Out of Darknessbylilgirlsix©
This is the next story in the saga of the Baxter Pack and the Vlkolak. It's best to read this after completing the preceding storylines: Wolf's Pet, The Twins Take Over, and The Destruction of the Vlkolak (in that order).
As always, my sincere thanks to my wonderful, stupendous, insightful editor, Archangel_M. Without him I would be getting many more comments of the negative variety. Thank you, AA, for all your help, guidance, and support on this tale of Werewolves and Werepanthers.
Island of Sardinia - 1052 A.D.
The black wolf's eyes followed every move of the sleek cat as she bounded across the rocks on her way to the lake. He followed, close enough to keep track of her but far enough away so she wouldn't notice him. His long tongue licked his lips in anticipation. He was old enough to mate now, and his father had promised him that he would be Alpha of the pack one day. An Alpha needed a strong mate, and she was perfect for him. Now he had to just make her realize it. They were meant for each other - he was sure of it! He moved quietly, carefully, shadowing her every move. He stopped behind a thicket and watched as she leapt into the water. She shifted and her girlish laughter carried through the wind to his ears. She was perfect.
Leona dunked her head, wetting her long black hair, and rolled in the cool water. It felt good against her skin as she floated on her back. She much preferred bathing as a human as opposed to in her panther form. Her cat just didn't like the water. It was something she and her alter ego argued about constantly. She giggled as she thought about how angry her panther became when Leona insisted on bathing, regardless of her cat's feelings on the subject. She stared up into the blue sky, the white fluffy clouds slowly passing by, and thought how absolutely perfect this day was. It was her birthday, the most wonderful birthday of her life. She had awoken from a dream of her mate. Now she knew he was waiting for her. She smiled and hugged herself as she thought about the beautiful white wolf she'd seen in the dream. Her parents had not been happy to hear her mate was to be a wolf and not a panther, but she had dreamt it, and it would come to pass.
He saw the happy smile on her face and wondered what had prompted it. He wanted her to smile at him that way. She was his life. Why didn't she see that? Why did she dismiss him? He was strong. He would be a good provider for her and their cubs. He watched as she left the water and lay on a patch of grass. Her raven-black hair was fanned out behind her to dry. He approached ever so cautiously. The last thing he wanted to do was to scare her away.
"Erobos, I know you are there. Stop hiding and come speak with me." She spoke so softly, a human could never have heard. But a were was not a human. She could hear the rustle in the thicket as he walked into the open. "Come here and sit with me." She reached out a hand and waited.
They'd known each other since they were small cubs, but the sight of her in her human form still took his breath away. He shifted in mid-stride and sat quietly next to her, taking her hand in his gently, almost reverently. She was like a goddess, no, she was a goddess. She was the sun and the moon; she controlled his life. She was his everything, and he hoped to be hers. They could be Alphas of both the wolf and panther packs. They could rule this entire island. They could rid it of the humans and it would belong once again to the were. His eyes never left her face; her eyes were closed and he saw the flutter of her long eyelashes as she opened her eyes to gaze up into the sky.
"Today is my birthday, Erobos." Again, the beautiful smile came to her face.
He spoke quietly. "I know, Leona. You are old enough to mate now." His words caught in his throat. He wanted to take her now, lay claim to her body, her soul. But he would be an Alpha. He had to ask her father.
"I am going to mate, soon." Her face lit up with excitement.
His voice was alarmed. "What? What do you mean? Who?" His face turned red as his hand closed around hers. She was his. He would not give her up. He would kill him.
Her voice betrayed her joy. "A beautiful white wolf, my white wolf. He is big and strong, and will keep me safe." Her face was alight with wonder as she spoke of him, her dream mate.
"Leona, there are no white wolves here, you know that. They are only on the continent, not on our island." He breathed a sigh of relief. There were no white wolves in Sardinia.
"Of course I know that. I will be leaving here soon." She rolled onto her stomach and looked at her friend. "I hope that he finds me soon. I cannot wait to belong to him. Oh, Erobos, just think, it was just a few years ago we were cubs. And soon, we will go our separate ways." She looked up into his handsome face and was shocked to see the look of horror etched into his features. All at once he was ugly, not the Erobos she knew at all.
"NO!" His voice was a loud roar, and took her by surprise. His hand that had been gently, and then firmly grasping hers, suddenly closed like a vise around her slender wrist. "You are mine, Leona. You were always mine. You will belong to no one but me." He glared at her, not a hint of the awe he felt in her presence a short time ago.
"Erobos, stop it! You are hurting me. Let me go! Let me go!" Her voice rose until it was a scream. She shifted and snarled, her long white teeth gleaming in the sunlight. He tried to hold on, but she sank her teeth into his arm until he was forced to loosen his grip. The panther jumped to her feet and ran to join her pack.
The searing pain in his arm took Erobos' attention away from her for just a moment, but then he found his voice and yelled to her as she ran. "Leona, I am sorry! Do you hear me? I am sorry. I love you!" He dropped his voice so only he could hear. "I love you." He watched as the torn flesh of his arm healed before his eyes. He looked up and could barely make out the form of the panther as she ran for home.
He didn't see the tall man come towards him. By the time he noticed, he was standing close enough to reach out and touch.
"You want her, do you not?" The man was shrouded in a robe. His voice was so soft a human would never have heard it and would have thought it was just the wind.
All Erobos could see was his white hand with long, gnarled fingers, his also nails long, and yellowed. Erobos couldn't speak, but managed a slow nod.
"Then you shall have her. I can help you, if you would like."
"Yes, please, I must have her." He knew this would cost him dearly. His father had warned him to stay as far from the Vampires as possible. But he had to have her. And he would do anything, pay anything, to make it happen. Leona was rightfully his. If it took making a pact with the devil, then so be it.
The vampire twisted his mouth into a ghastly smile.
Sardinia, Italy - present day
The quiet knock on the door annoyed him. "Come." He didn't bother to look up from his desk. He waited until his young associate was intensely uncomfortable before speaking. "What is it, Drago?"
"She's asking to speak with you." Drago hated when the boss was moody, and lately, he was always moody. Maybe this would cheer him up.
The gaunt white face looked up slowly from his desk and stared at the much younger male. "She will wait until I am ready to speak with her. I don't care what she asks for. Is that clear?" His voice was devoid of all emotion.
Drago swallowed hard. "Yes, Sir. I understand." He began to back towards the door but stopped abruptly when he saw the boss' eyes trained on him.
"Did I excuse you, Drago?" He loved making this one nervous. Keeping them off kilter was good for keeping them in line. He'd gone through quite a few assistants in the last thousand years. Training them took too much time. Maybe this one would last a little longer if he didn't become complacent in his position.
"No, Sir. I'm sorry." He stood at attention, waiting for his orders. He knew better than to try to anticipate what the boss wanted. More than a few of the pack had died thinking they'd figured out how to stay on his good side. The best thing was to follow orders, to the letter. His jaw twitched as he tried to calm his nerves. The boss wanted to make him squirm. He had succeeded.
"Go, tell her she must wait until I am ready to speak with her. Let her simmer a while." A twisted smile was painted across his pale face.
"Yes, Sir." Drago slipped out the door as quickly as possible. Why did the boss ask for him to be his latest assistant? He'd been perfectly happy to stay with the pack, doing menial labor. But he had asked specifically for him. He tried not to ponder the possibilities. Best not to question anything. He'd learned that was the best way to keep his head intact.
He entered the room and stopped in front of the glass wall, watching the female quietly until she noticed he was there. What was it the boss wanted from her? He couldn't see it. She wasn't his usual type of playmate, and even after a month, he hadn't called for her to his room. So what did he want her for? She was pretty enough, for a human. She watched him expectantly. "He said you had to wait 'til he was ready to talk to you. I'm sorry." He meant it too; he was sorry. He really didn't like keeping her here against her will.
"What does he want from me?" She stared at him, like she expected him to answer. She flopped into the chair and put her hands to her face, sobbing quietly. Her black hair covered her face, like it was shielding her from his view. She looked up, and he was still watching her. "You don't know, do you?" Her blue eyes brimmed with tears. He couldn't look away.
He was startled by the door opening quickly. He was the one who looked after the prisoner. No one else usually came in. As soon as he saw the five inch spiked heels he knew who it was. "Hello, Seraphina. What do you want?" His distaste for the boss' companion was obvious.
"Drago, you sound as if you aren't happy to see me." She wasn't used to males being able to resist her charms. This one was a challenge. "I just wanted to see what the pet looked like." She walked up to the glass slowly, eying the human carefully. She was nothing special, nothing to worry about. She spun on her heels and faced her real quarry. The cub was on her "to do" list. She reveled in the attention of males, and he showed her none. That just wouldn't do.
Drago punched the switch that shut off sound to the cage. Why make the poor human listen to Seraphina's ramblings? "I doubt the boss would be happy to know you were here. Maybe you should leave."
She approached him slowly, purposefully. She knew she was beautiful. Why didn't he seem to notice? She stopped in front of him and looked up into his face. He had the classic chiseled face that she liked in a male. She laid a hand on his chest. It was just as muscular as she had imagined. "Drago, why don't you let me help you relax. You always seem so ... tense." She gave him her most sultry look through half-lidded eyes and licked her lips as she stared up at him. Take the bait, damn you!
His hands closed on her arms as he pushed her away. "I don't know what your problem is, Seraphina, but I don't need any trouble." He tried to turn away but she moved with him, her arm circling his waist.
"I just want to play, Drago. I need a nice, strong male to help me. I have an itch that I wish you'd scratch for me." She arched her brow. "You weren't with the pack on the full moon. Was your little human more interesting than a hunt?" She glanced over her shoulder at the female watching them through the glass.
"I have no interest in your games, Seraphina. I'm sure there are plenty of wolves that would love to chase your tail. Go sniff around them." He slid away from her and opened the door, hoping she'd take the hint. He saw the human out of the corner of his eye. Why did he care what she thought?
Seraphina would not be ignored. She raised her hand and gently stroked his cheek. When she felt him tense his jaw she took her nail and sliced it through his flesh.
"OW!" His hand flew to his bloodied face and then he backhanded the little bitch. She landed on her back on the floor, laughing up at him. She stopped laughing when she heard the menacing growl coming from deep in his chest. He saw the human, staring, her mouth open. At first he wondered what she was so scared of, until he realized she could see the wound healing before her eyes. He immediately covered his face and reached down to grab Seraphina by the arm. He hauled her up and threw her out the door. "Don't come back, Seraphina. You have no business here."
Under his hand, the wound had healed to nothing more than a thin red line. He kept his hand over his face and turned the intercom back on. "I'll be back after I tend to this. I'll bring you some dinner. Any requests?"
"A gun?" Her delivery was dead-pan.
He wasn't sure whether to laugh or just ignore her. He gave her a slight smile and walked out of the room.
He made his way to the kitchen and could hear Seraphina's laughter nearby. Her voice carried through the open door.
"You should have seen the look on his face. Precious. He's so innocent. I'll take care of that. It's time he had an education on how to handle a female. I'll get him broken in so the rest of you can get a turn."
He heard several females laughing. He could just imagine who they were, Seraphina's little clique, all hoping to catch the boss' eye and his favor. And in the meantime, they'd fuck every wolf that would have them. Well he, for one, didn't want them. His parents had raised him differently. His parents? Which parents? His real ones? Or his foster parents? He couldn't remember his real parents. Maybe that was best. They'd abandoned him when he was a cub. Better to only remember his foster parents. Even though they were members of this pack, they really were hard-working, decent werewolves, just wanting what was best for the pack and their cubs.
He almost had her dinner ready when he heard some commotion in the outer room. From the practically purring sounds he heard coming from the females, he figured the boss had arrived.
"I saw your little pet in her cage. What if she doesn't serve her purpose?"
Drago could imagine that Seraphina had herself draped over the boss as she spoke.
"What would you like me to do with her, hmm?" Erobos knew Seraphina enjoyed her position as his companion, but her jealousy annoyed him. "Maybe I should install her in my rooms. Do you think she could please me?"
"I think she wouldn't live through the first night! She's a human; she couldn't take the fucking you would give her." The venom in her voice was obvious.
Drago could just imagine the pretty pout on her face as she said it.
"She wouldn't be human for long. She would last as long as I wanted her, and then, my dear Seraphina, I would give her to you." He stood within inches of her, grabbed her by the hair at the back of her head, and kissed her hard, crushing her lips to his. He ended the kiss by biting her pouting lower lip, piercing the flesh with his sharp teeth, and sucking the blood from the open wound. He gave her bleeding lip one final lick as it quickly healed, then turned and walked away.
Drago leaned against the wall so as not to be seen. His blood ran cold when the boss said he'd take the human as his new playmate. And then the thought of Seraphina having her at her mercy even for a minute ... he wasn't sure which would be worse. Why did he care? He took a deep breath to calm down, picked up the tray, and headed for the holding room. He made a quick detour to find a bandage for his cheek. No need for her to see it was healed already. As far as he knew, she had no idea what they were. He didn't want to be the one to piss off the boss by letting her find out.
She watched him enter and go through the tedious procedure for giving her a meal. The tray was put into a compartment that closed to the outside before allowing her to take it from inside the room. Did they really think she could overpower her captors through a hole in the door? She watched the little door open and grudgingly grabbed the tray and took it to the table. Somehow, he always managed to bring her something she liked. Had they done their homework that well? Or was it just happy coincidence? She periodically looked up and would find him watching her closely. She had to admit, although she hated to, he was really good-looking. Damn! I need to stop looking.
She wished she could figure out why she was here. And why was it that whenever she was taken out of this room, it was by the women? Her usual jailer would only show up once she was returned to her glass cell. She was glad, though, that the woman here earlier tonight had never been the one to take her from her cell. That one was a bitch, she could tell. She grinned when she thought of how upset the bitch was when her Adonis of a jailer rejected her. She giggled to herself, thinking about the woman on her backside on the floor.
"Something funny?" Drago shook his head. He'd never understand humans, or females in general. He felt his phone vibrating in his pocket and put it to his ear. "Drago here. Uh huh, okay, sure, I'll clear out." He replaced the phone in his pocket and turned back to the glass partition. "Apparently you have a doctor's appointment, so your escort should be here shortly. See you later." He ignored her questioning look and walked into the hallway. He had some things to do anyway. He needed a good workout. Maybe he'd go for a run. His wolf hadn't been out for a while, and the run-in with Seraphina had really gotten his wolf worked up, but not in the way Seraphina had hoped. What he really wanted was to rip her to pieces. Now THAT would be satisfying to him AND his wolf. He watched as the human's escorts passed him in the hall.
Sylva and Susanna hated dealing with the human, but the boss gave the orders, not them. Just as Sylva's hand touched the doorknob, an alarm sounded throughout the building. The sisters looked at each other, eyes widened. "Fire alarm, we better get the hell out of here!" Sylva grabbed at her sister's arm to pull her towards an exit.
"What about her?" Susanna motioned to the captive's cell.
"Forget her. we don't have time. Let's get out of here. I smell smoke." Sylva ran to the exit with her sister close behind. They practically ran into Drago, who had turned around and was heading back the way he came. "Drago, get out of here! Don't you smell the smoke?"
"You aren't leaving her there, are you?"
"Hell yes, and you should too!" Sylva didn't wait for an answer from the stupid cub. Young ones have to learn the hard way. Even a werewolf could die in a fire. Right now, all she wanted to do was get her sister to safety.
Drago smelled the smoke. He heard shouts from the other pack members running through the halls to the exits. He ran into the room and slammed the door. He saw her, frightened, locked in her glass cage. No one was coming to get her out! She knew he didn't have the code to release her. He could hear her coughing and knew he didn't have much time. A human wouldn't last long when the room filled with smoke.
"Stand back!" He yelled at her as he looked around for something to break the glass. He picked up the heavy desk chair nearby and threw it with all his strength into the heavy partition. The "unbreakable" glass shattered into thick shards. He pushed the remainder of the glass out of the frame and held out his hand to the terrified woman. "C'mon." She didn't move. He shook his head. "You can't stay here. Come with me if you want to live." She still didn't move. He climbed into the room and scooped her into his arms.