The Orphans of Cerberus

BY : Fetherhd
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1711
Disclaimer: Square Enix holds all rights the the FFVII world and its characters. This is a not for profit fanfiction

The Orphan's of Cerberus Chapter 20

Griffin slowly wiped the bar down as he watched a patron approach. This small group was quieter than the bunch of Shinra Techs who had descended on the town to "Refurbish" the old Shinra mansion. But new people were always noticed in a town as small as Neibelhiem, (especially with this town's "odd" history,) and the barman was sure that he had seen NONE of these people before. The quiet man took the stranger's order, noting that fellow said nothing more than what he had to.
As he drew beer from the tap the bartender casually commented,
"Hmmm, haven't seen you people in town before?"
Sharp eyes noticed without being obvious, the odd furtive glance that rolled in his direction.
"Yeah…. we are doing some surveying up in the forest, got tired of just each other for company."
The barman had to give the guy credit, he hadn't missed a beat with his explanation…and it was a feasible reason for being out in the mountains.
"Hey this is a lot of beer….go ahead and sit… I'll bring them out to you."
Gathering the drinks together on a tray, he followed the man back to his table. As he served the group he pried a little.
"So you guys had any problems with…THINGS….out there in the wilds?"
His family had survived the town's past problems, most particularly the last massacre, by being well informed, and as a bar owner he had since then learned to be more than competent at ferrying out problems that might have consequences… before they occurred.
One of the men…a rather burly, rough looking character sipped his beer and sighed in contentment.
"NAW…we got enough trained back up that most THINGS are leaving us alone. HELL… we haven't even seen any of your vaunted mountain wolves this trip.”
Griffon smiled at the man and nodded.
“Well, that is a GOOD thing, isn't it?"
This drew some soft chuckles from the men.
As he settled himself back behind the bar, the man's gaze wandered back to the group's table. Yes…. a couple of the men there had that certain stamp to their features that screamed…SOLDIER. Most of the Shinra army that still survived had turned to being mercenaries. If these were of that ilk, there could be trouble coming. Griffon's dark brow furrowed a little. He would have to let the family Patriarch know that something was up. It could not be coincidence that Rufus Shinra had kindled a sudden interest in the old Mansion AND that these strangers were suddenly…surveying… in the surrounding forests. Another reason this family had survived so long here was that they didn't get INVOLVED in town problems. When they saw trouble coming, they got the hell out. The family could always return at a later date (as they had done MANY times in the past) and put another one of the males of the line in charge of the bar. They had run this place for generations and the good "townsfolk" (especially the ones who came in to rebuild after the fire) had no clue that the man behind the bar could trace his lineage to BEFORE there were permanent settlers here.
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Bernard Duprey watched the slender, dark barman from over the rim of his glass. Bartenders were notorious gossips, but the one who owned this place was known for his…discretion. As the man went back to polishing glasses with no more than an occasional glance their way, as if to check drink levels, the scientist relaxed. He had been roughing it with these idiot engineers and mercenaries for three days, every since Angel had called and hired him to bring the old cave research labs back online. Deepground had been building the compound as a back up in case things under Midgar went South. Of course NOBODY had expected things to go as badly as they did. Valentine's incredible feat of gaining control of the mighty demon Chaos had spelled the end of their organization. BUT…as Angel knew well…there were still factions abroad looking for a way to step in and take over where the omnipotent Shinra had failed. If her theories were proven correct, and she succeeded where Hojo had failed with Project C…well their fortunes were made.
Still, Duprey was a man with certain… base… needs. Those were NOT getting satisfied holed up in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of security roughnecks and computer programming geeks, hence this short, careful trip into town. Bernard was in charge until Angelique decided to make her move. Everyone who accompanied the scientist was hand picked, each with enough baggage that their silence was guaranteed. Now that compound was marginally operational, he could indulge himself and his hired help a little. As soon as the Labs had some…Specimens…unhappily inhabiting the holding cells…they would have their pick of nightly entertainment. Angel wasn't the type that would look the other way.. Oh No! If that twisted woman was not directly participating in the fun, well…she was ever eager to watch.
Bernard finished the last of his beer and held it up so that the barman would bring another. As he admired Griffon's smooth, efficient moves and the almost silent, graceful way he walked across the floor…the scientist couldn't help but wonder if the man maybe had a sister. Titan was already on site at the Cave labs, and Angel had told him that the huge male had a taste for human females. It would be an exquisite experiment to break a bitch, and then see if she was still able to scream while the Were used her. UmmHumm! He so remembered the little…example… that they had made of Shadow's fuck buddy….HELL, Hojo and Angel had let him sample that little treat (and he wasn't the only one…no sirree!) before they had turned the Troop males loose on her. Oh YES…he could see some REAL fun to be had in the time to come.
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Marion was just finishing up packing some of Ice's blood as a sample to be shipped to Angel, when a white blur went shooting past her open door. As she looked up in curiosity, Reno stuck his head in.
"Yo…is Ice going to be up to going shopping?"
Dr. Becket just stared at the man. She had just been planning on hitting the grocery store and the thrift shops, then putting her meager sewing skills to use figuring out how to tailor what they bought to fit the two with tails.
" Ummm…the Were's are going to accompany us?"
The red head grinned,
"Sure they're coming, can't really have their clothes fitted unless they are there."
"…Fitted…?"
Damn it…. Marion knew that she was a bright, intelligent young woman, but these people seemed to have the ability to totally obliterate any brain cell she tried to bring into play.
Reno yelped and disappeared out of the doorway. She heard him as he followed Whisper down the hallway,
"YO…Rude…geez, ya didn't have to be so…you know…RUDE!"
Marion just stared, wide eyed, as the other, quiet Turk slipped into the room. It was amazing that someone who was so…reserved…was paired with the hyperactive, very flamboyant red head. Of course, when Reno was around, one had a tendency to flat forget about the other half of the team. Maybe this is what they intended. Rude pulled his wallet out of his inside jacket pocket. The man's lips quirked up as he slipped a plastic card across her desk.
"The fact that my…partner….failed to mention, is this. One of the perks of being owned by Shinra…." A long, dark finger tapped said card. "Rufus gets to pick up the tab."
The Doctor made a small…ohhhh…with her mouth. Then she met the man's ey…ah…shades with a firm look.
"Will they behave themselves?"
Rude snorted softly,
"The Were's? Man…I would be willing to wager gil that THEY will be on their best behavior. Reno on the other hand…"
The man shrugged then turned his wrist and checked the time on the understated, but very expensive watch adorning it.
"Better get a move on…Highwind can get…GRUMPY…if he is kept waiting."
It took the young woman a half hour to get herself and then Ice ready to go. Most of this time was spent trying to get Vincent's crimson cloak away from the female. It seemed that with being pulled out of her familiar environment, the golden Were's damaged mind was having a hard time adjusting and she had latched onto the ragged thing as a sort of security blanket. It finally took Yuffie (the young woman and the gunman had shown up both slightly flushed and suspiciously disheveled… note to self, find out if the Changeling was on any type of birth control.) bribing Ice with the promise of a fruit smoothie in town before the female reluctantly gave it up in exchange for one of Vincent's black shirts. Marion had to suppress a grin when the ninja snatched the cloak away as Valentine was reaching for it. The slight spasm that crossed the man's usually stoic face make it clear that Ice wasn't the only one with an unhealthy attachment to the thing.
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Cloud surreptitiously stretched as he waited at the hatch for the rest of the town party to arrive. He saw, but chose to ignore, Cid's knowing look and subsequent smirk. It was bad enough that his ribcage felt like a flock of Chocobos had tab danced on it all night. NO… he had also lost a large amount of gil to the sky Captain. The ex-SOLDIER didn't know how the seemingly shallow pilot had learned to read people so well. Cloud had been confident that he knew the gunman better than Highwind and he had discounted the older man's dire warnings about taking his life in his hands. The swordsman had figured that Vincent would not be happy with the mansion plan, but since Deepground, the taciturn man had always been in complete control of himself and his demons. His violent response had caught the blonde flatfooted and truth be told, scared the living shit out of him. Still, at least Cid had cast a Cure on him, healing up the deep punctures that had been torn into his shoulder. It was bad enough having Valentine pissed off at him. (he had heard that the man was looking for him this morning) He did not need an angry Chaos after his ass too!
Cid straightened up and stubbed out his cigarette, cerulean eyes narrowing as Whisper and Ice stepped out into the bright autumn sunlight. The female was dressed simply in loose black pants and one of Vincent's long sleeved black shirts. Reno had a hand in dressing the Albino… he was in a pair of dark grey parachute pants that rode low on his slender hips and were a little to short for his height, plus a loose white shirt untucked and with only the last two buttons closed. Neither one of the exotic pair was wearing shoes. Both Were's hesitated, and Cloud had to conceal a smile as twenty toes wiggled around in the grass. It was very evident that this was a first for the sibs, and from the way both sets of eyelids drooped languidly it was a sensation that they both adored.
The swordsman tensed a little as Vincent followed them out and stepped to the side. The black clad gunman glanced his way and those pale lips tightened and turned down at the corners. Cloud saw no anger in the glimmering ruby eyes. Just deep regret and a lot of concern. The swordsman realized that the last memory that Valentine probably had of the night before, was of him shaking yours truly like a rag doll, and trying to pound a hole in the metal wall with his body. He smiled at the demon ridden man and self consciously ran his hands over his spiky hair. He shrugged and gave the ex-Turk a slight nod, trying to relay the fact that he was unharmed. Something in Vincent's face relaxed a little and he turned back to being a silent watcher.
Yuffie and the little Doctor were chattering like magpies when they finally joined them. Reno and Rude sauntered out last. The little group formed up with very little direction…Cloud and Cid automatically taking the lead, the Were's, the ninja and the scientist in the center, and the two Turk's fanning out to their rear. Vincent shifted behind them and seemed to vanish. He had done this before when Avalanche had been in pursuit of Sephiroth. The man was a highly trained sniper. He would pace the group at a distance so that he had a clear view of all who were around them. This would also give him an extended range, if problems arose and the big gun, Cerberus, was brought into play.
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Ice sipped carefully at her smoothie. (Strawberry, banana supreme…her favorite…of course, also her first.) Both Whisper and her were being very careful with the sweet, creamy, ICY concoctions. Their first experience with brain freeze had driven home the fact that you enjoyed these things slowly and did NOT try to pack the melting heaven into your cheek pouches! Even Dr. Beckett had developed a serious case of the giggles at the siblings identical expressions when they had attempted THAT!
The group had made it through town with out problems of any kind. Those that did notice that the two tall strangers weren't entirely human had quickly developed interests elsewhere when they caught site of the Blue Suits trailing the group. Even with the fall of Shinra Corp. it was known that you still did not mess with the Turks. The only trouble occurred when Ice entered into the little boutique that Rude had directed them to. The little place dealt in fashions that only the truly elite could afford. Yuffie flashed a "are you sure about this?" look towards the quiet man. The Turk just flicked a couple of fingers towards the door and with a cat caught in the cream grin, Yuffie led the other females in. As the golden Were entered, there was a squeal and a tall, anorexic looking blonde came rushing towards them.
"No food or drinks allowed…miss.."
The "miss" was accompanied by a haughty…what the hell are you riff raff doing setting foot in here, and do I need to call the law…look as the woman reached for Ice's cup. The Were froze, she was not allowed to bite, but like HELL if this scrawny, delusional, omega BITCH was going to take the best thing she had ever tasted away from her. The Were contented herself with narrowing pale, flashing eyes and slowly lifting her lips around her straw to show all four of her elongated, sharp canines.
Cloud and Highwind ushered Whisper through the door, and the sky Captain grinned.
"WHOA!….I wouldn't fricken do that if you want ta keep yer shitten fingers."
The blond snatched her fingers back and her disdainful look swept over Yuffie, Marion, and Ice, then it went on to totally disregard the two men and stopped to linger on the startled Albino who also tightened his hold on his drink and lifted his lips.
"We don't allow ANIMALS in here either."
The woman's expression said loads about how she wasn't specifying who the said animals were.
The lifted nose and sneering lips froze when Reno entered, followed by Rude. The woman became all gushing sweetness and fluttering eyelashes.
"Oh…Mr. Rude! Let me get rid of the…trash… that just blew in off of the street, and I will be right with you."
Yuffie had been slowly boiling, and at this comment she shot forwards…
"YOU bitch!"
"YO..!” Reno made a well timed grab and snagged the petite ninja as she blew by him. "Darlin…Let the big guy handle it. Believe me… you are gonna love this."
Ice sipped her smoothie and watched with avid interest. This dark male was SO much like her stoic brother Shadow that she was not surprised when his face did not change expression at all. The Were wondered if the foolish female was even aware that the alpha male was livid. When the man quietly spoke, the fury and contempt that were laced into his soft voice made both sibling's flatten their ears.
"Woman…Cid Highwind there is this town's mayor. The "trash" standing next to him has saved the world and indirectly your skinny ass a grand total of three times. The young lady my partner so graciously prevented from doing the rumba on your face is the only heir to the Wuttain throne…PRINCESS Yuffie Kisaragi. And him…" Rude's head tilted to indicate Vincent as the tall man strode through the door…"Well, lets just say he is your WORST nightmare brought to life if you are STUPID enough to piss the man off."
The Turk's full lips thinned to an angry line, and he casually reached up to remove his shades. Hostile dark eyes pinned the girl who was having a hard time pulling her eyes away from the massive gun on Valentine's hip. The gunman, having a good idea of what was going on, gave the twit an evil, bloody glare (much to Chaos's delight) and casually ran his hand over Cerberus's lethal, holstered form whilst flaring the OTHER deadly hand into a threatening claw. Rude had to squelch the desire to grin as the girl squeaked and looked like she was going to faint.
"Now …you will TAKE your skinny butt out of my sight and tell your boss that… one, Rufus Shinra is looking to make some purchases for Ice…who by the way… has more CLASS in the tip of her tail then YOU will ever have, and two… because of your tragic lack of TASTE… you are REQUESTING that you be allowed to join the ranks of the unemployed. You tell her that she had better be in front of me in two minutes flat or I am going to turn Reno loose in here!"
There was a loud slurping sound as Ice got to the bottom of her drink. Arctic blue eyes sadly peeked into the cup then blinked at the skinny bitch…. Damn… she had run out…and the show was just starting to get good. The woman's mouth opened and closed like a warking chocobo, then she gave the Were a horrified look and took off for the back of the store.
It took the matron of the store a grand total of sixty seven seconds to appear in front of Rude.
The older woman pursed her lips together and growled at the Turk…
"What the HELL gives you the right to harass my hired help.?"
Ice held her breath as Rude glowered at the old lady…swept his powerful arms out and gathered the giggling old hen into a hug.
Reno released an astounded Yuffie as the women was passed from Rude over to him. The redhead waggled his eyebrows and planted a kiss smack on the old girl's mouth.
"Yo…Betty… you are getting better looking every time we come in."
This got the man a smack upside the head. Grinning, Reno half heartedly ducked and turned the woman so she could see Ice.
"Ice here needs your expertise in picking out a wardrobe…do ya think your up to it?"
The old woman's grey eyes widened a little as she took in the too large, man's pants and shirt that adorned the trim figure of the exotic Were female. Ice met her gaze with frank interest. The Were knew that staring was a threat but she could not help herself. The Troop aged very slowly and she had never seen a being with skin that wrinkled like this woman's did. Without thinking the female reached out and traced a long finger along the crows feet that radiated out from the corner of Betty's eyes. The woman blinked but did not pull away. She did roll her eyes in Rude's direction. The Turk had replaced his shades and all he did was quirk the corner of his mouth in answer to the unspoken question.
Betty snorted.
"Of course I am up to it"
She turned, catching Ice's slim hand. Ignoring the female's slightly panicked look, she tugged her towards the dressing rooms. The matron looked over her shoulder as she left and gave Whisper's toned body an envious glance.
"You had better take long, pale, and handsome there over to Giuseppe's. (lucky asshole!) I'll get your Golden Lady situated."
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After the entertainment at the female's shop, Whisper wasn't sure what to expect when Rude and Reno took him to a different place. The man that came out to serve them did not even blink when he saw the Albino. As a matter of fact… Whisper was pretty sure that the man was looking at him in much the same way that he had looked at the jar of peanut butter earlier that morning. The "Tailor" had a long conversation with the Turks, then he came over and started ordering the Albino to stand here, shift there, lift this, all the while measuring him with a piece of string. The Tailor did hesitate when he came to Whisper’s, long, nervously twitching tail. The Were had to clamp down on his natural arching reflex when the man's small hand encircled the thick base, stimulating the sensitive nerves there.
It certainly didn't help that the little fellow sucked in an avid breath and whispered,
"WOW, I want one of these!"
Whisper managed to maintain his composure until the little man casually asked him,
"Do you…dress…left or right?
What…? He dressed both his left and his right side, it would defeat the purpose to leave one side naked!
White brows furrowed in confusion as Reno made what sounded suspiciously like a choked off snicker. Rude was absolutely no help. With those glasses on, Whisper had no clue on how to read the dark alpha's placid expression. Before he could say anything, both of his feathery brows skyrocketed straight up and the Were had to remind himself of his promise to Reno to stay in his almost human form. Guiseppe…having gotten impatient, had run his hand across the male's crotch, cupping and weighing the impressive package contained in the ill fitting pants. His sigh was blissful
"AH yes…left it is!"
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Cid was a man that took most things in stride. He was a man's man…comfortable in his skin, at ease whether it be fighting monsters, flying in any conditions, or making love to a woman. BUT…he felt totally out of his league in this damned shop filled with soft fabrics, lace, and wonderfully erotic, silky…. THINGS! HELL…he wasn't even allowed to smoke in here, this in itself was pure torture. The Captain just stayed out of the way and watched as Valentine silently browsed through the shop, picking out items of clothing and handing them to a sales girl to take back to the fitting rooms. Yuffie was also making choices but MOST of what the ninja picked out, the quiet man would covertly confiscate and replace it with something more… tasteful. At least this was the case until the little thief realized what the gunman was doing, then a short argument ensued about differences in taste…and a certain crimson cloak was brought up. Highwind stifled a quick chuckle when Vincent backed off, and Marion stepped in to take his place.
Although… the pilot had to admit that the little Vet was more tactful about what she was doing, pointing out that something that TIGHT would be difficult for the female Were to "Change" in when she was no longer pregnant,…or…maybe THAT particular shade of neon green would clash with Ice's mane. The Doctor and Yuffie soon vanished back into the fitting rooms after their last few choices.
With fewer people to catch him out of his element, Cid felt comfortable enough to leave his wall and casually check out some of the items that had caught his eye. One particular outfit he thought he could see Ice pulling off. The man was covertly fingering the soft material when Valentine appeared like a silent shadow at his elbow. The gunslinger studied the outfit for a minute than plucked it out of the slightly embarrassed Captain's hands. One elegant eyebrow arched up, and without a word Vincent disappeared into the back, taking the clothing with him. DAMN…Cid put both of his hands in his pockets…he had gotten a glimpse of the small fortune required to OWN that sweet piece of fashion…he did NOT want to be responsible for attiring the Were in something that exceeded some of the items on Rocket Town's yearly budget! Valentine reappeared after a moment, but the gunman's attention was elsewhere so Cid strolled oh so casually to the slightly erotic section.
The pilot was eyeing some of the pretty lacy THINGS there and thinking that maybe there would be something sweet here that Shera would appreciate (he knew HE would certainly appreciate some of the dainties!) when a surprised "hnnnn…" from the usually stoic Valentine jerked Cid's attention up. Ice had stepped out of the dressing rooms into the shop proper, there she stopped, her wide eyed expression one of shy uncertainty. Betty, it seemed, HAD been… "up to the task!" She had made some quick alterations to accommodate the Were's long tail and dressed Ice in the outfit that had attracted Highwind. This consisted of a pair of loose pants made out of an almost sheer material that was an exact match for the pale silver/blue of arctic ice. There was a heavier panel of slightly darker fabric that rode low and laced at the sides to snug around the female's slender hips. The cuffs were gathered at mid calf and a wide strip of the same material was laced tight all the way down to her shapely ankles. Soft flat shoes of the same color graced Ice's usually bare feet. The low way in which the pants rode those shapely hips exposed a truly lovely waist. It took some serious effort for the sky Captain to get his eyes to travel up past the exposed, silky, flat, golden belly (complete with a sweet… there for everyone to see… navel) The soft top was made of the same almost see through material. It was loose and flowing over the shoulders and bust line and laced tight once the soft material got to each long forearm, all the way to Ice's elegant wrists. The back was very open at the top and narrowed to a V. It framed the female's silky mane perfectly. The point of the V ended in the same type of heavier panel that laced at the sides and continued to hug tight around and just under the female's well muscled rib cage. The front dipped slightly across sculpted collarbones then opened up and was split from about an inch below the top, all the way down to this panel, and as the Were moved, it shifted giving one tantalizing, almost glimpses of the soft curves of not just TWO breasts.
"Holy SHIT…"
Cid's usually gruff voice was a soft whisper but it still caused Ice's delicate ears to twitch forwards. One of Betty's girls had worked over that rich cinnamon mane, placing a multitude of tiny braids all through it. As these swayed with the movement of those ears, tiny silver/blue crystal beads and miniscule silver bells that had been braided in…chimed together. It was like listening to the subtle sweet notes of the winter wind singing its way through an ice locked forest.
"HOLY SHIT….INDEED!"
The very deep, gravelly tone of Vincent's voice jerked Highwind's head around…the hot gold of the eyes that flicked his way made it very clear that Chaos had surfaced for a moment.
There was a blink of thick black lashes and crimson shifted back to appraise the female who was rocking from foot to foot…a sure sign of nerves. Valentines pale lips curved up in a rare, true…smile.
"I, for once, am in complete agreement!"
Ice returned the smile with a small, hesitant one of her own and her whole demeanor relaxed as she realized that BOTH of her Alpha's approved.
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Duprey swore as the small group with him RAN. They had picked up supplies and enjoyed a few drinks. Their luck had seemed good when they had run across a pair of young women traveling up the well worn path that led out of the forest. The scientist did not know what had possessed the women to be alone that close to the woods, but he wasn't one to look a gift chocobo in the beak. It had taken the powerful mercenaries that accompanied him only a few seconds to subdue their new "specimens" and with the unconscious girls slung across broad shoulders, they had proceeded towards their rendezvous with the helicopter. By the time the town even realized the girls were missing…they would be long out of the area.
Bernard had been happily running some grisly sexual scenarios involving the big breasted blonde through his, and he would readily admit this, obscene mind when a wolf had let loose with a deep bone chilling howl back towards the town. More disturbing….it was answered by several others who seemed to be in their general vicinity.
SHIT…SHIT! One did NOT want a pack of the huge Neibelhiem wolves on the hunt when you were in their territory! The sound of a gunshot cracked out as one of the ex-SOLDEIR'S got a shot off at a grey form slinking between the trees. The scientist was relieved and more than a little pleased, when the great beast yelped and faded back. Although…it WAS puzzling that the pack was just paralleling them, not engaging in a full out attack.
Nope…. he spoke to soon, there was a scream from the back as one of the men carrying a burden was set upon by a small black bitch. The female sank her teeth in the man's calf and jumped back as a sword split the air where her head had been. She dropped back to become another shadow. There wasn't a sound from the group except for the pounding of feet on the path and the rasping of hard drawn breaths. Duprey breathed a small prayer of thanks as they broke from cover and saw the machine crouched like a giant insect in the center of a clearing. That prayer was choked off, as with a guttural roar, a huge,(even by Neibelhiem standards) sandy colored Alpha male broke from the trees behind them. The huge beast wasn't fast, it wasn't built to be a sprinter. BUT the last man in line, was carrying one hundred and twenty pounds of dead weight and was already slowed by a severe limp. The man screamed as the wolf barreled into him, the great weight of the thing taking him down. Mighty jaws took out the man's throat making him a corpse before he had even quit rolling. The last thing Bernard saw as he dragged himself into the helicopter screaming at the pilot to get them airborne…NOW… was that ugly, blood covered muzzle moving towards the pale face of the woman who also sprawled limply on the ground.
DAMN…that was a waste of a good cunt! Fricken wolf meat! Damn! Oh well, Duprey sat back trying to catch his breath…at least it was the red haired, slender girl that had died. She probably would not have survived more than one or two sessions with him anyways. The girl had that delicate look about her that said she would give up after just a little humiliation and pain. No, it was much better that the big blond was still a captive, she looked as if she could take some punishment. HELL, she might even survive a session or two with Titan, AFTER he was done with her.
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Justin breathed a sigh of relief as he checked Elizabeth over. The girl seemed to be almost unharmed. A state she would not have stayed in, EXCEPT for the fact that Griffon's usually very accurate trouble radar had gone off when the strangers had entered his bar. The barman had placed a call to Justin as soon as the group had left his establishment. Justin, being the town blacksmith, was the only one of the Family close enough (and by profession, big and tough enough) to provide immediate assistance. Even so…by the time the big man had tracked the group to the forest, they had already abducted the girls. The smith had known he would have real trouble catching up to the strangers, he was built for strength, not speed. The first thing he had done when he realized this was alert the Brethren to trouble in their midst. The Family and the forest Brethren had maintained a mutual pact for centuries. The great forest wolves had responded immediately, hounding and harassing to slow the men down, so that the slower Smith could catch up.
A deep whine distracted the Blacksmith from the still figure of Elizabeth. The big grey Alpha of the pack, limped forwards and Justin let the big wolf lick his face and open mouth. The animal had taken a hit, a bullet had grazed across the heavy shoulder and dug a bleeding furrow down the beast's shaggy side. The Smith was well known to be one of the kindest members of the sometimes rigid hierarchy that existed in the ancient Family. He patted the coarse head and cast a low level Cure on the beast. Then he easily lifted the limp form of his brother's mate into heavily muscled arms and headed back towards town. Griffon was going to be incensed when he found out that those rogues had gotten away with his sister-in-law. The forest wolves would spread out and start searching for where this group was holed up. When they were found, there would be HELL to pay!
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Reno had to stifle his snicker at the bewildered look on Whisper's face. Anyone who was someone came to Giuseppe’s for the crème d le' crème of fashion. Of course….EVERYONE was also aware of what they might have to put up with to GET those fashions. The little Tailor was known to have more grasping and groping limbs then a dreaded Marlboro! As the excited (in more ways then one!) little man practically dragged the big White off to the fitting rooms, Rude's reflective lenses tilted his partner's way.
"Man…do ya think one of us ought to go back there with them?"
Reno grinned,
"YO…No worries…Whisper gave me his word that he would be on his best behavior."
The dark man snorted softly and then straightened up to follow after the obviously terrified Were.
"It is not WHISPER'S behavior I am concerned about!"
Some time later, Reno felt that whatever the big Albino had put up with, it was well worth it. The odd little Tailor had captured the White's raffish nature completely. Soft suede, charcoal grey pants, clung to every curve on the Were's tight butt and long, well muscled legs. The cuffs where tucked into Blood red boots that hugged the male's calves like a second skin. That long, thick tail would coil around occasionally, creating a sharp contrast between the ivory, blood, and dark ash. Whisper's narrow waist was wrapped with a silk sash that matched the crimson of the Albino's distinctive eyes, and a dove grey vest settled across the broad shoulders, leaving Whisper's powerful chest and chiseled belly bare. The Were's wild, cream colored mane had been tamed with a strip of crimson leather so that it cascaded in waves over the soft silvery silk that made up the back of his vest.
The red head's quick eyes caught his partner with an almost desperate look on his face as the big man slipped up beside the seemingly stunned, very quiet, Were. Guiseppe beamed with pleasure, the little man was in pure heaven, sandwiched between a stunning example of how Ebony and Ivory really could be in perfect harmony.
Rude started violently and hastened (which was saying something for the big man's state of mind, Rude NEVER hurried anywhere) over to Reno's side.
"MAN…..what the HELL is he groping me with when I can SEE both of his hands on Whisper's ASS?"
The usually calm and impeccably dressed Turk had a definitely "disheveled" air about him.
Whisper appeared beside them and practically DRAGGED them to the door.
"WELL…..that was…interesting."
Pale lips curled and red eyes glanced warily behind them as the shop door closed.
"Tell me…is it normal to feel like I need a shower after…shopping?"
Rude missed a step, then recovered nicely.
"Yeah…in this case, I believe wanting a shower would be VERY appropriate!"
Reno lost it. One set of narrowed bloody eyes glared at him and a set of shades,(how do sunglasses look hostile?) turned in his direction as the red head collapsed against the nearest wall and laughed until tears were streaming down his face.
************************************************************************
Step…Step…Turn and step again. Shadow paced. He started at one side of his cell, hands and feet moving in a measured, mechanical stride. Only to reverse directions when he hit the opposite wall and return the way he had come, close to, but not touching the electrified bars that lined the Glassteel. The Were's wedge shaped head was carried low on his thick neck, and his narrow muzzle swayed from side to side as his black shoulders rolled with each stride. The great beast's usually bright gold eyes were dimmed to the color of old brass. This was an indication of his general state of being, not just that he was keeping his inner eyelids closed. He hurt… not only in body (There was not a part of him that did not ache.) but also in spirit. His heart screamed silently with an agony that could not be appeased.
Yes…the ruins had not been paradise, BUT… at least there, Shadow had been free. He had been able to dream of a better place and to, on occasion, get a treasured glimpse of the night stars. Here…there was nothing but pain, loneliness, fear, and humiliation. The Black wasn't sure which was worse. He had spent a large part of the morning strapped to a metal table. The cruel human male who seemed to be the Alpha here, was one that he remembered very clearly. This man had been kept in a semblance of control when Sergeant had been in charge of the Troop. There was no such control here. Duprey (oh yes… Shadow recalled this one's name very well indeed!) had started the morning by "collecting" sperm samples. The man had taken a perverse pleasure in causing the helpless Were considerable pain when he inserted an electric prod into the male's tender anal passage. The normally dominant Black could not do anything but moan his anger and humiliation deep in his throat. Shadow then found out that this discomfort was NOTHING in comparison to the pain of having that THING activated inside of him, so that his ejaculate could be harvested. The scientist had repeated this time and time again, long after the Were was wrung dry, evidently just for the fun of watching his victim arch and spasm against the restraints. Then, with very little time to recover…the white coat's had, in relay, cast Cure, starting with the very lowest strength first and then working up in intensity until Shadow was a writhing, (as much as his restrained body could writhe) twitching, foaming at the muzzled mouth, wreck. He was still in bad enough shape that just the thought of eating or drinking caused his innards to spasm.
Shadow moaned under his breath and then huffed softly. HELL…even his head hurt. He was pretty sure that Titan was still alive, he kept getting whiffs of his sib's scent carried in on the white coat's lab jackets. Part of his brain was saddened that his big brother had been captured. With the death of Steel, the Troop was getting distressingly small. BUT…another part of his mind screamed in rage at the other black of the group. If Titan had not attacked him, Shadow would still be roaming the ruins at night trying to catch a glimpse of the stars. He was caught between the ties of blood that bound him irrevocably to the mighty male… and pure hate for what his brother had caused. The conflict was tearing his intellect apart. The Black worked hard at just keeping his mind blank. This, plus the mind numbing cadence of his footfalls was the only way he was maintaining any semblance of sanity.
Long, shell like ears rose, and then flattened at the, also well remembered, sounds of rape, the slap of flesh on flesh, muffled screams, and low grunts, that were coming from one of the cells he could not see. Almost all of the staff had vanished for hours after the morning's long session. When the men had returned, Duprey had brought a captive female who was most definitely NOT enjoying the lab's hospitality. Shadow was probably the only Troop male who understood the difference between human and Were female's perception of sex. The Black had previously had the concept of rape brutally demonstrated to him and he silently grieved for the woman who was being ill used. His whole being ached with the need to interfere and spare her the grisly fate that awaited, even if it meant all that he could do was give her a clean death.
He could not help her. He could not help himself. Shadow had tried the electric bars of his prison… AGAIN… at the sound of her first scream and there was NO escaping. Locked in a world of sorrow, rage, and pain, Shadow paced. Step…Step…turn, and Step again.


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