Tales Of A Shifter (P1) - The Meeting

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Chapter 42 - Moving Forwards

Ezekiel purposely turned from the door, ignored the stairs that lead not only to his , but also to the Mortals bed room. He choose instead to walk to his far right and then he walked under the stair case and headed to the kitchen. To his dual dismay and surprise he ran into his mother.

Her back was too him as she worked. A few pots beside her bubbled and steamed and his mother’s hands worked and buzzed around the vegetables before her. She was chopping and slicing and humming as she worked, and as he watched her she turned and shacked all the vegetable she had cut off the board and into the steaming pot beside her.

Trying not to startle her Ezekiel thought to step back out of the room and go straight to his bed, but his mother turned around before he could move. Her bright green eyes sparkled as she smiled and called “Ezekiel? Come in. I’m gonna need your help with this.” She beckoned him.

Ezekiel smiled at her as he came into the room. “And what is this exactly?” He asked as he leaned up against the counter top folding his arms out before him.

His mother didn’t answer him at first she reached up into the cabinets above the sink and removed a large plate and bowl. Then slipping on a mitten she popped open the stove door and lifted out a small wooden plate with a small loaf of bread in the middle. She lifted the bread onto a tray before her then she turned and grabbed the handles of the boiling pot. Deftly she lifted the tilted the bubbling soup into the bowl beside the bread then she sat the empty pot back onto the counter top.

Glen turned back to him her brown hair brushing her shoulders as they bounced. “This...” She said setting a wooden tray in front of him. “...is dinner for the mortal.”

Ezekiel smiled down at the giant bowl of broth and bread sitting before him, chunks of chicken and celery bobbed within the soups steamy depths and the bread was sweating butter, his mother’s knife and a small fork sat beside the large loaf of bread. “Did you make enough?” He chuckled standing back from the rising steam of the food.

His mother laughed as she took the cutting board and deposited it into the dish washer along with the empty soup pot.

“I think I did.” she told him softly. “The mortal said that he was hungry so I just figured a bowl of soup would help him get back his strength.” she explained to him as she turned back to the sink and began washing her hands. When she finished washing the rest of the soap from her fingers Ezekiel watched his mother dry her hands and walk over to the table. She hiked her hip up on the edge of the wood and sighed softly. “So have you spoken to your Father yet?”

Ezekiel nodded. “Yeah. He told me that the mortal could stay at least until the wild animal has been found and neutralized. Then he appointed me his official babysitter for the remainder of his stay.”

Glen smiled at him. “Good...” she told him. “You’re the one he trusts the most right now.”

Ezekiel rolled his eyes annoyed. “Okay. Where did that come from?” he hissed looking at the counter top. “You and Nate have to stop insinuating stuff like that.”

Glen frowned at his tone. “What’s wrong? What did Nate say to you?”

Ezekiel put a hand to his forehead then dropped it again. “He thinks that I’m attracted to the mortal...that I like him or something.” Ezekiel chuckled and shook his head, but then stopped smiling when his mother’s face didn’t melt into a smile of absurdity.

“I guess I shouldn’t jump to conclusions either, but I thought you did like him. “Glen tilted her head at him. She seemed confused by his hesitation. “You don’t have to be embarrassed about it. You have to be sympathetic and care about someone to help them. Liking someone is part of sympathizing. It doesn’t mean that you have to jump their bones, it can be completely platonic.” his mother told him.

Ezekiel almost opened his mouth to deny what she was saying, but honestly who was he even lying to anymore. Himself?

Ezekiel sighed as he reached out and pulled the food tray closer; turned and leaned his side into the counter.

“Look.” He hissed at her. “It’s really not a big deal alright? I just want to help him. That’s it. There’s nothing more to it. “Ezekiel told her.

Besides, being attracted to a virtual stranger is already more then I want to deal with.

He thought privately.

His mother laughed softly at his defeated tone and pushed of the edge of the table. She walked up to him and putting her hands on his chest she sighed.

“Don’t worry, Ezekiel.” she told him softly as though she was sharing a secret. “I get it. I mean the mortal is quite handsome. Isn’t he? Breathtaking if I had to define him.”

“Exactly....” Ezekiel replied before he could stop, cringed and put a hand over his eyes in mortification. “Nope. Don’t say anything else. We are not talking about this anymore.” he grumbled at her.

Glen smiled, raised up on her tippy toes, which she had to do to place a kiss to his cheek. “Ok Ill drop it, but he seems to accept you more than the rest of us....I think.” She said walking away from him. She walked a few feet across the room to turn the knobs on the dishwasher. The sound of spraying water soon filled her part of the kitchen ” After all if you hadn’t got him talking he would have never agreed to let me heal him and show me all of his scars. I mean it’s terrible what they did to him isn’t it?”

It was Ezekiels turn to tilt his head at her in confusion, sharp emotion hitting him in the back at her words. “Scars? What scars?”

Glen’s head whipped his way and the smile that had been there died a swift death.

“Oh...” she said almost sadly her eyes connecting with his. “You didn’t know did you?”

“Know what?” Ezekiel asked back trying to discern the look on her face. She looked shocked and scared all at once.

“About the scars....I though he showed them too you earlier and that’s why you insisted on making your father be lenient...” His mother began, but the more that she looked into his blank eyes the more she began to realize that Ezekiel had no idea what she was talking about. “So....” Glen breathed putting a hand to her chin. “Are you telling me that you didn’t know about what happened to him at all and you still helped me convince your father to let him stay...thats a surprise.”

Ezekiel shook his head taking his weight off the counter so he could stand to his full height. “Who cares about that now? What are you talking about? What happened to him?” he growled becoming exasperated and needing to know the answer more then he wanted to admit.

His mother swiped a hand through her hair. “Well I guees it will come out soon enough. The mortal...someone’s been hurting him.” she explained. She pulled her right hand down from her hair and wrung it before her with her left. “I don’t know much. I just...I saw it when I was putting in his stitches Ezekiel. He has scars all over his back and legs, maybe more on his body. It was so bad. I couldn’t really get a clear grasp of the magnitude of the scaring, but it was deep, old and wide spread.”

Ezekiel felt his fangs gnash as his inner beast snarled in anger. He looked away then back at her. “Did he tell you what happened to him?” he hissed slightly. Then realizing that is eyes and teeth were itching he tried to calm down, his inner leopard could sense his unease. His rage. Ezekiel tried to tune his emotions down. He wanted to shake it away, but there it was. Anger....for the mortal. The more that he learned about the stranger the more uncomfortable he became. What was it that allowed this stranger to worm into Ezekiels emotions when Ezekiel almost preferred to be indifferent. It was like he had no other choice, but to care.

Glen dropped her hands. “No, he won’t tell me what is wrong.” she informed him. “He won’t talk to me, Ezekiel. He only seems to respond to you really.” Glen shrugged her shoulders. “So, now that your father has calmed down about him, can you take the food to him and talk with him again? Maybe get him to open up a little more?”

Ezekiel smiled at her and hefted the trey of food. “Ok, but I’m not making any promises. He just woke up and he’s still healing right now. If I push too hard he might just get defensive.” He said, then turned and made his way out of the kitchen calling back over his shoulder to her. “Hopefully a full stomach will make him more agreeable right?”

***

Ezekiel left his mother in the kitchen and made his way to the stair case. He had no problem balancing the food as he made his way and soon he had crested the last step and was traveling down the hallway on the second floor. As he passed his brothers Nate and Landers rooms and turned the corner, he soon spotted the guest room; where the mortal would be sleeping.

Standing outside of the door Ezekiel easily spotted his brother Lander. His short blond hair was swiped back and his dark green eyes glared at the wall opposite him. He stood arms crossed, and feet planted in front of the door with faded jeans and a white t-shirt on. He looked positively grumpy to Ezekiel, but when had his brother ever been without a frown or a sneer on his face?

He didn’t acknowledge Ezekiels presence until Ezekiel was standing beside him waiting for Lander to move or even blink. Or exhale.

“Damnit!” Lander suddenly exclaimed twenty seconds later coming out of his apparent trace a moment before Ezekiel could decide whether or not to just push him out of the way. “I still can’t do it! He’s like a goddamn wall!” Lander swore turning to Ezekiel his face covered in a scowl and his green eyes slit thin like quarters. His fury letting the Leopard within claw too close to the surface. Ezekiel could sense his frustration and wanted to calm it.

But even if that was the case Ezekiel was lost for a moment as to what his brother was even talking about. Then he realized what was going on and chuckled. “Are you still trying to read the mortals mind?”

Lander steeped away from the door with a snarl. “Yep and I’m getting fuck nothing off him.” his brother informed him putting a hand to his eyes and rubbing them harshly. “I’ve been trying for over an hour now to find a crack in his mind, but it’s like he doesn’t have one. His thoughts are a prison. I’ve never know a mortal I couldn’t read. It’s fucking bugging me Ezekiel!”

Ezekiel steeped closer to the door. “Sooooo just stop trying.” He told his brother softly. “Maybe this mortal just doesn’t have a crack in his thoughts. Would that be so strange? You must have met people you couldn’t read before this?”

Lander took his hand from his eyes and sighed. “Kind of. But everyone has a crack.” he told Ezekiel confidently. “Especially mortals. I’ve met a few strong minded Shifters before, like Walter for example and even mom and dad can partially block me out. I can barely read them at all, but not mortals. Their supposed to be weaker than us!”

Then as though he was just seeing his brother for the first time he frowned at the tray in Ezekiel arms. “What’s with the food?” he asked looking Ezekiel in the eyes.

And before Ezekiel could say anything he felt something cold and foreign sliding into his mind. It was there only for a moment and then it was gone. Ezekiel snarled at his brother, his canines lengthening in promised aggression. “I hate it when you do that!” he told his brother as he shook his head to get the cold slimy feeling to leave his temples. “Stop reading my mind without permission you ass!”

“Cool it....I told you everyone has a crack Ezekiel, I was just proving my point” Lander laughed. Then he tilted his head and closed his eyes like he was seeing something in the depths of his mind. He opened them a moment later a smile glowing in his green feral gaze. “So Dads gonna let the intruder stay?”

Lander asked him completely ignoring Ezekiels anger.

“Good. That will give me more time to try and find a way past his barriers. No mortals gonna beat me. Especially not some fag I just met. “Lander mused to himself, then his eyes dimmed until they were once again their simple dark green and his pupils had dilated. Ezekiel shook his head. He looked at Brandon’s bedroom door then back at his brother.

“So you really can’t read anything off him?” Ezekiel asked him as he looked at the door once more. Ezekiel was surprised to realize that deep down he really hoped that Land could eventually read something off the mortal. Getting anything out of Brandon had been and was going to be a struggle.

“No....but there are other ways of getting people to talk.” Lander shrugged. “You could charm it out of him, seeing as you’ve got a thing for him and all.” Lander said as he walked past him, reaching out to ruffle Ezekiels hair as he walked. “You two homos have a good night.” he chuckled out loud as Ezekiel jerked his head away from him.

Weighted down by the food in his hands all Ezekiel could do was hiss angrily at his brothers back.

Good God, does the whole family have a smart remark for me? I help a guy who just happens to be gay and instantly everyone assumes that there’s something else behind it!

He thought to himself as he pushed his anger and his leopard back down.

But it was more ran that and Ezekile knew it. He had not shown much interest in any living breathing men besides his brothers in a long time. He wasnt foolish enough to try knowing that most of his Clan innately feared him...but he had made great strides to insert himself where this stranger was concerned multiple times in a matter or days.

Pivoting on his heel, as Lander disappeared down the hallway towards the stairs Ezekiel steeped closer to the door and balancing the food tray in the crook of his left arm he knocked.

And got absolutely no response.

So he knocked again. Once, then twice, then three times.

Finally he called out. “Hello? I’m coming in.”

Still he got no response. Sighing, something he seemed to be doing a lot of since the night he gotten stabbed, Ezekiel turned the door knob and walked into the room.

***

To Ezekiels immediate surprise there was no sign of the green eyes stranger when he first walked in. And since he couldn’t readily identify the mortals place in the room with his eyes, caution spurred him to reach out with his senses.

He let the senses of his inner Leopard pool out around him and instantly he picked up the strangers scent, his blood as well as the sound and smell of water and soap. Ezekiel walked further into the room and looked toward the closed bathroom door.

“He’s in the shower.” Ezekiel thought looking at the light blaring around the wood and reflecting off the tiles through the gap under the door.

Ezekiel quickly closed the bedroom door behind himself and sat the tray of food onto the bedside table. He glanced around the room spotting various articles of the strangers clothing as well as a trash can filled with fresh bloody bandages and gauze. The scent of the mortal’s blood saturated the air nearly making him dizzy, but waking him up as well. Bathed in his odd scent Ezekiel could no longer deny that the smell of him was exhilarating....exciting.

Ezekiel touched the tips of his canines that had begun to lengthen and without his permission at that. His leopard scratching softly at the surface of his mind. Not wanting to alarm the mortal Ezekiel pulled in his senses, tucking away his teeth and his inner Leopard. He looked around and realizing that there was nowhere else to sit but on the bed Ezekiel walked to the foot of it and sat down on the ground instead.

With his back to the bed, and his right knee propping up his arms Ezekiel put the side of his head on top and looked at the bathroom door once more. He closed his eyes listening to the water fall and realized that he was anxious. He didn’t know why exactly.

Maybe because this was the first time he and the mortal would be alone together since the night Ezekiel visited him without permission. Or maybe because out of the handful of times that Ezekiel and the mortal had been face to face the mortal had hauled off and attacked him?

Or do I simply just want to see him again? Ezekiel asked himself.

Unable to admit the answer even to himself Ezekiel continued to wait and listen to the “SHA....” of falling water echoing out of the bathroom

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