My eyes fluttered open, but I couldn’t see anything. I was surrounded by darkness and deafening silence as a foul smell invaded my nostrils. My head was pounding, and my body ached like I was tossed around for hours. I slowly sat up, rubbing my forehead and glanced around me, but there was nothing except darkness. I didn’t know where I was, and dread began to rise within me at the possible threats that could be closing in on me. I tried to channel my wolf, hoping to see things through her eyes. However, something seemed off; it was as if she was being suppressed. I could feel her, but not like usual, and it felt like she was fighting to stay with me; this sparked even more apprehension.
I closed my eyes, trying to reel her back in, but the more I tried, the deeper she went inside my head and further away from me. Finally, I stopped, afraid that if I continued to reach out for her, I would push her to the point of no return. I inhaled and exhaled heavily, and when I opened my eyes, there was a dim light around me. The moon illuminated the area around me now, allowing me to see that I was in a forest. However, I didn’t recognize my surroundings; nothing seemed familiar. Everything around me gave me an eerie feeling, one of death and despair.
I shakily stood to my feet and glanced around, looking for something or someone other than trees, but there was nothing; I was alone. I started to walk off into the distance, hoping to eventually find a way out or someone who could help me. I couldn’t even remember how I had gotten here in the first place or what had happened. As I continued to walk, I came across two dirt paths, both looking similar and seeing no differences between the two.
I stood there, staring down each path, unsure of which one to take. At this moment, I needed my wolf more than anything; she would be able to help me make a decision, she would be able to sense which one was the safest choice, but I was alone in this decision, and time was crucial right now, as I needed to return to Cain. So, making a rash and quick decision, I chose to go with the path on my left, hoping I hadn’t just made a horrible decision.
I began to cautiously walk down the path, my entire being on high alert, listening and looking all around for any threats. The trail started to narrow, and the foliage became denser as I continued. What little bit of light I had from the moon was now dissipating, causing the panic inside of me to increase. Then, suddenly, I heard a woman’s voice echoing all around me. “Freja.” It whispered, in singsong. I stilled, not moving or making a sound. My eyes scanned everything around me, trying to pinpoint who the voice belonged to, but everything was quiet now, and there was nothing in sight but trees.
The voice rang in my ears again, closer this time, “Freja.” She whispered sweetly, sending shivers down my spine. My heart was beating erratically now, from the anticipation of the possible impending danger that was lurking close by. My breathing increased as I slowly turned around, frantically looking about, for the person that continued to call out to me.
I came to a dead stop as the silhouette of a person came into view. The figure was standing there in the darkness, not moving or making a sound. Their hair billowed in the wind, and the only clear thing was the bright green eyes staring back at me.
Our eyes locked, and we just stood there, staring each other down; the eyes were so vivid and full of colour, it was hypnotizing. Then, breaking the trance, I closed my eyes and shook my head, unsure of what to make of this whole situation, but the figure was no longer in front of me when I opened my eyes. My head whipped from left to right, looking to see where they had disappeared to, but it was no longer in sight.
I continued to look around me when the voice called my name again. However, this time, it came from behind me. “Freja!” The voice sounded scratchy and menacing this time. I turned around, only to be blinded by a bright, white light, and then, everything went dark again.
I woke up in a panic, sweat dripping down my face, my heart pounding in my chest, and my breathing laboured. I didn’t know where I was or what was going on until a familiar face appeared before me.
The nurse, Rose, whom I had previously met, came to my side, a bright smile on her face. “Luna, it’s alright; you are in the medical wing at the packhouse.” She said in a soothing voice, attempting to calm me, but my nerves were so frazzled at the moment that it didn’t help at all. Rose started to rub my back. “Luna, you are safe now.” She tried to assure me, but something in my gut told me we were far from being safe.
Suddenly, Gunnar burst through the door, pushing his way through the crowd of men, despite their attempts to try and keep him out of my room. His eyes softened, and relief took hold of his expression. “It’s about time your lazy ass woke up.” He said jokingly.
I chuckled. “Nice to see you too.” I sat up as Gunnar approached the bed; he then sat on the edge of the bed and engulfed me in a hug. We sat like that for a moment, just embracing each other and the fact that we were alive until four men barged into my room.
They all bowed before one of the men spoke, “Apologies, Luna, we tried to keep the man out, but he overpowered us.” They admitted, ashamed of themselves. However, it wasn’t their fault, Gunnar was of Alpha blood, next in line to take over the Harvest Moon Pack, and when he set a course, no one would deter him from obtaining what he wanted.
I put up a hand and shook my head. “It's fine; this is my brother, Gunnar Forrester. He has my permission to be on the grounds and in my room.” I told them.
The man glanced to the others that stood at his side. “We understand Luna, and we are very much aware of who he is, but the Alpha made it clear that he isn’t to be anywhere near our lands, let alone inside the packhouse.” He said hesitantly.
I scowled at the man. “After what just happened, I think an exception made. Especially, seeing as the Alpha isn’t even coherent, and my brother saved his fucking life! Now, get out.” I bellowed, livid, that the men were trying to take the one person from me, that I needed more than anything right now. The men froze, apprehensive about going against Cain’s orders, yet scared to make a move or udder another word. Finally, after standing there for a moment, the one man nodded his head. “Of course Luna, my apologies.” They all then quickly left the room.