Chapter 15: Wolf Country
The wolves look at me. I’m a small wolf. Walid is looking at me still in human form as though I’m really just a puppy. He looks completely amused by me.
“You’re joking right?”
“I’m serious. I am your second challenger.”
Walid smile vanishes at that moment. The other wolves are just staring seeing what is happening. I understand that they take this Alpha challenge serious. I understand that this is a big deal for them. I understand that they weren’t expecting this.
I’ve shocked them all.
It’s Fang’s wolf that comes up to me. He stands in front of me, “Have you lost your mind?”
“Relax Fang. I’m not going to fight him…” Walid replies.
“You have to accept,” is my reply.
There is silence again. No one expected me to go through this. No one expected me to say something about this. The look on their faces says it all…even with the werewolves. I think the regular wolves even seem confused. I was supposed to just be submissive. I was supposed to just sit around and let the man I loved and my brother rip themselves apart.
I refused to do something like that.
It’s Naomi who is the first to break this eerie, awkward silence, “The wolf is right. You have to accept…”
Walid is naked. He’s looking down at me. I heard it out of his own mouth that he couldn’t turn down a challenge. He looks confused now. His huge, manly frame is still more threatening than my wolf. His swinging dick looks more dangerous than my so-called fierce fangs. I couldn’t even do a convincing growl if I tried. So I’m sitting there…more bitch then werewolf and he’s looking at me clearly not impressed at all.
Walid raises his eyebrow, “I refuse…I won’t fight you.”
“If you don’t accept the challenge you submit to him,” Naomi says.
Could it be that Walid really would sacrifice his position because he didn’t want to fight me? I was giving him the biggest ultimatum. A few months ago he would have ripped me a part. In the beginning of the school year it would have been over. But now he’s just raising his eyebrow thinking it over.
He looks over at Naomi, “I said I wasn’t fighting him…didn’t I?”
The voice comes out of no where. I don’t see it until it’s too late. It’s Qadir! Qadir has a madness in his eye. He is a wolf now. I didn’t even see the transition. The reddish brown wolf runs up to me charging me as fast as he can.
I’m shocked as I’m thrown to the snow!
I struggle to get to my feet. The wolf in me is angry. I bare my teeth and face Qadir.
“FUCKING SNEAK!” I hear Fang say.
He is about to run to my defense. I know he is but Walid stops him. I’m not sure why Walid stops Fang but he stands in front of Fang blocking him completely.
No one’s going to interfere.
My brother’s wolf is looking at me as though it doesn’t even recognize me. It’s looking at me as nothing more than an enemy. Does my brother want this so bad? It’s clear now that he doesn’t give a flying fuck about peace. All he cares about is power. I guess I knew it all along though. I guess I knew it when he burnt down the ancestral mansion. There was nothing Qadir wouldn’t do to be on top.
“Come at me,” I tell him.
He’s pacing around me in a circle. The other wolves are watching. Their multi-colored eyes gaze at us. There is an intensity in the air.
“You can submit to me…little brother,” Qadir explains.
I still can’t believe he’s fighting me. Walid may have backed down but Qadir was a different story. His wolf is just as big as Walid’s though. It’s twice the size of mine.
“No…” I tell him.
That’s when he does come at me. His teeth are all I see when it makes his attack. I run to the right attempting to get past him. I’m not past enough though. His molars rip into my flesh tearing a little piece off of me. I manage to pull away just barely running a few feet and then turning back towards him. Already I’m weak.
Blood stains the snow.
“We have to stop this,” Fang warns them.
He seems desperate. I know he feels for me even after the conversation we had in the car. I know he cares about me. That is why this is this even more difficult. He doesn’t think I stand a chance against Qadir. Hell…the regular wolves would probably give me a run for my money. I was fighting the biggest of the big. This should have been a clash of titans but instead it was David vs. Goliath.
“Qadir stop,” Mayorga mimicks Fang’s sentiment.
“What are we wolves or house pets?” Naomi asks.
Mayorga ignores her and looks over at Walid, “You have to stop this.”
For that moment…as I’m bleeding in the snow a part of me hopes that Walid will come to my rescue. A part of me hopes that Mayorga and Fang get through to him and he stops Qadir from ripping me apart. That idea though isn’t coming to fruition.
“No one interfere,” Walid announces, “The boy becomes a man today…”
I know it’s Walid talking. I’m sure it’s Walid but the words sound like something my dad would say. His tough demeanor was clear at that moment. He wasn’t going to help me. He may not even save me.
I look at Qadir. His eyes are maddened. He can probably feel the glory coming on. That’s what is so important to him. How far would he go though? Would he kill me?
I had to die with at least fighting.
I charge at him. I’m a wild animal now. It’s clear that no one is going to come to my aid. I put myself in this situation by speaking up. So I’m desperate. I’m beyond desperate. This may be life or death. I’m not sure how far my brother will take this so I have to protect myself. I’m lunging at Qadir. My head snaps forward…all teeth…
I bite at him. I get flesh. He rolls me over almost quickly probably feeling the pain. I don’t draw blood. He’s attempting to get to my side and bite into my back.
I don’t let him.
I snap. Facing off. Our teeth go for one another. Even though he’s stronger I’m running in circles around him. I can see his teeth chasing me like a cat chasing nip. As I attempt to avoid him, his aggression becomes clear. His jaws open wide as though just waiting for the moment and opportunity to bite down! I can almost feel him.
I can smell the hot breath against him as he circles me. So I do the only thing that I can do. I jump!
I jump as high as I can.
Somehow I manage to circle behind Qadir and get on his back! I bite down into the back of his neck. My jaw clenches down. Qadir shakes his body so forcefully that I go falling on the ground.
I don’t know how I hit a rock but I can smell my own blood. I’m bleeding. I can’t even move. The others are looking at me. The impact is clear to everyone. Sure I got a good attack on Qadir but it doesn’t matter.
“This is over,” Professor Timus says from a distance.
Naomi shakes her head, “It’s up to Qadir if he chooses mercy.”
They are spectating from the sidelines as if this is some sport as I lay there in pain. They have counted me out. I’m bleeding on the rocks. I can hardly move. How do I manage to be tossed onto rocks in all this snow.
I feel so weak but somehow I get up…shaking and all.
I’m bleeding. I’m done. But I can’t give up.
Qadir has turned his back at this moment. He may have been taking his victory lap. I’m not sure. It may be Mayorga who tells him that I got back up. I’m not sure. I’m thinking Fang is telling me to move into a submissive posture. He’s telling me to put my tail between my legs. I can almost hear the voices but that doesn’t matter to me.
I’m not even sure what is going on. The wolf has taken over.
I’m not sure where the warning comes from but I don’t listen to it. I’m running. I’m running as fast as I can and I’m lunging towards him. He bites at me. He tries at least but and he misses me. He’s bitten into thin air. My wolf is quicker than his. So much quicker.
And I bite down. I’m not sure at what. Maybe my wolf is aware of something that I’m not aware of. It isn’t until I grab hold that I realize my teeth are sunk into Qadir’s neck. I could break his neck right now.
“Holy shit…” Amina states.
Qadir is staying positively still. He isn’t moving. He knows that if I really bite down I’d hit something serious in his neck…maybe an artery. He’d be dead within seconds. We can both feel the tension between us.
The words of his wolf enter my brain, “I submit.”
I loosen my grip. The other wolves are looking at me. Qadir is finished. He’s lost. He lays in the snow and it’s Mayorga who comes over to lick his wounds. Somehow I managed to beat him. At that moment they are looking at Walid to see what Walid does.
It’s at that moment Walid turns into the white wolf. My chest is beating heavy. I’m scared to death. I don’t have the energy to fight Walid too. He could finish me right here and now. Walid could completely destroy me.
The white wolf circles around me. I’m so tired that I can’t even follow his movements. He stops in front of me close. I can see the white wolf’s teeth. He could kill me in one bite in the state I’m in now.
That is when Walid, even in his grand stance begins to cower under me. The white wolf goes as low as possible with its tail tucked in. As though this wasn’t enough white wolf begins to lay sprawled out on the ground. Its back is against the ground and its belly is towards me completely open and exposed while the legs dangle in the air.
I didn’t have to have the knowledge of Professor Timus to know what this means. In the next second all the wolves are cowering. All the wolves are cowering…even the regular wolves. I look over them…seeing the much bigger wolves lower themselves. Even the ones that hate me. Even the ones that know they can probably beat me. They all lower themselves.
There is a new alpha.
And that’s me.
I look over at them still. The only wolf still standing on his feet. And for as far as I can see the wolves are submitting to me. I never felt more powerful as I peer out. Even as far as the woods I can see all the wolves are submitting. It’s clear who the Alpha is. It’s clear that I’m him.
And that’s when I see something else.
Maybe with all the business I didn’t smell him coming. No one did. Maybe with all of this I don’t see him running out of the woods with a rifle in his hand. I’m scared. My heart is racing. He’s desperate. He looks through the crowd.
He aims his gun.
The bullet sinks into me that moment. I can feel my body quiver. The pain causes a deformation. I’m turning back into a human. Evan’s eyes glare at me completely shocked. They are wide open. He just watched me change from a wolf into a human.
“Oh my god…they’re real…they’re real…” he’s saying.
He’s whispering it but I can hear him even though he is on the very edge of the woods.
Walid must not have noticed I was shot. He looks up at me. He turns to me and all of a sudden he’s a human and he’s catching me before I hit the snow.
“Nasir…Nasir…oh my god…”
He hand is shaking. I look up at him. The blood isn’t stopping. It’s professor Timus who comes over and tries to put pressure on it but when Walid notices it isn’t stopping the blood he throws Timus so far that I can no longer see him. Walid attempts to put pressure on the wound.
It’s not stopping it.
“Kill him… KILL HIM!” Walid is ordering everyone.
The other wolves turn to Evan. They are facing him. I look over at Evan at the edge of the woods. He’s surrounded by wolves. Naomi and Amina are the ones leading. They are charging at Evan. He won’t be able to escape. There is no way he could outrun a wolf, let alone a werewolf.
“NO!” I scream out, “Let him go!”
“Are you serious? KILL HIM!” Walid is saying.
He’s upset. I can tell he’s upset but revenge isn’t the way. I don’t want Evan dead for shooting me. I am coughing up blood now and luckily the wolves are still looking at me as the Alpha. Naomi and Amina back down. The other wolves back down as well. Evan’s eyes get wide. Then he runs. He runs away back into the woods escaping just in time.
Fang is standing over me now. He looks like he wants to cry. I’d be surprised if any of these strong wolves broke down right now. I can see it though. Out of everyone here he is the closest to crying. He wants to come closer but I can tell he hesitates with Walid there. I know he probably doesn’t want to turn out like Timus being thrown across the open field like a kite.
So he just stands there facing away as the tear starts in his eye. It’s Amina who walks over to comfort him.
Walid looks angry. He’s holding me and he’s not letting anyone close to me.
“Hold on. I’ll get you to a hospital.”
“The nearest hospital isn’t for an hour. We both know I won’t make it,” I tell him.
He looks so angry. Blood is coming out of my mouth. I’m barely holding on. It’s a strange thing when you know you’re dying. It’s a strange sensation that fills your body. You start regretting everything that that you haven’t done. You start remembering things that you thought you’d forgotten a long time ago.
I regret not having a real relationship with my brother. My brother is the same distance as Fang. When he tries to get closer to see how bad it is Walid growls…even in human form. Even then I think Qadir would be willing to test it if Mayorga wasn’t pulling him back.
There’s no point in them getting close. It’s bad. It’s real bad.
“Walid…forgive him,” I tell him.
I’m talking about Qadir. I’m talking about my brother. Walid looks over at them. He looks so angry. He’s breathing heavily. His eyes are red but they aren’t tears. He’s pissed. I’ve never seen him so upset.
Walid looks over at me, “Don’t tell me what the fuck to do? You forgive them. You’re the alpha aren’t you?”
I smiled, “I am aren’t I? I would have beat you. You know? I would have whooped your ass like I did Qadir. Lucky you submitted.”
I’m trying to make him smile. He isn’t smiling though.
Walid shakes his head, “I’ll challenge you again. I’ll win it back and make you submit to me. Soon enough. You watch….you little bitch. You can have your day today. I’ll get it back tomorrow.”
I smile at Walid.
His words are drifting off. I mutter a soft word but it doesn’t make sense. I have no energy.
That is when it happens. Walid cries, “I love you…in the way you wanted. Like a man loves a man.”
It’s been three days since Nasir was shot and killed. It should have been me. It should have been me. That would have made more sense. I killed India and that’s what set the human off in the first place. It would have even made sense if it was Qadir. He was the threat. His temporary insanity had caused this gathering of wolves. Maybe even Walid. It was clear the human Evan was trying to target the Alpha male. Regardless of how many times we submitted to Nasir we all knew who the real Alpha male was.
“He’ll wants to see you,” Naomi says.
She comes to the door. She’s in a fur.
I look over at Qadir. We all know who she’s talking about. Walid. The humans haven’t returned to Vanderbilt mountain after Walid overran it with wolves. He never sent them away. The humans are staying away for now and the smart thing would have been for me to do the same. Walid was not a friend. Qadir was alive but still a threat.
“We’ll go see him,” I tell Naomi.
She nods and walks away. It’s clear she still looks as us as her enemy. Hell we probably are her enemy.
“He’s going to try to kill us,” Qadir says, “You know that right. We’re a threat to him.
“You’re probably right. Does that mean you want to run away now?” I ask.
Qadir shakes his head, “No. Just wanted to warn you. I am going to show up at my brother’s cremation. I don’t care who tries to stop me.”
We’re driving further down the mountain to the Crematory now. We’re late but werewolf rules are very clear. Walid is the alpha and if he doesn’t want us around we aren’t supposed to go around. It’s not like Qadir is in any condition to challenge him after he lost to Nasir.
Qadir is stubborn. It should be a good idea for us to leave right now. Maybe wait for Qadir to get stronger and try to take over the territory again. That is what smart people would do. The thing is he isn’t going to do that. I know he isn’t going to leave at least until he says goodbye to Nasir officially. Nasir belongs to Walid and we all know that…but for some reason family bonds are still important to Qadir. He doesn’t admit it but I know he feels guilty for what happened to Nasir. Sure he didn’t shoot Nasir but his tension with Walid built the environment.
As we pull up we see Timus. He’s standing outside.
“Are they in there?” I ask Timus.
Timus nods, “I’m not going in though. I can pay my respects from out here. Walid is in there…”
“You really think he’s going to attack us at his lover’s cremation?” I ask.
“Hey. Tensions are high. I rather not take the risk,” Timus responds, “After the cremation I’m leaving town. I’m never coming back. I suggest the two of you do the same.”
His warning doesn’t go to closed ears. I hear him out. He has every reason to be afraid. Walid hasn’t been the same since Nasir died. He just seemed…scarier. I could only imagine how it would be like to have Qadir die in my arms.
I wonder if I’d be seeing that vision sooner or later.
We were entering the lair of the beast.
“I’m going in, Mayorga,” Qadir tells me, “I understand if you want to stay out here with Timus. I won’t blame you. I don’t mind.”
It’s not a smart idea. It’s a stupid idea. But hell…I’ve been with him this long.
I find myself holding Qadir’s hand at that moment.
I hold his hand and we walk into the crematory. It’s over by the time we get there. Walid wouldn’t let us actually see Nasir get burned. He wouldn’t let anyone see it. A part of it is selfish if you ask me but then again this is Nasir. He feels like he owns Nasir and no one else can have him. Even now Walid is standing in the dark room holding onto an Urn. He won’t share it with anyone. He won’t let anyone even get close to it.
I notice Fang in the distance. Out of everyone I feel bad for him. He has Amina next to him but everyone knows who Fang really was in love with. He doesn’t hide it. I feel bad because that is the silent elephant in the room. More like a silent wolf.
Fang is in just as much pain as Walid. If Nasir had loved Fang the way that he loved Walid there was no doubt that that Nasir would probably still be alive today.
“I was contemplating killing the two of you today and being done with it,” Walid states.
It’s a very Walid thing to say. He’s not beating around the bush. He’s staring hard at us. Qadir and I both don’t exchange eye contact. We are showing signs of submission but I just hope these signs are enough.
“I just came to pay respect to my brother,” Qadir replies.
“He’s nothing to you. You hear me?” Walid responds, “He’s mine. All mine. None of you better not shed a fucking tear for him. This is my loss.”
He’s not even looking at Qadir as he says it. He’s looking at Fang standing there in the corner. Amina rubs on Fang’s back. Fang has been crying. His eyes are red. He’s not crying now though. He wouldn’t dare cry for Nasir in front of Walid.
“You have my condolences,” Qadir says.
“Man, FUCK you and your condolences,” Walid responds spitting at Qadir’s feet.
He takes a few steps forward and before he approaches Qadir and I are both on our knees showing even more submission.
Walid stops short. Luckily.
“Out of respect for Nasir, I’m going to forgive you and let you back in the pack,” Walid states.
Qadir and I look at one another. We both aren’t expecting it. My heart is racing. Walid is…forgiving us? Nasir must have really done a number on him. At that moment I want to thank him. I want to really express gratitude but I know this won’t mean a thing to Walid.
Walid turns. He’s excusing us. He wants us to leave.
“Sir,” Qadir says.
I could almost choke my lover. We were back in the pack. What else did he possibly have to say? He needed to leave good enough alone. It was just like Qadir though.
“I want you all to leave me. I need time alone with Nasir…”
I am so sure Qadir was going to ask him for something Walid wasn’t going to give him. He was going to ask him to hold the urn or maybe have a few of Nasir’s ashes. Qadir was always pushing Walid and I knew this wasn’t the time.
Luckily Qadir doesn’t make a personal request, “What about Evan? The human.”
Walid raises an eyebrow, “I’ve been following him. The humans know about us now. I’ll need every wolf I can get. So prepare yourselves.”
Qadir and I nod my head.
“Now get the fuck out. All of you. I need time alone with Nasir…”
We leave. All of us…even Fang who clearly wants to be able to mourn Nasir. It’s no doubt he’ll be crying soon. We’ll have to cry in private away from everyone else. We’ll have to mourn Nasir today because there is a look of revenge in Walid’s eyes. Walid was making peace with the wolves only to make war with the humans.
And as I walk back out into the snow. As I walk back out into Vanderbilt. I know something is coming.
After all…this was wolf country…
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