HAPPY THANKSGIVING Howls and Yowls, Shapeshifter lovers.
So, I've been working on this flash scene all day...letting Dante have his say.
And so it continues... The Divergent Timeline...
Trouble In Wolf Peak Territory ... Freedom and Gratitude
As wolf, Dante raced up the mountain trail that passed near his Interspecies Pleasure Club. The subterranean complex he'd built—and expanded for several years now—was hidden from prying eyes deep within a timber and conifer forest.
Wild, ferocious with the need to run his territory—given recent scat-troubling events—Dante exploded. In a blaze of speed, he challenged the cold whipping wind.
Primal love of the land thundered through Dante, and became the swift ruthless hum of his blood. The pungent scents of Mother Nature excited his nose like a Thanksgiving day feast.
As he sprinted for his observation spot on the side of the mountain, the crisp autumn air blasted into his lungs. He was alive. He was free.
With his last breath, Dante intended to stay free. Owned by no one. A beta to none.
Werewolf power flowed through Dante like bolts of electricity. As he halted near what he called his sitting rock, he huffed out breaths. Quickly, he morphed to human, then grabbed hold of one of the Navajo blankets he kept stashed.
Once he'd wrapped himself in the warmth of the wool blanket, he perched atop the boulder. Dante surveyed the land, his territory. Allowing his tumultuous thoughts to become a pool of stillness, for now, he focused on the town of Talbot Peak. Once a haven for shifters and supernaturals, of every type and stripe, and humans... now...
Now the weak-minded Mayor Gilbert, who many were saying had just lost his filberts—along with the blowhard dolts surrounding him, Chewie the NY rat being foremost—now, their ill thought-out actions, threatened every man, woman, and child, in what had once been Talbot Peak territory.
No more, Dante determined, his mood grim. Howls to the One Wolf, It was another security headache he didn't need. Or want. But now, he faced a no-choice situation. Immediately, he would seal off the borders around the town with security teams. Because, exposure to the evil powers-that-be, no matter how well intentioned, was a certain death sentence, or worse.
Before returning to Montana, while running loose and free in Europe, Dante had assisted in countless rescue operations...those shifters and supernaturals captured, and mercilessly experimented on by the dark cabal's mad scientists. No cruelty had been spared on these helpless victims.
Dante scowled. He bared the fangs he no longer had, and a formidable growl escaped. With every savagery he possessed, Dante intended to protect his pack—to protect all those he loved—to protect and shelter those who remained loyal to him.
The treachery of good intentions... Dante snarled, the winds carrying the sound away swiftly. His most beloved Kitty, the mate of his heart, had done her best to explain, to warn Mayor Gilbert about the future dangers to everyone in town, to everyone who lived in the territory... and that thug-brazen rat, who bowed down to human rules like a house slave, dared to say he wanted his sticky paws spanking her ass.
Dante snorted a growl. Like that would ever happen. Kitty would claw his eyes out and his puny balls off first. Yeah, given he had bigger badder rats to fry up... he imagined them all in a hot-oil turkey cooker... Dante figured he'd let his sire handle Chewie. Whispers had it that Daimon had made a few calls to the nearest Internal Revenue Service, as a dutiful citizen informant. And, no howling doubt, Chewie's name had been mentioned.
With a smile curving his lips, Dante removed his gaze from Talbot Peak. He looked to the north where a small farm town lay nestled among the surrounding pasture-carpeted hills. Recently, on Delvezio's advice—and because the Circle of Witches had foreseen the state's infiltration of Talbot Peak—Dante had made hidden financial arrangements. He'd paid off the bank loans, and bought out the few remaining townsfolk—those who hadn't had the funds to leave the failed community.
Now he owned the town lock, stock, and old-time barrels.
Hearing Delvezio's human footsteps approach, Dante called out, "Great day for a run as wolf." Standing, he waved his arm in a wide arc, "Welcome to Wolf Peak Territory."
"Wolf Peak Territory. I like the howl ring of that." Delvezio howled his enthusiasm as Dante tossed him a woolen blanket. "Great spot for a meeting of our wolf minds. Nothing like a mountain view of our new town, Moon Lake."
"Nothing," Dante agreed. At least, if someone in town got big fat britches now, he could officially banish them.
"Scat." Delvezio saronged the blanket. "I've been deluged with requests for help. Seems like half the population in Talbot Peak wants to move away, and fast. I don't blame them. But this morning has been logistics hell, as far as rescheduling food deliveries to Peak businesses."
"Scat yeah, I know, the email, text, and phone deluge is on." Dante leaned against his boulder, and Delvezio joined him. "Those with private rooms at the Pleasure Club, and in our underground survival wing, want immediate attention. I've got a team on it, slogging through all the requests...organizing as fast as possible. Most everyone can overwinter at the club. Without problem. Mother Moon, that's reason to be thankful."
"I'm thankful we have the resources to help. Although, with winter getting serious, it will slow down building new homes."
"Got Big Martha all revved up." Dante pictured the giant machine in his mind. "She can bore tunnels through about anything. Soon enough, we'll have direct underground access to Moon Lake. But right now, I have a crack team working hard to round up a convoy of moving trucks—and they're purchasing the invisible-to-surveillance paint on the black market."
Delvezio barked a rumble. "Can't have a column of moving trucks visible to sky-net surveillance."
"Nope. And the cyber team will be busy enough wiping out the records the mayor has built up on everyone." Dante shook his head, regret at the situation swamping him for moments. He'd truly liked Mayor Gilbert.
"It's become an ape-riot circus, trying to accommodate everyone now. And with Thanksgiving only a couple of days away, with plans being changed at the last minute...holy scat, you know the picture better than I do."
"Ape-riot circus. I'm going to remember that one, Del." Dante rumbled a short laugh.
Delvezio rumbled a chuckle. "On the good gratitude side, we had some preparations made. Most of our town's buildings have been cleared and cleaned, and are being refurbished. About half of the homes are liveable. Water is turned on, and the off-the-grid energy system is working top notch."
"Yeah, outstanding job, Del. We do have a whole helluva lot to be grateful for this year." Dante slapped his fast friend on the back, then cast his gaze on his sleepy looking farm town, still sprinkled with last night's tiny snowfall. "The cyber team has wiped Moon Lake off the virtual map—erased it from the public record. They've put up some kind of sci fi force-shield. Don't ask me how it works."
"I won't. It's all Greek to me," Delvezio joked.
"This year, they'll be more enjoying the main feast table at the club." Dante grinned. "You know, it'll give us a chance to build a tighter-knit community, as my dam would say."
Shards of unwanted pain and sadness stabbed Dante. He hadn't been able to find his mother, no matter how relentlessly he'd searched. She'd hidden herself well from Daimon.
"I swear on the One Wolf, I can smell the cooking aromas from the club. My mouth is watering." Delvezio moved so he could overlook Moon Lake. "There's lots of riding room for my Amazon woman." .
"Yeah, she sure has taken to training the women and girls how to be fearless warrioresses. Yeah, howl about gratitude, Del, I'm one grateful son of a wolf for your woman. Our females need to know every trick and skill there is, to protect themselves."
"Some of the women are already clamoring to go on patrol." Delvezio faced Dante, his gaze keen, questioning.
"We'll need them in the future. Now that we have greater territorial borders to protect, and enemies at the gate."
Delvezio raised his brows. Concern glittered his eyes. "Enemies? Holding out on me?"
"Naw. Think of it this way, Del. It's like in "The Matrix"," Dante paused, then quoted, "You're the one that has to walk through it. ... But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. ... And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it."
"Talbot Peak," Delvezio quietly stated.
"Yeah, Talbot Peak." Dante extended his arm, pointing toward Moon Lake. "The Pleasure Club, and our town. That is the future for our kind, and for those humans who want to join us, and live free."
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance