The Wolf----

I don't own Lost or any of its characters.

This is a AU story that I have had in my head for a while now. Its going to be long, and full of adventure and drama. A mystery if you will. It begins when the castaways are rescued (played out I know) it's a Skate story, but will have lots of other castaway appearances. Main characters will be Kate, Sawyer, Saiyd, Claire and Charlie. Many others. Most of this story will take place in the USA post rescue.

In the end, nothing mattered except that Kate was a criminal and they caught her. But a crazy turn of events changed everything.

Chapter 1

"You know that horse, Freckles?"

"Yeah, I do." Kate answered simply. She lifted her hand to it's face once more, and it reared. Sawyer stepped back instinctively, but Kate held her ground.

Without warning the horse turned and trotted into the jungle. Kate immediately followed. She wasn't finished with this old friend. She could hear Sawyer behind her, but she kept the black form in her line of sight. It moved swiftly, heading toward the ocean, and darted between two thick trees, out of her sight. Kate picked up the pace, and burst onto the beach, the sound of the ocean flooding her ears. Bringing her hand up to her eyes against the sun, she scanned the shore, but there was no sign of the animal. This was impossible! Glancing behind her, there was no sign of Sawyer in the jungle. She scanned the beach once more, and, turning away from the glaring sun, and raging ocean, she went to find him.

As Kate made her way through the dense jungle, she smiled to herself. What a day? Something had shifted inside her. She felt wonderful, and sad. Free, and castaway. She felt that she belonged somewhere for the fist time in a long time, and at the same time, felt trapped on a speck of land, with no where to run. The horse made no sense to her, but something told her that the island had sent it. Something about the place was eerie to her since the first day, but until her encounter with the animal, she had shifted her suspicions to the back of her mind. Now, for the first time in years, she felt at peace. She almost laughed out loud.

"You sure are all "smiley" today freckles."

She jumped out of her thoughts with a start, Sawyer's southern drawl interrupting her trance. Instead of answering, she smiled at him, and he felt something inside him drop. He could hardly remember the last time someone had smiled at him like that. She certainly never did. He was out of breath. Kate thought it was because of him hauling after her, but he knew it was the smile. The way her nose wrinkled up when she was happy. That smile faded when she noticed the look in his eyes. His head was cocked slightly to the side, blonde bangs in his face. Blue eyes looked so deeply into her, that she immediately looked at the ground. A fear rose inside her, one she had experienced before. But this time, she held it down. Although she didn't have the courage to look back at him, she knew he was still looking hard at her.

He laughed to himself at her shyness, and seizing the moment took 3 large steps closer to her, invading her space. Her eyes darted up. In challenge? In fear? He wasn't sure. She met his eyes without flinching. The edge of her lip curling up slightly in amusement. And he knew that now was the moment. Slowly, without closing his eyes, he began to lower his head.

They were a breathe apart, when a shriek pulled all the electricity out of the air. Turning quickly, they saw Ana on the ridge above them. She was yelling something, but the beating of Kate's heart made it impossible to hear. Sawyer was listening and he couldn't believe what he had heard. He turning slowly to Kate….

"What did she say?" Kate asked.

"Your not gonna believe this Kate"

Something about Sawyer saying her name made her stomach drop. It wasn't like him to call her that.

"What! What happened?" she was alarmed.

A pause.

"We're rescued."

Kate and Sawyer stood silently on the ridge of a hill overlooking the original beach spot of the crash. The day had mysteriously turned grey, as if nature wanted to wash away any reminders of those who had lived and died here. The sky seemed to want to open up every minute, and a harsh warm wind blew dark curls into her eyes. Sawyer glanced at Kate, wondering what she was thinking. Her eyes were wet, but focused. She didn't cry, but was staring so hard at the beach, Sawyer felt an uneasy tension I the pit of his stomach. He wanted desperately to be happy for rescue, but also knew what this meant for her. Capture.

Perched on the beach, like an imposing exotic bird was a Blackhawk helicopter. There was a flurry of action around it. People running, hugging, and crying. Voices of joy could be heard over the roaring ocean. Despite her sadness, she laughed out loud when she saw Charlie and Claire in an embrace close to the cradle that Aaron slept. They would be ok, she decided right then and there. Charlie would be ok. She was glad for it.

In the distance, a large military looking boat, cold and grey floated waiting for its new passengers. But Sawyer only saw one thing. A man with a clipboard, in an official FBI jacket was wandering around talking to various people. His heart dropped and he turned slowly toward Kate. She seemed to take notice at the same time, and the small light that was in her eyes quickly vanished.

"Kate…..I…." He didn't know what to say. Before he could continue, however, she held a finger to her lips in a quieting motion.

"It's over." She barely whispered it. Her face crumpled, but she tried to hide it, but turning away from him. He felt useless.

"We could make a run for it."

She almost laughed at his humor, but turning to look at him, the humor died when she saw that he was serious.

Oh how she wanted to take him up on it. For a moment a yes was on her lips. Before she could answer however, she noticed that he had unconsciously taken his "letter" out of his pocket, and was clutching it tightly in his hand. She looked back at him, and knew she couldn't let him ruin his life even more then it already was. He had a chance for redemption. It was all over for her.

"No" she answered sadly. Sawyer knew that this was going to be her answer before she said it, but was still somehow disappointed. Thing were so good between them, and they hardly had any time to make up for all their wasted time before the raft left. She turned to look back at the FBI guy, and was slightly alarmed. He was staring directly at her. He knew.

"This time we should say goodbye Sawyer…James."

He felt dangerously close to tears. Not knowing what to do next, he grabbed her hand fiercely, and shoved his worn letter into it.

"Keep this for me…"

"Sawyer…."

"For once, don't argue freckles…" as he said his favorite nickname for her, his voice broke.

She was silent. Looking at their joined hands, Fear and Despair rose in her throat. She was going to jail. All the freedom she felt earlier had left her was a distant memory, and for the first time since she had murdered Wayne, she knew she would spend the rest of her life behind bars.

Almost painfully, she pulled her hand away from Sawyer's. He tried to keep his grip. But with one last lingering look, she started off in a jog toward the FBI agent.
He almost ran after her, but something like fear made him stop. He realized right then that he was completely in love with her. Sure he had feelings before, but today, he knew they were not just feelings, and he had made a mistake trying to make himself believe that they were just feelings. He loved her like he hadn't loved anyone before. It scared the hell out of him.
She was going to jail! he told himself. And even if she wasn't, he could never take care of her…..could he? Shaking his head in disgust, he watched her speak briefly with the agent. Why did he feel so much loss? He wasn't supposed to care about anybody.

Without warning the agent grabbed her arm roughly. Instinctively Sawyer stared forward. Within seconds, the agent had her sprawled out on the sand, face down, trying to get handcuffs on her. She was struggling, and landed a great kick to his shins. If he wasn't running, Sawyer would have laughed proudly. He got about half way down the incline with the agent hauled her to her feet. She noticed him then, and maybe he was imagining it, but she seemed to grin triumphantly at him. The agent was muttering curses under his breathe. He stopped about 20 feet from them. She looked absolutely beautiful to him. Defiant and strong.

The agent began to drag her towards the helicopter, and Sawyer was so torn, it was almost physically painful. He wanted to fight the guy, everyone on the beach, and everyone on the boat. He also wanted to run as fast as he could away from her and go back to being the Sawyer he wanted to be. To forget her. He dropped his head in defeat.

The agent and his captive were almost to the helicopter when a figure burst through the gathering crowd. Sawyer squinted against the sun, and made out Jack's form. He raced toward Kate, full speed. Desperate. Sawyer couldn't tear his eyes away from the unfolding scene and began to slowly without realizing it, make his way over to the aircraft.

Jack stopped just short of her, breathing hard. Sawyer couldn't make out the words, but cold tell Jack was talking quickly. A stab of something went through him, but he stifled it. Probably just saying goodbye, he thought.

Almost at if he was reading his mind, Jack grabbed the back of Kate's head, and crushed his lips against hers. In handcuffs, Kate couldn't do much more then take it. Jack seemed to pour everything in that kiss. Like he was afraid of never seeing her again. An excited murmur went through the crowd, and Sawyer felt sick. Her head was bent back with force, and Kate was reeling. Never had she felt such sadness. And that was saying something. So many emotions had welled up in the chest over the last hour that the dam finally broke, and she gave in to tears.

Finally Jack pulled away breathing heavily. Sawyer had already started walking up the beach in disgust.

"I will see you again…..we'll fix this Kate." He assured her.

She didn't say anything as the agent roughly pushed her into the seat of the helicopter. The door slammed, and it reminded her of a jailhouse door slamming shut on her life. She turned to take a last look at the beach, and the island she thought would be her home. As the bird took off, the caught Jack's eye, watching her leave. She searched for Sawyer, but couldn't find him. Had he seen that kiss? She wondered in panic? As the aircraft left the beach, it rounded a rocky outcropping, and there standing at the top of it, watching the helicopter was Sawyer. Kate thought he looked…..beautiful, was the only word to describe him. Shirt open and billowing, hair blowing in the wind. She never did get around to that haircut, she smiled to herself. He was watching them, and she did her best to make eye contact with him, but he was too far away. Everything was far away now. She blinked back tears, not wanted the agent to see her weakness. Resigned, she sat back against her seat, and waited for the rest of her life to end.