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“When can we go home?” “I want to go back to grandma’s house.” “I’m tired.”
The kits had been wonderful, but the constant traveling was wearing on all of them and the kits most of all. Simon felt Kitryn tense and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Deep breath,” he muttered and received a tight smile.
Meg had moved to walk with the kits and she could be heard explaining once again why they couldn’t return to her house.
Simon looked at the sky. “We need to find shelter soon.” Kitryn nodded and they started checking the sides of the path looking for anything that may indicate a way to head. They had decided early on to only travel at night. Not only would it be more convenient than Kitryn having to carry Simon, it also made it harder for the hunters to track them. Meg had used strong smelling flowers to cover their scent and Kitryn used branches as brooms to dust away their tracks.
They found shelter and it wasn’t long before Simon felt the now familiar lethargy falling over him. “We need to make a better plan he managed to say to Kitryn before he fell into unconsciousness.
Kitryn was standing watch when he heard footsteps approaching. He turned to see Simon and grinned.
“Awake again,” he called softly by way of greeting.
Simon came up beside him. “Yep, so starts another night in the life of the differently alive.”
Kitryn shook his head. It had taken a long while for he and Meg to convince Simon he wasn’t an undead thing now. Vampires were a funny species. The most common perception was that a vampire drained all the blood from a human and replaced it with their own. Well, that was impossible. The vampire would have to drain themselves entirely to replace their intended turnee’s blood. Thus draining themselves and therefore killing themselves. No, all a vampire did was drain their intended until the were unconscious an then give them the equivalent of a cupful of vampire blood. Then it was just a case of waiting and seeing if the turning took. The new vampire would wake up hungry and confused. The sire would then be responsible for their new child until the young one had full control. If Kitryn ever found out who had turned Simon and left him, the vampire would regret his actions.
“So,” Simon said as he sat on the ground near Kitryn’s watch post. “Any ideas on a plan. We can’t just keep running with no direction in mind.”
Kitryn looked up at the stars. “Meg reminded me of a few nearby shifter groups. There’s a wolf pack about two nights journey to the north and there’s a bear den three night’s journey to the southwest.”
“Which do you think would be the more welcoming?”
“well, the wolves are usually a rather standoffish group. And some packs have a kill first, ask questions—such as ‘Who are you?’ and ‘Why are you here?’—later. The bears are more welcoming but they are also further away and that increases our chances of getting caught.”
Simon seemed to be thinking. “Who is our best defense against the hunters if we reach them?”
“The bears,” Kitryn instantly replied. “The bear’s den is in a cave and the hunters can’t approach without being seen and the bears can pick them off before they get anywhere near us or the kits.”
“Then I think the bears are our best bet. If you’re able to take the extra work, we can keep moving part of the day as well and you can carry me. But only if it doesn’t put any of us in danger.”
Kitryn nodded. “We’ll rest here for tonight and start out a noon tomorrow. I’ll carry you until you wake up and then we can stop of food and rest before carrying on through the night. That way we’ll have three adults to the three kits and we can carry them if or when they get tired.”
Kitryn grinned as Simon nodded and let his head fall against Kitryn’s leg. I felt good to have a plan, that meant they wouldn’t be moving aimlessly anymore and, in a few days, they would hopefully have some protection.
Kitryn allowed himself to slide down the tree he was watching from until he and Simon were leaning on each other. Simon’s vamp senses would warn them if anyone tried approaching. Meanwhile, it was good to just relax and look at the stars.
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