Miss Bonnie headed south, maneuvering Doc’s wagon down a bumpy path through a forest. The trees were tall and in the moonlight, just the slightest bit spooky.
“Oh I don’t know about this Miss Lassiter,” Sarah said as she looked around. “We will be safe without any men to protect us?”
The driver felt like chewing Sarah out for making that statement but erred on the side of diplomacy. “I think we’ll manage.”
Miles stretched out in the back. Occasionally, he nodded off, only to be jostled awake when Miss Bonnie took the wagon over a rock.
He could hear everything the women were saying.
“I wish I shared your optimism,” Sarah said. “Perhaps life is easier for someone with a…carefree spirit.”
Miss Bonnie raised an eyebrow. “Is that supposed to mean something?”
“Oh no,” Sarah said. The bride examined her wedding dress. The train had ripped off hours earlier and between the blood stains and dirt it was more of a reddish brown now than white.
“It’s just that, you lived such a glamorous lifestyle,” Sarah said.
“I did?” Miss Bonnie asked.
“I would imagine a saloon keeping prostitute has many interesting stories,” Sarah said.
“Drunk perverts parting with their pay for pussy is about it,” Miss Bonnie replied.
Sarah blushed. “Good heavens.”
Chance plodded along at a steady speed.
“Sometimes I wish I hadn’t lived such a provincial life,” Sarah said. “Between my father and my departed husband, the only thing I have ever done is cook and clean for men. Why, if it weren’t for all of the sinful debauchery guaranteeing your place in eternal hellfire I’d have half a mind to trade places with you.”
As a dedicated church lady, Sarah had a habit of speaking straightforward, oblivious to how her words could be construed as insulting. Miss Bonnie picked up on that but did her best to not take offense.
“Word to the wise, darling,” Miss Bonnie said. “If you spend your life depending on men to take care of you, you’ll be mighty disappointed when they let you down.”
“I suppose,” Sarah said. “Oh but I’ll never have to worry about that with Rain. Such a rugged and hearty man’s man. Perfect in every way. He’s brave and bold and has no problems whatsoever. And he’s so dedicated to me.”
Having no interest in carrying on that line of discussion, Miss Bonnie changed the subject. “Kinda chilly isn’t it?”
Sarah rubbed her hands over her elbows, hugging herself. “It is.”
In the back, the scent of three werewolves wafted through the air and up into Miles’ nostrils. The boy opened his eyes and sat up.
“Have you and Rain been acquaintances long?” Sarah asked.
“Huh?” Miss Bonnie replied.
“He seems to hold a high opinion of you,” Sarah said. “Trusting you to look out for me and all.”
“Oh you know that old expression,” Miss Bonnie said. “‘If you can’t trust the town whore to look out for your bride then who can you trust?’ Right?”
“Is that an expression?” Sarah asked.
“Sure is,” Miss Bonnie answered.
“I’m not sure it is,” Sarah said.
Miles opened the back doors, allowing them to sway in the breeze. In the distance, he saw three glowing yellow eyes. They grew bigger and bigger until he could see three furry faces.
King Zeke and his two flunkies were closing in.
The boy knocked on the front of wagon. Miss Bonnie could hear Miles’ muffled voice from behind the boards.
“What?” the redhead asked.
Miss Bonnie craned her neck backward and caught a glimpse of the three sets of yellow eyes.
“Son of a…”
The redhead snapped on the reigns, prompting Chance to run as fast as his hooves would carry him.
Sarah turned to see what was going on. “Oh Lord save us.”
Miles drew his rifle and aimed for the glowing eyes, but the wagon shook uncontrollably as Chance bolted. The boy fired and missed. Zeke’s henchwolves flanked either side of the wagon, while the King himself followed behind.
One henchwolf ran along the left side of the car. He jumped up and dug his claws into the wagon to hold on. As soon as his face popped up, Miss Bonnie filled it full of buckshot. Unfortunately, it wasn’t silver buckshot, so it didn’t kill him, but it was painful enough that he let go and tumbled to the ground.
Sarah shrieked as the other henchwolf wrapped its paws around her waist. Miss Bonnie dropped the reigns, allowing the wagon to swerve all over as she grabbed hold of Sarah’s ankle. Though she tried to keep the bride in the wagon, King Zeke’s lackey was too strong.
The last thing Miss Bonnie saw was Sarah kicking and screaming as she was flung over the henchwolf’s shoulder. The wolf turned around and ran back towards town, upright on two feet as he carried his prize.
Miles watched as Zeke grabbed hold of the back left wheel, causing the wagon to jerk so abruptly that it started to flip over.
The boy thought fast. He morphed into werewolf form, becoming so tall that his head crashed through the roof of the wagon. After slashing through the boards that separated him from the driver’s seat, he picked up Miss Bonnie and jumped just in time to avoid being caught amidst the flying debris as the wagon crashed into pieces on the ground.
Chance managed to twist himself free of the wreck, then ran off into the night.
Miles felt sharp claws dig into his back. He put Miss Bonnie down and turned to find himself facing the henchwolf that had been shot by Miss Bonnie. His wounds were heeled.
The boy was angry. First his father. Now his newfound friends. He scratched his claws across the henchwolf’s face, then connected an uppercut to the attacker’s chin, launching him into the air then down to the ground.
Miles jumped on top of him, drew his hand back and was ready to deliver a death blow when he saw it. A look of fear in the henchwolf’s eyes.
The kid put his paw down, stood up, then started to walk towards Miss Bonnie, who was searching around for her shotgun to no avail. She picked up a piece of wood and prepared to defend herself.
Miles sensed the henchwolf was behind him. He turned just in time to see a paw coming for his face, only to be stopped when a grey paw grabbed it.
King Zeke’s voice crawled its way into Miles’ mind.
“Now is that any way to treat a fella who did you a good turn?”
The henchwolf was confused. “He got in the way.”
“That bloodsucking lawyer aint paying us to kill our own kind,” Zeke said. Then he asked the kid, “What’s your name, boy?”
“None of your business,” Miles replied.
“Helluva way to talk to your elders,” Zeke said. “Why don’t you run along now before I put you over my knee?”
Zeke and his henchwolf gathered around Miss Bonnie. The redhead got a few good whacks in on the henchwolf’s snout before he grabbed her board, snapped it in half, and picked her up.
Miles put a paw on Zeke’s shoulder. “Tell him to let her go!”
The sound of Zeke’s laughter flowed through Miles’ mind. Zeke turned around, socked Miles in the face, causing him to soar several feet backwards until he landed on the ground.
Zeke gripped the back of Miles’ head and looked him in the eye.
“Here’s some free advice, kid. Either join a pack and do as you’re told or find a cave to hide in, because the next time you put your paw on an alpha, you best be an alpha.”
Zeke let go of Miles’ head, allowing it to fall on the ground. The boy looked up as his assailant walked away.
“And you’re no alpha.”