THERON

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Part Two - Rebel With a Cause

I’m not exactly certain when I turned from respected Ancient into a measly babysitter.

“I need a favor, Kai.”

“It’s simple, Kai.”

“Nothing to it, Kai.”

Well, fuck you, Theron you big, liar-liar pants on fire!

I swear to Goddess, if I wasn’t frozen in time with great hair, it would be all white by now.

WHITE.

So again, I say, fuck you, Theron.

My face may be just as awesome, but I swear my soul has wrinkles. They don’t make night cream for that shit.

Farewell to the fun-loving, carefree, easy-going Kai... he waves sadly at me as he departs.

When first approached with the task of guarding the little blonde beastie, I thought, Sure! I’m down. She is my kin, after all.

I had this mental image in my head of how things would go—easy peasy. We’d play video games, I’d teach her about boys and how to beat them up, tell her scary stories by a bonfire while we roasted marshmallows... she’d become like the little sister I never had.

And then, Theron (fuck you), immediately puts the smackdown on my little fantasy by reciting what I refer to as, The Laws of Guarding Lina:

1. No talking to Lina.

2. No touching Lina.

3. No being seen by Lina.

4. No fun what-so-fucking-ever with Lina.

Looking back now, I should have refused... little did I know just how difficult the tiny blonde sprite would turn out to be.

Again, fuck you, Theron--exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point.

When I see that brooding bastard, he’s getting an earful. Believe it.

The first time I thought to myself, Self, we might have a problem here, she was seven years old and convinced that the frog she happened to uncover by a big rock was a prince under a curse. Childishly, she was certain only she could break the curse by way of a kiss. Self thought, Aw, she is so cute! Let’s pinch her cheeks! That was until she followed that damn amphibian right into a raging river.

Lucan had never taught her to swim—once again, something I could have taught her as the older brother if not for the damn Laws of Guarding Lina (once more, fuck you, Theron), but I digress. Now, where her father happened to be during this time, I had no clue.

So, I put my superhero cape on... Metaphorically, of course (duh) because who carries a folded cape around in their back pocket? Not this guy, naturally.

That’s just weird.

Super weird.

I’m not super weird.

That was the day I broke Lina Law number two.

When she turned ten years old, she found herself lost in the woods—again, no Lucan. She was a crying, sniffling mess and Self said, Hey, we should probably help her. But what was I supposed to do? I literally wasn’t allowed to communicate with her physically, mentally, vocally, through fucking sign language nor even smoke signal. What the hell could I do about it?

I was left only to watch her angst from afar.

But as she neared closer to pack grounds, I got a bit frantic. She was a rogue, no matter the age, and would be treated as such, again no matter the age, for crossing into their territory.

It was certain death and I couldn’t allow it.

Me, being the quick thinker I am, dove into a bush meters away, thick enough to hide my body. As she got closer, I stuck my snout out far enough to be visible, giving her a not-so-nice warning growl.

Scared the poor girl out of her wits but it had the desired effect... she turned around.

Needless to say, I spent the next two hours ping-ponging her body through the forest, corralling her back to her cabin.

So yes, that was the day I broke Lina Law number three.

Fuck. You. Theron.

Then came the small indiscretions and accidents over the years: the time she almost burnt the cabin down by cooking bacon for her precious pancakes. When she almost fell off the roof because she wanted to be closer to the moon. The day she insisted on playing a Warrior Princess, wielding sharp knives as weapons—they were mere steak knives from the kitchen drawer, but still.

Then, she hit puberty, going through her first shift.

Goddess have mercy, this young she-wolf was hell bent on giving me a heart attack.

She learned how to sneak out of the house. Obviously, unnoticed by Lucan. I swear, I don’t know how he kept his daughter alive until I came into the picture.

When she ventured into the human settlements, I was the one that followed her.

When she started going to teenage parties, I was the one that kept an eye on her.

When she began making friends, I was the one that chose which ones would be allowed to stay in her life.

I scared a lot of horny boys away.

Rhys, Anthony, and Keeley were the only humans I let be. Honestly, they were good kids—a bit rough around the edges but I allowed it. Lina was of wolf blood, she needed socialization.

She needed a pack, regardless of their species.

So I watched, in the wings, as Rhys taught her to ride a motorcycle and Anthony bought her a cellphone, talking her through how to use it, and Keeley took her shopping and girled her up.

I let it slide when Lina trained them in self-defense tactics. Mostly because she was a fucking drill sergeant and it was hilarious to watch how far up their asses her boot went... and a little scary.

Okay, fuck it, honestly, she terrified me!

She was brutal and without mercy. I felt bad for her friends each time she forced them past their breaking point. But they were the best human warriors within a hundred mile radius.

All was well. Lina was happy, healthy, and full of life. Her experiences had molded her into a clever, strong, and independent wolf. But it was at age nineteen when things took a turn for the worst, leading me to the dilemma I am currently in.

Fuck, fuck, FUCK you, Theron.

Keeley’s older brother (only brother) overdosed on street drugs. While the mourning process was hard for her human friends, it was worse for Lina.

She had grown up too sheltered. She lived every day in an untouchable bubble where life was perfect, carefree, and full of stars, unicorns, and rainbows. She had an unspoken preconceived notion that every single being on this planet held hands and sang Kumbaya and shit. So when the news of such a tragedy hit home, she became obsessed with the why of it all. Then the what, then the how, and finally, the who. Consumed by sadness and empathy with no way to express such foreign feelings, she became angry instead—vengeful even. Her vision tunneled and proceeded to fix the problem the only way she knew how: by cleaning up the streets.

While I was initially proud of her little vigilante spirit, the longer it went on, the less likely it appeared that it was just a growing phase for her.

She originally started small, helping those already addicted. But when she discovered addiction was not an easy fix with hugs and motivational speeches, she switched tactics.

Targeting local dealers, she and her small human pack took it upon themselves to rob and disarm them. Often the drugs got flushed, half the money taken for Lina and her friends’ “safe house” and supplies and the remainder donated to whichever charity Lina was feeling at the time. And finally, the offenders wound up restrained by ropes and delivered to the very doorstep of the local police station.

Literally.

Fine, whatever, I just sat back and observed, stupidly thinking this was where it would end.

Unfortunately, it did not because as soon as one dealer went down, there was another, ready and waiting eagerly to take their place. It was a never ending revolving door. This ticked Lina off more than anything else.

Now, the drug lord Ian Malory had become the most wanted man on her hit list. And thus, the plan of destroying this vile man was put into place.

So here I am, tired and fed up, with Self repeating, Fuck this shit, over and over inside my head. Small dealers were okay—insignificant and not nearly as dangerous for a single she-wolf to handle. But Ian Malory was where I drew the line.

The Irish fucker had ties to the cartels, the mob... the paid loyalty of law enforcement kept them placed neatly in his back pocket. He and his crew used tactics of torture and intimidation that might even cause Theron (fuck you) to blush.

On top of that, he was number one on the FBI’S most wanted list. On the surface, this tidbit was unconcerning but when dug into deeper, Lina’s involvement, no matter the level, was a threat to all supernatural beings.

Being a werewolf came with a sense of secrecy. Obligated to protect the truth of their species, wolves and lycans did not involve themselves in the petty squabbles of humans. We stayed in the shadows. We kept hidden the truth of our existence from the outside world. If the FBI stumbled upon Lina while searching for Ian, we were fucked. It would take only one government agency to learn of us and our lives, our world, would come crashing down quicker than we could blink.

So the danger has increased a hundredfold now.

And Uncle Kai has had enough.

So today was the day I broke rules one, two, and three of the Laws of Guarding Lina.

Today was also the day I finally called Theron.

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