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Chapter seven

When I wake up, I'm on the ground with the Shadow boy kneeling over me, I must've passed out. His blue eyes search my face, then he shakes my shoulder a little. What he's asking me to do is insane and I won't do it! I feel like I'm going to vomit.

"I can't to this..." I croak

"Yes, I did it, you can too. Do you want to live?" He sympathizes

There's that phrase again, "do you want to live?" Of course I do, but not enough to throw it away like this. What choice do I have? It takes me a moment but I come to grips with my situation and get up, the shadow boy steadies me, and suddenly I feel uncomfortable with him touching me. I can't help but look at his toned muscled forearms, and the thick lines that criss-cross them, just like the boy who was killed. What do the markings mean? Shadows have always been savage enemies, and for him to have removed my doe skin makes it extremely awkward for me, I had always dreamed that the man I love would take it off on our wedding night. Instead my enemy; my very handsome enemy, removes it.

I wonder why he hides his face so? I watched him this morning, while he was asleep. I have a habit of rising early to start the days work, but today was different. So, while preparing the food I watched him, he was sprawled out on the ground, and the hood had shifted off of his head and his young face was visible. For a while I stood over him, and studied the face of my enemy; dark stubble lines his strong jaw, he has olive skin, dark curly hair, and his eyelashes almost touch his cheeks when he's asleep. When his eyes are open, they are blue, and almost change shades depending on mood.

I look into his eyes now, they are stormy grey. He looks at me warily, making sure I don't collapse again.

"Okay." I say confidently

I start to walk toward the hollow when he stops me.

"Whoa, whoa. You can't just walk down there gung-ho, that will get you killed." He says, "you have to be one of them."

He begins to explain how I should approach, being unseen, and lowest on the alpha scale. If I pose no threat, they will not attack me.

"If one comes in an offensive manner, then you lay down in front of them." He says, mimicking the act of laying down.

He gives me a few more tips then nods, handing me his knife. I take a deep breath and begin down the slope, that's when I see them, easily twenty wolves lounge, play and feast down on the floor of the Hollow. I have to climb down some small cliffs, hanging on to tree branches and vines. I try to make as less noise as possible but slowly all twenty heads turn to watch my descent.

My feet touch the bottom of the Hollow, and two particularly large grey wolves rise from the leaf ridden ground. I immediately get on all fours, looking directly at the dead leaves that cover the floor. When I look up, two yellow eyes are staring at me, so I lie down on my side, breathing heavy. The Shadow told me not to panic, only to think of calming things; that will keep certain chemicals from sweating through. If they smell that I am afraid, they will hurt me. So I think of Emma, and Hayden; I think of how beautiful their wedding will be. The taller grey wolf sniffs my hair and an explosion of heat fills my chest; I close my eyes, thinking of Dane's face, his smiling green eyes, and for some reason I find myself picturing the Shadow's blue eyes.

The grey wolf licks my face, leaving a hot sticky slobber mark. Then he pads away, leaving me to lie in the dirt, hyperventilating. I then slowly get up, and crawl on all fours towards the group of them. The one who licked me, watches warily, but his body language signals me to enter.

I take it slow, crawling to the edge of the circle and sitting cross legged. A large deer carcass is what the wolves feed on; their sharp teeth ripping the flesh and skin from the bones. I wince, disgusted by their behavior, but knowing that they are animals.

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