“If I am what you say. If…Then why would I run from my pack, from my…my family?” Suddenly Brice shuddered as an image flashed through his mind. Snarling wolves, lips tightened to expose their teeth, stalked a lone wolf. Cornered it. One huge wolf moved to the lone wolf, ears forward, the hairs on its body standing erect… The vision faded as quickly as it had come.
“Did you run?” Logan asked quietly.
“They…they…tried to…they forced that poor wolf away. They made him leave because he was inferior.” Brice spoke as if he was telling a story, his eyes distant and glazed. “They would have killed him if he hadn’t left. So he slunk away, tail between his legs until he was out of the pack’s territory. But that wasn’t…it wasn’t the end,” he whispered.
“What happened next?”
“He hated what he was. He was different. He tried to find a safe place to hide. But one of them came after him. Tracked him. Attacked him. He was his…” Tears welled up in Brice’s eyes. “His lover, though the pack didn’t know that.” Brice turned to look at Logan. “I escaped with his threat ringing in my ears. He said he would find me, kill me. He was…he was my alpha, the pack’s alpha.”
“The alpha was your lover? Damn,” Logan spat out. “No wonder he wanted you dead. How was he able to hide what he was?”
“He…” Brice shook his head. “He preferred males but could mate with a female and he did to keep his secret a secret.”
“What happened after you escaped?”
“Once I was far enough away from the territory, I began looking for a place where I could live as a human. I thought if I could do that I would be safe.” Brice slid off the log to lean back against it. “I ended up in…” he chuckled softly. “In Iowa. Corn country, as you called it. I got a job on a farm. I was sixteen. The family I worked for took me in. I did see Eisenhower’s inauguration on their television. That part was true.”
After a long pause to gather his thoughts Brice continued. “I suppose…the longer I lived there, safe and secure, the more human I felt. I didn’t want to be what I was; I wanted to be what those people thought I was. It didn’t happen over night. I didn’t forget for a long time, but as I got older I realized I wasn’t aging as fast as humans did so I left there. I spent a long time going from city to city, trying to find a place for myself, and in the process I did forget what I had been—apparently. I don’t remember doing that but…” He looked up at Logan. “Guess I wouldn’t remember, would I?”
“I’d say not,” Logan replied with a smile. “And you did a damned good job of forgetting and recreating yourself. I wonder…”
“I wonder if you ever would have remembered, if we hadn’t met.”
“I might have, that or gone crazy wondering why I don’t seem to be as old as my bio says I am.”
“How did you come up with that anyway?”