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The Wolfs of Arkadia

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I.

The moon stands high when Abby hears Marcus walk up to her. It was not a full moon yet, but she feels the wolf inside her yearn. The wolf wants freedom, wants to run and howl… and the wolf wants Marcus blood. She can feel it. She can hear its thoughts. How it plans on slicing his throat, biting his arm, tearing him apart. And she can't let this happen. Not to him.
"Hey", he gently nudges her with his elbow, his voice soft and tender. She turns his head and breathes him in. He's so beautiful. "You okay?"
A small, but fake, smile appears on her lips. "I'm fine."
He studies her, his eyes narrow. He opens his mouth and closes it again before he shakes his head with a sad smile and looks up at the moon. Abby follows his gaze and sighs. Stupid moon. How she wishes she hadn't gone outside six months ago, hadn't encountered the wolf who cursed her with this unbelievable and nerve-wracking disease. She has so many wishes and one of them she wants more than anything. Death. She can't live like this anymore. She's putting all her people in danger and she can't have that. She can't allow that. She can't risk him.
Abby takes one last look at the sky, before she tells Marcus to go to bed and leaves him with a heavy heart.

 

II.

She feels the wolf scratching at her inner doors, howling, panting, lusting for blood. She can contain the wolf during the day, but at night she has to be far away from Arkadia. As far away as she can be.

She was lucky the last couple of months when she was able to go off at night without anyone noticing. Especially Marcus. If he'd followed her once, he'd either be dead or he'd be one of them. And she really didn't want him to die or to transform every full moon into a blood lusting animal.

Abby holsters her rucksack on her back, looks around one last time before she heads out of her quarters. She slowly walks down the corridors, hoping not to make too much noise. She spies around every corner to make sure she won't encounter any guard. After arriving at medical, she was able to leave camp through a ditch under the fence.
Abby takes one last look behind her before she runs into the forest and as far away as her legs can carry her, before the transformation starts. She can always feel it in her bones. That's how it begins. She can feel the wolf opening the doors, step by step. She can feel her bones shift, her organs getting smaller, her heart is resizing…
She screams. She cries.
Her fingers dig into the ground, she's breathing hard. Tears fall down her face, before she lets out one last cry and forgets who she is.

 

III.

The first thing Abby sees, when she opens her eyes, is Marcus sitting beside her, her towel in her hand and a water-bottle. She quickly stands up, forgetting she's naked from head to toe. Marcus doesn't check her out. His eyes are only on hers. Not even once breaking contact.
He clears his throat and hands her the towel with the clean water. "I guess you'll need this."
Abby nods, not trusting her vocal cords yet. Without saying a word, he turns around and allows her to clean herself up in private. She leans over, opens her backpack and gets her clothes.
Finally fully dressed, she puts her hands on his shoulder and turns him around.
"What– what are you doing here?" her eyes search his. She's confused, nervous and afraid. Had he known? The whole time? Did he follow her?
"I followed you, Abby. I saw you leave camp before midnight whenever there was a full moon. Why didn't you tell me?" His voice breaks in the end. She hears his mind work. He still believed she didn't trust him. She did. She just didn't want him in danger… wait– when he followed her, did he?
"Marcus, are you hurt? Did I-? Did I hurt you?" Without waiting for him to reply, she checked him through and trembled when she saw it. A big scratching mark was embellishing his already damaged leg. "Oh Marcus" Abby breathes and tears fall down her cheeks. "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry."
He gently cups her face in his hands and kisses her brow, then he kisses the tears away, before he leans his forehead on hers. "It's okay, Abby. It's okay. It was my fault. Not yours. I followed you. You weren't yourself. It's okay."
"But now you're like… me!" She spits the last word out in utter disgust. How can he be okay with it, when she wants okay with it herself?
"It's not ideal, I admit that, but I can't stand the thought of you going through it alone. You don't have to be alone anymore. We're in this together, remember?"
Abby sobs and nods and without thinking, she kisses him. She loves him so much. "I'm sorry" she repeats herself, but Marcus shushes her. He kisses her brow before he claims her lips with his.
"We're gonna be okay."


The next full moon, you could hear two wolfs howling near Arkadia.