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The Bite: Chapter 23

The minute my feet stepped out of the car and onto the lawn of the cabin I had come to call home, I felt my whole body relax. All the weight I had been carrying was left behind, and the crisp mountain air along with the smell of the fire burning in the fireplace started to breathe life back into me.

I jogged up the stairs and into the house, my eyes searching for Levi. His scent was everywhere, but it wasn’t fresh. “Where is he?” I asked Derek.

He stepped next to me and set my duffel bag down.

Elliot walked in behind him, eyes scanning the room. “Well, he was here a few hours ago. His scent isn’t that dull.”

I took a step back and headed out the door. “Charlotte!”

Derek called.

“I’ll be back!” I called over my shoulder.

My fingers quickly peeled all my clothes off, down to my shifters, before I let fur take over my skin. My paws hit the ground, hauling me to the place where my gut told me he would be.

Zipping through trees and curling around boulders had never felt more freeing. My beast surged forward as if the forest was powering her to move faster. Birds fluttered next to us, almost in a race as we started the upward ascent where the air was a hair thinner—crisper. Sounds of easy thunder sounded in the distance, but I knew it wasn’t from a storm.

I could smell his scent dancing on the air until it turned into a full-blown trail leading me straight to the cliff.

Shifting back to my skin, I pushed through some trees until I stepped onto the cool grass where Levi was sitting on the ledge, watching the glacier in the distance.

“So, this pack,” I said, breaking the silence as I walked over to him. My hands skirted over the old tree stump that still stood proudly to guard the area. “What do I have to do?”

He looked over his shoulder as I neared. His mouth wouldn’t say it but I could see the relief in his eyes. “You kill him?”

I laughed under my breath. “No,” I answered. I took a seat next to him and let my feet hang off the ledge like his.

“Wanted to.”

“Why not?”

I shrugged. “He’s not worth it.”

Levi held my gaze for a moment before nodding in agreement. “He’s not.”

“He won’t come looking. Not anymore,” I told him.

Levi shook his head. “Lander could have handled that.”

I shrugged. “I needed to.”

The glacier groaned in front of us; a decent-sized piece of ice was looking like it was about to fall off. A breeze picked up and swirled around us, dancing as if it was carrying an unsounded joy with it.

“What do I have to do?”

“Chop a lot more wood.” He laughed at my lack of amusement with his response then looked back at the fragmenting glacier before us. “Pack life isn’t easy. It’s not glamorous. But if it’s what you want, then it’s yours.”

“So, I’ll be swimming more, I assume?”

He chuckled darkly, with a surprised look that had hints of relief. “No, first you’ll be practicing shifting so you don’t look like a dead fish flopping around each time you do it.”

I rolled my eyes. The glacier cracked some more. I wanted to sit here forever, fall asleep to the sound of its thunder.

Being thrown into a pack of wolves didn’t sound like a joy, but I knew eventually I would have to step out of the haven that was our lodge.

I looked back at the glacier. After all this time, it had endured. Thousands of years and some, it’d endured.

My beast stirred in me again. If there was one thing I knew, it was that I had her. Ice fell from the glacier that sounded like it was hissing from the pain. It plunked into the blue water, sending ripples around the lake, disturbing the shore.

“I’m glad I’m home.”

A moment passed before I heard him let out a long breath. “I am too,” he murmured.

I turned to look at him. His hair looked less wiry today, and clean. Like he had actually washed it properly and put a brush through it. His eyes caught mine, exhaustion still heavy in them.

“Can I ask you something?”

He looked at me from the corner of his eye. “Well, go on, not like I can stop you.”

“Why didn’t you kill me?” Because if there was one thing I’d learned, it was that Levi didn’t give a shit about the law. Not really. Here, he was the law—whether he wanted to admit that he thought that way or not.

He was quiet, eyes watching the ice fall into the murky water. “Because I didn’t want to.”

I bit my lip and turned back to the glacier. “So, I’m going to be part of the pack?”

He nodded. “You’re going to be part of the pack, Charlie girl.”


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