Victor wasn’t sure what to think when he opened his eyes and saw The Guardian staring back at him. For a second, he thought his brothers were playing some cruel joke. They loved to make him uncomfortable and being watched while he slept was a sure-fire way to do so. In fact, he was sure that they were playing a joke on him because no one was foolish enough to sneak up on a sleeping Alpha when his pack was nearby.
“Victornio Watts. Wake up right now. You’ve got to get going. They’ll be here soon.” Sage was whispering but the urgency in her voice was unsettling. He felt it in his stomach but could not shake off the sleep.
“Victornio. I saw it. You will die. You all will die. You must leave.” She yanked at his shoulders forcing him to sit upright and open his eyes. Confusion crept across his face and he grimaced as the brightness of the moon pierced his eyes.
“You saw it,” he stammered. “You saw what?”
“Victornio, listen to me. You have to focus. You are going to die. They are going to kill you.”
Sage sounded crazy but even in his fog of sleepiness Victor knew that she would not lie. She was not prone to histrionics, but what she was saying made no sense. He was being pulled back to sleep by promises of a mysterious woman’s face. What awaited him in the Land of Nod was more promising than anything Sage could offer.
“I’m going back to sleep. Fill me in tomorrow morning.” He attempted to drop his head back on his pillow, but Sage was not giving up so easily. She grabbed his shoulders again and forced him upright.
“Fine,” she shouted through clenched teeth and with the anger of all of the ancestors spitting the words at him. “If you won’t listen, then you must see.” She pressed the palm of hand against his forehead as if trying to push herself into his mind. She closed her eyes and whispered inaudibly, her voice flat and robotic. He fell back, stunned and lifeless. A flash of light shot from her hand and disappeared into his head. His eyelids flickered rapidly as he absorbed the images for himself. His body shook violently and he called out to the gods for strength. Sweat pooled at the corners of his brow and without warning, Victor sat upright, and opened his eyes.
“I understand.” His voice was flat but his face was filled with fright. He wanted to say more but all he could do was stare at Sage. His eyes searched for the right words to retell what he had witnessed, but there were none. “I understand.”
“Good!” Now come with me. Ivan and Kevin are waiting at the Ridge.”
Victor sprang into action. He wasn’t happy to be moving around this late at night. His body needed to rest after his latest transformation and run. Moving this quickly was painful and he groaned in response. He caught Sage’s eye and she smiled offering him comfort the only way she could. After what he had just seen, he was happy to be moving around at all. He was going to be hunted and that meant he had to go far away.
He threw on a pair of jeans and pulled a t-shirt over his head before stuffing a few items in his backpack. There was no use packing too much as he would have to buy all new clothes while on the run to keep them from tracking his scent. He shoved his feet into a pair of sandals and followed Sage who said nothing as she led him through the quad of their small compound.
It was eerily quiet and other than the light from the moon above, very dark. Hedgegrove Clearing had been home for the last twenty years and he couldn’t imagine never coming back. He stopped for a moment to give it a final once-over and smiled as he remembered his early years in the pack. Not much had changed since then. It was here that he discovered his true form and learned to control his hunger. It was also where he learned about family. Victor smiled and swallowed deeply, fighting back the knot of tears that tried to escape through his throat. He shook his head and the memory rolled off of him like sweat.
“Victor,” Sage spoke silently exchanging words mentally to avoid stirring the pack. “Try not to get sentimental. We have to pick up the pace.”
She was right too. They had to move quickly if they were going to get him away before the pack awoke. Sage’s Jeep was about forty feet away, at the entrance to the compound. They approached cautiously, looking around to ensure that they were not discovered. He slid into the passenger seat without a word. The Ridge was twenty minutes away and he was exhausted. As if Sage could read his thoughts, she cautioned him not to fall asleep.
“I’ll have us there in ten minutes. No time to nap.”
They drove in silence at first. His face betrayed his emotions and it was clear that he was confused and saddened by what he saw. When the pounding in his chest became too loud to bear, he spoke.
“I can’t believe they want to kill me. I’m Alpha how can I be the source of destruction? This is crazy.”
“I don’t know where the visions come from. And I don’t question them. I was shown what would happen and I know it’s my job to save you. We don’t need to know everything, just enough to make a change.” Sage’s voice was even and soothing and Victor knew she was trying to calm him.
“I know, Sage. But this is still crazy. When will I be able to come back?”
“You’ll know. Until then, stay safe and keep your true identity to yourself.” She pulled up to the Ridge as she finished speaking. They were in the parking lot of Whole Foods and Ivan and Kevin were waiting. Sage sighed deeply. “We’re here, kid. I love you.”
img credit: Lunar eclipse October 8 2014 California Alfredo Garcia Jr.
This is an excerpt from my current work in progress. Please share your thoughts but do not copy or repost this text anywhere without my permission.
(c)Copyright 2016 by Kristina Brooke D. writing as Kay D. Brookes. All rights Reserved.