I stretched and sighed contentedly as I emerged from the RV after having napped for a short time through the afternoon. I looked around at the incredible beauty of the landscape surrounding us as I went over to join Grace, Elias and Cole who were sitting at the picnic table we'd parked beside, chatting.
It had been three days since our run-in with the spooks that tried to take Cole from us. We'd been doing a lot of driving over those days to try to put ourselves as far from danger as possible, and we'd finally decided we could safely stop and take a much needed break. We were now in a part of the Spring Mountains range in southern Nevada, a bit less than twenty miles from Las Vegas.
Normally, it would probably not take more than eighteen hours or so of straight driving to get from where we'd started in northern Oregon to get all the way down to Las Vegas, but since we had to stop occasionally to sleep, and because we'd been following a meandering course along secondary highways and back roads in my somewhat paranoid attempts to avoid all contact with any highway patrol, it had taken considerably longer. We were in no great rush to get where we were headed, more like we had been in a rush to get away from where we'd been. Now we were far enough that we could stop to rest a while before continuing our journey.
We'd taken a significant detour out of our way to stop in Carson City in order to get better outfitted for the rest of the trip. Grace had said she'd be alright with the clothes she had for a while, but after watching her constantly fiddling and shuffling to try to get more comfortable in her own clothes, and seeing her sniffing at her own armpits, then stiffing at us and wrinkling her nose like we'd been wearing the same clothes for too long, I decided it was best to go somewhere where we could shop for more suitable clothes for her and more changes of clothes for all of us, and to stock up on anything else we might need. We'd left in such a rush that we were ill equipped for a long trip.
We had limited cash right now so we stopped at a thrift store to get clothes for ourselves. We were going to be sort of roughing it from now on and there was no point splurging wastefully on anything expensive. We all purchased several changes of clothes and fairly large quantities of socks and underwear. My personal preference would be for Elias and Cole to wear the same socks and underwear for as many days as possible so I could enjoy the scent of them more each day, but Grace and I didn't see eye to eye on that. She wanted us all clean since we were cramped into such close quarters. She had no interest in sharing the foot odor of three men all day every day. We would only be able to wash our clothes easily any time we were in a populated area that had a laundromat from now on, so we bought enough that we could continue to change our dirty clothes and not run out of clean ones until the next chance we'd get to wash them all. We were also going to be spending most of our time out in the wilderness from now on so we'd purchased a pair of rugged hiking boots for each of us.
The stop in the city was also a chance to get several other things we needed, like pots and pans and utensils for cooking, foam mattresses for the floor of the RV, and a folding table and chairs for us to use in case we needed to stay inside due to rain while we ate our meals. We bought blankets, towels, toothbrushes and shaving gear for myself and for Grace. Grace now sported a completely normal, natural and surprisingly lush growth of armpit hair and leg hair every day, since her body was growing anew every morning when she changed back to human form. Elias and I tried to convince her that it looked beautiful and natural and she should just leave it, but she'd been programmed her whole life that she must shave every bit of hair off her body and she intended to keep it up. I told her she'd get tired of it soon enough since she'd have to do it every single day and she agreed she'd probably get sick of it before long, but she needed to keep at it until then to try to feel more normal. As soon as she had the shaving materials, she disappeared into the bathroom at the back of the RV to shed herself of the hair she'd been carrying under her arms and on her legs for the past couple of days, and then we continued our shopping excursion dressed up in our fresh new clothes.
At one point we'd stopped in a mall and she decided to make good on her promise to herself to shop for bathing suits. It was amusing to watch her proudly display all the different outfits she tried on. It didn't really matter what the suit looked like, she was able to make it look that much better. The really fun part was staying back and watching the people who were walking past the shop in the busy mall. Each time Grace came out of the fitting room to show herself off, men were crashing into posts and tripping over benches or potted plants, or slamming full on into other men who'd been coming from the opposite direction who were also suddenly distracted. Husbands were getting punched in the shoulder or hit over the head with handbags by irate wives as the men slowed or even stopped to get a better look at Grace and they suddenly completely forgot, or perhaps even temporarily regretted, their marital status.
She was absolutely stunningly, naturally beautiful and she seemed like she didn't mind the attention she was getting in the least. She'd been a frumpy, frazzled, stressed-out, hard-working, dedicated mother for so many years, and now she was an energetic, glowing, vibrant, transcendent beauty. It's not like she'd become someone else, it was more like she'd gone through some sort of purification and enhancement process that stripped away all of the effects that modern life does to a human body, leaving behind the purest form of a human being. She was the best possible example of the perfect female human form.
Grace was so attractive now that I'd even had a slightly surprising moment earlier that morning when she'd changed back to human form. She had quickly gotten used to the idea of being nude around us and that the boys would be nude in front of her every night when they changed to a wolf and every morning when they changed back. The motorhome was close quarters and she quickly realized there was no point trying to hide herself away or avert her eyes so she made no effort to separate herself from the rest of us. She would settle in for sleep as a wolf on the floor in the pile of males even though she knew everyone would wake together naked when they changed back. This morning when she changed back to human form she'd been just getting up off the floor and had initiated a long and satisfying stretch while she looked out the small window at the top of the side door of the motorhome to check out the dawn. I'd gone outside to conserve water in the RV by relieving myself in the bushes. I wasn't expecting her to be standing right there in the doorway, with her arms stretched up over her head and her back arched backwards in her long stretch, with her breasts thrust out in front of her. I had opened the door quickly to climb the step back into the RV to escape the morning chill and I nearly bowled her over. When I suddenly found my face nestled right between two firm breasts I immediately pulled back and nearly fell over backwards.
After the initial shock that made us both jump and then laugh, I couldn't help but take a moment to gaze over her new form, lit warmly by the rising sun behind me. Her skin glowed and her hair fell in beautiful, clean, flowing waves down over her shoulders to cover the tops of her breasts. Her pert nipples were raised by the slight chill of the air and stood out long and stiff. She had a wonderful, fresh and natural scent. Her body was curved and shapely and healthy and prefect. She was breathtaking. Even the furriness under her arms and on her legs simply added to the natural appeal of her for me. As I gazed over her taught and toned body it actually caused a bit of a rustle in my underwear that I was not expecting.
I suppose a big part of what turns me off about many women is the fact that they do everything in their power to present a painted facade to everyone. From my point of view, women walk around coated with so much gunk that if you could somehow magically make only the woman herself disappear and not anything she's wearing, you'd still see the perfect shape of her in all of the makeup and hair products and clothes that would stay behind, and you would swear she was still standing there.
They cover themselves in foundation and primer and concealers and powders and rouge and blush and bronzers and eye shadow. They color their hair and abuse it with products to give it more curl or less curl or more shine or less shine and to force it into shapes that it doesn't want to follow, and then they use crusty chemicals to hold it there. They paint their nails and brush on highlights and coat their bodies with lotions and balms and perfumes and deodorants and moisturizers. They cover their lips with fake-colored waxy grease and thicken their eyelashes with overly black mascara and thin their eyebrows to the point where they actually have to draw them back in with a pencil.
In my mind's eye I could almost imagine scaffolding going up around them every morning as they reconstruct themselves everyday from the ground up with a myriad of products that are made of all sorts of nasty things like whale poop, crushed beetle shells, fish scales, snail slime, bull semen, tallow rendered from boiled dead animals, bat guano, a whole host of toxic chemicals, and God only knows what all else, all in an effort to look completely different from how they're really meant to. I find it all disgusting and I can't for the life of me understand why any heterosexual male would ever want to touch or kiss someone coated with all that goop.
One thing I love about men is that, for the most part, what you see is really them. I like men who don't use any sort of artificial scent like aftershave or cologne or even deodorant. I like them natural. It's not hard to find men who are perfectly OK with their natural scent or the way they look, while women seem to want only to smell like anything other than a human being and look like anyone other than themselves.
Grace looked so amazingly fresh and radiant and smelled so wonderfully natural, and I knew that there was nothing whatsoever that was artificial or unnatural anywhere on her. She was appealing enough that she was actually getting a bit of a rise out of me and that had never happened before when I looked at a woman. I was still gay, but I had no problem recognizing and appreciating beauty when it was right in front of my eyes. If she was able to stir the loins of a gay man I could only imagine how intensely attractive she must be to a straight guy.
The best part of it all was that it did not seem to change her. She knew full well how beautiful she had suddenly become but it had no real effect on her attitude. In a sense, her outer looks finally lined up to perfectly mirror the beauty she always had within her. She was still the same wonderful, funny, intelligent, confident and personable woman she'd been since the first day we met.
I smiled now as I watched the effect she was having as she modeled her bathing suits. I gave her as much time as she needed to try on as many different suits as she wanted to, while the crowd of men staring into the shop grew. In the end she selected a couple that were very simple and fairly inexpensive.
After a full afternoon of shopping we had all the various things we needed that we'd run off without when we first made our escape days ago. We were now completely outfitted to make the rest of our journey more comfortable.
We'd made one last stop before we left Carson City to have a nice, sit down meal at a restaurant, and then afterward we spent a bit of time in the parking lot while I tethered the laptop to my phone and plunged into the dark web to research our identity needs.
I was surprised at how many options I had to purchase identification. It wasn't like the old days where you might get a fake driver's license that was nothing but a card with your picture on it from some shady dude in a bar. Really, it wasn't simply about buying identification, more like buying actual identities. There were full package deals available now that included everything you might need to convince any official of who you were, even if they went onto the system and checked, and the packages could be purchased for entire families. No doubt modern printing technologies and the fact that nearly any official agency either had people working on the inside who were always looking for ways to make extra money, or could be accessed from the Internet and hacked, made such things somewhat trivial for the more advanced criminals out there. There's a full-fledged and highly competitive underground market for all of these sorts of things that was well served by a number of sites that catered to anyone who needed anything, no matter how illegal it might be or how difficult it might be to produce or procure. All you needed was sufficient cash and you could buy anything, so long as you approached them anonymously using untraceable IPs and offered payment in untraceable bitcoins.
I spent as much time as I could chasing down comments and asking questions and chatting online with many representatives of the various sites. I was amazed by how organized and professional they all seemed to be. I'd never really delved into the criminal world online and I had no idea it had advanced so far. I finally settled on a site that had established a reputation for creating the absolute best new identities available. The cost was exorbitant but I was assured from several sources that I would not be disappointed. Grace and I and the boys took several photos of each other against plain backgrounds with our camera phones. I used some utilities to strip them of all metadata and sent the photos off, along with a large down payment of bitcoins. I'd arranged to have the new identities delivered to an anonymous post office box I rented online that was located in Tucson, Arizona. We'd have to blow a few more days as it would take that long for them to get our identities ready, but there were plenty of places we could stop and enjoy camping along the way.
Everything should be ready and waiting for us in the box by the time we arrived in Tucson, and if it was all in order I'd send the rest of the payment. It may seem like a risky venture and I might find nothing but an empty box, but there was a great deal of money involved in this business and a fairly high demand. It required a great deal of trust and faith among the clientelle, and if word would get out that a particular site had screwed anyone over, the money would stop flowing instantly, so I was fairly confident I would not be cheated.
From Tucson we would continue down south and cross the border into Sonora, Mexico, and then pass through Chihuahua into Durango, and continue onward until we eventually settled in Campeche, Yucatan, or Quintana Roo. It didn't really matter where we ended up. Anywhere on the peninsula would do. We'd play it by ear once we got there and could better determine what might work best.
For now we had a few days in which we could simply relax, enjoy each other's company and take in the natural beauty of the landscape before we needed to be in Tucson to collect our new identities.
I'm thirty eight years old and yet somehow, in all of those years, I'd never once taken the time to drive anywhere in my own country. I'd certainly taken many vacations, but all of them, even when I was just a kid, involved a drive only as far as the airport to hop a flight to some other distant location. I'd never taken a trip anywhere through the United States by car, so it was more than a bit of a surprise to me just how incredibly beautiful the country is, and so far I've only seen a very small part of it.
The campground we were at currently was nestled in a valley in the Spring Mountains in southern Nevada. We were not far from Mount Charleston, the highest peak in the range and probably not much more than an hour's drive from Las Vegas. The view here was absolutely spectacular. The whole range was like a massive, cool green oasis rising up in the middle of a hot, dry, brown desert. The landscape around the mountains was made up of stunningly beautiful alpine meadows and cool forested slopes dominated by evergreen trees and dotted with ice-cold mountain springs. One of the smaller mountains in the range rose up to the northeast of us and a valley stretched out to the south and west on either side of one of the spurs of Mount Charleston. Charleston Peak towered above the other mountains and dominated the skyline to the south of us.
The air was fresh and invigorating, in sharp contrast to the heat and dry just minutes away down in the desert lowlands. The temperature on the mountains is typically twenty to thirty degrees cooler than the desert surrounding them. The height of the range gives it a drastically different biome than the desert below and due to its elevation and isolation from the 'sea' of desert surrounding it, the Spring Mountains range is known as a 'sky island' ecosystem.
As I looked around I thought to myself how amazing it would be to live permanently in a place like this. I may have been a bit hasty in my decision to settle in Mexico. This slice of beautiful countryside was likely just a tiny sample of what covered the better part of the Rocky Mountains stretching from New Mexico on up into northern British Columbia. It would also look a lot like this in summer up in the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Alaska. Maybe those would be better places for the wolves to call home.
When I'd decided on Mexico I was being a bit unintentionally selfish. I can't stand the cold so I'd wanted to settle in someplace warm and tropical and sufficiently remote, but what about the thickly-furred wolves? Would they even be able to stand the heat of a tropical rain forest? If I had a bit of a chill in a cool climate I could just throw on a sweater, but the wolves couldn't exactly take off their coats if they found it too hot and humid in the tropical and subtropical forests of the Yucatan. Wolves were built for northern climates, that's why the largest populations are found in the northern part of North America and Russia.
I suppose in this case we couldn't only think of what the wolves need. They spend more time as humans. The daytime isn't really a concern since they're only wolves at night. If the nights are cool enough then it might work. We could enjoy our permanent tropical vacation during the day as humans and the wolves might be comfortable enough at night. Perhaps if we stayed close to the coast on the northern part of the peninsula we'd be OK.
In any case, there was no point deviating from the plan just yet. We had, for all intents and purposes, an eternity to make up our minds about where we should live. There was no point worrying about it until we got there and found out what it's like. For now we could spend a bit of time here and enjoy the mountains and scenery.
I joined the family at the picnic table just as Elias was saying, "Don't worry so much about it. You just need more practice."
"I don't know if practice would make any difference," Grace said, "There was absolutely nothing I could have done. I know it. I could feel the wolf's rage but there was no way I could calm it down at all. It was overpowering. When it just kept tearing at that guy and escalating the violence against him I got so scared I sort of turned away and looked inwards so I wouldn't have to see it happen. It was like the mental equivalent of closing my eyes, putting my fingers in my ears, and going 'la la la la la' so I couldn't even hear what was going on."
"That's the problem," Elias said, "You need to face forward and stay in charge. If you don't decide what needs to happen next, the wolf will step up and do it for you, and what it wants to do might not be exactly what you want."
I realized they were talking about Grace's mauling of the man in the woods. She'd completely lost control. We'd never really talked about it since it happened.
"Are you OK, Grace?" I asked, "Have you been dwelling on what happened back in the woods that night? That man had to die. You had no choice."
She shook her head. "No, I haven't exactly been dwelling. Certainly not about him. It doesn't really bother me that that man died. It's like you said about Cole when his wolf killed the hunter or when he took down the leader at my house. It wasn't really him that did it, it was the wolf. It was the same for me. They had guns and they were after Cole. They would have killed us if we got in their way. I don't doubt that, so I feel no guilt about what we did. What bothers me is how close the wolf came to killing you, too, and how I felt absolutely helpless to stop it."
"You'd been a wolf for all of a couple hours by then and you spent most of that time in the back of a van," I reasoned, "The wolf just didn't have time to really lock onto my scent and feel the relationship you and I share. I was just another man with a gun and it figured I needed to be put down before I could do any harm. We've had more time since then with you as a wolf around me, and we'll have a hell of a lot more time from now on, so I don't think I'll be in danger anymore."
"But how do we know?" she asked. "The way it felt then, I just don't think I could ever do anything to get back control once the wolf decides to go crazy. If I ever hurt you, Jake, I couldn't live with myself. It scared the crap out of me to come so close. When I realized it was turning on you, I was begging it to just stop, but it was like it had tuned me out and had no interest in what I had to say."
"The wolf is almost all instinct in a situation like that," Elias said, "You can't reason with it, you just have to control it. You might not realize it yet since it's so new to you, but you're its master and it knows that. Like any dog, it might start to get out of control but if you're a good master and you assert yourself strongly it will come back in line right away. For me, killing those guys was not much different than hunting and taking down a kill for food. I've done enough hunting in wolf form that I'm a lot more used to it than you. When you killed that guy in the woods it wasn't really you, but the wolf. You were sort of fighting to make it all stop, but the wolf knew it couldn't stop until that man was not a threat anymore. I think that's why you lost control completely. Instead of being against it right from the start, if you'd sort of gone along with the wolf and did what needed to be done instead of trying to run from it internally, it might not have gotten so out of hand. I had to kill that other guy, but the big difference is it wasn't just the wolf doing it in my case. We both did it. I understand the wolf and we both knew what had to happen and somehow I sort of let the wolf loose, like a master commanding an attack dog to kill, but at the same time I shaped his actions and that's how once I saw the man was dead I was able to pull the wolf back and take over complete control again. It's hard to describe, but I think you'd figure it out if you had more chances like I've had all the times I hunted deer in wolf form over the past few years before I met Jake. You need to get practice at allowing the wolf to kill, then pulling it back."
What he was saying made sense. Elias had so much experience letting the wolf do what came naturally when it came to killing, he was likely more in tune and able to keep things controlled. Maybe what Grace needed was a chance to do some killing of her own. The day we'd talked about the possibility of her becoming a werewolf for Cole's sake she'd said she wasn't interested in hunting and eating raw meat. She just wasn't into that sort of thing, but maybe that was part of the problem. She needed to come to terms with the wolf and let it be what it is and sort of find a way to be OK with all of that. Otherwise, anytime she'd find herself in a situation that necessitated violence on the part of the wolf she'd mentally hide away and the wolf would run rampant once again. She needed practice, and we just might be in an ideal place for her to get it.
"Elias, do you think maybe you should take Grace out hunting tonight? Maybe it would help her to let the wolf make a kill under more controlled conditions so she could get used to letting it off the mental leash just enough to do the job and then pull it back."
Elias's face brightened and he said, "That's an awesome idea! Cole should come too. I haven't tasted fresh meat in a long time now and I wouldn't mind gorging. If we can bag something big enough the three of us would eat enough to tide us over for a few days at least. Think of how much food we could conserve if Jake is the only one having to dip into the refrigerator. You haven't lived until you've hunted and killed your own food, Grace. I think you'll love it once you've tried it."
Grace said, "I don't know if I could do something like that."
Elias kept pressing her. "Don't you get it? That's the problem. You need to think of it sort of like it's a necessity and even if you can't do it, the wolf sure as hell can, and it wants to. It's natural. You need to sort of accept it and stick right with it while it's happening. Try not to change what the wolf is. Try to get in tune with what the wolf feels when it's happening and you might find yourself feeling just as exhilarated as the wolf does when it makes a kill. If you stay involved in the process you'll be able to control it better. I think it's important for you to get some practice doing it. Cole too."
"I really want to try that! Can we do it, mom? Can we go hunting tonight?" Cole asked excitedly.
"I don't know honey. It could be dangerous."
Elias shook his head and said, "Wolves do it all the time. It's what comes naturally to them. It's their job to take down the food they need to survive. It's absolutely routine. You need to think about it as just another day at the office for the wolf. It's a hell of a lot less dangerous than what might happen if we ever come across those men again and you completely lose control. The wolf is mostly instinct so it might make some bad decisions and you need to get used to helping it make the right ones even in a scary situation. You need to get used to staying in the driver's seat as much as possible. I think it's important for you and Cole to try this."
Grace looked a little hesitant, but after some thought she said, "I suppose we could try if you think it might help. I don't ever want a repeat of what happened in the woods with that man or the near miss with Jake. I suppose if I could get used to not just turning away when the wolf is killing I can learn to let it do its job and then take control back."
Elias smiled and said, "Good. I'm not sure what there is to hunt around here, but hopefully there's something big enough that you and Cole could work together to bring it down, just the two of you."
"Shouldn't you help us?" Grace asked, "It would be our first time."
Elias shrugged and said, "Nobody helped me on my first time and it went OK. You're big enough as a wolf to handle it by yourself. Between you and Cole it will be a cakewalk. Trust me. It might be your first time, but the wolves have millions of years of evolution telling them how its done. They won't get it wrong. I'll run along with you guys and I could help to separate one from the herd if necessary but I'll hang back to let you make the kill."
Cole was really getting excited now and he said, "This is gonna be so awesome! I get to go hunting!"
Elias turned to him and said, "I think you'll like it little man, and you'll get to eat raw meat for the first time."
"What's it taste like? Isn't it gross?"
"No, not even a bit. I can't really describe exactly what it tastes like. Wolves taste things and smell things different than us. It's not so much what it tastes like but how good it feels to taste it. Think about how you felt when you tasted the best thing you ever ate and multiply that by a hundred."
I thought about what he said and it made sense. Taste and smell are closely linked in humans, so it makes sense that they would be in wolves, too. If that's the case, since wolves' sense of smell is so much more sensitive than humans, then it follows that their sense of taste might be, too. It must be an incredibly visceral, primal thing to experience for Elias to kill and eat, and now Cole and Grace would get to feel it too. I wished I could watch it happen and get to see them living that way. It would be amazing.
"Now I wish I could come along," I said, "I'd love to run with you guys and watch Grace and Cole make their first kill. I could never keep up with three wolves on the hunt, though."
"I don't see why you can't come along. The wolves know how to get the scent and follow it and stay downwind as they track so you'd just need to follow along right behind and you wouldn't get in the way or mess up the hunt. We know to slow down to let you follow along with us even if the wolves don't. It would be even better practice for Grace and Cole if they have to keep the wolves tightly enough under control the whole time so that they can keep them going slow enough for you to keep up, while still letting the wolves be in charge of the hunt. It would help them to learn how to let the wolves do what comes naturally to them while still directing their actions and modifying them as needed. I think it might actually help to have you come along," Elias suggested.
"Yeah! I think it would be awesome if you came too, Jake!" Cole said.
"It would be a pretty amazing experience for me," I said, "I'd love to tag along. I'm looking forward to it."
"So it's settled," Elias said, "Hopefully there's something around here we can hunt. It looks like pretty good country for deer at least."
"I was looking over the brochure earlier that we picked up when we came into the camp area this morning since we were going to be here a few days," I said, "It describes some of the wildlife around here and it said this range hosts the only herds of Rocky Mountain elk in Clark County. The picture was of a really massive looking elk with a huge rack of antlers. It also mentioned other big animals that are normally found in Nevada like mule deer and burros and such. There's mountain lions too, so we'd need to watch out for those, but I doubt any of them would risk taking on three giant wolves. They'd steer clear."
"That sounds great. If there are elk or deer within miles of here the wolves will find them. I can't wait," Elias said.
"Me neither!" Cole agreed.
Grace still looked a bit uncertain but she shrugged and said, "I don't know if this is going to work for me, but I'll give it a shot. Just promise me when the time comes to make the kill, you'll stay way back, Jake."
I smiled and nodded.
It was late enough in the afternoon when I'd woken from my nap that I had been planning on starting to get an early supper ready with Grace's help, but since the wolves were going to be gorging on fresh meat they decided to skip the meal. I quickly cooked up a couple of hot dogs to curb my hunger. While I ate, we talked about the planned hunt some more and it was decided that it would be best if we did it as far away from the actual camping area as possible. Not only would it be safer to be well away from other people, but the area closer to the campground would be more populated with scavenger type animals, and the grazers would stay far away. We would be more likely to come across suitable prey for the wolves further up the mountain in areas not accessible by any vehicles.
It would be best if we hiked along the spur of Mount Charleston to the south and covered as much ground as we could before sunset. It was the night of the full moon so they would change into wolves the moment the sun went down past the horizon. We would be far enough into the deeper woods and away from anyone else that they could simply strip down and change right there. I'd bring a large backpack with a couple of blankets stuffed into it for me, since we'd likely be spending the whole night, and I could put their clothes in it as well once they'd stripped out of them so we could crash wherever we wanted and they'd have their clothes when they change back in the morning. We'd continue further towards the mountain, letting the wolves follow any scent they might come across from there.
As soon as I was done eating we filled our water bottles and headed out. It was still late afternoon so we'd have several hours before sunset and we should be able to put quite a bit of distance between us and any other people.
The hike was absolutely invigorating. It felt so good to put all of our problems, and the stuffy RV, behind us for a few hours and just live and enjoy each other's company while we wandered the great outdoors. We crossed meandering streams and climbed over massive piles of huge boulders and went down into cool shaded valleys and up onto breezy bluffs as we made our way along the spur while the warm evening wore on. We moved through large stands of bristlecone and ponderosa pine trees, and further down the side of the spur in the deeper valley we saw pinyon pine, juniper, white fir and aspen. At the lowest levels away from the mountain were creosote bushes, Joshua trees and sagebrush.
We saw jackrabbits and kit foxes, chipmunks and antelope squirrels, wrens, hawks, jays and chickadees. Cole's sharp eyes even spotted a broad-tailed hummingbird with a dazzling red throat and shiny green feathers as it hovered over an indian paintbrush plant, sucking nectar from its brilliant red flowers.
We were surrounded by a lush bounty of life and we greatly enjoyed every bit of the magnificent scenery that was presented to us. Once again I found myself wondering if Mexico had been the right decision. It was so breathtakingly beautiful here and the air was so fresh and brisk that the hike was enjoyable and I didn't find myself overheating from the exertion. I doubt we could do this sort of thing in a sub-tropical rainforest, and trudging through a flat jungle hacking at dense foliage just wouldn't be the same experience at all.
This was the most fun we'd had together as a family yet. I'd always been a city dweller my whole life and I'd never really had the time to think about being anything else. I'd been too busy with my career to sit down and imagine any other type of life. I was a bit surprised at just how much I was enjoying this. The way I was feeling now, it seemed I would have absolutely no problem leaving the city life behind me forever. I could get used to this life quite easily. Grace seemed to be enjoying herself immensely too, even though she'd sort of indicated in one of our conversations that she wasn't the outdoorsy type. She seemed to be in her element out here and I could see her coming to life more and more as we walked. I think a lot of her previous attitude might have come from the fact that she'd been so busy and tired and overworked trying to provide for her son on her own, and then having to deal with his illness and all the pressure and misery that went along with that. Now all of those worries were behind her and she suddenly found herself physically fit and full to busting with energy, and she was starting to discover the pleasure of burning that energy up doing something as simple as chasing her son through an alpine meadow while they laughed.
My mind wandered to thoughts of how much human beings were out of their natural element in the modern life we'd created for ourselves. As a species we probably used to measure our success in life by the level of joy we experienced from day to day. Now we almost seemed to measure our success by the level of stress we were able to endure. If you could take a little more it was best to add more pressure to your life and raise the stress level a little since it would mean making more money and earning more stuff and being more 'successful'.
Our days were spent moving from one stuffy, closed-in, climate controlled building to another, from a house to an office to a bank to a restaurant to a movie theater to a house again. We lived and went to school and worked and entertained ourselves and shopped for our food inside massive boxes, shutting ourselves away from nature and from the very environment that shaped us over the millennia into what we are. We even moved between the various huge boxes we spent our days shut away in while riding in smaller metal boxes with wheels on them. It was all boxes all day long.
The human race had evolved over millions of years to do just what the four of us were doing right now; walking. Humans were meant to get up at sunrise and pretty much keep walking, out under the canopy of the wide open sky, gathering food and working on our shelters and hunting and just roaming and exploring for the entire day until it was too dark to do anything more. Then we would settle down to enjoy each other and sleep so that we could do it all again the next day. That was our true element, yet the human race was doing everything it could to change all of that and compartmentalize ourselves into our artificial boxes, as if nature was a horrible thing we needed to protect ourselves from instead of the wondrous, life-giving force that had produced us in the first place. It was completely unnatural.
I'd never felt more alive than I felt now and I could only imagine how much better it would be if I were in the same perfect physical shape the other members of my family were in. I was beginning to really look forward to the change to being a werewolf. I'd come to the decision that as soon as we were completely settled and safe in whatever location we decided to make our home, I would take the plunge. For now, I did my best as a normal human to keep up with the pack of supernaturally healthy humans that were bouncing and laughing and chasing each other around me.
It was a good thing I'd kept myself in shape over the years with a lot of cycling and elliptical training and treadmill workouts or there was no way I could keep up with the three incredibly fit werewolves in their human form. We ate up the distance at a good pace and while I was laboring a bit to maintain the pace, the three of them kept up an animated conversation the whole time and made it seem completely effortless.
Hours passed and the evening wore on towards night. The hike had started to become more like a climb as the landscape steadily rose towards the mountain and I was starting to become a bit tired and ready for a break when we came over the top of another ridge and Grace gasped and pointed. Elias raised a hand to stop us and we all looked to where she'd indicated.
On the smooth slope down the other side of the ridge near the bottom we saw a small herd of reddish-brown animals grazing on the long grass and low shrubs. It looked like elk, though the sky was darkening toward dusk and they were down in a shaded valley to the west and the setting sun was in our eyes so it was hard to make them out clearly from this distance. I wished I had a pair of binoculars to get a closer look. As far as I knew deer didn't hang around in herds of any more than four or five animals and there looked to be more than a dozen large animals down there slowly moving southward while they grazed. They had to be elk. They were a fairly long ways away but we didn't dare get any closer for fear of scaring them off. We weren't the hunters, the wolves were. We needed to leave it to them.
We went back over the top of the ridge to the other side to look for a spot to settle in and rest until the sunset that couldn't be more than ten minutes away.
We moved into a stand of pine trees with a soft bed of old needles making up the ground cover and we sat to wait for the change to hit.
I reclined against the angled stump of a tree and Grace sat with her back to a massive boulder. Elias settled down with his legs crossed on the ground.
Cole came and sat in my lap and hugged me and I hugged him back and gave him a kiss. I brought my knees up and moved my feet away from me and he leaned back against my legs to face me. "This is so awesome," he said, "It was really fun hiking out here. I wish we could do this everyday."
I smiled and said, "Me too. I never thought doing something so simple could be so much fun."
Grace smiled as she watched us and said, "You and me both, Jake. Do you remember that talk we had just before the excrement hit the rotational cooling device, when I said I wouldn't enjoy roughing it in a remote area because I'm just not that kind of girl? Well, I still think I was probably right, I wasn't that kind of girl then, but I sure as hell am now. I love this. I've never felt so good in my life. I've never felt so alive. Maybe I was scared of this kind of life because I felt I wouldn't be able to handle it, but now I feel like I could handle just about anything. I'm dirty and sweaty and I'm sitting on the bare ground with my back against a big boulder out in the wilderness away from everyone else, and yet I'm about as comfortable as I need to be and I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be. The idea of restaurants and bubble baths and soft beds doesn't exactly seem abhorrent or anything now, but it certainly doesn't seem like a necessity anymore. I'd gladly give it all up forever to enjoy this kind of life every day. Most of my doubts about being a werewolf are fading fast."
"I lived exactly like this almost every day for three years," Elias said, "Apart from the loneliness, I loved it. Like I told Jake, my dream was to eventually settle somewhere way up north. I wanted to have a little cabin that I could hide in while I was a human, in the middle of a vast forest I would own when I was a wolf. We've spent most of the time as wolves in the past few nights sleeping in the RV while Jake was driving, or just resting until you took your shift, but tonight you're gonna find out what it's really like to be a wolf running through the woods. The way you feel now is still nothing compared to how amazing you'll feel when you're stalking the herd and using your incredible sense of smell and sight and instincts to get set up for the kill. You'll be amazed by how intense it is if you let yourself feel everything the wolf does and let her share it with you. I guarantee you, after tonight any last shred of doubt you might have about how good a wolf you'd make will be gone, and from then on you'll mostly spend your time as a human waiting for when you get to be a wolf again."
Grace smiled at him and said, "I think you're probably right."
"I'm so glad you changed, mom," Cole said.
"Me too, sweetheart."
Cole looked back at me and said, "When are you gonna change, Jake? I wish you would do it right now. We could all hunt together. Wouldn't that be cool?"
I smiled at him and nodded, 'It would be pretty cool, yes, but I think I need to hold off just a bit longer, sorry. We should be arriving on the Yucatan peninsula within a couple of weeks even if we take our time to get there and we'll find a place to settle in. I want to stay this way for now in case there are any complications. It won't be long at all. As soon as we're organized and settled and completely out of danger and our lives become much simpler, I'll do it, I promise. I'm anxious to join you all, too. The more I think about it the more I want it. It's something I'm really looking forward to."
"Good. I can't wait 'till you change," Cole said.
"Me too," Elias added, "This is all a dream come true for me. It's even better than anything I ever imagined before. I never even thought to add a family to my dream of a cabin back in the days when I was wandering alone. It didn't seem like it was in any way possible for something like that to happen. We're so close now, though. I can't believe it. I never thought I could be so lucky. You're the last missing piece, Jake. When you change everything will be in place and we'll be a happy family of werewolves living in our own little slice of paradise. I seriously can't wait. It's gonna be so great."
The alarm on my watch started beeping and I turned it off as Cole got up out of my lap and began to strip down. Grace and Elias did the same. While they finished undressing and folding their clothes up into neat stacks I took the blankets out of the backpack. I gathered up all of their clothes and put them in the pack, and then added the blankets back on top of them so I could get at them easily when it was time to bed down later on. I gathered up their hiking boots and tied them together in pairs and then tied the pairs to various spots on the backpack.
The three beautiful naked humans moved to lie down on their backs on the soft loam together, spaced slightly apart, and each took the hand of whoever was lying next to them as they calmly waited for what was about to hit.
All at once the three of them jerked in unison and I could see them tense up in preparation for the barrage of pain that was coming.
I'd seen this process enough times by now that I wasn't nearly as bothered by it as I used to be. It had become routine and there was no need to worry about it anymore. I still liked to watch over them closely to ensure they were doing OK, but for the last few nights I'd been watching from outside the RV. I didn't want to push my luck with Grace's wolf until she'd had plenty of time to get used to me, but after three full nights hanging together the wolf had gotten to know me better. Last night I'd kept the door of the RV open and stood just outside it, ready to slam it shut if Grace's wolf made any moves towards me in the moments before Grace slid into place and took control, but it went fine, so I knew I was safe now.
It all went normally and within minutes three exceedingly large wolves were in front of me, sniffing at each other as if to reassure themselves that everyone had come through OK, then stretching themselves and getting ready to move out.
I put the backpack on and I grinned at them and said, "Lead the way."
Elias turned to Grace and raised a paw and tapped her on the shoulder. She nodded and moved ahead of the pack and the rest of us followed as she led us back up to the top of the ridge.
There was still plenty of light as the sun had only just set below the horizon while the full moon was already rising. It was actually even easier to see down into the valley now that the sun wasn't in our eyes, but we couldn't see the herd anywhere. It didn't really matter. They'd been grazing as they walked slowly along towards the south, but by now they had likely moved into the trees and would shortly be bedding in to sleep. They couldn't have gotten far.
I watched as the massive white wolf that was leading us surveyed the small valley that stretched out below us, then she put her head up and sniffed around. She opened her mouth slightly as if to taste the air as well as smell it. There was a very light breeze coming from the southwest and she suddenly put her head down and began to move at a steady pace down the slope at a ninety degree angle to the wind. She was moving slightly away from where the herd must be if they'd continued the way they were headed when we first saw them, but she seemed intent to get down off the grassy slope into the valley and approach the trees on the other side first before heading towards the animals.
Before long we'd reached the bottom and crossed the grassy floor of the small valley and were approaching the trees. Grace stopped and began to sniff around. We were right at the spot we'd seen the herd grazing earlier. She turned and began to move along the tree line southward, sniffing at the ground off and on as she went. Cole followed right behind her doing the same. Elias stayed well back with me as the two wolves followed the trail of the herd ahead of us.
We followed for quite a way until suddenly Grace stopped and Cole immediately stopped behind her. The huge white wolf sniffed at the air and turned to face back towards Elias and me, and she jerked her head towards the trees ahead of her. The forest of pine trees jutted out eastward ahead and to the south of us, and then turned back towards the west. The herd must be just ahead around the corner.
Elias immediately moved past me and went to join the other two wolves and he sniffed the air a bit. He nodded at Grace as if to confirm what she suspected. He then turned to Cole and he raised a paw and tapped his shoulder like he'd done to Grace earlier, and then pointed to the east back up the slope to the top of the ridge. Cole nodded and he turned and went down low as he quickly made his way up the ridge until he reached the top, then he turned and went down on his belly to wait.
Elias then tapped Grace's shoulder again, but this time he simply pointed right at the ground where she was standing. She nodded and turned to face the direction of the herd and went down on her belly in the tall grass.
Elias turned to look back at me, and when he saw I hadn't moved he must have decided he was satisfied that I was still far enough away. I sank down to my knees and pulled off my backpack to settle in and watch the hunt play out.
Elias turned to the trees and slipped quietly into them.
A bit of time passed as we sat in silence and I started to feel excited and anxious as I waited to see what would happen next. Elias must be slinking along through the trees, trying to get to the other side of the herd so he could flush them towards Grace. Once the animals were spooked they'd want to come out in the open where they could run full tilt. Elias would likely pop out behind them and chase them towards Grace. Cole was in a good position to block them if they veered towards the ridge to try to make their escape that way. It would be up to Grace to pick one from the herd and chase it down.
The level of tension rose as we waited for Elias to make his move. Suddenly there was a strange hooting and bawling sound of alarm and I could hear the sound of branches cracking and brush rustling as the herd bolted out of the trees somewhere ahead, and it was soon followed by the thunderous sound of many hooves pounding at the ground. It had begun.
Grace calmly stayed put as she waited for the first of the animals to come into view around the trees ahead that stuck out into the valley. Within moments we saw the herd already headed up towards the openness of the ridge and slightly towards the direction Grace was still hiding while the massive wolf that was Elias sprinted after them, veering towards the south to get more behind them and trying to turn the whole herd more towards Grace's direction. As the herd started to turn more towards the north while still racing up the slope of the ridge, Cole popped up and began to run towards them. The herd saw him and panicked. They were briefly disorganized as some stopped and turned back down the slope and others turned back towards where Elias was. Before long they got back into an organized stampede as they realized they had no other way to go but down the slope, northward into the open valley where Grace was still hunkered down in the long grass.
I could feel the adrenaline rising in me even though there was nothing for me to do but watch the exciting chase and mentally root for the wolves. A couple of large cows must have caught a glimpse of the white fur down in the grass ahead and realized something was wrong because they veered again to head back up the slope and Cole switched direction to chase them back down into the valley. Grace must have liked the look of them because she ignored the rest of the herd that was headed straight at her and bolted from her hiding spot towards the two females that had been somewhat separated. The rest of the herd panicked once again when they saw the massive white wolf rise up out of the grass ahead and they wheeled around and headed up the slope of the ridge again. Soon they would be over it and safe. The wolves were no longer interested in them.
The two cows that were separated had been running hard and were going slightly up slope so they were no match for the speed Cole was going at as he sprinted down the hill at an angle to cut them off and send them back down into the valley. They panicked again and turned only to see the streak of white death racing up the hill towards them. Suddenly the two elk split up and one turned back towards the peak of the ridge and put everything it had into escaping the massive white wolf coming at it. The other put on a burst of speed too as it changed direction just slightly to move at a right angle to Grace's trajectory, across her path. It had just enough speed as it continued down the slope to narrowly escape being taken down by the huge wolf, but Grace quickly changed direction and sprinted down the hill towards it as Cole changed direction to join the pursuit of the one Grace had singled out.
The animal was pounding down the hill almost directly towards me as the huge white wolf ran towards it from slightly up the slope, and Cole was coming from the south. I was totally caught up in the exciting chase and I couldn't resist getting involved. I sprang up and began running towards the large female elk, flapping my arms and shouting as it approached and it immediately put on the brakes, which was its undoing. Just as it turned to look for the best way to escape this new threat, Grace was upon it. The elk made a plaintive, panicked sound as it realized it was surrounded and it leapt to try to get away, but Grace slashed at it's flank and I saw blood spray from the wound as the elk came back down and stumbled briefly, but began to try to run again back towards the south.
Cole was already there and in front of it and once again it bunched to leap over him, but just as it became airborne Cole leaped up and bit at its belly and hung on. He was nearly stepped on as the elk came crashing back down to earth, but somehow managed to stay on its feet. I thought it was over at that point as Cole began to shake at the animal and tried to bring it down, but the huge cow refused to give up and it screamed and bleated as it stumbled along, half dragging Cole who was still holding fast to its belly and pulling backwards as if to try to tear it open.
In moments Grace had caught up again and she ran around to the front and grabbed the animal by its massive throat and began to yank at it to pull it over. There was nothing more the elk could do. It could no longer make any sounds as the huge white wolf held fast to its throat and cut off its supply of air. In no time the elk was down on the ground and weakly struggling to get back up, but it was hopeless. Before long it fell completely still.
Grace and Cole both held fast for a while longer to ensure the animal was dead, their sides heaving from the effort they'd expended in taking it down. Then they raised their heads from their kill and yipped and howled at the rising moon in celebration of what they'd achieved. I jumped up and down and cheered at them. The massive white wolf saw me and she went up on her hind legs and started hopping up and down too, then Cole did the same. I laughed as I saw them move towards each other and Grace's big front paw came up and Cole followed suit and the two shared a high five.
They came down and suddenly the massive white wolf turned and began barreling towards me, ears back and charging at full speed. I felt a moment of panic but there was no need as she stopped just before she reached me and went up on her hind legs and her big paw came up yet again. I laughed and gave the massive wolf a high five and she went down and began racing around me in circles, then she bolted back towards her kill and ran around it a few times. Then she spotted Elias loping towards them and both her and Cole bolted and ran towards him. He broke into a run and slipped between them and the two wolves wheeled around and chased him back.
Elias wasted no time and as soon as he reached the fresh kill he began to tear into it. The other two wolves came up and sat and waited. It was as though instinct was now telling them to let the alpha have his fill before they could start. Elias ripped and yanked at the carcass to open rents in the hide, and then he dove in and tore out chunks of flesh to gobble down. He looked over at the other wolves and then jerked his head toward the dead animal and both wolves moved in to claim their share. Grace seemed to have lost any inhibition she might have had and she allowed the wolf to gorge. Cole was doing the same. The three wolves were so huge that they would likely consume most of the animal before they were done.
I waited while the three wolves gorged, not wanting to get too close so it wouldn't seem like I was trying to steal their dinner. They were tearing at the elk in a feeding frenzy at first and I wasn't sure how in control everyone was of their wolves, but before long they'd settled and were devouring their kill at a steady but controlled rate. I heard yips and barks coming from the east and I looked up to see several coyotes running back and forth at the top of the ridge. They had smelled blood and knew there was a fresh kill down here. They also seemed to know they would not be welcome and they kept their distance, hoping to get first dibs on whatever was left over. Most likely the area would soon be visited by badgers, wolverines, weasels and other scavengers that the coyotes would have to fight off to get their share. If the scavengers were lucky, no mountain lions would show or they'd all have to vacate.
After a while, Cole was sated and he turned away from the kill and loped over to where I was and lay down on the ground. I sat next to him and began to scratch at his chest and belly as he whined his contentment. I was amazed at how hard and full his belly felt. It must be holding twenty pounds of meat at least, and the other two wolves would likely consume twice that amount each. Wolves were binge eaters by nature and their stomachs could expand to huge proportions to allow them to eat as much as they would need to keep them fueled for days to come until the next successful hunt.
I smiled at him and asked, "How was dinner, Cole? Did you like it?"
His tail began to thump hard against the ground and then he rolled onto his back to show off his round belly and his tongue lolled out the side of his open mouth as his tail began sweeping the tall grass. I laughed and rubbed at his distended belly and said, "You must have almost half an elk in there. Doesn't it hurt?"
He shook his head and whined as his tail kept wagging.
Before long Grace came over to join us and flopped onto the ground too, followed shortly afterward by Elias. The three wolves lounged around lazily, fully satisfied and looking ready for sleep.
"That was an absolute thrill for me. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would hunt with a pack of wolves. I couldn't help getting involved. I was totally caught up in it. I can't wait to experience that for myself and get right in there and stuff my face."
Grace whined and got up and came over to me and rubbed her big head against me. I scratched at her neck for a bit.
"I seem to remember you saying hunting and killing was more of a guy thing and you probably would never be into it. Well, you seemed pretty into it to me. You did great out there. I guess the wolf knows what it knows and once you give it control it executes like a pro. You've proven you make a perfectly fine wolf. Cole did too. You were both back in control again immediately after the kill. I could tell it was you because I'm pretty sure I've never heard of wolves in the wild high-fiving each other after a successful hunt."
She whined again and wagged her tail and I heard Elias huff a couple of times like he was laughing.
I scratched at the massive white wolf a bit longer, then I stood and looked around. It was starting to get much darker, though the rising full moon would likely keep it from getting completely dark so long as the sky remained clear. It didn't seem wise to stay out in the open through the night, though. The wolves looked like they were about to doze off from the torpor that was setting in after gorging themselves, so I suggested we move over to the trees to find a more sheltered spot to sleep. The other two wolves grudgingly got up and we made our way towards the trees as the coyotes descended from the ridge and began to fight over what was left of the carcass. There was no doubt none of it would go to waste.
We headed into the woods and found a spot that had enough room for all of us to crash out on the soft forest floor. I brought the blankets out of the backpack and laid them down on the ground and crawled onto them. It was warm enough still that with my clothes on I didn't feel any need to cover myself up. Elias came and lay down next to me and Cole lay down on the opposite side. Sandwiched between the two big, warm, furry bodies there was no way I'd get any chill tonight. Grace came and joined us and lay down right at my head.
The three wolves were so groggy from the lethargy that followed their binge that they were all asleep within minutes. I was exhausted after the long, fun hike and the excitement of the hunt, but I lay awake for quite a while afterward listening to the sound of the coyotes fighting off other scavengers who came along to steal a share of the kill. Mountain lions might even show up eventually with the smell of so much blood on the breeze, but I had no fear whatsoever while surrounded by three supernaturally giant wolves.
This was an experience I would not soon forget. I thought about the incredible future full of nights just like this that awaited us. I was excited by the idea that the next time this happened, I would likely be a wolf too right along with them. I began to wonder what type of prey there might be in the jungle and once again doubts about the choice of Mexico for a final destination creeped in. There were no herd animals in sub-tropical rainforests as far as I knew. There were likely no big grazers at all since there was really no grass. It was more like a primeval forest made up mostly of ferns and lush undergrowth and massive trees covered in vines. Again, I hadn't really thought about the wolves and what they might spend their time doing out there. They seemed to love this and they wouldn't likely be able to do it down there.
Perhaps I'd talk to the family about it tomorrow. There was still no point changing our plans just yet, but in the long term we might like to consider the possibility of going north instead. I decided to wait and see how good our new identities would be. If they were as complete and convincing as had been advertised, we'd be completely free to move anywhere we wanted at any time. We only needed to stay out of populated areas to remove any chance of having the type of problems we'd encountered back at home. We need a remote location to live in if we really wanted to stay out of trouble, but it didn't really matter where it was exactly. Perhaps we could head north and spend the remaining bit of summer and the first couple of good months of fall up there, then move back down to Mexico for the winter. We could go back north again in the spring. That way we'd get some variety and the wolves could be true wolves in their proper climate and ecosystem for at least half the year, but we'd be comfortable year round. We would be the first wolf pack to migrate all the way from Alaska down to Central America and back again every year. At least, most likely the first.
Every once in a while the thought crossed my mind that there were other werewolves out there. There had to be. We know for sure there was at least one because he was the one that had turned Elias. How many more were there? Whoever it was that was after Cole had spoken as if they'd had at least one in captivity before but somehow that had ended and they needed another. The hunter had said something similar before he died. Something about not letting 'them' get their hands on another one. I was now sure that the 'them' he'd referred to were the men who'd showed up at Grace's house. I wish he would have stayed alive long enough for us to question him further. It was all a mystery that we might never solve. In fact, it was safe to say I hoped we'd never solve it, because that would mean we would be living the rest of our lives in peace, never being bothered by any of those people again.
Still, I couldn't help but wonder just how many more werewolves might be running around out there. I wasn't even one of them yet but already I felt that this life was so good that as far as I was concerned, the world would likely be a much better place if everyone in it was a werewolf. Perhaps this was a sort of sudden lurch forward in evolution for the human race precipitated by some sort of 'curse' that would slowly and inevitably spread through the entire population by accident, or even on purpose, like what I was planning to do to myself once we settled. If we were going to live for an eternity, then no matter how careful we were some accident was bound to happen eventually and another person would be turned, then they would eventually turn others, and so on. Everyone who was turned would live forever, so the population of werewolves could not naturally decline, it could only increase. How many werewolves there might be right at this moment would depend somewhat on when it all began. If it started thousands of years ago there might already be thousands of werewolves. If it started more recently then there might only be a few.
How many others were in the same position as us? Elias had said once that there was no way werewolves could go around building their own community because most people wouldn't survive the attack that would turn them. We now knew that wasn't necessarily true. I was safe among the wolves who loved me even while they changed and that would allow me to change myself anytime I wanted just by cutting myself and infecting myself with their saliva. Who's to say it wasn't happening just like this all over the world? Someone gets infected by accident and then a loved one chooses to join them.
I chuckled to myself as I imagined other families doing the same thing as we were doing right now, or doing like I'd thought of earlier and migrating back and forth with the seasons. I pictured dozens of them flying in groups to Alaska to spend the summer, then flying down to Costa Rica or someplace for the winter to be jungle wolves. In my head I saw happy families, homes strewn with photos of mom, dad and the kids on the beach, then another of mom, dad and the kids sharing a kill as wolves. Maybe someday this would become the new norm. For all we knew there might be a whole werewolf underground out there somewhere already who'd figured all this shit out long ago and were much more organized than we were.
In any case, even if there was a community of intelligent, part-time wolves out there, if we play our cards right and stay out of trouble we would never know it, and they would never know of our existence either. Still, it would be good to know one way or the other.
As I pondered the possibilities, drowsiness crept over me and before much longer I dozed off under the stars, snuggled up in my warm nest of furry bodies.***
If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more from the author please look in the Gay/Adult-Youth section at Nifty.org for...
The Patriarch - The ongoing adventures of a man, possibly the only one remaining in the world, and the young boy he takes under his wing as they travel through a world where the majority of the human race has been wiped out by a plague. The disease's lethality was linked to sexual maturity killing the adults and leaving the earth's children to fend for themselves.
The Sock Thief - The heart warming story of how a humorous encounter brought about by a fetish not only leads to unexpectedly wild sex between a man and a teenage boy, but also changes their lives in a way neither could have foreseen.
Bang the Drummer - The story of a submissive man who uses his video game skills to win the right to be properly used by some neighbors.
Predators - The story of a man who enjoys a hobby of luring teenage boys in for a bit of innocent exploration in the woods.
or check the Gay/SF-Fantasy section for...
Favors of the First Ones - The story of an ordinary man who's life is near its natural end, but who suddenly finds himself, at the moment of the unexpected destruction of his world, the victim of an alien abduction with a bizarre motive, that ultimately opens the entire universe to him and propels him into a life of adventure that he'd never imagined was even possible. He eventually finds himself thrust front and center into events that could, both figuratively and quite literally, change the shape of the entire known universe.
The Hawthorne Accord - The adventures of a teenage boy who is rescued from a cruel fate in his home village by a friend, but ultimately finds himself on his own and hunted in a world that is being ravaged by brutal race wars between the humans and three races of monsters: kobolds, orcs and ogres. He discovers in his travels that the world is not quite entirely the way he'd thought it was and that even a single teenage boy can make a difference in the fate of entire races, including his own.
James and the Giant Perv - A humorous modern fairy tale involving three teenage boys, some "beans", a very tall pervert who dwells in his own kingdom in the clouds, and the various interesting ways they find to enjoy each other sexually.
James and the Giant Christmas - Another story involving the three boys and the loveable giant they'd befriended, except this time it's Christmas why not?
Feedback is the fuel for the author's engine. All comments are much appreciated even if they say nothing more than "Liked it, thanks." or "Hated it, don't go there again."
The Nifty Archive is an incredible source of wonderful stories that provides so many of us with countless hours of entertainment. If you enjoyed this story I would greatly appreciate if you would do your part and donate something to the site to help cover the cost of running the archive.