Hunting: Chapter 6

Stephan switched radio stations a few times before sighing and just turning the radio off entirely.  “Today’s music sucks.”

“You really want to get into a ‘back in my day’ conversation with me?”  Magda raised an eyebrow.

“Not all today’s music sucks.  Just the popular stuff that gets played all the time.”  Ash leaned forward from the backseat.  “No classical station?”

“Lost it about twenty miles ago.  Doubt we’ll pick another up until we are closer to a big city.”  Stephan looked out the window.  “At least the landscape is pretty.”

“I remember reading once that the Pacific Northwest is technically a rainforest, just not a tropical one.”  Magda smiled.  “If we weren’t in a hurry, I wouldn’t mind…”  She shrugged.  “Well, going wolf and running around in there a while.”

“Me either.”  Ash chuckled.  “There is a lot of seismic activity, and the Cascade Range has risen in just the last 5 million years.  Volcanoes are all over, and it’s not just the big ones Mount St. Helens.  There is a string of like twenty major volcanic centers that create a network of small, shorter-lived volcanoes and underneath that the ocean plate plunges under the North American plate.  The subduction creates all kinds of cool effects and there are things like hot springs and stuff all over the place.”

“Who let the nerd out?”  Stephan grinned at him.  His tone was light, but he couldn’t help but give a quick look at Magda.  She was smiling too.  That was the most words Ash had strung together since they’d rescued him.  “Can’t say I’d mind visiting a hot spring after we save the day.”

“It goes up into Canada.  Mount Cayley is one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.  The natives call it the landing place of the thunderbird, and Dad promised…”  Ash trailed off.  He made a small whimpering sound before retreating into the backseat again.

He swallowed, then glanced at Magda.  “I bet some of the best geological stuff is under the water.  Maybe after we save the day, we can look into renting one of those glass bottomed boats.”  He turned toward the backseat.  “Do some fishing?”

“Woof.”  Ash nodded.



The Woods: Chapter 5

Keffer caught her arm and yanked her off the bed, pushing her against the wall.  “Enough, Ileana.  You’re killing him.”

She started to protest, and his hand touched her breast.  A wave of sensation flooded through her, driving all else from her mind.  Ileana staggered when it stopped, catching and holding Keffer for support.  It took her several tries to catch her breath.  “My father was not a traitor.”

“I am well aware of who and what your father was, Ileana.”  Keffer pulled her into a hug, holding her tightly.

“He was lying.”  She clung to him.

“He told the truth as he saw it, precious heart.”


“Is it his fault he was deceived?”  Keffer looked down at her.

“That doesn’t excuse that he lied to me then.”  She glared.

“No.”  Keffer nodded.  “It does not.  You were his wife, and should have been his first loyalty.  He broke the laws of sacred hospitality.  You are not wrong to be angry.”  He tilted her head up.  “But some of your anger is misdirected.  Tell me, precious heart, is it the knife or the one who wields it that holds responsibility for the cut?”

“Why would they…”  She shook her head, and let Keffer guide her to a chair.  “Why would anyone seek to hurt my father?”

“Greed for his lands.”  Keffer shrugged.  “And sheer ignorance.  How few among the mortal realm would believe such as I still exist?  Your family has performed its sacred duty well these past centuries.”

“And now it’s his family holding the castle.”  Ileana sighed.  “Nicolas.”

“The man who tried to save your sister.”  Keffer raised an eyebrow.

“I…”  She sighed.  “I need to think.”

“Take your time, precious heart.”  Keffer rose, then bent and picked up Thomas, slinging the unconscious man over his shoulder.

“Where are you…”  Ileana frowned.

“Forgive me, dear one, but I do not think it is in his best interest to be within your line of sight.”  Keffer shrugged.  “I will return him to you when your rage no longer controls you.”

Ileana sighed, then nodded.  She took a deep breath, and then rose and began to pace.


Wren and Adam : Chapter 10

The massive werewolf simply picked up one of the cars and tossed it aside as it kept moving toward Stasya.  Stasya was cornered.  In the form of the tiger, Adam leaped down, landing a few feet in front of her and between her and the werewolf.  He roared, startling the werewolf back a step.  Unfortunately, rather than retreat it roared back and kept coming.

He leaped, prepared to rend with tooth and claw.  The werewolf, however, countered with a blow that sent him flying.  He shifted a heartbeat before he would have hit the water, spreading seagull wings to change direction.  Alright, tiger not sufficient.  He switched forms a foot off the ground.  The werewolf turned in time to see the rhino charging straight for him.  It leaped clear.  There was the crack of a rifle as Patrick took that opening to start shooting.

As a human he slid in next to Stasya.  It didn’t seem all that long ago he’d have found being completely naked next to a woman in public in broad daylight rather embarrassing.  Werewolves apparently could shift without losing their clothes, but he had absolutely no idea how they pulled that off.  “Patrick called for extraction.  Let’s get you clear.”

“I’m out of…”  She cursed and pointed at where the werewolf had leaped onto the boat Patrick was using as a position.  “It’s after him.”

“We can —”

“It takes silver to kill an alpha, Baby Bear.”  Stasya got to her feet.  “We can’t do enough damage without —”

“Dammit.  I’m not leaving him.”  Patrick was his friend.  Hell, Patrick was his best friend.  Adam started to stand.  He’d already tried shifting into a werewolf form, but all it had done was shoot agony through him without changing him at all.  Whatever a werewolf was, he couldn’t duplicate it.  “Get moving, I’ll…”  There had to be something he could…  His eyes widened.  “Get it to the other side of the boat.  Close to the water.”

“You have plan?”  She blinked at him.

“I have plan.”

“Go, Baby Bear.”  She nodded and hefted her rifle before running toward the boat.

Adam shifted into a bird and took flight.


The Woods: Chapter 4

He was no longer certain how many days he’d spent hanging from the tree.  At least a week, maybe more.  Time seemed to pass strangely where ever it was they were.  At seemingly random intervals he’d take his meals with Ileana and her strange companions.  He was becoming somewhat inured to their taunts.  The delicate winged woman had even expressed disappointment in the fact he no longer blushed just by sitting at the table.  The satyr, however, could still make him turn red, though at least half the time it was anger rather than embarrassment.  It would whisper to him when it put him back in the tree, of things it would like to do to him.  Ileana seemed to find it amusing, though she never let the creature go beyond words.

The few hours he was given to sleep were never quite enough.  He’d be woken, and set out to be displayed in her garden again.  Her silent trophy.  She never let him speak, save to make him beg for basic necessities.  And to make him ask the satyr to be put back in the tree.

They were plotting against his brothers.  Ileana viewed Nicolas as a threat, and rightly so.  Nicolas would have known what all these creatures were.  If anyone could get this blasted collar off, it was him.  There had to be some way to get a warning to him.  With warning, he could prepare, could…  Do something.  Thomas had nearly forgotten what it felt like not to hurt.

She was waiting for him outside the privy door.  Waiting to put him back in the tree.  Thomas took a deep breath.  The satyr had suggested a collar for Nicolas, and Ileana had laughed.  Said it was only fair that the beast have a pet prince of his own.  He couldn’t stomach the thought of his brother at that thing’s mercy.  If she would just listen…  He looked up, and met his reflection’s eyes.  Then he took another deep breath, and went to the door.


The Woods : Chapter 3

Refusing to let him dress had been petty of her, she knew that.  Yet the look on his face when he realized he was going to have to be stark naked in front of a dozen of her dinner guests had been hilarious.  Her friends weren’t making it easy on him either.  He sat next to her, hunched in front of the table, trying to keep what modesty he could.  Janna trailed a hand across his shoulder, leaning in behind him as she poured wine into Ileana’s cup.  Then she ‘accidentally’ dumped half the flagon of iced wine into Thomas’s lap.  He yelped when the cold liquid hit him, but managed not to jump out of his seat.  Several of her guests made disappointed sounds.

The slyph produced a towel.  “Here.”  She grinned.  “Let me get that for you.”

He caught the towel.  “Thank you, but I can manage.”

“No, really.”  Janna licked her lips.  “I insist.”

“I have the matter under control.”  He tugged at the towel, but Janna didn’t release it.

“It is a big mess.”  On the other side of him, Keffer picked up his napkin and started toward him.

Thomas immediately released Janna to catch Keffer’s wrist.  “I appreciate the…”  He trailed off when Janna started reaching into his lap again, and caught the towel with his other hand.

“Maybe he just likes being wet and sticky.”  Tsara laughed.

“Well, then…”  Keffer pulled his wrist free of Thomas and set the napkin back down.  “If that’s the way he likes it.”

“Hmmm…”  Janna shrugged, then pulled the towel away before going back to her seat.

Ileana hid her smile behind her wine cup.  Then she set her glass down.  “Thomas.  Would you be so kind as to go to the sideboard over there…”  She pointed.  “And fetch me another roll?”

His glare was luminous.  Then he shoved his chair back, stood, and stalked toward the sideboard.  Several cheers accompanied the action.  He grabbed a roll and brought it back, holding it out to her.  She smiled.  “And could you put some butter on it?”


The Woods: Chapter 2

“How?”  Thomas stared at her.  She was…  and yet she couldn’t be.  Princess Ileana had thrown herself from her balcony into the river below.  He’d seen it with his own eyes.

Instead of answering, she lifted a thin bladed knife.  She moved toward his neck, and for a heartbeat he thought she was going to slice open his throat.  Instead, she cut the rope around his neck.

His head dropped forward, and he sucked in air.  His position still prevented him from drawing a full breath, but he was no longer limited to the painful, shallow gasps.  He wasn’t sure how long he hung there, limp, just breathing, before she caught his hair and viciously yanked his head up and back again.

Around her wrist was coiled a golden serpent.  It raised its head, flicking its tongue at him.  It hissed, revealing glistening fangs.  “You belong to me.”  Her voice was soft, with a curious echo to it.  “Body and soul.”

“Kill me and get it over with.”  He stared back at her.

Her smile was vicious.  “Oh no.”  She gave a small shake of her head.  “It won’t be that easy for you.”

The serpent reared its head back and struck, its fangs piercing the skin of his throat.  Fire seemed to flow through his veins as he felt it coil around his neck.  He screamed as darkness closed over him.


Gabriel : Part 3

“Batman has has entered the building.  Repeat, Batman has entered the building.”

“Didn’t he say for you not to call him that?”  Ted rubbed his forehead.

“Batman is now glaring at me in a threatening manner.”

“So, situation normal.”  Laura’s voice came over the radio.

There was a pause before Michaels spoke again.  “Batman wants to know why you are still on the radio after 10 PM on a school night.”

“Did Batman miss the part where I am a juvenile delinquent dropout?”

“She’s doing a self-study GED program.”  Ted smiled.

“Batman is pointing out —” There was a small thudding sound and Michaels yelped.  “That doesn’t change that there is a 10PM curfew on school nights.”

“Relax, I’m in Lloyd’s living room.”

“One, I’ve asked you not to call me that, and two, you broke into my fucking house again?”

“Kindly do not cuss in front of the minor.”  Ted tried not to snicker.

“Yeah, don’t fucking cuss in front of me.  I don’t need to hear that shit.”  Laura’s voice drawled.  “And I didn’t break in, I used your spare key.”

“Who told you where my spare key was?”

I did.

“Alright, one, why are you telling people where my spare key is, and two, how the fuck are you even transmitting over this channel?”


“I am not getting a lecture in morals from a succubus.”

“The Batman thing is dumb.”  Laura sounded like she was eating something.

“You’re just mad we won’t let you Batgirl.”

“No.”  Laura didn’t even bother to disguise the fact she was lying.  “But Batman’s been done.  He needs something new.  How about…”  She swallowed.  “The Crimson Crusader?”

“If that man owns a single article of red clothing I will give you a hundred dollars.”

“You’re going to have to pay up.  The volunteer shirts from the park thing are red and he actually showed up to help like he promised.”  Ted laughed.


Ted asked you to watch your language.”

“Yeah, Ted asked you to watch your fucking language.”

“How come you aren’t yelling at her about her language?”

I find her usage precocious and adorable.”

“And we girls gotta stick together.”  Laura made a small slurping sound.  “You know, with her on the team, we should probably incorporate fire or demons or something into the name.  The Hellfire Avengers?”

“No.”  Ted started shaking his head.

“Batman wants to know if anyone other than him has actually done any real work on this case?”

“Right.”  Ted looked down at the folder on his desk.  “I’ve got the location the other missing person was last camping…”


Gabriel : Part 2

He sighed, and looked around the bar.  You know, there is this new-fangled thing you might want to consider trying, just for variety.  It’s called ‘sex with women’.  Why would I share you with another woman, pet?  I hate you.  I know.  Pick one and lets get this over wi…  Corner, near the window.  I see it.  Let’s go ruin his night.

Gabriel walked over to where the twink was swaying just a little.  “Everything alright here?”

The older guy shrugged.  “I think my buddy here had a little too much to drink.”  He started to grab the kid’s arm.  “I’ll just take him home.”

“Kid, hey.”  Gabriel looked up.  “You got a name?”

“I’m, uh…”  The kid blinked at him, his eyes dazed.

“He just needs to go home…”  The older guy narrowed his eyes at Gabriel.

“I can see that.”  Gabriel nodded.  “Kid, you’ve got ID or something?”

“Yeah…”  The kid swayed a little, nearly losing his balance as he reached for his back pocket.

The older guy grabbed his wrist before he could get his wallet out, then glared at Gabriel.  “I’ve got this under control, man.  Back off.”

Say it, say it.  Come on, pet.  Do it for me.  Say ‘starting to want you to make me’.  Please.  Shut up.  “Kid, do you know this guy?”

A confused look came to the kid’s face.  He shook his head and frowned a little.  “I, uh…”

“Somebody I should call for you?”  Gabriel raised an eyebrow.

“My boyfriend…” The kid started to nod.

“I said back the fuck off.”  The guy yanked the kid away from Gabriel, then glared.  “You want to start something?”

“No.”  Gabriel smiled.  “But I’m more than happy to finish it.”

“Son of a…”  The guy balled up his fist and took a swing.  Gabriel put his hand up and caught it, then twisted the guy’s arm up to throw him off balance.  He put his other hand on the guy’s shoulder, and bounced his face off the tabletop before shoving him aside.

The guy fell to the ground and lay there, groaning.  The bouncer made his way through the crowd.  “Sir, I’m going to need to…”

Gabriel pulled out his badge and flipped it open.  “Call the kid here a cab, get him home.”  He stepped over to the man on the ground.  “You have the right to remain silent.”


Daniel : Chapter 10

He sat, watching the sun rise.  Part of him wanted to turn, to go back to…  And he had no idea if those thoughts were his.  What parts of the past three months had been him and what had been her pushing.  If his feelings regarding either of them were real or just a result of her will.  Her control couldn’t have been complete.  Yet he didn’t know if it was subtle or if she’d just actively prevented him from noticing her modifications.  The idea that he’d lost control so completely was…

And yet he’d accepted it.  Outside of the bed, he’d let Daniel take the lead.  That part didn’t make sense either.  Why would Anna have allowed that, if her claim that she couldn’t control her brother was accurate?  Matthias sighed.  He didn’t even know how far into his head she’d gone.

The sun was high when he saw his truck pull out of the rest area.  A glance at his watch showed it was almost 2 PM.  Matthias stood slowly, working the kinks out of his back.  Part of him wanted to find a phone, to call them and…  He had no idea how great Anna’s range was, or how to tell if that was his desire or something she’d put into his head.

Matthias shrugged.  There was one person who might be able to tell him.  He walked down to the highway and stuck out a thumb.


Daniel : Chapter 9

The wound on Matthias’s shoulder was already healed.  Danial put his hands back in his lap.  His own wounds still stung.  He sighed.  “Do you know anyone who could teach me?”

“Only witch I know that isn’t bad news is Rosa.”  Matthias shook his head.

“But what if they’d had silver or something?”  Daniel looked up at him.

“It would have to be enchanted.”

“It’s a cabal.”

“Fair point.”  Matthias nodded.  “But all silver does is make it so I can’t use the wolf to heal.  Enchanted silver affects me the way an ordinary bullet would you, unless it’s been seriously enchanted.  Witches that can do that are like unicorns.”

“So, it’s not like kyptonite.”  Daniel nodded, then shook his head.  “Kryptonite is that stuff that affects Superman —”

“Kid I know what the hell kryptonite is.  I was tuned into the radio for the first broadcast of the meteor in ‘43.”

Daniel started laughing.  “You sound like somebody’s grandpa.  Did you have to walk to school uphill both ways?”

“In the snow, with barbed wire wrapped around my feet for traction.”  Matthias nodded.

“But you’ve never heard of Harry Potter?”  Anna stuck her head out of her alcove.  “Or My Little Ponies?”

“No, cause I’m not a twelve-year-old girl.”  Matthias shook his head at her.

“Hey.”  Daniel glared.


Daniel : Chapter 8

“You told her you don’t run with that pack anymore.”  Daniel sat down across from Matthias.

“Look around.  You see a pack?”  Matthias raised an eyebrow.

He wasn’t exactly sure what he was doing.  The last time he’d pried hadn’t exactly turned out well.  And yet, Matthias had agreed to help them in the first place.  That didn’t seem to fit with a man who had done…  “Vietnam ended about forty years ago.  I’d put Rosa about fifty.  She can’t have been that angry over something you did there, and you said her father was bad news so there had to be more to it than that.”

“Kid…”  Matthias sighed.  “You’ve got to learn to stop asking questions when you really don’t want to know the answers.”

“But I do want to know.”  Daniel shook his head.

“Why?”  Matthias narrowed his eyes as he stood up.  “We fuck a few times and you think you can fix me?  I told you, I don’t need therapy from my fuc —”

“Red light.”  Daniel said the words softly.

Matthias cut off in mid-sentence.  “What?”

“Red.”  Daniel met his eyes.  “Light.”

Matthias went quiet for a moment, then nodded.  “Alright then.”  He shrugged.  “Your sister asleep?”

“She’s watching a movie with her headphones on.”  Daniel shook his head.  Then he stood.  “If you answer me, we can go back behind the camper and I’ll ride you until you can’t see straight.”  He shrugged.  “Or you can keep being an ass, and I’ll blow you and go to bed.”

It took a moment, but Matthias started laughing.  “Well played, boss.”  He folded his arms.  “Except your end was anything I wanted.”

“You amended it.”  Daniel mirrored his stance.  “I don’t want to be scared of you, Matthias.”  Daniel met his eyes.  “Show me I don’t need to be.”

“That’s the problem, Daniel.”  Matthias shook his head.  “You really should be.”

“Alright.”  Daniel nodded.  “I’ll come back out when she’s —”

“It was a hospital.”

Daniel blinked.  “What?”

“We were hired to do a hit.”  Matthias sat back down.  “Make an example of someone.  They told me it was an old building.  I was willing enough to kill the man, but not to…”  He sighed.  “They were going to plant charges in the room two floors below his.  Idea was to take out the whole wing.  That way we wouldn’t have to worry about his guards or getting spotted, but…”  He looked down at his hands.  “It was a fucking hospital.  We’d have killed a couple hundred people whose only ‘crime’ was being sick in the same place he was.  I told them I wasn’t taking the job, then learned they’d taken it without me.”

“And…?”  Daniel’s eyes widened.

“And what, kid?”  Matthias shrugged.  “The bomb didn’t go off.  I just had to kill four people I called my brothers to ensure that.  The Alpha and one other weren’t there.  She finds me, she’ll do her damnedest to kill me.  Same goes the other way, but…”  He shrugged.  “That ain’t a fight I’m seeking.”

“So you stopped it.”  Daniel started to smile.

“I ran with that pack for sixteen years, Daniel.  That wasn’t the first time we’d…”  Matthias ran a hand through his hair.  “That one was just…”  He sighed.  “I don’t know.  There was no message.  No cause.  Just a mark who hadn’t paid his bills on time and that’s not…”  His laughter was bitter.  “That’s not war, and there was no way I could tell myself otherwise.”

“I get it.”  Daniel nodded.  “You’re a believer.”

“Oh bulls —”

“I don’t mean religion.”  Daniel quickly shook his head.  “Just faith.  You did the wrong thing because you thought you had the right reasons.  Until you didn’t, and it crashed down.”  He put his arms around his knees.  “You said you were a hundred and six, so…”  He took a deep breath.  “How long did you fight monsters before you became one?”


Daniel : Chapter 5

He felt the bullets hit him as he transformed into full were.  Matthias snarled, then raked his claws through the man that had attacked Daniel.  They caught on the guy’s ribcage, and he tore it free before lunging at the next.  His jaws closed on the man’s shoulder and he yanked his head back, taking a massive chunk of the man’s flesh with it.  A fourth man, who had been behind the car, ducked around the vehicles side before popping up and trying to shoot at him again.  He caught the third man’s face in one massive paw and crushed it.  Then he bent, grabbed the side of the car, and flipped the thing over on top of the shooter.

Matthias rolled his neck, letting the were form’s healing take care of the worst of the bullet wounds before shifting back to human.  “You alright, kid?”

“You’re a fucking werewolf.”  Daniel was staring at him.

“I did tell you they were real.”  He shrugged.  “Get in the truck.”


Daniel : Chapter 4

“You believe her.”  Daniel was staring at him.

“Kid, I have seen some shit in my years.”  If she had the gift, that was reason enough alone for a cabal to be hunting them.  And if she had the gift, it was possible Daniel did too.  Anna had the gift, and had been intentionally made pregnant as part of a ritual.  Cabals had wiped out entire towns for less than Anna was carrying in her womb.  The smart thing to do would be to drop both off at a bus station somewhere and get the hell out of Dodge.  Except he’d made a deal.  Both were staring at him, wide eyed.  Dammit, he’d come up here because he’d wanted out, and now…

“Matthias?”  Daniel swallowed.

“If it’s a cabal, they are going to find you.  It’s likely the only reason they haven’t is the amount of snow we’ve been getting.  Water purifies, wipes out tracks and traces.”  Matthias took a deep breath.  “But she’s right.  They are still hunting you.  And they will find you.”


“You and I have a contract, kid.”  Matthias shrugged.  “Which means I work for you.  You hired me to keep your sister safe.”  He met Daniel’s eyes.  “And that’s what I’m going to do.”

“You’re…”  Anna started to smile.

“So, I guess I better teach both of you how to use a gun.”


Daniel : Chapter 2

“You don’t even know his name, do you?”

Daniel looked over to see Anna standing in the bathroom door, toweling her hair dry.  The white t-shirt reached her knees, and left her looking impossibly young.  “He said we can stay.”

Anna sighed, then shook her head and hung the towel up on the back of the door.  “Who is he?”

“I don’t…”  He sighed.  “He caught me breaking in.  Gave me food and a hundred bucks.  He’s okay.”  Scary as fuck, but not the type to hurt kids.  “You should go to bed.  He said you can have the bed.”

“Daniel…”  Anna crossed her arms and bit her lower lip.

“I told him about Trent.  He can protect us.”  Daniel gave her a reassuring smile.  “Look at him, he could break Trent in half.”

“He’s scary.”  Anna nodded.  She took a couple deep breaths and started up the stairs.  “Daniel?”

“What’s wrong?”  He raised an eyebrow.

“I don’t know.”  She shook her head.  “Something is strange about him.”  She frowned.  “He’s scarier than what’s hunting us, so what’s hunting him?”  She shook her head again continuing up the stairs.

He watched her vanish into the bedroom.  That was actually a good question.  The guy carried a gun, checked the windows, had zero difficulty getting him into a sleeper hold, and…  Daniel stood.  What had he gotten them into?  Still, they were better off today than they had been yesterday, and it had been a couple months since he could say that.  He started another kettle of hot water.

The exterior door opened, and the big guy entered carrying their bags.  Daniel immediately ran over to take one from him.  He set it down behind the couch, then grabbed the dry towel and offered it to the guy.  The guy gave him a blank look.  Daniel shifted awkwardly.  “You’re wet.  And cold.”

Another blank stare, then the guy took the towel.  He started drying his hair as Daniel went back into the kitchen.  “Do you want cocoa, mister?  I noticed some tea or…”

“I’m fine.”

“You sure?  Cause I can make —”

“I’m fine.”

“Okay, then, I’m…”  Daniel hesitated.  “I’m gonna get in the shower.”

“More towels in there.”  The guy pointed at a cupboard near the bathroom.

“Thanks, uh…”  He swallowed.  “What should I call you?”

“What?”  The guy turned toward him.

“I mean, I can’t just keep calling you mister…”  He shook his head.  “I mean, unless that’s what you’re into and then hey, yeah, whatever you want but do you have a name or —”

“Stop talking.”  The guy sighed.  “Matthias.”

“Matthias?”  Daniel shifted from foot to foot.

“Just Matthias.”  He pointed.  “Shower.”

“Right.”  He grabbed a towel and went into the room.

After a couple weeks of trying to wash in the sink, the stream of hot water felt amazing.  There wasn’t much in the way of product, just a bar of soap.  He made fairly liberal use of it, then reluctantly left the shower.  He blinked.  The only clean pair of sweatpants he had was sitting on the counter.  He hadn’t even heard Matthias open the door.  Daniel dried off, then yanked the pants up over his hips before stepping out of the room.