Chapter 51 - Trinity-Attacked Again
We were walking back to the car at the university chatting and laughing. We had parked in the back today like usual, I didn't mind the walk and it meant not fighting for a space with the humans near the building. We were almost to the car when I sensed that someone was running right toward us.
"Luna." Vincent shouted, grabbing me around my waist and spinning around and moving me out of the way. We took off running back toward the buildings we had just left. It was just now that I started paying attention, we were the only people in the area. That was unusual but not impossible. Most people would be in class or attending clubs or sports. I can't believe we didn't notice though.
As we ran toward the nearest building, Performing Arts I think it was, I noticed that there was more than one pursuer. And these weren't just people chasing us. They were wolves. They had to be from another pack or rogues. But what were they doing on our territory? And why are they attacking me? Vincent spun me out of the way again, changing direction to avoid the new threat.
"Stay behind me." Vincent growled. "I'm going to have to shift." He said through clenched teeth. I sensed a third person coming at us then. Could this get any worse? I thought as the first wolf made to attack us again. But the new arrival did not come toward me and Vincent. No, they went after the charging wolf, smacking into him and knocking him off course.
I could smell the newcomer now. I knew the scent. I had smelt it that morning.
"Professor Thompson" I asked confused. She turned to look at me with the bright green eyes I had grown accustomed to seeing over the last few months. "Watch out." I cried out as the second wolf charged her. Vincent charged him at the same time Professor Thompson did. They crushed the wolf between them, knocking him unconscious.
The first wolf still hadn't given up, he was slinking around the other two trying to get to me without them noticing. I watched him move out of the corner of my eye, letting him think I hadn't noticed. The moment he made his move I kicked off from a car and used it to propel myself away from him. He skidded to a halt and doubled back, coming at me again.
This time I timed his run with a backflip, just like grandfather's tutors had taught me. I caught him in the jaw, just as I planned. I sent his head flying backward with such force that, combined with his forward momentum, his wound up doing an almost backflip as well. I heard him roar in pain and frustration when I hit him.
Once he finished his flip, he was already scrambling to his feet, ready for another assault. That's when we heard them, the sound of at least half a dozen more rogues that were very close by. Someone had engineered this whole event. They had deliberately cleared this particular parking lot and waited for us to return. It was an ambush.
"Luna, we need to run." Vincent growled, grabbing my hand and running toward town. He knew the rogues were less likely to follow us wherever the humans were. He pulled me along behind him as he ran as fast as he could. I was faster than a human, but he was still faster than me and I couldn't keep up with his speed.
"We need to keep going." He told me.
"I know, I'm just not as fast as you. I'm sorry Vincent."
"Come on." He snapped, pulling me again, this time lifting me up into his arms to carry me.
"This will just slow you down!" I protested.
"No, this is fine." He continued running, not decreasing his speed at all. The car we had been trying to get to was now abandoned. I mentally calculated how far it was from here to the compound, and how long it would take us to run there.
The sound of snarling wolves interrupted my thoughts, I looked over Vincent's shoulder, worried for Professor Thompson. I didn't see her. She must have gotten away, that was good.
Vincent and I had made it back to town, not far from where the diner was.
"Is there somewhere in the city you consider safe? Or someone you can trust that you would be willing to go to?" Vincent asked, setting me down at a corner just a block away from Franny's.
"The only person I know who lives in the city is Juniper, and I'm not sure if she's home. I don't know anywhere else well enough. We could go back to Franny's but it's bound to be mostly empty. If we're looking for a crowd, I'd suggest the mall." I was answering his question but also musing at the same time. We needed a crowd of people to disappear until it was safe to get home.
"Then I would say the mall is the best. The sheer number of people there will help hide our scents somewhat, but it will also likely be so full of humans that they will not show themselves in wolf forms. Come on, let's go." He took my hand again and pulled me along.
Vincent, for all his nice guy personality, was quite assertive when it came down to doing his job. It was a different side of him to see, but he seemed so cool. He reminded me of how I used to look up to my cousins when we were kids. As he pulled me along behind him, he pulled out his phone and pressed a number without me seeing who he was calling.
"I need you to get the others together and get down here now." He growled into the phone. I heard a muffled voice answer but couldn't make out what they were saying. "Don't give me any of your games right now David, there are at least half a dozen rogues in town, and already they've tried attacking the Luna.
"What." David must have yelled because I heard that clearly. Before the muffled voice continued.
"Bring the twins and the other two. We'll be at the mall, the smell should help mask her, hopefully." I heard the muffled voice once again. "Trinity where exactly is the mall?"
"You don't know? I thought you did because you just started walking. We're not far, thankfully. It's close to the university, just about a mile that way still." I told him, pointing. Vincent nodded.
"Close to the university. About five miles north, follow Chancellor Blvd, we will be waiting for your call." After that he hung up and continued pulling me in the direction of the mall.
We were sitting at the fountains in the middle of the mall, there were no large stalls or walls blocking the view of the fountains which made it the perfect vantage point. We weren't here to shop, and I had no desire to. My heart was still thumping loudly in my chest from the adrenaline.
"Are you alright Luna?" Vincent asked me with a concerned tone.
"I'm fine. Just got a little over excited earlier." I smiled at him.
"I'm sorry I didn't do more to protect you." He looked depressed. "I was going to shift, but we were aided by your professor. Then when I realized there were so many, I knew that the odds were stacked against me. I could probably handle them myself, and possibly survive. There's no telling for certain though because I don't know how they fight. But I wanted to prioritize your safety over all else."
"And I'm happy you did." I tried consoling him. "I would have fought them off too, but I know that with as many as there was, we would have most likely lost. And it would have been my fault. So, I'm happy you thought to protect me over fighting them."
"We've done nothing but apologize to each other today." He laughed at my words.
"Well, maybe we should make this the last time for a little while." I laughed as well. We lapsed back into silence.
As I sat there in silence, looking over my section of the mall trying to spot any enemies coming our way, I smelled a wolf coming right toward me. A wolf I would know anywhere. I had not expected him to come. His sweet, spicy, and robust scent of chocolate, cinnamon, and coffee followed by the smell of the forest. I would know it anywhere. I tensed visibly as soon as I noticed it.
"Is something wrong Luna?" Vincent asked when he noticed my distress.
"Well, I've got company." I told him quietly. He looked worried, thinking I had spotted an enemy.
"Let's go." Reece growled the order out as soon he and the others got to the fountain.