“Are you okay buddy?” I had never heard this voice before in my life.
“Does he look okay to you? He needs a hospital.” That was another voice I’d never heard before. What was going on? Also, why did it feel a lot like I was bleeding? I opened one eye. I was in my human form, curled up and naked on the ground in the woods. I groaned.
“I don’t need a hospital,” I mumbled.
“You’re covered in blood, and you’re lying naked in a forest. If that’s not a situation that calls for a hospital then what is?” the second voice argued. A pair of hands tried to move my hands from my belly, but I growled at them, still running on my instincts after last night. I had no idea who these people were and I was not likely to start trusting them.
“I’m fine. I don’t need anything.” I just about made it to my feet, barely glancing at them before stumbling off into the woods. I heard the first voice calling after me, and two sets of footsteps chasing after me. They were faster on their feet than I could be in that state, but I was good at hiding. Hiding in a bramble patch was less painful than the burning that tore through my abdomen with every movement.
Eventually they gave up and moved off. When I was sure they had gone, I climbed out of the brambles, sitting down against a tree trunk to inspect my wounds. I had three bullets in my guts. Only one of them burnt. The other two were normal bullets. I wasn’t too hot on the idea of pulling out a silver bullet on my own, but the more I moved around with it in there, the further it would bury itself within me.
Gritting my teeth, I pulled out the two normal bullets, breathing heavily as I clamped my hand down over the holes until they started to knit together. Now for the silver bullet.
If I had yelled much louder, they might’ve heard me in China. I curled up on the floor, gasping and crying. I hadn’t hurt like that in years. Not since the last hunters got hold of me, at least. When the pain had faded enough for me to form semi rational thoughts again, I realised I was kind of naked and had no way of getting home.
I got back to the pack’s house in my wolf form, somehow managing not to attract too much attention. I let myself in through the back door, hearing Theo grumbling about being shot. When I found them in the front room, he was in a sling and Line was busy patching Scoot up. Gen got up.
“Are you okay?” I flicked my tail at the holes in my side, not really needing to answer her question any further, given that most of that side was stained red.
"Sit down and don't move too much. I'll patch you up once I'm done with the hero here," Line told me. I caught a glimpse of Scoot glaring and I grinned, lying down and trying not to bleed on everything. When he was done with Scoot, he came over and examined my own wounds. He was indeed a good medic as Fate had said.
“Have you seen Fate anywhere?" Gen asked when Line had patched me up. I shook my head, forcing my body through one last change before tonight. I would’ve tried to stay quiet, but unfortunately the normal pain on top of my injuries was a bit too much for me.
"They took him. I'm gonna kill them all," I promised them.
“Calm down," she said.
"I don't know where they went. They knocked me out and disappeared with him," I ignored her.
"We'll find him."
"I know. And when we do, those hunters are dead men,” I growled. I meant it. No one hurt Fate and got away with it if I could help it.
"Lazarus, calm down," she said, putting her hand on my shoulder.
"We can't afford to be reckless right now. Theo and Scoot are both too injured for a fight, Dash and Chase are too jumpy and I'm a bit too pregnant to be of much use."
“I’ll find him on my own,” I said, drawing a sigh from Gen. "He's my mate, Gen, I can't just leave him. They'll kill him before everyone else is ready.”
"I understand that, Lazarus. Lord knows I'd be the same if it was Scoot they'd taken, but we have to play this cautiously. They won't kill him, not yet.”
“How do you know?” I whimpered, “that’s what hunters do, they kill us.”
She nodded. "And if they know there's a pack, they'll use their captive as bait." That’s just as bad, if you ask me. I needed to find Fate before they could hurt him any more than they already had.