PART ELEVEN: THE WOLF
Following the successful rescue and recovery efforts that had freed Mariposa Esposito and four other witch victims from a large human trafficking ring, Leal Grayson’s status became elevated not only in the Golden Knights Agency, but indeed in Timeline B-3 and D-1 respectively. His wise cracking partner, Acwulf, suggested a trip back to Wes Tavern to celebrate their brilliant success.
Leal obliged his partner and found a surprise party waiting for him there courtesy of his family and colleagues. He was especially pleased to see that his charge, Aurora was present. His family mingled with the other invited guests as Leal settled down on a make-shift “throne” of sorts and the elixirs started pouring in from then.
“That is some girl you got there, Leal. I can see why you didn’t want to show her off,” Acwulf quipped.
“That girl’s mine and mine alone. I won’t let anyone else have her,” Leal responded boldly.
Acwulf then formally introduced Leal to his wife, Velvela. It was a delightful time and there was plenty of food, drink and good music to go around. Party goers were filled to their hearts’ content and Leal, the man of the hour, couldn’t be happier. As the party reached fever pitch and the constant supply of elixirs continued pouring in, a server carrying a large tray of elixirs suddenly tripped on her feet right before Leal and nearly completely toppled over but luckily, Leal was there to catch her and help her get back steady on her feet.
“Thank you for that, Leal, and congratulations once again,” stated the server, blushing shyly. Leal recognized her then as a server he had seen a couple times when he and Acwulf frequented Wes Tavern while working the case.
“Oh Tammy, wasn’t it?”
The server nodded. “I’m surprised you remembered,” she stated shyly tucking her long auburn locks behind her ears.
“Of course I remembered! You have one of those faces,” Leal stated, chuckling absurdly at the assertion.
“Oh,” Tammy stated, articulating the shape the letter perfectly with her mouth.
“Oi, Tammy, this one’s taken, you hear?” Acwulf stated loudly, suddenly appearing behind Leal and putting his arm around Leal’s shoulder. Leal looked away in embarrassment, his eyes rapidly looking across the room and back to Tammy, finally noticing an interesting tattoo at the right side of her neck.
“Excuse me Tammy but is that a wolf-tattoo on your neck?” he asked her.
Tammy nodded shyly. “Wolf girl for life,” she pronounced awkwardly.
Acwulf was astonished by the assertion while Leal observed the tattoo in awe. It was so well done, he thought, it almost seemed as if the tattoo was leaping at him and as if it were a living being on its own. He continued staring at it while Acwulf continued engaging Tammy in lively conversation about witches like her who supported lycans and then he sat back down and downed the reminder of his elixir contents just as his family joined him at his table.
“Ready to call it a night or shall we ask for another round?” Avery asked him.
“Are you trying to go for a new alcohol poisoning record, dear?” Emre teased her.
“Am I not allowed to celebrate my father’s great wins or is that another unspoken rule of Royals I have not been informed about yet?” Avery quipped right back. They bickered lovingly at each other and Leal observed them with a deep longing in his heart that someday, he and Aurora would have what his daughter and Emre had.
“One last round for us, Tammy dear!” Acwulf stated.
Leal braced himself knowing the last round would probably send him careening off sobriety’s edge. Aurora sat on his laps and wrapped her arms around his neck. She was giggling a lot so he knew she must have been at least tipsy. He looked forward to turning in for the night so that he could have Aurora all to himself. He shut his eyes tight as he held her close then nuzzled her as she continued to giggle and playfully urge him to stop.
He opened his eyes and looked around the room just as the last round of elixirs were placed on the table and he saw his colleagues were still having the time of their lives so he grinned at the success of the party. He then observed a shaggy wolf appearing in the midst of party goers and he nearly had a nervous fit because of it, wondering what drunk lycan had thought it a great idea to transform into his wolf form in the midst of the party but the longer he observed it, the more apparent it became that it was no ordinary wolf. Aurora was suddenly alert and she called out to him. He turned to face her and tried his best not to worry her with his speculations but she was onto him already and it caused both Avery and Emre to suddenly become vigilant as well.
“What is it dad? Do you sense danger?” Avery asked him as quietly as she could muster. She saw Acwulf also became vigilant but her father’s partner wisely pretended not to have heard a thing so that he would not ruin the mood of the party so suddenly. Emre used his extrasensory perception abilities (ESP) to scan about the room and the immediate surroundings but could not detect any immediate threats to their safety.
Leal searched for the wolf which had disappeared and he shook his head indicating that he was fine and he had probably hallucinated seeing it and was probably drunk. However, his family were convinced that there was more to his alleged hallucination than even he thought. They took their time taking the last round of drinks and when Leal stood up, he suddenly observed the wolf again and felt inclined to follow it. He grabbed hold of Aurora’s hand as they ran out of the bar together and he followed the strange wolf’s movements until he was completely outside.
The wolf raised its head to the sky and began to howl and Leal looked up to stare at the moon which suddenly changed right before his very eyes from the full moon of the night to an unnaturally forming crescent-shape. Despite the warm Litha weather, Leal began to shiver as harsh winds suddenly dominated the night. Further, pitch black snow poured steadily from the sky, poisoning the ground beneath and causing painful blisters to form when it made contact with his skin.
Leal then suddenly fell backwards onto the ground as he saw huge, flaming, black rugged dogs surrounding him, their eyes glowing a menacing red as they stalked him in a circular motion. The last thing Leal would sense of the strange visions was the sound of shrill screaming which drowned everything out and brought him back to the present.
“Leal, are you back with us?” Aurora asked him worriedly.
Leal looked up at her and accepted Emre’s hand to get back up on his feet.
“Dad, did you have another vision? What was it about this time?” Avery asked him worriedly.
Leal shook his head. “I don’t exactly know what it was about but it was terrifying. Whoever they are, I need to find them fast because they seem to be in really big trouble,”
He recounted what he had seen even as they were approached by a pack of lycans emerging from the forest with a figure concealed behind them following them.
“Leal Grayson?” asked the Alpha of the pack.
Leal looked up at them and immediately recognized the leader of the pack as did his family who bowed reverently at them even as the concealed figure came before them and revealed themselves.
TO BE CONTINUED…
What do the visions Leal had reveal of the future? Stay tuned to find out. Links to previous parts in the ensuing saga of Leal and the Golden Knights are listed below. Enjoy!