Chapter 8 - Follow Through
Chapter 8- Follow Through
“Mom...You have to promise not to scream please?” Ezekiel whispered walking his mother up from the spiral staircase and down the long hallway of the third floor of their three story home. The dim light that glowed from the few candles lit in the early hours of the previous evening lent a welcome shadows that helped to hide Ezekiels anxiety from her.
After managing to not only sneak the mortal into their home without the world ending, Ezekiel had quickly realized that both of his parents had retired to their bed room for the night.
Was what Ezekiel had thought to himself as they smuggled the mortal further into their home.
Each of his brothers struggled slightly to juggle the mortal’s limp weight and avoid the furniture in the front hall. But...
Somehow Ezekiel and his brothers eventually managed to take the mortal up toward the second floor, where they all knew there wouldn’t be any shortage of spare bedrooms to hide the stranger in.
But then....the hard part had come. Ezekiel now had to fetch him mother, Glen, from her bed and try to convince her to help him, help the stranger. Without his father finding out.
Ezekiel hadn’t even realized how nervous he was until he had left his brothers Nate and Walter and Lander behind guarding the unconscious mortal.
Lander stood glaring at the three of them from the corner of the room, farthest from the mortal, and for the most part he preoccupied himself by making rude comments and snarling in the mortal’s direction.
And as Ezekiel made his way out of the room, Lander shook his head at all of them and sighed.
He left them there, watching over a half dead creature that could hardly harm anyone, but Ezekiel knew intuitively that his brothers weren’t going to take any unnecessary chances. Dead or alive the mortal was something new, violate and unknown. In the Shifter world all of that translated into dangerous.
So all alone and determined, but far from confident Ezekiel quickly climbed the stairs up to his parents’ bed room; Which almost completely covered the entire third floor of their home.
When he reached the top step of the third floor, he looked down the single wide hallway.
Two doors fit more for a church, large, heavy brownish burgundy wood, ingrained with the impression of two giant leopards laying in mirrored opposites, was the only thing to see. Ezekiel walked down the hall soundlessly. Then he cracked open the right door slowly. The wood, though years old, moved effortlessly and silently under his cautious shuffle.
Ezekiel said to himself as he slowly entered the room beyond.
He knew that just because he hadn’t sense his father yet didn’t mean that he wasn’t just around the corner.
His father didn’t become Clan Head by being an easy man to sneak up on. He was the master hunter in that village and everyone knew it.
So while Ezekiel had opened the door he had strained with his inner senses. Stretching them into the space beyond the door searching for his father’s scent, but with a grateful look to the heavens all he had managed to smell on the other side of his parents door was his mother’s soft, calming scent. He scanned and scanned again for his father’s scent.....but nothing.
Fighting not to sag against the door in relief, Ezekiel took a few steps further into his parent’s very large, very well lit bedroom. Ezekiel let his gaze settle to the light as he gave his surroundings a cursory glance searching for his mother. Ezekiel and his brother had of course been in their parent’s room before, but it was far from an everyday visit. So it took him a moment to spot his mother.
The entire room, much like the doors and the rest of their home was painted a deep rich reddish brown, bordered by a warm white, that like the doors was also in grained with smaller, but no less intricate carvings of Leopards staring strait ahead, eyes fixed on the next Leopard only five inches away from it. Large windows sat in the walls. One far to the left, three in a strait seven feet across from the doors that Ezekiel now stood in front of and two more far to the left, and he knew that there would be one smaller window in the bathroom hidden just to his left behind a sliding wooden door.
All of the windows blinds were drawn and pure white silken curtains blocked out the chill night and the half-moon that Ezekiel and his brothers had just managed to escape from.
Far to the left of the large room was a small sitting area, on top of a pristine white mat that all sat in front of three book shelves filled to the brim with books, manuscripts and scrolls a few of which sat on the table and floor cracked wide open like the reader had just jumped up and walked away. A small wooden table in front of the chairs sporting a dying candle gave him a quick glimpse of a upside down pipe, and a large brimmed rawhide hat with a giant feather sticking out of it.
“Dads pipe...Dads hat...” Ezekiel mused in breath looking on. “Ok, good. I guess he’s still out on patrol....”
Far to the right, past the closed bathroom was a double door closet, door open gave a few glance to the silken gowns, heels, boots, jeans and ties and other clothing that belonged jointly to his mother and father, and filling the space before that was another white rug, this one supporting a rectangular table sporting a vase full of white flowers, a tiny sewing machine and a small chest cracked open was spilling over with cotton, ribbons.
Not seeing any sight of his mother there Ezekiel finally centered his gaze on the giant king mattress that dominated the area just before the three windows. The bed was massive, and mostly blocked from his view. Dark brown bed curtains flowed down from the rails over the bed, keep Ezekiel from seeing if his mother was even in the bed. But taking a deep breath, Ezekiel took in her familiar scent once more and he knew that somewhere under those dark curtains was where he’d find her. Ezekiel quickly crossed the room, silent as only a big cat could be, he tried his hardest not to startle her.
A small gap in the curtains by the foot of the bed allowed Ezekiel to pull them back, then walk them all the way around on a sliding rail imbedded in the ceiling above the bed until there was enough candle light for him to see the interior by.
And there....far to the right-center of the bed was his mother.
Ezekiels mother, Glen, was not what one would expect to see after seeing her four sons. Compared to her children Glen was nothing like her very tall, muscled, black, gold, and dirty-blond haired alpha male children, who not only outweighed her but out stood her.
Glen was a small woman, five eight, and a half in height and a buck fifty five soaking wet. She was laying on her side, a long skirt, and a willowy shirt tussled as though her sleep wasn’t restful.
Looking at her Ezekiel couldn’t help but be remained of how delicate she seemed, how delicate she had always seemed to him. Small head, round face, small round jaw, long graceful fingers. Sinewy arms, and legs, but she also had small feet and dainty bones. A head full of curly brown hair, was splayed all around her, and her hands were balled into little fists. One hand at her ribs and one at her temple. She looked far too content for him to awaken.
And suddenly Ezekiel just wanted to duck out of the room. Just turn and leave her to rest, none the wiser of the things he was going to ask her to do for him.....the things that he was about to force her to do for him against his fathers, her husband’s wishes.....
So you’re just going to let a total stranger die because you’re getting cold feet?
A voice snipped at him from inside and Ezekiel cursed.
No....I’ve already done the worst thing possible. I can only sink so far before everything bottoms out again....right?
Ezekiel rolled his eyes at himself. “Yeah right.” He scoffed softly.
The he leaned forward grabbed his mothers’ small fist and tugged on her arm softly.