Chapter 76: The Fog
"COLTON! COLTON! ....." I yell in the hopes of him hearing me and being close enough to respond, but
there's nothing but deathly silence in the eeriness of this green mist. It seems like even the wind
around us is captured on the other side of the boundary and we are left standing in an airless stillness
that isn't natural. My body shudders involuntarily and I cover my arms with my own palms to comfort
the sudden pang of vulnerable that courses through my body. My heart screeching that this is all kinds
"What's that, look, there." Meadow points thorough to a slightly less dense patch to our right and we
catch sight of a huge dark figure moving across our horizon, getting close to the rune border and yet
not coming further. It's almost like they hesitate as they reach the line from fog to clearing.
"Who's there.... who is it?" I call out boldly, feeling nothing of vampires and sensing only wolves nearby.
I can feel the presence of my love, somewhere beyond that line, yet he can't seem to interact with me
"Why aren't they answering us?" Meadow steps forward to gaze intently into the wall of emerald smog
but she can't see through as it still billows and bombards our magical resistance with an effort to get at
us. It's like watching the clouds roll in a thunderstorm and if it wasn't so terrifying, it would be almost
"Maybe it's dampening sound out there and we can't hear them..... I can feel them, so surely they can
feel us too. They're right here and yet not a single one has breached the boundary." I query in
We both flinch and instinctively step back as a pair of clawed hands come at us through the mist and
meet an invisible almost glass like wall. It makes the barrier shudder with a magical spark that travels
outwards like a ripple of disturbed water. Enough to startle my heart into pumping like I've been running
and we both leap further back and stare in open eyed shock as they come at us a second time to try
with more force. The claws bang against it with a violent reverberation, making us both recoil slightly
into our own bodies this time and a face appears through the mist pressing to the separation, baring
teeth and fueled with rage.
"Cesar?" Meadow frowns at the familiar face of her mate in wolf form, relaxing slightly, even if she
seems confused at his behavior and moves to him, but his eyes catch my attention and I grab her by
the upper arm and haul her back in panic. Fear gripping my soul and I shake my head dramatically to
drive home she should stay back.
"Don't! Look at his eyes..." I nod towards the angry snarling glare of our pack brother and Meadow
gasps as her own soft eyes land on the emptiness of his. Where normally his amber eyes would glow,
is deep almost endless black, covering every part, including the whites and completely changing his
entire appearance. Sheathed in darkness, sending tremors of mistrust through me and I step further
back as another wolf makes a break at the wall to my left. The same ripple shuddering between us as
they fail to get through and the slight dampening of fog reveals more wolf turned angry kin coming our
"They can't get in.... something is wrong with them." I point out as more appear along our invisible line
and growls and snarls aimed our way pierce the air, proving sound is not a barrier issue as they spy us
standing here. I shudder with a wave of apprehension and back away, hauling Meds with me so we
leave a good ten feet gap from the rune line.
"Chica... It's Cole." Meadow drags my attention back to the center with a pointed finger, as the mist
begins to thin out enough that those within the first few feet begin to become completely visible. I spot
Colton standing only feet from me, tucked behind them, directly facing us, only he's not wolf, he's still
human but his claws are extended, and his eyes are the same terrifying abyss of black as Cesar. He's
focused straight at me, with a blood curling glare that isn't the Colton I know and love at all. He's a
hunter in kill mode, rage pulsating around him, his snarl in place and his teeth beginning to peek. It's
obvious that I am his prey. Trembling under his unbreakable and penetrating gaze I shiver and curl my
arms around Meadow's arm, feeling instantly vulnerable and unsure what to do. The way he's looking
at me makes my blood run cold in my veins.
"Colton, what are you doing?" my words tremble weakly, shaking with emotions as they pass my lips
and for the first time since I have known him, I'm truly afraid of him in this moment. He looks like him,
only he's not. I can feel the aura of sinister ebbing from them all and I sink down against her as he
bares his teeth fully, elongating as he growls at me and scoops forward into pounce mode.
"It's a spell, it has to be. Only that could keep our own out. Look at them. They're almost feral and if
they could get over here, I think you and I would be brindis" Meadow shudders and reaches out
impulsively towards Caesar as he punches a clawed fist at the barrier and roars in rage when he can't
get through. There's no denying the anger and aggression seeping from them, that we're what they
want, and it's not for sweet reunions. Our pack mates are looking at us the way they look at vamps just
before a kill. Somehow, we are now the enemy and who they want to tear limb from limb.
"Maybe when the fog clears, they'll be okay." My voice breaks as the words tumble out like a child, and
Meadow grabs my hand and starts pulling me away as she notes Colton readying himself to leap at us.
He's poised, moving low and setting his sights higher than where the others keep trying to get through.
"Wait. I can try something." I gasp in desperation and yank free, turning my attention back to Colton.
Pulling my hands together to cage my own palms with my fingers until I feel my energy build into a
loose ball, I throw it out wide, like a veil, to part and push the fog into the background of where our
mates stand. Trying to clear the air around them in a bid to remove its effects.
Meadow watches with silent anticipation as a clearing in the shape of a half dome is thrust back like a
'poof' of someone blowing at it. It's gentler than I expected given the force I threw but I guess that's the
nature and power of the fog. There's instant clarity as I clear around them completely, and they stand in
perfect focus breathing in newly fresh air as I hold my breath and wait. With the immediate ten feet
lifted and clear in the morning light we can see just how many of the sub pack are standing close by
and staring murderously our way. How many of the other packs are hanging behind, crowding around,
and surrounding their alpha as though waiting for something. All of them. Every wolf that was caught
out there in that green smoke is huddled here and not a single one has amber eyes.
They all seem to be waiting on Colton to make a move, still in pack hierarchy, even if they're
enchanted. Colton looks up and around at the fog clearing, pulling back like the tide, the air around
them returning to normal. He tilts his chin back down and stares me dead in the eye. Eyes still black,
gaze still venomous and he makes a run for me through the clearing. A vicious and high leap that
sends his full body shuddering into the invisible veil. The entire wall of air in front of us vibrates and
ripples horrendously, as though he almost pushed it to its limit. The cascading effects sent out along
left and right, like it was hit by a sonic boom, yet he still remains on the other side as he tumbles back
down to land on his hind paws.
I fall back in startled shock as he smashes the barrier for a second attempt, level with my height and
the subs follow, all aggressively pounding into the magical safety net and clawing, trying to rip through.
It's like they are hoping combined force will be enough and my breathing becomes ragged as I freeze
in real terror. Afraid they may actually get through, and then what? Teeth gnashing as they all fully turn
to wolf form and begin a frenzied attack, intent on coming over. Piling up together in a wave of furred
bodies and the light is blocked out by the mountain of them clambering together.
"Come on, we're going to Sierra! NOW!!!..... She can tell us what the hell is going on, Chica. This is
fucking terrifying. They don't know us!" Meadow takes one last desperate look at Cesar, her eyes
welling up with tears and I glance at Colton, afraid to make eye contact when it hurts this much to see
him like this. My heart ripping in two that he's a stranger to me and it's as though all his love and
humanity is gone. Someone I don't know; he's never been like this in all the time I have known him, and
I recoil as he lurches again and again at the barrier in an attempt to take me down repeatedly, throwing
his body into unbreakable glass and insane with the need to do it. They are consumed by bloodlust,
much like vampires going after a feed.
"Fuck you!" I snap impulsively at him, at all of them, emotion getting the better of me as a fire rages
deep in my belly. Tears pricking my eyes, at this whole situation; my heart breaking while I throw my
hand at the wall in one impulsive last anger ridden reaction to make them stop.
The wall of wolves and fog is ripped apart straight down the center, like I blew a harsh gust of powerful
wind to rip through them, going for miles into the distance that causes a path like a huge tunnel. Colton
and Cesar, some of the others, are thrown back away from it with my precise eruption and sent
scattered into the forest brush with yelps of shock before they tumble to their feet and snap their heads
back to me. My gifts are clearly not bound by the border so it's definitely them that can't come in; the
fog has done something that means they are no longer recognized as our pack, as our blood, or our
I turn and follow meadow at speed, no more hesitation at getting away from what my heart cannot bare
to see anymore, as we come up against some of our patrolling sentinels who are walking the path.
looking as confused as us.
"The fog has done something to the pack, they can't get in. Make sure no one crosses the rune line or
gets too close to the boundary until I say otherwise. Pass it on via the link. Everyone is to stay home,
stay safe until we figure this out. That's an order. The alpha is not to be trusted even if he stands at the
border...Understand?" I snap aggressively, tears starting to blind my vision, but I have to swallow it
down and pull myself together and seem like I am in control. Meadow has turned broody and quiet yet
her emotion filters through and I taste her equal heartache to mine.
The guards nod, glancing from her to me as though expecting her to say something, looking equally
afraid given they are some of the males from the village and not from our usual sentinel packs. All our
fighters, our warriors, our strongest – they are all out there in the fog with our alpha. We couldn't be in a
worse position if we tried. We lost them all in one fell swoop. One tragedy has literally taken all of our
protectors out from us in the blink of an eye.
We hit the main doorway at speed and zoom straight for Sierra's room, scaling the stairs without a
pause but meet her halfway up the final landing as she comes bounding to find us.
"You see it?" I ask briskly as we close the gap and I grab her hands in panic. Her small hands and cool
skin enveloped in mine and the worry and confusion is written all over her delicate face. Right now she
doesn't seem like my mother figure, but that she's looking to me for answers as a young and scared
"I did. It climbed up the walls of the boundary and can be seen from every direction of the homestead.
What's going on. There are so many awful feelings in the air and noises of wolves howling in the forest"
Sierra is pale and trembling and her words catch in her throat almost choking the last ones out as I
frown at her. We didn't hear them howl from our side but that means more are behind the stead and
around the village border now, where the wind would have kept their calls from us. They must be
surrounding the border looking for a way in.
"We don't know. The fog has more than a third of our pack, that's more than half the adult wolves, and
Colton, he's with them; they seem different. I think it's some sort of curse or spell or something." I
blabber it out almost incoherently as the tears finally scratch my voice and turn my throat hoarse.
Meadow is pale and staring out past Sierra's head at the window along the corridor, watching the fog
settle halfway up our view from up here. My gut tightens and I pray it doesn't get higher than our magic
does. I don't know how else we would stop it if we didn't have the Runes.
"Different how?" Sierra queries and Meadow doesn't hesitate to place her fingers on Sierra's temple to
show her. I think meadow is in mild shock and doesn't know what to do or say. Seeing Cesar that way,
it's shaken her to the core because I know that despite her fiery and strong nature, he is literally her
world and she would crumble without him. Cesar has been her mate since her young teens, and they
have become so completely as one over the years that she doesn't seem to know how to function right
now. I'm only six months into a mate bond and despite how much I love him, I still know that I can be
strong on my own two feet, have proven so in the past. I am not too used to falling back onto him in
every way just yet to be as lost as Meadow seems.
Sierra's eyes widen in horror as she sees exactly what we did as the memory filters through, and she
covers Meadow's hand with her shaking fingers as she inhales sharply. Her already pale skin seems to
white out further and her body instantly seems to frail and sway so that I reach out to steady her.
"It can't be. That kind of dark magic is almost impossible to put in action on such a scale, with multiple
hosts. This is no normal witch or simple spell. This is so beyond my knowledge, or skill." Sierra grabs
onto my outstretched arms to steady herself as she falters on her own feet and I blink at her, my mouth
drying with the realization that this is something major. Heart racing, nerves already taut, and I struggle
to breathe as the weight of this disaster seems to come down even harder over me.
"So this IS a spell. How do we break it, how do we get them home and okay?" My mouth is firing out
words as part of my brain tries to take control, even if my insides are trembling and my biggest urge is
to curl up on the floor and sob.
"We don't. I don't know how to deal with this.... I don't ....I ...don't know.... We have to check the library
downstairs, read the grimoires, get the Shaman, and figure this out. I'm primarily a healer and a seer,
although I can conjure protection spells and an occasional bond, but this is way over my gift limit. I
have heard of this kind of magic, but I have never seen it. I didn't think one witch alone could do this."
Her voice fully breaks and tears stream from the corner of her eyes delicately. Shaking with the sheer
knowledge that she doesn't know how to fix this. One thing I know is, the Shaman was out there too
and no longer here with us but I can't find the words to say it.
"Maybe that means it won't last. Maybe it will fade out as the fog does?" Meadow asks hopefully,
suddenly finding her voice and sounding nothing like her usual sassy self. Sierra lifts her palms
helplessly, almost in response of saying 'I don't know.' Eyes full of fat unshed tears and her own
breathing has become labored. Here we stand, three femmes in various states of emotional distress,
faced with a huge problem, and the only ones left in the pack with the ability to do something about it, is
us. We're so screwed.
"It didn't work when I cleared the air around them" I point out, close to manic, my emotions rising in my
throat to choke me, but I hold it all in and breathe slowly to ease my heart rate and try and think clearly.
I need to remember I am the Luna and my people will look to me to fix this.
"That was only seconds, maybe it takes more time." Meadow is grasping at straws of hope, and yet
something in my gut tells me she's wrong. An inkling that it's not that easy to undo whatever it is that's
out there. I don't think clearing them from the smog alone will work.
"The Shaman he's out there isn't he? I can't link him...... we need him...Oh my god, Okay, so..... We go
downstairs and start looking without him. We look and we find something, anything. We can't just sit
here and freak out, right? We've lived through worse. We can do this." Sierra hastens us with a nod,
visibly shivering, afraid, and yet like me she is trying to reel it all back and return to a state of
composed. She knows I need her to be with me and figure this out. The shock has hit, we reacted, and
now we need to be the Luna and Rema and do something about this. For our pack, for our people, for
our men. "Radar?" Sierra adds in a hushed tone, her eyes misting over again as she locks a gaze on
me, a begging question and held breath, and I can only nod sadly, telling her that he too is out there in
the fog and lost to us. She gasps in a semi sob, a shocked inhale and clutches her chest, emitting a
woeful stab of pain in the air around me and confirming how deeply she feels for him, before pulling
herself back together and lifts her chin defiantly. An even stronger will to figure this out.
"Let's go. They need us to save them." I turn and gesture for them to come and don't wait in heading
where we need to be.