"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud."

—Coco Chanel

Chapter 1

The Meeting

Anari, a young, white she-wolf with yellow eyes, put one paw in front of the other carefully, not even upsetting a blade of grass. She was completely focused on her prey, a white rabbit that she managed to spot amongst the snow. She nearly licked her muzzle in anticipation. She was really hungry, and would have this rabbit all to herself if she caught it. Just a little closer.

Then she jumped. The rabbit saw her and shouted in fright and tried to run, but Anari held it down with one strong paw and bit into its throat, cutting its jugular and killing it. Some blood stained the fur of the rabbit, but she didn't mind. The blood that trickled into her mouth made her mouth water. Just as she was about to bite into it, she heard a voice behind.

"That was some catch, that was." Barry, the pack leader, came up from behind her. Anari turned around and faced him, licking the blood from her nose.

"It was my catch, and I get to eat it," Anari said. She stood over the dead rabbit defensively. "I'll go and hunt for the others when I'm finished."

"You don't have to," said Barry. "We've already caught a few goats while you were stalkin' that rabbit. I've been thinkin', since you've been sleepin' outside with the others, it must be real cold. Hows about you sleep with me in the cave tonight? I'll make it worth your while."

Anari showed her teeth. "I don't think so." Barry only shrugged, as if Anari wasn't thinking about ripping his throat out.

"Fine by me. Just want you to know that you're welcome any time you want."

"Thanks for the offer," Anari said sarcastically, then turned to bite into her rabbit with a growl. Barry turned around and started at a run back towards Jumping Gorges, where the wolf pack currently stayed. As Anari ate her lunch, she had to shake herself a few times when the falling snow got to heavy on her. When she was finished, the remains of the rabbit was quickly being covered up by the snow, so she left it there and started at a trot back towards her home.

Jumping Gorges was a rocky place where a pack of wolves live. Their leader used to be Giro, who had a scar across his right eye, and who had lost his right ear fighting with a goat years ago. But he had died at an old age, along with his mate. The beta was Barry. He quickly became used to be new power that he had over the wolves. Around the time Giro was getting older and older was when Anari was born. When she was almost an adult, both of her parents had died two winters before when a blizzard ravaged hal of the forest. Dead animals were littered everywhere when it was over, frozen solid. That winter, the wolves didn't have any need to hunt, and instead ate the meat when it unfroze, which was just as good as recently hunted prey. Ever since Anari had become an adult the year before, Barry had taken a liking to her, and always tried to get her to sleep with him in his cave, and possibly even try to mate on the same night. She had started to grow sick of it, and even took to snapping at him sometimes, but it was as if he didn't even mind the scathing looks, or the near biting. She'd do anything he'd say since he was alpha. Anything but sleep or mate with him. She'd rather be best friends with a goat.

As she walked closer and closer towards Jumping Gorges, the snow started to get deeper and deeper, until Anari had to jump to get distance. She was quickly growing tired, and soon she had to stop and rest. Despite being surrounded by snow, her fur was getting hotter and hotter, and she was panting, her tongue lolling out. Squaring her haunches, she decided to try another jump. This one was the longest one yet, and as she was in the air, she noticed a figure in the trees, but before she could see it clearly, she landed. The snow was deeper here, and her paw slipped on some snow that was wet. She lost her balance, and she fell. Pain exploded in her front left leg, where her body had landed on.

She whimpered in pain. It was all she could do. The snow started to fall even quickly, as if sensing her trouble and wanted to end her life in on a cold winter. 'Am I going to die like my parents?' The thought made her panic. She wasn't ready to go yet! She had a whole life ahead of her! She threw back her head and howled as loud as she could. She would stay with Barry for the rest of her life if it meant surviving this. But the wind howled too, so loud that she was sure no one would be able to hear her. Using her other three legs, Anari tried to claw her way out of the slowly growing wall of snow, but it was no use. Her leg gave her too much pain. She put her head down. The effort was too much. It was exhausting her. Despite how hot it was getting, Anari felt herself start to close her eyes. It would be so easy just to end it all right there. She could go to Heaven, and eat all the goats and rabbits she could ever want. Her eyelids drooped until they closed. She didn't feel the snow anymore as it slowly started to bury her.

/One Shining Day/

Hiro was a white goat with a darker underbelly and big brown eyes. He was slightly bigger than the goats of his flock, and therefore could have easily gotten all the females, but he prefered to wander around the forest, eating tasty plants and gazing across Pleasant Valley at the beautiful flowers.

On this day however, he couldn't do that. The blizzard that had come the night before had covered up all the flowers. He still liked to look at the snow that glittered on the ground, though. It was quickly melting as the last day of winter made room for the sun to come out and cast its rays to the ground. He trotted happily through the forest and came out onto a plain. He scanned the area for any patch of grass that he could possibly eat. Then he saw something dark sticking in the air. He tilted his head in confusion. It was half buried in the snow, which still covered most of everything. Hiro trotted towards it to get a better look.

"What is that?" he said to himself. It was a large, black nose. Hiro was surprised it wasn't frozen. He was curious as to what kind of animal the nice belonged to. 'It could be a wolf,' he thought. 'Or, it could be a herbivore, like a deer.' His curiosity got the best of him. Hiro went around to one side of the nose and started using his front hooves to dig. Soon, he touched something warm and furry. It was white. It only sparked his curiosity. He would've smelled it, but the snow had covered nearly all of the scent. When he stopped again, Hiro saw that the lower half of the animal had a long, fluffy tail and sharp black claws on its back paws. It was way to large to be a goat, and since it had claws, it could only be one thing.

"A w-wolf," Hiro whispered in fright. Despite the wolf probably being dead, he backed up a little. But why should he be afraid? It was dead. It wasn't going to hurt him. And if he dug it up, then he'd be able to finally see a wolf up close without getting eaten. So for the next few minutes, he focused on undigging the body. When he was finished, he was surprised to find that the wolf was completely white, and was a female. He had never seen a female before. Then he saw her leg, which was twisted at an odd angle.

"That must be how she died," Hiro said. He sniffed at it. It was definitely sprained. "She must have been in a lot of pain." As Hiro kept sniffing, he noticed something. He could feel a faint wind near her muzzle. "She's alive!" She must have passed out during the night. "I can't just leave her here." After a few minutes, Hiro suddenly had an idea. He went behind the wolf and stood up on his back legs, then used his front hooves to grab onto the she-wolf's back paws, and started dragging her through the slushy snow and into a more forest area. Vines hung down from the trees, and after making sure the wolf was in a secure place, Hiro bit some vines off the trees and tied them together to make a sort of sling. Using the sling, he carefully managed to put the wolf's injured leg into the sling. It must have hurt really bad, but the wolf didn't stir.

Yawning, Hiro walked a few feet away from the wolf and lay down. He stared at her for a while until his eyes drooped, and he went to sleep.

A while later, he woke to the sound of growling. The she-wolf had woken up and was baring her teeth at him. At first he was terrified and was ready to bolt, but then he noticed that she was still lying down. 'Her leg must still be hurting her.' Hiro thought. So he stood there, both staring at the other.

"Why don't you run goat?" Anari growled. "I could tear you to pieces right now."

"Not with that leg," Hiro said. Anari snarled and tried to stand so that she could attack him, but yelped in pain as soon as she sat up. "You shouldn't move. That leg of yours is injured pretty badly."

Anari sniffed the sling which her leg was in. "You did this?" Hiro nodded. "Why?"

"I thought you were dead at first, but I thought that in case you weren't, you'd-"

"Spare you? Don't be ridiculous. As soon as I'm healed, I'm going to rip you limb from limb."

"Then I guess I better get out of here." Hiro turned and started to walk away, then stopped when he heard a loud grumbling noise. "Was that your stomach?" he asked as he turned back to the she-wolf.

"No!" she growled. "Go away!" Her stomach rumbled again. Hiro smiled and chuckled.

"I'll see if I can get you something to eat."

"I don't need your help!" But Hiro had already started trotting off towards the forest. Maybe he'd find some small field mice or something. But how would he catch them? He couldn't kill them. He didn't have the heart to do that. Maybe there was a carcass and he could bring something back.

"I can't believe I was right," Hiro groaned. A whole bunch of crows were circling above a large kill of a deer. It was abandoned, and had huge chunks of meat ripping out of it. Flys buzzed all around it, and Hiro nearly yacked up his lunch because of the smell. Holding his breath, Hiro dived towards the carcass and quickly grabbed at a bone that was sticking out, and tugged as hard as he could. It came off easily, and he almost fell back. He ran at full speed back to the she-wolf, who was sulking. The smell of the meat and blood made her raise her head and perk her ears.

"What is this?" she asked suspiciously as Hiro dropped the meat in front of her. He had almost passed out because of not breathing, and now he stepped back and was taking big gulps of air.

"It's... for you," he breathed. Then he sighed. "The smell was awful." Without so much as a thank you, the she-wolf tore right into the meat with her sharp teeth, and in no time, all that was left was the bone, which she gnawed on. Her stomach was extending slightly from her body.

"Do you need anything else?" Hiro asked. The she-wolf looked at the goat with a little gratitude and confusion.

"Why are you helping me?" she asked.

"Well, why not?"

"We're enemies. I'm a wolf, you're a goat. Wolves eat goats. It's not natural."

"Well, that doesn't mean I can't help you. You could have died."

"... Thank you," she mumbled. Hiro smiled.

"You're welcome. My name's Hiro. What's your name?"

"... Anari."