He’s not dangerous
He did not react quickly enough; he tried to start making his way downhill but they released their arrows and he felt them pierce into his back, letting out a loud cry of pain. He was momentarily stunned and stumbled a bit. Another arrow suddenly struck him in his right thigh. Startled, he let out a pained yelp and lost his balance, tumbling down the rocky ravine.
He was rolling for a while, hitting some large rocks along the way down; some of the arrows were pushed painfully deeper into his skin and he heard one of them snap. He finally came to a slow stop as he rolled into a small shallow pond at the bottom.
He lay motionless for a few seconds when his senses came back; water was flowing into his nose, forcing his injured body to sit up. He shook his head, snorted and coughed up some water. He then dragged himself out of the pound; he had to keep moving; but he was so worn out from rolling down the ravine. It was painful for him to move his right leg; He limped slowly away from the pond, he winced as he could barely touch the ground with his paw. He did not get very far before collapsing to the ground. He struggled to get up, but he collapsed once again as the pain was too excruciating for him to move anymore. He turned his head to take a look at his right thigh; pain from the arrows on his back surged through him. The arrow sticking out of his thigh was broken, missing its end; blood was slowly coming out on to his damp fur. Exhausted, his head dropped back to the ground and closed his eyes. He could not simply remove the arrows right now as they helped stopped the bleeding by staying stuck in the wound. He had to get up; it would be awhile before they caught up to him. But he had little strength to go on…
His muscles twitched in pain. At this point, he had no idea if the hunting team was just going to angrily return him to his prison or finish him off. If only he could still speak to others in this form; he could tell them what he possibly discovered tonight. At least it was just the hunting team instead of a mob…
Minutes passed, the Professor could hear someone walk towards him. He expected it to be the hunting team, if it was someone else, they didn’t sound like they were in a hurry; in fact, they sounded like they were approaching him cautiously.
He weakly opened his eyes, from a distance; coming carefully down the ravine was Luke.
“Professor…Professor, are you still alive?”
Luke hurried down and ran up to him, almost tripping. Layton attempted to once more get up but fell down again.
“I’m still here…just…I’m immobilized by the arrows…they make it painful for me to move…”
Luke stared down at him, his expression mixed with grief and worry. He also appeared he was trying his best not to cry as he reached a shaky handout to Layton. He fell to his knees and adjusted himself to sit down in front of The Professor. He placed a hand on Layton’s forehead.
“You’re…the arrows…” Luke was at a loss for words.
“Just stay calm Luke. I’m not going to die from these injuries; it’s not as bad as that one night. I’m just sore and exhausted from falling down the ravine. I’m going to be alright-”
“Alright? You can’t even stand up! Here, let me remove the arrows.” He quickly crawled over to the one in his right thigh.
“I’ll take this one out first, it’s broken.” He grasped the broken arrow.
“Luke stop, there’s a reason why-”
Luke yanked it out forcefully before Layton could finish.
Layton let out a surprised yelp mixed with a loud snarl. Luke jumped back with the arrow in hand after pulling it out, blood slowly poured from Layton’s wound; his leg kicked in response to the arrow being removed; he thankfully did not hit Luke.
“Luke,” he squeezed his eyes shut for a moment “I was trying to tell you to leave the arrow be for now; it helps by stopping the bleeding by staying in the wound for a while.”
“I-I’m sorry Professor…I…” Luke apologetically reached out his left hand to The Professor’s opened wound.
“Don’t touch it!” Layton exclaimed; causing Luke to flinch away in surprise. “Just leave it be Luke.”
“I was just trying to help…I didn’t mean to make things worse…” Luke went back over to Layton’s head and sat next to him.
“I’m so sorry Professor…can you move your leg now though?”
“Well, it’s easier to move my leg now; it still hurts to move though.”
Hershel turned his position by dragging himself and then placing his head in Luke’s lap. Luke scratched The Professor’s ears, still holding back the tears.
“Oh, don’t be hard on yourself. I’m not upset with you.” Layton rubbed his nose against Luke’s right hand.
“They’re going to kill you for escaping, aren’t they?”
“No, they still need me alive for right now, I’m sure me rolling down the ravine was not part of the plan. They only wanted to stop me.”
Luke was quite for a while.
“I just don’t want them to treat you like this…you’re not dangerous.” Luke hugged the large wolf’s head.
Layton closed his eyes and whined; he rubbed his nose against the boy’s face in an effort to calm him down.
“Relax Luke, just stay calm. Everything will be alright.”
“I can’t let them do this to you anymore.”
“The citizens are pretty convinced I’m going to lose my mind for being a werewolf so long. They still believe that a person can lose their will as one ever since the death of Derek. Even the mayor still regretfully believes his own brother became bloodthirsty; He won’t listen even to his own sister. She defended me during the questioning earlier in the day. Victor doesn’t know what to believe at the moment. He’s just as torn as Ivan.”
Layton paused for a while as Luke lifted his head and stroked the injured wolf.
“Luke, I believe I’ve discovered something important earlier tonight before Liam and his team found me. I found a werewolf’s scent heading back to the hotel.”
“Luke, listen, I need you to inform Agatha that-” Layton stopped as his sensitive ears picked up someone from afar speaking.
“We’re almost there; if he’s still alive he couldn’t have gone far.”
Layton recognized who the voice belonged to. He stared worriedly at Luke before trying to gently push him away with his right hand.
“Luke, the hunting team will be arriving soon, I need you run. You know they believe I’ll become a potential threat to everyone; just run before they see you.” Layton said desperately.
“But…”A distressed Luke looked down at him in the eyes, shaking his head slowly.
“You need to leave now, Luke…I don’t know what they might do with you. They might not let you off like last time, please…”
“I…I’m not going to run away.”
Hershel stared at him with a sad, quizzical expression.
“Just go back to the hotel, Luke, I’m telling you right now…” He nudged him to leave with his muzzle.
“I’m sorry Professor but I’m going to stay here with you.”
“There he is; and Luke is with him!”
“What the heck are you doing near him, he could snap any moment!”
The team continued to make their way down carefully as they yelled at Luke to get away from the large wolf. Luke watched them as his eyes widen.
“Luke…Luke please listen to me…”Layton begged.
Luke turned to him and hugged his large head once again; burying his face into his fur.
“No, I’m not going to leave you again! Not like this…I’m not going to let them hurt you again.” Luke cried.
Layton was silent.
“I’m going to help you like I promised.” He hugged him even tighter.
“Luke…” Layton said quietly. He was worried about the boy’s own safety. He whined softly, hoping things would turn out alright.
“Hey kid, we told you, he might hurt, now just slowly back away…” they were almost at the bottom of the ravine. Luke suddenly turned his head to them without letting go of the Professor and keeping his head on Layton’s forehead.
“I’m staying here with him! I’m not going to leave him injured.”
“Kid we told you before…”
“He’s not dangerous! And he won’t ever hurt anyone, you have to believe us!”
When they reached the bottom, they all aimed their arrows at Layton.
“Don’t shoot! Please don’t kill him!” Luke cried.
James lowered his bow
“I’m not going to do this.”
“What?” Liam exclaimed.
“I believe Mr. Layton and the boy; he wouldn’t harm a soul…I refuse to go after him anymore.”
Liam glared at him “You really have gone mad.” He turned back to the wolf and the boy. “Listen, just let go of him and come over here where it’s safe. We won’t shoot as long as he doesn’t make a fast move. I know he’s your friend, and we talked about this before how we know it’s hard to accept the fact he’s a werewolf now and he’ll eventually hurt someone but-”
“Why won’t any of you listen…he’s not a monster, he’s been protecting me this entire time as a werewolf; he even saved my life a few times.” Luke stared at them sadly. “Look, I’ve been here with him this whole time and he hasn’t attacked me at all; I’ve been trying to help him, he’s really hurt. He can’t be becoming a monster if he’s letting me help him without biting or snarling. Please don’t hurt him anymore. You have to believe me…and if you don’t…I’ll still stick by him.” Luke said somberly. “I believe in him. You can try to hurt him, but you’ll have to go through me. Just try to shoot us.” Luke closed his eyes.
Layton made a distressed yelp, he actually cried out “Luke, No!” He placed his hand on Luke’s back; the team noticed this and became silent for a moment but tense at the same time, keeping their aim still on him.
There was something rather serene to the team about what they were seeing. This small boy was bravely hugging this very large, bleeding werewolf, who was also his friend. The wolf could easily kill the boy. The werewolf seemed to be at peace as Luke stroked his fur. Hershel seemed to be acting gentle in his actions as he sorrowfully seems to be attempting to hug Luke and rubbed his nose against Luke’s left arm.
James suddenly stood between the team and the duo. “I won’t allow you to harm them; you’ll have to go through me as well.”
Luke prayed that they would be spared.