Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hunted - 4

Logan sat in a dark area of the park, an empty sack of take-out food balled up in his hands. The meal had been edible. Better than the cardboard sandwiches from the bus station cafes that he’d eaten as he’d made his way across country—but it was still nothing to write home about by a long shot.

Not that I’ve got a home to write home to any more.’

His pack was gone, killed in a sanctioned wolf hunt by federal agents, and hunters who had followed in their path. With no warning the agents had swept in, taking out all but four of the pack, unaware—as Logan knew it had to be—that they had killed shifters, not true wolves. Hunters had shot three more soon afterward, while they were trying to recover from what had occurred. Only Logan had been able to avoid the carnage, since he had been away at school when it happened.

He and some friends had gone out for a few drinks. They had just ordered another round when the news came on the television in a corner of the bar.

“Hey, Logan, isn’t that where you come from?” one friend asked.

Logan glanced up, figuring there had probably been some car accident on the highway through town that was big enough to make the news. He froze when he heard the announcer talking about a massive wolf kill, his eyes locked on the screen as they showed the resulting slaughter—as if it had been the greatest thing to happen in the county in years. His family. His pack. Pictures of their bodies, some hung on display like so many trophies…  

With a low moan and then a growl of rage Logan sprang to his feet, his chair falling back with a loud crash.

“Logan, what?” he heard someone say as he stalked, and the raced, out of the bar.  

An hour later he had his backpack, crammed with his few belongings, slung over his shoulders. Then he flashed from his dorm room to his home.

His eyes dimmed with tears as he recalled yet again his return to the pack’s territory and the destruction he had found there. At first, after the initial grief had passed, he had vowed revenge. Then he had realized it wouldn’t bring his family back. He knew the agents were only doing as they had been ordered to. The hunters were another story but he had no way of knowing which scents were theirs as compared to the others involved.

And so he fled. He spent half of the small amount of money he had with him on the bus ticket. It allowed him to make it this far, to a city ten times bigger than any he had been in before.

He stood, tossed the crumpled bag into a nearby trash can and left the park. As he got to the sidewalk he saw a man exit a fancy restaurant across the street. Tall, blonde and well-built, he would have been handsome, Logan thought, if it wasn’t for the scowl on his face. He wondered what had put it there, or who he supposed. With a shrug, his imagination making up various stories to explain it, he continued on his way.

* * * *

Brice paused momentarily to watch Logan, before the restaurant’s valet brought his car to a standstill at the curb and got out to hold the door for him. He got in, tipped the valet, and drove off. As he passed Logan he glanced at him again and felt something stir in his mind, a feeling of recognition, but he pushed it aside. After all, if he had ever met him, he definitely would not have forgotten him. Not with that blaze of almost shoulder-length red hair. I’m pissed and horny, he decided ruefully. And he knew just the cure for both problems, which did not include a return to his empty condo. At least not until he had someone to accompany him.

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