"The fox has many tricks, and the hedgehog has only one, but that is the best of all."
Chase and Henri stepped onto the deck and moved toward the gathered group. Chase's face and the manner in which he strode forward seemed to reflect a suspicious and not particularly receptive look toward the topic of discussion and the news his youngest brother would have to share.
"I'm so happy you've joined us," Eric announced with a happy, lilt to his voice, welcoming Chase and Henri. "We were just discussing you and trying to decide how to share the good news with you."
Jacques, taken aback by Eric's remarks concerning the 'good news' was about to reply, "we were?" but quickly tumbled to what Eric was doing and nodded vigorously in his agreement.
"I hope," Chase responded cautiously, "it will explain the 'oh, my god' I heard from Uncle Evan since it didn't seem he was exactly overjoyed!"
"Quite the contrary," Evan was quick to respond, picking up on where Eric might be heading with his line of malarkey. "My concerns were relieved when Ted stepped up to the plate," and passed the ball to Ted.
"I did?" Ted responded hesitantly.
Before Chase could question Ted concerning his hesitation, Jacques quickly asked, "Chase, do you remember the Lejeune's?"
Chase thought a moment. "Yeah, I think so. Andrew or Andy as he was called, was a year behind me, I think, in school. He had a younger sister and two younger brothers. Why?"
"The family they were sent to live with is moving. The father had something in his job called an 'involuntary transfer' to the west coast. Andy, his sister, and brothers were given the choice of moving with them or trying to find someplace else to live."
"How do you know this, Jacques?" Chase asked, eyebrows raised in concern.
Rather than outright lie, well, maybe a little since the part about the transfer was true, Jacques decided he didn't dare tell Chase how he really found out, so said, "Patrick read it on Facebook or somewhere, mentioned it to me, and asked if I recognized the name."
"So?" Chase asked, pushing for more information, becoming dubious as to the actual reason.
"Well," Jacques responded rather reluctantly, "maybe I just sort of happened to mention we might be able to find a place for them to live around here."
"Jacques!" scolded Chase, his voice carrying the authority of an older brother and the heir to the Alpha position, "we were clearly warned not to make contact with anyone since it could put us or Gaige in danger. Yet, you did it anyway! How could you and why did you do that? Perhaps that's how the Red Wolf found us. Did you ever think of that?"
Henri and Chase shuddered at the thought, all sorts of dire and deadly consequences rocketing through their minds. Jacques, however, seemed nonplussed by it.
"I don't think so. In fact, I'd think it impossible!"
"How, little brother," Chase continued, "would that be impossible?"
Jacques carefully explained how Patrick, as clever as he was, with the help of Allen Bowers and Simon Hayes, routed the communications through the various servers and countries so it was well filtered and disguised.
"How do you know you weren't talking to some fat guy sitting on a bed in Bulgaria?"
"I think that came up another time," Jacques replied with a bit of a giggle.
"She sent me a picture of herself and I knew then who it was."
"Tell me, when you replied to the picture or in the midst of your e-mail conversations, you didn't use your real name!"
"What did or how did you call yourself?"
"Yep! She'd know right away it was me, especially since I sent her a picture of my," pointing down at his crotch, "my banana."
"Oh, my god!" Chase moaned, audibly distressed.
"That explains the 'oh my god' we heard earlier," Henri noted aloud.
"You didn't?" Chase growled in disbelief.
"Yep! Hard, stiff, and curving up toward my belly button."
"It could've been anyone," Chase declared.
"Not with a freckle on the left nut it couldn't."
Eric quickly intervened, fearful this conversation would head in a direction not entirely relevant to the current discussion. "Don't ask, Chase. We've thoroughly discussed how she would know and Evan and I don't think our aged hearts could take the excitement of a re-telling of such a story."
"I gotta sit down," Chase murmured finding a chair. "When is this meeting supposed to take place?"
"Day after tomorrow. I said we'd come get them."
Chase sort of sighed in resignation, but not approval. "Where do they live and how is this going to happen?"
"Not far from here, over in the Ottaway National Forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I figured," proposed Jacques, "Ted and I'd take our SUV and drive over there to pick them up."
"Wonderful!" complained a surprised Ted.
Thinking he might've reached a solution to the problem facing him, mainly the acceptance of new people not of his choosing, Chase asked sardonically, "And, just where is this happy family going to live?"
Evan quickly answered the question. "Temporarily with Ted in his new home. He'll have plenty of room for them."
"I will?" squeaked Ted, surprised again by an unforeseen revelation.
"The house is all furnished," Evan continued, "we just need to gather up bedding, bath towels, dishes, and other kitchen utensils and the usual other stuff."
"Like what other stuff? Chase pushed, raising one eyebrow, uncertain what Evan might have in mind.
"You know, stuff!" Jacques tossed in, "like soap, toothpaste and stuff!"
"Doesn't this just sound like fun?" Ted quipped sarcastically.
Without warning, a small familiar voice reassured Ted all would be fine.
"Don't worry, Ted. We can handle this!"
Startled, Ted exclaimed at the small, naked, translucent figures (yes, figures) perched on his shoulder, "What the hell are you doing here?" and looking carefully at Prewitt's companion, Who's your friend?"
Prewitt sighed deeply and happily, "His name is Dustin, but I call him Mr. Big," as the boy fairy reached over and secured the rather large, long, quite stiff, upright uncircumcised penis of his companion in his hand, giving it a few strokes in the process.
"Isn't he just dazzling?" giggled Prewitt, clearly enamored with not only his companion but with the cock he held in his hand. "He's so, so special."
Evan and Eric leaned forward in order to enhance their view of the "special" addition to their lives.
"You certainly can say, he's quite special, in fact, spectacular," uttered Eric.
"Doesn't that hinder you when you fly, sort of weight you down?" Evan asked.
"So, Prewitt, where did you meet him?" Eric finally asked.
"At David's house when Gaige visited there. Dustin's an 'up north' boy fairy," Prewitt tittered, giving Dustin's phallus a couple of strokes, as his own penis rose to the occasion as well.
"Okay, enough!" Chase declared. "Prewitt, you're supposed to be watching Gaige, not flitting around with some horse-hung fairy from the woods."
"Well," a somewhat miffed Prewitt responded, "I can do both you know. Bedsides, Dustin's fellow fairies are keeping a close watch for me. I just wanted all of you to meet him." With that, the two fairies fluttered off.
Ted did notice they were flying piggy-back and Prewitt was on the underside. Evidently, Ted mused to himself, Dustin was sticking his spoon in Prewitt's honey pot.
"I don't know about this bringing the Lejeune's here.," Chase confessed, uncertainty in his voice.
"Now don't be hasty, brother," Henri cautioned. "It does give us two more fighters- fighters who know the Red Wolf and how he fights."
"And," Jacques interjected, "it helps start the reuniting of the Bayou Parish Pack."
"There might be benefits which you're not aware of just yet," offered Eric with a twinkle in his eyes.
Reluctantly, noting the arguments in favor of accepting the Lejeune's seemed to be coordinated, Chase nodded his approval and gave permission for Jacques and Ted to travel to Upper Michigan and bring the Lejeune family to Kabetogama.
"But, they must come here first to meet Uncle Eric, Uncle Evan, and Jessie Sutton and his mates so we can explain the rules and what we face."
It was agreed the Lejeune Family, Andrew, age sixteen; Alicia, age fourteen; Bruce, age ten, and Mark, age eight would be notified by Patrick they'd be picked up the day after tomorrow, in the morning near the small Upper Michigan town of Watersmeet (Home of the Nimrods) around nine. Ted and Jacques decided they'd leave right after the meeting in the morning to make certain they had plenty of time to make contact and return home.
"No damned howling during the night," Ted warned Jacques, "or running off on your own. If you do howl, I'll probably have to pay extra for keeping a dog in my room"
"Or lifting your leg and pissing on the SUV tires or a motel chair," cautioned Henri playfully. "Might be a dead giveaway there was a canine of some sort hanging around."
David snuggled closer to Chase, enjoying the intimacy of the contact of bare flesh on bare flesh, inhaling his scent, feeling every movement, every emotion Chase was experiencing. Chase Landry was David's whole being, his life, his future all wrapped up in one delightful package; a package which, through Chase's prodigious instrument of love, could take them both to ever spiraling heights.
"Something's bothering you," David whispered, nestling his head up against Chase's chest while they rested in David's bedroom.
"Yeah!" Chase admitted.
"Something to do with the Lejeune's?"
"Not really; I've know them most of my life, not closely, but enough to know they'd be good to have around and they'll be loyal to our Prince. It's just I'm uneasy, wondering what might happen and when."
"Jacques certainly seemed well pleased with their arrival," conceded David.
"He should be; he's been fucking Alicia since they were maybe eight or ten years old."
"You heard me, David. I wasn't fooled one minute. I wondered how long it'd take before he figured out how to make contact."
"And you didn't try to stop them?"
"No more than I can stop loving you," Chase sighed, seating his cock deep in David's rear entrance and commencing to making love to him.
The next morning the planning session began in the Great Room of the Lodge on Remote Lake. Chase requested Eric preside and Jessie agreed. Seated on chairs, couches, or on the floor were Chase, Henri, Jacques, Jessie, Jason, Tyler, Patrick, Gaige (with Prewitt and Dustin sort of hovering not far from him), Patrick, Stephen, Flynn, Ted, Franklin Campbell, Becca (nursing her young son), and Evan seated next to Eric. Diondre Carlson announced he could only stay a while since he had a patrol shift he had to go on. Standing guard duty outside the Lodge were Rick, Robbie, Mike, and Chad, senses heightened and ready to alert those inside of any possible dangers or intruders.
"As you all know," Eric began, "our young friend Prewitt, accompanied by Ted Symthe, traveled from Louisiana bringing us the distressing news an attack will be launched by the Red Wolf, a Mr. Alfred La Rue, with the goal of destruction of the Landry Brothers and killing young Gaige."
"The Red Wolf Pack will be augmented by an unknown number of mercenaries with an unidentified adult male wolf with connections which led him to discover the location of Gaige. The Red Wolf evidently doesn't believe, we think, he's being used to assist in Gaige's assassination. I thi nk the attack on the Landry's, although destroying the Bayou Parish Pack if successful and quite catastrophic, is a diversion for the real reason, the death of young Gaige so someone else can assume the royal position he occupies and the one in the future which is his once he reaches maturity."
"There are some things we know and many more we don't know. It is imperative for us to gather information and learn. We need to know our enemy. The more we know about Mr. La Rue, the more vulnerable he becomes and we grow the stronger. We must maintain the high ground, fight him with our rules, our plans, and not his!"
"They're going to seek us out, trying to identify our numbers, our strengths and our weaknesses. We will do the same but also include their strengths and weaknesses. They'll use our weakest point as our most vulnerable and strike there. We will secretly fortify our weakest areas and turn them into our strongest while leading our enemy to believe we are still weak. It's there they will suffer their defeat."
Eric proceeded in his presentation much like he presented his client's cases or defenses in the courtroom, outlining, defining, and telling his client's story. He told the group they must layer their defenses much like defenders of castles did in years of yore; first the moat and the uplifted drawbridge, next the outer, stone walls, the open courtyards, the keep itself, and finally the monarch's chambers. Even if breeched, there was always an escape route.
"It is important we have this escape route, should all else fail, for the prince and the Landry lineage."
"In order to further prepare ourselves, knowing the enemy will scout us, we need to identify their spies, the vanguard, so we can 'watch the watchers' without them being aware we are and without them being able to discover who among us is Lycanthrope and who is not. It's essential Lycans not be identified unless we so choose it. Yet," pausing in his narration in order to emphasize what he was going to say next, "the brains behind this operation to destroy us may already know there's a strong Pack here, namely the Kabetogama Pack."
Evan, stepping into the conversation at this point, added the mastermind might not have any idea the Averill Creek Pack even existed, since, if he and Eric remembered correctly, Jessie, Jase, and Tyler never applied for recognition from the Grand Council.
"The enemy may try to arrange for some sort of deal with the Kabetogama Pack," Eric continued, "for them to stay out of the fight, claiming it is a simple pack rivalry fight in order to disguise the real reason for the attack. So, given what we know and don't know, I'd offer we each have much to contribute and it begins with Diondre, who I'd ask to speak first since he has to leave."
"I have visited with Jerry Havens," Diondre stated, "concerning this and we agreed, since we might not be able to enter directly in the fight, we can keep our eyes open for any increased traffic, suspicious individuals, occupation of empty cabins, and so forth. We can also provide a cover for the fight by identifying it as animal attacks. Any cleanup would have to be handled by the Grand Council, as they have in the past," referring to the Rogue Wolf attack.
Eric thanked him, noting to the group Diondre had to leave, and nodded to Chase, inviting his input.
Chase stretched as if to not only loosen his muscles and relax his body, but clear his head so he might offer his view in a clear and sensible manner.
"There is," he began, "a long history of our lineages' loyalty to the Royals. Our family and pack, through Grandfather Le Compte and our ancestors, have protected our Prince's against all harm and threats, pledging our lives forfeit on their behalf. My ancestors escaped during the Great War on the European Continent with the heir presumptive to the throne in their protective custody. It has been and is our heritage and duty as Lord Protectors, to act as the praetorian guard to the Prince."
"Every member of the Bayou Parish Pack was and is aware, although existing under various other names throughout the centuries, of our responsibility and duty to the Royals and now to HRH Prince Gaige Saulnier. The packs, under whatever name, have contained members from my family who sheltered and protected the Prince. It is so now with Gaige; we have pledged our lives to protect him now and will do so in the future. It hasn't been said, but I'd suggest Jessie not only adopted Gaige but became Regent to the Prince as a result. This doesn't diminish our responsibilities to the Prince or allow Jessie, Jase, and Tyler to be the main protectors. That job historically and by decree of the original Exiled Prince, the Lord of the Lycanthropes, is reserved to what is currently known as the Bayou Parish Pack."
"In order to protect our lineage, I have ordered Jacques to a safe place when the battle starts. He must be able to escape undetected and survive to provide the leadership for future protection and through procreation continue our line. Additionally, I'd hope Gaige would be with them so he may make his escape as well. I will push hard to have that happen. It'd be silly to have him in a place where he could be killed. I've asked Lindsey and David to go with Jacques and Gaige, not only to provide additional protection, but they're Henri's and my mates. I'd hope Eric and Evan would be with them. I ask Ted to assist them. Wherever Gaige is, Henri and I will be as well, guarding and protecting his escape. We will be as close to him as we can get. Anyone trying to kill him will have to kill us first. We have the advantage our attackers don't know what Gaige looks like."
Chase relayed what they, Henri and he, knew of the Red Wolf and his fighters, noting he wasn't a brilliant strategist, relying on brute force and deceit. The Red Wolf would grant no mercy in a fight, killing those of any age, after first raping the young girls and boys.
"I think," Chase concluded, "he will concentrate on killing us, the Landry's. He doesn't know how deep our relationship to Eric and Evan is or at this point know David and Lindsey are our mates. We hope to keep Eric and Evan as guardians who are unaware of what is happening and try to hide the fact David and Lindsey are our mates. It'll be difficult, but once he discovers this, it'll make them vulnerable and of use by him against us. I'd also believe, at this point, he has no knowledge we have the forces of the Averill Creek Pack on our side as well. If they do discover this, then I'd hope Jessie, Jase, and Tyler lead him to believe they're young and inexperienced, hence vulnerable as well."
Chase didn't mention the new arrivals coming the next day or the lists of names Eric had concerning the location of exiled young of the Bayou Parish Pack. It'd be up to Jacques and Gaige to reorganize the pack if things went awry.
After Chase finished, Eric gave the go-ahead to Jessie, Jase, and Tyler.
Jase, speaking for the three of them, said, "We'll do all necessary to protect our adopted son, recognizing his importance goes beyond our family. Jessie knows this area, not only as a wolf, but as a human since he was raised in the resort business and in the company of his grandfather and god-father. He has traveled, hunted, and fished most of the lakes and woods around here. His family has been in this area for many, many years. Knowing the ground puts us at a definite advantage over the Red Wolf. We feel we need to identify those areas in our territory where we are the most vulnerable and where the most advantageous to us as well."
Franklin Campbell spoke when Jase was finished, offering he'd use his connections with certain members of the Grand Council, and through electronic means he wouldn't disclose, to see if he could identify the individual or individuals who'd attempt the assassination of Gaige and usurp the throne. He also thought he'd do an assessment of the electronic surveillance needed to up the security of the various residences, such as Eric's, Jessie's, and the Lodge.
Flynn and Stephen volunteered to travel to Louisiana and see what they could learn. They'd take photos of various people they thought might be Red Wolf Pack members, forward them to Chase, and try to identify them.
"Chase, Henri, and Jacques might be able to identify the Red Wolf and his Pack, but the rest of us can't. Photos shared with every one of us certainly would be helpful prior to and during the battle. We might even be able to eliminate some of the fighters before the fight even starts as a result!"
Eric looked around the room, "I think Evan and I will continue our advisor role, offering what we can from our experience and knowledge as we have in the past. We know the attack is going to happen before the end of August, but we don't know exactly when."
Gaige leaned over, hearing Eric's announcement, and whispered something to Patrick and then to Jessie. Both nodded, but Jessie was the one to speak up.
"Uncle Eric, we need to hear from Gaige."
Gaige stood, his eyes wide, and said, "But we do know when he will attack!"
"Yes," Eric acknowledged, "before the end of August."
"No, we know more," Gaige insisted. "When the moon is red, blood will flow."
"There's a Blood Moon coming August tenth," Jessie confirmed.
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