The Rogue

At the age of 8, I woke up in a forest not knowing who I was or where I'm from. With me was a bag full of clothes, some money and a little piece of paper with my name and birthdate written on it. I was on my own since then.

At a very young age, I was forced to fend for myself and face reality all alone, without any recollection of what happened to me before I woke up. But now.. everything's about to change.

My name's Isobelle and this is my story.

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2. Cold Child

 


It's been years since I last saw this place. It hasn't changed much. I can still feel the warm, earthy feeling of the forest. The grass under my feet clinging onto me, telling me that my presence here is welcome... the trees swaying to the tune of my footsteps as I walk by.


I trudged along the soft, damp moss of the forest path below the crackling branches touching above.  I can see the small spots of dappled sunlight that brightens up the forest. The forest giving forth a natural feeling towards every living creature present, including me. You can hear so many sounds living under its protection. From the songbirds to the wind and rain, from grazing dear to the crispy autumn leaves, and squirrels foraging for nuts and berries. Even the snow during winter brings life to the forest. That in all its majesty, stands proud, protecting the land.


I stopped at a clearing, glancing around for another presence. When I thought that nobody else had followed me in, I started my usual practice. I started hiding my presence and subduing the other half inside of me. I've been going at this for six months already and I think I've gotten the hang of it.


Shutting down one part of me for six months now is putting a heavy toll on my body, but I ain't got much of a choice. This is the only way I know to stop them from tracking me down.


After three long hours of practice, I've decided that I've done enough for today. I should start heading back before it gets dark. I'll resume practice again tomorrow.

 

I walked along the small brook that gently winds its way through the forest, enjoying the gnarled roots of the trees that drink their water from it, and the rustling leaves of the trees shading its precious waters. I was mesmerized by the hidden wonders of the forest when suddenly, I heard the snap of a twig. Someone was following me. I stopped my tracks and turned around, looking for the culprit. How could I have missed it? Was I too absorbed in my own reality that I didn't notice the danger?

 

"I know you're there. Show yourself." I said particularly to no one.

 

A figure came out from behind a tree five steps to my right. He was handsome, maybe older than me for about a year or two. He was about six feet tall, I guess. He had this curious-looking blue eyes looking intently at me from afar, with a mop of messy blonde hair. The word player oozing right out of him. He didn't say anything so I decided to break the silence between us.

 

"Why are you following me?" I asked, keeping my face devoid of any emotion. I was trying not to reveal my uneasiness towards him. He might be dangerous. He might have come here looking for me.

 

"No reason. I was just bored and I was strolling down this path. And then I saw you. I was curious so I followed you here." He answered a second too fast, fidgeting. He was probably afraid that I'll find out who he is... or rather what he is. But still, the possibility of him killing me is still present. Why do I always end up in situations like this? No matter how much planning I do, no matter how careful I am, worse things still happen to me. I sighed inwardly.


He probably noticed my inner turmoil since he just stood there, arms crossed against his chest just staring at me. He's probably waiting for me to say something. I looked at him one last time, taking in every information, scrutinizing him from head to toe. He noticed me looking, likely thinking that I was checking him out.

 

Really? You think I'm going to fall that? Too bad hot stuff, that won't work on me. I smiled internally. "You know, curiosity killed the cat. You might wanna remember that." I replied blankly then started to walk away.


But he had other things in mind.

 

"Is that it? Is that all you have to say? Aren't you even a bit suspicious? Maybe I'm here to kidnap you, or maybe rape you or something," he called out to me, louder this time since the distance between us had grown wider.


Why does he even bother? He clearly doesn't know me and we definitely aren't friends. He can just ignore me and let me be on my way whether it's dangerous or not. I'm quite sure now that he's not after me. If he was, he would have attacked me when I turned my back on him. What does he need from me anyway?


A plan started formulating in my head and I smirked back. I guess there's only one way to find out. I faced him once again with an amused look on my face. I gave him an innocent smile while saying, "I don't care. You can't beat me anyway even if you tried." I taunted him.

 

He raised an eyebrow and smiled back. He wasn't entirely convinced of what I just said. "Oh really? Is that a challenge?"

 

"I don't know. What do you think?" 

 

"You'll regret this," and before I knew it, he was making his way towards me. Fast.

 

I readied myself for his attack. He threw a punch at my face. I stepped away. He threw another punch at me, this time aiming for my stomach, but I side-stepped easily, kicking him on the shins. My leg connected and he buckled for a second but regained his balance immediately. And with that, he charged. He pressed forward,  trying to get a punch across. He was good. But I'm better.


I was on the defensive and did nothing but avoid getting hit directly. Then I saw an opening. I recoiled my arms around his neck. He struggled for a bit before he held my hand tightly and flipped me over. I landed on my back but before he could pin me permanently on the ground, I had already rolled to one side. I jumped to my feet and faced him, bending my knees ready for his next attack.


He may have an advantage in strength, but I'm lighter than him and therefore faster. He kept coming at me with punches and kicks but I easily dodged them all. I can clearly see his every move. My opponent suddenly stopped and wiped the sweat that started to form on his forehead. He was panting.

 

"Why did you stop?" I smirked.

 

"No matter what I do, you just keep dodging them. If we go at it, we'll probably be here all night long." He said between breaths.


As he said those words, my heart stopped beating for a second. Night? I looked around. It was indeed already dark. I've been in the forest for 6 hours? Crap, this is not good. I need to go home, fast.


Home. That sounded weird coming from me.


"You're pretty good. Where did you learn to fight like that?" he asked, breaking me from my little panic attack.

 

"Here and there. I picked it up along the way." I replied vaguely. It was the truth, at least the other half of it. Living alone, trying to fend for myself trained me to be the fighter I am today. It came in handy when I needed to protect myself from those arrogant bastards.

 

"Why are you in the forest anyway? And all alone to top it off. You may be skilled but you never know what will happen," he was genuinely worried about me.

 

"I just wanted to explore the forest, that's all. I feel safe and welcome here." I sat down and leaned against a tree. Since I'm already out this late, might as well savor the moment. It's not often that I get to go out at night, much more be in the forest this late. "And you? Why are you here?"

 

He got quiet all of a sudden. He was thinking if he was gonna answer me or not. I expect him not to since he doesn't know me and all.

 

"I wanted to be alone. The forest helps me think," he answered. He was probably going for a run when he stumbled upon a young girl who was all alone in the woods. "Do you have a place to stay for the night? It's getting late and the nearest town is at least a an hour drive. I live nearby though, we can walk from there." I can sense a strong power emanating from him. He must have the Alpha blood in him. That's the only logical explanation possible. The only pack I know that lives here is the Silver Bay Pack. I try avoiding going near their borders as much as I can. I don't wanna leave any scent and be caught snooping around. I don't want to die and be tortured just because of some stupid mistake like leaving a trail behind.

 

"Actually, I don't. I wasn't really planning on staying this long." I sighed as I stood up. I brushed the leaves from my pants and thought to myself, time does really fly fast.

 

"Well, you can stay with us then. We don't bite, swear." He offered. I bet you don't. At least not to humans anyway. He promptly stretched his hand out, offering it for me to shake. "I'm Mason, by the way."

 

"Isobelle." 

 

♢ ♢ ♢

 

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