Garth stalked a rabbit in the new, soft grass. A slight chill lingered in the air and brushed through his pelt. He squared up and put all his weight into his hind legs. He tried to push away all guilt of hunting while Lilly was so heavily pregnant, but as the best male alpha in the pack, it was his job.
Just as he leaped to spring, a flash of gray fur bounded in front of him and he ended up pinned by a small male omega.
"Humphrey!" He growled. "Do you want Lilly to starve?"
Humphrey's eyes went wide. "Ok, listen, speaking of Lilly, hurry Garth."
Garth quickly got to his paws and gently tossed Humphrey off of him. "What? What's wrong?"
"Lilly.. she.. she's badly hurt. I didn't get a good look, I had to get you."
Garth held back a whine. How could he let Lilly be hurt? He'd risk his life for her. He should have never left her side. His green eyes flashed with too many emotions.
"Take me to her.. NOW."
Humphrey briskly nodded and took off.
What Garth saw made his stomach twist. Lilly lied not moving with a bloody leg and a gash in her flank and shoulder.
They ran over to her and Garth tensed. He nosed her. "Lilly.. Lilly!"
Humphrey nosed her. "She's still breathing." His voice shook.. Lilly meant as much to him as she meant to Garth.
Garth blinked. "Help me carry her to Eve.. now..." Humphrey admired how calm he remained, although his legs shook. They managed to carry her back to the den and she let out a whine of pain as Eve looked her over with a gasp.
She nosed her leg and Lilly winced. "Hold still, dear.." She whispered to her daughter. Her eyes clouded with regret. "Her leg is broken.."
Humphrey looked at the ground and his voice was full of regret. "No." He mumbled.
"WHAT?" Garth had a growl in his voice but it lowered as he licked Lilly's neck. "Lilly..."
"She'll be okay with healing.. but I don't know if her leg will mend.." Eve mumbled half to herself.
Garth gritted his teeth. "NO.." Humphrey slowly looked up, Garth had a single tear running down his cheek. Humphrey understood, he was shook up. He knew he'd blame himself for whatever happened to Lilly no matter what. He used to misunderstand Garth, but he had such a rough past..
Eve wrapped cobwebs around Lilly's leg after putting some herbs on it. She had to prevent infection and the herbs were meant to bind her leg back together.. but.. you never knew.
Eve treated the gashes on her and Humphrey's big fluffy tail lied on his friend's spine comfortably. "Lilly, how did this happen?" He asked.
It happened because I wasn't with you. Garth bit back the bitter words. He just lied down beside his mate, wanting the awnser as much as anybody.
"I.." Lilly's voice was very quiet and full of pain. "I was going to Kate.. and.. I slipped and fell.. on a bunch of.. sharp.. rocks... by the water... that's how it cut into me so deep... I'm such a clutz."
Garth's neck fur bristled. "NO! IT'S MY FAULT!" Humphrey looked at him in surprise.
"No, Garth it isn-.."
"It is, Lilly! I said I'd protect you and my pups with my LIFE. And now your leg might be broken.. forever." His voice trailed off.
Humphrey blinked. Was he also doubting that the pups were safe now?
Eve walked in with a rabbit. She placed it in front of Lilly. "Poor thing.." She mumbled where the white wolf couldn't hear. "Her pups should be coming any day... and now she has this to deal with."
Humphrey flinched expecting an outburst from Garth, but he was steadily licking the tears of pain off of Lilly's fur. Their tails were twined and Humphrey knew he was the best mate his friend could ask for.
He licked Lilly very swiftly between the ears. "I have to go tell Kate what happened." He sighed. "I'll be back tomorrow.. I promise, Lilly." With one last one look, he skirted out of the den.
Kate's ears pricked in alarm. "Lilly!" Her hazel eyes were wide with distress, the pups had been a pawful and were just settling down. "Her.. her leg?"
Lillian's eyes fluttered open. "Aunt Lilly!" She yelped.
Kate flicked her tail tip across her mouth with a stern but sympathetic glare. "Yes, Lillian.. I promise you can visit her as soon as she gets better.. but don't wake your brother up, hun.."
Lillian blinked. "O..ok... but isn't Aunt Lilly pregnant?"
Kate sighed and smothed her ears down with a single lick. "Yes, honey.. you'll have to wait a while to visit her."
Humphrey waited until Lillian finally settled down, his tone dark and full of grief. "What if the pups were harmed?"
Kate flinched. "No.. I.. I can't afford to even consider that." She looked down at her pups as if wondering where she'd be if she lost them that close to having them.
Humphrey flattened his ears and licked his mate's shoulder before curling around her, his tail wrapping around her's and the pups. "We'll just have to see..."
Lilly let out a yowl.. All the blood stopped running, and the herbs seemed to help. But she still had to be in pain. Garth's eyes shot open. "Is it her leg?"
Eve's eyes flashed. "NO. Garth, she's having her pups." Garth shot up, panic struck through him. Eve mumbled something he couldn't make out then looked at him. "Go, get Humphrey to fetch some water."
Garth flinched. She knew he didn't want to leave her for long. He ran out and when he made it to Kate and Humphrey's den, they were watching the sun rise outside the entrance while the pups slept silently inside.
"Humphrey, Lilly's pups are coming... bring some moss." Kate and Humphrey exchanged glances full of fear, surprise, and excitement all at the same time.
Humphrey licked Kate's ear. "I'll come and get you after she's given birth when she can handle the pups.. try to tire them out.."
Kate nodded, she obviously wished she didn't have the pups to worry about at this moment.
Garth ran in and soon after Humphrey came in with moss.
Countless hours of unbearable pain, and finally, Lilly had six healthy pups. Garth was still staring in shock as Humphrey counted over them. "Yes, six!"
Lilly looked exhausted. Garth licked her down her spine. "Six pups, Lil... six... you did better than any alpha would have after what happened just yesterday." His tail thudded as hard as his heart. He felt like he could run a thousand hours, but Lilly licked her pups and had a sleepy smile.
"Genders?" She mumbled.
"Four boys.. two girls." Humphrey said, checking over them twice. Lilly's eyes sparkled with pride. "Wonderful.."
One of the girls looked just like her mother, while the other was Garth's red color with a white undebelly, a black muzzle, paws, and a white tail tip with an even smaller black tip on top of that.
One boy was a pure cream color, probably after her grandma or aunt. Another was dark gray with tinges of white and black like Winston... who had just arrived. Where had he been? Lilly shook the thought out of her head.
Another boy was light gray with dark gray flecks and a white underbelly, and the last boy was a dark brown pup with a cream underbelly and muzzle.
"They're so.. beautiful.." Lilly said, falling into a deep sleep as she drew them close to her with her fluffy tail.