The next day, after school."I'm taking Coop for a walk!" I yelled to my father as I ran down the stairs.
"Tory!" Came the reply. I waited to see if he would continue. Nope. I trudged into his study.
"Yes?" I asked him.
"But I'm just taking Coop for a walk. It's not like I'm meeting the guys." He frowned.
"I'll take him out later."
"But he's my dog!" I whined. "I'll just be half an hour." Puppy eyes.
" All right. But only because I have a lot of work to do."
"Thanks, Kit!" I ran out the house and started along the path through the dunes. Coop and I began to race, grateful of the freedom.
I was sprinting after my wolfdog when my foot got caught in a rut in the path and I slammed to the ground. A flare lighted in me. I let out a whimper and Coop came back to lick my face. My pain was shooting through my right ankle and I was holding back tears. I carefully sat up and removed my iphone from my back pocket. It was thankfully still in one piece, however, it was devoid of signal. Brilliant.
"Coop." I told him, trying to get my meaning across. "Go. Get. Help." He barked and then raced off the way we had come. I hoped he had understood.
Ten minutes later I heard the thudding of someone running and Ben rounded the dune, flare already burning. Coop wasn't far behind, Ben glanced at my white face and my hands protectively cupping my ankle and swept me up into a bridal hold.
"I can walk!" I protested
His golden eyes met mine. "Bull." He started walking slowly back to the townhouses and it was a while before he spoke again. "Do you think it's broken?" I could hear the worry in his voice.
"No, just sprained. It doesn't hurt that much."
Ben saw through my lie and kissed my head in sympathy."It has to be pretty bad for you to allow me to carry you this far." I didn't know how to respond so I just buried my head in his chest and tried to block out the pain.
When we neared the townhouses I told Ben to put me down. He did but kept one arm tightly round my waist to keep me standing. I hopped towards my house but Ben stopped me. "Tory, your flare." His eyes had already dimmed to their normal brown. I tried to relax and lose my flare but it wasn't working. I was starting to panic now, which wasn't helping. Ben noticed and drew me into a hug. I breathed in the unique mix of smells that make up him, letting it calm my nerves. _Snup.
Trying to keep my mind clear I hopped towards my front door. Ben rang the doorbell and we waited anxiously. Kit opened the door, took one look at Ben's arm wrapped around my waist, and went into a rant.
"I thought you were out walking your dog! I trusted you and you betrayed that trust!..." I zoned out. I had to stay calm or I would flare and that would make our situation so much worse. Ben tried to cover me, explaining what had happened but my dad wasn't believing it.
"And why would Cooper run to your house? He lives here for christs sake!"
Ben didn't miss a beat. "Coop knows I'm strong. Tory was about ten minutes walk away, you wouldn't have been able to carry her that far."
"You carried her!"
This wasn't going well. It was time to pull out the big guns. "Dad, please." I whispered.