Part 2! The next challenge on my list of challenges still to do, had the demand that it must contain a map. Since I had so much fun with the ‘knock knock’ story, I decided to give it a part 2. Happy reading and let me know what you think in the comments below!
“Ten minutes, then we’re leaving. And I want you to be ready this time!” Leah looked at Theo with a stern look, hoping it would send out how serious she was.
“Leaving for what, exactly? If you want me to be on time, I’d better know what we are doing!” Theo put his hand in his side and cocked his hip. Leah just looked at him and smiled. “Aah! I did it again! I don’t want to be a stereotypical gay guy, but apparently my body does!” He deliberately pulled his hand from his side and slapped it with his other hand. “And now, please tell me where we are going, ‘cause the ten minutes are almost up!”
“As I said before, we are going to that wolf pack and make some noise! I want that son of a bitch punished by his own leader, not just by me. And then we’ll see what remains of that agreement.” Leah’s voice went down to a frightening level. “You are serious! I really thought, and hoped, you were joking! Tell me again why I have to join you in this suicide mission?” Theo crossed his arms over his chest.
“Because the pack leader is gay and you are too. I’m hoping it will dilute my message a bit by having your pretty face there. And for the second time, it’s not a suicide mission, I’m an old vampire, I can take on that entire pack! Now get your ass ready, we’re leaving in ten!” And with that she walked away to get her own stuff ready.
Theo was left standing in the kitchen, with his emotions balancing between awe and angst. He knew he wasn’t getting out of this, so he made sure to be ready within the ten minute timeframe. Normally he would be his chatty and positive self, now he didn’t say a word until they were halfway through the trip.
“Leah, will you please tell me what you intend to do when we arrive at the pack? I’m being honest when I say that I am scared.” He didn’t look at his best friend, he awaited the answer while keeping his gaze at the forest path. “For now, I’m not going to do anything. As soon as we reach the border of the inner circle of their territory, they will get a warning about intruders. Then we will wait for someone to arrive and we’ll go from there.” Leah actually looked calm about this whole ordeal, while Theo was about to shit himself.
She was right. Within a couple of minutes after reaching the border, a werewolf came to them. Luckily it wasn’t the one that attacked Leah, and sadly it wasn’t the pack leader. As soon as the wolf saw them, he pulled a face. “Vampire. What do you want?” He growled. Leah stayed calm. “I am the vampire who has an agreement with your pack. Take me to your alpha. Consider it a favor that I waited on the perimeter of your border.” Leah spoke, in a diplomatic voice. He seemed to consider her deal. “What about the mage?” He asked. “He is a friend, and a neutral in this feud. He does no harm.” Leah turned to Theo as she spoke the words. She knew him and his pride would take offence on that last part. So she gave him a knowing look so he wouldn’t say anything.
Leah wasn’t far off. Theo already had his mouth open but closed it as soon as he saw Leah’s face. To him it said, loud and clear, do not speak until spoken to, and seeing the reaction of the wolf, he wasn’t going to. The werewolf finally reacted, as if he had received permission. “I will take you to the alpha, but don’t do anything funny.” He turned around and Leah and Theo followed him into the dark forest.
It wasn’t a long walk, but long enough to give Theo the creeps. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up, and he had the feeling they were being watched from every angle. Even though he was still a young mage, he instinctively braced himself to attack at any moment. It wouldn’t be necessary with Leah next to him, but it made him a little bit more comfortable.
For some reason Theo thought that the werewolves had a form of silent conversation. As they reached a clearing, the pack leader already stood waiting. Sam opened his arms as a welcome. “Leah, my favorite vampire, what brings you to this part of the woods?” Leah walked by the were who brought them and stretched out her own arms. “Sam, my favorite werewolf. Let me give you a hug!” Theo was baffled they actually hugged each other. He kept a little back, and didn’t really know what to do with himself.
“Did you bring me a toy, Leah?” Sam whispered, as he looked at Theo from over her shoulder. “Not exactly a toy, but let me introduce you to each other.” Leah broke free of the hug and gestured Theo closer. “Sam, meet Theo, my best friend and a fledgling mage.” And as Sam stepped forward to shake Theo’s hand she whispered under her breath. “And gay.” It was so soft, only Sam and Leah could hear it. It brought a smile to Sam’s face, as he shook the hand. “Nice to meet you, Theo. Are you keeping an eye on our girl here, or is it more the other way around?” He gave him a slap on the shoulder and laughed at his own joke.
The joke lifted Theo’s spirit somewhat, and a little bit of anxiety subsided. “We take turns looking out for each other, but we can always do with one more!” He responded to Sam with a chuckle. Leah was relieved the two accepted one another. “Ok friends, let’s sit down. Drinks are coming, let’s talk business. Because I’m guessing you are not here to make small talk.” Sam accompanied them to a nearby picnic table. Almost as soon as they sat down, a werewolf brought drinks and disappeared back in the woods.
“Leah, tell me what is bothering you.” Sam spoke, in a more serious tone now. “Let me start of by saying I really hope our agreement will remain, even after this. Earlier this night I was attacked by one of your werewolves. And since I don’t want to jeopardize our bond, I decided to come to you immediately, instead of dealing with it myself.” Leah made sure he understood what those last few words meant. He reacted immediately; she could see it in his face. But, political as he was, he asked questions first.
“How are you sure it was one of mine, and what happened?” He asked. Leah gave him a piece of cloth, that came of the shirt of the were. She had ripped it off during their fight. Swiftly she retold the story of the attack, making sure she left out the embarrassment of the bath bombs. As she was done, Sam pondered about her words and a silence fell between them.
It took him so long to think about everything that both Leah and Theo began to shift on the bench nervously. In the midst of the silence Sam sniffed the piece of cloth Leah gave him. He took a deep sigh, looked at both of them and began his speech. “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I already sensed something was up earlier this evening. This piece of cloth is the missing piece of the puzzle.” He took a big gulp out of his glass. “For us, smell contains memory, and sadly for me, it shows me what happened.” He picked his words carefully.
“He is a young werewolf, this one. But the feud between wolves and vampires runs deep within him. His last pack kicked him out for similar problems. I hoped we could rehabilitate him, but it seems it didn’t work.” Sam stood up and began pacing around. “I am happy you came forward with this information, and did not handle it yourself. My intention is to keep this agreement between us, and start to heal old feudal wounds, one step at a time. This is such a step.” He stopped and looked at Leah, who nodded in agreement.
“Nevertheless, it means I have to do something about this wolf. He has to be punished for his actions against you, and for ignoring orders from his alpha.” Sam sat down again. “May I humbly ask your help with that punishment, and coming up with a plan to keep this from happening?”
Theo was stunned when he heard the whole speech. A werewolf and a vampire, talking to each other, helping each other and being honest… He was still young but even Theo knew he was witnessing history in the making. For the first time he was glad he came along, he wouldn’t have believed it if Leah had told him.
By now Leah had taken a moment to consider Sam’s words. “I really hoped you would say something like this, and I’m happy to help. Let’s keep taking steps to end this ridiculous feud between us.” Leah extended her hand and Sam shook it, to give their words more meaning.
“For the punishment you have to consider a couple of things. You could do it publicly with the whole pack, and me present, to send a message to everyone. But you have to understand the consequences. If there are more weres that feel that way, it may not be a good idea. You don’t want to facilitate a mutiny. Otherwise you could call him here and punish him in a small circle. I don’t have any advice for the actual punishment, that is best left in the hands of the alpha.” Leah folded her hands on the table. Theo now knew what the expression ‘a fly on the wall’ actually meant.
“Honestly, I’m not scared for mutiny, especially with you standing beside me. We will do the punishment first, because I want this off my mind. We’ll talk afterwards about the rest of the situation.” Sam stood up and howled. Leah was used to the sound, but Theo felt it in every fiber of his body. Within minutes the whole pack of werewolves was assembled in the clearing. Leah and Theo stood next to Sam, both felt a little bit uneasy but that was somewhat logical under these circumstances.
“I would like to start by welcoming our visitors.” Sam started. “Leah, I welcome you, on behalf of the pack. Let’s take steps together to end this ridiculous feud, and become friends instead of enemies. So goes for you too, Theo. Be welcome.” Sam turned back to the pack. “In this day and age, being enemies with the other supernatural races isn’t logical anymore. We have to stand together, be friends and benefit from each of our qualities. I stand for this, and you shall stand for this. As your alpha, I will not condone any disobedience.” He scanned the crowd and signaled the wolf that attacked Leah to step forward.
“You have disobeyed this rule. What do you have to say for yourself?” Sam stood straight and looked him in the eye. The bad wolf responded. “Are you going to believe a vampire over a wolf?” He almost spat out the words. Sam smiled. “No I believe in my own sense of smell!” And he held up the piece of cloth from his tattered shirt. A gasp went through the crowd, as they recognized the cloth. “As you cannot stand for the morals and rules of this pack, I banish you, never to return.” Sam looked over him to the rest of the wolves. “Anyone who feels the same can also leave. But do not expect to be welcomed back if you can’t support the morals of this pack. Remember, if you stay, you agree to these rules and to end these feuds.” Sam howled and the rest followed. Only three wolves left with the banished wolf.
The crowd dispersed and Theo took a sigh of relief. Sam’s face also portrayed relief. “That went better than expected!” Sam sighed. “Now for the rest of your plan…” He nodded towards Leah. She immediately took over. “Yes, I propose to set some regions of territory, so everyone knows what’s happening. I brought a map of the whole region.” Leah pulled it out of her satchel. “Let’s mark where our areas are, and where all the other races have their territory. We could make some of the areas neutral, so no one will have say and everyone can use it.” She grabbed several markers in different colors. “Let’s make vampire grounds red, and your territory green. We’ll go from there.” Sam nodded in agreement and just as she was about to set the first marker to paper, a loud bang was heard in the forest not far from them…