Nix’s brows rose up. “Uh, okay, so I should leave a
, too. Be right back.” Nix hopped
up and scurried inside. While he did that, Seamus put his bag away and grabbed
his wallet. He had some shopping to do.
Sutter leaned down and pressed her small mouth to the surface of the
creek and drank in some of the clear and cold
water. Her thirst quenched, she used her wings to scoop up water and dumped it
over her furry form. It was the only way she could stand bathing in cold water,
and both she and her animal were insistent on being clean. She took her time to
groom herself before heading out to find something to eat. Finding food was
difficult, and she could feel her stomach groan in protest. She wouldn’t be
able to fly much longer if she couldn’t find anything more suitable.
Raspberries and apples weren’t as plentiful in these parts, and blackberries
weren’t quite ripe enough yet.
Shaking herself lightly, she looked to the darkening
sky. A few of the brighter stars were already dotting the darkening sky. There
wasn’t much left of the moon as the new moon was only three more days away, so
the darkness of the forest felt heavier. She lifted off into flight to get away
The wind ran through her now clean reddish fur. She
flew around for a few hours trying to find something to eat. She would wait a
little while longer before risking one last stop at the farm she had been
visiting for about a week.
A week of that kiwi, mango, and
ginger scent that she just couldn’t get enough of.
Oh how she wished she
could stay longer and give into her desire to meet the man who it belonged to,
but she couldn’t stay here much longer. She had already stayed longer than she
should have, fighting her bat’s determination on staying, because of the scent.
She could admit to herself that she hated fighting herself on the matter, but
if he was her mate, wouldn’t she have had that eureka moment already?
But the experiments could
have altered your senses,
she thought to herself,
but quickly shook that off.
I can smell
him just fine. In any case, if I stay around here any longer, the psycho hunter
will find me, and then I will be dead.
Finally, she felt it was late enough to fly by the
chirped then adjusted her direction. She
was wary of the giant flying creatures she guessed were gargoyles that flew
over the farm. Staying close to the tops of the trees, she glided along and
darted for the
. Looking around,
she could see light coming from a window in the room above the garage.
Is he up?
Will I get a chance to see him?
She let out another twitter sound
and was satisfied there wasn’t any danger. Dropping from the eave, she swooped
towards the garage where the scent was always the strongest. Her little nose
twitched when she caught a whiff of it before she landed.
dangled under the eaves of the garage building. She closed her eyes and took in
the scent that smelled so good to her. Her nose flared at the added scent of
fresh fruits and veggies. Her stomach overrode her senses, and she dropped down
to the windowsill. She hadn’t noticed, until now, that it had been left open.
She could see a perch that stood right beside the window. Right next to it,
with a ring of candles set in the middle lighting it, was a neatly set table
with several plates of food on it and a bright yellow card that caught her eye.
She couldn’t explain why, but her animal receded for the first time in months,
leaving her standing naked on the windowsill. She saw the plate filled table of
food more clearly, and then she could see the card that read:
“To my nightly visitor”.
Was this meant for her?
There were fruit trays, veggie trays, meat trays
and a bread basket with crescent rolls and buns.
There were two plates set with silverware, with real cloth napkins folded
neatly on them. Three glasses sat around the top of one plate,
, one milk, and one orange juice.
She reached for the card and read it.
To my nightly visitor,
My name is Dr. Seamus
Rossi. I have been enamored by your scent for several days now. I am a vampire,
and I believe you may be my beloved. I would appreciate the chance to get to
know you better. Whether you are or not, I would feel grateful if you would
trust me to help you.
First, I must tell you our
pack is a mix of paranormals. Our alpha wants this place to be a safe haven for
any paranormal with the need to be safe and accepted. His mate is human, and we
have a large mix of shifters. There are a few vampires, like myself, and even
Please think about coming
to us for whatever assistance you need. I am unsure how well you have been
eating so I have taken the liberty of presenting you with a variety of foods to
nourish good health in you.
I promise not to come out
unless you ask for me, but if you feel comfortable enough to talk with me, I am
just in the other room. If not, there is a pack run tomorrow night, and you are
invited to join us. Our alpha agrees to the invitation.
If none of these are
options you feel ready for, I will continue leaving food out each night for
you. There are extra papers and pencils and pens on the end of the table for
you to write anything you would like to me. Please give me a chance to get to
body froze as she read the note. She had so many things now running through her
head that she needed to process it all. She was skeptical.
Is this really the owner of that delicious scent? Should I trust him?
she could think any more, her stomach rumbled and groaned, flaring hunger pains
through her abdomen. She couldn’t think clearly as hungry as she was. As she
looked at the food, she felt her hunger influence her decision.
I would think more clearly if my stomach
wasn’t so empty,
Looking around the darkened, slightly crowded but
clean room, she couldn’t detect any danger, so she gingerly sat down in the
let out a hiss at the shock of
the cold chair under her bare skin.
It took tremendous will not to just dive in and gorge
, but from past experience, she knew that that would
only make her sick. She also didn’t want to repay his kindness with being
filled her plate with fruits and
She wasn’t a big meat eater, but she really needed the
protein, so she grabbed a few of the sandwich meat rolls and plopped them in
her mouth. Flavor burst over her tongue, and she whimpered, trying to contain
her toe-curling moan. She had gone so long without proper eating.
grabbed a crescent roll and followed it down with a
drink from the milk.
paced herself. After the stronger drive to eat subsided, she began to think
over her dilemma as she continued to eat.
suddenly felt afraid that perhaps Seamus might have found a way to drug the
food. Her paranoia was heightened by the recent events, but her hunger had also
dampened her reasoning.
Well, if he
drugged me, I would have started to feel the effects by now. So maybe he isn’t
bad. But can I really trust him, or an alpha of a pack? Is the alpha really
came from a colony. They
only had an alpha for their human affairs.
alpha would be tolerant
to outsiders. I could watch them in secret tomorrow, during their pack run?
Yes, I’ll do that.
After she filled herself to near bursting, she finally
came to a decision.
grabbed the paper and a
pencil and scribbled a quick note.
I do not know what to make
of your offer, and I will need time to think about it. In the meantime, thank
you for the feast. It has been a while since I ate so much.
hopped onto the windowsill and took to her bat form. With sunrise getting
closer, she needed to find a place to hide until the pack run, and with her
stomach full, she looked forward to a good day’s sleep.
Seamus stretched before turning off the alarm on his
cell phone. Disappointment that his visitor didn’t try to talk with him clouded
his thoughts as he entered the bathroom and quickly did his morning routine.
The scent of the woman was in the dwelling, so he rushed through his routine,
anxious to see if she, at least, left a note.
Looking the table over, he noted not much food had
been touched, but was elated to see a note was left.
he was about to step in that direction to retrieve the note, a knock sounded on
the door that led to the garage below.
he could say
anything, the door opened, and Nix walked in. “Morning,
Sea. I got a report from the gargoyles before they took to roost. They said she
didn’t stay too long, and then left. How’d it go? Did she talk to you?”
Seamus continued to the table. “No, but she left a
note.” Picking it up, he felt Nix behind him reading it over his shoulder as he
“Damn, she sounds like she’s on the run from something
or someone. She’s starving,” Nix said.
“But she hardly ate much at all. Look, only one
crescent roll is gone, and no more than a handful of vegetables and maybe a
couple of fruits. I see three meat rolls and a glass of milk gone and that’s it.
I’ve seen Gale eat more than that in a sitting, and she’s human.”
“Yeah, but she said it had been a while since she ate
that much, so maybe she has been starving and her stomach shrank. What was her
called what she
ate a feast, then she must have been starving. She’s on the run, Sea. We need
to figure out from whom.” Nix’s tone had an urgent edge to it. It matched
Seamus’s own growing concern. Nix continued. “When you wanted to go to the
store, I expected maybe chocolates and flowers. But I’m glad you went this
route. It sounds like she needs it.”
“What did the gargoyles have to say?” Seamus asked.
“They have great night vision, so they stayed way
back. When they saw her leave, they followed her. They know where she’s hiding.
Oh, and they told me something else you might find interesting.”
Seamus let his irritation at being left dramatically hanging show in his tone.
“She’s a bat. And not just any bat. They recognized
Seamus said with exasperation.
Nix smiled wide. He seemed to be enjoying toying with
him. “She’s a giant golden-crowned flying fox.
had Havana look it up. You should see the pics she brought up. They’re cute
buggers. All the girls are excited about her. Oh, and Slate sent Henry, in his
elk form, to watch over her today. He’s promised to keep his distance, so as
not to spook her.”
Seamus rubbed his face with the palms of his hands.
Her scent still lingered in the room, and his emotions to protect and provide
for her had just skyrocketed. Nix’s hand landed gently enough on his shoulder.
“C’mon, let’s get breakfast. Today is going to be a
long day. Everyone is already eating breakfast. Just take it a step at a time.
the pack’s got your back.”
Seamus nodded his head and let out a heavy sigh.
“You’re right. Thank you, Nix. Would you give me a hand clearing this table
After clearing off the table, Seamus wiped it down
before he let Nix pull him down to breakfast. As they entered the house, Seamus
could feel it buzz with excitement. Everyone was talking about the upcoming
events. Seamus had to admit that with all the pack had been through in just one
little month, everyone deserved a day off to celebrate being a pack.
The kitchen was crowded with every member that lived
in the alpha house, plus a few others. Many people greeted him as he took a
seat at the breakfast bar.
“So, Seamus, is she coming to the event tonight?”
Everyone hushed, waiting for his answer. It touched
him to know the pack cared this much. He could see and even scent their
excitement. It made him hate to have to admit she had refused. “I’m afraid
not,” he replied. Collective sounds of disappointment sounded throughout the
knocked on the counter of the breakfast bar. “
everyone, I need your attention.” As everyone quieted
down and turned their focus on their alpha, Seamus saw his brother, Ryker
sidle up beside him. Through his facial expression,
Seamus knew his brother was giving him his support. With his own look, he let
his brother know how grateful he was for it. They both turned their attention
First, Sea, I’m sorry to
hear that. You have the support of the pack, obviously, so whatever you need to
help you gain her trust, just ask.
I want all ranked members in my
office for a meeting. Seamus, I want you to join us. To the rest of you, today
is a big day for our pack. It’s going to be a sunny and hot day today, so keep
hydrated, and keep vigilant that others are drinking enough, especially the
cubs. Thanks to the hard wor
and his crew, we now have a large playground set up
for them. Both Reese and Paul have volunteered to keep watch over the little
ones on the play equipment.”
Seamus looked over at the two teens and smiled at
them. Reese was a great study in the world of medicine and excellent with
people, especially children.
I bet he
would be great in the field of pediatrics.
Next to him stood Paul.
His road to recovery the last eight weeks had been
challenging. It felt good to see him up and around, and smiling. Seamus made a
mental note to check on him throughout the day.
Seamus quickly turned his focus back to
speech. “Slate is heading up the barbecue, with
Tyler assisting. Betty and Connie are in charge of the side dishes and
desserts. Check in with these people throughout the day to see if they need any
help. In spite of all that, don’t work too hard, people. This is a day to
Seamus took a sip of the coffee Betty placed down in
front of him. Grabbing a muffin and a banana in one hand and holding his coffee
in the other, he followed the group to the office.
Seamus found a small seat along the wall of the office
as the enforcers, trackers, and sentries situated themselves for the meeting.
He looked over the rim of his mug at the room of men noting Councilman Tyler
had also joined them, as
started the meeting.
“We have a lot to discuss this morning. I’d like to
start with our mystery visitor. She’s
little east of here. Henry is on first watch over her, and Gavin will have
second watch. Gavin, you’ll relieve Henry around one. That should give you
enough time to enjoy some of the food before you head out.”
“Yes, sir,” Gavin responded.
turned looked over at Seamus. “Sea, what can you
“Not much, I’m afraid. Her name is
He pulled out the letter and read what she had written.
“She didn’t eat all that much,” Nix added.
and the others shared the same look of concern. “Ryker, contact the council and
see if there are any bats named
missing. In the meantime, I trust you, Seamus, to continue building a bond with
her. Beloved or not, it sounds like she needs us.
“How about the drug used on Havana during her
abduction, have you identified it?”
I identified a powerful tranquilizer in her blood work, but it’s coupled with a
substance I haven't seen before. It slows her metabolism to that of a human,
allowing the tranquilizer to effectively last longer in her body, instead of
burning off. In effect, I believe it amplified the tranquilizer. I haven’t seen
anything like it. I can also tell you that this is not anything that can be
bought over the counter. I think it’s possible they have their own doctor or
doctors, and a lab, to create this.”
All was silent for a minute while the men in the room
processed this news. Their newest pack-member,
broke the silence. “Doctor Seamus, if they have a lab, and they are developing
drugs to use medically on paranormals wouldn’t they need the paranormals to
“I have already thought about that, and yes,” he
answered. “They can do with just blood samples for a time, but would eventually
need subjects to do their studies on. For it to get to this point, I believe
they are well beyond test subjects. They knew how much to give her, and how to
maintain it in the correct dosage without killing her.”
“Wait,” Enzo interrupted. “She was originally snatched
by Damon Miller, the former beta of the elk herd. But he was killed by the
S.I.S. agents. So who are the ones responsible for the drug?”
Ryker shot his hand up and bounced on the small bed he
sat on. Those who sat next to him were bounced unwittingly on the mattress next
to him at the little redhead’s eager response.
“I have a theory, but I’ll need permission to
“What’s your theory?”
“Well, what if there’s a connection between Damon and
the S.I.S. and Alpha Smith and Councilmember Daily?
Alpha Smith is linked to drugs, and his flight was scheduled to leave shortly
after the S.I.S. were to arrive with a drugged shifter, and
father is also linked to drugs, could they have the same councilman in common?
The beta had to have gotten the high-end drug from somewhere. It just all seems
too coincidental, like they’re linked
somehow. And maybe something went
wrong and the S.I.S. had to kill the ex-beta.”
“Plausible,” Tyler said. “I can ask Councilman Black.”
“Why not question the S.I.S. agent? Have you gotten
anything out of him?” Peter asked.
“I can further question him, but he’s trained in
keeping secrets, even under torture. I’m taking a different route, and it will
” Matteo said.
added, “And for the next couple of days, I have Raymond’s coven looking after
him. We won’t know anything for a while.”
“I believe the little red is right
Everyone went silent, except Ryker.
shrugged one shoulder. “Huh, guess
it’s apropos. Okay, go on,” Ryker said, waving his hand dismissively.
“Are you talking about the thing with your father?”
asked. With a silent nod from
indicated he should continue.
“Some of the evidence indicated pharmaceutical
companies. But those companies are bogus. They are there, I have seen them with
my own eyes, but if you look into other records, they aren’t legit. Up until
now, I thought the embezzling and laundering were all a part of their drug
dealing, but what if they weren’t street drugs, as I had assumed?”
“It makes perfect sense,” Enzo said.
agreed. “I want to look further into this, but we’ll need to tread carefully
but that’s for later. Today is our first pack run,
and I want it to be a happy, fun, and safe day for all of us. No doubt we
deserve it. We still need to put up the volleyball net and stake the horseshoes
spikes. Oh, and
parents are coming. I have
made them extended pack through their ties with us.”
Ryker said with excitement.
“Does that mean they have full pack rights?” Nix
“Pack rights?” Ryker asked. He looked puzzled.
“He’s asking if they’re allowed full access to the
pack house and support from the pack like any other member,” Enzo explained.
“Without pack rights, they can’t ask the pack for help. They can ask anyone
they want, individually, but officially, they’re on their own.”
nodded. “To answer Nix’s question, yes. This means I’m making them to be, sort
of, honorary pack members. They have helped us greatly with the purchase of a
private jet, and their airfield is at our disposal because of their generosity
and support of us. And since they know about paranormals, they are an asset. So
whenever they get in trouble, or need help, the pack will respond to them as we
would to any other member. And they can visit any time they wish without
waiting for an invitation.”