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    WolfM
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Embers - 11. Embers 11

“LACKIE!” Brandon scrambled from his spot under a truck before anyone could stop him. Sprinting to the downed man, he grabbed him under the arms, and dragged the battered and bleeding body towards the nearest cover. Hail up to the size of golf balls continued to fall around them. The sound of the ice impacting his helmet was deafening. A strike to his back by a larger object knocked the wind out of him, muffling his call for help. Another hail stone the size of a baseball struck his leg, dropping him to the ground, as he screamed in pain. Trying to crawl forward, hands grasped both him and Lachlan, pulling them to safety.

As the storm intensified, a clap of thunder shook the ground. The nearby trees were stripped of leaves, turning the ground into a mixture of white and green. Almost as quickly as it started, the clouds dissipated, and the dim, orange glow of the sun was again visible through the haze.

Brandon’s body shook as the adrenaline rush started to crash. He could only watch as his crewmates tried to tend to the unconscious Lachlan’s wounds.

Rushing over to the men, Ethan dropped to his knees as tears streamed down his face. He placed a hand on Lachlan’s head and the other on the man’s chest. The light in his eyes intensified as he worked to save the injured fireman. It took just over ten minutes before he broke contact. “Who’s next? I can heal you.”

“Mine’s just a broken arm. A quick shift should fix it.”

Ethan reached out. “This is faster.” Touching the arm, the bone mended almost instantaneously. “Anyone else?” He surveyed the area and healed injuries for two more men. His eyes settled on the smallest fireman. “Your leg’s broken, and I’m guessing some ribs are too, from the way you’re holding yourself.”

Brandon was on the other side of the truck and out of reach. He hobbled into the open. “Just stay the fuck away from me.”

“I only want to help.”

“Help? You did this.”

“It wasn’t his fault.” Aiden had moved in beside his mate.

“Bullshit. You needed some lowly lab rats for your experiment, and we got stuck with you.” Brandon was furious and he sounded like it.

“Brandon. You’re hurt and not thinking right.” Joe was apparently worried where the dispute was heading.

“You’re fuckin’ right I’m hurt.” He winced in pain after putting pressure on his leg. “So are Luc, Thomas, Oli, and Lachie.” Panic was taking over his reasonable thoughts.

“She’ll be apples, mate. They’ll be back up in no time.” Joe inched towards Brandon. “You need to heal. If you won’t let him do it, go to your wolf. You’ll think clearly after that leg’s mended.”

“I’m fine, Bran.” Lucas attempted to reassure his friend. “Look, my arm’s all fixed. No worries. It’s as good as if I’d shifted.”

“He almost killed Lachie.” Brandon shook terribly and his breathing was erratic. “He… He almost killed… Can’t breathe…” He doubled over grabbing his side, writhing in pain.

Ethan took a few steps back. Tears streamed down his face as he quietly mumbled, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

“My mate was trying to help!” Aiden was angry. He moved to wrap his arms around Ethan, but was rebuffed as the smaller blond backed away from everyone.

“I never meant… Nobody’s gotten hurt from me using…” Ethan’s hands covered his face as he sobbed.

The others did not pay much attention when Brandon’s body started to morph into his lupus. He was hurt and the shift healed the broken leg and other injuries. It was what Joe had recommended, since he would not let the Elemental repair the damage. Fully healed, the chocolate wolf turned quickly, launching into the air at Ethan. Gasps from the others barely registered to his sensitive ears. The force of the impact sent them tumbling end over end. When Brandon landed on his back, he used his legs to throw Ethan off him.

The blond shifted to his white wolf and took up a defensive posture. He saw Aiden about to shift and growled. Casey and Cody received similar warnings. The mate and bodyguards were not to intervene.

At a little more than half the size of Ethan, the chocolate wolf stalked back and forth, growling and snapping. He lunged straight for the larger animal, only to change his direction at the last possible moment, to strike from an unexpected angle. The two tussled for a while with Ethan doing all he could not to take the offensive. He did not want to hurt the guy again. For every attack by the dark wolf, the light one settled for blocking.

“Fight me you coward.” The snarling bark was dripping with venom.

“No.”

“Figures, you only hurt people when they can’t defend themselves.”

“I never meant for anyone to get injured.”

“It’s always the same with guys like you. Oops, my bad. I didn’t mean it.” Brandon bared his teeth, snapping again. “I’m sure we’re all just omegas to some rich, powerful wolf like you. Always used to doing or taking what you want.”

“I’m not… I only want to fuckin’ help.” Ethan lashed out aggressively at the smaller animal.

The pair clashed, their growling taking on a violent intensity. They rolled around on the wet ground, turning them both into a muddy mess.

Darius whispered into Aiden’s ear. “He’s passing up easy openings Ethan’s leaving him. I don’t think he really wants to hurt him. Brandon just doesn’t know how else to deal with all this. You guys still scare the hell out of some people.”

“I hope you’re right. Doesn’t matter if Ethan gets pissed at me or not, if this gets any more out of hand, I’m putting a stop to it.” The amber flash from Aiden’s eyes momentarily drew the smaller wolf’s attention from the fight. It was a warning the big alpha was barely able to hold his anger in check. Brandon’s sensitive hearing caught barely enough of what Aiden said to know he could end up fighting another Elemental. “And if I have to kill that guy, too bad, so sad. He picked this fight.”

The animals separated, stalking around, looking for an opening to strike. The chocolate lupus raised up as his body shifted to stand on his hind legs.

Gasps came from all directions. “Holy fuck.”

Ethan considered remaining in his lupus form, but he also shifted to his alpha hybrid. At slightly over seven foot in size, he towered over the five-foot-tall wolf. The mismatch would have been comical in any other situation.

The two fought in their current bodies more like street brawlers than wolves. Closed paw punches aimed at the other’s face or body, foregoing the normal attacks with claws or teeth. Brandon got in a good hit to the stomach, followed by a powerful right hook that knocked Ethan’s head back, bloodying his nose. The favor was quickly returned, the Elemental dropping the chocolate wolf on his ass. Taking the offensive, the smaller and more nimble Brandon was able to outmaneuver the larger animal. He rounded on his opponent and kicked a leg out from under the white giant. His teeth latched onto the scruff of Ethan’s neck as he tasted blood.

Ethan howled in pain. Reaching behind him, he grabbed the small fur ball, and threw him about thirty feet.

Visibly shaking, Aiden could only watch. Darius and Trevor each had a hand on him in case he went on the attack to defend his mate.

Tumbling as he landed, Brandon arrested his momentum, digging his claws into the mud. Feral instincts took over and his eyes flashed brightly.

Not wanting to hurt the other wolf, Ethan made a tactical decision the next time he was engaged. Instead of fighting back, he rolled onto his back.

“ETHAN, NO!” Aiden feared what was coming.

The chocolate wolf’s powerful jaws wrapped around Ethan’s throat, but did not bite. As his vision cleared, he pulled back, satisfied his opponent had surrendered. Brandon dropped onto his butt in a muddy pool of water. Glancing around, he saw the anger from Aiden and Darius. Others had shock on their faces. His fists clenched and released, feeling the oozing soil squish through his fingers. Gazing up at the now filthy wolf towering over him, he slung his paw, hitting Ethan in the side of the snout with mud.

For his part, Ethan laughed and threw a ball of mud back at his challenger. “Truce?”

“Yeah.”

“Hey, Big Bad, what happened to that super nose of yours? I thought you could always tell when another alpha was around.”

“Wait… What?” Brandon’s head snapped around towards Ethan. “I’m… I’m not an alpha.”

Waving his hand in front of his nose, Joe walked over to the pair. “Wet, muddy wolf. Never a good smell unless my wife’s in heat.” He pointed towards the trucks. “With respect towards you both, if you’re done with the mud wrestling, get your arses over there, and we’ll hose you off. I’ve got soap in the truck.”

“This is going to be a pain to get out of my white fur.”

Trying to cover himself as he stood, Brandon felt his cheeks warm under the fur.

“Why are you covering yourself? I already felt your excitement while we fought.”

“Sorry.” Brandon lowered his voice. “It always happens during a fight. Especially knowing I get to mount my opponent after the win. Don’t worry. I won’t take what’s mine in front of your mate.”

Ethan’s eyes widened. He blinked a few times, looking from the chocolate wolf’s face to his crotch. He gave a big, toothy grin as Aiden stepped to his side. “Hey, you never told me about the rule on winning or losing a fight.” He tipped his head towards Brandon. “Can I?”

Aiden’s anger appeared to diminish as he rolled his eyes, though he still crossed his arms. “Only if I can get in on it.”

“Guess I could do you both. You prefer on your back or doggy?” Brandon turned towards the trucks.

“Damn, what is it with you small guys being hung like stallions?”

“CASEY!” Cody slapped the back of his mate’s head.

“What? Ethan, you, that guy.”

“We call him Tripod.” Noah felt a little humor was needed.

“Is he for real?” Brandon tipped his head towards the red headed enforcer.

“Sadly, yes. But we love him anyways. That, and he’s good in bed, so it’s worth putting up with it.” Darius shook his head.

“And for the record, I’m seven inches taller than Ethan, so I’m not small.” Cody crossed his arms and smirked.

“Nope, you’re definitely not small.” Casey licked his lips.

“I think the scent from you two fighting got him all worked up.” Cody did his best not to chuckle. “Darius and I offer our apology for him.”

******

“It’s been another crazy day. Temps were hovering around thirty-two before plummeting to about twenty. That would have made for a nice break from the sweltering heat, if it hadn’t been for the typhoon force winds that accompanied the change. The big kicker for the day was the golf-ball sized hail that pounded areas from a bit south of Sydney all the way to Melbourne. The freak thunderstorms caught meteorologists by surprise who had little to no warning to get alerts out to the public. Pockets of localized flooding have both helped and created havoc with the fire effort. Agencies across New South Wales, Victoria, and the ACT have been overwhelmed with emergency calls. If there’s a bright side, the auto glass companies and dent shops will see a boom in business thanks to this.”

“Turn that radio off.” Joe and Jaxon surveyed the damage to the trucks.

Brandon sat by himself, cautiously awaiting the punishment he figured was coming. He tried to avoid eye contact when Ethan and Aiden finally joined him. “I’m sorry I attacked. I don’t think I could’ve stopped even if I’d wanted to.”

“I’m not going to say I’m okay with it, but nobody got hurt.” Aiden’s arms were crossed, a definite growl in his voice.

“Why’d you guys call me an alpha? Other than at my current pack, and with the guys here, I’ve been treated as an omega by almost everyone else.”

“You have both wolves.” Ethan looked as though the explanation was obvious.

“Yeah, and? I’ve always had both. What’s special about it?”

“Didn’t your pack ever explain it to you after they saw it?” Aiden appeared and sounded puzzled.

“I’ve only shifted to my lupus around them. I never liked the other one. It’s too much like the werewolf stories, and I’ve got a bad history with him.” Brandon shook his head to get rid of the memories. “It was an accident he came out today. That only happens when I lose control. Besides, the wolves I’ve seen use that shape, they weren’t treated nice.”

“How long have you been able to do a double shift?” Ethan sounded curious.

“The first shift was to the werewolf. My second night was to the lupus.”

“Holy shit.” Aiden ran his hand through his hair. “I couldn’t do it when I started shifting. It wasn’t possible until we mated. Ethan’s the only wolf I’ve ever known to do both on his emergence. By the way, could you not use werewolf? It’s derogatory to the lunis in our culture.”

“Big Bad, chill. It’s not about you and your feelings of inadequacy.” Ethan chuckled. “Right now, it’s about helping him know he’s an alpha.”

“Asshole.”

“But I’m not. Just sometimes I’m a lupus and other times a lunis. I mean, that’s how all wolves are, right? You can choose which one to be. No one in my pack ever goes lunis, so I figured I shouldn’t either.”

“Dude, for lycan, it’s one or the other.” Aiden took a deep breath. “Regular wolves can’t take on both forms. Ask any of the guys if you don’t believe me. A Lupus is a lupus. Same goes for a lunis. The only ones who can do both are alphas. Unless you’re some type no one’s ever heard of, you’re most definitely an alpha. I thought all packs taught this stuff. Especially when they get together to celebrate your first shift.”

“Look, I didn’t get to grow up like you did or choose this like him. I didn’t have people to help me. There was no pack at the start. Okay? I had to learn this shit on my own. Yeah, my current pack talked to me about this stuff, but I didn’t pay attention to much of it. To me, being a wolf and having this stupid virus or whatever sucks. It’s not some wonderful gift to celebrate. I don’t want to talk about it.”

“But…” Aiden’s eyes widened. “No one? You were alone the first time? Oh shit.” Seeing Brandon scowl, he stopped talking.

“It might explain why you couldn’t stop yourself from fighting me.” Ethan looked back and forth between the two. “You may see Chief Nevins as the alpha here, but saw your pack get hurt because of me. The alpha in you had to protect them.”

“I just figured it was ‘cus I didn’t like you.” Brandon waited a moment before smirking.

“You should of unleashed your magic flowers to sedate him and save us from all this.” Aiden shoulder-bumped his mate. “Could have healed him without all the fuss.”

“Hush, you.” Ethan slapped Aiden’s arm. “I try not to use those on anyone but feral. And if I had we wouldn’t be having a discussion about him being an alpha.”

“Magic flowers?” Skepticism was etched on Brandon’s face. “Can I ask why you surrendered and let me get my jaws around your throat? I could’ve killed you.”

“I realized you weren’t trying to do serious damage. But for someone the size of a Pomeranian, you throw a mean right hook. My nose still hurts. You were protecting your people. If I surrendered, I thought it would be enough to end the fight. Basically I took a chance I wouldn’t die.”

“You’re a dick. I ain’t no fluffy, little ankle-biter, fucker.” Brandon growled at Ethan. He fell into silent thought for a few moments. “So I’m an alpha? If I am, why am I so small? And no fuckin’ small dog jokes. You go from my size to massive. I stay a runt no matter what body I’m in.”

“Yeah. You’re an alpha.” Aiden looked like he still could not believe it. “At least we think you are. Normally I can tell by scent. Maybe it’s the smoke. Hell, for all I know you just don’t have the scent or you’re able to mask it somehow as a way of self defense. I don’t know. But you are definitely an alpha.”

“There’s no telling about your size. I’m sorry about the joke. I was trying to ease tension, not cause more. Honestly, all the alphas I’ve seen are huge. Most any lycan I know for that matter.” Ethan could only shrug. “You have the power of a big wolf the way you fight.”

“My mate’s never gonna believe this.”

“Doesn’t he know you can do a double shift?”

“No! I always hid that part of me. I’ve only seen him go lupus, so that’s what I do around him. Like I said, anytime I saw a lunis, things went bad for them. I’m an alpha.” There was more acknowledgement than questioning in Brandon’s voice. “Maybe that’s why Austin always rolled onto his… No, that’s because he’s a Marine and a man-whore.”

Three pairs of eyes turned towards Cody. “Hey, what are y’all lookin’ at me like that for?”

Ethan burst out laughing. When he regained control of himself a mischievous grin spread across his face. “So, umm… Tell me about this rule for winning or losing a fight. Unless he just hasn’t told me, I don’t think either of us knows about it.”

“Give it a rest Ethan. He didn’t mount you while you were wolves and he isn’t doing it now.”

“Killjoy.” He batted his eyes at Aiden. “He said he’d do you too.”

“Seriously? You guys are a trip. It’s been the rule in just about every pack I met since my first shift. Fights are rare in mine, so I’ve never seen it happen there.” Brandon scratched his head, surprised he was asked about this. “I figured it was common knowledge. Someone picks a fight, whoever wins gets to show their dominance if they want and mount the loser.” He sighed heavily. “Usually its high-ups or the bully types in the pack wanting to put an omega in their place. If I’d known you were going to call me a Pomeranian, I would have taken you in front of everyone. But you seemed too eager at the time and I’ve never knowingly mounted in front of a guys mate.”

“Can we invite him to the house? Maybe after his mate gets home?” Ethan winked. “Might be fun showing them the dungeon. If it’s the rules I should pay up.”

“Horn dog. Enough with teasing him and me.” Aiden playfully pulled his mate over his lap and slapped his ass. “I’ve heard of stuff like that, but Parker Valley has rules preventing it.” He looked sorrowful. “That got done to you, didn’t it? I heard you’ve had trouble with pack leaders in the past.”

“Yeah. More times than I can count. But it did teach me to fight and win.” Brandon cocked his head. “So what happened with the storm?”

“I really don’t know. Everything felt fine at first. The rain was doing what I wanted. Something started feeling off, but I couldn’t correct it or stop it.” Ethan rested his head in his hands. “I’ve never had an effect on such a large area. It was only supposed to rain close by. Maybe a mile around us at most, while I tested out how to do it.”

“So the stories about you having control of all this power are overblown?”

“There’s a lot of rumors about me. Well, both of us really. I’ve gotten better at controlling the elements, and water’s the easiest usually. But trying to put out fires is something new and there’s additional variables.” The tension began to leave Ethan’s body. “I’ve stopped bad thunderstorms before. Making it snow back home’s easy. Though I have to make sure it’s not someplace they have to call out the plows. Conditions here are different, and it’s a lot drier and hotter. But I really thought we could help bring the fires under control.”

“I guess it was worth a try.” Brandon rubbed his leg. “Maybe you can figure out what went wrong and try again.”

“I’ve got a question for you now.” Aiden’s smirk made his mate wonder what was coming. “The Kardashians?”

“Sorry.” Brandon cast his gaze to a rock on the ground. “You guys are always in the lycan news. Ever since that huge wedding, it’s been photos, stories, interviews… Aiden and Ethan did this. The Elementals did that. One of them pissed on a bush and now everyone worships there. Oh look at the museum with the fabulous treasures of priceless wedding gifts they just dedicated.” He briefly looked up. “If it weren’t for their reality show, I think you’d have more media coverage than those people. I’m sure there was all kinds of reporting on the alphas who came to save Australia from the bushfires.” His study of the rock intensified. “I know I sound jealous, but I’m really not. For those of us who work for a living, it gets a little tiresome to see all the time, just like that crackpot family.”

“We’re not that bad.” Aiden was shocked. “Are we?”

“Yeah, Big Bad. I think we could be. Look how many weeks the articles ran when we took over Pit River Pack. Or our vacation to see Spencer and Matthew. And he’s right. If it hadn’t been for Brody and his security detail, the press would have hounded us for an interview as soon as we cleared customs. We need to work on it. If he thinks that about us, what about everyone else? Usually we only hear the positive stuff from our friends, or people we know.” Ethan turned towards Brandon. “By the way, we do actually work. He’s a sheriff’s deputy, and I’m with my dad’s construction company.”

“You should tell the guys that. They’ll be happy to have another tradie in the group.” Brandon grinned at Ethan’s puzzled look. “One of the Aussies can explain the term.”

“Chief Nevins, what can we do for you?” Aiden noticed the man walking over.

“Would you just call me Joe already?” He handed Aiden a note. “Your driver got a call, and you’ve been requested to meet the high-ups for a conference. After we get a little rest and repair the trucks, we’re heading over to the coast.”

“I’m sorry your men and equipment got damaged. I still don’t know what happened.”

“You said it was the first time trying that, Alpha. No one was killed, and we can fix the other things.” He looked around the landscape. “The fire here appears to be out. In a way, you did what you were hoping. Just have to iron out the kinks and keep trying.”

“Friends?” Ethan stood and extended his hand to Brandon.

“Look. I didn’t like you guys before you showed up. It doesn’t change that quick for me.” He held back his own hand. “Yeah, you seem nice after meeting you, but it’s gonna take a little time. I’ll try to keep an open mind about you though.”

“I can respect that. At least I know we need to work on our public image. It’s something that didn’t even register.” Aiden gave a friendly nod.

“Hey boss, you guys think we could arrange another midget mud wrestling match between these two? As hot as this one was, we could make a killing on LycanNet. He has to have the most compact body of any wolf we’ve seen. It totally rocks!”

“CASEY!” Darius and Cody slapped the back of his head.

“Ouch. Gonna give me a concussion if you keep doing that.”

“I apologize for my friend.” Trevor rolled his eyes. “Even with two mates, he’s got a one-track mind.”

“It could be fun. I don’t meet other guys my size all that often in our world.” The corner of Ethan’s lips curled up.

“Pup, don’t say it. I recognize that look.”

“What? Brandon and I could make a little side bet. We’ve both got hot mates. Winner takes all?”

Copyright © 2021 WolfM; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments



Well now...Brandon is turning out to be quite the surprise!!! Even tho the fire in their local appears to be out, there are quite a few sparks that may need tending to!!! 

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Crazy good chapter, I am glad that no one got hurt by the hail , good fight if a bit scrappy, at least they are on the same page, I hope that he gets the fires under control,  they need a communication person to deal with the bad image that they didn't even realize they had. Interesting times no doubt

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I hope that people (wolves to be trusted) work with Brandon and he heals.

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I come late to the party but rereading this chapter first thing in the morning, after a challenging couple of days, was inspired. The little altercation got my blood flowing. Not sure if it was on this chapter or another one, but I did mention something about dwarf tossing and midget wrestling to Wolf. LOL I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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On 4/26/2021 at 9:29 AM, drsawzall said:

Well now...Brandon is turning out to be quite the surprise!!! Even tho the fire in their local appears to be out, there are quite a few sparks that may need tending to!!! 

Seems those little guys are always hiding something ;) One fire out, most of the country still alight.

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On 4/26/2021 at 9:34 AM, Wesley8890 said:

Glad to.see the guys getting along better now

It's good to get along. Though another knock down, drag out might be fun. :)

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On 4/26/2021 at 9:35 AM, mikedup said:

Crazy good chapter, I am glad that no one got hurt by the hail , good fight if a bit scrappy, at least they are on the same page, I hope that he gets the fires under control,  they need a communication person to deal with the bad image that they didn't even realize they had. Interesting times no doubt

Thank you, Mike. :)  This was a fun chapter to write. Thankfully the real world hail storm that hit wasn't as bad as this one.

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On 4/26/2021 at 10:03 AM, Geemeedee said:

How come no one smelled Brandon is an alpha? And what will he do, now that he knows? Interesting twist.

Thank you as always, Gee. :)  So far those are the questions. Doubt he'll do much in the meantime regarding now that he knows. He's still got work to do and a lot to learn about himself.

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Kitt

Posted (edited)

One should always remember the old margarine commercial:

"It's not nice to fool mother nature 🌩️"

Edited by Kitt
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On 4/26/2021 at 10:34 AM, Thomas Haworth said:

It seems to me that Brandon's parentage needs to be explored. If I recall correctly the Lycan Council has a DNA database. Perhaps there should be some testing done. 

The Council has a database from known packs. It would have been standard procedure to check it when his alpha took him in. If his parents weren't in a pack, there would possible be nothing to find.

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23 hours ago, CincyKris said:

This will hopefully start to open Brandon's eyes to a new world not nearly as cut and dried as he thought.

So far his experience in Australia has gotten him to see being a lycan in a different light. He's found people outside the bubble of his current pack who he likes being around. He even had a decent time taking after trading punches with Ethan.

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20 hours ago, rbenn55 said:

I hope that people (wolves to be trusted) work with Brandon and he heals.

From the sounds of it, Ethan and Aiden want to make an effort to help him.

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17 hours ago, Miles White said:

Great chapter. I think Ethan and Aiden need to help Brandon learn who he is. Not being able to smell him, masking his scent hmmmm who else is good at doing that? Who knows, he may have some elemental in him as well, could be he Brandon was interfering with Ethan's abilities. May be a  DNA testing would help.

Thank you, Miles. They've already helped him a lot just be realizing what he is.

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14 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

This chapter was just a delight from start to finish.  Even the yelling and fighting was so over the top soap opera that it really worked on several levels.  Loved the dialogue and the pacing; both were first rate.  

Can't wait to see what happens next....

Thank you, Centex. You called it on the last chapter by saying if someone got seriously hurt, Brandon would lose it. Two people who had to fight through their youth makes for one interesting brawl.

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13 hours ago, dez421 said:

Hmmmmm?  The mystery intensifies the compact alpha?  Just wondering is he just an alpha or is there more to the mystery of the compact alpha then meets the eye?  Mondays just never come soon enough at least you give me something to look forward to every week. 😊

Good things come in small packages :)  Thank you, Dez

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8 hours ago, Carlos Hazday said:

I come late to the party but rereading this chapter first thing in the morning, after a challenging couple of days, was inspired. The little altercation got my blood flowing. Not sure if it was on this chapter or another one, but I did mention something about dwarf tossing and midget wrestling to Wolf. LOL I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

At least you made it to the party. All the chapters were fun to work with you on, but a good fight scene is enjoyable. Yeah, I know Mann would probably want one of the firefighters decapitated by Brandon's claws as he flew through the air from Ethan's throw. Might have to save that idea for a future book. It's probably for the best I added Ethan calling Bran a Pomeranian after we finished. I'm not sure we would have got past the laughing and jokes for a while.

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17 minutes ago, Kitt said:

One should always remember the old margarine commercial:

"It's not nice to fool mother nature 🌩️

But with Ethan's gifts, does he qualify as her stepson? ;)  That quote though is very fitting since Mother Nature has been showing just how pissed off she is.

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I realize it's beyond the scope of this story since it's focused on the Australian events. However, a short story set in California after his return could be fun.

Brandon's Alpha: "How was it, Brandon?"

Brandon: "It was a bloody bitch. But let me show you something, I found out I can shift into this..."

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