Surprise! Chapter 21 is up! 

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Saffron

He called me Saf! Not Sophie, not Saffron. Saf. 

He gave me a nickname! That has to mean he likes me, right? I mean, I guess us making out could mean that too, but it might not. Logan might just be the sort of guy who hooks up with all the girls. This is different. Not only is he helping me learn to link, but now he's given me a nickname. Like I'm more than a random hookup... like we're friends and he cares about me. I can't quite keep myself from smiling.

I glance at Logan shyly and realize that he's not actually looking at me. His eyes are squeezed shut and he looks like he's putting all his energy into linking. He looks absolutely adorable, with his lips pursed and his brows furrowed in concentration. The tension is practically oozing off of him, and I want to run a finger along his eyebrows. Then, I want to lean in and press my lips against his.

I try not to blush for the hundredth time and focus on linking. Logan keeps telling me to breathe and relax, but he's obviously not doing either of those things. If they were necessary for the link to work, wouldn't he be doing them too?

"Logan," I say his name softly, "I don't think this is working."

His shoulders slump and I immediately wish I could take the words back. He looks defeated, and I feel awful. He's been trying so hard, skipping class so he could help me, and I just can't get it right.

Suddenly, I have an overwhelming desire to link. Not because I want to talk to wolves psychically—though that would be pretty cool—but because I want to make Logan happy.

"Try again," I tell him.

"Saf, there's no point," he argues.

My heart jumps at his use of my new nickname even as I realize Logan's ready to give up on me. "It will," I insist. "Just try again. Please."

Logan looks like he's going to argue. He hesitates for a few seconds, watching me, and I hold my breath, waiting. Finally, he nods and closes his eyes.

I watch him furrow his brows again and close my eyes. Even though I know it's probably not necessary, I go through the breathing exercises Dad taught me. I move through every part of my body, relaxing each joint. When I feel weightless, like my body is liquid, I work on clearing my mind. I focus on my breath, and the feel of it going in and out, before I shift my attention outward. I become aware of Logan breathing beside me and focus on his forehead. I imagine my thoughts leaving, travelling the distance between us, and then entering his mind. It's going to work this time. I just know it.

Can you hear me? I ask. Is it working?

Nothing happens. Logan doesn't reply aloud and I definitely don't hear him over the link. I open my eyes and see that his eyes are still closed as he focuses on linking with me.

I feel the prickle of tears. I'll never be able to link. I'm not a normal wolf, like Logan and Zara and everyone in their pack. I'm a rogue, always 'less than'. I can't fight as well as they can. I can't link. I can't do anything. It's no wonder none of the packs Dad went to wanted us.

I think back to what POW said, about Dad paying off the local pack so we wouldn't have to join, but that just doesn't add up. A pack wouldn't want poor, pathetic rogues like us. Not when we're so much weaker than them and can't link like other wolves can. If Dad was paying them off, it was probably so that the pack wouldn't kick us off their land. Or maybe so they wouldn't kill us because we're too pathetic to live.

I have a sudden urge to run home to Dad, even though he sold me like an unwanted piece of property. Maybe he thought I'd be better off here? That this was my only chance of joining a pack, even if it was as a slave?

A tear slides down my cheek and when Logan reaches forward to wipe it away, I realize his eyes are open and he's watching me.

"It's okay," he whispers. "We'll figure something out."

I nod as another tear tries to escapes. I don't know why I'm crying. Is it because there's a chance Dad gambled me away for my own good? Because I can't link? Because I'll never be a normal wolf or have a pack of my own? Because Logan and Zara make me feel like this could me my new home, but that I'll never belong?

Logan pulls me close and I wrap my arms around him. I cry into his neck, mourning everything I've lost and all the things I'll never have.

"It's okay," Logan whispers comfortingly. "I'm here. We'll fix this. I won't let anything bad happen to you, ever again."

"Sorry," I whisper, wiping my face with the back of my hand. I'm not sure if I'm apologizing for crying all over his shirt or for making a fool of myself. Probably both.



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I'll post the next chapter in the next few days, but in the meantime....

I know you guys read a lot of werewolf fiction, so I was hoping you could help. 

What would you call a wolf that's not quite a Rogue, but also not really part of the pack? Like a wolf who's still part of the pack, but living on the outskirts; barely interacting with other wolves, but hasn't gone Rogue or set out on their own? 

Thanks for your help! 

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