Chapter 4- Part 1 A Smirk is a Shortcut to Getting Punched

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It seemed to take forever, as Chris listened closely. The plan was to check on the pups and then immobilize the poachers. As quietly as she could she slipped out of the sleeping bag and put on her boots. She then sat on the crates and let her body acclimate to the cold temperatures. She listened closely to make sure that her movement didn't wake anyone up. Once she was sure that everyone was still in a cycle of rem sleep she stood up and went to the back of the tent, where she pulled her hand out of her glove. Her hand slowly transforming into a paw with severely sharp claws. She placed one of the claws into the back of the tent and pulled down tearing the tent open as silently as cutting butter.

A blast of cold wind blew through the new opening. Chris shook her hand as it transformed back into her human hand. Partial transformation was a lost art, one that Chris and her wolf had found a necessity to learn. Thankfully she had a great tutor in her pack. It was very painful if you were not used to it, Chris had practiced so many times that now it just feels like an uncomfortable numbing in her hand and arm. It was a skill that should only be used for a short period of time; any time longer than 5 minutes and you risk losing the limb.

Chris poked her head out of the tent flap and looked from side to side. Nothing but woods with snow silently falling making the world sound deadened and quiet. She pulled herself through the hole slowly as to not alert the bells that were attached to the tent. She stood in the snow, listening to the silence and the sound of the breathing of the 4 men and one dog. No changes, her heart leaped with adrenaline and her wolf growled in excitement as she silently trudged off in the snow toward the smell of the pups.

The snow was falling heavily, making it hard to see anything but the trees. It was already halfway up Chris's calf. Her wolf hummed attentively in her chest, wanting to be released to run through the snow. Chris almost let her when reality snapped back in place. 'No we can't' she thought to her wolf. 'Transforming is the last resort. First priority is finding those pups.' Her wolf snorted, but settled down agreeing with her, and muttering obscenities about the poachers.

Chris stopped suddenly and sniffed. She could sense them nearby, but their scent was being covered by the snow. She held still for a moment, listening and feeling, then she turned to her left. She started walking down a small slope toward a grove of trees. She felt herself and her wolf begin to meld together, there was no scent to follow anymore, this was entirely by her intuition as Alpha. Past the grove was thick trees and brush, she started breaking through them not caring if she was heard. The pups were so close, her wolf howled across the link and she felt the pups perk up in response. Finally, she broke through the brush and into a clearing where there were crates covered with white camouflage tarps.

As soon as she broke through she heard a whining and scratching coming from the crates. She ran towards the crates, voices were yelping in her head through the link. 'Alpha! Alpha!' Along with excessive whining and barking. "Shhh!" Chris said outloud. The pups quieted physically and over the link. She started pulling off the tarps, there were 3 crates with 4 pups, the middle crate had 2 very small pups. She stood back for a second and looked into each pup's eyes. Then she pointed to the one on her far left. "Who is this?" She said out loud. All pups bowed their head slightly in respect. The largest pup on the far right barked and then responded over the link, 'He is a brother'.

Chris nodded in understanding. "Were you all playing together when you were caught?".

The three pups lowered their heads even further in shame. The brother pup stood up and wagged his tail looking at Chris.

'I'm sorry Alpha it is my fault.' Said the larger one.

The smaller one interrupted, 'No it is mine. I shouldn't have-'

'Quiet Susie.'

'But I met the brother wolf and we were playing, we didn't realize it gotten so dark and we got so far away from home. I-'

'I should have paid better attention, I am the oldest.'

'And the dumbest.' said the other pup in the middle crate.

'I am not!'

'You got us caught! Were lucky they didn't kill us for our pelts!'

'Well you-'

"Silence!" Chris said, all three pups quieted down, bowing their heads. "What are your names?"

'I'm Susie' said the smallest one.

'I'm Mark' said the large pup in the left crate.

'My name is Val' said the other small pup in the middle crate with Susie.

"Good, I am Alpha Winters. Your disappearance has caused a very big ruckus in town." All the pups whined. "We won't go over what happened here, and I won't have you changing back as I don't have any clothes to keep you warm. You will all follow my lead is that understood?" The three pups nodded, "Now, where is the brother pups pack?"

The pups shifted uncomfortable, 'We don't know' said Mark. 'We thought that they must be close by, but when we try to ask him, he just seemed sad and keeps saying something about snow.'

Chris looked down at the pups and then walked over to the brother pup. A brother is just a regular wolf, werewolves are able to communicate with them, when in wolf form, except for Alphas and other higher officers which can communicate to brother wolves in either form. The brother pup looked up expectantly at Chris, She looked into his eyes and knelt down to his level. Her wolf seemed to reach out to him as she asked, 'Where is your pack, little paw?'. The pup shifted and whined looking down at the snow. Immediately disjointed words and images came to Chris's mind. 'Snow, a mountain, snow, death, buried, sad, sad, alone, sad, no pack, snow, raining snow.' Chris put her hand out towards the pup and touched his fur at his neck. The pup looked into her eyes and she told him, 'you are not alone, little paw.' With that the pup let out a howl. Chris closed her eyes as her wolf howled with him through the link.

'Alpha! They will hear him!' said Val.

Chris immediately went into action going to Mark's crate. 'Everyone listen, you are to head down the mountain together, State troopers and other pack members will be waiting for you. I will handle the poachers and meet you there. Who is better at tracking?'

'I am!' shouted Mark as Chris tried to get the metal lock to break. The metal latch looked new and would not give so Chris grabbed the wood and pulled. With a splintering crack the wood snapped in half and Mark was out. Chris went to the next crate this time going for the rusty metal hinges. "Mark keep watch as I get the others out." Mark stood at her back as she smashed her fist into the hinges, it took three tries but they finally broke. She pulled the gate open and the two pups raced out of the crate.

'Alpha I hear something' Mark said as the other pups stood next to him facing the woods that lead to camp.

"Mark you will lead the pups down the mountain. Once you find the scent of one of our pack members or of the forest service, follow it. They set up camps all around this area. I will meet you there." She heard someone running down the side of the mountain, cocking a gun. "Mark go now! She said pulling at the brother wolf's crate.

'But Alpha-' stepping back nervously.

"Don't you dare question my orders, get down the mountain now!" And with that the crates door gave way and the brother wolf was out. All the pups immediately starting running down the mountain.

Chris stood there breathing hard, listening to the pounding footsteps get closer. She leaned against the crate and began picking the splinters out of her hands, waiting for the visitor to appear. Just before he hit the clearing he slowed down and took a moment to calm his breathing. Chris stayed still, listening closely, as he brought his rifle up and began walking through the last 10 feet of brush into the far side of the clearing. It was Dean.


*Thanks for reading! Please vote and comment! I love constructive criticism, however if it becomes mean I will take you down.*

-LostArrow-

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