A Pack of Tales Ch. 05byNaokoSmith©
Copyright © 2013 Naoko Smith
Many thanks to Bramblethorn, who has survived the gay werewolves in an alleyway chapter and agreed to continue editing.
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 has 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 should be able to identify which scenes have what kind of sex from the tags and sometimes the category the chapter is uploaded into.
All characters in this story are fictional. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Chapter 05 -- Red (Max/Rex)
Col the worse for wear (story)
Red sat up in the bed with a start. Someone had slammed the front door. There was the noise of furniture being knocked over and a horrible yowling. Red's shoulders were bristling, she snatched at the leather collar on the bedside table and buckled it hurriedly on. People were running down the stairs. She dragged her trousers on and followed.
As she came into the kitchen, she saw Max standing by the table. He was saying: "He wouldn't let me call Bryony. I think they've split up."
Rikki was right behind Red, he gave a shocked howl in her ear. She could feel the emotion bristling off him against his collar. Rob had changed. He was running around the kitchen after Col who was staggering about on the other side of the table. Rob's claws were slipping on the flagstones, he was whining and attempting to shove his tousled blond body up against Col's legs.
Rex stood by the kitchen range, Christa hovering uncertainly beside him -- a cup of tea was not going to be enough in this situation. Rex was wearing only his jeans and leather collar, his arms folded across his chest.
Col blundered up and down the kitchen, shaking his head on his stocky shoulders and making that nerve-jangling yowling sound even though he was still fully dressed and human with his collar on.
"What's the matter with him?" Rikki cried.
"He's drunk," Max answered. "Your brother's out in the yard in his cab. He wouldn't come in but he said he'd wait ten minutes if you want a word with him." Rikki hesitated then turned and went out.
Max had had a difficult time getting Col away after Col had stumbled on him and the lads in an alley. Col was at the belligerent stage of drunkenness by then. The lads had buggered off as soon as they realised Col was too drunk to recognise them or figure out what they were up to with Max in a dark alley behind a dumpster. Max didn't feel happy about just taking Col back to his flat, or to Col's flat, when Col was clearly in such trouble that he had gone out on a Sunday night and got completely off his face instead of getting on Bryony's face. When Max tried to call Bryony, Col swore about her in language that was disgustingly abusive even by Col's standards.
Max's Aston Martin was up at the farmhouse. He had no idea where Col's Alfa Romeo Spider was parked. He wasn't hopeful of getting a taxi willing to take them all the way up into the Valleys with Col looking like he would throw up as soon as the cab started moving. Luckily when he got Col to the taxi rank, Rikki's older brother was there in a black cab on the night shift.
Rikki's family had always said that children were a gift from God, however different they might be to other children, but much as they loved him they inevitably struggled with Rikki. They had a town house with no garden and there were several smaller siblings who weren't sufficiently respectful of his tail and ears to make Rikki the wolf a safe playmate for them. Rikki's family were grateful to Rex for taking Rikki into the pack, and to Col who employed Rikki in his business. Rikki's brother was not impressed of course at the state Col had got himself into but Max promised to pay for cleaning the cab if necessary. Once they'd persuaded Col to sit on the seat with the seatbelt on instead of lying on the floor of the cab, it was a reasonably peaceful journey. Col only said: "Foock off," when Max tried to ask him what was wrong so Max left it.
As Col stumbled round the kitchen table, he tripped on Rob's bumbling anxious body. He aimed a kick at Rob; he was so drunk Rob dodged it easily, but Col lost his balance and nearly fell over.
Rex stalked suddenly through the kitchen and grabbed Col by the collar. He dragged Col to the scullery, shut the door and started pulling Col's clothes off him, cuffing him round the head when Col tried to fight him off. Because Rex was the pack leader, Col only put up a token resistance to make it clear that he was an Alpha too. It didn't take Rex long to strip off his muscular stocky body and unbuckle his collar.
He watched the thick dark fur burst out down Col's spine and pour out over his body. Col fell to all fours and raised his lengthening face to open what was now a snout in a howl. Rex opened the back door and let Col out into the garden. Col's nails scrabbled on the slippery lino floor as he threw himself out.
Rex had no shoes on but he walked a couple of steps out onto the path round a muddy patch of grass. He curled his toes off the freezing cold ground, his arms wrapped around his hard-muscled bare ribcage.
Col was whining and howling, dashing around in the darkness, flinging his thickset furry body at the rough stone walls around the garden.
Rex gave a heavy sigh. "What the bloody Hell have you done now?" he said softly. He added even more softly, "son."
In the morning, Col came into the kitchen while Red and the cubs were having breakfast. Max had driven back down to the city much earlier. The cubs worked for Col. They would normally have eaten and gone out with him long before this. In the circumstances, Christa let them lie in.
Col looked terrible. His chocolate brown eyes were sunk in his head. There was a blueish-black unshaven fuzz over his chin. He had a number of cuts and grazes and some dried blood on his face where he had slammed it along the rough stone wall in the back garden the night before. He still smelled of alcohol and his dirty white cotton shirt was lopsided; he had buttoned it up in the wrong buttonholes.
Red and the cubs lifted their heads to look at him then bent back down to their food again. Christa put a plate and a mug of tea in front of him. He gripped the mug in shaking fingers and took a sip from it. He looked at the plate in front of him: the two slices of bacon, the sausage, hash browns, three eggs and a fried tomato. He pushed it abruptly away from him.
"Why are you still foocking here?" Col croaked at the cubs. "Why aren't you down digging out Mrs. Hughes's garden?"
Rikki and Rob slid their eyes at each other, across Red sitting between them. Rikki said slowly: "Okay. What should we do? Start breaking up the old concrete?"
Col sneered at him. "Yeah of course!"
"You said we needed to hire a pneumatic drill and a skip," Rikki said.
A pained frown crumpled Col's forehead; his eyes seemed to sink back further into his head and glower out at them like coals on fire. He took another cautious sip of tea.
"Phone Mrs. Hughes and tell her you've been held up by the skip hire company," Christa said firmly. Col put his mug of tea down and fumbled his phone out of the breast pocket of his shirt. He held it in fingers which were still shaking. They all sat watching him watching the phone until Christa said: "Rikki, you can call Mrs. Hughes, can't you?"
Rex had come into the kitchen. He was wearing his forester's uniform, he would normally have been long gone but he sat down at the head of the table and put his hands on the table in front of him. Christa put a mug of tea by his hands and stood beside him, holding her own mug and looking at Col.
Col's head shot suddenly up from his phone in his hands to her. "You knew!" he said in an anguished growl, "and you never said a foocking word to me!"
"I guessed," Christa answered. "I couldn't be sure. I told Bryony to take a test."
Col turned his head back down to glower at his phone.
"I seem to have missed something here," Rex said. "What's the problem, son."
Col's head flicked up when Rex called him 'son', he turned it back down again. He moistened his lips and said: "Bryony's pregnant."
They all sat in silence for a minute. Red couldn't understand why that was a big problem. Bryony was human, she would probably have a perfectly normal baby. Red flicked her eyes at Rex and Christa. She could see that they didn't understand what the problem was either.
"I said I would go with her," Col's voice cracked. He cleared his throat and said in a tone that was now vibrating with anger not tears. "I said I would pay whatever, if she'd rather go private. But the foocking cunt, she just started crying and carrying on. She didn't make any sense and then she told me to foock off and threw my stuff out after me."
"You said you would go with her where?" Christa said.
"For an abortion," Col said in a surprised voice, as if it was obvious.
There was another pause and then Christa said slowly, "Bryony wants to keep the baby."
"What the foock for! We've got it good. She's too young and we're having a good time, what's she want to go and spoil it for?!"
"Bryony is twenty-four," Christa said in an expressionless voice. "You're thirty. That's plenty old enough to think about having a family. You've been together two years."
"Foock's sake! Bound to be a foocking puppy. How could she want to bring a thing like that into the world?"
Red and the cubs dropped their heads and panted lightly into their plates of half-finished breakfast, not looking at each other or at Col.
"What are you saying, Col?" Christa exclaimed. "There's nothing wrong with being a were!"
"Yeah, tell that to the foocking world. All of us hiding here and there, packs scavenging in the city like foocking dogs; lot of bloody animals!"
"It doesn't have to be like that," Christa argued. "We've made a good life here, you're happy, we're happy. Not everyone is against us. Bryony -- she loves you, Col. She loves you for everything you are. You've been building the business, not just for yourself but for the cubs. How can you sit there and talk as if you wouldn't be proud to have a cub of your own just like one of them?"
Col looked sharply across the table at the bent heads opposite him: dark, blond, and the scruffy head of the poor little bitch who had been through so much because of what they all were that she couldn't even talk about it.
"You don't know how the baby would turn out," Christa said. "Look at our Gavin. He's just human, he's never changed. He's Rex's as much as mine."
This was the first indication Red had had that Christa and Rex had a biological child, that the photos on the sideboard in the sitting-room were of a family that was in addition to the tumbling cubs Christa collected around them.
"Yeah, that's what Bryony said," Col growled. "But I told her, I can't do it. Foock's sake! I've given up me job. I've got a business to build up, I've got to look out for the cubs."
Rob wriggled in his chair beside Red and panted into his plate, not looking at Col.
"Why does that mean you can't have the baby? Do you think Bryony is going to make you carry it about with you all day?"
"Are you jokin'?! Where's the money to come from? Am I goin' to dig it out the ground, now? The foocking loans I had to take out to get the van and the caravan for an office. Foocking college fees and thinking about day release because you say the cubs've got to be sent to get some foocking qualification. Nye and Jenks to pay whenever there's any plumbing or electrics to sort out. Where am I to find the money for a wife and kids with all of that on my plate?"
"You could sell your car," Christa said.
"What?!" Col's ears seemed to twitch forwards in outrage at this. Red had seen Col's beautifully maintained red sports car and although she felt like bursting out laughing at the ridiculousness of Col thinking his car was more important than his baby, if only it hadn't been so horribly serious, Red did find it difficult to picture him driving some sort of family car.
Rex interrupted at this point, perhaps before Christa dropped her mug of tea and went for some more lethal kitchen implement. "We're a pack, son. Everyone will pitch in. C'mon, butt. Bryony's parents, they've a bit of money, isn't it? They'll want to help you out."
"I don't need foocking charity!" Col snarled.
Rex scraped his chair back and half-rose in it, glaring down the table at Col, his shoulders hunched against his collar. Col shrank back in his chair, looking resentfully out of it at the older Alpha.
"Nobody's offering you fuckin' charity!" Rex said angrily. His shoulders relaxed again, his eyes softened and darkened back to brown. "Ah, you're all at sea, son. It's a shock, I know. You'll think better of it. We're a pack. If there's a cub, we all pitch in."
Col scowled at him. "I don't need any foocking help," he said. "I can sort it. I just ... don't need this."
"You sit there." Christa was furious. Her ordinarily gentle dark eyes flashed sparks, her thin cheeks were flushed with outrage. "You're so careless as to get a girl pregnant and then you think you can sit there saying: 'I don't need this'."
"It was only the once!" Col cried out defensively. "I've always been careful but she took the foocking collar off before I'd got the condom on and then she couldn't ...." He glared suddenly across the table at the cubs' bent heads.
"It only takes the once," Christa said scornfully.
"I can't do this." Col's voice cracked. He looked at his phone in his hand.
"It's not for you to say," Christa answered. "It's Bryony's choice. All you can do is stand by her. Or walk away."
Col's head bowed over his shaking fingers with the phone lying silent in them.
"I can't do this," he whimpered.
He got suddenly up from the table. "We'll go down to the builders' yard," he said angrily. "Rikki, Rob, get in the foocking van. We'll drive on down and see what the foock they've got." He staggered out of the kitchen. Rikki and Rob pushed their chairs hurriedly back on the flagstone floor and scrambled after him.
"Don't let him drive!" Christa shouted after them.
Red sat with her head bowed over her plate. The tears dripped down off her nose onto a half-eaten slice of bacon. After a while, Christa seemed to realise she was crying and came and sat with an arm around her.
"Oh what will happen to Bryony!" Red sobbed. "Is she out of the pack? She's all alone!"
"Don't worry, love," Rex said softly, leaning over and wrapping Red's small fist in his fist. "Bryony doesn't need the pack. She's got friends and family who'll be taking care of her. You don't need to be crying for Bryony."
The tears continued to roll down Red's nose and cheeks. Bryony: the fairy tale Princess, the good girl who had never had bad things happen to her. She was going to have to go and tell her parents Col had got her pregnant and had left her to have her baby alone. What would they say to her?
"Don't you cry for Bryony, sweetheart," Christa said. "She's not out of the pack until she tells all of us to 'foock off'. If you want to cry for anyone, cry for Col. He's the stupid prick who's on his own now."