I was in my office with my son. Dylan was bigger than my desk and twice and heavy. A total nerd in his early twenties who stood over seven feet tall. How did he not knock lamps off every time he turned? I always marveled at how big men like him didn't take out walls with a gesture. Uncanny.
The phone rang. And I looked at it like it was a snake. That phone had bad news written all over it. That's all I ever got over the phone these days. That and random telemarketers who wanted to either sell me insurance or take a survey to see if I was happy with my current utilities company. Sighing, I answered.
"Jon Davenport," I said.
"Alpha, it's Russel Walker at HHQ." Hunter Headquarters. If HHQ was calling me, it was bad news. That or they were out of toilet paper and couldn't reach Heather to order more. Don't laugh, it's happened twice. "Gene hasn't checked in for almost two weeks, and he and his team are being reported as MIA."
I felt the life leave me. My body just decided it was done, it had had enough and was done. My heart thudded loudly in my ears, and I wanted to scream, but I had to keep level-headed. "I understand. I'll...I'll notify his next of kin." I know my voice wasn't very level, and my scent was shit even to my nose. I hung up, the receiver almost looking at me with pity. "Dylan, call a meeting. I want all of our senior hunters here within the hour. No excuses." He looked at me like he knew something was seriously wrong. He knew my mannerisms almost as well as Pat and knew I was not doing this for a potluck.
"Yes, sir," he said, calling me 'sir' for something like the tenth time in a decade. I watched him leave the room at a slow pace, pulling his phone out to send out the text to all the senior pack members. It would take Dean and Kao the longest to get here, and if they couldn't get here within the hour, they would be on Skype for it.
I called Gene's niece. "Tanya, it's Jon from Homestead."
"Hello, Alpha Jon, how are you today?" Tanya was Gene's next-of-kin, but she was an older woman herself. I couldn't just blurt it all out, but I had to.
"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 heard her gasp at the same time I heard Dyl's phone thump on the carpet in the hall. This was my least favorite part of being an Alpha. I watched my son leave down the hall and out the door. "We'll send another search team up. It could just be Gene being Gene and vanishing. He's good at that." I tried to keep it light, but I knew it wasn't Gene pulling a Gene.
"Jon, you never were a good liar," she said with the slightest trace of fondness.
"I know." With little else to be said, I hung up. This would not be a good meeting.
Part of my mind marveled at how often I was on the phone. For a person who didn't even like working or even being in my office, I was in there a lot recently. Usually it's go to the office, check any messages and address them, and then go bang my mate until after lunch. Now it seemed I was here all day and barely got a chance to eat lunch.
Another part shuddered at how much time I spent on the phone. Like now. Just hung up with Tanya and was already back on the phone and calling Travis. I swore to myself that after this crisis was over, I was ripping out all phone lines where anyone could reach me and run away for a month. I might even invite Pat.
"Jon, this can't be good if you're calling my work phone." I told him about everything that had been happening since he had taken his place among the Council. He knew most of it, but there was some stuff he didn't know or wasn't aware how bad things had gotten. He sighed heavily. "I see. This would be a good time to come here quickly, Jon. If you can present your case, along with the other facts from the smaller packs and SLCP, then you might be able to get the Council's support." "Might? Travis, spill. Is something going on that the Lycans should know?" I knew something was, because Travis seemed too eager to get me out there. He knew Gene far better than I did, knew his capabilities, and knew he could just pull a Houdini because he wanted to take a nap.
"I am not at liberty to discuss certain Council matters, especially not over an open phoneline." Travis seemed very annoyed with the other Council members. He knew he was going to have to clean house a bit, but he might have more than just a few dust bunnies to sweep up. This did not bode well for my chances of getting the green light from the Council.
"Then put me on the afternoon docket. The guys and I will be flying..." I stopped as Dean poked his head in my office. He'd gotten here fast. Then I saw worry etched in his face and knew he had come here for a different reason. With that look of fear and anguish, something happened to one of two people: Kao or Victoria. With Kao poking his head around the door jamb, that left Dean's lady love. "...in opposite directions. Dean and Kao are going out to California and Oregon to enlist some aid from our allies." At Dean's relieved sigh, I knew I had pegged the source of worry.
"Might not be a bad idea. Goldie and Wind Master Saechao would be good allies since they make up most of the west coast. You're on the schedule for 4 pm."
That didn't give us much time to gather our info after the meeting, but I had most of it in a folder in my cabinet. "Thanks, Travis. We'll see you soon." I hung up and stood, grabbing the folder and copying the electronic stuff to thumb drives. "You two stop worrying and go see her. Maybe talk to your contacts about alliances and shit."
"How did you know?" asked Kao.
I smiled as I looked up. "Dean's easy to read. Since you're here and alive, the only other person to worry about is Victoria. Just fill me in when you can. After you are done out west, fly to DC, and I'll fill you in there." I looked back down at my monitor, my mind turning to pack matters. I glanced back up after only a second. "Why are you still here?" I asked while suppressing a grin.
"Waiting for the meeting, Alpha," said Kao with his usual brand of respectful taunting. I would break the little shit of calling me Alpha. Probably not. He was more stubborn than me.
The meeting was short and to the point, and the pack members who could show were suitably annoyed and stood behind my decision to call the Council on its shit while sending the Little Dude and his boys after the missing Lycans. If there was anyone who could do this, it was the boys. I had tried to keep their diverse skills off the radar of the NALC, but I couldn't do it forever. The Council probably knew about them anyway.
That evening, as I was poring over yet another email from the smaller packs, a knock came on my door. The footfalls had been light and delicate which meant it was none of the men who would come into my office. Since we pretty much had only one woman who lived at camp, I said, "Unless it's important, Heather..."
"Wrong woman," came a much sassier voice than Heather's. I looked up to see a rather shocking sight. She was smallish, slight of build, and had a semi-serious look on her face. "Do you make it a habit to call women by the wrong name? Is that why you married Patrick?"
I stood and was shaking my head before I even got around my desk. "Probably. Welcome to Homestead, Phuong." Kao's older sister had just walked through my door. Looks like Kao had actually gotten some help from his very stoic father. Was I even annoyed she hadn't notified me of her coming into my territory? Only because I'm not super fond of the drop-in visit. I'd never raise a stink over her just dropping by.
"I feel welcome, Alpha," she said with a bow of her head. I had to remember that this petite woman was going to be the next Wind Master of her flock. "So, a little bird told me that an old wolf has gone missing. I'm here to help."
"You do realize you'll be traveling with four horny men? What would your father say?" I tried for scandalized and formal at the same time and it came out as campy.
"Nothing, since he knows three of them are gay and one would get castrated by his fiancée. If I didn't do it first. My honor shall remain unsullied, Jon." She grinned, but the look slid off her face. "Kao never asks for help, so this must be a big thing."
I told her everything I could based off emails, meetings, and even my own gut feelings. Her face was solemn, and I could tell she was not happy hearing the NALC was as corrupt and shitty as rumors said. I watched her face stay neutral while her scent barely flickered. She knew something. Something I didn't. I also knew it would be useless to ask what it was. "So you can see why I'm glad to have you. If nothing else, you can literally fly like the wind and get away to get word to us if anything should go wrong. If my info is correct, your unique abilities will prove useful." She raised a brow. "Like the Little Dude or Dean would keep quiet about your magic? You don't know gossipy men at all then."
Phuong just rolled her eyes. "I'm hoping I can help. I've only met your son. I believe I can work well enough with him, but I need to meet the others. Mystic mumbo-jumbo stuff," she said as if it would be reason enough.
It was. I didn't want to get into technical terms about esoteric lore. I got enough mondo strange stuff in my life with my son. Didn't need magic making my head hurt. "You'll meet them tomorrow. They adore your brother. The sass is real, so don't hold back. They may pick on you if you don't hold your own in a snark-off."
Her grin was perfect. "No worries, Jon. I get along well with sassy bitches." I grinned back.
"Good. Now, I'll get you some lodgings, you can relax." The phone rang. "Fucking technological piece of shit. I WILL END YOU!" My tone was less than civil as I yelled at the bane of my life. I picked it up and calmly said, "Jon Davenport's bad news hotline. You gripe and groan while I'm on the phone, how may I direct your call?" I banged the receiver on the desk a few times. I had seen it was Dean, so he would understand, but I probably would have done it with anyone at this point.
"First time I can say stop banging your phone and not Pat. Rough day, bro?" He was barely concealing his mirth...the asshole. Phuong was sitting politely, but she was laughing at me on the inside.
"And the Nostrodamus Award goes to the dumbass on the phone with me. How's Victoria?"
"Alive. She took down a Lycan with a silver letter opener and got her sexy ass landed in the hospital. Saved Goldie, so the Cali Sands hierarchy thinks she's totally bodacious. Especially Xander Travers, the Beta Designate. Might be a mating thing." And oh the tone in his voice was bitter sweet about that. He would never deny he still loved her, so this Travers guy better be something awesome.
"Anything you need from me, or you just calling with an update?"
"Just an update. I'll gripe later, but he's good people, bro. She could do far worse."
"Cool. Tell your travel-sized mate thanks for sending help." Phuong batted her lashes and fanned herself like she was swoon from the honor of helping.
"She's already there. HI PHUONG!" Dean screamed into the receiver...and I kind of broke it when I flinched. With a sigh, I pressed the speaker button. "What was that sound?" Dean asked.
"Me wishing it was your spine I was crushing. Super hearing, remember?"
"Hey, Dean," said Phuong with a grin. "Stop torturing your alpha, it's disrespectful. Or at least do it to his face so he has a chance to retaliate."
"He'd never hurt me. Right, bro?" There was so much fake sincerity I couldn't stay mad. Not that I had been, to begin with. Being startled when your nerves are frayed leads to loud noises making you jump.
"Spine crushed. Head split open. Chastity cage with urethral sounding attachment and remote controlled vibrating butt plug." I grinned as Phuong bit her finger to stop from laughing as Dean gasped in true horror.
"Super hearing. Yup, got it. I'll remember." Then, true to form, my bud rejoined with, "Although the butt plug might not be so bad."
I hung up. In the words of "white girls" everywhere: I just can't even. After typing out a quick email to Heather so she could replace my phone, I turned back to Phuong. "Anything you need as far as personal things? I notice you didn't bring much, if anything."
"I have my rucksack in the hall. A place to lay my head is all I need."
I nodded and placed yet another call, this time from my cell phone. "Mrs. Marshall, how are you this evening?"
"I am well, Jonathan. Quintin tells me things are a bit uneasy." Quintin Marshall was Dylan's second-in-command, a Lycan Lynx, and I had called his mother. His human mother.
"A bit, but this is more of a slight social call with a favor. Nothing truly pack related." She knew all about the pack, was under my personal protection, and was the only one I knew of who might help on such short notice.
"Of course, Jonathan. I...yes, dear, it's the wolfman," she said to her husband. Mr. Marshall was a holier-than-thou ass who was pretty anti-everything, but he didn't bitch too much about his son's Lycanthropy.
"I have a guest from Oregon. Phuong Saechao, Kao's sister. Can I impose upon you to house her for the night?" I made a negating gesture when Phuong was about to say she didn't want to impose.
"Of course, Jonathan. If she's anything like that young man Kao, then she will be a gem of a guest. Didn't want her dishonored by the boys?" Her tone was just the right amount of motherly joke. She knew and loved Quintin's mate Zeke, their pseudo-boyfriend Colton, and my son Dylan. She only freaked out if they came over fuzzy to romp in the stream on a full moon and didn't call in advance. I would too if I came upon a polar bear, lynx, and coyote wrestling with a human.
"I'm more worried for them," I said and both ladies laughed. "You're sure it's not a problem?"
"It'll be wonderful to have her. Shall I come get her? Yes, dear, we have a guest for the night. No, I didn't forget to tell you, it's last minute. Dear, it's that nice young man Kao Saechao's sister. Yes, the respectful Asian boy." By her tone of voice, her husband seemed to think this would be the least of all evils.
"I'll drop her off and pick her up, Mrs. Marshall. See you in a few minutes." She made a vague farewell as she was trying to reassure her husband that Phuong was not moving in, and she was just as respectful if not more. "At least you'll have a bed tonight."
Phuong shook her head and grinned. "Quint's mother sounds wonderful." She left her opinion of his dad out of it. I'm not sure I wanted to hear her honest opinion of him. Mine was less than charitable.
"She is." I stuck my head through the open window, looking over to where my house was. "Patrick, get our things ready, We leave in a few minutes." I knew he could hear me, just like I could hear him rumaging around in our drawers for any last minute things he felt we would need. We might be a few minutes later than scheduled, but we had a flight to catch.
Dropping off Phuong had been quick and painless. After a very quick introduction, my husband and I went to the airstrip and we on our way to Washington DC. Not a long flight, but both of us were reviewing what we would present to the Council tomorrow. It had to be solid or they would reject anything from the moment I stopped talking. I hate politicians.
* * *
DC hadn't changed since the last time I was here, but I'm still not sure if that was a good thing. It still stank of too many people in such a small area, and worse, it stank of the bullshit so common in government. It was a known evil in our lives, one we unfortunately couldn't get rid of easily. A nice car was waiting for us and our bags. I had a bit of a feeling of nostalgia. Hadn't I done this before? Gone from everything I knew into a situation where I knew very little and had to get up to speed or die trying? Twice, actually. Moving to Salem, Mass. and then again when I took the lands of Homestead.
At least there were no Ferals or stuffy business men who were secretly plotting to kill me. The person who was driving the car nodded, took our bags, and drove us without a word to the NALC building. It was a typical office building but it was in a fairly secluded area. The driver still said nothing as he let us out right in front of the building, handing us his card in case we needed a driver, and then brought our bags into the building to hand off to another person.
"Welcome to DC, Alpha Davenport, and welcome, Alpha-Mate Davenport. I'm Aaron Peters, and I'll be taking you to your room. Councilman Andrews has filled me in, and I will be in charge of your personal security while you are here without your Enforcer." Aaron Foster reminded me a lot of Gene. Maybe not the biggest person you've met, but there was something about him that said he was a person to not fuck with. I've been told I can seem like that at times, but this guy wore that feeling from the moment you looked at him.
"Interesting that we should need a bodyguard," I said as we headed up the stairs to another floor.
"You're going to be pissing people off, Alpha Davenport." There was no fear or anxiety in his voice, so I guessed he was used to people being pissed off.
"Aaron hasn't been entirely candid, Jon. He's the second-in-command of Council Security," Pat said with a bit of a smirk, "and one of Gene's trainees."
"Hence why I'm here," Aaron said. "That old wolf is missing? Bullshit." Aaron opened a room on the third floor, made a sweep with his eyes and nose, and told us we could come in. "I've heard enough about your son and his friends to know that I am not the best Gene has trained, and I'm glad the best squad he's trained is looking for him." No beating about the bush. He said what he thought and what he felt. I raised a brow. "I've known Gene since I was five years old. Saved my life from a Feral attack. Thirty years later, we're old war buddies and talk like men who have grown old together. He's bragged about your boys more than I have ever heard him talk about anyone. The worst part is, I think they'll be his swan song."
A good phrase, but a bitter thought. Dyl and the boys would be his greatest achievement, and they would be his last. "And if they are?"
"Then you'll have whatever support I can give and muster. Gene's trained hundreds of us, if not thousands, and I can think of at least a hundred I know would back you simply because Gene says you're worth knowing. I know a lot about you already." Aaron set the bags on the king size bed.
Loyalty. Family. Two words that Gene embodied. "My boys are not his swan song. All of them love that old wolf and will find him. I'm glad to have you around, Aaron, but drop the alpha bullshit. Call me Jon, and I'm guessing you've known Pat for a while." Both nodded.
"Then, Jon, I'll leave you and your mate to unpack and get situated. When did you want a wake up call?"
"We'll get ourselves up. Where will you be?" As head of our security while here, I needed to know where he would be.
"Through that door," he said, pointing to the adjoining suite. "You need me, hollar." He opened the door to his room and looked back with a grin. "And keep the fuckfest to a minimum. I need my beauty sleep." Yup...he knew too much about us. Then he shut the door.
When I looked over at Patrick, he was grinning. "Yes, he's always been like that." I grinned over at Patrick, who was shaking his head. "Jon, this is so not..." I shut him up as I scooped him into my arms, kissing him under his ear. His massive legs went around my waist even as he was stripping off my shirt. Let the fuckfest begin.
Patrick knew a few reasons I was suddenly attacking him. First, with all the stress from the meetings, calls, rogue attacks, and even with Dean needing to head west, I had just been too tired to make love to my husband. He knew it and didn't make a fuss when I couldn't come home for a quickie. Hell, one time I just lay there and he pretty much just sucked me off to relieve my stress and the pressure on my balls. Second was territorial. We were going to be in a room full of alphas and powerful people tomorrow. I didn't want anyone getting the idea in their head that Pat was available. He was mine, and any woman we brought into our bed was agreed upon by both. No other man would ever share my bed or my mate. Maybe Dean and Kao...maybe. Third was I had to be an ass. I was told to keep the sex to a minimum, and I didn't do well with orders, so naturally, I had to be a shit and sex up my mate.
I pulled off his top, losing a button as I pulled. The undershirt was sacrificed to my desires as I ripped it off Pat. He never cared if the most commonly purchased items were shirts and underwear. I knew he loved it when I couldn't control my libido and was too impatient to remove the clothes intact. It usually meant I would be topping and was in a mood to fuck him into the carpet. I love my masochistic mate, and he loved when I use just enough spit to get it in and nothing else. Sometimes not even that.
Patrick had my pants to my knees and my dick hard. Never did take much for him to get me that way. He was the only person who could smile and make me cum. He did that as a parlor trick one night with a lady friend of ours. We were all naked, not horny enough to get raging hard yet, and he turns on that smile of his, and I went from chubbed to cumming in about thirty seconds. I stayed hard, plowed him for using my sexual Kryptonite in front of someone else, and made him cum by shoving his nose just under my balls.
He loves scents, and mine was the strongest aphrodisiac he'd had, or so he claimed.
I tossed him on the bed, pulling off my pants, socks, and tie as I advanced. Pat was shucking his pants, but leaving the tie, and getting on his hands and knees. That wondrous ass, those fleshy globes of perfection, invited me in. A solid slap to his ass made him whimper, the handprint leaving a welt. I had to tease him a little, had to really get him in the mood. That way he would moan and howl when I pushed in. You know, just to annoy Aaron. Which was bullshit, because I loved when Patrick lost control. He had been so closed off when I met him. I loved seeing him free and liberated.
"Jon, eat me," Pat growled as he looked over my shoulder. His normally stunning blue eyes were glowing and tinged with lavender. I could only do as my mate ordered. I dove face first into his delicious hole, my tongue driving in as my hands gripped and spread his cheeks. His whimpers were loud enough for Aaron to hear clearly, and part of me was getting off on having an audience. I'd never been a true exhibitionist. I didn't care if anyone watched or heard, but it wasn't a huge fetish for me.
Right now, I wanted everyone in the building to know I was making my mate lose his mind. That was the turn on. I knew my tongue was making Patrick so horny that he may even throw me down and take my dick. He'd done it before. He was welcome to do it whenever he wanted. Hell, he'd done it right in the middle of a meeting with our fathers. Neither seemed to care or even really notice my pants had disappeared and my mate was trying out for the rodeo. Aside from the gasps from me when I filled him up, three times in fifteen minutes, the meeting went on. With the noises he was making, I'm sure they heard it in the next county.
I was feasting. I was insatiable when it came to orally pleasing Patrick. Kissing, licking, nibbling, biting, rimming, sucking...all of it, and I could never get enough. The only time I would stop was when my hunky husband would beg me to get past the foreplay and claim him again. And again. It was once of the reasons we were so compatible. He never stiffed me on the foreplay, but unless it was a slow and sensual moment, too much foreplay just got me off and then I would have to wait a few minutes to recharge. Probably why I tended to use a lot of it on my sexual partners. Make sure they get what they want before I have my way. A bit egocentric, but I loved that no one told me to stop until they were ready for penetration.
My tongue slipped lower to tease his heavy balls while I slipped my hand round to stroke his thick cock. This was probably my favorite place to taste. The Fleshy Fun Bridge, the Taint, the perineum if you're being technical. It drove Patrick crazy and got me harder. His personal scent was so strong there, so masculine, so intoxicating, that it was the place I was likely to lose control of myself. Having to restrain myself was a bit of a turn on. As much of a masochist as my mate was, I could really hurt him if I wasn't careful. He loved when I just bred him with little or no foreplay because he loved the painful bliss it brought.
"Jon...fuck...unf...gods fuck me already!" he ordered, which was what I usually waited for. Just before the point of him losing control.
I sat back, slapped his ass cheek once, making him moan and gasp and writhe. That was when I heard the chuckle. I turned to see Aaron had come in silently, with a bag of popcorn no less, and was watching us with his feet propped up on the coffee table in the sitting area. There was a slight tent in his pants, but the sheer mischief in his eyes almost made me laugh. "Don't stop now, Jon. Your mate looks ready."
So I didn't stop. I stood, shifting in to my full Alpha Lunais wolf and crouched over the back of my mate to fit into the room and to position my dick at his hole. I mean, I'm totally huge when I shift, so most ceilings are hazards. "Don't mind if I do."
When Pat saw my heavy paws on either side of his head, the ones large enough to easily encircle a muscular man's bicep, he whimpered and raised up even more. I rarely took him like this. Even after a decade, Lycan-on-human sex still made me a bit squeamish. It didn't matter if it both of us furry or both human, but one of each and my mind told me to slow down. Yeah, if I tried that right then, Pat would have gone hybrid and taken my cock. My paws and height were not the only thing bigger, either. I'm hung when not furry, and I'm even more hung when I am.
I leaned over more, licking the side of Pat's face and letting my scent roll over him. Too quiet for even Aaron to hear, I asked, "Can you handle this?" Pat's teenie nod had me clamping my jaws around the back of his neck gently, not even enough to leave an indent, as I thrust in fully. Pat's involuntary howl as he shot all over the bed made me bite down a bit harder. If he was this hot, I knew I could really lay it in him. I pulled out and slammed in again as he stammered something about him having puppies after this one.
Again and I again, I hammered it into him, not quite putting that last inch in. The hottest part was him backing it up to try and get that last inch. Insatiable bottom, that was my mate. Except when I was in the mood to take it like a bitch in heat. Then all the top in him rushed out to make me groan and shoot without touching myself. His hole gripped me as another orgasm rocked him, but I didn't expect it, and my cum-hungry darling angled to get that last inch. It made me growl, but it was all over for me when he made sure he had it all. I pulled my jaws off and howled loudly, the window rattling from the decibel level. I hadn't cum this hard in months, and I was panting as I came down from the high, shifting back to human and feeling Pat's well-fucked hole tightening as he rapidly healed.
I lay on his back, moving so I could kiss him as tenderly as I had been rough. It was always the contrast for us. Passionate kisses full of fire and gentle love making or delicate kisses after a total ass-destroying fuck session. We liked and wanted both, so this was how we compromised.
"I love you," he said and kissed me again. I grunted back, which made him chuckle. "Is there something you needed, Aaron?" My mate gave zero fucks right now. Not that he ever cared who watched, heard, or scented, but he was so not caring.
"Nothing you just got. I'd heard rumors, and I am sorry to say they don't do that monster justice." He stood, put the chair back where it was when we entered, and took himself and the popcorn back to his room.
I rolled off and looked at the door that just closed. "Did he seriously just come to watch us have sex to see my dick hard or to see my Alpha form?" Either way, it was a bit weird even for such a late night.
"Does it matter why? He just said you're a beast." Pat nuzzled against my neck, getting my blood going again.
"Duh." I smiled down at him, grinding my returning erection against his hip. The fire still burned hot, and we both knew it would be another all-nighter. Darn.
I hope the overlapping time with Drums of War is not too confusing, but we should be getting to the "war" in the Council Chambers in the next chapter. Thanks again to Timothy for a great job in editing.