Lions, Tigers and Bears. Oh My!
Part 16

Usual disclaimers apply.  The following contains male-to-male sex.
If you are under age or such reading is illegal in your country,
please go elsewhere. Otherwise, please enjoy.

Comments and Critiques are welcomed at

A Special thank you to Brett for his editing work

      December 16th 2010

     It took almost a month for Kody to get all the information we needed, with hundreds of phone calls and hours spent typing away on his computer, the keyboard modified to take into account his very large fingers. During that time we helped out on the ranch; Kody didn't have any animals, but he still had a fence around his property and he hadn't repaired it in years.

        Arsalan spent the first week having sex with Brandon every time he could. Every afternoon when he came back from work the house would be filled with their grunting. During that time Arsalan didn't look at me even once and that felt weird. As much as his constant interest in me had been annoying, I'd grown used to the attention and I'd found myself missing it. Kody and Lao were more than happy to keep me company during that time.

       Kody even managed to get us the blueprints and those revealed a big surprise. The building that looked like it might be partially within the hill actually extended inside it for over a mile.

       "I thought ya said they did book restoration," Lao said.

       "That's what I was told they did."

       "Maybe they also do archiving?" Kody commented.

       "What are they archiving? Every book ever written in the world?" was all I could say.

       "Well, at least this is to your advantage," Kody pointed to a circle on the other side of the building. "That's the main air vent; it goes down three hundred feet. Once you've passed the fan there's an access door for maintenance. You'll be able to go in that way."

       "What kind of security do they have?"

       "Nothing at the air vent. The grill weights over four thousand pounds. They probably figure no one can take it off without machinery and since the land's pretty much flat at that point they'd be noticed."

       "We should be able to take it off," I said looking at Lao and Arsalan.

       "It'll be easy," Arsalan said.

       * * * * *

       I looked at the cast iron grill and then at Arsalan. "Easy huh?" It was ten feet across and the metal was thick. It was obviously old, it had warped in places cracking the concrete cylinder it capped.

       Arsalan had already shifted in his lion form, his clothing stretching over his muscles, grabbed the bars and tried to pull it up without success. "Okay, so we're going to have to work at it a bit."

       I undressed, shifted and went about a third of the way from Arsalan and Lao did the same. We looked at each others and with a nod we pulled.

       Werewolves are stronger than normal people; I can lift about eight hundred pounds without too much trouble, I'd seen Lao hold his ground when a horse tried to pull him and Arsalan looked stronger than either of us. It took us three tries, but it did come off and we moved it enough so we would fit. After a rest and getting dressed we rappelled down.

       As Kody had said we didn't see any cameras on the way down, or anything that might be a security system. The bottom of the shaft was as featureless as the rest of it, a clean concrete floor, no security and an opening about twenty feet high and across. We could feel a breeze coming from it. The corridor was a hundred feet long and ended at a large fan; each blade almost twice my height. They moved slowly enough that we could easily slip pass them, but the wire mesh in front of it hadn't been on the plans.

       Arsalan shifted to his lion form, grabbed it and ripped an opening in it as easily as if it had been made of paper. He gave us a wide smile and walked through the fan. We followed him and the corridor ended a dozen feet later, where as promised there was a door.

       I cracked it open and looked into a dark corridor, eight feet tall by six wide. The air was dry and I couldn't smell anyone on it. We stepped into the corridor and fluorescent lights came on above us, spreading in both directions further than I could see. We froze.

       "I think they know we're here," Arsalan whispered.

       "Then where are the alarms and the guards?" I asked.

       "There," Lao pointed to a small box at the top of the wall a few feet from us, "that thing's a motion sensor. It's gotta be what turned on the light."

       "Then why didn't it also turn on the alarms?"

       "Must be they don't think anyone can come in this way," Lao answered.

       "Which way?" Arsalan asked.

       "I have no idea," I replied, "we're going to have to check each room as we go."

       The first door was fifty feet from us; it was marked as three hundred and sixty two. If that indicated how many storage rooms were here then we would be searching for a very long time. The door opened silently and as soon as we entered the room fluorescent lights came on.

       Rows upon rows of shelves filled the room. On them all sorts of objects tagged with a letter and number code. I quickly identified a civil war era riffle next to a French musket, on the shelf below I saw an old style school bell and a cracked tea cup. The shelves were filled with a multitude of items.

       "What the hell is this?" I asked to no one in particular, "I thought they did book restoration."

       "Hey, look at this," Arsalan said, "They have a lion's pelt here."

       "Don't touch it!" I said as he was reaching for it.

       "Why not? It's just a pelt."

       "There could be an alarm on it, just don't touch anything, got it?"

       "Sure," he replied and went off among the shelves.

       "How are ya gonna find that book?" Lao asked.

       "I have no idea."

       "We're gonna be here a long time."

       "Hey guys," Arsalan said from deeper in the room, "I got something."

       I raced to where he was only to find him sitting in front of a computer nestled between two shelves. My heart sank, was that all he'd found?

       "Looks like they have a searchable catalog of everything in here," he said when he noticed me.

       "Ya know how to use that thing?" Lao said behind me.

       "Of course, don't you guys stay up with the times?"

       "No," I replied flatly.

       Lao chuckled. "Ah never had to learn how ta use one of those contraptions."

       "Well, you should. It's amazing the number of people looking to have sex on the internet." He typed something. "Not that they are connected here. So what should I look for?"

       "Sir Richard Francis Burton's Journal," I replied.

       More typing. "Okay, we've got over three thousand result with some of those words in it."

       "We don't have time to look though all that," Lao said, "try it as one phrase."

       "Okay . . . No results."

       "How does this work?" I asked.

       "Right now it's looking for something that contains all these words, in that specific order," Arsalan replied.

       "Drop the 'sir', I'm probably the only one left alive who respects his knighthood."

       "Still nothing."

       "Try diary instead of journal. Some historians have been calling them that."

       "No," Arsalan said, "but let me try something. Okay, there we good. I only left Burton and diary and I got a result; Burton's Diary."

       "Where is it?" my heart beat faster.

       "According to this it's in room two hundred and ninety eight and then some letters and numbers after it 'KGP-312'

       I didn't bother explaining that it was probably some sort of filing system. I ran out of the room and down the corridor looking for it. This room was different than the one I'd just left in that the first twenty feet of it had tables instead of shelves. I didn't pay them any attention, I went for the shelves and started looking for the index number Arsalan had mentioned.

       I found it between a lance and a roman helmet. It was a simple leather covered book without any writing on the cover. Sir Burton had filled out hundreds of them during his travels. They contained his notes and opinions. In reading them I'd gotten a good sense for who the man had been and it made me respect him even more.

       Unlike what his contemporaries claimed he wasn't an amoral pleasure seeker. He was an explorer and researcher unafraid of doing some experiments himself. One of them described some of the sexual experiences he'd had with a tribe in Africa. I'd been so turned on reading it that I'd promised myself I would visit them one day. Unfortunately by the time I did make it there they had been wiped out by missionaries.

       I gazed at the journal having trouble believing it was finally within my reach after all these years. It took all my self control just to stop myself from picking it up, but I'd gone through enough old tombs and temple to know to be wary of anything simply left on display like this. I studied it closer and found the thin copper wire that had been threaded through the spin of the book.

       I carefully opened it. The leather creaked, but it was still supple. I closed my eyes and smelled the book. A sigh escaped me as I enjoyed the scent of old leather and paper. I missed that smell now that i no longer worked at the museum.

       After a minute I forced myself to get back to my task. I lifted the first page; it was yellowed, but not brittle. Who ever had hidden it here, for what ever reason they had done it at least had made sure to preserve it properly. I flipped through a few pages, enjoying Sir Burton's perfect penmanship, and smiled in places where it became sloppier, a mark that his excitement had gotten the better of him.

       I wanted so badly to take the journal that it hurt. It was the only one I was missing, the hole in my collection. But right now the information it contained was what I really needed. Once I had found my answers I'd come back and try to convince them to give it to me.

       I took out my camera which I'd acquired during the cold war and I started photographing each page. Because the history I'd created for myself had me doing a lot of traveling the German government drafted me to become a spy. Not long after I started snapping pictures I noticed Lao walking by me, but I didn't pay him any attention, carefully turning pages and taking pictures.

       I was close to the halfway point when the alarm rang.

       I curse loudly. "Damn it Arsalan, I told you not to touch anything!"

       "I didn't," he replied and in fact his hands were in his pockets. "Hey, cool. You found it," he said, but not to me. He was looking beyond me.

       I turned and saw Lao coming toward us holding a sword in an intricately decorated scabbard.

       "We gotta go, guards are gonna be coming soon."

       I grabbed his arm as reached me. "What the fuck is the meaning of this?"

       "Ya better grab yor journal cause we gotta go."

       "No. I didn't come here to steal anything."

       "This ain't theirs."

       "I don't care, you're going to put it back where it was."

       Lao looked me in the eyes for a moment before smirking. "Yeah? And what about that journal? Ya had time to read all of it? Cause yor never gonna see it again if ya leave it here."

       I looked at the journal and then back to Lao, if anything his smirk became larger. With a curse I closed it and pulled it off the shelf. The bastard was right, I couldn't afford to leave it here, not after looking for it for so long. If I'd been sure the information I needed was in the part I'd photographed it would have been okay, but wasn't willing to risk it wasn't.

       "Come on, lets get out of here," I said through my teeth.

       We only made it to where the tables were before having to stop because a man in a suit entered the room.. He seemed as surprised to see us as we were him, but his reaction was faster; he pulled out a gun.

       "Don't move," he said as he studied us. "You are going to put the sword and the book on the table and step away from them."

       "Ya can go fuck yorself," was Lao's reply.

       "Look," I said. "We don't want to cause any troubles. I just want to study the journal, you let me do that and I'll be happy to leave it here."

       "I'm afraid I can't allow that."

       "Come on, it's only an explorer's journal, why wouldn't you let me read it?"

       "Because if it's here it has been deemed to be too dangerous, and I'm charged with making sure no one gets to anything in here. Now, please put the book down." He indicated the table with his gun.

       I looked at Sir Richard's journal, rubbed the leather with my fingers. The answers were in it, I was sure of it. I couldn't simply hand it to this guy could I? Did I really believe him about it being dangerous? Not really; knowledge was never dangerous, but the journal wasn't mine, as much as I wanted it. I could only hope that over time I could convince them to let me read it. I'd waited a century for my answers, I could wait a little longer.

       I didn't get to drop it. I caught Lao move out of the corner of my eye. The glint of polished metal as he reached for his revolver. There was a gunshot and he went down.

       I looked up at Arsalan's roar. He was flying through the air toward the man, shifting in the process.

       "Arsalan, no!"

       The werelion landed on him and started clawing at his chest and face.

       I didn't think, I shifted and ran toward them. I pulled Arsalan off the man and sent him flying back through the tables.

       "I'm not going to let you kill him," I growled, my words barely understandable.

       "He shot at us!" was Arsalan's response, his words also more growls than anything else.

       "The two of ya might wanna run instead of arguing," Lao said as he walked by us, "We gotta leave before everybody else gets here."

       He was right. Now that I paid attention to it I could heard lots of people coming toward us. Still holding Sir Richard Francis Burton's Journal I followed Lao out and to the shaft.

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