...3...

A pebble rolls along the ground where a young, dark-haired boy had kicked it, on his way, walking home. Hands In the pockets of his favorite red hoodie, Ryder's fingers fiddling with the pocket knife his father had handed down to him a few years back and the other hand on the new trinket his boyfriend had recently given him. A cat figure carved out of wood. He arrives at the house and walks in, to his mother, dressed in leggings and a ruffed blouse lounging on the sofa. He looks around and finds everything how it was when he left it, her drink on the small table next to her, a lone dust bunny swaying with the fresh air he brought In with him, and the TV chatting away in a dramatic conversation with all the other lonely housewives out there on day time tvland.

This is the place he called home. Stale air, dust floating in the light from the window, neat but not clean, It was homely.

"You're late! And you skipped out on your chores today, and you didn't even pull anything out for dinner! How am I supposed to cook something for dinner if you didn't pull it out of the freezer? What am I going to do with you? You don't do anything around here!..." his mother clucked from across the room, even thought her eyes were still glued to the TV.

Genuinely he did forget to pull out sides for dinner (his father was a butcher and always brought home fresh meat for dinner), but he did leave some of his morning chores to do later In the evening so he could sneak off and take the safe long route see his boyfriend. He was still fairly new to all this relationship stuff AND it was his first real boyfriend for that matter. He had always had girls as friends, but never had a girlfriend. He liked them well and all but none of them really 'perked his Interest'. Boys however, were always fun and cool and liked to do guy stuff.

His boyfriend Max was wonderful. Max had soft short blonde hair, and a fairly lean body. He cooked very well, and was stylish to the boot, but at times could be arrogant and moody, which kind of comes with the territory of being half-cat.

"I'm sorry; I had a few errands to run. I'll pull something out now, you could have pulled something out too, you know..."

His mother wasn't listening, "Just wait till your father gets home, Ryder, you'll see..."

He rolled his eyes and let out a frustrated sigh, and walked to his room to set his stuff down and try not to think about his father getting home. He wasn't really scared of his father. Never really had a reason to be, but he knew his mother would make his dad give him some kind of lame punishment just to make her happy. He knew Ryder was a good kid. His mother just wanted to pretend like she was being the best mother she could and adding some of her own made-up drama to life. So, Ryder lay back on his bed and pulled out the trinket to properly inspect the handmade wooden object of affection to take his mind off things.

He decided he had a few hours before his dad came home, chores waited this long, they could wait another couple of minutes. He set the trinket on his night stand and pulled out his cell phone and opened a few Images on the screen of his sexy boyfriend and his hand slowly started to make its way down to his trousers. Unbuttoning at the waist he drew his hand in and worked on himself while concentrating on the Images In the other hand.

.X.

Lying on his back, the wind blowing through the grass and his thick yet feathery hair to follow, Maccon, one of the many sons of the half-wolf pack leader, was at peace. He could lay there all day if his family didn't partly relay on him to work. Taking a large breath in, he could smell smoked pork starting to waif in the air. Maccon had a particularly good sense of smell, and an appetite to match. His stomach started to gurgle with hunger with the first sniff, and sat up straight away and leaped to run back to the den not even bothering to fix the askew yellow plaid shirt that was twisted on his muscular torso.

Arriving at the den, drooling and empty handed, he had everyone smiling with his arrival. He had a big family and they were very close. All of them were lively and loving. Maccon shrugged his shoulders and replied in general "sorry, nothing today". He was keeping an eye out for passers-by, and on the hunt for food. They had fields of crops, and animals went to the market sometimes but, being as they were, they liked a good hunt every few days.

They had eventually all sat down to dinner and his father, the alpha, stood up at the head of the tables and begun a prayer of sorts and some news and events of the day. His father and some of his uncles own a construction company on the other side of town, which was very much a family business. Various pack members have all helped out there at one time or another.

"Tonight, my family, we have been very blessed with a productive day. We have the sun; we have life, love and our pack. We also have more work! Wolfsmen Construction Company has signed a contract to build 5 new buildings in this year. Let us be grateful for all of our gifts we have and be happy our year has gone so well! LET'S EAT!" With the smokey scent of pork and sweet smells of fresh vegetables and savory breads teasing their noses, the entire pack feasted.

After dinner, everyone was sitting around lounging on rocking chairs and various stools and benches, in the last bits of day light and the start of the night air, to let their food digest. Alpha approached Maccon and three of his other elder brothers about night duty. "My pups, tonight I could be getting a delivery of cement. For some reason, they couldn't deliver it to the site, so I'm having them bring it here. I need who ever can find the truck first to direct them to the den for the delivery." With the brief message, Alpha directed the boys to watch each end of the forest and the boys left the pack to get to work. Before Maccon left he changed his shorts to long jeans for the coming night chill.

A breif run to his edge of the forest Maccon started to mosey when he thought it would be a good spot to settle. His eye quickly darted left; he caught sight of a tree.

"I see you there" he slowly turned his face to the direction of where his Focused hazel eyes led him. "You can't hide from me!"

A mischievous smile grew on his face as he slowly got down on his hands and stalked up to the tree. Faster than a normal human could, he pounced up the tree as far as he could jump and grabbed on tight.

"See! You can't escape me Mr. Tree!"

He bit down on one for the smaller branches and shook his head to rip it off. Once the branch snapped off, he slowly started to lose his grip and slid down, bark flying off as he went. He got to the bottom and dropped the branch and wrapped his arms around the tree in a hug and snapped his teeth together a few times and started to gnaw on the bark.

"Grrr, mine! You are mine, Mr. Tree, 'cause you taste so good! Grrr!" he kissed the tree firmly and patted it before leaning down, grabbing his ripped off branch and running off to a tree with low limbs to take stake-out on.

.X.