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    WolfM
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Higher Education - 9. Higher 9

“This moves us in the right direction towards recovery. Thank you everyone, and I hope you have a great weekend.” Thad ended the pack meeting with the upbeat news that more of Pit River’s stolen funds had been recovered.

The Zoom conference for outlying attendees was closed while shifters local to Burney headed for the door, leaving the pack offices. Long gone were the days of the entire pack gathering in the semi-outdoor meeting space known as The Grove. The pack had seen joy and tragedy there, along with the occasional dispute settled in the challenge ring. The last time it had been utilized was the night the McKinney family’s treachery was exposed and the leadership fell to the Elementals.

Wade wrapped an arm around his mate as they chatted with Trevor and a few friends; in addition to the alphas and the rest of the Pennsylvania contingent via their still active video link.

“Ethan and I are pleased with the progress being made. The business side looks great, but also the increased security seems to be working.” Aiden shifted in his seat, causing his smaller mate to fall against his side.

“Yeah. It’s been a couple months since there’s been an assassination attempt on either Thad or me. Hopefully, with the last three bodies of senior McKinney family members being put in the ground, they’ve gotten the message we’re not messing around.”

“It also doesn’t hurt we’re strangling their finances. Considering how useful Trevor’s been since he arrived, we might want to keep him.” Thad’s hand rested on Trevor’s shoulder.

“Oh, no. You’ve got me until mid, maybe late August only, then I’m heading back to school.”

“We could always assign him there when he graduates. It’s good experience. And he’d be able to get back to his current main squeeze.” Laughter erupted in the background behind him and Ethan. “Then again, he’s got a short attention span where the ladies are concerned.”

“Bro, I thought you were my bud. Don’t go starting trouble. And don’t think I can’t recognize that cackling, Casey and Cody. You guys know I just like to spread the joy around.”

“Definitely spreading something. Legs, lips, cum, and the list goes on. Oops, sorry, Mrs. Holmes. I forgot there’s actually a lady present.” Ethan blew a kiss at the camera. “You know we love you, Trev.”

“I raised three sons, Alpha Tucker.” A smile came to Sarah’s face. “You’ll have to try harder if you want to say something I haven’t already heard.”

“Thad, Wade, do you or the rest of the council have everything else you need from Ethan and me at the moment?”

The pair looked at each other before turning to the others and receiving head shakes. “It looks like we’re good, Alpha Jacobs.”

“In that case, it’s really late here so we’ll say goodnight. Thank you for all your hard work. We’ll talk to you soon.”

“Night, everyone.” Ethan waved as the screen went black

Marshal Holmes, the former alpha’s stepfather, stood with his mate Sarah, Dorian’s mother. “I still can’t get over how well it’s worked out with our alpha pair across the country from the pack.”

“Considering how many people log in to participate in the meetings, I’m not surprised. It’s a new and modern world.” Thad picked up a couple folders from the table. “It’s not the same as seeing people in person, but that’s just not feasible with how spread out the territory is.”

“From what I hear, these guys were great enforcers.” Trevor winked at his hosts. “Even though they’re technically betas now, they do a kickass job of running things as if they were the alpha pair.”

“I couldn’t have said it better myself. But they don’t want to listen to me.” Sarah kissed both men on the cheek. “As much as I miss that sweet, asshole son of mine, I’m happy all his real friends stepped up to carry on the pack. You’ve worked so hard to return things to the early days of his alphaship.”

“Thad and I could never have gotten this far without the support of you, Marshal, and the rest of your family.” Wade winked at the woman. “You always made sure we knew we were your favorites with all the blackberry pies or cobblers over the years.”

“Well, you boys made sure you spent time with me when Marshal was out of town. Even if my other boys were around. And I know you did it for more than just a pie here and there.”

“I grew up with pack meetings on Saturday or Sunday.” Trevor grabbed the last of what needed to be carried off. “It seems weird having them on a Thursday night.”

“Well, Trevor, not to knock the way Parker Valley does things, but everyone decided they wanted the weekend as free time. So we give up a couple hours on a weeknight.” Thad had a smug look plastered on his face. “There’s the occasional gathering on a weekend or full moon parties. And we do have mandatory meetings twice a year where everyone gets together, but this system works here.”

“If Ethan or Aiden don’t suggest it to Alpha Stockdale back in Pennsylvania, I will.”

The remaining members of the pack dispersed. Trevor hopped in the back seat of Wade’s truck. He was growing accustomed to anytime he rode with the pair, there would be two additional vehicles with their security personnel flanking them.

******

Wade pulled into the garage and killed the engine. JT parked in the driveway while the second vehicle waited on the street. “You and Thad gonna be in for the night or want to go for a run?”

The beta pair glanced at each other in a silent conversation before shrugging. “A run would be nice, but we’ve taken up enough of your time tonight.”

Waving to the other truck, JT was apparently satisfied when it turned off its lights and the occupants got out. He pulled off his shirt and woofed. “Wolf time it is.”

The group went into the backyard where they stripped. Trevor watched them as he too pulled his shirt off. JT had the typical muscular body a lot of wolves had. There was a hint of gray starting among the nearly black of his beard and chest hair. His eyes traveled down his pecs to the four pack abs that weren’t as tight as the younger lycan, but still prominent. Boxers hung low on his hips where a healthy bulge swung free in them. The man’s legs were powerful, and Trevor had seen how fast he could run. The other five men on the detail were similar in build. Their age and hair color might have varied from black, brown, to a lone ginger, but the rest was close. His focus settled on the redhead, who was the youngest of the bodyguards, primarily the eight pack abs and peach colored Box brand briefs with the large tube running up to the left. The guy looked like he was in his mid to upper twenties with the same high-and-tight style haircut he had seen so often in Southern California and worn by his friend, Cody. Trevor returned to stripping and toed off his sneakers.

“Like what you see?” The redhead’s smirk was difficult to ignore. “I don’t usually swing that way, and from what I heard you don’t either. Unless the rumors are just rumors about parents needing to lock up their daughters around the pussy-hound beta. But I could consider it with someone who’s just here for a while.” The smile broadened. “I’m Skyler.”

“Sorry, was just picturing what you’d look like on your knees in front of me.” The wolfish grin showed Trevor meant no harm with the comment. “Nice to meet you. And for the record, the parents are usually trying to push their daughters at me.” He rolled his eyes. “Honesty, I’m not sure why I was staring. Maybe it’s those killer abs or the haircut. I think I’m becoming more aware of the male body since I’m surrounded by so many gay friends and same sex couples. The underwear color’s bold too, but looks good with all that red hair.” Trevor had finally dropped his shorts and was down to a pair of Andrew Christian briefs.

“Thanks. I’m just teasing. My boss would bust my ass if he caught me harassing you like this. But I’ll say that underwear looks good on you too. They should hire you as a model.” Skyler winked. “Just curious, what was I doing on my knees?”

“Chowing down on this of course.” Trevor gripped his bulge. “So, if you don’t usually swing that way, I’m flattered I caught your attention.”

“To be equally honest with you, hooking up with anyone can be more hassle than it’s worth around here. The betas are the only out guys I know in town. Any likely candidate is usually so far in the closet they’re practically in Narnia.” Skyler chuckled. “Women are generally my thing, and I’m happy going that route. But the older I get, the more they seem to be looking for a husband, and I haven’t met one in or out of the pack that catches my interest enough to date long term. A no strings blowjob or piece of ass is better than a lonely hand.” The devilish grin was capped off by a wink. “Plus, since you’re tight with the alphas, I’m guessing you probably don’t have any hang-ups about a little harmless flirting.”

“Are you two ever gonna finish getting naked and shift or are you just gonna keep checkin’ each other out.” JT crossed his arms while the rest broke into laughter. “Always the young, single guys slowing things down and having to compare equipment.” He made sure to use air quotes on his last two words while rolling his eyes.

The blush was evident on Skyler, and Trevor felt his face warm up. The shift started and all seven dropped to their paws. Soon they were out of the neighborhood with no destination in mind.

As the wolves ran, Trevor moved in beside the redhead. “I haven’t seen you on the detail before. Just not on the shifts I’ve been around or new to it?”

“Sorry, but I can’t talk while we’re out. I’ve got one duty, and that takes priority.” Skyler’s ears constantly panned around, trying to pick up the faintest hint of a threat.

For his part, Trevor growled at himself for making such a rookie error in judgment. He had been around security teams for Ethan and Aiden enough to have known better.

They ran at a leisurely pace and after an hour and a half reached the Subway Caves lava tubes. Wade led the way down the steps and into the darkness. Their eyes adjusted but, even after a short distance, a slight glint of moonlight off a metal handrail was the only light visible.

“Last time I was here seems like eons ago. It was with Dorian.” Wade let out a sigh. “A group of drunk and stoned college-aged campers had stumbled over here from across the highway. They were making dares like stripping naked and other dumb stuff. There were five of us and Dor had us get our heads as close together as possible. He growled which got the attention of the guys. Their light caught our eyes but they were too far gone, and I guess they figured it was one animal with ten eyes. Scared the piss out of them.” Wade chuffed at the memory.

“I remember that.” Thad nuzzled his mate’s neck. “When we finally stopped rolling around from laughing so hard, we got out to the road in time to see them still trying to get back to their campsite. They locked themselves in their car instead of sleeping in tents. Gods, I miss the pranks Dorian used to pull.” He was silent for a few moments. “Let’s head back. How about we show Trevor Alien Encounters on the way?”

“Say what?” Trevor cocked his head, puzzled

“You’ll see.”

The wolves took a roundabout way back towards Burney. Heading north, they moved in and out of trees or scrub brush. Running through an area with a nice density of trees, dodging branches and leaping over logs, the loud crack of a rifle firing sounded. A bullet whizzed by close enough it made a serration line in the red wolf’s fur.

Skyler and one other tackled Wade while JT knocked Thad to ground. Trevor was on his belly as his ears scanned for anything. Normal sounds of the night vanished, and everything became deathly still. The scent of gunpowder hung in the air.

Not picking anything else up by sight, sound, or smell, JT stayed low as he searched the area. The others protecting the beta pair continued to shield them. He was back in a few minutes. “All clear. It’s a remote gun, or I should say it was. One of us must have hit a tripwire. Guess there’s another illegal pot grower around here. I’ll notify the Sheriff’s Department in the morning.” Carefully checking the area he started moving again. “Watch your step. There could be more booby traps.”

Eventually, the wolves made it to the Allen Telescope Array. Made up of forty-two radio telescope antennas, it was originally built and operated jointly by Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Radio Astronomy Laboratory of UC Berkeley until it was sold off to a privately funded organization.

“Okay, I’m impressed. This is the last thing I expected to find around here.”

“Bet you don’t have one of these in your home territory.” For a wolf, Thad had a particularly smug grin.

“Okay, no rivalry between packs. We’re more or less one big family. And he is one of us, you know?” Wade nudged his mate. “We’re far enough from significant radio interference that it works. But yeah, just another quirk of the Pit River Pack territory.”

Back at the house, shifted to human, Trevor approached Skyler. “I want to apologize for out on the run. I’ve got to remember you’re doing a job and can’t afford the distraction of conversation. I’ve been around my buddies’ details back home enough I should have known better.”

“Don’t worry about it. No harm, no foul and as soon as I said something I noticed your ears go into search mode too.” Skyler relaxed in a chair next to Trevor while several of the others got in the hot tub or sat on stools around it. “About your question earlier, I’ve been on the team for a while. Just not when you’ve been around. Think you had dates or,” he coughed, “sleepovers the nights I worked.”

“Gotcha. I know you’re good at what you do.” Trevor leaned forward and lit the fire pit in front of them. “You had Wade on the ground and covered fast.”

“I did eight years in the Marine Corps before coming home and joining the hunters. JT pulled me for this detail after the last attempt where Wade was shot. So glad that was minor.”

“Do you miss being in the Marines? A buddy from home talks about it some. He went from active duty to the reserves when he became a hunter. Well, he was a hunter until he was assigned to Ethan’s protection.”

“You mean that cocksucking coyote, right?”

Trevor cocked his head, brows furrowed, and fists clinched. “I mean my friend, Cody!” The growl was unmistakable and caused a few others to look in their direction.

“Chill civie. He and I hang out whenever they’re in town, and I consider him a friend too. Had to see if I could get a rise out of you. Well, at least more than the one in your shorts.” Skyler nodded towards Trevor’s crotch. “Besides, it’s not really uncommon for one jarhead to call another a cocksucker no matter if they suck dick or not. You know the guys who’re confident in themselves since they don’t get pissed about it. The closet cocksuckers usually go ballistic.” His grin grew. “And you know you’re in for a good time when you hit the head.”

“I’m protective of my friends, regardless of species.”

“It’s a good trait to have.” Skyler moved to bump fists with Trevor. “Know you probably have a date tomorrowhas to be after midnight so technically today. How about hangin’ out the next time we’re both free?”

“I’d like that.” His fist met the redhead’s halfway. “Could always use more friends around here. Especially if it’s a Marine who sucks dick.” He laughed at getting flipped off.

******

Cassidy’s friend, Randy, had been driving for about forty-five minutes when they reached a road sign indicating the Lassen Volcanic National Park was the upcoming left turn. It was another mile before the truck pulled to a stop as traffic slowly moved through the entrance station. Randy showed the pass Trevor had on his phone and accepted the map from the ranger before proceeding into the park. The trees were not overly dense, allowing a view of Manzanita Lake to their right and the namesake peak of the national park ahead of them. A few hundred feet more and another lake appeared to their left.

Trevor’s eyes were glued to the window as the trees thinned and ground color changed. “Why’s it so different here from just back the road a bit?”

“This is from either a lava or pyroclastic flow from Chaos Crag over there.” Randy pointed to a barren peak to their right. “Or it could be from Lassen’s last eruption. I’m not sure which. Pretty sure it’s from Chaos though. There’s a bunch of spots like this in the park.”

“Randy, I’m impressed.” It showed on Hannah’s face. “You actually did pay attention in school.”

“This is so cool. Glad you suggested this, Cassy.” Trevor squeezed her hand to show his gratitude. “And thanks for doing the driving, Randy. I wouldn’t have minded, but this way I get to take it all in.”

“No worries. Just remember the rule for passengers: cash, grass, or ass. Don’t really care how I get paid.”

“Pretty sure I’m paying for everyone then.” Hannah’s hand moved over the center console and rested on Randy’s upper thigh.

“You keep your eyes off Trevor’s ass, Randy.” Cassidy slapped the back of her friend’s head. “Besides, he paid for the park pass. And rumor has it around town you get all the ass you could want.”

“Can’t blame me for tryin’ to get city-boy to pay twice.” Randy’s deep chuckle filled the cab. “And no such thing as too much.”

A smirk formed on Trevor’s lips. “You and the tailgate would look good together with me showing you what a city-boy can do.”

“Oh, god. The testosterone fueled chest puffing has officially started. Why, oh, why is it always something that sounds gay?” Hannah’s three travel companions could all see the dramatic eye roll. “Good thing we’re here, Cassy. These boys wouldn’t know what to do on their own.”

“Isn’t that the truth?” Cassidy giggled. “And why is it straight men always find a way to say something about doing it with another guy? Even the married ones in our group do it.”

Trevor caught something in Randy’s eyes when he glanced at the rearview mirror. “Just one of those primal, domination instincts.”

“Whatever. Good thing there’s two women who know how to properly take care of things.” Hannah’s hand moved higher on Randy’s leg.

******

Another thirty minutes of driving, and they arrived at their destination. The truck turned into the Lassen Peak Trailhead parking lot and finally came to a stop. The quartet checked their boots and pulled hiking gear out of the bed. All wearing CamelBak backpacks to make drinking water easier.

Randy opened an ice chest. “Trevor, you and I can carry a couple more bottles in our packs. The lunch stuff’s light and can go in the ladies’.”

“Sounds good. Load me up.” Trevor shook his head as Randy reached for his fly. Unzipping his pack, he took another gallon container, and stuck it inside. With it on his back again, he secured the strap across his chest and pulled the stopper on the drinking hose open. Biting down on the tip, he took a quick sip to make sure everything worked right. “Think we’re good to go.”

Helping Randy put the ice chest and anything they were not carrying with them into the back seat, they went to where the women waited for them. Hannah and Cassidy gave both men hiking poles. A final adjustment of sunglasses and hats, and the group started up the trail.

“What’s our starting elevation?”

“About 8,500 feet, Trevor. The trail to the top’s around two and a half miles and climbs almost two thousand feet.” Cassidy leaned in close. “Bet you could carry me up and back with those strong arms.”

Trevor looked up the mountain and let out a whistle. “This is gonna be a fun climb.” At the first switchback, there was an interpretative plaque explaining the Healing Scar and why the mountain still lacked much vegetation. He discretely sniffed the air. His wolf wanted to shift and run free, but he managed to keep that part of himself under control. With very few exceptions, fellow hikers adhered to the general rule that those ascending have the right of way and people coming back down step to the side. Being mid-morning, most on the trail were headed up. Those coming down already tended to be in tennis shoes with no water or a single sixteen ounce bottle. Trevor shook his head at the stupidity of people not planning ahead.

The trail switched back several times as it continued to climb and the terrain grew ever rockier. The higher they went, the less conversation there was. The thinning air carried less oxygen at the higher altitude. Everyone concentrated on the terrain and on what they were doing. Finally, the path leveled out when they moved across a ridgeline.

“I know we’re high up, but it’s still cool to be walking across snow at the end of June. Even if it’s just small patches. Isn’t it supposed to be around ninety degrees in Burney today?” Trevor felt his wolf give him a little mental kick to remind him to breathe harder like the others. “The view’s incredible.”

Cassidy and Hannah merely nodded. Randy high-fived Trevor. “We made it. Well, almost.” He pointed to the actual peak a short distance away.

Four plaques describing different views and information on the mountain formed a square where they had stopped. Trevor looked at the one closest to him. “This is kinda cool, it says the park’s home to all four types of volcano: shield, composite, cinder cone. And we’re standing on one of the tallest plug dome volcanoes in the world.”

“If you guys want to go up the last little bit, Hannah and I will wait here for you.”

“Be back shortly.” Trevor and Randy both took off for the actual summit.

“Hey, Trev.” Randy pointed down to their left. “There’s the crater. Used to be able to see steam vents or something like that. Seems nice and quiet today.”

“Quiet’s good when you’re on top of something that can erupt.”

“Don’t know about that. Never had a complaint when Mount Randy explodes.” He waggled his eyebrows and laughed.

“Can’t say I have either.” Trevor tilted his head and cocked an eyebrow. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you wanted to find out how big a blast I can cause.”

Randy laughed even harder as they climbed the last few feet of jagged rock. “Was more interested in showing how I do it, but fair’s fair if it’s both ways.” He pointed to a metal box and solar panels just below them. “Weather station, and I think gas and seismic equipment.”

They took each other’s pictures along with a few joint selfies at the top. Trevor snapped several more as he marveled at the incredible 360 degree view. “Thanks for coming along today, and for driving. It’s been cool getting to know you and Hannah better.”

“Same here, Trevor. You seemed like a good guy last weekend, and Cassy says you’re a lot of fun. She’s right.” Randy studied him for a moment. “Wasn’t sure what to think about some East Coast college guy. I kinda expected you be sorta snobby after the initial meet at the lake, but you’re alright.” He held out his fist and smiled when it was tapped. “And I’d be grateful if we could keep the flirting just between us. Small town, sometimes small minds.”

“Remember, I come from a small town too. Everyone wants to know your business. I may go to a fancy school, but I haven’t forgotten who I am.”

“Yep. And in a place like Burney, you can’t always get your needs filled, even with several regulars.” Randy tilted his head back towards the women. “So you take what opportunities pop up. Like an out-of-towner or truck driver dropping off at the mill. It’s sometimes that or your hand.” Randy shook his head. “Not sure why the hell I’m telling you this, but somehow I feel safe.”

“I seem to have that effect on people. Five of my best friends are gay. They make up two relationships that sometimes cross into one. And a buddy of mine at school came out to me a couple months ago. I’m pretty much fine with anyone who isn’t a douche.”

“Damn, five? You ever get in on that?”

“It’s a couple and a throuple, but they live on the same property and have been known to share. I grew up with two as my best friends, the others joined in and are my family.”

“So… You kinda dodged my question. Do you ever swing with the guys?”

“Closest I’ve got was with a trans woman. I get plenty of offers, but I’m the one my buddies describe as terminally straight. It’s been kind of odd how many offers I’ve been getting lately. More so than normal. Maybe I’m giving off signals I don’t realize. Hell, maybe I’m wanting to branch out and try new things and just don’t know it yet.” Trevor stared off into the distance.

“I’ve seen that look on plenty of guys. Usually first timers that are curious or the ones who hit up a glory hole and convince themselves the other person in the men’s room is a woman. Not saying you look like you’d go for guys. But if you do, it opens up some possibilities for both of us.” A smirk crossed Randy’s face. “When we get home, Hannah’s not gonna know she needs to thank you for me being extra horny. Provided the hike doesn’t tire her out too much.” He reached into his shorts to adjust himself.

Trevor tried to remain neutral at being pegged for someone who might hit that convenient hole between bathroom stalls. “Won’t lie, you got me just as horned. Kinda puzzled by that, but whatever. Each new offer kinda has me considering the options more. Might be worth finally seeing if it’s for me or not.” Trevor and Randy were laughing like old friends by the time they returned to the women. They decided to eat lunch at the top of the mountain before hiking down.

Having nearly depleted the water reservoir in their packs on the ascent, the guys pulled out the spare water to refill them. The women had not gone through as much.

“Hold up, Trevor, or you’ll waste a bunch of that.” Randy had his own bottle in front of him.

“What do you mean?” Trevor stayed his hand.

“Turn the cap very slowly to let the pressure out that might have built up. We filled these about seven thousand feet lower than we are now. Open the cap fast, and you could get a bath. Plus lose a lot of water.”

“Isn’t that only for carbonated stuff?” Cassidy looked skeptical. “It was funny the time you opened that Coke bottle up here, and it sprayed all over the place.”

“It might be, but better safe than wet.” Randy turned the cap on his water bottle and there was a slight hiss.

With lunch finished and their water replenished, the four spent the next two hours hiking back to the truck. Cassidy and Hannah curled up in the back seat for the drive home, sleeping most of the way. After dropping them off, Randy headed for where Trevor was staying. “Well, guess we wore them out and won’t be getting laid tonight. Hell of a way to spend a Saturday night.” Randy kissed his right hand. “At least I know this date won’t let me down.”

“I hear ya.” Trevor chuckled. “Not sure if I’m ready to do anything with a guy yet.” He felt an odd curiosity, similar to when he was in Australia. “If you’re up for bottoming, maybe…”

“That almost never happens.”

“Then it means it’s not out of the question.”

“If I give up my ass, I better at least get a blowjob out of it. And you gotta swallow.”

“Let’s grab a beer and food someplace. I’m enjoying being around a guy my age, outside of the people I’m usually around. We can figure out the other possibilities some other time.”

Copyright © 2023 WolfM; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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