DreamRunner's Loyal Mate

StormShadow raised his head to the sky and a hunting howl soared through the coming darkness and seemed to shatter the silence. The StarHawk Forest pack took up the hunting howl by a small stream.The two betas,the one omega and a few of StormShadow's other cubs that were older and were born only two years ago that had stayed with the pack,not to mention StormShadow the alpha.His mate was in labour with the coming pups and StormShadow was worried she wouldn't have enough to eat so he and the pack were going hunting again.The pack had just gone hunting yesterday and killed a young stag with his first head of antlers and there was still quite a bit of the kill left but StormShadow wanted to bring his mate, DreamRunner, as much meat as she needed for he knew she needed her strength.Then when the pups were born she would need to thicken her milk for the pups to be healthy and strong.

The StarHawk Forest pack splashed across the stream and headed deep into the forest on the other side. StormShadow ran ahead snarling once in awhile at a lower ranking wolf to stay behind him. StormShadow sucked in a deep breath of fresh air. It was early summer and he was in his prime, surely he would rule as alpha for 5 or 6 more years. The pack was now coming to the edge of the trees to a large meadow where the pack often hunted and killed game such as deer, elk, moose and rabbits. StormShadow suddenly paused and growled uneasily. Morgan, the female beta, whimpered uneasily and backed up to stand beside her mate Apollo who nudged her gently with his snout. StormShadow growled again,his grey coat bristling. He scented something his mother Kida had taught him to always fear and avoid... man.

Suddenly MoonShade, the omega snarled and ran back in the direction of the den at top speed. StormShadow snorted, he had never really had any patience towards MoonShade. In fact he had been thinking awhile ago of driving the omega away from the pack for he was always getting in the way and never helped on hunts. StormShadow scented the air again,the human smell was coming from the other side of the meadow towards the North,the StarHawk Forest pack's den was towards the South. StormShadow hoped they were traveling away from the den and DreamRunner. StormShadow snarled at Morgan, Apollo and his three pups from two years before, (Adanax,WindRider and Cahira) to stay behind in the trees. StormShadow walked uneasily across the meadow towards the North where the human smell was coming from. suddenly one of the humans dogs that had been wandering away from it's masters saw StormShadow and began barking wildly. StormShadow snarled, his fur bristling and his eyes glinting like amber. Suddenly there was a whole chorus of barking and about 15 other dogs came bounding through the grass towards StormShadow. StormShadow turned and ran North-West away from the den and the approaching´┐Ż dogs. Suddenly a large group of humans on horse back came running behind StormShadow. StormShadow was quick and sure footed and was well ahead of the hunting party and nearly at the tree line on the North-Western side of the meadow when there was a metallic snap and a blinding pain in his left front paw. StormShadow was stuck in a leg hold trap. The humans caught up to there dogs and of course they got StormShadow for he couldn't escape but instead of yelping with fear when the humans arrived he snarled in triumph, for he had saved his mate, his soon to be born cubs and his pack.

by Tanya Picou


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