Glancing down at my watch I saw half an hour passed already. How much farther did we have to go? I mean, I was grateful for Nathan's suggestion of putting on his coat, but it was much colder out here than I'd expected. There was a strong breeze and even with the extra layer of clothing, along with the fur he'd extended to keep me from falling off his back, I was starting to feel the chill, especially in my legs. Still I had the heat coming off of his wolf form to help. But instead of complaining, I simply hugged Nathan tighter and buried my face in his fur and tried not to think about my discomfort.
Then I noticed more fur stretching and slowly covering my legs. "Thank you," I shouted over the wind.
"You're quite welcome," Nathan replied, inside my head.
Now I was feeling much more comfortable. Between that and the rhythm of being rocked while on Nathan's back I wound up dozing off. It was only when we came to a sudden halt, that I awoke. Remembering where we were I was about to ask if we'd found the wolf's pack. But no. Instead we had come to a halt on the top of a ridge.
I was about to ask what was wrong when I suddenly had to catch my breath. We were standing right under the Northern Lights
Or at least if felt that way. The Aurora Borealis stretches for miles and miles naturally, but at that moment it felt like we were right under the very center of it. Front, back, side to side, they were the sky for us at that moment. I could even make out the stars beyond the swirling colors, which was something I'd never thought about until that moment. It was... incredible.
"I thought you'd like it," Nathan told me through our mental link. There was a tenderness in his words that I actually felt. I've always felt something for Nathan, but in that moment I truly knew how much I was in love with him.
Yet at the same time I wished that Lisa could have been with us in that moment. Her being there with us would have made it truly perfect.
"Another time," came Nathan's voice in my head.
Taking the hint I looked over at our wolf friend. I could tell he understood how we felt about the scene above and around us, but he had a longing of his own to fulfill. Nodding I said to Nathan, "LET'S GO!"
Nathan turned his head to look at me and smiled. "Hang on!" he told me with his voice, instead of our link.
It was a good thing I listened. The pair of them took off like shot. We were moving much faster than before. I realized they must've gotten the scent of the pack who were on the move. A hunt perhaps? No doubt I would soon find out.
Finally we spotted them in the distance.
They were out in the open and seemingly in disarray. From the tracks in the snow near them it appeared that some kind of big prey had gotten away. A failed hunt? More than likely.
"They apparently haven't been able to decide on a new pack leader," Nathan said in my head. "Look off to the side and you'll see the alpha female."
I did as he instructed and saw her.
She was even more beautiful in person than in our companion's memory. She was curled up off to the side, ignoring the boisterous males who seemed to be arguing amongst themselves. Clearly she had not chosen a new mate, and nearby were several more females watching her closely. Sisters? I wondered. Possibly. Maybe that's why none of them had challenged her her alpha position, even without a mate.
But even more curious was the fact that she was staring in our direction. Ears perked up, eyes sharp and alert.
"Maybe now would be a good time to take the Sangui-Sapio back?" I whispered in one of Nathan's pointed ears.
He shook his head and did not speak aloud but through the link once more. "She knows we're here. Or rather that HE is here."
"Then she can smell the Sangui-Sapio in him," I thought back. Knowing that wolves are normally very shy of people to begin with, I didn't want to use my voice and possibly spook the pack.
She was on her feet now and took a few steps in our direction then stopped. Clearly something was holding her back. Then I spotted the rest of the pack. They had either spotted us or caught our scent, and were clearly not happy about it.
Feeling a little anxious I mentally hissed, "Okay, NOW would definitely be a good time to take back the Sangui-Sapio."
"Not yet!" Nathan thought back forcefully. From someplace nearby I could hear bison calling to one another.
A herd was nearby.
I caught the look that passed between Nathan and our friend and suddenly the two of them took off, with me still on Nathan's back. Looking over my shoulder I saw that the blonde female was following, along with the other females. Eventually, the rest of the pack began to follow as well.
What was going on?
I soon found out.
On the other side of a rise, the herd soon came into view causing us to slow to a halt. There were about 20-30 of them, slightly scattered, grazing on the tall plants sticking out of the snow.
Now I understood. Our friend needed to make a kill to prove he was still a good hunter/provider to get his position back. And since Bison were extremely dangerous animals, Nathan was leaving the Sangui-Sapio where it was to give the wolf added strength to bring one down. But even with the extra strength, surely one wolf couldn't bring down a bison all by himself.
Suddenly, Nathan's backside hit the snow, and the fur that had been holding me in place receded. Taking the hint, I slid off him and stood next to a nearby tree. As soon as I was clear, the two of them began sneaking up on the group below.
I'll say it right now, I was worried. Not so much for the two of them, but for myself. Because I could tell the pack, still following the alpha female, were practically right behind me. I hadn't realized how close they were until our friend's mate came to a halt just a few yards off to my right. She was keeping one eye on me, while also paying close attention to what was happening below.
There were a few calves among the herd, and for a second I was afraid that one of them would be the target. But no, Nathan and our friend were making their way towards a lone full-grown adult. A male, I later found out. An older one, but still full of fight.
I won't go into detail, but needless to say the two of them pounced and kept their prey from escaping with the rest of the herd. But still, the odds were not necessarily in their favor. It was quite the struggle and only when it was clear that they were able to keep the bull form escaping that the alpha female turned to the pack. She became very vocal letting out a series of barks and growls, then took off to join the fight. A number of others joined her, while the several of those who remained behind slowly began to take up positions around... ME!
TO BE CONTINUED... and eventually concluded I promise!
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