She took his paw off the ground, and he recoiled in pain. “If you keep pulling away this is going to hurt even more, now be still.”
His shoulders and his brow lowered simultaneously, a clear sign of resignation. He wasn’t happy about it though, and he growled under his breath.
“Oh shut up. I thought you were fierce...” She snapped.
“I am.” He grumbled back.
“I remember you saying you would ‘eat the flesh off my bones.’”
“I could have... Still can.” The Wolf pulled his paw from her hand and attempted to stand tall. As soon as his paw touched the ground, he felt hot pain shoot up his leg, and let out a whelp.
She laughed at him. “Oh yes. I’m scared. Big Bad Wolf. All I need to is to walk over here, and you’d starve. Tell me I’m wrong.”
“You know that as soon as I’m well enough, I’ll eat the flesh off your bones.”
“I don’t think you will. You could have eaten me anytime you wanted in the past four days, but you didn’t.”
Surprise spread across Wolf’s dark face. “You, knew I was following you both?”
“Yes, I did. You followed us for days, I could smell you. Sometimes I saw your eyes as you stalked around the campsite.”
“Why didn’t you tell The Prospector?”
“I knew, when you didn’t come for me on the first night, that you wanted them to kill him, not me. You had every opportunity to get me, a helpless girl tied to a wagon as he slept. Why didn’t you? Why didn’t you eat me.”
“Because you’re not helpless. That’s why. I could see you, smell you, acting helpless, but you were waiting. Ready to strike as soon as The Prospector got careless.”
“We are both hunters you and me.”
The Wolf licked his bloody mouth. ““Yes. In the melee, when I bit into his neck his blood went in my eyes… He rolled on top of me, pushed me down, and he slashed my paw. Then I felt his weight shift, just for a moment, it was all I needed to turn the tables, to finish him. That was you wasn’t it?”
“I hit his head with a pickaxe, split it wide.”
“Huh... Why then didn’t you kill me too. You could have taken the wagon and left me for dead.”
She looked him dead in the eyes and put out her hand. “We are hunters. As long as there is enough to go around, we need not turn on each other. And there are plenty of unsuspecting ‘Heroes’ that will want to rescue a damsel from a wolf. We can do wonders for each other, you and I if you let me fix your paw.”
He felt his chest fill with warmth, the pride of belonging to a pack again, something he’d not felt for a long time. He sighed and reluctantly placed his paw in her palm.