The she-wolf's dark pelt mad the summer day even hotter than it was to other wolves.The sun was high over head and she was beginning to feel the heat was too much.Padding out of the Chandor camp she stepped as quickly as she could towards the stream in their territory.Suteki could get a drink and soak her paws in that.
Alcatraz panted as the sun beat down on him. His head was down and his sand-baked yellow eyes were half closed. The heat exhausted him. He needed to find water soon or he didn't know what he would do. His thick dark coat was not meant for this. He scented that he was headed into pack territory, but they were big territories, so he figured that it was worth the risk if that meant he could find water.
The sound of running water was music to his ears. He picked up speed until he was trotting toward the stream as a brisk pace. Finally it came into view and he splashed straight into the water, plunging in his head and drinking deeply. Only after her lifted his head did he notice the female appearing on the other side of the river. He cursed under his breath. He was not afraid of a fight, but there were much better ways he wanted to spend the rest of his day. He would just have to stay and hope she was friendly. Suteki's eyes were becoming swollen from the heat and she could barely see out of them but,her nose led her to the stream and she plunged her snout into it,lapping up the cool water.Oblivious to the strange wolf that was in front of her.She waded into the water,being careful to place her crooked leg in,digging her paw under the small pebbles so that she would not be swept away by the current.Dirt broke free from her pelt as she waded in deeper,now this was better.She felt grateful Chandor had such an easy access to the water.
Alcatraz watched her in shock as she just leaped right into the river, completely unaware of his presence. He backed up. Should he leave before she sees him? ....but she will surely see him once he begins to leave. He felt a pang of distaste at the pack she-wolf. So unaware of their surrounds, so careless, just walking anywhere with no regard for anything else that may be in their way. All pack wolves were that way. She was lucky that he was not a violent wolf, or a bear. He needed to teach her a lesson or she would walk right into the paws of a dangerous situation in the future.
He waded toward her quietly, his fur bristling and his lips drawn back in a snarl. He looked like he was about to attack her. "You ought to be more careful wandering around on your own."
he growled, his voice a menacing rumble, as he approached her. he was easily within leaping distance, even in the river. The water had masked the scent of the wolf and his voice was not one she recognized.The surprise caused her legs to try and bolt in all different directions,she tripped and lost her footing as the water began to splash over her head.
She shook violently,would she drown or be torn apart by this strange wolf.Then,she saw him.He was much larger than her and he looked ready for a fight.Coughing out water that was making it's way into her throat, she tried to call for help.
Alcatraz's lips fell and he lifted his head, his fur laying flat again. He looked down at her through critical eyes for a moment as she struggled, then he reached down with his powerful jaws and managed to grab her scruff. He pulled her up out of the water and to her paws. He took a step back to allow her to regain herself, his pale yellow eyes cold. "Aren't you lucky I'm not a sick wolf lusting for blood."
he growled to her. Suteki quivered with fear as she coughed up water.Oh you aren't? she thought bitterly.He sure looked like one."Thank you." she barked,at least she still had some manners.Then,she remembered that she had a pack to protect! Standing taller she narrowed her eyes."What are you doing sniffing around here? You're obviously a loner,aren't you?"
He dipped his head graciously as she thanked him. Then she went into defense mode and he could not help but smirk. What was she afraid of? If he had malicious intentions, then he would have acted upon them already. And even if he was up to no good, what was she going to do about it? "I am."
he confirmed, "That is exactly what I am doing, in fact. Sniffing around."
he said, his voice was not mocking, but it was a bit of a challenge. Truthfully he had come here for the water, but she reminded him of his old pack and he didn't like it. Soft, clumsy, blissfully unaware of the harsh world unfolding around them. Over half of his old pack had been massacred. He didn't want that to happen again. It was a pack's responsibility to protect its members, and each wolf who thought they could get away with being weak was dragging the entire pack down. He waited for her response, his narrowed yellow eyes fixed on her. Suteki snorted,he was an awfully cocky youngster,she thought.Her amber eyes fixed on him and she spoke with a rather tart tone."That doesn't answer my question." not that she even cared about his answer.He'd save her and that was that but,it didn't excuse the fact he was trespassing."I'll have to ask you to leave,this is Chandor's territory." Loners always thought they knew better,it seemed.She had seen horrific things in her life and only now did the nightmare seem to be over.Perhaps this wolf would never know how that felt.
Alcatraz considered her for a moment. This was more like it, perhaps a wolf that could actually hold her ground after all. "I was driven here by the heat."
he explained, "This was the closest water source."
He shook his dark pelt. She had dark fur as well. She probably knew his pain. He looked at her evenly, "I won't be the last loner to come this way."
he said. "Just because this is your territory does not mean you are safe here." She snorted again.What did he know about their defenses?"We drive off loners like you,for your information.Chandor is quite safe thank you very much!" she bent her legs now in a defensive stance,she was not messing around anymore.This wolf seemed to be nothing but a little know it all,a brat.Suteki ignored his plea about the water,this was Chandor's stream.They needed it more than him during summer,they had more mouths to feed and water!
Alcatraz turned and padded to the other side of the river, bounding up on the shore, then turning around to face her again. "You do, now? You looked about ready to drown when I met you."
He said, dipping his head and taking another drink before looking up at her again. At least she was better than a she-wolf he had met in Morrow. He swore she would have fallen asleep at his side before even hearing a word he said, so trusting she was. This female looked to be tougher, and he truly believed that she would attack him if he stuck around much longer. "Alright, alright. I'll go."
he said. He had his fill of water anyway, and beyond that he was not interesting in fighting. He could tear her apart until an inch from death and she could still be fine due to the help of her pack. For him, however, a mere injured paw could mean starvation. He blinked slowly at her before adding"But... if you wish to control this river, at least learn to walk in it."
he was being a bit rude, yes, but he had a feeling she would not be making that mistake again, so he felt that he was helping her more than hurting her. That was how Alcatraz was; blunt, conceited, but he honestly did have pure intentions when he dealt with others this way. Suteki's pelt prickled with embarrassment.How dare he!
Good riddance to him too! "It's your fault I fell in the the darn thing!"She turned away and started to head back to the camp,her pelt bristling.Just as she thought,all loners acted as if they knew better.Pack life wasn't just a walk through the flowers,she'd liked him to know.Their were tasks to be done,wolves to be fed,and they had to chase off rouges like him.I'm getting to old for this. she thought as she trudged away.
Alcatraz did not know about that; she should have been more aware of her surroundings. He was right in front of her! He stared in shock as she began to walk away. "Hey! Where are you going?"
he barked. Did she forget that he was still on her territory? She needed to defend her borders or everyone she loved would die! He watched her form get smaller as she headed toward camp. He bared his fangs in frustration. He would never understand pack wolves! She heard him call but,did not turn around.She didn't want to give him that satisfaction.Suteki stuck her nose in the air and kept walking,stopping to yell something to him,not sure if he'd catch it or not."Scram!" if she caught that snooty loner again,she'd have to show him that she could be unpleasant.
Alcatraz lowered his head angrily. She didn't attack him, didn't make a move to remove him by force or even seriously threaten him. Force was the only method that worked in this world. He snorted, taking another drink of water before turning around and stalking toward the border of Chandor territory. He had no quarrel with this pack, except that one of its members had not the guts to fend him off. He hoped that she would not learn the hard way how imperative it was to keep your pack territory safe. He debated hanging around and causing trouble, but he decided that he had done enough for one day. If she did not hold security as a high priority, then that was a problem for her and her pack. He headed over the border but remained in the forest due to the shade. He would rest here until nightfall and then travel through the grasslands, away from Chandor.