I stuck his blade in the waist of my dress and fled back toward camp.
“Really, Sam?” He called after me. “Do you honestly think you’re going to get away from me?”
Really, Jaecar. You bastard.
He tossed his arms. “I’m a Border Guard! I hunt down intruders all night. Most nights.”
“I’m not an intruder!” I tossed over my shoulder. Not slowing my pace.
My animosity growing with each step. The mere fact that I was fleeing someone I had considered myself so close to was not lost on me.
He wasn’t moving.
Probably thinking he’ll catch up to me easily enough.
He’s underestimated me. I thought. Confidence beginning to surge.
You’re just like them afterall, Jaecar!
Perhaps someone would’ve thought it was silly that I would flee the one man I trusted from our camp when he offered to be my mate.
But that person clearly didn’t understand the nature of the Asara males.
Being collected by the former alpha meant they were the most aggressive, most ferocious of any wolves out there.
Each of them nearly as dangerous as any alpha. I knew that meant that mating for us females within the Asara pack was especially dangerous.
Marta had told me and the other she-wolves about females that had died during the breeding process. Because their mate became too zealous during the breeding or the marking process.
And I as aware how petite I was. Standing at barely 5’2” and weighing a little over a hundred pounds I barely reached Jaecar’s chest. And some of our males were even bigger than him.
I’d vowed to never let any of them have me because I knew the likelihood of my survival during mating.
I’ll die. I was too small and not strong enough to fight my way free or escape over the wall.
Like Lara did. I should resent her for the increased restrictions her escape had brought on the pack she-wolves. Instead, I found myself envying her. Wishing I’d known how she had done it.
But the thought of leaving Jaecar after everything he’d done for me, without an explanation, had just felt wrong.
And telling him would’ve meant he had to tell the alpha or suffer the repercussions.
He hadn’t even moved to pursue me, and I considered going back to the hut. Knowing now he’d eliminated it from his list of places to look for me. But I knew he wouldn’t be far behind.
I’ll never make it that far.
And who’s to say who else I might run into? Evening was coming quick.
The sun was high. Well into the afternoon already. I could feel a drip of hot sweat sliding into my cleavage. I raced through the trees.
Relieved at the sight of my cottonwood. I did a handstand against it, still clutching the meat in my closed fist, as I threw my weight up with inhuman strength. Folding my feet into the crook and dropping them over the ledge. Letting the weight of my legs drag me into this bigger hollow.
Unfortunately, this one was chest level with Jaecar and far wider. But when I hid in these trees, I was invisible. No one can find me.
I bent my knees as much as the tree would allow and tilted to the side of the hole, knowing my face wouldn’t be visible in the dark insides of the tree.
I’d barely gobbled down the bits of meat when dark male hands reached inside the trunk and snagged me by my armpit and hair to fold my head out of the hole and then my shoulders to yank me out.
He unceremoniously dropped me to the dirt and leaves. Wrath written over his face. He caught my arms and swirled me on the leaves. Mounting my hips in a hop and dropping heavily on me.
No getting away this time.