Changed Ch. 02bya_koozie©
Once she got home, Karen cleaned the house from top to bottom, and then baked 3 batches of cookies and a cake to work off all of her nervous, pent up energy. Finally, she allowed herself to sink into her old fashioned claw footed bathtub. She sighed and the days tension seemed to flow out of her. Leaning her head back onto a pillow, she let her thoughts replay the days events. The handsome man who had walked into her work sparked something in her that she'd never felt before. When she had cut her hand, it had warmed her from her head to her toes that he had come over to try and help. When she caught the color of his eyes and when he wouldn't take no for an answer her training kicked in and she had reacted like she had be taught. She could still hear her father's words in her ear,
Never let anyone you don't know touch you. There are enemies at every turn, hiding in every shadow. Keep a weapon on hand at all times. If you have no weapon, make one, if you fail to maintain it, become one.
She never understood why he trained her so hard. That was the one aspect of her life that he was completely cold and uncaring. Once they entered the dojo, he was a different person. He wasn't her father anymore, but her trainer. It was after training, that he reverted back to himself and took care of the bumps, bruises, and later cuts, that she had earned on the mat. Her hand lightly traced the scars on her thigh and stomach. She would carry some of his lessons for the rest of her life. She understood that he was trying to protect her, and teach her to take care of herself, but she had definitely overreacted with the gentleman in her store. It was a shame she'd never get to apologize.
Her thoughts slowly turned to Josh. How did he know she was in trouble? It was more than coincidence. He should have been working the bar at that time. She started when her phone started ringing. Muttering quietly under her breath she got out of the tub and answered it.
"Karen! There's no time to explain. Get your ass to cemetery! And bring your kit." Josh's voice erupted out of the earpiece.
"Josh!?! What's going on?" She asked frantically
"Jesus! Karen there's no time! You should have left yesterday. Get a move on!!" He answered harshly before disconnecting.
Karen sat stunned for about a second before she was up and moving. She ran to her closet, and opened the hidden door behind all of her girly dresses. Reaching in, she grabbed a pair of black cargo pants and jacket, a black tank top and her double shoulder and thigh holster, along with her boots and black ball cap. After she hastily donned all of her gear, she ran downstairs and opened up yet another hidden door in the hall closet. She packed her pockets with clips of all sorts of ammo ranging from 9mms to .12 gauge shotgun shells. As she stuffed her pants and jacket her mind was racing. He sounded angry, and in pain. What was going on? How did he know about her kit? That was only something her and her dad knew about. It was their secret code for all of her weapons. Why would Josh need all of her fire power? Pushing her thoughts aside she willed herself to be calm. If Josh was in trouble, she needed to be 100% there mentally. After she finished packing herself with extra ammo, she reached back in and began drawing out her weapons. Two hand guns went into the shoulder holster, another was added to her thigh, her shotgun got strapped to her back, followed by her compound bow and arrows. Once she was armed to the teeth, she jumped into her jeep and sped off down the road towards her, now, least favorite spot ever.
* * * * * * * *
Theo threw himself into his workout. He had tried to go back and talk to Annie to explain what was going on, but she met him with hostility and after screaming at him for a good 5 minutes, she slammed the door in his face. He grunted as he did a combination kick on the punching bag. He had deserved every minute of her yelling at him. His wolf growled softly in indignation. Oh hush. We're not alpha yet, she's the same rank as we are right now. His wolf whined softly but consented. Suddenly the door to the gym slammed open.
"T! T! Come quick there's some sort of fight battle thing going on in the cemetery! It's helluva entertaining. From what we can gather, a group of dudes ganged up on a guy sitting by a grave. We're placing bets to see who'll win, I'm betting on the single dude!" Exclaimed his best friend Cody before taking off back towards the cemetery. Theo shook his head and smiled softly before taking off after him.
The Pack's grounds boarded with the city limits in 2 places, the park and the cemetery. After a hard five minute run, he and Cody reached the others who had gathered around to watch. All of the attention was focused on the fight that had broken out. There were 4 large men dressed in black surrounding one dressed in everyday clothes. The fight was raging and the other wolves filled Theo in on what had happened.
"Okay, so the little dude was just sitting by one of the graves, it sounded like he was talking to it, but from this distance we couldn't understand what he was whispering. Then the first big guy walked up and tapped him on the shoulder. The little guy looked up and then jumped back after seeing who it was. After that the other three came out and they've been going ever since. The little dude is really holding his own, but he got hit really hard about 2 minutes ago..." the narrative dropped off as the wolves heard the little man calling someone on his cell phone.
"Get your ass to cemetery! And bring your kit."
All of a sudden, Theo's heart dropped into his stomach. That was the same guy from earlier from the stained glass shop. His wolf growled at the memory of the man holding his woman. Cody noticed the change and grabbed theo's shoulders.
"Dude what's wrong?"
"Nothing" growled Theo, his tone making it clear not to question him any further.
The wolves shrugged and went back to watching the fight. Now there was only three against one, since one of the larger men was laying on the ground motionless. Suddenly, one of the wolves pointed to the tree line on the edge of the cemetery. There a shadowy figure was stalking through the trees towards the fight. This new person was much more interesting than the fight so everyone fixed their eyes on him. They watched as he got closer and closer until he was about 25 yards from the fight. The person then scaled a tree, and mimicked the hoot of a barn owl. The fight stopped for a brief second while the large men looked around. Only the little man looked relieved before the slumped to the ground unconscious.
"That must be the person he called." Said Cody with quite anticipation "I wonder why he scaled the tree"
Theo chuckled, about to make a smart-ass remark when the wind shifted slightly, and he caught the scent of spices.
"No" He breathed out "it can't be"
He had said it so quietly that no one else heard, or if they did they were all too caught up in the fight to bother with it. All of a sudden the figure in the tree drew dual hand guns, and opened fire. The sound of gunshots ripped through the air, each one hitting their mark on one of the three remaining men. Each one staggered, but all rose back up and started to approach the tree. The figure then drew out a shotgun and again opened fire, each shot hitting it's mark. This time the large men staggered back a few steps, but still remained upright and continued to advance.
Then one of the wolves turned and said to the others "I'd bet my pelt that those are vampires, or some other sort of being, the person in the tree doesn't have a chance"
At that Theo's wolf went berserk, and came rushing to the front. Theo dropped to the ground trying to control the change, but his wolf was too strong. Cody and three other wolves grabbed him and dragged him back as he was about to jump the fence of the cemetery.
"What the Hell Theo, Get a grip!" Cody whispered harshly "Do you want to attract those things over here and possibly back to the compound?"
Theo whined and struggled, but the three other wolves wouldn't let him go. It took a total of five wolves to contain and control him as he fought. They ended up having to drag him all the way back to the compound. Once there, they put him in one of the padded rooms downstairs to wait until he got himself under control. As the door slammed shut Theo let out a soul tearing howl before slumping to the ground defeated.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Karen was terrified. The men approaching her should have been on the ground by now, but none of her guns were working. As they stalked closer, she drew her bow and let an arrow loose into one of the men. He screamed in agony as light started to pour out from around the arrow. The other two men hissed and lunged for the tree. One of them, jumped and knocked karen off of her branch. The other caught her as she fell. Karen struggled as they men started to rip away any of the weapons they could find, attempting to leave her defenseless. As Karen felt the last of her weapons being torn away from her she went completely limp, catching the man holding her by surprise, and he dropped her. Once she was free from his grasp she sprung up and immediately started to fight.
Each one of Karen's kicks and punches hit their mark and was able to keep the men away from her, but they weren't doing much damage. After about 10 minutes, she was able to knock one to the ground where he stayed. The last man however wasn't going to go down so easily. For each hit Karen got, he got three, and he was starting to do some real damage. Karen could feel that she had some broken ribs, a busted wrist, and a sprained ankle. Still she fought, thinking only about getting to Josh. She had seen him collapse, and that was what was fueling her. She managed to steer the fight back towards where he lay, and she could see that he was barely breathing, and bleeding from multiple cuts. The sight of her best friend re-energized her fight and she finally started to land heavy blows. As she was about to deliver the final blow to put this guy out like his friends, he drew a knife, and stabbed her in the side. Karen called out from the pain that blossomed from the wound, and buckled over clasping at the knife. Barely able to stand up, she was afraid that this was it for her. That all of her training, everything her dad ever taught her would have been a waste. Suddenly she remembered his words, Keep a weapon on hand at all times. If you have no weapon, make one, if you fail to maintain it, become one. She grabbed the handle of the knife, pulled it out, keeping one hand on the wound. By some miracle, she took the man by surprise, and plunged the knife to the hilt, right into his heart. The man staggered back, shock in his eyes before he fell to the ground.
Karen fell to her knees, clutching at the pain in her side, she crawled over to where Josh lay, and grabbed his hand.
"Don't give up, help will come" she told him as she slipped the last few inches to the ground "I hope" She whispered quietly as her vision went black.
The wolves on the hill sat in shock. They had never seen a human fight so well, let alone a female and with all the injuries she had suffered. Cody had returned just in time to see the last few minutes and was the first to speak up.
"Welp, we can't just leave them there. The human police won't know what to do with those things, and the humans probably won't make it in a normal hospital. Also, judging by the way Theo was acting, I'd say these people mean something to him. Come one, lets go get 'em"
The other wolves nodded in agreement and hurried over to where the bodies lay. They carefully gathered up Karen and Josh and rushed them to the compounds hospital, while the others dealt with the bodies.
Theo was in his cell for a whole day before his wolf finally gave up control and changed back to human. He walked up to the call button on the side of the door and asked for Cody. Within minutes he was there with clothes and a enough food to feed an army. Cody went into the cell, shut the door behind him and set the food and clothes down next to Theo. Cody watched him carefully as Theo dressed and then started to eat.
"So what the hell was that about Theo? You've never lost control like that. Ever."
"I don't want really want to talk about it, but lets just say that my wolf is a little confused at the moment and thinks that some human" he scoffed at the word "is my mate. The same human that showed up last night. He thought she was in danger and flipped. I didn't even have a chance to realize that I was changing until you and the others grabbed me." He let out a nervous laugh, hoping that Cody would join in. His smile slowly slid off of his face as he saw the thoughtful look on Cody's face.
"Yah know, I wouldn't be surprised if that was true Theo. The way that woman moves and fights is like nothing I've ever seen before. If there was any chance that a wolf would have a human mate, it would be that girl" Cody ended with a touch of awe in his voice.
"You saw her fight? Is she okay? What happened? Who were the men dressed in black?" Theo rushed out, jumping to his feet and heading to the door.
Cody got up and intercepted Theo before he could reach it.
"They're fine. The human male is in pretty bad shape, the female also took some heavy damage but has already regained consciousness. The four things that they were fighting turned out to be Fairies, the female was able to kill one of them due to the iron tipped arrow she shot at it. We have the other three locked in holding tanks. Now Theo, I know you want to go see her, but with her condition and the state of your wolf I think it's a bad idea. However, I will take you if you promise to behave, keep your wolf down, and listen to me or the nurses should anything come up"
Theo thought for a moment, he could keep himself calm and listen, but it was his wolf he was worried about. After making the animal promise to behave and not try to take over so as not to scare his human mate,Theo was ready.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Karen woke to the soft beeping of the different hospital machines that she was hooked up to. Groaning she sat up, wincing at the pain that blossomed in her side. She looked down and was shocked to see a 4x4 bandage soaking up fresh blood as a result of her moving.
What happened? Where am I?
Suddenly, as if someone had hit play on a movie, the images from last night came rushing back, fighting off three huge men dressed in black, the stabbing, then her world going dark. Josh.
The thought shook her to her core. She dragged herself out of bed, wincing and groaning as all her injuries protested. Grabbing the cords hooked into her arms she yanked them out, setting off the alarms for the nurses. Ignoring that she stumbled out the door and into the brightly lit hallways.
"JOSH" she screamed and she started forward looking for his room.
One of the nurses ran up and grabbed her shoulders, " You can't be outside your room! You need time to heal! You've already opened up most of your wounds!" she said quietly and calmly trying to control the feisty human.
"NO!! I need to find Josh! Where is he? Please! I'll do whatever you want just please take me to Josh" Karen begged, half yelling half sobbing.
"Okay, Okay, I'll take you to him, but you have to sit still and let me hook you back up to your IV"
Karen nodded numbly, and let herself be reattached, and then led to the room across the hall. Inside Josh was awake, laying in bed covered in bandages, "What on earth are you yellin' about Sugar? I'm right here" he wheezed out, with a small smile
"Oh my God, Josh! Are you okay?" Karen asked, wrenching herself from the nurses grasp and stumbled over to the side of his bed.
Josh chuckled softly, as the nurse started muttering under her breath because Karen had ripped out her IV again. "If you don't calm down chickadee, the nurse is likely to tie you up," he said beckoning the nurse to come over and hook Karen back up before leaving the room. "I'm fine Kare-bear, just a little beaten and bruised" he lifted his hand to brush away the tears that were starting to fall. "Stop that now darlin' I might not have a whole lot of time left, and there's some things I need to tell you. Your dad entrusted me to keep you safe, and right now you're flying blind. See, you're not fully human, and your other half is the last of it's kind"
"What do you mean I'm not fully human?" Karen asked incredulously
Josh took a shuddering breath, " Your Momma was a Spriym or Soul Nymph, the last of her kind. She lured a human male to her so that she could continue her race. She was dying when she met your father. She died when you were one and he created a story that you could understand. By saying she left, he gave you anger, which was fuel and a reason to train and learn to protect yourself. When you turn 24 this year, the half of you that has been dormant all these years will awaken. It will be a hard, long process before you fully master having two selves in one body"
Karen sat in shock as she listen to him speak. After a minute or two of silence, she blurted out the first question she was able to fully form in her mind. "What's a Soul Nymph?"
Josh let out a weak laugh, "They were one of the first kinds of creatures on this earth, along with vampires, werewolves, and other assorted fairies. The reason no one knows about them, is because they were hunted until only a few remained. You see, Soul Nymphs are incredibly powerful, sexual beings. Where a water and tree nymphs can bend their elements to their will, a soul nymph can control the souls of others. This trait was what led to their near extinction. The leaders of the other races would go out and find an Spirym and take it back with them. They would then use it to continue their races by forcing it to force others to mate with that species. Most of the Spriym died when they refused to commit these atrocities. Because you are only half Spriym, I don't think you'll be able to completely control someone, maybe just influence their feelings, but I do know that you will have the same sexual appetite as one. That is what is going to make the awakening so much har..."
"Wait! Are you saying I'm going to turn into some sex crazed, emotion controlling thing?!? Josh I swear if you're joking with me, I'll hit you"
Again Josh let out a soft, wet sounding chuckle. "I'm sorry Sugar. I wish I was, and there is one more thing I need to tell you. This body of mine isn't going to last much longer, I'm going to be leaving for a little bit. Once this body fails, I'll move over to Elslond, where all Fae go to recuperate, heal and create new humanoid bodies. It may take awhile for me to come back, but I will give you an early birthday present. It'll start the awakening early, but this way we'll be able to talk, and visit, though briefly, until I can come back"
"Josh, you're being silly, you just need to rest, and sleep and let the doctors here make you feel better. You're not going to go anywhere, you're not going to die. All this talk of magic and fairies is just your hallucinating from blood loss. Please, stop talking like this" Karen choked out as tears started to fall once again.
"Shh, shh, darlin' it'll be okay" Josh whispered as he reached up, cupping her neck in his hands and pulling her down to rest forehead to forehead. Slowly, Josh's breath grew shallow and short.
"No... Please" Karen sobbed, holding his face with her hands.
Josh looked up and smiled "I'll... see you... soon... Kare-bear......dimittes... eam.... incipiunt"
Karen felt a sharp pain behind her ear where Josh's hand was before it slipped limply from her body. Reaching up she felt a strange design, that was sore to the touch.