By: Lopaka Tanu
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Fandom: Due South
Slash AU Crossover
Warning: Character Death,
Horror, Out of Character, Violence, Humans Getting Ate, Language, and some other
odds and ends.
Archive: Sure, tell me where.
Challenge: A story
for Halloween, and The HighwayMan by Loreena McKennitt.
Benton Fraser is on the trail of a Nodalisk, not all is what it appears to be in
a small town. Can he survive his prey, a delinquent wolf, and the crazy denizens
of Chicago Lake? All in all, it is just another day in the life of The Highway
Author's Note: This story is a whole lot of stuff mixed together.
Some of it is in POV mode and some not. Just hang in there and you may yet
survive. I created monster specially for this story, in writing, there is no bad
monster, only bad authors. Guess the Crossover, I dare ya.
The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees. The moon was a
ghostly galleon tossed upon the cloudy seas. The road was a ribbon of moonlight
over the purple moor. And the highwayman came riding, Riding, riding, The
highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.
(performed by: Loreena McKennitt)
He sat at the counter sipping
the coffee. This road side diner was no different than any other. In the middle
of no where, it was just perfect for his purpose. No one to recognize him, and
no one to remember if he had been.
Benton Fraser was no stranger to
these places. This small out of the way town had one bar, a diner, a service
station, and a town hall. So small not even a boarding house to put him up for
the night. Not that he planned on staying long. The locals didn't look friendly,
and some down right hostile.
A sigh escaped his lips as he set down the
cup. He paid for the meal, left a small tip for the lousy service, picked up his
broad brimmed hat and walked out the door to his burden once more. This was a
never ending cycle, as the door closed he looked around to see if anyone was
watching. No one around, he faced the annoyed being at his feet.
is it that is so important? Can't I have five minutes of peace with-out you
demanding my attention?"
'I want my body back.'
Ben glared at
the wolf. "You have your body."
'I am sick of being the wolf!'
"Forget it. I am not changing, you know that, Diefenbaker."
wolf snorted at him then turned to head down the road, tail up and mocking him.
'I will remember this, *Human*.'
"Fine, be that way, but you are still
not getting me to change. I told you before you even did it." He might have been
talking to himself for all the good it was doing. Ben let the wolf walk on
further down the road before putting on his hat and following. If he was going
to make it to his destination before sun down, he had to leave now. There was
lot of space between here and Chicago Lake. Being on foot didn't help matters,
thirty miles was thirty miles.
Sometimes he got lucky and someone would
pick both him and the white wolf up. Most of the time, though, they would take
one look at one or the other and keep on going. If they were linked, he would
have been more than happy to leave the annoyingly self centered wolf.
Eighteen years ago he had been a normal person. Eighteen years ago, he
had had a life, someone to love, and a good home. Being a Mountie was not the
best job, and he barely earned enough to get by, but it was who he was. Was
being the operative word.
That all changed the night he met what he
thought to be another normal punk teenager on the run from the law. He should
have never listened to the kid, just taken him in to the jail and let it be. No,
he had to be the hero and actually feel sorry for the trouble maker. His grand
mother had instilled too many values in him to let it go. So now he was paying
for it, and he would continue to do so until they found one who could remove the
Benton shook his head. Thinking like that would only get him into
more trouble. He didn't need to think on what he was so painfully reminded of
every time he looked at Diefenbaker. Now he knew better, now he felt no pitty,
only a dull sense of anger.
Diefenbaker had been a teenager all right,
and rebellious to the last. On the run from people he wouldn't say, and the law
for petty crimes too numerous to mention. He was a nightmare from which there
was no escape, and it was all his fault. Diefenbaker had no one to blame but
himself. 'If he had not tried to escape, if he had not flipped in front of you,
if you weren't so damned noble and Mountie like. *Always got to get your man.*
It is was just a stupid saying, and not even the official motto.'
well, he had learned his lesson the hard way, and he wasn't about to forget it
ever again. They said the road to hell was paved with good intentions, now he
knew it was true. Since then he only took contract jobs for people that could
pay. Didn't matter if what you wanted done was illegal, just as long as it
didn't harm the innocent, he would do it.
His last job had ended badly,
before the contractor could pay, the entire clan was wiped out by his current
prey. They had wanted a group of red necks dead for killing one of their young.
Ben had been more than happy to oblige them. Payment would have been a cerulean
dragon's heart dagger. Nothing special, just a pretty piece of cutlery. When he
had returned after fulfilling his end of the agreement, they were all dead,
He had recognized the scent of a Nodalisk. Creatures smelled
of acid and pine trees from their diet of pine sap and the digestive juices of
mammal stomachs. A Nodalisk, like all beings, could assume human form after it
had fed. It would not reveal itself again until when next the need to feed
struck it. In the natural form it was six feet of fur and claws, similar to a
badger, only with six arms.
The creature had left a trail of death
across the Midwest, back to the borders of his lost home. He refused to return
there until he could find a way to relieve himself of the curse. This creature
was bringing him close to braking that promise. If it was not for the dagger, he
would have simply let the monster get away. But no one takes what is his and
lives, no one.
Benton was shaken out of his revelry by the sounding of a
horn. A look behind him revealed a truck pulling over, a black haired man behind
the wheel. A deputy sheriff's cruiser. He sighed, this was all he needed, the
local law harassing him. The cruiser pulled up along side him, the window
already rolled down.
"Where are ya headed?" The deputy lowered his
mirrored glasses and accessed Benton.
Ben did the same from under the
brim of his hat. "Chicago Lake."
"Same here, just finished makin the
rounds. Need a lift?"
"Gotta wolf with me."
"Got a permit?"
He nodded as he lifted his hat and pulled out the paper for the deputy.
The deputy glanced at it, nodded and handed it back. "Jump in, wolf
"Thank you kindly." Benton replaced the paper in his hat, and
opened the door. "Diefenbaker!"
The petulant wolf took one look at the
cruiser and snorted his disgust.
Dief ignored the
commanding voice and continued walking down the road.
"Looks like you
have a problem child." The Deputy smiled as Ben nodded. "Better warn him there
are several local wolves, and they don't tolerate strangers. If they can't
dominate your wolf, they will try to kill him."
"Here that Diefenbaker,
you have the choice of being out here with all your cousins, or riding with me.
What will it be?"
After a few moments, the wolf came bounding up into
the cruiser growling his anger. He took the front seat and dared Benton to move
him. Dief hadn't counted on the Deputy doing just that. A large hand grabbed the
scruff of his neck and dragged him in the back with-out any care for his
feelings or dignity.
"Off the seat mutt!"
Dief glared but
complied with the orders.
"Thank you." Ben said as he climbed in and
shut the door.
"Not a problem. Always nice to meet somebody new,
especially around here. No body comes to Chicago Lake anymore, not since they
closed down the brewery after the fire. Sure the local county kids spend all
their time there, being the capital of the county, but no one I haven't seen
before." He looked at Diefenbaker through the rearview mirror. "Or arrested for
Ben looked at the wolf as he choked for a moment. "That
must be a lot of trouble for one person."
"Not as much as you might
think. They usually only stay for a night, let the alcohol run through their
system, and then I let them go. Of course the county roads are always clean
now." He smiled again as he observed the interaction between Benton and
Diefenbaker. "I'm John Kanin, deputy John Kanin if ya didn't get the cruiser."
"Benton Fraser, nice to meet you." He accepted the offered hand with a
tight smile. "This here is my wolf, Diefenbaker. Please ignore any transgression
he might perform, he has no since of decency or morals."
"Well as long
as he keeps his paws to himself and not hump the legs of the town's folk, I
promise to look the other way to an extent."
"Thank you kindly. I shall
endeavor to keep him out of trouble, but he seems to be even more than my
efforts can handle."
'Hey, I am right here!'
"Yes, you are. And
if you weren't so reckless, neither of us would be." He tried to smile at the
look John gave him. "Diefenbaker is unhappy we are talking about him. Don't look
at me that way, you can walk to town. I am sure there are plenty of wolves who
would love to have you."
Diefenbaker growled at him as he settled down
on the floor board of the back seat.
"I must apologize, Diefenbaker has
been rather cranky lately. I must appear to be..."
"Nah, I have seen wolves react like Humans before, that
is nothing special around here. Now a wolf acting like a spoiled brat is another
thing." John laughed at the angry growl from the back. "Nothing new. So tell me,
what brings you to a small town like Chicago Lake?"
"Business. I am here
to collect my property from one who stole it."
"Yeah, well just don't
cause any problems around here and we will be just fine. There is an inn at the
far side of town, and a general store two blocks from that. Stay away from the
lake side unless you want to be over run by the local young after dark. Big
parties up there, that is when I get my next week's work detail." He wiggled an
eyebrow. "It is sort of a competition among them, to see who gets caught among
their friends by driving by and throwing trash out of the back of their trucks
and cars. Just a fair warning, they have been known to get overzealous in their
efforts while under the influence, so be weary around them."
nodded. "Sound advice, I will be sure to heed it."
"You do that. Looks
like we are here. I will drop you off at the inn, sheriff's station is just
another three blocks from the general store, so if you need me, yell really
loud." He pulled over in front of the inn to let Benton and Dief out. "You take
care and follow my advice. I have been here two years now, and I still don't
know all the secrets around here. If you see anything out of the ordinary,
contact me directly. I think the sheriff likes to keep things like that under
wraps, bad press is not something this town needs."
Ben nodded and waved
as John drove away. Something about what he said struck a nerve. The local
sheriff tried to hide strange events. That might be a problem with his goals,
especially if he is hiding the creature. He took a long look at the town, it was
larger than he originally thought.
There were a good thirty thousand
people living in Chicago Lake, more than the quiet hamlet he had been led to
believe by the locals of Mareborn, the town he had just left an hour earlier.
This would complicate things a little, but not much. He just had to be more
careful than usual, that's all. Now if only he could convince Diefenbaker to
stay out of trouble.
Said wolf was busily sniffing at the air, he
smelled many wonderful things. From food to sex. The girl and boy on the corner
holding hands and sucking face, were the source of the sex. 'Girls', he gave a
snort to the thought. The kids were only about two years old. Okay so they were
more like fifteen, but they were still kids to him. The food however was coming
from the restaurant attached to the inn. Meat!
He started to whine
involuntarily. 'Oh gods this is so degrading. Fraser I am warning you, get me
some meat and a place to stay now or I will do something you won't like.'
Fraser stared down at his companion with a smirk. "Like what?"
'You asked for it Mountie!' Before Benton could do anything he was off
like a light. He ran towards the opening door of the restaurant, intending to
dash inside, but a man blocked his path. He barreled over the man landing butt
first on the man's chest. With a cheeky grin, he looked at cold blue eyes. 'Hey
stud muffin, fancy meeting you here.'
"Get off, toilet breath."
The low deadly tone made Dief back off lowering his ear and his tail
between his legs. A whimper escaped his lips as the man stood with mechanical
"I am terribly sorry. Diefenbaker was hungry I guess..."
"Save it!" The spiky blonde fixed Benton with steel tinted eyes. "I will
expect payment for the damage to the suit."
"What's goin on here?" A
tenor voice asked with an undercurrent of threat.
"Big blue here's dog
tackled me as I was leaving. Make sure he gets the bill for the damage to my
suit." He looked at the second spiky blonde with a steady gaze until he received
a nod. As he turned to go, Benton blocked his path. "Get out of my way."
"I think you should let me check you over..." Ben didn't get to finish
as he was picked up by the collar and set down out of the way by the second
"After you, cousin."
"Thank you, Tyler, you may earn my
support yet." The first blonde shrugged his suit jacket in to position again and
stormed off towards the parking lot. After his car tore out of the lot, the
remaining men and wolf looked at each other.
"I would stay out of his
way if I were you, stranger."
"I am sorry about Diefenbaker."
Tyler eyed Benton with an appraising stare. "What brings you to Chicago
"Good, I'm a business man myself. Perhaps I
can be of service."
Benton shook his head no as he headed in to the
restaurant. "Thank you, may be later."
As Ben passed, Tyler scented him.
Eyes flashing yellow for a moment, he smirked. "Any time. Don't worry about my
cousin, he is more of a blow hard. He won't do anything over a torn suit, hates
them with a passion. Just try to avoid him and you will be fine."
nodded his thanks and continued in to the building, Dief at his heels. The
people in the restaurant looked at him but continued on with their morning
meals. All of it was meat. Well there was a guy at the counter with toast as
well. He didn't like the looks of things, but Dief was in heaven.
up, I am starving.'
The restaurant went quiet as they focused on Dief
and Ben. Dief glared at them.
'What are you lookin at?'
"Diefenbaker!" Benton gave a weak smile as he scolded Dief. "Go outside
'Up yours Mountie.' He turned and
ran out of the restaurant.
"Sorry about that, he can be rather rude some
times." With another apologetic smile he headed up to the counter. "Can I get a
large order of the special?"
"Comin up." The young woman behind the
counter took his order.
Left to his own devices he looked around the
room. Spotting the door to the inn, he headed through the glass divider. A
homely looking man was behind the counter reading a newspaper and eating a
donut. "Excuse me, is there room available?"
"Yeah, forty a night," the
bored clerk stated with-out looking up.
He paid for the room and
collected his key, before heading back to the restaurant. Once again the room
went quiet as he entered the establishment. Ignoring their stares and whispers,
he paid for the food when it arrived and walked out. So much for keeping a low
profile. Diefenbaker was going to pay for it now.
Ben spent the next
half hour searching the town for both signs of Dief and the Nodalisk. After
nothing turning up, he returned to the inn and his room. He set his satchel next
to the bed and slowly stripped from his leather and cotton clothes. Assuming the
lotus position in the center of the bed, he took a deep breath and concentrated.
Dark images came to his mind's eyes. 'Where are you Diefenbaker?' He
looked out through the eyes of the wolf and saw dark shapes. As he drew nearer
the dark shapes Dief started to talk back.
'Where am I? Wouldn't you
like to know?'
'Yes, as matter of fact I would.'
'I warned you,
'You are in no position to threaten me, Diefenbaker. As the
Human, I have the controlling share of our abilities. Now where are you?'
'About to create a hostile take-over.'
'What...' The thought was
unfinished as the images gained focus and he saw what little color the wolf
could and recognized himself on the bed.
'Say good night Fraser. I
promise not to get in to too much trouble. You will like being the wolf. As a
matter of fact, try it for a few years.' Diefenbaker jumped on Fraser's back
sending them both flying over the bed.
'Diefenbaker, you know what
happens when you become human.'
'I get the control!'
'So what!' The wolf lunged again at Fraser who narrowly
dodged the blow.
'We could die!'
'That is a risk I am willing to
take. For eighteen years I have been stuck as the wolf. It is now your turn!' He
made one last jump and sent Fraser in to the end table, knocking him
unconscious. 'Finally!' Dief concentrated on being human, with-out Fraser's
controlling mind to stop him, he finally returned to his true form.
stood shakily on his hind legs looking down at his body. "Gods it's good to be
back." He admired the shape of his body for a few minutes as he touched himself
to make sure he was all there. Turning to the mirror, he admired the short spiky
locks of blonde hair. Dief shot his mirror self and winked. "Lookin good,
With a smirk, he reached down and grabbed himself. "Nice to
see you to. Been too long." A final shake, he released his member and looked
back at the mirror. His eyes flashed yellow as a memory from earlier rose in to
his mind. "So you grew up, little Tyler Creed. Wonder what Ray meant when he
said you wanted his support? Guess it's time to get back in the family
He gave a look at the unconscious white wolf at his feet.
"Enjoy the stay as the wolf, Benton. Better get used to it, you are going to be
that way for a long time." Diefenbaker Cates started to laugh as he moved to
head for the door. As he lifted one leg to go in front of the other, he forgot
about being Human and fell flat on his face.
This was going to take some
He'd a French cocked hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace
at his chin, A coat of claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin; They
fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to the thigh! And he rode with a
jewelled twinkle, His pistol butts a-twinkle, His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under
the jewelled sky.
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed by: Loreena McKennitt)
Dief put on the leather outfit he found inside the bag, the same
one he had been wearing the night he was locked in that body. If he ever got his
hands on that woman, he was going to stomp a mud hole in her ass then stomp it
dry. Victoria. Whore! Whatever Benton had saw in her was beyond him. Women were
nothing but trouble, bitches to bare offspring, that's it.
Now if he
could find someone to fuck, this day might start to get better. eighteen years
with-out sex. Licking himself did not count! No matter how much pleasure he
derived from it. It was probably the only good thing about being a wolf. One
thing about being a wolf, you learn to enjoy the simple things in life.
Clothes, he had always enjoyed a good set of clothes. A suit was
something not even he could tolerate, he knew where Ray was coming from. Ray was
a year older than him, but they were the best of the worst crowd back before.
Silently he wondered what Ray was up to that got him so important.
thought back on what the deputy had said. The brewery was gone. He wondered if
his brothers were still in control of the hill. If anyone was in power it was
his brother Willard. That guy was always so serious. Absence does make the heart
grow fonder, if his brother was in control, he might be able to use that to his
Silently he hoped that bitch Vivian had married Donner and
not sullied his family name with her presence. She was too much like Tyler for
the good of the pack. Definitely time for him to find out all that he had been
One last strap and the leather vest was in place. It barely
covered his eternally youthful skin. Like the leather pants, it was held
together like a corset, leather laces up the sides. It cut away from his front,
to reveal more laces that held a piece of leather barely big enough to conceal
his package. The back of his pants was solid leather, while the vest was strips
of leather and laces. Leather gauntlets finished the outfit, each contained a
removable dagger on top, and a retractable dagger on the bottom.
look now complete, he practiced walking, and a little kata to loosen up the
limbs. Now he was ready, look out Chicago Lake, Diefenbaker was back and ready
Exiting the inn's room, he noticed there were cars heading
down the main drag towards the lake. This was going to be fun, it had been too
long since he went to a good party. He had learned that many things had changed
including the sayings. His pierced ears were no longer a statement of rebellion,
but a show of your style.
He decided that golden hoops were the look he
was going for, and pulled a pair from the leather bag that contained the things
Benton collected for the jobs they did. It was mostly jewelry and ancient coins,
the money they collected was in another pouch on his other hip. A silver chain
around his neck, and six gold rings, three for each hand, a silver ring with a
bracelet attached went on each wrist and ring finger. Dief decided that he liked
the silver and replaced the gold rings with the silver ones in the bag.
His stomach protested the lack of food, he had not eaten today, what
with knocking out the Mountie, relearning to walk, and getting that dog smell
off him in the shower, who had time? Letting his stomach do the leading, he
found himself back at the restaurant. The crowd went silent at his appearance.
With a wink at one of the few good looking men in the place, he strolled up to
The waitress was frozen in place, didn't know to melt or
run screaming. He liked making that impression on people. She was rather homely
looking, about two years younger than his looks, and no nonsense type person.
Dief could respect that. Giving her his best grin he ordered a double of the
special and paid more than enough for that and tip. She chose to melt.
After he got his meal, he tore into the ribs, and hamburgers. Most of it
was gone in a matter of minutes. What little was left he ate slowly so he could
talk with Sophia, he read off her name tag. It turns out, she was the daughter
of Donner and a human. His brother had married that whore and had a son. His
brothers were dead and the whore was in control. That stopped him, he was the
last of his generation. He finished the meal quickly and set out for fun leaving
Sophia swooning over him.
Time to forget his plans for town conquest and
have some fun. Chicago Lake was nothing but small potatoes and he would be
moving on soon anyways. Like Benton, he wanted that Nodalisk to pay for stealing
their bounty. It was a very pretty dagger after all.
He followed the few
cars that were heading out to the lake. Night had fallen by now, and the fun
would be starting soon. There were plenty of locals to seduce and get what he
wanted from them. Of course Fraser need not know this, any of this. It was after
all his home, and his secret to tell if he wanted. Fraser was in for big
surprise after they were half way across the country. That is when he would tell
him about Chicago Lake being his home, not before. That whiley Mountie might get
them in to trouble if he did it too soon.
The lake was like it was back
in his day, the place to be. Unfortunately, not like back in his day, everyone
was here, from the humans, to the geeks. Just goes to show the apple doesn't
fall far from the tree. Luke took after dear old dad, and let everyone come to
the party. Oh well, he could have some fun here still.
He looked around
and caught site of a group of kids that might interest him. In the center was a
boy that had blonde hair, and on his arm was a fake blonde. Luke and Presley,
had to be. From what Sophia said, she was worse than Vivian ever thought about
being. Time to do a little chlorination of the dating pool. His nephew would
thank him later.
"Presley, you cheap little slut. You screwin James Dean
wanna be over here behind my back?" He shoved Luke out of his way and got in the
girl's face. "What the hell do you think you are doing?"
"Excuse me, who
the hell do you think you are?" Luke was trying to get in his face.
am this little whore's boyfriend, who the fuck are you?"
"You are wrong,
I am Presley's boyfriend."
"Oh yeah, then why does she call my name in
the heat of passion?" The mere thought of touching the bottle blonde made his
skin crawl, but he had to play out the part.
"She... she... Presley,
what is he talking about?" Luke turned to face the blanching girl. "Answer me."
"She can't, guilt is a powerful silencer." On the inside he was smiling.
"Wasn't I enough for you? I guess that night you spent with my bros should have
been a clue about how you like it, fast and with as many as you can get. You
really are a tramp!" She was glazing over, tearing up, the lip tremble, and she
was off. Score one for the Dief!
As he lost sight of her, he started to
laugh. Gone was the wicked witch, and now came the good witch. He turned to face
the glaring group of boys. Ah, the brat pack. "What?"
"Who the hell are
"The name is Dief, call me D, and you die." He grabbed a beer from
the glaring guys and walked off laughing. Been too long since he had any real
fun, and his nephew was just a little too easy. The hand on his shoulder didn't
surprise him, but the face attached to it did.
"What the hell do you
think you are doing?"
"Well if it isn't little Tyler Creed."
Tyler pulled back as if burned. "What did you call me?"
trying to hang with the cool kids are we? Go on back to your mommy and leave
this to the men." Dief turned to go, but was grabbed from behind by two large
men and a cloak pulled over his head. "Let go of me you freaks. I swear you will
be sorry you ever laid a hand on me. You hear me Tyler, I am going to beat your
ass. I guess you never learned your lesson..."
He was silenced as a fist
connected with his abdomen. "Oh I learned, I learned real well. You see, if you
higher men to do your work for you, you don't have to. You taught me that. The
only thing that stopped me from killing you all those years ago was my Cousin.
Well Ray aint here to protect you any more D."
Dief felt another kick to
his ribs. "You are gonna die you little son of a bitch!"
you see, I got quite a few friends now. You should have stayed gone Diefenbaker.
Deal with this trash, permanently!"
It was over! After only eight hours
it was over! 'This is un-fuck-ing-be-liev-a-ble! Fraser, you had better not get
used to it, because when I heal, you are going back to being the dog!' He
focused on the wolf and let his form shift back to being Diefenbaker the wolf.
Unprepared for the shift, the goons lost their grip and gave Dief the
chance he needed to get away. He slipped through the trees before they even
noticed he was a wolf. His angry howl filled the night as he took off.
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark innyard, And he
tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred; He whistled
a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there But the landlord's
black-eyed daughter, Bess, the landlord's daughter, Plaiting a dark red
love-knot into her long black hair.
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed by:
Benton was having the weird dream about where
he was a wolf again. He knew it was a dream because he had warned Dief about
what would happen if the wolf had tried to take over control again. The night
was early, and the moon had yet to rise this evening.
He noticed all
this through the window. Dief had really done it this time. That wolf was going
to pay with his hide! Now all he had to do was find a way out of here before he
went nuts about being locked up. The wolf in him wanted to be out and run.
Finally he opened the door knob with his teeth and paws. Then he was off like a
The town was surprising busy for a Tuesday evening. People were
heading out towards a the restaurant and inn. He watched them from the shadows
knowing they would not take kindly to having a wolf this close. The Retreat was
packed with people, he scanned the crowd and noted that Dief was not there. A
few cars were heading out towards the lake, which was the most likely place the
trouble maker might be.
With a huff at having to run on all fours, he
was off. The woods were surprisingly easy to navigate in the moon light, and the
noise from the people acted like a homing beacon for him. As he drew near the
crowds, he sensed more than just the normal teens and their hormones. He smelled
wolfs, cats, and a scent he would never forget, the Nodalisk.
creature was here, probably stalking it's next victim. There was something
different about it though, it smelled off, not that it mattered anyway. If he
had his way that creature would be burning in the morning sun like the rest of
the filthy trash that roamed the night. Speaking of trash, where the hell was
Shaking in the bushes off to his right drew his attention
from the smells of the crowds. It was something big and it was coming fast.
Fraser dove out of the way in time to avoid being sliced by the large paws of
the large cat. He reared on the creature with wide eyes, nostrils flaring.
Correction, the were tiger.
The tiger was a mixture of blonde and gold
stripes. His fur stuck out in thick disorder as he gave a warning snarl towards
Ben. Long white teeth bared to show he meant business.
Benton backed up
giving a submissive gesture, even if his wolf form was fully grown and with his
pack, there would have been no challenge. The Tiger would win hands down, or
paws up as the case may be.
Bristling, the Tiger advanced on the tiny
wolf, regarding him with the keenest blue eyes. He sniffed the air around the
wolf and snarled again.
Fraser went with his instincts and rolled over
bearing his belly as the ultimate act of submissiveness.
After a moment
more, the Tiger paced over to him and sniffed at his body.
inwardly groaned as the whiskers tickled the insides of his lower legs. He tried
to stop the huffing breathes when the tiger was at his throat.
beast lowered its head and inhaled the scent of the wolf. A tiny growl, and he
opened his jaws wide.
Looking into the gaping mouth of the Tiger,
Fraser's body lost control and went himself.
A snicker came from the
Tiger as it lazily turned and walked off in the woods leaving a stunned and
embarrassed Fraser behind.
He rolled over with a huff of indignation.
The damned Tiger had only been playing with him. His anger was about to get the
better of him when he smelled the pungent odor of the Nodalisk. Turning toward
the scent he came across the sharp features of the creature's sour looking face.
The Nodalisk released a shrill scream as it spread wide large jaws.
Unimpressed by the display of aggression, Benton leaped in to action.
Jumping on the back of the large creature, he bit deeply in to the skin over the
skull snapping at the main spinal cord.
Hoarse screams filled the night
as the Nodalisk started to go limp under his continued assault. With the last of
its strength, the Nodalisk threw him off its back. Mid way through the air, his
world shifted back to normal. A curse died on his lips as he struck the tree,
Darkness was descending fast as he watched the crazed
monster turn towards him and run at him. He could only watch in a daze as the
creature poised to strike. In the next instant however, his body was coated in
foul smelling blood. Opening his eyes one last time, he saw as the Nodalisk was
shredded by the Tiger.
Last thoughts filled his mind as darkness swept
in. He finally realized what was different about the Nodalisk's scent. This one
was female, and slightly smaller than what he had been chasing. It was the wrong
damned one. He grunted with laughter then passed out.
"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize tonight, But I shall
be back with the yellow gold before the morning light; Yet if they press me
sharply, and harry me through the day, Then look for me by the moonlight, Watch
for me by the moonlight, I'll come to thee by the moonlight, though hell should
bar the way."
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed by: Loreena McKennitt)
Morning light shined through the windows glaring at him, telling
him to wake up. Benton Fraser squeezed his eyes shut after a quick attempt at
opening them. A grouchy snort at his side told him there was another being in
the room. An imparticularly annoying being at that. "Were you born this much a
pain in the rear end, Diefenbaker, or did you cultivate it over years of
'Be silent you petulant Human! At least you can be Human.'
"I might have let you become Human if you had ever shown any worthiness
of the title."
'Oh like being an all so high and mighty Mountie is
better than a entrepreneur?'
"You were a thief!"
"And a liar to boot. There are several other things I could call you,
all be accurate, but that would not be appropriate in any venue." A clearing
throat brought his eyes snapping open to a face he recent met. This was when he
also noticed he was not in the cabin he had paid to rent. "Good morning."
"Yeah, noticed that did you?"
man with the lean body and dark blue eyes focused on Diefenbaker as he spoke
again. "Returned home at last, ya little shit?"
Tyler snorted at the wolf. "Pot-Kettle Syndrome, I see you still have no
manners. May be I should teach you a few lessons in pack etiquette."
'You and what army, Creeder?' Diefenbaker stood at attention, teeth
baring and ears perked up.
'Silence! Tyler finish the job you were told
to do and leave.'
All three men, two men and the wolf to be exact, went
pale at the strong mental voice.
Tyler bared his teeth at Diefenbaker,
then turned back to Benton. "You are lucky to be alive, and shall remain so only
as long as the pack sees fit. You are to never reveal what you know about us.
Follow our laws, and you may yet live to see tomorrow." He turned to go back out
the open door then stopped. "Oh, there is one other thing. You can never leave
Chicago Lake alive. Have a good day, gentlemen."
Still caught up in the
rush of it all, Benton's mind shut out all that he had just learned. Instead it
all focused on one thing. The little white wolf beside him that was busy
grumbling at the closed door.
'Of all the things to happen, the bastard
Creed thinks he can treat me that way. I will show him who is Alpha. I am so
going to make you pay for those remarks pup.'
wolf turned narrowed, glaring eyes at Benton. 'What, Mountie!?!'
in hell have you gotten us into?"
'Me?' Diefenbaker stared incuriously
at Fraser. 'You are the stubborn ass who brought us here. You just couldn't let
the Nodalisk go, no you had to rush off and defend your wounded pride.'
"Don't talk to me of wounded pride, you are the one who's pride caused
us to be stuck in together in the first place."
'Oh not that horse shit
again. It was eighteen years ago, Benton, GET OVER IT!' The wolf growled at the
former Mountie and bolted for the door, with a simple twist, he was out.
Fraser looked at the door with a mixture of rage and fury. He was going
to kill that little wolf one of these days. With a silent yell, he shredded the
sheets in his hands. Anger abated for the moment, he climbed out the bed. His
clothes and satchel were near the bureau. Not caring about how they got here, he
grabbed a pair of shorts and headed for the bathroom door.
was short and cold as the hot water tap only groaned when turned on. Dressing in
the cutoffs, he headed back in to the room to finish drying and grab a shirt.
One thing he had learned over the past two decades was how not to care about
what he wore, as long as it did its job. Barefoot and still wet, he headed to
find the source of the strong mental voice from earlier.
room was a long hall that ended in a grand staircase. The sun light filtered in
windows overlooking the salon as he strolled down the steps. About midway down,
he picked up the sounds of music drifting in from the back of the house.
Curiosity filled him as the haunting melody drifted up to him.
he crept down the stairs and headed towards the music. The closer he got the
more of the tune he could make out. He finally reached a large double door.
Turning the knob slowly, Benton pushed the door open. Breath caught in his
throat as the single person inside danced and sang to the music.
clouded dream on an earthly night." His hand twirled as one leg arced infront of
the other, balancing as his upper body leaned back and hips swayed. Like a cat,
his spine twisted in turn to the music, going the opposite direction of his
hips. "Hangs upon the crescent moon. A voiceless song on an ageless night, sings
at the coming dawn."
Fraser watched the loin clothed hips and was afraid
the person underneath it would snap in half at the angles he achieved. Worse yet
the tail peeking out from beneath it was swaying and giving him naughty ideas.
Anklets jingled in tune with the beat and the bracelets. "Birds in
flight, are calling there. Where the heart moves the stones." The blonde spiked
head turned to face Benton, eyes closed as the man was lost to the beat. The
black mark across his eyes and the jewelry in his pointed ears gave him a wild
look. "It's there that my heart is longing." Eyes snapped open. "All for the
love of you-u."
Fraser was frozen by the blue stare. As the song and
dancer finished, he let out a sigh of relief. "Hello..."
The blue eyes
"Yeah, me, I uh, you see." The last thing he remembered
was the blonde spinning around and him seeing the business end of the bare foot,
He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach
her hand But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast; And he kissed its
waves in the moonlight, (Oh, sweet black waves in the moonlight!) Then he tugged
at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.
HIGHWAYMAN (performed by: Loreena McKennitt)
down the road towards the lake howling in anger, how could they do this to him?
This was his town! Grumbling, he followed an old trail for a while hoping to
spot some easy prey. He was in no mood for hunting, just something cute and
fluffy to sink his teeth into.
After he had ran off back to the inn,
Tyler was waiting there for him, him and his little bitch Buddy too. They had
come with a letter of pack law from Vivian saying he was under arrest. He had
been brought in front of the council and was about to be tried for something he
had done years ago when Kowalski had burst in the room with Benton over his
He had never been so glad to see the damned Mountie, that is
until they heard what had happened. Benton had got in a fight with a female
Nodalisk, nearly getting killed. Not only had the idiot exposed that he was a
wolf, but he had also gotten in a fight with the wrong damned one. They turned
to Diefenbaker as he started to growl. He had spent the next half hour
explaining how they got linked.
"Picture it, Back ass woods of Canada,
1984. A young entrepreneur who just happened to be a runaway wolf meets a stick
in the mud Mountie who has a major Jones for this Victoria chick. They have a
fling, she decides once you go Mountie you go celibate. His sexual frustrations
make him put extra effort in to his work. This is when he meets our hero, the
cute, sexually misguided wolf-boy. Wolf-boy has a deal in the works to get him
some Canadian papers in order to effectively hide from the losers he calls
"Mr. Not so Straight or Narrow, while fucking Wolf-boy's brains
out in his marriage bed, gets them caught by the witch wife with his screams.
She gets pissed that he could get it up for the cute wolf, and not for her
frosted ass and curses them both to be as one. One can not live with-out the
other, neither can die or age if in their true form, oh and one has to be the
wolf while the other man. We both share the same wolf form, but maintain our
original form. So for the past eighteen years our hero and his zero have
traveled the north American continent looking for a way to lift the curse.
"While they travel, they come across others in need of their help. For a
reasonable price, they do. All this time though, our hero is trapped in the body
of a wolf. He finally gets his chance to be human if only for a little while and
he gets assaulted by the spiked, blonde bitch and his little bitchettes. So you
see it is all just so not fair to our hero."
Of course Vivian, the whore
dog she is, didn't see it that way. She saw it as the ample opportunity to get
revenge for all the nasty names he called her in school. Not like she didn't
So here he was, stuck with Benton the Mounted Idiot, again.
His punishment is to be stuck with the man until the curse is lifted, which is
only when he learns the true meaning of love. Which means he and Benton were
stuck this way forever. For the incident happening on Ray's land, he was charged
with the welfare of Benton. Needless to say the man was pissed.
he got out of having to make up for all his bad deeds with this town, he would
be here forever. As soon as Benton had his dagger, they were out of this one
whore house town. He was distracted from his thoughts by noises near the lake
Voices coming from the distance lead him to a large clearing in
the center of the woods. He checked the moon and his memory and smiled. So it
was tonight that it would happen. Samhain night had to be celebrated with
tradition, and he knew the perfect traditionalist for tonight. His smile grew
broader as he noted who the work crew was.
Luke and all his little
friends were in bright orange jump suits with their names stitched on the front
pocket. 'Get caught much?' They were clearing the field of all debris, setting
up the fire, tables, and the sacrificial altar. One of Luke's little friends was
telling him something.
"Have you seen Presley today?"
she disappeared after that weirdo in the leather fuckin told her off."
am not a weirdo little shit! For that you are going down, nephew or not!'
Growling, he was about to bound in to the clearing when something grabbed him
from behind. He turned to bite the man, but was silenced as the clawed hand
reeking hand slapped him across the muzzle. His final moments were filled with
the stinking smell as the Nodalisk tore in his belly.
His death howls
shook the trees, causing the worker crews to come find what happened. The sight
that greeted them had several of them running for the bushes to heave their
breakfast up. With-out having to be told what happened, they knew that he was
dead. But what was really disturbing was that the body was shifting from a wolf
to a man.
"Holy shit!" Deputy John Kanin stood back watching as the wolf
finished the transformation in to a man. "That's not good."
"No," a hand
on his arm and he was brought around to face yellow eyes. "No it is not, and you
seeing it didn't help matters either."
"I am sorry
deputy." A dark smirk across the full lips. "Actually, no I'm not."
next instant John was on the ground under a large gray wolf, and unconscious.
The wolf looked at the young ones surrounding him. 'Go tell Vivian and the
Sheriff, we got a body.' Tyler turned his muzzle down to sniff at John's face.
"And we got our sacrifice." His once again Human face smirked with yellow eyes.
He did not come at the dawning; he did not come at noon, And out of the
tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon, When the road was a gypsy's ribbon,
looping the purple moor, A red-coat troop came marching, Marching, marching King
George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.
(performed by: Loreena McKennitt)
Ray stood over the fallen man,
a perfect print of the top of his foot on the temple. With a disgusted sigh, he
walked over to the door way at the other side of the studio, turning off the cd
player. This was just perfect, the man he knew nothing about, who had caused him
more trouble than his past was laying on his floor. He had to find out what gods
he pissed off and make good with them.
Stepping over the body, he headed
to the parlor and grabbed the phone. Pounding in a few numbers he waited for the
answer. Tail twitching in aggravation, he sighed. "C'mon Frannie, pic up
already." When the other end finally did answer he went quiet.
came a gruff deep voice.
"Yeah, hey Lieu. How's business?"
"The one and only."
A deep sigh. "What did
you do this time?"
"Nuthin, I swear." He looked down at the man in the
door way twenty feet away. "Oh well okay I did do something, but the guy snuck
up on me. What was I supposed to do, lift the ole loin cloth and say ride me big
"Wouldn't be the first time."
"Hardy har har, what am I ta
do about tonight? I gotta take sleepin Mountie here with me wherever I goes. An
I aint gonna dance in front of no stranger, bad enough he already gotta peep
show of me in the studio rehearsing." He was starting to pace and hit things
with his tail. "I need to know what the council said about this perve. I mean am
I supposed to keep him with me twenty-four seven until they decide he is no
longer a risk?"
"Hold on, Kowalski, don't get your panties in a twist.
From what we gathered last night, which is not a lot because we all know how
much of a liar that damned wolf is, Benton and he are only in town long enough
to catch a local nuisance, then they are gone. The Council needs more
information before they decide anything." Welsh sighed. "Vivian is pushing for
the elders to make them stay, while Sherman, as their elder, is against the
"Since when do we let the wolves push us around like
"Since they are the largest group of were animals in Chicago
lake, they have most of the political say."
"How did a group, that's
only means of introducing a new member is through reproduction, get so god
"They are wolves, you do the math."
wolves we are talking about here, not rats."
Welsh's laugh echoed over
the phone. "Might as well be. Just see what you can get out of your esteemed
colleague then report back pronto."
"Fine, Lieu, some help you are."
"I do my best."
"Yeah, just as long as it doesn't interfere with
my Samhain festival. I am gonna get that fluffy pussy tonight."
Ray groaned. "Stella is still being the frosty bitch. I tell
you, I am going to win that hunt tonight if it is the last thing I do. Last
night I got some real good practice."
"I heard she disappeared."
"She attacked wonder mutt in here. I had to defend my honor, as he was
in my territory, it fell to me to protect him."
"Be on the look out, I
hear there is another one. It is said to be spraying, looking for a mate."
Examining his finger nails, Ray smiled. "Greatness. I will deal with it
like I dealt with Ms. Priss."
"Don't ya mean, Presley?"
"Whatever Lieu, gotta go, sleepin Mountie is waking up."
luck, if he is anything like Diefenbaker, and from eighteen years of being in
constant contact it is a good chance, you will need it." The line went dead as
Ray laid the receiver back in it's cradle.
Stretching his muscles, Ray
walked back to stand over the awakening Benton. Head tilted to the right, he
bent over and stared at the Mountie's face. Benton's eyes opened as a guilty
smile crossed his features.
"I wasn't fooling you..."
"Not for a
second. How much did you hear?"
"Who is Stella?"
Ray looked away
as he pursed his lips and nodded. "Okay, we can work with that." He grabbed Ben
by the front of his shorts and lifted the man up. Sniffing around his crotch,
Ray smiled. "Fresh."
"Excuse me?" Fraser felt like a child as the
smaller man carried him by the front of his shorts back towards the stairs one
handed. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to pry, but can you possibly put me down?"
"What, don't like being carried like a picnic basket?"
"Too bad, Benton buddy."
stopped in the living room on the other side of the stair case and laid Fraser
out like a buffet on the coffee table. "Don't move. We are going to talk about
"Why can't I move."
"Because yur a freak, things... weird
things... painful things happen around you. Every time I see you, some one get's
hurt, last time it was you, next time it could be me. So just lay there and
answer my questions. Pretend I am a therapist and you are my patient."
"Okay." That sat there for about five minutes while Ray grew more
"Well are you going to tell me?"
"Tell you what?"
"Okay I have yet to ask a question, stupid me. Start with how you and
ass hole... I mean Diefenbaker met."
Benton laid there, his hands folded
over his lower abdomen in thought. "It was eighteen years ago, I was a member of
the RCMP, and you are correct, he is an ass hole."
Ray smiled, he was
getting to like this Benton Fraser.
"I was on a case for forgeries. I
busted the men making visas for American criminals who were trying to escape
their country. Diefenbaker was in the next room hand cuffed to a radiator. I
thought he was their prisoner because he was an innocent kid. He looked at me
with the saddest eyes, I had no idea how in-depth he was at acting. Instead of
processing him with the rest, I let him go on the belief that he would stay for
"That night he ran for the border to Alaska. I tracked him
down, not knowing what he was, I was puzzled how he had came to be so far so
fast. Finally I cornered him near a wide river and he fell in. I grabbed him out
of the ice and saved his life at the cost of my Stetson. As we headed back to my
posting, he grew sick. Fearing he might catch pneumonia, I stayed in the same
bag to share body heat.
"This went on the entire week until we reached
my cabin, the day before I was going to take him in for his crimes. That just
happened to be the same night my fiancÚ Victoria came back from visiting her
mother. Diefenbaker was feeling slighted because his charms did not work on me,
so when she came in, he rolled me on top, and started writhing beneath me.
"Victoria took one look, screamed a curse, her body was back lit by
black light, and she uttered another curse, in Latin I believe it was.
Diefenbaker and I merged as one, that is the last I remember before waking up
the next morning a wolf. In anger I tackled him and demanded answers from him.
He passed out when his head hit the bed, and I wished I was human and here I am.
Since my mind was more disciplined, I had the control, even in my sleep he could
not transform back to human. That is until last night when he finally realized
what it took to make me loose my control." Benton finished with a sigh. "You
"What?" Ray sat forward from his daze. "What do you mean, my
"Your turn to tell me how you met Diefenbaker."
Ray sat back again thinking. "He and I grew up together, two members of the were
animal community. We were the worst lot around here. Now it is your turn again,
why are you here?"
"We first came to town on the trail of my client's
killer. You see over the past eighteen years he and I became freelancers. We did
almost anything if the price was right. My last client, a Skilosh Demon Clan had
several of their young brutally beaten, and one even killed by the local
rednecks. Diefenbaker and I were hired to terminate their existence for a
Cerulean Dragon's Heart Dagger. It was a very pretty dagger, and I wanted to see
justice served, so we took the job.
"Unfortunately, their clan are
peaceful beings, unable to defend themselves. So when the Nodalisk came along,
they were slaughtered. We came back as the last of the trail from the Nodalisk
started to go cold, literally. Tracking the beast, we followed a trail of
carnage all the way to Chicago lake. I thought perhaps I might have gotten him
last night, but a large were Tiger killed it, it being a female was the wrong
one. So our killer is still out there with my dagger." Benton turned his head to
regard his host. He noted the spiky hair and the color of both it and his eyes.
"My turn, was it you?"
"What d'ya mean?"
"Was it you who saved
me last night?"
"Oh, yeah, sure." Ray stood up looking at the wall
clock. "Listen, I gotta make a few phone calls. You go in the kitchen and make
yerself somethin, I dunno, jus somethin." He left the room with-out preamble.
Benton let out a sigh of relief when the scantly clad man left the room.
Moving his hands, he looked down at the painful bulge that had been growing
since Ray had sat down in his peripheral vision in nothing but a loin cloth. As
Ray had to continued to spread his legs, causing his penis to shift in to sight
just under the front flap, Benton thanked the heavens for the restrictive pants.
Something about the sight and smell of Ray was driving him to a severe case of
blue balls, a kind of reaction not even Victoria could elicit from him.
He sat up on the table and turned to face the rest of the house, where
to find the kitchen? A resigned sigh, and he was off in the maze known as Ray's
They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale
instead, But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow
bed; Two of them knelt at the casement, with muskets at their side! there was
death at every window and hell at one dark window; For Bess could see, through
the casement, The road that he would ride.
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed by:
Fraser glanced around the kitchen as he
listened out for his host. Something was going on that Ray was not telling him
about. For starters why was the man dressed like he was going to run through the
forest hunting wild animals. Another thing that was bothering him about Ray was
how the man drove him crazy with need.
It was most unsettling to find
himself in the position he had not been in since his days before the training
academy. He had wanted to grab that man by his tail... Ray had a tail! Ray
wasn't Human! That explained something's, but why Halloween night?
had said something about hunting and getting some... mating with a woman named
Stella. What was so special about Samhain night? Beltane was the night in Celtic
legend for mating rituals. Including the stag hunt for the right to claim the
virgin maiden. Was this some similar ritual, was Ray going to hunt a stag for a
chance with Stella, and the main question, was this Stella a virgin? If Ray's
description of her was anything to go by, it was a good possibility.
Then another thought occurd to him, Ray was interested in Stella, a
woman. That meant he was out of the picture, unless Ray too liked men. It was
not totally unheard of, he was living proof. There was still a chance if he
really wanted it, the only question was, did he want it? Did he want to take
Ray, to mate with the wiry were tiger?
His paradoxical thoughts were
interrupted as Ray strutted in to the room, tail swishing from side to side with
a smile on his face. "Guess what, Frase."
coming to the festival tonight. There you are going to participate in all the
fun and games we have, and you are going to have a good time. Then afterwards we
will decide what to do with you." His smile was short lived as he saw the glazed
look in Ben's eyes. "Come on, it aint that boring." He turned around in a snort,
tail tip twitching in agitation. "I don't think you understand what I am
"I understand perfectly, Ray."
he could turn to reply, he was bent over the kitchen sink. Warm hands were
gripping him under the breach cloth, rubbing his man hood in gentle strokes. His
eyes glowed blue as Benton lifted his tail, stroking the base of it. His body
tensed with the pleasure, breath catching in his throat. Mindless of all else
but those hands, it was when he felt burning hot flesh touch his inner thighs
that panic gripped him. It wasn't time, he wasn't ready, his mind shouted. "No."
Fraser ignored the moaned response as he readied himself to take the
"No, let go. I'm not ready. I'm not ready! Get off me, I
said let me go!" With all his strength, he tossed Benton back against the wall
behind him. Silently, he let his head droop to the sink. He wasn't ready, ready
for what, he didn't know. It just wasn't time.
"Ray, I'm sorr..."
"Save it, Fraser, just go get dressed." He ignored the pathetic attempts
by Ben to apologize and waited until he was out of the room before he collapsed
against the counter and started to cry. It was in this position thirty minutes
later that Tyler found him.
Tyler was at his side in an instant and
holding him close. "Did that bastard do this?"
Ray shook his head as he
mumbled a no.
"Then what happened, it has been years since I seen you
like this?" He stroked his cousin's hair as he rocked him. "Tell me what
happened, I am tired of you waiting until it just goes away. It will never away
until you tell me about it. Why were you crying the night Diefenbaker left?"
Ray tried to pull away, but Tyler held fast.
"I can't, it hurts."
"It will hurt worse the longer you let it
fester. Tell me so I can have another reason to celebrate that bastard's death."
Ray drew back from Tyler to look at his face with wide eyes. "It can't
"Yep, found him not an hour ago, in the woods near the festival
site. Something tore his belly out, and swallowed it whole. Son of a bitch
deserved what he got." Tyler found himself against the wall opposite his cousin.
"Never speak of him that way again!"
"What the hell crawled up
your ass? He is just another Cates mongrel, it's not you and him ever... Holy
shit! You mean you and Dief were..."
"Yes! That is part of the reason
for what I can't tell you. What I won't tell you. Is that all you came over for,
was to gloat over the death of my friend?"
Tyler looked away as he
"Fine, ya delivered your message now get up and go. We will be
at the festival in a few hours time, and I don't want Benton knowing about this.
No matter what he might say, he and Diefenbaker were friends. Now get out of
"Yes Ma'am." Tyler saluted his cousin then ducked out of the
house laughing at Ray's stern face.
Ray was overwhelmed. He couldn't
think about the ramifications of what he had just learned, right now. There were
other important things, he had a festival to attend, he had people to meet, he
had... He needed to get away. "Frase, hurry yer ass up! Time ta go. Pitter
The sounds of Fraser coming down the stairs like a heard of
elephants gave him an alert that the other man was close. Wiping the traces of
tears from his eyes, he ran to the bathroom to reapply the black kohl to his
face. As he came out, he saw Fraser dressed in leather pants and matching vest.
Ray took time to take in the view.
Fraser spun slowly. "Do you think
this will be appropriate?"
"Eh yeah, c'mon, we don' want to be late."
Fraser noticed the slight puffiness around Ray's eyes, but held his
tongue in favor of smoothing going. He only hoped that this would continue until
they would simply deem them harmless and let he and Dief go. Speaking of the
wolf, he hoped the damned child had not got in more trouble.
They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest; They had
bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast! "now keep good
watch!" And they kissed her. She heard the dead man say "Look for me by the
moonlight Watch for me by the moonlight I'll come to thee by the moonlight,
though hell should bar the way!"
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed by: Loreena
Benton was in awe as they left the forest surrounded
house. All the trees were at least two hundred years old, and remarkably
healthy. Ray owned a house the size of a city block in the middle of an old
growth forest. The place was plantation style with willows and other hanging
trees. There were flowers in constant bloom on the trees as the last warm days
slipped in to the cool night. Fireflies floated up among the dense trees giving
a magical quality.
Sweet smells from the flowers and the plants filled
his refined senses as he walked with Ray down the trail towards the Festival as
Ray called it. Samhain night was magical here he had said, and from what he
could see already in the waning sun, it was truly paradise. The moisture hung in
the air giving it a cool feel and a musky taste.
"Swamps. We have the
mesquites and other blood parasites sprayed for. That is why you are not turning
in to one bright red swell." Ray waded through the cool grass along the trail,
letting his tail brush the hip high stalks around.
Benton watched and
longed to touch that tail. The gold stripes in the blonde fur matched the crazy
hair of his beautiful man-tiger. As they walked he barely registered the world
around him, his eyes only for the majestic creature in front of him. He felt an
emotion swell in him that he had not dreamed of in over two decades. It was so
odd, he almost had no name for it. Content, he was for once content, or he would
be soon if he had his way, especially if he had his way with a certain younger
Ray occasionally looked back and blushed at the appreciative
glances he was getting from Ben. "It is only a little bit further." He felt calm
and comforted, despite what he now knew. Tomorrow he would deal with his
friend's death, tonight he was going to have fun!
Drum beats were heard
first as they drew near the dark clearing. With- out their having realized the
sun had set, and the fires at the Samhain festival was driving them nearer. Next
came the flutes, pipes, and other wind instruments, last of all the string
instruments above most the Dulcimer and Fiddle.
Smells of swamp water,
lake mist, bon fires, and the forest filled the night to mix with the already
sweet smell of the moon flowers, Jasmine and Gardenia among them. The Harvest
smells were in the air to. Fresh melons and fruits were everywhere as they drew
near, the meats had yet to be caught or were waiting for them to be cooked.
Snatches of voices drifted across the meadow to them as they entered
under an arch of vines and bound tree limbs. Flowers and ivies lines the
clearing like an enormous gazebo. All this combined with the joyful singing and
shouts of the people, made Ray feel drunk. He gave in to the temptation of the
beat and started to move in rhythm, dragging a protesting Fraser with him.
Soon the music took on a sensual feel as people started to pair off. Ray
still had Ben in his grasp when another's voice broke through his stupor.
"Well this is a surprise, Stanley Kowalski."
Ray froze in mid
motion, his back straitening like a ramrod. "What do you want, Vecchio?"
Ray Vecchio laughed as Kowalski turned to face him. "Just to say, good
luck, you're gonna need it, Pollack."
"Same to you, Squid face."
"Now boys, can't we behave more civil around here?" A short blonde woman
came up between them, placing a hand on each of their shoulders, but favoring
the balding man. "This is not a night of fighting, but merry making and Joy
bringing. Besides, save it for the race, remember, winner get's to be my next
mate, and I am already in heat."
"Okay, you be ready Stell." Ray
Kowalski turned to Ray Vecchio. "May the best man win, and then may he beat your
ass later Vecchio."
Vecchio was about to lunge at Ray, his hazel eyes
flashing blue. "Wait until the race Ray, then we will see who is better. Come
Stella, beautiful, we have other things to discuss."
Benton watched all
with a dispassionate gaze until he saw Ray's face fall as Stella snubbed him for
the other Ray. His hand clasped Ray on the shoulder gently then pulled back
before Ray could shrug it off. "What is that all about?"
Ray looked down
as he waved off as if he could block the emotions before looking up at Ben's
concerned eyes. "It all ties in tonight, we have this big festival every
"Not that! Well not just that, but the whole coolness towards
you. I do not understand their attitude towards you."
Ray looked away as
a mist started to form in his eyes. "It is nothing." A gentle hand under his jaw
made him look in to Ben's sincere eyes.
"It is not nothing, Ray, I care
about it, about you."
He spoke in such a gentle manner, Ray felt tears
come again. This time one ran down his face over a cheek, right in to Ben's
hand. Benton bent his head forward and kissed the tear off Ray's face with
"It is okay, I am here."
Ray nodded as he pulled
back a little. "Years ago when we were kids, Stell and I were close. She hung
out with our group, Dief, Frannie, Stell, Jack, Louis, and Me. Vecchio was one
of the popular kids, his younger sister Frannie, hated his guts. Stell was the
only one of our group that actually liked him. He and I had hated each other
since the first grade when I started school here. My mum and dad both died in an
accident so the Lieu raised me in their house.
"Anyways, it was the
summer we graduated from the local high school. Vecchio had been at college for
two years. He came back and Stell was all over him. She and I had been going
steady since he had left two years before, she and I were going to get married.
Or so I thought.
"Jack and Louis were teasing me about how I wasn't good
enough for a common slut like Stell, Frannie defined me against them, and Dief
just stayed silent the whole night. We heard Stell and Vecchio going at it in
the back of his car, big fancy thing, he had, and still does have a lot money.
My family left me the house, the land and a trust to pay for the taxis, that's
it. Everything else I gotta work for, that wasn't good enough for Stell.
"So we hears them going on like a couple porn stars and I lose it. I
took a bat to his expensive car and to him. Stella dropped me like a bad habit
right then and there. God help me I cried, begged her to take me back, me the
bad ass, second only to Dief cried like a baby. She laughed, gut busting laughed
at me. I stormed out of there, leaving a stone cold Vecchio and his sister to
beat the hell out of Stell. Frannie god bless her heart, stood up for me at
"There was nothing I could do, my future was a wreck, and I
had no one to love. Lieu had a job in the city at that time and I was on my own.
So the boys and I got drunk. Frannie joined us about an hour after the incident.
She tried to apologize but I just told her I loved her. She took it the wrong
way and slugged me. I kissed her for it and set her strait. Louis decked me for
that. She and he were an item. Jack was waiting for the right one, he later came
after Louis died. Frannie was inconsolable for nearly two years, thank god she
had Ma for her and the kids.
"Anyways, back on topic, Dief and I were
the only ones left that night about two in the morning. We were sitting on a log
over looking the lake, drinking Lieu's strawberry wine and skipping stones. I
don't know who made the first move, but he tackled me and pinned me against the
log. He ripped my pants in his haste and took me there over the log. Afterwards
he took off running, I didn't see him ever again, but he left a note on my
pillow saying he was sorry. The stupid bastard thought he had raped me."
Tears were cascading down his face as he looked to the sky. "He never
did anything I didn't want him to do. They never knew the real reason he ran,
but he stole money from his dad and the brewery to get out of the state and for
that the wolf clan never forgave him. I paid it all back with interest, so there
is only the actions he has to pay for. I say eighteen years with your calming
influence evened it out." Ray looked down at his feet to hide his emotions.
Benton's face assumed a look of questioning. "What do you mean?"
Ray looked up with a hopeful expression. "I mean a man of such good
nature, kind, loving, and pure." A tiny smile lit his face.
out an amused chuckle. "I am far from pure, Ray."
For a minute the were
tiger seemed to study his very sole. "No you're not, you are as pure as the
driven snow." He made a motion towards Fraser's eyes. "No hints of yellow in the
snow atall." This time Fraser released a deep belly laugh.
"So back to
this festival, what is it all about, I was under the impression that Samhain was
used to bless, purify the livestock and the fields for fertility in the spring.
Also to celebrate a bountiful harvest in the name of the deities."
nodded impressed. "It is, but with our kind it is so much more. We celebrate
more than just purity tonight, but a fertility right that is usually associated
with Beltane in the spring. Unlike Humans, the were clans have always celebrated
our good fortune here on this night. Many of our kind our conceived on this very
night. Ones born on this night are considered blessed by the gods to be virile
or fertile." At this he waggled his eyebrows before both broke into fits of
"What are the festivities then, if not a traditional by Human
"Let's see, there is the usual Samhain tricks for the
kiddies and people who like them, such as bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving,
pie contests, drawings for the contest winners, then there is the competitions
for livestock and garden harvests. I have some entered in the garden for Lieu,
him and his gourds. Then there are the contests for those with the skills,
archery, darts, wrestling, water dunking, and wood working skills, which is more
along the line of competitions, but is still considered a contest of skills.
"After that we have the feast of Samhain with those beasties caught by
the archers, and what he have brought for harvest. Then there is the game hunt,
the main event of the evening. The single men who wish a chance to mate with our
alpha this night, usually a virgin, hunt a Nodalisk for its fur. They must catch
the beast and bring its body back for inspecting by she who is queen." He made
grand sweeping gestures.
"They bathe in the smelly blood of the god
awful thing, then comes the crowning of the Samhain King/Pumpkin King/Jack
Frost/Great Forest Spirit. He has too many names. Back to the dude, he lights
the great purification fires on either side of the great arch towards the lake.
We all must pass through for the blessing of Samhain, and fertility. After this
the nannies and kids are driven home or to their slumber parties, most go out to
the haunted ridge for the all night festival there. We adults pair off with the
ones we wish to be with and watch. The King and his Queen mate in the middle of
us on the altar of the Moon Goddess at the center of the meadow on the furs of
her lover's bed. He will have to be a great hunter or else he will not get the
chance to participate in the game hunt. So he has a lot of furs for them.
"If the Goddess smiles upon them, then their union will bare offspring.
When they climax, we all give a great cheer for it is a sign that we will bare
children for another year, another year our people will live on." A big smile
lit Ray's face. "After that we..." He started giggling as his eyes lost focus
and he remembered past feasts.
"And then what, Ray?"
we have an orgy that would make the Romans blush."
"Ah." Heat spread up
Benton's cheeks. "Yes, oh dear, I uh um, yes." He straitened up. "Well then,
By now Ray was heaving with laughter. This promised to be
one of the most memorable feasts yet.
She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good! She
writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood! They stretched
and strained in the darkness and the hours crawled by like years! Till, now, on
the stroke of midnight, Cold, on the stroke of midnight, The tip of one finger
touched it! The trigger at least was hers!
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed by:
Ray was on the ground laughing as Fraser held
the largest apple in his teeth. Unable to close his mouth or bite the apple,
many pig squeals were heard from the crowd. Even Ray was not above the good
natured ribbing of the former Mountie. It seemed the clans had allowed the man
to be accepted for this night. For this, Ray was grateful.
Up next came
the pie eating contest. Ray refused to enter, but he forced Benton, much to the
man's chagrin. On his left were six kids to his right were two other men, both
who's girlfriends were watching with Ray. In fact they were all pointing and
laughing at the men in their bibs.
Ben narrowed his eyes at Ray, but let
no other emotion show on his face. They were told to take their marks, and bent
forward over their pie's. Each pie was made of vanilla pudding and cool whip on
a crust, but to the winner went a choice of Chocolate Cream, or Lemon Murengue.
Ray had told Ben to win at all costs, the Lemon was his.
began with a shot from a pistol, but was cut short when a bird fell dead to the
table. After it was plucked and added to the feast, the contest was resumed. Two
of the kids put up stiff competition, but Benton and his magic tongue as was
later dubbed, saved the day, and won him more than just a pie. He declined a
second go, but agreed to come back for the finals.
As he came down the
steps, he blushed at the appreciative glances he got from the women. However his
face went pale white as Ray decided to clean him up, with his tongue. He relaxed
when the thick purring started to rumble from Ray's throat. Ray's movements got
some of the whipped cream on his face.
"Oh dear, Ray, you seemed to
gotten some on you in your enthusiasm."
Ray licked his lips testingly.
"So I have, care to help clean me up?"
Benton nodded as his eyes
narrowed. He leaned forward and lightly licked away the cream. Giving Ray's lips
a once over, he was surprised when they opened. Before either of them knew it,
they were kissing, gently using tongues to map the other's mouth. A throat
clearing to their right broke them apart.
Ray glared at the offending
man for a moment then snorted as he embraced the tall black man beside him.
Pulling back, he glared at the man who had cleared his throat earlier. "What the
hell is your problem Dewey, aint nothin you haven't done with Jack."
that as it may, I didn't grab him like that on our first date."
started choking to the point Ben thought they were going to have to call an
ambulance. After he finally got in under control, he glared at the white man
with blood shot eyes and red face. "You and he were fuckin long before yer first
"Well that's just fuckin, kissin is another thing all
together..." Jack's hand clamped over his mouth.
"Jack Huey, this here
big mouth is my domestic partner, Thomas Hewey." He offered Benton his free
hand, but drew it back with a yelp to cradle his other hand. "Son of a bitch,
Dewey spit and made an overt display of retching. "Nasty. Do
you wipe your ass with your hand sans tp?"
"No, that's why I got your
Ray grabbed Benton's arm and dragged him away from the
bickering couple. "C'mon Frase, lets leave the love birds alone. Coupla sick
nasties if ya ask me. Then again I grew up hangin with Jack, so what does that
say about me?"
"I believe it says a lot on your character to not let
such things as petty as sexual practices interfere with friendship."
Wide blue eyes were staring at him with wonder. "Ya really do talk like
that. What do ya practice this shit in front of a mirror in order to school yer
"I do not understand what you mean?"
"Yer a freak,
"Ah, thank you, Ray."
"You are welcome, now let's check
out that dunking booth. I hear they are looking for a jerk to dunk."
"Are you suggesting that you might be a good jerk?" Benton regarded his
companion with an appraising look. "You might pass for a sour puss, but never a
jerk, you are too short to be a jerk." He said it with such a serious look, Ray
slapped him and stormed off. A smile found his sore features as he ran out to
find the sulking man.
Over head in the night sky the stars shown through
the billowing trees as they swayed in the breeze. He found Ray staring up at
them with a light smile. "You know Frase, there are so many of them. Every time
I look at them I wonder if there is some one out there for me. I always thought
Stella was the one. Lately I have not been so sure. May be there is no one for
"I don't know Ray, I like to think there is at least one person in
all the world for some one. On a world with billions of people to choose from,
what is stopping you from making that choice?"
"Fear I guess. Most of us
are not allowed to leave the county, it's not safe out there for our kind."
Benton nodded as he brought Ray up close to his body, wrapping his arms
around the wiry man from behind. Ray settled up against him with a sigh as
Fraser rested his chin on his head.
"See those kids and those women over
there?" He pointed towards a group of six kids, two babies, and three women. Ben
nodded. "That is Frannie Welsh, she and Lieu married about three years ago.
Since then she has had a set of twins and another set on the way. The other
hellions are Louis' brats, but he loves them all the same, he did with me to.
The other two women are Cassie and Ma. Cassie is engaged to a punk named Zuko,
needless to say her fathers are livid."
Another nod, then he waited for
something more on her parentage, but nothing more was forthcoming. "So she was
"Yeah semi adopted by James, but the whole 'I'm a grown woman
you can't order me around' got in the way and she moved out. That was about a
year ago, now they are okay again. Her birth father, Tom Cat, would be here
tonight, but he has a litter on the way. James is about to have a major meltdown
over the stress of all the other kids, and Cassie combined. I lost count after
number five. Those two are worse than rabbits about such things."
didn't miss the wistful tone in Ray's voice. "That's why you are doing it."
"The race. You want kids of your own."
nodded, there was no use trying to hide his feelings. "Yeah, I wanted them for a
long time, just Stella always said no. So I had to patiently wait and bide my
time for a chance like this."
"Why wait for her, why not have them with
some one else?"
A snort was his reply. "Have you seen my house?"
"What is wrong with it?"
"I'm poor, Benton. I've got no money
and the only reason the government hasn't stolen that from me, is because there
is an ancient trust set up for my family by my ancestor Dalin what's his name.
It pays the taxes which get raised each year, yet some how the money is always
enough to keep uncle Sam away. I don't question it, just accept that there will
be money there to keep it in my family. But that is the problem. I have no
family. There is no heir to my family. If I have no legal heir in the next year,
then I can kiss the trust good bye. Call it insurance to keep the house and land
in the family. We can't sell any of it, and we can't develop any more than what
already is, not that I would. So I am broke and in my world that doesn't attract
a mate. I will lose the house and my life if the trust is taken away. If you
haven't noticed, there are no bums in Chicago Lake. You either make a living, or
you end up as soil. So you will excuse me if I want a family." He pulled out of
Fraser's arms and stalked off again, this time Fraser let him go.
Tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs were ringing clear
Tlot-tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear? Down the
ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill, The highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding! The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed by: Loreena McKennitt)
Benton missed the next few events as they passed. He simply
wandered among the people as meeting and greeting. People he never even would
look twice at stopped him and told him the old bits of information about Dief or
Ray. About how close the two were in their younger days. It was even speculated
they had been lovers for a time.
He could only smile and nod in
agreement as they prattled on. As time went by, he began to worry about Ray, the
man had simply disappeared on him. Worry was starting to grip him when he sensed
something off behind him. Following his gut, it lead him to a small clearing on
the edge of the woods where both Rays were talking animatedly.
just this once..."
"Absolutely not Stanley. I would rather see her dead
than in your arms."
"I need this, I want this. This may be my last
chance, no scratch that, it is my last chance. There is no more after that."
"I said no!"
Kowalski looked away for a moment as his eyes
flashed. "They are taking the house, Vecchio." He waited for any reaction, none
was forth coming because Ray Vecchio was already gone. Ray sat down on his
haunches, lowering his head to his knees.
As Fraser drew closer he could
make out the sounds of crying. Gently he crept in to the meadow so as not to
make a sound. In a matter of steps he had Kowalski in his arms. The smaller man
tried to brake free, but he only held on closer.
"Let me go!"
"No. Not until you tell me what that was all about?"
Ben's hands off him, but they were back again in an instant. "Do you wanna hear
how big a loser I am? How I am losing my house because I can't get laid?"
"I thought you had another year."
"I do, to have an heir,
tonight is the deadline for conception." He turned in Ben's arms and looked him
imploringly in the face. "I have to win that race tonight, it is my last chance.
If I lose, with it goes my house and any chance I have at having a family of my
"Surely there must be some one else who can..."
his head. "There is no one else. There are but a few breeders among my people,
and most are taken or of an age where they can not breed. Stella is one of the
only Breeders left that has no fixed mate. The other three are pregnant."
Benton held him close as he let the tears fall. "Something has occurred
to me. Yesterday when we ran into each other, you told your cousin about him
expecting your support. What support, and why would you be cousin to a wolf?"
"My mum was the only one of her litter to survive. Her mum died in child
birth. Her dad married a wolf, mixed marriages usually produce no offspring, but
when an alpha wolf and Royal tiger mix, the children come out always wolf cubs.
Mum had three sisters, only one of them was able to reproduce, hence my cousin
Tyler. That woman was a force to be reckoned with, she made the ground tremble
with her mere presence in her day. She has since retired to the back ground to
aid her powerful son, the only child of Jeserith Creed, a local bad ass. He
broke pack law at a pack council, they ate him for it. It was only my family's
power that prevented them from killing his entire family.
holds a seat on the council, though it is occupied by Lieu, I can take it any
time I want. Tyler needed another vote in order to allow him to choose his new
mate, since his last one skipped town two years ago. Last night I gave him that
chance. Tonight he will announce and take his new mate in front of the pack.
This union will produce a child, and secure our family line. If I fail to
produce an heir, it will revert to my second cousin at the age of ascension. At
least it will not fall in to the hands of Vecchio like so many other things of
"She was never yours, Ray. You merely thought so."
can always dream, can't he Frase?"
Benton nodded as he cleared his
throat. "Yes he can."
In the night their lips met once more. They broke
apart at the sounds of horns blaring in the distance. Ray offered him a
chagrined smile. "Hunt's on. Wish me luck, beautiful."
watched as Ray ran off. "Luck be with you, and god speed, Ray."
Tlot in the frosty silence! Tlot, in the echoing night! Nearer he came
and nearer! Her face was like a light! Her eyes grew wide for a moment! She drew
one last deep breath, Then her finger moved in the moonlight, Her musket
shattered the moonlight, Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him
with her death.
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed by: Loreena McKennitt)
Forty men had gathered at the center of the wooded clearing.
Ranging in ages from twenty to sixty-five, all were there to prove their
worthiness of the gift of life. The right to reproduce was their reward. Failure
meant another year of no children for some, for others it meant the end of their
All were silent in the solemn moments before the hunt. Tonight an
enemy's existence would be ended for the sake of their continued existence. They
would celebrate his loss as any true warrior lost on the battle field in a
honorable fight. There would be no more life for this creature, only the certain
doom of being what it was.
A great battle cry rang out from the men as
they charged off after the scent of the Nodalisk, and so it began!
ran in packs through the trees, each searching for the Nodalisk's unique scent
for their own. Soon they were divided up in to groups of young and old, the
young looking out for the others in order to get a leg up ad possibly turn an
advantage to their own. The elder ones keep to themselves unless they sought the
aid of fellow.
Both Rays were independent of the entire group. They kept
an eye on the stragglers, and the other, but continued on their own. Each
followed a trail, yet both knew the other might be on the right one as their own
the decoy. The trick was to discover which was which, and turning it so that no
one else knew.
Clad only in breech clothes, and limb jewelry to drive
the Nodalisk from any hiding place from the clanking metal, the strove forward.
In the distance they heard the panicked calls of the Nodalisk.
heard them coming!
The thrill of the hunt spurned them on inspire of the
danger. All they knew as the chase, it was in their blood, who they were. The
shrill cries of their prey only set them harder on its trail.
Kowalski saw his chance, and sped up crossing Vecchio's path, spraying the other
man with his scent throwing him off the trail of the Nodalisk. Vecchio screeched
in anger as he hissed at Kowalski. Ray ignored the fallen man and continued on
faster. He was close, he could already taste the scent of fear on the wind.
In a clearing the creature turned around spooked. Ray ignored his
reaction to tear the creature to pieces, or was it a man? Too late he realized
his mistake and Vecchio was on it. The Nodalisk tossed Vecchio in to the trees
and started off again.
Not waiting for a second chance, Kowalski took
off in pursuit of the creature. They were mindless killing machines. All the
Nodalisks knew was to kill. So why did Ray feel an aversion to killing it?
This was not the first hunt he had been on, this was his sixteenth to be
exact. So why did this one bother him so much? Why did killing the ancient enemy
During his introspection Vecchio had taken the lead again
with a few of the younger men at a close second. Trying to put it out of his
mind, he pushed on. He had a race to win and a prey to catch. This was for the
sake of his family, the sake of his house. Last of the line of the purest golden
tigers. He was going to be the last of his kind.
be the last of his kind, not if he had to kill every beast between here and
hell. Pressing on he followed the others in to a clearing where he heard the
death cries of the beast.
He was too late. Vecchio was
covered in the blood of the dead animal and cheering with the young men around
him. When he caught sight of Ray, he made a shooting motion.
Kowalski was the last of his line.
The line screamed in his mind as he
stood there listlessly as the joyful young men around him shouted their catch.
He watched as Vecchio tore the clothes and things from its body for trophies of
the hunt. A cerulean dragon's heart dagger was one of the items he placed on his
Drifiting off, Ray ignored the men around him and walked back
towards the festival. He had lost, in a month's time he would lose his seat on
the council to Vecchio, he already lost Stella to Vecchio, and he would soon
lose his house to Tyler. At least Tyler would allow him to stay on the land.
Tears streamed down his face as he walked the long ways around the camp
to be alone in the sanctuary of the clearing again. When he got their, Benton
was waiting for him. Neither spoke, just sat their on the log holding the other
as tears ran down his face. It was over.
He turned; he spurred to the west; he did not know she stood bowed, with
her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood! Not till the dawn he
heard it; his face grew gray to hear How Bess, the landlord's daughter, The
landlord's black-eyed daughter, Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and
died in the darkness there.
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed by: Loreena
They had brought the smelly body back and Stella had
applied the blood to the bald pallet of Ray Vecchio. He had applied to her face
and they were busy kissing in-between dousing the other. He was crowned with
leaves and berries from ivy. She was give a similar one of flowers and honey
After they were covered in the blood of the Nodalisk sacrifice,
they joined hands and grabbed the twin torches. Walking as one, they headed
towards the great arch and lit the great bon fires on either side. Stepping
through the smoke and incense, they kissed again.
A shout rang out as
the others started up in an old song. Kids joined hands, arms swinging and
followed the happy couple through the sacred flames of Samhain. Followed by the
adults, the last through the sacred arch were Fraser and Kowalski.
the walking dead, they clung to one another and ignored the glare and triumphant
jeers aimed at them from Vecchio and Stella. Soon the kids were rounded up and
sent off on their way to the family events. Vecchio then grabbed his new mate
and carried her to the altar in the center of the ring of the meadow. Laid out
were his furs that his mother and sister had brought with them. A pillow of
finest silk and lace supported Stella's head as Vecchio laid her down.
Kowalski was to afraid to turn his head and watch. So he clung to Fraser
instead. As her moans and cries of pleasure filled the meadow, Ray collapsed.
Fraser picked him up and wrapped his body around him. His legs wrapped around
Fraser's hips gave them a more intimate grip.
As Stella and Vecchio
climaxed a shout rang up, and the happy couple got up from the altar. Wrapping
the skins and furs around them, they walked over to the fire. Now came the
moment that had been the talk of most of the evening. The new mate of the Creed
Led out from the sacred groves of low hanging willows, wrapped in
dark blue cloths, the tall figure walked with an air of hesitancy. Tyler walked
in from the opposite side of the circle dressed only in a doe skin breech cloth
and silver arm bands, he strolled up to his mate to be. He picked up the figure
and laid the person on the altar.
Taking his time, he was gentle to open
the cloak and bury his face in the warm earth toned skin of the neck. He stared
in to the eyes of his intended, nodded and then took the figure over the altar.
Cries of passion filtered through the groves as they finished. Howls from the
wolf clans went up as Tyler wrapped his mate in the clothes again. Only then did
he remove the face cloths, to reveal much to the surprise of everyone but one
other there, John Kanin. John's dark eyes met with the blue of Benton's and he
Benton nodded and carried his own back towards the arch of trees
and vines they had arrived through. Ray's hand on his arm stopped him from going
through. Their eyes met and Ray nodded. Benton smiled.
Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky With the
white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high! Blood-red were the
spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat, when they shot him down
on the highway, Down like a dog on the highway, And he lay in his blood on the
highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed
by: Loreena McKennitt)
Fraser pressed Ray in to the cool moss as
he ground their hips together. They ignored the sounds of the others in similar
states of mating. Growing harder by the moment, he kissed Kowalski until the
other man gasped for air. He couldn't help it, there was something so
irresistible about this man.
Growling, he nipped at the smaller man's
neck. He tasted good too. Smiling at his new discovery, Benton started to lick
and bite his way across Ray's body. He ground his erection in to Ray's leg as he
continued over his soon to be lover's body.
Ray was in heaven, he had
wanted this. No he needed this, needed it to forget what was happening. He
wanted to be at peace for once in his life, top be perfectly content with his
life. Benton was about to give this to him and he would welcome the gift with
open arms and legs.
His cries were heard by all as Benton took him in
his mouth. The sucking and the motions of the experienced tongue were playing
devil tricks on his body. All he could do was lay there and moan.
could wait no more, all this teasing was playing havoc on his health. Freeing
his erection from the bindings of his pants, through the laces, he settled down
between Ray's legs. He slicked his erection with whatever it was they were
providing and placed himself at Ray's opening.
Ray felt the probing
member and looked up into Ben's eyes. An inner voice told him it was now, he was
ready. He nodded with his eyes and hissed in pain as Benton shoved in him with
one quick motion. Pants of breath were his way of dealing with the pain and the
intrusion. As the aches subsided, he nodded again and Ben continued.
pulled out and thrust back in, building a rhythm they could both adjust to. The
tight heat that was Ray felt like it was swallowing him whole with each thrust.
Each thrust a small part of him felt like it died, and he liked it. They were
both grunting and moaning before long.
Ray's whimpers of pain were
muffled by Fraser's cries of pleasure. A build up of pressure started behind
their eyes and worked out from their. Benton closed his eyes and threw back his
head with a shout as he came. He continued the steady thrusts until he was sure
the last of his seed was spent and Ray had come to.
There were no more
sounds of mating coming from the clearing. Instead almost all was silent,
couples laid across the field tangled in arms drifting off or already asleep.
Benton wiped the sweat off his lover's brow and kissed his barely responsive
lips. Ray was completely out of it.
Finally pulling out, he kissed the
man once more and pulled his breeches closed tight with the laces. Looking
around, he noticed Vecchio slip off on his own and smiled. Time to finish his
business here. Quietly he stepped through the mass of bodies and followed the
way ward man.
He caught up to him at the base of a massive tree. He
turned the pissing man around and lifted him by the throat. "I want what is
mine." The perfectly reasonable tone was anything but.
went wet as he noted the yellow tint to Benton's eyes. He nodded and handed over
"Thank you kindly." He was about to let the shaking man go,
when he turned back to look him in the eyes. "You will leave Ray Kowalski alone,
the same goes for your whore. I hear of either of you even so much as saying he
looks bad in something and I will make what you did to the Nodalisk look like a
game of hide and go seek. Got that!"
Ray nodded again as words failed
Benton nodded then tossed the balding man against the tree as he
walked back towards the house where Ray lived. The walk was longer with-out Ray
along, but he had to be this way. He couldn't afford to get attached. The house
door was open, but he entered not caring. "Diefenbaker!"
shivering form of a young man wrapped in blankets came in to view from the
kitchen with a large sandwich and donuts in his hands.
"Time to go."
"Di-i-id it werk?"
"Yes, they think you are dead, the Nodalisk
is, and I got the dagger back. We can leave any time you are ready."
Diefenbaker nodded and set the food down on the floor. Quickly crawling
out of the blanket, he changed back in to a wolf. 'You never said the damned
meat lockers were so cold.'
"Well you shouldn't have been so careless
and gotten killed by the Nodalisk before the hunt."
way I was killed by the Nodalisk and we got what we came for. Plus the town is
no longer looking for me, praise the gods for that.' Diefenbaker wolfed down the
food before he headed for the door. 'Get the stuff and hurry up, I like Chicago
Lake to visit, but Living here is unbearable.' The wolf started to go again, but
Ben spoke up.
"He said it wasn't your fault."
"He said he wanted it to, it wasn't rape. He was hurting that night and
you gave him what he needed to go on. Thank you."
'Don't mention it.'
Dief snorted and trotted out the front door.
Benton couldn't decide if
he was going to be happy for his friend or sad. Either way it didn't matter, he
could never come back here again, at least not in this life time. As he finished
gathering their meager belongings, he wrote Ray a small note, thanking him for
his hospitality and the wondrous evening. He signed it, with love, The Highway
Still of a winter's night, they say, when the
wind is in the trees, When the moon is a ghostly galleon, tossed upon the cloudy
seas, When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, A highwayman
comes riding, Riding, riding, A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.
THE HIGHWAYMAN (performed by: Loreena McKennitt)
a hand over the front of his suit with a small smug smile. It rested on the
large lump for a moment as he looked at it in the mirror. Turning sideways you
could barely make it out in the suit he wore.
"What are you doing
Cousin?" Tyler's voice rose up from the door way to the large bedroom.
"Just looking myself."
"This recent development of narcissism is
not necessary a good thing. What is the hold up, the council is meeting in five
minutes and you are needed to prove your case to hold on to your seat."
Ray nodded, but continued to look at his reflection. "How is your mate,
"Fine, whiny bitch complains alot about back aches and foot
Ray gasped in fake shock. "Do you kiss your lover with that
"Among other places, and he loves it. Now what is the hold up?"
A faint smile crossed his lips. "Do you remember what happened a month
"Besides the whole Samhain feast, and Diefenbitcher showing up
again only to get killed, yeah."
"Yes that, do you remember what
happened after you knocked your John up?"
"Sure, you left with that
"No, we didn't leave. We completed the ritual with the
rest of you." He turned to his stunned cousin. "With each other."
put two an two together and got... "and that is the evidence you have for the
council. You mean you are...?" He gestured with his hands to show a bulging
Ray nodded with a smirk, then turned back to the mirror as his
cousin let out a whoop of joy. He stroked a hand down over the slight bulge of
his stomach as his heart fluttered with joy.
his name is Charlie, Charlie Turnbull. He is good at oh so many things, not to
mention he has a mouth that can..."
because I got me a sweet piece of ass that is willing to wait on me hand and
foot, doesn't mean I have to feel bad about it.'
Benton nodded his
agreement. "Fine, but his money is coming out of your cut of the profits."
'Fine with me, not like as a wolf I can use them.' He turned around and
ran back to the shed off to the right of the garage to bring back with him a man
in tattered clothes and greasy hair. 'Turnbull meet Benton. Benton, meet my
lover, Renfield Charlie Turnbull.'
Blue eyes flashed at Benton as they
shook hands. "A were cat Diefenbaker?"
Turnbull nodded. "I was bitten
three years ago as a Canadian Mountie on loan to Wolf City Police Department..."
"Hey you, get yur ass back here!" A large fat man with a bat came out of
the garage chasing after Turnbull and Diefenbaker.
Both were animals
shared a look then took off. "Diefenbaker, what have you done?" Benton yelled at
him as they ran for their lives.
'He was mistreating poor Turnbull. I
had to get him away, plus he has a mouth that can suck the chrome off a bumper!'