Sometime in the night, Jae finally fell asleep. She awoke, cold and stiff, lying in the corner on the floor behind the bed. She had dragged the cover off and wrapped it around herself but there was no fire and the chill from the floor had worked it’s way into her bones.
There was a knock on the door and Jae jumped and shrank back, remembered terror from the night before washing over her.Â She stayed silent.Â Another knock, this time followed by a young man’s voice.Â “Jae?Â Are you in there?”
Jae frowned.Â She didn’t recognize the voice and yet there was something familiar, tickling the back of her mind.Â She stared at the door, hoping whoever it was would just go away and leave her alone.
“Jae, I know you can hear me.Â I’m going away for now but I will be back.Â We need to talk.”
The sound of footsteps leaving the porch and then nothing.Â Jae breathed a sigh of relief.Â She quietly got up and pulled the blanket tighter around her.Â Quietly walking to the window, she peered through a crack in the shutter.Â Nothing. The wolf inside sensed nothing, but she didn’t understand it enough to rely on it in her human form.Â So much to learn, to figure out.
Jae walked around the the house where she had spent time healing. she had felt safe here then.Â Now she wasn’t sure of anything.Â She folded the blanket and looked around for something to eat.Â There was a chunk of crusty bread wrapped on the table and a jug of water.Â Simon always seemed to know what was needed.Â The bread was tender on the inside and flavored with herbs that Simon grew.Â She hadn’t realized how hungry she was until she started eating.
Sleep, food, important things done.Â She was feeling a little better.Â Unfortunately she wasn’t smelling better.Â Living with wolves left a lot to be desired in terms of human grooming.Â Jae cleaned up the crumbs and looked out the window.Â Still no one in sight.Â “Time to go outside.Â Stop being a baby!”Â She told herself as she picked up a thin blanket and a knife.Â Great. Now she was talking to herself.Â She sighed and stepped outside.Â She walked to the stream and stripping off her clothing, she rinsed out her garments and hung them on the bushes to dry in the sun.Â Jae stepped into the cool water and splashed it on herself.Â She slipped down into the deeper water and rinsed her hair. After soaking for a bit she walked back to the shallow edge. She looked down at her legs at the scars from the bites.Â They had healed well, thanks to Simon.Â They seemed like such a little thing.Â They had changed everything.
“I remember when you got those.”
Jae whipped around in shock.Â She hadn’t heard anyone come up.Â She stepped out and grabbed the blanket, wrapping it around herself.Â The wolf change had gotten rid of any self consciousness but she was alone and in human form she felt defenseless.Â Almost.Â She picked up the knife.
“Who are you and what do you want?”
“Jae, you know who I am.”
Jae felt her stomach tighten.Â She could feel her wolf very near the surface.Â He was familiar.Â “Aeden?”
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