A different take on the traditional M/M werewolf romance topic: less romantic, less traditional, more disturbing and with conniving wolves, vampires and submissive marines.
You will find a discussion forum for this book at: https://www.gayauthors.org/forums/topic/40241-metaseries-ranting/. Comments can be emailed to Meta.JohnAR@gmail.com. Depending on reception, I will post more chapters.
And if any military boy wants to start a MetaPack, let me know ...
Meta & the Marines
"You are sure you don't want a car?" Prime asked, barely being able to control his kidlike excitement. His eyes sparkled like the advertising light bulbs for the rides in the entertainment park.
"Yes. I'm really not good at this. I have no senso-motoric coordination whatsoever. I'm lucky I can drive a regular car," Colt answered with a smile. He liked when Prime dropped his alpha shell and became an excitable young man.
"Okay, let us know if you change your mind." And Prime was gone to join his pack members who already waited in line close to the driving track.
The entertainment park noise wasn't unpleasant despite the cacophony of electric pop music, attention grabbing sound effects and random screams of guests in the roller coaster cars. After all the studying they had to get out of the house. And the evening was so pleasant, the first real warm evening this year. He could walk around just with a T-shirt. Of course, his wolves could go out with a T-shirt in the middle of winter in Canada and stay warm, but he couldn't. And he'd never liked temperatures that required a coat or a jacket during the day. Maybe he should have become the Meta of a dolphin school then instead of a wolf pack, he said to himself, wondering for a second whether there were other animal shifters and wolves as the plethora of cheap shifter romance novels suggested.
They decided to stop at a Go-kart place. The wolves were eager to race; nearly as eager they normally were to run.
He for himself was just happy to watch them during this evening. They'd been bantering all the time. Brian hitting CE's shoulder, who pretended to be in pain. CE suggesting to take scary rides, which Prime normally agreed to prove he was even tougher than his enforcer. Unfortunately, many of the rides had weight restriction below CE's weight so it was difficult for them to really find out who was the most fearless.
When the previous group came to a finish and stopped their rattling cars, the wolves quickly stormed the track to claim the cars in front for their own. Their little engines roared angrily while they waited for the green light. And with wolf speed reaction time they were off. The other racers must think the three mean cheated driving off when the red light was on, but Colt saw on the speed tracking screen that all of them crossed the starting line after the lights had jumped green. It's just that humans wouldn't be able to react so quickly as wolf shifters.
Colt hoped this wouldn't out them to the wider public one day. But he also felt his must have happened before, so surely there were quite some `cover up' processes in place, like they did with the Alpha3 party.
The rattling of the cars was unpleasant, but his boys didn't care. Brian had quickly managed to get in front of all the drivers. Colt wondered for a second why Brian always drove the truck when they went out together. Until now he'd thought that was because Prime and CE were the best fighters to protect Colt and pack in case they were attacked. But maybe there was a second reason as in Brian actually being the best driver in case something did happen and they had to make a run for it.
Prime and CE successfully blocked Brian's rear so none of the other racers could get even close to him. With this protection he managed to drive undisturbed, clocking the fastest lap on the notification screen. Once that had been recorded, the real race began. Prime rear-ended Brian repeatedly and without mercy, as if to reassert his claim of leader of the pack; he even ignored the warning from the Go-Kart track manager, who clearly expressed his dissatisfaction over the loudspeaker.
It seemed though that Prime's crude tactic succeeded: When Brian drifted a bit to the left in a hard turn to the right, Prime didn't hesitate and cut through, taking the lead as he was entitled to. CE followed immediately, putting Brian in third trailing the two big guys, who now fought for the victory of the race.
Colt nearly felt sorry for the Go-kart cars; he was sure they hadn't been driven so recklessly for a long time. But he smiled. He loved the boys had their innocent fun. He felt that now with him in the pack they had to calm down not to exclude him, the nerd. While he believed they did it happily, he still felt it was a compromise that wasn't necessary. And he didn't even want to think about the bodyguard duties. He felt he was more a drain on the pack than an advantage.
"Boys are so competitive," a gentle voice to his right said insinuating years of wisdom.
He looked slowly to his side, unwilling to lose sight of his men. A cute girl with dark brown curly hair and round glasses was picking on her cotton candy with a hint of disgust.
"Yep. All that testosterone." Colt admired the intelligent light brown eyes and the inquisitive gentle face with the delicately small eyebrows.
"Sometime I wish they would grow up. It can be so primal."
"Maybe," Colt shrugged his shoulders keeping his eyes on CE and Prime pushing each other hard for leadership. Seemed the girl had made some bad experiences with boys, but he didn't want to ask. Wrong time, wrong girl, wrong place.
"By the way I'm Spring," the girl introduced herself, seemingly keen on continuing the conversation.
"Colt. Nice to meet you."
"You are in our history class. You know: men going to war all the time in Europe," she said like reprimanding Colt that he introduced himself instead of remembering the same class.
"Indeed. I think, you always sit on the left in the front," it finally dawned on him.
"Do you like it?" Colt answered. He wasn't really interested but it felt like the right thing to ask right now.
"Kinda. I mean it is good to know all those examples how men who think with their balls screw up the world."
"That's a bit harsh," Colt said already regretting he'd asked her. Surely, she was a major in gender studies.
"Not really. I mean look at Bush. Just loving to go to war under any pretenses." She picked a tiny piece of her cotton and put in her mouth with quite little enthusiasm.
Colt was irritated. He found the conversation quite uninspiring. "Seem you don't really like men."
"Oh." She blushed a bit. "I'm not a lesbian, if you think that," she quickly clarified. A bit too quickly.
"Not that I meant that, and not that it would make any difference," Colt added what he hoped was a politically correct comment, thought he didn't really believe it. For some reason he'd always been a bit of a homophobic asshole; having problems with men looking too effeminate and girls looking too butch. Maybe that was his Eastern European ancestry; or maybe just self-hate. In any case, he wanted to enjoy the evening and not have such pseudo serious discussions with a feminist.
"It's okay, Colt. I just felt you're bit different. Actually thinking with your brain." The compliment seemed genuine.
Colt smiled. "Thanks, Spring. I try to, despite raging hormones," he joked.
"Wanna work one of the group projects together?"
"Sure, as long it doesn't become a feminist propaganda piece ...," he wasn't worried about his grades; feminist propaganda pieces delivered by men tend to get quite good grades, but he knew he'd be bored to death in the process.
"So obvious?" she asked surprisingly cordial. "Sorry, just had a bad experience ... getting over it."
Colt had though so and tried to give her credit. "Sorry to hear that."
"Just defining parameters," he continued after a second trying to sound academic. Maybe this girl was a bit more interesting than he had thought. He knew how it was to be in a tough place when relationships didn't work out as one wanted. And not everyone could be in love with three hunks at the same time.
Beyond that, he'd been wrong with MaryAnn before she died, maybe he shouldn't judge Spring too early, especially when she was in a vulnerable phase.
"Cute goatee. Suits you," she said granting him a shy smile. "Why did you let it grow?"
Colt chuckled inside. He couldn't really talk about fucking three hunks every night increasing his hair growth.
"I guess I'm trying to look more primal."
She smiled given him a quick cheeky elbow kick into his side. "Not working. Makes you look even smarter. Like professor smart."
"Oh, wasn't going for that." He saw in the corner of his eyes that Brian took advantage of Prime and CE thinking it was between them, who would win the race at the end of this last loop. He accelerated in the last seconds and pushed between the two bigger men crossing the finish line just few inches before the others. He raised his fist in triumph.
"See," she pointed out. "As if winning in a toy race was an achievement."
"And if it wasn't a toy race?"
"Same thing," she was firm. "Anyway, I need to go back to my friends, they should be done with redoing their make up by now." It was obvious that she didn't consider make up a requirement for a girls' night out.
"Well, have a nice evening, Spring."
"Can I give you my phone number so we can hook up for the assignment?"
Colt handed her his phone with the contact list form open. As she was typing her name and number, Prime came up to them walking a bit too fast. Colt knew what was coming now and chuckled to himself.
"Everything okay here, Colt?" he asked.
Colt smiled a bit with schadenfreude. It was obvious Prime was jealous and fuming inside, desperately trying to keep a civil bearing.
Prime wasn't satisfied with the lame answer and went behind Colt to move his arms around the smaller guy pulling him tightly to his chest and putting his chin on Colt's head as if he was a little boy needing protection from the other mean kids. Colt tried to keep a straight face. Prime couldn't have staked his claim more visibly in public.
Spring's eyes darkened a bit with understanding. She handed him his phone saying: "Well, talk to you soon, Colt. Have a nice evening."
She didn't really acknowledge Prime and left throwing the last of her cotton candy into a garbage bin. Seemed she had hoped for a rebound.
"Beat your ass!" Brian shouted much too loud approaching them still with his right fist in the air. Colt could smell cherry flavored testosterone from a distance.
CE shook his head when he looked at the final results displayed at the manager's booth. He had been beaten by Brian and Prime by a fraction of a second.
"Got you, Prime."
"Sure you did, kid." Prime was surprisingly cool about not winning. Colt would have thought his alpha status would basically force him be number 1 in everything which was remotely manly. And racing was more than just remotely manly.
"He, it's not fun if you are not angry about it," Brian complained with a tad of disappointment and confusion.
"Not angry about it," Prime answered, holding Colt even tighter reasserting his claim.
"Can you let me go now, Alpha?" Colt asked slightly vexed, when the pleasant feeling of protection turned into one of suffocation.
"Sure, Casanova," Prime said, grudgingly opening his arms.
CE looked at them with a quizzing expression.
"Our Meta is becoming quite an attraction with his new goatee and confidence." Prime straightened his T-Shirt and rolling up his sleeves to expose the tattoo a bit more.
Colt wondered how much of this was conscious and how much just alpha instinct. "Come on, Prime, she's in my history class."
"Maybe, but she wanted you bad."
"Nope. Could smell it. Even on the race track," Prime insisted, as if confirming historical facts like the start of the civil war.
"Oh shit, that's why you got distracted." Brain realized his victory had a little blemish.
"Yep, our Meta was being seduced by an ovulating female," he stated in a way that made it clear he didn't like it.
"That's nonsense. Every research shows women prefer hunky aggressive men when they are ovulating and more accommodating ones when they aren't," Colt lectured, wondering for a second why he knew that trivial fact and why he didn't consider himself hunky and aggressive enough to be attractive to an ovulating female.
"I think I need to join your classes. First this guy in accounting and now this ...", he suppressed the word he really wanted to use, "this girl ... ready to get impregnated."
"Gross," Brian commented, obviously not thinking about the race anymore.
"Well, your PDA made it clear she had no chance," Colt added with little emotion. Prime was clearly overreacting, but he also knew he couldn't do anything about it. He was part of his pack, and he would make sure his pack was safe, even from sexual advances. At the same time he thought Prime was right. Maybe she had been hitting on him. He didn't really understand as he thought his preference for men was widely known by now. But maybe she wasn't even really into him; just desperate for a rebound to feel attractive after what seemed a sour affair with a primal man.
"Sorry, Prime, that we didn't pick it up," CE said with a low voice.
"Okay, guys. This is too much. I just had a friendly chat. And my pants are still closed." Colt tried his authoritarian Meta voice that worked quite often.
Not this time, though. "But with a boner," Brian snickered.
"Of course, that happens when you guys are around. You remember." He thought quickly how he could close that topic. "What about steak?"
"Yeah," CE answered quickly and eagerly.
Prime gave Colt a knowing look saying: `This is not over,' but didn't say anything but: "Let's go."
They sat at their usual table in their favorite steak house - in their usual positions, Colt had long given up on trying to sit at the aisle, as he'd preferred before he got to know the wolves. He already considered it a success that they ordered some grilled asparagus next to the bloody steaks.
"Anything else I can get you, gentlemen?" the young girl asked bubbly. She was obviously earning some extra bucks next to college and realized this was a great place to flirt with handsome young men - like Brian.
"No, that'll be all for the moment," Prime closed the order dismissing her.
"Nothing for you either, honey?" She looked expectantly at Brian, who gave her a polite smile while shaking his head.
Colt snorted in exaggerated disbelief and said: "Our friend is fine as well. Thank you." His voice was icy.
The girl with the short red hair and an innocent Mid Western look despite her forceful flirting attempts, held her head high, turned around crisply and was off.
"Now that is what I call 'hitting on someone,'" Colt said with slight exhaustion not dropping his gaze from the girl who moved to the bar to key in their order.
Brian quickly looked down on the table as if a foreign inscription had to be deciphered.
"She was a thing," Prime confirmed. "But that doesn't change what happened at the Go-kart place."
"You remember in the Cocktail bar? That was hitting on someone." Colt couldn't understand how his innocent chatter with a lovesick classmate even compared to the flirting of these women who would spread their legs within hours.
"It doesn't matter how many examples you bring up, Colt, this girl was hot for you. Literally."
"Gross," CE made a face as if he just stepped into dog poop.
"Prime, you are seriously mistaken. Brian, what do you think?"
The cute blond boy looked up a bit scared; first he focused on Colt, than at the Alpha. Seemed he didn't want to take side, as he knew he would get into trouble either way. Nevertheless, he cleared his throat. "I don't know whether she wanted to get into your pants, Colt, but what I do know is you have changed over the past months. And these changes seem to attract the boys and the girls."
The three other men looked at him expectantly.
Brian, though, couldn't answer as one of the other waiters placed the big glasses of water, CE's mandatory milk shake and Colt's equally obligatory Diet Coke in front of them. Of course, he put the shake in front of Colt, who gently shoved it to CE, who blushed a little bit. They might soon get a reputation in this restaurant, as this was the second time they were served by another waiter due to flirting issues.
"So?" Colt encouraged Brian when the coast was clear again.
"I mean, look at you. Somehow the goatee and the healthy skin make you look less teen age boyish. You keep your shoulders straight nowadays; when you stand your legs are spread as if you had a huge third leg, which needs space. I guess the vampire killing training with CE is paying off. And sometimes you walk over the campus as if you owned the place."
Colt looked into the blue eyes stunned but not displeased. He'd always envied guys who walked as if they owned the world. Maybe he could be a little bit like that.
And Brian broke the eye contact and looked at the table again, playing with the straw in his water glass.
"You're kidding me."
CE slurped. And while he tried to mix his shake with the ice, he added: "I think our training is paying off, Meta. Your arms are much tighter; and you keep a good posture."
Prime smiled. "Told you so. I think you've always been hit on, you just didn't notice because you didn't believe in yourself much. But now you're fucking three men on a daily basis, your confidence shows."
Colt chocked, blushing while looking around to check that nobody had heard Prime's last statement.
Prime smiled mischievously when he had to hit Colt's back hard to help him regain his breath. It was obvious he wouldn't care if the whole restaurant had heard him.
Colt wiped the tears of coughing from his eyes with his napkin. He wanted to say something, but the steaks arrived, and the redheaded waitress put them in front of them with professional courtesy and without making special eye contact with Brian, who desperately tried not to look at her at all.
Colt wasn't watching her leave like before but tried to process what he'd just heard. Was he coming across differently now that he had his men? Was it true that when you didn't want anything anymore, it did come to you because you didn't try too hard anymore?
Could Prime be right that Sam in accounting and Spring at the fair really wanted more than just class advise?
He looked up. The boys were staring at him. "What?" he asked until it hit him. "Oh, sorry, distracted," he said CE style and started to cut a piece off his steak. When he chewed on it, the three men eagerly started to eat. Now he was officially their Meta, they wouldn't start eating before he did. He was grateful they didn't do it traditionally where sometimes the alpha had to be finished with his meal before the others were allowed to eat. He couldn't have that and Prime agreed wholeheartedly.
"Thanks, Meta," Brian said softly.
"Everything OK?" Colt pushed his thoughts aside and looked at the angelic face diagonally in front of him. For some reason he felt there was more to this than the waitress giving him big blue eyes.
"What's going on?" Colt insisted.
"I think it isn't only you, who changed." Brian put down his knife and had big gulp.
"Guys, what's going on?" Colt was irritated. This evening did not go well: first the incident at the fair and now this awkward conversation at the table. There should be banter and laughter not long faces and forced questions and answers.
Prime sighed, put down his silverware and touched Colt's thigh. Some time ago, Colt would have shrieked because of the jolt and potentially thrown his fork all over the table. Nowadays he just enjoyed the energy flow and smiled encouragingly. "I think what Brian wants to say is we also get more attention ..."
"Even more?" Colt quickly put his hand over his mouth, as he seemed to have shouted the two words.
CE nodded solemnly.
"You couldn't walk into a restaurant without a girl wanting to get in your pants. What is it now? They rip down your pants on the spot?" Colt was slightly agitated.
"Not yet," Prime chuckled after he actually had eaten a full asparagus without throwing it up again.
Brian put his knife down again and seemed to look for something in his pocket. He put several snippets of paper on the table. "Sorry, Meta. I didn't do anything, but I got all of these today on the campus." He was blushing again and expecting to get seriously punished.
When Brian started to eat again, Colt pushed his plate aside and unfolded the little pieces of paper. Phone numbers written in different colors: the numbers of Sherry, Tanya, Irene, Alex (handwriting female) and Bob.
"Wow," was the only thing Colt could say.
"Please. I'm not doing anything to lead them on." Brian was close to freaking out; he tilted his head so much to the side Colt could see the angry veins pulsating in this strong neck. He was offering himself to the Meta to reestablish harmony.
Colt's hand crossed table, touching the cute boy. He concentrated to send soothing waterfall scents to him. He could hardly bite Brian's neck right now.
Brian smiled briefly.
"It's okay. I believe you. I won't punish you."
Brian sighed with relief.
Worried blue eyes.
"Why do you think it is happening?"
Prime lifted his T-Shirt sleeve again, exposing more of the tattoo.
"Amongst others", Brian's voice was still thin, but he talked. "I think we all look so happy. Well, not right now," he joked relieved about the laughter of the men around the table. "The tattoos make us more bad boys; and a blond Mormon bad boy seems to be irresistible."
"Understand. - CE, do you want my steak?"
CE smiled and nodded. Colt pushed his half unfinished steak on CE's plate, who continued to eat silently.
"Is this happening to all of you?"
"Yes, Meta. Two phone numbers today. Two guys. Seems I'm not attracting girls so much ..." He didn't seem to be disappointed, though.
"I throw numbers away immediately, Colt. I remember you threatened to cut off my balls ... and I prefer to keep them where they are." Prime was dead serious when he looked into the Meta's eyes to convey his uncompromising loyalty. He even lifted his head a bit to expose his neck as if to invite Colt to bite him to reassure himself of Prime's submission.
"Seriously? Fucking hell." Colt played with his phone to keep his hands busy. "I'm not sure what I should think about that."
"Word is going to get around that we're not available," Prime said with a glimmer of hope attending to his steak again.
"Which will make you even more interesting to everyone. What is tough to get is all the more valuable." Colt wasn't convinced.
"Do you trust us?" Prime asked.
"With my life." Colt hesitated for a second thinking about what he just said. "And I think for the first time I've said this, it's not even an exaggeration."
"So nothing is going to happen. I think we all have to learn to live with the fact that we're hot," Prime stated trying to lighten the mood a bit.
"Easy for you to say. I'm sure you could have gotten laid at the age of 13."
Prime smiled at the boy, who was not a boy anymore, but a handsome, intelligent, young man, who seemed to have found his place in life. "By girls who want to have an alpha so they can have alpha pups."
"Still, new for me", Colt insisted.
"Don't worry, I'll be watching over you like a hawk."
Colt chuckled. "That is part of my worry."
"Noted, though. And I'll be watching you guys. I guess I can't mark your more than I already have," he said.
"You could, but knowing you, I don't think you'd like facial tattoos or piercings," Prime smiled at him while he put his plate away, clean as if had come freshly from the dishwasher.
"Maybe you should be happy that you have pack members, who're so attractive," CE tried a bit clumsily.
"Normally I would. But something in me cringes every time I see somebody touching one of you," Colt confessed to his own shock.
"You're definitely become more wolf. Very possessive."
"And I have the feeling you're proud about this," Colt pushed slightly against Prime's shoulder, regretting it immediately, though. Prime had barely moved while his own hand hurt.
"A bit. I mean it's risky to take a human into a pack."
"Is it? And how risky is it for a human to fuck three wolf shifters?"
"So what do we do now about this? We're going to drive ourselves crazy with this possessiveness."
"Understand. I guess I need to learn to accept I have three dads now who want to keep me pure for their pack," Colt continued sarcastically hoping for a bit of contradiction.
But the wolves just nodded.
"Wow. What did I get myself into here?"
"Regrets?" Prime asked without thinking about the implications of his question.
"No," Colt's answer was as quick as it was firm. He noticed his three men smiled at his instinctive reply, relief spreading across their handsome faces. "Never. I love you; so much it hurts me. But I will learn to deal with this. But you guys need to help me."
They looked at him expectantly.
"I want you to hand those numbers back immediately to whoever is giving them to you. Politely, but firmly."
"Sir, yes, Sir," was the quiet answer.
"And please only 'rescue' me from men; no need to get all agitated about girls even if they ovulate." He rolled with his eyes.
"I'll try, Meta," Prime agreed.
"Good. Now, I want some desert and then let's go home. We have work to do."
Another three weeks of work was lying in front of them on the rug. And it seemed CE's payday theory was right. There was a significant increase in vampire numbers in the night from the last Friday of the month to the following Saturday.
"Why? What do I need to know about vampires? Like where do they come from? Do they fuck and give birth?" Colt looked at Brian.
"No." Brian got up and got something from his backpack. "By the way, I found the book I wanted to give to you. Was hard to get."
Colt took the book covered in old broken dark red leather with an intrinsic archaic pattern on it. He opened the lid. The first page said: "Of wolf shifters and vampires. London, 1895."
"Thanks, I'll be careful with it." Colt got up and put it on the coffee table. "So where do they come from?"
CE also got up to get some of the beef jerky. Colt didn't understand how he could be hungry again after one and a half gigantic steaks, but didn't say anything. They'd had enough tense discussions for this night. Getting distracted by a potential vampire hunt seemed to invigorate the pack. Not surprisingly, given their genetic disposition.
"As far as I understand they don't procreate. This book postulates all vampires are people who died years ago, but their souls didn't cross to the other side, neither to heaven nor to hell. Somebody joked that even hell has standards. - Anyway, years later they return back from the dead as half dead."
"Just like that?"
"Not sure. Normally, they come out of graves."
"Great horror movie cliché," Colt said but indicated to Brian to continue.
"It doesn't have to be the cemetery they were buried in. Just anyone on Earth."
"Must be confusing. You died in 1710 in Brazil and you get out of a cemetery in 2010 in Sweden," Colt brainstormed. But he thought the vampire's claim to be from pre-Napoleonic Paris made sense in this context.
Brian shrugged his shoulders.
They looked at the map in front of them.
"But there is no cemetery on campus," Prime said doubtfully.
"I know. That's why I'm not sure." Brian scratched his head under the sun bleached blond hair. No wonder, the girls were all over him, even Colt got a boner right now just watching him.
Prime looked at him with a slightly mischievous smile but didn't say anything. And Colt didn't react anymore. He knew the wolves detected his arousal faster than he knew himself. And he knew they liked it. Sometime he felt they nearly provoked him to get a boner, teasing him.
"So where is the center of all of this?"
"Looks like at the `Gregory Hall,'" Brian suggested.
"CE would you be so nice and get my laptop?"
Colt typed; clicked on his tracking pad. And then turned the laptop around for the others to see. "'Gregory Hall' was originally a church. Could that be enough?"
Prime and Brian shrugged their shoulders.
"I guess we know where we going to go to tomorrow after class ..."
"Doesn't look unusual."
The four men walked through Gregory Hall. None of them had ever been in there. Baroque music and theater had never been one of their interests. And that's normally what Gregory Hall was used for -- next to some boring art exhibitions, as CE had pointed out, as if he'd been talking about a contagious decease.
The stained window glass was actually quite appealing. Now that the sun was setting, the rays painted esoteric patterns on the light grey walls. In the front, where Colt guessed the altar must have been originally, a simple wooden stage had been erected. The church benches had long gone and cheap chair rows were facing the stage nowadays.
Colt looked down, surprised his steps didn't make any sounds anymore on the stone, realizing a gigantic carpet covered the floor in the center. It was round and scruffy dark brown, nothing like their dark red fluffy rug on which they loved to fall asleep puppy bundle style.
"Brian, can you get to the door and look out for visitors?"
"Prime, CE, let's move some of those chairs so we can see what is under this carpet."
Colt was afraid the whole campus could hear them. The chairs made unpleasant screeching noises when collapsed and put aside. And the wide hall seemed to have an impressive acoustic quality amplifying the noise. No wonder it was used for music and theater performances.
Once they had removed around 30 chairs, they started to roll the carpet until it become too heavy to continue.
They looked at the partly revealed floor. Nothing extraordinary. Yes, there was an exquisite round pattern drawn by darker stone in the light grey floor. The pattern mirrored the style of the round window in the Eastern wall, which would originally have been above the altar. It looked as if the morning sun would draw these shadows on the floor coming through the window, now made permanent with darker tiles.
Colt knelt down. His fingers touched the gap between the dark stone and the light stones. But it didn't look like there was a gap. He put his ear on the floor, but couldn't hear anything.
"Mmmh," was his only comment when he got up. He just had felt something, but he wasn't sure what.
After they'd unrolled the carpet and put up the chairs in orderly rows again, they walked out of the former church updating Brian, who leisurely strolled at the entrance as if there would be nothing more natural than hanging out in front of an empty church.
"So that's a dead end?"
Prime and CE weren't happy.
"Not sure," Colt scratched his beard. "Do we have access to some remote cameras and microphones?"
Prime looked at him with surprise. "Do you want to bug the place?"
"The only way to really find out what's going on in there next last Friday."
"But what if it isn't the right place?" CE asked.
Colt smiled. "I have a strange feeling that it's this former church. Something goes on in there on those Fridays. Like a ritual."
"Would be a bit too cliché again, but after all these months nothing surprises me anymore. Could be a black vampire mass ..."
"Okay. I think we can get some of that stuff," CE volunteered.
"Good. We'll install it the day before that Friday to make sure it doesn't get found in the meanwhile."
At home, Colt shuddered.
"You okay?" Prime asked worried.
Prime hugged him tightly. The wolf had a furnace like temperature and Colt inhaled the smell like an addict. "What's bothering you?"
"I'm afraid this thing is much bigger than we can handle," Colt said honestly.
Prime kissed the young man, who raped his mouth like a serial sex offender. "We can always decide to go somewhere else."
"Like Texas?" Colt asked with a bit of derision. "No, we'll find a way. Together we will find a way."
After they had showered, Colt cleared his throat: "Men, do you mind if we sleep together on the rug tonight?" For some reason, he wanted all of them around him now. Maybe he was afraid; maybe he needed their touch to calm him down.
The men looked at him as if Christmas had come early. "Sure, Sir," was the excited answer.
As Colt snuggled into the blanket they had given him so he wouldn't freeze during the night, Prime observed him closely. "What?"
"Why are you so sure about this hall, this former church?" Prime asked.
When he told them, they closed in on him as if they never wanted to leave him again for the rest of their lives.