Mama said knock you out
"Are you kidding me?"
JT was bent over with his hands on his knees, grinning at Cait. Standing at his full 6'7 height, he rolled his shoulders and chuckled.
"No, I'm not kidding. Come on." Cait pointed at him, raising her arm way up and shook her head. "Are you afraid you'll hurt me?"
"No, I'm afraid you'll hurt me!" she blurted out.
JT crossed the sparring circle and put his hands on Cait's shoulders. "You can't keep running. Especially with what's going on now. You have to be able to defend yourself and Charlie wants you to do this. Listen, what better way to learn than to fight the biggest guy on the team?"
"I do ok. I may not be able to out run you, but I can out maneuver you. I already have."
JT rolled his eyes up, remembering Indiana. "That doesn't count."
"Uh, yeah it does. I got away from you then."
"I won't hurt you. Well, I'll throw you around a little bit maybe."
"Oh, HELL no."
Backing up, he lifted his hands. "What happens if you're cornered, what will you do then?"
Cait seemed to consider what JT said, her face pinched up into a scared and annoyed grimace.
"I'll show you a few moves to get out of a hold or if you're pinned down." Cait narrowed her eyes at him, the rest of her face smoothing out. "Just remember, just because you're smaller than I am, doesn't make you incapable of beating me. Use your size and your speed. You can run fast as fuck, but try applying it to physical combat."
Cait sighed heavily and rolled her eyes. "Alright-" she started to reply when JT rushed her with all three hundred pounds of him.
"Oh my christ," she mumbled exactly ten seconds after starting. JT had knocked her to the ground and was straddling her hips, crushing her spine. "So...heavy," she grunted.
"You're not trying," he said in a stern voice.
JT leaned forward and put his hands over her shoulders, talking to her now covered in dirt face. "You're not always going to have a chance to be ready, Cait. You could have done a dozen things to avoid me."
"Air...," she gasped.
He rolled off her and pushed her body over onto her back. Sitting criss-crossed, he put his hands on his knees, brushing the dirt off his black exercise pants.
Cait took a deep breath and began to cough, sucking in the sweet air. "I don't see...how this is even REMOTELY fair."
"It's never going to be a fair fight. Not against a Piper or anyone else out there wanting to get to you girls."
She snorted and looked at JT. "I haven't been a girl for quite some time, JT. I'm 38."
"Well, you're so small."
Leaning over, she punched him in the stomach, making him laugh. "Fucker. Alright." Sitting up slowly, she painfully made it back to her feet. "Show me again."
JT stood up quickly with a smile on his face. He started to say something, but then nodded over her shoulder, making her turn to see who was coming up.
There wasn't anyone there, of course.
JT grabbed her tightly from behind and lifted her off her feet. The next thing she knew, she was parallel with the dirt...again...as he threw her to the ground, stopping just an inch from smashing her face, specifically breaking her nose.
"Oh dear god, YES - YES I SEE IT," she yelped loudly as she hovered over the ground. "I think I'm going to pee in my pants!"
He started to chuckle and righted her again, planting her slowly onto her feet. "Either from that prone position or standing, you have got to learn to instinctively turn your face to the side to avoid being hit directly in the face. Not only can it break your nose, but it can clean knock out you and once that happens, you lose completely control over everything. Your surroundings. Your body."
Cait felt her body tremble with adrenaline, genuinely scared at how quickly JT had managed to incapacitate her again and put the fear of bodily intrusion in her all in two seconds. She moved away from him, pulling her arms roughly out of his without looking at him.
"Nothing. I get it." Her anxiety began to simmer to a nice boil as she fought with the fear. The reminder of how dangerous a world she was living in with the werewolves was almost debilitating.
"Cait," JT said slowly, "have you ever been attacked like that before?"
She shook her head and tried to let the tension roll off her shoulders. She still could not look at him. "No, never. That's sort of the point of me freaking the fuck out right now, JT."
Suddenly her right arm was grabbed and it twisted her around, but this time she fed on the fear and anxiety, balling up her left fist and punched JT, square in the mouth. He immediately let go and took a step back.
"Shit, I'm sorry," she immediately said, and regretted, since her left hand was beginning to throb.
JT smiled as he reached up and touched his fattening top lip. Cait watched as the smile slowly fell off of JT's face and he balled his fists.
"Oh shit," she yelped as he came at her again.
"Are you angry or scared?"
"Ok, you're doing good, but you're just flailing and getting lucky. How's your hand now," he said nodding to her left hand.
"Hurts like a mother...it hurts."
JT grinned. "Don't censor yourself on my account. I mean, you haven't up until this point at least."
Cait blew a raspberry and flexed her hands. "I'm ok, but they're sore."
"Just remember to keep your thumb up level with the side of your fingers. You ball it up, it'll be the first thing that hits whatever and you'll break it." Wiping his face, he pointed down to his legs. "You might as well ignore the top half of me. If I can connect a hit with my hand, I can one-hit you and that's it. Keep as low to the ground as you can and go for my legs. Knee caps, instep, and...god forbid...the groin area. You'll never beat a Piper, but you can make them hurt long enough to where you can run. Ok?"
"Do you really want me to kick you in the nuts?"
"Oh god, no. No no, but you get my point?"
Cait straightened and smiled as she breathed heavily. "Ok, yeah."
Her hair was disheveled, parts of it out of her ponytail, and she was covered in dirt, but her smile was bright and happy. She was proud of herself and so was he, for that matter. She didn't bother to wipe the dirt off her face and seemed genuinely more confident about her ability to protect herself.
"You still have a long way to go though, Cait. It's good to be defensive, but tomorrow we'll work on your offensive moves, ok?" She nodded happily. Moving closer to her, he lifted her arms and pointed at her joints. "Your elbow is your strongest bone."
"Yes, I went to elementary school, JT."
"Just listen," he whined, "you can crush a man's throat, nose or rib with it. A lot of damage. You don't have that much weight to throw into a punch, but an elbow to the face stings like a motherfucker. Same with your knee."
"Can I break your nose, too?"
"What do you mean 'too'? I told you, not the nuts, not the nose!"
Cait just grinned slyly when a familiar scent floated by him.
LT unzipped his hoodie and tossed it onto one of the deck porches before stepping onto the dirt. After drinking himself into a stupor the Friday night before at The Howl, LT woke up in his own bed instead of Carol's. From what he could remember, he was definitely at the Howl with her, but then the rest was a blur once he really got to drinking, which admittedly he didn't do that often. Get that drunk, that is. The irritation that seemed to hover just above his shoulders settled into his bones as he got closer to the circle and the painful grunting mixed in with laughing filtered into the wind.
JT and Caitlinn broke off and began talking as JT seemed to recover from a lucky kick in the stomach. He listened as he advised her, making LT roll his eyes. LT had just over ten years on JT age wise, but twenty five at being a Piper. Why, of all people, would Charlie not just train Caitlinn himself or ask LT?
He got within thirty feet of them when JT stepped closer to Caitlinn, putting his hands on her arms. It made LT pick up his pace, a shot of bitter annoyance pushing him. Caitlinn was Charlie's plaything, not JT's. Finally the taller Piper's senses kicked in and turned to look at LT as he approached. Wearing all black UnderArmor, long sleeves and pants, JT straightened his posture and tried dusting the dirt off his clothes.
"Lieutenant," JT said with a hard expression.
LT flicked a look at JT but focused in on Caitlinn. "Charlie know you two are out here?"
He could see Caitlinn wanting to roll her eyes at him, but instead took a deep breath. "Uh-yeah," she said giving him a bland look. "We're done though."
"Done doing what? Playing around?"
"Just teaching her a little self defense, LT," JT replied in an even tempered voice.
"Big blue stuff, JT? That's cute."
Why was he purposely antagonizing JT? Part of LT wanted to back up and move along, but the rest of him felt like being a dick. He felt that way a lot around Caitlinn and JT - curious that the two of them would annoy him all that much. With JT it was a reminder of who was in charge, despite JT's lineage. But Caitlinn? He just couldn't help fucking with her.
"Want me to play teacher, Cait?" LT smiled and leaned closer to Caitlinn, letting his statement take whatever meaning she wanted.
"LT," JT said in a warning voice, making LT snap his eyes up at the younger Piper.
JT moved his hand, pushing Caitlinn away from the two of them. LT's face filled up with hate. "Why don't you and I show her how real wolves fight?"
"Uh, listen. I'm good. I have to go meet Charlie anyway."
"No, no, Cait," LT said, bringing his attention back to her. "I'd be happy to show you a few things."
"Oh come on," she finally said, rolling her eyes.
JT moved in front of Caitlinn, looking down from his extra four inches that he had on LT.
"Stand down, Piper," LT said, using every bit of authority in his voice, but JT made no move. His face was tight and his body tense. "This isn't Canada, JT. You carry exactly zero weight around here."
"And this is the Sergeant's mate," JT said quietly, leaning forward.
LT felt his hackles rise and the wolf in him scratched just beneath his skin. Taking four steps back, LT watched the relief cross JT's face, that was until LT stripped his t-shirt off and assumed the position at the half line of the sparring circle. Wordlessly, LT lifted a hand and beckoned JT over like a dog.
It wasn't what he was expecting. Lewis' dreams were boring, he realized, at least to other people. What he meant by dark for him was considerably less so for others and when he met Charlie in his dream, it lacked the anticipated climax that he had been expecting.
Every minute or so, Lewis panned his eyes across the monitors - watching Red and Marko for a split second and then the streaming information in the rest. He left one up with more than a dozen split screens from cameras all over the property. His eye caught and registered JT and Caitlinn training out on the Run. They practiced for a good thirty minutes before they wrapped it up. In the corner of his eye he saw LT standing on the back porch facing the sparring circle. Without thinking, Lewis moved his hands and turned up the audio on the two cameras.
"OH SNAP!" Red yelled, pulling eyes away from the monitor.
"Cheating!" Marko said in his strangely polite voice as Red stood up out of his chair and began humping Lewis' console.
"Red...quit it. Come on," Lewis said, grabbing onto his desk.
"HAHA," Red yelled out, pointing at Marko who sat back in his chair with a pronounced huff.
Lewis snorted as Red began dancing next to Marko, obviously the victor in the game. Lewis finally looked up and paid attention to what they were doing and grinned.
"Oh oh, best of three?" he asked Red who snapped his fingers and threw Lewis a controller.
"I'm gonna make you my bitch, Lewis."
"I don't know what that means," Lewis replied half listening to his ear piece and watching the xbox monitor.
"Can I break your nose, too?"
"What do you mean 'too'? I told you, not the nuts, not the nose!"
Lewis smiled and looked back at the monitor as he played against Red and saw that the LT had left the view of his camera. Red began jumping up and down, mimicking the noises from the military first person shooter game when LT's voice came through his earpiece.
"Big blue stuff, JT? That's cute. Want me to play teacher, Cait?"
Lewis turned fully away from the game, dying in the process and causing Red to woot and holler. "Red, shut up a sec." Putting the controller down, he slid his chair over and focused in on the camera with JT and Cait.
"Whoa, whoa...what's going on?" Red asked quietly, moving behind Lewis.
"Why don't you and I show her how real wolves fight?"
"Aw crap," Lewis moaned and picked up his phone, sending Charlie a message. Red and Marko jumped up from their position behind Lewis and raced through the door of the Situation Room.
"No, no, Cait. I'd be happy to show you a few things."
Lewis looked at his phone, willing Charlie to pick up his end. He was at Duibne for some reason or another and left JT with Cait, but no one planned on LT stepping in, forcing a fight. Finally, Charlie picked up.
"Hey, Lewis, what's-"
"Dude you need to get here, right now. Right this second. LT and JT are fighting and Cait's with him." Lewis looked up at the screen and turned up the audio for Charlie to hear.
Cait's voice chimed in, annoyed. "Oh come on."
"Stand down, Piper. This isn't Canada, JT. You carry exactly zero weight around here."
Charlie cursed and then hung up.
Lewis winced, putting his phone down. He began to see the other Pipers running out the back deck of the Den, heading for the sparring circle. Red just could not keep his mouth shut. The door behind him opened and the familiar scent made his balls want to crawl up into his stomach.
"Lewis? What's going on?"
Turning, Lewis faced the Commander, Viv, and the Beta. "JT and the LT, sir," was all Lewis said.
"Shit," Viv cursed and backed out of the door with Brig and the Beta following closely behind her.
Cait gulped and flinched at the glare JT was giving Lothias. It wasn't long before Red and the other Pipers crowded the circle, taking bets. JT stood silently next to Cait, but even she could feel the anger radiating from him.
"JT," Cait said softly as he took a step toward LT. "JT wait a second." Reaching out, she grabbed his arm, making him look back at her quickly. She immediately let go of his arm and lifted her hands.
"I don't know what exactly you two are experiencing, but you have to remember," Cait stepped close and whispered up JT, making him lean down so she could say it in his ear. "That's not him, not really, but you can't win."
JT pulled back and gave her a strange expression. "Why the hell not?"
"Listen, even I know how precarious a wolf's position can be in a pack, even an Alpha's. Just...you can't usurp his position."
It was a guess, but Cait figured it was a damn good one. JT couldn't win this fight, not if he didn't want to change the position of power within their leadership. JT took a deep breath and let his expression waver from angry to compassionate.
"Especially not now," and Cait nodded toward Vivienne and their leadership walking quickly to the circle. "Don't fuck with the balance of things, not until we figure out what's going on."
Cait had said it all as softly as humanly possible, but she knew JT could hear every word standing next to her. She hoped the other Pipers couldn't. Behind their Leadership was Matthew, sprinting up to the circle and JT.
"Charlie's on his way."
"He won't be able to stop this. Nothing will. I don't have a choice now," JT said stepping backwards toward the inner circle. Matthew moved up next to Cait and turned his back on the others.
"Did you see-" Cait began to ask as Matthew pulled her slightly away.
"Yeah, I did. That's not LT. He's not this aggressive or confrontational. He doesn't need to be."
"How do you feel?"
Matthew seemed to think it over as he turned to face the group gathering for the fight. "I'm fine. This is going to end badly, Cait. This is their first fight - it sets a lot of precedence."
"I know, I told him. Balance of power and shit. That's pack-like, right?"
He smiled at her. "Yeah, good call."
"Are you still having dreams?"
"Yes, but not of you. It's glorious code again."
Cait's felt her disappointment crawl up her shoulders. "You don't know how sad I am to hear that."
Matthew looked down at her and shrugged. "Why would you want me to be dreaming of you?"
She sighed and hugged Matthew's arm. "God so gorgeous but so clueless," she chuckled.
"I don't understand-"
Red stepped into the circle and raised his arms, looking at both JT and LT. "Prison rules, till one is down and stays down?"
The men surrounding the circle hooted and hollered, excited for the fight to begin. Cait tried to catch Vivienne's eye but she was staring with an unfocused look at the center of the circle. Her face was void of any type of expression.
"What's with Vivienne?" Cait asked, lifting her chin in the other woman's direction.
"Oh, she has what's called jungle sense. She can get a read on people, see who's stronger or a better target."
"Yeah but I'm worried about what she sees. LT is leadership and a direct, but JT's the son of an Alpha, an Alpha Inherit. I bet their dead even."
"Ugh, this is so bad."
"Have you noticed anything different with LT the last couple of months?"
Brig raised his eyebrows and gave it thought as he turned his back on the crowd. "He's much more aggressive, but I attributed that to the Hammerthynn side of him. Directs are all a little like both families and Lothias has always been straight down the middle."
"Look at Hammer, he's not aggressive, he's indifferent. Besides, LT's change in personality isn't just how he is with the other Pipers."
"What do you mean? With women? He's with Carol." Brig turned and looked back at LT. "Has he changed...towards you, you mean?"
"You've seen it, Brig," Viv said softly, looking up at her mate.
Brig lowered his eyes and Viv saw his jaw muscles tense as he began to grind his teeth, looking at his nephew. "That's not like him. He's never been that way."
"Yeah well, now he is."
On more than one occasion Lothias had teetered precariously close to crossing the line with Viv. More times than she probably realized. Flirting was one thing, LT was a Jameson, but as the Commander's mate, Viv shouldn't even be on his radar.
"Besides that, this is their first fight. With your brothers here, it could set a precedent that could disrupt things."
Brig finally looked back at her with his steel blue eyes. "You mean the way Shayle's been eying up JT. You think it might be for something more?"
Viv didn't get the chance to answer as JT and LT rushed each other in a fury not seen in regular Piper sparring. For the other Pipers this was a game, but Viv knew better - the result of the fight could shake the foundation of the Core of Pipers in the US - the heir apparent for the next Commander and the Alpha without a pack.
JT learned during his early Piper training that the 'Directs' held a control over blood relatives that rivaled the authority of an Alpha. Directs were Alphas - there was no other way to explain it. Pipers were trained to obey and follow Direct leaders and he felt this whenever LT spoke, but there were times, like now, that the Alpha in JT had to assert his own power. His mind buzzed with Caitlinn's warnings - disrupting the cement that held together the authority Directs held over their commands. It was more than just upsetting the apple cart.
To this point JT and LT fought with everything in them, easily equal in prowess and ability. More than once JT caught the concerned expression on Vivienne's face and flat out terror on Caitlinn's. JT was only reacting naturally - Cait had been his direct order from his Sergeant -protect her against all enemies - friend or foe and that included the Lieutenant. Charlie had seen something in JT, something that went far and beyond the US solider and de facto Alpha. JT would not fail him, but the man in him knew that beating LT within an inch of life would change things drastically and he completely understood why Alphas never served.
LT came at him, his swings more powerful than JT had expected, but whatever was twisting LT's mind was feeding the rage in his body. Deflecting the hits as best he could, JT stepped in again and let a strong, perfectly aimed right hook almost break LT's jaw, stunning him back almost onto the ground. JT's eyes flicked up and his already racing heart almost stopped at seeing the crowd that had gathered.
Shayle and Vincent Jameson stood quietly behind the Commander and Beta, watching with shrewd eyes.
Pulling up the drive, he left his Piper SUV at the circle near the front entrance and took a step toward the Tikerak before stopping. Slamming the door shut, he ran into the the entrance and toward the lower levels where the Pipers kept their Situation Room and offices. Running past Lewis' console, his eye caught the cameras and he stopped short, watching the fight unfold. JT towered over Lothias, but LT had speed and power behind his attacks. A huge crowd of Pipers were on the edge of the sparring circle, along with Caitlinn, Vivienne, and when Charlie leaned in close, his jaw dropped and he tore away from the console to the storage rooms.
LT came at JT with a long leg and kicked him square in the stomach, forcing the taller man back. It was a one sided fight; for every ten hits, JT countered with one and the strength with which the younger Piper hit was enough to stun LT every single time. JT was stronger, bigger, and an Alpha. LT's instincts were telling him to back off, but something in him was telling him to rip the motherfucker's head off and that voice was getting louder in his head.
He barely noticed the others standing at the fray of their sparring circle. Scents floated by him, but none more pungent than Caitlinn's. Stepping back, LT inhaled deeply and looked directly at her. Her brown eyes were on JT, a complete and utterly devastating look of worry creased her face, and LT wondered if maybe she didn't care about JT. What if he had stepped in in time before JT and Cait went back to her room and did god knows what. Where was Charlie and why was she staring at JT?
Charlie was LT's best friend and quite possibly the closest thing to a brother he would ever have. There wasn't anything LT wouldn't do for Charlie. They grew up together, suffered the loss of their parents together, and as men led the Alpha's Pipers together. Caitlinn wasn't worthy of a man like Charlie. That's when LT felt his feet take another step back and move toward Caitlinn. Now her eyes were on him. Now she saw that LT knew what was going on.
"LT?" he heard someone say. "What are you-"
The wolf in him began to tear through his skin, pushing out at an incredible speed as he kept his eye on Caitlinn who was backing up away from the circle's edge.
"Shayle," Hammer said in his soft grunting voice.
"Come to watch the show," his mate asked in her less than polite joking.
"Is that what this is? An Alpha and a Direct kicking the shit out of each other for fun?"
Brig felt his mate bristle angrily beside him, but he ignored his brother. "This is just their first fight. Doesn't mean anything."
"Doesn't it, Brian?"
Brig felt his bawls crawl as his mother's scent floated by. Turning slowly he looked back and saw Vigo and his parents walk up to the sparring circle. Slowly Viv's fingers grabbed his forearm and squeezed. Brig flicked his eyes back at Vincent who refused to make eye contact.
"This is why you're here?" Brig asked, tipping his head back toward the fight which was escalating.
"We're just here to watch the show, Brian," Shayle said flicking his eyes back at the fight.
"LT?" Viv called out next to him.
Brig's eyes snapped to his nephew who was staring at Charlie's mate, Caitlinn. The look of pure hate and feral aggression had seeped into his normally reserved nephew and Lieutenant.
"What are you doing-?" Viv said louder, forcing everyone to move back as his nephew transformed into his wolf form, all four hundred pounds of red fur and rock hard muscle.
"Lieutenant!" Brig called out, using every bit of his authority, making LT pause and snap his massive jaws shut.
Then it got worse.
JT was there to protect Cait from the Pipers.
The clear, defining difference between JT and the other Pipers was his heritage. Long distant Jameson relative, but a pure Alpha and the only one to serve. It made JT resistant to the blood memory, making being around Simon as easy as being around another Piper. JT was also Charlie's second now that Charlie had stepped back up into his Sergeant position, and who else would he trust more than JT to protect his mate?
Hammer addressed Shayle, forcing Viv to turn her eyes back. "Come to watch the show?" she asked not as politely as she probably should have. She didn't like Shayle, but that would be per the norm with mates and brothers. She knew Shayle saw her as nothing but one of Brig's conquests he just happened to knock up.
Cait was standing to her left with Lewis at her side. Further in the circle JT and LT continued with their vicious beating when suddenly LT turned and looked back at them. The concentrated expression on LT's face changed and he took a step toward Cait as his face colored with such hatred that Viv called out to him, despite the shit storm that was happening with Brig and his family.
"What are you doing-?" she called out, but was cut off by LT's almost instantaneous change. There was a rush of Pipers moving forward and pushing Cait back - Brig yelling in his Commander voice, momentarily confusing the Pipers who responded to the harshness of their Commander's voice. Viv twisted back and put her arm back across Cait just as Lewis stepped in front of her as well when JT in wolf form pummeled LT's broadside with all five hundred pounds of his gigantic form.
In the back of Viv's head, she heard her calm voice say 'This shit just got out of control.'
LT and JT began to claw and bite, pushing the crowd back and out of the way. Brig turned and stood in front of his mother while still reaching out to Viv, bless his heart, but she shook her head and fell on top of Cait with Lewis and Marko stepping in front.
"GET UP," Viv yelled in Cait's face and the human wasted no time scurrying away with Viv's help. The terror was real in Cait's face, but she knew when to get the fuck up and run instead of scream.
Fur and blood began to fly as Hammer and Brig stepped forward, yelling commands just as Charlie stepped over Cait and Viv and pointed a gun at the two wolves, shooting both. LT was on the verge of clamping down on JT's throat to tear it out when the sleep darts hit them both. The momentum of their lunges pushed them together in a heap on top of each other, sound asleep.
Standing over Viv and Cait, he knelt down and put his hand on Viv's shoulder, lifting her off his mate. Viv did a double take at him and then helped Cait off the ground. "You two alright?" he asked as Marko came over and took the gun from Charlie and unloaded it.
Cait reached up and grabbed at his button up shirt. "Jesus Christ," she mumbled, but nodded. Charlie touched her face and then moved her to the side, giving her to Lewis who came up behind her.
Charlie and the rest of Leadership walked up to the sleeping LT and JT in their wolf form. The smell of blood and spit permeated the air. The Commander lifted his head and looked at Red. Red immediately took over and dismissed the Pipers, escorting Mrs. Jameson and Cait back to the Den. Viv came up on the fray of the circle and narrowed her eyes down at the men.
"Good thinking, Sergeant," Shayle, Charlie's adoptive father, said. Charlie flicked his eyes up at him, but did not respond. Nothing to be proud of, considering he just had to put down his Lieutenant and second hand. "So what just happened, Brig?"
Their Commander was silent, his fury boiling to an almost impossible point. Charlie looked over at Atlas, the other Sergeant and the large black Piper met his eyes. They both knew how this was going to go down. LT would be pulled from duty, same as JT, and it would force Charlie to step up and take over LT's duties with Atlas doing the same. They were both silent as Shayle kept poking at Brig.
"Your command is in serious jeopardy here, Brig."
"Really, Shayle? Two boys just can't have a tiff?" Vivienne offered from her precarious position on the edge.
Shayle ignored her, as per the norm, and looked to Duncan. "LT needs to step down."
"Oh you'd like that, wouldn't you, Shayle," Brig said in an angry whisper.
"I don't like anything here, Brian. All I see is a command out of control. Your LT just went apeshit."
"That LT is your nephew, our dead brother's son."
"I could care less who his father is or was, this is about the Alpha and his Pipers."
"That's enough," the Beta said staring down at the sleeping wolves with his lone eye.
"Beta," Shayle started, but then Duncan reached out and grabbed his son by the collar, pulling his face close.
"Do not embarrass me further."
Charlie's eyes moved over to Vincent who was silent, but standing off to the side, arms crossed and staring out at the trees. His presence on the property seemed to upset Vivienne more than anyone else, but Charlie found it curious the youngest Jameson direct was even in the city. Charlie hadn't gotten the chance to talk to him yet, but the whisper of something...a feeling he was getting from Vincent...told him he should and very soon.
"Take care of this," the Beta said pointing at their Commander. Then looking directly at Shayle, the Beta added, "With me. Now."
Leadership moved away from the ring, leaving Vivienne, Charlie, Atlas, and the Commander to deal with JT and LT's sleeping forms.
"Charlie," Brig started.
"I'll talk to the men, pull Red up, and wait for your word," Charlie said immediately, already knowing what needed to be done. Charlie would step up now and assume LT's duties and pull Red back into the Sergeant slot temporarily.
"My hand is yours," Atlas said barely turning his head toward Charlie, knowing his position changed as well.
Charlie and Atlas knelt down and picked up the sleeping wolves easily, carrying them back toward the Den. Brig kept his eye on the ground as they left. Viv moved from behind him and waited patiently for him to acknowledge her.
"This has to do with Siberia, doesn't it," Brig asked without looking at her. She neither objected or responded, meaning it did. "You found something out there, didn't you? Something that explains what just happened?" Again she didn't respond. The slow throb of a headache began to grow behind his eyes, creasing his expression into pain.
"No, I didn't find anything and this has nothing to do with Siberia."
Brig looked up at her and nodded, feeling the pain recede a tiny bit. "Talk to him and let me know what you find out." He paused and then took her hand as he guided them back to the Den, "Whatever you can tell me."
"Aye, sir," she said, pulling his arm into a hug as they walked away from the sparring circle.
((OOC - All out))