Three Days Later, Eastern Wyoming
“We’re stopping at the steakhouse and saloon ahead for dinner,” Urial said as he pointed to the small town in the foothills. “Gabriel said it’s safe.”
I just nodded, that was part of what we had to deal with out here. Our route had been planned to avoid known Pack areas, but there were still lone wolves around and we didn’t need Vivian to be sniffed out. We had eight vehicles in our convoy, and the lead SUV had gone ahead to make sure no werewolves were in the diner. Our ambulance was in the middle of the group, Urial and I were splitting the driving. Vivian was with us, and the third person could use the chair in the back or lay down on the gurney and get some sleep.
The back was impressive, they’d done a good job outfitting it with everything Vivian said she needed. She had a good supply of blood, both human and werewolf, all labeled and matched and kept in coolers. The oxygen canister was full, the vitals monitor and other electronics in place, and she had a complete supply of battle dressings and supplies for a war. As much as I hated to see her near the battle, I respected her for her dedication to our Club and allies. If she hadn’t been the person she was, she never would have come to the club and she wouldn’t be my wife.
I looked out at the vehicles ahead of us. The lead vehicle had Viper, Gabriel, Crash, Hesediel and Dumah. Hammer and Meghan were in the next car with Jopheil, Nuriel and Scrape. The third had Tiny, Viking, Abaddon, Uriel and Maalik. Fourth was Michael, Zachariel, Samsiel, Raguel and Stain. We were next, behind us was an old pickup driven by Shakes. No one rode with him, his truck was set up with removable steel plating for the driver and a pop-up gun mount in the bed. He had a bunch of other stuff in there, I swear the guy was giggling as he prepared for this run. The trail vehicle had Muriel, Phanuel, Puriel, Sarathiel and Dagger. The rest of the Club and the Knights remained back home to protect Eve.
The line stretched out, and some of the vehicles pulled over so we wouldn’t all show up at the saloon at the same time. The last thing we needed was to attract notice as a big group, especially if werewolves stopped in. The wolves in the trail vehicle were going to remain outside, Dagger would get them to-go meals, and they would monitor the parking lot while we ate. It was all very organized, and all to protect Vivian.
We entered the steakhouse about ten minutes after the lead vehicles did, and asked for a table. I could see the men had split up strategically; tables had been taken near the entrance, the back exit, the bathrooms and the bar already. We took a spot more in the center. The waitress, a buxom older lady with bottle blonde hair, was busy with the other tables.
I was so glad when we pulled over, being stuck in a vehicle for hours at a time, squeezed between two big guys in the back, wasn’t on my list of fun. I had my Walkman and a box of compact discs to listen to music, which was good because these guys all were listening to talk radio the whole way. When I finally got out, I stretched and bounced a little to get some feeling back in my butt. “Just stay with us,” Dad told me. “Or Vivian.”
“It’s not like I can go anywhere, Dad.” We walked in and took a table near the restrooms. The waitress’s eyes lit up when she saw us, and my skank alert started to alarm. Too much makeup, too low a cut in her top, and too high heels for working in a place like this. As she handed out menus, I didn’t miss how her ginourmous boobs ended up on my Dad’s shoulder, and her hand on his back.
Bitch. Can’t she see the ring?
Dad was nervous, he tried to pull away from her but she kept finding ways to brush up against him. When she started to take drink orders, it was my time. “And you, young lady, what can I get you?”
I smiled a fake smile as I looked at the menu. “I’d like some bottled apple cider, please, but only if you have my favorite, Harry Dixon’s.”
“I don’t know if we have that kind,” she said.
“Can you check, please? It’s my favorite.”
She nodded and sauntered off to the bar. “Bitch,” I said under my breath.
We watched as she got to the bar, the bartender was at the other side so she had to raise her voice. “Hey Bob, can I get a Harry Dixon’s Cider?”
The bartended stilled, trying to hold back a laugh. “I don’t know, Lila, check with the manager.”
She walked over to the kitchen door and pushed it open. “Larry, do we have Harry Dixon’s Cider?”
“Not until after we close,” I heard him say before the whole place broke out laughing.
Dad laughed until he cried. “Remind me never to get on your bad side,” he said as the other guys congratulated me. “And check your food for spit, I don’t think you made a friend here.”
“Totally worth the risk,” I said. “I’ve been waiting to use that one for a year.”
“Remind me to monitor your internet use more closely,” Dad said with a smirk.
“I think it was genius, Meghan, that was the best joke I’ve seen in ages. You’re going to be a great member of the club when you can ride!”
“Don’t remind me,” Dad said.
“What, that in two years I can get my permit? Or that you promised me a dirt bike next summer?”
I felt a tap on my shoulder, Vivian was walking towards the restroom. “I better wash up,” I said. I got up, so did my Dad, and we walked back to the restroom, the men at that table alert as we walked by.
I went in and was immediately pulled into Vivian’s arms. “That was genius, Meghan.”
“She was hitting on Dad, for crying out loud. It was either that or bitch slap her.”
“Trust me, that was better.” We finished up our business and walked out together. The rest of the meal was uneventful; Hammer had pulled the manager aside and we had gotten a new waitress, in fact they all had because he sent her home. I’m glad Dad wasn’t paying because these boys could EAT. King cut prime rib? Yes please. Side of shrimp? Sure. Texas Toast? Keep it coming. They were eating like it was their last meal, then I realized for some of them it might be.
We pulled out almost two hours later, there was only an hour’s drive to Sheridan left. The feeling in my gut got stronger, something bad was coming and I didn’t like it.
With our bellies full, we were back on the road for Sheridan. There was an empty parking lot for a closed down business about ten minutes away from the turnoff to the Pack road, and we all pulled in there to go over the final preparations. The plan was fairly simple; Gabriel and his men would park in the State Park land on the north side of their territory, and attack in wolf form. I would take my men and create a distraction at the south side entrance road. Meanwhile, the ambulance would remain here at the parking lot, safely out of the way.
We didn’t have good intelligence on how many people were in the Pack; we knew how many warriors they had with them when Zephaniel was there, and how many we’d killed, but not how many were gained or lost in the past few months. The Pack was over two hundred people when Zephaniel fled.
We had one last go-over of the plan. We would attack at 12:30, watches were synchronized, and Gabriel would give five minutes for the Pack to respond to our distraction before they would cross the lines. They didn’t expect us to reach the Pack House, our job was to draw the Alpha and the Pack fighters away, giving the women and children time to reach sanctuary. We didn’t need any of them injured in this.
Three SUV’s left carrying the Knights to their insertion point, while we waited in the setting sun. “Get some sleep,” I told Meghan. “Use the gurney, it’s going to be a long night.” She walked to the ambulance while the rest of us gathered by the cars. All except Shakes and Scrape, they were busy on the other side of the lot and around the corner, a good hundred yards away. When your bomb guy says to stay back, you do it.
We passed the time, made sure our weapons were cleaned and loaded, and waited. An hour later, Shakes called us over. They’d done some redneck engineering, surrounding the driver and the gunner in the pickup bed with steel plate. In the back was a swivel with a mount for the M240 machine gun that Shakes had obtained illegally. He had a couple of boxes of belt-fed ammunition with it under a tarp. On the outside of the pickup were some plates that seemed kind of familiar. “Shakes, are these the plates you made for the cabin?”
“Yep, I told you I’d find another way to use them.” He was practically bouncing with excitement.
At 11:45 we loaded up, everyone except the ambulance and their protectors. Our plan was simple, run the gate and attract all the defenders to us. If it got too hot, we’d beat a hasty retreat.
We stopped by the side of the road just short of the turnoff, letting Shakes and Scrape go first. Scrape was in the back of the technical, the machine gun loaded and ready, steel plates covering him up to his waist while standing. They pulled into the entrance, accelerating towards the gate. We followed a few hundred yards behind.
As the gate came into view, we saw the flashes of machine gun fire then the crash as Shakes drove through the barricade. There were howls of warning, howls of pain, and then we were through the gates and racing down the path after him.