gay family

For anyone who cares Tahryn is pronounced ‘taa-rin’, with a long extended vowel at the beginning. All main and sexually active characters are over 18. I do not condone violence of any kind. Wolf rules are very different from human rules.


Coach Willis blew his whistle sharply and called the class of sixth form boys back over to where he stood. The three werewolves in the group, Henry and the Ulrich boys came walking over together, somehow still faster than the humans who jogged. They’d been doing well all lesson, and while Willis should have been reprimanding them for showing off, he could not bring himself to do so. The two boys who were about to become the core of a new pack looked happy. It was a shock to see it, but a shock like joy, like a surprise on your birthday which made your heart race with delight.

Tahryn wrapped an arm tightly around his mate and Kurt blushed but pressed himself up against the blond wolf and kissed him fiercely. The deep purple love bits on his neck were an obvious sign of possession. Someone in the team made a comment, something about ‘faggots’ and Henry Tanner simply reached out and whacked him around the skull for it. Willis shrugged at the human who’d been in the wrong, he wasn’t going to admonish either Henry or Tahryn for their actions, and especially not Kurt, who glowed like he was full of molten gold and smelled like someone had gone and sprinkled cinnamon all of the woodland. Tahryn gazed at his mate like a man in love, and Kurt looked back at him the same way.

What a difference a day made.

Willis dismissed the class but waved Kurt back. Tahryn stayed automatically. After more than a month of arguing, they had finally reached the stages most werewolf couples found as soon as they’d mated when they could not stand to be apart. Kurt didn’t ask what he wanted, just stood and waited, eyes locked with his. The challenge was indirect, but there, and though it shamed Willis to do so he looked away first. He was a good beta, steadfast and reliable, but he was no match in force of will or strength to these two boys who were, in their own ways, alpha’s of their pack.

“We have training Kurt.”

“I’m still an enforcer?” Kurt frowned as he spoke, obviously trying to balance this information in his mind.

“For now technically. You lost some weight and muscle while you were injured, we gotta get you back to being better again.”

Kurt nodded and then Willis saw something exchange between the mated pair that he couldn’t fathom. It was like they had spoken, Tahryn’s expression softened, Kurt smiled just a little and the older boy left without saying a word. Willis had felt the contact, but had no idea what had happened. His frown must have asked all the question Kurt needed.

“We can talk in our heads, hear each other’s thoughts. It’s fun.”

“I don’t wanna know what he said to you do I?”

Kurt shrugged, and his eyes sparkled wickedly.

“No, probably not.”

Thirty minutes later Kurt was sweating and shaking. Willis had told him not to overdo himself, that he wasn’t going to be quite as good as he had been before the accident but Kurt had his challenge to prove, so he had done all the exercises at the exact same speed with the same force as before. The last push up was juddery, but he did it, then collapsed back on his heels. He winced as he sat down. Willis handed him a bottle of water, which vanished in about four seconds, and then another one which Kurt sipped at while he panted.

“You pull a muscle of something?”

Kurt looked confused, and then blushed pink despite his panting, sweating state.

“Or something.”

“Forget I asked.” Willis half turned away and rubbed the back of his head, “You feel up to helping the year seven girls? We’ll do cricket.”

“Sure.” Kurt hopped up from the ground and Willis waved him off towards the showers.

The big man walked to the storage room to collect the blue bags containing the quick cricket sets and dumped them by the far door of the gym and reflected on the situation. Kurt was happy, Tahryn was happy and those two things had almost never happened before and not for this long or this strongly. The two boys seemed aware of their situation, their probable expulsion from the pack, at least in some sense anyway. A splinter pack was not wholly independent, they would still come under Degan’s jurisdiction, at least at first. For the first time in his life, the young wild wolf, born in a form none had ever thought possible, was truly happy. He shone with it. That brought Willis’s thoughts around to poor David James.

He had loved his wife dearly, of course he had, and they had been so excited for their new arrival to come and join them, add to the pack and raise a little one all their own. Pups were good for the pack, they brought everyone together and helped to reinforce the bonds between the extended family that made a successful group. The man was a wreck without his wife. The funeral was to be next week, the Friday with the pack meet afterwards, and it made Willis sad to think of his pack sister buried alone, her husband and daughter left to fend for themselves. And what a daughter. David had called her Yulva, apparently at Mary’s insistence, and Clover had lain in bed with him and told him everything.

“All four feet and such soft ears. She’s totally perfect darling.”

“Another Kurt?” Willis had stared at his wife in shock.

“Oh much prettier than he was as a puppy. Blue merle colouring, she’ll turn all the boy’s head when she’s older.”

“Oh I’ll bet. How is David doing?”

“Besotted and petrified, upset whenever he remembers that he should be. She’s a powerful force of nature that one. Poor Mary.”

“But why a puppy? Why now? Mary was overdue wasn’t she?”

“And Barbara’s term was very short with Kurt, yes, I remember. Who knows.”

The reappearance of Kurt, trailing the twenty eleven and twelve year old girls out into the gym shook him from his reverie. He went to give instructions, but there was no need. The alpha in Kurt had taken him over, and the girls pick up the cricket sets and began to walk out to the field. He and Isla set up while the others jogged a lap and did stretches. It was an amazing thing to watch as Kurt taught and directed with barely a word, body language and gestures doing everything for him. He got the girls sorted out and bowled every single one of them a ball so they would know how it felt when they needed to play. Isla Spencer fetched every single one of them without being asked and Willis did not miss the contact that passed between her and Kurt as the round finished. A dog with its master, she rubbed ever so quickly against him and a thread of love passed between them as she did so. They were a pack sure enough. Kurt got the game started properly and came over to stand near Willis

“You’re going to do alright at this.” He said evenly, speaking to an equal.

“Thanks. I’m not sure I can be bothered with all the theory and paperwork rubbish though.” Kurt barked at a girl who was doing her best not to join in and then returned to the conversation, “Surely there is another way of teaching?”

“Some. Sports coaching, activity centres, that sort of thing.”

Kurt nodded, eyes fixed on the game, and Willis could see his brain working away in there on what he had said, forging a path into the forest of his future.


Carson swore and tossed the now broken pen across the workshop.

“Temper, temper.” He looked up to see Aliza, who had caught the pen, and now took the clipboard away from him too. She stared down at his hand writing on the invoice pad. “Dear god man, can anyone read this rubbish?”

“No.” Carson Davies huffed and shoved his hands into the pockets of the overalls, sleeves tied around his waist. “People don’t complain though.”

“I’m not surprised,” Aliza ripped off the first page and took a pen out of her pocket and began to translate the work onto another invoice sheet, “Not when you look at them like that. What’s eating you Carson?”

“Nothing.” Carson knew he was acting like a recalcitrant teenager, but he couldn’t help it.

“You’re a shite liar. What’s wrong?”

“I’m worried about Dave.” Carson sighed into the silence that followed the statement, and then because Aliza wasn’t being a woman and taking over the conversation, he continued, “He’s still going to work as normal, he barely looks at the pup, he cries all the time. I know he’s mourning his wife, but that little thing needs him. You can see that he loves her, he told me that the wolf in him wants to spend all his time with her, but it breaks his heart. I’m worried that he won’t cope.”

Aliza handed him back the clipboard and neatly written accounts slip.

“He’ll be alright I’ll bet. It’s good that you worry about him. He needs a friend.”

Carson turned to her and wondered if he dared say the thing that was really worrying him, the niggle that had turned into a gnawing torment in his gut at night. What if it happens to my wife and child too? He decided not to, and just in time too, for the sound of Tahryn Ulrich’s modified flat four engine to pull onto the forecourt out front of the garage. Aliza followed him out front to see the little blue sportster parked beside her own rather beat up looking van. Carson was surprised to see not just Tahryn, but Kurt too, emerge from the vehicle, looking happy and in love.

“Afternoon boys.” Carson nodded to the two young werewolves and was surprised when Tahryn merely nodded in recognition and made no move to defer to his authority at all.

“Carson. Aliza.”

“I see you two finally got all your kinks worked out then,” Aliza chuckled and hefted the exhaust which was about to deliver to a little garage just outside the territory. Kurt and Tahryn exchanged a glance that was a full of, a lack of words actually. Aliza gestured to Kurt to walk with her and Tahryn preceded Carson into the main garage, where the muscular young man leant up again the side of Carson’s own truck.

“What’s up?”

“Have Degan or Willis told you anything yet?” Tahryn picked at his nails when he spoke, and Carson had the definitely feeling that part of Tahryn was paying attention to a totally different conversation as well.

“No. What would they be telling me?” Carson frowned and folded his arms, he was not keen on where this was headed.

“I think that me and Kurt or going to need money, and soon. The only thing I’m actually any good at is working with cars and engines and stuff and I was wondering if you knew of any garages that might be hiring.”

“Well hell,” Carson smiled and slapped Tahryn’s arm, “You don’t need to look so worried Tahryn, there’s been a place earmarked here for you for weeks.”

“That might not be an option.” Tahryn’s voice was tight and low, “Imagine that I can’t come onto pack territory.”

Carson frowned.

“You’re serious? Shit.”

“Maybe, maybe not. A lot depends on Degan and how much negotiation we can do before Kurt gets too pissed about compromises.” Tahryn scowled, but again Carson got that feeling that there was another conversation going on inside the blond young man’s head.

“Well, alright, I’ll put the word out for you. But I want you working here if at all possible. Get you trained up and licensed.” Carson smiled and clapped Tahryn on the shoulder. He moved his hand quickly as Kurt approached. Kurt placed a hand on his mate’s sternum and Tahryn wrapped a possessive arm around his waist.

“We done babe?” Carson was shocked at how normal Kurt sounded. The strange wolf he had known the whole of his life now sounded like any other teenage boy in love. Tahryn buried his face in Kurt’s hair and sniffed. Carson looked away, feeling as though he was interrupting something intimately private between them.

“How are Mary and David doing?” Kurt sounded as if he’d only just remembered that he’d been present when his pack sister had gone into labour.

“I thought you knew…” Carson found that his voice shuddered when he spoke, “Mary died during the birth.”

Kurt made a hard and sharp growling noise in his throat and gritted his teeth.

“Oh god.” Tahryn hugged his mate hard against his chest, “How? When? Why didn’t we know?”

“It was… about just after Kurt fell. There’s something else.”

“David’s alright yeah?”

“Yeah. The baby.”

“A girl?” Kurt smiled very softly at Carson’s nod, “I knew it.”

“She’s like you Kurt.” Both wolves stiffened at the words before they were even spoken, “Born wolf, she’s beautiful.”

“She’s like me?” Kurt sounded awed, “Really?”

“Yes. I think David might need you Kurt.” Carson frowned, not knowing if he should share how worried he was about his friend, “You’re going to really like her.”

Kurt’s wolf ears invisibly pricked up at the words.

“Somebody needs you Ulrich. She’ll be running around the yard calling you ‘Uncle Kurt’ in no time.”

“Uncle Kurt,” Tahryn muttered and shook his head, “Sounds good.”

Kurt said something without using his voice and Tahryn grinned.

“Oh you bet!” Tahryn pressed a big palm against Kurt’s flat stomach, “Pup, if that were an option…”

“Oh get off you,” Kurt swatted him away, “Uncle Kurt. Huh.” But he was smiling, “Can I drive?”

“No! You’ve only had like twelve lessons.”

“Here.” Carson beckoned Kurt over to the office and took a set of keys off one of the hooks, “It’s for that big hulking Mitsubishi our front, the black one with the rust.” He turned to Tahryn, “If you’re right, you guys are going to need more vehicles than that cute little Spitfire.”


Degan received the missive and blanched. The South Bank gamma was going to be arriving in an hour to discuss the petition he’d sent, and he now had to arrange to get everyone in one place. It was Thursday, the day before the pack meet proper, and Degan had an idea of who he needed to call in. On the other hand…


Deidre Canon poked her head around the door of her husband’s office. She had flour in her hair.

“Yes dear?”

“Do you think we could get enough food in to hold a pack meeting and entertain a guest from the National Council?” Degan ran a hand through his hair and noticed for the first time that it was thinning.

“Today?” Deidre seemed to consider this and began counting on her fingers in the way that chefs and good hosts often did in the crisis, muttering to herself and counting off on an invisible list. “I will call the butcher and start the grill. I need the phone.”

Degan smiled and handed over control to his wife. Behind every great alpha, was a really strong woman. He got up from his desk and decided to start calling everyone to the meet the old fashioned way, by knocking on doors.


“I have to be dressed?” Kurt emerged from his towel and stared at Tahryn’s naked back as the big tan young man, “It’s a meet, how long do you expect me to stay in skin?”

“It’s an emergency meet,” Tahryn pulled out a pair of jeans and his favourite timber wolf t-shirt, “You know Degan is going to want to talk to us.”

“And for that I need to be dressed?” Kurt sighed and laid back against the wall, “Can’t we just stay home, or go running in the woods?” Kurt raised an eyebrow suggestively.

Tahryn dragged his short over his head and turned to his mate.

“We already spent way too long in the bath pup.” Tahryn grinned, “And I don’t want some Londoner ogling you naked.”

‘Jealous much?’

Tahryn threw a pair of blue jeans and a red shirt at him. Kurt stared at the black wolf head logo.

“I am not wearing this.”

“Black is boring.” Tahryn smiled at him, ‘Humour me?’

Kurt grumbled and got up. He put on the jeans but went to the wardrobe and picked out one of his own black t-shirts.

‘Shall we?’

“You excited?” Tahryn slipped his hand into his mate’s as they went downstairs. The girls and Whelan had already started over there.

“Worried.” ‘We’re going to get kicked out aren’t we?’

‘We’re a pack already babe. Don’t worry.’

Hand in hand, looking like teenagers in love, the two boys crossed the cul-de-sac and made for the house at the far end, nearest the forest. The scent of wolves filled the air, members of the South Sea pack that weren’t theirs. Kurt sniffed.

‘How many?’

Tahryn breathed deeply.

“You, me. Chaska, Jene…Isla. Henry.”

“Tanner?” Kurt practically growled.


‘He hates me.’

‘You blame him for that?’ Tahryn squeezed his mate’s hand, ‘It’ll pass. Let’s go meet the new pup.’

Degan’s house was full of people, passing through towards the garden and Kurt stuck closely to his mate. Never before had he felt so far away from all the other werewolves who had been his pack sister’s and brother’s. This was no longer his pack, no longer the house of his alpha. Even if nothing was official, Kurt could feel that it was done. Kurt’s nose twitched.

“Crocuses?” Tahryn frowned, “You smell that?”

But Kurt wasn’t paying attention anymore. All his attention was tuned to the scent. The pup didn’t smell like him exactly, but the deepness of it, the richness of the lavender scent made his head spin. He recognised the scent, it smelt like family. David James was sitting in the big lounge with a bundle of blankets in his arms. Kurt pushed passed his former pack mates, let go of Tahryn’s hand and stripped as he shifted. He whined, standing in front of David and the pup and wagged his tail.

‘Kurt…’ Tahryn’s thought in his head was warning.

“No, it’s OK.” David slipped from the chair and sat on the floor, opening the blankets for the big black wolf. The pup was beautiful, squirming for warmth, her little eyes finally open of reveal a bright spring green. Kurt inhaled, the scent like a drug straight through his instincts.

“She’s lovely David,” Tahryn was speaking, a hand in Kurt’s fur, “What’s her name?”


Kurt nuzzled the little pup, who was smaller than his muzzle, and she began to mewl.

“She’s hungry again,” David took a bottle from the bag beside the chair and pushed the rubber teat to the puppy’s mouth. He sucked and let go, whimpering more. “She doesn’t like me, she won’t eat.” No one could miss the great strain, the despondency or the un-said words. If Mary had been there…

‘Give her to me,’ Kurt took the little werewolf cub gently by the ruff and removed her from her father’s arms, ‘Bring the bottle.’

Tahryn took the warm formula from David slack hand as Kurt lay down on the carpet and curled himself around the baby. She whined and began to wriggle against him, looking for food.

‘Kurt? What are you doing?’ Tahryn frowned, and their lack of open communication was being noticed. Kurt lifted his near side front leg and thrummed low in his throat, cocking one ear.

‘Roll it under there, past the elbow,’ Tahryn did as he was asked and Kurt drew his tail around the puppy, angling her little white and grey snout to the teat. The second she found it she started to suck, her whole body quivering, pressed up against the big black wolf. Kurt began to lick her fur and nuzzle her, checking over her tiny puppy body with all its loose skin and fine fur, tiny hot feet.

“That’s amazing. How did he…?” David stopped speaking to simply stare at his daughter, “Wow.”

“Oh Kurt!” Kurt stopped his paternal ministrations and looked to the door where Barbara Smith stood, hands at her chest. She was beaming, “I never thought I’d see the day.” Kurt wagged his tail but didn’t move as his mother crossed the room to him and rubbed the space between his ears, “I’m so proud of you.”

‘Tell her thanks for me.’

“He says thank you.” Tahryn repeated dutifully.

‘Parents are weird.’

“I am not repeating that!”

“You guys can hear each other?” David sounded awed, “Cool. Is she doing good Kurt?”

The big black wolf nodded. He couldn’t think of the little pup as his pack sister. Carson might be her father, but Kurt knew the instinct, the feeling that had stopped him from being gotten rid of when he became a nuisance. It took a pack to raise a child, and it took a special pack to raise a born wolf. She’s like me, he thought, And I need to be here for her. Deo was right a lot quicker than he thought.

Eventually Yulva stopped suckling and Kurt rolled the bottle away to a more comfortable position. Now that she was full and happy, Yulva squirmed around on her belly, her legs not yet strong enough to support her weight, and tried to go exploring. Kurt picked her up by the scruff of her neck every time she got too far away and placed her back between his front paws. The little pup fascinated him, relaxed him, and when she nuzzled at his paws and ankles, using her nose and tongue to explore everything about him, Kurt felt her could forgive the girl anything as his heart swelled in his chest. Puppies exhausted quickly, and Yulva snuggled up in his fur and slept, the sound and total sleep of the very young. Kurt thrummed in happiness to feel his mate stroking his fur. He turned golden tawny eyes to Tahryn and twitched his ears.

‘Can we keep her?’ and then he registered the expression on Tahryn’s face, ‘What’s wrong?’

‘We have to go pup. The wolf from National Council is here, he’s asking after us.’

Kurt nuzzled Yulva again and then shifted very slightly away from her before he changed. The puppy mewled and Kurt scooped her up and handed her back to her father.

“Kurt?” David’s eyes were wide and wet, “She’s going to need you way more than she needs me.”

Kurt pulled on his jeans and touched David James’s shoulder briefly.

“I’ll be there for her. Promise.” He turned to his mate and together they turned to walk into Degan Canon’s office. The man who was no longer their alpha was not seated behind the desk but in one of the other chairs. Behind the desk was a bookish man of middling years who sat with a stack of documents in front of him, looking very earnest.

“Is this them?”

Kurt snarled to be acknowledged in such a way.

“Roger Morris, gamma of the South Bank pack. Nice to meet you. Tahryn and Kurt… Ulrich, right? Please sit down.”

‘I do not like him.’ Kurt thought, but he dragged out a chair and sat opposite the invader.

‘Be nice Kurt. He’s got our future there in those files.’

Degan smiled at Tahryn as he sat down.

“I wrote to Roger with a petition to create a new splinter pack, not wholly independent but separate from South Sea.”

“And since there is now also a new mated pair and a child to register I thought I’d better come down to visit. It seemed easier.” He flicked through one of the files, “Tell me, this was Koby Dean’s original pack wasn’t it?”

Tahryn stopped breathing and went white as a sheet. Kurt snarled, his blood boiling.

“I take it from that reaction that you knew him well?” Kurt snapped his teeth, but Tahryn steadied him with one hand.

“Y-yeah. Why?”

‘What the hell Tay?’

‘Koby was stupid and confused, but he wasn’t evil.’ Tahryn replied, ‘I want to know.’

“I thought his old pack would like the news that he ended up settling with us in South Bank. He’s mated to a wolf much more dominant than he is. Seems very happy” Roger shrugged, truth was the skinny little submissive got on his nerves, “We put him to work in the archives and he and his mate get along very well.”

“God lord.” Degan half smiled, “It’s nice to know at least.”

“You speak to him much?” Kurt kept his voice low so as not to bark, tension running high.


“He ever comes near here again I’ll kill him. Make sure he knows.”

‘Pup…’ Tahryn reached for his arm, working a hand up to his shoulder.

‘I get irrational around you Tay. You’re mine.’

The visiting wolf from London coughed politely.

“So tell me,” Roger Morris steepled his fingers, elbows leaning on the desk, “Which one of you intendeds to be alpha out there at Chalk Horse Hill?”

Kurt and Tahryn exchanged a glance and spoke simultaneously.

“He is.”

Roger turned to Degan, where the alpha sat watching his former pack members with interest.

“I see what you meant in your letter now. Neither of them is more dominant?” Roger raised an eyebrow as Tahryn and Kurt looked at each other, “It doesn’t seem that way to me.”

Kurt glared at him. So Tahryn had a hand on the back of his neck, fingering the purple bruises that he loved to give, it did not give this Londoner the right to decide his fate. He pushed straight through pissed off to angry and then into fur in two seconds flat.

‘Little shit!’ he snarled, paws on the desk, hackles raised, fangs showings, ‘We are both more alpha than him.’ Kurt felt Tahryn smirk.

“Mr Morris I would advise you to rephrase your statement if you want to live long enough to return to London.” Roger stared at Kurt as Tahryn spoke, “Or you could challenge him if you like.” Kurt growled low to back up his mate’s words, and grinned as Roger Morris exposed his neck to him. Kurt shifted back with half a thought and sat down heavily.

“Two alpha’s… alright then.” The gamma’s voice was shaky as he began to sort his files. Kurt watched him carefully, “It’s very unusual indeed, but I think I agree with you Degan. These two need their own pack.”

“Chalk Horse Hill? Where I went with Willis?”

“Yes,” Degan nodded to the skinny black haired boy, “I put in an offer on the property as the centre of the new territory. It also backs onto National Forest parkland and the protected woodland.”

“But…” Tahryn was counting in his head, Kurt could hear the numbers going around, “We can’t pay for it. Like, at all. Neither of us will graduate for another three months.”

“For now, you’re a splinter pack so it doesn’t matter.” Roger leant forwards on the desk, finally comfortable with the conversation now that Kurt wasn’t looking at him like he was going to kill him, “It works like this. Chalk Horse Hill will remain under Degan Canon’s jurisdiction. He will be the step between you and any issues which would affect National Council. He is your adjudicator and he will have to approve pack changes and be notified of new members. If after five years the pack is stable and you have a set of permanent members rather than passing strays then you can petition to become independent. At that stage National Council will pay South Sea pack for the land and you will repay us on a mortgage basis.”

“Can we not give it to them?”

“It’s your investment, your money. Why?”

Degan coughed gently and shifted in his chair.

“I put in the offer to buy the land under their names. They’ll own it. Five years is five years, but they’ll be a real pack the second they walk out that door.”

“Alright,” Roger nodded, “That works. They’ll need to have their joined named legally then. I’ll call head office and push the paperwork through for a ceremony tomorrow shall I?”

“What ceremony?” Kurt frowned.

“You boys are going to have to get married if you want to be called Ulrich on the paperwork.”

Kurt blanched and Tahryn giggled.

‘What?’ Kurt’s mental voice sounded like acid.

“You’re going to have to wear a suit!” Tahryn smirked and Kurt knew he wasn’t going to win that fight at all.


Henry found himself in the garden sitting with Chaska, Jene and Isla in a rough circle. The South Sea pack moved around them, many of them were direct blood relatives, but the four of them sat together like a stone in a river, different and immobile. Henry hadn’t really known the exact moment his allegiance had shifted. It had started somewhere when he and Tahryn had been out running, best friends and pack-brothers, and ended when he’d realised that the enormity of what Kurt had done didn’t outweigh the loyalty he felt to Tahryn. He wanted to hate Kurt for what he’d done.

He killed my brother… but the thought was kind of useless because Henry was happy for his friend. Kurt made Tahryn happy in the sort of way you saw in films or read about in story books. The pair of them glowed when they were together, and Henry knew that they were in and out of each other’s heads all the time. And Kurt had smiled at him, softly with no teeth and apologised. That had been a shock, as small a moment as it was, to have the stronger werewolf dip his head, ever so slightly, and say he was sorry for what had happened.

And now he was sitting here with the members of his pack. The four of them felt so small, so insignificant, and yet strong. They were united in their loyalty to Tahryn and Kurt. They were going to be a pack. Others had started to realise, other wolves at school giving them a wide berth, but Henry knew that his new allegiance was going to shock his parents. He watched Jene and Chaska leaning against each other, Tahryn sister clearly the one in the relationship with the upper hand, and wondered if he might find a mate one day too. It was going to suck to be the only straight single guy in his new pack, regardless of how tolerant he was.

“Can you two hear each other?” he didn’t like to interrupt the long emotional looks between the two girls to ask, but the words sort of slipped out, bypassing his brain.

Jene smiled at her mate and Henry wondered how he had never noticed how well the two of them looked together before. Their union had been drama-less, the perfect counterpoint to Tahryn and Kurt’s messy, dramatic, angry relationship. Jene looked slight and slender against her younger companion, dressed in her traditional layers of hem and unbleached cotton.

“No, it’s not quite as direct as that.” Jene spoke, but she wasn’t looking at him, trapped by Chaska’s indigo eyes, “I can feel her in my head when we’re close, like touching. But I can’t work out what’s going on in there.”

“I think Kurt and Tay must be a special case yeah?” Chaska kissed Jene’s hair and turned to Henry, “What with them being so thick half the time, they needed another way to communicate. It’s a miracle that they ever stopped fighting long enough to use their noses.”

“Mean,” Isla jabbed her sister in the ribs, “I think it’s romantic…” she put her chin in her palms and sighed, her eyes unfocused.

Chaska raised an eyebrow at Henry and rolled her eyes. It looked like puberty was starting something in little Isla, she looked like every girl in the midst of a developing fantasy.

“God, what do you reckon is taking so long in there?” Henry groaned and rolled his shoulders, “How pissed do you think our parents are going to be?”

Jene waggled her hand from side to side.

“Who knows. It’s not like we have a choice in the matter.”

“We could choose not to go.” Henry sighed as he spoke. Even saying the words made the instinct of loyalty in his skull ache.

“Yeah. See how that works out for you.” Chaska turned her head and Henry felt it too, the pin prick sensation that meant power, “They’re here.”

Kurt and Tahryn walked ahead of Degan and the visiting London gamma, the position of power in the informal arrangement. Henry stood, reached down to help Isla up, and then the four of them stood, a little island in the bright sea of scents, and watched their alpha’s walk towards them. It was the strangest sensation, but Henry felt the desire to go straight to the pair of big dominant male werewolves, loyalty to his new pack overriding all else.

“So we’re agreed?” Roger Morris held out his hand to first Tahryn, then Kurt, “Wolves and cubs, the alpha’s of the new Chalk Horse Hill pack.” Roger smiled, and Henry could see Kurt’s eyes narrow. Some things would never change.

“That’s it?” Tahryn sounded surprised.

“Except for the new pack roster, that’s all there is.” Roger looked about and he settled on where Henry and the others stood, “Is that them?”

The South Sea pack stilled and Henry was very aware that he was being stared at.

Isla stepped forwards.

“I swear allegiance to the Chalk Horse Hill pack.” Her small voice was light and clear, but deadly serious. She walked over to where her father stood and wrapped her arms around him, “Sorry papa.” Tahryn welcomed his littlest sister with open arms and she was quickly enfolded between the twin alphas. Kurt chuckled at something his mate said without using his mouth.

“We swear,” Chaska spoke, and Jene nodded, “And we chose a new name. Lowell.” Chaska kissed her mate and Henry looked away, not wanting to intrude. He skipped over his own parents and found Doug Camra standing near Degan, arms folded, looking half elated and half depressed. His daughter was leaving the pack of her family, but she had a mate, and that was good. “We want to join Chalk Horse Hill.”

“Five is good,” Degan nodded and smiled, he seemed satisfied with the construction of the new pack. The South Bank gamma was standing with Willis noting down the names on his files.

“Me too.” Henry only realised that he’d spoken afterwards. He stepped forwards and saw his mother crying.

“No!” His father looked torn, he’d been staring at Kurt and Tahryn, and Henry realised that his parents were pleased that the wolf who had killed his brother was leaving the pack. And now he was leaving with them.

“I have to Dad.” Henry walked to his father, “I have to go with them.”


Henry hugged his mother, her tears staining his pale t-shirt, and then pulled away. He sniffed, knowing that he was going to have to go, really soon, or he was going to cry. He stepped up to where Tahryn and Kurt stood with hands clasped and gulped audibly.

“I pledge allegiance to you.” Henry turned his gaze to Kurt, who was watching him like he might be dangerous, “Both of you. To Chalk Horse Hill.”

“Well it’s done.” Roger closed his clip file and smiled, “I’ll sort out the papers for the Lowell girls. A double wedding in the morning it is.”

“We’re going too.” Kurt whipped round to see David James, cradling the bundled of his mewling daughter. The pup was awake again, and David looked petrified of holding her or dropping her. His eyes begged Kurt and Henry and the other watched as he lifted the little blue and lavender merle wolf pup from her blankets. She instantly snuggled against his neck, her tiny soft head in the curve of his pale neck. Tahryn let his hand fall around the nape of his mate and Kurt shot him a look that Henry could easily translate as his fingers touched the very obvious marks left by his teeth. They looked like a family.

My family…I’m one of their family. It was such a sweet warmth that Henry barely listened as various members of the South Sea pack advised David against his decision. But he knew that it was useless, the same as his mother’s tears and father’s anger had been sweet and loving, but ultimately without purpose. He was no longer a member of the South Sea pack. David stepped into the little group, the island of scent coloured by Tahryn’s deep salty spice and the thick musky dampness of Kurt; highlighted points of all the others. Tahryn smiled at him, at all of them.

“We’re a pack now.” Henry felt the command, the voice of an alpha in his bones and shifted. Seven wolves and a little girl, two blond, one black and cradling the little merle puppy in his paws, Henry’s red brown fur, Jene’s pale nearly-white and David’s classic grey and slate speckled pelt. Isla touched all of them and her wanting to join them was palpable.

Kurt lifted his head and howled. Tahryn joined him in song and the sound shot out of every throat, a howl that bound them up in love and loyalty, gold and bronze and green, that sounded like home and belonging. We’re a family. The thought was like a whisper in Henry’s mind, and he knew that he was not the only one who had heard the voice of the alpha, of Kurt, the big black wolf signing and howling to the early night sky. It didn’t matter that they were on another’s pack’s land, surrounded by wolves who were no longer their own kin, they were together, and everything was right.


It was left to Tahryn and Degan to work out the finer details of the move while the other members of the newly formed Chalk Horse Hill pack reaffirmed their bond. Roger Morris had filled out all his forms, promised to make a bunch of phone calls and email details of the wedding in first thing and taken off in a taxi. Willis had seen him out.

Degan was none too happy about David James’s separation from the pack, taking his new cub with him, but he had made it obvious that he had to go. Yulva was going to need a lot of help as she grew up, and it made emotional and logical sense for her to be with the only other wolf who was at least a little like her. And perhaps there would be other cubs soon enough. He felt sorry for Isla, the only one who wasn’t yet grown into her fur, and who would have no longer pack children to play with. Once the split was complete, when the new pack had left, then it was going to be hard for the others. Doug, Whelan and Alex would have all lost children. The Smith’s too, but Degan knew that they had been preparing for this moment for months. There was going to be a lot of emotional upheaval in the coming weeks. It would be a good time to start prepping the man who would replace him.

Tahryn drove a hard bargain and negotiated well for all that his pride fought against him. It was obvious that he was listening in on his mate in his head. It was a highly unusual skill, though not totally unprecedented, and there were few who could really claim to know what was going on inside their mate’s heads. For a pair of two matched alphas though it seemed deeply fitting.

So it became decided.

The wolves of the Chalk Horse Hill pack would reside on South Sea territory until the buy-out of the new land was completed. The alpha’s could continue to come and go as they pleased until the school year was over. Isla would finish school, everyone would keep their jobs. The borderline between the two packs would be open, if not flexible, but all three alpha’s would need permission to cross. Tahryn worried about a job, and working for Carson, so an agreement was made for that as well. Neither of them could see Kurt wanting to leave his new territory anytime soon.

No more defections would be encouraged from the wolves of the South Sea pack, and Chalk Horse Hill were not allowed to recruit from the area. Degan would want an official staffing list within a month. He would help set up an account for the boy’s, assist them with supplies and loans and business prospects and insurance. All the little legal things that made setting up a new pack a daunting task, especially for wolves as young as Kurt and Tahryn were. He would help as much as he could. While they lived on main pack territory, they were as welcome at meets as they always had been, but once they moved they would need permission to join meets and hunts or run in the forest that fell within South Sea territory.

And so the workings of the Chalk Horse Hill wolf pack became settled and smoothed, paving the way for the passage of the wolves who had become too strong and bloody minded to stay.


Daisy Chen checked her hair in the mirror and skimmed her fingers over her outfit one last time. She liked to make an effort for wedding services, even ones as quick and rushed as this one was going to be. A shotgun wedding, and a double too. The paperwork had all come from head office, the couples had been checked out independently, she just needed to do the ceremony for them. Daisy pulled the collar of her blouse straight and re-read the list of names again. Tahryn and Kurt, and Jene and Chaska. Such an odd collection. Apparently they would be providing their own witnesses and the music didn’t matter. It was nearly time, and Daisy stepped out of her office, put her head round the door of the ceremony room to check that her assistant had laid everything out and walked with her high heels clicking sharply, along to the main foyer.

Normally fast and loose weddings generally had the couple and perhaps a few close friends, maybe even nice strangers they’d picked up to be witnesses. Neither couple were keeping their names, changing them to things completely different, and that was strange and unusual. Daisy should not have been surprised to find such a large group of people waiting in the foyer. Men and woman and children of every age all together. A classic big family wedding. As she stepped down into the mass the throng part to reveal the four young people. And they were young.

Both girls were stunning in their own ways, both boys handsome. The first couple were blond and lovely, the girl wearing a classic white strapless dress, her long wavy hair falling loose over her shoulders and perfect skin. She clung to the arm of a young man so broad he must have given rugby stars a run for their money with pale blue eyes and a dazzling smile. They would have such lovely children. The other girl was slender, whip thin, and wearing a dress of many layers of what looked like un bleach cotton. She was dainty and elfin, her features delicate. The boy she was fussing over looked deeply uncomfortable in a suit, his dark hair gently mussed, golden eyes wary. His neck was marked with purple bruises, so the brown haired girl was obviously much more of hell cat than she looked. He pulled nervously at his collar and Daisy coughed politely into her hand.

“If the bride’s and groom’s would like to follow me, we can begin.”

The big blond young man smiled and gestured with one arm.

“Ladies first.” The two girls let go of their men and joined hands. Then they embraced and kissed with a passion that registered shock on Daisy’s face as the smaller teenager went to stand in the curved arm of the other man.

“Oh…I…the names…”

“It’s not a problem is it?” the pale young man growled. One look in his tawny eyes and Daisy realized that should her answer be negative, that her immediate future would go very badly.

“No! No, no, no. It’s fine. Just surprising. OK, so…Jene Camra and Chaska Spencer right?”

“Yes,” the curvy blond girl smiled at her, “We would like to be married now pleased.”

The whole thing went off without a hitch. Every guest filed into their seats at random, there seemed to be no immediate family, although they all seemed like a family to Daisy in the way they laughed and talked. It was good. The girls smiled at each other all the way through, held hands and gazed at each other while they repeated the lines. The boys had to be physically prompted to speak, and they watched each other as though there was much going on between them that no one else could hear. Neither couple exchanged rings. When Daisy got to the bit at the end, the big photo finish, Chaska and Jene Lowell kissed each other like they were delighted with the feel of each other’s bodies, their slender smooth bodies locked together. Kurt and Tahryn Ulrich kissed like the world didn’t exist, as though they were the centre of the universe and that the planet revolved around them. They played the standard music, and no one seemed to notice anyway, and the two couples signed the register with their new names. Every one of their witnesses hugged them, many lingered, and Daisy smiled to herself to see two couples so very much in love.

She hoped that they had better luck than many of the other young couples who got hitched too young.


Jene clasped her mate’s hand to her chest and giggled. She was married, married to the girl she loved. Chaska took the clasped hands back and kissed her palm gently.

“You alright there wife?” Chaska’s indigo eyes sparkled.

“That sounds silly,” Jene pressed against her beloved as Kurt and Tahryn came up behind them, “Hey brother.” Kurt hugged her quickly, “You like being married?”

Kurt stretched, rolled his shoulders and removed his tie.

“I feel no different.” Kurt began handing off the uncomfortable bits of his tuxedo to Tahryn, “It’s just some silly human thing.” He purred under Tahryn’s hand in his hair, “I was Ulrich before they told me I was.”

“I like Lowell,” Tahryn kept a hand on his new husband, possessive as the smaller boy, “How’d you come up with it?”

“It means little wolf, or at least, a variant of it,” Chaska grinned at her older brother and punched him on the arm, “Dude we’re married.”

“For a minute there we nearly were,” Jene put her free arm around the wolf-boy who had become so much more than her pack brother, “The look on her face!”

“You didn’t have to growl at her like that Kurt,” Chaska jabbed her new brother-in-law in the ribs, “That was mean.”

“Well she was stupid.” They reached the big pick-up that Carson had given Kurt and the boy jangled the keys. “I am so driving.”

“I am not getting in there with you.” Jene folded her arms and shook her said, “You nearly rolled Dad’s truck last week.”

“I’ve driven since then.” Kurt pouted and Tahryn ruffled his waxed hair. Jene sighed, she’d spent so long trying to make her little wolf brother look presentable, but Kurt seemed to be naturally scruffy, and deeply uncomfortable in his tux. He looked more himself now, shirt un-tucked and top three buttons undone. Tahryn still looked like a perfect vision, if you were into that. Jene snuggled herself into the softness of her partner as they got into the back of the truck. Kurt had said that needing Tahryn had hit him like a million ton freight train, but Chaska’s scent had crept up on her without either of them apparently noticing.

Jene had never known, one way or the other, about her sexuality. They had been flings, boys and girls and pretty humans things who were good distractions, but that damn scent had just wound its way into her brain and set hooks into her. And Jene was glad. She had a mate, a beautiful, strong, powerful beta female who would set Kurt and Tahryn to rights whenever they stepped out of line and they were going to be a pack together. It was Friday, they had their last pack meeting tonight before they all went to the new site, and Degan had promised to make it a wedding reception to remember. Her father had spent the day taking down the fence between her house and her grandfather’s and there was a big white wedding cake that they would slice and take silly pictures.

Kurt probably wouldn’t join in much, but there might be one photo of the four of them, one decent one at least. They would run in the forest, bay for blood and Kurt would howl to the starry night, the moon bust hiding from them, to let the world know of his joy. It would be perfect because it would be theirs.

Later, lying on the grass, dress discarded in favour of fur, Jene found herself wondering about the new site, the place where they would live together. They were together now, even though Degan had said that they were as welcome as they had ever been. It was a force like gravity that drew the new pack together. Kurt was lying beside her with little Yulva mauling his front paws with her tiny mouth and David lay close by, watching his daughter with his head on his paws. Tahryn was dressed in nothing but his tuxedo slacks having changed back from their run. Isla snuggled beside her brother, the silky blonde shape of her lovely Chaska on the girl’s other side. Henry seemed torn between being wolf and human and had settled in his skin for now. He still seemed a little uneasy, as though worried he might piss off the big black wolf.

Jene whined and flipped an ear at Kurt. Her new alpha, who was still in some way’s her little brother grinned and lolled his tongue. Tahryn translated for everyone else, his thought link with Kurt coming in handy now that it went both ways.

“The new site is on the river, the big loopy one. I think their called ox bow lakes hun,” Tahryn smiled without showing his teeth and Kurt huffed and flicked his ears back and forwards, “He says that’s its big, lots of trees and access to the river with a…landing stage? No, a jetty. Thing for kayaks and stuff.” Kurt yapped at his mate, who apparently wasn’t doing a great job of interpreting, “And a kitchen.”

“Sounds nice,” Isla snuggled against her brother, “Hey when d’you think I’ll get my change?”

Jene wagged her tail and whined. When someone hit the age where their body decided to change was an unknown quantity, everyone was different. Isla was the only member of their pack who didn’t have fur. She was close though, any idiot could smell that. Jene doubted if it would be more than a year.

“Soon enough pup,” Henry smiled at his new pack sister, “Soon enough. I can’t wait to go see it.” He put his hands behind his head and stretched out on the grass, head the centre of their little circle. Yulva finished playing with Kurt’s fur and began to part waddle, part squirm her way over to him, “Did Degan chose the name? What’s it mean?”

Kurt harrumphed and shook his head. Carefully he stood and took hold of Yulva before she started to gum Henry’s fingers.

“Henry you are dense sometimes.” Tahryn sighed and rubbed his hands through his mates fur as he passed him, “What do you reckon you can see from there? You know, big and white and carved into the side of the hill.”

“Oh…” The assemble werewolves chuckled as Henry made the connection in his head. “There’s that big white horse isn’t there?”

The rest of the world largely ignored, the members of the Chalk Horse Hill pack chatted and growled late into the night.


Tahryn collapsed onto the grass next to his little blue vintage car and put his head in his hands, wondering what on earth he’d done in some previous life to screw up this badly. In theory, moving was simple, you packed your stuff and moved. In actuality…

“There’s nothing here,” Tahryn wasn’t sure who he was complaining too, he was basically alone, “How are we going to live like this?”

He and Kurt were a scant few months from graduating, Chaska had another year. Of the eight of them, only David and Jene had jobs. And now his actions and lack of respect for the council of the South Sea pack had forced them to move out of the territory to this campsite which was theirs, which they owned, and he had no idea where they were going to live.

“What have I done?”

‘Who died and made you alpha?’ Kurt’s voice in his head was quick and sharp, ‘You didn’t do this to us. We both did it together.’ The man he loved, dressed in baggy sweats and a wife beater t-shirt, appeared around the side of his truck like a sun hazed lusty day dream. Tahryn suddenly found it much harder to concentrate on his problems when Kurt looked at him like that.

“And where are we going to live pup? It’s all fine us two saying we’ll sleep it rough but we have six other people to look after. We’re responsible now we’re-”

“We’re the alpha’s,” Kurt finished the sentence it a much calmer voice, “It’s warm out, we’ll camp. You worry too much.”

“But there’s nothing here.” Tahryn exhaled heavily. It was so hard to see the upside of this situation. That first night sleeping in separate houses, interspersed with the old pack hadn’t been easy on any of them and Kurt had shifted forms and twisted all night to the point where Tahryn had ended up sleeping alone while Kurt shuddered and shivered from his nest in the corner. So they’d all decided to come out to the new site with a view of staying out there. Or at the very least, setting up a bit more permanently.

“Babe there’s plenty here.” Kurt knelt down before him, warm hands on his knees, “You just can’t see the wood for the trees.”

“You know, I never understood that phrase.” Tahryn hissed as Kurt’s weight settled over him, receiving the signals that Kurt was broadcasting loud and clear that he should just lay back and relax. “Here? Really?” ‘We’re gonna get caught.’

‘By who?’ Kurt was already undoing the cord of his tracksuit slacks, thin fingers nimble as he slipped beneath the fabric. After he and Kurt had mated there had been even less excuse to actually use underwear. ‘Everyone else has gone into the village for snacks and supplies. It’s just you and me and nature babe.’

‘Is that right?’ Kurt’s breath was warm on his thickening erection. There was no way he could resist those big honey brown eyes. Kurt thought had thought that being submissive gave Tahryn the power, but right now, Tahryn could barely breathe under the onslaught of that gaze. He moaned as Kurt’s lips closed around the head of his cock, flicking at him with his tongue.

‘I figure we should christen the new territory.’

“Oh Christ…” Tahryn wound his fingers into Kurt’s thick hair as he sank down along his length, that warm enveloping heat focusing his mind beautifully. Kurt’s mind was wrapped around his own and Tahryn saw all of the things he’d been missing. They were free, in their own land; the sky was blue and full of birds, the sun was shining, the grass was green. Kurt moaned around his erection and Tahryn growled.

‘You’re blushing.’ Kurt’s fingers gripped his hips, his narrow body pressing against Tahryn’s legs, his own hardness digging into the grass, ‘Am I better?’

“Fuck… Kurt!” Tahryn half snarled, pleasure snapping at all his nerve endings, ‘You’re gonna kill me with that.’

Kurt hummed again and Tahryn looked down at his mate. Blue and golden brown, and Kurt smiled with is lips locked around his lover. Tahryn dug his fingers into the ground, hips snapping up to meet the blast furnace heat of Kurt’s mouth. There was no warning, no sudden tightness, just Kurt’s happy growl vibrating through his body as he came.

‘Ungh…fuck, Kurt!’ Tahryn stared at his mate as Kurt pulled back, the thick spurts of Tahryn’s orgasm landing directly on his tongue. He grinned. ‘God that’s sexy.’

Kurt swallowed and sat up.

“You feel better now babe?”

Tahryn groaned, reached out and pulled Kurt back down onto his chest. It made him happy to lie there in the sun with his mate curled against him. Kurt was warm and smelt like raw earth and sex. Tahryn felt that he could simply lie there for the rest of his life. There was the rumbling of an engine and Tahryn lifted his hips and pulled up his slacks. Kurt made to get up and Tahryn wrapped him up in his arms and held him tight.


“Alright.” Kurt laid his head in the soft curve of Tahryn neck and shoulder, “This is nice.”

“Tay! Kurt!” Isla’s shrill voice reached them just before she did, “What are you two doing down there?” Kurt buried his face in his mate’s t-shirt to hide his smirk, “Ewww! Chaska! Tahryn and Kurt have been having sex!”

The barks of laughter followed then as they got up and headed with the other members of their pack to the largest building on the new campsite. There were three actual buildings on site, and all three had plumbing. The concrete landing stage that sloped into the water had a small warehouse attached which housed space for kayaks and water sports equipment and had a small shower and toilet block. There was the main showers and bathrooms block, six stalls of each, which was in pretty good condition, newly tiled and with a definite lack of spiders, and the main mess hall.

The mess hall was a long low building with bare concrete floor and a construction of American frontier style logs. At one end was a large industrial kitchen and Chaska had already cooed over the six ring gas burner and the huge two level oven. There was a big walk in fridge and couple of chest freezers along with a deep double porcelain sink. There was also no power. The main part of the room had long wooden benches taking up the main part and it was around one of these that the eight members of the new Chalk Horse Hill pack congregated. Henry knuckled his friends shoulder and Jene sniffed disdainfully.

“You guys are gonna do that everywhere aren’t you?”

Kurt arched a dark brow and rubbed his pack-sister’s shoulder.

“Probably,” He shrugged, “How was the village?”

“Quaint. Cute,” Jene tuned out a bag of mixed fruit and went looking for a bowl, “Nice people.”

Kurt was distracted by Yulva’s mewling. David had gotten better with her, less blankets, more body contact, but she still preferred being with Kurt, and wouldn’t feed except when he did it. David handed over his daughter to his alpha and Tahryn grinned.

“How is baby girl?”

‘Don’t call her that.’ Kurt grumbled in his head as he cradled the puppy against his chest, “Do we have any more formula?”

David dug around in the puppy bag and pulled out a bottle.

“It’s not warm, we have a microwave right?”

“No power,” Kurt shrugged and tucked the bottle right up under his arm, “Give it a minute and it’ll get warmer. What did you guys find then?”

As well as the fruit, lunch turned out to compromise of four loaves of crusty bread and half the deli counter from the village store. Chaska had had the foresight to buy milk and cereal, jam and peanut butter. The milk got packed into a cool box along with a bunch of ice packs. David began to assemble sandwiches using the limited supply of kitchen equipment they’d brought with them. Henry found a stack of plates and helped. Soon enough all that could be heard was the sound of six werewolves and one puppy eating. Kurt lay against his partner, the little wolf cub propped on his chest, suckling away.

“When will the power be back on?” Henry wiped mustard off his chin, and started across the table at the new alpha’s, “We need a plan.”

“Degan said we should get power tomorrow, probably in the afternoon. The phone line will come on next week sometime.” Tahryn put his head in his hands, “We’re going to have to go back to South Sea.”

‘Babe…’ Kurt’s voice in his mind was warning.

“I can ask you guys to live like this.”

“It’s warm out,” David shrugged, “It’s a campsite, we’ll camp.”

“And when we get another cold day?”

Kurt growled at his mate, but stopped when Yulva stopped feeding and whimpered.

‘Tay, don’t do this. They didn’t follow us blindly.’

‘Are you sure about that?’ Tahryn touched his lips to Kurt’s hair, ‘They came because loyalty told them to.’ Even Tahryn’s thoughts sounded depressed.

‘We need to be strong for them.’

“Tahryn?” Henry sighed across the table, “You didn’t ask us to move, we just did. We’ll rough it for a while. It’ll be fine.”

“It’ll be fun!” Isla swung her legs over the bench and stared up at the ceiling, “We can have camp fires and toast marshmallows.”

“I cannot live on a diet of marshmallows, little bit,” Kurt ruffled the girl’s hair, “But sure, we can have a real camp fire, just for you.”



‘Fuck you.’

‘Yes please.’ Tahryn put down the remainder of his sandwich, “There are four concrete bases laid for cabins that never got built. The planning permission is already in place, so we just have to build them.”

“Yes, because we build houses every day,” Chaska stood and collected the empty plates, “Come help out in here Tahryn.”

Tahryn gathered the rest of the cutlery and followed his slightly younger sister into the big kitchen. He was not looking forwards to this conversation. The plumbing was on, and the water from the roof top storage tank was pretty warm from the solar so they managed to wash up using dish soap and nearly hot water. Chaska had been in charge of kitchen duty for as long as Tahryn could remember, and he and Mehran had washed up.

“I miss her.”

“Me too.” Chaska handed him the tea towel, “We need to talk about staffing.”

“Shouldn’t Kurt be here?” Tahryn began building a stack of clean cry crockery.

“I’m beta. I get to give advice.” Chaska prodded him in the sternum, “You are scaring them. You need to be stronger.”

“I’m trying!”

“Not enough!” His sister gritted her teeth, “As lovely as Isla’s vision is, you are right to be worried. And we can’t rely too much on Degan, it makes us look weak.”

“We have no money.” Tahryn sank his forehead onto his fists on the counter.

“Not true, we have some. And a bank account to put it in.” Chaska rubbed her brother’s shoulders, “We’ll be OK. Now about these houses.”


“Fine. We need to make some calls. I’ll deal with the taxes and getting the phone and the web up and running. I’ll cook, you make us somewhere to live and Kurt can mark the territory. Staffing.”

“You think Henry would make a good enforcer?”

“Yeah. Put David in negotiations. He’s good at that. Especially now that he’s warden for the forest. Jene’s going to try and transfer to the local nursery school. They have an opening.”

June 2018
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