A couple of feet after we started to walk off, she started to weave and swerve. I stopped and dropped to me knees to gently pick her up and draw her onto my shoulder, snuggling her close. She closed her eyes and put her thumb in her mouth. She was exhausted. I stood back up and walked as smoothly as possible. She was so small, so fragile, so light in my arms. The heat she radiated as she fell asleep astounded me. She was probably sick, and that worried me. I was so scared.
I just found her. What would I do if I lost her?
I know what happened. I’ve seen it happen to the others in my pack; I had imprinted. Not only did I imprint, I imprinted with a little girl that may or may not be in terrible danger. Even in human form, I felt my hackles rise at the thought of someone trying to do harm to her. She is mine, and no one will ever do her any harm.
Eventually we got to my house. It was dark and quiet; both my mom and my sis Leah were out. Mom was probably at the store and Leah was probably running patrol with the pack. Oh well, better for us. The less people around, the fewer questions asked. The less my little one may get panicked or frightened. I took her into my bedroom and stripped off her thin little flip-flops and shed her baby side-satchel. I tucked her into my huge, warm bed, with all its blankets and pillows. Then I tip-toed out of the room and into the kitchen.
I searched and rooted through all the cabinets and the pantry to find some soup. I found a small tin can of chicken noodle; it was a year old, but the expiration date was still good. IT was nowhere near the date that the can told me to be used by. I’d learned that lesson years ago. I emptied it out into a bowl and placed it in the microwave. I let it heat up for a while and then I took it out. I tested to make sure it was cool enough and then brought it back into my room.
My little one was starting to wake up; she was getting antsy. She had the biggest, cutest bewildered frown on her face as she was trying to kick the blankets of her feet. She stopped as she looked up at me and her face lit up with a huge, warm smile. She reached up out at me with her arms and opened and closed her hands, an obvious sign to be picked up. I strolled over to the nightstand next to my bed and placed the soup down on it. I picked my little one up and sat down on my bed with her on my lap, my back against my bed’s wooden head for support. She wrapped her small arms around as much of my neck as possible and then leaned back to look at me. I smiled down at her with all the love for her in my body. I tenderly pushed all her dirty little strands of hair and whispered to her. I was regretful to break our understood silence.
“Will you eat?” I whispered. She cocked her head with a quizzical look in her eyes.
“The soup,” I tried again. A small frown puckered between her thin little eyebrows.
I picked up the bowl of soup and gestured towards it, and comprehension dawned in her eyes. She made a little appreciative sound and opened her mouth, obviously expecting to be fed like the baby bird that she is. I laughed, and my heart feels lighter than it’s been in a while, so I laugh again. She rolled her eyes as she made an impatient sound with her mouth still open and waiting. I picked up the spoon and started feeding her. As she ate, her hands were so animated that she didn’t need to talk. She was pointing at things, waving her hands or shaking them out, grabbing out and touching the shirt that I’d actually worn for once. She’d touch my face and laugh with delight, and I would have to laugh with her. She would grab for the spoon and feed herself every once in a while and then make a face, and put the spoon back in my hands.
After all the soup was gone, and my little bird was a little bit heavier, she cuddled up into my shoulder as I picked her up and headed into the bathroom. I set her down for a second so that I could draw the water for a bath and she pouted and stomped her foot, wanting attention. I peeked about in the bathroom cabinets and found a bottle of my sister’s favorite bubble bath suds. I figured she wouldn’t mind too much. And if she did, I would just take the beating and pay her back the money for a new one later. I poured a generous amount of bubble suds into bath ‘cuz I didn’t know how much I was supposed to put in.