Friends and Foes Ch. 12


"How can you call your own flesh and blood sick?"

"How can you call yours freaks?" Dora countered. "How can a mother not love her children because of things they have no control over. I never hated you because you were human. In fact, I was glad of it, but perhaps if you had some traits you wouldn't feel this way about us."

"You're one of them too?" she asked, eyes going wide. "You've been lying to me all along."

"No, I told you when you were young, you just thought it was a fairy story, and you learned to hate us somehow despite what I said. You abandoned your daughter and I still didn't realise how deep your hatred went, I thought you were just afraid for your social status and all those material things that were important to you. But it really is just hate that caused this, isn't it? I heard you calling to your guard to kill these men. Adam will never forgive you and neither will I."

"Do you think I care? Look what he's doing, playing with that other 'dog' like it's normal what they do. I don't know what's worse, what he can turn in to, or that he's fucking a man."

Sam and Tom shared an amused glance, knowing it wasn't that way around at all. Getting some idea of the hatred that ran through Adam's mother explained a lot, and Dora was getting plenty out of her without them having to try. Waiting for Mark was going to be quite interesting if she kept talking, but they couldn't relax entirely until they were sure all the guards had been rounded up, and they were still missing one important person from this party.

* * * * * *

Dill and Tilly were outside, running the grounds with many of the others as they checked for any men that had been hiding outside the house. There were scent trails everywhere, but few were very fresh. They had to make sure that there wasn't anyone left to get in their way, because they could probably still take out one or two of the team before they were noticed. Both were acutely aware that Simon had not been found, and catching him was a priority. He was probably more dangerous than any of the armed men they had already subdued.

While Dill felt like he wanted to catch the guy to get his own back, Tilly was scared. She couldn't help remembering what had happened the last time that Simon had a fight with Dill, and her mate had nearly died. It wasn't something she ever wanted to go through again, and she couldn't lose him, he was everything to her.

Dill felt her feelings and tried to talk her through it.

"It's okay. I'm going to be just fine, because this time I have you for backup from the start, and he is not going to take me by surprise. Stay strong, nothing bad is going to happen. We can't do our jobs if you're going to be worrying about me getting hurt every time."

"It's not about the job, it's just him. He nearly killed you."

"And you nearly killed him. If anyone can take him, you can. Together, with a plan, he stands no chance."

Tilly tried to stay calm after that and cut out her emotions. She didn't want Dill affected by her fears at the moment, he needed to be on alert and not worried about her. She wasn't afraid for herself, she only worried for him. It was stupid really, she knew he had been jumped the last time, but she kept remembering when he was in a coma and she had been so terrified he would never wake.

Both of them stiffened when they found a very fresh scent trail leading away from the house. They had no idea whether it was Simon, but certainly someone human had passed this way and almost certainly only a few minutes before. Dill followed the trail and Tilly kept watch behind him, calling some of the others to come and meet them. The more of them the better, and the less chance of anything bad happening.

When they got closer they could hear whoever it was too. Although they were moving so quietly that any normal person would not be able to locate them, the cats had good night vision and excellent hearing, and the beating of a heart was faint but clear to them. They could track him that way just as easily as by his scent, and it meant that they couldn't be lead astray by false trails. No-one could stop their heart from beating. It seemed surprisingly calm, which suggested that he wasn't worried even though he must have known there would be some sort of search going on.

Quietly the two tracked through the bushes towards the sound, being told that some of the others were on their way. Tilly planned to wait for them as neither she or Dill had any way of sedating the guy on them, and some of the others had the tranq guns they had taken off the men inside. Unfortunately, Dill had other ideas. If this was Simon, he wanted to prove he could take him, it was a question of male pride. Even Tilly shouting at him to stop didn't make a difference.

He ran through the last few bushes in his way, no longer really stalking his prey, just trying to catch it. He had the element of surprise this time. Better than expected in fact, because when he burst through the last of his cover, Simon had his back to him. He heard and turned, but it was too late to avoid the leap that Dill made, taking him to the ground and knocking the gun he was holding out of his hand. Simon struggled, trying to get back on his feet, but Tilly was there only a moment after her mate, pushing him back to the floor and sitting on him for good measure, hissing to warn him not to move.

He seemed to get the idea pretty quickly, probably because the cats were making their point physically as well as with their hisses, and they had their claws extended as they stepped on his prone body to make sure he bore a few more scars from his latest encounter with the Weres. He was probably glad when Rob and Den got there, in their human form and armed, and a moment later the dart was in him and he was unconscious.

They dragged him, none too gently, back through the woods and into the house, by mutual consent picking him up by the arms rather than the legs so his head wouldn't drag on the ground or get banged on the steps. It was one small concession to him when neither felt that much sympathy for the man. It surprised Tilly how bitter she still felt about what he had done, but it didn't surprise her how much Dill was enjoying getting a little of his own back. Much as they both detested the man, they needed to know what he did.

* * * * * *

Back inside, Sam and Tom heard the news that they had Simon, and there was no sign of anyone else either outside or in. A quick word between the two and they decided on the best way of making sure the two key people were kept safe and secure until Mark got there. Adam's mother turned the air blue when the two of them grabbed hold of her and secured her where Finn had been up until recently. He took some pleasure in helping out with it, even as she screamed about her 'rights'.

"Funny how me and Jake didn't seem to have any of those when you tied us down. You're not going to get any sympathy from me," he told her.

She quit complaining shortly after and the others were thankful for the vague silence. Even Jake and Adam had calmed down, and were now curled up together in the corner of the room. Both of them would have liked to take off somewhere private but they didn't think this was the right time. There was a lot that might still be said and they wanted to know everything. Adam's mother was still glaring at them from time to time but it didn't bother either of them, they were just enjoying the new sensation of both being wolf.

When Sam and Tom left the room to go check on the others and their captives, Dora took the opportunity to speak to the remaining man, admiring her grand-daughters choice of mate. She spoke softly so as not to interest her daughter in the conversation.

"You must be Finn, it's a pleasure to meet you. Sky was telling me all about you."

"She's here?" he asked immediately.

"A little way up the road. They wouldn't let her come and she wasn't happy about it, but it seemed the safest course of action. I think she recognised that too, but she wanted to get to you anyway."

"It won't be long now, we've just got to wait for the people from Council. I've missed her so much."

"As it should be," replied Dora. She wasn't going to mention the discoveries about Sky's past just yet, thinking it wasn't her place to tell Finn about it, he should hear it from his mate.

Finn thought of replying, but a scent and the sound of footsteps had him rushing out into the hallway. He knew it was Sky coming and although he probably should have been cross with her, he couldn't do anything but gather her into his arms and kiss her senseless. She moaned softly as he hugged her to his body and stole her breath away with the intensity of his lips on hers. He didn't break contact as he started to complain at her.

"You are not supposed to be in here," he told her, not with a great deal of conviction as he was loving every moment of having her back.

"Tilly said it was safe. I wanted to surprise you. I've missed this, you, I was so worried. Did they hurt you?"

"No love, I'm fine. Just got tied down for a while, no-one so much as touched me."

"Thank God. I had all these thoughts running through my head, especially when I couldn't even hear you."

"It's all okay, honestly. God, I want you so badly right now, and we have to wait. It isn't fair!"

"Soon, I promise," she replied, not only hearing the passion in his tone but feeling the effect she was having on him physically as his hard dick was pressed between them. She wanted his skin on hers, his cock inside her, but this was going to have to do for the moment. Besides which, she suddenly realised, there were a few things she needed to tell him. She broke away from their reunion kiss reluctantly and looked up the corridor, seeing Dora in the doorway trying to look as though she hadn't just seen what the two of them were doing.

"Finn, I want you to meet my grandmother," she said, checking his expression as she said it. As expected, it showed his surprise immediately.

"I thought she was Adam's grandmother?"

"That too. Adam is my twin brother. We've had quite the family reunion on the way up here," she replied, walking up to Dora and giving her a hug. She caught sight then of the woman strapped down in the room, and could barely hide her revulsion.

"Is that her?" she asked.

"Yes, I'm afraid so. She hasn't been making many friends this evening, and both Adam and I have disowned her. She thinks we are freaks," Dora told her.

Sky couldn't help herself walking closer anyway. She wanted to see this woman who had abandoned her, try and understand why anyone would do such a thing. She could see the hate in her eyes though, it showed through her sullen silence. Sky was still inquisitive, she felt detached from the situation and knew she would never have a relationship with her mother, but she still needed to see her and speak to her. Finn seemed to realise that she was trying to work this through and just came up behind her to wrap his arms around her loosely as she tried to decide what to say.

"I'm Sky. It's been a long time since you last saw me. I've spent most of my life trying to find my family, but now I'm glad I didn't. I guess I will never understand why you hated me so much, but I think I've been better off without you."

"It's all your fault," she replied bitterly. "You should have been my perfect little girl, but you were anything but. It's your fault I lost my family. My husband loved me, Adam was my baby, and then you turned and everything fell apart."

Sky was surprised that the words didn't hurt her, they just started to explain what had gone on, and she wanted to know more. She stayed calm as she started talking, taking strength from her mate.

"I was a child, I knew nothing about it. You destroyed the family when you took me away. I can understand you being upset, but I can't understand how you could have given up on your own child because she wasn't what you expected."

"I wanted perfect children, not freaks. Even after I got rid of you I had to keep checking on Adam, making sure he was still normal. He developed his obsession with you people and I tried to stop him, but he just carried on in secret. For years he has been lying to me about what he was doing and I needed to make sure he wouldn't get too involved. I'm just sorry I was too late to save him."

Finn growled at her. "Adam doesn't need saving. He's one of us."

"He wasn't supposed to be, he was supposed to be my son," she wailed. "He was the only thing I had left, and now he's turned and I have nothing to show for all these years. I thought I could get him to stop his reading and research, or at least get him to think it was all fiction. He should have listened to me."

"He's happy now," Dora told her. "He still has family, but more importantly he has a mate, and he would never have found those things if you had managed to keep him from what he needed to know."

"I wanted to help him, to cure him. He still could be normal if he tried."

Every person in the room growled at her, but she didn't seem to care. It was clear how much she hated what they were, and how hard she had tried to keep Adam away from it. She had no idea how little effect that had until now, but they couldn't feel sorry for her when she spoke about them like that. Adam was particularly incensed by her words about him, and he changed back so he could speak to her direct.

"You don't get it, do you? I am normal, I have found the one I love, and the sister I never knew I had, and friends who understand me. The only thing wrong with my life is that you are in it, but that will be put right after today. Stop saying you were trying to protect me, when all you were doing was stopping me from having what I wanted, and feeding your own hate. There is nothing wrong with me or these people."

They expected a smart reply, but her attention was drawn to the door as Sam and Tom came back into the room, Tilly and Dill behind them still dragging Simon. His head had rolled backwards and spots of blood showed through his shirt where they had pressed their claws in. After being dragged for half a mile he was dishevelled and there were bits of leaves in his hair and on his clothes. She watched as they lifted him, none too gently, and tied him down next to her.

"What have you done to him?" she demanded to know.

"He resisted arrest," Tilly said, giggling, "he's only unconscious, he'll be fine when he wakes up."

"He's bleeding."

"A few scratches. He's had worse," Tilly replied, unconcerned.

"I saw what you did to him before. Broken arm, cuts and bruises everywhere, he's got scars down his chest even now. He was nearly killed. Are you going to finish the job now?"

Sam growled. "We don't kill unless we have to. He seemed quite prepared to kill one of us."

"He was doing his job. Protecting the research and protecting Adam for me."

"I wasn't involved in the research," Adam told her. "They all know that. Simon set me up."

"More importantly, how does she know about the research at all?" Jake asked.

There was silence for a moment while they all considered that and came to the logical conclusion. Adam's mother just stayed silent, but her expression was smug, and Tilly could feel her amusement that they hadn't worked this out before now. She felt herself superior to them, even though they had her captured.

"Perhaps we've not been considering who other than Simon would be in a position to create and control a part of the company," said Sam, "but I don't understand why you would implicate Adam in it."

"Not as smart as you all think, eh?" she said, very pleased with herself, "I told you, it was to protect him."

"By making him a target?"

"If you found out what was going on, it would make sure he never got in with you people. Simon would make sure you didn't hurt him."

Adam was in shock now, that she had gone so far and even made it look like he was involved.

"Shame that I already was in with them, and they believed me, wasn't it? How could you possibly think it was protecting me. Do you know what they did to those they captured? They nearly killed my sister, and I would never have even known she existed. What was the point of all of it?"

"To find out how to stop it. Turn them back, or breed it out, anything to stop more and more freaks being born," she answered, finally starting to panic. "You wouldn't have to be like this Adam, we could be a family again."

"I want to be like this. I want to be with Jake. These people are my family now, not some bitter old woman who says she wants to protect me while trying to ruin my life and kill my mate. You hate me too, now I'm one of them and you know I'm gay. That suits me just fine. I'm out of here, and don't think you'll be seeing me again."

He strode out of the room with purpose, not wanting to look back at her, even when she called his name. Despite it all she still wanted her son, but he was no longer going to consider himself that. He knew Jake was behind him, and some of the others, and he couldn't bear to look at her or hear her justifying what she had done any longer. He had learned far too much today and he was probably still in shock over how many awful and unforgivable things she had done.

When he got down the corridor he leaned against a wall, finally letting some emotion show as he shook slightly and breathed deeply while he calmed himself down. Jake's arms were soon around him and he took comfort from that, leaning his head into the strong shoulder in front of him.

"How can she have done all of that? How could I not know?"

"She didn't let you know. She might be full of hate, but she isn't stupid. Don't blame yourself for this baby."

"She was trying to put me right, in her mind. All of this happened because of me."

"No," Jake said, firmly, "This happened because she made it happen. Her warped ideas, her plans, her organisation. Whatever she thought her reasons were, it wasn't your fault."

Adam had another realisation, something he had already said, and he raised his head to see if Sky was there. She was wrapped in her own mates arms, but looking at him, and he held her gaze for a moment.

"I'm so sorry."

"Jake's right, it wasn't your fault. She did this, not you. You need to understand, what happened to me was terrible, but because of it I found Finn. He saved me, and when I remember the bad things he helps me through it by making good memories with me. I'm strong now because of having him in my life. You don't need to feel sorry for me, I have what you do, a man who loves me and makes me whole. And now I have a brother and grandmother too."

"And a father. I'm sure he will want to meet you. I guess we'd better go introduce everyone at once, so there are no more surprises or secrets. I think our family has had enough of them to last us a lifetime."

Sky grinned at her brother. "I agree. But we aren't going there just yet, I want to go home first and spend some time with Finn now I have him back."

"That sounds like a very good idea!" Adam replied, smiling at her and then at Jake, who had started to nuzzle at his neck at just the thought of them having time alone together.

"Not now Jake," he sent through to his mate, who was starting to have an effect he really didn't want in front of others. "Later, baby, I promise. I want you too, just as badly, but we can't do anything right here."

He heard a grumble in reply, but Jake moved his lips away from him. He didn't let go though, and Adam had the feeling that after an enforced separation it was going to be a while before he did.

* * * * * *

"So, what's the plan now. I'm tired of listening to her whining," Tom said.

"We knock her out if we have to, but I'd rather she was awake to repeat all that to Mark when he gets here. It's incredible how far someone can go because they are scared of us."

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