Lupine - Day 3 Evening to Day 4 Morning

As the night wore on the air grew unbearably cold and Haddie began to struggle. They quickly lost the trail of their would be pursuers and were back to stumbling aimlessly from tree to tree, not daring to cry out for fear of the riders hearing them.

Peering upwards Gill caught a brief glimpse of the moon, peering down at them through the canopy above. There was a small comfort to be had in that distant light. It made Gill wish he had religion like the nun Lyen, a prayer answered would be just the ticket about now, but thus far life had given the pair no space for spiritual matters and god talk.

A soft crunch told of Haddie falling to the ground and Gill knelt beside her quickly, helping her back up. Her good eye was half closed with fatigue and even in the darkness he could see that she was looking pale and drawn.

"We have to keep on moving." he urged as he wrapped his arm around her shoulder and heaved her to her feet.

Something moved off to the right. There came a rustle and a low growl and Gill turned to see golden eyes staring at him from between the trees. They were there for a moment and then gone.

Another sound off to the left and then he saw the silver fur and sleek form of an animal pass in front of them. Several more pairs of golden eyes blinked into appearance up ahead and Gill pulled Haddie off to the right.

"Can you run?" he asked her and she shook her head, a nearby snarl causing he to flinch and draw herself closer to him. Gills mind was racing. The creatures were circling them as they walked, no doubt waiting for one of them to stumble once more. Working up the courage to move in for the kill.

Half carrying Haddie now Gill quickened his pace. Several times the wolves sprang out to their right or left, circling in close as if toying with them. Each time Gill cried out in terror and rage, flailing out at them and causing them to spring back. He managed to catch on spry silver furred creature with a sharp kick to the ribs that sent it howling back into the shadows.

The scrambled forward in terror as the hunters drew ever closer. The trees loomed over them as if watching the display, spectators to this midnight hunt. From time to time the moon would gleam through the branches revealing the shifting forms of wolves as they kept pace with the siblings. Then up ahead the trees gave way to a clearing, and in the centre of the clearing... a shack.

Saftey! Gill quickened his pace, lifting Haddie up into his arms. The wolves as if sensing that they were about to lose their prey grew more brazen and two swept in to snap at Gill legs. He cried out with all of his might and kicked out at them. A white hot pain in his right shin told of fangs tearing into his flesh but he tactic had worked and the two drew back.

He was in the clearing now. The shack up ahead was in darkness meaning it was either empty or the occupants were sleeping. He could feel blood running down his leg into his shoe. He could not stop!

It was then that he saw the black wolf. It stood between them and the shack. It's head to one side and its mouth slightly open to reveal vicious fangs. It was a huge creature, probably the pack alpha and it was waiting for them.

Gill stopped for a moment and the animals golden eyes met his own. He looked down at Haddie who was no long conscious and then back to the wolf. "No." he snarled... and then louder... "Noooooo!"

Gill charged forward screaming out at the top of his voice. The animal hesitated for a moment curling lips in a feral snarl. Gill bore down upon it and as he ran he snatched his hand into Haddies satchel grabbing the first thing he could find and throwing it at the beast with all the force he could muster.

The wolf squealed as the projectile struck its muzzle and then sprang aside as Gill tore in towards the shelter. He did not look back as he ran on and he did not stop until he reached the door of the building. It was left ajar and he threw himself inside along with his sister. They were inside. They were safe.

Quickly he turned to close and secure the door, before examining his surroundings. The shack was deserted. A single room building with a small cot and some rudimentary furniture. It looked abandoned. There was enough light from the moon streaming in by the window for the pair to find their way to the bed where Gill lay Haddie down to get some sleep. In the morning they would have to see about finding their way out.

Gill sat watching his sister sleep. He wondered if the others were looking for them? and he wondered just how much trouble they were truly in. When sleep finally took him he was wondering whether the ship had simply left without them. He could not have blamed them...

***

"Wake up sleepy head." the voice was strange yet familiar. Gill rolled and yawned.

"I said..." there came a sharp pain to his stomach that caused Gill to double up choking "....git up."

Gill opened his eyes to see a tall blonde man standing over him. He scrambled to his knees and then back away from the man who he now recognised as the lead rider from the night before.

"Dont give us any trouble or you get bundled up like your sister there." the man growled.

Gill looked over to see Haddie bound hand and foot. She looked furious and a large bruise was forming around the right side of her face. A smudge of dried blood covered her chin.

"Dont hurt her." Gill half begged, half demanded.

The light laughter of a woman came from above where Haddie sat. "Dont hurt her." she chortled before fixing Gill with a glare.

"The blood isnt hers, she bit a chunk out of Aluns ear. He's out there right now holding snow on the wound." she glanced towards the door, "When he gets back he'll probably kill the little bitch."

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