"I've told the others we're going out somewhere to take your mind off things so they won't get suspicious," Line told me as we left the pack house behind us. I hadn’t thought to tell the rest of them anything, I’d just left the house with a packet of cigarettes and the determination to find where they were keeping Fate.
“Don’t mention it,” he told me. So I didn’t. We walked quietly, and Line seemed content to let me lead the way. I didn’t notice I was walking back the same way I’d come from the woods til I noticed a smear of blood on the pavement. Shit. I sniffed the air a little and it was definitely mine. That meant I’d left a trail. Line started helping me as I covered it up as best as I could.
"I hope they didn't find that,” I muttered, worried that they would have picked up on it quickly.
"We'll move just in case. We have another house on the outskirts of town,” Line told me, his words reassuring me a little.
I nodded to myself, still beating myself up about it anyway. "I tried to be careful not to leave any obvious marks, but I guess I wasn't careful enough.”
"It's okay, you weren't to know." I didn’t say anything, wondering how I could’ve been so clumsy. "Let's just focus on finding out if he's okay, yeah?" I gave another nod, setting my mind back to the tasks at hand – covering the trail and finding Fate. They were the only things that mattered for now.
I followed my nose to an industrial estate just on the edge of town, looking up as Line chuckled.
"What a lovely neighbourhood," he said.
"It's masking his scent,” I scowled; the smell of engines and packaging and chemicals filled my nose. I’d wanted to smoke on the way, but I hadn’t wanted to risk losing his scent for the sake of a bit of nicotine. I looked around. The estate was kinda huge and it’d be quicker to split up and search it. Provided no hunters were out and about, we were hardly going to run into any trouble. "You search that half of the estate, and I'll search the rest. Meet you back here," I said, gesturing at the half he could search through. He nodded and without another word went off to look for where they were hiding Fate.
After maybe ten minutes, I’d completely lost Fate’s scent. But there was the sharp tang of silver in the air in its place. I winced internally at the thought of it being used on Fate, but it was vaguely promising. I headed back to the place me and Line had split up, passing the time with a cigarette to try and calm myself a little. He arrived a little while later, just as I stepped on the butt of my third cigarette. I wanted a drink.
I nodded. "I'm fairly sure I found it. I could smell silver, mostly." He gave me a silent nod. "As long as it's not a warehouse full of silver goods, I think we've got them,” I smiled a little. I didn’t want to go. I wanted to go in and get Fate out.
"Lazarus,” Line sighed, making me bite down on my lip. "We need to make sure the others are safe first. Fate's a tough kid, he'll be alright."
"I know, I know, I just miss him already," I laughed a little, "I promised myself I'd never let myself get attached like this again, yet here I am." Line patted me on the back, and we started heading back in silence. I dunno about Line, but I was making a mental map of how I might be able to bust in and get Fate out.