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Akela came to consciousness with a sweet and spicy scent surrounding her and a pair of arms carrying her. She opened her eyes to see the underside of a furry jaw.

"It's okay. I've got you. Don't worry. I'm here,"  Zion constantly mumbled in a worried voice.

Akela knew his proximity should not feel this safe, but somehow his masculine energy felt comforting.

His face turned slightly, so their eyes met and Akela saw the unhidden worry.

"You'll be okay," he said with a worried smile.

The weirdly human expression of his wolf face was all Akela could focus on as he carried her into a building and along a short corridor before he entered a light and airy room where he gently placed her on a bed and tucked a fluffy duvet around her.

For some reason he sat down, kneeling by her bedside, refusing to let go of her hand. 


Even when the rest of them sat to eat dinner, Zion refused to leave her.

His eyes were fixed on hers and Akela felt her chest tighten with every breath. The embarrassment over fainting faded with every stroke of his warm thumb across her knuckles.


For a long time, he sat there on the floor, with her small hand, scarred from the silver cage, dwarfed between his and a worried look in his eyes. Neither of them spoke a word. 

The old graying dog limped in, sniffed at Akela's face before he curled up by the wall for a nap.

Zion's fingers gently caressed her scars, seeing how most of them were on the inside of her palm. He dreaded what other injuries she had from her time in captivity.

"So.. That was embarrassing..." Akela mumbled eventually.

Zion looked at her with a small smile.

"You've been through a lot. It's understandable," he smiled.

Akela shook her head.

"I don't know what happened!" she said, trying not to cringe at the fact that she had just collapsed in front of her pack Luna, minutes after joining the pack.

"You've never been in a pack before right?" Zion asked.

Akela shook her head.

"So all those new mind links were kinda unexpected, huh?" he grinned.

"I guess..." Akela frowned.

"And your blood pressure is already kinda low... and you're underweight... And a lot has changed in your life in a short amount of time," Zion smiled, his ears were up in points.

Akela frowned. The wolf face in front of her and the touch of his hand made it feel as if there were two of him.

"I'm the pack medic, remember?" he said and showed her the bracelet he always wore with a red cross on it to show his skills as a paramedic.

Akela nodded.

"It's my job to know these things," he said, but Akela somehow knew she was more than his job.

"Thank you, Zion," She whispered, feeling tearful and overwhelmed by the way he so selflessly cared about her. His tail was slowly waving its own rhythm behind him.

He was about to say something else when the sound of the front door interrupted the silent communication between them. Someone made a trip into the kitchen, placing something on a hard surface before footsteps approached.

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