his hairline.

“You knew her parents?” Matt asked in amazement.

“Yes! Her mother was your mother’s best friend. They had been almost inseparable growing up until Angie met Rafe when he came to visit your grandfather with his father. He took one look at her and said Mate! She left with him and we never saw her again.”

Just then Nurse Abby stepped out of the exam room and said “She’s waking up, Doctor.”

“Let me get the x-rays, Matt and then you can see her. OK?” Dr. Andy said as he turned to go back in the room. He instructed Nurse Abby to bring in the portable x-ray machine and then stepped back in the room.

Matt sat down and dropped his head into his hands. He needed to let his mom know about this. He mind linked her to come to the clinic and then waited for her to arrive.

Nurse Abby pushed the x-ray machine into the room just a minute before Natalie arrived.

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