My massive wolf body barely fit through the doorway as I stepped from the blood splattered room out into the wide hallway of the hospital, and I immediately heard shrieks of terror coming from my right.
I looked to see a female patient who'd been making her way down the hall, wheeling her IV beside her. She turned and ran back down the hall away from me. She'd left the IV stand behind and as she reached the limit of the plastic tubing that was feeding her body whatever fluid it was she needed, it went taught and the IV stand crashed over just as the needle was ripped from her arm. She turned as if to try to pick it up and bring it with her, but when she saw me still standing there she screamed again, then looked to the side and slipped into an open room and slammed the door shut.
It was not my intent to scare anyone. I hoped a nurse would attend to the woman soon. It was best to just get out and away from people. I wasn't sure how much more time I had before I would change back to a human.
I turned to the left to look down the hall. I could see the exit at the far end. I began to walk towards it, sniffing at the air briefly to assess my surroundings.
Once again I was astonished at the avalanche of detailed information that seemed like it might bury me, and I did as the wolf had shown me and tamed it all in an instant. Somehow, just by willing it, I was able to bring any information that might be important to me to the surface while allowing all the rest to sink under it.
As I thought about it more, I realized it would almost make more sense to use the word 'we', not I. We tamed the flood of information. It was like the wolf and I were working together as a tightly knit team that functioned as one unit. He was able to extract every microscopic detail of all of the information that surrounded me and translate them to something my human mind could comprehend. The wolf didn't know exactly what was important to me until my emotions and thoughts gave him the clues he needed, and he then presented the details of the important parts for me to examine and make sense of. Really, the process was at once more complex than that, yet at the same time simpler. It was difficult to describe, but ultimately it allowed the vastly superior sensory abilities of the wolf to meld perfectly with the superior intellectual abilities of the human brain to create something that was far more than the sum of its parts.
I guess in that sense it really should be 'I', but it was a much broader I than it had ever been before. It was an I that was as wide as two whole beings.
As I continued down the hall and passed the front desk, there were a couple of familiar scents that I locked onto. I looked over and saw the doctor near the back wall behind the large 'L' shaped counter that was the front desk of the hospital. He was standing partly in front of the nurse who'd been attending to me, and he had his arm over her to keep her behind him in an effort to protect her from me, but both of them seemed frozen in place by their fear.
In the corner, another nurse cowered. She was crouched down and covering her eyes with an arm as if hoping I wouldn't see her if she couldn't see me. I didn't recognize her or her scent. She had probably been the one manning the front desk.
I turned back to face the doctor and nurse. I was curious. I wanted to test my new found abilities further, so I took a quick sniff in their direction and immediately changed the sensory microscope's focus towards these people. I quickly dropped the non-pertinent information, which in this case was primarily made up of stark terror and thoughts of possibly never seeing their loved ones again. I zeroed in on the nurse who'd been assigned to me and found that she'd been worried and worn down by a struggle with someone. Husband? I glanced at her hand and saw her wedding ring. They'd been having a tough go of it lately and their marriage was in trouble. She'd been cheating on him. I was sure of it. I could smell something dark in her. Revenge. She'd done it for revenge. He must have been cheating on her and she was getting even. I sniffed more carefully and smelled something familiar on her. It was the doctor! I could smell him on her face. To my surprise I realized it was his crotch sweat and precum, even tiny molecules of his urine. She must have had her face buried in his crotch recently and everything that had been in his pubic hair had transferred onto her face.
Out of curiosity, I turned my attention to the doctor. He wasn't an exceptionally tall man, so even on all fours I was at eye level with him. I gave another quick sniff. Yes, there she was. I could smell the nurse's sweaty cunt in his goatee. He'd been eating her out. What were his motives? Was he cheating on his own wife with her? No, he wasn't married. I smelled solitude. Not loneliness, just a preference to be alone. Still, I could see some darkness there, too. He knew she was married, yet he went ahead and did it anyhow. I could see swirls and eddies of darkness in a current that was primarily light and good. The doctor was a good man, but he had his faults. He knew full well he should not be pursuing the nurse. She was a married woman. I moved toward him and sniffed near his crotch. She was there too. He'd fucked her without a condom and had cum inside her. Naughty boy.
I shook my head at him and lifted my massive front paw and moved it side to side as though wagging my finger in disapproval. I tried to make a 'tsk tsk' sound to let him know I knew he'd been bad, but it didn't come out quite right from the wolf's mouth and almost sounded more like I was smacking my lips in preparation for a meal.
Immediately my senses picked up the strong odor of urine and I saw the doctor was in the process of emptying his bladder into his pants. A dark stain was spreading from his crotch and the hot yellow liquid ran down his leg and over his socks and shoes out onto the floor. He must have assumed I'd been pointing at him to let him know he was the meal I was getting ready to lay into.
It wasn't my intent to give the man a heart attack. I could smell that he really was a decent person, just a little weak in some areas. I winked at him to let him know he was in no danger, and I turned back down the hall to continue towards the exit.
It was amazing to have seen them so clearly and so easily just by the scent of the chemical signals they unconsciously gave off that told me so much about how they were feeling and where they'd been and what they'd been doing, and I was rocked by the implications of what this all meant for me. There was no way anyone could hide what they truly were from me. I no longer had to guess or deduce or try to divine what people thought about me, or what I should think about them. Trusts could be formed or broken in a heartbeat with startling accuracy. I would know almost in an instant whether someone was good or bad, or something in between. I could see it all in the dense cloud of information that surrounded them.
Why had Elias never told me about all of this? Grace and Cole never mentioned anything like this either. Were they not as blown away as I was at suddenly being able to see right into people's souls and learn so much about them in the short time it takes to run a few breaths of air across their olfactory systems? Did they not recognize the power of this ability?
As I walked toward the exit of the hospital I contemplated it more, and realized I could use this new skill to my advantage right away.
I took another quick sniff at the air in search of something, and I immediately recognized it and singled it out. It was Jesse. The one who'd saved me from certain death.
Not only had he saved me from the agent that tried to kill me with a chemical injection, but if I'd morphed into the wolf while stuck inside the heavy plaster casts, there was no telling what might have happened to me. The band around my head would likely have been the death of me. The wolf would have expanded into it and it would have destroyed its skull. The pins would have been forced into the wolf's brain and killed it. Jesse had saved my life twice in the space of ten minutes and I was grateful to him for it, yet I still had no idea who he was.
He had run down this hallway just minutes ago. He'd been a human then, though he would be a wolf like me now while he waited in my RV for me to join him. As he'd run through the hospital, molecules of pheromones and microscopic droplets of his sweat and tiny scraps of the dead skin cells and body hair and dust from his clothes that all humans shed non-stop, all of these things that carried his scent that contained reams of information about him, had fallen from him in a steady invisible rain that had settled onto the floor or clung to the walls as he passed by. There was so little of it that the most sensitive electronic equipment in the world would likely never be able to pick it out, yet somehow, to the wolf, it was an embarrassment of riches. I thought back about something I'd thought about long ago, that scientists couldn't be certain but they estimated that a canine's sense of smell was anywhere from two thousand to two million times more sensitive than a human's. My own opinion was now leaning strongly towards the latter possibility.
There was so much of Jesse in the complex conglomeration of scents that he'd left behind that the wolf and I could see every detail of the man's most recent past quite easily. I wanted to know more about him so I brought the sensory microscope to bear on the details of the information presented by the pheromones that had been twisted and tweaked by his emotions and actions to show who he really was. I was impressed by what I found. This man was good. Very good. Probably better than me, even. He was capable, confident, determined, courageous, intelligent, kind, selfless and many other things, all of them positive. Under it all rode a current that held it all together and colored every aspect of who he was. No, two things. I hadn't recognized them as two because they were so tightly entwined that they seemed as one. It was honesty and loyalty. It defined him more than any other of his many positive traits. He would never lie to anyone he cared about. He would never betray anyone who had not earned it. He could be trusted.
I couldn't help but smile internally at who he was. I liked him a great deal immediately, and I could sense the wolf's agreement. The wolf's instinct was indisputable, and it impressed upon me the fact that this man could be an invaluable friend and pack mate, and those were rare and important.
In the flow of information the air fed me about Jesse I could sense none of the dark currents I'd picked up in the doctor and nurse before. He seemed almost pure and without fault. No, wait, there was something. As I'd thought of the concept of 'fault' something suddenly rose up to the top of the flow of data. It wasn't dark, but sort of grey. It was difficult to pinpoint and too complex to easily make sense of. He had reached a nexus of decision about something that was important to him. His loyalty remained strong, but it was shifting. He'd come to some conclusion that required him to change his direction. Something had been eating at him, and something in his very recent past had brought it to a head and forced him to make a decision. I followed the trail of it back to the source of his sudden change of direction and I found something that surprised me. It was Grace! I could smell her on him. He'd been near her. I could sense his emotions for her. They were strong. They were positive. He'd become enamored of her on their first meeting. I liked what I smelled. He was right for her. I was sure of it. His intentions for her were clear and they were positive. They were protective. It felt good.
I dug deeper, focusing more on the scent of Grace that had transferred itself to Jesse to be included in the information he'd left behind in the hall. It was weak, but I could just make out a few details. She had been worried, but he had alleviated most of that for her. She was grateful to him. I could sense something more. Signals from her body that she might not even be aware of herself yet. She found him extremely attractive and her body had reacted, generating subtle sexual pheromones as it became aroused by his presence. She felt drawn to him.
I smiled again. There was no doubt in my mind that there were going to be some serious fireworks between those two. It seemed Grace's worry about never finding the sort of intimacy with someone special that she'd been craving might soon come to an end. I felt happy for them both.
A thought crossed my mind and I changed the focus a little to search for someone else. There he was. Elias. Jesse had been somewhere near him. The scent was very weak though, and mixed with too many other weak scents of other people to truly zero in on it. Their meeting must have been very fleeting and they hadn't even been in direct contact. There wasn't enough there to get a feel for Elias's mood during the encounter.
The wolf and I then bent our wills back to the stream of scents in search of another, and ultimately found him. It was Cole. The scent was much stronger than Elias's. What did it mean? Jesse had come in direct contact with Cole. The scent was almost as strong as it had been on the man who was now in shreds back in the room. Jesse had been holding Cole at some point. If that was the case, why was Cole not safe? I couldn't understand it. The powerful sense of smell of the wolf dove deeper into the scent of Cole and it found confusion. Cole had been scared of Jesse, then grateful, then surprised, then angry, then disappointed. It was a strange jumble of pheromone signals. What the fuck did it all mean? What the hell had happened?
I remembered the look of guilt that had passed over Jesse's face when he'd mentioned Cole back in the room. Had he done something to Cole?
No, it wasn't possible. I saw the man in the intricate pattern of scents he'd left right here in the hall and I knew him intimately already. He couldn't hide who he was from me. He was an exceptionally good man.
My rational brain took over and worked harder to process the possibilities and it came up with the logical conclusion. Jesse must have tried to rescue Cole and had failed. He must have come very close. He'd had Cole in his hands at some point, but the spook must have won out in the end and got away with Cole. That had to be the source of the guilt. Jesse had failed and it must have really bothered him a lot. It had affected him deeply and I liked the man even more for it.
He'd said he would bring me back to Grace and then we'd work on getting Cole back and he would need my help for that. He must have some clue how to proceed.
I felt uplifted as I thought of how lucky I was that Jesse had come along. I had an ally who must know more of what the hell was going on, and I could sense his concern for Cole's well-being. He would help me. I could sense from his character that whatever might be required of him, he would do it without hesitation, no matter the risk to himself.
I suddenly realized I was wasting time and I could begin to change back to human at any moment. I increased my pace and headed out the automatic doors to the sidewalk beyond. I looked around and saw the massive Fleetwood RV parked way off to the side of a large parking area and I turned and began to lope towards it.
There was a grassy area just beyond the parking lot with several trees and shrubs planted along it. It would be as good a place as any to go through the change back to human form. I wasn't looking forward to it, but not because of the impending pain. It was because of the fact that this new shape was so much better, and I was not yet ready to give it up. It was so much more powerful and capable and effective. I'd had so little time to learn what it was capable of, but I realized there would be all the time in the world to get to know it. For now I just needed to get back in the RV so we could hit the road and get started on our quest to rescue Cole.
I was suddenly hit with a powerful spasm that caused my muscles to lock up and I stumbled and crashed to the hard pavement. As soon as the spasm passed I quickly got up and ran past the RV to the grassy area beyond and leaped across a line of shrubs to the open dirt beyond were there were larger trees. I found an open space large enough to accommodate my body and I lay down on my side to wait for the firestorm of pain that was about to inundate me.
The process was much the same as it had been in the hospital room, but it was much easier to take this time, simply because I now had a notion of just how bad it would get and I knew I could withstand it. Knowing it would be short, and knowing that it would get to a certain intensity, but not beyond, helped to make it simply an unpleasant reality that had to be endured.
I stayed fairly calm internally, though I convulsed and jerked and grunted and groaned with some of the worst of the volleys of pain.
I began to feel myself fading again as I approached the point of unconsciousness, and I felt the wolf fading along with me, but also away from me.
Our bond to each other had been so tight that it almost felt like my soul was being torn in half.
I could sense the wolf's regret that it was losing something that had allowed it to see the world in a completely different light, and I suddenly realized that it had been a two-way street all along. The wolf was gaining as much in all of this from me as I had been gaining from it. The wolf was suddenly able to examine the world using the powerful reasoning abilities of the human mind that a normal wolf would never have access to, and it had liked that new power.
It had seemed to me as though I was getting everything from the wolf with all of its strength and size and its amazing sensory abilities, but it had been gaining something too. It suddenly had access to language and reasoning and intellectual capability it had never dreamed existed before and it had been able to make logical sense of information that previously had been nothing more than ephemeral feelings guiding its actions.
There was much more to the world than the wolf could possibly have imagined existed, and through me it had gained access to all of that knowledge and the ability to process it in completely new ways.
We had been a perfect team in tight symbiosis, and we were now being pulled apart again to each of our detriments.
My final act as I drifted away into oblivion was to send a feeling of gratitude to the wolf and the thought that I would be looking forward to his return.
I sensed something simpler, yet more important, coming back from him. Something that meant a great deal to wolves and, in their world, ultimately helped to determine who would be leader and who would be follower. I sensed deep and abiding respect.
I heard myself cry out in pain as I came back to consciousness.
I felt more than just physical pain, though. I felt an incredible sense of loss, of loneliness. I felt as though I was half of what I should be. I desperately wanted to go back to what I'd been moments before. I was confused and angry about what was happening to me.
In time, as the change progressed, I became less confused and I settled into the realization that I was simply back to being myself. It would have to do for now.
I was lying on my back by the time the change was complete and I was suddenly feeling incredibly good. I felt strong and healthy and alive. I felt fantastic.
I sat up and looked down at my body to make sure everything was in the right place. I was amazingly muscular. Not in the way of a heavy duty body builder, more like someone who'd been practicing martial arts day and night for his entire life. My muscles were larger than they'd been and far more defined and they were dense and powerful and efficient looking. My skin was snapped tight against the rippling muscles along my abdomen with not even the smallest amount of subcutaneous fat obscuring the details.
Just like Elias, I now had perfect skin. My fingernails and toenails looked like they were perfectly cared for, but it was simply because they hadn't had time to grow much yet. I felt my head to make sure my scalp had reattached properly, and I found I had a thick, soft head of hair that hung to almost shoulder length. I felt my face and found a growth of beard there. It wasn't excessively long, just about the perfect length if I'd been growing it intentionally. I realized I'd never seen that on Elias because, even though he was seventeen, his body was still thirteen and too young to produce a beard. Like Grace's armpit and leg hair, my beard had come out during my 'regrowth'.
At the thought of regrowth my heart skipped a beat and I looked down at my penis. Sure enough, it now sported a generous amount of foreskin covering the head. I was absolutely thrilled. I'd never been happy with the fact that I'd been robbed of it when I was a helpless baby, and now I had it back. I grinned as I examined myself more closely and saw that even though I'd had fairly good sized furry balls before, they were now even larger. My penis was thick and long and impressive. I wished I had time to play with it a bit, but I was completely naked outside a hospital and it seemed as though being caught hiding in the bushes, naked and playing with myself might not be the best thing ever. I felt it would probably be best to get inside the RV and get dressed. Jesse would be waiting for me in there and I had a great many questions I needed him to answer about many things.
I got up and made my way through the bushes and out onto the parking lot and I heard gasps. I looked over and saw the doctor and nurse near the entrance to the hospital. They must have followed the massive wolf out, and now in its place they saw the man that had previously been broken into pieces and lying in bed being cared for by them. Only now he was naked, in perfect physical condition, and moving under his own power. It had to be a bit of a surprise, especially considering the shape I'd been in in the hospital bed.
I smiled and waved at them, then I turned to the RV and pulled the door open and stepped inside.
Jesse was standing there waiting for me. He looked different at first, then I realized it was because he too now sported a nice length of full beard. It made him look more masculine. It looked good on him. He must prefer to keep it shaved because when I'd first seen him before he had a few days growth of stubble indicating he'd probably shaved it off after his final change before the new moon phase.
Before I knew what was happening he grabbed me into a tight hug and held on for a while. I reflexively hugged him back, then as I thought of what I'd determined about him back in the hallway of the hospital, I increased the force of the hug.
We pulled apart and he looked at me and put his hand on my shoulder and said, "You're a good man, Jake."
"What did I do?" I asked, but even as I said it, I realized he had been a wolf in here. He must have smelled me and determined I was OK, just as I'd learned so much about him by sniffing the scent of him in the hospital.
He smiled at me and said, "All I could smell in here as a wolf was 'good'. It's everywhere. I smelled you and your family. You're good folks. There's no doubt in my mind. This was my first time as a wolf since the shit that went down at Nazas so it was my first chance to get a real good feel of what you all are like. I like it, Jake."
I grinned back at him and said, "It's amazing, isn't it? I couldn't believe how much detail was in the scents that surround us all the time. When I was walking down the hall of the hospital as a wolf I could see everything that had happened there. It was incredible. So much detail. I even knew the doctor and nurse had been screwing around with each other. The nurse is married, but it's on the rocks. The doctor knew he was taking advantage, but he went ahead and did it anyway. I could see it all clearly. I smelled everything about you, too. You're a better man than me, Jesse. I could smell it. You're honest and loyal and selfless and courageous. You impressed the hell out of me. Grace really likes you, too. I could tell she was grateful to you from the bit of her scent that you left behind. She likes you a lot, even if she doesn't really know it yet. And Cole, I know you tried to rescue him from that spook. I know you failed, but try not to let it get you down so much. We'll work together to get him back. We won't fail next time. I smelled so much about that guy back in the room too. I could tell he'd been with a hooker a couple days ago. I could tell everything he'd done and eaten for days. I smelled cordite, too. I smelled combat. You got in a fire fight with them didn't you? When you tried to get Cole? I could smell how Cole was afraid of that guy, and how he was afraid of you, too. Then grateful to you, then disappointed. That's how I knew you'd tried to save him but it didn't work out. There's so much information in the scents that were all around me, I couldn't believe it!"
While I was speaking his eyes began to widen more and more and now he stood slack-jawed and just stared at me.
"Something wrong, Jesse?"
He shook his head and sounded a bit in awe as he said, "How in the great goddamn did you get all of that? It takes time for people to adjust to what the wolf can do, Jake, but most of us normally never get to the level of detail it sounds like you did on your first try! You're a kindred, cuz! That's gotta be it! I can't believe it!"
"Huh? What's a kindred?"
He seemed really excited and he ignored my question and asked, "What color were you? Was there a lot of black?"
I said, "I couldn't see my head but the rest of my body that I could see was all black. Even my underside."
"All black? All the way to the tail?"
I nodded and asked, "Why is that important?"
"It's one of the weird things about werewolves that we can't really explain. We come out all sorts of colors in our wolf forms and the color is sort of locked in the first time you change. Most of us have some black mixed in. Thing is, some of us are more closely bonded to the wolves inside us than others. For some strange reason, the color you become is determined by the closeness of that bond. You and your wolf must have been right on the same wavelength almost like you were twin brothers when you changed in there for the first time. Samuel, our leader, is all black too, but he has a tiny white patch at his chest and the tip of his tail is white. His paws have some lighter grey in them, too. The stronger your bond with the wolf, the more black you have. Someone who's all black like you or Samuel sort of had a wolf's soul to begin with, even before you became a werewolf, so you bond with the wolf almost like you were two sides of the same coin. If someone has a weak bond, or resists the change, they usually turn out to be mostly white."
"That sort of makes sense from my experience. Elias and Cole have a lot of black in their coats. They make awesome wolves. Grace is almost all white, except for some light grey on top of her back and along her tail. She never wanted to be a wolf and didn't think she'd make a good one. She had a bit of trouble controlling hers at the start. She turned away from it."
He nodded, "She wasn't into it. It wasn't in her soul. Even folks like that still get by just fine, but they have to let the wolf do all the wolf stuff and they're never very tuned in to the whole thing. If she wants to track a scent or make a kill, she has to let the wolf loose so he can do it for her. She has to sort of hang back to let it do its thing or she'll just get in the way of the process. She wouldn't understand what the wolf is smelling or how to pick out any detail from it, but the wolf can still handle it for her, so she gets by just fine with a little practice. It's more than that for someone like me, or Elias or Cole by the sound of it. We're a bit more in tune with it all and it helps us do a bit better in wolf shape. For someone like you, or Samuel, it's completely different. When you do something wolf-like you're doing it right along with them and helping them with the process as much as they're helping you. It's a closer sort of teamwork. The result is something beyond what most of us can accomplish. We call it being kindred with the wolf. It's sort of why Samuel became our leader. He's the best example of us, he's the strongest kindred we had, so he floated to the top as alpha of us all."
"So you don't get all of those details like I did from the scents you pick up?" I asked.
He shook his head. "No, not that much. When I was in here sniffing around as the wolf, I sort of got the feeling of good and of love, and I couldn't pick up any feeling of 'bad'. That's how I knew you were good folks. I can sort of understand how love smells, or hate, but there's no way I could figure out who had the love for who else, or why, or any of that. I can easily pick out tons of normal scents of course and I can understand what they are. In here I could smell your foot odor even though it's too weak for me to smell as a human. I smelled the incredible scents from Grace's body, the stuff you guys ate in here, your dirty laundry in a hamper somewhere, simple physical things like that. There's no way on God's green Earth I could ever hope to get as much detail as you could out of that mess of smells in the hospital, though. It sounds like you almost get a whole detailed story out of it. You're obviously completely in tune with the wolf. You two are a perfect match. It's fantastic! Strong kindreds are a rare thing. Even among the kindred, there's different levels. Samuel was the strongest kindred I ever knew, but it seems like you might be just a bit stronger than him. The all black color gives it away. I'm guessing Samuel ain't gonna be too happy when he sees you in wolf form. He'll see you as competition for position of alpha. He's only around six foot one, so you'd be a hell of a lot bigger and stronger than him, too."
"He's got nothing to worry about from me. I have no interest in being alpha of all the werewolves. I have no reason to go against him, unless he tries to get in my way I guess."
Jesse chuckled and said, "Don't you get it? That's exactly how alphas are made. You'll follow the leader, unless the leader does something you don't like, then you take him down a peg, which makes you the new leader. It's the way of the wolves, Jake. Nobody's ever challenged Samuel before, though. There's never been any need. He's been a terrific leader up until now. He's done so much to get us organized and stronger."
"I can't wait to meet him. So just how big is the werewolf population anyhow?"
"I'll tell you all about it when we're on the road," he said, "We're both as naked as jay birds and we need to get dressed and get going."
He turned and started gathering up his clothes from the table where he'd put them when he stripped down, and he started getting dressed.
I couldn't resist looking him over now that his back was turned and he wouldn't see me doing it. He was incredibly hot looking. He was muscular and shapely and tight. His butt was a beautiful muscular bubble and I could see his big furry balls hanging between his legs as he lifted one up to step into his underwear. He was incredibly attractive.
I supposed I would have to get used to this. By the sound of it there was a whole society of werewolves out there. All of them would be in perfect physical condition, just like Jesse. Just like me now, too, and Grace and Elias, and even Cole. I wondered how many there might be of these supernaturally perfect humans running around out there.
Jesse would be able to tell me that and a lot more. I needed to get dressed so we could get on the road and I could hit him with the ton of questions that have been on my mind.
I turned and went to one of the closets near the back of the RV where I kept my clothes and I began to get dressed.
By the time I was fully clothed the motorhome was already started up and moving out of the parking lot and onto the street. I slid into the passenger seat and buckled up.
"Hope you don't mind me drivin', cuz. It's quicker. I know the way."
"Where are we going?"
"There's an airfield just outside of town. It's pretty close. Won't be a very long drive at all. I love this beast of yours. She's got power to spare."
I smiled and said, "Yeah, it'll be a shame to leave it behind. I assume we're getting on a plane?"
"Yep, we are. Don't worry though. We ain't leavin' this beauty behind. There'll be plenty of room."
"Room? For the RV? On the plane?"
He grinned and nodded and said, "Yup. You'll see."
"So where are we headed?" I asked.
"I'm taking you to Grace, like I promised."
"OK, but where is Grace?"
"She's at our compound. Well, one of our compounds."
I sighed and asked, "OK, so where is this compound?"
Jesse chuckled and said, "Sorry, Jake. I guess I'm so used to keepin' secrets it's become a habit. You're one of us now, so no need to keep secrets from you. We're going to Alaska."
"Grace is in Alaska?" I asked.
He nodded again and said, "Yup. Elias should be there with her too by now. They got split up when they were picked up by two different groups of ours after Nazas. I was with the group that got Grace."
"How did you know to pick them up?"
"Samuel knew there was a solid chance that something bad would go down at Nazas. He's got a lot of resources at hand and he likes to look out for anything that might affect werewolves. He'd been tracking those government asshats like he likes to do and he knew they were headed that way. Wherever they go, there are werewolves somewhere close by that those fuckers are trying to catch. Samuel had an idea what would happen if a werewolf were out in a crowd when the eclipse happened and didn't know that they would change, so he got nervous. He sent a bunch of us out there to stay out on the fringes of town so we would be ready for anything.
"We had no idea how crazy it was gonna get. We spread out after the disaster and tried to get as many people as we could who were running around naked. We knew those would be the ones that had changed and they would need our help. There were a hell of a lot of them. Almost more than we could handle, so things got real busy. I wasn't there helping right at first, but after a bunch had been rounded up I helped transport them, and Grace was in that group. On the trip to the airfield we were shipping them out from, Grace and I talked a lot. She told me about you and that she'd lost Cole and Elias. Once we got to the airfield she started freaking out and said there was no way she was leaving without you. I promised her I'd get Elias, then I'd get you, then you and I would go after Cole. She gave me her set of keys for your RV and I headed back to Nazas to start searching for you.
"I found out Elias had already been picked up by another group so I contacted Grace and told her. She told me to keep looking for you and to let you know she and Elias would be fine so you could focus on Cole. By the time I finally found out where you were from one of the other hospitals, I contacted someone to come pick us up at the airfield and I drove the RV to come get you. I made it just in the nick of time."
"What about Cole? Did Grace ask you to try to rescue him? Is that how you ended up in the fight with the spooks?"
He got a look of pained guilt on his face again and said, "No, that happened before I met her. That's sort of why I wasn't in Nazas right after the event, rounding up people. I was with a different group that was going after Cole. We know those men who took him, see. We've been getting in scrapes with them off and on for years, so Samuel set things up so we could sometimes track them. They keep trying to capture one of us, but we're careful and we've managed to stay out of their clutches. They started gettin' really active so we followed them into Mexico. They were walking around Nazas with pictures of a kid named Cole that they were looking for, showing it to folks in case anyone recognized him. We knew if they were there, and they wanted Cole, it had to be because he was a werewolf, so when we knew they had him, we went after him. I didn't know then that he was attached to Grace in any way because I hadn't met her yet. I was upset when I found out. When she told me later. Things would have gone different if I'd known. I could have got him back to her but I didn't. I'll never forgive myself for that."
I could see how upset he was by it and I was reminded about what a good man the wolf had revealed him to be.
He was gripping the wheel so tightly as he drove that I could see his knuckles turning white, and he got a determined look on his face as he turned to look me in the eye and said, "I swear to you, Jake, no matter what it takes we're gonna get that little guy back to her. It might take my whole army, but if that's what it takes, that's what we'll do."
He turned back to look at the road and he nodded and said, "Army. I guess maybe I should explain some things to you. It would help. There's a lot of shit goin' on out there in the world concerning werewolves, Jake, and now that you're one of us you should know all about it."
"I was starting to get a glimpse of it already," I said, "We had a couple of run-ins ourselves. There was a hunter that tried to shoot and kill Elias and Cole. That was the first time I found out something bigger was going on out there. I tried to get information out of him, but he died. Cole killed him."
Jesse got an angry look on his face and grunted and said, "I like that little guy more already. Fuckin' werewolf hunters. Pieces of shit is what they are. Don't worry too much about them. They're survivors of the first facility that was holding werewolves and studying them. Those guys think the best thing to do with us is just kill us all 'till there ain't a werewolf left alive anywhere. They see us as a threat to all humanity."
"What do you mean by 'survivors'. What's this facility you're talking about? He did say something about not letting those government spooks get their hands on another one. Did he mean another werewolf?"
"Yup, he did. The government was doing tests on us."
"For what purpose?"
"Think about it for a minute, Jake. Imagine if you had an army of physically perfect soldiers. Soldiers who could be torn to shreds and be at death's door one minute, then completely regenerated and ready to fight again the next minute when the sun goes down or comes up. When they're in human form your soldiers could handle all of the equipment you throw at them. When they're in wolf form they can track anything or anyone. They'd be the perfect covert strike team. They're deadly killing machines even without any weapons in that shape. Need more perfect soldiers? Infect more men. If they're lucky or skilled they live forever and gain all of those years of experience getting to be better and better soldiers. A country with that sort of army would be hard to stop."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing, but I should have seen the possibilities myself. Of course the government would take an interest in werewolves if they knew they existed, and of course it would be primarily a military interest.
"So what were the experiments about then? Were they just trying to see how much damage these soldiers could take?"
He nodded and said, "That's a big part of it, yes. They wanted to know how much would regenerate. If I cut off your arms and legs, would you grow them back? Turns out you would. Almost anything I could do to you that doesn't kill you gets wiped out on the next change. Anyhow, they wanted to know just how reliably the werewolves would grow back if they were busted up badly. They wanted to learn exactly what the limits were, and a lot of werewolves were killed, but there was a lot more than just that. The biggest thing they wanted was control, and that's the biggest reason why they kept it all tightly under wraps. It wouldn't do them no good to have a werewolf army if the other side could have one just as easily. They needed to keep it secret from the rest of the world until they could control it. It's not just soldiers they wanted, either. Imagine if you could make your best and brightest leaders and your smartest scientists live forever? They could give anyone they wanted to immortality, but they wanted to be able to withhold it from everyone else, or even to take it away from someone they'd already given it to if they felt they were no longer worthy. They could even just threaten to take it away from someone forever if they needed that person to do something for them. They would have complete control."
The implications of what he was saying sunk in quickly and I realized what they were really after. "You're saying they wanted to be able to block it! They wanted a cure! They desperately need a werewolf to work on a way to stop the infection!"
He nodded and said, "You guessed it, cuz. They wanted to be able to pick and choose who could be a werewolf, and block anyone else from it. If they managed to develop that control and they found a way to spread it all over the world, it would be the end of us. They could easily 'cure' us and we wouldn't be werewolves anymore. They wanted to be the only ones who could make werewolves, and they got real close before things went south for them and we managed to find their facility in Colorado and we attacked it with everything we had. We already have the sort of army they were hoping to build, see? Though it ain't real big yet. Samuel likes to tightly control who gets to be a progenitor, so we were building our numbers slowly. We managed to free all the ones they were experimenting on that they hadn't killed, but we learned that they were getting close to the cure."
"What do you mean by 'progenitor'?" I asked.
He shook his head and said, "I'll get to that in a bit. Anyhow, once Samuel found out exactly what had been going on in that facility and how close they'd got to finding the cure that would give them complete control over us, he made it our priority to make sure they could never get their hands on another werewolf again, no matter what. When we attacked that lab we got most of their work, but we don't have the expertise to do much of anything with it. There was one thing, though, that scared the bejesus out of us. They were working on the perfect delivery vehicle for their cure and it was nearly done, and when Samuel realized what it was, he wanted every trace of it destroyed."
"How were they gonna do it? How could they be sure it would reach everyone in the world?"
"I ain't no scientist, but what he called it was a 'viral vector'. They were building a virus that would infect and spread to everyone in the world. Samuel says it would be a perfect virus according to their data. They just had a few more mutations to go to get there. It would be one hundred percent effective. If you were exposed to it, you would get sick immediately and there was no way to stop it. If anyone was exposed to you while you were sick, they would catch it, and so on. Thing is, the virus ain't deadly. The government ain't quite that crazy. It's nothing more than a bad flu. Lots of people all over the world would die, but only if they were sick already or really old or vulnerable for some reason, just like the normal flu. Healthy people would beat it no problem in time. The virus is just a tool though. A way to deliver a package. It would carry a genetic bomb that would go off in each person's system and modify their genes in some of their cells to include whatever change was necessary to block the werewolf infection from taking hold in them. Because it used genes, the 'cure' would be passed on to everyone's kids, and their kids, and so on, so nobody could ever become a werewolf again."
I thought about Cole and his ALS. Grace had asked me if a genetic problem would be wiped out by the change and I told her it didn't seem like there was any way it could. It makes sense. If anything at all about his genes had changed he just wouldn't look like Cole anymore. The genes stay exactly the same and rebuild his body from scratch following the pattern they contain. If the genes the government introduced through the viral vector survived the change, then a person bit by a werewolf or who already was a werewolf might change to a wolf because only some of their cells would have the blocking gene, but when they changed back to human and were completely regrown, their body would follow their new genetic pattern and the blocking gene would be added to every single cell in their body! It would completely stop the change from that point forward and they could never be a wolf again! Obviously any children they had would inherit the gene, too, so they would only have to deliver the package once. It was an effective approach, but what if something went wrong with the virus?
"Holy fuck! They designed a disease with perfect transmissibility and they planned on unleashing it on the world? Did they not see how fucking dangerous that would be?"
"They almost built it. We destroyed it before they could finish. Samuel knows they're repeating their work in a new location though, and he's been desperate to find it. It's been our highest priority. They've been keeping the new location so secret we haven't been able to find it. I don't think the scientists are too concerned about what they're doing, mainly because the disease they're creating isn't meant to kill anyone, so they don't see it as dangerous. It was the only way they could do it. They needed a perfect way to spread the cure once they had it ready, and the virus would be it.
"They were the ones building the virus, so they would easily be able to build a vaccine for it too before they launched the disease. They would add it to one of the normal vaccinations that are part of the standard American vaccination program so that nobody in the country would get sick. They would want to be sure everyone in the US could still be made into werewolves if they wanted to, so they would have an endless source of material for soldiers, but the rest of the world would be cut off forever from it. As soon as they got the genetic payload ready and saw that everything would work right, they would put it all out there. It was a race, but we reached them before they could finish their first attempt. We stopped them just in time.
"Samuel destroyed all of their data, but most likely they had backups of it off-site. He had the whole place firebombed to make sure nothing was left behind that they could ever use. We became way more vigilant after that. If they get their hands on another one of us they would be able to finish their work and that wouldn't be a good thing at all, for anyone. We're certain they have another lab up and running. Samuel has reason to believe they've already finished their work on the virus delivery system and it's ready to go. They just need a payload now. Cole might be the one to help them get that, so that's another reason why we have to get him back."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Just days ago, as far as I knew, I had the only three werewolves in existence and we were headed towards a nice, quiet, anonymous life. Now I find out that not only was there a whole organized society of werewolves out there all this time, they had an army and they were at war with their own country and trying to save the whole world from them, and we somehow managed to get sucked right into the heart of it all!
"So how many werewolves are there?" I asked.
"There were hundreds by the time we destroyed their lab that last time. We don't know for sure when the whole werewolf thing started but it was really slow to get off the ground and we tightly controlled our numbers. Samuel figures around thirty-five or forty years ago something happened that started it all, but we have no idea what. After Samuel realized what the government was up to he started pushing to create more of us faster. We need a bigger army to defend ourselves. There are closer to a thousand now, but you almost doubled that number by what you unintentionally did at Nazas."
"Was this Samuel guy pissed at that? You said he likes to control the process."
Jesse shrugged and said, "He wasn't happy, but he wasn't too pissed off either. He knows we need a lot of progenitors to make the gene pool as diverse as possible so it's not that big a deal that you accelerated that process and made a whole bunch more. It stretched our resources thin trying to round as many up as we could, though. It exposed the fact that we exist to the rest of the world, too. But he didn't seem too concerned about that. I've been trying to figure out why. I would have thought he'd go ballistic."
There was that word 'progenitors' again. Why did he call werewolves that?
Before I could ask, he pulled off the highway we'd got onto and he said, "Here we are."
I looked ahead down the dusty dirt road we'd turned onto and I could see a small airstrip ahead. At one end of it was a massive airplane. I remembered it from when I was a kid and had built a plastic model of one. It was a C-130 Hercules. A big, four-engine turbo-prop transport plane designed for short takeoff and landing on rough dirt strips. It could load men, tanks, tractors or troop vehicles up a ramp and into its belly and deliver them almost anywhere. The engines had already been started up and the big props were spinning.
Jesse drove around to the back of the plane and I saw its ramp was already down. He drove the RV right up inside of it and stopped.
He turned to me and said, "Let's get out and get strapped in. We'll be taking off pronto."
We got out of the RV and moved around in front of it. There were several jump seats that fold up against the wall along the sides of the plane and he pointed me to one. I pulled it down and sat in it and pulled the belt around me and snapped it in place.
A man who'd been waiting by the side of the ramp entrance as we drove in punched a control and the ramp started to rise back up. He quickly went around to each wheel of the RV and pulled up heavy straps from the floor and cinched the vehicle into place so it couldn't roll. He then moved forward to where we were and saluted Jesse. Jesse returned the salute and turned to me and said, "This is Greg. He's our copilot and coordinates all the ground work so nobody has to see our pilot."
I wondered why the pilot needed to stay out of sight. Was he a known criminal or something? Was he someone people would recognize?
I smiled at the copilot and nodded, and he nodded back, then he moved further up and went through a small open doorway to the cockpit at the front of the plane. I could see that he was just as muscular and perfect as Jesse and myself. He was obviously a werewolf, too.
It suddenly occurred to me that the man had saluted, so Jesse must be high up in the ranks of their army.
Before I could ask him about it, Jesse shouted, "Benjamin! Is this piece of shit ready to go or not? How come we ain't movin' yet? You just sittin' around strokin' yerself up there again?!"
I smiled. It seemed like any time Jesse got animated or excited about anything his heavy Texas accent would really assert itself.
A voice from the cockpit area that seemed almost to be mockingly mimicking Jesse's accent shouted, "Keep yer shirt on, ya prick! Of course I'm strokin' myself, and I ain't done yet! You know how big this thing is. It takes me twice as long to stroke it as it takes you to stroke yours!"
Jesse snickered and said, "I love that guy! That's our pilot, Benjamin. I want you to meet him as soon as he gets us in the air. I think you'll be a bit surprised."
He strapped himself into the seat next to me and in moments we began to move slowly forward and the plane turned to face down the runway, then there was a deep roar as the engines spooled up to maximum and the lumbering beast began to bump and bounce as it made its way down the dirt runway faster and faster. Just as the ride was starting to become almost unbearably bone-jarring, it suddenly smoothed out and we were climbing at a steep rate into the sky.
Nothing was said for a while as we continued to climb, and after a while we tilted as the aircraft turned towards it's final heading.
Jesse unstrapped himself and shouted, "Benji, as soon as you get this bucket of bolts pointed in the right direction, hand over the controls to Greg and get yer ass back here. I want to introduce you to someone."
"Yeah, yeah," Benjamin said, "And I told you never to call me Benji! I wasn't named after that stupid little dog in the movies! Don't make me kick your ass when I come back there!"
"Fine, whatever, you're Benjamin, I get it!" Jesse shouted back, then he smiled at me and said, "He's one of my favorite people in the world. I can't wait to see the look on your face when you meet him."
I began to wonder what the hell the big deal could be. I unbuckled my seat belt as I waited to find out.
The plane leveled off and after a short time I saw a shadow at the entrance to the cockpit. The pilot was coming out to be introduced. What I saw when he came through the doorway nearly stopped my heart. I couldn't believe my eyes at first. I briefly wondered if this was some sort of elaborate joke.
Jesse began to guffaw and slap at his thigh and I looked over at him as he said through tears of laughter, "You oughta see yer face, Jake! You're white as a ghost! I knew you'd be surprised!"
He laughed until he got most of it out of his system, and when he finally got himself under control, he stood up and said, "Jake, this is Benjamin. Benjamin, meet Jake, our newest progenitor and all around great guy."
I stood up to face the pilot and he grinned at me warmly, exposing his brilliant white canine teeth. He held out his hand and said, "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Jake. You can call me Ben."
I shook the proffered hand while simply staring at him, slack-jawed.
Ben was about six foot two or so in height and was extremely well built. He had wonderfully broad shoulders, big arms, narrow firm hips, and a rippling washboard abdomen. He had a rounded, muscular butt with thick, powerful, muscular thighs, and big, manly feet. He had a strong and confident grip, too.
What was most surprising about him, though, was that he was an upright, walking, talking wolf.
He was dressed only in a heavy pair of black, military style boots with thick wool socks, and athletic shorts with a very full crotch. The shorts had been modified to allow him to stick his thickly furred tail through the back. Other than that, the only other accessory he was wearing was a military looking watch on his left wrist.
He was covered in thick fur that looked exactly like a wolf's. He was a wonderful chocolate brown from head to toe highlighted here and there with lighter shades of brown and tan, and there was a patch covering a good part of his chest of slightly longer fur that was a rich cream color. There was a light trail of the same cream colored fur leading down his hard, furry belly to the line of his over-stuffed shorts. He had a patch of slightly longer cream colored fur right under his chin, too. His armpits had a longer bit of fur that was also much lighter, almost the same cream color as the fur on his chest.
I briefly wondered if he had 'pubic fur' and if it would be the same rich, cream color.
He had the muzzle of a wolf and a wolf's ears. He had deep brown eyes that shone with intelligence and a mischievous looking grin on his wolfish face.
It was literally as though someone had taken a muscular human male, cut off his head and replaced it with that of a wolf, and then covered him from head to toe with wolf fur and added a long, bushy tail.
The hand I was still holding was shaped like an extra thick and heavy version of a human hand. It was furry on the back but in the palm and the inside of the fingers it was like the pads of a paw. Instead of fingernails he had short, stubby claws that grew out of the ends of his fingers.
He was truly stunning to behold. I couldn't believe my eyes. He was all wolf, and all man at the same time. He was amazingly attractive.
"Excuse the lack of professional attire on him, Jake. Ben and his kind get a bit warm in climates like this so they don't like to wear much."
Ben said, "Yeah, I'd wear nothing if I could get away with it. I have to wear shorts to cover up my junk, or I know for sure its magnificence would eventually turn Jesse gay, and he wouldn't like that."
Jesse laughed and Ben continued, "I wear socks and boots to lock away my rich foot odor so it won't offend anyone."
My eyes immediately and involuntarily went straight down to his big feet, covered in his thick wool socks and big, black leather boots, and my mind wandered to how wonderful they would probably smell to me. I started to feel my new, fleshier penis begin to wake up and pay attention.
I looked back up at Ben's face and I saw he was smiling like he might have guessed what I'd been thinking.
Jesse grimaced and said, "Yeah, after the amount of time I've spent cooped up with this guy, I can attest to the fact that one thing Ben's kind inherited from humans is the huge number of sweat glands in their feet, pits and groin. I think they even have double what we do, poor SOBs."
I said, "I don't see that as anything but a bonus. It so happens I really like that sort of thing. I'm sure it's not as bad as you make it out, Jesse."
Benjamin chuckled and said, "You'll have to get a bit closer to the right spots on me to really find out for yourself, Jake," and I noticed he was checking me out now from head to toe.
He looked back into my face, increased the grip on my hand, and he winked suggestively.
Jesse chuckled and said, "You'll want to watch out for Benjamin, Jake. He likes guys, and the lupines have sort of a thing for the progenitors. I can see he's developing a crush on you already."
The beautiful looking creature turned to Jesse and while once again mimicking his accent, he said, "Shut yer hole, you! Mind yer own business!" Then he looked back at me and winked again and he grinned at me.
I smiled back and said, "It really is a pleasure to meet you, Ben. Can I ask, um, where you come from?"
"Benjamin is one of the first of the new breed, Jake. There's only a few older than him, and not by much. Samuel calls them canis sapiens idaltu. I'm sure you can figure out what canis sapiens means, but in case your wondering, idaltu means 'first born'. We just call them lupines. You're what, now, Ben, twenty-eight years old?"
Ben nodded, but he just kept staring at me and smiling.
"How did this happen?" I asked, "How many more like Ben are there?"
"There are well over a hundred by now I think. We've been keeping them a secret. I don't think even the spooks from the government know they exist yet. I'm guessing if they did it would be quite a big deal for them. Ben doesn't normally come along on missions to populated areas, but he was the only pilot available and I had to get someone over here in a hurry to come get you. Benjamin is my favorite and most trusted pilot. Anywhere I go I like to have him take me there."
"But, how?" I asked, "How did he end up like he is? He looks incredible!"
Ben smiled at me and said, "So do you, Jake."
Jesse laughed and said, "Uh oh. I hope I ain't started something that might get me into trouble. I just remembered Grace told me you like guys, too, Jake."
Ben's face suddenly lit up and he was grinning from ear to ear.
I grinned back at him and said, "Yeah, I do. Has Elias met Ben yet? I think he might like him a lot."
"No, Jake, none of the new progenitors from Nazas have as far as I know. Grace hasn't met Ben yet either. There aren't any other lupines at the Alaska compound. We keep them all at a different location that's more secret and safe. Ben is one of the few who were trained as pilots and I love to work with him so he's never far from me. Anyhow, let's sit back down and I'll explain a bit about Ben and his kind."
The three of us each took a jump seat and Jesse continued, "Have you ever wondered what might happen if you were straight and you got busy with Gale?"
I honestly never had, but I was beginning to get an idea of just what might result. "I suppose she might eventually get pregnant. But I can't even imagine what might happen when she changes to a wolf while she is."
"You're getting warm, but it's not quite as straightforward as you might think," Jesse said, "See, a human woman's estrus period is on a timed cycle. You could say that roughly one month from when her timer starts up, her body will drop an egg into place and she'll be ready to get pregnant.
"Thing is, once a woman becomes a werewolf, something interesting happens. Every time she changes back to a human, her timer starts up, so that it will be a month before she goes into estrus. That means she basically never will again. Not for the rest of her life. A human shaped werewolf can never get pregnant because each time they change to wolf, and then back to human, the timer resets and starts over again, so it will never tick all the way down."
It made sense. If the timer is always just starting up, the most it could ever run is four days at the phase of the new moon and then it would be reset again. A female werewolf would never have a period again.
"On the other hand," he continued, "it's a bit different for a wolf. The wolf side of werewolves seems to follow most closely to the gray wolf. I don't know how much you know about them, but a female gray wolf goes into estrus only once each year. The most important thing is that it ain't on a timed cycle. It's driven by the seasons. Gray wolves come into estrus at a certain time in the winter months and will stay in 'heat' for seven days. That means that when the right time of year comes, as soon as the female werewolf changes into wolf form at the right part of winter, she will be in estrus and ready to get pregnant. Because it lasts for seven days, even the new moon phase can't block it completely. She'll still have a few nights of estrus left.
"Bottom line is, once a female becomes a werewolf, she can only get pregnant while she's in wolf form and has sex with a male werewolf at the right time of the winter season, when she's in heat. She won't have a litter like wolves do. She'll normally only have one baby at a time which, it turns out, is an equal mix of human and wolf, creating a beautiful person just like Benjamin here."
Ben smiled and said, "Aww, shucks, General. I knew you really loved me even though you're always such an asshole."
General? It seemed my guess was right. Jesse is high up in the ranks indeed. It seemed they had a fairly relaxed army though, judging by the way they jab at each other in fun.
Jesse chuckled and added, "There's something really special about Ben and his kind, and it's the biggest reason why we've kept them secret. They're immune to the change, and they can't be made into werewolves. Something in their genes blocks it."
My eyes opened wide as I realized the implication of that, "That means, if the government's scientists got hold of them..."
Jesse nodded and said, "They're the missing piece they need to more easily get the result they're after. Up till now their work at coming up with a cure was mostly trial and error based on educated guesses. They're gettin' closer, but it ain't easy. They're trying to build something from nothing. The lupines are just what those bastards need in order to develop the cure. If they could get hold of a lupine's genes and figure out which part blocks the werewolf infection, they'd have their cure and they could deliver it through the viral vector to the whole world and they'd control it all."
"I don't get it though," I said, "If they're immune to the change, then what's happening to them while they're in the womb and their mother is changing back and forth almost every night?"
"They're safe inside the womb, not changing. That's what happens. They come out as tiny babies, Jake, just like humans. Cutest damn things I ever seen. Honestly, we don't quite understand the whole thing. When werewolves are in wolf form, we're just really gigantic wolves. It should follow that their babies should be pure wolves too. Samuel figures it's the fact that the mother is changing back and forth that pushes the fetus into this in-between state while the cells are first dividing in the early stages. It somehow bends itself to accommodate both forms the mother will switch between, so that it can survive her change back and forth while in her womb even though it's not a werewolf. It's both human and wolf, so the mother can take either form and the baby continues to grow inside her."
"Can lupines breed and make babies?" I asked.
Benjamin shook his head and said, "I sure as hell can't, no."
Jesse laughed and said, "You mean you don't want to, dummy, and that's just because you're gay."
Ben chuckled and I laughed.
Jesse continued, "They can breed. They're a completely viable species, even if the progenitors stopped making them. We need more genetic diversity though, for the species to stay viable. We need more progenitors making babies to add variety to the gene pool. I guess by now you figured out why we call ourselves progenitors. It means ancestor or parent. We, the werewolves, created this incredible new species from ourselves. They descended from us. We love them fiercely and we'll do anything to keep them safe."
"So, if you can't change or be a werewolf, Ben, does that mean you're physically aging? You must be if you were born as a baby and grew up to be this incredible manly male before me."
Ben smiled and nodded and said, "Yeah, that's right. We won't live forever. We don't know for sure how long we'll live yet. I'm one of the oldest. Samuel figures we'll live to be at least a hundred or so based on how we've developed from babies till now. Can't be sure, though."
"This is incredible!" I said, "A whole new intelligent species! It's fantastic!"
Jesse said, "Yup, it is. They've got the best of both human and wolf. Super sharp senses, incredible speed and strength, intelligence, language, and the sexiness of both species combined. We think of them as the next stage in evolution. They've got humans beat by a country mile as far as I'm concerned. That's another reason why we keep them so secret. The world would see them as a threat to human existence. They'd see lupines as competition for humans and when they find out how superior they are, the human governments would likely want to wipe them out eventually."
"This is a hell of a lot of information to take in. It's mind-boggling," I said.
Ben smiled and said, "Yeah, I'll bet it's all a bit of a shocker. Listen, I'm getting a bit beat. I was driving for a long time to get to you in the hospital and I ain't rested in a while. I think I'll take a bit of a snooze while we fly to Alaska. You should do the same, Jake. We're gonna be busy when we get there. The clock's ticking on Cole, and we'll need to get organized."
I nodded and said, "There's plenty of room in the RV. I can set the beds up for us."
"That would be real sweet of you, cuz. I was just gonna nod off right here in the jump seat, but I always get a sore neck when I do that. It never even occurred to me we got a luxury hotel back here with us," Jesse said.
Ben smiled at me and said, "Could I join you, Jake? I could use a bit of sack time too. If we're quiet we won't disturb the general here."
Jesse rolled his eyes and said, "You've got a job to do, pooch. You need to get back up there and keep Glenn from falling asleep at the stick. You're the pilot, remember?"
Benjamin looked disappointed and said, "Well, I hope to see a lot more of you, Jake." He turned to Jesse and asked, "Is Jake gonna be taking his orders from you from now on? Will he be with us all the time now?"
Jesse chuckled and said, "I think I might be taking my orders from him before too long, my furry friend. Jake's a kindred. A real strong one."
Ben's eyes went wide and he said, "No way! Big as he is, and a kindred, too? Holy shit! Did you get a look at him, Jesse? Does he have a lot of black?"
Jesse said, "I didn't see him for myself, but Jake says the parts he could see were all black. Not a trace of any other color."
Ben said, "Holy geez! He's blacker than Samuel, then! I can't wait to see you with my own eyes, Jake. You look so hot right now, but when you're a wolf... Hot damn! I think I need to get back to the pilot's seat so I can get back to strokin' for a bit while I think about it."
Jesse laughed and said, "You do that. We gotta get some rest. And about Samuel, let's just keep Jake's color to ourselves for now, OK? Samuel's got enough on his plate without starting to worry about any competition."
Ben nodded and said, "Yeah, that's probably a good idea. He's been in a real mood, lately. I doubt we'd bump into him any time soon anyhow. He's been busy with something lately and hasn't shown his face. Anyhow, I guess I'll get back to work then, Generalissimo." He saluted Jesse, then turned to me and said, "I'll see you when we land, Jake, OK? Please don't let this punk drag you off someplace without me."
I smiled and nodded and said, "You bet. We won't take off without you. There's someone I really want you to meet."
He grinned and nodded, then he turned and went back through the doorway into the cockpit.
Jesse turned to me and said, "He's a real sweet guy, Jake. He gets real lonely though. None of the other lupines have turned out to be gay so far. Not many of the werewolves are either and he's fairly particular anyhow. I can tell he's head over heels for you already. You should try to get to know him better. I think you'd be great for him."
"I think he'd be pretty great for me. I can't wait to introduce him to Elias. He's gonna flip."
Jesse smiled and nodded.
I led the way into the RV and pulled out the two large beds. Jesse was so tired he didn't bother undressing. He just crashed on top of the blankets and he was snoring loudly within minutes.
I lay down on the other bed, thinking there was no way I could possibly get any sleep after spending so much time unconscious over the last three days. Not to mention the information that was now zipping around in my brain.
I couldn't believe so much was going on that we hadn't been aware of. We thought our werewolf lives would be so secret and quiet. Now, we would be part of a large and growing community. It felt good to know we were not going to be outsiders after all. We would be part of society again and we would be as normal as all the other werewolves.
Elias and Grace were safe and I would be with them in several hours. The only thing I had to worry about now was getting Cole back. With luck, the general's army would make that possible.
As I contemplated the new reality we were facing, the heavy thrum of the plane's engines and the gentle bobbing and rocking on the air currents eventually lulled me off to sleep.***
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?
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