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    astone2292
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Love in the Shadows - 23. Chapter 23: Alpha Arriving

The younger wolf cocked his head sideways in confusion. I? Alpha? How that be? I know I strong wolf. Human strong. Mate strong. That make me Alpha?

I'm not sure, bud. But just from hearing your voice, even I can tell you're pretty strong. Maybe it's because Mace turned me, thus making you? He is an Alpha, and it makes sense.

Yes. Sense. Make sense. I like you talk. Sound smart.

Well, thanks! I really like reading books, and I like to just sit and think.

Think. Read. Sound boring. Like run! And hunt!

Maybe we can try each other's favorite activities later. I think Mace is trying to get your attention, bud. Mason and his wolf mind stared down the young pup with his golden irises. "Have talk with human? That good. Good to bond with human."

Vincent nodded eagerly. "Yes. Human nice. Good talk with him. Mace nice human." Looking with his hazel eyes, Vincent got distracted and scanned the room and his bed. Noticing the tube in his arm, he let a thin growl out. "When can leave? Bed bad. Tube strange."

"Soon. Look healthy. I switch to human." Vincent smiled as Mason closed his eyes. After a moment, the Alpha opened his brown eyes. "Vinnie. My wolf is howling in delight. But let me check with Doc and see if you're fit to be discharged."

"We leave? Good! Place smells. Bad smell. Sour." Mason smiled and leaned in. He kissed his mate on the cheek and flashed his irises as he walked out the door. Hot! Hot affect...tion? Affection! Mate cares.

Yeah, he's a hottie! And he loves us beyond words. I could tell he wanted to kiss us on the lips, but he didn't want to startle you.

He kiss on lips. Next time! I kiss next. Vincent's head shot to the doorway as a new person walked in the door with a big paper bag. Who this? Big shifter! He carry food, but is big!

That's Caleb. Our Enforcer. He's the lion Mace was talking about.

Oh! Lion! Vincent cocked his head, but smiled at the large blond man. "You Enforcer! Good. Strong lion!"

Caleb furrowed his brow and gave Vincent the strangest of looks. "Little B? You good, man? You look pretty fidgety."

The wolf blinked several times as he stared at the lion. "You speak. Speak weird. Vincent good. Who little bee?"

Oh, yeah. That's my nickname. Only Caleb calls me that. He's referring to my last name, which is Bolton.

Bolton. Strong name sound. "Vincent? Are you…?" Caleb set the bag down and began examining the smaller man.

"Yes! I good! I Vincent wolf. You...Cay...leb? Nice to meet."

Caleb was taken aback by his friend. Holy shit! This is Vincent's wolf? Like...speaking? Only Alphas can do that kind of stuff! Is Vincent...well, his wolf...an Alpha? Composing himself, Caleb threw a smile on. "Yes, it is nice to meet with you as well. And that's my name. Just put the two words together."

"Cay-leb? Caleb! Yes, lion name." Vincent quickly smelt the wafting scent of food. "You bring food? Food for me?"

Holding a laugh to himself, Caleb opened the bag. Best to withhold my giggles. Don't know if I am to offend the wolf or not. Wish Mason would show back up. Got so many questions going through my mind. Pulling out a styrofoam take-out tray, Caleb placed it on the table next to the bed. "Here ya go! This burger is from your human's favorite restaurant."

The wolf's eyes widened as he figured out how to open the mysterious box and found the burger along with fries. Food good! Although the wolf was a little disappointed with a little detail. He lifted the top bun and saw the lettuce and tomato. Blegh! No like.

Oh, no! Not you, too! Greens are good for you! They taste great!

No. Taste like grass. Meat good!

C'mon! At least try it.

If say so. Vincent put the bun back on and took a heart bite of the burger. The wolf did not care much for the lettuce, but was pleased with the tomato and how it was juicy. Red thing good. Green thing crunch. No flavor.

That's what the lettuce is for. Just adds texture.

I live with. Good burger. Meat good. Gnawing on the burger, the wolf took off the lettuce and set it aside in the tray. Caleb let out a small laugh at the mannerism. "So, not a fan of the greens? Me either."

Vincent swallowed his bite and nodded at the man. "It okay. Human likes, but I do without." On closer inspection of the man he recognized as Enforcer, Vincent squinted his eyes. "You are Enforcer. Alpha mate said I Alpha. You no submit?"

Realization hit Caleb. Right! I never actually bared my neck to Vincent...ever! Caleb showed his neck, revealing his mating mark. "My apologies. Vincent and I have known each other since we were little kids, so it never crossed my mind."

Hey, bud. I know we just found out that you're an Alpha wolf, but I've never asked for the title and its recognition. Caleb is a good friend. If he doesn't want to, I won't ask for his submission.

Understand. Seem...out of place? "Caleb fine. Curious just. You mated. Mate strong?"

Snickering, Caleb nodded. 'Oh, she's something, alright. Tasha is a leopardess. Took a while before she allowed me to claim her. Her and Vincent are starting to become good friends. They really like to cook food together."

The mention of food brought Vincent's attention back to his burger. Taking another bite, he spoke with his mouth full. "Cook? Vincent make good food?"

"Hell yeah! I had his macaroni and cheese last week. It was something special."

Gnawing on his food, a pride swarmed inside the wolf. You cook me food?

Anytime! You're gonna have to deal with more veggies though. I usually hide them with meats and sauces for Mace since he shares your opinion on greens.

Good! I happy with that. Curious at the lion and how he was just standing, Vincent nodded toward the bag. "More food. You eat?"

"Oh, no. Thank you for the offer though. I've already eaten plenty. There are two more burgers with your name on them."

"More food! You good friend! Thank you!" Vincent grabbed another bite and swiftly finished off the burger. Caleb placed the remaining two burgers on the table and sat in the chair. As Vincent finished off the second burger, Mason came through the doorway, gave Caleb a shoulder pat, and sat on the edge of the bed.

"Good news! You can come home after you finish eating. Doc wants to do one more evaluation, then we are done.” Moving his hand across Vincent’s, Mason felt the need to touch his mate more. No...he needs rest.

Vincent smiled and watched the larger hand wander across his. Turning his fingers, he interlocked the hands together. Skin feel good!

Oh, yeah! Mace knows how to push all the right buttons. The young wolf shifted his attention to the mate. “I finished eating. Too much food. Need rest. Need mate.” Vincent closed his eyes. He felt that he should be able to do something, but the wolf needed to find the right thought process and emotional attachment. In his mind, he felt a small warmth, and as he grew more confidant, the warm sensation moved to his eyes.

Mason bobbed his head slowly and in different directions, trying to see what his mate could be thinking about. “Vin? Are you okay, my mate? You seem to be...think...ing…”

His thoughts were wiped away when Vincent opened his eyes. My Gods...he’s...he’s growing so quickly! To have this much control over certain Alpha abilities...is unheard of at this point! Mason swallowed and gazed deep into Vincent’s eyes. His glowing frost-blue eyes. The smaller wolf’s irises burned bright in a pale blue, nearly white color. “V...Vincent! Your eyes! They’re...beautiful.”

Vincent’s wolf, proud of his findings, flashed his irises brighter with an immense pride. “Feel strong!”

“I’ll say! You’re showing your Alpha eyes, Vinnie. They’re fierce, but stunning at the same time.”

“Eyes. Alpha eyes! Color? What color?”

“They’re blue. Very pale blue.” Mason pulled out his phone and brought up the camera lens on the front. Handing the phone to Vincent, the smaller wolf held it and saw his face. He watched as his mate lightly touched his face as he saw himself for the first time.

“Long hair. Like lion. Like Caleb. It good. Eyes are strong.” Vincent handed the phone back to Mason and began examining the larger Alpha’s body. “We go home soon? Your home? I have home?”

“We live together. We have only known each other for a couple weeks, but circumstances led to you moving in with me sooner than anticipated.”

Cir..cumstance? Bad thing happen?

It’s a long story. I’ll be happy to tell you when we are alone and not in a public building. You will probably be very angry if I or Mace tell you.

Understand. But you tell. Later though.

I will, bud!

As Vincent finished his internal conversation, Doc Shaney knocked and came in the room. He quickly saw Mason and Caleb, thus swiftly baring his neck. But then he noticed Vincent sitting up, but with glowing icy eyes. My word...he’s an Alpha, too? He bared his neck to the new Alpha and smiled. “Vincent! I see some things are changing for you. Feeling better?”

The doctor watched as the human turned his head at a forty-five degree angle as the frosty eyes stared him down. “You doctor? You help me? Thank you. Appreciate. Very appreciate!”

Doc looked to Caleb and Mason for some assistance or answers. “Care to explain why my patient doesn’t recognize me? Because he was fine an hour ago.”

Mason grinned and chuckled. “Doc, meet Vincent’s wolf. Vincent, this is Doc Shaney.” Popping his eyes as he heard that the being on the bed was a wolf's conscious fronting in Vincent’s body. Well, that makes things interesting. So Vincent’s wolf is indeed an Alpha.

Turning back to Vincent, Doc smiled. “It is a pleasure to meet this side of you, Vincent. And I was just doing my job and duty to the pack. I’m here to do a final evaluation and see about getting you discharged.” The wolf nodded and Doc approached with trepidation. Other than Mason for regular check-ups, the doctor never had another Alpha patient.

When asked, Vincent moved his arms and legs, took deep breaths, and coughed. After a minute, the wolf felt the need to make the Doc feel at ease. “Doctor. Human say you friend. Breathe. I no harm. I just...new to all. I make friends with you.” Vincent grasped Doc’s right hand with his and clasped it firmly. “You make Vincent feel better. In debt to you.”

Taking a sigh of relief, Doc accepted the handshake. “Thank you, Vincent. And once again, just doing my duty.”

“You strong pack member. Do duty. Need more like you.”

Mason rose from his seat and stretched. “Just think, Vincent. Almost all of our pack is this dedicated. Like I said, we’re tightly knit. Everyone does their share of work.”

Vincent nodded. Everyone...helps. This...this is strong pack.

Yep. I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting a few of them. Morrine, the tigress, she made those sandwiches. Old Man Richards is the town mechanic. He thawed out Mace’s truck when we were in an accident and I covered it in ice to cushion the blow. And we have a couple friends coming by the end of the year to join. Mace’s mom is teaching us how to master our frost affinity. I can only think that Mace’s Dad would want to teach your wolf some tricks on catching your prey faster.

They...they do this? For me?

Of course! You’re a part of me. That means that my family is yours, too.

Family. Pack is family.

That’s right, bud. Everyone here has been nothing but kind to me. And there’s no doubt in my...well...our minds, that they would treat you any different.

You are kind. Very kind. “Vinnie?” The young wolf looked up to his mate and grinned. “Ready to go? Doc just got the discharge papers, and here’s a set of clothes. And before you think about it, and as much as I’d love it, no running around naked in public.”

Vincent let out a deep singular laugh. “You no fun. You no like me naked?”

“Oh...I love seeing you naked. I just don’t need the pack thinking you’ve lost your marbles.” Mason leaned down and kissed Vincent on the lips. When the kiss broke, Vincent licked his lips, gathering as much of Mason as the wolf could. “You taste good. I like.”

A low growl left Mason’s chest. “Let’s get these clothes on. Then we can take this to the bedroom.” Vincent’s eyes shined bright and quickly took his gown off. Clothes were flung on the smaller man at a vicious pace. When fully clothed, Mason let his golden irises through and picked up his man, carrying him out of the building. Reaching the truck, Mason set Vincent down and opened the passenger door for his mate to crawl in.

Oh man, I hate how tall this truck is!

Big thing! I like. Too tall for you?

Yeah! I practically have to take a running start at it.

Ha! Funny. Watch. Learn. The wolf took a step forward to size his mount. He placed a hand on the inner door armrest and pounced, landing his left foot on the floorboard. Grinning, Vincent slid himself into the seat. Mason’s mouth dropped. “Okay. You really need to teach Vinnie how to do that.”

“Did. He saw. He not happy.” Vincent shared a wicked grin with his fellow Alpha and laughed together as Mason walked around to the driver’s side. Starting the truck, Mason pulled out of the clinic’s parking lot and headed for home. Time to show my mate who the Alpha is. On the ride, Vincent began rubbing his chest through his shirt. “Itch. Bad itch. Getting bigger.”

Looking over, Mason smiled and made an assumption. “Check your chest. Your chest hair is probably growing in. And fast.”

Pinching his shirt, Vincent looked down. “Yep. Thick too.” What?! I have chest hair now? I was okay with ditching the glasses, but this is just crazy! The tummy hair was manageable, but this?

Be still. We change. You become shifter. Thing happen.

I know. I was told a couple of times, but it’s still surprising to me.

It okay. I help with. We together. Both sets of minds smiled at each other and tried to ignore the intense sensation on their chest. Before long, Mason parked the truck in the driveway. As he was getting out, he flashed his golden eyes at Vincent, who responded with his own. The two swiftly entered the house, but as Mason closed the front door behind them, he was spun around and pinned with his back against it. Vincent pulled the larger man’s head down and struck with his mouth.

Mason’s eyes widened as Vincent’s tongue darted inside his mouth and took control. Well...this is a new development! Both wolves growled as they discovered their partner. Mason knew Vincent’s body from head to toe, but the new animalistic actions made him a whole new person. Vincent’s wolf wanted to mate. Pure and simple. “Taste...good! Take me. Take me, Alpha.”

The golden eyes latched on to the blue ones. “This is...actually unexpected, Vin. I was anticipating you to want to take me?”

A deep growl escaped the smaller wolf. “Time will come. I want taken. Now.”

Lifting the smaller man, Mason carried Vincent to the bedroom and dropped the mate onto the mattress. “Then I will take you. Like the wolves we are. Now...strip.” Using his Alpha Voice on the last word, Mason took off his clothes at the same quick pace that Vincent used to take his own.

Vincent examined his naked mate. “You are Alpha. Very...hot.” The younger wolf licked his lips as Mason closed his eyes. I have a treat for you, my friend.

Yes! My mate! I want my mate! Opening his eyes, Mason stared down his prize. “Kneel. I will take my mate. Make you howl.”

Realizing that his mate’s wolf had taken control, Vincent felt the need to please. “Yes, my mate.” He got onto his knees and braced himself with his hands on the mattress. “Take me, Alpha. I need!”

“Good. I will take. And take. ‘Til nothing is left.” Mason kept his eyes on Vincent’s body as he circled the bed, admiring the body that knelt before him. He Alpha? But give in willing?

He wants to bond with his mate. As do you. He wants to claim me in the future. You must prepare for that, my friend.

A growl came from within Mason’s consciousness. He is mate. He is Alpha. Makes sense. Do not like, but it is mate.

Relax. I’m sure it will be better than anticipated. It is Vinnie after all.

Yes. You are right. But now, I want my mate.

Then go get him! The golden irises shined bright as Mason stepped on the bed with his knees, narrowing his vision on his mate’s backside. Positioning himself behind Vincent, the wolf inside Mason’s mind was rampant with theorized movements. Need prepare him. Mason placed his manhood on the eventual target, letting his mate know that he was in control. Taking a pace backwards, the Alpha stooped low and swiped his tongue across Vincent’s entrance.

“Yes! Yes, Alpha!” Vincent changed his position to kneeling on his elbows, allowing better access for Mason. A vibration erupted from his backside as Mason growled directly inside of him. Moaning loudly, Vincent demanded more.

Enough! Time for me to claim. Claim my mate! As my own! Mason leaned back straight and found the lubricant bottle once more. Human form need more natural way. Silly to use liquid.

Well, it’s just one of the few things to deal with, my friend. Applying a generous amount to himself, he slowly slid inside his mate. He watched as Vincent gripped the sheets tight and gave a faint howl. In one fell and paced push, Mason took his mate. Pistoning slowly to get Vincent’s body acclimated, the Alpha increased the speed.

There was no lovemaking. It was pure natural instinct. Both wolves needed each other at that moment. Mason began plowing into Vincent at full force, certain that their skins’ collision would cause bruising later. The minds in Vincent’s head were in agreement with each other. Yes! Mate good! Mate strong!

Oh, damn! I need Mace to do this more often! I can feel my invisible toes curling! A tight grip on Vincent’s left cheek brought the wolf back down to Earth as he took his mate’s loving. Mason puffed out words as he closed in on his climax. “Can’t...hold on! Must give...my seed!”

Breathing heavily, Vincent grunted out his begged words. “Give it! I want my mate!” A deep desire created a pit in the young wolf’s voice. He tapped into it as Vincent let out an even deeper voice. “Mate me, Alpha!”

Mason’s golden irises quivered in light as he heard Vincent’s Alpha Voice and reached his climax. He pressed himself as tight against Vincent as possible and let his ragged breathing begin. Wiping his hand through the short brown hair, he slapped his sweaty hand on Vincent’s ass. “Good…” With Mason’s ragged breathing, his speech slurred in comfort. “So good...my mate.” Leaning forward, the Alpha lifted his smaller mate to kneel straight flush with his body. “We aren’t done.” As Mason twitched his manhood inside Vincent, he started pumping once more.

“Gods! Alpha!” The two continued to explore the other in every way they could. Multiple positions. Multiple climaxes. After their second orgasm, Mason began again without hesitation.

Our mate...relentless!

Oh, Gods, yes he is. Hey...bud. I know it’s important to you, but could I take the reins? I’d love to be in on this.

Course! Let switch. Any time. Closing his eyes, the wolf relinquished control to his human. When his eyes opened, Vincent felt the toll that was laid onto his body. Oh, but it feels so good! He let out a soft moan as Mason continued to have his way.

Wait! That not wolf! That human! Mason looked down to the knelt man. “Vincent.”

“Oh, Gods. Yes, Alpha!” A new wave of adrenaline kicked in the Alpha as he realized he was now hotdogging his human mate. Human mate can take me? Take this rough?

Beats me! This is a new one. But if he’s moaning, it sounds like he wants it. “Oh, Mace! Fuck me!” And there’s the answer. He likes it on his back, if you want to-

Yes! I want look him in eye. As I take mate. Mason quickly unsheathed his manhood and flipped over the smaller man as he let out a yelp. Reinstating himself inside, Mason continued with his rough lovemaking. “Tell me, pup. Tell me how you want Alpha!”

Vincent reached up and ran his hands through the thick chest hair. “I want you, Alpha Wilson! I need every pump! Every inch of you!” The soft and shrill-sounding words hit Mason’s ears and let his eyes roll into the back of his skull. His final climax landed as Vincent hit his own. Slipping out of his mate, Mason fell backwards and laid himself flat on the mattress. Mate...Mate is vocal. I see why you like. It really good.

Oh...yeah! He really likes to beg. And...Gods, it turns me on! Let me back in front, would ya, my friend?

Yes. One minute, though. I want to talk. Mason propped himself up on his elbow and looked at his mate. Drained. Just laying. Must be exhausted. “Vincent.”

Through his steady breathing, Vincent powered through his feeling of soreness and ecstasy. “You...Your Mace’s...wolf, right? Tell Mason I said to let you out...more often. That...was something...else…”

A guttural laugh echoed throughout the room as Mason’s wolf took the compliment. “Can do that. You...are only human...that taken me as wolf. You are...my mate. You wolf is my mate.”

Giggling, VIncent raised his head to get a partial view of his man. “Anytime you want it, big guy. Just say the word. Well...I might need a day or two after this.”

Smirking and squinting his gold eyes, Mason nodded. “Maybe. Shifter virus...working strong now. I smell it. You be fine in hour.” The wolf laid back down and stared at the ceiling. “Need...food.”

“I can cook. I...just need a shower! And maybe a cork to shove up my ass. You did some damage back there.”

A deep, but light laugh came from the other side of the bed. “You welcome.”

***

After a long shower, Vincent and Mason kept their human minds at the forefront for the rest of the evening. As Vincent walked gingerly into the kitchen, he looked into the pantry and suddenly became indecisive. “Hey, big guy! What sounds good?”

Mason was putting on a loose white t-shirt in the bedroom when he heard the question being shouted. He opened his mouth to yell a response, but then had a small idea. Mason lowered his voice and whispered. “I could go for a meatloaf since we have all that ground beef.”

Vincent stood straight. Did...I just hear his whisper...like it was a normal tone of voice?

Hearing get strong. More change.

Interesting. So I can have a conversation with a shifter from a distance using whispers? That can be useful. Smiling, the mage whispered back. “Or I can use it to make a mean baked spaghetti. Plenty of sauce and cheese?” Mason popped his head around the corner with a grin.

“So, you have a shifter’s hearing now? You really are turning into a shifter pretty quickly. How’s the chest?”

Rubbing on the shirt above his new hairy rash, Vincent let a side of his mouth droop. “It still itches from time to time, but I think it’s almost done growing. There are...like...two hairs growing on the outside of my nipple.”

Mason blew air through his closed lips and started laughing. “Oh, does that bother you, my little mate? You know razors still work on shifters, right?” As a response, Vincent widened his eyes in realization, causing another laugh to come out of the Alpha. “You know you are perfect in every way to me? Regardless of how much body hair you grow, or whatever may change about you during this transition, I will still love you for who you are.” He wrapped his arms around Vincent and kissed his neck on the mating mark.

“I know. And I love you, too, Mace. I really do. Now! Spaghetti? Meatloaf? Or do you want to go grab some dinner somewhere?”

Yeah, it feels like a lazy day. Going out would be nice. “We can do that. How about we celebrate your wolf being born today? Biacci’s?”

All Vincent needed to hear was his favorite restaurant’s name and he shut the pantry door in a flash. “Let’s get dressed! Go, go, go!” The smaller man zipped by Mason and the wolf could hear the dresser drawers open before he could turn around. Jeez...now I know how to get him moving. The Alpha walked in and saw his mate with a pouty face. “What’s up, pup?”

Vincent fastened the last button on his dress shirt and stepped back to look in the mirror. “I...I lost weight. My shirt is now baggy. I mean...it’s tight on the chest, but baggy around the waist.”

Mason walked over to stand behind his mate, and began unbuttoning Vincent’s shirt. “You didn’t look in the mirror before you put the shirt on. Hope you’re ready for more changes, Vinnie. ‘Cause this is a big one.”

“I don’t know, Mace. Losing my glasses was a big...enough…” When the last button popped, Mason drew back the shirt sides. The mage couldn’t help but stare at his own body. In disbelief, he brought a hand up and touched his apparent abdominal muscles. All six of them. I’m...fuckin’ ripped now? Well...this is a change I could get used to! I get shredded by having hot sex with my Alpha wolf boyfriend? He led his hand up to his chest, now spread with brown curly hairs that led down to his belly button.

The bigger wolf nuzzled his mate’s neck as he wrapped his large hands around his mate. “Not going to lie, Vinnie. You are changing faster than any turned human I’ve seen. I’m not going to say it’s healthy, but I can’t say it’s unhealthy either. But I’m here for you, for every step of the way.”

“Thanks, Mace. I’m actually pretty happy with all of these changes so far. I mean, the hair growing was one thing, but I’m gonna adjust. There’s no need for glasses anymore, and I can hear the slightest thing. Like, I hear the water dripping in the kitchen sink…”

“Yeah, with the hearing, you just have to learn to process the sounds fast and determine if the sounds are worth paying attention to. It also helps when you need to eavesdrop on a conversation.” Vincent looked up to his mate in concern.

“You mean all those times I was whispering to you, everyone could hear me anyway?” Mason nodded. “Well, you could have told me, big guy. I would have just passed a note like a schoolkid.”

The wolf turned the mage around and landed a kiss. “Let’s get dressed, pup. I’ve had a hankering for that carbonara.”

***

Tierney rolled his eyes as he hung up his office phone. Damned mayor! I keep telling him that we are shifters. Shifters! If he wasn’t such a public figure, I’d kick his ass for calling us werewolves. Looking at his computer’s clock, he realized he had a four o’clock meeting in a few minutes. He clicked on his desktop planner to see the details, but it didn’t have any. Not even a name of who I’m meeting with...might be pack related. The Alpha opened his phone to check for messages, and was delighted to see one from Mason.

‘Sept 2, need you dirk and kap here. Vincent’s turning.’ He slapped his hand onto his desk in excitement. “Hot damn! Looks like another trip.” The Alpha typed back a reply with a fat grin on his face. ‘Consider us there. Congratulations on your bonding!’ Typing into his computer, he messaged his council and informed them of the travel plans, and booked three airline tickets to the Kentucky airport.

Tierney got up and walked to his mini bar to pour a small glass of scotch. As he poured, a knock came from the door. Tierney sniffed and smelled a powerful shifter on the other side. Alpha shifter...my replacement. “Come in.” When the door opened, Tierney laid eyes on a tall and built man with rich chocolate skin and the crispest suit the wolf had seen in months. Dressed to impress! I can tell by his smile that he is a jolly man. “Pardon me, but I’m assuming you are my four o’clock?”

The man pursed his lips, causing the symmetrical dimples on both cheeks to show, and nodded. “Yes, sir.” He outstretched his arm. “Alpha Scott. I am Cyrus Vonder. The Executive Council booked an appointment with your office assistant. It is a pleasure to meet you.”

Meeting the man’s grip, Tierney could tell from the hand’s hold that the shifter was strong. His voice is higher in pitch than I would imagine, but it sounds so velvety. I think this shifter could smooth talk just about anyone he wanted. “Alpha Vonder. Would you care for a drink? I just poured myself some scotch.”

Cyrus nodded to the gesture. “That would be...delightful. And please, it is Cyrus. If I may ask, what is the scotch of choice?”

“I’m quite fond of the ten year Talisker. We may not be able to feel the alcohol’s effect, but I sure like the burn of it.” Pouring a second glass, Tierney handed the slightly taller man the drink. “So, the EC sent you here for...an interview?”

Sipping from the burning liquor, Cyrus exhaled from the aftertaste. “This is fine scotch, sir. I may have to add it to my collection. But to answer your question...both yes and no suffice. The EC wants your input, but they have, for the most part, made their decision. They are waiting on one more vote to place me as Alpha. I wanted to personally meet with you and get a sense of how the office is run.”

“I see. Now...forgive me. I smell that you are a bear...but I can’t place my finger on the breed. It’s unlike any I have ever smelt.”

Taking another swig from the scotch, the bear smiled and childishly giggled. “Pardon me. I tend to find the good in a lot of things, and with that, comes humor. May we sit? I traveled a far distance and my feet are asking for a reprieve.” Tierney smiled and waved his arm to the chairs nearby. Both men sat and Cyrus placed his glass down momentarily. “I am a bear, yes. And you may not know my scent, as my breed is quite rare. I am a panda ursus.”

The wolf was taken aback. “Panda. That is quite rare, indeed. What are you doing in this neck of the woods?”

“I was contacted by the Lycan Council. I was enjoying a rather long vacation when I got their request. They looked at my success record for managing packs and tribes, so they wanted to give me something to sink my teeth into.”

Tierney nodded and kicked his leg up onto his other knee. “I’m afraid that the EC hasn’t sent your file just yet. Give me the highlights, if you could.”

“Yes. I have been referred to as a fixer. Several packs, from New Moon New Mexico to even some overseas in Japan and India, have had my presence requested. I come in, evaluate their current procedures and pack standards. With my guidance and advice, I help their current Alpha, or the acting Beta-in-command put their pack back on the map. It’s mostly just simple fixes, like finances or morale. But every...three or four years, I get a big project. One that dictates a complete overhaul. From my research about you and your council, I believe you are familiar with the Oglala Lakota County Pack in South Dakota?”

A deep hatred permeated from the wolf as he struggled to keep his glass from shattering in his hand. That...shithole. “I’m familiar. My Beta, Kaplan Alvey came from there. Had to beat some sense into their Alpha for exiling him for some ridiculous and dated reasoning.”

Cyrus kept a meek and sly smile as he took another sip from his scotch. “Oh, I heard. I was sent in after your...snafu with their Alpha. And I was the one who recommended his departure to the Executive Council. The man couldn’t control his anger, plain and simple. He held a vindictive fist of power over his lands that created a hostile living environment.” Sipping once more, Cyrus smacked his lips. “You weren’t the only one who had to beat some sense into him.”

The hatred melted into pure laughter as his accompaniment gave the new detail. “I thought pandas weren’t one for violence?”

“I am not, but I am not afraid to hold my own. Especially when a practically useless Alpha holds on to the outdated tradition that a man needs to act manly. I giggled, he yelled, and suddenly, I had the urge to zap him until he was unconscious.” A light and high pitched chuckle left the large bear as he finished off his drink.

Tierney got up and grabbed the bottle to top off their glasses. “Zap? So you are a lightning mage. It has been a while since I have seen a mage of your kind. I have been practically surrounded by mages these past few weeks.”

The panda tilted his head upwards at the mention of mages. “Pardon my interest, but what do you mean by that?”

“Well, I plan to retire to a smaller county pack in Kentucky. Some friends live there, and their woods are addictive. My old commanding officer has a son who is Alpha there, and he just found his destined mate. A human mage.” Leaning in close to Cyrus, Tierney whispered. “Of three affinities.”

A sparkle lit up in Cyrus’ eyes and he let his jaw drop with a grin. “That is unheard of!”

“Yes, and you will most likely get to meet him soon. I won’t dive deep into his story, but he will be coming here in a few weeks. When I first met with the Alpha couple, my wolf had such a desire. The young mage and I will be having a duel when they come visit. I would like for you to join as well. I’m sure you would be delighted.”

Smacking his lips after taking another drink of liquor, Cyrus looked intrigued. “Seeing how I just signed my lease for my condo here, I believe I will be more than delighted! I am very curious about this mage, and would love to see the New York State Pack Alpha in action! Count me in.

“So...may we chat more on the dynamics of this pack? I would like to get to work right away.”

Copyright © 2020 astone2292; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments



4 hours ago, Dthorn said:

Just a question of curiosity ... the wolf shifters don't lock together when mating?

Not in this world, but that's an interesting note for all sorts of shifter stories I've read.

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I am going to be a happy person when all the mages take down Stefan! I like Cyrus! He sounds like he will be perfect for Ty's Alpha replacement!

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I love Vinnie's newly minted wolf.  All the wolf talk brought many chuckles during this chapter. I also like this new panda, Cyrus.

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2 hours ago, drpaladin said:

I love Vinnie's newly minted wolf.  All the wolf talk brought many chuckles during this chapter. I also like this new panda, Cyrus.

It has been sprinkled across a lot of my comments from here on out, but I love writing for Cyrus!!!

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