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Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption

Copyright 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter 30: Never a Dull Moment



It was a beautiful, clear, and warm Saturday night at the Village.  The Rec Centre was ready for guests to arrive.  The tables were set upstairs, a huge fire laid and ready to be lit on the deck along with extra chairs everywhere.  The extra houses and apartments were filled with the out of town guests, and even a couple of pull out beds were ready if needed.

The sound of the muffler echoing in the trees as it came closer to the Rec Centre causing everyone who was in the area to stop and stare to try and find the source.  Jared stood up straight and turned to the direction of the approaching sound.  He dropped his head in resignation and exhaled audibly.  When he finally glanced around him, his brothers were all smiling until they saw him looking.  Then they started to scatter in every direction possible.

John moved beside him. "I thought you got him a new car?"


John started to laugh. "You lost the fight over replacing Bertha, didn't you?"

"I don't want to talk about it," retorted Jared.

Melanie joined them, laughing.  "You know he just got it out of the shop.  He had the oil changed, brakes fixed, and bearing seals replaced."

Jared looked disgusted.  "Grandfather promised me he would replace the muffler, and even stop driving the old Jeep."

Melanie corrected him, "Not the old Jeep.  Bertha."

Jared hung his head again.

The vehicle pulled up to the Rec Centre and parked out front.

Melanie called out, "Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it" and finally Bertha backfired with the sound of the scream of a bomb dropping from the sky to its explosion on the ground.  Every time Jared heard it he thought of the movie Uncle Buck and John Candy's old car.

Jesse, Zane, and Tyler were all laughing at the sound until they looked around to find Jared.  A distinct "oh shit" was heard when they saw the expression on his face as they took off inside the building at a full run.

John and his wife were laughing as well.  "Jared, do you really think you will win this battle of wills?"

"No John, I know I won't.  But, I must try because I do worry about him, and I love him so much.  I just want him safe."

Jared didn't even see the furry ball of energy hit him at a full charge.  Shadow was on top of his friend, licking his face madly as Jared was laughing.

Nikita and Trevor came running towards them, "Shadow!"

The big wolf jumped off Jared and ran quickly to his young friends.  Conner and Mark joined them, and the five of them began to play keep away with a Frisbee.  It was entertaining to watch, and although it was the four young men vs the wolf, there was no way the brothers were going to win against Shadow.

John helped Jared to stand up and brush him off.  "Jared, you guys really don't do anything small do you?  Even Shadow is huge for a wolf."

Mathew spoke, "He's gained some weight lately too.  He's enjoying life at the cabin too much."

Jared turned and quickly embraced his grandfather.  "I'm happy you made it here, Grandfather."

"Old Bertha is in tip-top shape."

"Melanie said you just got it out of the shop."

"I did.  I got the brakes fixed, oil changed, and bearings greased with new seals. Did you notice the backfire is better?"

"No Grandfather, if anything it sounds worse."

"No, he fine-tuned it to give me that high whistle like a dropping bomb just before the bang."

Jared was getting flustered, especially with John and Melanie laughing.  "He did that intentionally?  Grandfather, I bought you a new Jeep, fully loaded."

"You did, and I thank you for it."

"Why don't you drive it?"

The old man smiled, "I do.  All the time."

Jared was getting exasperated, "When do you drive it? I never see you in it..."

"That's easy, Grandson.  I drive it everywhere but here."

Jared couldn't even get words out for a few seconds, but finally said "WHAT?!"

Mathew had a huge smile on his face, "Correct me if I'm wrong the way I use this expression, but I do it to pick your ass.  Paybacks a Melanie, isn't it?"

John and Melanie lost it in fits of coughing from laughing so hard while Jared stood there with his mouth hanging open.  Mathew reached over, lifted his grandson's jaw to close the open mouth.  "You'll catch flies." He turned to Melanie, "Please take me to the food, Granddaughter."

Melanie locked her arm through his and lead him into the building.

Jared was watching the two of them skip away when he felt a hand on his shoulder.  "Jared, he's been pulling peoples chains longer than you've been alive.  You're an amateur compared to him."

"But he intentionally had the car serviced to backfire," exclaimed a frustrated Jared.

"It's also a new muffler," said John through laughter.

"A new muffler?" replied Jared quickly in a voice which almost sounded like a shriek of a boy in puberty.

John nodded.  "He actually had a new muffler put on after you asked him to do it, and then used a welding torch to cut the same splits the old one had."

Jared turned to look at John.  "He did what???!" he said in a shrill voice of disbelief.

John reached out and grasped the young man's shoulder. "Jared, get in control before you blow a testicle. He did exactly what you asked.  He replaced the muffler."

"But, but, but..."

"It's a lesson for you, Jared."

"A lesson?"

"Remember to always be specific when giving directions.  Just because in your mind you are clear doesn't mean the person being told is.  You are running a multimillion-dollar business and dealing with peoples lives with decisions of life or death.  You always need to be clear in your directions not only at work but at home."

Jared took a deep breath and looked at John.  "I surrender.  This is payback for all the times I used the same line on him when I was growing up. I did exactly as you said.  Man oh man, payback really is a Melanie."

From within the building, they both heard a yell "I heard that Jared."

The Chief Superintendent John had arrived with his husband Gus and had linked up with Kat and her husband Shawn along with Ryan and Melanie.  Mel had taken them on a tour of the village.  They were quite impressed with the house they toured along with the boathouse and finally through the Rec Centre.  Gus was impressed with the kitchen equipment and set up.  The group was up in the smudging room as Mel called it, looking out at the view of the river and what they called the village.

Chief John commented, "This is an incredible place.  These guys function as a family here, yet they have their own private spaces." John looked around at Mel, "Any openings available?"

"Not so fast there, big guy," Kat said as she stuck her finger into his chest. "Ladies first.  They need a doctor and nurse out here."

Ryan started to laugh.

Kat looked at him.  "What you laughing at?  You're trying to marry into the compound?"

Ryan started to gag and cough as Melanie started laughing.

Suddenly, they were all interrupted by a large animal running into the room and barging through them with a shoe in his mouth.  He ran around to the other side of the circular fireplace in the middle of the room and hunkered down below the line of sight.

"That's a huge dog," exclaimed Gus.

Melanie laughed while shaking her head.  "Everyone, I would like to introduce you to Jared's companion when he was growing up.  This is Shadow, a timber wolf."

Kat gasped, "A wolf? Seriously?"

Shawn rolled his eyes, "Why does that even surprise you, Kat?  They shared cake with a bear at the wedding."

They were interrupted again except this time it was Liam coming up the stairs.  "Where is he? I saw him come this way."

"To whom are you referring Liam," asked Mel in a sweet voice.

"That overstuffed puppy," replied Liam.  "He took my shoe."

Ryan looked at Liam, "So why get upset about that? All dogs and I now understand wolves do that too."

"I was still in it.  He dragged me halfway down the sidewalk!"

From the other side of the fireplace, the distinctive sound of Shadow's wheezing laughter was heard.

"I knew it, he is up here.  Give me my shoe back!"

Shadow stood, walked over to Liam, and spit the shoe out at his feet.  Then the big animal sat pretty and tried giving big puppy eyes to Liam to show remorse.

"Don't even try that routine with me puppy," snorted Liam as he started to put his shoe back on.

Kat reached over and started scratching Shadow's head.  "You're just a big baby, aren't you." Shadow leaned into her for maximum rub pressure.

John was still staring at the huge animal, "You're serious? This is a timber wolf?"

Shadow turned his head to look at John and nodded 'yes' to him.

Gus was standing behind his husband but came around to get a better look.  "He's beautiful!" Shadow stood and walked slowly over to Gus, using his nose to nuzzle his hand to pet him.  Both John and Gus started to rub his head and back.  Shadow gave Liam a look which could only be described as gloating.

"Don't you get fooled by him," said Liam.  "That wolf is a con artist.  He'll steal your shoes or rip the ass out of your jeans while you're still wearing them."

Melanie went down on her knees and took Shadow's head into her hands, rubbing him vigorously.  "Shadow is the most gentle animals you'll ever meet, but fiercely protective of those he considers family and his friends."

Liam was heading back down the stairs, "Don't let him fool you.  He'll chew your shoes if he gets a chance.  I've got your number, Wolfie."

"Don't you let that smelly boy bother you Shadow, you're a good boy," said Melanie as she rubbed both sides of his head.

Kat got down on her knees next to Melanie and started rubbing the wolf's fur as well.  "Such a good boy you are to terrorize Liam.  You keep doing that.  He's got away with too much already so we need all the help we can get."

Shawn leaned over to John, Gus, and Ryan, "This is getting evil.  They are converting more innocents over to their cause."

"Shawn dear," started Kat.  "If you want to sleep on the couch for the rest of your life..."

"I stand corrected, men.  Another convert to their righteous struggle against Liam."

Ryan leaned over, "If Kat is studying under the master, you're done for Shawn."

"There are two couches, Ryan," said Mel with a smile.

"Yes dear," he replied. 

More and more guests arrived at the village and not only went for tours but began collecting around the pool or on the outside deck.  It was then that a beautiful blue Astar 350B2 came in from the west and did a leisurely circle around the village a  couple of times.

Melanie looked up at the machine, and turned to Ryan, Grandfather Tom and Grandfather Mathew, "Well, it's flying.  They obviously didn't kill Jesse when they found out."

Mathew smiled, "I sense pride from Molly and Jack, but she does have mixed feelings about it.  Jack loves it."

"We'll see if he has a black eye or sore butt," added Melanie with a smile.

Jared came up behind Mel and put one hand on her shoulder, "It must've gone better than he expected."

"We'll see," replied Mel with a smirk.

The helicopter came in for a gentle landing on the pad, right on the landing cart.  It cooled for a moment and then shut down.  Troy and Tyler were crouched over as they ran out from the Quonset to assist at the craft. They opened the back doors on each side and helped Robert and Julie out and onto the pad.  Then came Molly along with Jack and they all collected to the side away from the rotating blades.  Finally, Jess got out of the pilot's seat followed by Zane from the co-pilot's seat. They caught the rotor blade and tethered it to the machine.  Tyler ran over and started the quad attached to the landing cart, pulling it into the Quonset.

As Jesse approached the group, Julie gave him a huge hug.  "I've always wanted to fly in one of those Jesse, and the tour around the city from the air I will never forget.  Thank you so much."

Jesse returned her hug, "I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Julie.  We can do it again sometime."

They separated, and Jesse turned to Molly.  The young man looked sheepishly at her.  He stood with his hands behind his back, head down and using his foot nervously to move an imaginary rock on the ground.  She looked at Zane, and he was doing the same thing.

Julie started laughing, "Molly, he's bringing out the big guns so you forgive him."

Molly huffed, "Good God Jesse, you're still cute when you do that and I see you've got your boyfriend backing you up now too." She opened her arms, and both young men embraced her.  "Jesse, I love you so much.  I guess I can't keep you in bubble wrap forever."

"Momma Molly, I'm a success today because of you and Jack never giving up on me. You kept me on the right path by supporting me."

"I don't know if I would've supported you on this particular activity, Jesse.  I still don't know."

Jesse looked into Molly's eyes with tears falling, "I wanted to do this so bad, to not only overcome my fear of getting back into something flying but to honour everyone in the plane crash.  I wouldn't let it control me with fear anymore.  I have never hidden anything like this from you before, and it was the hardest thing I've ever done."

"I understand why you did it, but don't you ever do it again mister.  I'm still not sure if you'll both get a lickin' over this stunt or not."

Zane smiled at Jesse, "I'll help her spank you if you'll help her spank me."

Molly shrieked and hugged the two of them tightly again.  "Jack and I have said it before but you two are really two peas in a pod."

Tyler and Troy joined them after closing the overhead door to the Quonset.  Tyler looked at Troy, pulled out his wallet and retrieved at $10 bill.  He promptly gave it to Tyler.

"Dammit, you win."

Tyler smiled, "Nah nah nah boo boo."

"What was that all about?" asked Jack.

"He bet me Jesse would get a lickin' from Molly," explained Tyler.

Jack smiled, "It might still happen.  She hasn't let him off the hook yet."

Troy grabbed the $10 bill back from his boyfriend.  "The jury is still out, so no payment."

Jack laughed.

"Does she know it was all Jared's idea?" asked Tyler.

Molly's head snapped.  "This was all Jared's idea?"

Jack was laughing, "Molly, they're spreading the blame as far and among as many people as possible.  It's the old throw as much shit against the wall as possible to see what sticks."

"Let's head over to the Rec Centre to meet everyone else.  Robert and Julie may also like a tour of the village," suggested Troy.

 The group headed off, chatting between themselves. 

The Rec Centre area was a hub of activity inside and on the outside deck area.  Just off the deck, Conner along with the younger brothers were playing badminton with four or five players on each side.  There was a crowd watching and cheering them on as well.  Rob and his wife were sitting with Amanda, Marci, Kat, and Shawn each with a glass of wine, and enjoying themselves chatting on the pool deck in the sunshine.  Shadow was flopped and stretched out in the sun near them, sound asleep.

Dirk and Austin had also arrived.  Followed by Patrick, Adam, and Jett.  After a tour of the village, the three young men had introduced Dirk and Austin to Melanie before they took off for a swim.  Soon enough, most of the younger brothers along with a couple of others had joined them for a water polo game in the shallow end.

Both John's and Gus along with many of the other older friends or members of the family were either sitting on the patio in the sun looking through the windows or on the pool deck watching the game.  Everyone had a drink of something and were socializing.

Melanie, Kat, and Amanda were sitting together.  "One of these times, we'll catch them on a no-clothing swim," lamented Kat.

Molly joined them, sitting down with a glass of wine. "Such a perv Kat, all those younger men."

"I was thinking the same thing," said Gus.  That caused his husband to snap his head towards Gus, and then laugh.

"Every time we visit, there's more of them too," said Amanda.  "It's so beautiful to see."

"You mean the scantily clad young men or members of the family," asked Kat.

"Would you believe me if I just meant that the family keeps expanding and they are helping more and more people?" asked Amanda.

"Amanda, I may be older than most of the people here, but I'm not naive either," said Molly.  "You like the family expanding, but looking at more of the almost naked young guys with big packages isn't bad either."

Kat and Melanie almost spit their drinks out at Molly's statement.

She looked at them, "What? You think I'm dead or blind? Like that little Patrick and his new friend Jett.  What a package on those two young guys."

Gus, John, and John were almost falling out of their chairs laughing at Molly's comments.

"Now, even the two young ladies down there Marci and her girlfriend; they are beautiful.  The thing all those kids are not doing is something everyone here should be learning from them," continued Molly.

"What's that?" asked Rob.

"They don't care what the others look like, their genders or their orientation.  They just accept each other into their hearts unconditionally," she replied.

"Add age to that Molly.  They don't discriminate or disrespect any age group." Gus stood and raised his glass in a toast, "To the tribe.  May others learn from them."

The rest of the group raised their glasses and repeated, "To the tribe."

Suddenly, Shadow bolted to his feet and started sniffing the air and focusing his ears in one direction.  He repositioned himself facing the direction of the entrance gate and continued sniffing as well as concentrating his hearing.  Over his shoulder, Shadow gave three loud yips three times with a pause between each set.

Jack was watching the animal and asked Melanie, "What's he doing?"

Melanie watched Shadow closely for a moment.  The wolf's eyes were scanning the tree line as he continued to sniff the air.  From around the corner of the Rec Centre came two more wolves along with Jared followed by Jesse on the run.  Through the pool deck doors, Liam and Zane came running.

The two wolves ran past Shadow angling away approximately 20 feet where they stopped and began to sniff the air and listen as well.

Shadow turned his head to Jared and gave a series of barks and growls.  Jared looked at Liam and Zane as he said: "Protect." The two young men nodded and remained near the group on the deck as the rest moved forward, disappearing into the trees.

Once out of sight, Jesse became his spirit guide cougar and began tracking with his nose and ears as well.  Jared was moving to the main gate from an angle to reduce the chance of anyone or anything seeing him.

Tyler and Troy as wolves were already at the gate; they stealthily slipped around the posts on each side and disappeared into the bushes.  Shadow had his nose up in the air as he ran through the gate down the road.  Jared and the cougar ran through the gate and up the right side of the road.

Patrick had got out of the pool, grabbed some shorts and moved next to Zane.  Both Grandfather Tom and Mathew had joined them as well.

Mathew turned to the young men, "Patrick, Zane - Protect inside the compound.  Liam, above it."

The three young men hesitated briefly before Grandfather added, "I have spoken."  They disappeared up the path towards the main gate at a full run, and out of sight in the trees.  The cougar and the lynx made it to the front gate quickly, assuming a patrol pattern of tracking inside the perimeter.  The eagle was above the tree line scanning for anything unusual.

The adults on the deck were concerned and asking questions.

"How many wolves are around here," asked Robert.  "They came from around the corner of the building and ran right by us?"

"What the hell is going on?" asked Shawn.

Mathew was sniffing the air as Tom answered.  "Some of you know this a very special group of young men who are very, very aware of things the average person may miss.  Shadow has the same ability.  To make it easier for you to understand he's like the Sgt/Major of security.  His senses are fine-tuned to that role, and he is very good at it."

"Believe what Grandfather Tom is saying," Melanie added.  "Shadow is the ultimate warrior with one goal, protect Jared and the family."

"What can we do to help?" asked Chief John.

Mathew finally spoke, "We need to remain calm and stay here.  This area is protected.  The little brothers except Patrick are still oblivious to something happening.  There are people here who are friends, but have never seen the family at work."

"We just need to believe in the abilities of the family, and that everything will be ok," said Jack.  He took Molly's hand into his and held it.

Amanda stepped forward, "They are doing what they do best.  Protect those who need it."

Liam was flying above the trees and had completed two circuits around the compound before he landed near the deck.  Grandfather Mathew looked his way as the huge eagle screeched at him.  Mathew simply nodded to the bird, who immediately took off flying towards the direction of the main gate.

Gus grabbed his husband's hand.  "Now there's an eagle landing to talk with them."

Frank, who had been quiet the whole time, spoke. "I've seen this group of young men do things which would amaze all of you.  Many of you wouldn't believe me if I told you what I'd seen and experienced.  Just believe in them, and they will perform miracles."

Liam was above the trees and had flown down the road leading to the main grid road.  There was some development going on in some of the lots which had been sold.  Some very large houses were built in the area by people who wanted a quieter life than being in the city.  The access road ran to the south of the developments and was a private road owned by the village corporation. There was a buffer of trees and land which kept the houses being built isolated from the road for the privacy of both.

From the air, Liam saw a pickup truck parked near one of the houses being built, but it had come to a rest at an odd angle.  It looked like it had pulled off the cabin owner's grid road and across one of the new laneways which had been cut into the forest.  What really caught Liam's eyes was three of the four doors of the crew cab were still open.  It looked like the vehicle had not only been stopped quickly, but everyone had left it in a hurry as well.

Liam heard a scream for help very clearly this time and flew towards it.  He sent a message to the others heading this direction as well.  Flying just barely over the treetops, it took a couple of minutes more before he began to see people moving on the forest floor below him. He could see three men moving quickly towards the northeast, away from the truck.  Just ahead of them running, tripping through the bushes and deadfall was a girl.  Liam immediately sensed she was trying to get away from the others.  What Liam saw was being shared with the rest of the family approaching, as well as both grandfathers.

The obvious leader of the men stopped and raised his hand in the direction of the fleeing woman.  Liam heard a gunshot. 

Grandfather Tom gave a subtle sign to Chief John who immediately caught it.  They both stepped off to the side where Tom said, "It's time to call for police.  There are three men over near the new construction sites chasing a young woman through the forest.  They have a gun."  Chief John didn't hesitate as he pulled out his cell phone to make the call. 

Liam landed a distance in front of the girl and resumed his human form.  He quickly heard the others approaching him from various angles, but it would be him to make the first contact.  He could see the girl running as he stepped out, and waved her towards him.  She immediately altered her run to meet up with him.

"Help me, please!  They want to kill me!" she said out of breath.

"You're safe now.  We're here."

"There's more of you? They have a gun."

"It's ok.  You're safe."

"They were going to rape me, then shoot me."

"What happened?"

"As they came around the corner, the truck slowed down.  I had been faking sleep for a few minutes and then saw my opportunity to run.  I opened the door and ran after jumping from the vehicle."

Shadow appeared to Liam's right, quietly whimpering as he sniffed the air. "You're right Shadow, I can smell the panic and desperation in the air as well."

He turned to speak to the girl. "I'm Liam, and this is Shadow.  What's your name?"

"I'm J-J-J-Jenifer."

Two other wolves appeared, Liam immediately said to one of them, "Protect the girl."  The other one he directed: "Find and render harmless."  He turned to the girl and said, "Stay with this animal, he will protect you."

She was out of breath but nodded her understanding.

Liam looked at Shadow, "Let's get the one with the gun.  That's the biggest threat to everyone here."

The wolf yipped at Liam, then disappeared into the underbrush.  Just before Liam disappeared into the underbrush, he reinforced his order to Tyler by pointing at the girl as he said: "Protect." The wolf growled his acknowledgment as Tyler began to circle her at a distance, stopping frequently to sniff or listen.  Troy took off, following her scent backwards to where she came from.

Liam knew the men wouldn't be far away and that he must stop or delay them before they got to the girl.

Liam had walked for a couple of moments listening to crashes, branches breaking and dead leaves cracking under someone's footsteps.  He knew whoever was approaching was unsure of their footing, not familiar with the area and moving in no particular pattern.  The person's footsteps revealed a lot if you took the time to listen.  He saw a large man alone approaching and frantically looking in the forest for something.  Liam realized the other two must've separated to cover more space as they weren't in sight. He stepped out from behind a large spruce tree, and the large man yelled in fright.

"Leave the girl alone."

The man pulled the gun out and began to lift it to point in his direction when a large wolf flew out of the bushes to hit the man from the side.  They both landed hard on the ground, the gun flying out his hand.  Shadow had knocked the man down, but as he had so much force behind his jump the big animal's momentum had caused him to roll off his target.  It only took a few seconds before he was back on his feet, hackles up, all teeth bared and growling at his target.

The man froze.

Liam moved closer to the man, "One word from me and he will kill you.  In fact, only his dedication to life is preventing him from ripping out your throat and rolling in your blood as it pools on the ground in victory."

That got the man's attention as he looked alternately between Liam and the animal growling at him.  The man's eyes began to look around for his gun, stopping on its position on the ground.

"Yes, the gun is there.  I may even let you get to it before I allow Shadow to attack, or I may just deal with you myself.  This is your one and only chance to comply with my instructions."

The man was large, reasonably muscular, and obviously someone who worked out regularly.  He was calculating his chances of getting the gun before the big dog could get him.

"I'm serious.  You make a move and you've used your one chance.  You will die here, on the ground except I won't allow Shadow the pleasure of the kill, I'll do it."

The man's head snapped at that statement to look directly at Liam.

Liam stood erect, his fingers stretched out and interlaced but actively moving to massage the backs of his hands.  He had brought his hands up to approximately his chin level as Liam began to speak again.  But this time it was almost monotone but with a very ominous undertone to it.  "I once gave a person a second chance because I thought it was the right thing to do.  Later, the man who I could've stopped killed two people I loved.  He killed my brothers." Shadow stopped growling for a moment, adjusting his head to stare at Liam.  Liam stared at the man on the ground with a cold, icy, and terrifying stare.  "I will never allow someone to do that again.  To anyone."

Liam's anger and utter contempt for this man began to build up.  As it did, Liam's hands clenched into fists.  He could feel the blood rushing through his body, his lungs taking deeper and deeper breaths as the rage grew within him.  In his mind, he saw Beau executing Darren and Josh after he had failed to end the life path of the coke-head piss-ant.  Liam's hands began to vibrate with the energy accumulating in them, building up, waiting for discharge.  Liam's eyes had begun to glow white, but now they were changing to red.

Shadow approached and barked at Liam.  Not a regular bark, or a growl, but a bark which resonated with power through Liam's entire body.  It caught the young man's attention, and as Liam came to the realization of what had happened to him, his eyes returned to white and finally normal.  He looked down at Shadow just as the wolf's eyes returned to their normal colour.

Liam spoke quietly, "Thank you Shadow.  I almost lost it."  The wolf just sat and appeared to smile.

Liam refocused his stare at the man on the ground. The two men and the wolf stared at each for a long moment in silence; each of the three was considering their options in silence.

A few long moments later, Jared stepped out of the bushes, bent over and casually picked up the gun.

"Good job Liam.  Now for the other two," stated Jared as he sized up the man on the ground.  He tucked the gun into the back of his jeans while moving towards a group of bushes to tear out a couple of tall lengths of a sapling.  He returned and had the man lay face down as he used the young tree to tie his hands behind his back.  Liam was scanning the forest for signs of the other men as Jared tied the prisoner's feet at the ankles.

After standing, he said to the prisoner, "That's dogbane I used to tie you up.  Stronger than wire and will cut through your skin if you struggle.  Do not move, and it will not hurt you.

Jared looked at Liam, "Where's the young lady he was chasing?"

Liam had just raised his hand to point when both the scream of a man as well as a large cat was heard.  His eyes watering from fear, the man on the ground trembled at the sounds.

Jared faced the direction of the sound, "Sound's like Jesse got one.  One more to go."

"I got the last one," said Troy as he pushed a man towards where the first one was laying.  "This one thought he would be a man and decided to fight me."

Jared smiled at the young man.  "And?"

"I let him take the first swing.  I suspect his shoulder is dislocated now because he didn't like the idea of me tying his has hands together." Troy had a smirk on his face as he nodded his head towards the man on the ground next to his buddy.  "He found out this kid is tougher than he expected."

Liam remained silent as he and his prisoner continued to stare at each other.

Shadow moved to Jared, barked a few times and then dashed off towards where the girl was with Tyler.  It only took a couple of minutes of running before Shadow came out of the underbrush near his friend.  The girl was leaning back against a tree with her knees pulled up and her arms wrapped around them.  The big wolf was sitting next to her.  Shadow ran up, barked at Tyler, and used his nose to push on the girl's hands.  She reacted by lifting her head slowly to look at what was bothering her.  Her attention was on Shadow for the moment so she failed to notice the other wolf disappear into the brush.  A moment later, Tyler stepped out and introduced himself.  After asking Shadow to lead them to the others, he helped the young lady get up and walk.

In the distance, sirens could be heard approaching. In the forest, they had to be nearby as everything absorbed sound so even something that loud didn't travel far.  Tyler figured a few units were arriving just by the sounds of it.  As they were approaching their other brothers and their prisoners, Shadow took a position right next to the young lady.  She reached down and grabbed a handful of fur at his shoulders as a personal security blanket.

Jared embraced the two brothers tightly.

Jesse stepped out of the bushes followed by four police officers.  "I turned my prisoner over to the police and paramedics.  He sorta looks like he had a fight with a cat with big claws."

One of the police members was a Corporal and stood forward from the rest.  "Now that we've got everyone together, can I get a reader's digest of what happened and who did what?"

Holding onto Shadow's fur, Jennifer stepped forward.  She pointed at the two on the ground and clearly said, "These two and one other asshole grabbed me near the mall, and brought me out here to rape me."  She stepped forward a little closer and pointed to one man.  "That one was talking while they thought I was asleep that he would kill me after."

The clarity of her statement stunned everyone standing there until the one man said, "You fucking cunt."

Shadow rolled his lips back to bare his fangs clearly, hackles stood straight up, ears rolled forward and he growled at the man.  Everyone present felt the vibration from the growl causing Jared to react.

Speaking in Cree, Jared said, "Shadow my friend, we must allow the police to do their job."

The big wolf relaxed and sat on his haunches, looking up at the young lady.  He gave a gentle whine of support to her.  She scratched his head gently.

"This dog and his two friends along with everyone here saved me from these assholes," explained Jennifer.

The police stood the two men up off the ground after handcuffing them.  Jared approached the Corporal. "You will need this," as he pulled the handgun out of the back of his jeans.

Liam pointed at the larger man, "He had the gun, and was just aiming it at me when Shadow knocked him down."

The Corporal took the gun, removed the clip and ejected the round from the chamber.  The gun was now safe.  "Was this how you got the gun from him?"

Jared replied quickly, "Other than the grip to pick it up, I've touched nothing or altered it."

The Corporal replied, "Excellent." He then turned to Jennifer, "We should get you to the hospital to be checked and then we need to interview you."

Jennifer was still holding on Shadow's fur as she went down to her knees.  She wrapped both arms around his thick neck tightly as she said, "Thank you Shadow, and your two friends where ever they went.  I'll never forget you.  I just wish you could understand me."

Shadow whined, yipped, coughed and barked a little at his new friend.  She let him go and sat back.  "Am I losing it or did you reply to me?"

Jared kneeled next to Shadow and put his arm over his old friend.  "Jennifer, he did reply to you.  He extended an invitation to visit him whenever you want."  Shadow stood and licked the young lady's face, causing her to laugh.

Jared grabbed his furry friend, "Jennifer, may I introduce you to my friend Shadow. He and the other animals you thought were dogs are actually timber wolves."

Jennifer was shocked.

"No fears, Jennifer.  Shadow is a strong ally who will always support a victim.  We grew up together."

The young lady looked at the big animal, and once again gave him a big hug.

Just before she left, Jared gave her a business card to call when she wanted to meet Shadow again.  The police were going to be gathering evidence, taking photographs and interviewing everyone for the next few hours.  They made arrangements for Jared and everyone else to drop by in the morning to be interviewed as well.

The brothers walked back to the village and were met at the gates by Zane and Patrick. 

The people inside the Rec Centre, including the little brothers playing in the pool, hadn't noticed the excitement which had taken place outside.  After guzzling some water, the older brothers brought everyone on the deck up to speed on what happened.  Tyler had got a bowl and was making sure Shadow had lots of water as well. The young man sat on his haunches watching the big animal drink.  When Shadow was finished he turned to stare nose to nose with Tyler.  The big animal opened his mouth, turned his head and gently took Tyler's jaw between his teeth.  A moment later, Tyler reciprocated to the big animal by taking Shadows jaw into his mouth. After, they both leaned forward and rested their heads on the other's shoulder.

Grandfather Mathew was watching the actions with interest. "Jared, I've never seen Shadow bond and trust like this so quickly."

"I've never questioned Shadows decisions, Grandfather.  He knows exactly what he's doing."

Liam walked up and looked at the wolf.  Shadow stood up, turned and stretched with his paws resting on Liam's shoulders.  Shadow and Liam stared deeply into each other's eyes.

"Jesus he's even bigger standing up that way," said Gus.

Shadow gently took Liam's jaw into his own and held it.  When shadow released it, Liam took Shadow's jaw into his mouth.

"Shadow is very comfortable with your new tribe, and your husband Jared."

"Grandfather, I suspected Shadow was testing him," said Jared.  "I also suspect it won't be stopping soon."

Shadow dropped to all four feet, wagged his tail, and went looking for anyone with food he could mooch.  He immediately saw Kat with a little plate of cheese, crackers, and kielbasa.  He sat in front of her and gave the biggest sad eyes ever seen on the planet.  Kat fell for it and started feeding him her hors-d'oeuvres.  Tyler went and sat on one side of the wolf, Liam on the other side.  Both tried begging with the sad eyes on Kat as well. 

It had been a wonderful dinner and everyone had consumed way too much.  Including Shadow, 42 people had been fed in total.  Just before the blessing had been said at the beginning of the meal, the second great bun war had broken out.  Everyone had got involved but the brunt of the shots were taken at Liam, Jared, Kat, and Melanie.  The friends who had never witnessed this before were caught off-guard when it started.  Liam was talking across the table to Jett when the first bun hit him on the side of the head.  It took all of 15 seconds before buns were flying everywhere.  Dirk threw one at Jesse which knocked him off his chair.

The rest of the evening, the guests gathered around a fire outdoors or sat on the pool deck playing board games.  A group of people went out onto the boat launch to watch the sky.  Grandfather pointed out the various points of light, telling stories of the old days.  No one went swimming again, they were all afraid after the supper they had eaten no one would remain buoyant.  By midnight, the local guests had begun to head home; the guests from out-of-town began to settle down in the spare houses, spare rooms, or the apartments in the recreation centre.

End of Chapter Thirty


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