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    Yeoldebard
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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. 

Damian's Wolf - 12. Displacement

Jordan curled up against Damian in front of a fireplace, the flames crackling merrily as the neko stroked his head.

“Who’s a good boy?” Damian whispered in the werewolf’s ear, and Jordan grinned.

An earsplitting shriek filled the air and Jordan darted up in his bed, clapping his hands over his ears. Flames flickered silently along the walls of the apartment, the fire alarm wailing for anyone near to get out.

Standing, Jordan pulled his hands away from his head, wincing in pain at the siren’s wail. A phone was thrust into his hands, Damian hurrying toward the front door.

The neko pulled at the door in vain, nearly wrenching his arms out of their sockets. He yelled something at Jordan, but the words were lost to the werewolf’s mind, replaced with the screeching from the alarm.

Jordan shoved his phone in his pocket, rushing to the door. He twisted the knob and yanked at the barrier, giving up quickly when it became obvious the door wouldn’t budge. Something was locking them inside.

“This way!” Jordan yelled, grabbing Damian’s hoodie as he moved toward the kitchen area.

Damian grabbed the bag containing Jordan’s wages as he ran past the bookshelf next to the fridge. Wrapping his arm in the hoodie for extra protection, Jordan shoved his elbow through a window, shattering the glass. He lifted Damian through the window right before a huge gush of flames leapt at him from further in the apartment.

Glancing behind him, Jordan saw the flames burning through the mattress he had been asleep on not three minutes earlier. He turned back to the window, climbing out of the building, and he and Damian ran away from the burning building.

 

They stared from a distance as firetrucks poured water on the building. Jordan felt numb. His entire life, as dismal as it was, had been in that building. His bed, his books, his TV. All of it gone in a blaze of flames. He was fortunate his bike was parked far enough from the apartment that it had escaped the flames’ wrath.

His elbow stung from shards of glass, but it was all a small price to pay for their lives. At least Damian had thought to grab the money.

A car skidded to a stop, Arisa jumping out a moment later.

“Are you two okay?” she cried, rushing toward them.

“We’re okay,” Damian said quietly as they were enveloped in the elf’s arms.

“Fuck… I’ll help you two find another place to live,” Arisa promised as a man approached them.

“We couldn’t find anything that would prevent the door from opening,” the fireman said.

“Wait, you were stuck in there? How’d you get out?” Arisa demanded.

“Window,” Jordan said, rubbing his elbow. “I don’t want to take up space at your house.”

“Well what other choice do you two have? I am not letting my friends sleep on the streets.”

Damian suddenly reached into Jordan’s pocket, withdrawing a card. Jordan’s eyes zeroed in on the card, and he began shaking his head.

“No. No way,” he said.

“Isn’t this what they are for?” the neko said quietly.

“Damian, who says they weren’t the ones who set the fire to drive me into the pack?”

Arisa snatched the card from Damian’s hands.

“The North Astara Wolf Pack? Jordan, when were you going to tell me about this?” she demanded, staring at the card.

“Never. Because I’m never going there.”

“They will help you find a place to live,” the elf said quietly.

She returned Jordan’s glare with one of her own.

“It’s either them or me. Don’t fight me on this Jordan.”

“And what about Damian? He’s not a wolf. I doubt they would let him stay with me there.”

“Claim him.”

The werewolf sucked in a breath.

“Excuse me?” he demanded quietly.

“You heard me,” Arisa said just as quietly. “We all know what it means. We’ve all been taught not to come between a wolf and his mate. It’s why I let your thing with Eric go as far as it did.”

Jordan snarled at the elf, who met the werewolf’s gaze coolly. His demeanor softened slightly, then he spun away from the two.

“FUCK!”

The shout echoed down the street, drawing the attention of several of the firemen. Damian placed a hand on the wolf’s arm gently.

“You don’t have to do this,” the neko whispered soothingly. “I know a place we can stay, out of sight, and it doesn’t get that cold.”

“I’m not letting you stay on the street again,” Jordan growled. “You’re not some stray cat. Not any more.”

He took a shaky breath, turning fully to Damian.

“I… I claim you as my mate, if you will accept me.”

“I will.”

 

He knew the pack had nothing to do with the fire. They wouldn’t have trapped the two of them inside to burn. Still, Jordan stared at the card silently as the sun rose on the horizon. He had an hour until he needed to be at work, and as much as he wanted to call Blanche and explain what happened, he didn’t want to let her down.

Damian stood nearby, giving Jordan some space at the pond. The werewolf was under a lot of pressure already. The last thing he wanted was to make it worse.

Jordan stooped down and picked up a stone. He hurled it out across the water, each slap as the stone skipped a satisfying sound to his ears. How had life gotten so fucked up? He had finally gotten used to his lonely life in his small apartment. And now he was responsible for two people with no place to live, forced to make a call he had never wanted to make.

Turning toward Damian, Jordan approached the neko.

“Let’s go to work,” he muttered.

The bike ride did little to clear his head. Jordan knew he was procrastinating. It didn’t help him make that call.

The werewolf drove out of his way, speeding past the pack complex. It was one of those places kids dared each other to go to, no one ever going near unless they had a reason. And now he had a reason.

It was a nice place, he had to admit. From the outside it looked no different than a school with housing on campus. But even in human form he could smell the wolves within, smell their small territories within the larger territory of the complex.

The place was gated, a small guardhouse blocking entrance, but he had no reason to go in. Not yet. Jordan drove by, turning back toward the book store.

 

Slipping a key into the door, Jordan set about turning on the lights.

“Can you get the broom and do a quick sweep,” he asked Damian.

Silently, the neko nodded, disappearing into the back room. Jordan followed him, ducking into the office. Starting the computer, the werewolf set about totalling the previous day’s earnings. To his mild surprise, they had done better yesterday than they ever had before. The werewolf wasn’t certain Halor had nothing to do with that. He wouldn’t say anything to Blanche though. There was no definite proof the elf had been skimming off the top of the money pile.

It didn’t take him long to finish the count, shaking his hands at the minor sting of the silver coins. Adding the total to the computer, Jordan stood with a sigh, cracking his back. The card for the wolf pack sat beside the computer, staring at him, daring him to make the call.

“Fuck…” he sighed again, picking up the card.

He pulled out his phone and dialed the number on the card before he could stop himself.

“Hello?” a perky voice answered the phone.

“Hi, I’m calling for Ryan Corius,” Jordan said.

“This is he.”

“Hi Mr. Corius, I’m calling in regards to a card I received yesterday.”

“Ah, Jordan, correct?”

“Yes,” the werewolf said with mild suspicion.

“I thought so. I don’t often give my cards out,” Ryan said with a soft chuckle. “What can I do for you?”

“Well, I find myself with a problem this morning. My apartment seems to have burned down in the middle of the night.”

“Well shit, that’s not good. Do you know what caused the fire?”

Ryan’s voice betrayed his shock, confirming Jordan’s suspicions that the pack hadn’t set the fire.

“I believe it was arson, however the official cause is unknown.”

“Hmm. Well, if there is anything the pack can do to ease the suffering of a wolf, we will do it. Do you have a place to stay until you get back on your feet?”

“That is actually why I am calling. I do not have a place for tonight. At the moment I am at work, and will be for the rest of the day.”

“I see. Well, I can see if there are any openings at the pack house. If I can’t find any, I will place a few calls on your behalf, if I may. Please understand that if you stay at the pack house, there is no obligation to join the pack. If you decide to do so, however, I can assure you the benefits are well worth it.”

“Thank you Mr. Corius. I admit I have several misgivings about joining a pack.”

“I understand. It cannot be easy going wolf on your own. I am sorry it has taken so long for a pack to reach out to you. I will let you get back to your work, and let you know later if we have a place available.”

The phone went dead, and Jordan hung up.

“I’m sure you are sorry it took this long to find me,” he muttered.

Standing, the werewolf tucked the card back in his pocket and went to open the store.

 

The morning was busy, to Jordan’s surprise. No less than twenty people came in through the morning, each buying several books. Quite a few were interested in wolves, though that was common enough after a full moon. Whatever the cause for the influx of customers, Jordan knew Blanche would be happy with the morning’s business.

“How are you holding up Damian?” he asked, standing beside the neko.

Damian stifled a yawn, yet Jordan still saw it, and the wolf yawned instead, causing the neko to follow.

“I’m doing okay,” he said, coming down from the yawn.

Jordan’s phone rang suddenly.

“Can you hold down the fort for a moment?”

Damian nodded, and the werewolf ducked into the office again.

Answering the phone, Jordan held back his nerves, barely.

“Hello?”

“Hi Jordan. We do have a bed available on pack grounds if you are interested,” Ryan’s voice said without preamble.

“Just one? I have someone I am bringing with me.”

“Oh. We cannot allow non wolves on pack grounds. It is a security risk.”

“He’s my mate,” Jordan said quietly.

“Oh. Well, in that case, it would be best for him to visit you.”

“Mr. Corius, he is homeless just like I am. Is there anyway you can make an exception?”

Jordan heard footsteps behind him, and turned to find Blanche staring at him. His heart sank quietly at the look on her face.

“I will do some asking, but it is unlikely anyone will be willing to bunk three to a room and with a non wolf. I am assuming your mate is a non wolf, correct?”

“That is correct.”

“Very well. I’ll see what I can do.”

“Thank you Mr. Corius.”

Jordan hung up the phone again, mentally preparing himself for the next fight.

“What are you doing here?”

Jordan frowned.

“You asked me to open this morning, right?” he asked.

“Yes, but that was before your apartment burned down! Why didn’t you call in? You should be looking for a place to stay, not slaving away at work!” Blanche exclaimed.

“But you wouldn’t have opened today-”

“Jordan, I may be old, but I am more than capable of taking care of my store if I need to. I want you and Damian to take the rest of the day off. I know he was staying with you, and I will not permit both of my employees to be homeless under my watch. As of now, you are on paid time off. Let me know when you are in a position to return to work.”

“Yes Miss Reyla,” Jordan said. “Thank you.”

The woman nodded.

“You take care of yourself.”

 

Jordan pulled up to a cheap restaurant, gently peeling Damian’s hands off his body.

“You are a bit of a scaredy cat,” he laughed quietly.

“Only when we’re flying through back streets,” Damian protested weakly, standing on shaky legs.

“That’s the only way to travel. The wind in your hair, the road winding beneath you.”

“You almost crashed at least three times!” Damian squeaked.

Jordan placed a comforting arm around the neko, resting his head briefly on Damian’s shoulder.

“Come on, let’s get some breakfast,” he said, kneeling next to his bike to pull a few silver from the money they had.

They were seated quickly, Jordan staring across the table at Damian’s hidden face. It had become a bit of a game, trying to find the neko’s eyes under the hood he so often wore.

Their server set a glass of milk before each of them, and they placed their order. As the elf left, Jordan’s phone rang again.

“Well, wish us luck,” he smiled grimly at Damian before answering the phone.

“You are in luck Jordan. One of our members said he is willing to share his apartment with you and your mate,” Ryan said through the phone.

“That’s great!” Jordan replied.

“Could you and your mate meet me in front of the pack’s complex in an hour?”

“Sure,” Jordan said.

“Great. I will see you there.”

Hanging up the phone, Jordan smiled at the neko across from him.

“Well, we got a place. The only question is at what cost?”

Damian reached across the table, taking one of Jordan’s hands.

“It’s only temporary. They can’t make you do anything you don’t want,” he said.

“I hope you’re right. I don’t exactly know the laws around wolf packs.”

Jordan took a deep breath. This would be okay. If he had any notion they were trying to hurt him or Damian, he would leave the complex. The werewolf would allow nothing to endanger his mate.

I hope you enjoy the latest chapter in Damian and Jordan's story.

Copyright © 2019 Yeoldebard; 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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I read this chapter again. I'll point out very few exterior doors open outward. Throwing yourself at an inward facing door is an exercise in futility. You're fighting against both door and frame.

I agree the door was likely held by magic and probably the fire originated the same way. 

I'm still not dismissing Halor as a suspect. If he was skimming money, it wasn't a low paying job. If it wasn't Halor, one of them has an extremely dangerous enemy who is yet unknown.

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19 minutes ago, drpaladin said:

I read this chapter again. I'll point out very few exterior doors open outward. Throwing yourself at an inward facing door is an exercise in futility. You're fighting against both door and frame.

I agree the door was likely held by magic and probably the fire originated the same way. 

I'm still not dismissing Halor as a suspect. If he was skimming money, it wasn't a low paying job. If it wasn't Halor, one of them has an extremely dangerous enemy who is yet unknown.

Thank you for pointing this out. It definitely suggests some form of magic was used, perhaps a glyph of sorts that burned away? Hopefully the people investigating the fire can find out more.

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Interesting chapter. Of course Halor is the first suspect for the arson, but that may not be the actual truth. 

Something not quite right there. But, I guess speculating is not going to be as good as reading on! :)

 

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I also wonder what is going on with the fire on the same day as Halor becomes unemployed and Jordan gets contacted by the pack.  However, another possibility could be related to the presence of Damian.  It seems that not only Neko despise him, but at least one elf definitely did not like his presence in the book store.  Hopefully neither of them will have problems in the pack house.  

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Blanche is an absolute legend.

Definitely think magic was involved in the door not opening. Possibly the fire as well; the timing of the bed going up in flames seemed almost specifically planned to terrify.

Personal theory; Damian was the target, not Jordan...

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On 12/2/2019 at 7:31 AM, drpaladin said:

My suspicion on the arsonist center on Halor. He is the only one with an apparent motive. The sudden rise in store revenue raises more questions.

Now, how will this pack work out? Will Damian be accepted there?

I agree with @drpaladin on the fact that Halor has a motive for the fire and the store revenue happenings. Also how will the pack  accept  Damian since he is a neko and if not then Jordan will not stay so that means the pack doesn't work out for him. I will read on to find out!

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Who’s a good boy? lol. That must be one dusty store. I suspect magic holding the door as well. Could it have been the teacher mage that apparently hates wolves?

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