A Full Moon Ch. 07byFantasyboy69©
I took the next day off, any normal human would have after a knife wound to the side, but truth be told it hurt as if I were a regular guy. The scratches were slower in healing than normal and Pat says it's because of the silver in my system which would be gone soon enough. The evening spent at Pat's apartment was one of the worst in memory. Feverish, chills, sweats, nausea and of all things...I was hornier than I could remember. The entire place smelled so much like Patrick that I was inundated by his scent and it drove me crazy. There was no escaping it. Pat knew what I was going through and he said I would be in the bed and he would be in the couch. Dylan was taking the guest room.
"No buts, Jon. You're hurt worse than you're wanting to let on. I can feel the heat from here." He was standing a good ten feet away.
"I'll be fine, right?" He nodded and I settled back into the bed that smelled so much of him, but in a stale way. He had not slept in the bed for the past few weeks. I looked for Dylan, but he was already sleeping in the next room. "So...why?"
Pat shook his head. "I don't know, but I'll do some digging. Dad knows a lot more than he lets on about the outside workings. The question I want answered is what the hell were Ferals doing in the middle of Salem. There are at least fifty Lycans between your house and the edge of the city in all directions. Someone would have seen them, smelled them, or whatever. It doesn't add up."
I nodded, somewhat startled by the fact that there were so many Lycans near my house. It was daunting and a bit unnerving. "Under it."
"The sewers. I'll ask Gene to poke around. He knows it the best out of all of us."
Pat didn't even try to wake me for work the day after, and Dylan stayed home from school as well. He watched me like a mother hen all day, sketching away when not doing his homework which was done in less than an hour. Sketch after sketch, he depicted the nightmare of the last night too well. His main focuses were the Ferals. Also how the brains looks splattered on the wall. When asked, he said he was fine. I didn't pry, no sense in it as I knew he would not tell me if he didn't want to. When my fever was high he brought me a lot of water and cold compresses which he changed out after only a minute since they had gotten hot.
When Pat got home he looked to be in one mondo good mood. He brought in his laptop on a TV tray and set it up. "This will make your day. I wish you had seen it." He held up a DVD and put it on.
The scene was the office building board room and the heads of all the departments were there along with Angus and Mr. Andrews. It was footage from security cameras. "May I ask why you have asked us here, Mr. Andrews?" Angus asked and I could tell he was not happy.
"Simple. Two Ferals were in the heart of Salem last night." The heads looked confused and mumbled a bit to themselves. "We will get to what happened in a moment, but this is the second time in three months they have been allowed into Pack territory." Mr. Andrews was steadily staring Angus right in the eyes, the most obvious challenge in all of the animal kingdom. "Twice and both times it directly affected my son. I will say this crystal clear, Angus. If any more Ferals come within ten miles of this city while your training period is in effect then I will remove you." The grin that split my face at the suppressed anger in Angus's could not be stopped.
"You are well within your rights to..." Angus began, but Mr. Andrews held up his hand even as he interrupted him.
"And if said Ferals come within sight of my son, Jonathan Davenport or young Dylan Parker, then I will have you removed from the Pack, this city, and this planet. I will kill you myself if my son is so threatened again. Is that clear?" Angus's jaw worked and I heard him grinding his teeth, but he nodded all the same. "Good. This has been your only mistake, Angus, but it has been a costly one. See it does not happen again. If not, I say publicly you will become Leader."
One head, Miss Janet Miller, raised her hand to speak. When acknowledged she cleared her throat and said "Forgive me for speaking out of turn, but what happened? We all know about the first incident and about the child, but there has been something else?"
"Yes. For better or for worse, Jonathan now knows about Lycanthropes." There was a collective groan. Angus sat up straighter. "Yes. It's hard to hide when two Ferals are led in on leashes to his house and the door was busted in. They were after Dylan from what I was told. Thankfully two Lupus were there within minutes to remove the threats, one of whom was a fifteen year old pup."
"The new intern," said Angus and Mr. Andrews nodded.
"Jon was scratched." There was another groan. "Pat has treated the wounds and very thoroughly. Since he was wearing the silver pendant when he was scratched, there is little chance the virus will take hold, but be ready for the possibility, Angus." I don't know if I really liked that they knew I knew about the Lycans and that I had been scratched, but it was out in the open now. "He knows Pat is one, but he does not know the company is all Lycans. That day is a bit far off I say." Ah, so I was to remain ignorant of the company.
"That is probably best. And do you think Jonathan still a candidate?"
"I do. His reaction towards Pat did not change, although he now knows why Pat avoids him during the full moons." Mr. Andrews was telling them and me what the game was, only they thought it was real.
"Led in, you say?" asked Evan Hansen.
"Yes. Two Lupus. Outsiders, but still our own kind. I am asking you, all of you, to keep a lid on this around Jon as much as you can. Security needs to be tightened, Angus. This the last I will talk about this. One more favor to ask is this. Can anyone tell me why a boy would be the target of this event?"
Angus nodded. "His last foster parents, it turns out, came upon some information about the company's former Personnel Head and used it to worm close to three hundred thousand dollars out of him before he was sent away." Dylan looked very confused. "The child is to inherit all of the money when he turns eighteen, unless he ends up dead. Then the money reverts to an unnamed account. Jonathan, as his legal guardian, can't touch it. Even post mortem."
I looked at Dylan who sat there processing this new info. His brow was knit in confused thought. "It's a lie. They would have moved out of the small house we lived in if they had that much cash."
Angus was still talking. "The four who killed them were Outsiders contracted to keep them from the money and getting more."
More was said, but all of it boring. That is until the meeting broke up. Then Angus stormed up to Mr. Andrews. "You dare come in here and say this in front of the entire heads?"
"Yes." Angus stood a head taller than Mr. Andrews, but there was no ounce of fear at all. "If you will kindly step back I won't have to rip out your throat and send it home to your wife and pups." The ultimatum was delivered as if he was talking about passing the salt. Angus fumed for a moment and then took a few steps back. "There. If you remember I also told you, and them, that you will be Leader, which is a public vote of confidence. They have heard what I said and as long as you can keep those mongrels out of the territory, you will be Leader. While I do not believe the same as you, your leadership is without question. The Pack will be in good hands."
Angus visibly calmed. "Thank you. I apologize for my behavior. This has been a trying time since Jon moved in."
"I know. He's shook up, believe me. But, with your goals in mind, keep Pat with him. They work well together and as for their relationship, it will keep Lycans in a good light so Jon will be more accepting when he is asked."
"A good bit of advice. Patrick and Jonathan do make a good team, and while I am not exactly thrilled that breeding males are paired up, I know they are both smart enough to know feelings will have to be set aside for the good of the Pack. Now, if you will excuse me, I must see about keeping this event from the media as much as possible." Mr. Andrews waved him away.
When Angus was gone, the Leader turned to the camera and spoke to me. "Got that, Jon?" then the recording ended.
"All of that was for show right?" Dylan asked.
"If you mean how my Dad reacted, no. He'll kill Angus if he steps out of line." Dylan nodded but he was a bit upset. "Does it change how you see my Dad?"
"A bit. Makes me like him more that if it comes to it he likes me more than that dick." We laughed at that.
"Glad to hear it. Oh, and Dylan, you're coming to the next picnic, right?" Pat asked and the boy's face lit up brighter than the sun. "I asked around and the Lunais said they would love to meet you. Show you a side of Lycans you haven't seen much."
"I can really go?" We nodded and got big hugs.
The next full moon came the night after Gene made his report. He didn't tell Angus, he told Micheal Jenkins, the head of the Hunters who just happened to be over with Darius and Tommy. My place was cleaned up and the door replaced and we had only been gone a few days. Michael was a small man, relatively speaking. Lean, wiry, he stood only six feet tall, but he missed nothing. This was a wolf who got where he was by brains and something I would never know. Dylan respected him if not outright liked him and Michael seemed to accept that.
The knock had come about an hour after dinner while we were all around the TV watching the third Harry Potter movie. It was Darius' human daughter's favorite movie and I admit I liked it too. When the knock came I waved Pat to stay seated and got up to answer it. "Gene. Welcome, won't you come in."
"Sorry to intrude, Jon, but I heard that Michael was here." I led him in to the living room.
"Dylan, why don't you take Tommy and Tabitha up stairs and show them some of your art." He nodded and the others got up, knowing this was adult business. Gene sat where the little dude had been.
"The Ferals have used the sewers, but only as far Splaine Park. They came from the wharf areas." He told us how he tracked them back to the piers and it was only a hop, skip and jump to my house from Splaine Park which is across the street from where Darius lived, all things considered.
"Then they came in by ship." Micheal got this look in his eye, one I liked. "I'll look into the shipping manifests. Anything that put into port that day I'll know about."
"Go back a few days. I found enough scat in one location that said they had been in the sewers for three days or so." Michael nodded and left to go question Gene alone.
"A shame Dylan is the target of all this." Darius shook his head.
"Yeah. Little dude's been through enough. Still we're a bit better prepared for this now."
"How are the injuries healing?"
"Good." I showed him my side. The scratches were almost gone and the knife slash was red but healing. "I should get some decent healing tomorrow night."
"Ah, the Lunais meet. What will you do with Dylan?"
"He'll be coming with us. The Lunais are eager to help him through what trauma he has and I want to keep an eye on him. Where better than surrounded by over a hundred Lycans I can at least have a conversation with."
Darius looked and smelled surprised. "Isn't he...apprehensive?"
"Nope. He wants to go."
Darius only shook his head. "I worry now. About Tabitha. Normally she goes and stays with her grandmother in Boston during the full moon, but Edith is out of town this week."
Pat and I exchanged a look. "If she wants she can come with us. Offspring are always welcome at the meet and she can keep Dylan company since they'll be the only humans there and it could get a bit overwhelming."
"Really? That's very kind."
The full moon was up enough that we had changed, but we had gone to the site ahead of time so we didn't have to take the kids through the sewers. That would not have been good even if they had not been used recently by the Ferals. Dylan was a bit subdued, it was only a month ago this day he had lost his foster parents. Even if life was not all that great, there was some connection. Yet, when Pat and I came back from our Changes in our Lycan forms his smile was huge. Tabitha was wide eyed but grinning herself. She had shown a remarkable amount of spunk and fire within her. Had to have it when her family were slobbering drool machines for three nights out of the month.
"Wow. You are really pretty," she said to Pat who I know was pleased even though he just shrugged. "Pop never let me see him during the full moon except when it was a must. Too dangerous."
"He's right. He loves you very much, but Lupus lose their humans selves in the moon." Pat set down the bags of food for the evening and set about to make the bonfire teepee. The logs were eight feet long and a foot thick and he just set them up as if they were nothing.
A stray breeze carried a scent to me and I stood and smiled. "Hey Gene." Dylan spun when he heard the bushes rustle and saw Gene, his smile getting huge again. The little dude had gotten used to us, but seeing another Lunais brought out all the inner nerd in him.
"Well now. Looks like we have some guests. Dylan, I can see your molars from here." He came in with his stealthy gait and set down some bags of his own to crouch before the little dude and Tabitha. "Welcome, pups."
"Gene, you look better now. Especially that really cool shock of silver." Gene had a silver stripe above his left eye to his ears.
"That I got in a fight against four Ferals. The other pups have all heard the tale, but since this is your first picnic, I'll give you the short version." He sat on the story log and they sat at his feet. I did too because this would be both educational and probably fun. Pat just started the fire. "I was a much younger wolf then, barely into my thirties and a Hunter in training." I perked up. "I'll say that I was the first and only Lunais to be trained then, the stigma was much stronger. Yet I was chosen. I was on a routine patrol near the Mexi-Cali border when I spotted two sets of Lycan tracks leading from the water. They were exceptionally heavy and I figured they would be easy for me to overcome." Gene was fast and agile even as a human. "I radioed my location in and set out...against the advice of my superior." Dylan chuckled while I nudged him from behind. "I found them quickly. I found four of them."
Tabitha was staring open-mouthed but hung on his every word. Gene's voice had that feel to it, like you should listen. "They just looked at me at first and then decided I was no threat. Growling a warning, they turned their backs on me and proceeded on their hunt of a pair of cattle that had strayed from the herd."
"Uh oh," Dylan said with mock horror.
"Uh oh is right. I didn't like being ignored back then so I growled my own warning. That got their attention and I got hurt badly. Three of them died before my own help arrived. But it was not from a Canis."
"Was it an owl?" Dylan asked.
"Apt guess, pup, but no. Something far more rare."
"A boar? Pop says a few of them still exist." Tabitha suddenly had Dylan's attention. More than wolves and other hunters? A boar was herbivorous so this was new to him.
"Perhaps even more rare than them. Pantera Leo Solaris." Even I was confused. "Ah, the new ones are always confused. Solaris are Lycans, but they turn during the day and only when they choose, except during rare eclipses. Just as there are wolves for the moon, there are those for the sun. This was a werelion, and there is no lunar cousin." He had them, and me, riveted. I had never heard even one story about solar Lycanthropes. By the look on Dylan's face he was almost in heaven.
"That old tale?" Tabitha said. "I don't mean to be rude, but Pop said they're a myth. All the Solaris are."
"Wise as your father is, pup, he does not know everything. But I will say this. I was bleeding heavily and the sun was hot. I could have been hallucinating...but I don't think so."
I looked at Pat who was grinning, his tongue lolling out of his mouth. He had heard the stories all before and if he gave them any credence, he didn't say it and his scent was not giving it away. Solar Lycans? I had never heard of that, even from Hollywood. Dylan's face was lit like Christmas but a bit confused. Could he have heard something about them? I would have to ask later.
The Lunais came in families and pairs, a good precaution since the Feral attacks. I knew them all by scent now and more than half by name. Dylan and Tabitha were the only humans there but no one made a big deal about that. In fact, some of the younger kids openly included them in games like hopscotch, telling the best lies and joke contests. Things a human would not have a distinct disadvantage at. Tabitha and some of the girls were doing each others hair, a difficult task for the Lunais whose manual dexterity was decreased, but she loved it. So did they because it included brushing.
I saw the little dude over with a group of boy and he was engaging in an arm-wrestling competition. Wandering over I asked, "A bit unfair?"
Dylan was panting and puffing, the other pup not even trying. "Dyl's not 'pecting ta win, Jon. He jus' wanna see how strong he is." I knew this pup was born and raised in the South...but wow. I though had one mondo accent to get rid of. "For a skinny guy he ain't so weak." I grinned and put a single finger in the mix and helped Dylan win. The other guys laughed. "No fair!"
"Hey, I never had a hand in it." That got a groan from the bad joke.
Pat came over and hoisted Dylan into the air and over his shoulder. "Um, Pat, I can walk." He didn't even try to struggle.
"I know, but you have been there all night." The little dude thought and nodded. He would have. "And there are some folk who want family portraits drawn."
At that he perked up. "Really? You mean...I can actually sketch an entire family?"
"Four." He was now giggling his fool head off. To study not only Lycans, but Lunais males, females and children? Yup, he was distracted for the night.
Gene came over with a glint in his eye. "I'll watch the pups." At first I was wondering why he would offer that, then I smelled Pat. He wanted alone time.
"Thanks, Gene." He nodded and I slipped away from the group and took off as fast as I could with my injury. Even with the healing powers I had it was slow in healing but far better than yesterday. I knew Pat would be able to catch me, but I was not going to make it easy for him. I had the pendant.
When I got to the small river I slipped in quietly and let it float me down stream while I doggy paddled. I let it carry me around a bend to a shoal and sat there because I heard and smelled Pat had followed my trail to the river. I knew he would eventually find my trail from the river, so I sat there. I heard him head upstream and then silently slipped back into the main stream and then looked to see if he was there, sniffling and listening with all my senses wide...nope, he had gone upstream. Good. I knew where I was going and got out of the water and ran on through the night as fast as I could. Hunt me now, I thought as I slipped in and out of the stream, up trees and jumping from each to throw him off.
Around midnight I got to the spot I was headed to...and there was Pat waiting for me. I stood up and shook my head. "Am I that predictable?" I panted out and he barked his cute laugh.
"I found your trail downstream. After a few miles I knew where you were headed." He came over and licked my jaw. "Romantic?"
I nodded. The clearing had not changed at all since our first night. I had gone to the spot where he had turned me without really knowing it. "By the way you were smelling, I knew you wanted something fun."