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The Cajun Wolf - Murder Most Foul

by Nicholas Hall

Chapter 4

Copyright © 2019 – Nicholas Hall

"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in"
(Robert Frost)

"Jessie, why don't you guys get robes out of the closet and cover yourselves while Uncle Evan and I show Chase, Henri, Jacques, and Gaige their rooms?" Eric asked.

Gaige looked confused, certain he'd be leaving with Jessie. He looked at him expectantly, the question in his eyes.

"You'll have to stay with Uncle Eric," Jessie explained, trying to assuage Gaige's concerns, "until we can get all of the paper work done. Maybe a couple of weeks, more or less, okay? I know I can count on you to be patient, right?" and gave Gaige a strong, loving, hug.

Gaige giggled his understanding, as Jessie, in the process of the hug, tickled his naked sides.

"Now, Button," Jase announced with a gentle pat on Gaige's naked butt, "let's get you dressed so if you accidently poop, it'll be in your pants and not on Uncle Eric's floor."

Gaige, as well as the rest of the boys, thought it was just hilarious, the thought of him pooping on the floor or even in his pants. It set the stage for the relationship Gaige would have, once he joined Jessie, Jase, and Tyler.

Gaige, toting his backpack in his hands, raced to catch up with Eric and Evan who'd already started up the stairs with the other boys.

Jessie, Jase, and Tyler quickly donned robes and sat at the kitchen table to read through the contents of the envelope Eric handed him earlier. Little was said as first one and then another read through the multi-page document.

"Finished?" Jessie asked. "Are we all in agreement?"

Jase and Tyler nodded they were.

The three bedrooms upstairs were relatively spacious; two of them were equipped with twin beds and the third had a double bed. All three had dressers, closets, and a couple of chairs. Eric could see at the outset, each room would need at least one desk, probably a radio, most certainly a television, and a couple of lamps. The wi-fi in the house would be sufficient to give each of the boys' access, although they'd have to be very careful not to leave electronic tracks which might identify them. Eric and Evan would have to have a long talk about that. No problem now since they had no I-phones, lap tops, or other electronic devices. If Marie's letter was correct, and there was no doubt it was, the boys had sufficient funds to take care of those items plus much more. Eric, as guardian, would act as trustee, controlling their funds but not forbidding access to them. Herbert and Sarah made the boys their heirs in equal shares of all property financial and otherwise. Gaige, when adopted by Jessie, would have an additional trustee acting as a fiduciary over his funds until he was eighteen. There really would be no need since Jessie had enough wealth, inherited and earned through his own skills, to take care of any of Gaige's needs.

Chase chose the room with the double bed, reasoning he was bigger and needed more room. Henri, insisting he was next oldest, chose one of the other rooms announcing he wanted it all for himself. Their choices didn't bother Jacques since the last room, another with twin beds, would soon be his when Gaige left to live with Jessie. It didn't bother Gaige either since he viewed his current housing as temporary.

Not only had Jessie explained it'd be awhile, but Eric spent some time, as the boys tested the beds by bouncing on them, further offering an explanation and reassurance to Gaige as well. It'd take some time for the paperwork to be completed and properly filed, Jessie had to get a bedroom ready for him, and finally, he'd have to let his family know he was adding a son to his family.

"Should be interesting," mused Chase, wondering how Jessie would explain Gaige, especially since Jessie's family was human.

"Can't say you're wrong," Eric commiserated. "Much of it will be left to me, I fear."

Even though the Campbell side of Jessie's family was wolf, it wouldn't be easy explaining Gaige's presence either. Eric hoped to hell once he called the number he was supposed to, he'd be provided with a cover story to use to explain the deaths of Herbert and Sarah, but of Jean and Marie as well.

Chase looked around the room which was to be his during his stay with people he didn't know, with a distant relative old enough to be his grandparent, in a different part of the country with climate much different then he'd been born in and lived in until his life and the lives of his brothers was disrupted forever by a murderous, ambitious Alpha from a rival pack, wondering how he'd cope and adjust to this new life.

He felt a tear start slipping down his cheek; so deep in his sorrow he failed to realize Eric was standing beside him. A hand on his shoulder and the steady, consoling voice of Eric soothing his fears and easing his pain, somewhat.

"I can't say it'll be just like home because it isn't. I can't tell you time heals all wounds because it doesn't; or say life will be easier because it won't."

"I can say, Uncle Evan and I, even though we're old enough to be your grandparents, have never had young people around except Jessie and the Averill Creek Pack and know little about parenting skills, we will do our very level best. We'll come to love you, with your help, trust, and understanding. We'll provide for you, and your brothers, a safe place to live and two caring guardians or adoptive parents, whichever you eventually decide. There's time for us to learn about each other so we can better understand who we are and what we all expect. There will be times when we disagree and, perhaps times we'll deny permission for some activity, purchase, or event, but we can work through those too. I think you'll find us very understanding, liberal, accepting, and protective. We generally aren't that easy to manipulate; I'm a lawyer, Evan's a realtor, and we've been around the master of manipulation, Jessie, long enough to see through a con or two."

There was little debate in the kitchen concerning the adoption of Gaige into their family. Jessie, Jase, and Tyler, although newly married, were more than willing to accept the young lad into their home. There'd be trials ahead of them that much they knew, but they also understood they had a large support group. The problem, Jessie felt, would be introducing him to his family, explaining how he came to be with them, how they planned to provide a loving home for him, and convincing them how much their lives were going to change as a result of having him with them. It was doubly difficult knowing his family, the Suttons, were human whereas the Campbell family were shifters.

Uncle Eric and Uncle Evan would be a tremendous help in helping them make the transition and introducing Gaige to both families. He'd served as family and business attorney for the Sutton Family for three generations and the Campbell Family and business since they arrived in Kabetogama. Jessie and the Twins hoped to hell he was able to obtain some sort of documentation how, when, and where Gaige's grandparents died and the Landry Boys' parents as well. Perhaps the telephone call would provide it and ease their minds.

There was much they didn't know concerning Gaige, only he was to be protected at all costs. They would anyway, because already he was precious to them and they'd just met. Jessie knew the minute he and the boy saw each other, they were to bond as parent and child. Now he hoped his parents would see Gaige as a grandchild from a son they never expected to have a son, biologically or otherwise.

Eric and Evan, Gaige hopping down the stairs ahead of them, back pack jiggling and wobbling on his back, left the Landry Brothers in Chase's room giving them time to look over their rooms or speak in private, and headed toward the kitchen where Jessie, Jase, and Tyler were seated at the table. Gaige made a beeline for Jessie, crawled up in his lap, where he received a big hug, a kiss on his forehead, and a tickle from which he giggled and wiggled.

"Reached any conclusions?" Eric asked.

"Make the phone call, please, Uncle Eric. We've decided Gaige should be part of our family, if he'll have us."

There was no doubt by the look on Gaige's face, the way he wiggled happily in Jessie's lap, and the manner in which he shouted, "Yes!" and pumped his fist, he was more than willing to accept them and be with them as long as forever.

Jessie turned Gaige around, after removing his backpack and setting in on the table, so they faced each other. "We can't replace what you lost, but you'll always have our love and protection."

Henri and Jacques sat patiently on Chase's bed, waiting for him to say something, since they certainly had a great deal to discuss.

"What do you think, guys?" Chase asked, using French, hoping no one else in the house did.

Chase knew what the answer had to be. After all, he and his brothers had no choice; the decisions were made by their father, the Alpha, and their grandmother, a wise woman and seer. They were to survive, carry on the lineage, retain the history of the Pack, and live in a different world. Nothing was said concerning revenge, but one lesson he'd learned from his grandmother was revenge was a dish better served cold. He could wait for a very long time, if needed, to exact a revenge, a retribution for the destruction of his family and his friends in the Bateau Parish Pack. Time would give him the means, method, form, and place of his vengeance. It'd be a proper punishment with the liquidation of the Red Wolf so he'd be unable to repeat his murderous acts.

In the meantime, as one groomed by his father to be an Alpha if the opportunity presented itself, his responsibilities were to Henri and Jacques. From what he could discern, Gaige was going to be safe in the care of what he presumed from his grandmother's prediction, a "very powerful wolf."

Henri, answering his brother's question, shrugged his shoulders. "I suppose we'd better make the best of it. It's not as if Mom and Dad left us destitute. This is the place they wanted us to be."

Chase looked to Jacques, seeking a response from him. Jacques sat on the edge of the bed, eyes welled with moisture, lower lip quivering. Chase stepped quickly to the bed, sat, and wrapping his arms around the young, smaller lad, pulled him close.

"I miss them too," and held his brother as loud, heart-rending sobs, muffled by Chase's chest, emitted in a choking, gasping, sound from Jacques, his body heaving and shaking in anguish over their losses, the realization finally culminating, knowing he'd never see them again.

Jacques finally calmed enough. "We can never go home, can we, Chase?"

"I'm afraid not, at least for many years."

"But, we don't have any friends left or know anyone here!"

"No, there aren't any left at home and none here yet except for those we met today. Only time will tell if or how many new friends we might make."

"Mom and Dad," Jacques stuttered, soft sobs erupting again, "won't be with me for my very first shift or Grandma or Grandpa Le Compte."

"No, not physically, but here," Chase replied, tapping Jacques's chest and then tapping his forehead, "in your heart and in your mind. You'll have Henri and me to comfort you, massage you as new muscles, new bones, and a new shape grows as you shift from human form to the most beautiful, most glorious of all creatures we think exists on earth; a creature almost immortal, who can heal from injury, is free from diseases afflicting man, loyal, strong, fierce, yet loving and compassionate. You'll put pack first, be obedient to your Alpha, and mate for life with someone you love. There's much ahead of us. Henri, you, and I can't afford to waste our time on sorrow. We have to move ahead and remember, always, we are Cajun Wolves living in Border Wolf country."

Chase thought long and hard concerning all of this as he drove north after leaving Louisiana, trying to figure out how he was going to manage a new life for his brothers and himself. Strange, at those times he was deep in thought, little of it was about Gaige, although he'd pledged to protect him. His grandmother's words he'd overheard seemed to reassure him Gaige would be fine. That being said, he wasn't as confident concerning their own welfare.

He'd resolved most of it prior to arriving here, except for Jacques' sudden concern for his family during his first shift. Chase was determined to keep his brothers close, maintaining somewhat of a family unit, knowing they'd obey him, and make the best of it, come what may. He felt much better about their situation after being introduced to their chosen guardians, realizing they were a gay, married couple. His feelings were reinforced after meeting Jessie and the mostly gay Averill Creek Pack. It solved one of his concerns, but Henri was straight and possibly Jacques. How would they fare in a mostly gay Pack? Jessie said the Pack was mixed and there was this other Pack, the Kabetogama Pack. Perhaps new friends and possible mates for the three of them would be found there.

Contemplating Jacques concerns, as he held him, presented a different set of emotional problems he hadn't anticipated. His parents and grandparents had been present for his first shift and for Henri's. The entire pack howled his shifting to wolf and celebrated it. Jacques wouldn't have that large celebration. Henri and he would have to provide a small celebration instead.

Young werewolves, reaching puberty in the Bateau Parish Pack, would ordinarily have family members surrounding him or her as he or she made their first shift. Although every young pack member looked forward to their first change with excitement and great anticipation, they also knew it could be painful, confusing, and required great concentration and support from others. They'd have to learn to walk on all fours, live in a different body and become accustomed to it, learn the secret communications between wolves other than howling and growling, and the increase in the size of their bodies. Young males' penis, large as a wolf, would be larger after their first shift, in comparison to other humans, be significantly larger, often engendering curious looks by humans, if exposed in restrooms or showers in public schools. Life would be different for them and their secret must remain safe else they find themselves hunted by those who sought out werewolves for destruction. They'd suddenly be deathly allergic to silver and would avoid it.

The comfort of family, during the shift and after, offered tremendous support and encouragement for the young wolves. Missing that support and love, would be difficult, but Chase could only offer his support and that of Henri to Jacques. He did hold out hope their human guardians would be able to assist since they were more than just a little familiar with the process, he thought.

Their family meeting was interrupted when Eric rapped softly on the door jam. "May we come in?"

"Please," Chase said, adding, "you really don't have to ask." Looking past the two elderly gentlemen, "Where's Gaige?"

"To answer your first question, yes, we do have to ask. Not only is it polite, but your bedroom is your private place and we think it should be respected. Secondly, Gaige is saying goodbye to Jessie and the Twins. He'll be here until they can get a room prepared for him at home. It shouldn't take long, I'd think."

"Uncle Eric," Chase asked, using the term Jessie and the others referred to him as, establishing a familial relationship with the two me, "would you please make the call and start the process? We've decided this will be home for as long as you let us stay."

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