We ran outside into the parking lot, knowing we had a lot of ground to cover, and I was pleased to see that Cai had no issue keeping up. If anything, it was me that was slowing us down.
I turned to yell out some more directions of where we were headed next, but to my surprise, he was running in the opposite direction to where we were needing to go.
“Where are you going?” I yelled out after him. “It‘s this way!”
He spun around to face me as he continued to move backwards.
“Were you actually planning to run the whole way?” he shouted back, amused.
He was right. Even if I could run the whole way, I would be way too exhausted to fight by the time we got there.
“Fine,” I said, running to catch up with him. “Hand me the car keys and let‘s go.”
“Woah, I‘m not giving you the keys.” He looked at me incredulously.
“Don‘t be ridiculous, you don‘t even know the way!”
He stopped walking at that to look down at me seriously.
“One,” he said, holding up a finger, “you are literally fourteen. I‘m not giving the keys to a child.”
I felt my cheeks burn, realising how stupid I must have sounded. I wasn‘t supposed to know how to drive a car yet. It would be another few years before I‘d get my license again.
“And two…,” he pointed to a motorcycle parked by the curb. “It‘s not a car.”
| stared at the two–wheeled death trap.
“You‘ve got to be joking.”
He gave me an entertained smirk. “You were willing to run into danger completely unprepared and alone just five minutes ago, but now a motorcycle is too far?”
I bit my l!p. He had a point.
I sighed. “Fine. Let‘s just go. It‘s getting dark and we‘re wasting time.”
His smirk widened into a genuine smile and I looked away before I‘d get caught up in those feelings he gives off when he does that.
I remembered the first time he smiled like that, it had felt like my insides were melting in those molten gold orbs. He had this weird charismatic energy about him. It was no wonder the teachers were so enchanted by him.
He straddled the bike and handed me the helmet.
“Get on, little wolf,” he said. “Make sure to hold on tight. You‘re so tiny you’ll fly off with the wind.”
I pouted at his word choice which, once again, made fun of my external age. But nevertheless, I got on the bike behind him.
I‘d never been on a bike before and found the movement clumsy, especially since I wasn‘t sure where to place my hands or legs.
“You‘re going to fall off like that,” he said over his shoulder.
He then reached his arms backward to grab behind my knees, and pulled me towards him so my body was up flush against his back.
I was about to protest the proximity but he grabbed at my hands before I could, promptly wrapping them tightly around his torso.
It was an extremely embarrassing position to find myself in; so close to this stranger who was now seated between my legs. I could feel the heat emanating from his body and found it difficult to distract myself from the fact I was completely wrapped around him.
At that moment, I was immensely glad that Cai couldn‘t see my face behind him because I was sure it had gone completely bright red.
“Alright, here we go,” he said and quickly kicked the bike into ignition.
Instantly, the rumble of the bike purred under me, growling out as he tested the gas a few times. When he was finally satisfied, he kicked off and we began flying down the road towards the clearing.
It was an awkward experience trying to direct him but I found that, between my yelling over the wind and some very shaky finger pointing, we did finally manage to figure out the way there. I had to admit though, the feeling of flying out in the open without car walls to protect me was exhilarating.
The freezing wind was biting aggressively at my body, but it reminded me of when I used to run in the woods as my wolf, feeling so free in those moments.
To my relief, we arrived fairly quickly, coming to a stop by the side of the road. In fact, thinking on it now, I realised there was no way I could have made it in time by running alone. If Cai hadn‘t brought the bike, then it was very likely I would have been too late.
We swiftly dismounted and I searched the tree line, looking for anything suspicious or out of place. But when I couldn‘t see anything, I relaxed a little. I suspected they were going to approach from the North but being complacent was a quick death I wanted to avoid.
I nodded at Cai and saw he had done the same thing. He would probably be able to sense more than me and would know better about what to look out for. I motioned quietly for him to follow me and we began our hike through the forest.
We travelled up the small dirt path into the trees, being sure to be as quiet as possible to listen out for danger. Cai was far more prepared than I was as he made sure to cover our tracks as best as possible while we walked. A definite testament to his training.
By the time I finally caught sight of the clearing, my heart began to race. It took all my self–control to not just immediately run to it, but I knew that it would be far too dangerous to go exposing myself completely unprepared. We would be outnumbered four to two against fully shifted adult wolves, so surprising them was definitely our best strategy.
I pulled Cai down behind a bush just outside the edge of the clearing and sneaked a quick peek through the brush. To my relief, I didn‘t spot any sign that Myra or the wolves arrived yet. We needed to stay sharp though and keep a lookout for her. With any luck, we could pull her out of dangers way before any of the fighting took place. We just had to distract them long enough for the warriors to show up.
“Okay, I‘ve got it from here,” Cai said, still discreetly scoping the area. “You should head back to safety.”
I turned to look back at him, disagreeing with every part of that sentence.
“No way,” I argued. “I‘m not leaving you here to defend against a bunch of wolves alone.”
He met my eyes as an air of annoyance sparked between us.
“You‘re only going to get in my way,” he said, moving his face closer to speak in a low angry whisper.
“Stop treating me like a child!” I hissed. “I know how to fight a little. I can cover your back at least.”
“No,” he said, adamant in his decision. “I won‘t allow it. You‘re just going to get hurt. There‘s plenty of time to grow up and become stronger, but you can‘t do that if you‘re dead.”
“Won‘t allow it? Won‘t allow it?!” I repeated in disbelief. “Who the hell do you think you are?”
“I‘m an Alpha‘s son. I get you‘re from a different pack, but you need to respect me and my decisions here. Leave. Now. I won‘t say it again.”
Anger swept through me, making my pulse run faster.
He‘d done it. He‘d finally done it. He had tried to use an Alpha tone on me. I could feel his attempt at throwing authority wash over me.
Even though I was just a Beta‘s daughter, I could still feel the weight he had intended his command to have, but he obviously didn‘t realise that his foreign Alpha heir authority wasn‘t going to be nearly enough to get me to submit.
I grabbed his shirt and pulled his face so close we were just inches apart.
“I don‘t think you realise that I‘m the future Luna of this f*cking pack. You don‘t get to give me orders.”
His eyes widened as he j#rked out of my grip backwards. I could see his face visibly become paler as it all started to click for him.
“Wait, what…? Don‘t tell me you‘re Ariadne Chr–”
His voice was then abruptly cut off by the shrilling scream of a young girl, crying out only meters away.