I woke up with a groan, my whole body hurt. I didn’t even want to open my eyes. Maybe everything was a dream, and I actually died.
“Then you wouldn’t be in pain,” Tundra whined.
I’m glad Tundra is still with me. Before I opened my eyes, I listened to my surroundings. I could hear crackling from what l assumed was a fire. I could also hear soft snoring. Who the hell is sleeping near me?
I opened my eyes and sat up. The fire burning in the fireplace cast an orange hue over the room. I was lying in a very comfortable bed and they wrapped my torso in bandages. I’m still in the sweats that Derek gave me.
Apparently, that wasn’t a dream. But how did I get here?
I was taking in my surroundings and I forgot about the soft snoring I heard earlier. I let out a scream when I heard someone speaking to me from inside the room, but l couldn’t see them.
“Ashlyn, are you okay?” The male voice asked. After I screamed, he sat up on the couch and I could see his head from over the back of the couch. Holding my chest, he gave me a heart attack.
“Where am I?” I gasped.
“Do you remember meeting me?” He asked.
“Derek?” l questioned.
“Yes, Ashlyn. I’m going to move over to the bed. I will not hurt you.” He tried to reassure me while standing up from the couch, he walked over to the bed.
Derek was a very handsome man. I didn’t notice all his hardened muscles from under his uniform before.
But his tee hugged all his upper muscles just right. He sat down at the end of the bed, giving me a warm smile, which had my heart melting.
“Where am I?” l asked again.
“You are in a cabin about 10 hours south of the Silver Moon pack. My men and I are on a mission out here and we stumbled upon you. Do you remember meeting me?” He asked.
“I thought it was all a dream,” I told him and he chuckled.
“You were in really terrible shape, but you are healing, just slow.” He informed me.
“What are you? You don’t smell like a wolf.” l asked him curiously.
“You’ve never met a dragon before?” He asked, and I was stunned. I had never met a dragon before and that’s the reason I couldn’t place his smell.
“You’re a dragon?” I asked him, confused.
“We are all dragons here,” he confirmed.
“I don’t understand. Why would you help me?” I asked him. I never heard of dragons helping a wolf.
“You needed help, and it’s not like we are at war with the wolves. We are also in the middle of nowhere,” he answered.
We sat there in silence for a few moments. I was trying to put my memories together. So l got away, but now I needed to get home. I can’t believe I actually made it out alive. I looked over at Derek, and he was observing me. I immediately felt self-conscious about myself. I knew I looked like a hot mess, while he sat there looking like a god.
“Thank you for helping me,” I told him. And he nodded.
“Do you mind telling me how you ended up in the middle of nowhere?” He asked me. Pressing my l!ps in a line, not knowing what I could trust him with. Yes, he saved my life, but maybe he did so he could use me. I can’t use my powers if I’m broken and weak.
“Okay, you don’t have to answer that. But could you tell me why the Alpha King put out an alert to all the mythical kingdoms about your disappearance?” He asked and I couldn’t believe that Arthur would do that for me.
“Do you have a phone?” l asked him. I needed to contact my family.
“The satellite phone won’t be working right now, and I promise I’ll explain myself if you can answer some of my questions. Please?” he asked as I bit my lower l!p, thinking about what I could trust this stranger with.
“The Alpha King is my godfather. That’s why I mentioned the Silver Moon pack. My pack, as of right now, is the Blue Moon pack. I’m moving packs.” I explained. “Someone ran me off the road when I was in Silver Moon and kidnapped me. I woke up in a homemade basement dungeon.”
“And do you know who kidnapped you?” He asked. And I sighed.
“I do, but there are things in my life that not even the people closest to me know. It’s hard to explain without explaining the whole thing, and I’m not ready to share that yet.” I told him.
“I understand, Ashlyn. I have some good news, though. After I call my father, I will take you to your old pack tomorrow morning. Dragons can’t just enter pack lands without permission, so my father is making a few calls.” He explained.
“Thank you, Derek.” I breathed out before giving him a smile. It feels like it’s been forever since anyone has been kind to me.
“I really mean it. It’s been forever since someone was kind to me. I’m not even sure how long I’ve been gone for, and I’m sorry I can’t explain more. My life is just so complicated. But I really appreciate you taking me to Blue Moon tomorrow. My aunt still lives there and I need to speak with her.” I told him.
“I’m just glad that you’re awake. You lost a lot of blood.” He said. “But I have one more question?” He asked me, and I nodded.
“Are you sure there wasn’t a dragon where you were?
“I’m sure I’ve never met a dragon before. There were wolves, vampires, and witches, but no dragons. Why?” I asked him, curiously. Why would he think dragons were there?
“I sent some of my men to track down where you came from. They found a charred clearing with a building that was burned down to ash. I’m not sure what else, besides dragon’s breath, could do that kind of damage in such a short amount of time.” He explained.
“Oh, that’s strange,” I said, without trying to sound suspicious. He raised an eyebrow at me, but said nothing.
“We should get some sleep. It will be morning in a few hours.” He told me. Standing from the bed and making his way to the couch, but I knew he had to be uncomfortable.
“Derek? There’s enough bed here for both of us,” I told him. And he stopped in front of the couch and looked at me, stunned.
“I know that couch can’t be that comfy. Come, lay down on the other side of the bed. I’ll feel bad if you have to sleep on the couch.” I told him.
Derek grabbed his pillow and blanket before walking over to the other side of the bed. We could easily fit a few more people in this bed. Before he laid down, he confirmed my request.
“Are you sure?”
“It’s fine, Derek. Just please lay down.” I told him.
When he was finally comfortable, I turned in bed to face him, hissing while I twisted my back. That still hurts like a b***h, feeling exhausted from the movement. I didn’t notice the pain when I sat up because I panicked and didn’t think.
I was breathing through the throbbing that was pulsating through my body. Closing my eyes, I was ready to get some rest. Changing positions used up so much of my energy.
“You okay?” Derek asked me. He was lying on the edge of his side of the bed.
“Yeah. I’m okay.” I whispered, before I fell into a deep sleep.