I hadn't heard that name in so long. It was almost unreal.
My brother. I couldn't breath. My brother has been sent here of all places.
"So it was true. The rumors of you being the ghost shifter. I didn't want to believe them. Mom and Dad always said you were fine when I called, telling me you just weren't home.... And i was stupid enough to believe them...."
"Dominic..." My voice was choked, my heart tight. I was scared. This was my brother holding a gun to my face.
He smiled and took aim. "Just doing my job."
As the gun shot rang out, a great white paw threw my brother aside, the gun flying from his grip.
A huge snarling bear stood over Dominic, his pale green eyes smoldering. "You good?" He growled.
I nodded, gripping my shoulder. "He... he shot me..." I said, my voice shaky and weak.
He let out a deep snarl, his eyes burning even hotter. he shifted, his great body sinking back into the shape of a human. Even as a human he was big. "Come here."
I moved over to kneel next to him, wary of his presence. He was so much bigger than I was, and stronger, that was obvious. He could have snapped me in half without even trying.
"Who are you?" I asked softly as he checked my shoulder.
"Bear." he said simply, not even looking up at me.
"Did you... kill him?" I hated that my voice sounded so small and scared.
"No. Just knocked him out. He'll be fine in an hour of so, just with a fairly large headache..." I flinched as he popped the bullet out of my skin using a knife. "come on, we have something to finish." He shifted back into the great white bear and picked up my brother, heading towards the small hollow where the Hunters had been.
I followed him at a trot, my silver wolf almost a darker shadow by his side. I could hear my pack now, and voices I didn't know.
"Thanks for the help..." Shade's voice reached my ears as we walked through the bushes.
I blinked in shock. So many Shifters in one place, dragging limp, bloody bodies into a pile. Shade was talking to a small black fox, her bright amber eyes emotionless.
She nodded. "Anytime." She glanced over towards me. "I see Bear has found another member of your pack?"
Salem ran to my side, his warm tongue running over my forehead. "Are you ok, Echo?" He whimpered.
I nodded. "Just a little shell shocked."
Bear wandered over to the collection of Hunters, dropping my brother's limp body on top. He didn't even look back.
"Echo?" My attention snapped back to Salem, his green eyes clouded with worry. "Are you ok?"
I nodded. "Yeah, just tired..." Was that a playful glint in the fox's eye? Or was i seeing things?
"Gather your pack, Shade, we have a safe hold near by where you all can stay..." She flicked her fluffy tail and moved away.
"Echo, stay here and rest." Shade ordered. "Salem, stay with her." He, Jasper and Rusty took off for he caves.
A small russet rabbit bound over to us, her little brown nose twitching. "Vivian says you will be staying with us tonight." She spoke quickly, like a chattering squirrel. "She told me to show you the way so that you could rest." She hopped away. "Follow, follow...."
I looked at Salem before following the little rabbit, my head clouded. Salem's pelt brushed mine as we walked, his warm scent bathed my tongue. I just wanted to curl up next to him and sleep.
But my mind kept going back to Bear. Why did he walk away? Was it because of Salem's reaction?
The little rabbit was talking a mile a minute as we disappeared into a cave, right down into and underground bunker of sorts. The Shifters were every where. Working, sleeping, talking, moving, human and animal both. I never knew there were so many Shifters so close to my own pack.
"You probably want sleep," The rabbit chattered. "Come, let's find you a room..."