Waiting to be Discovered
Kenzi went searching for Dyson and found more than she bargained for.
Thanks to elynross, who polished this up for me. Also, title stolen from a Joel Plaskett song.
Kenzi scanned the woods in frustration. Not for the first time this afternoon, she asked herself why she was out here. If Dyson wanted to go camping in the dead of winter, then he should be able to. He was a big wolf, after all, and he could take care of himself. She didn’t see why Bo and Trick were up in arms about it; it wasn’t like he hadn’t lived rough when he was younger.
She sighed. There was nothing for it, once Bo and Trick got something in their minds there was no talking them out of it. She just didn’t understand why Trick wasn’t out here looking, instead of her. He was much better at this kind of thing, and then she could have stayed behind in the bar waiting word from the search party. At least then she would be warm.
Kenzi yanked her coat tighter around her. She didn’t have any clothes that were suitable for tramping through the woods this time of year. Instead she had layer upon layer of clothing and she was still barely keeping warm. The only solution was to keep moving forward to generate heat and hope someone found Dyson soon.
She moved forward scanning for some sign of Dyson or a large wolf — not that she was overly confident she knew what wolf tracks looked like. Suddenly, bushes to the right of her rustled and a small bunny ran across her path. Startled, Kenzi yelled. She fought to catch her breath, and inwardly she cursed her friends. She wasn’t cut out for this. She was more suited to an urban jungle than a national forest.
Kenzi spotted a small outcropping that could be a cave and reluctantly headed for it. As she approached she realized that it was deeper and darker than she had originally thought. She pulled out a flashlight out of her pack and creeped forward.
“No creepy crawlies. No creepy crawlies,” she muttered as the flashlight swept around the cave. Large yellow eyes glowed back at her. She stumbled backwards in fright and landed on her ass. She watched as the eyes tracked her every movement but didn’t come any closer. She stared deep into them and saw something familiar.
“Dyson?” she called out hesitantly.
A pitiful whine answered her. She crawled forward slowly. As she got closer, she heard a noise that could only be a tail thumping on the cave floor. “I’m happy to see you too, boy,” she said with a giggle.
The big wolf licked her face as she neared him. “Dyson, stop that!” She shoved him away from her when he didn’t stop licking. “Change back so we can get out of here.”
The wolf whined again and shook his head. He shifted forward and put his head in her lap.
Frowning, she looked down at him and gasped. He was covered in blood, and there was a big gash on his back paw that looked like it was still bleeding. “What did you tangle with, D-man?” Not waiting for an answer she shrugged off her coat and peeled off one of her layers. She took the top, pressed it hard into the wound, and tied it around his leg. “We need to get you out of here and get this checked out. Can you walk?”
The wolf whined in response.
“Fine, I’ll just call Trick and he’ll bring the rest of the search party to help you out of here.” She pulled out her cell phone and dialed Trick. She grimaced when she realized that there wasn’t any signal. Of course it couldn’t be that easy. She petted the wolf’s head and carefully lowered it to the ground. “No signal,” she said, as she shook the phone. “I’m just going to go outside and make the call. I’ll be right back.”
Kenzi shrugged her jacket back on and briskly walked to the front of the cave. She sighed in relief when she saw the signal bars light up, and she redialed. Quickly, she filled Trick in, letting him know where they were and urging him to get Bo and Hale to hurry. Then she ducked back into the cave and made her way back to Dyson.
The wolf was exactly where she left him, and she bit her lip as she took in the sight of him. He looked so bedraggled and wounded that she wasn’t sure how they would get him out of the cave. She sat down next to him and checked on his wound. The bleeding seemed to have stopped, and she was grateful for that. Dyson wiggled his way back into her lap and gave her a quick kiss on the nose.
“Keep that up, D-man, and people are going to talk.”
The wolf rolled his eyes and just nestled closer.
Kenzi smiled softly and began to pet him again. There was an intimacy to it that she hadn’t expected. She would’ve thought that this would feel weird or wrong, petting her friend when he was transformed, but it didn’t. Instead, it felt very right.
Dyson’s ears pricked up, and she could feel him tense. “Is someone coming?” He nodded, and moments later, he was on his feet and limping toward the back of the cave.
Kenzi jumped to her feet and followed. She found him just as the wolf had finished transforming back into Dyson, and he was trying to put on a pair of jeans. He stumbled,and she reached out to catch him. “I thought you couldn’t transform or walk,” she hissed at him.
Dyson sagged against the cave wall. “I can’t…not really.”
Kenzi searched his eyes questioningly. She didn’t understand why he would risk himself by transforming and walking. He’d been perfectly comfortable staying in his wolf form with her. Hell, more than comfortable. Surely Bo and Hale were familiar with his wolf. Then she looked deeper and thought that maybe they weren’t. She frowned. She didn’t understand what made her special, but she wasn’t going to question it now. Dyson really needed to get some medical help.
She picked up Dyson’s shirt and helped him on with it.
“Thanks, Kenz, for everything.”
“No problemo, D-man. It was just luck that I was the one that found you.”
“Lucky me,” he said huskily. Dyson leaned down and gently kissed her.
Kenzi automatically kissed him back, arching into it. A frisson of warmth ran through her. She stared up at Dyson in shock as they pulled apart. That hadn’t been just a ‘thank you’ kiss. That had been something more — something she would like to explore.
“Kenzi?” Bo’s voice rang out.
Kenzi jumped back from Dyson. As Bo approached, she whispered, “This isn’t done.”
“You can count on it,” Dyson said with a grin.