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Jacob Robertson

Vet

0 · 415 views · located in Nevada

a character in “Bad Moon On the Rise”, as played by SkullsandSlippers

Description

[font=timenewsroman]Name: Jacob Mitchell Robertson

Nickname: Jake

Age: 28

Race : Human

Talents: Veterinarian, wood carving

Weaknesses: Hurt animals, anger issues

Sexuality: Heterosexual

Likes: Campfires, Coffee, Dogs, Beer, Cookies, Quiet, Fishing, Reading

Dislikes: Wine, Broccoli,Olives, Big Cities, Tv

Personality: At 5’11 and a muscular 195 lbs Jacob could be called intimidating but the soft spoken, warm man is far from intimidating. Warm and open though he fights to keep his temper under control.

Gentle it takes a great deal to spur on his anger but when he does it is explosive and violent.

Place of Origin: Nevada

History:

Jacob is one of five children born to a doctor and his wife. He was brought up in a loving, caring home though his anger caused a lot of tension in the family.

Even at a young age Jacob had trouble keeping his temper under control. He poured himself into sports in hopes of helping but all it did was make it worse.

It wasn’t until he was 17 that Jacob was able to learn to keep the temper under wraps. It was working on a farm that helped. The hard work and animals taught him patience. The farmer, also a big animal vet took Jacob under his wing and Jacob found a passion for animals.

He owns his own farm now with a veterinary clinic on the property.

So begins...

Jacob Robertson's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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“Ah geeze Ro, why am I the one who always gets dragged along for this crap?” Al griped as he trudged through the open field with his sister, not appreciating the crisp morning mountain air. He’d actually had plans today when he’d gotten the call from Ro at five friggin A.M. that Archie, a long time friend and pseudo pack member who owned a ranch outside Carson City, was having trouble with his livestock. Something apparently was killing his cattle, and so far, he hadn’t had any luck tracking it, much less putting a stop to it completely. They were here as a favor to help find whatever was killing Archie’s cattle, probably a mountain lion, which meant a lot of footwork and getting up close and personal with the fresh carcass to try and get a scent. Somehow Al doubted the feisty redhead with a penchant for fringed cowgirl boots from the bar last night that he was supposed to be meeting up with again tonight was going to appreciate him smelling like sweat and cow entrails.

“Why because of your sparkling personality of course Alphie.” Rowena quipped back evenly, not at all put out by her brother’s grumpy demeanor. Al replied to the nickname with a sour look, but didn’t comment on it. “Let’s just get this over with so I can get home and take a shower. I’ve got a hot date tonight, and no one likes a cock block Ro.”
“Far be it from me to get in the way of your recreation time Al, but I think Archie’s problem takes priority here. I’d have thought you of all people would be the most invested in helping him.” Ro responded with a raised brow. Archie was pushing seventy, and he and Al had practically been inseparable as children. Archie was also Al’s cousin by blood on his mother’s side, and though Ro understood her brother’s natural distancing with the aging human, she didn’t want her brother to regret missing out on the time they had left together.

“I think you need to make time to go and visit with him this weekend.” Ro instructed softly, her gaze flicking back toward her brother. Al’s face had become pensive, but he didn’t outright refuse her either.

The rest of their trek was in relative silence as they approached the carcass. Archie knew enough about werewolf senses not to touch the body and get his scent mixed in with whatever had killed his steer, which left it sitting out in the Nevada summer heat for at least two days now, making the stench pretty ripe.

“Ah God that’s rank.” Al hissed, nose wrinkled at the maggot infested flesh. He wasn’t sure what they were going to get from this putrefied flesh, because all he could smell was rot.

“I’m going to have to shift. There’s no way we’ll be able to pick up a two day old trail from a carcass this decayed otherwise.” Ro decided as she began unlacing her boots.

“Alright then. It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to stretch my legs.” Al agreed with a roll of his shoulder.

“Not you. I’ll track, you play human.” Ro wasn’t keen on the idea of getting shot at by any busey bodied farmer that happened to be in the area. Wolf sightings were rare in Nevada, but ranchers tended towards ‘shot-first-ask-questions-later’ when it came to wolves around their livestock. Have Al around to pretend to be her owner lent more protection to them both, since no one wanted to be the ass that shot a man’s dog right in front of him.

Al pouted, but he didn’t argue, instead averting his eyes away as Ro stripped and began shifting form. Werewolves, in general, had were not particularly self conscious about their bodies, as nakedness was just part of the deal, but that didn’t mean Al had any desire to get a good look at his sister’s dangly bits, or vice versa.

As a wolf, Ro was striking not for her size, but for her sleekness. Ro’s fur was pitch black, which lent an elegance to her long frame, and her eyes were a piercing cobalt blue. By contrast, Al had always thought his wolf’s tawney brown looked almost plain by comparison, though it was larger by far.

Ro yipped at him once she’d finished shifting and Al, being the stand up little brother he was, decided to be considerate and fold up his sister’s clothes for her, carefully wrapping away her unmentionables within her shirt, and tucking the neat pile next to a fence post. They’d pick it all up again on they way back, but for now they were off. Out of the two of them, Ro was by far the better tracker, and she always had been. In this case, he didn’t envy her as she got up close and personal with the rotting carcass, trying to catch a scent.


It took her a moment, but Ro growled eventually once she’d picked something up. Al was surprised she’d managed to get anything besides rotting flesh at all from that thing, but followed behind dutifully as Ro followed the scent trail. They wandered a for a while from the back pasture out toward a more wooded area that sheltered a rocky creek bed that had more dirt than water this time of year. They followed a winding path made by grazing steers down to the creek and then up an incline into the woods, Ro concentrating on the scent, and Al watching out for any humans they might run into.

Soon they came to a small clearing where another, much fresher carcass waited almost dead center. The scent trail lead right up to the dead steer, but Ro didn’t go near it. Something felt off about this, the scent had been strange and unfamiliar, not like any animal she’d ever tracked before, and the trail seemed to end too abruptly. This felt almost staged.

Ro growled in warning to her brother as he walked up to the carcass to try and get a better scent, nodding her head back toward the way they’d come. They’d regroup with the rest of the pack and come back with more manpower. Right now it felt like they were exposed and she didn’t like it. This situation was giving her a bad feeling, and Ro had come to trust her gut in cases like these.

“What? We already came all this way! At least let me get a scent here so I know what we’re dealing with.” Al protested right before someone started shooting. They got Al once in the shoulder before he started moving, but her brother was fast, and they both managed to duck around for cover before their enemy landed another shot. The gunfire had changed direction though, shooting now at the steer carcass instead of the tree line where they’d taken cover. Too late Ro picked up the familiar scent of gasoline, and her wolf acted on instinct rather than cognitive thought. She barreled into her brother right before the pipe bomb was hit, the impact sending him flying back toward the creek.

Al landed hard on the rocky bed as the ground was rocked by the explosion. It felt like something had gripped his heart when he realized his sister was still up the incline, And Al hauled ass around the burning pine tree to get to her. He found Ro in an instant, still in wolf form and contorted on the ground, Ro was alive, but looked to be in serious pain. Al reached out to pick her up, flinching when his hands burned from touching her wounds. Silver, her body was cover in silver shrapnel which was keeping her wounds from closing. Whoever had done this knew how to werewolves, and they weren’t playing around. Al’s mind instantly jumped to Keegan, but he didn’t have time to dwell on that. Al had to get them away and find help before whoever had been shooting at them tried to finish the job. He bundled his sister up in his arms (No easy task with a fully shifted werewolf.) and began sprinting back toward his van with everything he had, unsure whether anyone had followed them. Once there, he opened up the back and began showing his tool box and other equipment out of the way to room for Ro (There was no way she was going to fit up front with him.). Pulling off his jacket and laying it on the bottom, he tried to make as clean a space as possible to place his sister, not caring if it got bloodied. Once she was placed inside, he locked the back from the outside, effectively ensuring she would smash her way out without notice. When werewolves were injured, they often lost control or even touch with their human halves, which would be extremely dangerous if she were to get loose and start running around people.

What she needed now though, was help, and they were at least an hour away from the rest of the pack in Carson City. Ro’s werewolf body was trying valiantly to heal itself from the wounds, but the silver kept it from doing so and was adding to the damage. As they sped off, unsure if they were being followed, Al’s mind whirled for a solution. This far out in the middle of nowhere, they were in trouble, especially if Ro kept bleeding out at this rate. Maybe if they found a drugstore he could raid for some medical supplied, at least enough to disinfect the wound and keep her from bleeding out until he could get real help.

Al was definitely panicking, speeding like a demon down the back country roads when suddenly he saw a sign: Robertson Veterinary Clinic. Making a sharp desperate turn, Al speed down the dirt road to what looked more like a farm than an animal clinic, but he was too desperate to be picky. He parked the van close to the barn that read “Clinc” for easy access ready for a quick get away, and hopped out of the Van. It was still too early for the clinic itself to be open, and that coupled with his enhanced strength made breaking into the building laughably easy. Al used his nose to find the medicine cabinet and began rifling through it for things like bandages, antiseptics, antibiotics, and even tweezers. Anything that looked like it would be useful he grabbed, too absorbed with his mission to worry about if he was making noise.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The dogs noticed it first. Jacob felt a nudge against his hand. "Too earl-"

The sound of a car door got his attention. Emergency It wasn't that unusual for someone to come rushing down the farm road, stirring up dust in an effort to get to the clinic as fast as they could. Like people, when animals were sick there was a time factor on things.

Jacob hopped out of bed in a flash, tossed on jeans and he was buttoning up his shirt when he opened the front door of the house. He stopped, frowning when no one was there rushing up his porch.

His eyes moved to the barn that was the front to the clinic. He had it converted, the back half of the building built on years ago. The barn gave him the space to work with the larger animals, the horses and cows while the back allowed for sterile operating rooms, a waiting area and small kennel.

The door to the clinic was opened, forced it seemed.

Jacob grabbed his gun. He had had trouble before with bored kids breaking in for drugs but there was a vehicle in the driveway and no look outs.

With the four dogs on his heels Jacob ran to the barn and raised the gun as he entered slowly. He could hear them, whoever it was rustling through his things. Slowly he approached. It was a man and not at all concerned about being quiet.

"I'd ask you to stop what you are doing right now. Put everything down and turn around slowly." The gun was aimed at the man's back. This was not a strung out teenager.

At his feet the dogs were growling, hackles raised.

Jacob glanced quickly down at them, his eyes leaving the man for the briefest of moments. What has gotten into them? They only acted like that when there was wild animals around. They tended to bark for strangers. This was the low warning growl of a predator to something they knew they might fight. It was odd that Shep, the sheep dog acted like that with a human. He especially could be aggressive if coyotes and such were in the area but never people.

"Slowly now." Jacob stated once more.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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When a man with a group of dogs and a gun came up behind him through the broken clinic entrance, Al turned his gaze their way, his normally grassy green eyes flashing an eery gold. He answered the dogs’ growling with a deep rumbling one of his own, a warning that a far more powerful predator was present, and attacking would mean death. At least one of the dogs flattened their eyes and whined, tail tucked. Al was too dominant to do otherwise. Then, his golden eyes flicked up to the man with the gun.

“You the vet?” Al asked with a raspy voice. Human vocal chords were not meant to make the sounds wolves made, and doing so left his throat feeling raw. The gun was of little concern to Al, he was fast, and as long as he avoided getting hit anywhere vital, the wound would be more like a bee sting than a bullet wound by the early afternoon. One whiff told Al that this guy was human, and all it would take was one well placed elbow to flatten him and be on his way. Ro was bleeding out in his van, she needed medical attention as quickly as possible, and he didn’t have time to mess around with farmstead vets. Then, suddenly, Al got an idea. An insanely stupid and reckless idea that Ro would probably skin him for later if he acted on it, but for now he didn’t care. It all came down to farm boy’s answer.

Jacob frowned as one of the dogs whined a little and the others backed off. They were still close, ready to protect him but they were not as on edge as before. Something was different.

The man’s voice made Jacob exhale through his nose. Something about it reminded him of he way drug users or smokers get after a particularly bad time. It was rough and harsh.

He kept the gun level. “I am the owner and yes, the vet here. If you need something this is not the place for you. I treat animals. If you are planning to steal, well the cops have been called.” It was a lie but sometimes it worked just as well as the gun.

It was very very difficult to lie to a werewolf. Not impossible, but difficult. Werewolves were hypersensitive to body language, and their enhanced physical senses helped them detect the physiological signs of stress that the human body experiences when lying. Any werewolf who knew what to look for could call the tells of all but the most skillful liars. Farm boy here, was not a very good liar.

“Glad to hear that Doc. You’d be pretty useless to me otherwise.” Al’s drawling remark came as the only warning of his movement, as one moment he was standing almost fifteen feet away, and the next Al was practically on top of him, one hand gripped hold of the Vets’ and pushed them up toward the air, and the other physically ripped the gun away from his hands. Al was considered inhumanly fast even by werewolf standards, a mere human would be lucky to follow him with their eyes, leaving the element of surprise firmly on Al’s side in this contest.

“Sorry pal, nothing personal.” Al warned as his fist collided with the Vet’s jaw in a punch that sent the human to the flying to the ground. The impact wasn’t enough to knock him out, but definitely enough to stun him, and Al wasted no time grabbing him by the arms and dragging him back toward the van. The vet’s dogs in the meantime were going wild, barking and growling at Al, though the werewolf’s projected dominance kept them from outright attacking him. Eventually Al shifted his golden gaze their way again, this time with much more authority. “Sit. Down.” He growled out, and all but the sheep dog lowered themselves to the ground in submissive positions.

When Al finally managed to drag the struggling human to the van, he opened the back door to the sounds of Ro’s snarling, the silver poisoning making her both weak and bringing on delirium. “Ro…” Al began, trying to center her with as much authority as he dared with an injured Alpha. “He’s a doctor. DON’T eat him.” Al commanded as he shoved the human inside and locked the doors again from the outside before going back into the barn for the medical supplies he’s left behind in the struggle.

Meanwhile Ro, running mostly on wolf instinct in her delirium, sniffed out the new comer in an attempt to gauge his role and station. Not wolf, so prey her mind struggled to puzzle out, but she could eat him either, so not prey. Pack she decided, giving up the mental struggle. He was obviously subordinate to the other wolf’s station, a wolf who smelled like pack and safety, so he must be pack. Her demeanor was wary but not openly hostile to this new man as she tried to shift herself slightly to get a better look at him. Even that small effort left her feeling drained as her cobalt eyes bore into him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Jacob had no idea what to think. One minute he had the upper hand and the next he was shoved into a van with what appeared to be a large dog. No, wolf…. His mind corrected immediately. Jacob’s jaw hurt, as did his arms and body. He was breathing hard.

“What the hell are you doing?!” He yelled at the doors. He pounded on it slightly and tried to open it only to find them locked. Jacob turned and faced the wolf.

“Alright. Let’s just keep calm now.” His tone was soothing, his position one of calm though his heart pounded like mad in his chest. He swallowed but found his mouth dry. Jacob wasn’t sure what the man was playing at but this was not good.

Jacob frowned and turned his nose up a little to the stale air of the van. “Blood?” The coppery tinge was unmistakable. “Are you hurt boy? Easy now…”

He moved slightly closer to the wolf, hands outstretched. As much as he was panicking he was also suddenly focused on the injured animal.

Ro flattened her ears defensively as the man tried to touch her, a low warning growl all she could really muster to communicate her displeasure. Al was back before it went any further, opening the door just enough to toss in a flashlight and the various medical supplies he’s pillaged. “If she dies in this van you better be prepared to join her.” Al threatened with enough genuine menace to intimidate a grizzly bear. He’d never really trusted doctors to do their job, Al had seen them fail too often for that, but if his sister died, he’d make sure farm boy regretted it. With a sense of finality, Al slammed the door shut and locked it once again before climbing back into the driver’s seat and taking off toward home.

Jacob stared at the man as he threatened him and then slammed the door shut once more. the van started up and began moving. He wants me to help the wolf and in a moving vehicle? Is he nuts?

“Well no wonder you didn’t want me to come near you...I am sorry girl, I didn’t mean to insult you I just didn’t think to look and well…” Jacob sighed softly. This was ludacris. He rolled up his sleeves and then slowly approached the female wolf. “I just want to see what’s wrong.” He kept his tone soothing and even.

Ro eyed the man carefully as he approached her, but didn’t growl this time. His posture was placating, not dominating in anyway. He wasn’t threatening her position and didn’t appear to intend to fight, which coupled with the other wolf’s obvious domination of him, marked this man as a submissive within the pack. Submissive meant safe and were to be protected, and this one, though hiding it well, was obviously distressed. She was the Alpha, to was her job to ease her pack’s pain, so she allowed him closer and moved as much as she could to nuzzled her muzzle to his hand to project comfort and support.

Jacob relaxed a little as the wolf nuzzled his hand. Her muzzle was warm and damp.

“Alright girl. Can I look you over now?” He put his head down, towards hers, his cheek resting on her muzzle. His hands began stroking up to her ears and then slowly down her neck. She was damp, as if sweating. He could smell the blood still and this worried him. If the man was insistent that she needed to be saved then something was very wrong.

Ro licked the cheek presented to her soothingly in a further show of comfort to the distressed submissive, and allowed him the gentle contact with her ears. As he stroked down further though, she whined quietly in pain from the silver shrapnel lodged in her skin being disturbed.

Jacob frowned as the wolf whined. “Oh what happened to you?” He took his hands away, blood smeared on them.

He turned and began rummaging through the stuff the man had shoved in the back. There was relief as he found a painkiller, something that would put the wolf to sleep so he could work. He turned with the needle.

“I need you to relax girl. I need to help you but I need you to sleep while I do. Just a pinch okay?” He drew closer once more. He didn’t hide the needle, there was no point with animals. They knew, they always knew when something was coming. “I just want to help you.”

Ro watched the man as he pulled away to look around on the floor. When he came back, it was with a needle, and though her eyes watched the needle warily, she didn’t fight back either. As she’d comforted the submissive male, she had establish a weak pack bond with him, enough to project to him her own dominance, and the protection it would provide, and enough for her to trust his intentions, but nothing binding or strong enough to be noticed by the rest of her pack. Her eyes lifted up once more to meet his, and decided to trust him, relinquishing control of the situation, which was a feat difficult for the dominant alpha even in such a reduced and weakened state.

Jacob paused as the wolf’s eyes met his. There was something about them. He often felt connected with animals, far more than people but this felt different.

He moved forward and lowered the needle to her neck. “Just a pinch…” He was quick. The needle went in, the medicine injected and he pulled it out again. He put it off to the side and began to stroke the wolf’s muzzle gently waiting for her to sleep so he could really look her over and hopefully find out what the hell happened to her.

His eyes raked over her form. She was a lovely animal but now as he looked over the rest of her body he could see blood matted into the dark fur.

“What happened to you?” He whispered as he stroked her.

It didn’t take long for the drug to start effecting her. Blood loss and the silver poisoning had already made her physically weakened, which made the pain killer’s work that much easier. Ro drifted off to the feel of her newly claimed pack member stroking her fur, which felt far more soothing than her human side was ever likely to admit.

The wolf grew heavy against him. Jacob moved and let her lay out on the floor. He immediately went to work.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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“A light back here would be awesome.” He called up front. Didn’t matter that it was daylight outside he needed more back here to see what he was dealing with.

He began to pull things from his bag.

“There’s a flashlight and headlamp back there Doc, dig around.” Al called back off handedly, his voice sounding far more normal now that his throat had been given time to heal itself. “Get the shrapnel out of her pelt and stop the bleeding. She’ll do the rest.” He added crytically. Al was going as fast as he could without risking the chance of being pulled over, but he was also trying to keep from jostling too much. Al might not have been the brightest bulb in the bunch, but even he could rationalize that trying to dig pieces of metal out of someone’s skin wasn’t going to be easy in a moving vehicle, so the least he could do was try to make the ride a smooth one.

Jacob gave an annoyed grunt as he searched for the light. Once on he began inspecting the wolf’s body.

“What the hell did you do to her?!” He snarled from the back of the van to the man in front. Jacob was horrified at what he saw.

I didn’t do anything to her! Do you think I’d be going to all this trouble to keep her alive if I was the one who’s tried to turn her into mincemeat?!” Al snarled back, a dangerous edge entering his voice at the vet’s implication. “Someone tried to kill us, and they’re gonna succeed if you don’t quit yappin’ and start doctoring, Doc.”

Jacob’s jaw flexed in his frustration. He shook his head and got to work. He poked, he prodded and began pulling pieces of metal from the wolf. He cleaned, irrigated the wounds and stitched them up. She was full of stuff, torn up in a way that he was amazed she even survived.

He was sweating as he worked. The back of the van was hot and the situation tense. Jacob paused to check the wolf’s pulse periodically. It was weak but there. He was thankful she was sleeping, sparing her the pain of his work.

Jacob’s hands were slick with blood and he wiped them occasionally on his pants to allow himself to hold the instruments properly. He pulled the shrapnel from her, dropping it to the van floor with a small thud.

It took a little over an hour to get back to the Campbell Ranch just outside Carson City, and Al barely contained himself from leaping out of the van once he’d parked, and throwing upon the back to check on his sister. Instead, he leapt out, and went running for the Kitchen, practically shoving everything off the already nearly clean island, and locking all the nearby doors to create a secured area. The Campbell ranch, which also served as pack headquarters, was already pretty isolated, but Al couldn’t take the chance with the Doc trying to make a run for it. Not until they decided what to do with him.

“Henry!” Al started shouting. “Henry! Get down here now!” Henry was the pack’s resident submissive wolf, and one of the oldest in the pack. He was great with horses and horrific with technology, making him an excellent ranch hand and a little inept at functioning in the 21st century, which was why he chose to live here instead of maintaining his own residence like some of the other wolves.

Henry came running down the stairs, dark hair dripping from a recent shower, and bewilderment on his deceivingly youthful face. “Geeze Young blood, what’s got worked into your paw?” He asked curiously before his eyes landed on his shoulder. “You’ve been shot.” He noted with a bit of disbelief as his eyes met his, full of confusion. “I thought you and Ro we trackin’ a mountain lion at Archie’s?”

“I don’t have time to explain.” Al growled, though not unkindly toward the submissive wolf. “Call the rest of the pack and tell them to get their asses down here. I don’t care if their at work, on a date, or what, tell them to get here, now. That’s a direct order. Someone just tried to off me and Ro, and we’ve got a situation.” Al ordered before running back toward the van. He opened the doors to the heavy scent of blood and sweat, and once he’d calmed the initial instinctual rage that rose from smelling his sister in such a position, he hauled out the Vet and marched him toward the kitchen where Henry was already on the land line calling up pack members.

“You,” Al began ordering the vet. “Wash up and set up shop in here. And you, don’t let him leave.” Al commanded Henry who nodded gravely as Al rushed back out to the van for Ro. The Doc hadn’t done too bad so far, already having removed most of the silver from her hide, which in itself was half the battle. First slinging the Doc’s bag over his shoulder, Al then picked up Ro and carried her to the kitchen and gently placed her on the table before using himself as a living shield to block the only doorway and means of escape.

“Holy jesus…” Henry breathed when he saw Ro. “What happened?” Henry asked Al in between phone calls. Then his eyes landed on the stranger giving him a good look over. He had a bad feeling about this. Somehow he didn’t think Ro was going to be happy with Al for snatching up average humans. She had rules about this kind of thing. Humans who got involved with them either had to become pack or be killed, and Ro had never enjoyed killing humans the way some werewolves did, and then entire business of it had always made Henry uneasy as well.

“I’ll tell you when everyone gets here.” Al grunted eyeing the Vet critically, thinking much the same thing Henry had, but for now was compartmentalizing.

Jacob didn’t look up when the doors opened. He was about to go for another piece when he was hauled out of the vehicle. It never occurred to him to wonder how the man was able to do that, just move him so effortlessly.

“I need to get-” He was left in a kitchen. Jacob looked around. “You can’t-”

There was another man in the room but Jacob paid no attention as the wolf was laid on the table. He looked at the man blocking the door. “You can’t just move people and animals when we are in the middle of surgery!” He was yelling, angry now.

“I need water, towels and the stuff out of my bag again.” Jacob looked at the man. “Now! She will die if I don’t finish this!”

Jacob turned his attention back to the wolf on the table. He leaned in to listen to her breathing. Even but shallow. Pulse was still weak.

“I need to finish digging this metal out of her. It is everywhere…”

Henry looked at the human, startled by the outburst and a little concerned for his safety. Al was an extremely dominant wolf at nearly the head of the pack’s hierarchy, and this human had pretty much just openly challenged him in werewolf terms. Wolves would kill for a lot less, though Al looked like he was maintaining his control pretty well, only visibly bristling. Hoping to avoid Al losing his cool, which was a pretty common sight around here, Henry glided in between them, being the soothing presence he usually was for the pack. “Alright, don’t worry. I’ll help you get what you need. I’m Henry by the way.” He introduced himself gently before dashing upstairs to gather the requested supplies..

Al handed over the Doc’s bag stonily, holding back his wolf who wanted to put the human who’d just challenged him openly in front of another member of the pack in his place. Humans didn’t pick up on subtle pack power structures, he reasoned to sooth the wolf, and this one had no idea what he was doing or even what he was dealing with. He couldn’t be held accountable, Al repeated silently, forcing the wolf to calm as he denied his call for violence.

“I’ve got the towels!” Henry called as he reentered the room with some of the older, but clean, towels from the upstairs guest bathroom. “We’ve got the sink right here for water too. Do you need some boiled, or chilled?” Henry asked, trying to be helpful.

Jacob pulled things out of his bag. He ignored the man’s introduction. He wasn’t trying to be rude but he was concerned at how weak the wolf’s pulse was. He needed to finish the extractions and get her stitched up.

He grabbed the towels and began to blot at some of the wounds. “Water and soap for my hands. Hot water...do you have alcohol? I need to clean these holes more. The back of the van wasn’t exactly clean and I don’t want infection getting in.”

He pulled out the instruments, the needle and stitching. “I need to give her something to keep her asleep. What I gave her will wear off soon. I can’t have her trying to get up.” Jacob pulled another bottle out and a clean needle. He filled it.

Leaning over he put his mouth near the wolf’s ear. “Easy girl. Just sleep and I will take care of you. I will get you up and running with you pack soon...promise.” His hand felt on her leg this time. Finding the vein he slid the needle home and pressed the plunger down.

Shoulders slumping a little he turned looking for a sink to wash his hands in.

“Can you tell me what she was hit with? It will make it easier for me to know what I am dealing with in terms of infection and how much I might be looking to pull out of her. Without xrays I can’t be sure I will find it all. I mean...there is a lot.” The hot water was turned on and he scrubbed his hands.

Henry shot a startled look at Al as the Vet currently operating in their kitchen began taking about infection and seemed oblivious to the nature of the only kind of metal that could have done Rowena harm. Werewolves normally didn’t have to worry about mundane things like infections, or getting sick period. Thier ability to heal gave them a kind of super immune system that kept them from scaring, ageing, or coming down with diseases. Silver was the only substance that could penetrate those defences, and kept their wound from healing themselves. Any doctor they had on the payroll or friend of the pack would already know that, which meant this man was not only an outsider, he was completely oblivious to their existence. Henry stared incredulously at Al, in disbelief that he would drag an unaffiliated human into this matter, and Al shot him a warning look back. That conversation, for now was off the table.

“I think there’s some rubbing alcohol under the sink.” Henry replied lightly as he began digging around for the unopened bottle that sat with the rest of the emergency medical kit Ro always kept in the house. They might not usually need such things, but their alpha believed in being prepared.

“Silver.” Al gritted out angrily, remembering the scene all over again. Ro had smelled the bomb before he had, had shoved him out of the way to take the worst of the blast. When he found out who’d done this, and he already had a pretty good idea who to blame, he was going to rip their fucking faces off. Someone had attacked him pack, and Al’s wolf called for blood. Al was inclined to oblige him.

“Alphonse...” Henry called softly as he sensed his pack mate’s rage. Al was losing control to his wolf in his anger, and his eyes had already taken on their wolfish golden hue. “Calm yourself my friend. We will find those responsible and serve justice upon them, but for now your anger will not help her.” He soothed. Al nodded, not trusting himself to speak, and began flexing his hands in an attempt to keep his claws at bay.

“Silver?” Jacob was confused. “Shoot her? I don’t…” He inhaled slowly. “There is a lot of it in her so that means something big. Someone wanted her head. Likely one of the farmers on the extreme offensive to defend their livestock. Such ignorant thinking sometimes.”

He went back to work. His instruments were cleaned and prepped. Leaning over the wolf once more he began to extract the metal fragments from her. Each dropped with a plink to the table.

“This is going to take a while. No point in you two standing here. Get a coffee, take a walk or clean up. There is not much you can do to help.” Jacob didn’t even look up as he spoke. His hands were moving, feeling for the metal.

Henry nodded quickly before pulling Al along gently toward the front porch where they could talk. “Al, I’m not trying to bust your chops here, but have you lost your marbles? Ro is gonna skin you when she wakes up. You know how she feels about bringing humans into pack business, especially if they don’t even know about us.” Henry rubbed a hand over his face in stress. Ro hadn’t even let his girlfriend of five year into the pack structure until they’d gotten married, and even then it had been reluctantly. Humans who weren’t family weren’t safe had always been her position, and Al had blatantly broken that cardinal rule.

“Relax alright, it’s not like he saw anything too freaky that can’t be explained away. We just have to let him patch her up, take him back, and hope he feels too sorry for Ro to press charges for kidnapping.” Al replied defensively.

“Kidnapping?! Jesus Al, what the hell were you thinking?!” Henry cried in disbelief.

“I was panicked ok! We’d just been shot at and someone tried to kill us with a silver pipe bomb. Ro was bleeding out in my van, and I didn’t know whether or not they were tailing us to finish the job. I needed the medical assistance to be a little more...mobile.” Al gritted out.

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Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Kirsten Blood Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Kirsten Nicole Blood
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Kirsten got out of the lake and shook dry, dozing off for a nap, she woke up when she heard a van speed by, she began to follow the van, following it all the way to the ranch which smelt of animals, and now blood and the faint smell of silver. Growling at the smell, her curiosity got the best of her as she climbed down the mountain, looking around she didn’t see any way of compromising herself.

Kirsten padded down the grass to the house, it was a very cute and rustic looking house. The van caught her attention as she could smell fresh blood in it, she began sniffing around, suddenly something in the back of her head told her she was in the presence of an Alpha. She saw a rabbit in the nearby bushes and lunged, killing it instantly, she padded up to the house.

Her head shot up, and her ears pressed flat against her head as she sniffed her way to the front door, lowering her head and tucking her tail between her legs she whined and scratched at the door, sniffing at the edges, smelling blood and silver, just wanting to help in anyway she could. She dropped the rabbit at the door and sat down, her tail wagging, remebering she was at the home of an Alpha, she laid down on her belly, and waited for someone to answer the door.

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Then suddenly, there was another wolf bounding up to their porch, and a rabbit dropped by Al’s feet like a peace offering. This werewolf was not only a stranger bounding up on their lands, which was surprising enough, but also seemed oblivious to their presence.

“Hey hey hey you! Look sweetheart, I don’t know who you are, or why you’re scratching on my door, but you can’t go in there right now ok. I’ve got an oblivious human in there patching up my sister, and I need to keep it that way. If you need something, go shift and then come back and we’ll talk all civilized like, alright?” Al hissed quietly as he moved to block her from the door, though he tried to soften his tone a bit at the end.

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Jacob worked for over an hour. He pulled every piece of silver he could find from the wolf’s body. He had, with some effort rolled her over to ensure he inspected every inch. Each wound was stitched closed after he cleaned it out. He didn’t want even the smallest piece left behind.

Exhausted, bloody and pale Jacob moved to the door. “I got it all. At least I think I did. Without and x-ray I don’t know for sure but I have gone over and over her body and I can’t find anymore. I will have to monitor her for a while. We should move her someplace where she will be more comfortable when she wakes up. Do you have a barn?”

He was too tired to have too much discussion with the men.

“We’ve got a barn, but all the horses are still in there. I’ll have to let them out to pasture first if you want to use it though, they spook easily around wolves.” Henry called back in to explain. “We’ve got a spare room upstairs we can take her to though if its all the same. She might be more comfortable up there anyhow.” Henry counter offered from the porch, ready to clear out though barn if that was the route the doc would rather go, but trying to stall for time to allow Al to move this new wolf out of the way and avoid any unnecessary questions.

“You can’t have a wild animal in the house. She is going to wake up and feel trapped. The barn is better, closer to the outdoors. She might be out to attack once she wakes up and in the house is too dangerous.” Jacob rubbed his forehead. He didn’t understand why the man even considered putting a wolf in a bedroom.

“The barn. Let’s take her to the barn.”

“Well...I wouldn’t really say Ro’s wild persay…” Henry stalled. “Just ah...give me a minute to clear out the livestock huh?” Henry replied.

Jacob frowned. “Sure but Ro? You know the wolf? She is named? I don’t understand.” He sighed. “Just yeah, go take care of the barn and we can talk once she is moved.”

Rowena’s head hurt. Her entire body hurt actually, but that was more of a dull ache in comparison. What really hurt was her head, which currently felt like it was stuck in a fog. She shook herself on instinct, as if it would shake off the fog and give her clarity. What she realized was that she was in wolf form, and that it was harder to move her limbs than it should be. That in itself was alarming, though she could feel her body trying to heal itself even through the fog. It was difficult to think clearly, had she been drugged? Pain killers? That could explain the lack of coordination she was feeling, and why she was having such a hard time remembering what had happened before this.

Where was Al? She’d been with Al, she remembered that. She needed to talk to him, to find out what was going on. Slowly she tried to lift herself up from whatever surface she was laying on. This smelled like home, but everything was still kind of spinning, which left her relying on her other senses rather than sight. Once she’d steadied herself onto four paws, she began trying to shift, a process that was much harder and would take much more time in her muddled state. It hurt too, more than usual she thought irritably. She could hear the sounds of something popping which in itself was probably a bad sign, and she growled quietly in frustration as the shift continued to stall itself.

Jacob turned and headed back to the table. He stopped at the sight of the wolf standing now on the table. “Slow there girl…” He approached slowly.

There was movement in the corner of Ro’s eye, she turned her bleary eyes his way, blinking to get a better look at him. He smelled of her blood and astringent, but his voice was soothing and a pull in the back of her mind claimed him as pack. She grunted at him in slight annoyance as she continued her shift, too stubborn to stop now that she’d begun. Besides,Ro was the Alpha, she did not take orders from others, she gave them.

The wolf made a small grunt. Jacob looked at his bag. “Maybe we should give you something to put you asleep again. Just to make sure you don’t open the stitches.” He moved to the bag.


Stitches, what? Put to sleep? Oh hell no. Ro thought irritably as she pushed the shift faster, paws giving way to hands, and dark fur to brunette hair. By the end of the shift she was left panting and shaky on the table and in a heavy sweat. “What...the hell...is going on..?” She managed to grit out as she tried to get her bearings.

Jacob jumped at the sound of a woman’s voice. “Be careful! The wolf, she-” He turned and went silent. The wolf was gone. A brunette looking not quite well was in its place.

He began to look around for the wolf. “I-I don’t..”

“Do you think...you could hand me a towel.” Ro asked tiredly with her eyes shut, trying to make the world stop spinning before she tried to get off the table. Once she felt sufficiently stationary, she managed lookup at the man in the room with piercing cobalt eyes, as not all vestiges of the wolf had relinquished its hold.

“Towel. Right.” Jacob suddenly snapped out of his shock and rushed forward grabbing a towel. He wrapped it around her shoulders.

“I don’t understand. The wolf. She-she was really hurt. I helped her but…” His voice was soft as he looked into the woman’s eyes.

Ro tried to keep up with what he was saying, but she was having a harder time with it than she’d have liked. “Jesus, what did you give me…?” She groaned lifting her bandaged hand up to grip her forehead. “You smell familiar, but I’m not really firing all pistons right now. Who are you?”

Jacob was so confused. He felt like he walked into an alternate reality. “I didn’t give you anything. I helped the wolf. She was full of metal. I-” He looked around once more. Had he been drugged? He remembered the man in his clinic, the back of the van. He wasn’t dreaming. There was blood on his shirt.

“I am a veterinarian. I was forced into a van. I should go.” He backed towards the door. Jacob wasn’t sure what was happening but warning bells were going off in his head and he chose to listen.

As Ro’s head began to clear, her natural healing abilities naturally fighting the drug now that the silver was removed, a few things became very evident. The first being that this man had apparently been operating on her as a wolf, and the second was that he had also apparently been abducted. Fuck.

“This farm is a good five miles off from any other properties, and probably more like ten from anyone who will give you a ride back where you came from without my permission. I think you might want to take a seat.” Ro replied pinching the bridge of her nose. She wrapped the twoel around herself as she pushed herself off the table to stand shakily, more for his comfort than to preserve her modesty. Quite a bit of her torso and limbs were already covered in bandages, so at least she didn’t feel completely naked.

Jacob shook his head. “I think I would really prefer to leave. If it all the same to you, I’ll walk. I know a lot of people in the area. Someone will pick me up and hey, not like I am gonna say what I was doing here. I am not even sure I know what is going on so….”

He backed up more to the door. He avoided looking at her. The bandages were disconcerting. He had bandaged the wolf in those same places. He was sure of it.

“As much as I would love to avoid the headache by letting you leave, that may not be possible at this point.” Ro sighed as she gripped hold of the table for support. At some point, she, or more accurately her wolf, had somehow linked a pack bond between herself and this man, which was a problem in and of itself, but she could feel his anxiety coming off in waves. Slowly, she made her way to him and gently placed a reassuring hand to his cheek, projecting comfort and safety.

“Don’t worry alright. I’ll take care of this, and as long as you follow my lead here, I won’t let anything bad happen to you.” Ro promised, hoping she’d be able to keep it. Depending on what he’d seen, and with a pack bond already in place Ro was guessing too much, he’d have to join the pack or be killed. The laws on that were inflexible.

Jacob shook his head slowly though he found her words, the way she touched his face comforting. “I have work. I have animals to take care of…” He whispered. His back was against the door frame now.

For the first time in a very long time, Rowena found herself at odds with her wolf. Ro the human felt sorry for this man, that his life was being uprooted and his world view was, in all likelihood, about to change forever. She wanted to reassure him, and get him through this process as painlessly as possible, with firm and understanding leadership. Ro the wolf on the other hand, had other urges in mind. She had already claimed this man, and wanted to comfort him in an entirely different way. “Good god.” Ro whispered harshly to herself. Down girl. get ahold of yourself.

“I understand you have a life, and there are a lot of things I’m going to need to explain to you, but bare with me for a little bit, and I’ll try to get you back to it as quickly and painlessly as possible.” Ro promised, her eyes fading from her wolf’s cobalt to her normal warm whisky brown.

“How did you-your eyes?” Jacob shivered and fought the slight panic he felt.

“I don’t need to know anything. None of my business. Really.” There was no place else for him to go. His hand sought the doorknob. Another time he would have been thrilled to have the attractive woman telling him to stay and talk. But there had been a wolf, he had fixed her, then the woman and her eyes. It was really just too unbelievable. His mind told him things that defied logic. The wolf was on the table then the woman. Wolf’s eyes were blue and so were hers but they changed. She must be the wolf. Holy fuck I am going insane.

“Hey,” Ro urged gently as she felt the man’s rising panic once again. “I need you to relax alright, you’re not crazy, and no one’s going to hurt you. Here you are safe.” Ro repeated as she tried to give him calm. “I never did get name by the way, but I have a feeling I owe you a debt of gratitude. Think you can tell me who to make the thank you card out to?” Ro asked lightly, trying to move his mind toward more mundane things, things that would not break him to think about.

“Jacob. Jacob Peterson. I own a clinic. I have dogs.” He was staring at her and while he believed her about being safe it was hard to rationalize the situation. She was calm and it radiated off of her.

“I don’t know your name.” He stated softly.

“Rowena. Rowena Campbell.” She supplied gently. “Can’t say I own any dogs unless you count my brother, but I’ve got a mess of horses.” Ro joked lightly with a small smile. “Sorry we had to meet under these circumstances. Why don’t you walk me through everything since my memory seems to be a little fuzzy this morning.” Sometimes talking things through helped people come to grips in situations like these, and she needed to get him acclimated to this as quickly and quietly as possible if she had any hope of keeping him safe. Based on her wolf’s reaction to Jacob, she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to do what was necessary if it came to that, but that wouldn’t stop anyone from the Death Valley Pack or the Covenant if they found out, and Rowena had no doubt that Salem Keegan would relish the opportunity to make a move like that if he thought it would hurt her.

“Rowena. They-I mean he...the wolf was called Ro. I guess I shouldn’t find that weird.” Jacob’s jaw flexed.

“I’d honestly be a little worried for you if you didn’t.” Ro sighed before looking back at her kitchen. “I’d invite you in for coffee while we talk this over, but considering what evidently went on in here this morning, I’ll have to object on the basis of sanitation.”

Jacob smiled. “No coffee. Not sure my nerves could handle it and yes, health inspectors would have a field day.”

He frowned. “If I can’t leave and you want to discuss what has gone on do you mind if I sit?”

“Feel free.” Ro agreed waving a hand toward the dining room chairs. She waited for him to take his seat and then sat in the one across him. “Right now, I think it might be best to let you ask me some questions, since I can practically see them in your eyes, and then go from there. Does that sound amiable?”
Jacob chuckled. “Well better than being tossed into a van so yes, amiable.” He leaned on his elbows and rubbed his hands together. Those hands once were covered in the wolf’s blood, her blood.

“You are the wolf aren’t you? The one that was full of-” Jacob groaned softly. “Silver. Because what else would it be?”

“Hey, beats getting shot.” Ro only half joked before sobering her tone at his question. “Yes, I am. I think I’m starting to remember that van ride as well. I believe my brother was concerned at some point I was going to eat you…?” Ro grimaced slightly. “I’m sorry again, for getting you mixed up in this. I’ve always tried to keep human like you, ones that don’t have any connection to our world, uninvolved. Things get dangerous for unaligned humans who know too much, which is why I can’t let you leave right now.” Rowena tried to explain.

Jacob nodded. “Yes the man, presumably your brother tossed me in the back with you and he made it clear you were not to eat me. Which I guess I should be grateful for.”

He thought for a moment. “Given how fast he moved even though I had a gun on him and the way he dragged me out of the clinic he is a-” He couldn’t bring himself to say it. “What does unaligned mean exactly and you can’t let me leave now, so what in an hour? Two?”

“A werewolf, yes, the same as me and most the people here you will likely meet.” Ro began softly. “Unaffiliated, or unprotected. There are humans in my pack, but they are either married to a werewolf, or related to them by blood. Their status by nature is a little more gray, but they have pack bonds with me like any other werewolf, sworn to keep our secret, obey their alpha, and enjoy the protection of the pack.” She elaborated.

“That makes me unprotected. Who am I in danger from though? And can’t I just tell the person in charge, the alpha what happened? Surely they would understand and I saved your life. That earns me something, like a get out of jail free card?” Jacob still couldn’t bring himself to think of the woman as a werewolf. Those were things of horror movies.

“In the interest of honesty, first and foremost me, though I sincerely do not wish to hurt you, and regardless of my duty in this matter I don’t think my wolf would allow me to considering she already considers you part of the pack. That being said, there are very strict laws than exist in our world about humans, and those who know about us and are not affiliated with us die. Should I refuse to eliminate a threat to the secret of our existence, then the Covenant, you could say they are our form of government, would do so swiftly.” Rowena explained. She didn’t want to scare him, but she didn’t want to lie to him either.

“You did save my life Jacob, and right now I’m trying to save yours.” Rowena replied sincerely.

He rubbed his face. “I don’t understand. I am in danger from you? Why? I broke a law, well I didn’t I mean I was force to go in the van, forced to come here. I have to die because I am not married or family?” Jacob shook his head. “This is all your brother’s fault. He could have let me look at you at the clinic and then he could have carried you off when I was done and I would have known nothing.”

“I agree, and you can rest assured I’ll be giving Al a piece of my mind about that the next time I see him, but you do not have to die Jacob, you have a very important say in the matter. You are going to be given a choice within the next twenty four hours, I won’t keep you here longer than that, and you will have to decide between death or joining the Pack. If you do join, you will have to swear loyalty to the pack alpha, you’ll be bonded to the pack in a way that isn’t completely natural for humans, and your life isn’t going to be the same. You’ll be one of us, bound to us, and protected by us, that’s what it mean to be pack.” Ro laid out.

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Kirsten Nicole Blood
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Kirsten nodded her big wolf head and dropped the rabbit at his feet, spitting out some of the fur that had stuck to her tongue, she then padded off to the woods and found a safe hollow tree to hide herself as she shifted, grabbing a pair of clothes she had hidden in the woods and pulled on the small, sun dress and sling back sandles.

She made her way back to the men, stepping over the rocks and logs, holding her arms out to help her balance, her head held low, she began picking sticks and leaves out of her hair. ”I did not mean to intrude” she added, ”I just smelt blood and silver and thought I could help” she said in a softer tone. "My name is Kirsten, Kirsten Blood I mean you guys no harm, I promise, I just haven't been in a pack before" Kirsten said with a hint of sorrow in her voice, bringing her feet together and stood there, knowing she had to be subbmissive in the presence of an Alpha.

"May I ask what happened to the wolf in there?" she asked, looking at the two of them, meeting Al's eye. Kirsten waited for the boys to either tear her up, or banish her. She just needed a pack to belong to. "If you're going to shred me, I just want my car taken care of" she added, looking down at her feet, pretending to be super interested in them.

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“Under friendlier circumstances Kristin, I might not have been so hostile, but it’s been kind of a rough morning.” Al mumbled out distractedly in as close to an apology as he was going to give. He didn’t like beating around kids though, and this one apparently had never been in a pack before, which made her indiscretion even more understandable. “Thanks for the concern, but I’ve got the situation under control.” Al replied in a gentler tone, and Henry snorted beside him in obvious disapproval of that description.

“Someone used silver to arm a bomb and my sister got caught up in the blast.” Al informed after sending a pointed glare at Henry, who was too immune to Al’s blustering to be intimidated by it. “Someone out there obviously knows how to kill werewolves, and while I’m pretty sure I know who we’re dealing with, you can stay here for a bit if you need somewhere to feel safe.” Al offered not unkindly, though it was obvious that his mind was elsewhere as he paced about with nervous energy.
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“Wait a second. I die or I am bonded? What does that even mean? What does it entail? You make it sound like death would be easier. What kind of choice is that?” Jacob stood and paced. “This is not even remotely the way things are supposed to go!” His fists hit the table and he was breathing heavily.

He hung his head. “Sorry…”

“In some ways it might be. Being part of the pack is an entirely different lifestyle, and being bonded creates a kind of emotional dependency with one another that many humans can’t really handle. Their bonds are not as intense as our own, but it can still prove overwhelming for some.” Rowena tried to explain. “It is not good or bad, but I don’t want to mislead you about what it means to be pack.”

“You have every right to be upset, you don’t need to apologize.” Ro replied to Jacob’s outburst, though she felt compelled to approach his side, he wolf wishing to ease his agitation.

Jacob lifted his hands in a gesture of helplessness. “Damned if I do and damned if I don’t. There is no special rule, no way around this?” He turned to face her. She had come up beside him and his eyes sought her face as if he was hoping to find a secret there.

“You haven’t even told me what being bonded entails, what do I have to do say some promise?” His tone was bitter. He knew it wouldn’t be that simple. Part of him still felt like this was all crazy talk, that none of this was real. It couldn’t possibly. How the hell do you explain a woman sitting where the wolf was? Or the strength the man showed or…

“And do I get to go home after this bonding? I obviously don’t if you guys kill me.” Jacob couldn’t believe he was talking so nonchalantly about his own death. The concept didn’t seem real though, abstract, a possibility and not a real threat.

“It means that you become part of the pack, we feel your presence and you feel ours. Nothing in your life becomes just about you any longer, every decision you make, the things that drive or concern you revolves around your pack. You come when we call, and we come when you do. I suppose you could say it is like having a very involved, very nosey extended family.” Ro tried her best to put words to something that was simply instinctual for werewolves. Wolves craved and needed this structure, their mental states tended to suffer without it, which was what made lone wolves such a liability.

“It also means that if you are given a direct command from your Alpha, such as to never speak to outsiders about the pack or what you know of our world, it becomes a physical impossibility, or at the very least extremely painful to disobey. You surrender a piece of your will and trust to the pack, which can be a beautiful thing, but it can also be scary, especially if you don’t have the instincts to guide you through the process.” she continued.

“Yes, you’ll get to go home. We don’t keep people prisoner here, its a haven for our pack to feel safe or socialize with each other. We come here for pack meetings, for the full moon, and during times of crisis.” Ro elaborated. “You’ll be able to have a life, we’re just...going to be an unavoidable part of it.” Ro finished, soundly apologetic.

“But how does it happen? How do I get this bond? If I don’t want to die it seems I have no option. I rather liked my life so dying isn’t high on my list of things to do in the near future. You pretty much backed me into a corner. Also do I need this Alpha’s permission? You say all this and then what if they decide I am not good enough and kill me anyway.”

Jacob faced her fully, barely holding back his anger. He wanted to punch something. “Lay it out for me now, every detail from this point on of what is going to happen if I say I will do this bond.”

“If you agree to join the pack, there will be a ceremony in which all the pack will be summoned to take part and bare witness. They will greet you physically, usually a handshake, though some family members or couples wish to embrace during their turn, and then you will be the first to shed a bit of blood into a bowl that symbolizes the pack. The rest will follow in a show of acceptance, with the Alpha being the last. The blood is then used to weave the magic that binds us together before being offered to the fire.” Rowena laid out as bluntly as possible. “You may feel odd at first as the bond forms, you will feel it as a tangible thing, but it should not be painful.”

“I know, that if you choose to join the pack the alpha will accept you Jacob Robertson, because I am the Alpha here.” Ro replied with as much dignity as she could muster in a towel, and her tone was a bit more guarded. “Hopefully that won’t sway your decision negatively.”

Jacob stared at her for a moment. “Great. So not only did I save a-” He shook his head. “She just so happens to be the one in charge. You have no reason to accept me you know. I mean I guess there is the pity for getting all caught up in this but I would have saved you regardless. It is what I do, save animals. Not that you-I mean you were.”

He rubbed his face. “I don’t really want to die. Just saying.”

“Then join my pack, keep our secrets, and you won’t have to.” Rowena replied gently. “I know this is a lot to take in right now, but I do want to help you. This is the best course to keep you safe, but I can’t make that decision for you. Becoming pack has to be a decision you choose for yourself.”

“If you’d like, we could both clean up, and I can show you around the ranch, give you time to focus on something else?” Rowena offered, not seeing much more but frustration coming from this line of discussion.

“Clean up.” He looked down at his shirt. “Unless your brother grabbed me a set of clothes when he swiped my stuff I am as clean as I am going to get.” Jacob looked up. “You should get dressed.” It was as if he realized for the first time that she was nude.

“You should also be resting. There are a lot of stitches in you. Walking around, hell you should be laying down right now.”

The doctor in him took over. It gave him something concrete to hold on to. Jacob stood and crossed to her. “Let’s find you a place to lay down.” He put an arm gently around her.

“We do have certain amount of spare clothes lying around here.” Rowena commented lightly. “One of the hazards of being a werewolf is that clothing has a habit of being left behind or ripped apart sometimes.” She shrugged. When her crossed over to put his arm around her, Ro’s eyebrow lifted slightly, but she didn’t protest.

“They mentioned a spare room upstairs or something. A bed. We should get you in a bed.” Jacob gently urged her forward. “I will grab my stuff and we can see how those wounds are doing. I don’t know if any ripped when you-” He inhaled. “When you changed.”

“You’re welcome to take a look doctor, but you may be surprised at what you find.” Ro agreed smiling slightly with amusement dancing in her eyes. “I think you’ll find one of the advantages of being a healer for our kind in a remarkable recovery rate.” She hinted as they made their way to the spare bedroom.

“Is that what you would use me for then? The advantage to you having me bonded.” Jacob dropped his bag on the floor and began rummaging through it. “Don’t you already have someone who does that? Why did your brother come to my place? I would think that you would have people who take care of things like health and wounds.” He felt a new sense of resentment now. Her brother had taken him from the clinic and likely for nothing. If he had just come here Jacob wouldn’t be mixed up in all of this.

“Not for a long time, but then it’s pretty rare that we need serious medical attention in the first place.” Rowena began almost bitterly, briefly remembering the split that had left both sides weakened and destroyed so many. “I’ve got some basics in first-aid and such, but that was never really a profession I pursued with much talent.” Ro elaborated.

“As far as being useful to the pack, everyone is useful in their own way, though I suppose you would bring a significantly valuable skillset to the table.” Rowena said as a compliment. “As to why my brother chose to involve you, I can’t really say as he is quite aware about my feelings on that matter, and at the time I was a bit delirious and bleeding out in the back of his van. I wasn’t exactly privy to his decision making processes.”

Jacob sighed. “Well at least I bring something new to the table. Can you lay down please?”

He stood, gloves on his hands now and bandages, tape and scissors in his hand. He put them on the side table and went back to the bag. He pulled out a clean needle, thread and irrigation bottle. He was worried the stitches had ripped when she changed.

Jacob put these on the table too and stood by the bed. He pulled the gloves off and tossed them aside. “I hate those things. I get it for contamination but considering I was elbow deep in your blood already and you are talking about a blood based ritual I don’t think I need to worry.” His mind was calling him nuts. He spoke as if blood and rituals were an everyday thing. Adapt or die. His mouth was in a straight line as he waited.

Carefully, Ro laid herself out on the bed, stretching out a bit to get more comfortable, and the little towel barely managed to cover her parts that could make the atmosphere even more awkward. “There are some spare shirts in the dresser behind you if you’d like to change after this. I can’t imagine walking around smelling like my blood is particularly pleasant.” Rowena offered, though her wolf disagreed. She liked that he smelled like her, wanted her smell all over him. Oh God…

Jacob watched her lay out. “To be honest at this point it isn’t even noticeable. I could smell it, in the van but now, well I guess it is just a part of my day. Besides I would have to shower to get rid of it all. Some has soaked right through.” He pulled his shirt from his torso a little as if emphasizing his words. “I will worry about it later. You were pretty badly hurt.”

He leaned over her and began inspecting the areas where the towel wasn’t. Her shoulders, her legs. Each bandage he removed showed the neatly done stitches and a wound that looked days old. “I-I don’t….I only did that maybe an hour ago.”

Jacob’s hands roamed removing the bandages he has so carefully put on the wolf’s body that now resided on Rowena’s. He grabbed the towel and paused remembering she was human and not an animal. “Ugh-may I?” He needed to see them all, to see if they were all healing the same astounding rate. Her torso had taken the brunt of the damage. Jacob wanted to know if they too were healing.

Ro’s eyes flashed blue for a moment when Jacob showed her blood had soaked through to his skin, her wolf howling with approval before she managed to rein her back in. “Luckily for you, we do have a shower.” Rowena relied lightly in an attempt to her her voice neutral.

That neutrality was a little more difficult to maintain as his hands swept over her body, checking her wounds of course in a complete professional manner, but concept like that which were second nature to humans tended to be lost on the beast within. When he wanted to look under the towel, her wolf preened with approval while Ro tried to keep this from being awkward. “Of course, nothing you haven’t seen before.” She replied, though the slightly flirtatious edge her wolf so desperately craved was a little difficult to keep out of her voice.

“Well it was slightly different the first time around.” Jacob smiled slightly as he folded back the little towel from her chest. He worked in sections, starting at her chest and moving the towel each time he moved lower. In the end Jacob left her devoid of any covering and he stared at her openly though he was focusing on the healed wounds and not her body. It wasn’t that he didn’t appreciate the female form, he certainly did it was just that every would looked days old when an hour ago they were open, raw and angry.

Jacob ran a hand through his hair. He shook his hand and ran a hand over her stomach. “I honestly don’t get it. You said they would surprise me but this is unbelievable.” His voice was low. “Is it always like this? If they were going to heal why did he need me?”

“Normally, yes. Now you see why our demand for serious medical attention is so low.” Rowena replied, matching his tone. “Silver tends to complicate the healing process a bit though. Keeps wounds from healing, makes us sick.” She explained.

His hand grazed her hip. “Silver. I pulled a lot of it out of you. I don’t know how it got there but it was bad.” Jacob lifted his face to meet hers.

“I should..” He gave his head a slight shake and removed his hand from her body. “Everything looks good.”

“Excellent, just the prognosis we want to hear.” Rowena replied as she covered herself back up for his sake. “In that case, I’m going to go take a shower and get dressed. I have a feeling we’re going to have company here before long, so I’d suggest you do the same.” She replied standing back up.

“Clothes, bathroom. Make yourself comfortable.” Rowena gestured toward the dresser and the the adjoining bathroom door. “I’ll be along shortly.” She promised before turning to heading off to her own room to wash up and put on some actual clothes.

“Wait! Rowena, can I ask you a question?” He reached out to touch her arm.

Ro turned back when Jacob reached out for her. “Of course.”

“What would have happened if I had had a family? A wife or kids? Would you still be offering a bond or would I just have to die? I mean it seems a little arbitrary. Could have changed many lives. I was just wondering how you guys do that stuff. And what about once I go back home. Can I date? Can I plan a future or do you have to approve everything I do?”

Rowena tried not to feel hurt by the question, but the light mood died a little on her end. “I’m not in the habit of depriving children of their father.” Rowena replied simply, if a little closed off. “I offered you the chance to join our pack because I didn’t want to see a good man die needlessly. I can’t change our laws Mr. Robertson, but I can work around them. Had you had a family you would have either been greatly encouraged to keep them in the dark, or they would have been brought in under our protection as well.” She replied formally.

“As for your personal life, that’s your business, though moving away from Carson City is no longer a possibility, and keeping any ‘date’ you might have in the dark about your new affiliations will of course be required.” Rowena replied stiffly.

Jacob nodded. “Okay, good to know. I haven’t dated in-it doesn’t matter.” He shook his head. “I just wanted to know how much of my life was controlled by the pack and how much was actually just mine. I understand.” He frowned. “I will take the bond. I can live with what that means. I will just have to get used to people I guess. I live alone, with my dogs.” Jacob shrugged.

“Thank you.”

Ro’s wolf had not been happy with the direction of this conversation, but she was pleased that Jacob was choosing the pack. In the wolf’s mind, Jacob already belonged there as she’d claimed him as pack the moment he’d locked eyes with her in the van, but that bond was entirely different than the one he would now share with the pack.

“We’ll do what we can to help you through the adjustment. That’s the bright side of having a pack, you’ll never have to face problems without an extensive support system again.” She promised. At his gratitude, she merely nodded before leaving him to his privacy and heading off to her room to clean up. If the rest of the pack was going to be coming here tonight for the bonding, then she needed to not look like she’d just been shot up and sewn back together.

Jacob sat on the bed when Rowena left. He took a few deep breaths and realized he was shaking. What he had thought was fiction appeared to not be true. What he had thought were stories, things of legend and silly horror movies were real. Now he found himself in a position where he was going to be bonded to a group of people he didn’t know and one he felt that, at least physically he knew too well.

Eventually he stood and undressed. He wasn’t sure what to do with his clothes so he left them in a neat pile on the floor. Jacob showered, rinsing the last of her blood from him and then rummaged through the drawers for clean clothes. There seemed to a wide assortment of random items and he was able to find jeans and a black t-shirt that fit.

Fully dressed once more he left the spare room, blood soiled clothes in hand and made his way back to the kitchen.

Rowena showered quickly once she’d gotten to her room, the hot water providing a pleasant sting to her skin as she washed away the blood and grim. It also gave her time to center herself a bit more, and gain a better handle on her wolf. Once clean, Rowena dried off and dressed in a pair of well fitting jeans, a cream colored blouse, and booths before searching out Jacob. He was no longer in the guest bedroom, but his scent led her to the kitchen where he stood with his bloodied clothes in hand.

“We can get those washed for you if you want.” She commented lightly from the doorway.

Jacob turned and spotted Rowena looking very different than the short time ago that they parted. “I-well, blood doesn’t really come out well. I think I might be better to throw the shirt out, at least. The pants I can likely use for outdoor work. Its okay.” He smiled and looked her over.

“You seem...more dressed. How do you feel?” He ultimately worried that he had missed some of the silver.

“Disappointed?” Rowena couldn’t stop herself from teasing as he looked her over. “Still not a hundred percent, but definitely better. Considering someone tried to kill me with a pipe bomb earlier today, I think I’m in pretty good shape.” She replied with a smile.

Jacob smirked. “No not disappointed, well not that you with less clothes was bad I just, wanted to make sure I didn’t say something to insult you or offend you. You are the person who ultimately decides if I get to live so last person I want to piss off. Plus commenting on your appearance would likely piss off your ugh, mate? Assuming you use terms like that. Partner, you know someone who would not be cool with me saying anything other than you look healthier or clothed. Come to think of it I should have gone with healthier. Safer option.”

“Well, lucky for you i’ve got a thick skin, and no jealous hulking mate around to take offense.” Ro replied nonchalantly. “Obnoxious little brothers on the other hand, you might have to put up with.”

“Hey I never said they had to be big or anything. He or she could just be jealous and if I am supposed to be bonded I don’t want to start off on the wrong foot. I figure I have a lot of pluses going for me with the stitching you up. I would like to keep the balance on that side.” Jacob smiled. “As for brothers, well this all happens he sort of has to put up with me too so I guess it is even.”

“You’ve met Al right?” Ro joked dryly. “Granted I’ve only been continuous around you for about an hour now, but so far I’m not seeing the even levels of tolerability.” She was only half joking about that.

“So you mentioned dogs, how many?” Ro asked in an attempt to entertain small talk.

“At the moment four...no five though I don’t think Marco will last much longer. He is older, spends his time sleeping. He didn’t even get up when I went to check on the clinic when your brother broke in.” Jacob smiled. “I love them. Loyal each and every one but I like animals in general. Easier than people. I have my dogs no others on the farm permanently. Too many to keep care of when they are sick so I keep my own to a minimum.”

“Well then, it sounds like you’re in the right profession. If the stitch work hadn’t already sinched it, the way you talk about animals certainly has.” Ro commented with a small smile. “Out of curiosity then, what's your stance on cats since I detect a certain leaning toward the canine?”

Jacob laughed. “Well I find cats a bit snotty to be honest. I treat them of course but well, they aren’t nearly as friendly or loyal as a dog. I have always had a soft spot for dogs though. Helped me with my anger issues. Something about the eyes and the way they just know when you need the comfort. They also can sense danger and bad intentions. Cats well, they hate everyone.” Jacob chuckled. “I like horses too. Chickens are jerks but what can you do right?”

“Eat them.” Ro quipped with a straight face as he mentioned chickens. She was also almost embarrassingly serious. On full moon runs, rabbits were always the more prefered prey, but chickens could hit the spot too in lieu of other options. “The chickens I mean, not the cats. Too much fur and fuss.”

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Jacob laughed. “They are really more fur than anything. Not a cat person either hmm?”

He took a seat at the table, clothes still in one hand. “What about here, they said you had a barn.”

“It’s a mutually assured distaste.” Ro shrugged with a smile. “Horses mostly, but we have a few steers on hand that we keep for our friend Archie sometimes.” Rowena elaborated. “Most of the land we have here is just to keep us remote. People tend to notice wolf packs running around in Nevada, so we stay around here where there aren’t many people, and its safer for everyone.”

Jacob nodded slowly, taking it all in. “How often do you...change?”

“It depends.” Ro replied honestly. “Every werewolf has to change at least once a month. The night of the full moon we don’t really have that choice, but some of us feel more comfortable in our other skins than as humans, so they’ll change as often as they like, sometimes daily.” She tried to explain. “The wolf is a part of us that we live with, and it isn’t healthy to repress or over indulge it, you have to strike a balance if you want to stay whole.”

Jacob nodded once again. “Must be hard, balancing the two sides. Which do you prefer?” He inhaled sharply. “Sorry. I shouldn’t ask that.” He realized it was a personal question.

“What do you think of pigs?” He smiled, trying to change the subject.

“Sometimes, when our instincts conflict, so it can be. It’s easier to achieve for those of us who are born this way though, it comes more naturally.” Rowena smiled. “It’s alright, though I’m not sure I can really give you an answer to that, since I wouldn’t be me without the wolf and vise versa. I guess you could say being the wolf makes things simple. The world becomes divided into what is yours and everything else. You protect your own, you take what you want if you can fight for it, and there’s no guilt that comes from that. Being human is a bit more complicated.” She shrugged.

“As for pigs...also delicious.” She smirked.

Jacob laughed. “Bacon is really wonderful.”

He looked down at his feet. “I feel like I should be mad at all this but at the same time I am relieved that you don’t want me dead.”

“I can’t really tell you what to feel here Jacob. I know your life’s being uprooted, and I would understand if you were angry about that, but I would never want you dead.” Ro said sincerely. “Killing humans who know about our secret isn’t something I take pleasure in, which is why we usually work so hard to avoid situations like this.”

“But seeing as we no longer even have to entertain that option since you’re joining the pack, It might be time to take that tour I promised.” Rowena changed the subject as she headed toward the door. “From the smell of things, it seems we have another guest as well.” She mumbled before opening the door.

She watched the exchange between the young wolf and her pack members quietly, trying to assess her first before interacting.

Al sighed , mostly in frustration at himself for butchering the girl’s name, though most of his attention focused sharply on his sister, looking decidedly less dead as she walked onto the porch with the guy he’d vet-napped earlier this morning. He hadn’t missed the cute comment either, which left a little residual color working its way up his neck, but while he returned the sentiment, he hadn’t really appreciated that comment thrown Henry’s way.

Henry, for his part, had chosen to bear the insult in silence. He was a submissive wolf, which put him at the bottom of the pack structure in most of werewolf society, it was an honest assumption to make. The truth was, Henry hadn’t always lived in a pack as progressive as the Campbell’s, and he’d been called a lot worse things than ‘unimportant’ by dominant wolves over the years.

“Yes, Al does have a habit of making an ass out of himself.” Rowena agreed lightly as the young wolf addressed her with respect and a rabbit. “I appreciate your concern Kirsten, and while you’re here, I’ll try to help get you up to speed on the pack situations in this area and talk options from there.” She replied with a welcoming gesture.

“That being said, whilst you are here, don’t ever refer to a member of my pack as unimportant again, regardless of their status. I don’t tolerate that kind of archaic mentality within my pack.” Rowena said firmly, but not harshly. “Every member of this pack is valued and deserves respect, whether they are new, submissive, or even human.”

Jacob felt like an intruder. He knew he essentially was though not of his doing but watching Rowena and the woman on the porch made him feel as if he was really unprepared for what he was getting into. His eyes moved around to each person on the porch. Only the girl was new to him though it seemed she was as new as he was. The difference was she seemed to be just like them while he was not.

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Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Kirsten Blood Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Kirsten Nicole Blood

Kirsten noticed a smell she recognized from the vets office, causing her to look at him, when the alpha spoke to her she nodded and curtsied. "I do apologize for being so rude" she said to the alpha then turned to Henry, "I am very sorry for my rudeness, I do hope you forgive me" she said, extending a hand.

”Your scent, is familiar, I believe I found your dogs, I apologize but I had to break into your office to return them to you, I did however lock the door behind me” she said with a sincere smile.

”Thank you ma’am I look forward to learning more about this town, my mother and father were killed in my last town, I needed to get out of there.” she said, her voice cracking a little, she noticed Al’s color had changed, causing her to look away, He mustn’t get a lot of compliments she thought to herself.

”So I heard you have horses? I’ve always loved horses, I used to ride when I was little” she said, looking in the alphas direction, but not meeting her eyes, she seemed nice, but she knew an alpha could turn in an instant.

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Character Portrait: Naomi Rivera Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Kirsten Blood Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson Character Portrait:
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She hadn't expected the ringing in her ears like that. It was her own mind conforming to the pack senses, something was up. The blonde gentleman, who was this close to asking Naomi on a date would have to suffice for another time. She excused herself from the bar, and her lovely companion, to get off this shift as soon as possible. "Mr. Daniels, I have to get off now." Naomi only had done this one other time, but before he could protest against her actions, she was shrugging on her jacket and walking out the back door.

Soon, riding back home to get ready for the pack meeting, Logan called, informing her of Al's call to the entire pack, which ultimately included her. Naomi had taken to certain customs to better acquaint herself and blend into the smells of the pack. Once she got home, she set out to this routine. First, a shower with unscented products, to completely rid her body of unnatural scents. It was something her mother taught her; her father was very sensitive to smells, and her mother had worn a lot of perfume when they first met, which finally went away, as Naomi was doing now. She then had to shuffle through Logan's clothes to find the flannel he wore most often, which was mostly black. She let her hair down in its natural, curly mess, and washed any kind of makeup from her face, leaving her entire body to its natural form. She then opted for her father's leather jacket and her mother's hiking boots, leaving the only clothing of her own to be her old, ripped blue jeans. It was her normal attire for a pack meet.

Naomi had a special bed of flowers that were Frank Rivera's favorite, and tucked one of its ripe blooms behind her ear. It was the scent everyone in the pack accustomed her to. She hopped in her car and took the short drive over to the ranch. Logan would most likely be with Fiona at this point, so she would make the trek alone. The worst part of the ride was the road that led directly to the ranch, where it wasn't exactly made well. Fortunately, it was short, but she was one of the first to arrive. Taking a peek inside, she found... another human.

"I don't know whether to be offended or grateful," Naomi chuckled, setting into the group with a relaxed, submissive stance. Naomi hadn't heard of a human in the pack since her mother, and another woman who refused to join the pack and died. It was comforting to have a new pack member that wasn't a wolf. There was a small piece of her that wanted to try, that wanted someone to lose control and change her, but her overwhelming desire to leave the pack was greater. She wasn't going to say that to anyone, however. She stood at the edge of the steps, and took in each of the people on the porch. There was Rowena, looking as intimidating as always, though a little worn. Then Al, who looked a little red around the ears and neck. She'd always had a bit of a crush on him but would never tell him that. There was the human man, a new wolf, and Henry, one of the submissive wolves. There was still most of the pack to come, but other than Logan and a few others, the higher-ups were right here.

"So, who is this new human you're replacing me with?" Naomi teased, extending her hand to the human man and shaking it. She addressed Rowena, rather than asking the man himself; it was more respectful, at least, that what her father taught her.




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Character Portrait: Naomi Rivera Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Kirsten Blood Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson Character Portrait:
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“Excellent.” Ro replied with a nod, satisfied for the moment with her response. At the news that Kirsten’s family had been killed, Rowena grew concerned, but decided it would be more prudent to delicately question her about this in private. “I’m sorry for your loss. To lose both pack and family at once is a terrible thing.” She offered inadequately. Words could never do justice to the gaping hole left in ones heart by loss, but she hoped to provide some comfort.

As Naomi arrived, Rowena’s smile softened. “Replace you? Hardly. Logan would have a fit at the thought.” Ro teased mildly before extending a hand toward their soon to be newest Pack member. “This, is Jacob Robertson, one of the local veterinarians near the city.” She introduced.

“He has decided to join the pack as our newest member.” She continued vaguely, deciding she’d let Jacob fill in any more blanks he felt like sharing.

Jacob looked out towards the yard as Rowena addressed the new arrival. She spoke of loss. He felt like he should leave them alone but no one else was moving so he stayed put.

Another woman arrived. Rowena introduced him and Jacob nodded, taking the woman’s hand and shaking it. “Ugh nice to meet you. I guess...yeah I am sticking around.” He looked towards the man who had kidnapped him who he now knew as Rowena’s brother. “I have a clinic a bit away. I hope to get back soon.” He looked at the first woman. “My dogs are there and likely getting antsy.” He gave her a nod in thanks. He hadn’t wanted to interject earlier to thank her for returning the dogs to the office.

“But yeah, I am going to be part of the group.” Again he looked towards Al. Not that you gave me any say in the matter. Jacob wondered if and when he would stop being annoyed and resentful of the man for his actions.

Al greeted Naomi with one of his rare warm smiles before turning to met eyes with the Vet, whose name he now knew was Jacob. His gaze was trying to burn a hole in Al's head, and he could definitely sense the bottled resentment. Al might understand his anger on the matter, but he wasn't going to apologize either. The posture they both displayed was subconsciously hostile, and human or not, Al wouldn’t be the one to show weakness by looking away first.

Henry on the other hand, looked immensely relieved. “Oh good, all taken care of then.” He went on with a smile. He was a conflict resolver, his specialty was smoothing feathers and well timed interjections. Strife within the pack that he couldn't defuse tended to put him on edge. “Glad to have you on, my wife will be thrilled to have another human in the pack as well. She likes playing cards during the moon you see. It’s been so long since we’ve had some fresh faces around here.” He continued conversationally.

“Right. One less thing to worry about.” Al replied vaguely. “Henry and I put the call out to the rest of the pack, everyone should be here before dark.” Al informed his sister.

“Good. Hopefully this matter won’t take too long to resolve, but we’re dealing with an emergency situation, so until I’m satisfied that the danger has passed, the pack will be staying at the ranch.” Rowena informed them, here alpha authority ringing through to make it clear that this was not a request.

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Character Portrait: Naomi Rivera Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Logan Rivera Character Portrait: Kirsten Blood Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson
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Excellent.” Ro replied with a nod, satisfied for the moment with her response. At the news that Kirsten’s family had been killed, Rowena grew concerned, but decided it would be more prudent to delicately question her about this in private. “I’m sorry for your loss. To lose both pack and family at once is a terrible thing.” She offered inadequately. Words could never do justice to the gaping hole left in ones heart by loss, but she hoped to provide some comfort.

As Naomi arrived, Rowena’s smile softened. “Replace you? Hardly. Logan would have a fit at the thought.” Ro teased mildly before extending a hand toward their soon to be newest Pack member. “This, is Jacob Robertson, one of the local veterinarians near the city.” She introduced.

“He has decided to join the pack as our newest member.” She continued vaguely, deciding she’d let Jacob fill in any more blanks he felt like sharing.

Jacob looked out towards the yard as Rowena addressed the new arrival. She spoke of loss. He felt like he should leave them alone but no one else was moving so he stayed put.

Another woman arrived. Rowena introduced him and Jacob nodded, taking the woman’s hand and shaking it. “Ugh nice to meet you. I guess...yeah I am sticking around.” He looked towards the man who had kidnapped him who he now knew as Rowena’s brother. “I have a clinic a bit away. I hope to get back soon.” He looked at the first woman. “My dogs are there and likely getting antsy.” He gave her a nod in thanks. He hadn’t wanted to interject earlier to thank her for returning the dogs to the office.

“But yeah, I am going to be part of the group.” Again he looked towards Al. Not that you gave me any say in the matter. Jacob wondered if and when he would stop being annoyed and resentful of the man for his actions.

Al met eyes with the Vet, whose name he now knew was Jacob, whose gaze was trying to burn a hole in his head. The posture was subconsciously hostile, and human or not, Al wouldn’t be the one to show weakness by looking away first.

Henry on the other hand, looked immensely relieved. “Oh good, all taken care of then.” He went on with a smile. “Glad to have you on, my wife’ll be thrilled to have another human in the pack as well. It’s been so long since we’ve had some fresh faces around here.” He continued conversationally.

“Right. One less thing to worry about.” Al replied vaguely. “Henry and I put the call out to the rest of the pack, everyone should be here before dark.” Al informed his sister.

“Good. Hopefully this matter won’t take too long to resolve, but we’re dealing with an emergency situation, so until I’m satisfied that the danger has passed, the pack will be staying at the ranch.” Rowena informed them, here alpha authority ringing through to make it clear that this was not a request.



“I ugh, I am not staying here though. Right?” Jacob frowned. He needed to get back. He had a clinic to run and animals who needed him.

“For the moment yes, we all are. Someone who knows an awful lot about werewolves tried to kill my brother and I today. We may only have been the first targets, and until I know for sure that the danger has passed and that no one is going to have gunmen with silver bullets shooting up their homes, everyone is staying here. Including you.” Rowena replied.

“If you are concerned for your animals, I can have someone pick them up and bring them along on their way here.” She offered like an olive branch.

Jacob looked around the room. He wished they were alone. He felt as if he was being duped into staying here. She had said he would get to go home. She had said he would get to go back to work and now she was saying he wouldn’t, at least for now.

He was breathing in big deep breaths in an attempt not to get angry or upset. Jacob looked out the nearest window. “Fine. I don’t seem to get a choice.” He kept his voice low.

Al growled low in his throat at Jacob, grated by the angry dismissal. His sister was trying to keep his ass alive, he didn’t need to act like a pouting child.

“Al, knock it off.” Ro commanded sharply toward her brother, eyes flashing blue. “If you can’t control your temper then go for a run around the barn.”

Al exhaled harshly through his nose. He knew a confrontation with Ro was coming, he’d braced for that when he’s made the judgment call to grab the vet, but he didn’t understand why she was letting this guy get away with his behavior toward her, especially in front of other members of the pack. If Al had ever acted so aggrieved by a direct command in front of the pack he’d be in for a lot more than some laps around the property. Ro met his eyes, and Al averted his own, submitting to her dominance. “It won’t be a problem.” He promised blankly.

“Good. Henry, get on the phone with Marisole. I want to know what the vamps know about this.” She commanded efficiently. “Al, take Jacob for a tour of the property and properly apologize for your conduct this morning. I’m going to call Logan and inform him to pick up your dogs.”

Jacob nodded. “Okay.” He didn’t want to go with Al. He didn’t want to tour the place. He was angry and wanted to be alone. He turned to Al and looked at him expectantly.

Al wasn’t happy about this, but he nodded as he turned toward the door. “Alright, come on Doc, I’ll give you the scenic tour.” He gripped as he descended down the porch and out toward the main barn, not really looking to see whether Jacob bothered to follow.

Jacob sighed and followed Al down and off the porch. “I can see we are both super enthused about this.”

“Oh yeah, like a couple of kids at Christmas.” Al groused sarcastically as he led the way toward the barn. “Horses here, gated pasture connects to the back and stretches out for about a mile.” He waved his hand generally in that direction.

“There’s a wooded area a little farther out, and a creek that runs through the property on the north end of the pasture.” He gestured vaguely.

“Great…” Jacob commented offhandedly. “Spectacular tour guide you are. It doesn’t matter. I don’t plan to be here long. She said I could have my life back, you know but with the other parts of being part of all this but I can go back. She never said I was going to have to wait but…” He breathed out slowly through his nose.

“She’s making you wait here because there are people out there who didn’t have any qualm shooting at and bombing us this morning, and we don’t know who they are or why they did it yet. Like it or not, you are a part of the pack now, which makes you a target if someones tries to hurt our pack. She’s trying to keep you alive, so stop getting mad at her for doing her job.” Al ground out.

Jacob huffed. “I could leave, no one knows about me. And she didn’t say I had to stay when she offered me the choice. In fact she said I would get to go. I don’t really like surprises. You know like people breaking into my place or kidnapping me. I am not mad at her I am pissed off that I am in this situation to begin with and that what I was told would happen is not happening. I think it is pretty fair of me to be pissed that I was kidnapped and now told death or join a group of werewolves don’t you?” He practically yelled at the man, only just barely reining it in. It was getting harder and harder not to let the anger take over.

“I don’t like surprises much either Doc. Like getting shot this morning before watching someone blow my sister up with a fucking pipe bomb. I’m not going to apologize for doing what I thought I had to to keep her alive. Life’s full of unfair shit sometimes, but the fact that she even gave you a choice in the first place is something you should be grateful for. We don’t know you, and certainly not well enough to trust you with our secret. She’s risking her head on the chopping block to protect yours’, so I’m sorry you’ve had a suckie morning, but I think you can put up with being here for a day or so while we figure out if there’s a maniac on the loose trying to kill our family, or something much worse.” Al growled back, holding onto the wolf by his fingernails.

Jacob cocked his head. “You ever consider just bringing her in and letting me work on her in the clinic? You could have taken her out before she changed. Same effect. I get it you were freaked out but if there are things like secrets and such maybe you should have kept a cooler head.”

“We’d just gotten lured to a back pasture tracking whatever was killing my cousin’s cattle in what I can only now guess was some kind deliberately planned trap to kill us. I went running for that van with gunfire behind me and a slim lead. For all I knew at that point, we were being followed by the same nut jobs looking to finish what they started. I busted into the clinic because at that point, If I didn’t do something, she was going to die. Staying stationary wasn’t an option until I could get her somewhere more secure, so I made a call. That’s on me and you can be pissed about that and at me if you want, just don’t act huffy around everyone else.They don’t need that crap.” Al argued back.

“I haven’t been huffy and I am pissed at you. Slightly annoyed that Rowena didn’t make it clear upfront that I wasn’t leaving when I asked her. Also abundantly clear I don’t belong here so I have no idea what I am supposed to do during this little lock down while my clinic is left sitting there and I am not making money. I have things to consider so yeah I am pissed at you, I am pissed at this whole fucking situation. Forgive me for not being over the moon.” Jacob threw his hands into the air. “You call it huffy I call it annoyed that my entire life was just turned way the fuck upside down and I haven’t had any say in it. You dragged me out of there. You could have taken the shit and left but no. I think you’d be a bit pissed if you were in my shoes and likely adjusting just as well to all this.”

“Probably.” Al agreed stiffly. “Hell knowing my short fuse probably worse to be honest. I was hoping to get you out of here before it came to any of this, so I’m probably more pissed at myself right now than really angry at you. The wolf is just a little hyper sensitive about Ro right now, and your tone in there rubbed him the wrong way.” Al forced out as he rubbed a hand down his face in an attempt to sooth the wolf.

“I’m not sorry about what I did to save my sister. Honestly, If I’d tried to patch her up myself, she probably wouldn’t have made it. I can fix up cars no problem, but I’m shit with people. I am sorry that it had to come to this though, and that you had to be involved in the first place.” He continued in the closest thing to an apology he could grit out.

Jacob’s shoulders relaxed. It was then that he realized how much tension he was holding in. “I appreciate you needing to get her help. She was in really bad shape. I can appreciate you hoping to get me out of here. I guess I just wish it would have worked you know?” He scuffed the ground with the heel of his boot. “No kidding you are shit with people. Not sure punching me was necessary…” He chuckled, just a little. He wasn’t sure if he would ever not resent Al’s actions even though he understood them. “I wish I didn’t need to be involved too.” He shoved his hands in his pockets.

“What the hell am I going to do here? Sit around trying not to go stir crazy? I am not used to sitting still. Not good for me or...just not good.” The less active he was, the less busy his mind the more likely Jacob knew he was to snap or lash out at someone irrationally. Part of his annoyance with all of this was he was worried about being unable to keep himself in control.

“How else was I supposed to stuff a full grown man quickly into the back of a van?” Al replied with a small smirk. “If it makes you feel better, you’re still taller than me.” As Jacob went on about going stir crazy, the smirk grew bigger. “I might be able to help with that.” He replied as he led them back toward his garage, opening the sliding metal doors and presenting with just a hint of pride.

“Welcome to the man cave.” It wasn’t much, but it was Al’s filled with a pool table, pictures of muscle cars everywhere, and a fridge full of beer. “I’ve got corn hole set up in the back too if that’s more your speed. Enjoy the solitude while you can, because the whole pack’s going to be coming in today, and Betsy Geller is one nosy busy body who will have you playing bridge with her faster than you can say cuebid.” He replied dryly, but with a hit of fondness.

Jacob laughed. “Yeah taller, that is what I have going for me.” He looked around. “Not bad. You must hide out here a lot?”

He leaned against the pool table. “Can I ask you something? You say the whole pack is coming but in the end that doesn’t mean a whole lot to me right? I mean I am going to be a part of it but I am not...well I am just a guy. No one is really going to care about my day. I am not like you and I can’t see them having much in the way of super happy feelings about some random guy being here for no reason. I just don’t understand I guess. She said for my protection, either I join or she had to kill me but I am not a husband, a brother, I am just a guy.”

“This kind of thing doesn’t happen very often.” Al agreed. “I can’t say how the other wolves are going to feel about this, but they aren’t going to say anything if Ro says you’re one of us. They’ll get over it either way. As for the humans, if Naomi’s response was anything to go by, I’d say they’ll probably be pretty excited. They can’t really talk about this part of their lives with other people, so you’re fresh meat to complain to and gossip with.” Al shrugged.

“So basically I can just hide out here? Is there a bed?” None of that sounded ideal to Jacob. Al said he wasn’t good with people and Jacob understood that all too well. He preferred the company of animals for a reason. Jacob sighed. “This is sort of like my worst nightmare you know. A large group of strangers.”

“I can’t really claim to be much of a people person myself, at least without boobs and booze involved.” Al sympathized. “But if you’re going to be part of the pack, you’re going to have to get to know them all at some point. You’re going to be over here at least one night a month with these people.” He explained. “They’re good people, a little clingy sometimes, but everyone’s just close. It’s hard not to be with a bond connecting everyone.”

Jacob cringed. “Great...another question...if I am not like you and I don’t change why do I have to be here on what I assume is the full moon? Sorry playing to cliches as it is what I know. If I am wrong tell me cause honestly I feel like I don’t know much expect what I have seen in movies. And Rowena was definitely not an ugly wolfman thing…” He shook his head as he pushed back the image of her on the bed in the towel.

“You’re not wrong, we change with the full moon whether we want to or not, but it's healthier for everyone’s mental states if the whole pack is present. If we change together, with the whole pack around, it helps us through the change and keeps us in control. Especially with younger wolves, being able to control their wolves can be difficult sometimes.” Al explained. “Are you saying you think think my sister’s hot? Cause man, that’s usually not a conversation you strike up with the brother.” Al joked lightly.

“I said she didn’t look like the wolfman in the movies. You on the other hand...who knows?” He laughed. “Don’t worry I won’t tell you if I think she is good looking.” He stood fully once more. “In seriousness is there a bed out here? You make it sound like a lot of people and well, I am not exactly up to sharing a bed with a stranger.” Jacob couldn’t stop the immediate thought of how he wouldn’t mind sharing a bed with Ro. Time to think with my brain, not other things.
“Oh yeah, I’m way scarier.” Al smirked. “I’ve got an old mattress over in the corner that I keep out here when I get caught up in projects, but the ranch has six bedrooms, and three have bunk beds. Still not enough for everyone, but if this does turn out to be a strategic attack, we’ll probably all be sleeping in shifts anyway.” Al replied, sobering a bit. “My money’s on Kegan though, so we’ll see if this is just a one off assassination attempt, or if he’s actually trying to start another turf war.”

Jacob frowned. “Turf war? Kegan? What are you fighting over?” He gave his head a shake as if to clear it and find the beginning. “A better question might be can I have a bit of a history lesson, maybe a short version about what led to Rowena being attacked and why I find myself about to be surrounded by a lot of people?”

“We don’t know who attacked us yet,” Al corrected. “But I’d put money on Kegan because he and his lot are a bunch of power hungry, sexist, pricks who think that just because he’s got something dangling between his legs, he’s entitled to something.” Al growled lowly, his eyes taking on a more golden hue.

“Long story short, our dad used to be alpha. By the time he kicked the bucket, he’d mentally checked out to the point that Ro was pretty much running the show and had for a while as his beta...er second in command. When she stepped up to the plate to take over as Alpha, half the pack decided they didn’t like the idea of a woman being in charge, and Dan Kegan tried to make himself Alpha. The pack split in two and things got messy. Since then we became two separate packs and no one messes with their territory as long as they don’t mess with ours. Lately though they’ve been running around Carson City, buying property and doing god knows what else.” Al informed sourly.

Jacob frowned. “So I have ended up in the middle of a pissing contest, a violent one with your sister competent and this guy having a thing against women. Great.”

He ran his fingers through his hair. “You think the other group would do something like a bomb?”

“I don’t know, we haven’t had anything this violent happen in like...fifty years. Things have been getting tense again after Dan kicked the bucket and his ass of a son took over, but it’s all mostly been mind fucks with him, symbolic taunting stuff. Whoever went after us today was aiming to kill, which is a pretty big escalation, even for them.” Al admitted tiredly.

Jacob shook his head. “I am in the middle of a war.”

He raised his eyes to Al. “If it is all the same to you I will crash here, on the mattress. I don’t really feel like I belong. I get that it will change but I don’t really do well with lots of people.” He clenched and unclenched his hands.

“That might work for a while, but if you’re going through with the bonding ceremony, you’re going to end up the center of attention before long.” Al shrugged making a welcoming gesture toward the mattress.

“Center of attention?” Jacob groaned miserably. He moved to the mattress and sat down. “Thanks.” It really was his worst nightmare. “Rowena didn’t say anything about center of attention. Maybe death is better.”

He looked up. “When? When does this happen? The ceremony I mean.”

“When everyone gets here I guess. Ro’s gotta make the announcement about what’s happening anyway. It would only make sense to do it them while everyone’s here.” Al guessed. “This kind of thing’s a pretty big deal for us man, It’s not like signing some contract in a back room or getting a club card you forget about in the back of your wallet. You’re agreeing to be a part of our lives, and protect and be protected by the group. It’s not something you can do impersonally.” He explained sympathetically.

“I’ve got some Jager back here somewhere if you think it’ll help.” Al offered up.

“Fuck yes.” Jacob knew what the bond meant but the more he thought about it the more it scared him. He didn’t like people that much, he really didn’t. He didn’t have a choice though. Death or bond with a bunch of people. Could he do it? Really, could he be apart of the lives of so many strangers. Then he thought of Rowena, those eyes as he was trying to get her to sleep so he could save her life.

He sighed and hung his head. “Jager is good.” Yes, life over death, no matter what.

Al rummaged around for a bottle and a couple of clean glasses, pouring them both a generous amount and passing one over to Jacob. “It’s not so bad, especially for humans. You guys can’t sense things through the bond in the same way we can, so it won’t be as intense. You’re never going to be completely alone again, but that doesn’t mean it’s invasive either.”

Jacob took the glass and downed a quarter of it. It burned but it was what he needed. “So there are perks to being human.” He sounded slightly bitter.

“There’s bound to be a few at least.” Al shrugged. “I’ve been a werewolf my whole life though, so I can’t really speak from experience.”

Jacob nodded and took another drink. “Only humans are family members though right? Husbands, wives...that makes me an anomaly.”

“Pretty much. Who else are you going to risk getting offed by the Covenant over?” Al replied draining his glass. “If you ever snapped and decided to go running your mouth about werewolves, you’d be dead, Ro would be dead, and there’s no telling who else they’d make disappear to cover up even a hint of something supernatural in this area. That’s why so many packs won’t even allow humans to join in the first place, except maybe for children. If they know, they die. End of story.”

Jacob downed the last of his drink. “You are telling me that she has her neck on the line for a man she doesn’t know. She gave me a choice when really she shouldn’t have. This Covenant, they some sort of FBI? The way you talk cover ups and stuff it reminds me of that. Who is she going to tell them I am? Won’t they wonder why she thinks it is a good idea to let some stranger in?”

“I’m saying most wouldn’t have, but she did.” Al replied, rolling the glass lightly in his hand. “FBI, CIA, NSA, they’ve got their main offices through the Bureau, but they’ve got their feelers out everywhere. Right now, as long as you don’t do anything to draw attention to us, they’re not going to care enough to get involved. Once you’ve been in the pack for a while, become more established here, it won’t matter anymore. You’ll be one of us, and unless you do something wrong, it’s not their business to police who my sister allows in the pack.”

Jacob nodded. “Sounds like there are a lot of rules. Hoping someone tells me before I do anything stupid.” He rubbed his face again. “I wasn’t always the best at watching my mouth as a kid, got myself into a lot of trouble. Learned to control it when I learned to control my temper but I don’t do well with sudden changes. This might prove a challenge at first, especially with all the new people.”

He looked up, “Guess I gotta learn to deal though. Not like I am going anywhere.”

“Well, sounds like we’re peas in a pod there then.” Al replied dryly as Jacob mentioned his past tendency toward smart mouthing while he poured them both another glass.

“I guess we could always be radical and aim for optimism. Maybe you’ll even end up liking a few of these guys, who knows right?” Al shrugged. “And it’s not like you’re stuck here forever man, just until we figure out who the hell is trying to kill us.”

“I get it. And maybe.” Jacob smiled. “Anything is possible.” He put his glass down. “How long can we drink and avoid going back in there?”

“Until someone comes looking for us I guess.” Al shrugged, taking another swig of his drink. “My evening plans have pretty much been shot to hell, so I’ve got no plans to be doing anything until Ro calls her meeting at this point.”

Jacob grunted and held out his glass. “If you don’t mind a fresh pour then…”


“Not at all.” Al indulged Jacob with another generous glass. “So, blonde, brunette, or redhead?” Al asked after a moment with a quirked brow.

Jacob laughed. “In a beer or in a woman?”

He took a sip of his refilled drink and smiled. “Honestly, not sure I have a preference. I have avoided women...dating I guess for a while. That being said, nothing like a pretty blond with large blue eyes or a fiery red head. Brunettes too, I mean who can resist putting their hands in long brown hair and pulling a girl in for a kiss?” He looked down, smiling remaining as he thought of Rowena on the bed, hair haphazardly spread about her head.

Jacob cleared his throat. “What about you? You have a favourite? You have a girl here?”

“Nah, I don’t really do relationships so to speak, and neither do the ladies whom which I spend my time.” Al replied. “Always be partial to Brunettes myself, but I am not a picky man.” He continued with a wolfish grin.

Jacob nodded. He understood. Relationships were hard, asked a lot of a person and it was more than he was able to give.

“So do you guys have jobs or do you just work around here, on the farm?”

“Yeah man, we’re not Amish.” Al joked. “I’ve got a garage out in the city, fix up cars and tractors for the mechanically disinclined.”

“And Rowena?” Jacob took a deep drink. He could feel it warming his body. He rolled his shoulders. Today had been long.

“Contract lawyer. She operates her own private practice and works most the legal cases for the pack.” Al explained.

Jacob looked up in surprise. “Lawyer? She doesn’t look like a lawyer. I mean...not that lawyers look like anything..” He frowned. “Wow. Lawyer.” He smiled slightly to himself.

“Well I wish my skills were more useful, not a lawyer or a mechanic.” He looked up at Al. “I barely even helped her you know. She was all healed a short time later. Is the healing thing not a typical ugh, werewolf thing?” He rubbed a hand on his knee as he took a drink with the other hand.

“Normally, yeah. We heal at a pretty accelerated rate. Won’t help if someone cuts off our head, or stabs us somewhere that kills on impact, but gunshot wounds, torn flesh, things like that, we can usually handle it.” Al explained, pulling back his shirt slightly to show off the healing wound where he’d been shot that morning.


“The thing that bomb today was that somebody stuffed it with silver. Don’t ask me why, but that stuff’s like acid for us. Burns us, zaps energy, keeps our wounds from healing. Ro got shot up with the stuff, so trust me, you did a lot.” Al said gratefully.

Jacob looked thoughtful. “So anything not fatal or silver, you can heal. Rowena was full of silver so she couldn’t heal.” He nodded slowly. Jacob downed his glass. “Well I am not sure she will appreciate me drunk so I won’t ask for a refill.”

He scratched his chin. “You guys realize this is hard to wrap my head around right?”

“In theory, yes, which is why we don’t really do this kind of thing, but I was born into the pack, so I guess I can’t really say I know what it’s like. Honestly, the only ones who may truly be able to relate are the turned wolves. We don’t have many in the pack, but there are a couple, like Henry and Fiona. If you ever need to kind of talk through the crazy with an understanding ear, they might be the most qualified.” Al suggested.

Jacob nodded slowly. “So born and turned? You have been one since you were, well born and others are turned? What does that mean?”

“It means that some of us were born this way, and that others were made into werewolves. Being turned is a gruesome process that involved pretty much being mauled to an inch of your life, and playing russian roulette with the odds of your body accepting the change and healing itself fast enough to live. Overnight you have to adjust to a body that has completely changed, as well as living with the part of yourself that is a wolf and has as much sway over you as your human half does. It’s hard enough striking that balance when you’re born this way, but adjusting to it after is a bitch. Very few people survive through the entire process, much less end up well adjusted on the other side of it.” Al explained.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Naomi Rivera Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Logan Rivera Character Portrait: Kirsten Blood Character Portrait: Salem Kegan Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell
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“I think you guys might want to think about having a therapist in the group. Sounds like you could use it. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I am serious.” Jacob exhaled slowly. “Sounds like a rough life.”

“Yeah well, that’s why Alphas regulate turning humans pretty viciously, or at least they’re supposed to. There have been stories about Alphas in more remote regions who’d run their packs like warlords and turn people right and left to increase their numbers, but that kind of thing has been mostly stamped out by the Covenant in North America. It’s too flashy, risks exposure.” Al commented, finishing the rest of his glass before putting his away as well. “Doesn’t stop the vamps though, but then I suppose they have a higher success rate with the people they keep, so the same rules don’t apply.” He said bitterly.

“Vamps?” Jacob stared at Al. “You mean to tell me…” He put his hands up. “Okay seriously now you are shitting me, trying to freak me out right?” He laughed. “Okay haha, right vamps, vampires are real too. Boogey man, ugh...mummy..what else? Funny.”

Jacob rubbed his face. “No fair though I am tired and a bit tipsy.”

“If only…” Al grumbled out, tempted to take another shot, but successfully restrained himself.

“Vampires, Witches, and a myriad of other little creepy crawlies are all as real as you and me. Witches are kind of hit or miss. There are some that are into that whole whimpy mother-earth-goddess-new-agey-do-no-harm crap, and then you’ve got some that are into some pretty twisted shit and everything in between.”

“Vamps are just a whole nother story, but my suggestion would be to not get too close. Some of the things they can do to people are on a whole other level, and I haven’t met one yet that wasn’t a complete dick.” Al elaborated sourly.

“You are telling me they are all real too? Well fuck, this day just keeps getting more and more messed up. Vampires? Bite your neck, suck your blood type?” Jacob stared at Al. “Shit. Are they with you or against you?”

“Neither.” Al bit out curtly. “Vampires, witches, and werewolves are the ones who originally founded and are governed by the Covenant. We’re all separate entities, but we generally don’t get involved in each other’s business unless we want to deal with the Covenant.” He explained.

“So why found this police type group if you aren’t exactly super keen on each other?” Jacob frowned.

“Because as much as we don’t like each other, if our existence were to become public knowledge, we’re all pretty much in agreement that humans would be even less keen, and they outnumber us by a lot. All you have to do is crack open a history book to see what kind of reception we’d get.” Al drawled out dryly.

“There is nothing in history about werewolves. Witches sure, but that was puritan craziness.” Jacob grunted. “So you have a joint task force to make sure no one knows you exist. This is made up of witches, werewolves and vampires. I got that right?”

“You obviously haven’t studied up on the French.” Al replied dryly. “But yes, in a nutshell. The laws we have aren’t so much about fairness or some sense of monster morality, but to limit exposure.”

“But they aren’t here now. Now you are more worried about who attacked you and that isn’t their domain since it is likely not a human?” Jacob figured at some point this all would make sense. Some day this would just be the norm. This was the life he was signing up for.

“It will all just depend. Something like this, bombs, assassination attempts, it’s all pretty flashy. If they think this, whatever it is, is going to escalate, then they’re going to get involved. Which might not be a good thing. For now though, we’re on our own.” Al explained tiredly.

Jacob bit the inside of his cheek. “So how do we go about finding out who did it? Is there a protocol or can we just start poking around?” His mind was turning, ideas on how he could help brewing.

“Ro’s poking around right now.” Al sighed. “Putting in a call to the Vamp coven in Reno. Marisol owes us a favor, and people don’t make moves like this around here without drawing their attention. They deal in information, so if anyone’s going to have intel on this, they will.”

“Oh.” Jacob’s shoulders slumped. Seemed like he wouldn’t be able to even help with the investigation. Of course they have people for that….what do they need you for? You get to be a useless lump around here. He was missing his dogs more than ever now.

“Unless of course they’re involved too, then I imagine they won’t be much help.” Al bit out, running his hands up his face and through his hair in an attempt to shake off the visible stress of the situation. “We’ll just have to wait an see what they say and move from there.”

“Sounds like in the end my bitching about you kidnapping me is nothing compared to what is really going on.” Jacob felt a bit like an ass. He was still mad that his life was changed with no say from him but in the end Al and Rowena, well they seemed to have it worse.

“You kind of got assaulted this morning, I wouldn’t go so far as to say the bitching is unwarranted.” Al replied, green eyes peering up at the human. “Speaking of which, is there anyone you need to call? Let know you may be out of the office for a couple days or so?”

Jacob looked down. “No, there is no one to call. Just me out there.”

“Well…” Al said stretching a bit as he stood. “On the bright side, that never something you’ll ever have to say again.”

“So, you up for a game of pool, or just-”

“Aaaaallllphonse!” An overly cheery female voice boomed out near his sanctuary, and Al covered his ears with a growl. “Oh god....Betsy…”

“Oh Alphie sweetheart, are you in there with that new fella?!” Betsy called out with a thick southern accent. “Henry called, and a picked up a few new friends out here that I think are anxious to see him!” As if to accentuate her point a chorus of barks let loose.

Jacob was torn between happy to the see the dogs and terrified of the new arrival. He looked at Al. “Do we go out there? She has my dogs…” He sighed.

“If we don’t, she’s just going to come in here.” Al replied grumpily, heading toward the sliding door. “Hi Betsy…”

“Oh Alphie look at you! Henry said you’d been shot, have you even taken a shower yet? Ya know you’re never gonna get a girlfriend if you don’t start taking care of yourself.” Betsy proclaimed as the door was opened. She was a woman in her early fifties, with graying curly brown hair and a gracefully aging beauty. She was a little on the plump side, but it only added to the perpetually ‘mom’ aura she gave off.

Jacob followed Al out. He bit back a chuckle at the woman’s affectionate use of Alphie. He didn’t seem like an Alphie to him. He hung back near the door and crouched down. He gave his legs a soft pat and the dogs pulled at their leashes.

He smiled, happy to see them.

“So you’ve said...like a hundred times.” Al retorted tiredly, as he saw a little furry head peak out of Betsy’s purse, and started whining to be let down.

“Aww, poor Sophie has missed you so much! You really do need to come visit more. Sophie just loves her little Alphie-kins!” Betsy cooed as she placed the overly excited pomeranian into Al’s unwilling arms, and the little dog immediately began licking at Al’s face, which was now sporting a rather sour expression.

“Oh and who’s this? You must be that new feller Henry was telling me about huh?” Betsy declared looking at Jacob with a bright smile and outstretched hand.

Jacob suppressed a laugh. Alphie-kins? He stood as she approached. He really wanted to see the dogs but he knew it was in his best interest not to be rude.

“Ugh, yes..hello.” Jacob shook her hand and forced a friendly smile. “Thank you for bringing my dogs. Much appreciated.”

“Oh of course, no trouble at all. I breed Poms, y’know, so I hate to see those babies at home all alone.” Betsy replied cooing at the dogs before handing over the the leashes to their owner. “I’m Betsy by the way. Henry mentioned you were human, but I never did catch your name sweetheart.”
“Oh sorry, its Jacob.” He crouched down and put his arms out for the dogs. He had dropped the leashes the moment she handed them over. He was rubbing their sides, scratching ears and burying his face into their sides. In return there were face licks and wagging tails.

“Alright so you were worried. I get it. Sorry fellas.” Jacob laughed as he took the time to pet each one.

“I am gonna take out back if that is okay, run them a bit. Give you guys time to talk and stuff.” His eyes lifted to look at Al.

“No man go.” Al encouraged as his face was assaulted by the pomeranian. “Quick, run while you can!” He joked as Betsy swatted him lightly. “Oh you’re horrible!”

Jacob nodded. “Come on boys.” He ran off, the dogs at his heels. He whistled sharply and broke into a faster run.

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As evening approached, more and more members of the Carson City pack arrived at the Campbell ranch. The last one showed up at sunset, booking an impressively illegal speed in the well marked Sheriff’s Department police car. The man who came out cut an imposing enough figure with near gargantuan height without the uniform, but that, coupled with the angry twist to his face made Lennox Campbell an intimidating sight.

“Where’s Ro?” He practically growled at Henry as he approached the front porch, tension set in his shoulders.

“Hey Lenny, calm down alright. She’s okay.” Henry tried to sooth as he came down the steps to meet him.

“What happened?” Lennox demanded, trying to rein in his wolf that lashed out internally at the threat to his alpha and sister.

“It’s complicated Lenny. Someone with pretty detailed knowledge about werewolf anatomy attacked Ro and Al this morning. She’s ok now, the doctor got all the silver out, so she’s healing up just fine.” Henry assured the more dominant wolf, hands splayed out in a comforting gesture.

“Doctor? How did Murdoch get up here from Vegas so fast?” Lennox asked in confusion. Their usual pack doctor, Andy Murdoch, was on vacation this week celebrating his fiftieth birthday. He wasn’t a wolf, but was family of the local witch coven in the area. He was completely non-magical himself, but he’d grown up with the supernatural, which made him the go to guy for all things supernatural and medical in these parts.

“He didn’t…” Henry trailed off awkwardly, eyes instinctively glancing out to the yard where an unknown man was running around with a mix matched pack of dogs.

“Who is that?” Lennox asked, a dangerous edge lacing his voice. The wind wasn’t strong today, but the werewolf was standing downwind of this stranger, and he smelled like his sister. Lennox’s amber eyes watched him intently, intense and assessing.

“That would be our new doctor.” Henry said carefully as he sense the growing tension in the more dominant wolf. “Ro got hurt pretty bad, and Al kind of panicked. They were on the road, and from the sound of things, Al kind of vetnapped the guy from his home practise.” Henry tried to explain.

“Shit!” Lenny swore, hackles raised. He really hated it when pack business interfered with his job. No matter what, his loyalty would always be with his sister and the pack, but Lenny also liked to think he was a halfway decent cop. Aiding and abetting the kidnapping and possible murder of a local vet would hardly be living up to that job description. “Were there any witnesses?” He asked bleakly, hardening himself for the worst.

“No, but it doesn’t really matter now. Jacob, that’s his name, is joining the pack. Ro explained the situation then made the offer, and he’s adjusting surprisingly well.” Henry reassured his packmate.

“Seriously?” Lennox asked in surprise, but his shoulders relaxed a bit in relief. “Where are Ro and Al?” He asked switching gears.

“Ro’s making some calls, seeing if anyone knows something about what happened this morning. It’s probably going to take a while though. You know trying to get a straight answer out of the vamps is like pulling teeth.” Henry explained dryly. “As for Al, I imagine Betsy’s still fussing over him. He got out of there in much better shape than Ro did, but he still got shot.”

“Silver or lead?” Lennox asked reflexively, looking for any bit of information he could get.

“Lead. The only silver was in the bomb apparently, so Al should be fine.” Henry replied. “I think Ro’s looking to induct Jacob tonight, and possibly another wolf as well. Apparently she recently lost her pack, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she asks to join ours.”

“Hmm.” Lennox grunted, mulling over that information. “I suppose I should meet him then.” He admitted reluctantly. Lennox had never been a people person. Ro had always been the one with the most diplomatic personality, and Al could be an idiot sometimes, but he could charm the pants off most girls when he put his mind to it. Lenny had always been the prickly bear of the family, built for enforcing order, not making the rules that governed it.

“That would probably be for the best.” Henry agreed encouragingly, as he began walking the reluctant wolf over to their newest addition. Oddly enough, Henry thought the two might get on better than Lenny expected. In some ways, they seemed to have similar personalities, which could mean they’d be fast friends or incredibly awkward around each other. Henry choose to be an optimist.

“Hey, Jacob!” Henry called over as they approached the human and his dogs, arm waving in a friendly gesture. “I brought over someone I thought you should meet. This is Lenny, Ro’s beta.” He introduced warmly.

Jacob looked up from where he was sitting on the ground, surrounded by his dogs. One laid in front of him. The others milled about sniffing and licking him.

“Ugh, hi…” Jacob awkwardly got up from the ground and put a hand out.

“Hi.” Lennox grunted back stiffly, taking the offered hand for a quick shake before shoving his own back into his pocket.

“Well, aren’t you two just a pair of conversationalists.” Henry commented dryly with a pointed look at Lennox, who cleared his throat awkwardly.

“Umm...Thank you. For helping Ro. Henry said you’re the one who fixed her up.” Lennox managed. “They your’s?” Lenny managed some semblance of conversation lamely gesturing toward the dogs.

Jacob grinned sheepishly at Henry’s comment. I never said I was good with people. The thought drifted off as the man, Lenny thanked him.

“It well...she was in pretty bad shape and I am not one to let an animal...well a person either but she wasn’t a person at the time when I started…” He rubbed the back of his head. “You are welcome.”

He looked at the dogs and smiled. “Yeah they are. My family. They each adopted me.” He chuckled, rubbing the head of the sheep dog who sat at his feet.

On his other side sat a beautiful husky mix. She seemed to be watching the men carefully. Jacob gave her a smile and scratch as well.

“See, I told you it could have been worse. He could have been a cat person.” Henry joked lightly with a smile.

“Don’t even joke.” Lenny gripped unappreciatively. Lennox and cats has a long standing mutual hatred for one another, and the thought of one of those manipulative overgrown rats occupying the same space was extremely unappealing.

“You still holding that grudge against your ex’s tabby?” Henry snickered with a knowing look at the grumpy beta.

“That damn thing was possessed by something, evil incarnate” Lenny replied defensively crossing his arms.

Jacob nodded, “Cats are...temperamental. Not the easiest animals to treat. I prefer my canine friends.” He knelt down and let the sheep dog lick his face.

“Yeah, dogs are definitely easier. Cats tend to just go nuts around us unless you find one of those stupidly friendly ones with no sense of self preservation.” Henry agreed with a nod. “With dogs it’s more hit or miss. Sometimes they don’t have any issues with us, and sometimes they sense a threat in us and attack.” Henry continued with a shrug.

“It’s about dominance.” Lennox elaborated. “Dogs are pack animals too, they understand how that power structure works. If we exert enough dominance toward them, they come to heel. If they’re naturally dominant themselves, it becomes harder, but for a dominant wolf, it usually isn’t a problem.” He finished, eyeing the husky mix that had tensed in his presence calmly, making firm eye contact as he waited for the dog to either avert her eyes first or make some other show of submission.

The husky growled lightly but laid down at the gaze. She was clearly used to running Jacob’s pack of dogs, their alpha. She was also extremely protective of Jacob.

“Right. Dominance. The whole pack system.” Jacob looked at the house briefly. “Well I am happy to stay right where I am in all this.” He gestured towards things. “A lot of people here now?”

Jacob looked uncomfortable.

“Yes.” Lennox confirmed, crouching down carefully to gently pet the husky after her show of submission. “Those who are submissive follow and support those above them, and those who are dominant protect and care for those below. It is a system dependant upon trust and care, without that there is no pack.”

“Looks like.” Henry agreed regarding Jacob’s question, gesturing back toward the house. “Ro’s probably finished up with the call by now, so we should probably head back up.” He continued, gesturing toward the house.

Jacob sighed, “Right. Okay…” He gave a sharp whistle and the dogs all came to heel. “I guess it is time to face them all.” He was really not keen on so many people but he understood it was discomfort or death and a bit of awkwardness with strangers was better than death.



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“You're sure?” Ro asked again for clarification, not liking the answer she was given.

“Sorry Rowena, but there’s been no activity of that nature on our side for months. Bernard and I have settled our differences for the time being, and starting a pointless tiff with you would just be bad for business. Besides, Bernard would never be that sloppy.” Marisol, he vampire mistress of the west Nevada territory lilted with grudging admiration for her long time adversary and sometimes lover. Bernard, who was the undisputed leader of the vampire community in Las Vegas, had a bit of a reputation for underhanded tactics as well as both the means and the knowledge to pull something like this off. Why Bernard would want her dead was a bit more murky, but if he were trying to make a move against Marisol and her hold over Reno, taking a shot at her werewolf ally wouldn’t be unthinkable.


“I’ll poke around if you like, see what I find hiding in the shadows…” Marisol added dreamily, more statement than offer. Marisol didn’t really need an excuse to torment the supernatural underside of Reno, but she liked having a cause.


“I’ll keep in touch.” Rowena hung up with a sigh, leaving the vindictive vampire to her musings. This left her a square one. Ro didn’t want to believe Salem would make such an irrevocably aggressive move like this so suddenly, but they were running out of alternative suspects.

Rowena took a minute to calm herself before attempting to stand up, and that’s when the burner phone in her desk drawer started ringing. There was only one person who ever called her on that phone, and right now, she was tempted to just let it keep ringing. After a few moments however, she did the responsible thing and answered to phone. Whatever purpose Salem had for calling her, it likely wasn’t good, but it was important for her to know.

“Why are you calling me Salem?” Rowena answered grimly, not in the mood for mind games tonight. The two Alphas very rarely contacted each other in this manner, but it did happen occasionally.


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“I see the bad moon rising! I see trouble on the way! I see earthquakes and lightnin'!
I see bad times today!”


“Mmmmhhhehhhhh…” Drew Harris groaned as she sleepily swatting at the offending phone going off on her nightstand. Normally, she didn’t mind a little impromptu CCR, but it was three in the morning, and she was on vacation. Drew hadn’t taken personal time that didn’t involve bodily injury in over three years. She’d been planning this week long veg feast for over a month, no monsters, office politics, or 72 hours work days for a whole damn week. So when she saw her boss’s name displayed on her phone’s screen at three o’clock in the fucking morning on a day he had no business contacting her, Drew was ready to chuck the phone.

“Don't go around tonight, well it's bound to take your life! There's a bad moon on the rise!”


“What.” Drew growled into the phone with as much indignation as she could muster, opting for the adult choice on the matter of the phone smashing, and picking it up instead.

“I’ve got a job for you. How fast can you get to Nevada?” Her boss asked in a nonchalant manner that rubbed her the wrong way.

“Phil, I’m on fucking vacation. Get someone else.” Drew snapped back irritably, ready to hang up and go back to sleep.

“You’re going to want to take this one.” Phil insisted patiently. “I’m sending you some photos from the crime scene. Call me back in ten minutes if you want the job.” He instructed before hanging up.

“Well that’s cryptic.” Drew grumbled before pulling out her laptop from her bag next to the bed. An e-mail with a case file attached was waiting in her inbox, and she began scanning the debriefing and photos inside with tired eyes. So a couple packs of werewolves were about to go all West side Story on each others asses, werewolves were hardly her field of expertise. Why would Phil think she’d be interested in taking this case?

Her question was answered by one of the crime scene photos, a faded brick wall with blood smeared into runic symbols. That by itself didn’t mean anything. Thanks to the internet any kid with an unhealthy interest in pagan sacrifice and new agey crap could puzzle out a basic ritual. It was the one symbol there that wasn’t runic, carved into the dead girl’s skin, that made her blood boil and heart freeze all at once.


It had been ten year, ten fucking years since she’d seen that symbol, but one glance was all it took to make her feel like a powerless kid again, phantom pain working its way up her spine. “I’ll take the case.” Drew gritted out to Phil after taking a minute to compose herself and call her boss back.

“I’ll let your partner know of the transfer. Do you need the jet to pick you up?” Phil asked, a distinct lack of that smug ass tone she was used to from him, and it was beginning to chauf.

“No, I’m close enough to drive. If I leave now I can meet them there by daybreak.” She declined, resolving herself to get up and start packing. “Who else are they sending?” She asked absently.

“Ilona. She’ll be our werewolf expert going into this. She’s taking point, so play nice and try not to get yourself mauled because of that smart mouth of yours ok.” Phil replied sternly.

“The Russian one? Fun.” Drew mused, knowing the other agent by reputation, but not personally. “I thought you liked it when I used my smart mouth Phil.” Drew teased, the overt flirting helping to center herself. “In fact there were a few other choice adjective I distinctly recall you using for it that would give Beth from HR a heart attack.”

“You’re not funny.” Phil grouched, and Drew could practically see the sour expression pulling across his blushing features.

“Ah don’t sweat it Phil. No one in their right mind would believe you sexually harassed me. Especially not anyone from HR.” Drew soothed. “I’ll check in when I get there.” She smoothly moved back to business before hanging up to finish packing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Naomi Rivera Character Portrait: Rowena Campbell Character Portrait: Kirsten Blood Character Portrait: Alphonse "Al" Campbell Character Portrait: Jacob Robertson Character Portrait: Fiona O'Mally
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Kirsten Blood

Kirsten felt out of place and stood as quietly as possible and walked over to the living room and sat down on the couch. She closed her eyes for a few moments, she could see the blood all over the floor, all over her parents.She still had no idea why she was spared, but she was so glad she was, because vengeance would be hers.

She knew in her small back pack she had an article of the hunters clothing she had left behind in the scuffle. She woke up, and pulled her back pack off her back and looked inside, she held the piece of cloth, smelling it, allowing the blood lust to take over again. As she took her last sniff, Kirsten put it away and breathed a deep breath, then began to look around the room.

She had left the kitchen, not to get away from everyone, but to have a moment to think. She was really hoping to become part of the pack, she knew she'd need to persuade the alpha, but she was sure she'd know how since she has been tracking poachers for years.

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