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    WolfM
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Embers - 14. Embers 14

“There’s Darius.” Casey pointed into the smoldering wasteland. “Something’s wrong. Why isn’t Cody with him?”

Skidding to a stop near his friends, Darius panted to catch his breath. The ragged roars and growls were difficult to understand even for those who actually learned lion. “Ethan! Brandon… Bran needs you now! Cody’s carrying him. I don’t know if he’ll…” He pointed a paw back the way he had come to emphasize the urgency.

“Let’s go.” Ethan followed the lion as Casey ran beside him. Aiden and Trevor were only a few steps behind.

“Joe, I’m sorry. We’ve got to…” Lucas and Jaxon were already heading off after the others. Noah and Lachlan dropped their equipment to follow.

“Go. We’ve got this. Bring that bloody Seppo back in one piece.” Joe’s gruffness could not mask the fear in his voice.

“Ethan, over here.” Cody laid Brandon on the ground.

“Oh gods…” The sight that greeted Ethan had him dropping to his knees as his stomach unleashed its contents. He retched and heaved. The Elemental fought to regain control of his body. “Did I… Did I do that to him?” Scared to cause any pain, he tentatively placed his hands on the charred skin, feeling it slough away like an overcooked turkey. Even being tired from using his gifts against the fire, the blue spark ignited in his eyes as the intensity quickly surpassed the surrounding inferno.

“No, you didn’t do this.” Cody reassured. “He… We’ll explain later.”

“I’ve never felt damage this bad. Even his organs are burned. I don’t know if…” Ethan stopped talking and focused all his energy on the task at hand.

“How could he get burned inside?” Aiden glanced between Darius and Cody. Their look silenced him so his mate could concentrate on healing.

The four firefighters gathered around once they arrived. “Oh my gods. Is he…?” Lucas dropped to his knees beside the body. Lachlan was soon at his side.

“We don’t know.” Aiden shook his head. “Ethan’s doing everything he can.”

After nearly two and a half hours, Brandon shifted to his human body, still looking as horribly burned as before. The minutes ticked by as the charred skin flaked away, replaced with an angry red, but healthier appearing layer. Another hour passed before the Elemental broke contact with his patient and promptly passed out. Aiden picked up his mate, and Lucas did the same for his unconscious friend.

The Mutts watched as the group returned.

“Where the hell have you been? What took so fuckin’ long?” Joe finally focused on Lucas holding someone. “Oh gods. Is he…?” Joe approached, his hand moved towards Brandon’s nude and hairless body, but pulled back feeling the unusual warmth radiate from it. He surveyed the others, including Ethan whose limp body was held by Aiden.

“Brandon’s breathing. Ethan did everything he could before he collapsed. There was a lot to repair.” Darius had shifted and was pulling on his clothes again. “Based on previous experience, all we can do is wait.”

“The fire’s died down. I want all of you from Brutus to escort Aiden and his team back to camp. We’ll join you when the shift’s up. You go too, Lackie.”

“Casey, take him.” Aiden passed off his mate. “I’m not done yet.” He reached out, feeling the flames that had lain down to a slow burn. Little by little over the next two hours, the glow of the hillside faded, until it was nothing more than coals. “That should take care of it for tonight.”

******

Brandon woke in the shade of Brutus. It took him a few moments as he looked around and realized he was at a staging area. A light thumping sound between his ears gave him something to focus on, it was his pulse accompanied by minor discomfort. Trying to sit up tipped him off to the severity of his headache. “If this is what a hangover feels like, I’m glad I can’t get drunk.”

“Good morning, Sleeping Beauty.” Lucas sat by his side with a book in hand. “Everyone on the crew gave you a kiss to try and wake you. We were about to start asking the humans to give it a shot. The kiss of dick was gonna be our next option.”

“If I’m giving or receiving a blowjob, I want to be awake for it. Since my lips don’t feel stretched, and I don’t have that taste in my mouth, I’ll take your word for it only kisses happened.”

“Good to know you still have a sense of humor.”

“How long have I been sleeping? And when did we get back here?”

“Two days.”

“Really?” He shot up, only to drop back down quickly. “Owww. Note to self, don’t do that again.”

“Yeah. Ethan only woke a couple hours ago.”

“What happened to him? Did he get the fires out?”

“Not yet, but we’re closer than we were. Probably thanks to you.” Lucas shifted to lie down beside his friend, propping up on an elbow. “From what Aiden said, healing you took a lot out of Ethan.” He had to wipe a tear from his eyes. “You scared the piss out of me. I really thought we were gonna lose you.”

“That bad, huh?”

“Yeah, that bad.”

Running his hand over his head, the smoothness was a surprise. “My hair’s gone? And I’m peeling. This itches.”

“I’m guessing the hair will grow back when it’s ready. Pretty sure every hair burned off your body, but I didn’t pay attention when I carried you back. Even after you shifted back to human, you were still bald.”

“Now I know things were bad, if you passed up a chance to check me out. I’m guessing you put my clothes on.” He laid his arm across his eyes to block out the day’s brightness. His body jerked and his eyes shot open again. “If all that burned off, I didn’t lose…” He lifted the waistband of his shorts and looked inside. “That’s a relief. At least it’s there and doesn’t look damaged.”

“Wanker.” Luc’s chuckle made Brandon smile.

Footsteps around the back of the truck caught their attention.

“Good to see your eyes open. Everyone’s gonna be excited you’re awake.”

“Hey, Cody.” Brandon tried again to sit up. “Holy fuck, I’m staying down here for a while. Even after reminding myself not to do that, I still did.”

“Guess that’s my cue to see if Ethan’s feeling up for another session with you. Do you need anything, Luc?”

“Naw. Maybe let Noah and Jax know he’s awake. Lachlan too if he isn’t still hovering around the truck somewhere. Tell them to come over after Ethan’s done with him.”

“Another session? Done with me? Sounds like when I get my mate in the sling.” Brandon’s levity earned groans from the others.

“Will do. I’ll be back soon. Oh, and you’re sounding more like Ethan and Casey all the time. I can’t decide if it’s scary or sexy as hell.”

If he had any hair left, one of Brandon’s eyebrows would have arched as he watched Cody retreat. “How much work did I miss?”

“None really. As soon as we got back, we were put on stand-down. Seems we kind of exceeded our maximum allowed days on the line. Command’s been holding us as a reserve in case there’s a major flare up, but I think we’re done for a while.”

“Cody said your head hurts.” Ethan dropped to his knees beside Brandon. “Let me see if there’s anything else wrong.”

“Sure thing, All Flash. I know you just want to feel me up again to see how I compare to tall, dark haired, and studly over there.”

“See guys. Another one thinks I’m studly.” Aiden playfully puffed out his chest.

“Keep it up, Scrappy,” Ethan pointed a finger in his patient’s face, “and I’ll make sure you stay a hairless Chihuahua.”

“Okay, okay. I’ll be good. I’m hoping my hair does grow back. I’ll never shift to wolf again if it doesn’t, and I’m finally reconciling with him.” Brandon flinched as the two hands came to rest on his head. He looked up into the eyes above him, fascinated by the blue glow. “The way they sparkle is almost hypnotic. You better not try and make me cluck like a chicken.”

“Hush. I need to concentrate. Remember, I’m working on your brain.” Ethan pulled one of his hands back to reposition it. His fingers were arrayed around the side of Brandon’s face. With a quick glance at Aiden, he dropped his voice an octave. “Remember.”

“I get in fuckin’ trouble time and again for making Star Trek jokes,” Aiden could not hide his grin, “and you go and pull a Spock before entering the dilithium chamber?”

Ethan worked for nearly twenty minutes before the sapphire orbs returned to their normal state. “Try and sit up.”

This time, Brandon’s head did not throb when he rose. “That’s better. Still a little pain, but it’s manageable.”

“I might need to do it again in a while.” Ethan placed a hand on Brandon’s abdomen and closed his eyes. “Everything seems to be healed here.” He ran the hand down the right leg before doing the same to the left. “I don’t see any more damage there either.” Glancing in between the legs, he could not hold in the snigger once it started.

“Fuck you. I can’t help it.” Brandon blushed from head to toe.

“Yeah, everything’s definitely working like it should. At least we know you didn’t get neutered from the burns. I bet without any hair around it, that thing looks even bigger than before.” He winked at Brandon before turning his attention towards his mate. “Now I’m wondering what you’d look like smooth. Even though I love that thick forest of hair that covers your chest and… Well, you know what I’m talking about.”

“Should I be jealous, you little size queen?” Aiden crossed his arms. “You seem to enjoy getting him all worked up. Not nice leaving a patient with blue balls.”

“Think we should take care of it together? You and I could make out with him in the middle.” Ethan tried to keep a straight face, but failed miserably. “And if I’m a size queen, that just reinforces why I’m with you.”

“Guys, I am mated. Geez. And people think Austin and I are sex hounds. Could someone at least offer to get my husband on video so he can watch?” The smirk on Brandon’s face grew. “No need to be jealous, Aiden. A lot of big guys suffer from envy when their boyfriends or husbands see me naked.” His laughter devolved into a coughing fit. “Owww, that makes my head hurt.”

“Asshole. At times I’d swear you were a part of our family.” Aiden knelt beside Brandon.

Ethan’s hands were back on Brandon’s chest as soon as the hacking stopped. “Guess I should have looked deeper. I’m not sure if it’s from the burns or the smoke you’ve been breathing.” He pulled back and dropped onto his butt. “I need to take a break. I still don’t have my energy back. Get some rest, and we’ll do another healing session later.”

“I could use a little more sleep. Send the guys over first. I at least want to let them know I’m okay.” Brandon sat up and leaned his back against Brutus’ tire as Ethan and Aiden walked off.

“Brandon. Thank the gods you’re okay.” Lachlan rushed over and dropped to his knees beside his friend. “Those two held me back when we saw Ethan feeling you up.” He reached out, running his hand over the smooth scalp. “The bald look’s gonna take some getting used to, but it works on you. I miss that dark brown hair. And eyebrows would be nice.”

“How you feeling, you bloody drongo?” Noah sat with a feline gracefulness a few feet away.

“He called you a fool, if we hadn’t taught you that one yet.” Lucas stood to stretch his muscles.

“Better. Woke with a killer headache, but Ethan fixed it. Hey, Jax. I’m ready to get back to work if you need help on the trucks.”

“Oh no you don’t. You stay right there and rest.” Jaxon pointed his finger in Brandon’s face. “We heard you coughing and him saying he’d have to do another healing.” He leaned in and lowered his voice. “A bunch of the guys volunteered to help me work on the trucks. Said they had to cover for the slacking Yank.”

“You get five minutes to visit and then he needs his rest.” Lucas carefully studied Brandon. “Don’t wear him out. He may think he’s fine, but he’s not fully recovered.”

******

After Ethan had finished yet another session working on Brandon’s head and chest, he declared his fellow American healthy.

Sitting beside his mate, Aiden ran a hand along his stubble covered chin. “Darius and Cody said it would be best if you explained what happened. Do you feel up to it? After two days, I’m curious as hell.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“How about we start with what got you to run into the fire.”

“For as much as I hate being a wolf sometimes, being able to see far’s kinda nice. I saw someone on the ridge. A woman. At first I thought it was someone from another crew, but Luc said no one was working over there. He figured it was exhaustion, and I was hallucinating. For all I know, I was. She seemed to be just standing there. Then she briefly faced our direction, and I saw her eyes.” Brandon took a breath to collect his thoughts. “You two said the blaze was acting weird. Like it had a mind of its own. During the Ethan-with-a-Christmas-tree-stuck-up-his-ass conversation, he said when he’s working with fire his eyes glow red. When the woman turned, I thought I saw red eyes.”

“What?” Aiden and Ethan looked from him to each other.

“We saw it too.” Darius waited for Cody to nod. “But wanted to confirm what he saw before we said anything.”

“I saw it, but thought it might have been a reflection.” Cody appeared unsure. “Dari got a better look. I was too focused on trying to help Brandon.”

“Another Elemental?” Ethan shook his head; puzzlement etched on his face.

“Okay, you’re sure her eyes glowed red?” Aiden leaned forward. “Not just a reflection of the fire or something like Cody thought?”

“Yeah. Without a doubt. Everything else I’m not sure about. I saw the red eyes, but what I thought? Who knows? I was starting to think Lucas was right about me seeing things. But I couldn’t stop my shift. The one time I actually want to talk to my wolf, and he’s been asleep in my mind since I woke. So I can’t ask him anything. I don’t know.”

“That’s why you took off running?”

Brandon nodded. “Before I realized what was happening, I was running full out. I could hear wolfie say we had to stop her. There wasn’t really a plan what to do when I got to her. But when she turned and looked at me, all I could feel was heat. I knew at that moment I had to kill her before she killed me. I think I missed though.” He shivered and pulled his knees up under his chin, brushing loose skin from his arm. “I only remember a blinding pain, then waking up a couple hours ago.”

“I saw the unmistakable red as she turned to face Brandon and thought Cody did too.” Darius leaned back against Casey’s chest while wrapping his arms around his other mate. “By the time we got to Bran, she was badly hurt and trying to crawl away. I rolled her onto her back and saw the light building in her eyes. Seeing what she did to him, I removed her throat before she could attack us too. Her body combusted so there was nothing left. After that, it was just getting help for him.”

“There was another Elemental making the fires worse?” Ethan cocked his head. The others could see him trying to process what he had heard. “Someone like me was using this gift to destroy? Wait, there was another like me? Aiden and I aren’t the only Elementals in the world? But everyone said…”

Aiden rocked his mate in his arms. “We always wondered if there could be more. I know what the legends say, or at least what we’ve found. But it makes sense there would be others.”

“And we had to kill one to bring the fires under control.” Cody shifted his position to stare at his alpha. “Ethan, I’m not sorry for what happened to her. I am sorry you had to find out one of your kind was doing this.”

“Could she have been trying to help?”

“Don’t do that to yourself, Pup. This isn’t the feral by the lake again. And you weren’t the one that made the decision.”

“The intensity of the blaze appeared to be at its peak around her.” Darius rested his hand on the younger blond’s shoulder. “If she was trying to help, between the three of you, the fire should have been out.”

“How could she have done so much with two against one?” Ethan glanced around. “I keep hearing how powerful I am.”

“I’d guess she was in her forties or fifties.” Darius paused as Brandon nodded his confirmation. “If Elementals age like lycan, she could be much older. She’s probably had years of experience on you two. Plus the fires and conditions are bad enough without any help from her. It probably wouldn’t take much to give it a boost as opposed to stopping it.”

“Pup, we got control of the fires after she was dead. That alone’s evidence to me she was working against us.” Aiden kissed the top of Ethan’s head.

“Yeah.” Sadness was evident on Ethan’s face. “I wonder if that caused the hail storm. Everything was working fine and then all the energy felt… well, off.” The glare surprised his friends. “Great. When this gets out, the people who are already scared of us will have another reason to want us dead.”

“As long as there’s a breath in our body, no one’s going to cause harm to either of you.” Darius glanced at Casey and Cody who nodded. “Anyone who knows you will realize you try to help people.”

“For what it’s worth,” Brandon rested his hand on Ethan’s, “I know you’re a better person now than I thought you were. I got your back too.”

Joe approached with the rest of the Mutts. “Good to see you back with us, Brandon. We have new orders.”

“Where they sending us to now?” Brandon moved to stand. “Ethan said I’m all healed, and I feel great, so I can hit the line with you.”

“We’re headed home. They said we’ve done our duty and are off work for the next month.”

Copyright © 2021 WolfM; All Rights Reserved.
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Great chapter, do we had an evil elemental, stirring the fire I hope that with her out of the picture the fires should have an opportunity to  finally die out and give nature a chance to repair itself

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Where's there's one evil elemental there has to be others, who do they coordinate with???

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You had me on pins and needles until this chapter came out. Once again, you've worked your magic and gotten me wrapped up and worried over a fictitious character.  If you'd killed off Brandon, I would have felt seriously cheated. It seems like there are so many more personal relationships that want to be fleshed out, and I'm looking forward to reading them.  Thank you.

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AMAZING.  JUST ANOTHER AMAZING MONDAY. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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Amazing chapter...so was the other Elemental was hindering the efforts but was she one of the causes of it? The world may never know.☺️🤫 Anyway, I’m glad our boy’s gonna be ok!

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WolfM

Posted (edited)

On 5/17/2021 at 9:29 AM, CincyKris said:

Wow.  I'm happy that Brandon's ok, but I hope he grows his hair back quickly, I kind of like my alphas HH&H!  I guess 2 out of 3 ain't bad.  Some serious investigation needs to happen on our dead evil elemental. Though I don't have clue how you start that when no one knew she existed and she certainly can't be interrogated now.  I wonder if someone could pull strings and get Austin some leave.  Our hero needs time with his mate (with details, of course)!

LOL. Some time with his mate would be nice. Probably going to have to settle for two out of three for the moment at least. ;)

And thank you for being the 300th comment on the story.

Edited by WolfM
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23 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

Well, glad that Brandon is going to be okay; but after several sessions with Ethan, I am sure he will be.

Another elemental?  The fact that she was egging the fire on just doesn't make sense, it was doing so much damage to everything, why try to make it worse; we need to find out what is going on there.

🤣🤣🤣 A bald wolf, just can't stop laughing about the idea of a wolf with no hair... 

It's by far the longest healing session Ethan's ever done. The actions of an arsonist make no sense either, yet they still set fires. Remarkable though it was only something like 2800 homes that were destroyed with all the fires that took place across the country. While the fires were extremely destructive on their own, it wouldn't take much to tip the scale either way. I'm not saying the woman steered anything towards or away from populated areas or guided it away from heritage sights, but for as bad as things were, it could have been much worse.

Now as for you laughing at a wolf with no hair, where did I put my razor. Punishment time. ;)

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23 hours ago, mikedup said:

Great chapter, do we had an evil elemental, stirring the fire I hope that with her out of the picture the fires should have an opportunity to  finally die out and give nature a chance to repair itself

Thank you, Mike. Aiden was at least able to bring one area under control. Without her, there's been some improvement.

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23 hours ago, Wesley8890 said:

Oh thank goodness! Had me worried

So I should have found a way to drag this out for a few chapters. Noted for the next book. :)

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15 hours ago, drsawzall said:

Where's there's one evil elemental there has to be others, who do they coordinate with???

:whistle::whistle::whistle:

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14 hours ago, Quixo said:

You had me on pins and needles until this chapter came out. Once again, you've worked your magic and gotten me wrapped up and worried over a fictitious character.  If you'd killed off Brandon, I would have felt seriously cheated. It seems like there are so many more personal relationships that want to be fleshed out, and I'm looking forward to reading them.  Thank you.

Having you on pins and needles is a wonderful compliment. Thank you, Quixo. Since I didn't kill off Dorian in The Alpha like I intended, I might have considered doing that to Brandon or another character here. I don't mind some bloodletting, but I liked these guys. :)

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13 hours ago, dez421 said:

AMAZING.  JUST ANOTHER AMAZING MONDAY. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Thank you, Dez :)

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2 hours ago, JR Tittle said:

Amazing chapter...so was the other Elemental was hindering the efforts but was she one of the causes of it? The world may never know.☺️🤫 Anyway, I’m glad our boy’s gonna be ok!

Thank you, JR. As a Fire Elemental, she could create or enhance the fires. Or stop it if she chose. She couldn't create the conditions that setup the perfect storm for them though.

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1 hour ago, Carlos Hazday said:

Driving home yesterday, I was tempted to stop at a rest stop to read the chapter but those places have a reputation and I was scared someone e may try to molest me.

Could there be more like her? Maybe subsequent rains and floods were due to to a water Elemental? Is there someone in Australia who pissed off the Elementals High Council? 

Loved this chapter months ago, and a new reading didn't diminish that.

First, I thought ancient bikers liked getting molested!  Second, are you saying that WolfM has been sitting on this for months since you proofed?!!

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Carlos Hazday

Posted (edited)

37 minutes ago, Kitt said:

Hey guys, watch all that "ancient" shit. Carlos is only a couple years older than me!

You tell 'em sis!

Although I'm still feeling the effect of partying with a bunch of kids Friday night. Oy vey!

Edited by Carlos Hazday
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52 minutes ago, CincyKris said:

First, I thought ancient bikers liked getting molested!  Second, are you saying that WolfM has been sitting on this for months since you proofed?!!

LMAO

Only when I initiate said molestation.

Think about it. I have 10 chapters of my next book written but my editor won't get to see the first one for a couple of months (he has his own stuff to deal with), and I won't start posting until the entire story's written and at least half edited. It'll be months from now.

Wolf writes, I go through his chapters twice, then somebody does a final review. Weekly postings mean 13 chapters every three months and it takes at least a week to get through each of his. Considering this is chapter 14, that means even if I reviewed this one right before he started posting (which wasn't the case) that would have been back in February. Wolf waits to have the story finished before he begins posting.

I think you can tell the difference in quality between an author who takes his time to get things right, and those who scribble something and post it the same day or week. Maybe that's why he and I get compliments about quality writing?

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8 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

LMAO

Only when I initiate said molestation.

Think about it. I have 10 chapters of my next book written but my editor won't get to see the first one for a couple of months (he has his own stuff to deal with), and I won't start posting until the entire story's written and at least half edited. It'll be months from now.

Wolf writes, I go through his chapters twice, then somebody does a final review. Weekly postings mean 13 chapters every three months and it takes at least a week to get through each of his. Considering this is chapter 14, that means even if I reviewed this one right before he started posting (which wasn't the case) that would have been back in February. Wolf waits to have the story finished before he begins posting.

I think you can tell the difference in quality between an author who takes his time to get things right, and those who scribble something and post it the same day or week. Maybe that's why he and I get compliments about quality writing?

Well deserved, on both accounts.

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1 hour ago, Kitt said:

Hey guys, watch all that "ancient" shit. Carlos is only a couple years older than me!

Yeah but he's four months younger'n me so I know from whence I speak.

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At least Brandon has survived. How much will he tell Austin? Will he recover  not just in his body, but also in his heart and mind? Like the rest of his crew family, he will need that month’s rest. 

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On 5/18/2021 at 10:47 AM, Carlos Hazday said:

Driving home yesterday, I was tempted to stop at a rest stop to read the chapter but those places have a reputation and I was scared someone e may try to molest me.

Could there be more like her? Maybe subsequent rains and floods were due to to a water Elemental? Is there someone in Australia who pissed off the Elementals High Council? 

Loved this chapter months ago, and a new reading didn't diminish that.

Maybe someone called her a sheila. That's enough to put some women on the warpath there. Wait... Rest Stops have reputations? You older generations got to have all the fun. ;)

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