“Mommy, look at Susie!”
Further down the line, Susie had become something of a spectacle, engaging with her wolf far better
than she ever had with humans. And the wolf seemed to adore her, bouncing playfully. Even other girls‘
wolves had come closer to her, curious.
I watched her for a while as she gently spoke with the wolves, then pet them as they let her.
Susie eventually noticed me looking and waved.
During a break, Susie excused herself from her pack and came over to us. “How is it going?”
I gave her a sad kind of smile. “Okay, considering.” I glanced at my wolf, who lazed in the grass, then
back to Susie. “Susie, can you ask my wolf their name?”
Her eyes lit up with excitement. “Of course!” She approached my wolf calmly, who raised its head. She
didn’t say much. Mostly she just closed her eyes, like she was speaking inside of her mind, or maybe her
I remembered what it felt like to have a wolf. That strong inner presence had given me confidence and
courage on many occasions. I did my best to mimic what I had once been, but I felt the hole inside of me
as vividly as if a physical piece of me had been carved away.
“She said that you can call her Silver,” Susie said, stepping back from the wolf.
Silver, a beautiful name for the large gray wolf with vibrant blue eyes.
Rosie leaned closer to me. “Give her some time. She’s not unsympathetic to your situation, just
disappointed. She wanted to be able to bond with you like the others…”
“I understand.” I looked down at Silver. “I would have liked to bond, too.”
Across the field, the three princes greeted their own wolves. They were larger than all the rest, and
seemed to have adopted their paired princes‘ personalities.
Joyce’s sat near his side, tipping his head against Joyce’s leg. Julian’s dipped into a playful pose, its
tongue lolling out. Nicholas’s stood regally at his right side, moving as he moved, though neither ahead
nor behind. An equal.
Nicholas and his wolf came toward us then, Elva tugged at my hand.
I cave Nicholas an uncertain look.
“It’s safe,” he assured me.
I released Elva’s hand and she bound forward. She was shorter than the wolf, and had to look up at it.
“Hi, Mister Wolf!” she said excitedly. She paused a moment. “Oh. I’m sorry. Hi, Mister Night.”
Concerned, I turned to Nicholas, but he was watching the pair, a hint of awe in his eyes.
“Your daughter is talking to the wolf,” Nicholas said “Such promising abilities in one so young.”
Dread curled in the pit of my stomach. “You mean.. the wolf’s name is Night?”
A fitting name for a wolf with a pitch black coat.
Elva giggled, like the wolf had told a joke. The wolf stepped forward and licked Elva’s cheek. She giggled
Nicholas smiled a little. “Night is fond of her.”
That pleased me as well. Of course, I was proud of my little girl and her immense talent.
But with that pride also came fear.
Julian had warned me of this. For a girl her age to show such talent, she would surely become a target of the underground market, just as I had. No, worse than me.
They had snared me when I was almost an adult. Elva was just a child, barely older than a baby. She
wouldn’t stand a chance against them.
Nicholas faced me and the good humor disappeared from his face. “You’re pale.”
How could 1 explain to him the potential dangers, when he didn’t even know my secrets? Would the same people that came for my inner wolf come for Elva’s as well?
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