Authors: Susan G. Charles
“Yes, I know. This is good news. The bad news is that he has attempted to disgrace our very bloodline and heritage. And outside of quest we already venture… now we must handle the fact that we have indeed stumbled upon a new enemy, and this enemy is one of our own. In fact, he is a disgrace to the ancient bloodline. I want you to bring him to me. And if he will not come willingly…” Arthur had begun raising his arm to the pack in front of him. “Then bring me his head.”
In his clenched fist, he held the head of his most recent kill. It was a male’s head, a newly severed male’s head with long, grimy, curly brown hair. His brown eyes were still open, blood dripped from his neck. The head belonged to the Alpha of a larger pack of werewolves they had just defeated. The pack cheered when he held it out like a trophy, bragging of his savage and brutal accomplishments.
“I don’t care how you do it. But I want you to spread out… and bring him back from under the rock he has crawled up under. The one who brings him in… will be my successor. Now go!”
The small crowd roared at the grand prize. They dispersed down the mountainside in a competitive frenzy. The rocky land where they had just stood displayed the slain bodies of men, women and children, all who were just recently slaughtered in battle. Arthur was pleasured by its company, the gore of it all, as he always had been.
He was a ruthless son-of-a-bitch that left no survivors. He admired his grotesque scenery with a psychotic evil that held no boundaries. And because of this grotesque savagery, this was the exact reason Morgan had chosen not to follow in the path of his crazed father and had left, oh, so long ago.
ONE MONTH LATER, AND SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES AWAY
He was leaving the shelter in a good mood when he’d received the call, dressed in a brand new tailored, grey Armani suit and black Collezioni lace-up shoes. He was cleanly shaven and had just got a fresh haircut too. He fit the part of successful businessman in every way – at least as far as looks were concerned.
“I love you.” Bailey’s sweet voice came through the receiver.
He laughed a joyous and surprising laugh. “Sweetheart I just left you inside. It hasn’t even been five minutes.”
She laughed back. “So…”
“Well, I love you back.”
“See you when I get home?” she asked playfully.
He looked both ways before crossing the busy street, dodging traffic. “I don’t want to make you any promises I can’t keep, beautiful,” Morgan toyed.
“What? You’re kidding me… right?” she questioned.
“Ah, but of course I am. I couldn’t leave the woman that tried to take my life, and then saved it in the same night now could I?”
Bailey had to watch her way with words, being around so many. She said, “You did me first.”
That was a wrong choice of words. A homeless man waiting on a serum for his psoriasis overheard her. His thick eyebrows quickly lifted and lowered four times as he displayed what was left of his stained, black and yellow teeth, while feverishly tapping at his knees with a loss for words.
Bailey silently apologized to the man and took a few steps further away. “So I take it we’re almost even.” Morgan said.
“Almost even,” Bailey’s voice slightly grew with a playful respect for the game they were playing.
Another choice of bad words, perhaps. She caught herself, turned to the homeless guy. He made the same gesture as before. Yep, he heard her.
Morgan said, “Yeah, almost…”
“If I recall you’re still in the hole,” Bailey joked.
She turned to the homeless gent once again after she’d spoken. Her body jerked, her eyes bolted shut, and she held her cell phone tightly for a second; reopened her eyes with a smile. He was right on her heels, eavesdropping. If she didn’t hang up the phone now he was likely to ask her on a date. She placed a slim open hand over the speaker and told him she’d be with him shortly.
“Okay, so together we’re toxic. But it’s a good toxic. One that I don’t ever want to get rid of.”
“Great! Same here too honey. I have to go. Bye!” Bailey finished.
The phone went dead.
Morgan looked to his cell as if he couldn’t believe she’d spoke so rapidly before hanging up on him without waiting to hear his confession of love. He shoved the phone within his inside jacket pocket and made a right turn on the next street. There was a flower boutique there. Bailey loved flowers just as much as her antiques, as much as she enjoyed helping to save a life, and he took a great enjoyment in fulfilling her ever desire.
He stepped in the boutique and returned holding a lovely, lone Kaffir Lily in a white pot in one hand, in the other, a Norfolk Island pine in a hardened clay container. The exotic pink Lily was for Bailey, the pine was his. Some habits are a bit harder to kick cold turkey than others. Not that pissing on houseplants was on the to-do list, it was the comfort of feeling at home that drew his interest toward dandy the young NIP.
The sun had almost vanished into the nothingness of nightfall. Morgan was nearing Bailey’s residence when a streetwalker, her eyes hidden behind the dark tint of designer shades, appeared from out of an alley with a catwalk stride that spelled out danger. From the mountain fresh scent of her straight, brown shoulder length hair, her body clenching, shiny, raspberry mini skirt that revealed her long and aesthetic legs, down to her designer, metallic open toe pumps, he knew she was watching him.
She lit a cigarette as she neared him, must have mistaken him for a John – although a prostitute’s job is to entice the general public to purchase goods based on the presentation – asked if he was looking for a good time and took an unhealthy cheek sucking drag of her cigarette.
“Wow!” he stated, apparently impressed. “I’m terribly sorry…” he politely responded, now with pep in his step. “If my fiancée found out she’d probably gut me like a fish,” he clowned.
The woman still tagged along, heels clanking on the concrete below. “You sure honey? I won’t tell if you won’t.”
“That’s hardly the point Miss,” Morgan countered.
“Then what is? Are you gay?” the hooker asked.
This woman was persistent. It was as if she’d never been turned down on the job before. She just wouldn’t back off.
“Listen…” Morgan said as he continued to walk up the sidewalk, the girl close behind. “You’re a very pretty young lady, way too pretty to be working these streets. It’s dangerous out here… you could find yourself in jail or even worse… picking up something you can’t get rid of.”
She became agitated by his statement and took one more hit of the stogie before flicking it into the oncoming traffic. “Are you saying I got something ya jerk?”
Morgan laughed it off. He wouldn’t dare waste his time entertaining this woman’s ignorance. He was better than that. He had more respect for women than to ever degrade them, unless they were about to become lunch. But those days were over. He’d found someone that he could truly dedicate himself to until the end of eternity, and for that reason alone he would have done nothing to risk the relationship he and Bailey had fought so hard together to maintain
However, the woman took his refusal as an insult. She rushed up beside him, and in her tantrum she took a swing at the Lily.
Although Morgan had seen a healer who attempted to cleanse him of his genetic makeup infused with the lupine parvovirus, he had not completely succeeded. As the girl’s open hand swayed near the exotic flower, Morgan instinctively lifted his arm, swung around and sweep-kicked the harlot off her feet, literally.
Little Miss Sunshine hit the ground with a thud and immediately hollered at him, “You idiot.”
“Please, accept my apologies. I didn’t mean to do that,” he said, the houseplants still in his hands unharmed and in perfect condition.
He had been known to sweep women off their feet, but that was nothing more than a figure of speech. He really didn’t mean to lay her out. Years of combat training and battles had been instilled in everything he’d ever done; there was no way of getting rid of his survival instincts. He could dodge a bullet if he wanted, but why waste the time when his wolf side would eat it up like junk food and spit it back out like a sunflower seed?
He was about to put the plants down and help her back to her feet when a voice arose from behind ordering him not to move. He gazed up to the blue-turned-black of the early night above and sighed as if he knew he was about to be forced to kill again. He turned to have a look at the bad boy – obviously her pimp – who commanded him to freeze.
“I said don’t move chump!”
This character couldn’t have been more than the drinking age and a foot shorter than Morgan. The young man aimed a 357 Smith & Wesson long nose in his direction. He was a frail black man who resembled Morgan’s disposition when he was ailing over Bailey. His braided hair was mostly shielded underneath a Black Yankees baseball cap, and he wore a long white t-shirt with baggy blue jeans over a fresh pair of Durango boots.
“Come on man, I’m just trying to go home.” Morgan said. “I don’t want any trouble.”
“Yeah, well you found it,” the pimp grumbled. “Jasmine, get up and run Flower Boy’s pockets.”
The girl did as she was told.
Morgan shook his head while holding the plants out to his sides. “You sure about this Jasmine?” he asked her as her hands rummaged through the pockets of his grey slacks.
“Shut up man!” the pimp shouted.
“Hey why don’t you come ‘run ‘em’ yourself tough guy.” Morgan shot back. “Come on. You’re the big man with the gun, right? Giving orders with that…”
The pimp bit down on his lips and advanced. “Oh, you think I’m playing with you!”
He fell for it.
No sooner than the pimp made his third footfall, Morgan had beamed the Lily in his face and followed up with the NIP. The gun went off as the pimp tried to deflect the objects. Jasmine screamed before she hit the concrete, moving out the way.
Morgan rushed the pimp. He twisted his wrist until the gun fell out of his hand, spun him around with his arm now behind his back and shoved him into the alley, watching his back get small as he ran off into the night.
Who’s the punk now!
With all the vehicles on the road someone was sure to call the cops and Morgan had not planned on being there when they arrived. He walked back out to the sidewalk and swore. He had seen the mess his plants had made on the sidewalk. He sort of chuckled when the reality of what had just happened finally begun to settle in.
Then he saw that Jasmine was still lying out on the sidewalk.
Damon’s female companions took to each of the brick walls on the left and right sides of the alley. They moved across them as if they had some type of newly developed suction devices glued to their hands and feet as they raced toward Morgan on all fours in their human forms, growling like the wild dogs they were. Morgan snapped his arms back with his fists balled, the veins in his arms protruded from beneath his skin. He raised his chin, and his war cry screamed for Damon.
He knew the girls would not be a problem. He could sense they were newborns to the pack. He was backed by the way their eyes had shimmered when they gawked at the unconscious Jasmine. They weren’t yet fully absorbed to the untamed lifestyle of a true natured Werewolf.
The two women came within five feet of Morgan and pounced off the walls, their arms stretched outward, claws and fangs extended as they soared through the air. Just as they reached him, he lunged for Damon. Diana and Kelly flew smack into each other, a bit shaken, now in the center of the alley in a head-spinning daze. Morgan and Damon locked up with one another, pounding on each other like they were arch rivals in a brutal fight to the death.
“I’m going to enjoy seeing you suffer Morgan.” Damon stressed through his locked jaws.
Morgan was too smooth for words. He wrapped his right leg around his brother’s right leg and pushed. Damon fell back, and before he hit the ground, spun around to face the cement, placed his hands down and pushed himself up into a backflip and landed behind Morgan on all fours, growling. Drooling like a rabid dog.
The girls rose to their feet behind Damon. They snarled at Morgan, turned their sights on Jasmine. What did he care? He essentially did, but if they went for the harlot he would be able to focus his concentration on Damon and catch up to them later, unless their hunger craved red meat at that particular moment which he was almost confident the newborns were indeed ravenous.
Damon charged again.
The girls went for Jasmine.
Morgan licked at his lips preparing to strike. His eyes sunk and his upper lip trembled with anger. He twisted his left foot getting a grip of the surface below. His nails grew to claws as Damon engaged. Both men leaped into the air; Morgan, his arm reaching toward the sky; Damon, his foot directed at his brother’s chest area.
As his brother’s foot connected with his chops, Morgan slashed at Damon’s upper thigh. Morgan flew back to where he’d positioned seconds before, landing firm on two feet. Damon touched down not even five feet in front of him, now laughing, in a taunting way, underneath his breath.
“Is this how you fight now Morgan?” Damon gave his clawed leg a look. “Like a girl?”
His wound had now begun to heal.
“Well that depends… was that your best shot or were you just testing my strength?” Morgan asked.
“Would you like to go at it again?” Damon questioned.
“It seems to me that you’re more talk than action.” Morgan responded. “When was the last time you actually beat me in anything?”
Damon walked toward Morgan, his chest rising and sinking, growing and dropping.
Morgan did not budge, he stood his ground. He was yet to break a sweat; while on the other hand, Damon had started to glimmer in perspiration. Was he worried? There was only one way to find out.
This time Morgan was the first to strike. He charged Damon head on, like a battering ram. Damon waited.
As Morgan took to the air, his sibling anticipated his arrival. As he descended toward Damon, Damon lunged forward, caught him on his descent and tossed him to where Jasmine once lay, into the aluminum trash can knocking it over. The junk in it scattered across the grounds.