“This was a very stupid mistake,” Korrus said, swatting what was hopefully a mosquito on his wrist, “and I greatly regret agreeing to escort you.” “As you’ve made abundantly clear over the last three days.”
They approached the man resting near the trunk. His head was craned back—only grizzled beard greeted them at first.
“Is he dead?” Bantham, the knife thrower, asked. Just in case, he unsheathed a blade.
Dottir came close enough to see him breathe. “Not yet.”
“I’ll give him three hours, tops.”
It was code, telling her that Bantham had three knives prepared. Not that she needed his protection. Dottir was the muscle and built like a pack beast—no way this scrawny geezer, missing a leg even, would cause her trouble. She stepped towards him, her boots sucked down by the muddy soil.
She hadn’t so much as touched the stranger’s leather jerkin before he snapped to life.
Karrogh was a grown man meditating in the glade, but in his mind’s eye he was a scrawny boy again, aching to grow his muscles like the men in his tribe. His arms and legs were twigs, he was nine years old, and he hated how the others teased him for being the matriarch’s son.
Yet here was an opportunity to prove himself.
He stood unflinching in the face of the giant white wolf that had stalked into the camp and bitten the throats of his friends.
The beast had terrorized them for weeks. The men were out in the woods, hoping to lure it out on this moonless night, but here it was, right in their home. Karrogh and the other children had to guard the pack now.