I found it very surprising how calm Keelan became now he had shifted the first time during the confrontation with Vincent.
When his mother heard about him shifting she demanded to see what he looked like, only to freak out when he finally did. I mean, no one could really blame her for freaking out when her son turned into a seven and a half feet tall tan lioness.
Yes, indeed, Keelan shifted into a lioness. No one could really explain why or how when questioned.
My new job as manager was refreshing; I am in weekly contact with the human council. In the beginning it was quite difficult to establish anything, we spend a lot of times arguing and shouting.
They made a lot of fuss when Riles and I wanted to visit the wounded officers, just to see if they were alright. The female officer was still in the hospital; her wounds were more severe than the male officer ones.
He was the one who came to greet us at the hospital and led us to her room. Once there we felt a little uncomfortable with all her family and friends there who were glaring at us.
What surprised me the most was the fact that Keelan was there, Alice (her name) laughingly told us that Keelan has been visiting her every day and apologise for hurting her. She already told him repeatedly that she forgave him, it wasn’t really his fault, he wasn’t himself at all.
I was surprised to see (who I assume is) her husband (as he wears the same ring as her) holding a little boy in his arms, giggling as he whispered some nonsense in his ear.
The little boy blushes as he saw me and Riles, hiding his face in his father’s neck. “Go on now Carlos, ask the nice man what you asked me.”
He nudged him towards us. He looked shyly away from her before whispering softly “Change?”
Riles chuckled lightly [I’ll shift] I nodded rolling my eyes
[Show off, you know what the doctor said right?]
Riles just rolled his eyes. [Yes dear].
[Good. And it’s a good thing we brought the extra clothes huh?]
Riles shook his head, which the boy thought meant none of us, were going to shift and looked disappointed.
His head snapped up as Riles spoke softly to him “It’s okay I will shift so you can see but I need a little space.”
The boys eyes widened in wonder “Really?”
Riles nodded his head “Really, just cover your ears first okay? The sound is not very nice.”
The boy quickly slapped his little chubby hands over his ears. Riles looked around the room “Right the sound might be a little nauseating.” He said as he stripped of his shirt and dropped his pants before kicking of his shoes and socks.
“You sure you’re not giving a striptease?” What I presume was her cousin asked, and by the angry look by the rest he wasn’t very liked in the family.
Riles rolled his eyes “Whatever” and proceeded to shift. Within a matter of seconds a sleek black panther stood in Riles place, he yawned a little before stretching and shaking his fur. Most of the occupants looked a little green, the sounds of bones breaking and reforming is never pleasant.
“Kitty!” Carlos cheered reacting out his hands towards Riles. Nimbly Riles jumped up the hospital bed, putting himself within hand reach of Carlos who let out a sound of delight.
Carlos’ father looked a little fearful in the beginning but seeing as Riles didn’t move, growl or bite Carlos no matter what he did, he relaxed a little.
“So that’s how easy it goes huh?” Keelan asked from beside me, since shifting he had a habit of walking as silently as a cat.
“Yeah, with a lot of practice. Mine isn’t that swift or easy.”
“What do you mean? Haven’t you shifted a lot?” Keelan looked confused.
“No I haven’t, I shifted for the first time when I met the King. And since I met Riles, I have been shifting at least once or twice a week. To get the hang of it, it is true what they say though, every time you do shift it will become easier.”
“Just like we say practice makes perfect?” Alice asked, still marvelling at how soft Riles’ fur is.
“Yeah something like that.” I had to fight to keep the angry growl locked in my throat as she continued to caress my Riles.
Keelan chuckled, [Very jealous are we?].
I glared at him as I crossed my arms [How would you feel if someone other than yourself petting your mate?]
He looked a little dumb fumbled at the mention of mates.
[It’s okay hun, she has nothing on you.] Riles gently extracted himself from Carlos and Alice’s petting before slowly getting off the bed. As he rose back on two feet he shifted back, wobbled dangerously once again before grabbing the bed rail for support.
“Are you okay Riley?” Alice looked a little worried as Riles clenched his teeth against the nausea.
“Yeah I am, it’s just that my head swims since I had the concussion and get up too quickly.”
I handed him his underwear and Pack sweats. We left soon after that, we had to report to the King about our latest meeting with the human council.
“So when are you going to tell the team that you’re no longer a member?” I questioned Keelan later that week, he still had to tell the team that he shifted.
He worriedly bit his lip “If I do they would demand and demonstration, and I don’t think I can do that here with all the sounds and smells.”
Not that he could hide the fact that he had shifted, he had gained a few more pounds in solid muscle. I understand his worry, the first time he shifted at the Pack house he went nuts, ran around like a lunatic, roaring like mad.
“Well if you want to I could be there, you know, as a familiar scent.”
He looked at me wide eyed, “You’d do that for me?”
I shrugged “Well, you’re Pack now and we help each other out.”
Keelan nodded his head in agreement “I will let you know when. Will you ask Riles and Dillan to come too? I would feel a lot saver with them around too.
Riles readily agreed to be there, I mean he was my ride there and back again anyway. And he was my mate, meaning he would do almost anything to please or help me in anyway.
It would be a little harder to convince Dillan to agree. “So are you going to tell me what’s on your mind?”
I must have been so deep in thought that I never brought my spoon full of rice to my mouth. “I am trying to come up with a fool proof plan for Dillan to agree with coming to watch Keelan shift.”
Riles chuckled “Why don’t you just ask him instead? I am pretty sure he would rather have you tell him the truth than lie to him. We can go over after dinner, he should be home. On doctors’ orders.”
That’s how Riles and I found ourselves on the outskirts of the Pack business centre (where the Pack house is and our house) after dinner.
“Does Dillan really live this far away from others?” I asked curious as to why he would rather be out here on his own.
“No not really, he moved to the centre after becoming the Pack executioner. His family lived out here, and the doctor ordered for him to have peace and quiet so the King ordered him to go out here and rest as the doctor said.”
We both ducked under a low hanging branch as we follow a well walked on path. “So you’re saying if the King didn’t order him he might not have rested like the doctor said?”
I knew Dillan was stubborn but surely he wasn’t this stubborn. Riles shrugged, silently saying it was probably so.
“If this is his family house, why does it look like the way it does? Aren’t there more of his family in that house?” I had a sinking feeling in my gut as I looked at the dilapidated two story building.
Riles just looked just as sad as I felt. He carefully walked up the rotten porch and knocked on the door. We heard some shuffling sounds of feet behind the flimsy door that separated us from the house.
A groggily looking Dillan opened the door; it looked like he hadn’t slept peacefully in days. “Hey Dillan, can we come in?” It was not as he had much choice as Riles shoulders his way in. Grunting slightly, Dillan took a few steps back, motioning for me to come in as well.
Looking around the poor state of the hall and the living room, I found Riles leaning against the wall near the bay window. Dillan flopped down on a run-down couch “So what can I do for you two today?”
I gingerly sat down on the edge of the only decent armchair in the room, wringing my hands together. “Well, we are here with a question for you.”
Dillan looked bored as I said so “Don’t go thinking that just because we went to get Keelan together that you can ask me any favours!” He defensively snapped.
I glared back at him. “The question came from Keelan, he wanted you present when he is going to shift in front of school.” Dillan jumped up in the couch, no longer slouching.
“What do you mean he’s going to shift in front of school?” Dillan looked angry, enraged even.
“I mean to say is he is going to quit the football team because he promised to stop once it was clear he could shift. Since his first shift was a few weeks ago, he doesn’t trust himself around people at school when he shifts. He said he would feel saver with you and Riles present.”
Dillan relaxed a little, must have hit a nerve with the whole school thing.
“Yeah….yeah I’ll be there just let me know when and where.” He waved his hand dismissively “You can go now you know.”
I bit my lip not too sure that he would be alright. “Are you sure we can’t do anything for you? I mean like bring you groceries and such?”
Dillan rolled his eyes as he got up and shuffled to the front door, opening it. “No, I don’t need anything. I don’t need your help!”
Keelan was nervously wringing his hands as he paced up and down the football field in front of me. “Relax Keelan, you’ll be fine. Riles and Dillan are here, nothing will happen to you. I promise.”
The coach and the team agreed to meet with Dillan about his ‘condition’ as they called it. “Well Hamilton” The pot-bellied coach said as he and the team walked on the field, stopping a good few feet away. “What’s this I hear about you turning into one of those freaks?”
Keelan flinched slightly, making us step forward protectively, but Dillan held out a hand to stop us. “I told you I would quit if could shift right? Well…. I can. I can shift, so I quit the team.”
The coach and several team mates laughed until they saw that Keelan was serious. “Well than show us.” The coach jeered. He looked back nervously at us before face his team again. His skin rippled, cloth tore, bones snapped and reformed, muscles shrinking and pulling taut. It wasn’t long before the seven feet tall, tan coloured lioness stood where Keelan stood.
Their mouths dropped as they took in Keelan’s new form. “The actual fuck?! You freaking monster!” One teammate shouted, making Keelan snarl in anger, shutting him up.
“It’s not smart to anger or annoy him right now. So for your own good wait for that kind of shit when he shifts back.” Dillan snapped. Keelan shifted back, hastily pulled on the extra clothes we brought in his gym bag.
“Well I guess this is it then.” I could hear the repressed anguish and pain in his voice. He had been friends with most of these guys for years, and now they look at him with disgust and hate.
The coach nodded, not knowing what to say, turned to the group of boys “Malone! You’re the new quarterback!” He bellowed before he walked off with the whole team behind him.
No body looked back to look at Keelan one more time. “Let’s go Keelan, let’s leave this place.” Keelan glared at me through tear-filled eyes before he ran off.