Yet I didn’t hear her get in the water. Turning slightly, I held my hand to her, making sure not to turn my head. Her fear was potent in the air as if she was unsure of the water or maybe me.
I couldn’t be sure, but I had to hold in my gasp when I felt her tiny hand slide into mine. I grabbed her hand, my claws sliding over her wrist, when I heard a splash before both of her hands suddenly gripped my outstretched arm, and she coughed. Her fingers pull the fur out along my arms, and I turn quickly, using my other arm to wrap around her waist while her legs latch around my hips in a grip that would be crushing if I were human.
She continued to cough and sputter for a second before rubbing her eyes with one hand and opening her eyes. “Are you sure we won’t get in trouble?” She asked, her hands moving to my chest, where she gripped my fur tightly as if she was afraid I would let her d***n. I moved further out to where not even I could stand.
“You’re with me. Why would you get in trouble?” I ask her. Abbie says nothing, and I try to unwrap her legs. Her grip on my fur tightens, her nails digging into my skin.
“What are you doing?” She shrieks.
“I won’t let you d***n, Abbie,” I tell her, gripping one of her wrists and prying her grip off me. I set her hand on my shoulder, and her other hand moved to grip the other.
“Use your legs, and kick them under the water,” I told her, and after some prompting, she eventually unlatched them from my waist. I swam backward as she moved, her legs treading water.
We lost track of time after an hour or so. It was pitch black, yet she seemed to have fun until I noticed her teeth chatter. I was confident enough that if she fell into a body of water, she would be able to get herself out, though I still wouldn’t trust her to go swimming alone.
Abbie gripped my shoulders as I swam back to the bank. I tried not to laugh at her white legs and a*s. She didn’t need to know I could see her completely because I could see beneath the water before I moved to lift her back onto it when she whispered.
“Gannon, I’m n***d,” she shrieked when I grabbed her waist to hoist her up. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I could see her the entire time. The water was far from murky, though I knew to her eyes it would have looked it. For me, I could see every part of her, but she didn’t know that.
I would allow her that sense of privacy. Besides, I had seen her change plenty of times in her room when she didn’t know I was watching her.
“I’ll close my eyes,” I chuckle, and she nods. I l***ck her cheek before lifting her onto the bank. Yet when I don’t hear her shift, my ears p**k.
“Abbie?” I asked because I could hear her heart beating and her breathing.
“Don’t look. I am having trouble. Just give me a second,” yet minutes passed, and still, I did not hear the crack of her bones, and I could hear her frustrated breathing as she tried.
“You haven’t shifted much, have you?” I asked her.
“I have, but this is only the second time I have gone for a run,” she admits, and I sigh.
“Abbie, I am going to have to open my eyes,” I tell her, and her heart rate quickens.
“No, I can do it, just give me a second,” she panicked.
“Abbie, you should have told me you didn’t go for runs often. I wouldn’t have worn your wolf out,” I told her.
“Huh?” she asks.
“You wolf side needs stamina. Had I realized, I wouldn’t have taken you so far out from the castle. In my bag is a shirt you can put on,” I tell her. I heard movement and her rummaging around in the bag.
“Are you covered?”
“Ah, kind of,” she murmurs, and I open my eyes to see her trying to tug my shirt down her legs. As I climbed out, I noticed her normally wavy red hair was straight as a pencil from being wet. She steps back as I approach her.
“I have no pants on,” she squeaks.
“I know,” I laughed, holding my hand out to her. She looks at it before sighing and taking it as I scoop up the bag, tossing it over my shoulder.
We started the long trek back to the castle, yet the longer we walked, the slower she became as mozzies attacked her flesh. Her hands swatted at her n***d legs as she tried to stop them from biting her. We were at least another thirty minutes from the castle at this pace. Stopping, I adjust the bag on my shoulder before grabbing her under the arms. She squeals as I pick her up.
“Abbie, wrap your legs around my waist,” I tell her, but she doesn’t, and I growl as she remains stiff as a plank in my hands. Hugging her closer, I crush her against my chest before lifting her legs around my hips and placing my arm under her butt. She squeaks, shoving off my chest.
“Are you done; stop hitting me,” I tell her, n*g at her neck before licking her cheek. Her heart hammered against my chest, and her skin was ice cold.
“It’s quicker, I can run with you,”
“Just run?” she gasps, stopping her a****k and looking at me. I stared at her, wondering what she thought I was going to do.
“What else?” I asked her. She looks away, and I growl when I feel her dig her knees into my ribs as she moves up higher. I hoist her up before realizing where her pelvis was resting before. Surely she didn’t think– not only was that impossible while I was in this form, I never would force her but did she think I would? Shaking that thought away, I start walking.
“Wrap your arms around my neck,” I tell her. Abbie does, looking over her shoulder at the trees when she turns back. Her nose bumps into mine, and she giggles. “Sorry,” she mutters, her cheeks reddening, and she glances around before looking down. “Gosh, you’re tall,” she stammers as if she had only just noticed that as I ducked under a tree branch.
“And fast, so you may want to tuck your face into my neck,” I tell her, pushing her face into my shoulder with one hand. I feel her breath move through my fur, and her arms squeeze tighter around my neck.
“Ready?” I ask her, and I feel her nod before I take off running through the woods.