I Pray The Lord My Soul To Keep
Disclaimer: Just your average run of the mill standard disclaimer. The characters in this story come from somewhere inside my gray matter, and are not taken from any literary source or any other source whatsoever. If you're going to blame someone, blame me. But be warned, I'm still paying off my student debt so I ain't rich! There are also some names and places from Werewolf The Apocalypse by White Wolf. If you are familiar with the game system then the way I use some of the terms may seem a bit odd. But, I've been told the same about myself.
Violence and Language: Well, yeah. Quite a bit of slice and dice, some may be a bit graphic. Werewolves are rather messy you know. Also, I’m afraid that both Jamie and Jenny can sometimes have quite the mouth on them…but that’s something that normally isn’t a problem. ;)
Sex and Subtext: Yes, finally. It’s been a long time for both so I figured I’d be nice and let them play a bit. A warning, this series involves the idea that love knows no gender. So if homosexuality or bi-sexuality bothers you click the back button, delete, close, or whatever and move on.
Type: This is the third story in my Wolf’s Moon series. No, it's not complete; I have grown rather attached to these characters.
Thank Yous To: My editor, Jennis. Also, to “Jenny”, who keeps me sane. J
Constructive comments can be sent to: email@example.com
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the lord my soul to take.
Jessan whistled as he almost hopped down the long staircase and made his way into the dining room on Wednesday morning. He had come to a point of conclusion from his old life. Moving back to the family house was turning out to be a new chapter in his young life. A point between his younger self and the more adult life he was now choosing to live.
The brown haired garou had been taking on more and more responsibilities as of late. Helping his Uncle Jacob with the clan’s business had made him consider more and more what direction he wanted his life to take. He had always been drawn to the religious aspects of his Uncle’s life. Learning the ways of nature from birth had probably added to the desire to follow a shamanistic path like many of his family before him. Attending the numerous council meetings and getting to know those members of the community that his clan had dealing with, however, was what had finally decided him on his choice to become more involved in clan leadership.
Stop skipping like a 5 year old then Jess! Jessan thought as he pushed open the dining room door and moved to join his cousin Jamie and their friend Jenny, who were already seated at the table with their breakfast.
“Hey Jess!” Jenny greeted him brightly as she looked up from some papers next to her.
“Good morning, ladies.” Jessan replied as he pulled himself up to the table and poured himself some juice. “What’s on the agenda for you guys today?”
Jamie, who was sitting across from Jenny, remained silent as she moved her spoon around in the bowl of porridge, which seemed to have gone cold, in front of her. Jenny, with a glance at the silent garou answered for both of them.
“We need to interview another group today. Finally got them to agree to meet with us.” The blonde took a sip of her orange juice, pushing her empty plate away from her.
Chalk it up to his almost giddy temperament, or something in the air, but Jessan just couldn’t help himself as he smiled broadly at Jenny’s comment and swung his head towards his cousin. “Late night with Sean? You guys try to drink each other under the table again?” The brown haired garou asked, noticing the extra cup of coffee that his cousin had just poured. Normally Jamie restricted herself to at the most two cups. Yet, Jessan noticed that she had moved the whole pot over next to her and that there was very little left in it. Jenny only had a juice glass in front of her, and Jessan only drank juice himself, so that left one possibly, a hung over cousin whom he just couldn’t help but tease.
Jenny herself had noted that the dark haired woman was a lot more quite than usual. Having come in from checking on the horses at the same time, she had made her way downstairs to eat. When wishing her friend good morning, Jenny had only received a quiet grunt in response.
Now, Jamie looked up from her cold, and untouched breakfast with slightly bloodshot eyes. Jenny noticed that her friend looked a little white, instead of the normally healthy tan. She barely caught Jamie’s mumbled response.
“Couldn’t sleep…” She took another swallow of coffee, draining the cup and pouring another. Jenny’s eyebrows pulled together in a slight frown, as Jamie didn’t even add her normal two spoonfuls of sugar.
“Worshiping the porcelain god huh?” Jessan teased again through a mouth full of scrambled eggs and bacon that Sarah, the cook, had brought him. “You ain’t as young as you used to be, ya know. Body can’t take that much abuse after twenty.”
Jenny paused with her glass at her lips when Jamie turned her head to focus on completely Jessan. The look on the young woman’s face chilled her to the bone, bringing back memories of the fight against the mages in the warehouse. The beautiful blue eye had become ice as waves of dark energy poured off the garou woman’s body.
“I went to bed at a bit after midnight, but was unable to fall asleep.” The low rumble of words with the dark under tones evidently registered something in Jessan’s consciousness. The man went completely still, fork full of food paused in mid air as he turned frightened blue eyes towards his cousin.
The dark haired garou held her cousin’s gave for a brief second before he lowered his eyes to his plate in a clearly submissive stance. Jenny’s eyes widened at the scene playing out before her. It was one thing to see Jamie look like that at a bunch of rogue mages, quite another when she turned that gaze on an ally. Let alone a friend and family member.
Jessan was the first to break to silence, “Uhm, sorry.” He mumbled as he kept his eyes on his plate, continuing eating.
Jamie pushed the food around once more before looking over to Jenny, her eyes dark and unreadable.
“I’ve got to run some errands this afternoon downtown. Would you be alright if I left you back off at home after the meeting with the Wiccan group?” The dark haired garou held her breath at the somewhat nervous look on her friend’s face. Not one to be fazed by losing her temper normally, Jamie found that she was feeling an odd sense of shame over her harsh words to her cousin.
Jenny swallowed slowly and put her juice glass down before answering, “Sure, no problem…”
“I can keep you company if you don’t mind helping me move some of my stuff back to the mansion.” Jessan broke in as he looked up from his plate. “Jamie could drop you off at my apartment downtown before she does what ever errands she needs to do. Besides, it will be the last time you can see the place I use to call home.” With that, he smiled up at Jenny.
The brown haired garou was all smiles again. The sudden change in his demeanor shocked Jenny a bit. Though Jamie was still glowering somewhat across the table, both she and Jessan were acting as if nothing had happened.
Sensing that for whatever reason Jamie didn’t wish her company in the afternoon, Jenny readily agreed. The blonde woman frowned at the feelings of sadness at her friend’s request. It wasn’t as if the two of them were joined at the hip or anything. What right did she have to monopolize the dark haired woman’s time?
Jamie smiled for the first time that morning. It was a small smile, but her mood lightened none-the-less. The garou woman had not realized just how nervous she was over having to get away to pick out the dress she would need to attend the ball.
At that point the dining room door opened to admit Jacob, Jamie and Jessan’s indomitable uncle.
“Ah, I caught you before you all headed out for the day.” The older man said as he took a seat next to Jamie, “I wanted to ask you, Jessan, if you had time today to go with me to see some council members.” Jacob frowned when he attempted to pour a cup of coffee only to have a few drops dribble into his cup. The dark eyebrows rose back up as Sarah brought in a new carafe of fresh coffee.
Jessan hid his smile at his uncle’s tone, knowing that the old man hadn't really asked him to attend. The Children of Gaia leader had simply assumed that his nephew would be going with him.
“Sure Uncle, no problem.” Jessan said, wiping his mouth with a napkin and pushing away from the table. Turning towards Jamie and Jenny he said, “Look, I’ll just make sure my cell phone is on and you guys can call me when you get out of the meeting. I’ll meet you over at the apartment then.”
Having poured himself his coffee, Jacob smiled at his niece and Jenny as he followed Jessan out the door. Once the men had left, Jenny looked over to the dark haired woman sitting across from her.
“Hey, you okay?” The gentle voice of her friend brought Jamie’s head up to look at the blonde haired woman.
“Uh, yeah. Just tired that’s all.” Jenny thought she detected a note of sadness in the other woman’s voice. The look, of…well she was not quite sure what sort of thoughts were running around behind those sad blue eyes.
“You know,” Jenny said rising from the table as Jamie did the same, “If you have trouble sleeping again, you can just crawl into bed with me.”
Jamie was already moving out the door, seeming not to hear the comment as she grabbed her coat from the hall closet and waited for Jenny to do the same. The garou did not quite meet the blonde woman’s eyes as she nodded and set off out the door to the car. Jenny wondered once again if the dark haired woman really didn’t feel anything other than friendship towards her.
Shoppers flowed in and out of the multiple glass doors. The scent of delicate wools and silks mingled with kissable leather and…something else that made Jamie wrinkle her nose and the almost overwhelming strength of it.
The dark haired woman stood inside the door of Macy’s, having dropped Jenny off as Jessan’s apartment a few block away. The meeting shortly before with the representatives from one of the more prominent local Wicca groups played back through Jamie’s head as she wandered further into the store. Some of the elders of the group had noticed that the odd feeling of evil in the city that had started about a month ago, had changed about the same time that Jamie and Jenny had defeated the mage group
One of Jamie’s eyebrows had lifted at this, and Jenny had caught the strange coincidence as well. The group members themselves did not know about the specific group that the two women had fought, or their involvement in it. Yet, through the rumor mill, they had heard that two powerful young witches had tracked the mage group to their building where an incredible batter of spell casting had ensued. Jenny had had to nudge her friend when the dark haired garou started to shake with silent laughter.
The Wiccan group had tried to investigate the force that had remained afterwards. As one elder puts it, “It’s as if where there was a channel for the evil to be able to manifest itself in our world, that channel is gone now. Yet at the same time, that evil no longer needs any help in order to be here.”
Frowning at the odd smell that once again assailed her senses, Jamie was pulled out of her contemplation as she tried to walk around a particularly talkative woman in front of her. Having paid little attention to where she had wandered, Jamie suddenly found herself being sprayed with a rather musky smelling liquid.
Wrinkling her nose at the slightly offensive smell, Jamie took more notice of her surroundings and noticed that she had wandered straight into the cosmetics section of the store. With a horrified look at the other women stalking around the section with their small sample bottles of scent, Jamie made a vain attempt at avoiding them as she tried to walk quickly to the other side of the section where the elevators were located.
For once, Jamie decided to try to be polite as possible. This only resulted in her ending up smelling like 4 different fragrances. At this point, the dark haired garou had just about lost all patience. Not even her growls of annoyance though could deter the almost robotic women, so focused as they were in their rattling off of brand slogans. Jamie looked around and noticed that she was not the only one trying to avoid the women. Nearly all of the store’s other customers were quickly trying to dodge their advances.
Finally, getting fed up as one woman came up to her jabbering cheerfully about “obsession”, a slightly mad gleam lit up Jamie’s eyes. Crouching slightly Jamie jumped over the too “obsessed” woman and ran towards the elevators, jumping in and pressing a floor button to head up to the women’s section.
“Nice move!” The voice was full of humor and almost…sultry?
Jamie turned towards the only other person in the elevator with her. A dark haired woman in her mid twenties looked back at her, brown eyes filled with humor. Eyebrows reaching up into the slightly the brown curly hair, the woman was a head taller than Jamie and practically radiated sex.
“Uh, th-thanks.” Jamie nearly swallowed her tongue as she tried to stop herself from stuttering. The elevator slowed to a halt as the doors opened and that blue-eyed garou realized that she needed to exit.
“You okay?” A small smile pulled up the stranger’s mouth at the corner as she looked up at Jamie through long dark lashes.
Jamie paused before replying as the two of them stepped from the elevator. In some part of her mind Jamie realized that she was getting the exact same flirting routine thrown back at her that she normally used on people. The quirk of the mouth was something she usually used when she simply wanted a quick lay.
Hmm…I wonder now if she wants to checkout a dressing room, or if she’s just being a bit friendly. Jamie looked closer at the other woman as the walked further onto the floor.
The brown haired woman’s eyes held more than a trace of concern. “Uh, yeah. I’m fine.” Jamie said as she made an unnecessary adjustment to her leather jacket. “No worries.”
“Hmmm…hope not. You’re too sexy to have worries.” Eyelashes blinking slowly as she smiled at Jamie the woman continued, “I’m Karen.”
Both women extended their arms to shake hands. Suddenly a jolt seemed to go strait through Jamie, her eyes widening in shock and…fear?
As Jamie withdrew her hand, the feeling over as quickly as it had come, Karen reached into her pocket and withdrew a small card.
“Here, if you ever want to…do anything…give me a call sometime.” Karen handed over a business card, which Jamie took still overwhelmed by the entire exchange.
“See you around, Jamie.”
With that the other woman winked and headed off across the store. Jamie waved weakly, her eyebrows buried in her hairline.
Standing there for a few minutes, Jamie wondered just when the hell she had started being the “sheep”. The garou rubbed a hand over her face, pausing in surprise when the card that was still in her hand hit her in the jaw.
“Snap out of Jamie.” The blue-eyed woman said aloud. “Dress, dance, blonde. Just keep repeating and you’ll be fine.”
Setting off in the opposite direction as the brown haired woman, Jamie continued to mutter her new mantra, attracting only a few looks from the people she passed.
After two hours of wandering around women’s formal apparel and trying on about every dress in Macy’s selection, Jamie had finally found a dress whose style she could live with. It was not a moment too soon, for both Jamie and the sales associate was about to pull her hair out. While getting her purchase rung-up, Jamie noticed the various strands of hair jutting forth at odd angles and felt sorry for “Beth Z. Sales Assoc.”.
“Umm…thanks lots for helping me out.” The dark haired garou said as she took her package.
Beth Z. looked at Jamie’s sympathetic smile and gave a small sigh, “Not a problem ma'am, I hope you enjoy the ball and the dress.”
Unable to think of anything else to say, Jamie nodded to the woman one last time and headed off. As she made her way back down to the first floor and out the door, there was a decided lack of “perfume women”. Which was all the same to Jamie as she left the department store, vowing not to return any time soon.
Jamie walked down several blocks toward her car, holding on to the packaged dress in one hand as she felt in her pocket for her keys. Suddenly, she was falling to the pavement as something bowled into her from the left. Rolling with the fall and tucking her body around the bag in her hand Jamie moved into a crouch as she scanned the street and sidewalk for what had just hit her.
A passer by looked at her with wide eyes, his mouth hanging open in shock.
“Wow! You okay?” The man, dressed in business attire asked as he turned more towards Jamie.
“Yeah, fine.” Jamie replied as she stood up, “What the hell was that?!?”
“I have no idea.” The man said, “It seemed to come out of nowhere and I thought it went off down the street, but now I don’t see it. Looked like some mutant dog.”
Jamie brushed absently at her jacket while looking off down the block in the direction the man had motioned, “Huh, what some people are flushing down their toilets now-a-days, eh?” She joked as she turned back to the businessman.
“Heh, heh. No kidding!” The man laughed, “Though, if you see alligators in this weather you’d better report it to channel four news!”
Jamie smiled and said goodbye to the man as she made her way half a block down to where the SUV sat. Out of a sense of caution brought on by the odd tingling sensation left in her by the attack, Jamie walked around the vehicle, checking it out for anything unusual. As she climbed into the car and started it up, her eyebrows drew together in thought.
She had never felt the presence of the “thing” that had hit her until it was too late.
Driving up to the curb, Jenny could see Jessan placing a box into the back seat of his car. The younger man had somehow managed to find a parking place in front of his soon to be ex-apartment. Though, come to think of it, Jamie always seemed able to find close parking wherever they went as well.
Maybe it’s some hidden garou skill or something. Jenny thought as she turned towards her friend, unlatching her seat belt at the same time, “So, I’ll just meet you back at the mansion after we get done here then.”
Jamie shifted nervously in her seat, not wanting to appear as if she was trying to get rid of her friend. Though in truth she was, if only for a little while. For some unknown reason to the dark haired woman, she had a strong desire to surprise Jenny on Saturday, showing up unannounced and looking her best.
Right now though Jamie was feeling like a traitor, as those soft green eyes looked at her in expectation.
“Uh, yeah. I’ll see you latter,” a swallow, “Have fun with Jessan, try not to get in to any trouble now.” This last she said with a smile to try and soften the teasing words.
Jenny smiled in return and opened her door, “I can’t promise that I’ll try, but I can promise that I’ll try to try.”
Watching the blue eyes crinkle and her friend’s nose wrinkle in amusement Jenny almost commented on the delectableness Jamie’s expression. Jenny stopped though before opening her mouth as she recalled Jamie’s unresponsiveness to her comments in the past. Before the dark haired woman could see her dismay the blond turned and slid out of the car, shutting the door behind her.
As she waved goodbye from the curb, Jenny thought about her relationship to the eccentric garou woman. Jamie was a good friend, surely and for the first time in her life Jenny felt as if things were right with the world. It confused her though at the openness that Jamie showed around her. As far as Jenny could tell there was no one else whom the blue eyed woman allowed such close proximity with. Jessan had remarked once on it as well. Even he was wary of his cousin’s mood when he touched her. Jenny, as he had observed, was constantly hugging or touching Jamie and hadn’t been knocked in to a wall yet.
Jenny’s face flushed a bit as she recalled Jessan’s only mention about any attraction that she felt for his cousin. The blond hadn’t even been aware until then that she had been getting into Jamie’s personal space so often. Jenny knew that she was sometimes a “touchy feely” person, but usually only with those people who were of the same ilk. If anything, her dark haired friend had never given off “touchy feely” vibes.
More like “touch me and I’ll pummel you” vibes. Jenny said with a slight wince.
Shaking her head and walking towards Jessan with a new determination, Jenny came to a decision. She would not flirt with Jamie any more so that her friend would no long be uncomfortable around her. It was obvious that Jamie was interested in her only as a friend and Jenny had no wish to do anything that would hurt their friendship.
“Hey, Jenny. You ready to go up to the apartment?” Jessan said as Jenny approached him, noting the sadness in the sea green eyes, “It’s not much, but it does have a really great view of the city.”
“Lead on.” Jenny gave him a small smile as they both turned and walked into the building.
Two hours and many cardboard boxes latter, Jenny and Jessan started to load up Jessan’s car for the trip back to the mansion. As the two of them carried box after box down from the apartment, Jenny was beginning to wonder if her legs were going to give out on her or not. Jessan’s apartment was on the fifth floor and the old brownstone building was void of an elevator.
You’re just getting a good work out, that’s all. Jenny thought as she lifted the, in her mind, 100th box of books. You need to exercise more, too out of shape.
As she made her way down the thinly carpeted stairs Jenny wondered if Jamie would let her join her on her nightly runs.
Getting all hot sweaty… Jenny whacked her head into the box she was carrying with some amount of force. “Crap! Lyden, get over it already!”
The green-eyed woman heaved a sigh and shook the loose hairs from ponytail out of her face. As she pushed open the building’s front door and walked over to the car, Jessan looked up from where he had just gotten another box in. The brown haired man’s eyebrows drew together in query and he was opening just opening his mouth to speak when someone stumbled up the sidewalk.
Still holding her box, Jenny turned to see what Jessan was looking at. The man making his way towards them was wearing several layers of shirts and jackets, all of them incredibly filthy. Jenny guessed that both the vagrant and the clothes he was wearing hadn’t been washed in several weeks, if not months. The smell coming off of the man assailed her nostrils and almost made her eyes water.
“Uhm, Jessan where should I…” Jenny started as the man lurched forward.
“She’s coming for you, coming for you soon!” He yelled, and then fell to the sidewalk in a heap as his eyes rolled up in their sockets.
Jenny nearly dropped the box she was carrying in startlement. As it was, she found the package sliding down her torso when Jessan suddenly appeared at her side, his strong hands taking the box from her and setting it carefully on the ground.
His voice startled her out of her paralysis, “You okay Jenny?” Jessan was taking her by the elbow and leading her back towards the car, away from the collapsed body.
“Uh, yeah.” Jenny stopped and turned back too the man on the ground, “ What happened to him?”
“I’m not sure,” Jessan walked over to the body on the sidewalk and crouched down beside it, placing two fingers on the man’s neck. “He’s just passed out. Smells funny though.”
Jenny nearly laughed out loud at the obviousness of Jessan’s statement. “He hasn’t washed in weeks, Jessan. The guys ripe!” She was beginning to feel a lot better. Mentally she scolded herself at being shaken up over some drunken bum’s words.
“Sorry, I mean he smells different than just being allergic to soap.” Jessan stood up and flipped out his cell phone, dialing the police. “He has sort of a weird smell of…evil on him.”
Braking off from his conversation with her, Jessan turned his attention to his cell phone as the operator came on the line. Jenny listened with detachment as Jessan related what had just happened to the emergency operator on the line. Wondering if her own feelings of extreme unease were a little more relevant than she had first thought Jenny watched the body on the sidewalk. Her mind turning over the events of the past few minutes as a foreboding sense of déjà vu settled over her.
After talking with the police and emergency response people who arrived quickly to help with the strange man, Jenny and Jessan had made their way back to the mansion. Jenny noted that, while Jessan talked with the police and medical personnel, he mentioned nothing about what the man had said to them.
Jenny didn’t question him about it, figuring that Jessan had his reasons for keeping quiet about the strangeness of the situation. As they pulled into the driveway of Children of Gaia, Jenny’s musings were allayed. Jessan turned off the car, something in his body language made Jenny pause before getting out.
“Jenny, I think that it would be best if we only talked to Jamie and Jacob about what really happened back there.” Jessan rested his hands on the steering wheel of the car as he spoke. “The people that were sent to the apartment were normal humans so I didn’t want to tell them much. But,” he turned pale blue eyes filled with worry her way, “I think there might be something out there still and…well…”
Jessan trailed off, his head tilting backwards to rest on the driver’s seat headrest as he sighed. Jenny could feel a cold clamminess settling over her as realization at exactly what Jessan was saying hit her.
“You think that this is still something with that mage group, don’t you?” Jenny looked over at the garou seated next to her, “Only, whoever or whatever was behind it is still around. And they want to create even more havoc in the community before they’re through.”
Jessan nodded slowly, “I think the fervor that almost caused the garous to explode before was no happenstance. Someone wants to create some kind of war or something between humans and garou.”
“It would start again, wouldn’t it? If the council thought that there was someone out there associated with those mages.” Jenny was beginning to feel numbed by the possibility of the problems that would erupt. “Only this time…”
“Only this time, there might be a culling that we wont be able to stop.” Jessan finished.
Jacob was sitting in Jamie’s office on the large leather couch, his feet propped up on the coffee table in front of it. He had wandered in about twenty minutes ago, having finished his work early for once. Now he was watching as his niece pored over her files for the breeding program she had been working on.
He wouldn’t have admitted it out loud, but Jacob was quite pleased that Jamie had finally seemed to find something that held her interest long enough to make a profession out of. Jacob had always worried that Jamie would constantly be one of those people who would be forever trying to find their niche in life. The girl had always been interested in horses. Jacob’s brother Walter had gotten his only child a pony of her own when she could barley walk. It was the only thing that Jamie had consistently been interested in.
Jacob admitted to himself that with the various interests over the years that his niece had had, Jamie certainly had a broad knowledge base. The restless garou woman had learned various fighting methods, languages, art forms, history, and even had been interested in shamanistic practices at one point. Jamie hadn’t settled on one thing until the past couple of years when she had decided to breed her prize winning mare and try to improve the breeding stock of the other horses in the McConnor stables.
Now, Jacob was beginning to feel much better about the future of his niece who held a special place in his heart. Jessan was like a son to him, and indeed had made him very proud when Jessan had decided to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and study shamanism. Jamie reminded Jacob so much of her father, his beloved brother and childhood companion. Jacob wished the man were alive to be able to see what a wonderful young woman his daughter had grown up to be.
“Uncle, normally I would think that you were doing that to unnerve me, but you are really just bored aren’t you?” Jamie asked, not even looking up from the file she was writing in.
Jacob blinked twice before answering her, “Why do you say that, niece?”
Finishing the note she was writing Jamie looked up at him, her mouth quirked, “Because your feet are jerking in time to the music, and you only ever fidget when you are truly bored out of your mind.”
Jacob was about to reply with a retort about Jamie’s own “fidgeting” habits when Jenny and Jessan walked into the room. Both Jamie and her uncle turned their heads to look at the newcomers. Jenny and Jessan’s expressions froze the other two from whatever greetings they were going to offer up.
“I think we’ve got trouble.” Jessan stated as he and Jenny walked further into the room.
“Something happen this afternoon?” Jacob pulled himself into a sitting position, swinging his legs down to the floor.
Jamie looked from her cousin to Jenny. Jessan, she knew had a slight tendency to sometimes take things out of proportion. He was getting better lately, especially since he had started training with Jacob. Jenny returned Jamie’s gaze with an almost haunted look of her own and it gave Jamie pause. The look in the blond woman’s eyes said that whatever it was that had happened was very serious.
“A man…a vagrant came up to us when Jessan and I were loading the last of the boxes into his car.” Jenny began, “He said that someone was coming for me. That they were coming soon.”
Jacob raise his eyebrows, Jamie could tell by his expression that he was not overly impressed by this news so far.
“Did something else happen?” Jamie asked.
“After he said that to Jenny, the guy just collapsed in front of us.” Jessan spoke up, “I went to check him out and that’s when I noticed that he smelled funny.”
“You met a bum, and you thought he smelled funny?” Jamie’s tone of voice took on an incredulant quality. Jacob looked irritated at his nephew as well. Jamie realized that her and Jacob’s impatiens was not helping Jenny and Jessan to get their story out.
Jamie took a breath and said, “Sorry, go on.”
Jessan’s eyes widened at his cousin’s politeness as Jenny continued the story.
“Jessan meant that the guy had that same smell as the garou did when the mages killed them.” Jenny said as she leaned against Jamie’s desk, “While the guy was talking, I myself felt an incredible sense of…I don’t know…unease?”
“Unease?” Jamie queried, unconsciously leaning closer to the blond woman.
“Like what I felt when those mages had captured us.” Jenny replied.
Jacob was standing now, a serious look plastered to his face, “What exactly did you feel when the mages had you?”
Jamie watched her friend’s face as the woman searched for the words to describe her experience. Jessan was perched on the edge of the coffee table looking very much like a lost little boy.
“It was like something was holding my soul in its grasp. Squeezing me into a terrified stupor.” Jenny finally said, “And…I know it sounds weird but, I think I’ve felt that exact same way before. I just can’t remember when.”
The sea green eyes reflected puzzlement and Jamie looked at her friend in sympathy. Certainly the whole kidnapping and following ritual must have been a horrible experience for the woman. Although she herself couldn’t remember all of the details, something Jamie was sure that the drugs were responsible for, Jamie was certain of one thing. Jenny had seen her change to crinos form and that half wolf half monster had very nearly killed the blond woman before Jamie had regained control of her rage.
Jacob made a soft grunting sound to indicate that he had come to some sort of decision, “Well, I think that we need to expand our search for anyone who may have had a connection to this mage group.”
“Uncle, if this gets out..” Jessan started.
“We wont let it get out.” Jacob told them all firmly, “I was thinking that Jamie and Jenny could get in contact with that group of shamen that live just beyond the boarder of the city. They should know something more about any unusual disturbances in the flow of life lately.”
Jamie looked at her uncle for a moment before asking, “Any reason you’re sending Jenny and I instead of you and Jessan?”
“They are a rather exclusive group.” Jacob said, “Not to keen on outsiders, particularly men. It’s an all woman’s group and they are a lot more connected to the earth spirits than I’ll ever be.”
“Okay,” Jenny spoke up, “But how do we get a hold of them if they don’t exactly welcome company?”
“The Black Furies know them, and they have a peculiar but accepting relationship with them.” Jacob said, “I’d like you two to head over to the Furies’ club tonight and try to set up a meeting with them as soon as possible. We really need to find out as much as we can, as soon as possible. The quicker we act the better we can keep the council from finding out.”
Jenny looked around her through the stale smoke and haze from the dirty lights along the wall. Her seat shook lightly to the heavy beat that the speakers were putting out. The blond haired woman’s ears had long ago become numbed to the sheer amount of noise that the band was putting out as they played.
Taking a sip from her beer Jenny looked around the club again for her friend. Jamie had bought them both drinks when they had first arrived, then had left her at the bar to watch the band while the dark haired woman had scurried off to look for someone.
Jenny frowned, “Not quite scurried…”
“Huh?” a woman sitting next to her turned towards Jenny.
“Oh! Sorry, just talking to myself.” Jenny smiled back at the tall woman, whose hair, though long, was shaved completely on one side of her head.
“Uh. Kay.” With a non-committal grunt the woman turned back towards the stage and started banging her head again in time with the music.
It was at that moment that Jenny realized that just about all of the bars patrons were werewolves. She was beginning to be able to sense the slight difference in their auras. As Jenny looked around at the various little groups of people scattered about the area she could see that they appeared to be having no problem hearing each other’s conversations over the din from the band. Although Jamie had heard her without any problems the dark haired garou had had to speak with her lips nearly touching Jenny’s ear when they had arrived at the bar.
Speaking of the ‘dark haired garou’… Jenny though as she scanned the bar again after a quick glance at her watch.
There was no sign of Jamie and Jenny was beginning to worry about her friend since she had last seen her over an hour ago. The building itself wasn’t that big, and the bar took up only the bottom floor of it, as the owner lived on the top floor. Having had the time to look the place over from where she had sat for the past hour Jenny figured that the door set off towards the far left from her led up to the second floor.
Just at that moment Jenny realized that the band had finished their last set and were beginning to pack it up for the night. Jenny glanced to her left as a figure caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. The door to the second floor shut quickly behind Jamie as she adjusted her leather jacket, head turned towards the stage.
As Jamie turned to walk back to towards Jenny, the blond frowned slightly at her friend’s appearance. Jamie made her way back slowly through the throng of patrons who started to jostle their way towards the doors as the wait staff announced closing time. The dark haired woman’s shirt was untucked and her normally rumpled hair appeared even more askew.
Jamie smiled as the last of the patrons blocking her path to Jenny cleared and she quickly made her way towards her friend.
“Hey.” Jamie said coming up along side the blond, “Let’s head back to the break room. Ep and all should be able to receive visitors now.”
Jenny drank down the last swallow of her beer, swallowing hard past the constriction of her throat, “Sure, let’s go.”
Placing the bottle back down on the bar Jenny turned back towards Jamie and smiled bravely at her. Jamie returned her smile as she and Jenny made their way towards the back rooms. One of which had been turned into a small break room for the band.
Jenny kept her eyes on Jamie’s back as they passed through a swinging door and into a narrow hallway. A few doors down Jamie stopped and knocked on a thin door on the left hand side of the corridor. After a brief pause the door opened and a woman appeared in the doorway.
“What do ya want dark one?” the gray eyed woman asked, her brown dreadlocks falling forward to hang down in her face.
“Need to talk to Ep, gonna let me in Pony? Or are you looking for another lesson?” Jamie answered Pony before Jenny was able to reply in a more diplomatic matter.
“What you gonna teach me ‘killer’? I already know about the world’s oldest profession, remember?” Jenny’s eyebrows went up at the comment, while at the same moment Jamie’s went down.
“Maybe you need to go back to school then.” The blue-eyed Garou growled low in her throat, “Perhaps then you wouldn’t keep getting kicked out of people’s beds.”
As she saw the flash of red in her friend’s eyes Jenny moved quickly to put herself in between Jamie and the other woman. The answering flash of anger on the other woman’s face was interrupted as Ephany suddenly appeared at the door behind Pony, hoping to head off any further confrontation as well.
“Hey Jamie, how’s it going?” Ephany asked as she gently but firmly pulled Pony back inside the break room and stepped out into the hallway, shutting the door behind her.
“Hey Ephany.” Jenny smiled at the young leader of the Black Furriers. The curly haired blond always seemed to be the epitome of clam, even though she was only nineteen years old.
The other woman smiled at Jenny and asked somewhat eagerly if she had seen their last set.
“Oh, yeah.” Jenny replied, noticing that Jamie was visibly calming down without the presence of the brown haired Pony. “I liked your River song the best.”
Ephany’s eyes lit up at the older woman’s compliment, “Really? I just wrote that one about a week ago.”
“It was a good one Eph, reminded me of your sunrise ballad.” This came from Jamie, who was now the epitome of calm as she leaned against the hallway wall.
Jenny turned slightly towards her friend as she took in the other woman’s relaxed form. The black jacket and slightly rumpled appearance making the dark haired garou look incredibly sexy.
Jamie raised her eyebrows at the lull in the conversation that had ensued. Both women had turned to look at her. Jenny was staring at her with a dazed expression while Ephany’s mouth hung open.
Shocked out of their daze Ephany and Jenny cleared their throats surreptitiously and turned away from their friend. Cutting to the chase Jenny relayed to the curly blond guitarist why Jacob had sent them over to talk with her.
“Oh-kay…” A look of confusion fell over Ephany’s features, “What’s going on that Jacob is sending you guys out to talk to the Old Ones? I mean, no offence Jamie but I don’t know if their going to want to talk to someone who’s so connected to the full moon.”
It was now Jenny’s turned to look confused, “’Full moon’? What does being connected to the full moon mean?”
Ephany half thought that Jamie wouldn’t say anything, or at most brush off the comment as unimportant. As usual, Jamie surprised her.
“I was born during the full moon.” Jamie said, her blue eyes connecting with Jenny’s. “When garou are born under certain moons they have a tendency to take on certain aspects of the phase of the moon. A full moon holds more of the animalistic aspects for garous, more of the fire and wildness of the wolf. Those connected to other moons have more problems dealing with the wildness of our wolf nature.”
Jenny blinked, several connections sliding into place in her mind, “Oh.”
A slight pause before she continued was the only indicator that she was digesting this new piece of information. Ephany glanced between the two women, her eyes widening slightly at what she thought she perceived.
Jamie actually looked slightly nervous as the dark haired woman kept her breathing even and her gaze locked on the human.
Ephany looked quickly between her two friends, not wanting to disrupt the scene she saw before her, “Uh, so I take it we are still having problems with that problem we thought that we’d fixed?”
Jamie and Jenny exchanged a look. The dark haired woman hesitated in just how much they should tell their friend but Jenny spoke up before Jamie could decide anything.
“Yeah, we’re not sure if it’s a similar group or more members of the original one. This time though, a lot more humans are noticing it.” Jenny turned back to the curly haired guitarist, and seeing the look of ever increasing worry on the other woman’s face hasten to reassure her, “So far there hasn’t been any deaths of any kind so we’re hoping to keep it that way by finding this thing as quickly as possible.” The last was said to remind the guitarist their reason for visiting the club in the first place.
Resolution settling over her face, Ephany spoke clearly in oath, “Don’t worry, I wont let this get out to anyone. The last thing the community needs is another panic like last time. I’ll get a hold of the Old One’s tonight and let you know by tomorrow morning about meeting them.”
Ephany glanced hesitatingly towards Jamie. One dark eyebrow rose in question as the younger woman started to chew on her lower lip. It was actually quite an endearing habit and Jamie smiled internally, remembering a much younger curly haired moppet who had come to the Children of Gaia’s house no more than a small timid, and rather dirty, child.
“Don’t worry Eph,” Jamie said to the now almost full-grown woman before her, “If they don’t welcome me with open arms they don’t. Get it all the time any way. Good for the image”
Thought the dark haired garou smiled at her own small joke the other two women could tell that deep down Jamie wished it were otherwise. Ephany and, now more and more Jenny realized that the gruff exterior that Jamie exerted hid a rather caring woman underneath. Jenny wondered just what had happened that made her blue-eyed friend so reserved. She had a feeling though that Eph might know part of the story to the mystery that was Jamie McConnor.
The three women said goodnight and Ephany once again promised to call the other two in the morning to let them know about the meeting she could hopefully set up between them and the shaman women. And with that Jamie and Jenny headed back to the clan house.
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