That this other creature, this other 'self', has been the real you all along. That you've simply been trying to chain it up and hide it away in the basement of your soul. Much the same way we do with Dex when he gets a bit too frisky for his own good. You've been spending a majority of your life trying to hide it. Trying to tuck it away where no one else will ever see it. Afraid that they'll judge you...even while hiding one of their own. It begins to feel so ridiculous. Almost hilarious. And as the calling creeps into your perception...it begins to feel REALLY good. It begins to feel free. And you can't figure out why you were ever scared of it in the first place. It is the most honest part of your being. The most effective method of gaining the joy and satisfaction from the life that you've been trying so hard to find. The calling is the beast. The beast is me. At long last, it was finally winning. I had so little desire to keep it at bay any longer. So little fear to keep me from falling completely under it's spell. And as we walked down that dirt road towards the raging party ahead...we became one. Man and beast...and the irrelevant collection of lesser animals before us.
Sinking in never felt so 'real'.
We approached the giant two story hay loft, all walking in our usual positions. I noticed that my place had become a bit more defined this time around. More confident. Cyrus led the way of course, with Scout being his ever faithful satellite. In fact, being so far outside of our usual stomping grounds, I noticed that Scout spent a great deal of time walking out in front of Cyrus the closer we got to the party. As though he were using himself as a shield for any possible problems that might come up. Then Sebastian and Kristin took their positions on Father's right and left side. Sebastian was always on the right. They never switched places. I could never understand why that was. But as Father's main advisors, they were always close enough to lean in and communicate with him at any time without effort. Kriegar was in the center, protecting Cyrus' back at all costs. He never really had the need to look around much, or scan the area He merely needed to be ready, in case any of us told him to strike out in any direction at a moment's notice. Both Shank and Razor kept a vigilant watch of us all from the rear. Their footsteps in perfect sync with one another. 'Herding' us all together and keeping us moving as a single unit at all times. There were only two of them...but I knew that they were in tune enough with the entire pack that they could provide a full 360 degrees of protection for us all, no matter what happened. It truly was an immaculate design.
What I noticed most of all though, was that I had now been elevated to a position where I could walk side by side with John Boy. I was certain that John Boy would have outranked me by a long shot in the order. Maybe he still does. Perhaps he was appointed the task of watching me...'without' watching me. An idea that was cemented further in my mind when I looked over at him, and a very gentle smile crossed his lips without even turning his head to acknowledge the fact that he knew I was staring. Why would I even be surprised at this point. John Boy knew everything.
And then....the last thing that I noticed was Dex. Where he once took more of a center position with Kriegar, moving back and forth between all of the others without any kind of a steady stride...Dex now seemed to keep a much tighter orbit around me instead. So close, in fact, that we would occasionally bump shoulders. Dex didn't seem to really notice, as his every step seemed to be on of anxiety. Almost impatience. In a rush to finally get inside. But he never broke out of our circle. He walked in step with the rest of the group, even if he was bouncing on his heels the whole time.
People noticed us right away. Our 'difference' was so easily detected among the chaos of partying teenagers. But with my mind already buried under the weight of the calling, I felt no insecurity at all. In fact, it only fueled my ego further. Why shouldn't they look at us with curious eyes. Gods are walking amongst them...it is their DUTY to pay us tribute with their humility.
We entered the main structure, the lights were off, but the strobe lights and flashing lasers around the room seemed to be more than enough light for everyone. The entire place was a borderline moshpit, with kids as young as 14 and adults as old as 22, all thrashing about in unison. Not ALL Amish, obviously...but they were in the vast majority. The music was loud enough to rattle the walls, and a crowd surfing lead singer was screaming his lungs out over his live band's music. There was a small circle of beer kegs in every corner, and bottles of liquor on every table. Dancing, drugs, sex, alcohol...it was truly a demon's paradise. And we were being looked at as though we were the guests of honor.
We condensed our circle in order to speak. I felt our energies merging with one another, creating a powerful bond between us as Cyrus turned to smile in our direction. "I assume that I don't have to tell you all to keep your bad behavior within reason?" He said, and we nodded in unison. From the sides of the room, whispers could be heard. They never stopped watching. It was an exhilarating feeling. It gave us power. "Dexter? You'll be alright on your own tonight?" Cyrus asked, but Dex didn't answer. Instead, he responded with an evil smirk that hardly resembled the 'good' side of his personality. And as I looked at the bladed cross dangling by his side, I wondered if he had somehow switched back into something that I should be afraid of.
"I'm gettin' thirsty over here, boss man." Kriegar said, eyeing the liquor bottles around the room.
Cyrus smiled and gave him a nod. "You're all free to go. We'll rendezvous at a later time. Enjoy." And as soon as they were 'released' from their positions, the entire group seemed to all go their different ways, with the exception of the twins...who, of course, went off together. Dex had a slight hesitation in leaving my side, but he managed to break away and shuffle himself into the massive crowd around us. Cyrus then cheerfully put his arm over my shoulder and gave me a brief hug. "That, my boy, is the most genuine smile I've gotten from you in a long time." He said. "You're letting it in...aren't you?" I couldn't help but giggle a bit, as pleasing Father brought such a feeling of joy to my heart. "Good. Very good."
I felt a shove as two small hands pressed against my stomach, and I looked down a bit to see Scout standing there with his face frowned up. "Why don't we just leave him here and let him find his own fun?" He said, that same bratty tone sounding especially nasty this time around
"Scout..." Cyrus warned him, which only made Scout whine as he tugged gently on Cyrus' arm.
"He's FINE! Look at him! See? C'mon, let's GO somewhere, just you and me. We don't need him. C'monnnnn..."
But Cyrus pulled his hand away from him. "Mind your manners, boy." He said sternly, and Scout folded his arms with an angry pout. It was then that Cyrus moved in close to tenderly run his fingers through Scout's blond mop, and bring him some comfort. "Why don't you find us some refreshments, and perhaps a quiet place to relax. I will join you shortly."
Even though he tried to keep up a 'mad' facial expression, the hope in his voice gave him away. "You promise?"
Cyrus kissed his forehead, and Scout hugged him tight around the waist...still using his elbow to 'secretly' poke me in the ribs and wedge himself between us. "Go now. Go on. I'll come find you shortly."
"Ok..." He replied, and then flashed me a dirty look as he turned to leave us alone. There was a madness in me that caused me to smile at him in return, proud to have stolen his spotlight. And my smile remained, even after Scout turned away from me and gave me the finger behind his back.
"It is time that you took your superior place among the sheep, baby wolf." Cyrus grinned, pulling me close again. He reached out a hand in front of me, standing at my side, cheek to cheek, as he 'presented' the rest of the party to me. "The more you embrace your true nature, the more of a true advantage you'll have over the rest of these robots. They're beneath you. ALL of them. Never forget that. Never allow them to forget that. In nature...you're either the predator, or the prey. Choose a side and stick with it." He smiled wickedly at me, as I mirrored his grin with one of my own. "I think we both know which category we fit into, you and I."
"Yes, Father." I answered.
He saw me looking around the room, and gave me a light and playful smack on the cheek to get my attention. "Don't look at them as 'people'. They're not. They're animals. Every last one of them. Animals with an overactive imagination, each following a different delusion of their own making. Trying to justify their existence by pretending to be something more. It's a lie." He told me. "Don't believe me? Look at them. Watch them. Their social habits are no more unique or unpredictable than your average flock of seagulls, or wandering heard of buffalo. Do you see it?"
I looked around the room again. They all seemed different enough to me. But Cyrus was never content with simply telling me. He always had to make sure that the truth was accepted and embraced. "Animals." I said.
"Yes..." He turned me slightly to further display the other teens surrounding us in the party. "It's typical animal behavior. Subliminal, but easily noticed once you know what to look for."
"And exactly what am I looking for?"
"The patterns. Learn their habits, and exploit their weaknesses." He said "Look there...over there, just beyond the dance area. The males...the females...look for the patterns in their instincts."
"I don't understand." I said.
"You see, in any social situation, the men always remain fairly stationary. They naturally find a certain spot in the room, and 'claim' it as their territory. Other males may come to join him, but a dominant personality is chosen, and the others unconsciously accept their positions in his area. You see? There." Cyrus pointed to a group of boys circled around one of the kegs, and only one had claimed the duty of pumping it and serving the other people who came by for a drink. "And there." He showed me another small group of boys in a corner of the room, and they were all laughing as just one loud mouth boy was telling a very animated story of a sexual nature. Basically taking over the conversation completely. "And over there..." Cyrus showed me another boy sitting on a ratty old couch by himself, drinking out of a plastic cup, who had one of his feet up on the table in front of him. "You see? Animal behavior. Thy don't even realize they're doing it." Cyrus said.
"Now...the women? The women are different. You'll notice that the females often stay in small familiar clusters. They move in numbers, you see." Cyrus told me, just as I watched 5 Amish girls all walk past to go to the bathroom together. "In these social situations, the female groupings are much more transient. They move back and forth throughout the party, navigating from one male territory to another. It's a very subtle, unspoken, game...but the girls intrude on certain territories to get the male's attention. Which he gives readily, as he attempts to maintain a strong and stable territory with no weak members in his tribe. These little games will continue throughout the rest of the night. If you're watching, you'll notice the pattern. And exploit it to serve your purpose."
"My 'purpose'?" I smiled, feeling another dark wave of the calling wash over me.
"To manipulate the habits of your prey." Cyrus grinned. "A wolf notices and plots against the migrations of its food supply. A crocodile can memorize the times of morning that an animal comes to the river to drink everyday. Predators are naturally programmed to take every given advantage of the weaker species. This is something you must learn." He spun me around some more, causing us both to giggle a bit. "Find the weakest mentalities in the room. They will be the easiest to conquer. Physically, mentally, sexually...whatever you want, you can have it. Figure them out from a distance."
I saw an extremely cute boy walk by me, and without any hesitation, I flashed him a flirtatious smile, feeling my sexual desire rise and surge through me as he gave me a weird look in return. "Teach me, Father." I said quietly, and Cyrus seemed so impressed with my release.
"When you scan the room, know what to look for. The ones who are easily approachable will be casual in their stance, legs a bit wider than most if sitting down. They will speak with frequent hand gestures, and their eyes will dart around the room to take in the scenery of what's going on." Cyrus pointed a few out, and then told me, "Look for those who speak too loudly, or who appear too animated in conversations. Dressed in loud colors, migrating from one territory to another, hoping to be accepted into one of them. These mentalities have something to 'prove'. A neediness. A desperation for acceptance. Their characters are flawed, and that too...can be exploited if you see fit." He told me, then moving me forward a few steps. "And then...the true gold can be found in the quiet ones. The ones that 'appear' to be a part of the herd, but I guarantee you...the only appear that way. Their arms will be crossed, their conversations short and bashful. They'll take frequent drinks from their cup to look like they're doing something. They'll lean against the outer walls, or find objects or building structures to 'hide' behind. They won't look around much, instead, their eyes will occasionally stare off into space for brief periods of time. These are the ones with the most potential when it comes to manipulation. They are 'searching' for something to fill the void inside themselves. Offer them a solution, and they will give you anything you ask." I took a second thought about what he told me, and then I gave Cyrus a sideways look. "What?"
I thought back our first awkward meetings a Rainbow's End, and said, "You tricked me. Didn't you?"
He already knew what I was getting at. Revealing the secret of how he practically seduced me into joining the pack in the first place. "I haven't a clue of what you're talking about." He giggled.
"Yes, you do, you son of a bitch. You TRICKED me! Hehehe!"
He gave me another brotherly squeeze. "'Tricked' is such an awful way to put it. I prefer to say that I...appealed to your higher nature."
"Higher nature. Riiiiight."
But it was then his smile softened slightly, and he said, "Despite my original intent...I knew that I wanted you with me, Wesley. I knew that you were more than the mask. And I am blessed to have fathered such a prize in you."
The sentiment ran through me like a mini orgasm, inspiring a feeling of pride that nearly misted my eyes up. Especially when accompanied by the warmth of his smile, and the honesty in his touch. How could allow myself to be so charmed again...by such a frightening entity?
He allowed me to enjoy the emotion for a brief moment, and then began to walk with me through more of the crowd. Getting me to focus again. "Now..once you have picked your potential targets, and seek them out...you will learn how to push certain emotional 'buttons' to inspire a clear response. This is a very important technique for any wolf to learn. As it let you know exactly what they're thinking at all times."
"Thinking? Like...mind reading?" I asked.
"Not quite. But close." He said, inhaling deep as we navigated our way through the crowd. "It's the scent. The scent is a window into the soul. Now that your senses are reaching full maturity, you will begin to notice them a lot more often. They will be much more clear in their presentation. This can be a very enjoyable part of reading your target." He told me to take a big whiff, but all I could really get was sweat, alcohol breath, and cigarette smoke. "Perhaps you still need a little fine tuning, but give it time. With some practice, you may become even better at it than Kriegar is."
"Even better than John Boy?" I smirked.
"Ha! Nooooo, not better than John Boy. That is LIGHT YEARS away from any possible goal that you could possibly imagine. Trust me." He said. "Do you remember the manager in the grocery store, Wesley? Do you remember the anger you sensed in him. It is that level of detection that you want to concentrate on." I saw two more cute boys walk by, and my libido was further enticed towards the surface. Mmmmm...my sexual hunger was growing strong. And Cyrus knew it, but he teased me further by rubbing the small of my back as he spoke. "Now, a person's thoughts and emotions...those are all blind spots to us. You can't really get much more personal than that. BUT...the biochemical reactions that those thoughts create...they make our targets an open book at all times."
"To help us know what's on their mind? I'll be able to do that?"
"In time, certainly. Just pay attention. Happiness triggers the release of endorphins into the blood stream. Fear and anger trigger different levels of intensity in the flood of adrenaline. Arousal causes the additional release of pheromones into the air. Learn what these chemical reactions are, and memorize their scent. Their taste. And then manipulate the weaknesses in their character to strengthen the emotion. The more you inspire their lust, their rage, their sorrow...the clearer the scent. They won't be able to hide it from you, not with any manner of speech or body language. The truth will always be right there...glistening in a thin sheen right there on the surface of their skin."
A small group of girls walked past me, and two of them looked me in the eye. I gave them a somewhat crooked smile, my sensual needs almost burning out of control at this point. And as they blushed slightly and kept moving...I attempted to take in the scent as Father instructed. It was faint, and flirtatious, but I did recognize the sweetness it. It was sugary in its 'flavor' on the back of my tongue. A bubbly fragrance of slight arousal. I turned to Cyrus and grinned, and he giggled at my sudden burst of pride in such a simple effort. But he patted me on the back anyway to further support my minor accomplishment. "All the scents are different?" I asked him.
"Very different indeed. And then there are certain combinations that, can sometimes, be confusing. Countless variations. But you will be able to absorb and detect them soon enough. Just play around with them tonight. See what you can find, just by 'sniffing' around a bit." I looked forward, and in the crowd, I saw Scout standing in the distance with two empty cups and a bottle of alcohol, watching and waiting for his spotlight to return to him. At this point, Cyrus took his arm from around my shoulder and stepped in front of me to look me in the eye. "I know that I can trust you, Wesley. So I'm going to send you out on your own tonight. Do as you wish, with whoever you want. The leash is off." He smiled, and then kissed my cheek. "Just remember who you belong to, boy."
I don't know why that last comment didn't bother me. Why it didn't set off some kind of inner alarm inside to tell me that it was somewhat...'off' I simply accepted it. And before I even had the mental strength to question it, I said, "Of course, Father. I'm yours. I'll always be yours." And bowed my head to him.
"Good. Very good." He said, and I looked over his shoulder to see Scout getting increasingly impatient. Annoyed by our closeness, but keeping himself at bay. "This is your release, Wes. This is the beginning of your life as a true predator in nature. Embrace what you learn here tonight, and take your rightful place at the top of the food chain."
"How do I do it, Father? How do I make them mine?"
"They're already yours. Yours for the taking. You merely have to remind them as to why they never had a choice in the first place." He said "And remember to watch that temper of yours, alright? You make sure to keep that 'beast' of yours under wraps." We shared a chuckle over it, but I knew he was dead serious. We couldn't afford any incidents in such a large crowd of people. He then added, "If you get into any conflicts this evening, any conflicts at all..."
"I know, I know...call on my brothers for help." I smiled.
But he replied, "No. You won't have to 'call' for anybody. Simply look over your shoulder, and we will be there. Count on it." He gently petted my blond hair on one side, and then gave me such an affectionate look. The kind of look that your mom gives you the first time she puts you on a bus to summer camp for the first time. All doubts about his intentions melted away. All suspicions about his treatment of me vanished. Sebastian was right. Father loved me. And despite all of the pain and horror it took for me to get to this point in our relationship...I couldn't deny his truth. Everything he promised me had been delivered to me just as he said it would be. And there were greater promises on the horizon that he was sure to reveal in time. I merely needed to follow his lead. Strong. And wise. And respected. My leader. My father. My brother. My friend.
"I love you, Cyrus." I said quietly, and he caressed the side of my neck for a moment before giving me a wink, and then walking off to go be with Scout. Another promise kept to those he adored. I hated to admit it, but Scout was right when he said that I should feel honored to be a part of Cyrus' circle. It was a very high honor indeed.
And then...I found myself standing there...alone. On my own, with no further restrictions from the rest of the pack. I would have welcomed the opportunity before. Back when I was still a scared little boy, trying desperately to run back to his mommy and daddy before he got into 'too much trouble'. That seemed like an entire lifetime ago, now that things were so much better. Now life makes sense.
'Mine for the taking'. What an intriguing concept.
I felt as though I were taking my first few steps as a wolf among sheep. It was different than before. Or maybe it was just my willing submission to the feel of it that created the difference. The sensation was indescribable. I don't think I had ever felt so confident. So lionhearted. I was a much more complete person than I was that first night Kyla took me to Rainbow's end. I could look people directly in the eye. I could stare at all the eye candy that I wanted to stare at without hiding a single glance None of their judgments mattered. None of their stares or whispers affected me. It was as if my every insecurity from before had somehow strengthened the feelings that I was just now learning to discover. They created in me this almost psychotic need for guiltless expression. And as my eyes wandered the room, taking notice of my 'victims' for the night...my sexual desires began to boil over.
My impulses couldn't be stopped. And it felt like I was floating through the masses...weightless. Without conscience. Without conflict. It was an extremely surreal experience.
The habits of the teens around me seemed to fall into place. Each person subliminally falling into one of a few predictable categories. They hardly seemed like individuals at all. I think I was beginning to see why Cyrus often held such contempt for their kind. Why he saw them as being so far beneath us. Funny...I never thought that I would reach that level. Who would want to? Mankind loses so much of its luster when the concept of individuality is taken away. It reduces us all to the scattered importance of a colony of roaches living under the kitchen sink. No real meaning. No real purpose. Just puppets for us to use and misuse at will. Who knows? Maybe that's the fun part.
At that moment, I saw the same two girls that passed me not long ago walk my way again. They giggled again when the saw me, innocent Amish girls with long dresses on, watching me with a blush in their cheeks. They were older than me by two years, and I never would have allowed myself to believe that they could be interested in me before. But now...now that the calling had successfully inflated my ego to the point of conceit, I smiled back at them wickedly, absorbing their infatuated stare and feeding it back to them in abundance. They were going to smile and keep walking, but I held out an arm to stop them. They nervously held their grins back as I looked back and forth between them. The one on the left was slightly prettier than her friend. Something about her eyes was simply beautiful. I leaned forward, and felt her tense up as my lips connected to hers. And this was no bashful kiss from the boy next door. I lustfully smashed my mouth against her, and allowed my tongue to invade her until she was literally breathless from the contact. I could feel her trembling, her body quaking with an electric shock, and her heartbeat was racing. I could almost hear it. And then there was the scent. That glorious fragrance that filled my nostrils as she gave in to the moment, and tried her hardest to relax. Coaxing more of that aroma out of her became such an intense game for me. It thrilled me more and more with every second. And when our lips parted, I took a brief moment of joy in seeing the nearly 'faint' look on her face...before leaning over to give her friend the same treatment Her surrender to me was much more instantaneous, her scent even stronger. She was definitely more open to the experience than her sheepish friend, and I liked that.
I stood back from them, and then backed up into the crowd as they watched with a touch of confusion. Perhaps they thought that it was going to lead to more. Perhaps they were ready for me to give them the full experience. To find meaning and commitment in the sexual thrill of my actions. But I gave them no such satisfaction. Sometimes...the sensual tease had so much more of an impact.
I continued to walk through the party, mentally 'marking' the boys standing in the dark corners of the room. Those who were simply waiting for my approach. Some of their eyes focused on other boys as well. They didn't think anyone noticed...but I did. The secretive little glances from their safe little havens just outside of the rest of the party were so obvious to me. All I had to do was choose one. Or maybe two. Hell, maybe I'll do them ALL...just to feed off of the energy that they willingly give to me in their most passionate moments. I could free them. If only for a few minutes...I could show them what it's like to live as on of us, with nothing but a limitless sense of self indulgence to guide them. Where they wouldn't have to hide or apologize for anything. And then...once I've taken them to the height of sensation, and they have flown as close to the sun as they possibly could...I'll let them go. And drop them back into their miserable existence as one of 'them'. Forever wishing that they could fly with me again. You have no idea how powerful something like that feels. It's orgasmic in thought alone.
At that moment...I felt a bump on my shoulder, and an older boy that looked to be about 18 spilled some alcohol on his shirt from the impact. "What the fuck...? WATCH it, kid! Get out of the way!" He snarled. I didn't say a word. I didn't have to. I am not the scared little boy that I used to be. My eyes connected with his, and I stared directly at him as he continued with his 'act'. Even with two of his friends behind him, backing him up all the way, he could see that I wasn't about to back down from the likes of him. I had no need to. Because deep down...I could crack his head open like a raw egg and not lose a moment of sleep over it. Somehow, I think he could see that in my eyes...because he began to move away from me. "Just...just watch where you're going...alright?" He said again, and he kept his eyes on me as him and his friend quietly stepped around me. That was definitely a war that he DIDN'T want to be a part of.
Then...as my eyes returned to the activities around the room...something caught my eye. Another boy, about my age, maybe a year older, with short dark hair, and even darker eyes. He had a small hoop earring in his left eyebrow, and two more on either side of his thin pink lips. He was erotically slim, wearing a tight black mesh t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off, and snug leather pants that left very little to the imagination. To say that he was extremely cute in a dark way would be an understatement. But that's not why I noticed him.
He saw me from across the room, and when my eyes connected to his...he didn't turn away. He didn't look around to see if maybe I was staring at something else. And there was nothing about his reaction to me that gave the impression that he had any reason to be intimidated by my presence at all. He stood out from the background of partying kids. He was elevated above them all, and made no apologies for being so. Just as a strange feeling of recognition began to take a hold of me, the boy gave me an evil grin...and his eyes picked up a quick flash of light, causing them to glow momentarily...right before he vanished from my sight completely.
It took a moment for it to really register...but I believe I just met one of our 'own'....