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I apologize for the month long wait of a new chapter. Writer's block hit me like a bitch, and I was dealing with bitchy friends. Anyway, enjoy the new chapter! Question: favorite season/why? -May

I would kill to be lounging on the beach instead of walking through the snow. If I try hard enough, I can imagine myself dressed in a bright colored bikini, sipping a cool glass of lemonade, with my sunglasses blocking the hot UV sun rays. I strain my ears for the crashing of waves and crowing of seagulls.

But instead I hear the harsh blowing of wind and the snow crunching with every step I take.

At first, the cold temperature doesn't bother me. Until minutes' pass and the cold begins to attack my nose then my toes then my fingertips. My body is shivering; my teeth are chattering; and all I want is to be some place warm.

I don't think about the fact that I could be lost, walking around in circles or completely past the pack's territory line. I have no clue!

Every tree trunk, every bare branch looks the same. Nothing stands out to me.

But I continue to tread through the snow.

Bringing my hands to my mouth, I rub my gloved covered hands against each other to create any kind of the friction that'll bring blood back to my fingers before blowing my warm breath onto the gloves. For a second it all feels heavenly until my breath's warmth freezes from the low temperature.

"Only a few more steps," I tell myself, even though there isn't a cabin in sight.

Ignoring my shivering body and bloodless body parts, there's this urge, this drive to keep on walking. If I can't know Ryder's problem, then how can we, the whole pack, move forward to something better?

That's the only thing that keeps me going.


Minutes pass, or hours or days or weeks. I have no clue, or desire, to know how long I have been walking. My drive to reach dwindles to a slow, extinguishing fire until I feel a shiver not from the cold run up my spine.

Then, my mind reaches for something—or someone—and Zeus' booming voice hits me. Aurora, where are you, he asks me through our link.

I stop walking and close my eyes in guilt. He doesn't know where I'm going and could be assuming I'm running away like I have done in the past. I could never leave him—that's the truth.

On a walk, I won't be gone long, I reply, hoping he can't sense my nerves or guilt. I quicken my pace.

But, of course, if you're part-wolf you get all these perks, and Zeus catches onto to my feelings instantly. You're lying, he only says. The defeat in his voice breaks my heart. I hurriedly reassure him that I'm not leaving. Then where are you, he asks in a gentle, cautious manner that isn't like him.

I realize I'm walking up a hill when I'm about to answer my mate, but my reply fades away as I stare forward in shock, standing at the top of the hill and looking down below at a small section of empty log cabins.

Aurora, Zeus calls for me through the link.

Smoke billows into the air from a chimney, footprints lead to the side of a cabin, and the lights in the front of cabin are on. None of the other cabins are being used except for Ryder's.

But there's a problem. Zeus. I can feel him pressing against my mind, calling out to me. I won't be able to concentrate if I don't put a block between us. My heart aches at the thought of silencing our link, as if it is a way of breaking us, which it sort of is.

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