It was snowing again, although not nearly as much as the night before. Big, fluffy flakes drifted slowly to the ground through the trees, most of which were now bare of leaves. The air was still, and barely a sound could be heard except for the occasional flutter of bird wings or the crack of wood weighted down by snow.
Into this quiet place bounded a young wolf, the snow so deep that it appeared to be swimming in it. He made his way in a sure line through the forest that covered this side of the mountain, following the trail his nose had no problem detecting.
Occasionally he would stop and look back, reassuring himself that the awkward two-legged creature following him was still there. The man was moving along at a steady pace using a strange looking open legged gait due to the wide snowshoes he wore.
Reassured, the wolf moved on.
It had just cleared a particularly deep patch of snow when suddenly it froze. Its nose almost quivered as it detected the scent of a nearby rabbit. The young wolf adopted a hunting stance and moved slowly and carefully. He was still hungry and would be for a while, but a nice fresh rabbit would help a lot.
There it was, crouched under a bush, watching the wolf with large brown eyes and hoping its camouflage would protect it. For most other animals it would have, but canines hunted with their noses, not their eyes, so it wouldn't have mattered what color the rabbit was.
The wolf sensed the rabbit about to bolt, and focused on it. Immediately the rabbit calmed, not knowing that it was responding to something even the wolf was unaware of, a mental bond between predator and prey enhanced by the uniqueness of this particular breed of hunter. The young wolf, like the rest of its kind, instinctively knew how to calm its prey; it just made it a lot easier to take them.
The wolf pounced.
Coming up over the hill, Paul Anderson stopped and watched while the wolf killed and ate the unfortunate rabbit. Paul had no feelings for the smaller animal, he knew that here in the wild it was kill or be killed, a natural order even for wolves. Instead he was grateful for the rest; the pace set by the...thing...had been a hard one. He pulled some jerky from the sack he carried and nibbled on it while he watched the wolf feed.
Paul felt strangely at peace at the moment. Before starting on this journey, his mind had been a jumble of worries about all sorts of things. From the safety of his daughter, to who he would get to scrape the snow off the roofs when he got back.
But the act of navigating across the mountain in his snowshoes, the concentration needed to put one foot in front of the other in a way that didn't break his neck, had helped him focus. Time on the mountain had always helped Paul clear his head, but this journey, this pursuit, had allowed him to purge all that was unnecessary from his mind.
The things he had left behind were important, no doubt about that, but he was now focused on getting his people back, with everything else a secondary concern.
The wolf appeared to be finished and wiped its muzzle in the snow before taking off again. So Paul followed.
Lilly could feel her heart thumping in her chest as she rubbed her body up against Carlo's. Her nipples felt hard and extra sensitive as she ground them against the young man's chest. She was well aware of her arousal, knowing the feelings from those late night experiments in her own bed, but it was also something quite new to her as her naked body responded to stimuli never before encountered. Something about Carlo seemed different, although her conscious mind noted nothing at all. Certainly he had caused this particular young woman's heart to beat a little harder at times, especially lately when it seemed to her that he was as interested in her as she was in him. But now for some reason he seemed irresistible.
The feel of the man beneath her, his chest, his legs, his...manhood, excited her and she desperately wanted it all. She could feel him probing her down there; not yet entering but certainly knocking on the door. Each contact with him sent a buzz through her body, and she knew she could smell her own moistness. Never before had she felt so physically attracted to him, so in need of this intimate contact. The 'whys' of her extreme reaction never entered her mind, she just responded as she was biologically conditioned to do.
Carlo's arms were wrapped tight around her, and his lips hardly left hers for a moment. Tongues probed strongly where only soft kisses had gone before. Occasionally Carlo would break off to bend low, taking her neck in his mouth, biting gently and sometimes sucking.
Lilly would stiffen at these bites, her fingers clenching behind HIS back, scratching him with her finger nails as her pain/pleasure centers were activated.
This was not like she had ever imagined sex to be like, it was BETTER!
Lilly shifted her hips once more, changing the angle slightly so that Carlo's probing was more on target. She could feel him push against her virgin lips, almost penetrating, a little farther each time. She wanted to take over and envelope him, burying him deep inside her, but the way he held her prevented that. That moment was his alone to choose, and the waiting was driving Lilly nuts!
She began to moan, to whisper, to beg to be taken, but her partner still held back. His scent was filling her senses, and it seemed to her that with each breath her need for him grew stronger. She didn't know that what she sensed was literally the truth as she reacted to his pheromones, pheromones that for some reason were now a lot more potent than they were before the Loup-garoux got to him.
Their passion grew.
Watching this was Sean, and he could feel HIS passion growing also. He looked on as Carlo and Lilly writhed together next to the pool, hardly noticing the cold air or the rough ground. To his inexperienced eyes their lovemaking looked animal, base, not what he had expected from the two of them at all.
Sean was at war with himself. On the one hand, what he saw was what he expected to see given the things he had been told about the people of the Compound. Open sex was quite normal for these people, with regular orgies every night that probably even included their children. That part of Sean's mind was only surprised that Carlo hadn't tied Lilly up first, as everyone knew that the men there had to tie their women down for sex. Sean even saw a length of leather cord lying close by, the one he had taken off Lilly earlier and not picked up with their clothes by the Loup-garoux, and wondered why Carlo hadn't used it.
But then there was the other side of Sean, the one that had gotten to know this couple over the last day, the one that had admired how loving they had looked earlier and how strong they BOTH seemed to be. What he saw before him didn't match what he KNEW about them.
Sean glanced around, and could see that the three of them were no longer alone. Surrounding them were many of the Loup-garoux, mostly the women, almost all in human form.
All were watching the show in front of them, the females hungrily. Some of them glanced at Sean from time to time, and the looks the females gave him would have had a priest unbuttoning his shirt. But then a priest wouldn't have known what they were, and that knowledge alone kept Sean from taking up their invitation.
But it was difficult. Without looking he could feel that he was hard, painfully rock solid, and he knew that in this state it wouldn't take much at all for him to shoot it all off. He wondered just what the women here would do to get him to cum inside them, what lengths would they go to?
He wanted to, he really wanted to, and the longer he stared at them the less control he felt he had. Then he remembered how he woke up, how he had actively taken part in what was an attempted rape of his own body until he had pulled himself away. The feelings he had now were the same, so with an effort he turned away from them to look at Lilly and Carlo again.
No, it wasn't right. They had to be under the...influence of these people too.
"Carlo," he cried out, moving a little closer to them, well aware of what was wobbling between his legs. "Lilly!"
The couple ignored him, still in erotic embrace not yet consummated. Sean reached out to grab Lilly's shoulder, but before his hand touched her, Carlo reached out to him and took his wrist. There was a wild look on Carlo's face, a dangerous look; and in spite of the sexual heat he could feel coming off the two of them, Sean instantly grew soft.
The fear he felt actually cleared his head for a moment, and Sean realized what was going on.
"Carlo, listen to me!" he said strongly. "Stop it, you can't do this! Listen to me. They're forcing you into this, can't you feel it?" Sean kept repeating this while trying to pull his arm out of Carlo's iron grip.
Carlo just stared at him, his body making love to Lilly almost on its own accord, but slowly the angry look of a territorial male slowly faded from view, to be replaced with realization.
Rational thoughts began to percolate down through the mind of the young man whose only recent thoughts had been on taking the girl he had lusted after for the last few years.
He stopped his probing of her sex and let go of Sean, all the time listening to what the boy had to say.
Carlo took Lilly by the upper arms and began to lift her off him, repeating to her what Sean said to him. He still felt a strong desire for sex, and a large part of him just wanted to lift Lilly up and impale her on him. But as Sean's knowledge of who the Loup-garoux were kept him from tripping over the edge, Carlo's upbringing saved him. Trained from birth to respect the sex act as a loving moment shared by married couples only, he had a rock to grasp onto in his fight against the unnatural sexual urges he was feeling.
But he couldn't convey that to Lilly; she fought his attempts to push her away, her sexual heat completely overtaking her. She wanted him and was determined to get him.
Desperate, Carlo did the only thing he could. He lifted her higher and rolled her to one side, Lilly crying in frustration. It seemed easy for him to then roll her on her front and pull her arms behind her.
He looked wildly around for something to tie her up with, and only then noticed their audience.
Sean anticipated Carlo's need and moved to snag the cord he had spotted. This brought him right in front of one of the women, and he could smell and see HER strong arousal. Sean knew he was fighting a losing battle and managed to tear his eyes away for a moment to look for the pack leader, but instead locked eyes with the one who had challenged for leadership of the pack twice before.
This male growled at Sean and gestured to the woman. The message was clear, fuck her or you die.
Fear and lust combined to win over Sean's senses, but the boy's last conscious act before giving in was to toss the cord to Carlo.
Carlo caught it with ease, and used it to quickly bind the wriggling, pleading girl beneath him. He tied her wrists tightly behind her in the traditional way and then brought her ankles up. As he worked, he was conscious of Sean disappearing under a group of females, and Carlo knew that the women surrounding him would soon have him in the same position. Knowing there was nothing he could do about it, he at least wanted to protect Lilly. So far none of the males had shown any sexual interest in the girl, and given the reason for their actions, he didn't expect any. So he felt secure about tying her up, and proceeded to bind her ankles into a hog-tie with what was left of the cord. He wasn't tying her up to protect her from the advances of any of the men, but to prevent her from getting hurt fighting the female Loup-garoux for his body. Carlo knew that something had gotten to Lilly, and that she hadn't been able to shake it off and take back control as he and Sean had done. But Carlo's control was slipping quickly from his exposure to all the active pheromones in the air.
The last knot done, he bent low to kiss the struggling girl one last time, and then stood.
It took only few steps for him to become completely surrounded, and
then he too disappeared.
The Loup-garoux had lost their humanity, the women had, that is. Every animal in the world has the biological urge to mate and reproduce, even humans, and for most species, this urge can become so strong that it overwhelms everything else.
The female Loup-garoux had reached that point, and with the urging of most of the males, they attempted to satisfy that need.
The pack leader watched from one of the pools, but was in no shape to control them anymore. Even if he had been at full strength, the concentration of pheromones in the air would have made any attempt to stop them futile. The women were in heat, and little could stop that basic biological function.
Strangely enough though, events in the grotto didn't degenerate into a group orgy amongst all the pack members. While the sexual pheromones the females gave off were devastating to the nervous system of males, true wolf or human, they had little affect on male Loup-garoux. The men of the pack patrolled quietly around the two boys, keeping their women in some sort of order and controlling the pace. They also instinctively watched for outside danger, even though in the grotto such danger was negligible. The males were able to stay so detached and in control because the same quirk of nature that allowed the Loup-garoux to exist at all also saw to it that they didn't die out from incest. To survive, the Loup-garoux had to mate outside their species with either regular wolves or with humans, so male and female Loup-garoux were naturally non-compatible sexually speaking, at least while the women were in heat. The females would only seek out the protection of the males once they were impregnated, or when pregnancy through sexual contact wasn't a danger.
So the males patrolled, watching and controlling where necessary, but otherwise not interfering. They also ignored the struggling human female, alone in her bonds. They didn't understand much of what she said anyway, because very few had human language skills.
If they had, they might have been amused at the way she cried out to be released so she could go to her lover. They would have heard her yell and swear in her desire to take her mate, just like the female Loup-garoux did. As time went on, they also might have noticed how her yelling ceased, and how the heat of passion that had completely taken her over slowly faded, to be replaced with shame.
And so it went on.
The young wolf entered the gully, knowing where it was going even without the trail. There was only one place where his pack would have taken the golden one.
He was proven right when the two sentries spotted him and came down to block his access.
Growling, all three Loup-garoux faced each other down. Warnings to stay away were given; the young wolf was not wanted there. But the young wolf knew this was where it had to be; the trail of the golden one led right into this secret den.
Paul Anderson heard the growling as he stepped out of the nearby tree line and paused. He saw two big wolves menacing the one he had followed across half the mountain, and wasn't sure what was going on. The two big wolves certainly didn't want HIS wolf around, though. Paul wondered if they were real wolves, unwanting of this strange pretender. He was ignorant of the politics that really separated the animals.
He looked around, wondering if they were close to their destination
yet. All he saw were trees and snow, and the side of a cliff face
at least fifty feet high. As he crouched low to stay out of sight,
Paul thought about the hours he had now been out on the mountain alone,
and he wondered if a new search party had been organized to look for HIM!
"Sydney, you damn dog! Hold up a minute!" growled Bill Anderson, his right hand almost numb from the pull on Sydney's leash. Paul's uncle Bill was with a group of several men on a search of the mountain. They were the group Paul had been forced to leave behind, and after a couple of hours wasted waiting for him, they had decided to go out looking for him.
Almost at once Sydney had picked up a trail he had been determined to follow, and the group hoped that the dog was leading them to their Guardian, and not after another rabbit. Sydney was no bloodhound, but was still enthusiastic about the hunt.
What they didn't know was that the dog wasn't following Paul's scent
at all, but a much stronger and stranger one. Sydney's doggie mind
had no idea what it was, but it generated a need in the dog to hunt it
down and kill it!
All was returning to normal in the grotto, the Loup-garoux slowly retreating to their smaller groupings.
Alone, each of the teenagers lay exhausted.
The two boys were both worn out, pushed to their limits by their youth and the potency of the pheromone fog they had breathed the last few hours. Carlo had gone farther than Sean had, a reserve of strength in him that even he didn't know was there. But even so, they had failed to mate with all the females that needed them. There was only so much one man could put out, and it took longer and longer to recuperate each time.
Still, the attitude of the pack had changed. Enough women had been serviced to provide for a future, and those who hadn't been taken care of were being soothed by the rest.
The pack madness had ended.
Lying between the two boys was the girl. Still tightly bound in her hog-tie, she cried quietly to herself. She had come to her senses in the middle of the orgy, knowing full well what Carlo was doing in the middle of his group of women. She had but a hazy idea of what she herself had been up to, but knew enough to feel truly ashamed.
She had WANTED him! Not just in the shy, secret way she had recently grown to accept and love, but deep down to her core, where the animal inside her resided. She hadn't cared about her lessons, about how her feelings for Carlo would have been fine if they were married, but not now. She had thrown away years of moral teachings in her passions, and it had been EASY!
If disregarding her beliefs was so simple, what other foundations of her life could she throw away just as casually? What would become of her if she had no cares in the world?
What about Carlo? He had seemed just as willing as she to have sex, and then for some reason he rejected her in favor of these other women, tying her up and casting her away!
The loss of him both angered and almost destroyed her, because she had no idea that she too had been as good as drugged into her sexual ecstasy. Only unlike the boys the source of her passion was not the Loup-garoux, but her own kind.
Carlo woke up, hearing Lilly crying, and he groaned, causing her to stop. He remembered everything, including things he didn't want to remember. Looking down himself, he was surprised to see that he was still hard, yet he could feel no sexual passion left in him.
He looked over at Lilly, glad to see she was as he left her. He saw she was watching him, and he gave her a smile as he gathered his strength to get up.
She looked away.
Puzzled, Carlo got to his feet, his strength coming back faster than he would have thought after the marathon sex session he had just had. "Lilly, are you okay?" he asked.
Lilly didn't answer him; she lay still, her hands and feet still tied together behind her.
"Lilly?" Carlo said. He was now growing concerned. Walking over to her, he could see dried blood on her wrists and ankles. She had evidently been pulling very hard on her bonds, cutting her flesh in the process, but she didn't act as if she noticed.
"Lilly, are you all right?" he asked once more, but Lilly still kept her face turned away. "Okay," he said slowly, concerned about her behavior, "I'm going to untie you now."
"Why bother?" Lilly said, not looking at him.
"Why bother untying me? You'll only want to tie me up again the next time you want to have sex with your...harem!"
"I don't understand," Carlo said, reaching for her bonds. As he touched her she jerked, pulling the thin leather cord into her flesh once more.
Lilly cried out in pain and Carlo moved to soothe her.
"STAY AWAY FROM ME!" she yelled at him.
"Lilly!" Carlo said. A little way away from them, Sean woke up, and sat up to watch them.
"Stay away you...bastard!" Lilly said with venom in her voice. "Go be with your bitches! I can't believe we almost...I almost..." she started to cry and Carlo hesitated. He didn't know whether to continue to try to comfort her or to leave. Then he figured that Lilly hadn't yet suspected that something had forced them all into doing the things they did.
"Lilly, it wasn't me; and it wasn't you either!" he said firmly.
"Go away!" she replied.
"Lilly, they did something to us; something that made us go crazy!"
"Yeah, I believe you, go away," she said flatly.
"Come on, Lilly, was what we did normal for us?"
Lilly didn't answer him.
Carlo felt a presence at his side; it was the pack leader, strong enough to move around now.
He had overheard their conversation, as had most of the pack. He couched down beside Lilly where she could see him, unmindful of the close up view he gave her of his genitals. Such modesty was beyond him.
"Girl," he said slowly, "do not be angry with this one. What you felt was not of his making. What he went through was not of his making. When the heat is on nothing can stop it. It is the way things are."
Lilly looked up at his face, she saw nothing but sadness.
"What we did...was...inexcusable," she whispered to him.
The pack leader bent low. "You did...nothing," he whispered back. He stood up again and stepped back to address all three teenagers. "We go now, you may go too. Thank you, you have given us a future again."
"What?" asked Carlo, but the pack leader turned and said nothing more.
The three of them watched as the pack dispersed very quickly, exiting through a second crack in the cliff wall that Carlo hadn't even known was there. The last one through after the two sentries from the other entrance was the pack leader. He 'stretched' and then watched them for a moment, before vanishing into the dark.
Sean immediately headed for the pile of clothes on the far side, but Carlo looked at Lilly.
"Lilly?" he asked.
"Is it true?" she asked, wanting desperately to believe that she had been forced into breaking her moral code.
"Would you have...if you hadn't gone to them, would you have...taken me?"
Carlo wanted to tell her the truth; that in all probability he would have had her and then moved on to the others all the same. But he was struggling with a crisis of morals, and was smart enough to know that she was too. So he shook his head. "I stopped didn't I?" he said. " I even tied you up because you had no control left. I did it to protect both of us!" He figured a mix of the truth and a white lie was what was needed here.
Lilly watched him for a moment, then let out a breath. She was willing to believe him because any other course of action meant disaster. "Can you untie me?" she asked.
Carlo moved forward and began the messy and difficult job of freeing the woman he loved.
In the quiet of the grotto they suddenly heard a scrambling sound coming from the entrance, and in a few seconds another wolf appeared. Sean thought it was one of the pack returning, but both Carlo and Lilly recognized it as the young wolf they had met that had started it all.
It came bounding over to the young couple and began licking Lilly's face, obviously pleased to see her. For Carlo it had a cautious look.
"I can't believe he's alive!" Lilly said, knowing the cliff he had been tossed over.
"More proof that those creatures were what they said they were," Carlo replied.
"Is that a friend of yours?" Sean asked from across the grotto. Half dressed, he regarded the new arrival suspiciously.
"Yes," Lilly said, a smile slowly stealing across her face despite the pain in her wrists and ankles that she was really beginning to feel now.
Carlo wasn't so sure, but he nodded anyway. "You okay, Sean?" Carlo asked the other boy.
"Yeah, just sore. Before today, I would have given anything to have that much sex, but now I don't want to have sex again ever!" Sean suddenly blushed, not believing he had just voiced those thoughts. At least, he thought, he hadn't expressed the deeper ones he had about his ordeal.
More scrambling at the entrance made all four of them turn.
Paul sat for a while, watching the three wolves argue. It seemed to him that the only thing the pair of wolves they had come across was trying to do was keep his wolf from approaching the cliff. Paul didn't know why the young wolf wanted to get to the cliff; it looked perfectly normal to him.
He was about to get up when something different happened. The sentries suddenly perked their ears up and back. Then, with a final growl at the young wolf, they moved back and slipped into a hidden crack in the wall.
Surprised, Paul watched to see what the young wolf would do, and was disappointed to see that all it did was settle down.
The wolf looked back at Paul for a second, then resumed its vigil on the crack. About fifteen minutes later, it stood up and moved quickly to the entrance to the grotto, wagging its tail. It looked back at Paul once more, and then moved inside.
Paul quickly got up and made his way down as fast as he could, but it was still slow going with all the snow. Closer now, he could see the myriad tracks of many animals, all shod the same way. Wolves.
He reached the crack and squatted down to take a look. It was dark in there, and barely big enough for him to get into, but Paul figured he had no choice. With wolves on his mind as well as his daughter's safety, Paul crawled into the darkness.
He emerged in a grotto he hadn't visited in years, but remembered from his own childhood. For a fleeting moment, he wondered why he hadn't remembered this place looking at it from the outside, but by then his eyes had taken in the scene before him.
To one side was a town boy pulling on a snowsuit. Obviously, he had to be the Kinkade child; he had the same sandy hair his father had. On the other side was the wolf, and with him were Carlo and Lilly, both naked, with Lilly tied up.
Again there was the fleeting thought, this time wondering if in fact the couple HAD sneaked in here to spend some time alone together. But the wolves outside had come through this way, and all the other events of the past two days gave lie to his suspicions. Not to mention that Lilly's arms and legs looked to be coated in blood; and one thing he was sure Carlo would never do was hurt his daughter, well, mostly sure.
"What's going on here?" he said as soon as he was upright.
"Daddy!" yelled Lilly, ever so glad to see him.
He quickly made his way over to his daughter and carefully embraced her. Upon seeing her injuries he looked accusingly at Carlo, but the boy started to explain, and with Lilly's support Paul slowly gained some more knowledge about the Loup-garoux. By the time they had freed his daughter, and bandaged her torn skin, the tale was somewhat complete, but still had a lot of holes in it.
Paul didn't know what to think, except that he needed time to think. As the couple dressed, he urged all three teenagers to say nothing of what happened. The Loup-garoux were gone, and looked to stay that way, at least for a while.
Paul decided that his major concern right then was to get the kids to safety.
As they were leaving though, he looked around for the...wolf...that had led him here. But no one had noticed it slipping out the other entrance, still in pursuit of the pack that didn't want it.
It had returned the golden one to her own pack leader, now it had to find its own peace.
Sad they had not had a chance to say goodbye, Lilly joined the men and
crawled out of the grotto.
They met the search party three hours later going the other way.
Sydney had to be dragged backwards almost the entire way back by an
increasingly frustrated Bill Anderson.
End of Part 12