The closer we get to Valley City the more I worry about how long this little alliance with the Wolf pack will last. Bane gave me an ultimatum: tell Sage to stay with them or be ripped to shreds. Neither option appealed to me in the slightest.
I stick close to Callum as we walked. My hand constantly brushing the side of my belt where I keep my knife. Callum heard enough of the conversation to know what was going on and he twitched nervously at every move the wolves made.
I acted more calm, but really I wanted Sage by my side too, Unfortunately, Bane had taken Sage tot the front of the pack, far away from me.
They talked, I guess Bane was trying to persuade Sage himself.
I didn’t know what to do. I could say no. Tell Bane to stick it and take Sage with me, but we were far out numbered with little chance of survival. But how could I give Sage up. Sage who saved me when I had given up all hope. Sage who had been there through everything, watching my back. Sage who keeps me warm at night.
Just thinking about him breaks my heart.
We push back some trees and Valley City comes into view. Whatever I planned on doing it was now or never. Bane, Sage and the rest of the rest of the pack stop and turn to us.
As we promised we have delivered you safely.
Bane’s voice sounds kind but is full of hidden anger.
Is there anything else?
Bane raises his eyebrow at me. At least I think he does. Do wolves have eyebrows? Maybe I imagined it. Either way I knew what it meant. He wants me to suggest Sage stay.
I kneel to Sage’s height and look him in the eye.
“Bane has requested you stay with his pack instead of coming with me,” I say, biting my tongue. “I will support any choice you make, whether it be to stay with me or with your own kind.” I glance at Bane giving him a dangerous look. “I would hope Bane would respect your decision too.”
Bane gives off a low growl. I’ve backed him into a corner. Sage won’t want to stay with them if he doesn’t respect Sage, but Bane is unstable. He might just kill me anyway and take Sage.
I turn back to Sage and hold his gaze.
“It is your choice and no one elses.”
Sage’s eyes dart from me to Bane, to Callum and to the other wolves.
He barks a few times and Bane’s face wrinkles into a snarl.
You choose her! She’s a Walker! She’s not of your kind.
I’m almost surprised that Bane thinks Sage would have chosen his kind over me.
Sage barks some more. The other wolves seem to be getting fidgety. I lean back and whisper in Callum’s ear.
“Get ready to run for the town as fast as you can,” I tell him.
“You think we’ll make it?” he asks.
Bane and Sage are barking and growling in what could only be an argument.
You are nothing like us! You’re a pup, you don’t know any better so I’ll let it slide, but you will be coming with us.
“Hey!” I shout. “You said you’d respect Sage’s choice.”
I also said I’d kill you if he didn’t come with us.
Bane turns to Sage.
Do you want me to kill her?
Sage looks at me with sad eyes and I know the choice he is about to make is to save me.
“Sage you don’t have to-”
But he has already moved to stand with Bane.
He has chosen.
Bane sits up straight and with the face of a victor.
My eyes plead with his. These wolves will change him from a king pup to a vicious killer.
I rush in for a hug before anyone can stop me.
“Please don’t forget me and don’t let them change you,” I whisper to him.
He makes a low rumble that turns into a squeak. I let go of him, the scent of his fur still on my nose.
I suggest you leave and don’t come back.
But I can’t move. My eyes are caught on Sage. Callum grabs my arm and pulls me away. I watch Sage until Bane forces him back int to the forest. I watch his tail flick low and I know he is as upset as me.
“Sage…” I utter, in the hopes he might come back.