Chapter 2

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Tanner slowly gained his consciousness again. He was surrounded by the dogs of his pack. Alana was directly above him, her eyes full of worry and confusion.
"Are you okay?" Alana and his peers were all staring at him.
"Yeah, I'm alright, just slightly stunned." Tanner got to his feet and shook out his fur. He looked around the group, seeing Toshima in the very back. She smiled at him.
"You remembered." She said, still smiling.
"Yeah. I'm not sure how, but I did." Tanner shook again, "The question is, why are you here." Tanner came off a little more rude than he intended.
"I had to get away." She lowered her head submissively. Though she was a big wolf, Tanner was bigger, the gruff hint to his voice made him seem tougher too.
"Who, from a pack, another wolf, a tree? Who did you have to get away from?" Tanner shot right back. He wasn't in total belief that this was his mother, even after his hectic flashback.
"Do you want the whole story?" Toshima asked.
"Every detail." Tanner replied.
"Maybe we should let them talk in private. It's early, everyone, back to your dens. The sun has barely risen a sliver over the horizon." Beta barked to the pack. They all separated and went into their assigned dens.
Alana was trotting off to the Soldier Den when Tanner called to her, "I want you with me." so Alana trotted right back.
The three walked to the weeping willow. Tanner sat just inside the trees canopy, Alana by his side, and Toshima in front of them. "Where do you want me to start?" She asked Tanner nervously, sensing his doubt.
"Where it gets important." Tanner replied, obviously agitated, yet interested.
"Well when you were around 6 weeks, humans came to this territory. You were taken just beyond the trees, to a sled dog camp. I sat at the edge if the tree line with your father, almost everyday. Your dad came from this sled dog camp. He knew that you would always e fed. I snuck up to the fence line. I saw you and this one chatting and I could tell that you two were in love. I heard her call you Wolfdog, and Tanner. I guessed that Tanner was what they had renamed you-"
"If my birth name isn't Tanner, then what is it?" Tanner interrupted.
"Your name was Danton." Toshima replied and continued her story, while Tanner sat in awe at his name.
'Danton? Why couldn't I have kept that name?' Tanner thought.
"Anyways, I figured that you were happy with your new lifestyle, I only came to the tree line once a week instead of the everyday I was previously. Eventually it narrowed down to once a month, then just once in a while, then I just stopped. It's been so long since I've seen you last, everything has changed. Your father led the pack slightly deeper into the woods. A young wolf rose up and he fought your father to the death, unfortunately the young wolf won and claimed me to be his mate. I refused and fought him but many wolves of the pack were all for having a wolf lead them instead of a dog. They helped him keep me as their prisoner until just two nights ago when I saw this darling in the forest. I recognized her almost instantly, I remembered her from the time I saw you and her talking inside the fenced yard. I knew that they were after me so I tried to help her. When they came I told them to take me back but they refused and took her instead. I felt terrible, I knew that they wouldn't kill her, so I watched in silence and followed them. That's where I saw you for the first time in years." Toshima paused and looked longingly at Tanner's stern face, "I followed you back to the clearing and waited until the right time. Just when I thought that I might be clear to go, a large red dog jumped on me and tried to pin me down, I escaped and somehow made it onto the top of that rock. Then she came out, and th-"
"Okay, we get it. Now were here." Tanner said, not even flicking his tail.
"Yes. And I'm not sure what will happen next, but I had to see you again."
"Are you planning on staying?" Alana yipped excitedly.
"I wasn't. I don't have a place to be staying and I'm sure that your pack wouldn't want a wolf in it-"
"Sure we would!" Alana interrupted
"Alana." Tanner barked in warning.
"Tanner, we would. Your mother has lived with vicious wolves. She is strong. She would be a great asset to the pack!" Alana squealed, so excited that she shook her whole body along with her tail.
"Oh, I don't know." Toshima scratched at her ear casually.
"You could get to know your son better!" She yipped again.
"Alana." Tanner barked coldly
"No Tanner, you need to spend more time with her! Don't try to deny it. My mother died when I was just a pup! You are blessed to have one when so many dogs don't." Alana gave Tanner a stare colder than ice. She looked at Toshima again and smiled, "I'll go and talk to Alpha." She walked out with nothing more than a flick of her tail toward Tanner. Tanner glared at Toshima, and she smiled back at him.
"I know that you don't believe me." Toshima licked her chops.
"That obvious huh." Tanner looked back at her.
"Look, Tanner. I would have never expected you to believe me. The thought had honestly never crossed my mind to join your pack. Alana is a sweetheart and I can tell that there is tension between you two while I'm in the picture. I don't want to push myself upon you or your lifestyle. I will go." She nodded respectfully at Tanner and stood up. As she walked to toward the weeping wall of leaves, she looked over her shoulder, "I just had to see you again." A single tear dripped down her muzzle, "I love you, Tanner. Please don't forget that." And then she was gone.

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