A Pack of Tales Ch. 01byNaokoSmith©
Diolch yn fawr! Sara Rasmussen for your editorial guidance.
Please leave comments and feedback for me so I know what works and what doesn't as I write up the rest of this story.
This series will include two kinds of chapters: story chapters, called '(story)' in the blurb and sex scenes, called '(scene)' in the blurb. The sex scenes will be diverse. You can choose to read them all or, if e.g. hetero sex isn't your thing, to skip some and only read the story chapters and e.g. lesbian sex scenes. (You can identify which scenes are what kind of sex from the tags, the category the chapter is uploaded into and description at the start of the scene.)
All characters in this story are fictional. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
A Pack of Tales Ch 1 -- Red
Red picked up by the pack (story)
She paused in the doorway.
Behind the scratched black door in the narrow porch, Red could sense the warmth of the pub; a warmth she needed so much it had gone beyond starvation. More than the physical warmth on this miserable rain-drenched February night, she craved the warmth of other bodies. She needed it so much she had been willing to come out of the shadows, prop the rucksack containing everything she owned in a dark corner by the pub doorway, hunch her shoulders and reach out for the door handle.
She pushed open the door and stepped just inside.
It was like a wave pouring over her whole body: golden light, the warm air moist with human breath and beer, the smells of food and spirits, of people's hair and sweat and shampoo and of the damp carpet. A sudden burst of laughter caught her like a slap. She paused again, staring into the bar at a few groups of people sitting and standing around the tables and chairs. Her mouth hung open, she was panting lightly.
"'Scuse me!" an indignant voice behind her jostled her into stepping all the way in.
She walked up to the dark wood bar on slow legs trembling with exhaustion and fear, her mouth still a little open and panting. She knew she ought to straighten her shoulders, act confident and like she didn't care, but she couldn't.
Although he had overtaken her and reached the bar first, the man who had come up behind her in the doorway courteously turned and waved a hand, saying: "I think he's before me."
Red was grateful for this. She didn't mind that in her damp khaki trousers and rough old army surplus camouflage jacket he had mistaken her for a boy. She couldn't quite bear to say 'thanks' but she flicked her eyes at the man before lifting them to the barman. She knew she was so famished with hunger that she would faint if she had even half a pint of beer. She said: "Half a pint of shandy and a packet of crisps." Her voice was husky with lack of use and broke in the middle of her saying it.
"Eh? Speak up!" the barman leaned over in annoyance. He was frowning at her and tilting his head down to examine her.
Red's heart began thumping in additional terror. Did he think she was too young -- even for a bloody shandy? She should've asked for the beer. Or did he think she was too scruffy, in her rough clothes, her hair chopped short with the cheap red dye growing out in it, one longer lock at the back in a small plait like the puppy dog's tail; did he think she was a traveller?
Or was there something else about her that he didn't like the look of.
With a tremendous effort of will she resisted the temptation to put a quick finger up to her neck and make sure it was completely covered in the old green scarf.
She enunciated as clearly as she could, "Half a pint of shandy and a packet of ready salted crisps."
When he put them on the bar and told her the price, she fingered the coins in her pocket. Nearly crying with shame and anxiety, she said: "Just the shandy, then."
The barman rolled his eyes as he threw the packet of crisps back in the box.
Red took her drink and went to the small table she had picked out by a window near the door. She sat hunched over her half pint glass, looking fearfully through her fringe around the bar parlour. A few curious eyes floated over towards her but to her relief none lingered on her lumpy figure in the heavy damp army surplus clothes and Doc Marten boots.
After a while she put up her finger and loosened the green scarf around her neck. She took a miniscule sip of the shandy and then sat quite still. Her hazel eyes glazed over as the warmth began to thaw out the exhaustion in her tense muscles.
When the shandy was half gone, she felt sufficiently comfortable to take off her scarf. She sat over her drink, soaking in the moist air, the light murmur of the people talking, the smells of beer and musty carpet and faintly somewhere food and most of all human sweat and flesh, the warmth radiating from their sweet smelly bodies and friendly chit-chat. It was all becoming vague and dreamlike. She was dozing as she sat there. She couldn't help it. It was so warm and she was so tired.
She gave a start when the door opened but she didn't turn her head. She recognized them with her sixth sense: the one that's all the other senses combined. As they came tumbling in she knew instantly what they were and first her heart leapt with joy, then she crushed it fiercely down. Chrissake! Hadn't she been through enough? She gave a small whimper of fear (and of yearning) and turned her head aside. She swallowed against the bile rising in her gorge, trying to push down the memories. Too often heads had turned and noses had lifted with a delicate sniffing in her direction. She had seen eyes go a dirty yellow, shoulders hunch and bristle. Packs of male bodies had swung suddenly away from their food or drink towards her and she would have to leave her food half-eaten and get out as fast as she could go. She had nearly been caught in an alleyway once, only got away because a pair of lost shoppers came clattering down and distracted the pack tracking her.
There were half a dozen in this pack and they had three women with them, the women were just human. Red had never met another female like herself. Nor of course had the packs who scented her and came hunting her down. The ultimate trophy: a fucking female to drag around and show off to all the other packs, and for the Alpha to fuck with.
She was what she was and so she longed with every fibre of her being for oneness with others, for the pack to meld with. She had been obliged to realise that they could never accept her just as one of them. Her scent made them think of fucking not playing.
She was unable to resist turning her head to watch this pack surreptitiously through her fringe. They seemed to fill the room with their muscular, panting, silently laughing bodies, all of them fit and sleek. They were well-fed contented beasts whom the women loved. Three of them were older and the women were older too, three were young. Like her. Young and playful.
One was dressed in a navy blue cashmere coat much too smart for the pub. A hand on his slim hip held the coat elegantly open. Red could see that under it he was wearing designer jeans and a white t-shirt. She could smell the fine Italian leather of his shoes right across the room, a smell so tantalising and exquisite that it was making her salivate.
Two were just cubs in Levis and trainers which had already been chewed. They were both big and muscular. One was a tousled blond with a soft contented air about him. He was the baby who always rolled over to show his tummy and got away with it. The other had dark hair and eyes and skin like honey, smooth and golden-brown. He eased his powerful haunches onto a bar-stool and gave an absent-minded smile to the barmaid who rushed over to serve them, cutting out the barman. Red thought that women probably hovered so constantly around him that he had never realised it; they were just wallpaper in his world.
Red shuffled her feet wearily. She must leave before one of them smelled her. She was so tired. It was so warm. They smelled so wonderful. It would be cold outside, probably still raining. The tears stung at her eyes. She raised an angry hand to dash them away. Crissake! She must get moving.
One of the women was looking at her.
She was tall and thin with large and gentle eyes. Her black hair was like a cloud of loose curls about her head. She was looking straight at Red with a small concentrated frown wrinkling her brow and a half-smile on her mouth. It was as if she thought she knew Red and was about to come and say: "Does your mam know where you are, sweetheart?"
Fuck! She was looking at Red's neck.
Red's fingers went up automatically to feel the red leather dog collar exposed to the woman's intelligent gaze. The woman had turned aside and was saying something to the older men. In spite of a hissed expostulation from her, they stopped talking and their heads swung round as one to stare at Red.
Red snatched at her scarf and got hurriedly to her feet, moving towards the door she had providently sat so close to.
She had stood up too quickly. There were black spots dancing in front of her eyes but she had to get out. She stumbled in the direction of the door. The door was disappearing, a wave of darkness rising up from the floor, she was fainting; she was gone before she hit the floor.
When she came to, it was like being in a dream. Her limbs felt heavy and her thought processes were slow. She heard voices as if they were coming from far away. She knew it wasn't a dream because she could smell them: the sweetness of their panting breath, the savage musk of their bodies, the sharp inquisitive alertness of them, a rich bouquet of perfumes that made her want to leap in the air and shake her head and laugh and play -- except that she felt so curiously heavy and slow.
"We should take that collar off," it was the barman's voice.
"No!" He was interrupted by the thin woman who had been staring at her. Red saw her hand come out and catch the barman's hand. "She'll be fine. Just let her lie there a moment."
"Bloody Hell! Is that a girl?" the barman exclaimed. "Whatever is she dressed like that for? Is she one of those Goths, like?"
"No no, Goths, they wear black," someone else chipped in helpfully. "She must be a Punk."
Red could sense the cubs laughing silently. Their panting quickened and she smelled the hilarity in their breath.
"Whatever business is it of yours what she wears," the woman said. "Shut up and go back to your drinking. Give her some air." Her sing-song Valleys accent was cut up by a cross emphasis on consonants.
"I'm going to call social services," the barman said truculently. "Looks like a runaway kid to me."
Red sensed the pack around her tense up at this mention of the authorities.
"Oh yes, do that," drawled the one in the navy cashmere coat and Italian shoes. His voice was careless and smooth with clipped upper class tones. "They might want to know how you came to be serving someone you thought was underage, mind."
"It was a shandy!" protested the barman.
"Stop worrying, Joe," the woman said in a voice that managed to be both soothing and authoritative. "She'll be alright with us, isn't it. If anyone comes looking for her, send them to talk to Gavin, he's a social worker himself. Boys, go back to the bar but just have a half. Rex, help me to sit her up, she's coming to."
One of the older ones and the woman were putting their arms under her armpits to heave her up and prop her against the wall. As if in apology, the barman shoved a cushion off one of the chairs behind her back before going grumbling back to the bar. Red leaned into the softness of the cushion. She still felt completely drained, as if every drop of blood, of adrenaline had gone from her veins. She sat leaning back into the cushion and staring into the bar parlour. Her eyes turned sharply as she felt fingers gently ruffling her hair.
Already the hand was being held out near her nose. She smelled soap and cooking and some cheap perfume and beneath the domestic business of the woman, she smelled gentle humour and kindness. She smelled the warmth of the woman's hand.
"I'm Christa," the woman said. "This is Rex. You'll be alright with us. Do you understand? No one will hurt you. Listen to me. Listen. He won't hurt you. None of them will hurt you."
Red tilted her eyes to the other side and saw the lean male face near her own. He was thin and wiry, tanned even at this time of year by the outdoor life he must lead. The virile strength bristled off his shoulders against the brown collar round his neck. She knew he was the leader of the pack but his brown eyes were quiet and gentle. They were not in the selfish hard yellow of lust, they regarded her with only a hesitant concern, and with curiosity.
"I didn't know there were girls," the woman -- Christa, was murmuring. She put her hand to Red's head and ran her fingers into Red's hair, the affectionate caress of the woman who never manages to stop being a mother.
Red couldn't help it. The tears spilled out of her eyes and down her cheeks. She sat propped up leaning back on the cushion and crying. Christa put a hand up and wiped the tears away with gentle fingers.
"Hush," she said softly. "The cars are just outside. You come home with us now. That's your rucksack the boys found by the porch, is it? Don't you fret, my sweetheart. You'll be alright now."
When she woke up in the morning she lay a while drifting in and out of sleep. It felt like it had been a long, long time since she had been clean, warm and dry, snuggled under a quilt in a bed in a house with the heating turned on. She lay vaguely remembering the taste of some meaty stew Christa had fed her the night before. Softly she smacked her lips. She stared through her lashes at the bare walls of the small room in which she lay.
"I'll put you next to Rex and me," Christa had said it firmly and clearly to her. She had understood this to mean that she could rely on them to keep the cubs off her and so she slept deep and sweet.
Red put her hand casually to her neck. She sat frantically upright, staring about her.
Her collar was on a little table by the bed. There was a bowl of water and a box of tissues on the table too. Red picked up the collar: made of thinner leather than the ones around the necks of the men and boys she had met the previous night, leather dyed red and with a heart-shaped buckle. A girl's collar, marking her out to them no matter how she dressed, as if they couldn't smell it anyway. She grimaced as she picked the collar up and buckled it around her neck.
In the dim light coming through plain curtains, Red looked around the small room again. It was evidently a little box room which they usually put the human guests in. There was just about enough space for the single bed under the window and a chest of drawers beside which leant her stained rucksack with the rolled tent in the loops at the bottom.
Red knelt up in the bed and lifted the light curtains to look out of the window.
She was looking into a muddy concrete yard enclosed by a high grey dry stone wall. A five-bar gate with several layers of chicken wire fixed to it stood open in the wall. A single lane of tarmac ran down the green hillside from the gate.
There was a small caravan to one side of the yard and three vehicles parked up: a mud-splashed seven-seater four-by-four in which she vaguely remembered being driven back to the farmhouse the night before, two white vans -- one with pictures of spanners on the sides, and a sleek small black two-seater as incongruous in the rough farmyard as a Hollywood film star.
Red turned her head and saw the green muddy slope of the Valley disappearing up into some scrubby woodland, and rising beyond into the mist of a chill winter's day.
Suddenly they appeared out of the mist: the brindled snout of the leader first, his long lean frame loping down the hillside. Two browner sandy wolves appeared at his shoulder then the rest of the pack came trotting behind. She saw the silent panting laughter going up in clouds from their red mouths with the tongues lolling out between their dangerous teeth. Their winter coats were glossy and thick and their yellow eyes were as bright as the moon.
Two had broken off from the back of the pack. A thin black wolf was jostling and snarling at a sturdier baby blond, hassling him with shoves at his shoulders. The blond baby just did what he always did: rolled over laughing to display his pale soft furry tummy. The thin black wolf turned to streak after the rest of the pack. The blond baby rolled to his paws, shook himself and trotted after them.
Red caught up her breath, she caught her lip in her teeth. She knelt on the bed with her hands pressed to the thin cold pane of glass. She wanted to tear off her collar and run out to tumble with them, biting and shoving, rolling over to show her tummy in playful submission.
But it wasn't possible. She was a girl. When she came into season they would tear each other apart to get at her.
When she came into the big farmhouse kitchen it seemed to be full of panting muscular masculinity. They lounged round the long pine table in the light from the windows; the cubs moved about setting out the knives and forks. The three women murmuring to each other around the warm blue cooking range at the far end of the kitchen were muted out by the relaxed menfolk sprawled around the head of the table.
Red stood just inside the door. She could feel the cold from the grey flagstone floor through her thick socks although the room was warm from the cooking range. Cutting through her awareness of the pack of men she could smell the meat. It was Sunday. There was some massive chunk of flesh in the oven with the fat bubbling down over it and the juices cooking through it, fibres softening on the bone and the blood settling sweetly in them. Red was salivating and bristling against her collar.
The men flicked their eyes at her as she came in but they weren't interested. She sensed the sharpness of their hunger. They moved slowly and carefully, avoiding jostling each other. The tall elegant young one had a curve at the corner of his mouth which might be a smile but was probably the beginning of a snarl.
"There you are now!" one of the other women sang out merrily, seeing Red. "Come on in. They won't bite!" She rocked with laughter at this; the pack laughed too but because they were so hungry and the meat smell was so strong, their laughter had an edge to it.
Christa was busy cooking. Rex stood up from the head of the table and came over to nudge Red into the room. His eyes had gone yellowish but Red realised it was just with hunger.
"This is Nye, Jenks," Rex said.
The heads of the other two older men lifted round. Red realised that they were twins. They had sandy brown hair and eyes that were probably brown when they weren't yellow with longing for the meat. They wore shirts with open collars under which she saw matching thick brown leather collars.
Rex had gone round to the other side of the table, Red hesitantly followed him.
"Max," said the elegant young one in his upper class drawl. He looked down his nose at Red with eyes which hunger had made a muddy green. He still had the designer jeans and Italian shoes on, his t-shirt was so crisp and white, it must be a fresh one. The collar around his neck was a thin band of black leather with a single blue jewel stud in it. With his pale skin and black hair, he made a very striking young man. Red realised that he was the thin black wolf who had teased the blond cub.
"Rob," Rex was saying in his husky panting hungry voice, shoving forward the young blond. He was so cuddly and young that his eyes were barely yellow at all. He always took whatever he was given but he was so cute he always got given whatever he wanted. He sniggered softly when Rex's shove pushed him into Red's body. Red tensed up and was surprised when he just ambled backwards without trying to press up against her. He had a plain brown collar.