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Chapter Thirteen

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I woke up on the soft feel of a pillow, but not on Marcus's chest. I sat up, looking at the empty space on the couch. "Did he leave?" I whispered to myself. There was no note and my father's clothes were on the chair beside me. He could have been nice enough to leave a note. All of a sudden, there was a lovely scent of bacon in the air. The smell of bacon made my stomach grumble. I got up and went into the kitchen and saw that Marcus was manning the stove, flipping over bacon and eggs. He turned around and smiled at me, leaving the stove for a few minutes.

"Good morning, beautiful." he said, kissing my cheek lightly. The slight touch and compliment made my cheeks go hot. "Good morning. What's all of this?" I asked, gesturing towards the stove. "Well, if we are going to figure out who that wolf is, we shouldn't leave on an empty stomach." he replied, grabbing the spatula and flipping over an egg. Last night, I asked Marcus to accompany me in a search for the wolf we saw. Ever since I had that ache, I was curious to what it could mean. "Who do you think it is?" I asked, cautious to what he would say. "I think it's someone you know or a family member. That reaction you had was horrible." he said, putting two sunny-side up eggs on a plate. "I don't really have much family, so it may be a family friend." I replied.

How could I have family around? My father had no idea about me being by myself, so why would he be around? I sat down at the table, pinning my hair back with an elastic I found on the table. "I know your father isn't around a lot, so maybe you're right." he said, sliding some bacon on the plate and slid it on the table. "Eat up!" he said, while smiling. I used the side of the fork to cut into the egg and popped a piece in my mouth. It was delicious. Before I took another bite, I got up and went to the fridge and got bread and orange juice. "You're supposed to let me cook." he said, taking the bread from my hands. I set the orange juice down and grabbed his wrists. "You shouldn't have to. I can help out." I replied, smiling. He gently kissed my lips, and then went back to cooking.

"How many pieces of toast do you want?" I asked, taking two pieces for myself. "I'll have two pieces as well." he replied. I popped in another two pieces of bread in for him. Before I could get the butter out, Marcus had it already on the table, along with the orange juice. "Thanks." I said, smiling at him. He smiled back and put the rest of the bacon and eggs on a plate. We sat across from each other at the table and ate our bacon and eggs. "Do your parents know you're here?" I asked, as we put our dirty dishes into the sink. "Yes, but I'll have to go over to change my clothes." he replied. "Well, you could just stay here. I think it would be better for us to shift when we go." I said. He didn't seem mad or concerned, but there was something he didn't like about that idea.

"Why did you want to do that?" he asked, looking over at me. I never actually thought of a good reason to shift for this. I mean, we were already suspended for the day, so why not stay as children? "It seemed like a good reason at the time, but we don't have to." I replied, smiling. "How about we shift tomorrow. That way, it's easier for us and the school won't go looking for us." he said. I smiled and nodded my head. "Sure. I just hope we can find this wolf." I replied. We finished up with cleaning the dishes and set them on the rack to dry. "Okay, let's start the expedition!" I said, dramatically. He started to laugh and walked out the door with me.

First, we went to the store and bought a map, binoculars, and for some reason, two pairs of sunglasses. We weren't concerned about hunger because we probably weren't going to take too long finding the wolf, plus we had a huge breakfast. "Where do we start first?" I asked, opening up the map. He scratched his head while looking around. Then, he spotted the forest where we first came in contact with the wolf. "Let's start over there." he said, pointing it out. It would only make sense for us to start there.

We started to walk over to the forest, careful not to trip over the deep potholes in the road. Ever since our last winter, we never had construction done on the roads. So, whatever the plows did, it was left there until the entire community started to complain. "How far in are we going?" I asked, concerned. I didn't bring any type of ribbon or bags to tie onto trees, so I was afraid of getting lost. "We'll have to go far in, but I know where I'm going in this forest." he said. He took my hand and helped me across the ditch, and then he jumped over it. "You're such a showoff." I said, laughing. "You should know that by now." he said, kissing my cheek softly.

We started into the forest, listening to the sounds of birds chirping, a woodpecker pecking at a tree, and old leaves crunching beneath our feet. Unlike the forest near the Academy, this forest was light and cheery. It wasn't damp or cold or dark. You would be able to see where you were going, but I still wouldn't go alone into the forest. "What should we look for?" I asked. I was unsure if forests like this had caves or anywhere dark for a wolf to go in. "Just look for the wolf. He should be still out and about at this time of day. If not, try to find somewhere that is dark." he explained. We tried to keep our voices down low enough, so the wolf wouldn't get scared away again.

I checked our map, but it seemed like it wasn't doing any justice. I didn't really know how to read a map, but if Marcus knew his way around a forest, then I would be fine. I put the map into my back pocket and looked around. I still couldn't believe the absolute beauty in this forest. You could smell the sweet, woody smell of a sweet birch tree. It felt like paradise. All of a sudden, Marcus had crouched behind a colossal rock that was in the middle of the forest. "Marcus, what's wrong?" I asked, crouching beside him. "The wolf is just a few feet away." he explained, peeking over the rock. I peeked as well, seeing the silver wolf.

He was just walking along the forest floor, searching for food. At least, he seemed like he was hunting.

Seeing the wolf close up, you could just see the gold color in his eyes and how his fur was more silver than grey. "Breanna, get down." said Marcus, trying to pull me down. The wolf must have heard him because the next thing I knew, he was staring straight at me. The ache in my heart was overwhelming and I couldn't breathe. It was worse than the last time. I think it was because we were closer to the wolf.  Marcus got me to the ground, breaking the connection with the wolf. He held me tightly against him, praying that the wolf wouldn't come over to us. He gently peeked over the rock and blew out a sigh of relief. "He's gone." he said, still holding me close. "I'm sorry that I didn't listen to you." I replied, sitting up and gasping for air. "It was curiosity. You couldn't help it." he said, standing up. He helped me up and hugged me. "I'm alright, Marcus. I'll be okay." I said. He moved away from me, and then looked at me. "I know you will be, but I just want you to know that no matter what, I'll protect you." he said. I felt myself blushing and walked over to kiss him. "Thank you." I said, wrapping an arm around his waist.

He smiled and wrapped his arm around me. We started to walk out of the forest, looking around to make sure the wolf wasn't around. As we got out of the forest, we stopped worrying. We successfully located where the wolf was living. Now, we just had to monitor and figure out why it has such a powerful effect on me when we stare at each other. Was he or she someone that I knew? Was it someone that Marcus knew? These questions will continue to haunt me until I get some answers for them. I won't give up until I get the answers I need.

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