Somebody watching me
Devon tried to discourage an attack on Sarah, AJ, and the unassuming patrons of Point Breeze Motel. The altercation felt as if it raged on for days. The white Wolf-thing and Lance’s red Wolf were locking in and out of combat until they were deep in the forest. The white wolf-thing skidded to a stop feeling confident he would not be heard by anybody. He caught Lance’s calf and threw the wolf’s body like a rag doll into a prickly ash tree. White Wolf-hominoid released his iron grip on Lance’s leg, leaving him battered and bruised.
“What are you doing here?!” the white wolf-thing questioned with a mouth full of oversized fangs that made his speech garbled.
The white lupine’s skull began altering, red sigils dancing along his undulating cheeks until forming an identifiably human face. The recognizable tang of the unconscious red lupine surprised Devon. He recognized him as Lance, a tall fiery redhead of London, born in the Dark Age, sired from Aticus, Devon’s ex-pack mate.
The robins and cardinals chirped and cried their intruder alarms but too late to warn the white haired lycanthrope Devon. Whipping his head around, suddenly the breath from Devon’s lungs left him. Leaves floated up into the air and Devon’s feet left the Earth as his body tumbled toward the dirt. Two wolves, one with Golden eyes and brown fur with dreadlocks named Tomas and the other Wolf name Montezmu with majestic thick white fur its eyes glowing red, struggled with Devon in concert with one another to restrain him.
“I know you!” Devon mumbled his mouth full of dirt. Dancing shadows filled his chin and cheeks as he transmuted back and forth human to lupine, and then back again struggling to get free.
“I knew that stank had to be Lance,” Devon looked at the unconscious red wolf. He breathed in Tomas’ strong musty scent, “This must be Tomas, I can tell by your odor!”
Tomas growled a response and tightened his grip against Devon’s arm as Montezmu’s lupine muzzle bit down on his trapezius tearing a chunk a flesh away. The bacteria that grew in the lycanthrope saliva made the wound heal slowly in another lycanthrope. Three against one, Devon thought. He did not flinch however when Montezmu’s fangs bit down on his back again and tore the muscle leaving a deep bleeding wound.
Devon remembered the albino from their brief interactions, “Is that you Montezmu?”
Devon had grown weak from blood loss but somehow, he felt it in his bones, He had to lead them further away from the hotel. He twisted his body around to see Montezmu. Devon’s calves to his feet changed. Elongating shins snapped like twigs then congealing again to form a lupine-like reverse knee. His newly formed extended paws gave him much-needed stability. He managed to get the upper hand on the two aggressors. Devon swiftly snatched hold of Montezmu by the elbow with a vice-like grip. With one fluid movement he twisted Montezmu’s fore-paw lifting him up in an arc at the same time he brought up his knee smashing into Tomas’ chest. Tomas yelped as the air rushed out of his lungs cracking the wolf’s ribs. Montezmu scratched at Devon’s chest one last time as he hit the ground hard. The tables had turned; Tomas’ wolf gasped for air and Montezmu had been stunned into submission. Still dizzy he had a fractured forepaw that he nursed, slurping with his tongue. Shifting form into a sleek lined white Wolf built for speed Devon fled deeper into the woods and further from Point Breeze Motel.
The albino Wolf, the brown Wolf, and the red Wolf were all on their paws again. First Montezmu whipped his head around. Howls filled the air. Tomas responded in kind, breathing regularly, albeit painfully. Lastly resonating from Lance a Howl higher in octave, a distress call…
Bursting out of the vines seemingly from nowhere an obsidian Wolf with one glowing green eye tackled Devon’s Wolf form. His left paw caught Devon on his fluffy white scruff literally lifting him up off his front paws. Taking advantage of the situation the black Wolf’s right paw tore into Devon’s forehead.
“Devon?” It was more of a question than statement.
“Devon!” Aticus exclaimed, forcefully turning Devon’s lupine head so they saw eye to eye. “Oh Devon, Happy days are here again!”
Memories come flooding through Aticus’ disease-ridden brain. A great deal of obligation ran through it too. After all, Devon had befriended the lonely and inexperienced lycanthrope, saving his life in the process. Aticus felt an obligation to Devon for this, he couldn’t deny it.
“I’m glad to see you, Devon!” Aticus loosened his grip on Devon’s head but not his scruff needing some control.
Devon converted back to a hairless human, with no fur to hang on to Devon dropped to the ground on his knees. His nose cringed at the strange smell permeating through Aticus’ body. A mixture of Aticus’ familiar musk and a faint scent that sickened, worried, and saddened him. He could whiff the distinct bouquet of his mentor, Stefan, running through Aticus’ veins. He choked on the bile flooding up his esophagus. “Where is Stefan?” Devon asked but in his heart he knew the answer.
Devon slyly watched Tomas as the injured Wolf thing withdrew and went left while Montezmu withdrew and went right, classic flanking maneuver, he thought. Lance cautiously stepped aside from Devon’s lethal reach too. With all eyes on Devon he circled around to his blind side. “Oh, Stefan, Well… he will always be in my thoughts. He’s here,” Aticus touched his cold, cold heart, “forever in my heart!”
“You killed him!” The ancient Stefan had been defeated. He knew this for a fact when he breathed in Aticus’ smell. He silently swore to get revenge as his body stiffened, preparing to strike down Aticus where he stood.
“I loved Stefan but he … grew weak,” Aticus drew a thin lipped smirk with oversized curved fangs on a human face, “just like I love you, Devon!”
The loving but veiled words had not been lost on Devon as he quickly accessed his options. “Why are you so interested in this human group? That’s how I found your foul smelling friend overtly preparing to attack those innocent people!”
Aticus inched closer; Devon reflexively drew away when he looked closely at Aticus’ appearance. He could not help but see his disfigured face. The ocular cavity had all but been destroyed, his optical nerve had been severed and tiny sharp silver shrapnel had embedded itself in Aticus’ sinus cavity and the eye socket that used to hold an animalistic green eye. The result of the silver blast left his skull deformed. Instead of the usually rounded smooth or egg-like shaped oval human cranium the skull with the missing eye actually looked elongated, tetragonal or a plateau half-crown tapering off until a normal hemisphere with the other emerald eye could be seen. The lupine ear on the wounded side stood up higher and further back than normal, a hairless ear with a chunk missing from the bottom. This was his visage when he turned his head from side to side. Before Devon could act Tomas and Montezmu restrained his arms so he could not attack their leader.
“Because you have saved my life I’ll strike a one-time bargain with you,” Aticus looking up and down, Devon had a sickly ashen appearance about him, no threat to him or his pack, “The group will be safe from harm and as long as they are at Point Breeze no harm will come to them. But step off the apartments and all bets are off!”
“No!” Devon growled his head transforming right in front of Aticus’ eyes.
Aticus saw stars in his eyes as Devon head-butted him on the wounded side of his face. Devon wrenched his hands from his captors, transforming them from hands to claws. Devon rushed forward. Frozen, his head exploding; he could not defend himself. Devon rushed in on the stunned Aticus. His paws gripped Aticus’ shoulders. He jumped, knee bent, until he thrust newly formed powerful limbs over Aticus’ head. No looking back Devon thought as his four legs landed softly on the dirt and leaves. He heard a volley of angry howls fill the forest.
“Do you want us to recapture him, Aticus?” Devon heard someone say off in the distance behind him.
“No,” Aticus still had his eyes closed, the pounding in his brain insufferable and stifling his thoughts. “No, in fact, I’ll honor my promise. Point Breeze belongs to my long-lost friend Devon. No harm shall come to those who dwell there…,” Devon did not hear Aticus’ proclamation, already splashing through the riverbank and disappearing into the shadows. “New Roads and Raccourci Island, however, are a different story!”
After Devon successfully evaded his aggressors he realized he was losing blood. Unsteady and dizzy even on four feet he finally settled in the brush near in old weeping willow tree. Plenty of concealment, he told himself, involuntarily dropping to all fours and resting his muzzle on the cold, hard earth. He felt his skin crawl again as his fur receded, revealing undulating skin rising and lowering like a tide. He felt the intense heat that he had grown all too accustomed too, his body temperature elevating as if his body a science beaker and the fluids binding with one another, giving off a thermal reaction.
His massive paws meant for powerful claws, deadly strikes, and nothing more began to transform involuntarily. The blood loss was just too great. Devon’s sleepy and heavy eye lids began to droop. Solid lupine bones began to quiver until there were just a gelatinous mass. Shrinking then giving way to a fresh cartilage and bone again more suited for a hominid.
Comfortable and safely hidden by leaves that covered his bloody but scabbing wounds and big fallen branches the thick vast clouds concealing the sun, Devon tried to get some much needed rest. The scratches and bites that he had received would heal in time. Sleep would elude him, though, troubled by the strange aroma permeating through the air. He knew without a doubt Aticus had started a pack, developing an army for what ends he did not know. For centuries they remained hidden to mankind and for good reason as mankind had a track record of killing and destroying things that they fear or don’t understand, a peaceful cohabitation in the light of day would be futile! Aticus was diseased; the silver sickness had run havoc on his brain. He could tell by the silver rings and hazy appearance in his green eye. Devon couldn’t help but imagine the silver violating his mind like imaginary worms burrowing in his brain until it was Swiss cheese and felt sympathy for him. However, the sickening aroma permeating his being told him that he had become addicted to his own kind, forbidden blood, lycanthrope-cannibal. What he was doing here was a mystery too. In time, though, sleep trumped his worry and he got some much-needed rest in the folds of moss and leaves and branches that tucked him in like a warm blanket as a crescent moon arced across the sky.