Chapter 2: Return to Jasper
"What's up in Jasper?" Humphrey asked.
"Your entire pack has been forced into hiding দ্বারা King and the Rouge Wolves," Marcel said. "They're after Runt."
"Well, we have to go help them," Kate said.
"I'm coming with you," Humphrey said, getting up, still with much effort. His bullet-wound was still bleeding, but it was dripping very slowly.
"Humphrey," Kate said. "You can't walk in your condition. You're still too weak to move."
"Kate," he ব্যক্ত using a tone of voice Kate had never heard before. It was very serious and আরো like an alpha than an omega. "This is our home, and it's a direct threat to our son. I'm going. Pull me on the logboard if আপনি have to."
Humphrey turned to Adam.
"Could আপনি watch the pups while we go take care of this?"
"Not a chance," Adam said. "As the oldest sibling, it was my job to watch over আপনি two, to keep আপনি নিরাপদ and I failed. I'm not letting আপনি out of my sight again."
"Alright then, the pups can stay with the rest of the pack."
"We're all coming," Adam told Humphrey. "We're family. We stick together."
"Well, they can't come with us," Humphrey said. "It's way too dangerous."
"Dad, please," Claudette said. "We've been through so much worse. Remember the trappers?"
Humphrey looked at Claudette, scoffed a little, and a very serious tone came over him.
"You think trappers are bad?" he said. "I've seen things আপনি can only imagine in your worst nightmares. Things too terrible to talk about. What I told আপনি this morning wasn't the full story. I left a lot out. Because আপনি cannot possibly imagine, the horror it caused me."
Humphrey looked at Kate, and then at his pups. He paused and waited for these words to sink in and then added one last comment.
"Scared? আপনি don't even know what it means to be scared."
Everyone was silent. This journey had brought about a new side to Humphrey. A side that had been hidden away for 2 decades. Behind the innocent, playful, slightly overzealous omega, was a নেকড়ে that had been through an incredibly traumatizing puphood. He had হারিয়ে গেছে his parents, his siblings, and his home, on the same day, all in a matter of minutes. He had been subjected to living alone in the woods for months, having to scrounge and scrape to survive. He faced every single দিন alone. He faced the elements alone, he faced hunger and injury and fear alone. He faced the other creatures of the forest alone. He was the lonest of lone wolves.
And every time things seemed to be getting better, life would take it all away from him again. He had made বন্ধু in the woods that either resented him অথবা had died gruesome deaths right before his eyes. And worst of all, when he finally settled down in Jasper, he forgot. He forced himself to forget his entire past life because it was so painful to think about. He forced himself to forget his বন্ধু and his family, his real family. He forced himself to believe that he had always lived in Jasper, that he had known Kate his entire life. Only he knew what "scared" really meant.
"We'd better hurry," Marcel said. "It's pretty bad."
Humphrey laid down on the logboard and the group, now even bigger because of Adam and the rest of Humphrey's pack, quickly began to head back প্রথমপাতা to face the Rouge Wolves.
It took a few days অথবা so, but the group eventually reached Owen's pack and what they found wasn't good.
Some of the Rouge নেকড়ে had also attacked Owen's pack, too. As the group approached, they noticed that Kyle had been cornered দ্বারা three fairly large wolves. Humphrey leaped off the logboard and attacked one of the three wolves. Kate and Adam followed and eventually forced them to retreat.
"Thanks," Kyle said. "I think I owe আপনি an apology. I misjudged you, Humphrey. It was an accident. আপনি never meant to hurt me. I see that now."
"I'm sorry, too," Humphrey said. "I was so sad when your father banished me, but I was also upset. I was just beginning to come to terms with what had happened to me and now আপনি were throwing me back out into the woods. I never stopped to think that আপনি never really knew everything I went through. আপনি had no idea. Neither did Owen. He was just doing what he thought was best at the time."
There was silence as the two looked at each other in a moment of shared forgiveness. Then Humphrey spoke up again.
"We could use your help," he said. "Our home's been overrun দ্বারা an entire pack of those Rouge Wolves, and our numbers are too little to fight them off."
"Humphrey," Kyle said. "If you're asking me to যোগদান আপনি in battle," he paused, and then smiled.
"Then আপনি came to the right guy."
Humphrey smiled back as Kyle walked over to যোগদান the group. He called for his pack to help aid him and Humphrey, and then looked back at his friend.
"I'd fight beside আপনি any day."