"No, no, no, nonononono!"
I pelted through the forest, sending up a tidal wave of snow behind me. My paws left indents in the snow as my light grey fur blew back in the wind. I weaved between trees so fluidly that even Mocha would be impressed.
But the thought of Mocha made me cringe. "Oh, she's going to be so mad when the pack finds out I've gone."
Clusters of snow started to drift down from the sky. They would normally look beautiful, but they were toxic to me.
I stopped and glanced around, my ears perked for any sign of a howl. Nothing.
"Where did that lame excuse for a wolf take her?" I muttered, my words frosty in the air.
I resisted the urge to howl; no use him finding me. So I sniffed the air for a scent: nothing but the sweet forest smells.
I took a guess and went left, bolting through the air so fast that the snowflakes barely touched me.
I knew that the pack would be angry at me from separating, but marching around in one big group would attract too much attention. I just hoped that they would forgive me if I brought her back. But if they didn't.....
I suddenly broke into a small clearing. The oaks and ferns formed some sort of barrier around it with the snow. There was a boulder in the middle that held the most disgusting wolf I'd ever seen.
"Sephtis!" I growled.
A mangy black wolf with rotten fangs, broken claws, and scars all over his body from fights perched on the stone. He had murderous yellow eyes that saw only kill and vengeance. Next to him laid a beautiful snowy white wolf with long, sharp ears and a thin snout. Her cloud white fur was bloodied in multiple places: her legs, tail, and her.... Her neck.
I gasped in horror at the dark crimson puddle that tinted her neck, my best friend's neck.
She was dead.
"Oh, Cari! How nice of you to join us!" Sephtis sneered. "Won't the pack be concerned by your absence?"
More snow started to fall faster now, glittering in the sun like a hundred tiny diamonds.
I growled at Sephtis, ignoring the question. "What did Li-Mei ever do to you? Why'd you kill her?!"
"Hm, nothing, really. Seeing as how she's Mocha's daughter..."
"Our alpha will come after you with the power of a thousand wolves for killing her daughter!"
"You're forgetting, she's not my alpha anymore. She can't punish me. I've already been exiled, so what's the point in worrying?"
I bore my teeth and lunged at him with more ferocity than any wolf ever would. I connected with his putrid body and we tumbled around the white ground in a tornado of claws and teeth. I tried to snap at his throat, but he was too wriggly.
When we managed separate, we both only had a few stinging scratches. I wished I had done more damage to his smelly face.
"I'm tired of you killing of members of my pack!" I screamed.
"It was only Olwyn and Abba," he replied without worry.
"Only? Only?! Those are lives, Sephtis! Do you realize what you've done?"
"Oh, Cari," he growled.
Suddenly, he lunged at me. I was taken off guard, so he managed to pin me down with his paw at my throat. I thrashed a little, feeling like a robin in his predatorial grasp, but to no avail. I gave up after he wounded my pride with a snicker.
"You should have thought of that before you betrayed the Cult of Wolfbane," he spat into my ear. "We were given a mission: infultrate what could possibly be the most powerful pack in the whole forest as wolf cubs and take them down. It was simple. It should have been easy. But no, you had to feel sorry for them and really join the pack. You just left me to do all of the work, Cari. All of it! Now I'll complete at least part of our mission by watching you die."
"You and the cult misuse shape-shifting powers," I grunted; his gigantic paw was making it hard to breathe. "We were born with them for a reason."
"You should have thought of that before we joined the cult."
"I was foolish back then! It just took me a few missions to realize that."
"Sixteen missions! It took you sixteen missions of destroying wolf packs to realize that?!"
"Brother, you're not the wolf you once were. You're a disgusting, mad scrap of murderous rage."
Sephtis glared at me. "I'm not your brother anymore."
His jaws opened and secured themselves around my throat and the greatest pain I have ever known flared from my neck. I squeezed my eyes shut, wishing for the pain to be over.
"You've made a big mistake," Sephtis growled.
I felt him get off me as the noises of the forest became farther and farther away. I felt the falling snow seep into my fur as I waited painfully for it all to end.