Summer, PreYear Ten (7th Moon)

His head was spinning when he came to, but he managed his way to his feet anyway and blinked around the dark room. He tried to walk, but didn't get far - he hit the floor hard and just barely managed to catch himself. His legs were still wrapped up in the sheet. A sheet. That meant a bed. A rustling sparked his adrenaline and his eyes adjusted immediately to the dark. There was someone else in his bed. Another wave of spin hit him, hard, and he fell heavily to the ground. The figure in his bed shifted, then moved, then rose as it realized it was alone.

"Róan?"

The figure was at his side in moments, but what was that moving behind him? Attached, like an extra appendage....Like a tail. Without will, Róan screamed. Then a hand was over his mouth, roughly, though another stroked his shoulder in a calming sort of way.

"Róan, it's alright. It's alright, now, be quiet. Enough, alright. It's the middle of the night, still, and you'll wake the entire quarter. Be quiet." the last words were spoken with such force that Róan found himself obeying, and when he spoke, it was a whisper.

"You're a wolfe."

It was halfway an accusation, halfway a denial.

"Yes."

Panic set in immediately, and Róan began to struggle anew, which proved fruitless, as his captor much outstripped him in size and strength. Finally still, he asked,

"What do you want with me? Why am I here? I don't know anything, if that's what you think. And what I do know, I won't tell, so you may as well kill me now, you know."

"Róan." the word was again a command. "It's not like that."

Then there was something in the words, something in the way he spoke; in the way he moved his hands on Róan, gently, like a lover, and Róan just knew.

"Bastard."

This was not a struggle. Róan was determined to get free, or die in trying. Wisely, the larger male let him go. Immediately, Róan was as far away as he could manage while not yet free of the entangling sheet. He stopped with his back against the wall, breathing hard.

"You breached me." Róan's voice was plaintive, and the wolfe tilted his head to the side, analyzing this piece of information.

"You weren't -"

"Stay away from me!"

"Alright, Ro, take it easy."

"My name is Róan, and you stay the hell away from me. You touched me."

"Róan."

"Stay back! Keep away from me, or I swear you'll regret it."

The voice was irritatingly calm when it responded.

"Where are you going, Róan?"

Róan sensed a trick, and didn't respond.

"This room's not very large, you know. There are no windows. You don't know where the door is, and it's not to your advantage to get out anyway. There are thousands more of my kind here, and each and every one of them will bring you right back to me. You are in a wolvish compound. Your clan is gone, split up and moved on. You are alone."

Róan was proud of how little his voice wavered when he responded.

"I don't believe you."

"Really?"

The wolfe shifted his weight and Róan jumped a little, but held his ground.

"If the door weren't to my advantage, you wouldn't have tried to stop me."

The figure shrugged and moved, and now Róan could just barely make out some details in the night as he got to his feet - mostly impressions of size.

"Have at it."

Róan made a mad dash immediately for the area he'd figured (or deduced) to be the general direction of the exit, and found no knobs or buttons, only a touchpad on the wall. He first felt disappointment, but surprisingly, it reacted to even his light touch and slid open. Then he stopped, or was stopped, rather, because there were two wolfish guards there, not larger than his host, but still of notable size, and they held two very imposing weapons across his path. Their gaze was on him, and he took in their overall look with wide eyes. They wore light gray, simple tunics, over which stretched breastplates made of some flowing metal substance unfamiliar to Róan. Their muscles bulged beneath it.

"Are you satisfied?"

The voice was behind him, only now it had a body, which was close - too close and so Róan did the only thing he knew and elbowed backwards with all his strength. The element of surprise pushed the scuffle in his favor, and he was halfway down the hall before he found himself being bodily lifted by one of the guards.

"Put me down, you damned dog! Put me down and let me go! I'm not your prisoner and I'm not your slave!"

The wolfe, whose face Róan could now see clearly in the lit hall, had recovered and was getting to his feet, one eyebrow raised in an expression that seemed more like amusement than anger. He had smooth, dark brown skin, darker than Róan's own, and long, thick, curly near-black hair (save the streak of grey running the left side.) As the wolfe stood, Róan could not help but be impressed by his full size. He had to be at least 6'8", and more than triple Róan's weight in muscle. The despair of his situation began to creep in, and he slackened in his restrainer's arms.

"Quite right you are. Put him down, please, Bavip."

The guard complied and Róan was planted firmly back on his feet, but the guard still declined to release his firm grip on his quarry. The captor wolfe approached him again, and now the expression of amusement his face had held earlier was gone, a fact which, Róan noted with some concern, pushed things decidedly out of his favor.

"I'll take him from here."

The guard released his grip on Róan at the same time the wolfe took hold of the back of Róan's neck and so he found himself guided rather forcefully back from whence he'd come.

He was placed, relatively gently, back on the bed, and a lamp was flicked on nearby, which cast the room into a soft glow. In other times, Róan would have admired the electric lamp, so unlike the basic torches he was used to. Instead, he was too taken with sneaking glances at the wolfe before him. He was large, even by wolfe standards, almost seven foot with broad shoulders that indicated a weight about 180 kg. His skin was the deep brown common to wolfes, smooth and glowing with the sheen of a man at the peak of health, and his hair was dark and thick where it was pulled back from his face. A silver streak ran the length of the left side, which made him look more distinguished than ridiculous, Róan decided, then immediately hated himself for the thought, and tried to focus on other details. The wolfe was clean shaven, and his hair was in a thick bun.

"Are you satisfied, little one?"

There was teasing in the wolfe's voice, and Róan swallowed his embarassment at having been caught staring. Then the words he'd used sunk in, and Róan, with at least his elementary education in wolfish matters, recognized the title immediately.

"I am not your little one." he growled, although inside he rejoiced at his good fortune. Escape would be simple with such privileges as a mate was bound to receive. "I am not your mate."

The wolfe simply grinned down at him.

"Educated little thing, aren't you? Well, since you're awake, we might as well have a talk about what's going on."

"I'm not really in the mood to talk."

"You're not a lot of things today, are you? Well, tell me then, small thing, what are you?"

Róan raised his chin, feeling a good deal freer now that he knew his standing in this whole kidnapping escapade.

"I am Róan Arror Cleàm of the BlueMark clan, and you dogs cannot hold me prisoner here. My people will come for me. My brother will come for me."

The wolfe looked at him, almost piteously, and Róan felt worry, but didn't let it show. The wolfe rose again and went to a small bar across the room which Róan had not noticed.

"I don't intend to hold you prisoner anywhere." The wolfe responded, opening a carafe to pour.

"Oh really? Then why the guards?"

"How old are you, Róan?"

The wolfe was drinking something now, and Róan remembered his own thirst. His throat felt dry, itchy. He stared at the glass.

"I don't know."

"Don't know or won't say?"

"I don't give intelligence to human enemies."

An awareness of his body was filtering in now that the fear-adrenaline had worn off, and Róan began to feel pains that he hadn't noticed before.

"Enemy? We wolfes are likely the best friends you've ever had."

Róan scoffed.

"You're responsible for more human deaths since the Quake than the Louts and Psires combined."

The wolfe looked hard at him.

"I hate these misinformation campaigns. Who told you that?"

"All humans know that."

The wolfe blinked at him for a moment.

"I'm going to choke the truth out of those Louts one day."

"Leave them out of this."

Now it was the wolfe's turn to scoff.

"You think they're your allies, but Róan, if you had any idea what they had in store for you, I doubt you'd be so quick to jump to their defense. Do you want a drink?"

"No, you'll just drug me. What do you mean, what they have in store for me?"

"Not you, specifically," the wolfe corrected, "Just your species."

He handed Róan an orangeish liquid which smelled familiar.

"Drink up."

Róan thought to refuse again, but realized that if the wolfe had wanted to drug him, he would surely do so anyway. The drink was probably alright.

"Answer now. How old are you?"

"What is it to you?"

"I'd just like to know, Róan." Róan swallowed a cold knot of fruit juice.

"Because you raped me?"

"Róan - "

There was worry in the voice, but Róan ignored it.

"Would it settle your conscience to know I'm 14?"

"Róan."

This time, just patience underlay the command. The simple strength of his name was alluring.

"Humans are never really sure, but I think I'm 22."

Relief turned the wolfe's tense features into a smile.

"Perfect."

Róan's world spun and the fear returned immediately.

"Leave me alone."

Noting how the mood had changed, the wolfe set down his drink and began to approach the bed. Róan scooted away, towards the door, as he got closer, but kept a firm hold on the glass.

"Róan, we have to talk."

"No."

The wolfe looked at Róan in surprise.

"I don't want to talk. I certainly don't want to talk to you. I want to go home. I want to see my family. I want to go free."

"You're free now, and you'll see your family this evening, at the night meal. As for home..." The wolfe went to the window to draw back the floor length shades which had made the side of the room look like just another blank wall.

"This is your home now."

Outside, Róan could see that he was, indeed, in a compound. Automatically, he rose and went to the window, because he had to know. Though the cloak of night still hung over the place, the moon was bright, and Róan could make out spires and towers, high walls, windows, and interior porticos running around a courtyard at least 800 yards long. Plants grew all around. Róan shook with the enormity of the revelation.

"Where am I?"

"This is BlackForest. It's our pack, and where we live now. It is the southernmost Wolfish territory."

"Southernmost?"

"From Carolina to the Georgia coast. A long way from where we found you."

Róan backed away from the window. The room was spinning again.

"I think I need to sit down."