Buster's Story Ch. 03byJaisen©
I'm not sure why this one took so long to write. Granted, life has been hectic, but I guess I had my mind set on WWII and realized I'd forgotten a whole twenty years. So, I had to go back. A few new characters, a little connection back to MTJAFT and some scene setting. Next chapter will be WWII. I look forward to your comments!
Brian sat on the porch with his coffee early in the morning. He sniffed the air and caught a fleeting scent. Puzzled, he got up and walked into the kitchen and found Natalie feeding the children. "Nat, you um... in..." he started and then stopped realizing that all the children were staring up at him.
"No, We talk later aye?" she said and rolled her eyes towards the table.
Brian nodded trying to figure out what was going on. He was still out on the front porch watching the children run outside when he felt Natalie's hand on his shoulder. He turned.
"It be Jenny in heat," she said and then went back inside.
"What?" he said louder than he expected and headed back into the kitchen. "Why you no say?"
"Cause what you gonna do? Lock her up? Shoot all the boys?" she asked with a smile.
"But!..." he started and then realized she was laughing at him. He stopped and thought for a moment. "You gonna laugh at me?"
"Aye. I weren't no older when we start this fun. You gonna tell her wolf she can't do it? You gonna growl and keep all them young pups at home?" Natalie teased him.
Brian took a deep breath and shook his head. "No, I gonna take my wife and go screw her silly," he said as he grabbed Natalie and hauled her off to bed.
Jenny came home three days later with a swing in her step and Henri in tow. He looked embarrassed.
"Maman, Papa, we need talk with you," Jenny said softly. She was still holding Henri's hand.
"Okay, talk," said Natalie.
"We want get married," said Jenny.
Brian looked at Henri. He was a good two years older than Jenny. "You got a tongue Henri?"
"Yyes sir," Henri said. "I... um. I want to marry your daughter."
"You want to wait till she shows?" asked Natalie.
The two teens looked at each other and then back at Jenny's parents. "Um. Maman, will you let us sleep my room till we know?" asked Jenny.
"Aye," said Natalie. "That Henri he help your Papa build a new cabin. This one too damn small."
Brian reached out, tousled Henri's hair and then hugged his daughter. Before he could let go, all the other children came pouring into the room to hug and congratulate their sister. Quintus came in with a bunch of flowers and threw them over Jenny. She picked up the little four year old and hugged him close. She knew he wasn't really her brother by blood, but she loved him best of all.
Two months later, Jenny and Henry had a wedding. Two days of celebrations and Brian and Natalie laughed, remembering their own wedding night as they stood outside and teased the newlyweds. As they stood there singing, Brian felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to see Bizzet standing there.
"Hello Bizzet, you enjoy the wedding?" Brian asked softly.
"Aye, good wedding. Pretty girl. How Quintus?" Bizzet asked softly.
"He's a good boy. A little weedy, but good boy," said Brian walking Bizzet away from the crowd and towards where the children were perched on the older cabin's porch. "See, he there on the rocker. You want go see him?" Brian asked softly.
"Non, I jus want know he okay," said Bizzet. "My WildGirl, she gone."
Brian turned and took Bizzet by both shoulders. "She leave you?" he asked.
"Non. She die. Last pup and she both die," said Bizzet with a heavy sigh. "I don know what to do now. Can't sleep, can't be happy."
"You come stay with us? Get to know your pup?" asked Brian. Bizzet had that haunted look in his eyes like he did in the last days of the war.
"Non. Me, I go away. Up north. Go runnin'," said Bizzet.
"Bizzet, stay. We can take care of you," said Brian. He knew too many of the men who'd come back broken had done just what Bizzet planned. They'd say goodbye to family and just fade into the woods. Most never came back.
"Non. I ... Brian, you are close like a brother. You have my son and I love you for that. Let me go now. I come back maybe," Bizzet said.
Brian tried to hold onto him and they embraced one last time and then Bizzet pulled away and drifted out to the edge of the forest. Natalie came up behind him.
"What he say?" she asked.
"Goodbye," said Brian and then they turned back into the crowd of well wishers.
It was a busy year. All the babies born around the Great War started having babies. Jenny had little Elizabeth late in November. Grandma Davy died two weeks later and the whole community felt bereft. Natalie inherited Grandma's herb room and her patients. The lumber mill ran full tilt as homes were built. In spite of the economic crash a few years earlier, everyone needed wood. At nearly forty, Brian felt better than he had in years. He and Kent worked the mill as they always had and hired men when needed. Deer were still plentiful in the forests and the families prospered. The occasional stranger moved in, and either didn't stay long or was accepted into the community.
"Brian! You come talk this man a minute?" hollered Kent.
Brian looked over to see a tall man he didn't recognize. He walked over and shook the man's hand. "Hullo, what you need?" he asked.
"I need a job. Name's Alexander Davis," the man said. He shook Brian's hand with a firm grip.
"What you do before?" asked Brian.
"I work metal. Any kind," Alexander said. "Had to leave Calgary. Too many people."
Brian nodded. Many of the shifters who'd gone to the cities had returned to the rural areas. They networked through people and towns until they found somewhere they could cope. "You got family?" he asked.
"No, married a non-shifter, but it didn't last. She still don't know, just thinks I was weird," said Alexander.
"We got a blacksmith shop in town. Check with them. They make our blades," said Brian and pointed to the huge band saw blades.
"Okay. Thanks," said Alexander and he headed out of the mill.
"Kent, why you ask me when you know he need go see Big Joe?" asked Brian.
"Cause I need you 'sniff him out'. He a strange one," said Kent.
"Yeah, he a holy bastard that one," said Brian.
"Huh?" said Kent.
"That Alexander. Shaman. Holy man. Wedding broker," said Brian.
"How you know that?" asked Kent almost shouting to be heard above the sound of the saws.
"Use your eyes. You no see that chain round his neck? Silversmith. His hands nearly break mine. Only Davis I know from that town, that Calgary, is silversmith. That's why I sent him to Big Joe," said Brian.
"Oh," said Kent and let it drop. He'd talk to Big Joe later. Most families were run by women, like Natalie and Grandma Davy before her. Not many men were healers or silversmiths. Even fewer were shaman.
Alexander moved into the cabin near the saloon and soon had women lining up to buy silver jewelry. He worked the steel mill and iron forge with Big Joe and a couple of the brothers during the day. He was also the beginning of an influx of shifters escaping the city. Brian watched as the valley filled up and people began to feel crowded. He talked to Natalie after dinner one night.
"Is this a good thing?" he asked.
"It help with families. Gives our girls other choices. Otherwise, maybe we need some of them to move south towards Montana," said Natalie. "Or, maybe some of us move."
"Non! We were here first. I think we have a meeting and talk," said Brian.
"Later. First you take me to bed. I am feeling very ..." Natalie trailed off with a smile.
Brian tucked the children in bed and then joined Natalie in their room. She was sitting up against the pillows wearing nothing but a smile.
"Come to bed," she said.
"I don know. I hear that grandma's they don like sex," he teased.
"Ha! I hear that granpa's say that cause they can't make it stand up anymore. We grandma's can do better for all that damn practice afore havin' babies. All those muscles work better," Natalie teased back.
Brian undressed and let himself stand proud, letting Natalie know that this grandpa still could please a woman. She giggled. Brian got into bed and began to kiss Natalie. His hands roamed across her breasts that were well loved. She in turn traced the scars across his back and on his body. The war hadn't been kind, and neither had the lumber mill.
Brian kissed and sucked her nipples. It had startled him the fist time he'd suckled her breast while she'd had milk. He missed the sweet milk now, but not the babies and nappies that went with it. As he kissed down her stomach, he reached a hand down between her legs. She was damp and growing wetter as he slid his fingers into her pussy.
"Oh Brian," she sighed. She loved the way he touched her. It made her feel young. She moved so that she could grasp his cock and giggled as it twitched in her hand. Rubbing the smooth flesh with her fingers made Brian gasp. He lost track of what he was doing and before he could start touching her again, her mouth was wrapping around his cock.
"Oh Nat," he moaned. He lay back on the pillows as she proceeded to lick and suck his cock. He finally gathered enough senses to grab her ass and begin to finger her and flick his fingertips across her clit. She moaned with her mouth still around his cock which made him gasp. The vibrations were intense. He couldn't take it any more and flipped her around and drove in from behind.
Natalie loved the feeling of his hands on her hips. She drove back against his cock and enjoyed the feeling of his cock nudging her cervix. She didn't worry about babies as Grandma Davy had finally shown her the herbs to take after George had been born. Five babies had been enough.
Brian wrapped his arm around Nat's waist and reached between her legs to touch her clit as he thrust in and out of her. Natalie moaned and bucked with the sweet short orgasms. Her muscles clamped around his cock and he couldn't hold off any longer. He increased his pace and within a minute, he felt his cock swell, the knot form and he came hard.
"Oh! Oh Brian," moaned Natalie as she came. She shuddered with pleasure and as they lay down on the bed, he fingered her until she came again. They curled up on the bed and pulled the covers over them. The knot kept them close and Brian held her to him as they slept.
Lizzybit was the gem in her Pawpa's life. She'd won him over the day she was born. Brian loved his daughter and recaptured years lost with this first grandchild. She learned to walk holding onto his tail. He was her pony and her protector, Pawpa Wolfy. When her little sister Caroline was born a year later, it was Lizzabit that came running to tell Pawpa.
"Iz gots a sistur," she lisped as she ran full tilt into Brian's arms. He'd been waiting on the porch with Henri listening to the radio. The two men walked back with Lizzybit to greet the newest member of the family. All the girls were bustling around the kitchen. Henry was hauling firewood for Natalie while Quintus tended the fire. Alice and Marie watched over the children and made sure there was food for everyone. It was a crazy chaotic kitchen, but Brian smiled. To him, this was the essence of home. Pack. As he and Henri were served a cup of milky tea by Alice, Natalie came out holding the baby.
"Jenny say this one named for your maman," she said to Henri. "Caroline."
Henri took the baby gently in his arms and sniffed her tiny head to lock her scent in his mind. She smelled of Jenny and sun washed linens. Then he handed her to Brian. Brian did the same, sniffing
the tiny bundle.
"So small," he said.
A knock on the cabin door brought the chaos to a halt for a second as Marie answered the door. There on the porch was Alexander. Behind him was George, smiling.
"I came to bless the babe if you want," he said.
Brian nodded. He was always amazed at how fast news traveled in the valley. Over a thousand people at the moment and yet information flew. "Come in Alexander," he said. "George, go on." He watched George run. That boy loved to run and Brian was hesitant about the day he shifted. Wondered if he'd come back. A hand on his shoulder brought him back to reality.
Alexander took the baby, crooned to her and then blessed her. Then he pulled stick candy out of his pocket and handed it around. He was mobbed.
Jenny was up on her feet fairly soon after Caroline was born. She was learning the herbs and medicines from Natalie. Caroline was either in someone's arms or snugged up in her cradle. Quintus volunteered to watch her when the older children were at school as he was only there in the morning.
Natalie moved through her day in a rhythm. Chores, patients at what had become a clinic, family time and then her nights with Brian. It helped that Jenny was learning to work in the clinic. Shifters were a healthy lot for the most part, but a person had to know as much about animals as they did about humans. With more people moving in, shifters were beginning to be less open about what they were. Two men last winter had gotten shot as 'wolves' and Natalie got her first work at patching up gunshot wounds.
"Jenny, I'm going into go check on Brian and then I'll be back," said Natalie.
"Aye, Maman," said Jenny as she settled to nurse Caroline.
Natalie took her basket and headed to the mill. In the basket was a lunch and if she could get Brian to leave, they'd head up into the woods for a run. She nearly got to the mill when she heard a cry from the area in front of the saloon and the shops. Natalie headed for the sound at a run. When she got there, she found Sally in the dirt kneeling over something. When she got closer, she saw that it was Big Joe, her brother.
Natalie knelt and looked at her brother. He wasn't breathing. No pulse. She pounded her fist on his chest and then listened again. Nothing. She turned to Sally.
"What happened?" she asked.
"He come in for a beer and about half way through it said his chest hurt. He stood up and walked out of the saloon and collapsed," said Sally. Tears were streaming down her face.
Alexander came up next to Natalie and looked over Big Joe. "I think he had a heart attack," he said. He closed Big Joe's eyes and said a prayer over him. Natalie simply nodded.
By this time, a crowd of people had gathered. Brian wrapped his arms around Natalie as she knelt in the dirt. Two men came with a stretcher to carry Big Joe home. His wife had fainted when they told her and her neighbors were watching her and the children. As they moved Big Joe to the stretcher, Brian, Kent, and two of Natalie's brothers moved in to carry their brother home.
Natalie sobbed with Sally and Alexander got the two women to sit for at least a minute on the porch of the saloon. Brian came back a little later and took Natalie to Big Joe's house. Celia was already there directing people and barking out orders. She'd lost three sons in the Great War and her husband two winters ago. Big Joe was her favorite and the shock of his sudden death showed on her face. Natalie wrapped her arms around her maman for a minute and then Celia started ordering people around again. Big Joe's wife was sitting next to her husband holding his hand and rocking back and forth.
"Brian, who is the head of the family?" Alexander asked. He was still working out the dynamics of the various families.
"Celia. Then Natalie and then, um...I think Daniel. Nathan left the valley long time gone. You want to lead the service?" Brian asked.
"Only if they want me," he said. The men were being moved out of the house so that the women could wash and dress Big Joe.
"They want you. Just don't know it yet. We go get my tractor and dig the hole," said Brian glad to be out of the house. Burials were either fast or slow depending on the weather. It was warm enough to be quick. As they headed for the mill, Brian saw the constable head towards the house. He shook his head, knowing that he didn't want to be there in about five minutes.
Alexander noticed the look and the shake of the head. "What?" he asked.
"That constable, the want to be Mountie, he gonna get an earful in about three seconds. Celia don like non-shifters. He a good man, but don listen when we say leave us alone," said Brian.
"He knows?" asked Alexander?
"Aye. His auntie marry one of them Harris boys years ago. So, whole family know. But that constable got the brains of a goose," was as far as Brian got. Behind them, Celia began to yell and scream and the constable came flying out of the house with a frying pan, pots, and a bucket of water chasing him.
Brian and Alexander stood and watched. Celia didn't come up to the man's chest, but she could be heard over 5oo yards away.
"Stay away!" hollered Celia. "Go screw your damn horse! It got more sense than you!"
The constable cringed and backed away. He finally turned and ran, heading for Brian and Alexander. When he reached them, his uniform was soaked with what smelled like vinegar or piss. His face was red where he'd been slapped and dirt covered his knees.
"Contstable Roberts, you okay?" asked Brian.
"Yeah. I just didn't realize that Celia would be there. Didn't think that one through," he said.
"I understand. Big Joe, he have a heart attack Natalie said," Alexander added. "You want a ride home to clean up?"
"Nah, I ran over here, I walk back. It give me time to dry off," Roberts said.
"Sorry about Celia," said Brian. "She don' change. Don' think shifters should marry humans," said Brian.
"Well, my aunt did. Best thing ever happen to her. She loves her family and they all love her," said Roberts. "An not like I'd say anything to anyone."
"We know, you're family. Celia she just don change for nobody," said Brian. "We gotta dig the grave, so don go out later tonight okay?"
"Yeah. I'll make sure no one goes hunting either if I can," said Roberts. He waved as he walked away from the two men.
Brian and Alexander started up the tractor and headed for the cemetery. It was small, as many of the family just walked away when they got too old. Brian moved over to the graves of Big Joe's brothers and father. Three were empty, but that didn't matter to Celia. There were still headstones. Alexander guided while Brian dug. It didn't take long as the soil wasn't frozen.
Near midnight, the procession left Big Joe's house and headed up to the cemetery. A thin sliver of a new moon shone in the sky. Brian and the brothers carried Big Joe. He was wrapped in a quilt and nestled in a pine box that Kent had knocked together. Behind them came Celia, still wound as tight as a steel cable. Following her were Big Joe's wife and children and then the rest of the families. When they got to the cemetery, they found Alexander waiting for them by the grave.
They set the coffin down and gathered around as best they could. Sally brought up the rear with two helpers to carry the beer. She had a well used glass in her hand and poured the first of the beer into it. Then she handed it to Alexander.
"We gather under the moon, in the woods and beneath open skies to honor a man who had been a strength and a fixture in our community. Big Joe had seen a lot in his life. He survived the World War, and difficult times. He knew love and family. His family is here tonight. Family by blood and family by choice," Alexander said. He lifted the beer glass up high. "To Big Joe, a good man, hard worker and decent boss." Alexander took a swig of the beer and then passed it to Celia.
Celia took the beer glass, and held it up. "My son is gone. He was a shit, but I loved him," she said and took a sip. Then she passed it to Natalie.
"Big Joe, I am so glad you didn't beat my Brian up when we mated," Natalie said and took a sip of beer. She passed it to Brian.