Chapter 7

 H.M. Ward

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When they emerged from the cave, Will had the supplies he stripped from the frame of his bike. Although the vehicle he'd taken went down, it was still able to be ridden. But, first things first. They had to find a wolf.
Kahli tucked her bright hair under the white body suit. Will said it didn't need a coat, but she felt exposed. The bodysuit fit her like a second skin, clinging to her frame and revealing every curve. When she finally was dry enough to pull it on, she shimmied the neckline up to her throat where she fastened a plastic clip to hold in her body heat, and turned to Will. She felt his heart jump before she had a chance to look at him. Maybe this bond thing isn't so bad? she thought. At least it gave her a tiny clue as to how he felt about her. He thought she was something to look at, that much she knew for certain.
Will didn't look too bad in his white bodysuit, either. It clung to his slender body, moving with his toned chest and strong arms. Kahli looked away before she had more time to think about what it meant - about the attraction that was there - and the fact that she wanted more. There was something majorly wrong with her brain. Maybe she'd been alone too long, or maybe Will was everything she needed, and it didn't matter what kind of blood ran in his veins.
But he's a vampire, a voice hissed in the back of her mind as she studied the sweeping muscles that defined his broad shoulders. Blood matters. Blood is what separates us from them - it's what makes us human - it's what makes them monsters.
Will felt her gaze, but said nothing. He masked his thoughts so well that it was difficult to tell what he thought about anything. Kahli studied him while they were in the cave and aside from what he revealed, she didn't learn much. The main thing she felt over and over was his eyes sliding over her form, followed by an increase in his pulse. The steady sound beat in her ears, but his attention could have been for any number of reasons. It didn't mean he had feelings for her. He saved her, because the King would kill him if he didn't drag her back. Kahli wasn't a fool. She knew he couldn't tell her everything, and that there was much more to tell.
It didn't matter. Not now. First, they needed to buy more time. Chipping a wolf would lead the vamps in the wrong direction and give them the head start that they had lost. Even though they'd only stopped for a short time, time was everything now and they had none.
Kahli turned to look at Will over her shoulder. The freshly fallen snow was like dust, blowing through the air in a blinding array. The tiny particles whipped into her face, each one feeling like a splinter of glass caught in the wind. There were no tracks to follow. That was good and bad. It made them harder to track, but it made finding the stray wolves harder, too. She wasn't sure where they'd be in this weather. In the past, the pack jumped on her as soon as she emerged, but today there wasn't a single beast.
Kahli's heart sank, as she looked around frantically.
Will stopped beside her, leaning close enough to be heard above the howl of the wind. "Now what?"
"What else does this thing monitor?"
"Body temperature, pulse, and location. That's it. He must have stabbed you with it before you got away."
Kahli nodded, scanning the snow banks, looking for any signs of life. After a moment her lips pulled back into a smile. "Bingo."
Will followed her gaze, shielding his eyes from the wind and sun. "Are you serious?"
"You got a better idea?" she asked, looking up at him.
"Honestly? No." Will looked at the white rodent perched on the top of the bank. It seemed to be sniffing the air. "So, is your plan to compel it or..." before he could finish asking, Kahli was gone. Will turned to look for her, but she'd already ducked low to the ground. He shook his head and folded his arms across his chest. The animal was watching him. "Or we can do this your way," he laughed.
In a flash, Kahli snuck up behind the small animal. She kept her body downwind, so it couldn't sense her approaching quietly from the side. The chip was already in the insertion device. It was round and long and fit snuggly in the palm of her hand. It worked like a knife. All she had to do was grab the animal and press the trigger on the top of the cylinder, as she stabbed. That was what the King had to done her.
In a flash, Kahli leapt, grabbing the creature by the throat with one hand, while the other hand punched the trigger. The chip was shot into the animal's hind leg as it shrieked, terrified. Kahli cooed to it and placed it back on the snow bank. It didn't wait. As soon as its furry white feet hit the snow, it took off.
Will walked up behind her with a grin on his lips, "Nice work, wild girl."
"And you wanted to compel it," she laughed, looking at him as she stood up. They both watched the animal scurry away.
"I was joking," Will said. "I would have bribed it, but your way of attacking it like a wild dog worked fine. That rabbit will never go within a hundred feet of a human again."
"Or a vampire," Kahli grinned looking up at him.
They turned to backtrack toward the bike. Will was shaking his head. "The guards are going to be all sorts of pissed when they realize they've been tracking a bunny rabbit."