Under the dove grey sky, I took comfort in the cold air that wraps around me like a slithering shadow. There was something about the cold Alaskan air. It makes me feel alive while it bites the skin of my cheeks harshly. I huffed a breath of warm air into my thick black winter glove to warm my face while climbing the wintery snow terrain.
Soon, it will be dark. I needed to find a place to rest.
I have been walking all day and still no definite wolf tracks to follow. The small village of Norwich was the place I ventured from. Ironically, it was also my hometown.
I have returned recently to hunt again. Years of training with my dad, I have learned to use a knife effectively to kill and to kill with a gun.
Before returning home, I was living in the cities. I went to school, lived like a normal city person for several years but even in a big city, I was lonely. So here I was, back home and hunting. Something I am good and comfortable with.
My boot plunged deep into the snow and I lost my balance. I fell to my knees and my heavy gloved hands palmed the snow to keep me from falling flat on my face.
Heaving tiredly, I glanced around me for a place to hide from the cold night temperature that will be hitting soon. I caught sight of a cave entrance. I know there was a risk that it could be occupied but it was a risk I had to take.
As I approached the cave entrance, a long, bone chilling howl pierce the windy air around me. My hand went to my pistol at my belt immediately while I surveyed again my surroundings.
By the sound of it, it was too far for it to be dangerous for me but it was close enough for me to know I am not alone.
I needed to find safety before it was too late. The sky grew darker.
I crept closer to the cave with caution. Glancing in, I slipped my hand into my winter jacket and pulled out a flashlight. I shined the light around.
“Hello? Anybody home?” I announced my presence hoarsely. The hardened in my voice was due to the cold air.
A faint echo echoed back to me. No animal sounds. I went inside the cave away from the unrelenting wind.
I have to admit that I ventured a little farther than what I am use to. I never gone this far before not even with my dad.
It was dark and cold in the cave but it was still so much better than out there with the cold harsh winds. I threw my thirty pound backpack on the ground and found a nice little sitting spot to collapse against and slid to the ground.
“Amelia, don’t forget to start a fire.” I murmured my dad’s words to myself. “Amelia, rest later. Check your surroundings.”
Groaning with aching muscles, I pulled myself away from the cave wall and looked for some wood to start a fire.
It wasn’t long till the cave was lit with a blazing hot fire. I walked around the cave, checking for escape routes, peeking for any signs of life other than me living in the cave. When I saw no sign of danger, I settled back in my earlier spot and closed my eyes for a brief moment, leaning my head back.
Coming back here reminded me so much of my past. My days with my dad, hunting wolves.
“Amie, do not let your guard down. Wolves are most lethal when they travel in pack. You have to be on your toes.”
I reached into my backpack and pulled out a heating blanket. I wrapped it around my body snugly. Glancing into the fire, I thought about the first time I first used a rifle.
“Concentrate! Inhale and remain calm. You need to focus on where you want to kill it. Pull the trigger. Don’t hesitate because it sure ain’t hesitating when it is eyeing his next meal!”
Because of my dad’s drills and constant shouting I am pretty dangerous with a gun. I hardly miss and if I did, it was on purpose. He trained me with almost every gun. A sniper rifle all the way to a handheld pistol.
The sky was now dark. Tossing my blanket aside gently, I secured the entrance with traps and bells. If anything was to enter, I will hear it before it gets closer.
Once done, I unhooked my sleeping bag and made a bed next to the fire. Laying down and with two blankets on top of me and a warm fire, I switched to lay on my side facing the fire.
“Amie, I am sorry for leaving you alone. My only hopes is that you can fight the fight I couldn’t. I wish I could see you grow into the woman I know you will become but my heart lost the battle. I am not strong enough. I hope you can forgive me for leaving you alone in this world.”
Clutching my dad’s cold hand I wept into his palm. I found him dead in his bed. A bottle of almost completely finished alcohol in his bed and an opened prescription bottle.
His letter to me laying next to his pillow.
“Papa.” I sobbed. “Please, no. Please. I will do anything. Don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me. I don’t have anybody else.”
The sound of my traps going off woke me up. I didn’t realize I had dozed off until now. My hand slipped for my pistol underneath my pillow. The fire was still burning enough for me to see anything close to me.
My ears perked up for something more but I heard nothing. I am pretty sure what I heard earlier was an animal yelp. Whatever it was, walked into my trap and got hurt.
I threw off the blankets. My hand wrapped around my pistol and the other grabbed my flashlight. Getting on my feet, I walked to the cave entrance.
Just as I thought, one of my traps did go off.
Something was trying to get in.
My heart was racing in my chest. Adrenaline rushed through my veins. I took a step outside the cave entrance and surveyed the dark woods. My flashlight scanning the area.
The hair on my skin prickled with awareness. It felt like someone was watching me. I can feel it. Whatever it was I can feel it look me over slowly. Every part that it scanned my skin jumped with goosebumps.
Feeling anxious now, I stepped back into my cave. With shaking hands, I reached into my backpack for a spare trap. I set it back up before entering further into the cave.
I tossed a few more logs into the fire before settling back onto my sleeping bag. I am fully awake now.
The feeling of being watched didn’t leave me. It might be my imagination but then again I was taught to not shrug it off. If my gut feeling told me something was off, something was off.
My hand tightened over the grip of my pistol.
It felt like forever before the sunlight peeked into the cave. I packed up my stuff and killed the fire before leaving.
As soon as I stepped out, that familiar sense that I was being watched washed over me again. Feeling a little frightened, I called this trip to an end and headed back home.
It was a days walk. By the time I got home, it was dark. The village street lights were on and the bar in the village was on full blast. It sounds like a busy night.
I can hear laughter and joyous voices. I walked to my dad’s cabin. Once I was home, I felt more comfortable. I took off my gears and changed into a creme knitted sweater and dark blue skinny jeans. I removed my ponytail and allowed my hair to fall down past my shoulders to my back. I glanced in the mirror and found myself far too pale but it could be because of the lack of sun right now in Alaska.
Running my fingers through a couple of times before I walked to my kitchen. I opened the fridge to see if there is anything to eat but of course it was empty.
“Great, Amelia Williams, you come here and don’t shop for food.” I groaned and slammed the refrigerator door shut.
The nearest grocery store is an hour away. I can stop by the local gas station but it has nothing but junk food.
The “OPEN” sign at the bar flashed through my window.
“I guess it’s bar food tonight.” I muttered. I grabbed my jacket and walked out of my dad’s cabin.
When I arrived, the bartender walked up to me.
“What can I get you, Amie?” Mrs. Hewitt asked.
“A plate of your delicious angus burger and fries will be nice, Mrs. Hewitt.” I answered her. She pour me a glass of whiskey to warm me up.
“You got it, hon.”
Fifteen minutes went by and I finished two glasses of whiskey before my food arrived. After thanking Mrs. Hewitt, I picked up my burger and took a huge bite out of the burger.
“You must be starving.” A deep masculine voice said next to me. A tingling shiver ran down my spine and my stomach did flips as if it was in gymnastics. This voice was pure sex. It was husky with promises of a sleepless night that will have me sore between my legs.
I glanced his way and I was literally blown off my feet. He was strikingly handsome. I wasn’t sure if it was the bar lighting or the two glasses of whiskey but I suddenly lost my appetite for food but in it’s place a stronger appetite for something else. Preferably with me jumping his bones like a mad woman.
He smirked confidently, “What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”
I shook my head to clear the strong sexual haze suffocating me.
“Yeah.” I cleared my throat and turned my attention back to my sandwich but not before I stole another longing look into his eyes.
His eyes reminded me of ashes blowing in the wind coming from a fire that burned ferociously. They were intense, lustrous shards of silver metals.
“Are you new here?” He asked.
So, he didn’t want to leave. I felt a little disgruntled. I wanted to really be left alone.
“Mhm.” I answered curtly.
“What’s your name?” He leaned closer to me and suddenly I felt the air around me leaving me.
Damn it. Get your act together, Amelia Williams.
"Actually, if you don’t mind, I would like to enjoy my food.” I ended the conversation here.
“Amelia, darling, want some more whiskey?” Good timing, Mrs. Hewitt.
Clenching my jaws, I shook my head before thanking her.
I felt his eyes burn into the side of my face for a full minute but he was too much for me. There was something about him that sets my alarms ringing like a circus. I felt him stand up but not before he leans over to whisper in my ear.
“Nice to meet you, Amelia. My name is Cassius.”
His breath touched my cheek and my thighs clenched together. He straightened and walked out of the bar entrance.