Did You Hear That (Attn: Kem and Drew)
The house wasn't dark, just dimly lit. Reign had a -vicious- migraine and the light only aggravated it. There was only one light on in the kitchen and one in the guest bath, both low watt bulbs, and they were only on because she didn't like laying around in total darkness. The TV flickered at her, Batman Begins, it was a darkly filmed movie and, much like the lights, didn't really aggravate her migraine. She lay on the sofa, a big glass of ice water on the table and a cold gel mask on her face just waiting for the pain to recede, she'd taken something, but that only blunted the edges. It would take an hour or two to for her to actually feel better.
Lying there, she heard Sirius get up. That wasn't unusual, he had a doggie door and used it and he did have roam of the house, so Reign didn't even think about it. He came back and settled down again. Only to stir a few seconds later. That was odd. Even with the mask on her face she could hear him moving, he was very clearly patrolling the house. Reign tried to rationalize, Drew was coming over. He was probably playing some dumb game and wigging the mutt out.
She whistled sharply, hurting her head, and called to the big dog.
"Sirius, come. Its just Drew."Â?
The big dog came and sat next to her. Sat, he didn't lay down. He remained alert, his ears twitching at sounds only he could hear. He growled, a low warning. Migraine or not Reign pulled the gel mask off, sat up and went to look for her phone, she'd left it charging somewhere, and wondered where she'd left her glasses.
"Its just a cat you dork."Â?
But Reign was trying to convince herself as much as any one.
Reign had started out at the game but disappeared early in the third or fourth. She hadn't looked good and told him he had a migraine. He'd offered to drive her home, but she'd declined. They'd only taken the one car though so he was having to walk to her place. It wasn't that long a walk though, although he had gotten the heck out of the preserve as fast as possible. Drew wasn't a coward but he wasn't dumb either, he was flying solo and from what he'd heard one werewolf wasn't going to slow any one down.
He was almost to Reign's place when a big dark sedan drove by him. It seemed to slow down to get a look at him, which made him uneasy. As it drove off, it accelerated and shut it's lights off. That was just, not right. He knew Reign had had a break in before he'd come to Nachton. He kept walking, trying not to jump to conclusions but he couldn't help it, Drew was very protective of his friends and family. He was a wolf, it was natural to watch out for friends and family, you protected the pack.
Drew ducked into a dark alley, hid his sports bag stuffed his cloths in it and forced his change. He was worried enough about Reign that he didn't even really feel it tonight.
There was no way he was going to be mistaken for a stray dog, but fortunately he was black and had a talent for just blending in as well. He didn't have to skulk or hide. He just blended and didn't even have to slow down. He got to Reign's house in time to see four men get out of the car. They'd split up though, circled the house. They were predators, same as he was. Drew growled, low, rumbling and menacing and slipped through the open gate. Her sliding glass door was the most vulnerable and how they'd gotten in before. He'd take that bastard out first. Yeah, he was still flying solo but this was different. This wasn't him being careless or vain or trying to prove himself, he had to do something it wasn't an option. And so long as all four of them, and he hoped it was only four, weren't vampires he should be fine.
At least, it was until a dark shape cruised by his window and came to a gentle stop across from the neighbors' house, at the bottom of Reign's property. At first he thought nothing of it; it was only the motion through the canted slats of the blinds that caught his notice. After a moment he realized the car's headlights were off. he sat up sharply, displacing Zoe. She hopped to the ground with an irritated look but he was too busy looking out the window to notice that. Reign had told him about her break-in last year, but nothing had come of the search for the culprits as far as he knew. And nothing, she'd said, had been stolen.
Kem's next door neighbors had children. He was concerned for them for a moment until he saw several dark figures get out of the car and head up Reign's front lawn. Two of them split off and circled around behind the house.
That was all he needed to see. He slid off the couch, stopped in the study to grab the first weapon he could find, which was an old-fashioned kris, a weapon he'd learned to use when he was still alive, and tucked it, sheathed, into the back of his jeans. He made a quick phone call to the police department but he wasn't going to sit back and wait for them to come. Their development was a good way outside of Nachton proper and even breaking the speed limits it could take ten or fifteen minutes for a squad car to get there if there wasn't one already nearby.
He went out by way of the front door, hoping to draw attention away from Reign's house and onto himself but the men were no longer at the front of the house. Kem made a quick dash across the street, conscious of the fact that his hair probably stood out like a neon sign, and ducked behind the intruders' car. Flipping the knife from its sheath he quickly made a cut in the right front tire of the vehicle before continuing around the car, doing the same to the left front tire, and continuing on up toward the house.
From somewhere along the side of the house came a soft, subtle click. Alarmed, Kem reacted quickly, jumping sideways just as he heard the accompanying "thup" of a gun with a silencer.
That was hardly fair play. Kem increased his movements, dashing the rest of the way up the lawn and heading directly toward the sound of the gunshot, not particularly worried about injury; he hadn't had a lot of personal experience but unless the gunman was very skilled and exceptionally lucky, a bullet wasn't going to slow him down too much.
Reign had found her phone but not her glasses. This was not The Boy. Drew would never mess with her like this. It wouldn't stop any one but she ran to the alarm panel and set it. It had been off as she'd been expecting Drew, but the cops would probably respond faster to an alarm than a 9-1-1 call about a prowler.
Last year there had been more than one of them. But last year she'd had Bas too, now she was here, alone with no kind of weapon and no one to charge to her rescue.
Ha! Baseball bat. The boy would kill her if she ruined it but Reign was confidant she could do some damage to at least one person.
Something flashed by the sliding glass door and she took a defensive stance behind the couch trusting Sirius to watch the front. Reign wanted to call the cops but refused to put down the bat.
There was a soft but solid thud and then a strangled cry of pain. Shit. Why did she live alone again?
Using his knack for camouflage for all it was worth he charged the one by the sliding glass door. The bastard never saw it coming and went down with a solid thud. He came up smart and swinging though. Drew dodged a few blows and with a snarl sank his fangs in the back of the guy's knee. From the scream, he hadn't been expecting that, it had to hurt like hell. Drew felt a ligament, or a tendon his anatomy was never very good, tear as he shook his head and ripped his teeth out of the soft flesh.
As much as he wanted to tear the fucker's throat out, he couldn't take the time. There had been more than one of them. Seeing this one sink to the ground and knowing he wasn't going to be able to move too well and his threat had been reduced, Drew circled back to the front yard, toward where he could hear Sirius barking.
There was another, this one had a gun, he could smell it and he could smell the gunpowder, it had been recently fired. Since he hadn't heard anything that read silencer, which seemed to mean this wasn't a casual break in. Shit.
Double shit the guy was aiming at his boss. If the Chief was right about Kem, a bullet wasn't going to slow the guy down much and decent guy or not he was a vampire. Drew hesitated, could he help a vampire? The odds were that Kem was trying to help Reign, who was pack, so.. yes, he could. Again hitting this one with a charge, a few hundred pounds of werewolf, Drew slammed him out into the open so Kem would see him.
For just a second as the gunman went about recovering from the flying tackle Drew made eye contact with Kem. His eyes more gold than brown, reflecting what little light there was out tonight held the silvery ones for just a second before he blended back into his surroundings looking for the other two, trusting Kem to take care of the one.
For a moment he was prepared to defend against two of them, until the wolf vanished and it occurred to him that they were apparently on the same team. Was the wolf Reign? Kem had no idea. Either way he didn't have much room for thought.
The gun went off again but the bullet was nowhere near him; obviously the gunman was well off-balance. He recovered quickly, testament to the fact that he was clearly a professional, but Kem had covered the rest of the ground between them in that time and made a flying tackle at the man's legs. It wasn't elegant, but Kem had size and strength on the guy and he wasn't worried about looks. He reached one hand up to grasp the gunman's wrist as they rolled over and they wrestled for the gun momentarily. A moment was about how long it took for Kem to squeeze hard enough to break the gunman's wrist.
The weapon fell; Kem caught it and flipped it around, cuffing the man hard on the side of his head. His body went limp and Kem crouched over him for a second or two. This was the part he hated. There was a human, on the ground, helpless, looking good enough to eat. Kem closed his eyes briefly, took a deep breath, and repressed the urge to feed with practiced willpower. Then he rose and kicked the gun a safe distance away; he wasn't going to use it himself when Reign was involved.
He dashed around to the back of the house, unsure of what to expect. What he saw was a man down on the ground, writhing in obvious pain. Two more faced the wolf, who was snarling and snapping, preparing to charge.
It was only sportsmanlike to even the odds, so Kem made a quick gesture, indicating the man on the right as his target. There was no time to debate; either the wolf understood or it didn't. Kem launched himself at the man on the right even as he turned, his knife flashing out. This one had a gun too, but Kem was already too close to worry about it. In a quick move he stepped around the man's leg, hooking his heel and pulling toward himself. With his left arm he grabbed the gunman's wrist much like the previous one, pulling himself safely inside the reach of the weapon while his own right hand, holding the kris, came down hard. There was the satisfying crack of breaking bone and yet another weapon was neutralized. Kem removed this one as well and kicked it away under the porch. The man recovered well and leveled several left-handed punches at Kem's chin, all of them connecting, but having little effect.
Still, enough was enough. Kem drew back, knife held against his forearm, and used the hilt to dispatch this man in a similar fashion as the first. None too soon; the man on the ground had rolled to his stomach and was leveling a gun of his own at the wolf, whose back was turned as he attacked the remaining man standing.
With no time to spare he did what seemed sensible, and that was moving between the wolf and the injured gunman. He threw his left hand out in a "stop" gesture. He heard the gun discharge at the same time he felt the impact of a bullet. The projectile hit his hand solidly, causing him to growl with pain as it trailed fire and burst out the other side, burying itself in his upper arm. His own blood sprayed against his face, an uncomfortable sensation that only served to anger him further.
Kem shook it off, running at the man on the ground. He couldn't see the attacker's face under the hood he wore but the man's eyes widened as he realized that the weapon hadn't had the intended effect. The gun went off again and Kem gave a sharp yell as he took another hit, this time somewhere on his chest. With plenty of momentum built up, however, he closed the gap and crashed onto the man on the ground, kris flashing twice, no longer worried about keeping the man alive.
Drew didn't car, it meant he still had chance to hurt... stop them. He muscled his way between the masked men and the door, fangs flashing, hackles raised, ears flat he was intimidating. They both backed off. He was now between them and the door. Both of them were apparently going for some kind of weapon, Drew was ready to make a snap decision who to take out when he saw the vampire. Apparently the vampire wasn't out of the action, Drew trusted him to take the right while he went for the left.
His blood was pumping now, he was hunting, he'd tasted blood and wasn't thinking as clearly as he could. This thing was attacking his pack and Drew's attack was more vicious that it necessarily had to be. In less than a second, Drew had disabled the baddie, had him on the ground and without hesitation clamped down on his throat. And then there was no throat and that one would not be getting back up, not unless you went in for reincarnation.
The hunt wasn't over, he heard one shot, then another and spun with the very odd intent of trying to save the vampire. The vampire, however, didn't need saving and had dispatched the shooter just as efficiently, if a bit more neatly than Drew had.
He could smell the blood, from his kill and from the vampire's and generations of his pack, his clan shouted at him to now kill the vampire. Drew only managed a half snarl, he couldn't attack some one who'd helped protect him and the female. He stood, ready to attack or defend depending on the vampire's next move, his tongue licked some blood from his muzzle. He couldn't back down, he just couldn't but he could wait to see what happened next.
With a visible effort he rolled away from the corpse-to-be and lay on his back, panting, feeling the second bullet lodged uncomfortably somewhere around the region of his left lung. He raised himself up on his uninjured arm and saw the wolf there, bloodied, snarling. Kem didn't really want to be dinner.
He extended his hand slowly, uttered a prayer to whoever or whatever looked after vampires, still propping himself up on the same elbow, and unclenched his hand, letting the kris fall to the ground. That done he let his head fall back and took half of a breath since the other side wasn't cooperating.
"There. Easy," he said. "I'm on your side."
He'd never had to deal with a werewolf before. Not like this. Political games were one thing. On the ground and already injured were two factors he didn't want to have to contend with.
When the vampire offered him his throat though he relaxed, somewhat and reluctantly. But that was submissive body language and Drew responded to it. His ears pricked forward instead of being plastered to his head and he stopped growling. He wouldn't give the ground back though, as far as Drew was concerned this was his territory and he was in charge.
It was confusing though, very confusing. This was an enemy, but not. The black wolf chuffed and shook his head. Keeping his distance to the downed vampire the same he trotted to one side, just a pace or two so he could more clearly see in the house, confirming the female was safe. It also would give the other a chance to stand up if he wanted. Drew lowered his hackles, he still didn't back down he just wasn't being as hostile.
Heaving himself to his knees with a hiss of discomfort although the various holes were already beginning to close, Kem jerked his chin at the shape quickly coalescing into an average-sized male. "Careful. Look," he wheezed, figuring that was enough of a heads up.
But the new vampire didn't immediately attack the wolf. It came into shape and then, in a swift motion, grabbed the human whose arm Kem had broken and viciously snapped his neck. Quickly he turned, seeing both wolf and vampire staring at him. His eyes focused on Kem.
"I don't know who you are, but you'd better hope you've got an army at your ass," he threatened. "You just pissed off a lot of people."
He turned to the wolf. "And you... you're not even worth a threat."
With that, the new vampire launched himself at the wolf with his bare hands, grappling with him and forcing him over onto his side. Kem lurched to his feet and moved back until his back was against the porch railing, leaning against it, canted slightly to the left where his injuries were, uncertain how to help in this situation.
With a thought, he pulled the gun he'd kicked just a moment prior from beneath Reign's porch and into his uninjured right hand, Leveling it at the clawing, kicking pile of wolf and vampire in front of him but hesitant to shoot.
In the distance he heard the wail of a police siren. Good timing. And bad timing. Shit.
Drew went back into full aggressive mode and was ready for the leap when it came. He used the momentum and his superior weight to recover enough to go after the new vampire. Snarling and snapping Drew used teeth, claws and his weight without hesitation. He fought to win and scored several solid hits.
It was probably a combination of being more than the single vampire was prepared for and the sirens, but the vampire resumed his misty appearance and wafted away. Drew chased him for a few seconds but he couldn't bite or smell anything. It was useless. Instead, he bounded back to the door and jumped on it, claws clattering just like any other dog being asked to be let in.
Reign threw the door open and Drew bounded in.
When Drew jumped up on the door her head cleared a little. She couldn't let Kem and Drew get caught by the cops and there was sure as hell no way to explain this. She dropped the baseball bat on the sofa and threw the door open.
She'd not often seen Drew as a wolf, and was again struck by how large he was, he was going to be hard to hide or explained. But she had to do something, he'd saved her after all.
So had Kem. He'd always seemed like such a nice quite guy. Polite, friendly, she liked him. This was clearly a new side of her neighbor, but Reign didn't hesitate to wave him in as well.
"Both of you get in here."Â?
Drew and Sirius were trying to work each other out. It was probably the blood that bothering her dog.
"Try -not- to look like a killer for a second or go hide in the bed room or something."Â?
She snapped at Drew. She then snapped at Kem in much the same manner.
"And you go clean up or hide or something too. I've got to figure out what the fuck to tell the cops about three dead bodies in my yard."Â?
Reign had no problem taking control of this situation and barking orders and expected them to be obeyed.
Reign was -never- going to wish for some one to charge to her rescue again... -ever-.
Kem had a moment of panic as the siren came closer and closer. Clearly the car was now pulling into Reign's driveway. The whole neighborhood was going to be awake, and he didn't have anywhere to run. It was a shock to see Reign at the back door. He'd assumed she was he wolf. Then who...?
There wasn't any time to ponder. He felt relief sweep through him as Reign extended her invitation to him in the form of a demand. He didn't have to be asked... told... twice. He launched himself up the back stairs, securing the gun he'd retrieved from the porch in the waist of his jeans for lack of a better place to put it, and staggered to a stop at Reign's doorway. Aware that his hand, while beginning to mend itself, was dripping blood from his fingertips, he held it up and cradled it in his right hand to try and avoid too much mess.
"I'm going... to bleed all over... your carpet," he panted. The bullet in his chest cavity, while hardly fatal, was causing some airflow issues in addition to hurting like a bitch. It was hardly a good time to be prudish, but having a trail of blood in Reign's house could hardly be good for any of them if the cops decided to check it out.
He was aware of the fact that it was easy to see the knitting flesh and bone, but he had to place his faith in he fact that he'd done something helpful, and Reign wouldn't fly off the handle and attempt to stake him or anything equally radical.
Reign, however, was more worried about Kem. Holy crap he was hurt and bleeding.
"God damned. Are you OK? Should I call... an... ambulance...?"Â?
Reign trailed off as she watched Kem's hand mend. It looked like something out of The Mummy. Her eyes snapped up and bore into his, never mind that he had several inches on her, and she had a pretty good idea what he was, Reign didn't intimidate easily.
She took a deep breath, darted into the kitchen and tossed him a clean dishtowel. Vampires were people too, Pakpao had proved that.
"Go threw the kitchen, it won't stain the tile. There is a first aid kit in the hall bath. I don't think I have anything that will help you though."Â?
Well she did, but there wasn't time to let Kem snack on her. Not to mention the two canines wouldn't take well to the idea and she didn't really fancy being a post murder nosh.
There was a shout of "Stop! Drop your weapon!"Â? A shot and after a few seconds a pounding on the door. Had she said fuck already? Because this was not going well.
"Just stay in the bathroom I don't want to explain you. And take them."Â?
Reign hissed at Kem before half shoving him out of the way to get to the door.
"Who is it!"Â?
She stalled for time.
"Let me see some ID!"Â?
The cop held up his ID to the peephole and she finally let him in, after a quick glance to make sure Kem had hidden himself away.
Luck was with him; Reign stared at his hand for a moment of precious time before springing into action and grabbing him a dishtowel. Kem gratefully wrapped it around his hand, preventing the unwanted floor-mess, and obligingly headed toward Reign's hallway bathroom.
"I don't... want to have to... explain me... either," he gasped softly as he headed that way, careful not to make any noises that would alert the police to any presence other than Reign and her dog. Er, dogs.
It wasn't necessarily comforting to be stuck in Reign's dimly-lit bathroom with a confused Sirius and a nervous werewolf who obviously hadn't decided whether or not to try to take a bite out of him.
"Down, Cujo," Kem hissed at the werewolf, completely unsure of how much it actually understood. It had seemed totally cognizant of everything out in the backyard. If anything, his comment amused it... it looked marginally less bloodthirsty.
"I have to... take care of this," he whispered at both of them as he bent over the sink and stuck his good hand into the small hole in his chest.
That was beyond uncomfortable, but rudimentary vampire triage was acceptable in this case. He had to use his hand to widen the entry hole of the second bullet but once he was able to wedge two fingers into the wound it was easy to locate the little projectile, lodged in one of his ribs. It must have bounced around a little bit.
He leaned heavily on the edge of the sink as he dropped the bullet into it with a shaking hand. It was painful, but the relief was immediate as the wound began to close as it should. In addition, whatever had been wrong with his lung was resolving nicely, and he drew in a deep breath, still leaning over the sink to avoid messing up Reign's bathroom.
The black wolf, which took up a good chunk of the bathroom, gave an odd canine laugh and sat back on his haunches and grinned, letting his tongue loll out of his mouth before playfully growling.
Sirius, aware of his neighbor's discomfort sat beside Kem, much like he would for Reign when she was up set. That fascinated Drew, who just stayed where he was. He supposed he -could- help but he'd have to shift, be naked, and if the cops wandered in be impossible to explain. Besides, he felt safer this way.
He heard the bullet land in the sink, he could smell Kem, he could smell the blood again and he could smell... silver. He growled again, but more defensive than aggressive and backed away from the sink and the bullet.
Those bastards had -known- and that worried Drew.
It was a pretty miserable way to spend the next few hours, all in all. He eventually moved to sit on the lowered toilet seat, his hand extended over the sink while it continued to slowly knit. He considered how to pass the time and finally settled on a course of action - or nonaction - signaling to the werewolf by holding a finger up to his lips.
"Let me see if I can't speed this up a bit," he murmured, his voice hardly above a whisper.
Resting his good arm on his legs, he focused first on Reign and sent to her, hoping it didn't startle her.
[Reign, don't be alarmed. But the knife in the yard. It's not theirs.]
He needed that knife back. He didn't want to leave any evidence behind that could interfere with any story Reign was telling.
Next he focused on the louder of the two cops, the one who seemed to truly be in charge of the proceedings. This was harder; he'd never tried to glamour someone like this before but, bracing his forehead on his good hand, he began to slowly insinuate emotions that would make this go faster. Confidence and faith in what Reign said; indignation and anger that she should be attacked in her own home; concern that she be able to get some peace.
Everything faded out a little bit as he focused past the annoyance of his knitting hand and the bullet that grated in his shoulder. It took a lot of concentration and he was beginning to get a headache on top of everything else, but eventually the various trucks began to pull away, the voices of paramedics, cops, detectives, and everyone else faded.
He heard Reign claim that she was going to call her neighbor to come spend the night with her for insurance, and he opened his eyes to the curious expression on the black wolf's face as the bathroom door finally opened hours later.
Finally all the cops, the ME s, the CSI s (who weren't nearly as much fun as the ones on TV) finally packed their bags and left. She'd managed to call Janie and her lawyer and head off the press. Although, Janie was freaking out. After all this was twice in about a year.
Everyone gone, migraine still throbbing, she opened the bathroom door and Sirius half charged her. Drew raised his head from his paws and both cocked his head and whined at her. Reign just wasn't in any mood to translate wolf. She jabbed a finger at him.
"Go get yourself together. And don't come back until you have -only- two feet."Â?
She then turned to her neighbor who seemed, mostly OK.
"Right... so you're a vampire and you're hurt. What do you need and don't say blood."Â?
No point pulling ay punches after all.
He held out his good hand, the half-mended one still dangling over the sink. "Knife would be helpful, please," he said tiredly. "There's a bullet stuck in my shoulder."
He may as well explain what he wanted it for; no point in either trying to hide, or alarming her by asking for a weapon. He glanced down at his torn tee, which was liberally stained in several places now.
Then she chased Sirius out of the bathroom, and hearing Drew turn on the shower, she then closed the door. Leaving them alone in the bathroom.
"You won't say it, but you need it don't you? Get the bullet out and then take what you need."Â?
She said decisively, leaving very little room for disagreement. Kem wasn't dying on her watch. Or burst into flames or whatever it was vampires did. She liked him, she liked Aishe and neighbors didn't let neighbors bleed out. She just hoped Kem could be quick about things, her gut said Drew wouldn't approve.
He felt around on his shoulder for the spot the bullet had come to rest in and then winced as he slid the knife into his skin, still tender from recently healing. He cut deeply, until he felt metal against metal, and then placed the knife in the sink, once more reaching into his own flesh to fish around. To distract himself he looked up at Reign, brows raised.
"Are you offering?"
Kem wasn't completely opposed to feeding himself. Not when he was in need and definitely not when it was freely given. And yet he wouldn't take Reign up on her offer if there was even the slightest hesitation. He wasn't so low in supply that he couldn't wait a night or two. While it would certainly speed up the healing process, and he'd be far better off for it, his need wasn't desperate. He was in no life-threatening danger from the bullet wounds.
While he waited for Reign's answer he pried the bullet out of his shoulder with gritted teeth and dropped it into the sink with the first one as his shoulder began to bleed anew. He shrugged it experimentally, grimaced, and dug around a little more until he found two smaller fragments.