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    Fantasyboy69
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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.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Drums of War - 1. Heading Out

Growing up in the foster system was what gave me the ability to say 'fuck it' and just deal with it. I mean, can you imagine how it would feel to think you have a home, at last, only to be returned to the orphanage because you had a 'quirky attitude' and 'never talks.' It's like the ultimate relationship dump.

"Hi, we're your new parents...NOT!" It fucking blew.

Okay, so I didn't make it easy. I was quiet, but when the first parent you remember told you to never talk, especially about your problems, you tend to learn the lesson. The backhands to the face usually set the behavior in stone. And yes, I was and still am quirky. Most guys liked sports, girls or guys, or some hobby like fishing or music. I like art and Lycanthropes. Did Jimmy down the street get called a freak because he played baseball? Nope. Did little Monica next door get yelled at because she liked fairy tales with improbably happy endings? Uh uh. Did my foster brother Tyce get sent away because he liked girls and jacking off while peeping in windows? Okay, yes, they gave him five years in prison, but come on. His dad could at least understand that little 'quirk.'

No one seemed to understand my obsession with anything werewolf. Team Jacob all the way. I knew they existed, the mailman in my third foster home was one I was sure of it. I dreamed of them, wrote fanfics and other stories of them, read everything I could about them. I drew them. My passion has always been bringing them out of my head and onto paper. Yet no one, it seemed, cared that I was a decent sketch artist because all they saw was werewolf this and werewolf that.

That is until I met my dad.

Having just had Lycans proven as real, four of them had eaten my foster family, I was thrust back into the system. I'd been with the Parkers for two years, the longest ever. Maybe they weren't the most loving, but they kept me. Until they got eaten. So, I'm being stalked, and this mondo huge Lycan – damn surfer lingo, it's more infectious than the plague – just swoops in and puts me in a tree and saves me from being dessert. He fights off the bad ones, and then a group of Lunais Lycans, the bipedal kind, not the quadruped Lupus kind, comes and captures the four that ate my family.

Dad, whose name is Jon Davenport, saved my life, kept me until the court date to find where I was to go, and then adopted me. He knew about my obsession with Lycans, seemed to love my art, and gave me more love than all my other fosters combined. Pat, my dad's mate/boyfriend-now-husband, was also a really cool guy. So, there I was in a family of Lycans, the total embodiment of my dreams.

Then some douche tried to sacrifice me because I was a born Solaris Lycan. Shocked my teenage ass to find out. My grandpa, Jon's own foster dad, turned out to be my bio-gramps and was also a Solaris. So all my strangeness, all the times I knew someone was a Lycan, was now explained. Takes one to know one. Because I was a Solaris going through puberty, my power could be stolen by cutting out my heart. Fun times there. Still have the scar, but I'm alive thanks to Dad, Pat, and Grandpa barging in and killing my sacrificers and thus saving my teenage ass once again.

So yeah, I was used to shit happening, but it all seemed to turn out okay in the end. Not this time. Dad had gotten a call from some of the hunters for our pack, one I was glad I did not get directly. I was in the room and it was bad enough just seeing his shoulders sag and smelling him fill with sorrow.

"I understand. I'll...I'll notify his next of kin." His voice was hollow sounding and a tone I had only heard once when he found out someone had died on a mission. When he hung up, Dad turned to me. "Dylan," not good if he's using my full first name, "call a meeting. I want all of our senior hunters here within the hour. No excuses."

"Yes, sir," I said, using the word I rarely ever used. I got out my phone while Dad placed a call. I was sending out a pack-wide text alert which would let everyone know that a meeting was being called and when.

"Tanya, it's Jon from Homestead. I'm...not doing well at all. I'm calling to let you know Gene has gone missing up in Canada, along with three of our trackers."

I dropped my phone. Gene? Missing? No, he was a crafty old wolf. I wiped at my eyes and hoped he was simply off the radar again. Not with three other trackers around, I chided myself for being childish. I walked out of the room, my dad sending me a worried glance.

Gene was like a surrogate uncle to me. He was kind, gentle, full of life and mischief, with a never-ending supply of stories to teach the next generations of Lycans. He was crafty, sly, deadly, and one wolf I would never want to tangle with because, as big and strong as I am, he could take me down in seconds.

As I was stumbling out of the camp's office, Quint and his mate Zeke came running over. "We'll get them back," Quint said. Zeke was on the phone with no need for me to ask who was on the other line. Quint and I had this synergy thing going. We could read each other's thoughts and emotions. The closer we were, the stronger it got. Since he had been only a hundred yards away, he knew the moment I felt my heart clench and came running.

"I know. When is Colton getting here?" I asked Zeke as he hung up.

"Twenty minutes," said Zeke, just as worried as Quint and I.

"Good. We'll need him." Colton, my surrogate brother, was the best tracker in the pack. If anyone could find Gene, it would be him.

People were flocking in, canceling plans for the day because their Alpha had called an emergency meeting of the senior pack members. I, as the Prime Enforcer, had to attend, but Quintin, Zeke, and Colton were not obligated. They came out of loyalty to me and to Gene.

Colton jogged over with a dorky sort of grace. One part jock and three parts gamer dweeb. Loved the guy. Blondish hair, some baby fat still in his cheeks he tried to cover with that scraggly beard, jock build. "He's alive," was what he said. I blinked. "Don't ask me how I know, I just do."

"And people say I'm creepy," I shot.

"You are, Creep," Quintin shot back.

My Uncle Dean and his mate Kao, the Betas of the Pack, came marching over looking serious, which only made it worse. It was an hour's drive for them to get here. Kao could do the Old Stone Face routine with ease, but Uncle Dean mostly has a smile on his face. If they were both looking grim, then the shit had hit the fan.

Dad, the Alpha of the Homestead Lycan Pack, stood with his posture straight, and I could smell his dark mood. "We have a situation." Not even a greeting. "Three of our trackers plus our allies from Salt Lake City Pack, Eerie Shores Pack, and East Coast Pack representatives have gone missing. They have not made their weekly reports." A general murmur that ran through the crowd. "I've placed a call to Councilman Andrews, and he will be bringing this to the attention of the Lycan Council."

Hearing that made me feel a bit better. Councilman Andrews, better known as my Papa Travis, was the former Alpha of the East Coast Pack, Beta for Homestead Pack, and now a member of the Council. He respected Gene greatly. He would get things done.

Dad went on. "I will be flying out to Washington DC to meet with the Council today. My Pop will be in charge. Dean and Kao will be heading to California to enlist the aid of Cali Sands and then to Oregon to see if the Rogue Valley Flock will send us a few hunters for aerial recon." Something told me Dean and Kao had some other reason to head to Cali Sands as Dad could just phone for help and Alpha Kirkland would give what aid she could. "Dylan?"

"Yes, sir?" I asked, bringing my brain back to the meeting.

"You will be taking your squad along Gene's trail. Be ready by tomorrow noon." His voice was neutral, but I knew he was worried. He always worried about me. He worried like I wasn't over seven feet tall and close to four hundred pounds of muscle...and love handles my fiancée loves to tweak.

I nodded. I looked at Zeke, Quint, and Colton. These were my squadmates. We had been training together for almost a year. I was the heavy hitter, Zeke the defender, Quint the stealth expert, and Colton for tracking and speed. It didn't hurt that we had trained under Gene, and we knew his mind well enough. I got three nods back. It was time to go get our family back.

 

* * *

 

I was getting my back frame packed with the essential gear for camping and tracking. I knew we could be gone close to two weeks if all goes well. If not, who knows. Heather, my fiancée, was helping with a slight worry scent. She knew Gene as well as I did, maybe even better, as she had grown up in the same pack as him.

"I worry," she said softly.

"I know. Honestly, so am I. I mean, it's Gene." She knew what I meant. Gene was a constant, a steady rock of dependability. He had lived through fifty years as a Hunter with the ECP, only retiring from the ranks to take up a liaison position between Lupus and Lunais. There was nothing he couldn't handle. Until now.

"Yeah. You need to watch your back. I know you'll have the guys with you, but I want my fiancé to come home so we can get married, say 'screw you' to customs older than time, and have little freakazoid babies."

I looked to see her grinning. Gods, how I loved this woman. She was right. Our kids would be freaks. No telling what type of kids a Solaris Lion and a Canis Lunais would have. Hell, even if we have a girl who grows to have my height, she would be a freakazoid. I shook my head and pulled her off her feet and into my arms. Being over a foot and a half taller, it was easy. "You know I love you, right?" She threw her arms around me and kissed me.

"Have since you were thirteen and I brought over Disney movies." Her voice was soft with the glow of the memories.

"Yeah," I sighed with the biggest grin on my face. That seemed so long ago. Our kiss deepened, but I had to set her down lest we break the one rule she had: No sex before marriage...dammit. "I have to get going." She nodded and I picked her back up for a kiss that I hoped would tide her over until I returned. By the moan she let out, I succeeded.

I trotted out to the bonfire pit to see the squad already assembled, plus one person I didn't expect to see. She was petite, lovely, and grinning at me as I came over. "Great, yet another person to block my view of the clouds."

I missed this feisty gal. "Phuong, glad to have you with us." She was Kao's older sister and the future Wind Master of the Rogue Valley Flock from Oregon. She also had some scary powers that I knew would help.

"Kao told me you needed aerial eyes since he and Dean were in California to check on Victoria." She had her own backpack, stocked much the same as ours, but it was a pale gray-blue.

"I hope this won't be an inconvenience for the Flock," I said diplomatically.

She rolled her eyes. "Hey, when my Little Bird tells me to get my feathers over here, I come flying. As it is, Father, in his wisdom, told me I should get the experience outside the skies of Oregon. He's not happy – like he ever is – but he knows that being allied with Homestead is a very good thing for the Flock. Not even considering my brother is your Beta."

"You remind me of Feathers when he's feeling sassy," Zeke said with a big grin. Kao outwardly tolerated that nickname, although he secretly loved it.

"Where do you think he learned it, Ru Paul's Drag Race?" she asked with a grin.

"You'll fit right in," Quintin said with a shake of his head. "I do need to ask about your personal honor. Will someone be coming along to make sure us boys don't get uppity?"

Even I was impressed he had thought about it. She shook her head. "When I heard I would be traveling with a mated couple, one soon to be married, and one cute-but-gay coyote, I told them to stay home. I am in no danger...but if you guys try anything, I will toss you into the air and watch you drop." And she could. Phuong Saechao was some sort of shaman and could control wind and weather magics. Tornados would be a big deterrent to anyone. "But I thank you for your consideration, Quintin Marshal. It shows the honor Homestead Pack is known for."

We were known for honor? Huh. Here I thought we were known for having multiple alphas, all three Lycan types, and one of the few openly gay leaders. Quintin read my thoughts and snickered. What? Like you didn't think it too, I thought to him. By the blank look on his face, he had. Aloud I said, "Anyone else in this little hunting party? Nope? Then let's get going." We jogged over to the van that would take us to the airport and over into Canada and our northernmost border. "Division of duties. Camp location, set up, and breakdown will be Colton and Quint." They nodded. "Zeke and Phuong will set up a perimeter each night. I will cook," which made Phuong raise a brow.

"He's actually a good cook," said Colton in my defense. Her smirk made us grin.

"Watch will be in pairs. Colt and Zeke, me and Quint, and whoever feels up to it with Phuong."

"Why not Quint and Zeke?" Phuong asked me.

"They'd be fucking all night and not get any watching done," I said simply, which made her cackle with glee because they nodded. "As it is, I might have to stop Colton from sitting in Zeke's lap."

"Polyamorous?" she asked Quint with a tilt of her head.

"Permission," he replied simply.

"Gotcha," she said with a nod. I didn't bring up the fact that Quint had permission to dally with me. I knew it was very unlikely to happen, I was a virgin and planned to stay that way until my wedding night. I was also straight as a laser beam, but even laser beams get curious. I felt my face heating up a bit as Quintin, the annoying shit that he can be, sent mental pictures of him and me naked in the lake last week. Just swimming, but he made the overtones sexual.

"You...are...evil," I growled, but I wasn't upset, just embarrassed. Damn, I needed to get this done with and get home to my fiancée so we can get married.

"I am?" asked Phuong, to which we all laughed. When I told her about the links we four shared, her face became sober. "I...envy that." And she would say no more on the subject.

Thanks to Timothy for all the work he puts in as my editor and my loving husband who leaves me alone so I can write...while making sure I do write and not play video games
Copyright © 2018 Fantasyboy69; All Rights Reserved.
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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.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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I know this is going to be serious, but I just want to read the banter the group is going to have.:gikkle:

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12 hours ago, Hellsheild said:

I know this is going to be serious, but I just want to read the banter the group is going to have.:gikkle:

C'Mon, if you've read any of my other works, the sass is real. Keeping mood too down for too long is not my style.

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Well, I know a rescue mission isn't funny; but with this group out to find the missing, it just might be.  Can't wait to see where you take this after this great start.

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3 hours ago, Fantasyboy69 said:

C'Mon, if you've read any of my other works, the sass is real. Keeping mood too down for too long is not my style.

All hail the sass. The sass sustains us :worship:

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I have questions about Dylan and Heather that I’ve been meaning to ask. They aren’t mates, right? They don’t feel that legendary pull. If that’s the case, either could meet their true mate before marriage, yes?

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3 minutes ago, Geemeedee said:

I have questions about Dylan and Heather that I’ve been meaning to ask. They aren’t mates, right? They don’t feel that legendary pull. If that’s the case, either could meet their true mate before marriage, yes?

They are not mates, but they are in love. If they met their mates, it would throw a huge wrench in the works, but I will say that Dyl and Heather will not, and as many authors have done before me, once they marry and consummate, they will imprint and be mated.

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I really think this group with Phuong covering the skies is an excellent team that will be successful.  Phuong adds just the sassiness and power to make them a fun super team.  I worry about Gene, since it would take a lot of intelligence and an army to take him out.  That is why I think Angus is behind this.  I am happy to see that others have never forgotten or forgiven him for all the shit he has done.  I wonder if this is a feint on his part to get the packs allied with Homestead Pack diverted elsewhere, while Angus strikes south to take over the territory in Utah and anywhere between his borders and Utah.  Good beginning and a great chapter to follow up the cliffhanger from Home to Roost.

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