❝Stay wild moon child.❞
“What’s the report?”
“Alpha Logan just got a call from the neighboring pack the other day – Alpha Ryan, and heard that again red-eyed wolves were caught breaching his border, coming from the north,” Justin says, digging his fingers through his hair while looking down at a few papers.
“But get this, they were zipping straight past the homes, and their pack house.”
I frown, “Where were they headed?”
I inhale sharply, my eyes snapping up and connecting with his, they’re holding the same question that hangs in the air. All I could think was if they were to get past Blue Crescent’s border and onto ours, what will Abigail be doing at the time? Will she be in a safe place? our borders were next to each other with a small gap in between, and her house was located by that side. I sigh heavily, the beast in me shaken awake.
“How many were there?” I ask after a quiet minute.
Justin looks down at the papers, “Three to Four.” he replies, still scanning over the document.
Suddenly the door to the office swings open and Dylan rushes in.
“You might want to add on to that document, Justin.” he immediately states, striding over to my desk.
“Alpha Ryan just called in again, they caught a scent of something else besides those wolves,” Dylan says, placing his knuckles down on the surface of the desk. “They don’t know it was corresponding with the red-eyed wolves but they found traces of the same smell on them.”
Justin blanches, and I do the same as I stare into Dylan’s eyes, nothing but seriousness.
“And? Do they know what it is?” Justin questions, looking back and forth from Dylan to me.
“No. It was too fast for them to pinpoint who or what, but it’s heading this way; patrol just caught a whiff of it on the east border.”
I immediately jump to my feet, followed by Justin who growls under his breath. “Then what are we sitting around talking about this then!” I say, already walking from behind the desk, my body shaking with small tremors.
Dylan steps back and halts me by my shoulder, “Wait! Your Dad told me to tell you not to react irrational, pick a few warriors and head over to where their scent was the strongest, as soon as possible.” he explains to me.
My jaw clenches as I quickly turn my head away, shutting my eyes tightly together trying to calm the raging beast within my head; as he demands to be let out to run to our mate. I could feel my eyes shift beneath my lids for a minute or two before the tremors stop but barely. Releasing a heavy breath, I nod.
“All right, you know where to go?”
A knowing look crosses through Dylan’s eyes, “Yes,”
I waited just like Dad said, waited for him to tell me more details about the treaty and more about halflings; it never came and it’s been a few weeks since then.
I can still tell he’s still holding off on some information but I don’t dwell on it for much longer. Today’s Sunday and I decided to hang out with Noah for the first time in a while, we decided to meet at my house and work on the project that’s due soon.
I sat on the porch behind the house that faced the woods. Dad was out doing something that involved Logan while Mom was running errands for the baby and other things, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity, I smiled when the sound of snow crunching reached my ears and he came into view, walking around the house’s corner; carrying supplies.
“Hey Noah,” I wave.
He looks up from watching his steps and at me, a small shy smile sporting his lips. Not like other people I’ve seen out, Noah was wearing a beanie that covered his head and a big jacket with dark jeans. His dark shoes stomped across the wooden planks of the deck.
“Hi Abigail,” he replied, setting the things down on the cloth I placed down.
“How was your day?”
“It was okay,” he sits down in the chair beside me, “Do you have the work we did last time?”
I nod, grabbing the paper I had off to the side, “Right here, and ready to use. Sorry, it took longer to meet up again to work on this.”
“It’s fine, I have a concept of what we can start,” he says quietly, reaching across to grab a marker.
And that’s what we did for the past forty to forty-five minutes, working in silence, the progress was nearly finished and I could tell we were nearly down. But the silence was killing me and I wanted to know a bit more about my partner.
“So,” I say, “Who was the little girl, the last time I’ve seen you?”
He looks at me from the corner of his eye, before turning back to his work. “My little sister.”
I hum, “She looks just like you.” I state, smiling again when he glanced at me again.
He didn’t say anything and I took my cue to ask the next question, one that’ll get him more engaged.
“Have you decided what college you’re going to after you graduate?” I say, grabbing another color marker and decorating the poster.
“The one down in Florida?”
“That’s the one.”
“Why that one? Why not one here?”
Noah sets down his pencil and turns his attention to me, and I do the same. “If you were to live here in Maryland long as I have, you’ll get tired of the cold weather,” he groans, and a grin graces his lips. “Florida’s in the south, so it’s a lot warmer there and I want to major in Engineering to where I can work in Architecture.”
I nodded, crossing my arm and leaning in the chair, “Never took you for a tech lover.” I tease.
His smile widens, as he messes with his beanie, straightening it out. “I get that a lot, but I have a reason behind what I do.” And in the depths of his eyes was a pain I didn’t dare question about.
“Well, I wish you the best of luck in your upcoming career.”
He nods at me, “Thank you.”
We sit in silence, enjoying the outdoors, the wind blows and the few leaves left on the slight bare trees sway to the rhythm, the cold nipped at my nose and ears turning them red. I crossed one of my jean covered legs over the other, while looking off to the into the wilderness, letting myself get lost in my thoughts and further questions I have. Not a second later, a crunch echoes.
I jolt forward, my eyes snapping left to right, gazing out towards the trees.
“What was that?” Noah asks, eyebrows raised.
“Sounded like a tree branch.”
Another crunch sounded this time much closer, followed by a faint whoosh. I stood to my feet, Noah copying my movements, my heart was pounding without me knowing why. Another whoosh was heard and another crunch of a branch being stepped on, this pattern continued and each time it was getting closer and closer.
A deep based chuckle drifts into the air, no pinpoint of where it came from, it causes all hairs on my neck to rise and my scalp to prickle. I hear Noah’s sharp intake of breath.
I take a step back, and away from the table, “Go in the house.”
Noah’s eyes cut over to me before he looks back out towards the trees, scanning, just like I am.
“What?” he whispers, glancing at me a few more times.
I keep my face impassive, despite the trembling in my legs and the stuttering of my heart; I had one goal in mind and that was to get Noah into the house and away from whatever was lurking in the forest close by.
“I said, go in the house.” I repeat, “The door is right behind you, all you have to do take a few steps back and you’re there.”
“What about you?” he asks, a slight shake in his voice.
I look him dead in the eye, “I’m right behind you. Now go!” I urge.
With a second of hesitation, he stepped back and turned towards the door, twisting the knob and slipping inside, I followed behind him just like I said until suddenly something cold as ice gripped my shoulder with the strength that seemed to crush the bones beneath. I cry out in pain and surprise as I’m flung back away from the house and into the snow.
My vision blurs and tilts as I land on my back, the air rushing from my lungs and leaving me breathless and wheezing for air. The same chilling cackling laugh echoes close by, followed by another, a deep based one.
“Look at her,” a voice coos sickeningly. “Resembles a cockroach.”
“Abigail!” Noah calls out, his voice far away.
“Is this supposed to be the halfling?” someone asks, “She seems so frail, and. . weak.” I identify the voice to be male, from how it rumbled and vibrated.
“All the more fun,” a hard nudge to my side causes me to groan and squint my eyes open.
I was met with the sight of eyes the color of blood, staring down at me, a wide grin beneath them. My eyes widen as I regard the unrecognizable face of a man, his skin complex was so pale to the point it was almost transparent, his eyebrows were bushy and his jaw was chiseled and sculpted like those of a model; he could have been the definition of beauty god if it weren’t for those chilly red eyes and his dark aura.
And he knew it, as he smirked, showing straight rows of white teeth as he continued to stare down his slender nose at me.
“Gets them every time,” he laughs, tilting his head, and bends to place his hands on his knees.
“Hi there, you must be Abigail,” he spoke.
I continued to stare up at him from my position from the ground, the pain in my arm was throbbing and I come to realize I couldn’t move it, breathing deeply I shift my eyes over towards the house to where Noah still stood by the door, trembling but looking determined. His feet looked as if he was about to run out towards me and I could see on his face that he was thinking it over.
“No,” I whisper, connecting eyes with him.
His eyebrows were furrowed downward, as his mouth opened and closed before his eyes flickered towards the two men. The man closest to me followed my gaze and smirked at Noah.
“Damien, go get him,” he uttered, switching his eyes back towards me. “Can’t have any witnesses.”
My eyes widen in fear, “No!” I call out as the other man began a slow stalk towards the house.
I roll over to my side, my back facing the first man, and on my injured shoulder. I gasp and grit my teeth at the pain before I yell, “Get inside the house!”
Noah snaps his head over to look at me, “But—”
“Now! Lock the door behind you!”
He does as I say, the door shuts with a loud slam and the faint sound of the lock is heard, I watch as his shadow backs away from the window but not too far. A sudden hand closes around my neck, choking me and lifting my body from off the ground and into the air.
I’m suspended a few feet from the ground, now looking down at the man with red eyes as he holds me up. Instead of a grin on sporting his lips, his expression is hard and neutral, his lips narrowed. I choke out a gasp when his thumb presses against a vein in my neck, tightening his grip.
“You know what? Leave him, Damien. We got what we came for,” he says out loud, never straying his away from my form.
He assets me, his gaze burning a trail down my body to my feet, that swats in the air, and back up: staring a hole at my neck.
“You sure this is her?” he asks his question directing to the man now known as Damien.
He shrugged his big broad shoulders, “I’m not sure,”
The guy holding me frowns, and brings me closer using his thumb to turn my head to the side as he brings his nose to my neck, inhaling deeply. I suppress a shudder as one of my hands grasp his fingers to relieve some of the pressure on my neck.
A growl rumble passes from deep within his chest, and he pulls back, his tongue running across his top lip, those red orbs burning brighter than before.
“She smells human.”
A hum of agreement sounds from the other man’s throat, and I struggle to look over at him from the way my head was angled. I realize he stood closer than before, just behind the first guy. His eyes were also glowing red, a type of hunger etched in their eyes.
“Wouldn’t hurt to double check,” Damien suggested, stepping closer, eying me hungrily.
My lips part in surprise and I switch my gaze to the first unknown man, seeing him eye me the same way.
“I agree.” his voice turned dark, with a sinister ting to it.
Swiftly, his months pops open and I watch in horror as two long fangs begin to grow and enlarge from his gums, the same thing happening to the other guy. The grin was back on his lips, his eyes sparkling with excitement.
“This might hurt,” he says to me, baring my neck and dives down, sinking his teeth into the junction of my neck.
A scream bubbles in my chest before crawling up my throat and out my mouth, and into the air. It pierced the silence and shattered across the area, the pain was unbearable, it felt like knives sinking into my skin and twisting in my flesh. Something trickled down my collarbone and created a trail into the inside of my jacket, soaking my shirt beneath which starts to stick to my skin, both my of hands shot up and dug into his hair, desperately trying to pull him away; he only sucked harder, groaning.
One of my hands – the injured arm, was grabbed between hard cold ones and forced away from the guy’s head and to the side, my eyes cut over to see Damien staring deeply in my eyes when mine collided with his, his lips pull back, his fangs were insight: the intention clear in his hungry eyes.
“No,” I whimpered, my voice below a whisper. “Please. . . no!”
He turned my hand around, palm up, and hovered over my wrist, I could feel his breath exhaling on the exposed skin and I trembled, kicking my feel still ways from the ground.
“No. . no, no, no, no—” I scream, high pitched, his mouth closes over my wrist and his teeth sinking into my skin.
I continue to scream bloody murder, the sound increasing in volume; my screams weren’t the only thing heard as another mingles with mine. My body convulsed in pain, the hand around my neck tightens cutting off my scream to a gargle. I watch as blood filled Damien’s mouth, and spills over my wrist, a drop of crimson dripping onto the snow.
Every ounce of energy and strength was drained from my body until I went limp, my eyes fluttering to stay open. They both release me in synchronization, and I drop to the ground like dead weight, my legs bent to the side and my torso turned to where I was looking down at my punctured wrist. The coldness of the snow seeps into the back of my clothes and turns everything numb.
“She’s a halfling alright, her wolf side is just dormant.”
Sluggishly, my eyes rotate to the side and watch and both men wipe my blood from their mouths. Shinning bright red eyes stare me down.
“She’s awfully pale.”
“At least she isn’t dead,” one says, their voice slowly sounding muffled.
“. . . will. . fin. . her off.”
My eyes stay fixated on the drops of blood spilling from my wrist and onto the ground covered snow, creating a puddle. The ground suddenly shakes and vibrates through my body, hissing sounds heard from above me before the presences of the two men disappeared and thumping against the ground was all I heard before hurried footfalls made its way towards me.
The outline of shoes filled my vision for a split and darkness begins to edge from the corners of my eyes, crawling out from the depths of my mind as if to protect me. My head was lifted and placed on something hard yet soft, I didn’t even react to the sudden movement that disturbed my wounded neck.
“Abigail! Can you hear me?” a voice called out.
It was getting harder to hear . . see, it was like a veil was blanketing over eyed sense the darkness inched closer.
“Abigail!. . . Abi. ., don’t . . your eyes!”
The darkness takes me away and into the numb void that welcomed me with open arms, dragging me far away from reality.