23 - Grace

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Light, that's what we saw after we pushed the heaviest door out of the way as we enter what looks like a cave, the light coming from a hole above and from somewhere infront of us.

"Wait, how many of you were mated?" I asked once we were halfway out of the cave. Six girls raise their hands and I nodd, turning to look up at the sky for a brief second.

There were twenty girls excluding me in this groups and only six had been mated. But...

"How many of you were mated by more then one wolf?" Again those six hand went up and they looked ashamed but I smiled. The law stated that if a she wolf was mated more then once during the run then she had no true mate and could be considered mateless. That is if she was caught by a Rager and could get away from him.

"Don't feel ashamed girls, you were caught by Ragers and got away, you're mateless still." I smile at them and hope fills their eyes as we walked quietly towards the end of the cave, a gasp from all of us when we see a beautiful lake infront of us and I pause. Only one lake this clear and pristine existed in the forest of The Run and I was excited.

Crystal Paw Lake layed before me and the true halfway point between the lodge and me and my freedom. This was perfect.

"Shift to wolf form, it'll be easier to swim and our fur will keep us warm." I state since we were all naked. Without arguments from the girls they shift and I follow suit, diving into the water once I was on my paws and hearing similar splashes as we head towards the shore.

I knew the warnings of the lake and so did the others by the looks of it. Legend says that a monster lives in the lake and any who swims in it will face their doom. So we swam as fast as we could.

We were halfway there when the loud forest suddenly became quiet and my thoughts turned to the legend being true but I was wrong. Howls from behind us warned us of the Ragers, furious that their slaves were free and I shuddered, switching to human form mid swim and turning around.

"Get to the forest and find the biggest tree, there should be a tree house there and hide until help comes or I do." I say loud enough for the girls to hear but not the Ragers.

Splashes sound as they listen to my order, wolves of different colours swimming past me till I was the only one in the cold water with Ragers.

Moon Goddess please help me. I prayed silently, looking to the blue sky of the early morning as I took a steady breath.

I was scared.

Terrified.

And loosing hope.

But those girls needed me and I had to save them. They didn't deserve this date and I knew I was the only one strong enough to handle the Ragers.

The first one was ten feet infront of me and I turn to look back, relief flooding into me when I saw all the girls were gone, then I shifted, my wolf form submerging into the water before I swim to the surface in time to clamp my sharp teeth on the jugular of the first rager, hearing his howl of pain as I tear his throat open and watch his final breath before he sinks to the lake bed, the crystal Lake now stained blood red.

The others were farther away, but gaining distance and I could see the rage in their eyes. They were furious. With quick movements I move towards the right, away from where the girls had disappeared and make my way to the shore, turning my head to see the Ragers focusing on  me and...something else...something not wolf.

There were waves but no wind to create them and something sparkly shimmered just above the water. It couldn't be the monster...could it.

My momentary distraction was my down fall as a Rager clamped his jaw around the scruff of my neck, digging in deeper then necessary as I felt him puncture my skin and the metalic smell of my blood reaching my nose.

But he wasn't my concern, the fact that yelps of surprise sounded behind us and I caught wolves disappearing into the crystal depth never to return was what had me in fright as I tried to swim away but the Rager held me to him as he tried to swim back to his base.

Suddenly the water stilled and he stoped, letting go of me and making me flail to stay above water. His fur stood on edge and I knew what was going to happen. It was coming for us.

Suddenly the water's surface rippled and scales showed glittering in the light. A massive tail like a mermaid showed as it propelled whatever beast towards us until a head appeared.

The monster's gapping jaw and sharp teeth coming towards me and the Rager and...

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