Image courtesy of ["foto76" ] / FreeDigitalPhotos.netContinuation...
The tears started to fall in small trickles down her cheeks. Jill wrapped her arms around herself, trying to process her father's revelations to her. He wasn't from the human realm and her mother was missing.
"Was she like you? Not human?" Jill asked.
"No, she's human," Tom said.
"But you're a big dog. Can't you track her?" Her father's face scrunched.
"I'm a wolf, Jill. And I've tried to find her."
Jill feared the worst but couldn't bring herself to ask the question.
"She's alive." Tom answered. "I think what's hunting you got to her first."
Tom did a quick check of the perimeter before setting all the alarms in place. He kicked his senses into overdrive while he told Jill the whole truth. He laughed when she asked if she was born a puppy. Sweet summer rains pelted the roof and thunder shook the air. Tom spoke of his world, his refusal to kill for the King's hateful vengeance. He'd served his king well until that moment. That one defiant act caused him banishment, extracted from the pack, left to wonder a barren land and choose death by starvation, thirst, or deadly scorpion. He'd survived longer than most, existing on the scorpion whose venom he drained before eating. It caused only delusions instead of death, stealing sanity for a few hours. He wondered through the region and passed into another, desperate for water and food before he finally blanked out, exhausted and ready to die.
"Who found you?" Jill asked, eager to hear more.
Tom smiled. "Jackals. A mother and her cubs. I'd wondered into their territory before I collapsed. She took pity on me and nursed me back to health. Our kind usually don't mix and her mate seemed less pleased with her decision but he allowed it. It was her brother who offered to bring me to the human realm, away from my king and his punishment but he must have found out I'm still alive. I don't know how but he has an axe to grind about it. He won't stop until I'm dead.
"Will he kill Mother?" Jill asked. "Not before he's captured us both." "He'll make you watch us die." She said it as a statement. "Yes." "We won't let him. I'll do anything you tell me to but we need to get her back," Jill said wiping angry tears from her eyes with her fists.
"That's my girl," Tom said.