Concern

Silence fell across the wolves and eventually it seemed that only two were still awake. Yatima sat in the entrance of the cave, keeping watch, and the third female lay beside Bec and shifted occasionally. Her eyes bore into Yatima and eventually the young female could ignore her no longer.

"Yes, Appa?" She said, looking sideways at her friend. Apollo jumped, having not realised Yatima knew she was awake.

"I was just wondering why Akela got so mad today. It's not like him. I've never seen him lose his cool - not once."

"I suppose it is strange. He knows what it is to be shunned by a pack so I suppose he doesn't appreciate our - well, you and Bec's - behaviour towards a pack that's willing to help us. Also, he's used to being a beta. He expects us to behave properly, like him, and if we don't we get a new scar from the alpha." She didn't look around while she spoke, still focusing on the forest around them. If anything threatened this new, unsettled pack she would alert them the moment it got close.

"They're another pack, though. We have a pack. We don't need another one. Akela said the prey is strong but there are four of us. We've lived alone and through famines and taken down a buck with the odds stacked against us. Akela by himself might stand a chance, the size of him and with the experiences he's had..." Her dark, chestnut eyes flickered around the cave, ears twitching as though she thought she'd heard something. Then she looked back at Yatima, shifting her back legs slightly.

"Maybe he's just sick of struggling, Apollo." There followed a few minutes of silence at this, before Apollo thought of anything else to say.

"How can we trust them?"

"We can't. No one's saying we have to. How, exactly, are we vulnerable? They outnumber us by one and we stand every chance in a fight. All Akela is asking is that we show some respect and try to work with them to feed each other."

"What about Bec? How are we going to get her involved in hunting with wolves who don't know her? She can't hunt like us. They'll mess everything up."

"I don't know. Apollo, you should be sleeping. It'll be your shift soon enough. It's Bec's now, anyway, so I'm going to sleep." Yatima stood up, nuzzled Bec's ear and tilted her head towards the door when she woke before curling up near Apollo. Bec rose, yawned her toothy yawn and padded over to keep watch.

The End

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