??A Howl In The Night??
?From Novel R0mance ?
My b.ed is soft, but not nearly as warm as I wish it to be.
I shiver underneath the thick covers, tossing and turning furiously. I struggle to get warm, yet only the cold embraces me. The desire for a certain man grows at an alarming rate, as I know that one touch from him would instantly make my body go h0t with p@ssion.
But at the same time, I am afraid of him. Sadness and a strange fear races through my mind as I recall once again his confession to me, his impassioned plea for forgiveness that strangled my heart. I wanted to rectify our misunderstanding, but he refused to listen. I could tell that he was stressed, his eyes full with pain and desolateness. He was almost desperate for me, as if I was his bread and water. Just remembering that one look from his statuesque features ashamedly brings a tiny tingle of happiness to my heart.
But what is he truly desperate for? Is it just for our mating to be fulfilled, or because he loves me for who I am?
Once I really think about it, if I was not his mate, he would not have fallen in love with me at all. In fact, I would have been dead now. I would have been given everything I asked for on that one awful night.
“I can tell you are thinking hard,” a deep voice cuts through my pondering state. His words are followed by a little laugh, and the crinkle of a smile.
“Ray?” I slowly sit up, struggling against the headboard. Looking up at his grinning face, I reluctantly smile back. “What are you doing?”
“Getting you. Everyone else is in the car.”
“How long has it been?”
“About three hours. It’s time, Mona.” His face is now deathly serious. “We cannot stay here anymore. Our lives are at stake.”
“I feel so woozy…” I attempt to swing my legs off the bed, clutching Ray’s shoulder for support. “Please, help me,” I whisper into his shoulder, leaning on his broad form.
Without another word he sweeps me into his arms, cradling me like a baby. It feels so good… so warm. As I look up at him, I can see his concern and determination. For a minute, I see another in his place, with bright blue hair and smooth skin.
“Forgive me,” I quickly apologize, slipping into the vast nothingness as my eyes slide to a close once more.
* * *
The first thing I see is Danae’s face leaning over mine. Now she seems as young as a teenager, with luscious, dark hair. As I sit up, my own flaming red hair slaps against my arms. For some reason, I feel extremely nauseated.
Her large eyes search mine with great concern. “Are you okay?” she asks softly, and I grasp her arm tightly.
“I don’t think so,” I confess, “I think I am car sick.” Being in a car like this reminds me of… that fateful journey with my parents. I haven’t really been overly fond of them since then.
“What’s wrong?” Ray twists in his seat, staring at me. I try to avoid looking up and seeing the whiz of cars in front of him.
“I feel like I’m going to throw up,” I confess, holding my stomach. His eyes carefully examine my appearance; obviously trying to decide for himself how bad of a condition I am in.
“Xavier, we are going to have to park the car soon or Mona will vomit all over the seats.” Ray turns his head back to the front, leaning forward in his seat. “I don’t know where… but we need to find a safe place to either get some meds for her or to ditch the car completely.”
I spare one glance outside of my window but all I can see is miles and miles of road. There is no gas station, no store of any kind.
“Where are we going to hide?” I inquire, my voice coming out a little raspy and low.
“I’m hoping that when we reach Pack 24 they will help hide us, but if they don’t, then we will continue to travel north until we reach one of the sanctuaries,” Xavier says firmly, keeping his eyes straight ahead. Even from the back I can sense his fierce determination, his desire to escape the invisible villain.
Miles and minutes pass, and with every bump I feel a new wave of nausea. Ray keeps his gaze focused on me, somehow encouraging me without words. Danae is just as tired as I am, leaning her head against the window.
My head leaps up as a resounding noise fills the air. “What was that?!”I scream, searching for the source of the noise. Xavier jerks the car off the road and races towards the trees on both sides of the interstate. “Hold on!” he yells, narrowing his eyes. The speed escalates from 80 mph to over 100.
A gasp escapes me as I hear the same sound again. The window beside me splinters as a small metal ball is suddenly wedged inside of the thick glass. Spider webs blossom in the small area, reaching to the far corners of the window. “WATCH OUT!” Danae screams, tugging me over to her side just as it shatters, glass shards falling all around us. One hits my leg, and instantly blood starts to drip from the small wound.
We are all jerked around as he navigates us into the forest. I am thrown against the opposite seat where the glass is, Danae unable to hold me. Tears slide down my cheeks as I feel thousands of tiny pieces pierce my body. I crawl back over to her, and begin to break down as I hold her arm. There is another blur of movement and Ray is at our side, shielding us both from the waves of glass flying towards us.
“We are going to have to ditch the car!” he yells to Xavier as another shot rings out. This time it hits the window that stretches across the back. “Normal bullets wouldn’t shatter windows like these,” Ray mutters to himself angrily as cracks run through the back window.
“What do we do?” I ask, mashed between Ray and Danae. Many more gunshots crackle through the air as we swerve deeper into the forest, scraping past trees and rocks.
“On the count of three, open the door,” Ray instructs me calmly.
“Why? If we do, we will be killed by the bullets!”
“Mona.” He stares into my eyes, serious as ever. “This time, you are just going to have to trust me.”
My fingers reach the handle, gripping it tightly. Tears are flowing like a waterfall from my face onto my shirt and jeans.
“Ray, don’t! That’s what they want! They are trying to scare us into leaving the vehicle!” Xavier shouts, twisting around briefly, “They know bullets can’t seriously injure us!”
“It’s safer out there than it is in here! We are all getting hurt by the glass!” The shattered pieces from the back window are falling like rain on our heads, scraping our skin. “And anyway, I don’t think those are normal, run-of-the-mill bullets,” he continued. Xavier raises his head once more, eyes alert.
“2,” Ray whispers in my ear, shielding me as best he can. My hands are clammy from holding the metal handle. I hold my breath, waiting for all this to end, for it to be over. Maybe I will wake up and find out that this was all a dream.
“3!” My eyes slip to a close as I wrench the handle open. There is a blur of motion as we all fall towards the ground, and for a moment, it seems as if all this is occurring in slow motion… as if we are just gracefully falling out a slowly-moving car.
Ray zooms out of the car, grasping both of us in his arms before we ever hit the ground and we are gone, traveling faster than the car ever did. In seconds Xavier is right along beside us.
“Let me take one,” he tells Ray, holding out his arms slightly. Ray rolls his eyes, and soon I find myself in Xavier’s strong arms. I almost sigh with relief as I lean back against his chest—although I hate to admit it—I have missed this so much.
Almost as much as I have missed him.
For what seems like ages we run through the forest, bullets shooting through the air. One hits a tree by us and it cracks, falling right beside us. I gasp as another drops to the ground soon after. Bullets aren’t supposed to be able to knock over trees.
Another series of trees plummeting to the ground follow a series of gunshots. “Xavier!” I scream as a gigantic one blocks our path; this one was laced with quite a few shots. Xavier turns quickly and we both realize that we are trapped in a circle of trees. “Who could have planned something like this?” I ask, my breath coming in short gasps.
Without answering my question, Xavier leaps to the top of the tree and prepares to jump off of it.
“If I were you, I wouldn’t do that,” a deep, commanding voice erupts from behind us. Chills race through my spine as we turn to see a man standing in the center of the circle. He had beautiful golden hair, much like Wes’s, that stopped right at his shoulders.
Xavier narrows his eyes. I can tell these two are not exactly friends. “And why not?” He stands firmly on the top of the tree, not backing down.
“Members of my team are stationed on every side. There is no chance of escape.” The man laughs a little, smiling brightly. “Hello, Xavier. Good to see you again, though I certainly did not think I would be seeing you so soon. Why don’t you step down from the tree?”
Xavier doesn’t waver.
“Did you see our newly developed bullets?” He gestures to the sky as a bunch of shots race through the air. “These are specially modified to have the ability to pierce the toughest of skins. Good thing you avoided them so far… if one hit you, it would have hurt.”
Suddenly the man notices me in his arms. “Is this the convert? She’s a pretty one.” Xavier’s grip tightens around my form, holding me even closer to his warm chest. “How about you convince your boyfriend to step down before anyone gets hurt?” He asks me, a hint of contempt laced through his seductive voice.
“Maybe it would be a good idea, Xavier,” I whisper into his ear, fright clearly painted onto my features, “they seem to know what they are doing.”
“I’m not going to give you up.” At these words, butterflies flutter in my stomach and a blush inches its way onto my cheek.
The man dramatically sighs. “Bring them out, Daem0n.”
An imposing man with sunglasses comes out from behind one of the trees, carrying two men. He places them near the feet of his leader, emotionless.
“Say hello to Jake and Wes,” the leader smiles, pulling a dark object out of his pocket, “or I should say, tell them your goodbyes unless you get down from that tree.” Thick, blood-stained bandages are wrapped around Jake’s arm and Wes’s calf. They must have been hit by those deadly bullets.
He holds the dark object over their heads. I recognize it to be a gun.
Where is Yi? He couldn’t be… dead, could he?
Xavier looks down, and slowly steps to the ground. Anger is laced through his gaze as he lifts his head and glares at the man. He doesn’t seem to notice that Yi is missing.
“This is your fault for trying to run,” the man says plainly, “it didn’t have to be this way.”
“You know my reasons for running,” Xavier replies evenly, his eyes like lasers. The man shrugs in reply, a slight smirk dancing across his handsome features.
“I’m afraid we are going to have to bring you all in.” With a wave of his hand, several figures jump over the trees into the circle. Most of them are strong, handsome men, not one of them appearing to be over the age of forty. The rest are beautiful wolves. Their eyes flash an emerald green.
Feeling rather awkward, I stumble out of Xavier’s arms and stand beside him. Scanning the row of men, I see no familiar faces. Danae and Ray are a few feet away from us, obviously trying to judge how powerful their opponent is.
“You have to let Mona have a trial,” Xavier insists firmly, “or I won’t surrender.” He steps towards the leader, clearly intent on picking a fight. Immediately two tall men surround him, forbidding him from proceeding any farther.
“Why should I do that when you so blatantly broke the rules and even tried to escape going to headquarters?”
I listen to their argument for a few seconds, and then my gaze wanders. I search my surroundings for other werewolves, wondering if any more were hiding in the bushes. Maybe if I run as fast as possible, I could escape while the leader’s attention was focused. Without making any sort of noise, I inch towards the tree trunk…
…Until I spot a huge, handsome dog with silky smooth chocolate fur and a large caramel splotch on his eyes leaping over the trees. Its eyes roam the circle, then stops on me. We stare at each other for a minute, frozen. Tears spring to my eyes.
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