Here is your next installment of “Saving Windrose”. Sorry for not posting yesterday. It’s school time and I spent most of my day running kids back and forth to get schedules and other related things.
I hope you enjoy this weeks Flash Fiction.
Again, remember this is RAW and UNEDITED!
The night had turned unseasonably cold, the wind blew through the tree tops at a steady hum. Gavin waited in his human form, his twelve Guardians had shifted once they reached the edge of town. Windrose was quiet, no one lingered outside the town Jericho Ross had claimed as his own. The alpha’s town that should belong to Hadley.
Hadley was the rightful alpha of the Windrose pack. She’d been next in line to take over, once the previous alpha stepped down. Jericho had fought the old man, killing him in a fight to the death. The old alpha’s family was taken out to ensure Jericho Ross ruled this small pack entirely.
They moved through the woods, silent as a ghost. It didn’t take long before the pack house came into view. The home sat in the middle of a small meadow, only a few lights shone through the windows. Two Guardians were posted by the front door, no others could be seen.
“When I am in place, I want you to howl as loud as you can,” Gavin said, turning toward Colton, his second-in-command. Although Colton was in his wolf form, he understood Gavin’s orders as if he were standing there as a human. “Wait for my signal.”
Colton huffed his understanding, watching as Gavin looped off toward the back of the house quietly. He moved through the tree line without making a sound. He kept his steps light and, thankfully, didn’t accidently step on a limb or anything that would give away his position in the woods.
As the back of the house came into view, Gavin noted that there were no Guardians posted there. Hadley previously told him that Jericho had only seven Guardians in his employ. Two were posted at the door, but where were the other five?
Gavin looked toward the direction of his men, seeing the glow of their eyes as they laid low in the underbrush. Pulling his wolf to the surface, his eyes changed to the yellow of his animal. The men would see his partial shift and know it was time.
An eerie howl raised from their location. Colton bellowed out his wolf’s call into the night. A commotion sounded from the front of the house, as the two posted Guardians fled the front porch toward his pack hiding amongst the trees.
Gavin ducked low and darted for the door on the back porch, praying it was unlocked. Just as he reached the wooden step, the door opened and two of Jericho’s Guardians appeared, their faces a mask of anger.
Gavin’s fangs elongated in his mouth, his full alpha bubbled to the surface. He lunged for the two men, knocking them back into the wall, hoping the sudden attack would stun both of them long enough for him to kill at least one of them, before they recovered from the shock.
His plan worked. As the men scrambled to stand, Gavin grabbed one of them, a hand on each side of the man’s face. With a growl, he twisted the Guardian’s head, snapping it quickly. The man fell dead at his feet.
The other screamed and begged for his pathetic life, “Please, please. Don’t kill me!”
“Where’s Jericho,” Gavin growled, low in his throat. He pushed his alpha to the surface, causing the man to whine and bow his head in submission.
“In his bed,” the Guardian said.
“Take me to him,” Gavin demanded.
The male nervously opened the door, pausing at the threshold. Gavin grabbed the man by the back of the neck. “Where are the other Guardians?”
“I…In their homes,” he stuttered. “We take shifts protecting Jericho.”
“Move,” Gavin ordered.
Gavin followed the male through the kitchen to a small set of stairs that lead to the second floor. At the top of the stairs, they turned right and walked toward the end of the hallway. A set of double doors greeted them. The man froze, not touching the handle.
“Open it,” Gavin demanded.
“W…what are you going to do to me,” the male asked.
“Kill you,” Gavin said, snapping the man’s neck like he’d done the other Guardian out on the porch.
The man no sooner fell into a heap on the floor, before Gavin burst through the double doors, finding Jericho Ross in his bed.
Jericho came awake suddenly from the outburst in his room.
“Gavin Ward,” Jericho spat. “I’m assuming you being here is not for a friendly visit.” Gavin smiled smugly at the man on the bed. Jericho was scared. Gavin could taste his fear on his tongue.
“Jericho Ross,” he growled. “You do not rightfully control the Windrose pack. I’m here on behalf of the true alpha, Hadley Easton.”
“Ahhh,” Jericho smiled warmly. The male had the nerve to closed his eyes and lick his lips. “My mate-to-be thinks she should rule this pack.”
“She. Is. Not. Your. Mate,” Gavin bit out. His wolf paced angrily in his mind, demanding to be let out so that he could teach Jericho that he messed with the wrong female.
“She’s a feisty one,” Jericho said as he slid out of the bed, standing to his full height. He was tall, but he had nothing on Gavin. Gavin was lean, toned, whereas Jericho was rounded, less fit. Oh the man was strong, but only because he was a good fighter. Gavin had him beat though. Jericho wasn’t as quick with his added bulk.
“I challenge you to a Tayming,” Gavin declared. A Tayming is their old world saying for a challenge to the death for ruling over a pack.
“No,” Jericho stated. “This is my pack now, Ward. You cannot take it from me. I own this pack, and I will have the female as well.”
“Take a sniff Jericho,” Gavin taunted, holding his collar open, showing his mating mark. “The female alpha is mine.”
“No,” Jericho growled and lunged for Gavin.
The two connected, falling to the floor. Jericho’s eyes turned yellow, his wolf trying to rip free. Gavin scrambled out from under Jericho, but not before his arm was torn into by the other alpha’s wolf claws that had ripped free of his human fingers.
Gavin took a fighting stance with his back to the wall, Jericho tore his white t-shirt from his body and took the same pose.
“I marked her,” Jericho growled. “She is mine.”
“No,” Gavin cursed. “You attacked her. I have claimed alpha Hadley Easton. I will care for her and the Windrose pack as my own. Do you accept the challenge given to you?”
“My Guardians will kill you before you can escape the town boarders,” Jericho promised.
Gavin stood from his fighting stance, a smug look upon his face. “You have no Guardians.”
Loud thumps sounded and Jericho turned, mistakenly giving Gavin his back. Gavin’s Guardians were in the hallway, dropping Jericho’s remaining guards at his feet.
Jericho roared loudly, his wolf ripping free of his human skin. Gavin had only a second to let his wolf free, before Jericho was on him.
They snarled as they attacked each other. Gavin sank his teeth into the flesh at Jericho’s neck, pulling away the flesh and sinew. Blood poured out of his wound, but Jericho wasn’t ready to give up.
Gavin’s own blood flowed out of the wound on his arm. The shift to wolf only lessened the pain, but the wound was still open. Jericho turned and bit into Gavin’s hind leg, unsuccessful in removing the flesh.
The two alphas battled for minutes, fighting, biting and delivering blow after blow. Gavin was weakening, but a soft voice registered in his mind. The scent of his alpha…his mate, blew across his senses like a soft breeze. He wouldn’t…couldn’t let her down. If he failed, then Hadley would be in danger.
Wanting to end this, Gavin waited until Jericho tried to right himself after he slipped in a pool of their combined blood on the floor. Gavin leapt solidly on Jericho’s back and took his throat between his teeth.
It is done! His wolf celebrated and made the kill, crushing Jericho’s windpipe in one swift jerk of his head. The alpha fell dead at his feet.
It was over. Gavin used what energy he had left to shift back to his human form. His last words before passing out were, “Find my mate’s brother.”
Everything went black.
It was well after two in the morning when Hadley finally heard the trucks coming up the long, dirt road to the house. She stumbled out of the bed, grabbing a robe in the process. She was still weak from her injuries, but the ache in her chest demanded she go to him.
The trucks came to a stop by the long wooden porch, Gavin’s truck was pulled up right next to the steps. She scowled when the door didn’t open right away. Where is he?
Hadley cried out when her brother emerged from the passenger side, he looked unharmed. “Koby!” she screamed and stumbled into his arms. “Oh, god! You’re okay!”
“Come on Hadley,” he whispered, holding his sister tight. “Let’s get you inside.”
“Where’s Gavin?” she looked at him desperately.
“Let me take you inside,” Koby urged, but she knew…something was wrong.
“Where is my mate,” she demanded, her wolf coming to the surface. The Guardians were just starting to emerge from their vehicles and rushing to the bed of Gavin’s truck when she had her outburst. All twelve of them froze, some of them whimpers, and all of them hung their heads in submission.
“He’s hurt,” Colton, Gavin’s second announced.
“Where,” she gasped.
The tailgate was lowered and she immediately climbed into the truck, only to find Gavin unconscious and wrapped in a wool blanket. “Get him to our room. Call the healer!”
The Guardians rushed to do as they were ordered, moving him slowly…carefully. She followed them upstairs and had them place her bleeding alpha on the sheets, not caring for the blood that was coming from his wounds.
“You may leave,” she growled and ran to the bathroom for towels to tend to his injuries. “Only come back once the healer arrives and I want him here now!”
The Guardians back away slowly, giving Hadley the space she required. The door closed with a snick as they exited the room. Her hearing picked up ten thuds outside the door. She smiled to herself when she realized Gavin’s men were posted outside of his room, protecting their alpha when he was injured.
There was a knock on the door almost immediately. Colton stuck his head in, “Alpha, the healer is here.”
“Thank you Colton, send him in,” Hadley panted as she placed a wet rag to the gash in Gavin’s forearm.
“Alpha,” Colton cleared his throat. Hadley looked up at him in confusion, but he took it upon himself to continue. “You are our alpha as well. If you are in need of anything, for yourself, please tell me. I will make sure you are taken care of while your mate is down.”
“Thank you, Colton,” she whispered. Her throat was thick with emotions at the honorable men that protected their alpha. They were her men as well.
Macklin, the healer entered the room in a rush, his face a mask of worry. “Alpha,” he nodded. “Are you going to let me work on your mate?”
“Yes,” she cried. “Just help him. He’s bleeding.”
The healer set to work, taking stock of all the injuries to her mate. Gavin was gashed open on his arm and leg. The blood loss was causing his normally tanned skin to turn pale. He had various bruises and cuts all over his side and back. Whatever injuries you receive as a wolf, transfer to your human skin.
“I’m going to give him a sedative,” Macklin announced. “I need to stitch his wounds.”
“Okay,” Hadley nodded. Whatever needed to be done to help him, she would do it. If it meant giving her own life, so that he could live.
The sun had just casts its first light on the horizon when the healer finally completely the patchwork on Gavin’s wounds. Hadley’s eyes fluttered closed, but she jerked herself upright, refusing to fall asleep.
“Alpha,” Macklin spoke softly. “You must rest. You are still healing from your own injuries.”
“Not until he is awake and well,” she said, her voice weak.
“Only thing left to do is wait,” he nodded toward the sleeping alpha. “I suggest you lend your strength to him. It will help him recover. I will be back after lunch. If he is awake by then, please let him eat. He needs food to strengthen.”
“I will make sure he is cared for,” she promised.
The healer left with instructions for her to rest as well. Hadley crawled beside Gavin and slid under the covers. She molded herself carefully to his side and called upon her wolf to give him strength to heal.
She yawned and closed her eyes, praying that when she awoke Gavin would be healed. The last thing she felt was his hand move slightly, his fingers traced the skin on her thigh that was pressed against his body, keeping him warm.
To Be Continued…..