This is a work of original fiction meant for entertainment purposes only.

Marooned

By LJ58

8

"We're obviously not going to be found," Sam told the others one night after they calculated they had already spent at least five years on the island.

Considering they had two three year olds, and a baby now among them that fact had already well occurred to them.

"No," David agreed. "I think we all realized that a long time ago, but what can we do? As you said, we don't have many options, Sam."

"We have one. But you'll have to trust me."

"What is it, Sam," Cyndi asked. "Do you have an idea?"

"One. Only one. But….even if it works, there are those of us that cannot be found," he said, eyeing Cyndi, and even the small, trusting gazes of the three young sisters. The youngest of which was now his own.

"We've been here too long for certain of us to be found," David realized. "The authorities would certainly be more than suspicious if you, or the others, showed up looking the same age as you were when we were….lost," the monkey-were realized.

"You might get away with it, and get home," Sam nodded at him. "You were always pretty…youthful."

"I was a skinny brat, and we both know it," David chortled, though he had become far more toned and wiry over the years.

"Right, but it's equally obvious that Tina's age has already slowed even if she hasn't fully manifested. Then there is Cyndi," Sam nodded at his first mate taken in years. "Our child would also draw a lot of attention."

"So, what's your plan, genius," Duncan asked, his and Hanna's daughter in his arms just then as they sat around the small fire as they had an official meet of their group.

"All right. We all know I'm the strongest among us. My…experience gives us more of a chance than none, but this is still your decision. Especially those among you that have families, and normal lives still waiting," Sam pointed out.

"Go on," Duncan invited, and everyone one else just nodded.

"Okay, I want to gorge, take one of the small canteens, and I think I can swim far enough to find, or arrange help."

"Sam," Cyndi gasped anxiously.

"I once swam the proverbial English Channel, sweetheart," Sam told her. "I'm not worried about my chances. Just the time it will likely take. I don't like leaving you alone…."

"We'll be fine," Duncan told him. "We all know how to live by now. So, if there is any chance, I say, go for it."

"Do it," David agreed.

"I trust you," Cyndi agreed.

"So do I," the young Tina nodded at him with a trusting smile.

"Right. My plan is to find a boat, something that can manage the magnetic swing, and still reach you without issue. That said, we'll then tow a raft back…."

"But you said…."

"Let's hear him out," Duncan told Hanna.

The girl blushed, and looked to Sam bashfully.

"I trust you, but if we have a boat…?"

"Then people will wonder how you got it. And how it reached you. My plan, Hanna," Sam told her, "Is once I have an adequate boat to make our escape is to get you near rescue, cut those going home loose on the raft, and then ensure you're found. Those of us, like Cyndi, Tina, and my son who cannot be found will take the boat with me, and move on to…..a safe place."

"What about us," Sara and Tara said. "We can't leave our sister," the older girls cried.

Sam sighed, and looked to Tina who looked upset now, too.

"That's part of the choice you have to make, girls. I'm pretty sure we can still get you home, and back to your father…."

"Not without Tina," Tara huffed, and Sara nodded firmly.

"Can't they come with us," Tina asked quietly now, her expression wistful as she eyed Sam.

"They can. But if they do, they can never go home later. There are….some of my people that might want to change you even if you don't want…."

"You can change us," Tara said abruptly. "Change us now, and then we can all still be a family. Forever," she nodded firmly as Sara nodded again.

Sam didn't miss the older redheaded Sara looking at him with a longing in her eyes, too.

"We'll decide that when I have a boat. But if you do still want to come with us when I return, then I'll change you. I won't do it now, when you'd need me to help guide you through the initial changes," he told the girls now growing well into their teens.

"I could help," Cyndi reminded them.

"And you would," Sam smiled at her. "But young wolves need an Alpha to set boundaries for them, or they tend to go….wild."

"We can wait," Tara told him. "But don't try to leave us, because we won't leave our sister. We promised mom to watch out for her."

"And let's face it, dad was always so busy working he won't care if we are gone now. Especially without mom to take care of us," Sara said quietly, only then suggesting that their home had not been all that happy.

"Well, we'll be taking care of you," Cyndi told the girls with a warm smile. "All of you. No matter where we go," she declared, reaching out to hug the girls.

"Right, and the point is, guys, whoever stays behind to be found cannot mention us. Ever. So far as the world is concerned, we never survived. Nor did the girls, if they all come with me," Sam stated firmly.

"And….Allen," Paul asked as he named the big man not currently with them before eyeing David.

"Or you," David asked him with a faint smile.

"Well, yeah," Paul choked out, still bound to his master by a bite first given years ago when even now realized he had been kind of an ignorant ass back them. He had seen and experienced enough by now to know the weres weren't monsters. Just….different.

"I'd take you home, Paul. And I'd let you go, if that's what you want. You'd still always feel our bond, but if you want to go home, I'll let you. So long as you never say a word."

"And….if I wanted….to be with you," the well-settled drone asked his master and lover.

"Well, people would likely understand if you were my lover," David smiled, adding, "Pet."

David smiled at Paul's virtual preening at the simple term.

Allen, the only one not at the meeting, was off gathering fruit from the trees they indicated were safe.

"Right, and Allen," Duncan asked himself now.

"This is your choice," Sam told them. "I say, leave him. He's no prize, and I think we all know it. And letting him return could only bring more trouble for all of us. Especially now that he knows….certain secrets."

"So, we just leave him here?"

"Yes," Sam nodded at Duncan.

"I say do it," the younger Sara sniffed. "He deserves it."

"He does," Tina sniffed, too, looking suddenly teary eyed. "He killed our mommy."

"I agree," Hanna said. "I hate this place, and even if it has come to be our home, I would prefer going home if there is a choice. But that guy was nothing but trouble since he showed. I say leave him."

"I'm with her," the older Sara huffed. "Let the troglodyte stay, and maybe help anyone else unlucky enough to show later."

The rest just nodded, and Sam just grunted.

"All right. I'm going to rest tomorrow, and eat all I can to fuel my metabolism. Then, on the next dawn, I'm starting out. I don't know how long it will take, but…..just keep working together, and stay calm, and know I will be back. You have my word," Sam told them confidently.

"I trust you," Cyndi echoed as she smiled at her mate.

"Me, too," Tina agreed.

"Hey, we're going nowhere," Duncan grinned.

David just nodded to Sam, and said, "Don't worry, big guy. We can handle this. We all know what to do by now."

"Right. So, we have a plan. Time for bed," Sam said, and eyed Cyndi who was smiling down at their still small son. A trueborn were who would mature in his own time.

"Someone beat you to that one," Cyndi grinned, carefully lifting their son who was out cold, and snoring loudly.

The women chuckled, and smiled at the boy, and David looked at Duncan, who had his and Hanna's young daughter, their virtually newborn son still in their shelter just then, already sleeping.

"I not tire', papa," the little girl assured him as Duncan stood up with her in his arms.

"You're not," Duncan asked as if shocked.

"Nuh-huh," she shook her blonde head vehemently. "Go swim," she beamed.

"It's just a little late for that one, sweetie," Hanna smiled at her older child.

The golden-haired child pouted, but held her arms out to her mother.

Hanna took her daughter, and hugged her, kissing her bronzed cheek.

"We can swim in the morning. All right, munchkin."

"Okay," the girl beamed, and rested her head on her shoulder.

"We have an accord, then," Duncan nodded. "Do as you see fit, Sam. We trust you. Let's face it, you've more than earned our trust."

Two days later, Sam used a roughly bisected tree trunk he carved into a makeshift, hollowed out surfboard of sorts. In it, he carried two canteens, and a small supply of fruit, and smoked meat after David surprised him with the suggestion to give him more of a chance.

He could hardly argue with the wisdom of the monkey-were's idea.

"Good luck, Sam," Cyndi called out, the last to leave the beach after he launched out into the bright, blue expanse beyond their island.

"You really think he can make it," Duncan asked David only after they were alone.

"Among our kind there is a saying," David told him.

"Yeah?"

"If a wolf barks, a wise man runs. In other words, if they say anything, they will do it."

"Or die trying," Duncan asked the inevitable.

"Let me tell you a story my father told me of the old country. Once, there was a village of our clans that came together to survive the witch hunts. By gathering, they hoped to live freely, but without suspicion. The village was high in the mountains of Romania. Naturally, one winter was very bad, and the village was cut off, and ran out of provisions."

"Do I have to ask?"

"Two wolves went in two different directions to seek aid, and bring back supplies to help the village survive. They were gone weeks, and in a mountain winter that's a lifetime, and a likely death sentence. Only just before things grew truly desperate, both wolves returned, leading small caravans of clan tinkers who brought food and provisions back to the village."

"They sound…."

"One came back with only one arm. He had run into hunters, and had to flee, but he still carried out his mission. He simply refused to die until he had. The story claimed that one wolf reached the village, unloaded his pack, and simply died where he stood."

Duncan looked horrified.

"It's a story. Besides, Sam isn't facing a mountain winter, or hunters. He just has a long swim," David reminded him.

"In a very unfriendly ocean."

"Let's face it, Duncan. Whatever he faces out there is not going to be as vicious as Sam," David reminded him.

"I….didn't really think he was…."

"Vicious? He has two mates, and a cub now, Duncan. You've seen him pretty relaxed, and trusting. Just now, he feels safe. Has felt safe. I assure you among others? Among danger? Clan can be vicious when protecting their own. I suspect Sam will be more so, since I heard that he had already lost a bride to hunters. If they find him now…. If anyone or anything gets in his way…. I would still put my money on Sam. He is pretty old, and experienced for one of our kind. That means he isn't foolish."

"Even if he is swimming out into….."

He gestured helplessly.

"Trust me. If he had been alone, I'm guessing Sam would have swam back home the first day," David smirked.

"Not you?"

"I'm a monkey, Duncan," David laughed. "I swim more like a rock," he admitted.

"C'mon, monkey-man," he grinned. "Let's get back to camp. We still have a lot of provision to store for our own trip home. And we still have to finish that raft that is supposed to be our official way home."

"Right," he grinned, and headed into the jungle beside him.

~M~

Three long weeks, and Sam was almost as tired as he could ever remember being in his entire life. He was also ironically bored beyond saying.

The ocean stretched out in all directions, and he had yet to see any indication of life, or even other land. Just as he had feared all along. He was pacing himself, but after three weeks, he was already out of his few provisions, and he had just swallowed the last of his carefully rationed fresh water.

Strong and hardy as he was at his core, even Sam had to admit he was getting a little worried.

Still, he had several very important reasons to keep going. After all these long years, he had a son. Even his first mate had never given him a child. Not even a daughter. His wolf never felt the safety he had on that island, and they had been relaxed enough that he not only sired his first child, it was a son.

The idea he might not make it back to see him, or Cyndi again did not even form in his mind.

He would make it back.

It might take time. It might take greater effort than even he imagined. But he was going to see them again. He would take them home to their people, and they would be safe.

He would see to it if he had to risk swimming around the very world itself.

He drew a deep breath, eyed the ocean again, and his instincts suddenly had him turning away from the northern course he had been keeping from the start. He swam on for almost two hours when he caught the bittersweet scent that unmistakable to those that knew it.

He paused, his nostrils quivering as his eyes searched the horizon, and he almost laughed out loud as he spotted the small yacht not that far ahead that was apparently anchored just then, and then he noted a small minisub bobbed alongside it.

A small cloud of that bittersweet smoke rose over the stern of the boat, and he guessed someone was taking a break. Or sampling merchandise. Whatever it was, he didn't care. He abandoned his now empty tree canoe he had been using as a float, and began to swim in longer, surer strokes as he now surged through the water with a grim determination.

Every second was critical, because he didn't know when either of those boats would leave. He was almost to the side of the yacht when he noted the sub was moving away, and starting to submerge. Men on the deck shouted orders in what sounded Spanish, and he grinned as he caught the anchor chain, and pulled himself up on the bow of the yacht.

Every man on the deck was occupied with carrying bundled below deck, and he grinned as he stood there dripping, unnoticed, and a perverse impulse rose in his mind.

He waited for the men to go below with their burdens, and crept toward the stern.

~M~

The small group who couldn't help but live on edge of late gasped as they heard a loud horn of some kind, and they all ran for the beach even as the sound echoed again.

Five long weeks ago, Sam had swam off into the ocean, and they had daringly hoped he would and could do as he said. Now, Cyndi reaching the shore first, screeched with joy as Sam threw a rope to her, and then dove into the lagoon where he left the boat out just a degree from beaching.

"Sam," the dark-skinned girl cried happily after sinking the anchor into the sand. "Sam!"

"I told you I would be back, sweetheart," he smiled, and hugged her even as they came out of the surf. "How's little Jake?"

"He'll be overjoyed to wake up from his nap, and see you again," she assured him.

"By God, you did it," Duncan shouted, staring up at the launch. "You did it!"

"Well, it was close. I spent most of a week trying to match the right course by gut since my compass was crap once I started getting close to this heap," Sam admitted. "Don't know if it will straighten out when we leave, but now we know for certain no one will ever find this place except by accident," the bigger were grinned as Sam had let himself take on a slightly more mature, and natural look as they had all grown.

"Where did you find this tub," David asked, looking at the surprisingly pristine launch that looked more like a small yacht, than not.

"I was just south of Hawaii when I ran into a couple of drug smugglers," Sam laughed. "They got a little upset when I boarded, but since I needed a boat, I traded them mine for theirs."

"Right," Paul sniggered. "I'm sure they just handed it over."

"They did. Of course, at the time they were too busy trying to save their drugs I had tossed over the side to care I was taking their boat," Sam grinned a toothy smile. "So, next phase, guys. We get ready, and set you up for a genuine storybook rescue. So," he grinned, "Who wants to go home?"

"Me," Hanna smiled, and eyed Duncan. "Our children want to meet their grandparents," she smiled happily.

"No argument, sweetheart," he grinned.

"Where's home," Duncan's little daughter asked as they all just stared at the boat.

"You'll see, baby. You'll see," Hanna promised her.

~M~

Sam lowered the binoculars as he looked at the girls standing on the deck with him, and nodded.

Sara, the redhead, Cyndi, the twins Tara and Sara, and Tina, all looked at him with trust in their eyes. Even his little son Jacob was beaming at him as he took to ship life with ease.

His pack, Sam thought as he smiled at them.

"Looks like the coast guard is picking them up now," he told them, their yacht far enough away that he knew they were barely a blur on the horizon to those people. Still, they had remained close enough to help if Duncan had signaled for help with the flare gun he had left them.

The story was Duncan's group were the only ones that survived, with Henry, who later died just as he had, saving Hanna. Allen, he knew, had been left as planned, with final orders from David to protect the island, and help anyone that showed up. David had suggested he might be back, just to give the man a degree of solace since the drone was no less bound to him than Paul.

The last of the survivors were now on the coast guard vessel, and Sam spun the wheel of their conscripted launch, and headed northeast.

"I think I still know some people in Alaska who can help us all start over," he told them as he charted their course once more.

"They're clan, too," Cyndi asked.

"Clan, and some of our supporters. Some are like you girls," he told the twins yet to be bitten, as Sara had been, refusing to leave him even if it meant going home.

"All I have is a foster mom who's likely already forgotten me," Sara Deakes had admitted. "And I'm too old to go back to her anyway. I have nothing without you. You're my family now," she had told him, and had again begged him to take her.

"I understand the desire for a family, Sara," he told her before he had nipped her. "And you will always have one with us."

She had literally cried on his shoulder as Cyndi, and even little Tina welcomed her.

He would not bite the twins. Not yet. They were actually disappointed, but he suggested they might want to grow up a few more years before being stuck as teens for the foreseeable future.

Both girls agreed it might be easier to be adults first. But both still refused to leave their sister.

He noted the compass had finally started working again once they were out of that peculiar region where the island was located, and he wondered if the others would admit anything about just where they had been marooned. He had suggested they keep it silent, if only to keep the secret of Allen, and the truth of their survival a vague secret so no one looked at it too closely. After all, there were still a lot of small islands in the area they could always point to if anyone asked. Not that it would so easy to find, since few would have his instincts guiding them.

Besides, something told him that island just might have its own way of protecting itself.

"Is it far," Tina asked him as the others gathered around him.

"We can be there in three days, ladies," he told them. "So settle back, and let's go make ourselves a new home."

"Yay," the younger girls cheered as Cyndi and Sara only smiled, and stood near him at the wheel as little Jake stood near his father, and emulated his stance at the wheel.

Sam grinned at his son, and then levered the throttle forward as he headed for his new life.

End….?