After nearly two hours, Elliot was still making grunting noises with every other step. He was really laying it on thick.
“Would you cut that out? You were fully healed over an hour ago,” I said.
He glared at me. “No, I wasn’t. These silver cuffs are slowing me down.”
I scoffed, but didn’t say anything. I hadn’t really thought about the added silver when I’d shot him. Should I feel bad? No. No, I’m not going to feel bad.
We turned down a dirt road that ran through the middle of a big field and eventually, there were trees lining either side and doming over us.
After about three miles, the road spilled out into a clearing and Elliot pointed across where the trees started up again. “Greggor’s den is right through there,” he said as he staggered forward.
I started sniffing the air, as I did every time we neared a den, to see if I could pick up any scents. As per usual, the air was free from any recognizable smell. This did not bode well.
When we hit the trees again, we stopped and looked at each other. I tossed him the keys and when he got the cuffs off, he rubbed his wrists before putting one hand on his hip and leaning the other against a tree.
“I don’t know about this,” he said, looking toward the den.
“Don’t know about what?”
“Going in there.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you shot me. I’m weak; I’m not exactly equipped to knock out any guards right not.”
“If you expect me to have remorse, you’re sadly mistaken.”
He didn’t respond, just kept looking toward the den like he hadn’t even heard me. “Okay, new plan. You’re going down there with me.”
“What? I can’t take those guys…if there’re even any guys to take…” I stopped. I wasn’t going to allow myself to talk that way.
“Well, lucky for you, you’ve got a gun full of silver bullets,” he said.
“No. No, no, no—we’ve been over this. This gun is for you. And you’re supposed to go in first and take care of the guards so I can get in without being ambushed and we can have the upper hand when we find the guys. I can’t be trying to shoot multiple targets—this isn’t Time Crisis.”
“Circumstances are different now! I can’t do this by myself! You shot me with a silver bullet!”
“And then I dug it out! And then, do you know what amazing thing happened next? You HEALED!”
“Not fully,” he said in a weary voice. “If I could keep those goddamned cuffs off for awhile, I could get my full strength back.”
“Fine. You get a ten minute break,” I said, walking over to a nearby tree and sitting against it.
He did the same against the tree he’d been leaning on. “You know if they’re not here—”
“I don’t wanna talk about if they’re not here.”
“We need to discuss Plan B—”
“No, we don’t.”
He groaned. “Teenagers. You’re all the same. Stubborn, prideful punks. Greyson’s the same way.”
“Don’t talk about Greyson!” I snapped.
“Hey, I’ve known him a lot longer than you have. I’ll talk about him if I want to.”
“Greyson’s not a punk—you’re a punk!”
“Ah, the teenage wit.” I cocked the gun and he threw his hands up. “Alright. I’m done.”
“How did you get to be such an asshole?” He didn’t say anything, just leaned his head against the tree and looked off toward the den. “No answer, huh? So just all your life then?”
He slowly shifted his eyes over to me, then his head. “It’s a shame you have to be such a pain in the ass. You’d be cute if you kept your mouth shut.”
I let him yelp and holler for a minute before retrieving the bullet. Then, I cleaned it for the second time and loaded it back into the cylinder as I said, “I hope you’ve learned your lesson this time.”
He lay stiffly on the ground, arms splayed out and eyes shut tightly. “I hope…you know…you have to…go with me…now.”
“You know what? I think I will go,” I said, standing over him and looking down at his fresh wound. “Shooting asshole were-wolves is pretty therapeutic. And thanks to you, I’ve been getting in some practice.”
He just lay there, panting, and didn’t respond. I walked to the tree I’d been resting against and plopped back down, watching his uneasy breathing with pleasure.
So that does it for Chapter One of Moon-Burn. But if you check back next week, I may have a little surprise for you...