Orphan Ch. 10byVjax©
Errant flakes of snow landed against his skin, each eliciting a plaintive cry that seemed to be echoed back as the frenetic motion continued to bounce him about in whatever he was being carried in.
His eyes couldn't focus correctly, they processed only a repetitive cycle of diffuse orange blurs interspersed with utter blackness.
There was no cognizant thought only base emotional stimuli.
A tremulous movement that had a familiar but erratic cadence. The jarring at his back when gravity and inertia met only to be replaced by the instant of floating as the cycle repeated.
Surrounded in an envelope of blinding cold that was only disrupted when something colder still scalded his skin then melted against his waning heat.
As the wavering motion continued he was jostled to the side, his arm scraping against something rough and cold. When the motion reversed there was something soft and warm on his other side.
There was no frame of reference for the scene or the emotions it elicited. Alexander couldn't raise his head, couldn't find the strength to lift himself up. Fear unlike any he had ever known assaulted him.
Then just as he thought that the erratic motion, the cold, the fear would never end everything seemed to freeze. A moment in time captured with a singular clarity.
A face wavered into view, his eyes could find no focus, he wanted to reach out to this specter to unravel whatever mystery they might hold, but it was beyond his power to do so. He heard himself cry out to the image before him.
Alexander understood the feeling on his forehead, the wet heat of it, its gentleness, its hope to impart deep emotion and affection.
There were whispered words that were ripped away from his ears before ever reaching them by the howling wind buffeting him.
The face pulled away.
The motion stopped.
A blinding light seared his eyes forcing them closed as he wailed into the storm knowing only that he had lost something, something precious, something irreplaceable.
Alexander woke convulsing from the shock of an unknown creeping terror. His body was covered in sweat, his hair matted to his scalp; his lungs struggled to fill with oxygen.
Jenabel was holding him tightly, her strong arms encasing him protectively.
"Alexander, ALEXANDER! What is it? What's wrong?"
She could feel him tremble in her embrace and had to ease her grip on him to allow him to breathe.
Jenabel had awoken only an instant before he did. They had been sleeping soundly. After his history lesson they had walked and talked long into the night. Having one of those amazing conversations that flow so naturally between kindred spirits. They shared their hopes and dreams and fears. They had stayed pointedly away from their desires.
Together they had wrapped themselves in each other and fallen asleep encased in the warmth of Jenabel's bed and their ever-growing feelings for each other.
Alexander pulled from Jenabel's embrace and stood. She watched as he paced around the room like a caged animal, chest rising and falling, body tense as he tried to reign in his emotions.
"It was a dream Jenabel, a nightmare and yet something more than either of those. I've never felt anything like it before Jenabel and I've had my share of nightmares. Terrors from my past that find their way up through my subconscious to wrap their icy fingers around my throat. But this, this was something totally alien to me. It was me, a moment in my life that I have no memory of. How can that be Jenabel? How can that be?"
The emotional drain of the dream vision hit him like an avalanche; he slumped to the floor under the weight of it.
In a flash Jenabel was out of the bed and at his side. Once again enfolding him in her arms as his body quaked from the strain.
"Shhhh, Alexander, it's alright, it's alright. We'll figure it out together."
They sat on the floor for a long time, Jenabel soothing her Mate, trying to understand what could take such an emotional toll on him.
It came out haltingly over the next half an hour. The images, the feelings, all of the emotions he felt; re-living a moment of his life that until now he had no memory of.
Jenabel had a good idea of what he experienced but wanted to wait on the explanation until she had a chance to talk with her mother.
With Alexander now much calmer she looked at the clock finding that it was only 3:20am.
"Come with me Alexander." She stood holding out her hand.
His hand trembled slightly as he took it and stood.
"Let's get you in the shower and then back to bed, it's too early to get up, even for you."
Alexander smiled at her gentle but playful tone.
He looked at her in the wan moonlight that came through the window. His breath caught as his eyes roamed over her toned body half shrouded in shadow. Alexander closed the distance between them, their bodies touching from toe to chest. Their proximity was tenuous, a gentle whisper across their skin. The merging of their heat, more than the physical touch of the other.
"Will you join me?"
The husky quality in Alexander's voice belied a deeper need within him. He needed her close, needed her next to him. She was, in this moment, his anchor to the real world, keeping him firmly in the now instead of being washed away on the emotional tide that still threatened to overwhelm him.
With a smile Jenabel turned and headed for the bathroom. Her answer obvious in the gentle sway of her hips and the sparkle in her eye.
Jenabel stood in the darkened bathroom, her hand under the strong spray of the shower waiting for the hot water. She felt Alexander enter the room behind her.
Since his shift yesterday morning she found her bond with Alexander attuning more and more. Feeling his turmoil and struggle through the bond was what had awakened her. Now she could sense his approach through the gray dark.
Alexander stood close behind Jenabel. The last hour had been unlike anything he had experienced before. The vision had an otherworldly feel to it, as if he was experiencing it; but through a body and with an emotional context that was utterly foreign to him. He also knew it was more than a mere vision or dream. The emotions were too strong, to well formed, too...his.
Jenabel had been the one thing that saved him from slipping into an emotional whirlpool of doubt and insecurity. It had been the first time anyone had been there for him. The first time another person simply gave themselves over to his comfort and well-being.
Hot tears fell on Jenabel's shoulder an instant before Alexander's lips began to play softly over her neck. His touch was electric. The feel of his kisses as they traveled from her shoulder, up her neck to just under her ear had her body tensing with desire. The tears that left a trail in concert with his lips only added to her need to comfort him, to hold him, to be his.
Jenabel was becoming lost in the sensations Alexander was eliciting from her. His hands found her hips as they gently slid over her skin wrapping her in his powerful embrace. He pulled her to him. She felt his cock hot and hard against her. A moan escaped her lips as his kisses turned into gentle bites at the nape of her neck.
Jenabel froze in Alexander's arms. He could feel the tension course through her body. Alexander knew intuitively that his actions were the cause. He pulled away from her, feeling the absence of her acutely.
"I'm sorry, Jenabel." The words were torn from his throat as if their voicing caused him the utmost pain.
Jenabel whirled on him and grabbed him in her arms.
"Don't be sorry Alexander...it's just that..."
Standing naked in each other's arms was not the place to have this conversation.
"Come on." Dragging him into the shower she knew that they would not be able to simply linger as she had wished. Jenabel needed to tell him about the mating process and what was involved before they had any more near misses.
Alexander was grateful that Jenabel didn't seem upset with him although she had gone from openly needing him and enjoying his touch to strictly business as she handed him the soap.
He watched as she picked up another bar of soap and economically lathered and rinsed her body then left the shower.
Alexander followed her example and soon they were both sitting on her bed once again, this time wrapped in towels, their fingers intertwined.
"I'm not upset with you Alexander, far from it. But there are some things we still haven't covered about Weres, specifically the mating process. We obviously need to go over them and I don't think that this is a conversation that can wait.
"You were biting my neck Alexander. That act is something that we never do lightly. Were mating has two parts. Just as we have a dual nature so to do both of our aspects have their own mating rituals.
"For our human selves to merge, become mated, we will...make love, as we both reach...completion you will bite my neck, I will bite yours, our blood, our essence will mix, merge and we will become one.
"In the bathroom when you...I thought that you might...biting, even playfully is not something that our kind takes lightly. It is the symbol of our mating bond, throughout our lives together it will be a physical reminder of how our hearts and spirits are joined. I want to mate with you right now Alexander. The desire burns me to my core, I want you so badly. But we have to wait, in ten days, well nine now, when you have your first Moon Change, then we will mate Alexander, become as close to one being as two can be. Until then we have to be...careful."
Alexander's thumb gently caressed Jenabel's cheek before sliding into and wrapping itself in her hair. He pulled her too him, their lips meeting in a gentle soul kiss that once started took minutes to complete.
He finally broke the kiss leaning his forehead against hers.
"I wanted to bite you Jenabel, was going to. If you had waited a second longer I would have. I'm sorry, I didn't know, didn't understand what was driving me to do it."
A single finger found its way to his lips, stilling him.
"I told you already; never apologize for wanting me Alexander. After your first shift yesterday it is not surprising that more and more of your Were heritage will assert itself."
He kissed her again softly before pulling away from her and taking her hands again.
"What about the Were part of the mating, what's involved?"
Jenabel was quiet for a time; Alexander simply held her hands, running small circles in her palms with his thumbs. He saw her head shake in the darkness as she gripped his hands more tightly stopping his motion.
"Sorry, the small things, the little touches, your habit of caressing me unknowingly, it can be rather...distracting."
He smiled at the sarcasm evident in her voice.
"For the mating to be complete, we will shift. You will have to earn me. You'll have to catch me, have to...dominate me. If you can I'll submit, we'll mate in our wolf forms. At the moment of completion you'll bite my neck in that form as well. Only then will the Mate-Bond be complete."
Alexander's pulse began to race at her words. He closed his eyes to find his wolf pacing, he could see his breath turning to steam in the cool air, felt the wolf's desire to chase and prove himself to his Mate.
Alexander gave into the wolf's desires, if only a little. His hands moved quickly to Jenabel's shoulders, in an instant she was on her back on the bed, his big body covering hers. Only their towels separated their bodies as the passion and intensity between them spiked.
Her breath caught as she felt his lips near her ear.
"Don't think for a moment that I won't catch you Jenabel. You will submit to me. You are mine."
His whispered words brought her own wolf to the surface. She was prowling close, filled with an urgent need to run. To have Alexander make good on his bold words.
Jenabel's hands pushed at Alexander's chest. Looking in his eyes she found a feral fire that burned with an encompassing longing. She knew her own eyes reflected the same to him.
"Alexander, please...it's so hard...already...to try and stop."
He ground his hardness into her, she felt his erection press between them.
"Yes Jenabel it is so very...hard...already."
With a smoldering kiss that lasted but an instant Alexander pushed away from her and stood, running his fingers through his hair.
"How are we going to make it 'til the Moon Change Jenabel?"
She was glad to hear his more playful inflection.
"We'll manage. To start let's try to get some more sleep."
She rolled her eyes at the feral grin that gleamed out at her from the shadows.
"I'll be under the covers; you mister, will be on top of them."
Jenabel laughed at his hushed whine as he complied, pulling her body against his as they snuggled in to get a few more hours sleep.
Jenabel's final thoughts before sleep took her were mirrored by Alexander.
'The next days can't pass quickly enough.'
Alexander wasn't the only one in the compound having issues with night terrors.
While Alexander had been wrestling with his own visions from his unknown past. Sophie was confronted with something far worse, visions of the present she could not intervene in.
Sophie watched an indistinct shape running fast through an unknown forest. The night was an inky cloak thrown over the world blotting out everything but the lone wolf's mad dash between the trees.
She felt an untenable fear rolling off the wolf in waves. It was as if the devil himself were hot on his heels.
'Why can't I see who it is?'
Her thoughts were in a whirl.
'Who is this wolf? Why am I seeing this?'
The wolf flashed right, stumbled, regained it's footing and continued its headlong rush through the darkened wood.
Sounds came through to her. Shouts, calls, whistles. The barking of dogs and then a gunshot and another.
The wolf picked up its pace.
'Is someone is hunting him!'
The realization had Sophie growling in her own head.
Up and over a group of boulders then down the other side, not losing an ounce of speed the wolf moved like lightning over the terrain.
'He's nimble as a fox this one.'
On and on the chase went winding its way over the mountainous landscape.
Sophie struggled to gain her bearings, trying to get an idea of where this was taking place. It didn't feel familiar, it certainly wasn't anywhere on pack lands.
'But then why am I seeing this?'
As Alpha Bitch she was in tune with her pack. She, just as much as Carl, was responsible for their well-being. There were only a few pack members who were outside of their boundaries.
'What is going on?'
Sophie's anger and worry were rising with each passing second. There was something familiar about this wolf, something she couldn't place without a good look. It was something in the way he ran, his surefooted stride the power and focus of his flight that brought forth a sense of knowing and with it a deepening dread.
The chase ended as quickly as it began.
One minute the wolf was streaking along the edge of a shallow, rocky ravine, the next a single gunshot rang out, echoing through the night.
The wolf's plaintive yelp followed close behind the report.
She watched the tumbling form of fur and blood whose momentum carried it another fifty feet before it teetered and fell beyond sight down into the ravine.
The vision began to fade.
"No. NO!" She struggled to maintain the vision even though there was no way to do so.
In the last instant of the vision, before it slipped beyond her grasp she saw one final image.
A glimpse of motion, a person dashing out from the trees, a cascade of flowing white hair the color of snow under a full moon.
A moment's hesitation.
And then they vanished over the side of the ravine in the same place as the wounded wolf.
"Sophie...Sophie. Wake Up!"
Sophie sat up in the bed, her eyes battling to focus on the bedroom and Carl beside her.
"What is it Sophie? You were growling then screaming in your sleep."
Sophie burst into tears, the pain and fear of the scene grabbing her, holding her so tightly that she feared she would never escape it.
"Someone's in trouble Carl. One of our own is lost! Wounded! I don't know where, don't know why or who but...oh God Carl what are we going to do?"
Carl cradled Sophie in his arms. He rocked her gently as she dealt with the pain such visions of the present often brought when she was powerless...to stop the events they held.
"Good morning everyone."
Brad was in a good mood, he had spent the night entertaining Lisa, both of them had awoken with smiles on their faces after a several raucous rounds of lovemaking. Sex among the unmated of the Pack was commonplace. Everyone was always looking for their mates; however, that search did not preclude having some fun along the way.
His good mood was dampened upon entering his parent's kitchen to find them looking weary and troubled. He was immediately on the defensive.
"What's wrong? Did something happen with Alexander?"
Carl appreciated the ease with which Brad had accepted Alexander. Many would have viewed him as a threat, someone that would test their place in the pack hierarchy. Brad had merely welcomed him to the family with no preconceptions or worry about where he would fall in the pack.
"Alexander's fine as far as I know. Jenabel called early wanting to talk with your mother but she didn't say anything was wrong. Your mother had a vision last night, something about one of the pack being in danger, hurt maybe lost."
Brad knew his mother and father both were always keyed into things that were going on with others in the pack, this was especially so if the members were stressed or in danger. It went along with the job of Alpha.
"Any idea who or where?"
The thought of one of their own being in trouble brought out his own burgeoning Alpha. He was always the first to offer help or support whenever a pack member was in need.
"No, the vision was not specific. Your mother and I have been calling all of the pack members not on our lands for the past hour. Most of them have checked in, only four are still to be accounted for."
Brad could sense that Carl was reluctant to speak further as so prompted his father with one simple word. "And?"
"Cross is one of the four."
Brad immediately tensed.
"Did you call the college? Call his SAT phone?"
"No and of course."
"Remember he's finishing out his doctorate in San Francisco, he was called away early to fill in on a field study in Canada. He left a message with your mother but never gave us any contact information for his new department. He was supposed to call us back when he got in and got settled but never did. We sent Sara down to his place to see if she could find anything. And you know how he is with that damn phone, we'd be lucky to catch him with a full charge the day he left."
Brad considered what his father had told him before responding. "I'm sure Cross is fine, we'll get to the bottom of this."
The phone rang and Sophie was up and out of her chair like a shot. She gave Brad and Carl a negative shake of her head then continued to talk.
Carl changed the subject.
"So are you going to work with Alexander today? With his shift yesterday, you can start getting him accustomed to his wolf form. Have him shift several times...get his paws under him so to speak."
Brad was a little surprised by his father's question.
"Actually no, I hadn't planned on working with Alexander today, I figured with the growing bond between Jenabel and Alexander that she would probably handle that."
Sophie hung up the phone and returned to the table.
"Isabel is fine, still doing well at college in Florida."
Carl noted Sophie's tension, was going to say something when she turned her attention to Brad.