As the rays of golden sunshine dazzled through the sheer red and blue curtains adorning the large bay window of his bedroom, Hunter stretched out as he began the process of waking up. He turned over to see Colleen still half-way sleeping. Hunter smiled as he beheld the sight of his beautiful bride of only two months. He still remembered the day they both revealed their love for one another…
Seven months earlier…
"Well done, Rovers. Parvo's plans for world domination are finally at an end. You're good, good dogs," Master said as he praised his pets for bringing their archenemy to justice at last.
"To the power of the pack...!!" Hunter shouted in triumph.
The Rovers responded with their traditional, "AAAAAHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRROOOOOOOO!"
As the rest of the team went their separate ways to relax, Hunter watched as he found himself the only one of his team left. He sat back in his chair at the head of the briefing table and hunched over cradling his head in his paws.
"What's troubling you, Hunter?" Master asked, noticing Hunter was still in the room.
Hunter looked up into Master's face and felt his throat grow dry. He gave a nervous cough as he took in a calming breath to answer. He stood from his seat and made his way to stand in front of the window that overlooked the beach area the Master had fashioned for Headquarters long ago.
"Well, Master, it's kinda hard to explain. I've been having… feelings…" Hunter revealed as he scanned over the shoreline.
Suddenly, his eyes landed on a figure that made his face burn with a deep red blush, Colleen. She had changed into her workout clothes for some practice time. Her graceful form making it look like she was born doing every move always amazed Hunter.
"She is so amazing..." Hunter thought as his mind began to wander.
"What kind of feelings…? Are you alright?" Master's voice interrupted Hunter's day fantasy.
“Huh... oh... yes… no… I don’t know…Master. I’ve been thinking about my feelings about… ‘Someone’… stronger than just a friend. I…I'm afraid to tell how I feel because I don't know how she… I mean… they would react,” Hunter explained as he rubbed his temples.
“I see… well, Hunter, there comes a time when the truth has to come out. Colleen will understand," Master advised with a smile.
"How… how...you…?" Hunter stammered with a look of relief and shock.
Master chuckled and said as he placed a hand on the retriever's shoulder, "Hunter, I've watched both of you since the team's first mission and have seen the bond between you two grow. I believe you’ll be surprised."
"Thanks Master…!" Hunter said as he sped off leaving his flame trail behind him.
“Ha-ha… I was beginning to wonder how long he’d take…” Master smiled and returned to his work for the day.
Hunter ran down the halls and corridors of Headquarters until he came to the door leading outside to the beach. Stopping at the glass door, a knot swelled up in his throat as he thought of not only how graceful the rough collie was, but also how kind, funny, and a completely honest person she was to be around. She was the best the friend he had ever had. As he began his journey down the shoreline, his mind bombarded his thoughts with doubts and questions.
"What am I gonna say? What if she doesn't feel the same way? What am I going to do?" Hunter thought in a near panic.
He was about to tap her on the shoulder when Colleen let out a shrill, "HIYA!"
Hunter found himself on the receiving end of one of Colleen's powerful Kung-Fu kicks. He was sent sailing almost fifty feet away from where he originally was standing.
When Colleen turned around to see where her assumed Doberman-shaped target had landed, her blood ran cold when the outline of golden fur hit her brain. She nearly started crying when she saw Hunter was out cold.
"Blimey!" She yelled as she sprinted to his side.
Colleen pulled some smelling salts out of the first aid kit she carried in her workout bag and held it under Hunter's nose. She cradled his head as the wakening agent did its job, hoping she had done no severe damage.
"Come on, 'untie... please wake up..." Colleen whimpered.
As Hunter began to come around, all he could see was double and triple projections of Colleen's face above him.
"Whoa… now I know how the bad guys feel…," Hunter said with a bit of a goofy smile, wobbling in his speech.
"Oh, ‘untie, I'm so sorry. I was so sure it was tha’ dreadful Blistah. After this last mission, I'm ready to kick ’im to bloody Jupi’ah," Colleen replied, helping Hunter sit up.
Blitz had been more insufferable in his attempts to win Colleen over than ever during this last mission. He went as far as trying to kiss her when they were captured by Parvo's Cano-Mutants. Thankfully, Muzzle interrupted that fiasco by biting through the chains that held them together.
"I know, Colleen, and I'm okay. I actually was looking for you," Hunter said shaking his vision back into focus.
Colleen smiled as she felt butterflies in her stomach. Her cheeks grew hot as she swallowed the giggle in her throat.
She said, "Really… did you need me for somethin’?"
Hunter felt the knot in his throat now more than ever. He felt sweat running down his face and down the back of his neck. He cleared his throat of the building tension as he stood up.
"Well, I was wondering if I could talk to you… alone…" Hunter said, squeaking on the last word.
"Sure, ‘untie, wha’ abou’?" Colleen said, trying to relax herself.
Hunter held out his hand and asked, "Will you walk with me… not on a leash I promise?"
Colleen laughed as she remembered the last time she and Hunter walked on the beach it was her walking him. Colleen took his hand and began to walk beside him. She clenched her muscles as much as she could to keep from trembling.
As they made their way down the beach, Hunter’s hands began to sweat, searching for the words to say… searching for how to tell Colleen how he felt about her. For once, he was thankful still had his armored gloves on.
Once they reached the edge of the coastline, the sun was just beginning to dip below the horizon. Shades of pink and oranges made the sky look like the inside of a cotton candy machine. The waves crashing against the shore began to turn dark midnight blue as the light faded.
"Colleen," Hunter gently said as they basked in the evening sunshine.
"Yes, ‘untie…?" Colleen replied turning towards him.
Hunter’s breath caught in his throat. The amber rays of the setting sun made Colleen’s reddish-brown fur shine against her snow white markings. Her eyes seemed to be coated in glitter. She looked divine.
“She’s so beautiful… like from a dream…” Hunter thought dreamily.
"I've wanted to tell you something for a long time, but I just didn't know how to say it and was afraid of what you might say in return…" Hunter began.
"Wha’ is it, ‘untie?" Colleen inquired.
Hunter took her paws in his and drew her closer to him. Colleen felt her heart beat faster as she felt her cheeks blushing.
"Could it be...?" Colleen thought in an excited panic.
"Colleen, ever since we met, I felt something special about you. I didn't know what those feelings were, but I do now……I love you, Colleen," Hunter revealed.
Colleen could not believe her ears. The one that she secretly loved with all her heart felt the same way. Tears began to well up in Colleen's eyes.
Hunter felt his heart stop. When he saw the tears welling in her eyes, he began to worry that he had upset her. Before he could build up a head of frantic backtracking, he saw her smiling.
"Oh, ‘untie, I've felt the same way abou’ you evah since then too. I tried at times to say somethin’, but stopped meself because I didn't want it to be awkward for you," Colleen burst out.
“Oh Colleen…” Hunter said as he embraced her close.
“’untie…” Colleen whispered as she nuzzled his chest.
As the moonlight began to surround them, Hunter lifted her muzzle up to his and touched his lips to hers.
“Oh… I never want this to end…” Hunter thought.
As he came back to reality, he wrapped one arm around Colleen’s torso and pulled her close. He nuzzled her neck inhaling the scent of her shampoo. It was an intoxicating aroma of fresh peaches and jasmine flowers that he loved waking up to every morning.
“And it never has to end…” Hunter thought as continued in his memory.
Colleen began to open her eyes and take in the sight of her husband surrounded by the sunlight beaming through the window. His golden fur shone as the light intensified. She turned over where she could rest her head against his chest.
"Good morning, ‘untie, "Colleen whispered sweetly.
Hunter nudged her face up and tenderly kissed her lips as he said, "Good morning, my precious jewel."
Colleen smiled as she loved the name her husband endeared her with. Normally, she hated being referred under such a girlish title, but with Hunter, it was a different situation.
"It looks like anothah beautiful day today," Colleen said admiring the warmth of color the sun in their room.
Hunter smiled and said, "Yeah, another great day with you, Sweetheart."
"I'll race ya to breakfast!" Colleen said playfully.
"You're on!" Hunter replied with a laugh.
Colleen dashed to their closet and grabbed her change of clothes as Hunter beat her into the private bathroom Master put in for them. As he lathered his Alpine Fresh shampoo all over his body, Colleen snuck behind him and started scratching and scrubbing his back.
“Hey… no fair… interference…” Hunter said as he fought slightly not to succumb to her ministrations.
“Do you wanna call a foul?” Colleen giggled.
“No…” Hunter groaned as she scratched the middle of his back causing his leg to twitch.
“I didn’t think so…” Colleen whispered in his ear as she continued.
Hunter smiled as he forgot all about their little race, just enjoying the closeness he could now share with the love of his life.
Meanwhile, Exile was still fast asleep, unaware of the beautiful day already in motion. The Husky's typical thunderous snoring filled the room as he continued to enjoy his dreams. Exile groaned and growled in his hibernation as he poked his head out from under his quilts.
Much to his eventual dismay, a ray of sunlight peered through his window and projected itself right into his eyes. Exile, not exactly the definition of an ‘early riser’, roared at the sudden change.
"Bolshoi!" he said as he curled back up in his blankets.
Before he had a chance to settle back in, his alarm clock began its call for his resurrection from sleep. Exile growled under his breath as he shut the alarm sounding Russia’s National Anthem at full volume and sat up on the edge of the bed.
As he stretched and accustomed his eyes to the now brightly lit room, he approached his window and began to take in the gorgeous view he had of the tropical valley. The sun danced along the treetops that were still wet with the night dew reminding him of fresh fallen snow back home. The changing leaves painted the scene in gorgeous autumn colors. The sound of a slight breeze rippling through the leaves and ruffling across his face brought Exile to full consciousness.
"Mother Russia! Today is going to be being great if it be starting as pretty as thiski!" Exile said with a joyful smile.
He went inside his closet to gather a change of clothes and a towel to carry down to the hall bathroom that he, Blitz, and Shag shared. Before leaving, he grabbed his book off his nightstand he had began a day or so ago, knowing he would be waiting outside for a while for Blitz to finish primping himself. Although Exile thought it really strange how long Blitz took to get clean, he didn’t mind the extra time to read.
Ever since they first came to Headquarters, Exile had developed a love for the literary arts. It started out with children’s books, but gradually he had worked up to classic novels and biographies. He was currently re-reading his favorite novel, “White Fang”, a gift that Master Shepherd had given him last Christmas.
As he approached the bathroom door, he heard something odd or rather it was what he didn’t hear that was odd. There was no water running, blow dryers humming, or a certain Doberman cooing to his reflection in the mirror. Exile couldn’t believe his ears.
As he approached the door, he found it open and undisturbed. There was no leftover steam or heat from the shower, no wet towels in the laundry hamper, and no smell of any type of bath product. Blitz had not been in here at all it seemed.
“This is being weirdski…” Exile thought as he entered the bathroom to prepare for the day.
Shag and Muzzle had been awake long before dawn preparing breakfast for their pack mates. Shag was busy whisking a bowl of eggs to scramble as Muzzle warmed himself in the growing sun spot that was taking over his pillow. Shag was singing a song of his own creation that Muzzle wiggled his ears along with as he waited for his food bowl to be filled. The bacon sizzled away on the griddle as the smell of fresh biscuits came from the oven.
Finishing one set, Shag filled Muzzle's bowl with a mixture of bacon and eggs. Muzzle bounced up and down happily at the prospect of food. He took one bite and barked happily to the Sheepdog his approval. Shag smiled and continued cooking.
Thankfully, Muzzle no longer had to be restrained to his cart or wear a steel muzzle. Master Shepherd had been training Muzzle over the past few months to only destroy everything in sight when commanded. This made life much less hectic for the Rovers, especially at bath and meal times. Everyone hoped that whatever Parvo did to him could be overcome completely one day.
As Muzzle devoured his breakfast, Hunter, Colleen, and Exile found their way into the kitchen and dining room. Hunter sniffed the air as he took his place at the head of the table.
"Wow, Shag! Everything smells great! Hey, Muzzle, how ya doing, buddy?" Hunter said as he greeted his friends.
"Awww, Rararara Rara…" Shag mumbled in his own language.
Muzzle was chasing his bowl all around the floor, licking up every morsel he could before calling it quits.
"With tha’ kind of reaction, breakfast must be fantastic." Colleen said with a smile.
"I agree completely!" Hunter laughed.
"Da, all looks positively delicious, Comrade," Exile commented.
As they all took their seats, Hunter looked around and noticed that one member of the team was missing.
"Hey… anybody know where Blitz is? He usually doesn’t skip breakfast," Hunter asked the group.
"Quite odd for ‘im…" Colleen stated, not really caring why Blitz was absent.
"To my knowing, he is still being in his roomski. I am knowing nothing about him going to someplace. I was being shocked to be finding bathroom open for meski this morning. Usually I am having to be pounding doorski down to get Blitz out,” Exile commented.
"I'm sure ‘e just slept in… simple as tha’," Colleen stated as she swallowed some of her eggs.
Blitz was still in his room, but he wasn't late because he slept in. He was lying on top of his covers still in his sleeping sweats staring at the ceiling. The room was dark as ink, void of any of the glorious sunlight that lay outside. The very sight of anything that could bring joy just made his heart bleed.
He hadn’t slept in weeks. He had barely eaten. Sorrow was the only plane of reality he could see. However, it wasn’t for the reason most would think.
A few months earlier…
Soon after Hunter and Colleen became an official couple, Blitz began trying harder than ever to make her change her mind. He tried all the usual expressions: flowers, candy, love notes, jewelry, etc.
When Colleen snubbed these efforts, he went further by doing all of her chores around Headquarters, keeping her martial arts equipment up, and a myriad of different things. Even with all this, Colleen still clung to Hunter's side.
While his outward actions were annoying to his teammates, the inner motivation could be likened to searching for salvation from something.
Blitz turned over to lie on his stomach and buried his face into his pillow as tears welled up in his eyes. The day he had lost Colleen forever began to replay… almost wanting to torture him…
One morning, Blitz staggered into the dining room and noticed everyone else discussing something around Hunter and Colleen. Excitement filled the air thickly. Blitz swore he could almost reach out and grab it.
"Vhat's everyvun fussing about dhis early…?" Blitz asked as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
As Blitz made his way over to see what the commotion was, what he saw left him utterly speechless.
"Vh-vh- vhat's dhat…?” Blitz asked pointing to Colleen's collar.
"It's the engagement ring ‘untie gave me last night. We're gettin’ married!" Colleen exclaimed with a broad smile.
Blitz could not believe his eyes and ears. Colleen and Hunter… engaged! No…! This couldn’t be!
"After all I’ve done for you… you choose our mangy mutt leadah dhat couldn't even tell you his feelings until a few veeks ago!" Blitz yelled out.
“Comrade Blitz…! There is being no need for thatski!” Exile reprimanded, narrowing his eyes is disapproval.
“Back off, Blitz…! I love Colleen and have since the first day we met. No one is trying to cut anyone down!” Hunter barked, getting between the Doberman and Colleen.
Colleen calmly marched out from behind Hunter and looked at Blitz right in the face. Blitz stiffened as he waited for her to say what her eyes were clearly communicating.
"Blitz, I don't love you. I love ‘unter because ‘e saw me for ‘ho I am, not just for me looks. If you do care anythin’ for me, then you can be ‘appy for me and ‘unter. We are getting’ married and tha’ is final!" Colleen said giving a vicious growl accenting her point.
Blitz stifled his immediate reaction to snarl as he rushed out of the room down the hall. He made his way to the Transdogmafacation chambers to retreat to his home in Germany. At least he had somewhere he could go where he didn’t have to be bothered for a while.
"Pay him no mind, Comrades. This is being very happy news. He will get over it,” Exile said, breaking the tension that had been created.
What the others didn’t see were the streams of tears that seemed to come from his very soul as the wind whipped his face raw along the transport tubes back to Berlin. Upon arriving back, grateful no one was around to see him, he ran to his ornate doghouse and huddled as close to the back as he could
“Vhy must my heart always be broken…?” Blitz thought as he buried his tear-stained face in his paws.
Blitz gripped the edge of his bedclothes with his claws as the pangs of rejection after rejection coursed through his body. He turned over onto his side, hoping he could just not think for at least a moment. Sadly, more memories kept flooding his mind pressing for another chance to be replayed.
For the next several weeks, Blitz only hung around Headquarters when it was absolutely necessary. He would barely speak to anyone, obey begrudgingly during missions and run straight back to Germany once it was done.
One day, Blitz had been lazily lounging on his pillow in front of the fireplace of the Chancellor’s mansion. It seemed like any other day until a familiar, but a now painfully annoying, voice echoed in his ears causing him to jump slightly from his position.
“Blitz… you’re needed… come now…” Master’s voice commanded.
Blitz growled as he slowly got up from his pillow.
“Not again…” Blitz groaned.
“NOW BLITZ…!” Master bellowed.
Blitz jumped as he rushed through the custom ornate door the Chancellor had made for him to come and go as he pleased from outdoors to inside the mansion.
“Vhat could be so urgent I have to even be dhere…?” Blitz griped as his transport tube rushed along the clear pathways.
Upon arrival, Blitz jumped into his transformation chamber and headed for the conference room.
“I wonder what’s up… Master sounded more upset than usual…” Hunter pondered aloud.
“Indeed… definitely must be rathah impor’ant…” Colleen added.
Blitz sulked in as he took his seat beside Exile waiting for the report of their apparently urgent mission. Exile noticed the Doberman’s presence and gave a friendly smile. Blitz just nodded in acknowledgement as Master Shepherd came into view.
“Rovers... an old enemy has resurfaced…” Master began.
“Who is it, Master?” Hunter asked.
“Colonel Gustav Havoc…”Master revealed.
A stunned gasp echoed through the room. Havoc was supposed to have committed suicide several years before in the mental institution he had been incarcerated in. Blitz shuddered slightly… it was like a horrible nightmare…
“Master, how did crazy man come back to be living…?” Exile asked.
“From what I can gather, when he allegedly committed suicide, his body was taken to the morgue for holding. I am unsure how, but he escaped…” Master said.
“Wha’ is the nut-job tryin’ now, Master?” Colleen asked.
“This is very difficult to say, Rovers, Havoc has the Chancellor of Germany and his family held hostage …” Master said.
“Nein… Master…!” Blitz burst.
Without wanting any further details, Blitz dashed back down the hall. His family needed him and he was here listening to what was happening to them. He couldn’t take the time he wanted to be angry with Master for calling him to HQ instead of telling him what was happening.
“Blitz, wait…!” Master called out.
Blitz blocked out everything… all he cared about was protecting the only family he had. He didn’t even bother to transform back to his canine form as he leapt into his transport tube and rocketed back to Germany.
“Blitz…!” Master called out as he reached the door.
It was too late.
“Get going, Rovers. Get there before Blitz does,” Master commanded.
Immediately, the Rovers bolted to the vehicle hangar to follow after their Doberman teammate. In all the rush, Hunter didn’t even bother calling his usual rally cry.
After resurfacing at the Chancellor’s mansion, Blitz began sprinting towards downtown Berlin. The Chancellor and his family had gone to the theatre to attend a traditional dance festival a few hours prior to Master summoning Blitz to Headquarters. Pangs of guilt filled his heart because he was supposed to go with them, but feigned not feeling well to just be alone. Blitz was wondering why they had been gone so long. Now it all made sense…
As he raced along, he heard an eerily familiar voice come through all of the media screens in the shops and homes. Blitz stopped to watch what was happening as German subtitles scrolled across the screen.
Havoc had the entire audience under armed guard. He had the Chancellor and his family on the stage in front of the live-feed cameras the performance was using to broadcast the festival all over the country.
“Hahahahahahahahahaha...” Havoc’s raspy laughter echoed.
“I imagine you are all curious as to why I have your Chancellor and his lovely family here. Well, it is very simple,” Havoc began as he removed a scroll from his coat pocket and handed it to the Chancellor.
“Vhat is dhis?” the Chancellor asked.
“A simple agreement…you sign here and turn complete power controlling Germany to me…” Havoc explained as he waved a pen in the Chancellor’s face.
“Vhat gives you dhe nerve to…?” the Chancellor said pushing the document away forcefully.
Havoc gave a nod of his head and one of his soldiers grabbed his four-year-old daughter, Eva, and held his side-arm pistol to her temple. The Chancellor’s wife did her best to keep the soldier away, but received a knock-out blow to her head rendering her unconscious.
“Heidi… Eva…!” the Chancellor called out.
Eva’s screams of terror enraged Blitz. All he could see was red. As he rounded the corner where the theatre was located, he noticed Havoc’s men posted at every single possible entrance… save one…the narrow side-alley trap-door. It was possible none of them saw it on their initial sweep.
Once Havoc’s men passed the alley, Blitz ducked into the darkness. Now he could see why Havoc’s men didn’t even bother looking here. His shoulders were touching each of the walls of the two buildings. Upon reaching the small trapdoor, he managed to drop into the underbelly of the theatre without any of Havoc’s men being wise to his presence.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Rovers had arrived in Berlin and were on the opposite side of the theatre building trying to formulate a way inside.
“Just when I thought we’d never see these goons again…” Hunter grumbled.
“Da... and who is knowing what Comrade Blitz is going to doski…” Exile whispered.
“Indeed… I… I must say I’ve nevah seen ‘im so…” Colleen began.
“Angry…?” Hunter finished.
“Rarararararararararararara Rara…?” Shag mumbled in slight fear.
“I don’t think it will go tha’ far Shag… but as strange as ‘e’s been… I don’t know wha’ to expect…” Colleen added.
“Exactly… wait…*sniff* you guys smell that…?” Hunter said as he began to inhale a familiar scent.
All the Rovers inhaled the air around them and suddenly realized their worst fear. Blitz had already arrived and was inside the building.
“But howski did him get in…? Havoc goons look to not being worried…” Exile commented knowing Blitz’s prior methods were less subtle.
“I don’t… wait… look over there…” Hunter said drawing everyone’s attentions to the small alley that wasn’t being guarded.
“Tha’ has to be ‘ow…” Colleen said.
“Da…I would be thinking Havoc would see thatski…” Exile said surprised by that obvious a place being forgotten.
“Maybe ‘is time in asylum killed some of ‘is brain cells…” Colleen added.
“Hang on… let’s go… now…” Hunter led as they slipped right past Havoc’s guards in the alley.
Meanwhile, Blitz had found his way to the upper catwalks of the stage and was completely hidden from anyone’s view. He watched in boiling fury as Eva continued to squirm against her captor seeing the indention the gun’s barrel was making in her temple. He only needed Havoc to look away for a moment…
“Well, Chancellor, I am waiting…” Havoc said as he presented the document again.
“Vhy… vhat are you hoping to accomplish vith dhis?” the Chancellor asked as he dropped to his wife’s side.
“What else would I want? I want total control! Controlling this strategic country, I will bring about the biggest world war ever. After all, war is good business. Think of it this way, Chancellor, Germany will finally be the victor rather than the loser for once. You could bring on a golden age for your people,” Havoc said.
As Havoc babbled on, Blitz had to stifle a growl to keep from being detected. He looked around the upper workings of the stage and noticed the ropes connected to the curtain weights. As he reached for one of the ropes, he heard footsteps along the catwalk. He whipped around with his claws and teeth presented ready to fight until he heard a familiar voice.
“Blitz! It’s me, Hunter!” Hunter said in a harsh whisper.
Blitz relaxed a bit, but was not exactly thrilled to see them.
“Vhat are you doing up here? Dhey are MEINE family!” Blitz sneered.
“I know that, Blitz. I’m not denying your rights to save them, but we have to be together as a team,” Hunter explained.
Blitz backed down knowing it was futile to argue, plus it would endanger the humans he held dear. He pointed to the ropes he was about to descend, and was surprised when Hunter agreed with his plan for once. Blitz gripped the rope tight as Hunter severed the tie with the field dagger attached to his armor.
The Chancellor was visibly shaking. He lost either way. If he signed the change of power, then Havoc would lead Germany into World War 3. If he refused, he would die along with his family and Havoc would take lead anyway. He couldn’t bear the thought of seeing his wife or little girl die at the hands of this maniac. He reached for the pen, but was distracted by a vicious growl as Havoc was hurled from in front of him to the edge of the stage.
“Get avay from dhem!” Blitz snarled.
Blitz picked up Havoc’s stunned body and gripped his throat tight. The urge to kill nearly overwhelmed him as he heard the rest of the Rovers nullify the guards.
“You are undah arrest, you warmongering bastard…” Blitz growled.
“Well, well… look at what we have here… the sissy Rover decided to actually grow a pair… what ya gonna do, pup? Kill me…?” Havoc taunted.
“Shut up!” Blitz threatened as he tightened his grasp around the warmonger's throat.
“You might want to look behind you… I’m not the one who’s scared…” Havoc rasped as Blitz began lowering him to the floor to be handcuffed.
Blitz looked over his shoulder and saw the look of confusion and fear written all over his master’s face.
“Please... please don’t recognize me…” Blitz thought as fear gripped his heart tightly.
After the chief of police detained Havoc from Blitz’s grasp, Blitz turned to the Chancellor.
“Blitz…? Blitz, is dhat… you?” The Chancellor asked tentatively.
The Doberman hung his head in shame. He never intended to keep secrets, but it was not exactly something that could be helped. The other Rovers had just finished with clearing out the theatre and getting the Madame Chancellor to the hospital when they walked in on the conversation. Hunter stopped them at the door.
“Blitz… how… how is dhis…?” The Chancellor stammered.
“I...I am a Road Rover. Master Shepherd placed me vith you so I and dhe odhers could protect the vurld. Meister…” Blitz began as he reached for the Chancellor’s hand.
“Nein… you… you lied to me…” The Chancellor said jerking away from the canine.
“Meister… Meister, please… I… I didn’t…” Blitz stammered through tears as he fell to his knees.
“Nein…! You have betrayed your country, your family, and vurst of all… me!” the Chancellor argued.
Blitz was too shocked and upset to even reply. He could only shrink back with every word the Chancellor spat at him. The rest of the Rovers watched in tension as the argument escalated out of proportion as they fought to keep the press out of it.
“If you had come vith us like you should have, dhis vould have never happened! Go back to vherever it is you Rovahs go… I do not vant to see you!” the Chancellor screamed as he ripped the silk collar he had made for Blitz off his neck.
“Wackeln…!”(Wiggles) the small voice of Eva echoed out as she pushed herself through Exile’s legs.
Blitz picked up the small child and embraced her tightly.
“Es tut mir leid, Eva…” (I’m sorry, Eva) Blitz whispered to her as he fought back tears.
Eva started crying her heart out. Hearing enough, the Chancellor tore the little girl away from Blitz’s arms.
“GO! NOW!” the Chancellor ordered.
Blitz’s body shook in anger and hurt as he marched out behind the others and headed back to Headquarters.
Blitz ran hundreds of other questions through his mind as the image of Eva’s red, tear-stained face broke his heart. Now, he had no other choice but to be at Headquarters permanently.
As Hunter and Colleen’s wedding day drew closer, Blitz became even more distant and dismal. Hunter had given him an invitation, but he only tucked it away in his room to be forgotten about. Truly, he wished to attend, but felt like he would absolutely crack if he even appeared.
Blitz recalled that day with so much regret and pain.
On the day of the wedding, hundreds of guest came from all around the world. Some from their respective homelands, others were people they had helped on missions. Most were other Road Rover teams that came to share in the joyful occasion. The aura of the entire event was one of love and happiness. As the guests arrived, they were seated in the cream-colored satin-covered chairs on the beach.
"This is most beautiful scene I have ever been seeing," Exile said as he helped Shag secure the aisle runner in the sand.
"Reah Rarararararararararararararara," Shag mumbled saying he agreed.
After everyone had been seated, the music began as the bridesmaids entered. Colleen had chosen a few of the other female Rovers from other bases around the world, even Persia from the Space team, since she was the only female on her team. Hunter had chosen Exile to be his best man and other male Rovers from other teams as well. He wanted the have Blitz as one of his groomsmen, but had been sadly disappointed when Blitz never responded to his request.
As the procession continued, Blitz watched from his window. While most thought he was seething with jealousy, quite the opposite was true. He felt like his heart would break in half from the turmoil within his soul. His mind had sunk into depression…he could find no reason to feel any happiness…
“Am I destined to be alone and forgotten…?” Blitz thought as tears welled in his eyes.
As the processional ended with Hunter’s mother, Leona, giving her son a kiss on his forehead, Hunter, dressed in a white tuxedo with a ruby red vest, took his place at the altar in front of Confuse-us, the Great Wise Dog, who was officiating.
A long pause filled the air with anticipation.
Suddenly, the Bridal March began playing gloriously as Master Shepherd led Colleen down the aisle. All the guests raised to their feet as the beheld the beautiful bride. Master Shepherd looked upon all his Rovers as his children, so it seemed fitting.
Hunter held his breath at the heavenly figure in front of him. Colleen was in a long, flowing white strapless gown fitted to her perfectly that shimmered when the light of the afternoon sun hit it. Her face was glowing radiant with joy and happiness. Colleen was clutching red English roses in her hand that matched the crown that had been woven into her hair by the other females.
“She looks like an angel…Hunter is a very lucky dog…” Blitz genuinely admitted as he looked upon the English collie.
Confuse-us looked up and held up his hands, gesturing everyone to be seated.
"Now, before we begin… you got the cocktail weenies..?" Confuse-Us asked excitedly.
"Yes, sir…" Hunter exclaimed as he produced the box of snacks.
Confuse-Us gobbled a few down before clearing his throat to continue.
"Pardon me… now, who gives this woman to be wed to this man?" Confuse- Us asked.
"I do… with my blessing…" Master Shepherd replied.
“I vish dhere vas somevun out dhere for me…” Blitz mourned.
Colleen smiled as the Master kissed her forehead and put her hand into Hunter's. Confuse- Us smiled as he gazed upon Hunter and Colleen's faces of pure joy and love.
"Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the love between these two, Hunter and Colleen. They have endured many hard trials, but love still found its way to their hearts. Hunter, please join your hand to Colleen's."Confuse-Us said.
Hunter did so, slightly squeezing her hand.
"Now, you may recite the vows you have written, Hunter…" Confuse-us guided.
Hunter took a deep breath and began pouring out his heart to his bride.
"Colleen, from the first day that our team came together for our first mission, the moment I saw you, something told me that you were to be more than just my team-mate. As time went on, I looked to you for a reason to keep going on when I thought I couldn't. I knew without a doubt you were meant for me. I held my tongue for so long because I feared that you would not feel that same way. Colleen, I love you with all my heart and soul. I promise as your husband I will stay by you side. No matter what happens, no matter what trouble arises, I will always be here," Hunter vowed.
As Hunter was reciting his vows, Blitz was impressed. Hunter was usually not one to know how to express himself verbally. He was not lying when he said his feelings for Colleen were genuine.
"Colleen, you may recite your vows now," Confuse-Us said.
Colleen caught her breath as tears of joy welled in her eyes.
"Hunter, I knew from the first day I met you that there was something special about you. You didn't just notice me for my looks, but for who I really was. Before I came here, all the other males around me only paid attention to me because I was pretty. When I didn't give them what they were really after, they left me. I've seen what true love really is when I fell in love with you. Hunter, I want nothing more than to be with you. I see everything I’ve ever wanted in you. I promised to be faithful to you for the rest of our lives through thick or thin," Colleen recited from her heart.
Tears began to pour from Blitz's eyes as Colleen recited her vows to Hunter. To witness a woman so lovely pour every fiber of her heart out to a man she loved was definitely an emotional scene.
"Who could possibly see dhat in me?” Blitz thought.
"Now, Hunter, do you take Colleen to be you lawfully wedded wife? To love and cherish her for as long as you both shall live…?" Confuse- Us asked.
Hunter replied with a very enthusiastic, "You better believe I do!"
Confuses-Us turned to Colleen and asked, "Colleen, do you take Hunter to be your lawfully wedded husband? To love and cherish for as long as you both shall live…?”
"I do… with all my heart…" Colleen replied.
"Then, if anyone objects to this union, speak now or forever hold your peace," Confuse- Us stated.
Blitz did not object one bit. Nothing could be a truer picture of a love that only Heaven could bring together. He continued to watch on in respectful silence as the ceremony continued.
Silence was the response to Confuse- Us' command… much to Hunter, Colleen, and Exile's surprise.
"Well then, by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife. So, hurry up and kiss your bride, Hunter," Confuse- us said.
“Don’t have to tell me twice…” Hunter said as pulled Colleen close him.
Their lips met in a passionate, searing kiss. Applause erupted from the entire assembly.
Blitz did manage a small smile as he turned his eye away from the wedding and retreated back into his room. He locked his door and windows. He curled up onto his bed and began to cry softly until he fell asleep.
As his hurt and sadness festered in his mind, tears of anger and pain began to run down his face. Finally, the torment of his memories became too much. He jumped up from his bed and threw his nightstand into his dresser, destroying it. He pounced on his bed and tore one of his pillows into shreds. As his teeth tore the cushion, a small black and brown plushy flew through the air and landed on the floor. He flung himself to his window and tore his curtains to confetti with his sharp claws.
When the blazing sunlight finally covered him, he looked around and saw what he had done. He sank to his knees and began crying.
“Vhy… vhy did it have to happen…?” Blitz sobbed.
He picked himself up from the floor and noticed his small plushy on the floor. He snatched it up and pressed its soft fabric against his nose. The small black and brown doggie had a certain scent that managed to calm him down. He lay back down on his bed and curled his legs toward his chest to sink back into his abyss of anguish.
Suddenly, his ears twitched at a sound he heard coming down the hallway. It was footsteps.
"It's probably Hunter coming to check on me…." he thought to himself, rolling his eyes.
Three gentle knocks came on the door, but no voice addressed him.
"Who is it?" he tried to say calmly, not wanting any of the Rovers to know he had been upset.
No one answered Blitz's inquiry.
Blitz shot off his bed and grasped the doorknob. He swallowed his tears forcing himself to be angry at the disturbance.
"Vhat Do You Vant?" Blitz hissed as he jerked the door open.
Blitz's face immediately dropped as he realized that the person that came to check on him was not any of the Rovers, but the Master.
"MEISTER! I-I-I'm so sorry!" Blitz stammered as he clamped his hands over his mouth.
"Blitz, may I come in?" Master asked gently.
Blitz backed away from the entrance mechanically and allowed Master Shepherd in. He felt shame letting Master see his quarters in such a state of disarray.
"You didn't come down for breakfast with the other Rovers. Are you feeling alright?" Master asked as he sat down on the edge of Blitz’s rumpled bed.
"J-JA, I feel fine. I-I just vas not in dhe mood for breakfast today," Blitz stuttered, still trying to recover from his outburst.
Master observed the destruction around the room. There was something definitely wrong.
"Are you sure there isn't anything you want to talk about, Blitz?" Master nudged.
"NO! I mean, No, Master, everyting's fine," Blitz said as he turned his back to his master.
Master Shepherd shook his head, knowing Blitz was holding something back.
"Blitz, you know as well as I do that everything is not fine. You can not hide that from me or anyone else. Everyone was quite concerned about you this morning,” Master said.
Blitz huffed as he crossed his arms over his chest, refusing to even hint at the turmoil he had endured.
"Blitz…" Master sternly said.
Blitz flinched back like a rolled up newspaper hit him on the nose.
"I'll ask again. What is bothering you? Tell me the truth," Master requested.
Blitz sighed as he hung his head. Something inside his heart urged him on to say, but he couldn’t help but fight against it.
"Meister, I-I-I have bleeding vounds in my heart dhat refuse to heal. My life is so… empty…I feel like I vas destined to be miserable," Blitz confessed as tears began to run down his face worse than before.
Master Shepherd's heart broke seeing one of his Rovers so upset and dismal.
"Blitz, I don’t understand what makes you think you have nothing important to live for in your life. You're a Road Rover, a hero to the world," Master said, attempting to lift him up.
"I know, but after a mission I have nothing to come home to now, at least I used to have dhe Chancellor and Eva… but here… no one," Blitz said sorrowfully.
Master hung his head and began, “Blitz, if it has anything to do with Hunter and Colleen…"
“Nein… it is not dhat, Meister. I am happy for dhem,” Blitz said calmly.
“Well that relieves me in many ways, but what is it that has you so down… I miss seeing you smiling and being around the others…” Master said.
“It isn’t very easy for me to talk about it, Meister… dhe memories cause me much pain…” Blitz admitted.
“Blitz, I want to help,” Master urged.
Deep inside, Blitz felt like collapsing to the floor and getting every bit of hurt he had been holding back out.
“Nobody else is here… tell him…” a voice whispered.
“Please… I… I can’t…” Blitz lowly growled as the pain of his past began clawing at him like a wild beast.
“Blitz…?” Master asked warily.
“Let it go!” the voice ordered.
“NEIN…!” Blitz snarled as he smashed his fist against the wall.
“Blitz!” Master Shepherd spoke, startled as he gripped the Doberman’s shoulders.
“Please leave me… I vant to be alone…” Blitz requested.
“Blitz, you can’t live like this. Please, come talk to me,” Master beckoned gently.
Blitz shook his head violently. He walked back over to his bed and turned his back to Master Shepherd. He curled into the tightest fetal position he could manage.
“Why...?” Master asked.
“No vun could possibly undahstand…” Blitz whispered as he choked back tears once again.
“What makes you say that?” Master asked, sitting on the edge of the bed.
“I… I can’t, Meister…” Blitz pled as he buried his face into his pillow.
Master had to fight back tears of his own seeing one of his precious pets so upset. He gently rubbed Blitz’s head and ears until he felt him relax, apparently falling asleep from emotional exhaustion.
“Oh Blitz… get some rest…” Master said aloud quietly.
After closing the door, Master made his way down the hall to his office. He held quite a large place in his heart for the Doberman since he had come across him during the search he made for candidates for the Road Rovers. He had grown up with one that remarkably resembled Blitz in personality. What could make him so depressed? If it wasn’t unrequited love as he had originally thought, what could be bothering him?
Thankfully, it had been a quiet day around the world. Master passed by the main den where the large fireplace was to see the other Rovers watching one of their favorite movies, Lady and the Tramp. After visiting their human families, they all had decided to chill at Headquarters for the night. Hunter and Colleen were snuggled up on the red loveseat on the right side of the screen. Exile was stretched out on the long red lounge chair beside Hunter. Muzzle was curled up on the floor in front of Hunter and Colleen. Shag was resting against the edge of the love seat next to Colleen. Professor Hubert had even taken a break from his work to watch it with them.
"Rovers," Master called sadly.
"Master, what brings you here? I mean… you're usually up there," Hunter said motioning to the balcony that was over the den after pausing the movie.
"Da… what is being wrongski, Master?" Exile asked, knowing that only something serious would be the cause.
Master Shepherd took a deep breath and let it out in a long, concerned sigh.
"Master…?" Colleen nudged.
Shag and Muzzle both looked at Master Shepherd intensely.
"I see that Blitz has been… distant," Master finally said.
The Rovers looked at each other with confusion. Blitz had not been socializing with them for several weeks. Why would the Master take notice of it now?
Hunter finally spoke up saying, "Master, he hasn't been around us ever since Colleen and I were engaged..."
“Da… Comrade doesn’t show upski at all now…” Exile said.
"’e’s most likely still upset because I married ‘untie,” Colleen quipped nonchalantly.
Master looked sternly at Colleen for appearing not to be at least a bit concerned.
“I don’t think it is that easily explained, Colleen. I talked with him earlier and your marriage to Hunter is not the reason. He actually said he’s quite happy for you. He’s holding something back… something he’s apparently told no one… but I don’t know what. Has he ever said anything to any of you?” Master said.
“What…? No…” Hunter said.
“Indeed not…” Professor Hubert added.
“No’ me…” Colleen answered.
“Comrade did not do much the talking with meski…” Exile said.
“I see… I was afraid of this,” Master explained.
Colleen yawned in disinterest, even though there was a slight pricking of guilt building up.
"’e’s just taking his narcissism to an extreme. After all, ‘e thinks ‘e's a gift to…" Colleen said.
"I don't think it's that simple, Colleen. This sounds serious," Hunter interjected.
“Da… Comrade has moments, but I was never to be thinking him to be like this…” Exile said.
Colleen huffed silently. Before her life as a Road Rover, she had seen stories similar to this. It was just like all the male strays back in London. She wouldn’t let them mate with her and they would pout and whine for weeks until they finally got the message and moved on.
“If it is somethin’ more, then why was ‘e not at the weddin’? Sounds like a case of…” Colleen began.
"Colleen!" Master snapped.
Colleen flinched as she stopped her cold response. Master looked at her with a face of disapproval of her attitude.
"I'm surprised at you. One of your team members is hurting over something you don’t know about and you’re ready to toss him away," Master reprimanded.
“Is he still in his room, Master?” Hunter asked.
“As far as I know… why?” Master replied.
“We need to go talk with him. He needs us,” Hunter said as he sat up to the edge of the loveseat.
“But Huntie…” Colleen protested.
“But nothing, Colleen… You heard Master. Blitz isn’t angry at us getting married. He’s hiding something,” Hunter said sternly but with kindness.
“Da…” Exile agreed.
Colleen paused a moment and put aside her past experiences. Maybe Hunter was right… maybe there was something she wasn’t seeing…
“Alright…” Colleen agreed.
“I would give him at least another hour or so to rest before you go to see him,” Master explained.
“Ok Master…” Hunter acknowledged.