❝The secret of getting ahead is getting started.❞
“What do you think it is?”
Justin saunters forward, his nose crinkling up in obvious disgust. He crosses his arms over his chest while examining the mangled wolf body. I shrug at his question.
“Well, it’s clear that its a wolf,” he said, tilting his head to the side. “But I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Before us laid an unidentified wolf, deceased, the color of its fur brown and matted with mud and dirt and it’s in blood; its throat ripped open. What stood out the most was the black blood that oozed from the wound. Even its eyes were a dull red, very unusual for a wolf, a rouge at that.
“What’s going on here?” a voice called out from behind us.
Both Justin and I turned around in time to see my Dad making his way through tree branches, and toward us.
“Alpha Logan,” Justin uttered, respectfully bowing.
He nods in acknowledgment, coming to stand beside me, his eyes guarded down at the body. The muscles in his jaw contracted together as he stares.
“The Patrol filled you in, right?” I ask, tilting my head back to watch his reaction.
“Yes,” his tone low, “This isn’t the first time I’ve smelled this scent before either,” he says walking toward the wolf, nudging it with his booted foot.
Justin perks up, his eyebrows shooting up in surprise. “Really? Where from?”
A low growl slipped past his lips, his eyes a shade darker. “The rouge’s place.”
This sparked my interest, “What makes you say that?” I ask this time.
“His daughter was attacked the other day,” he uttered gravely, “I went outside to see what it was, but only caught of whiff of its scent; preferably the one I’m smelling now,” he explains.
“Hold on,” Justin voiced, “You’re saying that the human girl was attacked by this unknown wolf, right?”
Dad nodded, “That is what I said.”
Justin flushed in the cheeks a bit, “Sorry. I was just thinking why would it go after her?”
A thoughtful look crosses over Dad’s face, his eyes downcast for a second before flickering back up.
“I thought that too but there could have been a possibility that it either smelled her scent and was curious or maybe decided to have a midnight snack,” he states, his lips pressed in a thin line.
Just the thought of someone or something hurting Abigail caused the beast within me to growl viciously; clouding and confusing my brain. I stuffed my hands into my pants pockets with my thumbs sticking out, a breeze whirled around the area blowing my hair to the side as well as lifting the scent of the dead scent up.
I scrunched up my nose the same time Justin groaned.
"Goddess that thing stinks,” he gagged, covering his nose with the back of his hand.
In the same time span, the body began to move, my back tensed as Dad’s whole body tightens next to mine while Justin stands guarded for anything. It soon shifted back into its human skin, being a man no older than his mid-twenties, his skin was pale with death and his face unrecognizable to us even with his throat ripped out.
Justin was the first to talk, “Isn’t that one of the boys that Warrior Simpson took?”
My jaw clenched, “It might be, whatever this thing is, it came from up North.”
The crunch of leaves brought my attention to back to the tree lines to see a patrol walking towards us.
Dad turns around, “Yes?”
“Alpha Ryan of the Blue Moon pack requests your presence,” he speaks, his voice wavering at the end.
“He’s here?” the shock wasn’t hidden from Dad’s voice.
The boy nodded, looking behind him for a moment. “He said it was urgent.”
Dad nodded and straighten his back before striding ahead and pass the boy, he stays a second later and turns back to us.
“I want someone to identify who that is,” he points towards the body. “and notify the parents and arrange a send-off. Got it?”
The patrol bowed, nodding. “Yes, Alpha.”
“One more thing.” Dad starts to add, “Get someone to contact Warrior Simpson, he needs to come back. Now.”
My eyes shift over to Stella, to see her flip her hair over her shoulder out of frustration as she looks down at her lap with her brows creased.
“What is it?” Sam asks beside me, picking at her food.
Stella looks up, huffing “I lost.” she says, holding her phone out toward us.
I lean forward and see she was playing Temple Run and her character had run into a tree. Sam laughs as I sit back in my chair and pick my fork back up.
“You can always restart, you know?”
“Yes, I know, but I was on roll. I was getting close to my high score,” Stella pouts.
I twirl my fork in the spaghetti on my plate and stuff it in my mouth, almost moaning at the blissful taste.
“Anyone saw the boys, yet?” Riley asks from the opposite side of me.
Since she mentioned that, neither one of us has seen Justin, Xavier or Dylan. In the moment the to the cafeteria and in walked the three boys.
“Oop never mind, there they are.”
They all take a seat at the table quietly, not one of them speaking a word, their bodies tense with tension.
“Babe, what’s wrong?” I hear Stella ask Justin, placing her hand over his on the table.
He visibly relaxes at her touch, closing his eyes and leans over, whispering something in her ear that causes her eyes to widen. I didn’t miss the glance he sent my way.
Suddenly losing my appetite, I drop my fork. A heated gaze burns the side of my face, and slowly I turn and level my eyes with Xavier. We stare at each other, the same spark igniting a flame between us and for god knows how long, his brown eyes stare into mine. It was when my phone begins to ring that I broke eye contact.
Pulling it out from my pocket, I answered not looking at the caller ID.
"Hello,” I answer, looking around the table to see everyone focused on me.
“Hey, Sweetie!” Mom coos through the phone, her excitement known.
My eyebrows shot upward. “Hey, Mom. .? W-was there something you needed?”
The sound of keys jiggling fills my ears. "Actually yes, I want you to come to the doctor’s appointment with me.”
I glance up and connect eyes with Stella, who smiles. I push my chair back and stand, walking a little away from the table and to the window that overlooked the back of the school.
“I would love to, but where’s Dad? Shouldn’t he go with?” I say.
There was a long pause before she spoke again. “He’s busy with his job.”
There was a tone of her voice that I couldn’t quite pin. “Uh, okay, but I’m still in school.”
I glance back at the table to see them talking in hushed voices.
“Which is why I’m coming to sign you out early. See you soon, honey.”
With that she ends the call, leaving me wondering actually where Dad was and what was so important for him to miss an appointment with Mom and the baby. The look Justin sends me suddenly comes to mind.