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A Busy Day

We woke up just after dawn to the sounds of whining and scratching coming from Warrick’s room. Lakiya rushed to the hallway side of the door. Her wolf form pressed firmly against the wooden barrier as if she could melt through it if she tried hard enough. “Calm down, take deep breaths.” we heard her inner voice say.

Jed looked down at Lakiya and asked, “What’s the problem?”

“He’s scared and confused.” Lakiya replied, “He isn’t used to his new form yet.”

Jed turned the knob as Lakiya called out to Warrick, “Step back.”

Jed opened the door quickly, maybe too quickly since he ended up catching the hind end of Warrick with the door. Then he jumped back, somehow still startled by the black wolf form in his brother’s room. Lakiya rushed in and embraced Warrick with her neck around his. She was able to whisper to him, and soon our brother emerged, still hugging Lakiya, who was now in her human form.

Watching them change forms together was almost magical. However, seeing my brother naked when she released him, wasn’t. Jed pulled Lakiya out of the room quicker than she had sprang in there. Lakiya laughed and stated, “I should probably teach him my fur trick.”

Jed looked at her go to fur outfit and informed her, “I’d prefer it if you got on real clothes too.”

She nodded her head and went to get dressed. Jed and I also took a moment to head to our rooms and put on day clothes.

We were all in the kitchen, getting ready to start making breakfast when Warrick smashed his face with his hands and asked, “What’s that smell?”

Lakiya rushed into the living room and came back with a small bottle filled with a bluish green liquid. Just then there was a knock at the door. Jed went to answer as I looked at Lakiya and mouthed, “Is the Sheriff here?”

She nodded her head, and I went to help Jed stall. Lakiya placed some of the jar’s contents at the bottom of Warrick’s nose, and then some on her own. “I’ve spent my time studying him, and how to cover his scent.” she whispered to Warrick, “This will more than work today, but remember I couldn’t test against the full moon scent so I’m not certain how well it will work in a couple days.”

Lakiya stepped back just in time for the Sheriff to enter the kitchen. I shrugged my shoulders from behind the Sheriff as Jed exclaimed, “The Sheriff couldn’t wait to meet our cousin.”

Warrick nodded his head as he stepped forward and introduced her, “This is Lakiya.”

Lakiya tried to suppress the grimace she felt as the Sheriff stepped forward and took her hand into his. He stared directly into her eyes as he stated, “I might be the Sheriff, but you can call me Bruce.”

“I will try to remember that.” She assured him, then she stepped back and turned her attention to Warrick, her voice had a touch of pleading as she asked him, “Can you show me where everything is?”

Jed took over talking to the Sheriff, I only half listened, as Jed covered her age, and how much the girls look alike, and other mundane things I had already heard. I was watching the Sheriff. Somehow he managed to get every bit of detail that Jed was giving him, and still never lost track of Lakiya for even a moment. If she wasn’t directly in his line of sight his eyes pointed to the place she would reappear in his vision next.

When he finally left she was visibly upset. Jed had her take a seat while Warrick got the breakfast made and I set the table. It was a few minutes before Lakiya would talk. The first thing she said was, “It’s safe to talk now.”

Jed quickly asked, “Can he tell that you and Annabel are the same person?”

“I think he has suspicions, but once his wolf senses fully kick in he will have no doubts.” Lakiya looked around the room before adding, “There is another problem I hadn’t considered until now.”

I turned to her and questioned, “What could we have possibly forgotten with all the planning we did?”

“When we did our planning Warrick wasn’t of my kind, whatever I am exactly.” Lakiya answered, “You guys can’t tell, but I know his scent has changed, and soon the Sheriff will too.”

I shrugged my shoulders and stated, “Smell shouldn’t matter.”

Jed shook his head. He understood what had gone over my head. As he started to pace he explained, “Sheriff Bruce left us alone last month because he didn’t consider us a threat. Between having no wolf abilities, and not being of a romantic interest, we were in the clear. Now Warrick is both, and that makes him a formidable opponent, as well as a road block on his desired path.”

Even I could hear the lump being swallowed by Warrick as he stopped dead in his tracks on his way to bring the food to the table. After a moment he managed to say, “But I barely know how to use my new abilities.”

Lakiya nodded her head as she motioned for Warrick to continue to the table. Then she stated, “He won’t want to let you get any stronger. He’ll know it’s a recent change. Whether he’ll know the change is because of me, or if he’ll mistake you for being a new Were-Wolf is yet to be seen, but either way he won’t want the competition around.”

Jed inquired, “What does he think you are?”

Lakiya shrugged her shoulders. “All I know is he finds my scent as appealing as I find his repulsive.”

Warrick sat next to Lakiya in a half daze. Jed passed the food out while I took my seat next to him. After I said grace, Warrick whispered, “What can we do?”

“Maybe he can hide out with the Due-Weres during the full moon.” Jed suggested.

Warrick shook his head and reminded Jed, “It’s your month to disappear. If I go anywhere it will raise red flags not just with him, but with the whole town. It’s going to be hard enough to explain why you’re not leaving town, as I know you won’t be with the added complications.”

“You got that right!” Jed confirmed instantly.

Lakiya raised her hand and then lowered it slowly as she said, “We have a little time. There was an infant crying. I heard it right away, Warrick noticed once the child increased in volume, but Sheriff Bruce didn’t notice until the woman opened her door. That means Warrick’s senses are currently better than his, and mine definitely are. As long as we don’t get too wrapped up in what we’re doing, and listen carefully for him, I can help Warrick reach his full potential. He is a strong wolf, as well as a strong human, if he learns how to control both sides he will be more than Bruce expects.”

Jed nodded his head and mumbled, “The Sheriff is confined to the moon cycle for his form and abilities, while the two of you aren’t. That’s a definite advantage. While the two of you train I’m going to go to the store and get some things. We’ll be bringing a dish to this month’s High Moon Dinner.”

“But we have been forbidden.”I exclaimed.

Jed laughed as he pointed to Lakiya and said, “We now have a lady of the house, and she will be expected to bring a dish.” A look of horror swept across Lakiya’s face until Jed added, “I will do the actual cooking, of a recipe from Mom’s side of the family, but she will take the credit. If anyone tries to find out what’s in it she will just have to tell them that it is an old family secret that she can’t possibly reveal under threat of a curse.”

Jed and Warrick chuckled together. Then Warrick cleared his throat and informed Lakiya, “That is something our Mom used to tell everyone at just about every High Moon Dinner. It will definitely cement in their minds that you’re from her side of the family.”

Lakiya smiled weekly. “You really don’t have to go through such trouble. I can just say I didn’t know.”

I told her, “I think your little sister would have talked your ear off about the town she visited, that you were about to go live in. At least I know I would have to Warrick if I had gone some place he was about to go, but had never been.”

Jed rubbed my head, smiled, and stated, “The young one has a point. Besides, we are happy to do this. You are a part of our family now, even if it’s not in the way we claim.”

After breakfast Jed went to the store while Lakiya and Warrick went to the living room to train Warrick. I watched them every moment that I could. Once Warrick was able to control changing from wolf to human and back by shear will Lakiya started teaching him how to keep the fur, and then how to change the amount of fur, and finally how to change the color to any that he desired. They were working on the color changing when Jed came back home, and had me come into the kitchen to help clean up breakfast, and make sandwiches for lunch while he put all the food away.

We could hear Lakiya and Warrick giggling from the other room. After a while Jed asked me, “Is the training show entertaining?”

“Mostly,” I replied, “but also a little mushy.”

Then Jed got serious and inquired, “How are you handling your friend growing up so fast, and becoming Warrick’s girlfriend?”

I shrugged my shoulders and told him, “Not much I can do about it, but there are moments where I forget she is bigger, and it seems like she is Annabel again.”

Jed smiled and informed me, “That happens in normal life, it is bound to happen in this crazy situation.”

I looked back towards the living room as I put the bread on the plates. Then I looked at Jed and said, “There’s only one thing I don’t get about the whole changing over process.”

Jed raised an eyebrow and replied, “Just one thing, then you’re doing better than me.”

I rolled my eyes. “That’s because you’ve been gone, and I’ve been intently watching.”

Jed nodded his head. “You have a point.” he conceded, “So what is your question?”

“If Lakiya, and now Warrick, can keep their wolf fur, and even change it’s image, why can’t they keep other parts of the wolf like the teeth? That would make them scarier.”

Jed put the last of the food away and gave me a one armed hug from the side as he replied, “I don’t think they want to be scary, this is all about concealing who they are, and not being seen naked. Maybe the wolf skills or parts only transfer to the human side when they are essential.”

“If I had the ability to change forms I’d want to keep the teeth.” I said sullenly, “That would be way cooler than the fur.”

Jed laughed and called the others in to eat. Warrick and Lakiya ate three sandwiches each, and Warrick ate half the bag of chips, and drank way more milk than usual. Jed noted about half way through the meal, “Changing forms must burn up a ton of calories.”

Warrick simply nodded his head. He didn’t dare talk with his mouth full, and he didn’t appear to want his mouth empty.

The rest of the day was spent with Jed doing the house work, with my help, and Warrick and Lakiya doing their training, while I watched when I could. When we went to bed that night we were all exhausted. I don’t even recall my head hitting the pillow.

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