Chapter 4: Hunters

The six of us had a lot of fun during the show. No hunters had shown up yet, making it the first time in months. Unfortunately, it took the edge off it as well.

At about midnight, I began to get very bored. The others agreed with me and the six of us left, four wolves, a panther, and a tiger. It wasn't a usual combination. Most shifters stuck to their own kind.

We got into my car, squeezing a bit to fit all six of us in. Dana ended up having to sit on Ciaran's lap. Aidan, Dana, Ciaran, and Connor all sat in the back and Vanessa sat in the front passenger seat.

We went to the park after getting more food. We sat easting it in the car. All the sudden, the four car doors were yanked open. I turned to see a dark haired girl standing outside my open door. My senses heightened, the very beginning of my transformation. That was when I caught the hint of silver in the air.

"HUNTERS!" I yelled to the others. At that moment, I popped from my human form to my animal, it appeared as though an animal just replaced me in the blink of an eye. My clothes vanished off the seat, a joy of the magick I had as a shifter. I was, for the entire world to see, an arctic wolf, pure white with glowing blue eyes.

"Do you have any idea how hard it was to follow you guys?" the dark haired huntress asked.

I howled and attacked her. My teeth connected with flesh and I tasted sweet coppery blood. After I dispatched the huntress, I turned to the others. Three other arctic wolves were locked in their own battles, each with varying shades of white and gray fur. I knew each one of them, though any human probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Also there was a panther with midnight black fur and jade eyes. It was chasing down a hunter that was running away. A powerful, white Bengal tiger with golden eyes was taking out another hunter. This was the life.

I saw one hunter attack Aidan from behind, while he was occupied with two in front of him. I attacked. The hunter and I rolled across the park. A yelp escaped from my muzzle as the silver blade in the hunter's hand broke through the skin on my side. I ignored the burning pain as I tore the hunter's throat out.

Limping back to the others, I saw Aidan lying on the ground. The hunters he had been fighting before lay on the ground, covered in blood and not breathing. I nudged Aidan with my nose until he rolled over. Then I saw that he was fine, just collapsed as though he was exhausted.

Good, I thought, as the other animals joined us. I looked up into Connor's eyes and winked.

It was then that I noticed my vision was darkening around the edges. As I fainted, my body reverted back to human form, my magick replacing the clothes I had been wearing earlier, so it was like I just appeared fully clothed. Some of my kind could not control their powers that well, but luckily I could. The last thing I knew was my head hitting the ground.

I woke up after what felt like days. My body felt like a two-ton truck had hit me, which was about the only thing that could incapacitate a shifter without using silver. I looked around and saw that I was in my dorm room.

Connor and Aidan sat nearby.

"Connor?" I asked.

"Shh, Becky," he said. "You almost died."

"How long have I been out?"

"A week," Aidan said, worry etched on his face.

I looked around. "Where's Nessa?" I asked.

Vanessa walked in, Ciaran and Dana right behind her.

"Becky!" Vanessa exclaimed. "What were you doing?"

"Protecting one of my best friends," I answered calmly. "All I saw was the hunter about to kill Aidan. I wasn't about to let him die."

"You almost got yourself killed," Aidan said to me. "BECAUSE OF ME!"

He seemed mad, but I saw the sadness in his eyes and heard the fear in his voice.

"Damn it all, Becky," Aidan said. "You're not invincible!"

"Neither are you!" I said. "And my prospects of living were a lot better than yours at the moment."

"That's not the point!" Aidan said. "The point so you almost DIED! Doesn't that scare you?"

I shook my head. "No, it doesn't," I said. "Not at all."

Aidan looked stupefied. Obviously he wasn't expecting that answer.

"That doesn't matter," Connor said. "No more shows for a while. You can't keep risking you life, Becky. Maybe it's not a good idea to ever let you get involved in the fighting."

Aidan turned to me and asked, "What does scare you, fearless one?"

"Old age," I said. "Being trapped. Being bored."

Aidan looked at me, searching for a lie. Not finding one, he shook his head. "You're recklessness will not end well," he said. "It's almost like you have a death wish."

"I'm a Desider."

"Don't use that excuse," Aidan said. "We're all Desiders here, or at least those of us who are wolves. We're adventurous, we do not have death wishes."

I looked down at my sheets, slightly ashamed. But I wasn't about to be yelled at because I saved my friend's life. My friends were everything to me.

Ciaran looked at me. "Are you alright, Becky?" he asked.

"Fine," I said. "Except for the cut that goes all the way along my side from my arm to hip." I smiled at him.

"Don't joke," Aidan said. "It makes things worse."

"Well, I think it lightens the mood. It's better without all this seriousness."

Aidan glared at me. I knew he was just worried about me. He wasn't easily worried. I wondered why he was so scared. I was hardly the first wolf in our pack to get seriously hurt. We'd lost people before, in my lifetime. I could remember the day my older brother had died. A hunter had shot him with an old fashioned crossbow. I had been eighteen at the time, and he was twenty. Even though it had been three years since then, the hurt was still very near.

"Why are you so upset that I saved your life, Aidan?"

"Because you almost got yourself killed!" he yelled

"So?" I jumped to my feet. The ground under me swayed but I ignored it. "You'd rather die than allow me to help you? Is that it? Your pride can't let you be saved by a girl!"

"No, but I'd rather die than see you dead. You scared me, okay! I come to, only to find you lying on the ground next to me, blood spilling from your side. I was sure you were dead and it SCARED me!"

"Well, I'm not dead, so there's no reason to worry."

"But next time you could be."

"Yeah, right," I said. "Nothing has succeeded in killing me yet."

Aidan glared at me. "You're not invincible. None of us are. We all have to know our limits. And you better learn yours before it kills you. I don't want to see you die."

Suddenly, I felt the floor slip out from under me. It came tumbling up to meet me, but I felt someone catch me before I hit the ground I cried out as the hands touched my wound, which was still sensitive. Whoever it was helped me to my bed.

Once I was back in my bed, the person who helped me moved into my line of vision. It was Connor.

"Aidan's right," he told me. "You need to be careful, Becky. None of us want to lose you."

I looked away, unable to face the truth. I didn't want to believe what they were saying. I was a wolf, after all, and I was immortal.