Tales Of A Shifter (P1) - The Meeting

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Chapter 17 - No Hurt

Sometime later...

Ezekiel mounted the front porch steps panting harshly. His lungs begging for more air then he could actually draw. He cradled a giant bag in his arm that was packed full of surgical supplies ranging from surgical needles, thread, gauze, antiseptics, scalpel’s, peroxide, alcohol and a box full of surgical gloves and masks.

Ezekiel held all of this stuff close to his body. He’d run all the way to Kim’s healing home. It had taken time for him to get her to swear an oath of silence and even longer for him to detail the mortals injuries and, then to recount the story to her, before she had conceded and offered her help.

Then once she had loaded him up moment later he had paid her, then made a beeline back to the mansion. For all of his haste the whole outing had taken him nearly two hours to complete, not for the first time Ezekiel thanked God for grating him his own innate abilities. Ezekiel knew that no other Shifter in his entire Clan could have done what he had done in so little amount of time and in mortal form no less.

With a happy little snort to release most of the air he had just in-hailed Ezekiel straiten upward and climbed the steps to his front door, but before he could juggle the bag in his hands out of the way and reach for the door knob, the door flew open. Missing Ezekiel by a shoulder, Landers snarling voice could be heard as he brushed past his sibling.

“God what took you so long?” Lander growled, part Leopard...part man, as he jumped off of the porch and began pacing back and forth across the dirt path before the tall grass.

Ezekiel spun on his heel. “Don’t start with me! You try doing all of this in mortal flesh and then you can complain....” Ezekiel trailed off as he took a moment to really look at his brother. Landers hands were clenched at his sides as though he was in pain. His eyes were wide, darting from side to side and shifted. Glowing a fierce green, as he walked first one way and then another. Looking for all the world like a frustrated beast in a cage.

“What’s wrong with you? I went as fast as I could, but...” Ezekiel began in concern only to be cut off.

“Nothing wrong with me!?” Lander hissed. “It’s that damn mortal. Two hours....for two god forsaken hours it’s been screaming like a stuck pig!”

“Screaming?” Ezekiel asked him frowning. “Why is the mortal screaming? Is he awake already?”

“God I hope not!” Lander barked on a dark laugh. “There’s something wrong with that damn thing if you ask me.” Lander grimaced as he pulled a hand through his golden hair. Then he eyed the package in Ezekiels arm and rolled his eyes. “Go and give that stuff to mom Ezekiel. Help her get him patched up. I can’t be near that until it shut up. And the sooner she gets that needle and thread the better...” Lander commanded; under his breath he said. “Maybe then she can sew the guys mouth shut...”

Ezekiel wanted to listen, but he did still remember that he wasn’t supposed to go near the mortal. Something his older brother seemed to have forgotten in his frustration. Instead of reminding him Ezekiel lifted his chin and hedged. “Aren’t you gonna stand guard like Dad asked you too?”

“No.” Lander said bluntly. “I can’t even go up those stairs without my head nearly exploding. I need a break. Ill trust you to watch moms back....for now”

“But....” Ezekiel began. He knew that his brother was serious, but he wasn’t exactly on good footing with his father just then for him to be jumping back into the line of fire.

“I can’t...” Lander snarled cutting him off. Bright green eyes glared at their house as though it was some giant monster that was about to pounce on his brother and pummel him. Lander grabbed his temples suddenly and hissed in pain, closing his Shifted eyes. He enunciated all of his words next few words. “My heads gonna explode, Ezekiel! I’m not going to go back in there until you make it stop!”

“OK...OK. I won’t tell dad if you won’t.” Ezekiel tried to soothe slightly unnerved at what had agitated his brothers so badly. “I’ll take care of it.”

“Big words little bro.” Lander growled as Ezekiel turned back towards the door and grabbed the knob. “But I doubt you powers are gonna be of much help here.”

Ignoring his jib, Ezekiel punched open the front door and steeped inside. His mother out in the hall, by the spiral staircase. She was chewing her lip, rubbing her arms and tapping her small slipper. Her hair was still bound back in a braid, but while he was gone she had changed from her dress into a simple pair of jeans and a lack tank top.

“Mom I’ve got the supplies.” Ezekiel called to her.

But he never got the chance to hear here response. It was like him opening the door was some kind of silent trigger, because three second later a scream, half sob, half rage, all terrified tore across his senses. Not only making him jump, but the leopard deep down inside of him roar in red hot confusion and anger. Ezekiels jumped in shock. His head whipped up to the second floor landing where the scream had crawled out from.

“What the hell...” He breathed.

The broken wail came to an abrupt end, Ezekiels eyes were ripped from there a moment later when he suddenly felt h=the bad in his arms being removed. His mother touched his bicep with calming cool fingers that countered the hot heat that popped across his skin. The Shift mingling with his concern and the anger.

“How long has that been going on?” Ezekiel asked her softly.

“It started a few minutes after you left with your father....” She explained. She looked a little pale and shaken to him, but also determined. Her big green eyes locking with his.

“Is he awake?” Ezekiel questioned her putting a hand on her shoulder.

“No...He’s unconscious.” Glen told him, putting a hand to her heart. And looking down in concentration when the mortal whimpers began once more. “He....he seems to be dreaming, but he won’t wake up, so he could also be halucinating.”

“Is he speaking.... has he said anything to you?” His mother shook her head in denial. Ezekiel cocked his head. “Well, can Lander read his mind? ”

" No. He’s even blocking Lander out.” She sighed as she swiped an errant curl from her braid back behind her ear.

“What?” Ezekiel gasped at her. He was three parts shocked and one part envious. Ezekiel, unlike his father and Walter wasn’t impervious to Landers abilities and it was startling to realize that the mortal could do something that only a select few men and women in his entire Clan could do.

She just nodded at his shock. “Lander couldn’t touch his mind at all. And all the stranger does is scream.” She said and as if to prove her point, the mortal shouted again. Chills bit into Ezekiel’s skin as the scream poured across the entire house.

What in god’s name is happing inside this guy’s head?
Ezekiel asked himself.

His mother took the strap of the supply bag from him then and slung it across her small shoulder. With a sad smile she turned to the steps and Ezekiel followed. She shook her head.

“I know that you shouldn’t be in here, but...” She shrugged away the rest of her sentence as she climbed ahead of him. “Come with me for now...I think Lander is at his limit and I’m gonna need you to help me put the stranger under for surgery.”

***

Ezekiel followed his mother up the spiral stairs, down the halls and up to the Mortals door. And as they stood outside Ezekiel found that he could barely breath for all the tension and....protective energy pulsating around inside of him. Every scream was so visceral. So damn agonized that he could almost feel the fear, and the pain.

Standing outside of the mortal’s door he brimmed with a ....unbelievable, but completely uncontrollable need to sooth this hysterical intruder. To make the pain the intruder was so obviously in just go away.

Ezekiyel instantly began to see the naiveté in this train of thought. He didn’t know the first thing about this strange man or even mortals in general.

Whatever he did. What ever he tried to do, could potentially make the situation better....or much worse.

If I used my power on him......
Ezekiel started...then shook his head in denial.
I’m too anxious right now. So if I used that on him, he might just...

Ezekiels train of thought was cut short as he suddenly realized that he and his mother had arrived at the mortal’s sick room.

The first thing that hit him was of course the sound as the man on the other side screamed again. A high scream far from the high pitched scream of a woman and more like a breathless skydiver. But still with a hard edge of hysteria and pain that sliced across Ezekiel sensitive ears, and his gut making his teeth feel like they would brake as he tried to clench them against the sound.

Yet the second thing to hit him and probably the hardest for him to ignore was the pure smell of salt and copper tinging the air. The mortals smell soaked the air in the small room. It zinged across Ezekiel senses, across his acute part beast tongue, down his throat, and lodged itself into his lungs. The scent had a feeling too. It was like peppered air, which at first numbed, then warmed like an application of mint to his throat. He in-hailed it even as it kind of hurt. His inner Shifter was bothered by the smell. He felt its power leaking over his eyes and nose. Leopard eyes burned bright blue, as he took in the smell, tantalizing, exciting and confusing all at once and no less potent after smell it so many time already.

Was he truly the only one who could smell this and what was the reason why?

No one else seems to be picking up on it, except for me.

He thought as he and his mother made their way further into the room, and closed the bedroom door behind them. Ezekiel could see that his mother wasn’t affected by the scent like he was. Her nostrils flared taking in the thick coating of blood in the air, and then she sighed.

What the hell is it?
He thought to himself, then put a hand to the middle of his chest as the beast inside of him crawled around and pounded him there. He felt its energy, like claws racking across his soul in agitation.

Whatever this smell is..it must be bad. It’s driving my Leopard crazy every time I come near it!

But he in-hailed it anyway, because the truth was....he sort of liked it. And deep deep in the back of his mind he ignored the part of him that whispered.

Taste it...Drink.

With a hiss Ezekiel dropped his hand and tried to focus on his mother or on the mortal himself. Anything else but the Leopard clawing at his mind.

Anything else to ignore that voice in his head that filled him with three parts disgust and two parts nausea. He didn’t like blood. He didn’t crave it and he knew that no Shifter craved blood. So why......

Ezekiel instead choose to focus on the final thing that he had hit him when he had entered the mortal’s room.

The stranger was tied to the bed.

Fresh dashes of blood blemished the thin white short sleeved shirt and loose bleached sweats that Nate had lent to their mother as a replacement for the bloody clothes that Glen had had to discard. The mortal wiggled, thrashed, clawed, screamed and kicked as much as the silken bonds would allow him, looking for all the world like he was fighting some invisible battle.....or in tremendous pain.

But the strangest thing in this manage of wrongness was that the mortals eyes, though, dulled with terror and pain....were wide open. Cool green as they had been in the dark forest they still drew Ezekiels eyes. Not unlike two pools of glistening ocean water, they stared unseeing and up at some unknowable nightmare that only he could see.

This was the first time that Ezekiel had seen the mortal cleaned and without blood and dirt all over his face. And Ezekiel was struck with the first clean washed view of the mortals face. It was a handsome face.....some would have even called him beautiful.

Which Ezekiel knew was sick to be thinking about right then and there...but there it was.

Hollow cheeked, emaciated, bloody and bruised...but attractive? God what was wrong with him? Ezekiel couldn’t help but shake his head at himself as he continued to analyze this strange and pained creature.

And as he looked he had to concede that without the sickness that clearly gripped the invaders mind he might just have been mildly attractive once. A delicate nose, chin and a soft mouth. The mortals hair and eye brows also drew him in, though they were a dirty blond like Ezekiels own hair, this mortal wore his hair much shorter the Ezekiel. Barley two inches off his scalp any one way, and yet ruffled and tumbled form his struggle on the bed that it looked far too soft, like Ezekiels hand could slide right through it.

Accompanied by those eyes....round, half lidded as though he were dreaming, and fanned by lashes that Ezekiel had never seen on...anyone. A darker brown then his blond hair, they stood out as the mortals eyes, rolled up into his head for a moment, before squeezing shut. Bandages and gauze wrapped around his arms and up to his elbows and around his lower throat gave testament to how cut up he had been beneath the dirt and grime. As did the three four itch Band-Aids that were glued to the mortals pale left temple holding a thick, bloody gash closed that disappeared up into the strangers’ hair line. And there was the intense shivering and moisture that gathered in cold sweats all along his neckline, forehead, and wrists soaking the silken scarves around his hands.

Suddenly the mortal shouted again breaking Ezekiel out of any further staring. Ezekiel clocked this scram as he had all the others. It seemed to him that the mortal was so exhausted from his ordeals that he only managed a scream every five minutes or so. At first he thought that the mortals was only screaming ever few minutes because that was when something scared him. But seeing how this next scream tore up and out of the mortal, like the act of screaming was something that the strange abhorred. Like he was fighting to be as silent as possible. Straining against his bonds so hard that the frame of the bed shook slightly.

Then the mortal fell back unseeing, moaning, shifting, weakened, until yet another scream clawed its way past his gnashed teeth.

Ezekiel took a step back and hissed as he put a hand to his head. It was already starting to pound and his damn leopard wouldn’t stop roaring him.

“Man!” Ezekiel snarled softly shaking his head and approaching the bed as his mother walked over to the dresser by the opposite wall. “I’ve never seen someone experience fever dreams so....painfully before.” He said to her.

“I know, but the depths of the infection seems to be pushing him deeper into shock and paranoia.” She sighed as she took the satchel holding the surgical supplies off of her determined little shoulders. “Include blood loss and the extensive pain his every movement could be causing and that would explain the screaming.” She explained as she continued to unpack the bag and place the supplies out. Starting with a handful of scalpels. They clanked as she placed them against the wood.

“So you think it’s just the pain causing all this?” he asked her glancing back at the mortal then quickly looking away, when the stranger screamed and dissolved into a heavy gasping sob.

Glen scoffed to herself a strained secretive smile appearing for a moment. “No. I’m quite sure that the pain not what is causing this mania.” She said as she suddenly lifted three slim syringes from the satchel. Each one was filled with a clear liquid and covered by a bright white top concealing the needle. She sat two of the needles down and deftly removed the top on the one in her hand. She put the needled up into the light slightly and used her thumb to displace a few thick drops of the fluid up and out of the syringes needle. With a swift nod at him she walked over to the bed. “Help me hold him down.” She commanded over her shoulder.

Ezekiel could sense that she had more to say on the subject, but Glen just turned back to the bed without elaborating and Ezekiel decided to drop it for now.

Ezekiel quickly circled her side, and hesitantly put a hand on the mortals shoulder and right hip.

And for the next three minutes Glen struggled to find a blood vessel and Ezekiel struggled to hold the burning, slippery mortal down as he seemed to become more hysterical by the second.

“Dammit, I can’t get a vein and he’s shaking too much!” his mother hissed turning from the bed suddenly giving up and leaving Ezekiel to struggle with the increasingly agitated stranger alone. “Hes too wild! If I put this in him, it will break off in skin. I’ll have to knock him out first. Chloroform it is.” His mother walked over to the surgical bag and began to pull out a small black bottle.

“Wait what!?” Ezekiel grunted as the mortal thrashed and moaned. “Why on earth did Kim just have Chloroform sitting around to give to you?”

“Oh wow! Does it really matter right now Ezekiel?” His mother sighed, turning from the bag with the bottle and a white rag in her left hand.

“Waht? I think it’s a pretty good question.” Ezekiel hissed at her with a small smile, but it didn’t last long.

“STOP!!!” The stranger suddenly sobbed. “STOP IT PLEASE!!” The mortal threw his head back into the pillows and arched against Ezekiels hands. Ezekiel pushed him back down after a stunned moment.

The shock of his voice after nothing but screams silenced Ezekiel and his mother for a moment. Then Glen came a step closer.

“Oh my god! “She whispered. He green eyes a smidge bigger them normal as she looked at him “Is he awake?”

Ezekiel shrugged at her, then jumped as the man pulled on his arms and tried to sit up.

“Please.....your hurting me. Let me go!!!” The mortal moaned, furthers displacing the covers on the bed. “LET ME GO!!!”

“Be still.” Ezekiel mumbled fiercely as he put more of his weight on the stranger. Worried that he would hurt him, but also worried that he would break free and hurt them.

“NOO!” The mortal screamed and kicked the bed and covers.

Ezekiel was shocked by how strong the man was. Even burning with a fever and battered, the man was all steel beneath his hands.

“Hey calm down!” he grunted pressing the mortal into the bed again. “You’re gonna bleed to death if we do that.” Ezekiel tried to reach up and touch his face, but the mortal flinched away from his touch and gasped in agony. “It’s okay we’re not gonna hurt you.” He tried to reason surprised by his fernetic fear.

But when the mortal did finally open his eyes and look around Ezekiel knew that he wasn’t listening. Maybe he couldn’t even hear Ezekiel. The stranger’s eyes were open and he was crying, but his gaze was dull. He was still burning hot to the touch. The heat from his fever pouring off of his clothes.

“Hey can you hear me....?” Ezekiel began leaning back off of his arms to give the mortal some breathing room.

“I’m.....God....I’m sorry....” The mortal whimpered, his voice and eyes filled with desperation. “I didn’t mean to, you have to understand! Stop hurting me!”

“He’s hallucinating.” Glen shook her head and took the rag and placed it against the bottle that she swiftly uncapped and tipped forward. “I don’t think he even knows that were here.” Glen surmised suddenly recapping the bottle and sitting it on the ground. “Keep holding him, I’ll knock him out.”

She stepped closer to the bed, the rag in her hand limp with chloroform liquid.

Ezekiel went to cover his mouth and nose as the cloying scent tried to burn his nose.

And suddenly the mortal twisted his arm and his wrist slipped free. With more accuracy and strength that surprised him the mortal slugged Ezekiel right in the nose. Ezekiel cursed as pain bit into his nose and shot into his eyes. With a growl he stepped back and grabbed it as the mortal gasped and scrambled to get his legs off the bed, but was pulled up short by his injured side and the scarf on his other wrist. That moment of hesitation as the head board refused to give allowed Ezekiel to grab his leg and push him back on the bed.

“Fucking let me go!!” The stranger screamed his voice still chocked with sobs. But along with the desperation was the anger.

“Ezekiel are you okay!” Glen said steeping away from the bed as the mortal tried to kick him with his other leg. But he missed and as Ezekiel tried to wrestle him back into the bed the stranger began scrambling on the mattress trying turn on his side and claw at his other wrist and pull it free.

“Shit!” Ezekiel hissed struggling to recapture the man before he pulled his other wrist free.

Damn it! That’s the second time this guys managed to land a hit on me!
He snarled to himself and then he got an idea. Snatching up the strangers hands and pressing him into the bed Ezekiel was forced on the mattress to hold him.

Pressing the mortal’s arms to the bed and trying to keep the stranger from kneeing him he climbed up on the bed. Using his feet, and his ankles, Ezekiel held down the terrified mortal, while he pushed his hands down into the mattress at either side of his head. Ezekiel didn’t have to look too see the damage that the mortal was doing to himself. The air smelled of blood all the heavier as the new clothes on him began to soak through with fresh crimson.

“No! No! Noooo!” The mortal screamed at them, tossing his head. Sobbing for mercy. “No more!′

Until Glen’s small, but strong hand clamped down over the mortals face. Cloying and sickly sweet the chloroform should have take all of the fight out of the mortal in seconds, but surprisingly he continued to thrash and kick.
And Ezekiel soon figured out that he was holding his breath.

Sitting as he was on the mortal, Ezekiel was forced to look him right in the eyes as they widened in first shock then fear which was promptly follow by.....water. Shinning green eyes stared up at Ezekiel as the continued to scream indistinct words into the rag. His eyes begging him for something, but Ezekiel didn’t understand what.

Tears. A myriad of emotions flashed there in that cool green gaze.

His heart beat uneven and ragged. He was just on the edge of another scream and Ezekiel fought a losing battle with himself. The mortals fear grated on him for some unknown reason. It made him sick. He hated to see anyone in such a precarious, mental position.

As the chloroform took the mortal down into a more unconscious state the mortal clawed at the bed, still fighting, still bleeding to death.

He refused to calm down.

The mortal tried to fight him some more, hurt himself some more and Ezekiel gave up.

Ezekiel raised his right hand from the mortal’s slim wrists and touched his temple with his knuckle. “Shhhhhh. I’m sorry....” Ezekiel whispered in the calm that was descending. Hoping that the mortal could hear him.

“Don’t fight......I know your scared, but you’ll be okay now. I’m not going to hurt you. I won’t.” Gently, he ran that knuckle down the mortal’s pale, burning hot cheek “I promise you’re okay.....Just breath deep. Breathe for me.”

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