Daniel looked around. “Matthias?”
“Hmmm…?” Matthias glanced over his shoulder.
“I’m leaving you for Ted’s kitchen.”
“What?” Matthias blinked.
“You really can’t blame him.” Magda chuckled as she looked around, then she turned toward Ted. “You have a lovely home.”
“Thank you.” Ted smiled. “There are two guest bedrooms. One has its own bathroom. Anna may be more comfortable in that one, considering her condition.”
“Ted uh…” Magda shrugged. “Do you mind if I do use your kitchen? I mean, the least I can do is make you all dinner.”
“Oh, not at all. Please, make yourselves at home.”
“Yeah, uh…” Michaels was looking out the back window. “Dog boy kind of found your hot tub already and…” He shrugged. “Someone might want to ask him to put his clothes back on or something.”
“No, they don’t have to.” Laura was also standing at the back window, her head tilted as she smiled dreamily. Michaels gave her a look before putting his hand over her eyes. She ducked away then stuck her tongue out at him.
“I’ll uh…” Magda sighed. “Just go take care of that.”
“There are towels in the cupboard there.” Ted pointed.
“I can cook too…” Daniel nodded. “But Magda is much better at baking and at French cuisine which makes sense because she’s actually French even though she’s got like a Norse name and that’s because Matthias’s dad was an actual Viking and actually I’m not sure what Magda’s real name is but she’s been using Magda since he was born so I guess it’s her real name now and anyway I took a bunch of cooking classes in college so that I could —”
“Breath,” Gabriel said as he walked by.
“Yeah.” Daniel took a deep breath, then smiled apologetically at Ted. “Sorry. I start talking when I’m nervous and I’m really nervous around you guys cause of everything and I just want you to know we won’t mess up your place at all and we can help out with anything you need and let us know what foods you like so we can cook and I cook anyway cause Anna’s down to only about six things she can eat without her stomach getting upset so I just try to make those —”
“Breath.” Matthias patted his shoulder.
Ted tried not to smile as the young man inhaled deeply before launching into yet another rambling assurance. “Daniel, son, please.” Ted held up his hands. “Sit down before you really do talk until you pass out.” Then he shrugged. “I do have a security system. There are cameras on the front and back doors. It’s not active at the moment, but I’m guessing at least one of you has the expertise to set it up.”
Matthias nodded. “Where’s the control panel?”
“By the garage door.” He watched the man walk away. Matthias was massive even before taking into account the man could, according to Laura, turn into a ten-foot-tall werewolf. He almost jumped when he felt Gabriel’s hand on his shoulder.
“You alright with this, Ted?”
“I issued the invitation, didn’t I?” Ted smiled at him, and then mentally kicked himself. “Though uh…” He exhaled. “Can I assume that werewolves have excellent hearing and other senses?”
“Yes.” Matthias called from the other room. “Werewolves do.”
“Oh.” Well. That was going to make some things very, very awkward.
Gabriel leaned forward, and whispered into his ear. “You’ve still got my extra key, right?”
The girl is as healthy as can possibly be expected in her condition and the pregnancy is proceeding normally. The infant could be born at any time.
“With all due respect, I would simply feel better if we had an actual doctor.” Ted shook his head.
Magda sighed. “I agree with Ted.”
“If we take her to a hospital, we run the risk of questions being asked. If everything is normal, Daniel should be able to handle things.” Matthias shook his head.
“Raise your hand if you’ve delivered babies before.” Magda raised her own hand, then blinked when Michaels raised his.
When she glanced at him, he shrugged. “I pulled over a speeding vehicle and uh…” He winced. “Yeah. Siding with Ted.”
“Michaels and I will flash badges, tell the doctor we’re already handling the issue.” Gabriel nodded. “We’ll tell them she’s already in protective custody. Close enough to accurate.”
“I’m not sure they’ll believe Matthias as a foster father, but Stephan or I can probably…” Magda started nodding.
“They start looking at you two, that’s going to be even more trouble. We’ve got something worked out.”
“Yep.” Michaels nodded and grinned.
The doorbell rang. And that’s my cue to skedaddle.
“Who…” Magda’s eyes nearly fell out of her head when Laura led a nun into the room.
Gabriel smiled. “Aunt Doris. Thank you for coming.”
“Glad to help.” Her smile was warm as she handed a small packet over to Gabriel. “Paperwork is all in order. I trust you and your partner are…” She gave a small shake of her head. “Turn the other cheek and all but if the person responsible for doing this happened to trip and fall a few times on his way to the back of the squad car I’m sure God wouldn’t object too strenuously.”
Anna’s eyes went big at the sight of the nun. “You’re like…” She tilted her head. “An actual nun.” She glanced at Gabriel before glancing again at the nun. “Seriously a nun. Your aunt is a real nun.”
“He threatens to send me to the convent whenever I get too mouthy.” Laura nodded.
“Sweetheart, it would be a shame to cover up that hair.” The nun tugged one of Laura’s braids affectionately, then sighed. “I liked the pink.”
“It was just a little too My Little Pony for me.” Laura shook her head.
“There is no such thing…” Anna glared at Laura. “As too much My Little Pony.”
The nun nodded, then held her fist out to Anna. “Hoof.”
“Hoof.” Anna touched her fist to the nun’s and giggled.
Ash sat on the dock, letting his feet dangle in the water. Ted had offered to let him take the boat out on the little lake, but he didn’t quite trust himself to be able to drive it. He’d been a good driver before, and could clearly remember taking his old jeep out off road to go rock hunting. Now climbing into the driver’s seat was nearly enough to overwhelm him and send him looking for a place to hide. To many decisions. He reeled in, then cast the line out again.
“What are you catching?” He looked up to see Michaels, then shrugged and gestured to the bucket. Michaels sat down and looked inside. “Old belt, part of a floatie, and a waterlogged copy of the state fishing regs.” He shrugged. “Ted swears there are trout in there but I’m not convinced.”
He reeled the line in again, then shifted awkwardly. Twice he opened his mouth, but he couldn’t actually make words form. He sighed, and made a soft whining sound. Michaels nodded to him. “It’s okay. Just uh…” He smiled. “Wanted you to know nobody’s mad at you for anything, alright?”
It took him a moment to nod, then he hesitated before making a woofing sound. When Michaels just stared, he made the sound again. From behind them came Stephan’s voice. “He wants to know what happened to the cat.”
“Oh, uh, Ted put it back out.” Michaels shrugged. “Pretty sure it belongs to my neighbor. She’s got like eighty of them.”
A sigh escaped him, and he whimpered. Stephan nodded. “If it comes back, would you mind asking?”
“Yeah, I guess…” Michaels blinked. “What, he wants to keep it?” He tilted his head, then looked at Ash. “You’re not like, going to chase it around the living room or anything, right?”
“Arf.” Ash shook his head.
“I mean, seriously, I don’t care what you’ve seen in the sitcoms. I am not getting any damn cats out of trees.” Michaels shook his head. “I am not that kind of cop.”
“Woof?” Ash frowned.
“Dude, they can get out just fine on their own. They just like messing with humans.”
“Woof.” Ash shrugged. “Arf.”
“Fine. Next time we have a call to get a cat out of a tree…” Michaels nodded. “We’ll call you.”
“Urf.” Ash grinned at him, then leaned over and rubbed his head against Michaels’ shoulder before casting the line out again.
“Thanks.” Michaels turned when he heard Stephan’s voice. Stephan jerked his head at where Ash was still sitting on the dock. “For that. Letting him just…” He shrugged. “Be.”
“This Sima thing…” He frowned. “I heard Ash used to be a cop?”
“His first damn day on the job, out doing a ride along. Sima and her pack executed his partner, then spent almost a year breaking Ash down. They killed a couple other cops and uh…” Stephan rubbed the back of his neck. “He’s never been able to talk about it, but we are pretty sure they made him watch while they killed his dad.”
“I picked up more silver. Laura’s gonna make some more bullets. He can help, you know, if uh…” Michaels shrugged. “She wouldn’t mind the extra hands. Might help him, feeling useful.”
“I’ll ask him. It’ll take him a while, especially with uh…” Stephan shrugged. “But he can talk. He’s getting better, it’s just…” He smiled. “He likes you and your friends. Usually he can’t barely interact with strangers at all, especially without Magda or I around.” Stephan exhaled. “I’m sorry.”
“Let’s just…” Michaels took a deep breath. “Stop talking about it, alright? Cause uh…” He shook his head. “I think I’m going to punch the next one of you that apologizes to…” He tilted his head. “Did you seriously taze me with your cane?”
“Yeah, uh…” He lifted the cane up. “I’ve got three of them now. This one’s just your standard joy buzzer type. Enough shock to be unpleasant but not really enough to take somebody off their feet.”
“That’s not the one you hit me with.”
“No, uh…” Stephan shook his head. “Demon lady kind of broke that one. The one Matthias made for me is in the camper. It’s got a bit more punch.”
“How much more punch?” Michaels raised an eyebrow.
“After I tazed him he pointed out there wasn’t enough charge in it to do more than make your average werewolf mad. And since I’m developing a habit of tazing alpha werewolves he figured he’d better uh…” Stephan shrugged. “Tested that one on a piece of wood and it exploded a little.”
“I’m uh…” Michaels sighed. “Yeah, you’re going to have to hook me up with one of those.”
“They took…” Anna shook her head as she walked into the house. “Eighteen gallons of blood from me.”
“Aren’t you being just a little over-dramatic?” Ted, Michaels, and Gabriel all turned in Laura’s direction with raised eyebrows. “What?” She shook her head at them.
“She’s healthy.” Matthias followed her in. On the porch, Gabriel was still talking quietly with the nun. The woman was now Anna’s ‘guardian ad litem’ or whatever the term was, legally tasked with making sure things were done in Anna’s best interest. She clearly knew her nephew was concealing things from her, but apparently trusted him enough not to call him on it.
“They didn’t have anything other than grape lollipops, and then the ice cream place was out of fudge.” Anna held up her arm. “But check it out, Pinkie Pie bandaids.” She lowered her arm again, then walked over toward Laura. “What are you doing?”
“Painting the signs for the center’s game booth.” Laura gave her work a critical look. “We’re doing the ‘toss the softball into the milk jug’ game, except the folks at the center painted the jugs to look like people making faces.” She offered Anna a paintbrush. “It’s for the fair next week.”
“Oh.” Anna beamed. “I want to go. Matthias, can we go?”
“Uh…” Matthias shrugged. “Kinda depends on your belly, but yeah, I guess.”
“Excellent.” Laura stood up, walked to the door, opened it, and stuck her head out. “Sister Doris?”
“Yes, dear?” The nun smiled at her.
“Will you tell Father Williams we’ve got another volunteer for the chair?” She pointed at Matthias.
“Oh, certainly.” Sister Doris nodded and grinned. “He’ll be thrilled.”
Laura grinned as she closed the door again. He narrowed his eyes at her. “Volunteer for the chair?”
“Oh, just the dunking booth.” She smirked at him.
“The what?” He stared.
“Do not…” She lowered her head as she glared at him. “Fuck with my boys.” Then she smiled sweetly before going back to painting the signs.
He started to move into the next form, then collapsed to the side. Gabriel shuddered as he bit back a moan. Ted smiled before taking his thumb off the dial, and heard Gabriel breath a sigh of relief as the thing inside him quit gyrating. “You seem to be having some trouble concentrating on your yoga tonight.” He tilted his head. “Is everything alright?”
“You…” Gabriel started to move back into position. “Are having entirely too much fun with that thing.”
“No no…” Ted shook his head. “Start over from the beginning, and do it right.” He leaned back in Gabriel’s recliner and watched as Gabriel began the series of stretching exercises again. His lover was naked save for a harness over his groin. It kept the toy inside him firmly seated, and the restraint at the front prevented Gabriel from actually getting any release from the stimulation.
A light sheen of sweat already coated the younger man. Ted watched, admiring the play of Gabriel’s taut muscles beneath his skin as he moved through the stretches. This time he waited until Gabriel was extended in a stretch before hitting the button again. For a moment, he thought Gabriel was going to be able to hold it despite the dial being turned to the maximum setting. Then he stumbled and fell again, moaning. “Unnnn…” Gabriel panted as Ted held the button down. “Fuck.”
Ted let it ride another couple seconds before releasing the trigger. “Gabriel…” He made a clucking sound. “If you want to suck my cock, you’re going to have to do the form correctly.” The rules of tonight’s game were simple. Gabriel wasn’t allowed to cum until Ted had achieved an orgasm, and the only way Ted intended to get off is with Gabriel’s lips wrapped around his shaft. But that was a privilege his lover needed to earn.
Gabriel slowly got back into position, starting the form over from the beginning once more. “The batteries on that thing are going to have to wear out soon.”
“You hope.” Ted grinned, and put his feet up as he watched that beautiful body start entertaining him again. His house being overrun by guests did limit the bondage games they could play. Gabriel’s apartment just wasn’t as well equipped. Still, there were plenty of other ways to amuse himself with Gabriel’s body. He took a sip of wine, then hit the button.
“You were right…” Ted set the wine back down. “Yoga is relaxing.”
Daniel jumped a little when Matthias’s hand swatted his ass. “Comfy?”
He yanked at the restraints where Matthias had bound him to the scaffold in the boathouse. He was spread eagled, with maybe an inch of play to allow him to struggle. One look at the layout of the place had proved it was absolutely perfect for play. And Ted had gone to do some paperwork at his center and mentioned he was just going to crash on Gabriel’s couch, so it wasn’t like they’d actually disturb anything. “Not in the slighte…” He gasped as Matthias raked his teeth lightly against his throat. The sensation never failed to make him shiver.
In wolf form, Matthias’s teeth were terrifying things. Even in human form, they were sharp. A nice hint of danger that sent a thrill up his spine. The reminder that the threat was there, even though in the back of his mind he knew it would never manifest. He tilted his head, and met the kiss. “Want a gag?” Matthias raised an eyebrow.
His voice was husky when he replied. “I damn well better need one, Matthias Fredrik Ingv —” He grinned when Matthias shoved the rubber ball into his mouth.
She laughed when Ash pounced on the bed and wormed his way up into her arms. Magda pulled him atop her, kissing him as she did. “Hey, Ash.” She stroked his hair. “You doing alright?”
“I was scared, but…” He snuggled into her. “There is Magda, Stephan, Matthias, Michaels, Gabriel, Laura, Ted, Daniel, and Anna. They are all my friends.” He looked up at her. “And Laura says that Sima doesn’t have any friends, because she’s a bitch and in this case it means way more than just a female dog.”
“Laura is a smart girl.” She leaned down to kiss him again.
“He turned red when I asked but Ted said it’s okay if you and I have sex in the hot tub.”
“You…” She blinked. “Asked Ted…” She gave a small shake of her head. “If we could have sex in his hot tub?”
“Yes.” He nodded. “Could we go now?” He smiled at her eagerly.
“You actually…” She blinked back tears. It had taken him weeks to be able to talk to Matthias, Daniel, and Anna, let alone talk to them without her and Stephan there. “Talked to Ted? With words?”
“He’s…” Ash tilted his head when he looked at her, then his eyes widened. “I talked to Ted without you or Stephan there.”
“Oh, Ash.” She pulled him to her and held him tightly. “Yes. We can absolutely go play in the hot tub.”