The snow storm had started to calm down, leaving nothing but some small snowflakes falling down on the already snowy ground. But he was probably the only one who noticed it anyway.
„Are you slowing down again?", he heard a voice ahead from him saying. He now noticed that he was looking up at the sky, dreaming, yet not stopping to run. Looking in front of him, he saw his brother Sitka looking back at him, but being in a greater distance by now. His face was not happy. „Sorry!", Vitus shouted back at him and tried to catch up with him. His big paws made crunching noises on the cold snow that covered the ground below him.
„If you wouldn't be so slow all the time, we could be a few miles farther already!" Sitka said, looking ahead again now, still running. Vitus had been able to catch up with him again and was now running next to him. His brother was hard to spot in all this snow, his fur was pure white, except for his legs, tail tip, snout and ears, who had a rather dark grey tone. In this storm, even those were rather invisible, but now, as he came closer, they were pretty good to see.
With no doubt, his own fur color was better to spot, even in a snow storm like this and 2 miles away. His main fur color was brown, with a light amber belly-fur and tail tip. His legs were a dark chocolate brown, along with two yellowish lightning-formed markings under his eyes. So he was definitely the more eye catching one of these two. The probability to mistake him with one of the surrounding trees was pretty low.
„Well, sorry, I told you it was a stupid Idea to run that far away from home.", Vitus answered, irritated. „We've seen many nice territories where we could've stayed in, but you were the one who wanted to get as far away from home as possible!"
„So, and for how long do you want to stay with mommy and daddy?", Sitka shouted back at him, not caring about the fact that Vitus was running next to him already. „The closer we are to them, the higher is the probability to go back and stay with them again, and I so don't want that! None told you to come along anyway, so follow me or shut up!" That was the point where Vitus knew he should better do as Sitka said, even if he had some more nice things to tell him. Getting an argument with Sitka was the worst thing someone could do, at least if they didn't want to get beaten up in the end.
Yet, what he did was just stupid! Was he that concerned about his independence that he didn't want any contact to his family at all? They were on the go for several days already, still looking for a good territory for a new start, and there were many beautiful places, but it wasn't far enough for Sitka. If it wasn't for Vitus' phobias of nearly everything and the fact that he couldn't be left alone, he would've stayed in one of these territories and let his brother go wherever he wanted. And if his brother didn't tease him all these years about him being a loser who'd never achieve anything in his life, he wouldn't even have come along. That night, when they were sneaking out of the pack... Whatever, at least there was some company when...
Vitus suddenly stopped running and froze. Sitka, a few steps further now, stopped as well and turned to him. „What the hell is wrong now??", he asked, pretty annoyed by him. Vitus didn't pay any attention to him, rose his nose and sniffed a little around. He frowned and also did some sniffing on the ground. Sitka sighed. „Don't tell me you have to pee again...", he said and stepped closer to him. Vitus kept on sniffing, not paying any attention at all. „Hey!", he then said, annoyed that he still didn't get an answer.
„Can't you smell that?", he said and looked at his brother with a worried, yet serious face. „Wha...?" Sitka was confused. He took a few little breaths himself, then two more deeper breaths, and then he knew what he was talking about. „Oh, F-...", Sitka started but before he could finish, he heard a rustling in some of the hibernating and snow covered bushes around them. As soon as they noticed that, five wolves were jumping out of the forest, right into their direction.
The first one, probably their alpha, with black fur and strong white markings from his face over his belly to his tail-tip and paws, which were outstanding, landed right in front of them, his amber eyes focused on the two strangers. His size was astonishing, at least as double as big as Vitus and Sitka together! His face showed anger, but yet he wasn't snarling or baring his teeth at all. Vitus and Sitka were suddenly surrounded by the four other wolves, who, unlike their alpha, were snarling with bared teeth at them.
One of them had grey fur and a white belly as well as white legs. His eyes seemed purple, yet neither Sitka nor Vitus could tell right now.
The other one with different markings and a scar over his left eye, his fur color was black and dark bark. The wolf next to him had lighter brown tones, yet similar fur-markings to the other one. They were probably brothers. The last one was blonde and seemed just like he was about to attack, his body trembling and his snarls almost turned into barking, the ice colored eyes focused on them. He was even drooling a bit.
When all of them had jumped out, Vitus sent out a high pitched scream and tried to hide behind his brother, even though he knew it would not really help much. Sitka on the other hand got steady, lowered his head and pulled his ears back, also lifted his tail a little. His expression was almost the same as the one of the alpha standing in front of him.
No doubt, both of them knew what was going on by now. They had both entered an occupied territory without noticing.
The alpha came a few steps closer, slowly and careful. „Who are you?", asked his very deep voice. It gave both Sitka and Vitus chills when they heard it. Sitka lowered his tail a bit and swallowed once. „What are you doing here?", he continued, as both of them didn't answer.
„Well...", Vitus started, his voice trembling and high, but Sitka cut in: „Let me do the talking!", he snapped, even if it was a mare whisper.
„We're sorry", Sitka started, „it wasn't our intention to come across your territory, we came here by accident." He stared into the face of the alpha, but he didn't dare to look him in the eyes. „We were on a journey", he continued, „and were walking for many days straight, you can tell that it was one hard bit to get through all this snow... We're just a little dizzy, and all we're trying is to get past here, really. We didn't have any bad intentions -" „Are you tired?", the big one interrupted all of the sudden. Sitka was surprised and made wide eyes, his ears standing up a little again in surprise. What was he supposed to answer? „Well, yes, a little exhausted actually..."
The big one nodded slightly. „Fine." He turned to the grey wolf. „Shadow!", he called him. „Yes?" The grey one rose his head and stopped snarling at once, he now had a poker-face. He looked right at the alpha. „We'll be taking these guys with us. Go on ahead and make sure everything's ready for 'em." „Very well.", Shadow said, made a light bow wit his head, looked at Sitka and Vitus once more and jumped off into the woods where they just came from. He sure had long and fast legs!
Sitka and Vitus were surprised. Did that guy seriously offer them to stay here? Was it a trap? „That is, if you'll accept my offer.", he said, as if he could read minds. Sitka, still impressed by his decision, just did a slight nod. „What are your names then?", he asked, but still kept his rather unfriendly face on. Sitka swallowed again. „I'm Sitka. And this is my younger brother Vitus...", he said and pointed right behind him, where Vitus was lying close to the ground, trying to put in a smile, still a little scared. „May we know yours?", Sitka asked him, having risen his head again and his tail put down.
The big one looked away from them, hesitating. „Call me Findecáno.", he then said. Sitka just did a slightly nervous nod when he looked at them again, and then at the other three wolves that were still snarling and baring their teeth.
„Oh, cut it out already!", he shouted at them, and all of them stopped instantly, their ears pulled back, not really happy about this order. Yet, the yellow one was still trembling, what made Vitus stay on the ground.
Sitka on the other hand was way to occupied with being impressed by Findecáno. His presence and assertiveness made him look proud and... Yes, pretty much like a king. It was just then that Sitka realized that he wanted to be like this, too, and also that he fell for his charisma. He'd follow him everywhere if he told him to. He swallowed and lowered his head once more.
„Thank you.", he said and tried to show his respect to him. He kicked Vitus with his hint leg, which made him shout. „Ow! What was that for?!", he asked, forgetting about his fear for an instant and got up.
„Show your respect and gratitude already! Bow your head or something!", Sitka whispered. „What?!", Vitus replied confused. His brother sighed and then put his forepaw on his head and pushed him down. Another „Ow!!" passed his muzzle, rather mumbling through the snow.
Suddenly a loud laugh was heard, it was deep and scary but still joyful in it's own way. It was reverberating through the forest. Sitka and Vitus both startled, but then they realized that it was Findecáno who had to laugh about both of them. It was still an awe-inspiring sound.
„No need make someone show their gratitude.", he said, still pretty amused. Sitka laughed a few of embarrassment and lifted his paw off his brothers head, who started to stand up again and shake his fur off the snow. The few snow flakes that were still falling a few minutes ago had vanished completely by now.
„However, we should go.", Findecáno said, having a smile on his snout for now. He looked way more friendly like this. „Take them with you!", he ordered the other wolves around them and started to walk ahead. Sitka was walking after him first, as if he was pulled by Findecáno, Vitus was about to follow, but got pushed by a snout from some of the other wolves behind him, which made him scream and jump forward. The wolves behind him were following and laughing at him. That wasn't what Vitus had in mind...