A/N: Whoot, fresh start once again. =D Anywho, if you've never read any of my Rhyan Stone stories, I suggest you not read this and go find Dark Dreams, the first in the series. But if you don't want to, just start reading. That's cool, too. Also, yeah, I do plan to have a little more werewolf/shapeshifter oriented plot this time around.
Old country music played in the background of the nearly deserted bar. Josef Carlisle, one of my best friends and alpha of the city's werewolf pack, sat on a stool behind the bar, obviously bored. I sat across the bar from him, leaned back against the wall, nursing a Strawberry Acai Smirnoff, also bored. This was the lesser of two evils, though. I could be bored with alcohol and a bunch of drunks or I could be bored at home with JB, and Evan, my two boyfriends. Both of which I'd seen far too much of recently.
Don't get me wrong, I liked them both a lot, but after two months of over protectiveness of me and passive aggression at each other, I needed a little space, at least for tonight. They had every right to be paranoid where I was concerned, though. Last December, a vampire sorcerer decided that he wanted my blood. Said vampire sorcerer happened to be Hale Carter, someone I thought was my friend. I had been wrong, dead wrong, and now, the crazy rat bastard was out to get me. Again.
Technically, I died two months ago. I would still be dead if Sabi, a nekomata, hadn't caught my soul and sent it back to my body. I still didn't know why and she hadn't talked to me in my dreams since. JB, who was a bakeneko, had told me that he hadn't known it was possible to do that, even for a nekomata.
A man walked into the bar. He had dark brown eyes and his grey streaked auburn hair was cropped close to his head, he wore old and faded jeans tucked into boots and a dark blue button down shirt. He looked around sixty, but he smelled like a lycanthrope, so it was a safe bet that he was around seventy, at least.
Josef eyed the man, his body suddenly tense. "Jacob," he said quietly in greeting to the older man, who bared his teeth in a wolfish smile.
"This where you been hidin', boy?" Jacob asked in a thick Cajun drawl, his eyes traveling around the bar. No one had noticed the almost tangible tenseness in the air. He eyed me for a long moment before turning back to Josef. "Who's the redhead?"
"That's none of your business, Jacob. What do you want?" Josef's voice was emotionless, cold, but his eyes, nearly the same chocolate color as Jacob's, held a burning kind of hatred. I'd never seen that look on his face, not in all the years I'd known him.
"What, I ain't allowed to see my own son every now and then?" Jacob asked, sounding almost hurt. I could tell it was fake.
Josef stood. "You aren't my father, you son of a bitch. Now get the fuck out of my bar or I'll send what's left of you back to New Orleans in a shoebox," he growled quietly, a minute shiver washing over his slim body.
A few people were watching now, including the two barmaids who had been on break, Morgan Cray and Skylar Conner. Both of whom were werewolves. "Josef-" I began, but he cut me off.
"Quiet, Rhyan. This doesn't concern you," he said, not looking at me. Muscles hidden by his black Carlisle's Bar t-shirt flexed, shifted. He was going to shapeshift, I realized. Holy shit.
Morgan slipped out from behind the bar and went over to the gawking bar patrons. "Okay, guys, time to get lost," she said to them, tucking a runaway strand of her thick brown-black hair behind one ear. When they didn't move, she began to physically move them herself, which got the others moving pretty damn fast.
She locked the door, not even looking my way. I wasn't leaving, I'd been waiting for something fun like this to happen for a while. The violence to come called to me, a siren song that promised blood and pain. I'd noticed that I liked both a great deal more since I'd died. Maybe it had to do with my vampire genetics.
"Really, son, do we have to do this? I'd hate to have to kick your ass in front of your own women."
Josef growled, a deep vicious sound. Nothing a human could ever hope to make. His eyes had become wolf eyes, a light amber-gold color. Jacob's eyes had changed, too. They were a sharp vibrant yellow-green. This was the absolute most I'd ever seen a lycanthrope shapeshift. I'd never seen the actual shift from man to beast. Now it seemed I would.
Small shifts in weight, eye movements, different pitched vocalizations, all these passed between them. I understood nothing except they meant a fight. Real wolves fight for dominance, werewolves did as well, but this was not about dominance. Not a fight for territory. It was driven by human emotions and human reasons.
Seemingly without warning, Josef exploded into movement, bounding effortlessly over the bar and shapeshifting as he did so. Jacob met him in the air and the two lycans hit the wooden floor with a thump. Josef's fur was a dark, dark reddish brown and white. Jacob was a lighter, more cinnamon color with white, except his fur was turning silver with age around the eyes and muzzle. They actually did look a little like a movie monster, kind of like Harry Potter and Underworld had a really freaky looking baby. They were almost humanoid, but not.
The lycanthropes ripped and tore at each other, snarling. The rolled and writhed on the ground, smearing blood and hanks of fur that had been ripped free. Josef was more nimble than his father, stronger as well, but Jacob fought dirty. He went for Josef's soft underbelly, trying to get a grip with his wicked sharp fangs. Josef fell backwards, exposing his belly more, but kicking out with his hind legs, catching Jacob in the face with his claws. They scored angry red furrows along his elongated jaw.
Growling, Jacob clamped his teeth into Josef's leg and yanked him around. He spun, unable to find purchase on the hardwood floor, and slammed hard into a herd of tables and chairs. The clattered around him and for a moment, everything was still. The silence a nearly deafening thing and a crimson slick of blood led to the pile of wood and lycan.
Jacob's long, pink tongue lapped over his open mouth, pearly white teeth still bared. His breath came in short, harsh pants. Without warning, Josef burst from the mess and landed squarely on Jacob. He ripped into the older werewolf's shoulder, teeth digging into the bone. The lycan collapsed under Josef's weight and bone cracked out of place.
Josef kept his father pinned to the floor, panting and breathing hard, blood dripping from a hundred different wounds, matting his fur. He snarled, snapping his jaws at Jacob, who made a low, whining sound.
The sound of bones shifting and tendons snapping filled the room as Josef pulled off the other man and shapeshifted back to his human self. His shirt was little more than tattered cloth, jeans in scant better condition. Blood soaked the decimated cotton and denim. Jacob shapeshifted back on the floor, in worse condition than his son. He sucked air in almost greedily, chest rising and falling quickly.
Josef leaned against the bar, obviously in pain. "Now," he growled, albeit a tad weakly, "get the hell out of my bar, out of my territory, and as far away from my life as you can fucking go, because I swear, if I ever see your goddamned face again, you're a dead man."