Out of Darkness Ch. 12bylilgirlsix©
Things are winding down now. Or is it winding up? Questions answered but more questions arise. I hope no one is bored. Hope you are enjoying it, and please continue to vote.
And once again, a huge thank you to Archangel_M, who helps to keep me on the straight and narrow. This wouldn't be as much fun without you.
Nevada -- Present Day
"So he's healing at a normal rate now?" Carr watched the injured wolf from the doorway as he discussed his progress with Logan. The black wolf's mate, Kelly, hovered close to the bed. Carr couldn't believe he hadn't noticed her resemblance to Katy and Orsolya. What kind of Alpha was he not to notice something that seemed so obvious to him now? If she had been wearing a red wig, he would have jumped on it. At least he could console himself with the thought that no one else had noticed either. Heck, even Katy and Rhys hadn't caught the striking similarity.
Logan took the chart from Trina with a quick wink to his mate. He flipped through the pages noting the wolf's ongoing improvement. "Actually, I'd say he's healing at a very abnormal rate." He knew that would have Carr's attention riveted on him. "What I mean to say is, he is healing much faster than a normal were." He saw the Alpha's eyebrows jump up in surprise. "And I have no idea why. His parents swear he's always healed like a normal were. He had the usual childhood injuries; broken bones, lacerations, contusions. Of course, he's never had injuries of this magnitude, but still... he's healing too fast."
"Is it dangerous?" Healing too quickly, now there's a problem Carr wished he'd had a few months ago. He absent-mindedly rubbed at the thin scar that ran across his forehead.
"I don't think so. But I'll keep a close eye on him. He wasn't healing at all when his blood volume was depleted. Then, after he'd had his volume replaced, he seemed to be healing at a normal rate." He poured over the meticulous notes the nurses had made in the last few days. "Funny thing, as soon as Kelly began sitting with him, that's when the healing took a massive upswing." He looked up at Carr, surprised himself at his conclusion.
"You don't think..."
"I don't know. But kind of a bizarre coincidence, don't you think?" Logan glanced at the small, but disarmingly passionate, woman. Where did she come from? Was she a were or something else? She smells human to me. He was as anxious as everyone else to find out the results of her DNA tests. It felt like it had been forever since the samples had been sent to the lab, but it'd only been days. Oh well. Watched pot, as they say.
"You know, I used to not believe in coincidence. But now, I'm not so sure." There were just too many for Carr's taste recently. "Well, I'm off to do something fun, interrogation. Now there's something I can sink my teeth into." The Alpha smirked and slapped the doctor on the back as he strolled down the hallway.
Logan was so glad he and Carr had straightened out their "little misunderstanding" from the other day. He really enjoyed living with this pack. He eyed his luscious mate as she scooted past him on her way to treat her patient. There was a lot Logan enjoyed about this pack. He licked his lips and thought of the things he wanted to do to Trina later tonight when they were off-duty. He smirked when he saw her blush self-consciously as she read his thoughts. He turned on his heel and whistled as he made his way to his next patient.
Cole and Brett were waiting for Carr outside the interrogation rooms. They'd been talking to their newest "visitors" since they were released from the hospital yesterday. They smiled when the Alpha arrived along with the Bertrand/Kardos Alpha, Guillame. Guillame's second, Zsigmond, followed closely behind.
"They're singing like canaries, Carr. They want to be as cooperative as possible. And I don't have any doubts they're telling the absolute truth." Cole had to admit that it wasn't due to their interrogation skills so much as their absolute terror of their own Alpha. If they returned to their pack, they'd be executed. If they attempted to escape the reach of their Alpha, they thought for sure he'd find a way to track them down and kill them. They'd had it easy in America all these years. They hoped to continue that and return to their families in one piece if at all possible. They were more than willing to contribute any information they had if it meant living out their lives in peace.
"So, what did you get? Anything useful?" Carr wasn't sure they would have much since they'd been so far from the pack for so long. He'd heard they'd come to the U.S. over a hundred years ago.
"Did they say anything about why they had come to the U.S.?" Guillame was sure they'd been sent to find his mate and daughter. He had his own suspicions about his daughter's untimely death. Even though he'd never met her, never bonded with her, he had loved her from the moment he knew she was on her way. And he'd love her to his dying day.
Carr laid a gentle hand on his friend's arm. He was sure Guillame had plenty of questions. Erobos had brought death and destruction upon an entire pack in Hungary, and changed Guillame's life forever. He didn't blame him for being impatient, but there was no use in bombarding Carr's Betas with questions.
Guillame realized his error and nodded almost imperceptibly to the other Alpha. He knew the Baxter Pack had suffered much at the hands of Gary and his followers, and now they knew that Gary had been bankrolled by Erobos. But Erobos had destroyed his family and caused his extended separation from his mate. How could he ever make up for one hundred and fifty years without her, for never having known his child?
Carr couldn't even imagine Guillame's pain. The last thing he wanted to think of was not being there when his cubs were born, not watching their first steps, their first shifts. He blocked his thoughts from Lee; no need to upset her.
"Actually, they did talk about why they were sent. It wasn't to find the Vlkolak, though. They said they were told to watch for panthers!" Cole smiled when he saw the reactions of the Alphas. He had kind of thought that would surprise them. It'd sure surprised him and Brett. They had each questioned one of the weres. Their stories were close enough to ring true, and there was enough variation to make them believe they hadn't concocted a story together.
"Panthers. Now that brings up even more questions. So why were they watching for panthers?" The Council was really going to be interested in this. Carr knew all hell was going to break loose soon. The more answers they had, the better their chances. "My understanding was that were no more panthers." Carr stared at Guillame and Zsigmond.
"That was my understanding as well, Carr. Leona had said she wasn't aware of any of her siblings or cousins that had survived. But even she admitted they may have been as well hidden as she." Guillame thought back to that day, so long ago, when Leona had told him she was a werepanther. A faint smile came to his lips. That had been the day he had met his beloved Orsolya. There was no day in his life etched more deeply into his brain than that one.
Zsigmond noticed the faraway look on his Alpha's face and cleared his throat.
Thank you, Zsigmond. I guess I am easily distracted when it comes to anything that makes me think of your sister.
Zsigmond maintained his normal stony exterior as he mutely nodded.
Rhys had another batch of papers in his lap that he was reviewing as the group filed into the room.
"What are you reading now?" Alistair leaned over his friend's shoulder at the copies of what looked like extremely old text. The script was amazingly ornate and the paper yellowed and very delicate. He couldn't even make out what language it was in.
"Histories of the southern European packs. Guillame had copies shipped from Brussels a few days ago. It just arrived. Some of these pages are close to one thousand years old."
Carr's whistle pierced the otherwise silent room. "My great grandfather was still living in a cave in Scotland a thousand years ago." Wonder what he'd think of our little pack here? Carr had heard so many stories about the exploits of his great grandfather in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands. He wondered how he would have handled Erobos.
Cut his balls off.
Carr had to hold back the snicker that tried to break free of his serious expression. You're a riot, Cole, but probably right.
Okay if we go spar while you head honchos are busy with your meeting?
Fine with me. But no major injuries, okay? Any good bouts?
Nathan is taking on Zsigmond. Should be a great fight!
Damn! That is gonna be a good one. Nathan was the biggest Beta he had. Zsigmond was probably the only one that could match him. Carr wondered about the black wolf in the hospital. He had a feeling he was going to be formidable once he was well.
"Guillame, are you okay if our Betas do some fight training?"
Guillame smiled as he walked in the door. "Yes, I heard they're all looking forward to it. It's a shame we're going to miss it, though. Zsigmond tossed me around quite a bit when we were still in Hungary. It should be quite instructive for the younger males."
Carr and Guillame were hopeful they could get this meeting over quickly and join the crowd that was already gathering in the clearing around the makeshift ring. Normally, they'd be doing their sparring in the gym, but there were too many that wanted to watch.
"Sandalio, is there any more information from Sardinia?" Alistair was anxious to have some answers about Erobos' interest in Dire Wolves.
Sandalio leaned back in his chair, stretching his long legs in front of him. "Unfortunately, they are mired in stacks and stacks of paper. Álvaro spoke with his mate about it; she remembered hearing Erobos mentioning Dire Wolves some five hundred years ago when she first joined the pack. So this is not new. Álvaro decided it would be best to start at the beginning. So they've been working on organizing the records, starting with his takeover of the pack in 1052 A.D."
Carr shook his head in disbelief. "Wow, almost a thousand years ago. That's gonna take some man-hours. I hope he's got a big crew."
Konstantine smiled. "He has access to every were that works for the Council. Right now, I think he has sufficient numbers. Not only are they sorting, but they are scanning the information into the computers and that way they can send the pages out to be deciphered. The oldest papers are in a very archaic script. I doubt there are many that would be able to read it." He glanced over at Guillame. As the council's former Chief Archivist, this would have been his job. At the moment, the position was vacant.
"Sandalio, you can have Álvaro email me some of those documents. Rhys and I might be able to get somewhere with them, don't you think?" Guillame turned to his fellow Archivist.
"We can muddle our way through. I wonder if Leona's reincarnated self could help us?"
Alistair almost bit through his tongue. "Jenna does not know how to read thousand year old Sardinian."
"Actually, according to my reading, the packs used a sort of combination of languages, incorporating Latin, Phoenician, and the local Sard language. I think..." Rhys looked up and saw Alistair glaring down at him and decided it best to stop. He sat back in his chair and quietly added, "Guillame and I will give it a try."
"Thank you, my friend." Alistair didn't like the idea of his mate getting involved in this at all. She was already having dreams about Orsolya and Kelly, or Orsolya's twin, Zsálya. And Jenna had been making comments recently that she thought Alistair was actually Leona's mate reincarnated. He wasn't so sure he liked the idea of sharing his mind and/or body with anyone else. He especially did not appreciate the thought of sharing his mate with her former self's mate.
You are my only mate, my white wolf.
His heart warmed at her words in his head.
Thank you, my love.
Alistair was jolted out of his moment with his mate by the Baxter Alpha.
"What are we going to do with our two prisoners? Old 'one ear' and 'blinky', as my brother so aptly put it earlier today." Carr had to laugh. His brother made it his life's work to crack Carr up at least once a day. Cole felt his older brother was too serious. Sometimes Carr had to agree. Cole certainly kept him on his toes.
"I think for now, let's leave them where they are. They may become more useful when Erobos arrives in the area. For one thing, we should be able to tell if he still has his bond with them. I'm not sure if that will be good or bad, but it will be important, I think." Alistair felt like his head was going to explode. It just seemed there was so much information they needed. And what information was coming to them didn't fit anywhere, yet. Maybe the arrival of Kelly's grandfather would lead them somewhere.
"Carr, any word on Kelly's grandfather?" Alistair hoped he was the key to unlock the mysteries.
"He's on the plane and should be here within the hour."
"Do your people have any opinion about him yet?"
"Well, we own the plane, but the crew is human, so no first impressions. Sorry. I haven't been able to talk any of my Betas into taking flight training. We don't like leaving the ground unless we have to."
Everyone else present in the room flew all the time, but they could understand the reluctance of the average were.
"James is meeting him at the airport. I'll know more then."
Alistair nodded and was about to open his mouth when the exuberant yells from outside carried into the office.
They could hear the cheering from the opposing crowds during the fight. Obviously, the Bertrand/Kardos Pack members were backing Zsigmond, and the Baxter Pack was rooting for Nathan. They were quite a distance away, but the boisterous yelling was carrying into the office. Alistair could see that Carr and Guillame were distracted, wanting to be there to support their Betas. Actually, all of those present seemed more interested in the fight than Erobos who was mere hours away.
Alistair sighed loudly and gave in. "Let's go watch the fight. I doubt we can get much done here right now anyway." He smiled as the two Alphas jumped out of their chairs and ran out the door, the members of the two Councils following along.
Rhys patted Alistair on the back as he walked next to him. "I think a friendly fight is good for morale, Alistair. Who knows if there will be a battle shortly? We don't know for sure that Erobos doesn't have an army. The packs need some good-natured fun. Let's enjoy ourselves while we still have the chance. What do you say, old friend?"
Alistair laughed and nodded. "You're right as always, Rhys. It's a small diversion. Maybe it will release some of the tension that's been thick enough to cut with a knife the last few days." Ever since the arrival of the injured wolf, there had been a sense of dread hanging over the compound. Whether it had to do with the thought of another battle, or something else, Alistair didn't know. But he had to admit that he hadn't heard this much laughter here in weeks.
Carr and Guillame walked through the crowd, which immediately opened a path for the Alphas to move to the front of the animated audience. Alistair and Rhys stood to the rear, their height allowing them to make out what was going on in the middle of the clearing. They could see the two wolves, both massive but evenly matched, stalking each other like prey. The difference in colors helped immensely. Zsigmond was black as night, and Nathan a bright blond.
Since it was a sparring bout and not an actual fight, they weren't biting down, but used their teeth to hold the scruff of their opponent to pin. Mostly they used their front legs and massive bodies to wrestle each other to the ground. Each fighter had a second, Cole and Istvan, who were their point counters. And like a human wrestling match, there were points for takedowns and escapes. So far, the match had been tied, point for point. It looked as if this was going to be a draw.
Nathan thought he saw a weakness and moved in quickly to dive underneath Zsigmond at the same moment the black wolf lunged forward to attack him. His plan was to knock the black wolf's legs out from under him, but he slid in the well-trampled grass, forcing his canine teeth deep into the flesh of Zsigmond's inner thigh. The blood poured out of the fresh wound and caught everyone by surprise. Zsigmond was so caught up in the fight that he didn't even feel it.
Carr and Guillame spotted it together and both ran into the ring, stopping their Betas in mid-fight.
"Okay, sorry, that's the end. Let's call it a draw and get Zsigmond to the hospital." Carr watched as the Betas shifted, both breathing hard, their massive chests heaving to take in more air.
Nathan felt horrible. "Zsigmond, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it." He barely noticed the Alphas standing nearby.
Now that he was in his human form, Zsigmond felt every bit of the gaping wound in his leg. But he managed a smile at the blond giant standing next to him. "Nathan, it was a wonderful fight. I haven't had a better one in about one hundred and fifty years, eh Guillame?" He looked over at his Alpha, who was the last wolf to really test his mettle.
"Brother, let's get you to the hospital. There's a lot of dirt in that wound already. Don't want you to get an infection before we get our chance at Erobos." Istvan knelt down to help his brother up. It was a huge wound. Zsigmond had moved just as the teeth had punctured, causing an enormous tear down the length of his leg.
They carefully made their way to the hospital, the worried crowd following close behind.
Istvan tried to take as much of Zsigmond's weight off the leg as possible, or rather, as much as Zsigmond would allow.
"I'll be fine, I'm sure it's just a scratch. It will heal over in a few minutes." Zsigmond had tried to hide his pain from his mate, but he was too late. She'd sensed his pain and was already on the run from their quarters. I'll be fine, Margareta, it's nothing.
Hmph, nothing! I'll be the judge of that! I'll meet you at the hospital. I know Istvan won't let you out of his sight until I'm there. Margareta would take no chances with her mate's health. He was the only surviving member of her family.
Istvan could feel Zsigmond having difficulty walking. The muscle had been shredded by Nathan's canine teeth and was really worse than Zsigmond would let on. "Ash, give your old man a hand, would you? Zsigmond is just too heavy for me to handle alone." He saw the look on Zsigmond's face but ignored it.
"Uncle, I have to help my dad. He is an old wolf, you know. He doesn't have as much strength as he used to." Ash winked at his father behind Zsigmond's back.
The entire crowd followed them to the hospital but were stopped at the doors by the two Alphas.
"All right, he's safe here at the hospital. We'll put out a message after he's been treated. I'm sure he'll be fine." Carr smiled and waited as the last of the pack walked away. He opened the door for Margareta who smiled in thanks as she ran in. Carr spotted Nathan and Cole standing across the yard and sauntered over to them.
"Carr, I didn't mean to hurt him." Nathan couldn't believe he'd been so careless. He could barely look up at his Alpha.
"Nathan, no one thinks you did it on purpose. You were both tired, and that leads to injuries. Don't worry about it. It was one hell of a fight, and I'm damn proud of you. The whole pack is proud of you!" Carr slapped him on the back with a huge smile on his face.