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Beauty And Her Beast7

I didn't even bother putting on a saddle or a proper bridle, settling for just a halter and some rope


I was fine riding bareback and I had worked with him enough to respond to leg pressure instead of pulling at his head.


Rubbing the reddish-brown hair covering his neck, I tried to relax.


It didn't work.


I guess it would be kind of hard for anyone to relax after being told something as ridiculous as what I had just heard.


It was ridiculous but it made sense and that's what I was having trouble grasping.


I had trouble with the fact that I believed everything that he said to me.


Not to add the whole 'mate' thing that he still hasn't explained.


Did I even want to know?


Regardless of the many excuses can and have come up with, I think the answer was yes.


His explanations ended up explaining up the dreams that had been bugging me, and the fact that he predicted the one I had two nights ago flawlessly was even more intriguing.


I'll admit, I was curious.


Curious and nervous all at the same time.


I came back to my senses once I felt Angus stop without any direction from me.


His ears stood straight up and pointed straight ahead towards my house that was now in view.


I tried to follow where he was looking, hearing him snort as I inspected what I could see.


My jaw then dropped once I spotted the white wolf lying peacefully on my porch.


The simple fact that Luka really could have just let himself out of that cage at any time finally made itself known to me.


I guess with all that was going on, the fact that anything with the brain capacity above a three-year-old could have opened it never crossed my mind until now.


Why did he stay in there for so long then?


No. More importantly, what was he doing now?!


The wolf's head lifted as I clicked my tongue and Angus began trotting.


Luka's tail began thumping against the grass as he lifted himself into a sitting position, watching me approach.


Trying to think up my next move, I soon found myself in a very strange predicament.


On one hand, keeping Luka in a cage now seemed wrong on so many different levels, but I also knew that my father would be devastated if he returned and the wolf was gone.


He would have taken this trip for nothing.


Luka didn't move an inch as I rode up to him, seeing that pair of trousers I gave him tied loosely around his neck.


He finally stood as I hopped off of Angus, who was oddly calm around a wolf of his stature.


I wondered if Angus knew what Luka was.


He had to because there's absolutely no way any horse would be this calm around any canine.


Luka's stature as a wolf became much more clear once I turned to face him.


I saw a lot of him while he was unconscious, but never got a clear idea of his height.


Now, I wasn't short by any means, but even so, the tips of his ears reached close to my shoulders.


Where I thought some sudden nervousness would be, I found that warmth instead.


Which I thought was completely bizarre.


This wolf was built for power, I could see the muscle even under all the fur.


Not to mention the sizeable teeth and claws that looked like they could so easily tear into everything.


Anyone would be scared. I should be scared.


But I wasn't.


He took a couple steps towards me, his paws leaving large prints in the dirt.


I held my tongue for the moment, watching his nose twitch as he got closer.


This was weird. This was so so weird.


This wolf and the man I met were the same.


I think the whole transforming into a wolf thing was pert fo the things I hadn't accepted yet.


But I couldn't deny the fact that so far, their mannerisms were the same.


And the eyes of this wolf were exactly how he explained them to me.


His tail still swayed


I ended up sputtering out a couple attempts at talking, failing as he sniffed towards me.


A blush crawled up my neck as I to the sudden urge to feel his fur again.


What he absolute hell was happening to me?!


I guess that thought was strange enough for me to pull myself together.


I shook my head and took a single step back.


"Ok. No. I don't know what you're trying to do, but I need you to go back down there," I said, sounding as stern as I could possibly muster.


It became clear that he could understand me like that when he looked over towards the shack I was now pointing at.


He then just looked back at me, tail wagging faster as his head tilted and his tongue came out.


I felt my eyebrow twitch when I could almost feel what his answer was


He found this funny.


"Now," I added, taking a step closer to add to my point.


I knew that I couldn't overpower him physically by any means, so I was just begging that he'd listen to me.


As soon as my foot hit the ground, however, his stance changed again.


His front paws stretched in front of him in a playful way, a small gruff bark leaving his mouth.


I couldn't tell what I was more frustrated at.


The fact that he wasn't listening to me, or that part of me actually thought that this was amusing.


"Luka, I'm serious," I added, my voice losing its harshness and being replaced with desperation.


He didn't react at first, he just blinked at me with his tail going as wild as ever.


I was about to speak with my last-ditch attempt to get him to listen before he suddenly turned and ran.


My head turned to follow him, seeing how he was running towards the direction where I initially found him.


"Luka!" I yelled, both in anger and an odd amount of panic.


I didn't even realize that I had begun running after him for a few steps.


He wasn't stopping, and I knew I couldn't chase him down myself.


Shit.


I needed to get him back here.


My body acted on its own as I returned to my horse, pushed myself onto him, and lead him into a full gallop to run after Luka


Lydia's POV:


We had been running for a lot longer than we should have.


At this point, I was much farther into the forest than I had ever been.


It looked like this was the furthest that anyone had ever been given the lack of any path whatsoever.


Luckily it was fresh enough in spring that the underbrush hadn't perked into anything that could be too hazardous for Angus.


The branches were mostly just high enough for me to not get smacked, and I'm sure that the presence of a huge wolf would send any wildlife skittering in the opposite direction.


Although if I didn't know any better, I'd say that Luka was maneuvering us through what looked like the safest way through this forest.


He had kept the same distance from me ever since we started, regardless of whether or not I sped up.


His white fur stood out amongst everything around us, aiding me in not losing track of him.


That, and occasionally I swear I would see him turn his head to make sure I was still chasing.


What on earth was he doing?


Riding this long at this speed especially without a saddle was definitely starting to wear me out.


And the overall lack of sleep I got last night really wasn't helping right now.


But there was no way I was going to let him get away.


He had to be getting tired too right?


I hoped that, but something told me that he was doing just fine.


My initial frustration had grown into complete desperation at this point.


I needed him to stop.


My father trusted me to keep track of this wolf until he returned and the last thing I wanted to do was fail him.


Wiping the sweat I could feel on my brow, I pushed Angus to go faster.


I had no idea what I was going to do, or what I even could do once I caught up to Luka.


The more I thought about it the more it seemed hopeless to even try to get him to return.


I couldn't force him physically. I don't think I really wanted to force him at all, but I needed him to come back.


In fact, it physically ached whenever it thought that he wouldn't.


Whether that was my true feelings or an effect of that 'mate' thing I wasn't really sure.


My thoughts got ripped from me the second Angus took an unexpected sharp right, the quick motion and general lack of stirrups that could have aided in catching me causing me to lose my balance and slip off of his back.


The sharp rocks hidden underneath the underbrush stung my skin as I landed and slid a few inches across the ground.


A sharp hiss passed through my clenched teeth before I let out a long groan, just letting myself lay on the ground for a few seconds.


This was really not my day.


After a few more seconds of nothing, I lifted myself up, cursing lowly under my breath as I stood and looked myself over.


Fortunately, the only parts of my body that weren't covered were my face and arms, and only my arms appeared to have a few small cuts on them, a few of which drew some blood.


Simply brushing the dirt and leaves that had gotten onto my body and clothes, I searched the surrounding area


Angus wasn't really the type of horse to scare easily, being around crowds and different animals as often as he was



I continued looking around for what caused him to act like that, finding nothing but the fact that I could no longer see Luka in the distance.


Other than that, all I saw was the thick verdure surrounding us


Another groan escaped me as I turned to face Angus who had stopped about 15 feet away from me.


A very strange uneasy feeling washed over me as soon as I saw him, only now noticing Angus' ears shifting in different directions, wide eyes and his cautions snorting.


It then dawned on me more effectively this time that I'd never been this deep in the forest.


My father and I had never ventured more than a half-mile into it purely because it wasn't safe.


We didn't know what bigger predators lived deep in these woods.


And I left in such a hurry that I didn't even think to bring anything that could serve as protection with me.


All of these soon becoming regrets as the undeniable feeling of being watched added to my previous discomforts.


I took a slow step backward, searching the ground for anything useful.


Settling on a decently sized stick, I picked it from the ground and held it in front of me.


I just needed to get back to my horse, then we can get the hell out of here.


At least that was my thought process until that feeling of being watched somehow amplified and caused me to completely freeze up.


I could see the stick in my hands tremble along with me.


"Luka," His name left my mouth in a whisper without warning.


Shit. Has he even realized that I wasn't following him anymore?


More importantly, what were the chances he'd turn back to find me?


I knew that if whatever was watching me was a large predator, I'd have absolutely no chance getting away unscathed or at all.


But Luka... Yeah, I think Luka might have a shot.


"Luka!" I yelled louder, hoping to god that he would hear it.


I managed to will myself to take another step back, hearing Angus' cautious high whinny


I was just glad he hadn't bolted yet.


A faint rustling of leaves caused me to tilt my head a bit before a feline sounding yowl pierced through the air, causing my blood to run cold.


Before I even had the change to react, a tangled mass of white and orangish-brown rolled out from the greenery and into my line of sight.


The impossible mix of relief and worry crashed over me when I distinguished the white as the wolf I had called for, pinning down the other creature.


I wasn't able to tell exactly what it was until Luka jumped back as it swiped its massive claws at him.


A cougar.


At least I think that's what it was from the pictures I've seen.


Its ears were pinned down as it recovered and stood to its feet, a feral hiss showing its sharp teeth as it lowered itself into a striking position.


The noticeably larger wolf mirrored its actions, hackles raised into a snarl as the fur on his neck and tail rose.


I quickly thought up and abandoned the odd urge to help him and instead turned and ran to my horse who looked ready to dash away from this at any second.


I tried to ignore the growing growls and feline screams showing that one of them had pounced and we're now fighting.


With the feeling of being watched now completely gone, I had only one goal.


Get on Angus and get the hell out of there.


Yet as soon as I had grabbed the rope on his halter, I looked back, that pulling feeling appearing in my chest again.


God, this was the wrong time!


Two of the world's top predators were fighting not even thirty feet from me and my body wouldn't even let me make a move to get away!


Angus also appeared upset by my lack of action.


I looked back at the Luka as his canines dug themselves into the cougar's shoulder, effortlessly lifting it from the ground and tossing it in the opposite direction of me.


Thank God he didn't look injured.


You didn't need to be an expert to see which animal clearly had the advantage in this situation, yet I could still feel that worry in the pit of my stomach.


It seemed like the cougar was starting to understand as well, despite the fact that Luka hadn't wounded it in any fatal spots.


It didn't look like he was trying to kill it.


The cougar flinched as Luka's large paw stomped onto the dirt, letting out a deep grumbled bark that sent a chill to run down my spine.


Oddly enough, I could almost immediately distinguish what the sound was conveying.


It was a warning.


Angus' quick step back told me that even he felt it.


I was watching intently at this point, subconsciously holding my breath as I waited for the feline to make its next move.


It just laid there for a few seconds, its ears shifting while its now wide eyes stayed locked on Luka.


Slowly the cougar stood, limping ever so slightly on the arm that Luka had bitten.


It's head lowered, jaw opening to let out one final hiss before it turned and disappeared from where it came

Nk

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