You should go to her. Fight the male Ancient. Claim her for the pack.
Forek breathed out a bitter laugh. “That isn’t how humans do it, I’m afraid.”
You should go to her anyway.
Raking his fingers through his hair, he unfastened the Token hair clasp that tied his mane behind him. In his hands, it transformed to the bracelet claw he loved to wear when no Ek nobility stood nearby to stare. “You’re sure she’s going to Abduren?”
They go to the lake. Your forest will lead you there.
“I can’t go now. I’d need to tell mother in the morning. I’d need to make some kind of excuse for…” He ground his teeth and shoved the bracelet onto his wrist, curling his hand into a fist so the claws protruded. “I’m a princeling. I’m an Ancient. I don’t need her permission.”
Come with us now. I know the fastest way.
Forek hesitated, unsure of what he’d even do or say if he saw her. Shaking his hair, he leapt up and crouched on the railing before leaping to the soft, mossy ground below.
Forami bowed his head, a low laugh rumbling in his throat. The other Ancient man will not defeat you. You will bring your mate to the pack.
Though barefoot, Forek ran, keeping pace with his tanat wolf as they tore through the underbrush of the forest. As he ran, the Mantle transformed into trousers that hugged him like fur.
By dawn they reached the eastern edge of the forest. They panted and listened for the sound of a tiny brook springing from a low rise. At the water’s edge, Forek lapped at the cool refreshment with his pack, and then, collapsing into the ferns, he curled himself beside Forami, Ekrah, and their pups, now almost grown.
“I’ll rest now and find her later.”
Rest now, Governor. I will keep watch.