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Some parts of this story may include descriptions of sexual acts between consenting adult men.  If this offends you, you are not of age to read this or is prohibited then please stop right now and find a story more suited to you.

Warming The Cold One - 36. Busy Night in the Service Department

I got lucky and was able to get some more writing in this week. I hope you enjoy.

Duane pulled into a small diner about halfway between his office and Amidon. He went inside and found Savannah sitting with another woman. He instantly knew that must be Karla. Savannah stood and introduced them. “Duane, this is Karla Taylor. Karla, this is Duane Dickerson.”

Duane kissed her hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Karla.”

“Duane,” Karla scolded. “You don’t remember me? All those times we saw each other when you were first dating Lyla.”

Duane froze and his face changed. “You were best friends with Beth! Oh, so you know what happened.”

“Some of what happened, yes. However, what is more important is what we are going to do about my family’s land. I hear you have some information about squatters.”

“Yes, I do,” Duane began to explain. “My former pack is one of a number of packs that might be on your land. I’ll have to have my daughter pull up a map showing where the different interests are based. I have to be careful as my wife is very vocal about my heritage.”

“Based on the phone call earlier, I’m guessing she doesn’t know the whole truth either,” Savannah asked.

“I never told her, but I think she was the one that gave Matthew my work cell phone.” Duane sighed. “I’ll have to have a talk with her tonight.”

“I highly recommend that,” Karla agreed. “Now, a map world be wonderful. We can use it to compare where we were going to put packs and where there are already packs. I can take those results and pass them along to Tala so he can go through the right channels.”

“I don’t know how open they are going to be to someone saying they don’t belong,” Duane questioned. “Ignoring all the assistance my firm has provided; they have paid a pretty penny to have the land they do.”

“I agree this is going to get very messy,” Karla sighed. “It really will all be up to Tala to decide what he wants to do.”

Savannah turned to Duane. “I know this going to be bad for all of us, but we will get through it. Can you stay for dinner?”

“No,” Duane shook his head. “I need to get back home and deal with Lyla and Wanda. I have to put my family first. I’ll get that map together and hopefully get it sent over to you by tomorrow afternoon.”


Tala and Jay were back in their room after their encounter with Tony, Susan and Ruth. They sat on the couch while Tala called Clay. “Sorry to bother you Clay but I have some bad news.”

“What kinds of bad news,” Clay asked.

Tala had a very heartbroken tone in his voice. “The pack down here in Florida is a hot mess. We are not going to be able to use them as extensively as we had hoped. At least, not for a while.”

Clay heard the tone and got worried. “I don’t understand. What is going on down there?”

Tala sighed. “A lot. Most of the pack are just really visitors in a fucked-up money scheme cooked up by the alpha here.”

“So, who were they promising to send? I mean they had slated to send like forty people,” Clay exclaimed.

“That was a half lie,” Tala replied. “The forty people would have been after they tried to take over the clan and disband it.”

Clay froze. “Say what?”

“It gets better,” Tala mused. “They have been using some sort of repression on everyone so they can block out undesired traits. Like transformation. The beta here got punished for secretly trying to transform outside of the pack area.”

“Well...,” Clay paused. “I’m not actually going to say what I am thinking. I’ll talk to Keon and let him know that things are going to be crazy a bit longer.”


Lyla was waiting in the foyer when Duane pulled into the driveway. As soon as he walked in the door she pounced. “Where the hell have you been? I get word from the court that all of your afternoon stuff was postponed and then you don’t show up at the office or call.”

Duane pushed past her and hung up his jacket in the closet. “I had something come up that was more important. I talked to Savannah and Karla over at the trust and we came to agreement to postpone all of that until a situation on both sides is resolved.”

“What could possibly be more important than letting me know what is going on,” Lyla demanded.

“Our son!” Duane gave Lyla glare. “I had a long conversation with him this afternoon. He is very upset, and I don’t blame him. I am upset too.”

Lyla didn’t miss a que to get up on her soap box. “Hopefully you set him straight about the good for nothing boss of his. I can’t believe they would fill his head with all those lies.”

Duane turned around and gave Lyla another glare. “The only lies in his head are the one I had to tell! Do you know how much it hurt me to admit that I kept the truth from him? Do you know the pain I bear everyday denying to myself what I am?”

“Don’t be absurd! I will not tolerate those stupid games of yours.” Lyla had an anger in her voice. “I didn’t then and I sure in the hell won’t put up with them now.”

“Games? You think this is a game,” Duane yelled. He went back to the closet and grabbed a coat.

“Where do you think you are going?” Lyla stood in front of the door blocking his way.

“I’m going to talk with Greyson.” Duane gently pushed Lyla out of his way and headed back out toward the driveway. He turned and yelled back. “I’m getting this block removed once and for all.”

Lyla watched in horror as Duane pulled out of the driveway and headed north toward his former packs land. She turned to see Wanda staring at her. “I assume you heard all of that?”

“Yes,” Wanda confirmed. She opened the closet and grabbed her coat. “I am going to follow him and make sure he doesn’t get himself killed.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Lyla challenged.

“Watch me,” Wanda fired back as she danced around Lyla and headed down to her car. She quickly pulled out and drove the same way Duane had hoping to catch up at one of the stop lights.

Lyla slammed the door. She was steamed and mumbled under her breath. She went into the study and over to the bar table. She picked up a cut crystal highball glass. After that she poured half full of Irish Whiskey and then drank most of it in one gulp. A second gulp finished it off and she put the glass down on the table. She stared at the glass before getting back up and heading into her office space. Opening a drawer, Lyla found a business card with a handwritten phone number and a word on the back. She called the number.

“Service Department, this is agent ninety-eight. How can I help you,” a clipped female voice asked.

Lyla looked at the work on the card before answering. “I have an issue with my dog muzzle.”

“I’m sorry, we are not vets here. Are you sure you have the right number,” the voice asked.

“I’m sorry, I thought this was the number for Fortress brands,” Lyla apologized.

“Your complaint has been noted. Have a nice night.” The voice finally said and then disconnected the line.


“We just got a Fortress service call. The dog muzzle has an issue.” A male voice said into the phone.

“Why would Fortress be involved now,” a second voice asked.

A third much deeper voice boomed out his reply. “It doesn’t matter right now. We must focus on Castle right now. It’s our heads if we screw his up.”

The second voice almost squeaked out his next words. “Has anyone heard from down south? Normally we would have gotten an update on our inquires by now.”

“I’ll reach out again for an update,” the first voice said.


Duane arrived at the Wolff’s Den Bar and parked in the back. He got out of his car and walked over to a side door in the shadows and looked at his watch. He saw it was a few minutes to 9pm. When he looked up, he saw Wanda’s car pull into the parking lot. He rushed over to her car as she was getting out. “What are you doing here?”

“I followed you, obviously. I needed to know the truth and I figured I’d follow you and get that truth.” She closed the door and looked at him. “So, what does Greyson have to do with this?”

Before Duane could answer a voice rang out from the now open side door. “You know better than to come here you sad excuse of a flea motel. What’s with the human?”

“Excuse me,” Wanda said with an annoyed tone. “Why are you talking to my father that way?”

“Wanda, shush,” Duane tried to quiet her.

“He’s your father, you say. Well then, that changes things. We can always use more ladies around here,” the man said with a laugh.

“No, she will not be joining us.” Duane turned to Wanda panicked. “You shouldn’t have come here. This place is dangerous.”

“I’m not leaving you here alone. Now get over it,” Wanda exclaimed.

Frustrated, Duane turned back toward the guy in the doorway. “I need to talk with Greyson. He will understand why.”

“Tell me why I should bother my alpha about the likes of you,” the man started to say before he was interrupted.

“Let him pass,” a voice could be heard further inside the hallways that lead back from the door.

“What about the lady,” the guard asked. “Can I keep her entertained?”

“She is to stay with her father,” the voice bellowed. “Now, bring them in before you let all the heat escape.”


Duane and Wanda were let down the hall and into a decent sized room filed with comfy chairs and a fireplace. There were a few men sitting around smoking cigars. The biggest of them stood up when they entered the room. “What do I owe your visit to tonight?”

“I came for a couple of reason but the biggest is to see if you can remove the blocker,” Duane started to explain.

The man frowned. “I told you there is no going back. You know I don’t know how to take it off.”

“Please, Greyson. Please try. I need to make things right,” Duane started to beg. “I have to do right by my son and daughter.”

Greyson turned to Wanda. “You are as stunning as your mother was.”

Wanda looked shocked. “You knew my mother?”

Greyson gently laughed. “You could say that.” He turned back to Duane. “I guess she doesn’t know, does she?”

“No, I never told her anything. That is partly why I needed to come here. There is a lot going on and I’m right in the middle of it.” Duane took a breath. “I know who owns the land trust now and I’m going to do everything I can to smooth it over.”

Greyson’s face took on a scowl. “That trust the Celtic Clan set up has been nothing but a pain in my butt. I paid your family to deal with them and I barely get my money’s worth.”

Duane’s voice was strained. “They sent out a new trustee this week to replace the Celtic Clan woman. I met her tonight and there is trouble coming. I’m going to do my best, but I cannot promise your pack can stay anymore.”

“What are you blathering about? We pay our rent just like everyone else. We have contracts.” Greyson took another puff off his cigar.

Duane took a breath. “The whole trust is owned by Tala.” The room went quiet. “From the edge of Red Lake land and all the way to the Rockies and from the Black Hills to Riding Mountain are all his ancestral pack lands.”

Greyson laughed. “There has never been a pack that large.”

Duane took a breath and continued. “Tala’s the embodiment of The Red Pack. His mother, Karla, is his trustee. His grandparents still live on their homestead.”

“So why do I care about that,” Greyson asked.

“They were under the impression that there were no wolves settled here and where planning where the packs would have been seeded. The trust didn’t know you were here.” Duane was frustrated that Greyson wasn’t seeing the problem.

“Who cares,” Greyson asked. “I have documents from Red Lake showing that we were granted lease on unclaimed land.”

Duane sighed. “I know you have those documents. I’ve seen them. They won’t hold up against a legal challenge. I just wanted you to know that I am going to fight for you.”

Greyson took a breath to tried to regroup. “I hope it doesn’t come to that.” He turned to Wanda. “To finish answering your question, your mother was my youngest sister. She thought if she got pregnant with your father’s pup, that he would have to leave your stepmother.”

Duane picked up the story from there. “She slipped something into my drink one day and I woke up the next morning in my car. I didn’t know what happened until a few weeks later when I got a call from her saying she was pregnant and had video of us together to prove it was mine. I told Lyla and she wanted nothing to do with it and quote unquote take care of it.”

Greyson spoke up again. “I did my best to shield Duane as he was trying to appease Lyla by denying his gifts, but that just made your mother angrier. When she was a few weeks from full term the doctors found a problem. They induced labor hoping that she would be able to shift away the issue, but she died before she could shift.”

Duane sadly finished the tale. “When I told Lyla what happened, she agreed to adopt you on the condition that I never told you your heritage. But then Karla came to town and saw Beth at work. It all went downhill from there. I’m sorry.”

Wanda just sat there taking it all in. “Why?”

“Lyla was my world at the time. When I met her, I knew she was the one I wanted to spend my life with. I would do anything for her. I did anything for her.” Duane started to cry. “I never wanted to hurt anyone but all I seem to do is cause problems. I thought if I could suppress my wolf, I could focus on my family.”

Wanda looked over at Greyson. “Why did you let him do that? Take me away from my history and a family that would love me.”

“Your father was dead set on making it work his way. He knew what the pack would have done to you if he hadn’t taken you. I tried to tell him it would be problematic in the future, but he begged me. So, I did what I could. I called in some favors with some powerful lycans. They told me how to perform the ‘muzzle’ as they called it. It hurt me to do it. I never told anyone, but it almost broke my spirit. My wolf stopped talking to me for over a year. I would transform and I would lose days at a time because my wolf would just block my human mind out. I would try to find ways to go by your house over the years but anytime Lyla saw me she called the cops.” Greyson’s face held a very deep sadness. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you. I should have honored my sister better and for that I will never forgive myself.”

Wanda slumped. “What happens now? Matthew has a huge group to help him but I’m all by myself.”

Duane grabs his daughter in a hug. “I’m here. I will do my best to teach you about your lycan history. I just wish I could give you your gift.”

Duane looked over at Greyson, but he shook his head. “I’m sorry Duane. I just don’t have anything I can do. You know this pack won’t accept her because of you. I can offer one thing though. Wanda, if you need me, just call. That goes for Matthew as well. I offered him a way out of this place but I’m afraid you’ll have to face this here.”

Duane bowed his head. “Thank you, Greyson. You have been much too kind to me all these years. I think it best I take Wanda home. We need to have a long talk about things and then I’ll beg her for a favor as well.”

Duane and Wanda stood and turned to leave. “Wait,” Greyson said stopping them. He got up and walked over to them. He hugged Wanda tightly. “I hope someday to see you run.” He turned and grabbed gave Duane a sideways hug. “I still feel your wolf inside you Duane. All is not lost.”

Greyson sat back down in his chair and watched them leave. Greyson’s beta came over to him and sat down next to him. “Why did you lie to them?”

“What good would it do him to know that my wolf is as broken as his is? He already has to bear the burden of keeping the truth from his children.” Greyson started to cry. “It hurts me to know I cannot help my niece. My wolf cries every day for the loss of my family.” He sniffled and took a deep breath. He turned to the man behand the bar. “Jack and Coke. Forget the Coke and just give me the bottle.”


Wanda got back to her car and her phone was ringing. She saw it was Matthew and quickly answered it. “Hey Bro, what’s up?”

“Finally! I’ve been calling for twenty minutes,” Matthew said angerly. “Mom called me and said you both just ran off.”

“I’m sorry she called you,” Wanda began. “It’s a long story but Dad and Lyla had a fight and he left. I was in the kitchen and told her I was going follow him and make sure he didn’t wreck his car or something. We ended up at the Wolff’s Den Bar in a backroom with Greyson.”

“What did Dad want with Greyson,” Matthew asked.

“He went there to have Greyson fix his wolf,” Wanda answered.

“And,” Matthew said expectantly.

“No go,” Wanda said sadly. “Greyson told him that he couldn’t do anything to fix it.”

“That’s not good. So, wait, you believe we are lycans now as well.” Matthew sounded surprised.

“After our talk earlier today, I figured that was the case. However, after meeting Greyson, I’m one hundred percent in the I’m a lycan camp.” Wanda paused for effect. “Greyson is my uncle.”

“What? How is Greyson your uncle,” Matthew demanded.

“I told you it was a long story! Now, Dad and I need to get home and deal with your mother and then Dad promised to fill me in on some more backstory. I’ll call you tomorrow,” Wanda assured.

“You better! I need to get back to work anyway. I’m off at 1 so don’t call too early,” Matthew hinted.


Ruth opened her cell phone and dialed a number she had saved for just this emergency. A clipped female voice answered. “Service Department, how can I direct your call?”

Ruth responded calmly. “I’m having trouble with the handle on my new pan. Also, the lid keeps bubbling when I am under pressure.”

“I understand. I will have someone call you tomorrow,” the voice said and hung up.


“Shit! This is not what I needed,” a male voice said into the phone.

A second voice responded. “What’s the issue?”

“Panhandle is compromised. The lid is being blown anytime now,” the first voice said.

“Damn it,” a third deeper voice hollered into his phone. “Those idiots had to play with fire. Call in a request to lock the treasury down and we have to secure access to the castle tomorrow night without fail.”


Duane and Wanda pulled into the driveway and park their cars. The lights in the front of the house were still on so they knew Lyla was waiting for them. When they got inside, they saw Lyla was laying on the floor next to the study. Duane ran over and could smell the alcohol and vomit covering her. Wanda ran over but Duane put his hand up. “She’s fine but she was on quite a bender. I’ll carry her to the guest bathroom and help her with a shower. Can you head into the kitchen and see if there is anything to eat when I’m done?”

Wanda ran off and Duane carried Lyla over to the shower and turned on the water. It took about five seconds of ice-cold water to jar Lyla awake. “Turn it off! I’m awake,” Lyla screamed.

Duane turned the water to warm. “Not until you take a shower and wash all that vomit off of you.”

Lyla looked down to see she was still fully dressed and covered in a foul bile coating. She maneuvered and got all her clothes off and used some soap to wash herself. “What happened? How did I get covered in vomit?”

“We found you passed out by the door to the study,” Duane answered. “Other than that, I don’t know what happened.”

“Wanda, where is Wanda,” Lyla asked.

“She’s fine. I sent her to the kitchen to get something for her and I to eat.” Duane handed Lyla some shampoo. “Here, you need this as well.”

Lyla saw the shampoo and cried out in anguish. “I just had my hair done too.”

A few minutes later, the water shut off and Lyla took the towel Duane handed her. Once dry, she wrapped herself in a large fluffy bathrobe. Duane carefully guided her back out to the family room. Wanda was sitting there eating some cheese and crackers from a small plate. “This was all I could find left. The kitchen was trashed.”

Lyla looked over at Wanda. “I guess this means you know the truth?”

“Some of it,” Wanda replied. “Dad promised to fill me in on the rest later.”

Lyla slumped down on the couch. “There goes everything I tried to build,” she slurred.

“What do you mean,” Wanda asked.

“You were going to find out someday, I guess. Can’t do anything about it now.” Lyla laughed in a way only a drunk can.

“Find out what? That I’m a lycan,” Wanda asked.

“No, no. Not that. That I was paid to screw with the land trust. I already tried to call them but got nothing but a weird answering service.” Lyla’s head fell back for a second before she righted herself again. “I am still a bit woozy. Do you mind turning down the lights? It’s giving me a headache.”

“How about I get you to the guest room and you can start to sleep it off,” Duane offered. When he looked over at Lyla, she had passed out again. “Okay, couch it is,” he said softly as he grabbed a throw blanket from a wooden chest near the fireplace.

Wanda looked down at Lyla and just sighed. “I’m going to go out back to my place and get some sleep. Call me in the morning with what I need to find for you, and we can schedule a time to meet up.”

Duane nodded and they each went to get some sleep and prepare for tomorrow.


A voice barked in anger over the phone as the technician listened. “I just got a Priority A call from the team at Service Department. I need to shut everything down tonight. Can you provide the server information or not?”

“Tonight? I can’t just pull something off last minute because you’re having issues elsewhere. I need planning time,” the technician argued. “Besides, don’t you remember my access is under watch?”

“I don’t care! Get me what I want so help me,” the voice growled.

“When I get caught, I’m turning on you so fast,” the technician threatened. “I know who you are!”

“I know who you are too, Augustine.” The phone clicked.

“Fuck!” Gus stared at the phone.


Officer Griffin woke up and answered the ringing phone. “Security office, Griffin speaking.”

“I need to report a threat to the building,” the voice said.

“Okay, let me grab my notebook,” Griffin whined. “Go ahead.”

“I heard a group talking in the hallway on the 22nd floor about possible explosives. I’m doubting there is anything, but I wanted to let you know what I heard.”

“Thank you, I’ll go take a look,” Griffin said. “Don’t worry anymore about it.” He hung up the phone and grabbed his security badge from the desk. He left the security office and headed toward the stairs for the long walk to check the 22nd floor.

As soon as Officer Griffin had turned the corner, Gus slid over to the door and used one of the left-over patrol badges to open the security office. He then went to one of the computers and tried to log in using the backdoor admin login he created. “Damn it,” he cursed.

Clay looked down at his computer screen to see multiple silent alarms going off. He smiled and grabbed his desk phone. “We got a hit. They are in the security office. I’ll meet you there.”

Gus tried a couple other logins he set up and continued to curse as they all showed disabled. He heard a noise and ducked under the desk. The badge reader beeped three times and the door opened.

“Come on out. I know you are in here.” Standing in the doorway was Sargent Colbert staring right at the desk Gus was under. “I don’t want to have to drag you out. Just come out and no one has to get hurt.” Gus got out from behind the desk. “Gus? You are not who I expected to find in here.

Clay walked up behind Colbert. “I did!”

Both Gus and Colbert looked at Clay. “How did you know it was me,” Gus asked.

“I knew your login from the reports.” Clay turned to Colbert. “And, I knew that you were lying when you said you had disabled that user account. You wouldn’t have the ability to change an account for someone in building management.”

“Prove it,” Colbert said. “It’s your word against ours that you weren’t the hacker. Right, Gus?”

“He doesn’t need to prove anything.” Gus and Colbert froze when they heard the voice of Captain Kilmek. “Clay came to me after the meeting and told me his concerns. I did some digging and concluded he was right. We just had to wait for you to screw up.” Bob motioned for the people waiting outside the security office to come in. “Arrest these two and put them in block 10 for now.”

“No,” Colbert pleaded. “Not block 10. Anything but block 10?”

“Don’t challenge me, or it will be Block 1,” Bob said angerly. “I am doing you a favor because I like you two.”

I admit I did a version a scene in a movie I really like. I like it so much I kinda did it twice.

Anyone have a guess what is going to happen in Block 10?

Copyright © 2019-2021 garfwiz; All Rights Reserved.
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Feedback in the comments is always appreciated.

I really do love hearing from the people who read this story.


If you want to see a chart of names, please see this link: https://www.jento.space/names

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Chapter Comments

Wow @garfwizI wasn't expecting the next chapter so soon!

Great chapter - what a tangled web of deceit has been woven just to keep the Red Wolf Pack from existing and claiming their rightful heritage.

Tala is going to have a headache when he tries to unravel all the issues!

Great chapter - really looking forward to where you take us next.

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Ok, I need help, @garfwiz. I’m enjoying the story and can follow the main plot. But I’m finding it hard to appreciate the intricacies because I don’t remember who several of the characters are.

Will you create a character guide with brief explanations of who each character is? If I was reading this straight through like book I might be able to keep it all straight in my head. But because this is coming in installments (as are most of the stories here, I’m not complaining) I don’t remember everyone.

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Some resolution on some small points, any points, would be appreciated. The story keeps expanding in scope and it's difficult to keep up with the twists and turns because of the story's serial nature. Help! It's a great story but not easy to follow.

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12 hours ago, Geemeedee said:

Ok, I need help, @garfwiz. I’m enjoying the story and can follow the main plot. But I’m finding it hard to appreciate the intricacies because I don’t remember who several of the characters are.

Will you create a character guide with brief explanations of who each character is? If I was reading this straight through like book I might be able to keep it all straight in my head. But because this is coming in installments (as are most of the stories here, I’m not complaining) I don’t remember everyone.


Okay @Geemeedee, there is a link at the bottom of every chapter but it is easy to miss.



10 hours ago, Laz_9 said:

Some resolution on some small points, any points, would be appreciated. The story keeps expanding in scope and it's difficult to keep up with the twists and turns because of the story's serial nature. Help! It's a great story but not easy to follow.


@Laz_9, I am trying to wrap things up a bit.  There is a central group of bad actors and I am doing my best to tie issues together.

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15 hours ago, Geemeedee said:

!!! I am so sorry! I didn’t see it. Thank you so much for providing the list. 🤩

I am going to be uploading an update that includes all the new people

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On 11/20/2021 at 4:42 PM, garfwiz said:

I am going to be uploading an update that includes all the new people

The update is posted.  I messed up the conversion from Excel so there are some artifacts in the table.  I'll fix them next time

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