Sean Kinkade sighed in his sleep; he was having an erotic dream. The Sullivan twins, cheerleaders at his school, had finally taken notice of him. Right now they were giving him a private cheer, and he was sure that neither of them were wearing panties, although he couldn't quite see. Shaking their Pom Poms at him, the twins slinked over, evil smiles on their faces. They twisted and turned, showing off their now naked bodies, enticing poor Sean. In his dream he reached out for one of them, catching the girl by the wrist and pulling her to him. She didn't resist; laughing, she came closer, rubbing her body up against his.
The feelings were wonderful, much better than any dream he had had in the past. Usually he woke up at around this point, but now the dream kept going. Smiling, he held the girl to him, his dreamscape shifting around him while the girls remained unchanged. He was partially aware that it was a dream, but not enough to dispute the seeming reality of the two girls attempting to fuck him. And they were surely trying. They pushed at each other to mount him, fighting good-naturedly to be the one to take him first. Sean grinned, mumbling something about how there was plenty for both of them. But the fighting grew more violent, the girls growling at each other and scratching at each other with their nails. Sean was starting to lose the sexual high the dream had been generating, and a part of his mind knew that something was wrong.
Struggling to hold the pleasant dream together, the dream Sean pleaded with the girls to take turns. But then something happened to shock him to wakefulness. One of the girls suddenly turned into a wolf, jumping at the other twin and knocking her off him just as she was mounting him.
Sean's dream was shattered and he woke fast, opening his eyes to see a wolf and a naked woman rolling across the dry ground, apparently fighting. The woman broke free, and ran with surprising speed back to Sean, now lying by himself near the rest of the sleeping pack. The woman climbed on Sean and immediately tried to mount him for real, her eyes bright and focused, her mouth wide and drooling.
Sean screamed, realizing that he was being raped, and began pushing at the woman. The smell of her fetid breath was making him panic. Yet there was something else, something that his mind recognized as being dangerous without him knowing what it was. As frightening as the situation seemed to be, a part of Sean WANTED to continue, to be fucked by this woman. The longer he stared into her eyes, the stronger the feeling became; and he stopped pushing, instead reaching out to embrace her.
But it wasn't to be; his companion was suddenly bitten in the ass by the wolf she had been fighting.
With a yelp, the woman let go of Sean and rolled off him, hands grasping her buttocks; but Sean's freedom was short lived, for the wolf pounced into her place.
Sean's mind was wrenched, his strange desire to be coupled with the first woman suddenly gone. Instead, there was the wolf on his chest, its muzzle just inches from his nose. Then the wolf 'stretched', becoming another naked woman eager to have her way with him. Sean was actually shocked by the change, literally, as he felt a surge of something pass through his body during the 'stretch'. He didn't know it, but he was the first pure human in over a hundred years to have touched a Loup-garou while they changed.
He wouldn't have cared. Suddenly he felt strong, invincible, and also extremely horny. He reached out and pulled the female closer, actively taking part in what had been his rape just moments before.
The woman on his lap smiled, and was about to love-bite his neck, when two loud barks erupted from nearby. It was the pack leader. Wolves, like most wild dogs, rarely barked. Barking was actually a juvenile behavior that domesticated dogs never outgrew. But there were times when a bark was necessary, and this was one of them.
The two females fighting over Sean stopped and looked up, while the rest of the now awoken pack scattered in all directions.
Lilly and Carlo were rudely dumped on the ground by the warm furry bodies they had been sleeping with, and it took a few seconds longer for Lilly to wake up enough to see by the light of the newly risen sun what was going on.
What she saw shocked her: Sean in an erotic embrace with a female Loup-garou. Lilly looked on with frightened eyes as the pack leader charged them, stopping at the last second to growl and pull at the woman.
The female scrambled off Sean in obvious fear, yet the expression on her face reflected a desperation and anger Lilly had never seen on anyone before.
She looked at Sean, expecting to see fear on his face too, but instead she was surprised to see longing and anger. Yet those emotions were only visible for a few seconds; then as if waking from a trance, Sean's expression became blank. Then the full horror of what had just happened seemed to hit him, and he quickly found his feet and scrambled toward the entrance to the grotto. He was frightened to death and had to get away from these creatures.
The pack leader himself was too busy to notice Sean running away. He was holding the throat of one of the females, showing his dominance over them as the Alpha wolf, and reinforcing their submission to him. But other wolves noticed.
As Sean reached the entrance and tried to crawl through it, two male wolves caught him, becoming human enough to grab his legs and pull on him.
Lilly was frightened for Sean. She glanced over at Carlo to implore him to do something, but Carlo was having a hard time waking up. Still suffering from a concussion, he was fighting against succumbing again to the condition.
Lilly knew it was up to her; she got up and ran over to Sean, who struggled hard to break free and get out.
"Sean, SEAN!" she yelled, "STOP IT! YOU CAN'T GO OUT THERE; YOU'D FREEZE TO DEATH! SEAN, LISTEN TO ME. YOU'RE NAKED; YOU WOULDN'T SURVIVE! SEAN!"
She kept it up until he stopped struggling. All Lilly could see of him was his legs and ass, but it was enough to see that he had stopped panicking. The two naked males let him go, and the boy slowly backed out. His face was streaked with tears and he was very pale, a shocked and frightened expression on his face. "I'm scared," he said, trembling, "they...they..."
"It's okay," Lilly said, and she moved forward to hug him. "It's alright, you're safe now. You're safe with me. They won't get you, I promise."
Sean broke down for a moment; doing something he swore he would never do in front of a girl, cry. He held onto Lilly, not caring that the two of them were nude, and released some of the tension and emotion that had been building up inside him ever since he first saw the wolves. He didn't understand what was going on anymore. Why did he want them, and then suddenly not? Why was he sometimes very afraid of them, and sometimes not?
Lilly cried too; she had worries of her own about what they were going through.
The pack just watched, while the pack leader berated the two females and sent them to the other side of the grotto. The leader turned, resuming human form, before walking over to Lilly and Sean.
"He all right?" the pack leader asked.
Lilly just glared at him, too upset to speak. Fears kept welling up inside her, the strange situation they were in causing her no end of grief. But then she happened to look directly into the pack leader's eyes, and her fear almost completely left.
That in itself was frightening, and Lilly was smart enough to know that something strange was happening.
"What are you doing to us?" she whispered.
The pack leader looked puzzled.
"What's going on; you said we'd be safe here!" she said angrily.
"You are safe..." began the pack leader, but Lilly cut him off.
"How can we be safe if you're attacking us?"
"They were acting on instinct, something harder and harder for some to resist," the pack leader said.
"Instinct? What instinct?" Lilly demanded to know.
"To be with him, to mate. We are desperate," continued the leader, "some more than others." He looked back to glare at a group of females who eyed the two boys hungrily. "You must understand that their time is drawing close. If they don't mate soon with...your kind...then they will go find the wild ones to be with, and we will be doomed to another generation further removed from what we are." He turned and placed himself squarely in front of Lilly, pointing at Sean. "They see our salvation in this one and the other. They have not the control to resist."
Lilly looked down at Sean, who was slowly getting himself back under control. Her mind was awash with things she didn't understand, and she wished her father were around to sort it all out. She hoped at least that Carlo would be able to figure it all out; and she looked over to where she had left him and gasped.
Carlo was still on the ground where they had been sleeping, surrounded by Loup-garoux but with none near him. He looked dead.
Lilly quickly pulled away from the crying boy in her arms and ran over to Carlo. He wasn't dead, but he was still unconscious.
Lilly tried to shake him awake, calling his name, but with no effect. Lilly knew that he had succumbed to his concussion, and that it might be a day or two before he woke again. She also knew that it was a dangerous condition for him to be in, especially given current circumstances. She needed to get him to Doctor Miller, but how?
The pack leader had followed her over and stood watching. He saw her distress, and knew as well that the boy was badly injured.
Lilly looked up at him and saw his concern as he saw tears running down her face.
"Can't you DO something for him?" she asked.
The pack leader stood still for a moment, then he crouched down. He slowly but firmly pushed Lilly to one side and gave a wordless command to two nearby Loup-garoux. The two wolves tried to pull a resistant Lilly further away, but she wouldn't have any of it.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Go," said the pack leader, "we can help, but you must stay back."
"You can help him?" Lilly said hopefully.
"We can, but you are too close."
"I don't want to leave him."
"You are too close."
"What are you going to do?" Lilly was getting more and more worried about what their plans were.
The pack leader, tired of the way this human female kept arguing, snarled and she felt hands close on both her arms. The two Loup-garoux behind her had 'stretched', and they stood and picked her up bodily.
The naked teenager struggled with the men, but each of them outweighed and out muscled her, so she was no match at all as they carried her to the nearest hot pool and dumped her in.
She came up, spluttering, but the presence of the men kept her from coming out again. She was quickly joined by Sean who had been herded over from the entrance. She hardly gave him a thought though, as she concentrated on watching what they were doing to Carlo.
"Don't hurt him!" she yelled, suddenly wishing that she hadn't.
She watched as the pack leader gently rolled Carlo onto his back, assisted by one of the female Loup-garou in human form. He bent low over the boy and placed his hands on Carlo's chest.
All became still in the grotto for a moment, and both Lilly and Sean were amazed to see something spectacular happen.
Up to now the change in form between wolf and human had been too fast to see clearly, but now they saw what was really going on, and it was beyond their comprehension. The pack leader had changed, but into what they couldn't tell. What they saw didn't hold a proper shape, and if they HAD been able to describe what they had seen, they would have been surprised to find out that they both saw something different.
What they would have agreed on was that there was a soft glow coming from what had been the pack leader...and that the glow was now spreading across Carlo's body.
The weather had indeed cleared up somewhat. Snow had stopped falling just before dawn, and the winds had died down. But the sky was still white with low clouds, which gave Paul Anderson something to be concerned about. He knew it could resume snowing at any time. Yet he couldn't delay any longer.
After getting some sleep (surprisingly enough) with his wife, he organized most of the men of the Compound into several search teams. He was glad that he made them practice their searches, it meant that they were a lot better organized than they could have been.
Each man was equipped with a survival sack and a set of snowshoes in addition to their furs. A little over two feet of actual snowfall had come down overnight, and it would be impossible to walk through it otherwise.
Paul had thought about not sending out any teams, instead depending on the boy in Gabe's care for directions as to where Lilly and Carlo were. But as he thought about it, he knew that there was just too great a risk the boy wouldn't be able to help. There was also Kinkade's missing son. There was no reason at all to think that Sean would be with his daughter and Carlo. While Paul was worried about his people, he was more concerned about the town boy. At least Lilly and Carlo knew how to take care of themselves on the mountain. Paul had no illusions as to the town boy's skill in those matters.
So the teams went, all in different directions to cover as much ground as possible. One team took Kinkade and the reluctant Kale with them; he was to lead them to where he had last seen Sean. Paul had put Grady and Johan on that team with special instructions to watch the kid.
One team didn't go anywhere, though. It was the team he was going to lead, as soon as he had talked to the newcomer.
Paul had them wait in the Great Hall while he visited the clinic. Inside he found Gabe Miller and the boy, who was now sitting up.
Paul studied the young man as he approached him, again thinking of the things Robert Klink had told him. The lad looked normal enough except for his short hair, but Paul knew that the town kids often did crazy things to their bodies. The boy also looked fitter, more filled out, as though he had been here for several days rather than one night.
At the moment the boy was eating, shoveling what looked like fried eggs and bread into his mouth with his fingers. He was eating as if he was starving, and it made Paul uncomfortable to watch.
Gabe walked over to Paul and steered him to the other side of the room.
"I'm glad you're here," said the doctor, "I was going to send someone for you."
"How long has he been awake?" Paul asked.
"Just a little while. I sent Vicky to get him some food, and that's his third helping. He has pretty much ignored the vegetables, but he loves his eggs!"
"Has he said anything?"
Gabe shook his head. "Not a word, not even his name and I've asked him. To be honest I don't even know if he understands me. Do you have any idea where he comes from?"
Paul had an idea, but it wasn't one he was willing to share.
"Is he fit?" Paul asked.
"Oh sure, but it's funny. Last night I could have sworn he was in no shape to do anything, but he looks a lot better now. I expect that Sheriff Kinkade can take him back to town with him; after all he must belong to someone out there, and the Sheriff can find out who."
"No," Paul replied, "the boy has a job to do first."
"You still think he knows where your daughter is?"
Gabe shrugged. "I'm not sure what your reasoning is, but I'll go along. If you can get him to tell you, then more power to you!"
"I'll get him to tell me," Paul said, moving away from the doctor.
Paul approached the boy, who looked up at him with bright blue eyes. The boy had a blanket drawn loosely across his lap, but was otherwise unclothed. Paul saw the faint remnants of scars all over the boy's body.
The boy finished his food and carefully put the bowl down next to him before licking his fingers clean. He watched both men evenly.
"Do you understand me?" Paul said to him.
The young man focused on Paul but said nothing.
"I need your help," Paul said. "My daughter and a friend of hers are out on the mountain somewhere. I think you might know where."
Again there was no reply.
Paul looked at Gabe who shrugged again. "I said he might not understand us," said the doctor.
Paul returned his attention to the boy who stared back at him. He reached out to touch the lad, but stopped when the boy growled.
"Jesus!" Gabe said, the hairs on the back of his neck suddenly rising.
Paul put his hand down. "I think you know her; I think you know where she might be. Can you take me to her? Can you take me to Lilly?"
At the sound of Lilly's name, the growling stopped and the boy grew more attentive. He looked at Paul in a puzzled way.
"He DOES know her," Paul said to Gabe, wondering how that was possible.
Gabe was wondering the same thing.
"Lilly!" Paul said again to the boy.
"Lilllllyyyy," the boy replied, forming the word carefully.
"Can you take me to her?" Paul pointed at the door, trying to mime his words as actions in the hope the boy would understand.
He evidently did, as he slid off the examination table he had been sitting on and began heading for the entrance. He left his blanket behind, and Gabe raised his eyebrows. "Well, wherever he's from, he evidently isn't shy!"
Paul didn't care. He followed the boy to the door. "Lilly?" he said, opening it.
The boy stared at Paul for a moment, then almost managed a smile before heading out.
The boy moved quickly, padding along the hallway at almost a trot. Paul had to jog to keep up. Paul wondered how the boy knew where he was going as he unerringly headed straight for the entrance closest to the north gate. He didn't know that the boy was following a trail no human could see, a scent trail as plain to someone of his ability as a broad yellow line would be to Paul. The boy knew Lilly's scent and could pick it out from the crowd of other human scents with ease.
They reached the hut entrance and Paul grabbed the boy. "WAIT, wait!" he said.
The boy turned quickly, a feral look on his face for just an instant, but he stopped.
"We can't go yet, I have to get my people," said Paul, hoping the boy understood.
Instead the boy pulled free and barged through the door straight out into the new snow.
Paul swore and looked around for someone to help him. But he was alone with no one in sight. He quickly opened a nearby storage locker and pulled out some furs for himself and the boy. What he needed was someone to go get the team of men he had assembled in the Great Hall, but he felt strongly that there wasn't time. The boy was going to Lilly right now, and to delay meant losing him.
Paul took a few seconds to pull on some boots and then stepped outside. The snow might have stopped falling, but it was still quite cold outside, and Paul wasn't surprised to see the boy standing just a few feet away knee deep in snow.
The boy stood shivering, hugging himself against the cold, and Paul tossed him some furs.
"Put those on before you die of exposure!" Paul said.
The naked boy looked at the bundle lying on the snow, then up at Paul.
Paul swore again and finished pulling his own furs on, strapping some snowshoes on over his boots. He was about to reach down to grab the extra furs in order to dress the boy himself, when the lad turned and started moving away.
"Wait! You have to get dressed!" Paul yelled. Then he saw something that took his breath away.
The boy dropped forward, extending his arms in front of him, and by the time he hit the ground he was something else. He turned to face the startled man, ears cocked, tail down low, and barked just once.
Paul's mind was almost overloaded. He still wasn't sure he believed what his eyes just told him. No one could do what he had just seen. Things like this weren't really real!
And yet...and yet...
Paul didn't get to wallow in confusion for long. He watched as the young wolf made his way to the north gate, and Paul followed. Wolf or not, this was his best chance at finding his daughter and he had to take it! He just wished he wasn't alone.
Lilly and Sean stood transfixed in the waist deep water, their upper halves shivering in the cold air that came in from above. But they didn't notice the cold; all they could see was Carlo, bathed in a soft glow as the thing they knew as the pack leader bent over him.
The other Loup-garou had formed a circle around him, all in wolf form now, in what looked like deep concentration.
Lilly and Sean could have walked out unimpeded right then if they had wanted, but neither of them could have torn their eyes from what was happening in front of them.
Movement, the first in what seemed like hours, signaled a change and the pack leader seemed to take on an almost human form. Then it began to change, stretching back to the wolf form they also knew by sight. Then back again, oscillating back and forth slowly, but with ever quickening speed.
It was Sean rather than Lilly who spotted it, and he nudged her, diverting her attention from the pack leader's face.
"Carlo," he whispered, and Lilly looked down and stopped breathing.
Carlo looked like...but it had to be a trick of the light. No, he WAS changing, like the pack leader, only not quite.
While the pack leader was going through whole body changes at an increasingly rapid pace, Carlo looked like he was just showing a shadow of that change. His features seemed to vibrate; one moment the face Lilly knew oh-so-very well, the next something more feral, more animal like.
His changes kept pace with the pack leader's, and soon the changes became a blur, until the pack leader howled in full wolf form and fell from Carlo's side.
The other Loup-garoux instantly leapt and began to pull their leader away. They dragged him bodily to a pool and dumped him in, careful to keep his head out of the water. A few stretched to become human, and they went in with him, holding him up in the water so he couldn't drown. Others appeared with meat in their jaws, animals taken in the recent hunt, and they began to feed their leader as a mother bird did its young. The pack leader looked to be unconscious, yet he ate as fast as the food was placed in his jaws.
All this Sean watched in rapt attention, but Lilly had other priorities. She climbed out of the pool and ran to the now alone Carlo. He looked perfectly normal now, and Lilly wondered if she had just imagined the changes in him she thought she had seen. But that was pushed out of her mind as Carlo awoke in her arms. He groaned and rolled onto his side.
His flesh was very cold to the touch, and Lilly called to Sean to come help her. The two teenagers managed to half carry their friend to the pool, and soon the hot water revived him.
"Hungry," he said, still not fully awake.
Sean immediately went to get some of the left over rabbit they had cooked the night before, while Lilly took Carlo in her arms and supported him in the water.
She was startled to see that the injury to the side of his head looked almost gone; it was as if he had been hit a week ago rather than the day before, and Lilly couldn't understand it. But what she did understand was that Carlo was now waking up, and seemed to be getting stronger with each passing second.
Sean showed up with some half burned, half raw meat. With a smile at Lilly, Carlo grabbed it and began chewing.
"You okay?" Lilly asked him, finding her voice.
Carlo nodded. "Yeah," he said between mouthfuls, "just as hungry as hell. What happened?"
Lilly and Sean looked at each other. "We don't know...exactly, except that I think they cured you."
"Your head, they fixed it!"
Carlo stared at Lilly for a moment, before looking over at the crowd of Loup-garoux at the other pool. Then he turned and smiled at her.
"I don't know what they did," he said, "but I feel fantastic, like I could take on the world. Once I've had a decent meal, of course."
Lilly was still worried. "You sure?"
Carlo nodded. "Oh yeah, in fact..." Carlo reached out and grabbed Lilly. He pulled her to him and hugged her close, a warm, tender kiss from his lips to hers.
Lilly was quite surprised, but found herself melting into him, and enjoying the kiss immensely. She changed her hold on him to allow her to hold him more closely, and the couple allowed the kiss to become a little more passionate.
Standing nearby, Sean watched them, looking over at the Loup-garoux
from time to time. As he watched the young lovers, he remembered
the strange passion he felt for the women who tried to rape him, and began
End of Part 11