She was only wearing the tee-shirt that Jackson had provided her after her showdown with Abbey and Johnny.
The cold snow-filled night was biting at her skin, wolves were naturally warm creatures and could stand a bit of snow, but she had not been near snow in years and she guessed her tolerance was lacking, She had barely been outside 10 minutes and she was already rubbing her arms, and gritting her teeth. She knew Kora would be okay with it once out, because she had a beautiful thick coat of fur to protect her.
Jay-la was looking for a way down from the balcony. She had used to sneak out of her parents’ house as a teenager, climb down the drain guttering pipe from the second floor, and then back up and into her room when sneaking back in. usually had only done it in the winter to play a game of hide and sneak with the boys.
Well, today was no game of hide and sneak, it was for real. Though how she would get the children out of the pack in this awful weather she had no idea.
Alpha Nathan didn’t have an eta, Jackson had said that he was dealing with Tony and Lauren. Well, they could be very difficult and now that they knew he was the triplets’ father she could only imagine that they were going to put on the parent act where she was concerned.
Hopefully, they were so hard to deal with that he would be gone until the snow storm passed and the streets had been cleared. She could then take her dad’s car and head for the Winter Moon Pack.
Hopefully, that would be her saving grace, but she had no idea when he was due back or how long this storm would take to pass. She also didn’t have her mobile phone with her, to check the weather or even call anyone for help.
The drain pipe she was looking at was a good 10 feet away from the balcony’s railing, a much more difficult thing to get to than the one directly outside of her childhood home, which had been right next to her window. She also had no idea if the thing was completely secured to the building, She could only hope and pray that it was maintained welL.
If they miscalculated the jump from the balcony, they would fall 5 stories to the ground. It was not likely they would be unharmed by the fall, possibly even worse. They pushed that thought from their minds, preparing for the jump. Jay-la moved one of the chairs right up against the railing, so she could use it as a stepping stone onto the railing and not lose momentum when launching themselves out over the 10-foot gap. In a bid to be free.
Jay-la returned to the suite, closing the doors. She needed to warm up a bit first, seeing as the climb or slide to the ground would be in her body, she needed to be able to feel all her fingers and toes for as long as possible so they wouldn’t just plumpet to the ground from a great height. It wouldn’t matter so much from the second floor, there was plenty of snow falling.
It would surely be deep enough to help a short drop to the ground softening the impact.
‘We’ll shift as soon as we’re down’, Kora stated.
‘I know you will handle the cold a lot better than I will.’
‘We’ll make the jump too.’
‘Yes we will’ Jay-la relayed back to her, they had done plenty of agility and strength training when they had been here in the pack and running around leaping from fallen tree to fallen tree or rock to rock or leaping over other pack members, it was all good for them.
Jay-la walked into the bathroom for a hot shower to really warm up her core body temperature before their leap into the cold. She kept her hair dry and stood under the running water, keeping it as hot as she could, and stood there until she was toasty warm, then stepped out and dried herself on the fluffy towels that were laid out for use. Not likely for her but just ready, as were many suites for company or honoured guests.
It was now or never.
She took a deep breath in, to prepare herself for the bracing cold frat she knew was out there, then opened the doors, and took a few steps back into the room, to gain more distance so she could really throw speed into her run. Kora pushed forward and lent Jay-la her wolf speed and strength and they ran, stepped and then leaped out into the open space between the balcony and the drain pipe. Her hands were stretched out towards it, the pipe was very cold and a layer of ice coated it, she could not get a grip with her human fingers.
Kora surged forward and her claws were out quickly. One hand had already slid off the pipe. The other hands’ claws were scrapping on the pipe, they squeezed with all their might in an attempt to keep their grip.
Two claws punctured the pipe and the rest of her hand grabbed on to the pipe, she swung dangerously close to losing her grip, used her feet to steady herself hooking one of them onto the pipe and they took a shaky breath as they managed to bring up the other hand and cling to the pipe. She could hear it creaking under her weight and felt it start to give. They were too heavy. They were going to break it.
She turned her eyes towards the balcony in-case anyone had heard and was trying to get to her. Nothing, they would have trouble getting in the room anyway. Finally, her body stopped swaying and she placed the balls of her feet on either side of the drain pipe and loosened her grip and they started to slide down. It was a much quicker slide than she liked due to the ice that covered it.
Only slowed by the metal sheaths that anchored the pipe to the pack house walls, the first one bit into her feet and she felt the sting of it cutting one of her feet. She had hissed in pain, but endured it, trying to slow her descent.
Kora lent her some claws but this only seemed to weaken the pipes and they creaked even more, and started to shudder. They were only passing the third floor when she heard it tear away from the pack house, claws retracted instantly and her slide down increased 5 fold, the skin on her fingers was being sheered off by the layer of ice, the pipe ripped from the wall above her, she hit the next anchoring spot and prayed it would hold, slipped down past it and was at the top of the second floor.
She watched with wide horror-filled eyes as the anchoring shattered, so brittle with the cold, probably years old and never been replaced, her weight had been its breaking point. The whole downpipe collapsed and she was free-falling to the ground. Kora ripped out of her and shifted them in mid air, trying to save them. She was much more suited to a fall than her humans’ body.
She turned herself over somehow during the shift. The goddess must really be looking out for them at this point. They landed in knee-deep snow, which softened their impact, and she was able to stand up and shake the snow off of herself, with a huff,’ Let’s not do that again’ Jay-la agreed. The pipes fell around them and buried themselves into the snow, the snow thankfully muted the noise. If it had been summertime, her escape would have been noticed by many.
One of the pipes hit Kora on the back and she snarled in response as it bounced off of her and into the snow. But they had made it, they were down from the Luna Suite, and no longer freezing cold either, warm under Kora’s thick silver coat.
Kora moved off in a slow manner, they did not want to attract attention to themselves, they would have to be staying low to the ground and watch for night patrols, though not many would be this close to the pack house, and most normal pack members would be in their homes sleeping blissfully warm tucked up in their beds, not wandering out in the snow fall.
It wasn’t really a storm anymore, it seemed to have passed and was just faling in a normal manner, the wind had appeared to have died off as well, which she was thankful for. That would mean her scent wouldn’t carry on the wind to any patrolling wolves out there.
The Luna Suite was off the back of the pack house and as she made her way around it, she kept herself low, hunkered down as best she could. Kora was much larger now and hiding in the drift or even moving in something this shallow was no longer in her favour. Long ago, this amount of snow would have been deep enough for her to hide in, creep along unnoticed and unseen.
They moved along the side of the pack house and peered around to the front cautiously. She could see by the front door Stephen and Ethan standing there, like they were waiting on someone. He was coming, not far off in all likelihood. They wouldn’t just wait on anyone like that out in the snow and cold, it could only be the Alpha himself.
“No Beta,” Kora mused.
‘probably still guarding the Luna Suite.’ Jay-la thought back, slightly amused. He thought he had her trapped, but come on, it was Jackson who had always helped her sneak back into her parents’ house. It appeared he had forgotten.
‘More likely, he didn’t think we’d do a 5-story escape.’ Kora chortled little do they know us anymore.
They slipped back behind the side of the pack house and moved away, out towards the edge of the forest, a risk of patrol seeing them but not of the Gamma and Delta. They clearly weren’t expecting her to be anywhere other than the Luna Suite.
Keeping low in the snow, they moved stealthily, belly crawling through the snow as they were not interested in gaining either of those wolves’ attentions. And setting off an alert for all patrolling wolves or his Beta for that matter.
Kora’s ears pricked up at the sound of cars approaching, she stilled knowing his hearing and sight would be much more acute than his units. Hiding from him had always been an issue, his wolf was not something she had ever been able to hide from, especially once she and Nathan had started sleeping together.
It was like she was a magnet and he was drawn to it on instinct.
She Burrowed herself into the snow with just her eyes peering out as they had always done when hiding, to watch for their on-coming wolves. Two cars pulled up behind the packs snow-plow. She watched as his entire family piled out, including Rae-Rae. Her heart skipped a beat. How was it she was here had Tony and Lauren caved in, or had he simply gone and taken her for his brother, she wouldn’t put it past him? Now-a-days.
He was standing there, his head tilted, smelling the air, fear slipped into her, ‘Havoc.’ Kora confirmed, she whined a little inside Jay-la’s mind, some part of her was tethered to him and since he had tried to call to her that day over the phone a part of Kora wanted nothing more than to go to him. There was no wind blowing in his direction, he couldn’t possibly smell them, right?
They were a good 500 metres away, even with his sight and smell there was no way he could…his head turned slowly in her direction, scanning the area. Even as he moved on towards the pack house, he was still scanning the area. There was no moon out tonight and nothing to reflect their eyes to him, she prayed.
His father’s eyes followed his son’s but then touched him on the back and they all redirected their attention to moving inside and out of the cold. She briefly wondered how they were going to explain the noise of breaking into the Luna Suite to Rae-Rae, but let it go, the girl would understand one day soon enough.
The moment the pack house door was closed, they moved off in a much quicker manner. It wouldn’t take him long to realise she wasn’t locked in the suit and the hunt would be on. Her children were on the other side of the pack with her father.
They had been heading for her children, but stopped halfway to her father’s house. That was the first place they would look. The second would likely be the pack hospital, where her mother was, where could she go? She had no idea where Brad lived in the pack, he’d still been with her parents when she’d left 6 years ago. Probably only moved out when he met Victoria.
Now she had a dilemma; what to do and where to go. She had been hoping that he would not be back until well into tomorrow or even the day after. Jackson surely knew the man was on his way. The bastard had lied to her about his arrival on purpose.
She had come to rely on him earlier, thinking he was back to being her friend, wanting to help her, but…he and Nathan were best friends, not to mention Jackson was the Beta, and likely in-charge while Nathan, their Alpha, was off pack territory, the man could do as he pleased, make up and say what ever he wanted to. And clearly he had. He’d tricked her, lulled her into a false sense of security.
The massive howl that ripped through the snow-filled night, brought Kora low. She laid down in the snow, her ears flat against her heard, her tail curled around her, “He knows.”
Havoc was displeased and displaying it for all his pack to hear, She could well imagine every pack member who was awake was currently doing as Kora was, submitting to their Alpha’s Howl. And those that had been asleep were waking up.
Then move Kora’ Jay-la whispered at her urgently. Kora whined and whimpered, he was howling for her and she knew it, every fibre in her being was screaming to answer him ‘no, don’t do it, Kora,’ Jay-la begged her. Knowing it was going to be a losing battle.
Kora couldn’t fight it anymore than any other wolf in pack territory. It was for her and her alone and Jay-la knew it, because no other wolves were calling back to him. He was going to use her howl to locate her direction and hunt her down.
Kora stood and lifted her head, no matter how much Jay-la begged her wolf, the mighty howl that she let out, echoed through the pack, she could not defy him when he was calling directly to her like that, when he was so close.
She answered his call with one of her own, a howl so loud, so full of longing, and a need for her Alpha to recognise her and want her to be part of the pack once more, that it hurt Jay-la’s own ears. She wanted to answer him, had wanted to call to him since that day in her office.
It was now truly a losing battle, his wolf Havoc would already be on his way. The moment she had answered him he would have heard her wolf’s needs and longing for his approval, her desire to truly be part of his pack once more and he would be coming for her. Nothing was going to get in his way.
Run Kora, for the love of the goddess RUN! Jay-la yelled at her and when Kora didn’t move, still standing there waiting for her Alpha to find her, ‘For our babies Kora, please…’ she begged, ‘I want to see them one more time before they are taken away from us don’t you.’
That thought got Kora moving and she suddenly realized what she had done, sprinted off of the mark and dashed through the snow with all her speed, away from where she had been standing, heading towards her father’s house, He wouldn’t do anything to them in front of the children. Surely he wasn’t that cruel.