The Love of a Werewolf

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The Market Pt 2

Paul Smith’s face was beaded with sweat when he returned. “I’m sorry, sir. I’m afraid this particular set will be going up for auction this afternoon.”

“What’s his value?”

“I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to say.”

Jackson smiled at him, “Of course you’re not. Go back. Tell them I’ll double what he’s expected to bring in. Jackson Carmillan, just in case you didn’t know the name.” He didn’t hold out his hand for the introduction.

“Yes, sir. I’ll be right back.”

Jackson turned back to the cage. “C363M657.” The wolf tensed. “That’s a fucking mouthful. If you don’t have a name, think one up, otherwise I’m calling you Fido.”

Nothing. Not a twitch of the lips to show humor or anger. No tensing. No relaxing. Jackson sighed and turned his back on the cage. He hated this goddamned place.

Paul returned with shaking hands. “I’m sorry, sir. This batch is required to go to auction. This block will be up at 3, if you’d like to wait I can show you to our vip area.”

Ha. No. “No, thank you.” There was a rattle from the cage behind him. “I’ll wait right here and follow him to the auction block. I would prefer a chair brought to me here.”

“As you wish.”

Paul left and returned with a wooden folding chair. “Thank you.” Jackson settled in and watched Paul walk away. The chair was uncomfortable, the sun was only growing hotter, and Jackson was bored.

“These guys think I don’t know what happens when people are required to go to auction,” he muttered to the wolves behind him. “I’d go wait in the ‘vip area’ only for money to change hands in private and you to disappear.” Jackson laughed and tapped his knuckles against the cage. “Too bad I know how these guys work. C36M657.” The wolf tensed again. “It’s fine. You can speak.”

Nothing.

“Yeah, I guess they’re strict about that shit here.”

Nothing. Jackson stopped pushing for a reaction. He leaned back in his chair and let the sun bake his skin. The amount of people walking by was slowly increasing and he received several dirty looks for his chair being in the way. He just stared at them until they continued on. It went fine, until half an hour before the auction when a shadow fell across him.

Jackson sighed in annoyance and lifted his head from where he’d let it rest back against one of the iron bars. “Can I help you?” He asked the man standing before him.

The man straightened the sleeve of his suit. His hair was swept back and styled with something that made his hair look greasy. His eyes were hidden behind a pair of dark sunglasses. “Jackson Carmillan?”

“That’s me.”

The man smiled, showing off a set of perfect, too-white teeth. “Walk with me and let’s talk. I’ve heard you’re interested in C36M657?”

“I’ll be purchasing him in about,” he glanced at his watch, “24 minutes. And we can talk here just fine.”

The man hummed. “You won’t be able to purchase him. His starting bid is going to be much higher than any budget your daddy gave you for a new plaything.”

Jackson let out a low whistle. “Oh boy, you sure have me pegged.”

A scowl crossed the man’s lips for a fraction of a second, then his smile was back. “I can show you some other great options. Some who might be a better fit for what you’re looking for.”

“I’m looking for wolf C36M657. Can you show me him?”

The man’s smile tightened. “What are you looking for in a wolf?”

Jackson mentally applauded the man’s skill in keeping his voice smooth. “I definitely want a wolf skilled in fighting that has a second specialty as’ personal.’” When the man’s smile started to relax, Jackson continued, “Oh! And his ID number has to be C36M657. If I’m not mistaken, I’ve already found him.”

The man’s smile was cruel as he let out a short laugh. “He’ll kill you in seconds and belong to me anyway. So, sure. Go ahead and spend all of daddy’s money to out bid me and enjoy your purchase for the solid five minutes you own it.”

Jackson squinted at him and very deliberately cocked his head to the side. “Do you not know how the collars work? Are you sure you should be purchasing a wolf if you don’t even know how to control one?”

“You really think a simple shock will control one of those four?”

Jackson blinked at the man. He was completely thrown off by how this conversation was going. “Do… Uh, I hate to use this phrase, but do you not know who I am? I mean you said my name when you approached so I assumed you knew who you were talking to. Jackson Carmillan. Of Carmillan Collars. I think I have a better understanding of how the collars work than you do.”

The man sneered, “Of course I know who you are. Steve’s bratty son.”

“Great, then you’ll know that when I say I’ve decided on which wolf I’m buying, that means that I will be going home with my choice. You can either back off and go home or you can bid me up as much as you want, but it won’t change the outcome. I am leaving with him.” He thrust a thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the wolf. “And you are not.”

The man stared at him with an ugly twist to his lips for several long moments then walked away without a word. Jackson waited until he was out of hearing range then snorted. “What an ass,” he said to the four behind him. There was no response. He realized then that one of the other three would probably go home with that man instead and fought the urge to apologize to them. If his dad heard about him apologizing to a wolf in public, then he’d never hear the end of it.

He checked his watch when he noticed several workers approaching the cage. The auction was about to begin.

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