Chapter Seven

(Lynx P.O.V) Ryker came home late after school, he missed supper. Not that it bothered me, I ate plenty! But it wasn’t like him to stay out late for just some joy ride or something, he was always the peak of perfection in our family, the good boy who was always on time for everything, but lately he’s been off…. I blame Akira actually, since he met her he’s been different, but it really took a toll on him, losing his left eye and all. That has to be at least part of the reason. If I’m right then yeah I was right, for once, and if not… THEN I REALLY WANT TO KNOW!!!!! Ahem, anyways, Ryker came home late and decided to lounge out on the sofa so me and Tillie snuck up behind him and peeked over the top of the sofa glaring down at him. “Go away you annoying mutts.” He growled as he rolled over. Me and Tillie ducked down to catch our breaths. “I thought he was asleep!” Tillie wisped. “So did I!” I whispered back. We stayed behind the sofa until we were certain that he HAD to be sleeping. Then we silently crept over to where he laid his head. The light of the fire was dim and the lights were out so it was quite dark, for a human very hard to see, but for us it wasn’t really dark at all. We stared at him for a few seconds, just to make sure he really was sleeping, that way we live. “Okay, I think he’s really sleeping this time.” Tillie whispered in my ear. I nodded and stretched out my hands and gently went to grab his head. “Gently now, gently.” Tillie said as I stretched them out farther towards Ryker. I nearly died as his hand shot up and grabbed my wrist. His eyes were shinning a deep red colour. “I said gently you idiot!” Tillie hissed in my ear. I gulped hard and heard it echo. Ryker turned and sat straight up staring at us. He grabbed Tillie before she could get away and held us by the wrists. “Just what were you planning to do to me?” He growled. His voice could be terrifying when he wanted it to be, and it sure was at that point. “You better start talking.” The grin on his face was enough to make me want to pee myself cause I knew he wasn’t kidding if was going to rip my arm off, I needed that! “We were just making sure that you were getting enough sleep, besides, you need a checkup so we were going to check to make sure that you were health. Please let me go!” Tillie whined. Ryker loosened his grip and she slipped free, running off to safety, smiling back at me with that; ‘ha, ha sucker!’ expression on her face. Noooo! Help me!!!!! Somebody, anybody, please….I don’t wanna die! ~knock, knock~ uh…. Someone’s at the door, my HERO!!!!! Ryker quickly dropped my hand and flicked the lights on, his eyes returned to normal and I stopped freaking out. My wrist really hurt though, he’s so mean to me. It was a bit surprizing to see Akira standing in the doorway. I knew thought I’d have to thank I human girl for saving me from Ryker…..Odd is it not? “Akira what are you doing here?” Ryker asked, as shocked as I was to see her.

“Actually Claude wanted to talk to you about earlier, sorry to come over so late, but he said it was important and I wanted to tag along. I hope you don’t mind.” She smiled and, out of all respect, we lost it. There was no way we could say no to a face like that; the smile, the tilt of the head, her closed eyes that opened so slowly and fluttered sweetly. Dazed we nodded in sync as she walked inside. Our expression of joy faded as Claude walked in behind her. What a way to wreck the mood. Thank you very much, I was enjoying the image of no pain inflected on me by Ryker, thank you, I really do appreciated it Claude! “Quite the place you got here, very impressive.” He said as he slowly looked around. I had a feeling that tonight was going to be a long night.

(Ryker P.O.V) I walked Akira inside to the sofa and sat down opposite from her leaving a gap inbetween was. I heard Claude say something but I didn’t really care. Rusty showed him in and Lynx led him to the living room to join us. Akira scooted over to side next to me; I couldn’t help but smile back at her when she smiled up at me. I loved having her scent in the house, it was refreshing in a sense, and I had no intention on harming her. And no one else was allowed to harm her either. She’s mine; she just doesn’t know it yet. “Good to see you again Ryker.” Claude chimed as he sat on the red chair across from me. He seemed a bit confused when he took notice to Akira sitting beside me. “You to Claude, might I ask what it is you want to talk about?” I asked. Lyn said quietly across from Claude in the other red chair. Akira didn’t really seem to care about our conversation and sat quietly beside me resting her head on my shoulder. “I’d like to speak with you in private, if it’s not too much trouble.” Claude said, gesturing to Akira beside me. With a frown she scooted away and looked at Lynx. He looked at me then at Akira and back to me. I nodded to him and waved my hand. He sighed but got up to leave anyway. “Take Akira with you, and make sure Tillie stays away from her.” I said. He nodded. I watched as they, quite disappointed, left me and Claude alone to talk. “Who’s Tillie?” He asked me. “Any annoy maid that we have here, her twin sister is Millie, and she’s my favorite and the only tolerable one here.” I replied. I watched Claude nodded slowly. “Does Akira know about you? Did you tell her, did she find out on her own?” “Not that I know of. I never told her anything about my origin if that’s what your implying. She has no idea what I am; I’m going to tell her just not right now.” Claude seemed worried. “What!? You can’t do that, not to Akira I won’t let you.” He stood above me and scowled. I flashed him a fang and growled, forcing him to sit down. “How dare you! This is my home you’re in, keep yourself managed or I’ll do it for you!” I hissed under my breath. With a nod he glanced away, which was rather odd for this class. “Why are you so worried anyway Claude?” I asked him, calming myself down.

“Cause she’s my daughter that’s why.” I stared at him in my confusion. “Well not yet, but she will be…. I asked her mother to marry me tonight. The wedding is set for two months from now, that’s her timing anyway. She’s the one planning it.” He added. It made more sense when put like that, and if Akira was okay with it than she accepted him and that could mean that one day she might be against me. I don’t want that to happen. “So you plan to turn her into one of you?” “Next year she’ll be old enough to start her training; I’m hoping that she’ll become a good hunter one day. She’s a smart girl and quite capable.” “Why? Are you scared of something, scared you can’t protect her?” “No of course not, but I know when she learns what you are than she’ll what help us rid the world of your kind.” “So it’s me your scared of then, is that it?” I said, teasing him with my words. “I’m not afraid of you, you little mutt!” He exclaimed. I was hoping that Akira couldn’t hear what we were saying; it would be horrible if she did. But I smelt her around the corner, meaning the next set of words either of us said she’d hear clearly. “If you ever do anything to put Akira in harm’s way….” Claude let it linger without saying my punishment. “I’d never do anything to harm her! I want to protect her like you do!” I yelled. I stood up, aggravated by what Claude had said. How dare he accuse me of wanting to hurt Akira! “What’s going on here?!” Akira whined as she came around the corner. Claude’s eyes went wide. “Akira.” His voice was soft and distant. She eyed him carefully as if she would break if he broke contact with her. I stepped in front of her view of him. “You were eavesdropping, how much of our conversation did you hear?” I asked. She turned to me and paused a moment. “Not much, but I heard the last part clearly. Why would you say that Claude?” “I’m just looking out of your safety Akira; people who get involved with their family aren’t always safe. I just don’t want you to get hurt, that’s all.” Claude said innocently. He expression read of compassion, he really did care about what happened to her. “Claude told me about his proposal to your mother; he’s trying to look out for his new daughter Akira. Like any good parent would do.” I said. Why I was taking Claude’s side in defending him is beyond me, but I said it anyway. “Still…. I know you wouldn’t hurt my Ryker, you’ve looked out for me since the day I met you. And you talk about protecting me, from what exactly?” She asked. There were much better times when I could tell her and this was not one of them. Claude looked at me with one of his looks, he clearly didn’t think telling her know was a good idea, but I thought that right might not be the best time, but it worked on a different scale. “Lynx!” I called. In a second Lynx appeared under the archway with a grin plastered to his face. “What did you do?” It quickly faded and he stepped back and looked at the ground. “Nothing, nothing at all why do you ask?” He said, gently waving his hand in the air. “Lynx….” That was all it took, he ran so fast Akira almost blew away. “LYNX!” I yelled.

“What was that about?” Claude asked me. “The things that idiot does I’ll never understand his means. Millie!” “Yes young master.” Millie bowed her voice tender and sweet. “Where is Tillie?” “She’s in the kitchen; we were making some late diner for you. Why?” “Lynx?” She seemed stumped then gazed out the window. “He went out and… did it again. I tried to stop him, so did Tasha. She scorned him good but…” She squeezed her hands together. I hung my head. “I swear if he keeps this up, just make him for diner.” I growled. Claude eyed me like I was actually going to eat him! If it really came down to eating Lynx or dying of hunger, I’d die, he bathes only once maybe twice a week, he’d taste horrible it’d probably poison me! “I thought we were talking, not running after Lynx.” Claude said at last. I nodded. “We were, never mind my brother. Akira, come into the living room. Millie you can go now.” They did as I said and we separated. Claude followed Akira into the living room where we were just talking and took a seat. “You want to talk to me about something Ryker?” Akira asked sweetly. “Yes I do. It’s important and you need to hear it from the both of us. Me and Claude over there.” I answered. She nodded and waited for us to explain this to her. “You go first kid.” Claude motioned me to begin. I nodded to him. “You know that we both care about you right?” “I know that Claude cares about me, you seem to too, I mean you both do look out for me.” “I want to protect you; from everything, nothing will ever hurt you Akira. Not while I’m around, Claude wants to protect you to, only he wants to protect you from me.” “But why, you’re not going to hurt me!” She whined, grabbing my hand. “I know that, you know that, Claude might not, but still.” “HEY!” Claude yelled. “I’m not going to hurt you, not ever, but I’m not as innocent as I look Akira.” “You’re not really going to tell her are you? NOW!?” Claude’s eyes grew wider. “No time like the present, isn’t that right Mr. Hunter?” “Mr. Hunter?” Akira echoed. She obviously didn’t understand. “I’ll explain, but first… Claude don’t kill me for this.” I demanded. He gave me a funny look. I leaned in and kissed her. Not on the cheek either. Claude turned red out of anger. Akira didn’t seem to might my kiss though. When I let her go she sighed a little but quickly turned to Claude. Her look made him back down and he leaned into the chair. “Right, well, Akira there is something I want to show you. You have to understand I really do care about you and I can and will protect you. But I need you to trust me, which means no secrets.” I said as I stood up. I extended my hand and she took it. Claude followed us to the back yard. Akira must really like flowers cause she seemed happy to see our overly large garden. I let go of her hand and stepped away from them. “Ryker what are you doing?” She asked me.

“I said I have something to show you. You want to know why Claude doesn’t trust me, why he thinks I might hurt you?” “You do anything I’ll pop your head open.” Claude threatened. I nodded. “By all means Claude, but I told you that I’m not going to hurt her. And I meant it.” Before either of them could say anything I undid my vest and the collar of my shirt, no need to ruin my favorite shirt. I stepped back one last time so they could barely see me in the shadows. Rusty came up beside them. I slowly began to turn; my skin went dark and long fur started to grow, my eyes changed colour and I landed on my paws. I growled softly to let Claude know when I finished transforming. I stepped into the light covered in black fur. Akira’s eyes grew wide when she saw me. Claude seemed rather calm but badly wanted to put a bullet in my head. I sat down in front of Akira, waiting to see what she would do. I never thought she’d take it overly well but she did. She knelt down; I was still about a foot taller than her even when she was on her knees. She extended her hand slightly away from her body. “You don’t mind if I…. do you? She asked. She stared into my eyes and smiled faintly. With a whimper I put my large head under her hand, brushing her leg with my face as she sat down. She slowly began to stroke my fur and scratched behind my ear, it was purely the wolf in me that my leg started to shake. It felt so good! If you ever had someone scratch behind your ear then you’d know, or your stomach, belly rubs are sweet. She laughed as I nudged her hand to continue when she stopped scratching, seriously she’s cheating me out here! “You’re a werewolf then, I love big dogs, and your furs so soft.” She said. I looked in her eyes as she wrapped her arms around my neck and hugged me. I lowered my head and hugged her back. Claude couldn’t hide that half a grin on his face. But it faded as Akira stood up. “I imagine you can’t talk when you in wolf form, so you can turn back now Ryker.” I did, I stepped back and began to reverse the transformation. Once finished stepped forward with a smile. “Thank you, for the scratching.” I whispered. She laughed at me. I didn’t mind. “I’m kind of surprized you took that so well Akira.” Claude said calmly and displeased. “What do you mean Claude?” “Normally people outside their clan don’t take it so well.” “Their clan? What does he mean Ryker?” She directed her question to me. I slid my hand through my hair. “Well…. Me, Rusty, Ryker, Tillie, Millie, and Tasha are werewolves, and there are others in our clan. We’re the Southern Clan, or The Cordovan Clan is another name we were given, mainly because us Cordovan’s have always led the clan, we are the strongest family in the clan.” Lynx said. He stepped out of nowhere and appeared behind Claude who nearly pulled out his gun. “You know you can shoot him, right?” I teased. Lynx stuck out his lip and Claude eyed me. “You mean that?”

“If he wants to be an idiot it’s better than my idea.” With a grin Lynx tapped Claude’s shoulder. “I rather have you shoot me!” He whined. Claude and Lynx stared at each other a moment. “Enough!” Akira raised her voice. They nodded quickly in reply. “So there is more than one clan of werewolves here?” She asked. “Well there are about four to six clans in total and they don’t really work well together.” Claude answered her. “They aren’t all living around here either.” He added. “Claude’s right,” I said. “We don’t actually live here, most of our clan lives about five days away from here, and we came here mainly to commune with one of the other clans, The Barker Clan.” I glared at Lynx and he shied away. “Yeah, you remember them, don’t you?” He nodded but decided to keep his distance. “When you and Kat ate at that restaurant, I was there to meet with Mr. Barker, leader of the Barker clan. That’s why I was there.” “I see…. Why are you here to commune with them?” “Out of interest.” “Out of interest???? Really! What interest could you have in them-“Lynx yelled. “If your that stupid keep your trap shut, I already told you!” I growled. “He’s right you know.” Rusty said, grabbing Lynx by the shoulders. “He told you the first the night after your run in with them, and a few nights ago, and this morning after going through some papers Mr. Barker gave him. Remember?” His accent still appealed to Akira, she never really pin pointed where it was he was from, it obviously peaked her curiosity. “He did… oh no, I did it again didn’t I? Ha, ha, ha…” “Well you weren’t ever known for you will to pay attention.” “HEY!” He exclaimed at my remark. I smiled; it annoyed him but did nothing about it. “You said something about hunters you called Claude one?” Akira asked to get me back on the subject at hand. I nodded. “Yeah, Claude is a hunter, an organization of humans that dedicate their lives to killing my kind, hence why he knows about us, and why he threatened me.” “He threatened you…?” Lynx voice deepened as he glared at Claude. I scowled at Lynx and growled slightly, he backed off. “I get it!” He whined. He’s so pouty sometimes. “Now that you know I need to know what side you’re on Akira.” Claude said. She turned around and gazed up at him. “What!?” “This is important; if you side with them then you may get hurt.” He added. “If I side with them, he lives right?” “That depends.” “But I like him…” She whispered. I smiled at her and she blushed. “Don’t be shy, that fact that you know and still feel that way is amazing.” I said. “Off topic!” Claude interrupted with his shouting. “What happens if I side with you?”

“Then you go into training to stop them.” “Stop them from what exactly?” She asked, crossing her arms over her chest. She didn’t seem very impressed by what Claude was telling her. “If you side with him, you’ll have to kill me Akira. That’s what hunters do, they hate my kind.” I replied. They both stared at me. “Kill you for what!?” She whined. “They kill people Akira.” Claude said plainly. Her eyes faded of their colour and she stared at me like I took a bite out of her. I looked at the ground, I didn’t want to answer her, I knew that she was going to ask, it was the most obvious thing that she’d do. “Ryker….does that mean you?” It was said as if she was about to cry. “Did I ever kill a human? Yes…I have, but I had my reasons for doing so, other than that I don’t kill humans, or my own, I haven’t harmed I human since about two months before I lost my left eye. And not since after losing it either!” I growled at Claude as he grabbed his gun, they both stepped back. “Sorry, I don’t like guns, and all hunters need is a reason, past of present to shot me.” I eyed the gun Claude reached for and tried hard not to grab it from him before he pulled out at aimed for my head. Akira seemed to be drawing to Claude now. “What do you mean when you say reason? What kind of reason could you need to kill!?” “Cause if not then I’d die and so would others!” I raised my voice and waved at Lynx and Rusty. I could tell Rusty and Lynx were paying attention, they were watching Claude very carefully and looked at gun and back to me. I shook my head. “My father was the leader before me, and he protected us, and he was a good dad… he taught me a lot of what I know. When he dies I was still a kid, Lynx looked after me after that, when I was twelve I was made the leader. Lynx was like my bodyguard back then, hunters came after us. I relied on Lynx back then, but we got separated and I had to deal with it; they crowded and pushed me into a corner, I had no choice if I didn’t I would have died and Lynx might have too. I was scared back then, but I found my strength and the wolf took over, I learned to control it but then, at the moment, I showed everyone that I was strong enough to lead them. After that more hunters came and tried to kill me. I had no choice…. Me and Lynx were leaving the area, the clan was moving to a safer location when the car we were in got hit, I’m not sure what really happened, but I lost my left eye because of it. That was only about a month before I met you, before the accident, two months before; I decided not to kill humans anymore I wanted to live peacefully beside them. But the hunters disagree with that, always have, it was something my father wanted. I never kill since I made that choice, it was a long time ago Akira. And was all in defense for my clan and myself.” I started to whine and looked away. Remembering my father was difficult for me, I was young when it happened and never truly got over it. I’m sure that Akira was the only one that was listening to me, Claude wanted to kill me Rusty was worried about me getting shot, and Lynx wanted to pound him and not get killed by me for whatever it was her did. “If I pick a side, then make an enemy too?” She said softly.

“It’s one or the other, you can’t choose both.” Claude stated. With a sigh she turned her back to me. My heart dropped to my stomach. “So which is it Akira?” He asked. “You said you wouldn’t hurt me, yet you hurt so many others; others that could have had, or were starting, a family. That’s not a small matter Ryker, I feel like I can’t trust you!” I saw the tears in her eyes. But that didn’t stop her. “Akira…..please, don’t do this.” I begged. I stood where I was, scared to push her even farther away. “No, I have to Ryker…. Claude, when does training start?” “After the wedding training starts for all new recruits.” He replied. “Good, the sooner the better…. I’m sorry Ryker; please… don’t hate me for this.” “That’s kind of the point!” Lynx exclaimed. I shot him a desperate look and he stepped down, I didn’t want the situation to progress any further. “I see…. In that case, it’s best if you leave now, before the other return. They don’t get along well with hunters. And…. Stay safe Akira, I mean that, don’t get hurt.” It was stupid I know, but I wanted her to live long enough, if anyone was going to hurt her I’d stop them and I knew that at that moment, she’d try to kill me when I did.

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