Emma has just celebrated her eighteenth birthday, which means she is no longer under the protection of her foster werewolf pack. She is expecting things to be done the proper way, for proposals to be sent her way. Instead, she is driven out the woods and set free like some sort of misbehaving pup. She does the only thing she can. Werewolves hot on her trail, she runs.
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
They had blindfolded her in the car on the way to the forest, like they were worried that she would find her way back if they didn't take precautions.
She rolls her eyes at the thought. The more she thinks about it, the less sorry she is about them giving up on her so easily.
The new pack, the one that had challenged her current caretaker for her, had rattled them so completely that she had caught them discussing with the authorities a late that evening, asking if they were in any danger. She had been so naive then, thinking that they are worried about her safety when all they were worried about was their own.
It should have warned her. She could have had a head-start if she had started running when she overheard them. Instead, she had gone on blind faith that they would keep her safe for longer, that they would wait until the government officials come for her in the morning.
She had been so stupid, and now she's paying for it.
A rumbling snarl echoes through the trees and she stumbles in her surprise. Her heart jumps up her throat like it's trying to escape through her mouth. She yelps, and steadies herself with a palm on the forest floor. It comes away damp with mud and she has to make herself to get back up and continue running.
The wolf is close. She needs to run further.
Howls respond from all around her, some closer than others. The entire pack is coming for her. The forest isn't large enough for her to hide in, not when she's stinking of fear and anticipation.
She draws a deep, shuddering breath and keeps running. She is curious to meet her new pack, but not curious enough to stop and let them have their way with her.
She needs to run.
It is at times like this that she wishes she was normal. That she wasn't a human born with the ability to carry werewolf pups. Werewolves lost the ability to carry on the genetics that allows them to shift into werewolves decades ago, or to pass it on with a mere bite. The only way for a werewolf to have children that are like them is if they have a human companion. It is what makes them so special. It is also what makes having them dangerous. Only the strongest packs have human companions because only the strongest packs can keep them.
A sharp howl goes up right behind her, so close that she can feel it vibrating through her bones. She freezes and twists around to stare in the dark. The forest is too thick for her to see anything. "Who's there?" she calls out, not really expecting an answer. She jumps when she does.
"Stop running, little lamb..."