Wolf's Rain Fan Fiction ❯ Lullaby for a Stormy Night ❯ chapter 8 Escape, ESCAPE!! ( Chapter 8 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

A/n- yeah… the long wait was due to technical difficulties, but it's all worked out now. My lap top works again! I was having major withdrawals. Lol!
 
And no, I don't own anything of the wolfs rain series.
 
Don't forget to review please ^_^!!
 
Chapter 8- Escape, Escape!
 
 
Akira whimpered again as her minor wounds decided to piss and moan at her through her pain that she was pushing herself and needed at least some type of rest. Gritting her teeth, she tried desperately to ignore those sore aches and pains. She had no time for them right now. When she was back with the pack, then she could rest.
 
`Maybe not even then' she thought sourly as she noted that the gun powder stench of the soldiers still clung heavily in the air…. And to the woman who was following her.
 
Cher kept looking down worriedly at the young wolf she had known since she started the Cheza Project. She knew wolves healed faster than regular, but she also knew that wounds were still wounds and Akira wasn't giving hers time to heal with the way she trudged on determined to get where ever. In the back of her mind, she wandered if she'd be allowed to follow the inspiring wolf. She was the only wolf Cher knew enough to know she wouldn't harm her on purpose, but then again, she didn't know many wolves.
 
After the 15th time Cher heard the poor female wolf softly whimper or moan in pain, she bent down to grab at the chain linked collar around the red fur neck and tugged the wolf to a stop near a tall, ancient tree full of flowers and other vines running up and down its trunk.
 
“Look, I know you're in pain. So slow down and let me have a-,” she was abruptly cut off when 3 boys dropped down suddenly and trapped her where she and Akira stood. A young girl not much younger than Cher herself was suddenly between her and Akira. Cher looked around at each one of them startled, “What do you want?” she demanded.
 
“We'll be taking the bitch with us now. You can go on back from whence you came.” The oldest of the 3 males said rather crossly. His golden eyes looked down at the blond haired scientist as he if were looking down at something lower than himself in status. Something hardly worth his time.
 
“You will not harm her!” Cher defended.
 
They seemed to ignore her obvious threat to them, but the youngest boy seemed only to get even more worried as he looked between herself and Akira, who seemed just as surprised as Cher was.
 
The young black haired woman, who had just been crouched down over the female wolf checking her over, stood up and narrowed her autumn red eyes dangerously at Cher's crystal blue ones. They were eye to eye, but the red eyed woman had a more threatening air about her than Cher could muster.
 
“Did you wound her?” the woman demanded.
 
“No. I found her near the gutters.” Cher said.
 
The others, including the young woman didn't seem to believe her.
 
“She's lying!” the 3rd male growled, “I can smell her fear from here!” that just made the others start to close in on Cher, but Akira wiggled her way between the red eyed woman and Cher, effectively drawing their attention to her.
 
The red wolf's orange eyes bore into the woman's own red ones before swiftly moving on to the boys, letting out small yips and soft growls that Cher couldn't understand.
 
“What do you mean `Leave her alone'?” the other woman snorted, “You know she's after Cheza! She'll take her soon as she spots her!”
 
`Cheza....?' come to think of it, they did look familiar. Then it dawned to her, `THEY'RE the ones Cheza was running with…. Smiling!'
 
 
She won't hurt any of us!” Akira barked out.
 
“What are you? A human or a wolf?!” the yellow hooded boy demanded.
 
“Let's go.” A new voice came from the tree.
 
Cher and the others looked up to see Cheza holding the hand of yet another boy. This one was also faintly familiar to Cher with his blue eyes and shaggy dark brown hair. Her eyes fell on Cheza and she held her breath. Cheza wasn't afraid. She was looking down at them curiously from her perch on the massive tree's roots.
 
“But Kiba-,” the hood one spoke in protest.
 
The one called Kiba sent him a meaningful look, “She's unarmed. There's no need to bother with her. Let's go.”
 
Cher looked around her again to see that in the place of those kids were now wolves! `I was right! They can shift into a human form!' she thought in awe as the black female wolf in front of her and Akira took the boy's words to heart and leapt up towards them and then dashed off through the foliage, Cheza followed after the black wolf when the other three seemed to get the idea.
 
“Wait, CHEZA!” Cher started to follow, but a golden eyed white wolf leapt down and cut her off. His fierce gaze was her only warning to back off, but he didn't growl at her. Cher gulped down in fear and knew her best bet was to stay perfectly still.
 
The white wolf's gaze shifted from her own blue eyes to something beside her. Cher looked down to see that Akira was still standing faithfully at her side. Her head didn't lower as the white wolfs eyes settled on her. His gaze heated and demanded submission that Akira seemed unwilling to comply to. Cher realized that he must be telling her to follow the others, yet the young wolf seemed to refuse his demand.
 
“Akira! Leave with the others!” Kiba started to growl.
 
“I can't just leave her here! I don't see why she can't just come with us?” Akira protested. She really didn't want to have to give up Cher's company, knowing the scientist meant them no harm.
 
“She'll only slow us down! We have to go now; she's calling the soldiers as we speak!”
 
“No she's not.”
 
“Not intentionally, but they're coming! She's been bugged and I won't let you get captured. NOW GET GOING!” He unconsciously bared his teeth, instinctively trying to dominate the lower pack member to his will.
 
Cher knew the soldiers would be here and they had orders to shoot wolves. She didn't think they'd spare Akira no matter what she told them, “Akira,” her voice took the wolf's attention off the large, white male and turned to look up at her with big puppy like eyes, “It's fine, go.” She nodded.
 
Akira looked back at the white wolf, then to Cher and whined.
 
“Really, go” Cher nudged her. When Akira still didn't move, Cher stepped back a few paces. The white wolf seemed to think she was far enough away that he could approach the red female wolf. And approach her he did. Kiba lowered his head as he approached her, only to lift it once more when he was with in range and securely fastened his jaws around the truff of her neck where a mother wolf usually picks up her pups. Akira yelped as the larger wolf dragged her toward the general area.
 
“Let me go!”
 
“Since you seem to have a hard time walking, I might as well drag you.” Kiba muffled sarcastically as he leaped up on to the large roots of the ancient tree still with her in a submissive hold.
 
Akira wailed in protest, but finally gave in, “Alright, alright already! I get it, it's time to leave. So let go so we can catch up!” she shoved him off, growling at his cocky, purely male wolfish smirk before he took off, leading her after the others.
 
Akira took one last glance down to her human friend before she sighed and darted after the white male. Wandering what crawled up his ass to make him feel so pushy and dominating.
 
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The white-gray wolf paced up and down the window way of his chamber Darcia held him prisoner to. He was fed and watered regularly as if he were a mere pet, yet he refused to eat or drink of this place. His stubborn wolf pride wouldn't allow it. At night, he opted to lay in his wolf form stretched out where the moon beams could reach him through the window and soak up the energy his kind were granted through the beautiful moon and it's silvery rays. It lessened the stomach pains his body snarled at him from lack of anything to eat, but he knew eventually it was eat, escape, or die. As a wolf, he wasn't afraid to die, but his father had taught him that life was given for a reason and if he were to die then do it taking your enemy with you. He'd get no where dieing of starvation.
 
Out of frustration, Jasper snarled to himself when he was reminded of just whom was pulling all the strings around here; Darcia. The man who was now bonded to his blood in order to restore his own long lost wolf blood that was only allowed to resurface due to a family curse…. The wolfs eye. The mad man wanted Cheza to open paradise AND knew the secret of the preverbal Red Moon…. The moon of death…. The moon of the final trail of the world fate in paradise once it was opened.
 
His snarls stopped suddenly and a small whimper escaped him as red fur and bright orange puppy eyes smiled up at him while a fluffy, fox like tail wagged behind her, “Akira….”
 
His family crest around his neck jingled as he stood on four legs to walk away from the moon light and stare down at himself into the water fountain again. The crest of a silver crucifix hung just below the fur on his neck. A warm reminder that there was still hope and a memoir of his past; both the good and the bad parts of it. The wolf turned his attention to his own blue-green eyes and the snarl was back again. That human eye in this form would forever mark him as a slave to that man. It would forever remind him that no matter what he did, in the end paradise would not find him. He would die when Darcia did. If not by another, then by his own claw and fang would he serve the noble his own heart just before both of them lost consciousness to death.
 
The door opened and those foot steps echoed off the barren walls of the granite chamber of white. The white wolf felt the bind spell start again and all his muscles locked up, forbidding him from moving while his master approached. He couldn't even curl his lip back from his fangs as he snarled the unwelcome greeting he attached to that scent he hated more than anything besides any other noble…. Darcia.
 
“My brother wolf,” Darcia nonchalantly knelt beside the spell cast wolf with a black studded collar at hand with a laser like device on the tag which was sterling silver and held the name `Darcia' in fine writing, “It is time for you to do what you're called to do until your former use to me has come with the time.” He fastened the collar over Jasper's choker chain and then stood up, “this collar is ritualized to with hold the bond even when we are separated. You will obey only what my commands say and will have no choice in the matter.”
 
Going from `pet' to `brother' now?” the wolf snarled back.
 
Darcia's spell lifted, but Jasper knew that if he attacked, it would be useless, “the wolves with my flower are near the fallen castle of my clan. You are to follow them so that I may track them effectively until the full moon, when Cheza shall return to me.”
 
Red light flashed through the white wolfs blue orbs and his will was shoved behind the force of the command. He was unable to resist the urge to obey and found himself in the woods beyond the hidden keep of Darcia in minutes, catching the scent of lunar flowers and wolves. His collar sent a never ending pulse to a machine Darcia and his Seer watched as he led them on.
 
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“We need to find a rest stop soon,” Heart warned the others as she watched Akira try to limp with them as the wolves made their way through town in their human forms. Unfortunately for the red fox-like wolf, her balance was wavering and she seemed to be hovering from leaning on either Kiba or Toboe when her head got too dizzy.
 
Said red wolf glared in the general direction she knew Heart was with in her dizzy haze, “Look…. I---m…. fine!” she had trouble sputtering out. Talking and walking used to be a breeze, but now with the blood loss and her wounds…. Major headache. And it didn't help with the way Kiba had snagged her earlier.
 
Hige tilted his head with a small smirk when the she wolf nearly ran into a wall before Kiba nudged her away from it, “Trust me, ya look fine too.” He snickered.
 
“Let's just get out of sight before she draws too much attention.” Tsume hissed under his breath as his golden eyes wryly shifted around their surroundings. What ever bystander was around was watching on with mild amusement. Probably thinking the dizzy girl was just a drunk that got roughed up a bit. Her wounds didn't look so bad in this form.
 
Cheza only smiled with a small giggle when she saw Akira trying so hard to walk straight, only to have her knees buckle and she fell to the ground on her face with a yelp.
 
“This one thinks it's best if Akira didn't walk. Your injures are straining too much from your concentration and exertion.” She offered.
 
Akira huffed. Now that Cheza would insist, she just knew Kiba and Heart would too.
 
“Yeah, Cheza's right, Akira. Let one of us carry you.” Toboe agreed.
 
Hige's head shot up excitedly and Akira just knew he was wagging his tail, “I'll do it!” he offered.
 
Every one just stared blankly at him.
 
“What?” he humphed disgruntled.
 
“I'd rather not be felt up when I can't count on my reflexive aim.” Akira sighed.
 
“WHAT! You'd think I'd actually take advantage like that?!” he sounded hurt and defensive.
 
“Wouldn't hold my breath.” Heart said dryly while Kiba decided to take the liberty to pull Akira's arm over his shoulders to help her walk.
 
“Believe what you will, but I can be the perfect gentlemen when I want to.” Hige defended.
 
“Yeah, in a gentleman's club.” Heart rolled her eyes smartly.
 
The group laughed while they walked on, but Cheza had suddenly stopped near a passage ally to the next street. A curious expression on her face.
 
“Cheza?” Kiba turned to her when he noticed she'd stopped, the others continued to mess around with Hige.
 
“We have friends, even here!” she gasped excitedly as she took off down the ally way.
 
“Wait!” Kiba drug Akira toward the ally way and stopped cold when they saw the wolf hunters dog tied up out side of the bar. Its fangs bared at Cheza.
 
Akira's hazy mind cleared when she sensed possible danger near Cheza and heard the growls of a familiar adversary. She tore away from Kiba in her own wolf form and quickly shoved her way between the dog and Cheza, answering with her own deep growl of warning. Seeing the familiar red wolf, the black dog's threat deepened with a snarl and both female's hair stood on end.
 
“Please,” Cheza let a gentle hand crease Akira's fur. Almost instantly, Akira's growls subsided and she sat on her haunches beside Cheza; surprised that Kiba hadn't resorted to changing into his true form yet. He tensely stood behind them watching the bar door and keeping alert on their surroundings. Akira realized she was foolish in morphing when human eyes could have seen the change, but it appeared that no one but the dog had witnessed that didn't already know.
 
The black dog looked confused that Akira's demeanor had changed from hostile to rather friendly just with a touch of this…. Flower smelling girl. No matter that the scent was alluring and pleasing to inhale, she had first scented it on the red wolf and had marked it as a way to follow it, but this girl seemed to be a stronger source… as if she WAS the flower its self!
 
“You've been all alone, all this time. Haven't you?” the gentle voice smoothed into the black dog's ears, “You've lived all this time not knowing what or who you truly are. Not knowing that deep inside you, you're part wolf.”
 
Akira and Kiba did a double take at the black dog in surprise. Akira's ears perked up then laid back to her head in thought, `Just like Heart.'
 
The blue eyed dog seemed startled as well and showed her emotion rather clearly. Cheza moved her hands to pet the black part wolf and the blue eyed she wolf moved away in confusion and fear with a helpless whine, “It's okay now.” Cheza smiled.
 
Akira wagged her tail. If Cheza saw the good in this wolf…err part wolf, then Akira saw no need to hold a grudge…. She wasn't that good at keeping tabs on her grudges anyways. It was the old man that traveled with the dog that she feared. He sounded so…. So afraid of her, and yet so sad and angry.
 
A sound from with in the bar signaled that someone was coming out. Kiba looked to Akira and she morphed back to a human shape under his silent command, “Cheza, we need to go.” He said quietly as he scooped up a surprised Akira and led Cheza away.
 
The blue eyed k9 struggled to follow them, but was restrained by a leash. She whimpered at her own expense and stood to just watch as the young `man' dashed off with both the odd girl and the similar smelling she wolf she had attacked previously. Some how, she didn't feel any need to really want to hurt that she wolf again. Even if her pops told her to.
 
“We spotted them!” one of the soldiers announced, “Surround the city and make sure they can't get away.”
 
Cher stepped out of the bar surprised to hear the news; “Spotted?” she looked down at the tied up dog and instantly was reminded of the red fur marred in wounds, “Akira?”
 
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Hige sniffed around an old rusted out bus with over grown foliage all over it as it lay hidden on the out skits of the abandoned scrap yard just outside of town. He poked his head out to survey the area and popped back in with a smirk, “All clear! This place'll be great to crash in while we're here. They'll never find us!” he gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to prove his point.
 
“Well that's always good news.” Heart smiled.
 
“I'll say,” Akira agreed from where she lay with her head in Cheza's lap while Cheza finished up healing her wounds.
 
“How are you feeling now?” Kiba asked from where he sat on one of the torn booth seats of the bus.
 
“No pain what so ever!” Akira gave a bright smile and a mock salute, “soldier Akira ready for duty once again!”
 
“I've had enough soldiers to last.” Toboe sighed.
 
“Yeah, these guys aren't giving any slack this time.” Hige moaned.
 
Tsume looked from Akira to Cheza, “It's because that scientist lady saw Cheza and has a relation to Akira.” His golden eyes settled on Akira's just as ever one else decided to look at her as well, “Care to explain that bit of left out information?” he said suspiciously.
 
Akira held her hands up in defense, “Hey, I didn't know she'd be following us!”
 
“I didn't ask you if you knew, I asked how she knows you.” Tsume clarified.
 
“So what if I knew her back at free city? She WAS the head of Cheza's scientist. She used to confide in me when things were going slow on the night shift. I DID stay in the lab.” Akira huffed.
 
“Does she know your human form?” Kiba asked sternly.
 
“No” Akira didn't like being interrogated, but with the suspicious looks even Heart was issuing her…, “You don't think I'm leading them to us, do you?”
 
“Who knows what that collar's for.” Tsume countered critically.
 
“Yeah, well Hige wears one too!” she defended, “Besides, my collar was given to me by my father. Not some human. All of my family members have one just like it. No bugs attached. Run me through a scanner if you're not convinced. All you'll get is metal detection.” She insisted.
 
“I really don't think Akira would do something like that to anyone.” Toboe pleaded as he started to take her side, feeling guilty that he had suspected her otherwise just a moment ago, but Akira was grateful. She could tell the others were starting to accept it as well. But Tsume just kept his usual sneer. It was his way.
 
“This one has no doubt that Akira would never do that to the ones she cares for.” Cheza also agreed.
 
Kiba looked outside momentarily and sighed, “Well, it doesn't really matter; we've all done something or other. So she's no different. Right now we need to check the perimeter to see if there's a way out and where the soldiers are located.”
 
Hige's stomach started to growl and it was echoed around the small confines of the bus. Heart smiled and patted Akira's shoulder, “You boys go on and do that. Akira and I'll dig up some grub.” She tugged Akira out of the bus.
 
“Right, Toboe, you'll stay here with Cheza till we get back.” Kiba told the young wolf.
 
Toboe mocked Akira's salute, “I sure will!”
 
 
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“Man, we've tried 3 dumpsters already and not one of them's got enough to really be counted as food.” Akira sighed as she walked along side Heart. The older woman chuckled.
 
“Well, you should get used to it. Things are always hard and disappointing on the streets.” Heart wisely said with her hands tucked into her coat pockets. She shook her head to shake her shoulder length hair to her back and away from her neck with a sigh, “I guess you're going to have a hard time from adjusting from a stable environment to an unstable life on the road, ne?”
 
“Yeah. Even the island wasn't this bad.” Akira agreed. Then suddenly, the rusty red head looked up with curious orange eyes, “Hey, Heart?”
 
“Hm?” Heart mumbled as she looked around when a new scent of trash wafted to her nose.
 
“What was your life like? I mean before we met?” it was innocent, but Akira could tell it startled Heart. So she quickly fumbled to change the question, “Y-you don't have to t-tell me in detail, but just the basic….?”
 
Heart glanced down at her and couldn't help but feel obligated to those innocent eyes, “What do you wanna know?” she sighed.
 
“Well, do you have any siblings? I know you're only part wolf like me, but you're a dog and I'm a fox, well, I have an ancestor who was. I think it was my grandmother. Or maybe my great grand mother…” she murmured off.
 
Heart was quiet a moment, “I had a sister once.” She said softly, “A younger sister who I lost before she could even open her eyes.” she said softly.
 
Akira's eyes widened, “How?” she jerked suddenly when she saw Hearts melancholy look, “I-I mean, uh,”
 
“There was a fire.” Heart said softly.
 
Akira stopped walking and so did Heart as she continued, “Mother had given birth away from the pack, like most mothers do. Father dug out a den for her near the river bank where he and I would visit her and take care of her while I was still very young in my pup years. Mother was pregnant with my sister just weeks after I was fully waned from her milk. When the fire came, we knew it was from bounty wolf hunters. Father told me to go to a near by village of people who took care of wolves equally while he went after mother….” Heart trailed off and Akira could tell that she had shed many tears over this, yet not a single tear feel from her autumn eyes that looked so pained, “He never came back. It wasn't long before I found the courage to search our scorched home land to find them. When I reached the river bank den, mother and father's bones lay charred in the dirt, but I never saw any trace of my 7 week old sister. I figure she must have wandered off some where after they died.”
 
“Heart, ….. that's terrible.” Akira sympathized.
 
“It's no big deal. I went back to the village to stay for a while, but the other wolves and I got too restless, wanting to wander with our own kind. So when I was old enough to lead what little we had left, I led them away and ended up with Tsume's pack and mating to the alpha male there” Akira could tell just by her friends voice that that mating had probably just been strictly political. Heart didn't seem to enthusiastic about it, “Yet not even that lasted but about 4 years before we were attacked. I wound up at the island with Zali when I once again got separated from them. And now I'm here” Heart shrugged and started walking, letting Akira catch up after the younger woman snapped out of it.
 
“You're really one of a kind, Heart. I've heard of tough women, but you take that to a new level. I can't see how you can bring yourself to trust anyone after so many separations.” She said admiringly, but to Heart, it stung her a bit.
 
“I don't trust willingly much anymore.” The elder wolf said coldly.
 
Akira faltered in step. She looked at Hearts back while she kept walking with a wounded look, “Not even a little?”
 
“I can't afford to get too attached too much. In the end, they're just taken away.” Heart said as she stood for a moment to scent the air and turned her head to the left with a satisfied smile, “I smell something in large amounts and fresh!” she started walking faster, leaving Akira standing wounded inwardly out on the barren street.
 
I can't afford to get too attached too much. In the end, they're just taken away
 
Heart back tracked in her steps when she noticed Akira wasn't following, “Hey, Akira! You coming or what? I found the jack pot over behind this restaurant! Looks like nobody here liked the yesterday's meat special!”
 
Akira looked up at her hurt.
 
“What?” Heart asked with a tilt of her head.
 
“Do you really trust no one anymore?” Akira's voice was soft and if not for her wolf senses, Heart wouldn't have heard it.
 
“Oh, Akira…,” Heart sighed in realization. She gave the younger girl a serene smile, “when I said that, I didn't mean you. I trust you. Don't worry.” She reassured as she approached the younger wolf and hugged her.
 
“And the others?”
 
“Well, I trust them too…. Mostly.” She snickered.
 
Akira couldn't help the smile, “Hige has his moments…” she agreed.
 
“They all do. And Tsume's such a tight ass.” Heart snorted.
 
“So you admit that you look at his ass when you're walking at the rear of the pack?” Akira teased; delighted to see a light, off guard blush flittering across Heart's nose.
 
“Least I'm not playing dumb to woe Mr. Snow-white!” Heart accused.
 
“Snow white?” Akira blinked, “Oh, you mean Kiba? …. I'M NOT TRYING TO WOE HIM!” Akira yelped.
 
“So you're really just playing dumb?”
 
“No!”
 
Heart stared at her in disbelief, but when she saw no deceit in the smaller wolf, she sighed, “Akira, you're just too innocent and honest for your own good.” She ruffled the rusty red bangs good naturedly before turning on her heal to go after the meat.
 
“Why you going that way?” Akira asked while she tried to re-tame her bangs with her fingers.
 
“Cause I smell food.” Heart said, “You go on and scope out a little more. We can use all we can get. I get this and meet up with ya back at the bus later.”
 
“Sure” Akira nodded as she started to walk on.
 
 
“MOVE! OUT OF THE WAY!” a soldier called as a troop of them jogged pass, making Akira take a step back and out of the way at the intersection of the dirt walkways.
 
She nervously waited, fearing that one of them might recognize her. Unfortunately, she was still in the way of the troop, since she was shoved roughly out of the way and too the ground.
 
“Hey!” she eeped when her rump hit the ground. She looked up and glared, only to come face to face with familiar blue eyes and blond hair.
 
“Sorry about that. Here, let me help you up.” Cher said offering a hand with a smile.
 
Akira could only stare, `Does she know who I am?' she took the offered hand and dusted herself off.
 
“You shouldn't take it to heart. There's some targets of theirs running around town, so they're all a bit of jackasses.” Cher chuckled.
 
Akira smiled in return.
 
“Do you live around here?” Cher asked.
 
“Me? No,” Akira pointed to herself, “No, I'm … I'm just passing through.”
 
“Oh,” Cher seemed disappointed, “Well do you know someone who does live here that might know a bit of history round here?”
 
Akira thought a moment. She had seen a particularly old man with an antique shop. He should know some history; given his age, “Uh, there's an antique shop further down that road,” she nodded to the road behind her.
 
“Oh thank you,” Cher smiled with a nod as she glanced at the way Akira had just come from.
 
“No problem.” Akira started to walk off, thinking the conversation was over.
 
“Oh, hey!” Akira looked over her shoulder slightly nervous. Did she recognize her??
 
“Yes?”
 
“Watch yourself, will you? There's dangerous things running around here and I wouldn't want you getting hurt.” Cher warned.
 
Akira smiled, “Thanks for the warning. I'll remember it.” She waved and started walking again.
 
`If only you knew I run with them.' Akira thought.
 
 
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Heart made her way back to hide out with pack slung over her shoulder. She'd stolen the shoulder pack when a hobo wasn't looking and dumped the clothes and booze for meat storage and other foods she found.
 
“That was rather productive.” She thought aloud with a satisfied smile that faltered a moment, “I hope Akira's alight. She seemed so hurt when I split from her, but I told her I do trust her…”
 
A pained moan startled Heart to a sudden stop,
 
“Whose there?” she looked around.
 
Heart's nose filled with the heavy scent of blood and she turned to see a black heap of fur dragging it's self through a cross way in front of her. The dog looked at her in pain filled eyes. Heart could smell human and gun powder on the female. Neither of them growled or made a noise. They simply stared. The dog could tell that she was a wolf, but made no move to do a thing about it.
 
“You're part wolf too, aren't you?” Heart deduced from the scent, “A human must have done this,” she approached the wolf and dug into her pack to toss her some meat, “Look, I don't have time for much, but some meat will at least help your healing along, if not enough strength to drag you from whence you came. My advice,” Heart paused to stare at the other dog/wolf in the eye. Blue clashed with red and both felt like something had been there once before, “Don't bow down to any human from now on. You're wolf too and there for in order to survive, you must buck up. You can't rely on them anymore.” With that she walked off.
 
Something deep inside her felt a connection with the other half wolf, but she wasn't one to dwell on things when she had a place to be.
 
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“Took ya long enough” Hige whined when Heart showed up at the bus. The others had already arrived.
 
“What'd I miss?” she asked.
 
“We already went through the chicken Akira brought.” Hige said.
 
“You mean YOU scarffed it down.” Tsume said.
 
“I'm still hungry too!” the large appetite wolf groaned.
 
“That fowl was supposed to be split between us.” Akira sighed.
 
“I feel my stomach attacking it's self.” Toboe whimpered as his stomach growled.
 
“Have no fear; I have plenty of meat and other goods to put some preservative meat on your bones for the travel!” Heart said happily as she dug into the pack and started handing out the day old meat she found. She frowned at Hige when he suddenly was sitting in front of her drooling, “You get last dibs, porky.” She said dryly.
 
“You're so cruel! What, was that pack you and Tsume used to run with made up of cold bitches and ruthless bastards?” he huffed half heartedly.
 
Akira gave him a pointed look, and then glanced at Heart to gage her reaction, relived to find that Heart ignored him as she continued to pass out fair, large amounts of food. When she tried to hand Cheza some bread, the flower maiden refused.
 
“This one is full.” She said.
 
“Yeah, she soaked up plenty of sunlight today while you guys were gone.” Toboe stated as he dug into his pork chop hungrily.
 
“Oh, well excuse me then, Cheza.” Heart apologized.
 
“It is fine. This one didn't tell you she ate from the sun and moon.” Cheza smiled back.
 
“Man I wish my food came as easily as that.” Hige said dreamily, “No more going hungry.”
 
“So what are we up against?” Heart asked while they were all finishing up their seldom enjoyed meal.
 
“They've got us surrounded, so we're moving at night.” Tsume said.
 
“Yeah, there's this place the humans call the `Forest of Death' since they tend to lose their way when they go into it.” Toboe chimed in.
 
“But with our noses, it shouldn't be too hard.” Hige shrugged.
 
“Some humans said that it was cursed by the Darcia family by howling wolves of the hound of hell.” Kiba said, “I bet it's just a pack of wolves using the myths as a cover for their home to stay untouched by humans.”
 
“We'll have to tread carefully then, if we're going on someone else's turf. We're already a magnet with the girls and Cheza's scent.” Tsume concluded.
 
“What do you mean by `the girls'?” Akira asked.
 
The other wolves looked at her as if she had grown a new head, well besides Toboe. He also didn't get it really.
 
“You must know that right about now is usually about spring time.” Hige exasperated, “Not that it shows much with how the weather now a days acts up on a whim of its own…”
 
“Yeah….” Akira raised a brow.
 
“Don't tell us you haven't had the birds and the bees talk thing yet.” Tsume droned.
 
“THAT I've had and it wasn't a good memory.” Akira blushed at that memory.
 
“Did they bother to tell you that usually, Mother Nature gives us all a bit of a push about this time of the year? You know, mating season?” Heart elaborated.
 
“…….oh.” Akira said in a small voice, “Well what about the rest of you?”
 
Tsume snorted, “The only one you have to worry about humping you would be Hige.”
 
“Bastard” Hige mumbled.
 
“Since the other pack is dominant to us if they're there and since it's their land, they'll instinctively search out any unattached female to their own pack. It's an instinct that keeps most from inbreeding.” Kiba explained.
 
“I doubt it'll trouble us much though since it's still so early.” Heart reassured.
 
“Doesn't mean it's not coming.” Hige whined, “And it's not like she wolfs just walk around in broad day light! You think wolves are hard to find, try finding an unmated female.”
 
Heart and Akira gave him a pointed look.
 
“You two don't count.” He huffed in a pout.
 
“So,” Akira drew the conversation back to the matter at hand, “We leave at night?”
 
The sun was starting to go down.
 
“No, we get ready to leave now.” Tsume smirked.
 
 
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Cher approached the graveyard of Darcia just out of the small run down town the team she was traveling with were stationed. She looked around somberly to take in the surroundings. The old man at the antique shop had pointed her in this direction and she'd been drawn here. Her blue eyes searched the area for an answer to her restlessness, yet the blond scientist found nothing.
 
“Darcia Keep….,” she looked in the general direction the modern Keep had been built to house the Darcia clan after the fall of the castle. She then turned behind her were said remains of the castle barely stood above the small town it once ruled and famed over, “Darcia Castle,” she then looked around her, “Darcia Graveyard.” They all kept popping up when ever she tried to research the wolves and Cheza's existence, but why?
 
Did the Darcia family have a hidden secrete pertaining to the wolves and Cheza? Was that why Lord Orchem and Lady Jagura's armies were starting to kill each other over the flower? Even if as of right now, the stand still between all 3 of the nobles was only because lord Orchem had hidden the flower close to a vital area for his county's lands. To attack him was to attack the flower.
 
“What are the missing pieces you're hiding?” she whispered up at the statue of a deceased Darcia Lord.
 
A soft jingle of chain metal disturbed the calm and quite solitude of the graveyard, followed by the sound of something approaching from behind her. Cher turned around stunned to see a large white wolf.
 
“You're the wolf with Cheza??” she quickly dashed that thought. While this male did have white fur, his eyes weren't that haunting golden color she remembered a few days ago while that white wolf practically dragged Akira off after the rest of them. This one in front of her had a set of two colors in his eyes. One was a vivid green eye that held a dark lining where in a human it would have been white. However, the other eye was impressively human like and dark blue. It reminded her of the color Darcia's eye was when she got a look at them just before she was knocked unconscious somehow. Around the wolf's neck was what caught her eyes quickly; it was a silver dog chain with a familiar crucifix pendent on it. A duplicate almost of Akira's own.
 
“I know you….,” she whispered looking closer at him.
 
The white wolf simply stared at her and gauged her every move. He neither moved to harm her nor flee her just yet. She started to approach him when the wolf suddenly lowered his head and snarled fiercely with his white fur standing up around the scruff of his neck and his ears lain back. At first she thought it was her that he was snarling at when a low chuckle startled her to a new presence.
 
“I see you have met my pet.” The low voice sounded amused, “Don't worry; he seems to like women and detest men. Force is all I can do to him to keep him off me.” The blue eyed man's small smirk sharpened when the white wolf's growl increased in volume.
 
“Darcia….” Cher breathed out.
 
“I'm afraid that you're getting to close to untouched stories,” he held his fingers close to his eye patch………..
 
 
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The Commander huddled with his squadron near the abandoned bus the suspects had been reported near, “Your mission is simple, go in there and kill all but the target. Got it?”
 
“Yes SIR!” the soldiers obediently said in unison.
 
“Take'm out”
 
“SIR!” they saluted and went into motion.
 
The silently approached the bus. The leader counted off to 3 before the all stormed it, lighting up the bus windows with flashes of gunshots form their machine guns. When it was all clear, on soldier stuck his head out and gave the OK sign to approach.
 
As the commander approached, they uncovered the ratty old blanket the target had been under and were surprised to see it empty underneath.
 
“The HELL?!” a soldier gasped.
 
“They fuck'n escaped. That's what.” The Commander growled. He kicked the side of the bus in frustration, “FUCKING HELLS! I don't get paid enough for this.” He took out his walkie-talkie.
 
“Commander to base, Commander to base, do you read me?” he spoke in it, “Mission unsuccessful. Suspects escaped.”
 
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“We read you, sir” a soldier sighed and turned off the connection, “Damn; those kids are slippery little bastards.” His partner on watch agreed.
 
“Trouble, gentlemen?” a seductive voice husked near by.
 
The men's eyes widened when they saw a well developed woman in black leather pants and a cropped black tank top. She wore a small black leather jacket that hugged her tightly and almost looked like it wouldn't zip closed over her well developed chest. Her shoulder length black hair rested about her in a relaxed, sexy way and her bangs flittered lightly over beautiful autumn red eyes.
 
“Uh, Ma'me, are you lost?? This is a military base.” One soldier gulped as she approached.
 
“Oh, me? Nah, I'm just out walking around, lookin for some soldiers.” She winked while she let an elegant hand trail around the 1st soldiers' collar of his jacket. She let her lips come close to his ear enjoying the way he trembled, “You know why?”
 
“W-why?” he stammered.
 
She smirked suddenly and kicked up her knee suddenly into his groin powerfully. The man cried out in pain and moaned as he hunched over. She didn't let him get off so easily and kicked him in the face to knock him out and send him to his back a few feet away.
 
“WHAT THE HELL??” the other soldier yelped startled. When it finally registered that she was an enemy he readied his gun, “WHY YOU BITCH!!”
 
“You have no idea.” Hige sighed from behind him.
 
“Huh—AHH!” Hige forced his fist into the guys gut to knock him out.
 
“So I'm a bitch now?” Heart cocked an eye brow, “You looking to get neutered?”
 
“Well you are! Literally if you haven't noticed!” Hige defended just as they were hailed with bullets. They ducked out of the way until Tsume took out the gun men shooting at them. The gray wolf twirled his knife in his hand and gave the female a dry look.
 
“You were certainly putting on a show.” He snorted.
 
Heart smirked, “I gotta keep in practice some how. Why, ya jealous?”
 
“You nearly made them cum right before he pissed himself. Do you know how disturbing that smells on a human male?” Hige covered his nose.
 
Once again they were hailed in bullets and all of them ducked out of the way before they silently took each human out with smiles on their faces. This type of action is what they lived for!
 
Mean while, while the other three were distracting the humans, Kiba peeked out of the city pipe he hid with Akira, Toboe and Cheza. Seeing a break, he took Cheza's hand and led the others toward the graveyard unnoticed, and if they were, Heart, Tsume, and Hige had their back.
 
The 3 wolves and Cheza quickly but cautiously made their way through the small part of town that was between them and the grave yard. An intersection caused Kiba to halt them as he looked over the corner; he nodded to the others and led them across. He could sense the grave yard near by and called them to a run in haste. Never knowing that the wolf hunter, Quent, had spotted Toboe in recognition of his human form.
 
 
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“This place gives me the creeps.” Akira shivered as she inched closer to Kiba's side unconsciously.
 
“It's a grave yard of nobles.” Kiba responded as if that answered everything.
 
Toboe was also getting anxious to get out of there, “Shouldn't they be here by now?”
 
“They're here.” Kiba looked up in time to see Heart, Tsume, and Hige leap down to join them.
 
“That was a wonderful stretch!” Heart held her arms above her head to stretch them.
 
“Was seduction part of your stretching exercises?” Tsume growled grouchily.
 
“You're just jealous and are too stubborn to admit it cause you know you're never gonna touch this.” She snapped back rather heatedly.
 
Tsume jerked back startled and flustered as he was caught off guard, “So I can what? Get STD?” he smirked.
 
Heart growled back at him, “You know I'd probably cure what ever STD you had so it's your loss and an opening for a better, brighter future to me.”
 
“YOU—,” a gun shot cut Tsume off as the bullet whizzed through them and barely missed Toboe's left boot.
 
The wolves looked up startled to see the old hunter, Quent aiming at them with his gun, “YOU DAMNED WOLVES! THIS IS WHERE YOU ALL BECOME EXTICIT! FOR GOOD!” another shot rang out and yet another and another. He shot blindly at them, only half way aiming. So long as he got them!
 
The wolves snapped into action, zigzagging this way and that to make harder targets and it was working.
 
“DAMNIT!” Quent aimed at Akira and missed, but the bullet ricochet off the ground and went through Cheza's ankle.
 
“AAH!” Cheza screamed as she fell forward, taking Akira with her when Akira tried to catch her and lost her own balance. Kiba had been holding on to the flower maidens hand and he also tripped to the ground with them unexpectedly.
 
“GOTYA!” Quent aimed his gun at the unmoving targets ready to pull the trigger.
 
“AKIRA!” Heart cried out.
 
“KIBA, CHEZA!” Toboe called with her in fear from where they stood out of range of the direct shot.
 
A white blur shot through the clearing just as Quent pulled the trigger. The bullet aimed for the 3 stunned youth on the ground was blocked by a white wolf as he took it in the shoulder. His fangs bared as the red of his blood soaked his left shoulder. The clearing was suddenly quiet as the same shot echoed and faded out.
 
“He… he blocked it from them! But where did he come from??” Quent was baffled. He had been tracking down 4 wolves at first and then 6, but this new white one seemed to come from no where! What were they suicidal now??
 
The white wolf didn't look back at the ones he protected as he stared down the old man, recognizing his mild shock, “Go, get out of here while he's confused! I'll take care of him!” his voice snarled.
 
Akira's eyes widened in recognition as she and Kiba quickly helped Cheza get up and then Kiba took the flower in his arms as they started to flee with the others. She hesitated from following the other white wolf and her new friends.
 
“Jazz?” she whispered.
 
Said wolf turned his head to the side to look at her, letting her see the green wolf eye and the hanging crucifix around his neck.
 
Quent seemed to snap out of it then and he shot again, this time at Akira, but Jazz barreled through her to knock them both out of the way. She was startled to look up at his two colored eyes. Where another green eye should be was a human blue one.
 
“AKIRA!” Kiba called from the woods, from the sound of his voice, Akira knew he was close to just racing back out here to drag her back with him.
 
“GO!” Jazz ushered her to stand and shoved her in the right direction.
 
When she still hesitated he snarled impatiently and snapped at her.
 
“GO NOW!!”
 
She jolted to life and sprinted toward the waiting others.
 
Jazz turned back to Quent and stared at him right in the eye while the old man chuckled.
 
“Your friends have all left you” he rasped loudly as he took aim again, “See what wolves do when their own kind shows them kindness?!!” he pulled the trigger only to come up blank, “Damn it!” he cursed as he fumbled to reload.
 
Jazz didn't give him that kind of time. Quent looked up startled to find the white wolf in front of him so suddenly as it lunged for him.
 
“GET THE HELL OFF ME!!” he roared as the wolf pushed him down and snagged the gun away. To Quents surprise, the wolf got off him soon as he was disarmed. He watched in horror as the wolf's jaws sapped clean through his top of the line weapon, leaving it in pieces at his front paws, “you BASTARD!” he glared at the wolf.
 
The white wolf just stared at him in its ominous way, before leaping down the cliff again and disappeared in the woods. Quent was disgusted, he had just been spared by none other than a wolf he had just shot!
 
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“Akira! Why didn't you follow me when we ran?” Kiba demanded aggravated that she had once again disobeyed him in some way.
 
“I-It was him!” she stuttered out of breath.
 
“Who?” Tsume cocked an eye brow.
 
“That white wolf! Didn't you see him? He had a chain around his neck and-,”
 
“You mean the Rouge?” Kiba cut her off.
 
“Yeah, we all saw him. That guy was crazy! Who in their right mind would want to get shot?? Do we even know him?” Hige chimed in.
 
“YES!” Akira growled out in frustration. You'd think that since they asked her for information, they'd learn to listen to what she had to say!
 
“Who was he then?” Heart asked while she helped Cheza tend to the flower maidens wounded ankle that was already healing.
 
“That wolf out there was my half brother, Jasper…”
 
 

Chapter 7
Chapter 9
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