Tales Of A Shifter (P1) - The Meeting

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Chapter 13 - Off The Hook

Chapter 13 - Off The Hook

“Haa ha.. No one can cut through the bullshit like mom.” Nate breathed out happily with a bemused smile pointed up at the ceiling as he walked down the hall with his brothers.

Their father Mantilo, his back wider and more rigid then any of theirs marched before them, leading them down the hall away from the second floor.

They were finally leaving Glen with the mortal and heading back to the front door for all that Ezekiel could guess. Heading down the spiral staircase, which muffled their footsteps as thick brown carpet bounced beneath their bare feet.

“Yup...” Walter mumbled from far to the right. A rare smirk touched his grim mouth then was gone the next second.

“Did you see her eyes?” Lander sighed. His lip was finally back to a normal size, but Ezekiel could still see the cut on his bottom lip. Putting his arms behind his head and holding them there by the wrists as he walked Lander said. “Man it’s been months since I’ve seen mom that close to the Shift! I swear to god I thought she was going to go full Leopard and paddle the lot of us.”

“Shut up...” Ezekiel snorted, even as he somehow managed to smile.

Ezekiel and the rest of his brother’s managed the next few minutes of the walk in silence, as they finally reached the end of the stair case, turned down another much shorter one and finally hit the bottom floor.

After a little more walking Mantilo lead his sons to the front door and the small parlor connected to it.

The entrance into the house was a giant box that could have been a room all on its own. Painted in warm, slightly reddish brows like the rest of the Mansion and lightly furnished it could have been the walk-in to a hospital, except for the various painting and portraits that showed off each of the members of Ezekiels family.

The front door was a large rectangle of beautifully finished, dark heavy wood that often swung effortlessly open and closed, while carved deep into the wood about eye level for Ezekiel where five giant diamonds sat in a singular row cut from bright red stained glass.

Three small coffee tables, made of polished mahogany lined each of the wall to the right and left of the door a few inches back from the doors panels. They were waist high and each had a giant vase full of water, lilacs, pine needles and sweet grass. The fragrance was stark, but so subtle and calming that most couldn’t help, but take in a deep breath and fell...better.

Ezekiel knew that the flowers came from his mother’s personal garden far to the south of the mansion and he knew that since they often had visitors from the surrounding villages, who would often be dealing with some neighborly dispute his mother took strides to alleviate any stress that they may be feeling when they come to their Clean Head for advice.

Watching as his father cracked open the door softly and knowing what was coming next, Ezekiel forced his feet to follow his brothers out onto the front porch. But felling in desperate need of stress relief Ezekiel found himself taking an extra three breaths of the sweet scent before he closed the door behind himself.

The morning dawn was just kissing the cool air, and as it danced across his face and chest Ezekiel shivered as the sweat that he had on his back and chest rapidly cooled.

Ezekiel watched Nate close his dual colored eyes and smile up into the sunlight, as though he didn’t have a care in the world.

While Lander hissed and with a predictable scowl on his face, he wrapped his arms around his bare chest and tried to keep himself warm.

Walter didn’t react to the cold for all that Ezekiel could see, and Mantilo was already walking down the porch steps silently taking in the leagues and leagues of knee high grass and snakelike dirt paths that lay all across his peoples Lands.

The morning sun winked off the dark shadows and hills and as Ezekiel took in the sheer vastness of his home made the beast inside kind of purr in satisfaction.

In the south, west and easterly directions Ezekiel could just make out the small town like buildings positioned at the far corners of their Clans Land’s. Each of the towns were filled with his fathers Clans Men and women. Leopards that followed his father and mother. The villages were barely noticeable in the early dawn, but Ezekiel knew that each of them was quite large and housed family’s just as large as his own.

And then miles and miles outside of that, there was this giant band of pine trees that wrapped around the whole of their Lands. Thick, dense, and wild, the pine forest stretched all around and bled of into the norther mountain tops far in the tier of thier home.

Mantilo took a healthy inhale of the pine scented earth all around him, then walked off the porch and traveled down into their expansive front lawn.

Ezekiel and his brothers all shuffled after him, until he stopped, about five minutes later, turned turn back to them and laid out the daily roster of chores. The same way their father did every morning.

“OK, first thing.” Mantilo began suddenly. Unlike his sons he was fully clothed. His loose fitting green t-shirt and denim jeans filled and defined with hard muscle by the large man who filled them. Mantilo hooked his thumbs in his jean pockets and eyed Ezekiel first. “You are not off the hook.”

Ezekiel took a deep breath and raised his chin. Ready to take whatever was coming to him.

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