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Soulbound ‡ feral

by Wes Leigh

Chapter 4

We who are dominant tend to think of that aspect of being a werewolf as rank: who is obeyed, who is to obey. Dominant and submissive. But it is also who is to protect and who is to be protected. A submissive wolf is not incapable of protecting himself: he can fight, he can kill as readily as any other. But a submissive doesn't feel the need to fight -- not the way a dominant does. They are a treasure in a pack. A source of purpose and of balance. Why does a dominant exist? To protect those beneath him, but protecting a submissive is far more rewarding because a submissive will never wait until you are wounded or your back is turned to see if you are truly dominant to him. Submissive wolves can be trusted. And they unite the pack with the goal of keeping them safe and cared for.

-- From Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

"Why does he do that?" Connor asked.

"Who?" Donny asked, looking around.

"Caleb. Look at him."

Donny turned and saw Caleb run up and grab one of the Byrne twins from behind. Caleb was sporting a boner, and he humped the taller Byrne lad a few times, then ran off laughing, obviously hoping the bigger teen, Jacob Byrne this time, would chase and catch him. Jacob shifted into his werewolf body for the extra speed he'd have and leapt after Caleb, who squealed in delight, then shifted from boy to wereboy to wolf, falling on his belly with his butt in the air and his tail hiked to the side. Jacob mounted Caleb and humped Caleb's hairy ass a few times before leaning down to nip Caleb on the neck. Caleb shifted back into a boy's form and rolled over, hugging Jacob as Jacob shifted too. Jacob leaned down and licked Caleb's face, making Caleb screech with delight. They were face to face now, and Caleb grabbed Jacob's naked butt and pulled it against him, mimicking a man and woman mating.

Donny shook his head and chuckled. "They're just playing. Caleb wouldn't know what to do if Jacob actually stuck it in him."

"Then why does he do it?" Connor asked, frowning in confusion.

"It's how Caleb shows everyone that he accepts his place in our pack. When he lets us mount him, he's saying he knows we will protect him. He's smaller and needs to know the bigger wolves will keep him safe."

"Couldn't he just say that?"

"I suppose he could," Donny said with a grin, "but it's more fun this way."

Donny gave Connor an impish look, then shifted into wolf form and crouched down in front of Connor. Donny swished his tail in Connor's direction, wagging his butt.

Connor growled with desire, then shifted into wolf form and mounted Donny, thrusting his enormous boner along Donny's hairy crack. Bending down, Connor bit gently into the scruff on the back of Donny's neck, holding him carefully. Donny tensed up, whining softly. Connor thrust his cock several times against Donny's butt, then released him and shifted back into human form, wrapping his arms around Donny.

Donny shifted and rolled over, throwing his arms around Connor. "You see. I just made it clear that you are my alpha."

Connor frowned. "How can I be? Andreas is alpha."

"Andreas is Alpha for the Silvermanes," Donny explained. "You are my alpha. And Caleb's. And Joshua and Jacob and all the rest of the boys. We follow you, and you follow Andreas."

"That's a bit confusing," Connor admitted.

"Not really," Donny replied, thinking carefully about his words. "If you asked any of the lads to let you mount them, they would. But if you tried to mount my dad or Coach Allen, they'd snap you in the face and tell you to back off. If Andreas tried to mount my dad, my dad would shift in a heartbeat and offer his tail. That's because we all know our place, and it makes the Pack secure and successful. Like a good football team. Everyone knows his position. Each of us stays in his place, and we work together."

Connor pushed himself up off Donny. The other boys were sitting, listening to the two of them talk. Connor looked around and asked, "Is what Donny told me true? You'd all let me mount you?"

As one, they nodded their heads. Ethan spoke for them all. "We'd follow you anywhere, Connor. One day, you'll be Alpha of the Silvermanes. We all know it."

Connor wanted to accept Ethan's assurances, but it made him a bit uncomfortable. He was an alpha, but not the Alpha. He could mount some of the Pack, but not others. And he apparently had a destiny with the Pack that he didn't quite understand yet. Even worse, he wasn't sure he wanted that destiny, nor was he ready to accept it just yet.

It was so much simpler when all they did was run around naked and play football.

Xavier pulled the rental car into the winding driveway that led to the enormous, two-story house in the center of Agony. He stopped and peeked through the windshield at the place he'd be calling home for the near future.

Gregor, sitting in the seat next to him, whistled. "Bloody big house. Minerva doesn't believe in simplicity." He grinned and said, "Beats the hell out of that boarding school! I wonder if there are any girls living here."

Xavier looked at his cousin and rolled his eyes. "Always thinking with your cock, Gregor?"

Gregor grabbed his junk and shook it. "It's smarter than I am, so yeah. It always finds me the best girls to dine upon, Zavy!"

Xavier squinted at Gregor. "You'd best not let Minerva catch you calling me Zavy. You know she doesn't like that, Reggie."

Gregor grimaced. "What difference does it make? Whitechapel is thousands of miles and a century behind us. I don't know what's wrong with using our old names."

"And that's exactly the problem. You don't see anything wrong with using our old names. You don't see anything wrong with having a party in the dorm. You don't see anything wrong with bringing the daughter of the school governor to the party, getting her naked, and sending all the kids into a lust-filled orgy so you can dine on their passions."

"Should I have dined on their blood instead?" Gregor asked, now getting a bit miffed at his cousin's stuffiness. The lad really should loosen up a bit and enjoy his unlife as a vampire a little more.

Xavier opened the door of the rental car and climbed out. He waited for Gregor to get out to and leaned on the top of the car. "Gregor, I'm only going to tell you this once. Don't fuck things up here?"

Gregor stared back at Xavier. "You know, XAVIER—" he said, emphasizing the name, "—I liked you better when you were a poor kid mucking out a stable in Whitechapel and getting your pego sucked in the hay loft."

"Yeah, well I had to give that up when I had to save me cousin from a bloody vampire, who latched onto MY neck instead of his and sucked the fuckin' life right out of me." Xavier's eyes glowed red as his language fell back into the old speaking patterns of Whitechapel.

Gregor glared at Xavier for a second, then frowned and ducked his head. He mumbled, "You don't have to remind me, Zavy. Not a day goes by I don't think of that and feel bad for what I did. And not just to you, but also to Jack."

Xavier sighed, suddenly upset hearing Gregor mention Jack's name. "I'm sorry too, Reg. Look… all I'm asking is let's keep our heads down. Do what we're told. Settle in and make some friends and be a normal kid for once."

Gregor began laughing softly. "Do you hear yourself talking? Be a normal kid? We're not normal kids. We may look like teenagers, but we've been alive for over a century. If we have to be vampires, shouldn't we get to enjoy the benefits from time to time?"

Xavier eyes began glowing slightly. "It's not that simple, Gregor. This place is going to be different."

"Different? How?"

"There is a pack of werewolves living up in the hills. Some of them will be attending school with us."

Gregor laughed. "Should be more fun then. Imagine a werewolf bitch in heat!"

Xavier glared at Gregor. "Don't fuck around, cousin."

Gregor held up his hands in submission. "Fine! I'll behave. For one week." Gregor held up one finger, smiling.

"Two weeks?" Xavier asked.

Gregor smiled and held up both hands, middle fingers extended. "Two weeks!" And he laughed.

Xavier slammed the car door, shaking his head, and started walking up the drive to the house. "Let's go in and face the music. Minerva is probably waiting for us in the study with her lap dog Edward at her side."

"Eventually I want to teach you to play quarterback or running back, but until you learn the plays, that might be asking too much of you." Sean Allen had one hand on Connor's shoulder as he explained what he had in mind. "For now, I want to try you out at right guard. You'll stand here." Sean moved all the boys into position, showing Connor where he would be, next to Donny, who was the center. Sean stood behind Donny. "I'll be the quarterback. Your job is to protect me when the defense rushes me."

Connor blinked in confusion, understanding nothing of what Sean was saying.

"I don't think he's ever seen a football game, Coach Sean," Ethan observed.

Sean nodded. "That would help to make all this clearer, wouldn't it? Well, he can come with us to our next practice. With the entire team there, it should make more sense." Sean moved Connor far out to the right side. "Let's try you out at wide receiver. Dillon, you cover him. Now, Connor, when Donny hikes the ball to me, you run straight ahead about twenty yards, then turn around. I'll throw the ball to you, and Dillon will try to keep it away from you. Don't let him. Catch the ball and run down the field to score a touchdown."

Connor tilted his head to the side.

"You'll see once we run the play," Sean said, turning and trotting back to stand behind Donny.

"Fly route. Ready. Hike!"

Donny snapped the ball between his legs into Coach Sean's hands. Sean drifted back and turned to look at Connor, who was standing there, watching him.

Dillon motioned with his hands. "Come on, Connor. Run down the field."

Connor shifted into werewolf form and ran past Dillon, who spun around and yelled, "No! Connor, you can't go wolf during a game!"

Sean called all the boys back together, waving for Connor to join them.

Dillon complained, "He can't go wolf like that, Dad. That's a penalty or something."

Sean laughed. "I'm not sure what the penalty would be, but I'm sure the referees won't like it." Turning to Connor, Sean explained, "When we're playing, we have to stay in human form, Connor. You can use your wolf powers, your speed, your strength, but you have to stay right on the edge, in your human body."

"Why?" Connor asked.

"Well…" Sean frowned and thought about ways to explain to this wild boy about how humans wouldn't accept their supernatural forms.

Dennis Doyle giggled. "Yeah, Coach. Tell him why!"

"Settle down, Dennis," Sean replied. Turning to Connor, Sean decided to take the simple route. "The teams we'll be playing against won't have werewolves. They won't have the ability to become werewolves or wolves, so they won't be able to run faster and be stronger. That means you lads have to stay in human form too, to make it more fair. You understand?"

Connor nodded. "Like how sometimes I slow down so Dennis can catch me?"

"Hey!" Dennis exclaimed. "My legs aren't as long as yours."

Sean smiled. "Exactly. The humans on the other teams are slower with shorter legs." Sean ruffled Dennis' hair. "And one of the rules of the game is that we can't go wolf. To give them a chance to catch us. But only a chance. You will still be faster and stronger." Sean looked around at the teens. "Ready to run the play again?"

They jumped up and ran to their positions. Sean sent Dillon and Connor out to the right flank. Then he called for Donny to hike the ball again.

Connor was off in a flash, running around Dillon and headed down the field. Dillon gave chase, but Connor was too fast. Sean watched in amazement as Connor ran twenty, thirty, forty yards, gradually increasing the gap over Dillon, who was one of the fastest boys on the team.

Connor never looked back, which made it difficult to catch the ball.

Donny laughed. "When are you going to throw the ball, Coach?"

Sean chuckled. "When he turns around to catch it." But Connor kept going until he reached the far end of the field, where he finally stopped and turned back to face the others.

Donny laughed again. "Throw the ball, Coach!"

Sean motioned for Connor and Dillon to come back. When they arrived, Sean said, "Maybe we'll give you a try on defense, Connor. The goal is a bit simpler there. Whoever has the ball is your prey. Track them down and bring them to the ground."

Connor nodded and grinned with a feral smile. That was something he could sink his teeth into.

Andreas opened the driver's side door of his old Dodge pickup and motioned for Connor to get in.

Confused, Connor silently questioned his Pa.

"Get in. You're driving," Andreas stated.

"I don't know how," Connor objected.

"You're almost fifteen. Time you learned," Andreas grunted, pushing Connor gently toward the driver's seat.

Connor slid behind the wheel and latched on with a death grip.

"Relax, lad. You'll get the hang of it in no time."

Connor gulped and willed his fingers to release the steering wheel.

Andreas walked around and climbed in on the passenger side. "One day, this truck'll be yours, lad. Today, you learn to drive it without killing deer and prairie dogs."

Connor laughed nervously, commanding his fingers to relax on the steering wheel.

The Dodge lurched across the Lodge parking lot, to the amusement of Gabi, who stood in the main doors, watching the driving lesson. It wasn't so amusing inside the vehicle. Andreas was braced against the dash, trying to keep from being tossed around. Connor was squeezing the steering wheel in a death grip again.

"Gentle on the gas, lad!" Andreas shouted, trying to keep his voice calm and reassuring, but unable to hide the panic he was beginning to feel. He could imagine them hurtling over the side of the mountain, tumbling into a ravine and ending in a bloody, mangled mess. He hoped their lycan regenerative powers would be up to the task of reassembling their twisted bodies.

Connor eased off on the accelerator. The truck stopped lurching and crept slowly across the parking lot.

"That's better," Andreas said with relief. "Now turn back toward the Lodge. Good. Stop here."

Connor slammed on the brakes, tossing them both forward. The steering wheel smashed into Connor's chest, knocking out his breath. Andreas was more fortunate, braced as he was for collision.

"Easy on the brakes too, lad," Andreas mumbled.

Connor turned and muttered, "Sorry."

"It's okay, laddie. Put her in reverse and let out the clutch nice and slow."

Connor shifted the truck and let out the clutch. The truck jumped forward and stalled.

"That was fourth gear," Andreas said. "Reverse is over here. Watch." He motioned for Connor to press in the clutch and moved the gear shift far to the right and down. "That's reverse. It's all the way to the right before you pull it back." Andreas moved the gear shift into neutral. "You try."

Connor moved the gear shift, noticing the difference in how far he had to move it before pulling it down into reverse. He cranked up the old Dodge and waited for Andreas' next instruction.

"Look behind you, lad, over the seat."

Connor shifted in the seat, looking over one shoulder, and slowly eased off the clutch. The truck jumped a bit but then started rolling backward. He turned the wheel the wrong direction, then quickly corrected himself and backed to the edge of the parking lot, stopping with slightly less violence this time.

"Second gear. No need for first. Unless you're hauling something or stuck in the mud."

Connor shifted up, to the left, and down. He eased off the clutch and gave it a little gas. They rolled forward, with only a brief lurch.

"Head down the road now. You're doin' fine, lad."

Connor nodded, focusing on the road ahead. "Why do I need to learn to drive, Pa? I'm a werewolf. I can get wherever I need to go quick enough, and I can take paths this truck could never follow."

"Wait 'til we're cruising down the highway and then tell me what you think." Andreas said with a chuckle. He reached over and squeezed Connor's shoulder, proud of his adopted son.

Connor glanced quickly at Andreas. Seeing Andreas' pleased smile, Connor grinned nervously before returning his attention to the winding mountain road.

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