I looked down at my cell phone after it beeped, it was Meghan’s text LISTEN NOW. A moment later it rang, I picked up and hearing the conversation, immediately put it on speaker, muted it and yelled for everyone to get into the office we were using at the old Knights building.
“Something is going on, Meghan may be in trouble, she’s wanting us to listen in.” Natalie logged onto her desktop while Mackenzie pulled out a piece of paper. Opening a drawer, she pulled out a voice recorder and put it next to the phone.
I wrote on the paper so we could still hear what was going on. “M&S FORMER W-W PUBLIC”. We listened as Steven told them to stay back, and a man told them he meant them no harm. It took a few moments before we got what we wanted. “Doctor Terrance Mack, retired, and my wife Theresa,” came over the speaker.
“On it,” Natalie said. As private investigators, they had access to more than Google searches, although that was where she started. We listened as he told his story, Mackenzie jotting down relevant information to follow up on. “Seems legit so far, he was a staff OB-GYN for the university hospital.”
Michael got off the phone, he had called the men up North to ensure men were on their way to Steven. “Steven already told them through the bond,” he said. “Eight men are on their way, they are to make sure there aren’t any more, and stand by for his orders,” he said. I was glad Steven wasn’t taking any chances, Meghan was a critical player in all this. I was sure Steven was kicking himself for taking her in public alone right now.
We kept listening, our jaws dropping when he finally got around to the dream. “Is this for real,” Mackenzie said.
“Luna works in mysterious ways,” I said. “He’s certainly convinced.”
“His story checks out,” Natalie said. “I even searched the notes Vivian left that were digitized. One entry mentioned him as a person to consult with, though they didn’t know if he would help as he was no longer a wolf.”
I sent a group text that Steven would get. “STORY CHECKS OUT, UP TO YOU.” He was the Master at Arms now, anything security related he would be in charge of. I was support staff now.
We listened in to the conversation again. “I think it is time we took this conversation elsewhere,” Steven said. “Would you care to join us in our hotel room?”
“You believe us then?” I could hear the question in Theresa’s voice.
“Yes. Our entire conversation has been shared with friends of mine who have verified you were telling the truth,” Steven said. “The decision on whether to believe you are friends or a threat has been left up to me. I can see in your eyes you are not threats, so yes, I believe you. The question now is whether you have the courage to do what Luna asks of you.”
He laughed. “I quit my job, sold my house and went on a road trip to meet someone I’d never heard of in a place I couldn’t be sure I’d find. Following you to the hotel is nothing.”
“I for one am thrilled you are here,” Meghan said. “You’re the answer to my prayers.”
After the waitress had taken the money, I told Steven I needed to freshen up before we left. “I’ll join you,” Theresa said. The bathroom only had two stalls, and the place was pretty empty with the offseason and the early afternoon, so we wouldn’t be disturbed. As soon as the door was closed, she checked we were alone and locked the door. “I have to know you aren’t lying to me,” she said. “For decades I’ve been dreaming of holding Terrance’s children, but every time I brought it up he said it was impossible. Yet, the dreams are getting stronger. Last night, I dreamed I was holding two girls.” She was starting to cry as she took my hand. “This can really happen?”
“It can, but I will need his help,” I said. “Reading about the procedure is a lot different than doing it.”
“Then I beg you, let me be part of it. I, we, we will do anything to have this. Terrance doesn’t talk about it much, but I know that it eats at him. He misses his wolf too, but he never talks about it. He can’t even watch National Geographic without turning the channel.”
“I’m not the decider here, but I know how you feel,” I told her with a brief hug.
We both did our business and washed up, when we left the men were waiting. “We’re at the AmericInn, it’s the only hotel in town,” I told them.
“This town isn’t big enough to lose you in, especially this time of year,” Terrance said. He was right, once the leaf season ends the tourism dies way down. It was only a few blocks away, and we led them up to our room.
We settled them on a couch, and I was just about to start when there was a knock on the door. I went to open it, shocked to find Eve and Adam there, several men in the hallway as guards, and two more who came in and just stood guard there. “I didn’t expect you,” I told them as Eve walked over and sat in Adam’s lap in the chair near them.
Eve just smiled, and I could see that distant look as she and Steven carried on a rather heated mindlink discussion. I hated not being part of the link, it was like when people talked in another language in front of you.
“Wait, you still have mindlink? That went away with the Packs!” I could see how confused Terrance was.
“Why don’t you tell us what you know about what has happened to werewolves, and we’ll fill in the blanks,” Eve said as she smiled at the pair. “Introductions later.”
He nodded. “A few years after I gave up my wolf, a new disease seemed to strike all packs at once. They called it SPUDS, the women would spontaneously abort and bleed out. As the number of shewolves declined, wars broke out of the remainder, forced matings became the norm, and about five years ago there were no more. At least it was thought to be, until my cousin told me of a gathering in Chicago. A shewolf had just come of age, protected by a Pack that had taken a vow to Luna to help her find her mate, for in doing that the SPUDS curse would be broken.” He looked at Eve, seeing the emotions in her face. “She didn’t find her mate, she returned home only to be killed by a former Alpha who lost his Pack and sanity. Something happened, the Pack bond, Alpha influence, it all disappeared a few days before Eve was killed. My cousin thinks she was force mated, and the curse was permanent.”
“But you didn’t die,” Theresa said as she figured it out. “You… you found your mate and broke the curse.”
“I did,” she said, “I am Eve, and Adam is my true mate. When we mated, Luna took away the Packs and the Alpha influence. We think she has given up on that structure, knowing that as long as it was in place, stronger wolves would rule over the weak.”
“And ignore her gifts,” Terrance said. “Like true mates.”
“Exactly. The interesting thing is that she created new things at the same time, things that are important to re-establishing the species.” Eve looked over at me to continue.
“I never asked, Theresa, but what do you do?”
“I am, I mean I was, a pediatric ICU nurse,” she said. “I met Terrance during my training.”
Could this be any more perfect? “All right, then you’ll follow this even if the guys don’t. Our plan utilizes IVF techniques. Eve has been on hormone therapy leading up to her first cycle, her eggs will be ready soon. I hope to harvest dozens, then we will use the mates of the humans to fertilize them.”
“Mates?” Terrance looked shocked. “There are no mates, a mating bond cannot exist between humans and werewolves.”
Eve just smiled. “That was one of the things that Luna changed with my mating. There are mates, there is a mating bond, although it is a mere shadow of the full mate bond, but more importantly, the bite physically changes the human female. I’ve run tests, the werewolf blood is now treated as her own. This should prevent her immune system from rejecting the embryo, which always prevented IVF use before.”
Terrance thought about it for a few moments. “Amazing. The actual process becomes simple if you have a donor female and willing human females. How many females are we talking about?”
“With Theresa included, seven. The others have all been put on hormone therapy to prepare. We were planning to harvest, fertilize then implant the next day. I’d rather not freeze them if I don’t have to, but I will freeze extra embryos if they are viable.”
“And how many are you implanting?”
“Three per woman, except for Kelly, at her age I won’t give her more than two.” It would be risky enough with the potential for twins. “Using human rates, it’s about thirty percent successful. I’d like to have enough eggs for multiple cycles.”
“As long as the remaining women are young and healthy enough for the potential of triplets, that sounds reasonable. My Theresa would be the same as your Kelly, no more than two. Still, she has to be bit by a werewolf, and all the wolves got taken away.” He looked up in shock. “Wait, you said the bond formed AFTER the curse was broken. You still have your wolves?”
“We were the Knights of the Moon, her protectors. When the other wolves were taken, ours were not,” Steven said. “We no longer have a Pack bond or Alpha, that was taken, but we now have a family bond, through Eve adopting us as her uncles.”
“Amazing.” I could see on his face, in order for this to work someone else would have to mark his wife, and suddenly he wasn’t thrilled anymore.
“Terrance, if you had the choice now, would you want your wolf again?”
“YES,” he said immediately. “If this is true, if I can take Theresa as my mate and she can have my child, I would do anything to have him back.”
Eve got up and knelt in front of him, taking her hands and putting them on each side of his head. I could see his face, the pain, her concentration as she ignored the feeling of the heat in her hands. It only took about ten seconds, and now that I knew what was going on, I watched fascinated. Theresa was starting to panic. “Just wait,” I told her as I took her hand.
Eve let him go, he shook his head, then shifted into a beautiful silver-black wolf. He looked down at his paws, then turned and put his front paws on either side of Theresa as he licked her face and neck. She started crying, holding his neck as he shook in excitement. “You need to shift back,” Eve said. “We will take you where it is safe to run, and your family will run with you.”
He shifted back, now naked on the floor surrounded by his shredded clothes. “I heard you,” he said. “Over the link.”
“You are an uncle as well, you’ve been brought into the family bond,” Eve said. “Samsiel, please drive our new family members out to the property, take their car. I’m sure he’d appreciate a long run after all these years.”
“It would be my pleasure, Eve.”
I went to the drawers and pulled out a pair of sweats and handed them to Terrance to pull on. They both hugged us, then hand in hand they followed Samsiel out of the room.
“I don’t like this, Eve. We just took two unknowns and told them every secret we have, including you being alive.” Steven was livid, he was barely holding back. I started to rub his arm, hoping the contact would ground him.
She just looked at him like he didn’t get it. “You aren’t the only one having dreams, Steven. Last night I dreamt of delivering my babies, but to my surprise it wasn’t Meghan who was doing the catching. It was this distinguished-looking older doctor, and his wife was the nurse. Dumah sent me a photo, it was them. They have always been meant to be with us, and now they are.”