Fools or Kings (Attn Xeph)
Continues from Nachton Airport - The Elders
Vigo and Duncan walked into the Den with the three new Pipers and was immediately met by his great nephew Lothias as well as the rest of the Pipers.
"Gentlemen," Lothias said, holding his hand out to Vigo. His bags were taken by a young Piper he recognized as Marko, the closest Hammerthynn descendant currently within the Alpha's Piper ranks. Shaking Lothias' hand, he looked around and noted the beautiful log style cabin with an unflinching response.
"LT," he said as Lothias turned to his grandfather who shook his hand and then pulled his grandson into a bear hug.
"Good to see you so soon again, boy," Duncan said with a smile. "You should call your grandmother more."
"Yes, sir," LT said with a blush.
"The Alpha?" Vigo asked as Hammer and Brig entered the Den behind them. His daughter had disappeared, choosing not to ride along with them, and for as disappointed as he was in the situation, he couldn't blame her after Duncan had ripped into her.
Hammer closed the double entry doors. "Xeph would be down at his home right now with his mate and his son. Did you want to clean up first? Rest?"
Vigo narrowed his eye at his son and pulled at the door, opening it again. "Have I ever, Hammer? Leave our bags here; we'll get them once we return from speaking to the Alpha."
Vigo felt the sneer of anger ripple across his snout as he looked at his son. Hammer, being polite, only insulted him with the gesture. You lead, you suffer, and then you move the fuck on. Elders didn't take vacations, they didn't take breaks, and they didn't need to rest after a measly six hour flight. Hammer should have known better, and if he repeated this mistake again, Vigo would gladly remind him.
And with that, he stepped back out into the early evening as the sun began to sink behind the trees on the property. Adjusting his leather jacket, he stepped off the front porch and waited for Hammer to show him the way.
Quietly, Hammer reminded him of his place. "I extended you a courtesy, Elder Hammerthynn, as Beta of this pack, second of this house. Please don't forget that."
Vigo's face tightened for a moment and then he took a step back, nodding in respect. "Thank you, Beta."
Hammer turned and walked away letting that moment sink in for his father. Their relationship had never been pleasant, not after his mother died. It changed his father into something harder and colder than he had ever seen before. When a ten year old boy needed his father, Vigo wasn't there, would never be there, ever again. Hammer relied on his uncle and cousin for emotional support, but Duncan couldn't be his father. No one but Vigo and he was not interested.
This was the Hammerthynn way, but Hammer hoped that his only son could change that.
Hammer led them down the dirt path to Xeph's enormous log cabin home that he had planned on filling with children. It put a smile on his face to feel something as simple as a house could warm up the cold chill even in the dead of winter. His grandson would be nearing two months now and he found himself excited to see the little Hammer, a nickname he privately called the boy, and Hammer wondered to himself how Vigo would react to his great-grandson.
As they walked the path to the entry way, he slowed down and waited for the rest of them. Duncan was walking side by side with Vigo, Brig was speaking softly to LT and then there was Red. He was filling in for Charlie as Sergeant, and as far as Hammer could see, Red was doing exemplary. The void was still there though, not having the soft spoken Sergeant.
Pulling out his phone he sent her a message, asking where she was and letting her know he was missing her. His phone vibrated softly with a return message of her kissing a picture of him. Then another with her eyes narrowed at him. He understood - she loved him but hated everything and everyone else. He touched her face on the screen and returned his phone to pocket.
Catching up to the LT and Red, he asked his acting Sergeant what he thought of the situation. "Thoughts?"
Red raised his eyebrows and sighed. "They are so different, seeing them from this close to the inner circle."
Brig nodded and put his large hand on Red's shoulder. "Gets easier."
"But this is temporary, I thought. Once Charlie gets better, he'll step back in. Right?"
"Don't worry about that right now. Just do the job. You know what's expected of you."
"Aye, sir," Red replied without question.
The group slowed as Hammer waited for them at the walkway up to the front entry. Looking up at the sky, Brig noticed the time and nodded to his cousin. He passed the group and stepped onto the porch to announce the group. He knocked firmly on the door, but did not want to disturb the Alpha's mate or their newborn son, but given the size of the home, he doubted they'd even hear them enter.
Still, it hurt him to see Vigo and Hammer at odds, silently pushing one another. Vigo always made Hammer prove he was worth the title of Beta, always forcing Hammer to flex that muscle when it wasn't necessary. Duncan's relationship with his own son was easy, comfortable. All his boys were similar in their demeanor - easy going men, yet driven. Especially with his oldest, but now things were changing and he could feel it.
Brig fell too easily in love, marrying only human women on whims, divorcing the second the high of a new romance faded. He knew his son had told none of the women what he truly was, which always gave Brig an easy out. Never any children (Duncan had always checked up on that) and nothing lost financially that couldn't easily be regained. He was the only son that did not seem like he was going to ever settle down and give him grandchildren, and as the oldest, that was Brig's duty.
Now...now he was engaged to another werewolf and ready to settle down and have the family Duncan had been wanting so badly for his son. Duncan would be immensely pleased, knowing this would be it for his son, had it not been for one helluva snag.
Vivienne Sena. Of all the people, Vivienne.
Closing his eyes, he shook his head slightly, aghast at what his son had done. With the dread he felt, guilt rose up and made its self known to him. She was Vigo's adopted daughter and Duncan was looking down his nose at her, but he had afforded his brother in law a reasonable amount of latitude when dealing with her and Vigo had always given him the courtesy of not being directly involved in whatever the other Elder delegated to her. But Vivienne?
They came to a stop at the door and Brig passed them without a word, approaching the front entry door and knocking. The time for fighting over the woman was not now. Now was the presenting of the great grandson of the Family Hammerthynn and the welcoming into the family of the Alpha. Oh it had been a long several months.
Things had definitely changed. He wasn't nervous, exactly... just maybe a little apprehensive.
He opened the door, a smile on his face like usual, and greeted his guests, gesturing for them to come in.
"Elders. Welcome to the Den, and to Nachton." He stood aside, inviting them into his home. "Brig, dad."
The last was soft but emphasized. He wasn't going to pretend. He wasn't intimidated by the Elders. They may be Elders, but to him, they were submissive.
Vigo and Duncan nodded and shook Xeph's hand as they entered the home. Duncan made the polite murmurs of being a guest as Vigo stood beside him in silent agreement. Turning around, he nodded for LT and Red to come in and they brought up the rear, closing the door behind them.
"The Elders just flew in and wanted to speak to you immediately and hopefully see Noah. I hope we're not intruding?"
Vigo needed a ray of light in his otherwise dim yet focused existence. He needed to see his great grandson.
Vigo cleared his throat and nodded. "If at all possible, I would very much like to see your son. My great grandson," he added quickly. "And of course convey my congratulations to you and your mate."
"Of course," he said with the wide smile of a proud new father. Nodding, he led the group into the spacious great room of the cabin, where a cheerful fire burned in the fireplace and his beautiful mate sat in a comfortable rocking chair, holding their tiny new pup.
Xeph crossed the space to Nikhila, unconsciously drawn to her, and stood behind her with his hands on her shoulders. She knew the Elders were coming; the visit was no surprise to her either.
"Nikhila, this is Vigo Hammerthynn and Duncan Jameson. Elders, my mate Nikhila and our son Noah."
He stood firm behind her; it didn't matter that Vigo and Duncan were trusted and respected Elders. Xeph was a new father and an Alpha. He was trying to tone it down, but he had a tendency to bristle at pretty much anyone who approached his family.
It wasn't hard to tell who was who even though she'd never met either Elder. She nodded politly and smiled at Noah's grandfather and the Pipers who'd come with. Not quite sure what to expect right now but understanding they'd want to meet the most recent addition to the family.
"Gentlemen, a pleasure. Welcome."
She wasn't going to voluntarily release her son to people she'd just met, well unless asked, but she did make sure to hold him so they could both get a good look at him easily.
"This is Noah."
She softly brushed back some downy hair from his forehead as she spoke.
Standing straight he gave her his most charming smile and put his hands behind his back. "My goodness, aren't you beautiful," he said to Nikhila.
"At ease, dad," Brig chuckled behind him. Even Vigo looked at him with his solitary eye and shook his head with the impression of a smile.
"Well then, let me get to the point. As Elder of the Jameson clan, Alpha, we wish to convey our most profound happiness and well wishes to you both and welcome the last son of the Hammerthynns. Our service is yours to command, our lives for your family, and we look forward to seeing the little Pup grow into a man."
Duncan took a step back and looked at Vigo who nodded.
Emma had been his world, even within days of meeting her, she was everything to him and always would be. He so looked forward to having her by his side, and when Hammer had been born within that first year, he could not have been happier; a strapping boy, chubby, and happy with hair like his mother. Vigo had his family and they were excited to have many more boys, but that never happened.
As the years went by, their attention focused on his son, especially since it looked like he'd be the only heir, but Vigo was fine with that. Hammer was everything a father could wish for in a boy and Vigo was proud of him.
Then, when Hammer was ten, Vigo returned home and found Emma dead in their kitchen. Looking back, it was probably an aneurysm, and at such a young age, she was gone. And with her took everything that Vigo had in him to go on. Hammer was just too young to understand and Vigo was ill equipped to deal with the boy emotionally, so he reverted to the only thing he knew how. Vigo shut his son out and dealt with the pain that wrapped itself like a suffocating blanket around his heart.
Duncan had been there for Hammer, and for that Vigo could not thank him enough, but try as his brother in law might, he could not be there for Vigo. No one could. Looking at Hammer then was only a reminder of what he had lost and Vigo just couldn't deal with that.
Clearing his throat, Vigo realized the room had gone silent, waiting on him. With a deep sigh, he took a tentative step and asked, "May I...hold him?"
Hammer took a step toward Nikhila and held his hands out quietly and smiled at her. Nikhila gently transferred the boy to Hammer's arms and then turned to him. "Don't forget to support his head, father," Hammer said quietly.
Vigo felt the lump in his throat immediately as Hammer slowly and carefully put his great grandson into his arms. He felt his face tighten holding the small baby and he felt a genuine smile creep across his face. "He's chubby like you were, Iov."
Hammer flinched and said, "That was a long time ago, father."
"Oh, but you don't ever forget." Vigo put his hand on Noah's chest and touched the boy's tiny chin with his huge fingers. His callused, silver scarred hands looked mangled next to Noah's soft baby skin. "I wish your mother could have seen him," Vigo whispered quietly.
"Me, too, father. Me, too."
His own father was standing there to oversee things. Xeph was conscious of the fact that four generations of Hammerthynns were in this room now. It was a heady feeling and it served to diffuse some of the protective instinct. This was his family. Even if some of them were missing. Even if he hadn't had the chance to know them all.
He said nothing; just let his father and grandfather enjoy their moment while he slipped his arm around Nikhila's waist.
She was struck by the fact that this was the first thing Hammer had said when seeing Noah. She easily transferred the boy to his grandfather who then transferred him to his great grandfather.
They were standing in their home with their son with her mate and she almost felt an intruder. She didn't need to be told that it wasn't often one saw this side of a Hammerthyn, at least these two. Aidan was in a class of his own, as would Nah be. She absently reached a hand back and took hold of Aidan's watching these big men being so enthralled and so careful with such a tiny boy.
Vigo looked up and at Hammer, then back at NIhila. "Ma'am," he said politely and gently handed Noah back to his mother. He took three steps back, Brig's father immediately staying by his side, and the cold chill of the Elder Hammerthynn returned.
"Thank you, Alpha. Ma'am. We'll not trouble you further. It's getting late and we'll leave you to your family, sir."
Brig flicked a look to Hammer who barely raised his eyebrows in response to his father's sudden change of disposition. The moment had come and had left as quickly.
Brig stepped up and addressed Xeph politely, "We'll get the Elders settled in and updated on the situation with the Sergeant. Good night." Brig and the Pipers nodded to Nikhila and both LT and Red escorted the Elders out together, side by side.
Walking up to Hammer, he nodded silently toward the door. "Need me?"
He reached out and pinched his grandson's chin softly, making Noah yawn and snuggle against his mother.
((OOC - They're moving on but not out))
His mismatched eyes flickered back and forth between Brig, Hammer, and the two Elders. Had they left something out? With everything that had been happening lately it seemed as though they should have more to discuss.
"It's not that late," he said with a smile to his father. "You're welcome to come back after dinner."
Xeph would have invited them to stay but he ate up in the Den with his family. It was important for them not to be absent at times like those. Xeph did not lead through word of mouth; he preferred to be with his wolves whenever he could and the great room of the Den was the perfect place for them all to come together as a Pack. Only when it was nearing bedtime, quiet time, did Xeph usually walk back down to the house so they could relax together.
"At any rate I'll see you up at the Den soon," he said. "I'd like to meet with Vigo and Duncan whenever they're ready."
There would be official meetings. That was how it worked. Family and Elders though they may be, Xeph referred to both the Elder wolves by their given names. He respected them but his position was still superior and the Alpha in him would not, could not, easily relinquish that sort of formality.
It was something she meant sincerely as Nikhila still occasionally wondered if by building the house Aidan had removed himself too far from the Pack. Although he did make a very deliberate effort not to be inaccessible. Of course, some days she thought it might be he just didn't approve of her cooking but that was another story. She enjoyed the feeling of the Pack around them and it was how Noah should grow up, not in a big house all alone but knowing all of the wolves around him.
That was, odd. It seemed like a lot of effort for so quick a visit. Nikhila frowned very faintly and adjusted Noah as he snuggled into her arms. She glanced curiously from Aidan to Hammer and raised a silent eyebrow at her mate. She could easily absent herself along with Noah if there was business to be discussed. She was used to that.
"Never an intrusion, you know that."
She said with a soft smile to Hammer while half prepared to settle back down for a bit before going over to the Den for dinner and half prepared to disappear downstairs.
"G'night," he said to them and walked out with Hammer who nodded to his son about dinner as they departed.
The lingering scents of their fathers were still fresh on the path back up to the Den. With a sigh Brig looked at Hammer and excused himself.
"I need to go find Viv."
"I would imagine so," Hammer replied with wry grin. "It at least went much better than I had figured it would."
"Definitely less bloodshed, yes." Clapping a hand onto Hammer's back, he trotted up the path, leaving his cousin to leisurely make the walk back up.
((OOC Brig and Hammer out))