Storm-Chaser woke to an owl hooting. He rolled over to gather Leaping-Deer into his arms, but only found empty buffalo furs. He bolted upright, sweat beading across his forehead. His mind realizing the truth that he'd wrestled with for months. She was gone.
He cursed himself that he didn't make her stay behind that day. She was pregnant and just past the stage of all day nausea. Coped up for weeks because of her condition, he couldn't refuse her when her dark eyes held such hope of stretching her legs and running through the forest in her animal form.
"I'll be careful. Just a short run... prance then, so you don't scowl at me."
For a long time, he stayed in his wolf form and watched her from a distance. She nudged him away. Reluctantly, he left her to join a nearby wolf pack. Then the gun sounded. It echoed through him even now.