Wolves at the Gate
“Mitch, do you have those wolves on camera?”
“I do for now, but they are heading into the State Forest. Wait… they are out of view now.” I was at once relieved and apprehensive, I didn’t want them here, but they had protected Vivian effectively.
“Keep watching,” I told him.
Viper moved into the clearing but had his hands up to the others. “Stay put, everyone, just in case. Dagger, you come up, make sure all these wolves are dead. Shakes, disarm those charges so we can approach the house. Snake, up here with me.” He got on the walkie talkie. “Bring their cars up to the house, they won’t need them anymore.”
I walked up to where Viper was standing, surveying the field that was stained red with Sheridan Pack blood. After what they must have done to Carson, I only wished it could have lasted longer. “Jesus Christ, these guys didn’t have a chance.”
“I know, Gabriel’s men were on a different level, it seems. Not only did they cheat me out of a kill, but they left us the fucking mess to clean up.”
“They’re gone?” Vivian’s voice from inside snapped my eyes over to the cabin.
“Yes, but don’t open a door yet, just in case they come back,” I said.
I heard metal sliding, and she looked out the window of the living room after sliding the shutter aside. “Wow. They killed them all.”
“Yes, then they knelt down in worship to you, DeWalt. I’m not sure what to think.” Viper looked around. “How the hell did they know about Eve?”
“I have no idea,” she said as she looked out.
“SAFE NOW,” Shakes shouted as he walked towards us.
I didn’t need any more encouragement, I ran to the window and damn near pulled her out as I took her in my arms and kissed her. “I was so scared when those wolves came running in, I thought we might not be able to protect you,” I said.
“I’m fine.” She kissed me again.
“Stay here for a bit, just in case. We have some cleanup to do.” Viper left four guys farther out with walkie-talkies while we took care of the cleanup. We didn’t have time to build a fire big enough to cremate nineteen huge wolves, so we would have to improvise.
“Viper,” Scrape said as he came up. “On the way here we passed a gully, it’s maybe twelve feet deep and six across. We could pile them at the bottom, then cover it up.”
“We’d need a hell of a lot of material for that,” I said. “If they aren’t six feet deep the smell will be noticed.”
“Thought about that, Shakes could use those charges of his to blow the sides, collapse it down.”
“SHAKES!” Viper waited until he ran over. “Come with us.” The four of us headed off into the woods while the others got busy with laying out a tarp and tossing all the bodies and body parts on it. The gully was about a quarter mile away. We got to the edge, it seemed promising. “We’ll have to bury it good, this is washout from snowmelt. It can uncover quickly in the spring.”
“I think we’ll be all right if all these big rocks are blasted on top,” I said. “We just need them to stay in place until they decompose. Dog bones won’t arouse suspicions if they pop up out here. Shakes, what do you think?”
“I think I’m saving my silver Claymores for later. I’ve got stuff in my bag I can use for this.”
“Wait a minute, the bag in the back of my truck?” He nodded. “Just how much ‘stuff’ did you bring?”
“Plenty, don’t worry, if I’m not running, you’re all right.” He smiled and ran off towards the cabin we were parked at. We went back and started carrying the carcasses out there, dumping them in the deepest part. It took him about two hours to place explosives in the cracks in the rock wall of the gully and wire it all up. We stood back a good hundred yards as he connected it to his hand detonator, a silly grin on his face. “I was worried I wouldn’t get any fun,” he said. “FIRE IN THE HOLE!”
A few seconds later there was a loud bang and the sound of a landslide. When I looked up, dust and smoke was obscuring the area, soon taken away by the wind. “Hope that doesn’t attract too much attention,” I said.
“Just one they’ll blame it on something else,” he said. “Do it again and it’ll get noticed.”
It was pushing six by the time we were done and cleaned up. We had passed a pizza and beer place on the way in, and Moose had verified it was a good place when he stopped by after dropping Sheri off at her bar. “Boss, what should we do with their cars?”
“Drive them back to the clubhouse for now, I know a chop shop that will take them,” I said. “They won’t miss them.”
I walked back to the house, three of my brothers were inside cleaning up and had just finished putting a new steel entry door on. “How are you doing, baby?”
Vivian looked tired as I pulled her into my lap on the chair. “I’m not sure how I am anymore, Snake. I miss my baby, though.”
“She’s fine, Teri and Meghan will take good care of her. Feel like some pizza and beer?”
“Sure, why not.” We walked out the door, everyone was loading into vehicles and we fell into the middle of the caravan. It took us fifteen minutes to get to the small town, and we half-filled the parking lot.
We hadn’t worn our cuts for this trip, not wanting any wolf to trace us back, so we looked like a big group of friends out for the night. The beer was flowing, the pizza was good, the fellowship better, but we couldn’t stay long. “She needs to get home,” I told Viper as Vivian started to snore softly, she had fallen asleep with her head on my shoulder. All those late-night feedings were still catching up to her.
“I think we all should go,” he said. “We can relax back at the clubhouse.”
“Do you think that is safe for her now?”
“You are safe to return, my men have cleared the area of any threats.” The voice came from behind me, it was the same man from the clearing. He had two men with him, all were dressed in motorcycle boots, jeans, black T-shirts and leather cuts. His long hair was held back with a bandana, it was a black Harley-Davidson print. His vest had “PRESIDENT” and “GABE” on the front, with a crest showing a shadowed knight in armor, a full moon rising behind him. “May I join you?”
“Meghan, is that bottle ready yet?” I damn near had to shout over Eve’s screams, she had woken up cranky and it had spun downhill from there. I was walking her back and forth in the living room of the small guest house, patting her back and softly begging her to settle down, and it wasn’t working. She had woken from her nap about seven PM, and wasn’t happy about it.
“Here,” she said as she ran into the room. I quickly sat down and tried to feed her, but she wouldn’t take the bottle, she was too interested in setting new decibel records for crying.
“Can I try?”
“Here,” I said. Meghan settled her in her arm, singing softly to her as she rocked back and forth. Almost instantly, Eve settled down and seconds later was sucking hard at her bottle. “That’s SO unfair. How can I raise three kids and get shown up by a teenager?”
She just giggled. “Well, you didn’t spend time singing to her and holding her hand while she was in the incubator. She likes me better.”
“Showoff.” I got up in a huff, walking towards the kitchen. I grabbed a Coke out of the fridge and walked back out to the living room. Eve was working on the bottle, her little hand gripping Meghan’s shirt as she continued to sing her song. “You’re going to be a great mother someday,” I said as I watched her.
“A long time from now,” she said. “College, med school, residency… I’ll be in my late twenties before I have time for a man.” She pulled the bottle away and put Eve on her shoulder, patting her back. “I’m not giving up my dream for anyone.”
“You shouldn’t have to,” I said. “Any man worthy of your love will support your dreams.”
She coaxed a strong burp out of her and cleaned her face up. “Here, you can have her back.”
“That’s all right.” She gave her back to me anyway, and almost immediately her face started to scrunch up. “Oh you little…” Meghan just started to laugh as she ran out of the room. “Oh GOD, you KNEW she was going to poop and you give her to me?”
“I can’t help if I know the warning signs,” she said as she grabbed her own Coke. She walked back into the living room and “Hey, what’s that out by the fence?”
I got up, holding Eve away from my nose as I went in to see what it was. I looked out across the front yard where Elias’ border collie was going nuts by the fence. Running back and forth, she was barking at something on the other side. I followed her eyes, and the biggest wolf I had ever seen was pacing along the ditch, just outside the fence. “Meghan, take Eve to the bedroom and lock the door behind you,” I said.
“You’re making me change her?” She took Eve from me, scrunching her face.
I ignored her, reaching under the couch for the scoped rifle that was kept there. “Call Elias, let them know there’s a wolf outside the fence. Then call the clubhouse, have then send anyone available down here to help. Make sure they are armed.”
“Are you going to be all right?”
“I’ll be fine. There’s a pistol in the bedside table, don’t open the door for anyone but me or someone you know.” She turned for the hall as I opened the window. Using the scope, I scanned the fence line, stopping when I saw another. “MEGHAN, TELL THEM THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO!”
I pulled the bolt back a little, making sure the .30-06 modified hunting cartridge was chambered. The bullet was injected with silver, another Moose special. “Where the hell is Viking,” I whispered to myself. He was supposed to be on patrol outside, how he could miss two huge freaking wolves by the front gates, I had no idea.
The two wolves were now together near the double gates for the driveway. I took a bead on the larger one, it was closest to the fence. I settled behind the rifle, doing a quick breathing exercise to steady my heart rate. I thumbed off the safety, then took up most of the trigger pull. I watched the crosshairs settle over the right shoulder, taking a deep breath and then letting it halfway out, the way my Dad had taught me while learning to hunt.
“MOM!” The noise scared me, just enough to make up the remaining pressure on the trigger and the shot rang out.