As the wolves neared, the horses began tossing their heads and fighting Carissa and Algernon’s control. The wolves came near enough for her to see their bared teeth, near enough for her to hear their guttural snarling.
Cold flashed across Carissa’s skin and she suppressed a curse. Their fear was drawing them, and the horses likely weren’t helping. But if they released their horses, the pack would surely overtake them.
Carissa glanced at her dagger and felt the cold settle into her bones. It was a short-range weapon. If she threw it, then she’d have nothing else with which to defend herself. “We can’t fight them, Algernon. We need to flee.”
“And abandon Kybelle? I think not.”
“We can flee into the forest and search for her there.”
The wolves were only a few feet from the road, and Algernon nocked an arrow. “We would lead them to her.”
“Then I’ll let the wolves chase me, as a distraction. You find Kybelle.”
Algernon took his gaze off the wolves long enough to glance at her. “That’s suicide.”
“So it any other option.” Carissa began to lead her horse away from Algernon’s. “Find your sister. Make this worth it.”
The wolves’ gazes were divided between herself and Algernon. That wouldn’t do. She needed the entire pack to follow her.
Carissa glanced at the wolves, their dark fur, gleaming fangs, flashing eyes. If she did this for Algernon, she’d likely die. Goosebumps prickled over her skin. More wolves began to head towards her.
But it wasn’t enough.
And then she realized there was one thing that terrified her even more than death: being permanently separated from Elon. If she didn’t return in time, she had no doubt they’d begin killing Elon with whatever method they’d chosen.
Pain speared through her chest, fear constricting around her heart.
If he died on her account, she’d never forgive herself. The thought of being without Elon was nearly unbearable.
All the wolves were fixated on her now. Carissa dug her heels into her horse’s flank, galloping deeper into the forest.