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Blood Honey and Oak

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Chapter 1: Nightmare/ Reality

 

Bright Orange embers litter the dark sky like lightning bugs. All the young wolf could do was stand in the distance and watch the group of wood cabins finish burning to the ground. The heavy moldy musk of humans settled lightly against his nose. He knew where he was at was safe, the hunters would be focused on the other werewolves that might try and escape. His human side struggled to hold back the whimpers and urge to strike out. He knew that neither human or wolf his omega self was not strong enough to take out all of the hunters.

Another smell dances in the wind in front of Yoongi. It was easy to pick out from the confusion of smoke and humans. His eyes dart to the cabin that had just started shooting flames from its roof. He could see a pregnant silhouette stumble out the front door. It was the packs head omega, Jisoo. His wolf lunged forward but is quickly drawn back when the sight of hunters run up to the omega. They quickly bind her legs in her weakened state. Yoongi steps out of the bushes trying to get closer. His human side becoming a far distant echo in his mind, his wolf urging Yoongi to protect her.

Jisoo's eyes catch sight of Yoongi's light amber brown eyes. She tries to fight against the hunters and howls out sending him a message to run. The tears brim to the edge of his eyes making the wild flames dance in his glassy eyes. The smell of the hunters starts to slowly fade as he lets out a whimper. Turning his back from the only place he had ever called home, he ran. He staggers and nearly falls, his sight still blurred with tears. He tries to speed up to move faster but the images of his pack's smiling faces float around his mind.

Stepping to close to the edge of a small cliff he slides down it, receiving a large gash from a branch sticking out of the ground. His blood pooled around him, his coal black fur melted away giving way to porcelain white human flesh, the same flesh Yoongi hated. He had spent most of his life hiding his human skin, compared to the other wolves of his pack he wasn't dark enough. They had also bullied him for presenting as an omega. Both of his brothers were alphas and even his sister had presented as a beta.

As he looked at his hands the thoughts of his siblings fill his mind and the tears that he had yet to let fall were now streaking down his dirty cheeks. The salty tears soon mix with the blood that continued to flow from his shoulder. Looking around once his head began to clear he started to feel the chill of blood loss set in. Getting to his feet he noticed a small cavern nearby. Sniffing the air he smells the faded scent of humans, stale mold. He figured that it must have been months since that had last stayed there. Once inside the cavern he notices an old ragged cot and leather bag laying on it. Holding his arm in an attempt to slow the bleeding he wanders over to the cot and grabs the bag. He rips it open and dumps the contents onto the dirt floor, out falls pieces of clothing, medicine, and a waterskin. His eyes start to haze and his mind becomes cloudy. He treats the deep gash and wraps it with one of the shirts from the bag he ripped up. He quickly dresses and takes several gulps of the stale water before collapsing onto the cot. His thoughts fade to nothing and the chill deepens.

~

The community was full of commotion, everyone seemed to be gathered around the center of the small quiet town. An older man stood on a stage leaning on a handmade cane. His hands where a touch on the shaky side but he stood tall with pride. He stood even straighter as a young man joined him on the stage. The clearing of his throat quieted the gathering of people. “Thank you all for coming out today, we are here to celebrate the coming of age journey for the next leader of our pack.” The young man steps forward to bow to the community that would soon be his. The roar of clapping and cheering filled the air. He steps back and places his hand on the older man's shoulder. “I'm so proud of you, Namjoon, my son,” the old man chuckles and slaps his back before handing him a large rabbit skin bag. After taking the bag he hugs the old man and steps down off the stage.

He is stopped by a woman grabbing his arm. She opens the bag and slips in a small picture and a bag of medicine and bandages. “Please be careful and come home safely,” she whispers in his ear as she hugs him and nuzzles his neck.

“I will, Mom, but could you please stop this is a bit embarrassing,” he whispers back as his eyes scan over the crowd before coming back to her. She lets him go and pats his shoulder signaling him to go. As he follows the gravel path that leads out of town the people separate like the red sea, several of them patting him as he walks by. When he reaches the edge of town he undresses and places his garments in the now full bag. The sunlight filters through the trees onto his supple sun kissed caramel skin. As he stands there he thinks to himself that this could be the last time he is in his human skin for weeks. His body shifts and his human features give way to that of a strong alpha wolf. His fur shined with a flax silver shine. The only mark on him was a black patch of fur that covered his right eye. The patch shined bright and stood out from the silver when the sun hit it. Once he got the bag settled on his back he takes one more look back at the community and takes off like a bullet.

Namjoon wandered the forest discovering the nature that surrounded him. After hours of exploring the sun began to weigh heavily in the sky and the weather started to shift. The smell of rain danced through the air on the back of the wind. Namjoon noticed the change and the noises his stomach was making and realized that he had been spending more time discovering new areas and less time focusing on his condition. He became desperate for shelter and food. He decided to head a bit further west because if he remembered the stories his grandmother had told him as a pup correctly there were caves that direction. They were the old caves and caverns their pack had originated from before they had settled and built their pack village.

Shooting off like a bullet again towards the west, the sky became dark and large storm clouds released a cold rain. He didn't feel the cold much thanks to his thick fur but the ground sent chills up his paws. The dirt below him began to give way as he started downhill. Catching his balance he notices a cavern in the distance. Sniffing at the air to check for threats the smell of iron soon fills his nose. 'Blood,' he thinks to himself. Rushing towards the smell he finds himself in front of the dark cavern he had just spotted. This close the smell of blood mixed with the smell of honeysuckle and jasmine root, the sweet smell had the sour undertone of pain and sickness. His thoughts race around the possibilities of what he could find when he enters. He growls into the seemingly empty space but hears no response. When he takes a couple of hesitant steps in he hears a small almost inaudible whimper from further inside, had he been in human form he most likely wouldn't have heard it. His mind holds him back with slight fear of not knowing what he might find but something in his wolf connects with the sound and pulls him further into the cavern.

Figuring that further investigating the cave would be easier in his human form, especially if there was someone hurt. He ducks his head to let his bag slip from his back onto the ground and lets his form shift, in a breath his fur melted away to caramel skin. He digs into his bag grabbing a small lantern and matches. Using the now lit lantern he looks around the room immediately spotting a blood trail leading further into the darkness. He follows the trail soon finding a dirty bag, it's contents scattered on the floor. Holding the lantern higher he notices a cot with a small bodied man crumpled upon it. The smell of blood, honeysuckle, and jasmine is so strong it makes him slightly dizzy. He knew he needed to save the smaller man and the only way he could do that was to keep his wits about him he shakes his head clear and reminds himself to breath through his mouth to hold back the smell and accompanying dizziness.

Kneeling beside the cot he placed the back of his hand to the man's cheek, startled by the coolness he checks his pulse noting it's weakness. Quickly setting the lantern on a nearby table he looks the man over trying to find any possible injury. Mind racing Namjoon's hands begin to shake wondering if he has any chance of saving the man before him, he was so cold and clammy. Namjoon takes a moment to get his nerves and reminds himself of all the times he helped his mother in the hospital back in the pack village. He regulated his breathing and focused on the search for wounds. Reaching into his bag for a knife he cuts the bloodstained shirt off the man's small frame. His eyes land on the man’s shoulder wrapped in cloth so soaked in blood he can’t tell what color it had originally been. Namjoon carefully cuts the bandages away and almost recoils at the sight of the wound. Grabbing his waterskin and medicine bag he starts cleaning the wound. His heart clenches at the loud pained whimper that slips from the man’s lips. Once the wound is clean he applies a salve before redressing it. Namjoon feels tear prick at his eyes at the whimpers and soft cries that flowed freely from the smaller man.

Namjoon shifts the man onto his back before pulling a small glass bottle from his medicine bag. Gently cradling the man’s head he lets a few red drops fall from the bottle into the man’s mouth and watches as he swallows them. He leans back letting out a sigh of relief. He gets to his feet and walks to the cavern entrance to see that the rain has stopped but left a cold chill in the air. Namjoon knows that for the small man to have any chance of surviving he needed a source of warmth. Walking back to the man he unties a fur blanket from his bag and covers the other man with it. “I will be back, hang in there,” he whispers before dressing and walking out of the cavern.

~

Screams and howls fill his ears as he runs around the village trying to find his other pack members. Every door he busts down opens into completely empty cabins. Yoongi reaches the center of the village where a beautiful oak stands. Looking up he sees their leader hanging from a high branch. Tears well-up in his eyes and fall to the ground at his feet. The pleading howl of the head omega rings in his ears, he turns in circles trying to find her. His eyes finally landed on her bloody bound form as it’s being drug to the tree. He tries to run to her aid but his paws won’t move and he falls to the ground, they had become bound like hers. Looking around him he sees a group of hunter starting to surround him. He struggles against the bindings but fails. A hunter reaches him grabbing his head forcing him to face the female as they hoist her into the tree. He tries to close his eyes but the hunter holds them open. The brutality of the tourture echoes through the village. The screaming howls of the female stop and she hangs by her feet lifeless next to her mate. Yoongi lets out a howl as he hears the words, “Your turn.”

His eyes snap open and he could see nothing but black besides the warm glow coming from a small distance away from the cot. Flinching in the bed he tries to move away from the fire. Shooting pain flares down his arm and up his neck causing him to cough and wince in pain. Looking around he sees two leather bags and medicine scattered around. He sniffs the air trying to pull himself back to reality. He doesn’t understand why there is a fire burning and so many supplies littering the ground. The soft smell of the fire is overpowered by the smell of wet moss and oak. Was there someone that helped him? He stands up slowly trying to keep balance, once steady he takes small slow steps towards the entrance. Only a few feet from the opening his weakened legs give out and his body begins to fall. He closes his eyes preparing for the surge of pain that will come once he lands but it never comes. He slowly opens his eyes as the smell of moss and oak wraps around him making him dizzy, before his eyes slip shut he sees the tan skin of a man with the most beautiful light brown eyes and dimples deeper than the cavern. “Rest now, you are still very weak,” the voice melts like molasses in his mind. ‘Is this heaven,’ he thinks to himself before the darkness consumes him once again.