Jungkook knew something was off the moment he opened his eyes. He had awoken with a gasp from a nightmare he couldn’t remember with his heart beating as fast as a rabbit’s. An uneasy feeling of dread lingered in the young wolf’s mind like a bad omen. It was the kind of ominous feeling one got when something terrible was going to happen. Jungkook shuddered and tried to brush off the feeling by focusing on the breathing of his still sleeping packmates. The den was eerily absent of its usual noise. It was so early, the sun had yet to creep over the horizon and the crickets were still chirping. The hunting patrol was likely the only other ones awake. Jungkook let out an annoyed huff. He hadn’t woken up this early in ages and he would love nothing more than to go back to sleep but the unease still lingered in his mind. Quietly he detangled himself from the rest of the unpresented pups. He was by far the oldest out of them at nine-teen but he couldn’t join the older packmates till he presented. Honestly, he was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. The rest of the wolves his age had presented and left him behind several years ago. As the pack alpha’s oldest male heir he needed to present as an alpha for the future of the pack. As the years passed without Jungkook presenting his father grew more and more cold to him and the rest of the pack followed suit. He did his best to brush off the stares and whispers from his packmates. He couldn't afford to show weakness. He'd be torn to shreds.
He crept quietly to the entrance carefully stepping over his packmates and slipped out of the den. The clearing outside was quiet. The only other wolf was an older beta keeping watch. Jungkook felt the beta’s eyes following him as he shifted and slipped into the forest. He took off into a run nimbly weaving through trees and jumping over logs and stones. The wind blew through his pale fur as he ran and soon his paws became damp from the morning dew. He knew this land like the back of his hand. Running through the pack's territory was the only time Jungkook felt safe and free. The farther away from his father and the watchful eyes of the pack the lighter his heartfelt. A part of him felt guilty at that. After all what wolf felt better without their pack? Once, when he was much younger and the pack didn’t hate him yet he’d brought it up to some of the other pups. He’d naively thought that was a feeling the other wolves shared. They’d only laughed at him and called him weird. He’d soon learned to avoid telling he packmates anything personal about himself.
He reached the edge of their territory all too soon. He panted with exertion and trotted to a nearby tree to catch his breath. It was the largest tree in their territory and Jungkook’s favorite spot. Its branches were long and touched the ground providing shade and protection. To it’s right just a few paces away a small stream flowed across the border of their territory and towards the den. Many seasons ago when his mother was still alive she had occasionally taken him and the other pups to play by the river. Now, outside of the border patrol, he was the only wolf that came around here. Jungkook often spent hours just sitting under the tree and looking out across their territory line. He wasn’t sure what he was looking for exactly. Something to distract him from his boredom perhaps? The forest on the other side of the border always looked so tempting despite not looking any different from the land in their territory. Jungkook like most of his packmates had never stepped foot outside their territory and he likely never would. His father had forbidden it and said it was too dangerous. All pups were told never to stray outside the territory lest they are killed by other wolves or other creatures. His father despised all other non-wolves claiming them lesser and unnatural. Still, Jungkook couldn’t help but be curious. He wanted more than anything to explore the other side. But although there was no physical border it was as if an invisible wall was preventing him from crossing over. It frustrated Jungkook to no end but the fear of his father’s punishment outweighed his curiosity.
Around midday, Jungkook’s stomach began to growl and he stood to leave. The hunting party should have returned by now. His heart sank at the prospect of returning and he hesitated slightly. His father’s cold, cruel eyes popped into his head as if daring him to defy him. A sudden burst of rebellion flashed through Jungkook and before he could stop himself he turned and trotted the very edge of the border. His heartbeat sped up as he slowly stretched a paw across and placed it on the ground. He held his breath a childish part of him expecting to be stricken down by some strange creature from his father’s stories. Of course, nothing happened aside from the young alpha feeling like an idiot. Shaking off the last of his fear Jungkook stepped the rest of the way across the border. After taking a few moments to collect himself he took a few more steps. He jerked his head around taking in the area with all the excitement of a pup. He started at a trot that soon turned into a full sprint. He took in the scents and sights around him and committed them to memory. Soon he reached a small clearing. In the middle of it stood an odd tree with round purple fruits scattered through its branches. Jungkook had never seen anything like it. It reminded him of the old apple tree that used to stand behind the den. Everyone had been disappointed when a storm had come through and knocked it over a few seasons ago.
Jungkook stepped beneath the branches and pulled himself onto his hind legs to reach the fruit but they were just out of reach. At this distance, he could smell the sweetness of the fruit and that made him even more determined to get his hands on them. After a brief look around he quickly shifted into his human form. Being in his weaker form outside of the safety of his territory was nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time. In this form, he easily scaled the side of the tree and plucked one of the fruits. It was palm-sized and smaller than an apple. Jungkook was quick to sink his teeth into it. It was easily one of the best things he’d ever tasted. The flesh of the fruit was much softer and sweeter than an apple and in the center of it was a hard inedible stone that the wolf quickly disposed of. After he’d finished, he was quick to grab another, and another and another. Soon his face and hands were covered in the fruit’s sticky juice. Jungkook was so absorbed in eating he didn’t notice he wasn’t alone until he heard a branch crack from down below. Just a few yards away at the edge of the clearing was a large russet-colored wolf watching him. The sight sent terror and adrenaline rushing through him freezing him in place. His mother had once told him his curiosity would get him killed one day. It was beginning to look like this might be the day. For a few moments, the two sized each other up before the wolf walked further into the clearing till he was nearly directly under Jungkook. His eyes flashed red marking him an alpha. At this distance, Jungkook could smell the musky, earthy scent of an alpha that wasn’t pack. If he’d been in wolf form he could probably outrun him. He was after all faster than the alphas back in his pack. But shifting would take too long and if he made a break for it in human form he stood no chance. He’d be ripped to shreds before he reached the treeline. The alpha seemed to know this because he didn’t seem the slightest bit concerned as he circled the tree. If anything the alpha seemed amused as if he was playing with him.
Suddenly, the wolf stretched up on his hind legs much like Jungkook had done earlier. Startled he forgot he was perched on a tree branch and instinctively tried scooting away from the strange wolf. Bad idea. For a few brief seconds, the world seemed to spin before he hit the ground hard. The strength of the collision forced the air from his lungs and left him gasping for breath. If he’d been any higher he likely would have broken something. The other wolf let out an amused huff and Jungkook scrambled into a sitting position uneasy at having his belly exposed to this stranger. Jungkook stiffened as the alpha approached him baring his teeth as a warning. His instincts were screaming at him to either run or fight but he found he couldn’t move a muscle as the alpha leaned in to smell the skin under his ear where his scent gland was. Jungkook flinched and forced himself to remain still, pissing off a strange alpha by snapping at him definitely wouldn't end well for him. Finally, after what seemed like ages the other wolf pulled back and cocked his head as if hearing something off in the distance. After one more glance in Jungkook's direction he turned and left in the direction he'd come from. Just like that, he was gone just as quickly as he’d arrived. Confused, Jungkook kept his eyes trained on the treeline for a few minutes but it seemed like the wolf had truly just left. Not wanting to push his luck Jungkook quickly shifted into his wolf form and took off at top speed back towards his pack’s territory.
Finally, he reached the border and crossed over into their territory but he didn’t stop running until he was out of sight of the border. He skidded to a stop panting and trying to catch his breath. If he went back to the den now everyone would smell the strange wolf’s scent on him. If that happened his father would make him wish that the wolf had killed him. To cover up the scent Jungkook shifted once again and took a dip into the stream doing his best to wash the scent from his bare skin. Once he was done and he could no longer smell the russet wolf he finally returned to the den. By now the sun was beginning to set and the leftovers were already claimed by Daejung and a few of his lackeys. Jungkook normally would’ve gone over and challenged him for the food but he didn’t feel like fighting today. He and Daejung had been friends when they were pups but that changed when he had presented as an alpha a few years ago. He had become cruel and aggressive towards everyone that wasn’t an alpha. He especially hated Jungkook and never missed a chance to antagonize him. Truth be told the alpha was probably still mad that he got his ass handed to him by Jungkook all those months ago when he’d first presented. Jungkook had caught him trying to force himself on a young beta that had just presented. This was common behavior for alphas in their pack and they got away with it as long as their victims were presented and not other alphas. He couldn’t even count the number of times omegas and betas had come back to the den for the night smelling like blood and sex. It had always disgusted him. He hated how alphas treated betas and omegas but he’d never actually seen one in the act before that night. Jungkook had taken one look at the fear and pain in that beta’s eyes and flown into a rage without thinking. Fortunately, he won and Daejung was left with a nasty scar across his face as a reminder. That day he earned a reputation in the pack. An unpresented wolf beating an alpha in a fight had never happened before. His father had been proud of him that day but not for helping the beta, he couldn’t care less about that. He had thought his son beating the alpha was a sigh that his successor would be a strong alpha. That was the moment Jungkook had realized his father was no different from Daejung and the other alphas and the moment Jungkook promised himself he would never be that kind of alpha.
Jungkook’s sleep that night was not a peaceful one. His dreams were scattered and confusing. One moment he was in a strange foreboding forest being chased by a pack of wolves that looked and sounded like his own pack but smelled foreign. When the pack had almost caught him the dream shifted into the scene under the fruit tree but instead of looking up at the russet wolf he was looking down on himself through the alpha’s eyes. Instead of his normal brown eyes the other him had one red eye and one pale blue one like an omega. The other Jungkook had a look of intense sadness on his face as if something terrible had happened. The look turned into one of resignation as the growls and snarls of the pack that had been chasing him sounded nearby. His instincts screamed at him to look away but he found that he couldn't. Suddenly an enormous wolf burst into the clearing leading the pack in behind him. The strange wolves bodies seemed to have no solid form. It was as if they were made up of shadows or smoke. Their footsteps made no noise, as they stalked farther into the clearing, and Jungkook noticed that they also failed to leave any footprint. The shadow wolves felt unnatural and wrong and made Jungkook's skin crawl. Fortunately, they seemed uncaring or unaware of his presence as he watched the scene through the eyes of the russet wolf. He remained unable to turn away even as the pack descended upon the other version of himself. The shadow wolves flew into a frenzy unlike any he'd ever see ripping out chunks of flesh and staining the ground red. By the time the pack had finished the body was an unrecognizable mess of bone and shredded flesh. At the sight, Jungkook felt his stomach turn violently. He must have made some kind of noise because all of a sudden the biggest of the wolves snapped his head around to stare directly at him as if noticing him for the first time. he tried his hardest to get his body to move, to run away but his feet remain rooted to the ground even as the wolf lunged towards him. Just as the wolf was about to sink his teeth into him he woke up.
Jungkook’s eyes flew open and he jerked up with a gasp. The nightmare had felt so real he still felt like he could smell the blood. His stomach turned violently and he barely made it outside before he lost his lunch on the ground behind the den. When he’d finished gagging a wave of dizziness overcame him and he fell back against the wall of the den. His body felt strange almost alien and he was sweating profusely. The last time he’d felt this bad was when he was a pup and he’d been dared to eat one of the purple flowers from the plant the adults had warned them away from. He’d been violently ill for days and had almost died. Maybe those purple fruits were the cause? Jungkook groaned. It would be just his luck to die from eating poisonous fruit. Fortunately, the dizziness began to subside enough for him to stand and hobble over to a cool spot at the edge of the clearing under the shade of a pine tree. He must have slept late because the rest of the pack was already milling around in the clearing. Most of the alphas and some betas were out hunting with his father. The wolves that were left behind were mostly the pups, omegas and older betas. He watched them for a while as they went about their daily tasks. The omegas were busy nursing and tending to the pups while the betas preserved the skin of yesterdays catch using sharpened rocks to scrape away at the skin. After they dried the omegas would fashion them into clothes and blankets for the pack. The few alphas left behind to keep watch lazed around doing nothing. None of them paid him any attention except for one of the pack omegas who was babysitting some of the pups across the clearing. The omega, Minji, was two seasons younger than Jungkook and already heavily pregnant. She’d caused quite a stir when she’d presented last season since his father had claimed and mated her that night. Jungkook honestly didn’t know what to make of his father’s second mate. It unsettled him that his father would choose an omega nearly a third of his age and Jungkook got the feeling that his father wanted a backup plan in case he failed to live up to expectations. It would be so easy to hate the girl but he couldn’t bring himself to. In fact, he felt a kind of kinship with her. After all, in some ways their situations were similar. Although they’d never spoken Jungkook could tell she felt just as trapped as him.
As midday approached Jungkook just began to feel worse and worse. His senses were going haywire and even the dim light filtering through the branches stung his sensitive eyes. His nose and ears were just as sensitive. The ambient noise and smells of the pack were giving him a headache. It was all too much. He stood on wobbly legs and quietly slipped back into the den. The cool stone of the floor felt amazing against his feverish skin and it wasn't long before he dozed off.
“Something is wrong.” That was the first thought Jungkook had when he awoke. His entire body was sweating like crazy and his stomach was cramping violently. He whimpered like a pup as a particularly violent cramp hit him like a punch to the gut. The pain was unlike anything he’d ever felt before and Jungkook was sure he must be dying. He wasn’t sure how long he’d been laying there before the pain began to shift into a warm, tight feeling in his stomach. It wasn’t until his scent gland began to swell and his cock grew hard that he realized what was happening. He was beginning to present. The realization sent dread coursing through him. He’d wanted to present so bad but now that the moment was here he had a bad feeling. Now that the pain had dulled a bit Jungkook could survey the situation without his brain being clouded by pain. The fever and sweating were symptoms all wolves had when they presented regardless of what they presented as. The cramping and swollen scent gland were another story. Jungkook had never heard of an alpha having those symptoms and that made him nervous. He brought a hand up to his scent gland, wincing at the tenderness as he did so, and then smelled it. It was wrong. He didn’t smell right. Something was wrong with him. At first, he did smell a bit like an alpha but his scent was too sweet almost like an omega. But he couldn’t be! He had been so sure he would be an alpha since he had the muscle and height of one. There had to be a mistake!
Jungkook’s panic only grew when he felt a warm, wet liquid begin to coat his ass and thighs. The sweet smell of slick began to fill the air of the den. He’d smelt it once before when one of the pack omega’s had presented in the middle of the night. One of the alphas had smelt it before he could leave the den. The next morning he was sporting a fresh mating mark on the side of his neck. The older members of the pack had gone on about how lucky he was to have found a mate so soon. He hadn’t looked lucky. The mark on his neck looked painful and violent and he smelled like blood. That night he wouldn’t meet anyone’s eyes as he went to sleep next to his new mate. From that moment on Jungkook had hoped with every fiber of his being that he wouldn’t present as an omega. Hell even being a beta was preferable. He’d seen what happened to omega’s and he wanted no part in becoming a slave to some cruel alpha. So when he realized his body was producing slick like an omega cold terror shot through him. This wasn’t supposed to happen! Just then a gasp sounded out from the front of the den. Whirling around Jungkook let out a growl of warning flashing his teeth at the newcomer. It was Minji staring at him with a look of shock on her face. She was no threat to him but Jungkook’s instincts told him to keep everyone away. He felt like a cornered animal.
Distantly he realized that he needed to leave. He wasn’t safe here. His instincts were screaming danger. It was a miracle his scent hadn’t reached the rest of the pack yet and it was only a matter of time before it did. But there was nowhere to go. If he stayed he was fucked and if he left he was fucked. Minji seemed to realize the same thing. Her look of shock turned to one of pity. They both knew the pack would tear him to pieces. They already hated him so much. Honestly, if that was all they did he’d be lucky. Just then the chatter outside the den grew and Jungkook knew his time was up. Minji barely had time to move aside before the first person entered nearly bowling her over. Of course, it was Daejung and his lackeys. For a brief moment confusion crossed the other wolf’s face before it turned into a smug look, the made Jungkook’s skin crawl. The group descended on him and tried to drag him out of the den. He didn’t go easily. He fought back like an animal kicking, biting and punching at every chance he got. He even managed to sink his teeth into one of the lackey’s cheek ripping savagely at the flesh. Jungkook took satisfaction from the pained squeal that produced as he fell to the floor clutching his cheek but in the end, it was four against one. He never stood a chance. The other two lackeys eventually managed to immobilize him, forcing him to his knees in front of Daesung. It was humiliating. Being forced into a submissive pose in front of the alpha. Jungkook made his displeasure known by letting out a vicious snarl and spitting a mix of blood and saliva at the other wolf’s feet. In response he was backhanded across the face so hard his head snapped to the side and his ears began to ring. Jungkook fought back a yelp of pain as Daejung roughly grabbed his hair and yanked his head to the side forcing him to bare his scent gland. Jungkook tried not to gag in disgust as the alpha leaned forward to sniff his scent gland. The alpha had the foulest smelling scent Jungkook had ever smelt. Like rotting wood and old meat. The smell seemed to coat his nostrils and Jungkook nearly sighed in relief when the wolf finally pulled away stepping back with a look of disgust on his face.
“I always knew there was something wrong with you.” He sneered. “You have fangs and eyes like an alpha but you smell like a bitch in heat.”
That was news to Jungkook. In the heat of the moment, he hadn’t realized his fangs had descended. If anything that only confused him even more. Only alphas had fangs. They needed them for mating and fighting after all. But with the sweet-smelling slick painting his thighs there was no way he could be an alpha. With growing horror, he realized he was even more fucked up than he thought. Daejung seemed to realize this at the same time his mouth twisting into a wicked smile.
“Bring him out. Let's show the pack our future leader.” He said mockingly.
The lackeys dragged him out of the den flinging him roughly to the ground where the pack had already gathered no doubt drawn by the strange scent. They gathered around him whispering and staring at him as if he was a stranger. Jungkook struggled to his feet in an attempt to look like less of a target but was kicked down by someone behind him. He growled in a warning but even to his ears, he sounded weak. Fear made his heartbeat speed up as he frantically looked for an opening but saw none. He was blocked in by a wall of wolves that seemed to be closing in on him as time passed. To his relief his father wasn’t among them. Jungkook wasn’t sure he could have handled receiving such treatment from his own father.
His heart began to beat faster as wolves that had seen him grow up were now staring at him and laughing as he cowered on the ground like a scared pup. Helpless to stop them he began to feel tears well up in his eyes and he tried to pull himself into a defensive ball by drawing his knees up to his chest. They didn’t even allow him that small mercy. One of the pack alphas lunged forward and grabbed hold of his ankle pulling Jungkook towards him. The force made Jungkook lose his balance and disoriented him long enough for the alpha to flip him over onto his belly and pin him to the ground. The feeling of the alpha’s body weight on top of him nearly made his heart stop when he realized what the alpha intended to do to him. The alpha began to paw at him grabbing his body with rough clumsy hands when suddenly a snarl sounded out from another alpha. It was Daejung and he clearly wasn’t happy with another alpha trying to claim his prey. The two clashed together violently their aggressive pheromones mixed with Jungkook’s scent affecting the rest of the pack. Soon the clearing dissolved into chaos with wolves fighting left and right. Jungkook took advantage of the confusion using it to crawl to the edge of the clearing. As soon as he made it to the shelter of a bush he shifted into wolf form. Adrenaline made the shift happen in record time and once he was finished he wasted no time in fleeing in the direction of the border. It was only a matter of time before someone realized he was missing. As he ran rain began to fall soaking him to the bone and mixing with his tears. It was as if the sky was crying with him.
He managed to reach the border without being tracked but even once he crossed he didn’t dare slow down. The next few hours were a blur. He had been fortunate enough to stumble across a small, empty den once he’d gotten a comfortable distance away from the pack. The den was stale smelling and damp but it was well hidden and surrounded by strong smelling purple flowers that should help mask his scent once the rain let up. When his adrenaline faded Jungkook collapsed and succumbed to his cycle.
An unknown number of days later Jungkook dragged himself out of the cave. His was coated in a thin layer of slick, cum, dirt and blood that made his skin crawl. And his entire body ached and trembled. His cock and ass were particularly sore and his knees were bloody and bruised from the hard stone floor. In the heat of the moment, he’d treated himself roughly and now he was paying for it. To make matters worse his body was so weak from lack of food and dehydration and he didn’t have the energy to shift. He wanted nothing more than to retreat back into the den and succumb to exhaustion but it wasn’t safe. He’d already stayed in the same spot for too long. There was no telling if his father had sent search parties after him and if so he didn’t want to meet them. As he set off the young wolf couldn’t help but cast a nervous glance back in the direction of the pack territory. A part of him half expected Daejung or another alpha to leap from the bushes and pin him down once again. The thought made bile rise in his throat and if his stomach hadn’t been empty he likely would have vomited all over the forest floor. Instead, he just took a few deep breaths and kept walking thankful no one was around to see the way his hands shook. He could only hope that the rain had washed away any remnants of his trail and that the pack didn’t know which direction to search in.
After a few hours of walking, he finally stumbled upon a small stream. Honestly was more of a trickle than anything else. The water barely came up past his ankles. Still, it was a godsend. Jungkook wasted no time is stripping out of his furs and stepping into the stream. He furiously rubbed at his skin aiming to get every last bit of dirt off. It took awhile but after he was finished he felt a lot better. Now that all the dirt was gone he could tell that his sent had changed. He did smell somewhat like an alpha but his scent was sweeter, lighter and without the typical musky smell alpha's usually had. If he was lucky he could pass as an alpha that spent a lot of time around omegas. Maybe he could find another pack... a large one so that he wouldn't have too much attention on him? Jungkook quickly rejected that idea. The idea of coming into contact with another pack terrified him. And anyway it was just too risky. He would just have to try to survive on his own.
6 Months Later
Through sheer luck, he managed to survive about half a year off fruit and the occasional squirrel or rabbit that he managed to catch. But still, this lifestyle was beginning to take a toll on the young wolf. Often he went days without eating especially during a cycle which happened every month instead of every 3 months like most wolves. For those few days every month he was completely incapable of hunting and gathering any food or water. In the beginning, the hunger had made it feel like a knife was stabbing into his stomach but after a while, the pain faded to a dull ache as the young wolf became accustomed to having an empty stomach. It wasn't long before his ribs begin to show as his body burned off the last few layers of protective fat. He couldn’t help but think that there was something horrific about feeling your body weaken and not being able to do anything about it.
Jungkook had realized he was dying about 2 months ago when he stopped having his monthly cycle. It was a clear sign that his body was beginning to give out. He should have been terrified but he simply didn't have the energy. His body and mind were tired and he'd long since resigned himself to his fate. At least soon he would no longer have to go through those humiliating couple of days each month. He could pretend to be a normal wolf not some fucked up abomination.
Still for some reason couldn't completely give up on his survival. He still got up every day in search of food which was only getting more and more scarce as the temperature began to cool. He would spend the day walking aimlessly in search of his next meal. At night he would try to find some shelter such as a hollow log or a bush. So far on his journey, he’d come across a few territory markers for other packs but he had been quick to steer clear of those. However, he was beginning to become desperate and another pack's territory was likely to have more food sources. So when jungkook stumbled across the border of another packs territory he hesitated instead of running away as he'd done in the past. It had been nearly a week and a half since his last meal. It was the longest he's gone so far without food and if that didn't change soon he doubted he'd be able to last another week. So after a careful sniff of the area, he carefully took a few nervous steps into the territory. The scent markers along the edge were stale and at least a few days old. That probably meant the territory was large and the pack didn't do frequent patrols. Still, jungkook remained on high alert. The forest in the area was less dense than the one back at his old pack's territory which could be considered both a blessing and a curse. It would be harder for someone to sneak up on him but there were also fewer places to hide. The thought made Jungkook's heart beat faster in his chest but hunger and desperation drove him forward.
He'd been walking for about 30 minutes when he smelled it. A familiar sweet scent in the air that made his mouth water. In his excitement, he threw caution to the wind and picked up the pace nearly tripping in the process. He followed his nose to a small clearing on a slight incline. The ground in the clearing was absolutely covered with strawberry vines that were heavy with the red fruit. They had a small patch of them back in his old pack's territory and his father had liked them so much that he'd claimed the whole patch giving out strict punishments those who dared eat any. Jungkook had only ever had them once, many years ago, before his father had monopolized them.
Jungkook wasted no time in dropping to his knees and popping the tasty fruits into his mouth. He ate messily too hungry to bother with manners and soon his hands and mouth were covered with the juice. They tasted even sweeter than he remembered but that may have been the hunger talking. He ate until his stomach protested violently. He hadn't eaten this much since he was back in the pack and his stomach was no longer used to being this full. The young wolf was tempted to eat more but that would do more harm than good so with a reluctant sigh he stood to leave. Just then across the clearing son of a twig snapping sounded out. Just like that, his excitement gave way to terror and he turned and fled back in the direction he'd come from. How could he have been so stupid? He'd been so caught up in gorging himself he completely neglected to check the surroundings. Now he was going to die over some stupid fruit.
In his panic to escape, he stumbled over a fallen log and landing hard on his stomach. The force of the impact knocked the air out of his lungs and brought back up the strawberries he'd just eaten. He tried to stand back up but the stress of the situation proved too much for his weakened body. The last thing he heard was footsteps close behind him before he slipped into unconsciousness.