A different take on the traditional M/M werewolf romance topic: less romantic, less traditional, more disturbing and with conniving wolves, vampires and submissive marines.
Comments or requests for more of Meta (& the Marines) can be emailed to Meta.JohnAR@gmail.com.
Depending on reception, I will post more chapters.
And if any military boy wants to start a MetaPack, let me know ...
Meta & the Marines
"Good afternoon, Mr. Parker." The fat man with the inevitably bad fitting pants got up from behind his old fashioned desk designed to impress and held out his hand with feigned politeness.
"Dean, I appreciate you are taking the time to meet us at such short notice."
"No problem at all; I'm happy to help any of our students. Especially those who have gone through those unfortunate events during Halloween."
"This is Mr. Loope."
Colt wasn't sure but for a second he thought Dean Haliburt growled. When the big man turned around to show them to the seating area in his office, Colt quickly looked at Prime, who shook his head: `No shifter.'
"So what can I do for you, Mr. Parker? Is this about the incidence in your business class last semester?"
Colt smiled the smile of elder ladies of the upper class in Paris reserved for inappropriately behaving lower class people. "Oh, no, Mr. Haliburt, I have full trust in the university to take the appropriate actions in such a case."
"I appreciate that."
"Nevertheless, I have to say it put some doubt about the university's claim to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students -- especially after the Alpha3 incident."
"I fully understand," the Dean rearranged a modern art sports trophy put there as some kind of table decoration.
"Especially, as there were additional unfortunate events," Colt continued purposefully a bit vaguely.
Colt still didn't fully understand why Prime had gotten his Alpha3 invites via the Dean's office. It was explained to him this was part of the veteran support program of the university. But it felt a bit off. He knew something else was going on, but he didn't expect to get all the answers today. He just felt this fat man with the surprisingly full white hair and the little tremble, which made Colt think Mr. Haliburt was in desperate need for drink, had something to hide. Maybe the perverted collaboration of wolf shifters and vampires? Maybe something fatefully more.
"I don't fully understand."
"Well, the `interrogation' by the campus police regarding the disappearance of Ms. MaryAnn Montgomery was only thinly veiled discrimination because of my personal preferences."
The Dean looked relieved for the fraction of a second, but then put back on his professional face reserved for the pretense to care for all his students.
"I'm very sorry to hear that. I will forward to you the necessary documents to file a complaint," he became all bureaucratic.
"No need. The respective officer died of a heart attack on the very same day. Seems some higher authority provided swift justice." Colt looked in the eyes of the man sitting in front him trying to rearrange his ill-fitting pants inconspicuously.
"Oh." No smile this time, more a hint of recognition.
"And then the other day, I got this in my mail." Colt handed a little USB stick to the head of the university.
Fumbling with his too thick fingers, Mr. Haliburt, once an eminent authority on old Indo-European languages, put the stick into his laptop. "What am I supposed to look at?" he asked drily, his `caring' attitude slowly slipping away.
"The first file will be sufficient for the moment." Colt observed how the Dean fiddled with his tie, which might have been fashionable five years ago, while he watched the 60 second clip of the female vampire helping new brothers and sisters to this world -- with two shifters in the background. Colt could hear the word `Pologne' through the poor speakers of the professor's laptop.
"I don't follow," the old man tried to pretend, when Colt cut him off: "Sir." Colt knew neither the professor nor Prime believed for a second this `Sir' had been a respectful one, "the second file might be helpful as well ..."
Dozens of drunken shifter frat boys unveiling their wolves, killing the few vampires in Gregory Hall and then hunting for more by jumping down the opening.
When the clip was finished, Mr. Haliburt's face was white as a Geisha's. It was evident he quickly tried to think through a way to handle this situation. And it became even clearer that he needed a drink.
But Colt didn't want to wait and said: "I mean it's obvious these videos are fake. Vampires and wolves only exist in horror movies and Twilight, right?"
The professor was grateful for the rescue line and nodded. "I was wondering for a second, Mr. Parker, if you really believed this nonsense. I would understand you might suffer from some kind of mental impact," he didn't find the proper word, so he continued "after all these traumatic events ..."
"Oh no. No wolves and vampires in my world," Colt said with deep sincerity while glancing briefly at Prime, who sent him a hint of off-pine smell, which made Colt smile. "And I'm pretty sure even if I put this on YouTube, most people would clearly understand this is just some college frat prank video, maybe even by Alpha3 ..."
"You intend to put this on YouTube?" The professor had lost his regained confidence again.
"Sure. There must be a reason why somebody sends me that stuff. It is a message of intimidation. I can either accept to be intimidated or fight this bullying." Colt was a bitch, pretending to be the hurt but strong gay boy.
"I understand. Not sure though that publicizing this would help ...," the professor countered.
"I know this might further undermine the reputation of the College after the disappearance of the three students at the Alpha3 party ..."
The professor tried to play hardball again to communicate that he wouldn't be blackmailed into something he didn't like. "I'm not sure this has an impact on our academic standing ..."
"No, but surely some parents would be concerned that students not only disappear from campus but jump into catacombs under former churches ..."
Colt saw the professor knew exactly what Colt knew about the orifice.
"Well, it is your right to do with this as you see best fit ..."
"Thank you. Downside of course is some crazy people who really believe in vampires and wolves might ask annoying questions ..."
Next white face. "You wouldn't believe how many crazies we get in contact with, Mr. Parker. Some more won't be a problem for us."
"That's great to hear. I mean I wouldn't want to have to create any problems -- reputational or otherwise -- for this College. In the end, it is also my future which is at stake if our standing gets blemished."
"I appreciate your maturity and understanding about this."
"Of course, for this I would need your reassurance, as the representative of all students, staff and employees of this college, that the safety of myself and my closest friends is guaranteed as long as we are on this campus."
Mr. Haliburt swallowed. "Mr. Parker, I can assure you the safety of you and your three friends is paramount to us and I will do anything possible to ensure it. If you agree I will have a special meeting with the campus police to adapt our approach on this."
"I would assume this also includes your `foreign' staff members and students."
"And I require your reassurance for four friends."
"Four?" The round face was bit confused, but decided it was not worth to go down this path risking divulging too much information. He realized mentioning `three friends' before had been already too much knowledge revealed.
Colt nodded. "Obviously, we will continue to rely on your support to finish our degrees in time, as I'm sure the university could spend their resources more productively once we have graduated reducing the needs for enhanced security."
"I'm really touched by your concern for the wellbeing of this institution." It was good Mr. Haliburt was not a diplomat; even Colt read the lie in this statement. "And obviously we are committed to ensure the academic success of all our students; especially in difficult times."
"Dean, I'm really happy about your support. I'm sure, this will make the last two and a half semesters a pleasure for me."
The elderly man was confused. Normally it was he who indicated the intention to close conversations and not his students. "Thank you as well, Mr. Parker. I appreciate you sharing this with me. If there is anything I can help in the future, feel free to approach me."
"Thank you. Good bye, Mr. Haliburt."
They shook hands.
The Dean barely looked into Prime's eyes when he uttered a forced: "Mr. Loope."
They were barely outside the door, when the Dean called after them: "Your stick?"
"Keep it, Mr. Haliburt. I have a copy," Colt said with a devious smile on his face, not even looking back at the old man.
Back in the administrative assistant's office in front of Mr. Haliburt's, Colt said: "Prime, could you get the car? I need to update my personal details with the office here given my move ..."
"Sure ..." Prime was not happy leaving Colt alone but he didn't judge the Dean or his staff as so dangerous that Colt couldn't be here alone for a few minutes.
"Wow, you had this guy by his midget balls," Prime said with admiration when Colt jumped into the truck.
"That was the plan, but ..."
"It worked. You basically told him if anything happens to us, this video will go online. Most people wouldn't give a shit. But a lot of wolf shifters in the country would see what's going on and Haliburty's going to be fucked ..."
"Indeed that was the plan ..."
"And you included our pack in this. I'm sure he is desperately trying to find out who your new `fourth friend' is ..."
"Of course, you're mine, I'm yours ... we're in this together."
For a second the admiring smile on Prime's face was replaced by an expression of endless love, until he returned to his point: "And what was that with `leaving college on time?'"
"I basically told him to make sure you guys pass with reasonable grades."
"Meaning we don't have to study?"
Colt send Prime a stern look.
"Ouch, sorry, I guess not," Prime focused on the street again.
"Just making sure certain teachers don't do anything stupid with Sam or Brian."
"Thanks, anyway. This guy nearly peed himself." Prime seemed to have enjoyed the show.
"Yep. He did." Though Colt wasn't completely sure. Something was off.
"And we basically got confirmation he works with the vampires. `Foreign,' how subtle," Prime chuckled while he stopped the car at a red light.
"He knows what's going on. And surely he gets a benefit out of this. Not sure yet which."
"He's an asshole. We'll find out. Shame we didn't find out about the Alpha of the pack, though."
"Well, I had wondered whether he was, but obviously he isn't a shifter," Colt continued the thought.
"No, not him. Needs to be somebody more powerful to lead such a big pack."
"We'll get there. I just have some more annoying questions."
"Of course. Like?"
"Why did he try to get you guys to the Alpha3 party? Did he know you guys would invite me? Was it me or you who he tried to get in danger?"
Prime shrugged his shoulders.
"Or maybe he knew I/us wouldn't be in danger and he wanted to show us things ..."
"Not following ..."
"You think I have him by the balls. I think somebody else much bigger and more important has him by his balls. Hard."
"He wasn't intimidated by our little movie, being exposed. He was intimated by somebody else."
"This is getting too complicated."
"I know I'm just paranoid. I have the feeling, he wanted you to go to the party to see stuff. To do things about it. He has a plan and we play a role in this ..."
"Oh fucking shit, Colt, sometimes I think you watch too many soaps."
"Could be. Anyway he'll stick to pretending I blackmailed him with exposure to other shifters successfully, so we should be safe from his side ..."
"His side? I thought ..." Prime tried to follow Colt's thinking. "And the vampires?"
"He has no control over them, even if pretending. It might be they have his midget balls ..."
"So you're still not safe from them?"
"Nope, nor is the pack."
"So what are we going to do about it?" stopping the car at the address Colt had keyed into the GPS.
"Talk with the local head bitch of vampires and roast her."
Prime's eyes widened with a hint of panic. "Where? When? Who?"
"Here. Now. And you shall see," he answered with a self-congratulatory smile getting out of the truck.
"Hi, Colt," the surprised young woman with the perfect white complexion and the intoxicating smell of fresh face cream said after having looked at him for five seconds with an open mouth. Her accent was still as unique as on the first day he had seen her in class.
Colt enjoyed the woman's surprise and Prime's shock about the turn of events.
"Hi, MaryAnn. Can we come in?"
"Yes. I mean. Why is he here?" she asked with obvious disgust pointing her eyes at Prime.
"Oh, I'm sure you remember Prime from our class last semester. He's here because I've had some unfortunate accidents recently ... you must have heard about them."
"Okay. But don't touch anything," she said to Prime like to a little boy in a China store. "Don't want to have wet dog stink everywhere," she continued whispering to herself.
Prime growled, but Colt quickly shot him a cold look. `Not now, Alpha!'
"How did you find me?"
"Oh, Mr. Haliburt's office was very helpful ..."
"What a moron, that fat man," she said with disgust. "Simply because he speaks Sanskrit he thinks he understands things."
"I agree. Anyway I'm not here to talk about humans."
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"Oh, come on MaryAnn. I know what you are ..."
"What temperature would a thermometer show when I put it into your lovely Southern 19th century mouth?"
For a second her mask fell.
"I can smell oil and a hint of metal. I'd always smelled it on you. But I thought the oil came from the expensive skin cream you use to keep your immaculate complexion. Which I also now know isn't really attributable to a daily thorough cleansing and moisturizing regime."
"I'm not following ..."
"Come on. Your obsession with Prime's smell? No human can smell dog on him. Only your kind."
"My kind?" she continued to play stupid.
"Well, MaryAnn, if you don't want to talk, let me show you this." He played the first 60 second clip on the phone showing the female vampire helping her fellow half-deads into this world.
When her dark eyes widened, he said dryly: "We obviously can run some voice recognition software, as the picture is much too grainy to positively identify your face - but that vampire is you, MaryAnn. Seems you have some special role amongst the half-deads."
Her eyes narrowed, she lifted her hands, which grew longer fingernails. It seemed impossible but even her skin became whiter, her hair darker. Before her fangs could complete her shift, Prime growled lifting his T-shirt over his head preparing himself to shift to protect his Meta.
"Guys, not now! We're having a civilized conversation," Colt reprimanded both of them like school children. "MaryAnn, do you really think you have a chance against Prime's wolf?"
The woman seemed to come to her senses. A little bit of color flushed into her cheeks, the hair gained some volume and her fingernails were as impeccable as one would expect on a lady of the old South.
"Thank you. Prime, do you mind putting on your shirt?" Colt said softly to the marine, while not trying to think of his boner caused by the comforting display of protectiveness and the arousing naked chest.
"So," he returned his attention back to the vampire, lovely MaryAnn, as if he was negotiating a rental contract. "I mean I've always struggled making sense of you, you were the cliché of the old South, including your name. So when did you die originally? 1860?"
"1865. My husband died in the civil war and I couldn't deal with the new world."
"No slaves?" Colt chuckled.
"Amongst others. Anyway. I killed myself."
"And your punishment is to come back as a vampire?"
"Not really. Anyway, why does this concern you?" she tried to gain control of the conversation.
"You mean I'm not a virgin girl like the girls you killed on the Alpha3 party?"
Her face fell.
"I know you wanted everyone including me to believe you were one of them. Nice trick. Dying the fake vampire death, which after your disappearance looked like your real death, which in reality was fake. Still don't know why you needed to disappear, but I don't care. I'm digressing." Colt said more to himself than to MaryAnn, suddenly everything clicked in his head. "You danced so well, no girl of 2013 dances like that. And you wanted to get to know me. No woman with your looks ever wanted to get to know me, especially when I'm gay ... you knew something was odd about me ... right?"
She had regained her composure. "This is not Mr. McErickson's class, so your crazy little conspiracy theories are of nobody's interest here. I guess you better leave now."
"What a shame, but let me show you something else before I go," turning the phone screen to her showing the frat wolves killing vampires.
"You degenerated excuse of a man!" she shouted trying to grab his throat with her hands. "You killed my sisters and brothers!" She started to turn into a vampire again, her eyes becoming hypnotically black.
Prime was faster. His paws yanked the vampire's hands away from Colt's throat. Then he punched her in the chest with his fist making her `fly' across the room hitting the wall. A picture fell spreading glass all over the floor.
"I told you MaryAnn, you have no chance against an alpha wolf shifter, so why don't you listen?"
She got up from the floor, still furious, but slowly not to provoke another attack by the dog.
"What do you want, asshole?"
"How common, my Lady," he couldn't help himself teasing her, "I'm here to come to an understanding."
"Well, it seems this hole is kind of important to you. `Orifice' you call it, don't you?"
She chose not to react, but removed a strain of hair from her face, the last signs of having been attacked. "What if?"
"Well, Prime here and one of my other `stinking' friends were in Afghanistan and Iraq. They're quite familiar with explosive devices. And you know, they're not only honorable marines but also honorable wolves, so they'd love to destroy this orifice once for all ..."
"You wouldn't dare ...," she threatened forcing herself not to attack again.
"I wouldn't, but they would, believe me. However, I'm sure we can find an agreement, which would make the destruction of such a valuable building as the Gregory Hall redundant."
"I had some very unfortunate encounters with your kind lately. They wanted to kill me at least twice, if not three times."
"Wasn't on my orders. I even ..."
Colt raised his eyebrows, but chose not to inquire. "That is only slightly reassuring. After all I'm not a virgin, so I don't really understand what you guys want from me."
She didn't take the bait and stayed silent.
Colt shrugged. "Anyway if anyone of your half-dead friends ever comes as close as looking at me the wrong way, Prime will drop the biggest bomb into this fucking orifice you ever saw during the Civil War. The fire will burn down to hell, or wherever you guys are hiding down there." His voice was cold.
She snarled. It was obvious that she went through options to kill Colt in her mind, trying to stay calm.
"Have I made myself clear?" He asked in a hypocritically unconcerned voice.
She nodded. "Clear. And how long will this `understanding' last?" she asked.
Colt was a bit taken aback about this question, but said: "Until the day I leave this campus. No vampire shit, no wolf bomb. Clear?"
"I appreciate that, MaryAnn."
"I think you'd better leave now, that dog stink is obnoxious." Obviously, she'd regained her condescending attitude.
"I'm sure you're used to it by now, being basically in bed with the Golden Chestnut Tree pack alpha."
"I'm not fucking Carter ...," she retorted violently.
Colt smiled, nodded and opened the door.
Prime refused to leave first, so Colt said: "Bye, MaryAnn, hopefully we never meet again" and left, with Prime closing the door behind him with a relieved sigh.
"We will, though," she whispered loud enough to be heard. "You should have chosen differently ..."
A vision of his 13th birthday pierced through his brain making Colt dizzy.
He woke up.
It was dark.
Where was he?
His dorm room?
Why was he in his old room?
Terrence wasn't here, fucking some sorority girl, for sure.
He touched his face.
It was 0400 in the morning. Still dark.
He couldn't smell anything but old socks. No pine, no wheat, no soil, no lake. Nothing.
He felt alone.
He slipped into his pants and sneakers to go to the toilet. He needed to piss.
In the brightly lit hallway, he heard a voice. Without contacts he could barely see who it was. Sounded like Prime.
He followed the shadow.
Out of the dorm.
Nobody awake yet on the campus.
"Colt," somebody whispered.
He came to the parking lot, where his wolves had parked when picking him up.
No truck though.
In the distance, he could hear a passing car. Through the open window he recognized Reba's song `I am survivor.'
When he stepped into a mess of old French fries and ketchup, he heard an unpleasantly familiar voice: "Colt."
He turned around.
MaryAnn in her full glory, dark gleaming eyes, long fingernails and an outfit worthy of a lady of 1865 in South Carolina. Maybe more like a vamp than a vampire.
He swallowed. He wanted to run, but couldn't. His voice cracked. "Prime!"
MaryAnn smiled coming closer to him. Walking not levitating. Was she vampire or not? Hadn't she just been wearing a white coat?
"Prime doesn't exist. And you know that," she said like to a little boy, who was talking about his invisible friend.
"Who's that? Another one of your dream friends? Whose picture do you use to do unspeakable dirty things to yourself?"
"Oh sure, in your dreams you are such a stud, getting all this action with hunky boys."
He could smell her now, she was so close. Her smell wasn't unpleasant. Just too much face cream as usual. And medicine.
She even smiled bit as she put her right hand on his shoulder, nearly gentle, nearly caring, nearly motherly.
"You have always known this has just been a wet dream for you. And I'm here to tell you now that it's over."
And with that she squeezed, her grip was like an iron vice.
He winced, he cried. He went to his knees. His right hand was desperately looking for his pocket, but it was empty. No dagger.
"Oh you poor boy. Such fantasy, fucking hunky wolves and killing robot vampires," she said condescendingly.
"Shhh. Just accept it. It has just been a dream."
The pain shot through his body. Bones broke.
He gave in to the pain. Not to the pain caused by MaryAnn, but to the pain of knowing he was alone; had always been alone; to the pain of knowing his pack had just been a long, much too long, much too good to be true dream, drug trip or hallucination.
And then it went dark in Colt's eyes.
The last thing he heard in the dark was: "You should have chosen differently."
--- BOOK 1 The End ---
I will post Book 2 as well. Or you can check out: