Friends and Foes Ch. 03byingarlm©
This story contains m/m and m/f relationships and sex scenes.
Thanks for the comments, votes and mails, all positive and most asking for more! I've got no idea yet how many chapters there will be but I'm writing chapter 7 and I do have the whole plot in my head and a lot written, it's just a case of getting it all down. If only I could connect direct to the computer without having to type it I'd be done by now! I'll be sticking with the weekly submissions of this, and I hope to get some other things finished up soon which I'll post when done.
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"I really don't like this idea Sam," said Tom as they walked up to the restaurant entrance.
"You've said that several times. I know it's not ideal, but this is a public place and we have people in there and outside. We have to find out what he wants. Now remember, play nice both of you, and whatever you do, don't hiss or make any other cat-like noises."
Tom just gave him a look, saying quite clearly that he was not an idiot. Tilly's expression was pretty similar. Sam shrugged. This could be very interesting, but he didn't like it either.
When they got to the door they were greeted and their coats taken. This was quite a high end establishment, the kind of place Tilly and Sam were used to and not surprised that Adam frequented. Tom was rather more uncomfortable in the plush surroundings. Sam gave their information to the waiter. "We're here to meet Mr Stephens."
"Right this way Sirs and Madam. Mr Stephens is already here and expecting you."
They followed the waiter to the table, taking in the layout as they went like they usually would in unfamiliar surroundings. They also glanced around the people present, not lingering but all noting the positions of Dill, Peter and Michael who were sat together at one table, and Finn and Sky at another. The two of them were doing a fairly convincing portrayal of a loving couple, probably because it wasn't acting. However, Sam and the others knew that despite their apparent interest in each other, Finn was also on alert.
The waiter took them towards the back of the room where there was a small side room, separated from the main area by a thick curtain. They entered slowly, all nervous and wondering what would happen. They all knew that Adam was behind the kidnappings and the facility they had attacked. The question was what did he know and why had he asked to see Sam after all this time. It seemed too much of a coincidence that this was a purely business meeting.
Adam was sat at the table with another man they didn't know. While Adam smiled at them in welcome, the man looked very nervous, and Tilly felt his fear. She wondered about that for a moment until she saw his face. Just about managing to keep control of her expression, she shot a thought to Sam and Tom.
"That's the man who attacked Dill."
Sam sent a thought back quickly. "I know. Keep control."
Adam started to speak. "Sam, it's good to see you again, and the lovely Tilly."
He held out his hand, and Sam shook it very briefly. Tilly managed to stop a shiver of revulsion when Adam took her hand and kissed it.
Adam then looked at Tom. "And is this your bodyguard?"
Sam felt Tom stiffen at his side and knew he didn't like the suggestion. "No, this is Tom, my husband. You wanted to talk business, and we are most of the board now. Tilly's husband couldn't be here but three out of four seemed good enough."
"It seems the make up of the family firm has changed a little since we last spoke. You've both got married huh?" he said, seeming to be deep in thought. "I don't suppose that there's anything to discuss that won't involve him anyway."
Sam wondered about that comment, but anything he might have said was stopped by the waiter coming to take their orders. They quickly looked at the menus and made their choices. It was a brief moment during which they were all able to calm themselves. Tilly was impressed at how calm Sam could be when they all knew what Adam had done, and they had the man that had nearly killed her mate sat across the table from them. She tried hard not to look at him, still angry for what he had done, but also at herself for what she had so nearly done. His arm was in plaster, so she had broken it as she thought. There was no way of seeing, but she could be fairly sure he had bite and claw marks on his body underneath that suit.
When the waiter left again Sam decided to move the conversation on. "So, what can our firm do for you?"
Adam laughed. "It's not about your firm Sam, and you know that. Our businesses may be in competition, but this is about your extra-curricular activities." He snapped his fingers and the other man quickly pulled out a briefcase and opened it, handing Adam a couple of files.
"I forgot to mention, this is Simon, an employee of mine. You've already met."
Sam looked at Simon then raised an eyebrow. "Not that I recall."
"Then let me jog your memory." said Adam, opening one file and sliding across a photograph.
The three weres looked at it, keeping their expressions blank. It was a view of the stairwell in the facility they had attacked, showing the moment after Tilly had been called off Simon's throat. Dill was lying on the floor, Tilly beside him, and Sam was staring at Simon who was backed against the wall cradling his arm with a look of fear on his face.
Before they could look up from the photo another was thrown on top of it, this time showing Tilly leading the way out while Sam carried Dill in his arms. Tilly and Dill were both in panther form, while Sam's body was human but his face still mostly wolf.
Tilly looked at the other two men. Simon seemed to be averting his gaze from the photo and them, not wanting to see the reminder of what had happened. Adam was intently waiting for them to react.
"That's bizarre." she said. "I don't see why you want to speak to us about some wild animals and a bloke in a mask."
Adam's expression and tone were patronising, and he threw another photo onto the pile. This one was a close up of the crotch of the human/wolf hybrid.
"You'll note the birthmark on the thigh. These are stills from a video which clearly shows the transformation. That's you Sam, and we all know it."
Sam looked up and grinned. "You always were obsessed Adam. How long did the special effects work take?"
Adam looked angry. "If you want to play pretend then carry on. You know it's not special effects, and so do I. I have plenty more photos here." he said, almost dealing them across the table.
They saw pictures of pretty much all of them, the lab being destroyed, the men being rescued, and Finn carrying Sky out of the building, the pile increasing as he emptied the file he was holding one by one.
"I have more, but I thought it would be a waste of time showing you every last frame when you know what happened better than I do. It was easy to work out which one is Sam, I was wondering if you were there Tilly. Is this you, or this one?" he asked, showing them photos of Den and Rob.
Tilly laughed and easily managed to be amused since Adam had got it so wrong.
"You think I'm a werewolf? I have to agree with Sam, you've always been obsessed, and you're only getting worse."
Adam's face and emotion told of his annoyance. The waiter coming back made him grab the pictures up quickly and stuff them back in the file before they were seen by outsiders.
"Fine, you can play it that way if you like. I know that Weres exist, and that these photos show werewolves and werecats. You can deny it all you want, but you're only here because it was Sam and probably also you two who entered my facility and stole enough data that it'd be a miracle if you didn't know I financed the operation." he looked at Tom then "Or is this all coming as a big surprise to you? Did you know you've married half man, half dog?"
Tom started laughing. It was helping to keep treating this as a joke, but really they were all surprised that there was so much photographic evidence. There must have been some hidden surveillance cameras because they had disabled the ones they had known about. He shot a thought to the others.
"Bit of a bugger this, but I doubt anyone would believe him. Nice photo of your dick there love!"
Sam tried not to smile in response to the thought. "We figured he was making contact because he thought I was Were, not because he had the birthmark to prove it. Still, it doesn't change that much, we just have to keep playing it cool."
Sam looked up at Adam, just as their starters arrived. "So, I still don't see what you want Adam. What are all your pictures supposed to prove?"
"That it was you who destroyed my research base, and therefore you need to help me finish the job."
"I want to know how to change, become one of you."
Tilly and Tom had just started on their soup and both ended up coughing it up again. They looked at Adam to see if he was joking, but the face was totally serious.
Sam was the only one who was able to speak. "You want to become a werewolf? And you think we can help you? You're crazier than I thought."
"I wish you'd stop saying that. I know what you are, you know I know, why keep pretending I'm crazy?"
"You just told us you had a secret research laboratory looking into how to turn a human into a werewolf. Are we supposed to think that's normal?" asked Tilly.
"Perhaps not totally normal, but when you want something enough it's worth taking unusual steps."
"Like kidnapping and torturing people to try and get the information you want?" she asked again, letting her disgust show in her voice.
Adam looked down. "I don't expect you to believe me, but that wasn't my plan. I should have taken more control of the operation, but I thought it would be best to keep it at arms length in case any of my normal business contacts got wind of it. Unfortunately I hired the wrong people and they took matters into their own hands. I never intended for anyone to get hurt."
Sam's reply was sarcastic to say the least. "I'm sure that would come as great comfort to the lab rats."
Simon spoke for the first time. "It's true, honestly. Adam sent me to check out what was happening. I arrived in the afternoon before the raid, and what I saw was shocking. I couldn't get access to those people who were being held because the men running the place had decided what they wanted to do and had no desire to stop."
Tilly couldn't stop herself. "Funny, from that photo it looked rather like you were joining in until you got outnumbered."
She heard the rebuke from Sam and Tom in her head while she was still speaking but it was too late by then. She stared at Simon, willing him to explain himself, and without realising it her eyes flashed her anger and her pupils narrowed closer to her cat form. She saw him flinch.
"I'm sorry. I was scared and confused. It might be hard to believe if you saw the end of it, but I was coming off worse in that fight. It got to the point of him or me. Did he..." he stopped short of asking whether the cat had died.
Tilly was tempted to answer, but before she could do so she heard Sam in her head.
"DON'T. Do you want to blow your cover, or Dill's? You've already pretty much told them you know what he did. Let's hope he doesn't know it was you that hurt him."
Adam cleared his throat. "Simon, can you leave us? I guess it's not worth asking for Tom to leave as well?" The look Sam gave him made it very clear that wasn't going to happen.
"There's nothing I want to discuss without him here. You don't get that choice."
"Fine. I wanted to explain some things, but I don't need the staff knowing about it."
"Go ahead. We're listening."
Adam looked nervous, but managed to speak clearly despite his voice being lowered so he couldn't be overheard.
"When you two cut me off I spent a while wondering what I had done. I thought we were friends even though I knew Sam and I wouldn't last. You spent so much time trying to discourage me from my research into werewolves I figured you just got fed up with me, but I knew it was true even then. It wasn't long after that I discovered you were actually trying to protect your secret. I couldn't quite believe it. I'd had werewolves right under my nose all that time, even in my bed."
Tilly snorted her amusement, Sam stiffened, and Tom gave a glare that Adam decided to ignore. Tom wasn't happy hearing about that, even though he knew Sam had had a physical relationship with the man he really didn't want reminding.
Adam continued as if he hadn't noted their reactions. "I never stopped trying to find out more. I discovered that there weren't just wolves out there. I know there is some kind of government for your people. But more important than all of that, I found my mate."
The Weres couldn't help staring at him when he used the term.
Adam laughed at their expressions. "Yes, I know the word, and yes, he's a Were. In fact he's a wolf."
Sam couldn't help himself asking. "So if you have a tame werewolf, why do you need to research anything? Can't he tell you all you need to know?"
Adam looked annoyed. "Don't make it sound like he's my pet. I use the word mate advisedly. And no, he can't tell me. He says that as far as he knows it isn't possible. However, he also doesn't like to discuss it. I believe you two distrusting me still means that he doesn't entirely do so."
"This just gets weirder. If he's truly your mate then he wouldn't keep things from you. I find it hard to believe any Were would have that connection to a human either."
"He said you'd say that. I can't prove it but I can talk to him just like you guys probably have been talking to each other during this meal. Telepathy is a very handy skill."
"He's right there." said Tilly. "It means we can call him a dickhead without him knowing."
Tom couldn't stop himself starting to laugh, but he managed to put a lid on it quickly. The dirty look he got from Adam nearly set him off again.
"I'm sure that was hilarious, and at my expense."
Tom just glared at him. "You haven't done or said anything so far to earn any respect from us."
"I know that what those people were doing in my name have set you against me, and I understand that. I didn't want to hurt anyone, I just want to be able to be totally one with my mate. As long as I can't change and he knows Sam doesn't trust me that can't happen."
"Why does what I think of you have any bearing on this? Do I know him?"
Adam didn't answer straight away, but opened the second folder, taking out another photograph. He slid it over to them. "I think you know him very well."
Tilly gasped and grabbed for the photo, and Sam seemed to be speechless, just staring at the picture in front of them. Tom was the only one in the dark. "Who is that?"
His question wasn't actually answered, but Tilly shot up from her chair and had Adam round the throat in an instant. "What have you done with him?"
"Tilly. Let him go." ordered Sam.
She turned to him and snarled. "He has our brother."
"I know. But pissing him off isn't going to help get Jake back."
"A bit of pain might."
Sam was tempted to let her hurt Adam, but he didn't think that would help them. "I said no."
Tilly reluctantly let her hold slip, and was amused when Adam gasped a little to get his breath back.
"So, what now? We help you and you free our brother?"
Adam looked at Tilly nervously as Sam spoke to him, especially since she didn't sit back down but stayed hovering near him. "He isn't my prisoner Sam. I told you, we are mates. He chooses to stay with me."
"And he chooses not to contact his family?"
"Yes. That has been his choice. I didn't meet him until nearly two years after he left. He told me that he felt he was living under your shadow, and could never become what you expected. You two did work that was so important he felt insignificant by comparison. It was only when I saw those photos I got an inkling of what that work was. Ironically, he also thought you might not accept him being gay. You also need to know, I didn't know for quite a while that he was your brother, and that was a big surprise to me. He kept his past and his wolf side hidden for a long time. And when he found out that I knew you two and what had happened he took your side on what I needed to know. As close as we are he still considers you his Alpha."
Sam considered that. He wasn't prepared to accept that Adam knew more about Jake than he did, but there was the possibility that he had left them because of those reasons.
"Sit down Tilly. You'll have Dill rushing in here if you don't calm yourself."
Tilly again didn't seem keen, but she was also thinking over what Adam was saying and wondering if it could be true. She moved back to her chair and sat down.
"I can't imagine why Jake feels you are controlling Sam." said Adam as he watched Tilly walk away.
Tilly bit at that. "You don't get to judge us. If you knew as much as you think you do then you would understand."
"I know that everyone does as the Alpha says, but it doesn't make sense to me."
Tom smiled. "You run a huge business and you don't understand the concept of being in charge?"
"That's rather different. I don't expect my employees to obey me 24 hours a day, or when it comes to their personal lives. How does it work being mated to the Alpha anyway? Do you just bend over any time he tells you?" he asked with a dirty grin.
Sam's connection to Tom made him aware of his intentions before he moved and he grabbed Tom's arm to stop him going for Adam. He smiled sweetly at Adam and decided to wipe the smug grin off his face.
"I got tired of relationships like that after you and I broke up."
Tom laughed when he saw the look on Adam's face turn from smug to embarrassed. It was amusing to hear that detail about their relationship and to know that theirs was a lot more even.
Sam wanted to move this along. "Much as this banter is great fun, we were discussing the rather more important issue of you getting my trust and what you are doing with our brother. If he's so free why isn't he here explaining this to us?"
"He was worried you wouldn't want to see him after he left and hadn't contacted you for so long, and now he thinks it's even less likely because of me."
"He's our brother and we love him." said Sam. "It doesn't matter why he left, we want to see him. And if you want anything from us then you'll make it happen. If he's truly free as you say then he can come to the house and stay with us for a while."
"And let you spend all the time slagging me off so he won't come back?" Adam asked, clearly not keen on the idea.
"If your bond is as strong as you claim then nothing we can say would stop him leaving. And we don't put people in cages. If you're right then he might be able to persuade us you aren't what we think."
Adam seemed to be thinking this over. "Okay. I agree. It's going to be hard being without him, but if it will help in the longterm."
"We'll expect him at midday tomorrow, unaccompanied."
Adam looked surprised. "So soon?"
"Doesn't give you enough time to get the chains off him?" asked Tom.
Adam snarled, and it was so much like a wolf noise that the others started. "Perhaps once you've seen him you'll stop thinking like that. If you'll excuse me I'll go and let him know so he can pack. Your meals are paid for so do continue. I hope I will see you all soon, and it will be a rather more friendly meeting."
"We'll see." said Sam.
When Adam had left, the three of them just looked at each other, all in shock over what they had just learned. Each of them digested it in their own way and bolted down their food, eager to leave. They didn't want to talk out loud in case there was some sort of surveillance still there.