FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

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FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby lionsonleashes » Fri May 22, 2009 6:01 am

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DISCLAIMER: I don’t own ‘Moonlight’, or any of its wonderful characters. I’m just taking them out for a run! No copyright infringement is intended.

SUMMARY: A multi-chapter, action-adventure featuring Mick, Beth, Josef, Logan, Guillermo, Talbot, Simone, and some really big werewolves, among others. Rated PG-13 for mild language and violence.

SPOILERS: Follows on from all 16 episodes of ‘Moonlight’, as aired on CBS. Follows on from Allegrita’s FanFic, ‘Presto Agitato’, Chaps 1 & 2. (Mick and Beth ‘seal the deal’, and become lovers.) Follows on from Desdemona’s FanFic, ‘Silver’, Chaps 1 thru 7 only. (Talbot finds out about vampires in general, and Mick in particular, the hard way. He also shares The List with Mick and Josef.) Borrows, with her kind permission, the Original Character of ‘Karl’ from Eris’ many fine FanFics.

All set? Okay! Hold on tight! Here we go again!
:yahoo:

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Beth had heard Phelan’s warning to Josef, that they needed to hurry, that moonrise was coming fast……… But she was too internally focused to respond for several moments. A tingling sensation had washed down her spine, and was mounting in intensity, along with a vague sense of dizziness……detachment…..and a strange kind of giddiness.

She closed her eyes, trying to clear her head……. What had she just been saying?.......Oh, yeah……she had promised the Ranch owner, Vince, that she would remember to avoid the animals wearing red collars……his breeding stock. No eating red collars…..got it. She suppressed a giggle.

“Okay! That’s it!”, Beth heard Phelan saying, “Let’s go Josef…..now! She’s not going to last much longer!”

Beth opened her eyes and looked at her friends. Everyone was watching her intently, and she saw everyone’s eyes widen slightly as she focused on them. What???

Josef watched, along with everyone else, as Beth’s normally sky-blue eyes deepened abruptly to a luminous sapphire-blue. He saw Vince, the only human present, take an involuntary step backwards. Phelan and Mick both knit their brows in concern and flicked anxious glances at Josef and each other.

“Okay!” Josef snapped sharply, “Everyone back in the Bell!”

Mick gently took hold of Beth’s upper arm and steered her to the helicopter behind them. She walked along at his side quietly, still absorbed in her strange feelings…… What a beautiful night it was going to be…….the stars were already beginning to sparkle above…..a warm breeze was blowing in from the West, off the Pacific, ruffling her hair. She grinned and gazed up at the stars as she walked, placidly allowing Mick to guide her along. She felt wonderful…..

Josef was already in the Bell, firing it up again. The rotors began to turn. Mick opened Beth’s door for her and then gripped her slender waist in his hands, lifting her up and setting her in her seat. She beamed at him, her now inhumanly deep sapphire eyes sparkling. Mick smiled back uneasily as he closed her door. Then he shot around the Bell in a blur and climbed into his seat beside her, just as Phelan clamored into the copilot’s seat up front next to Josef.

“I hope you know what you’re doing, Josef.” Mick murmured, throwing a tense glance at his friend.

“Beth?” Josef asked softly, “What are you feeling, sweetheart?”

Beth struggled to focus on the question. “I want to stretch.” , she replied lazily.

“Okay…..not good……don’t stretch in here, my dear. You’ll wreck my helicopter. I like my helicopter. Hold yourself together for a few more moments…..give me a chance to get to our destination. You’ll like our destination. It’s worth the wait. Okay?”

Beth blinked, and suppressed another powerful urge to stretch. Her muscles were singing…..vibrating…..the need to stretch was nearly overwhelming. “I’ll try.”, she answered in a quiet voice.

“That’s my girl.”, Josef said confidently, as he spurred the Bell into the air. Vince’s driveway and house fell away rapidly beneath them. Vince stood looking up, watching them go.

Beth shuddered as the building urge to stretch rolled through her body. She fought it, not giving in….. She remembered this feeling, from her very first shift…… She had wanted to stretch then….and when she did…..she had transformed. Must not stretch now, she told herself……must stayed pulled in…… small, human…..

Mick squeezed her hand, lending his support. Her eyes flicked to his face……his soft encouraging smile, his beautiful hazel eyes. She managed a faint smile in response before she had to squeeze her eyes shut again, fighting as the drive to stretch washed over her in waves of mounting intensity. She shuddered again, and moaned softly…….. It didn’t hurt……It was just so hard to…… resist…… She needed to stretch so badly!

Mick shot a frantic look at the back of Josef’s head. “Hurry!”, he whispered.

“Cross your legs, Beth!” Josef said, without turning to look, “Hold on doll! We’re almost there!”

The ground whizzed by beneath them. Beth pulled herself into a tight ball in her seat, drawing her knees up to her chest and then wrapping her arms around them. From her perspective, she was literally holding herself together.

Not even the keen eyes of the vampires and werewolves could detect the invisible cloud of Dark Matter that was forming rapidly. It scintillated, filling the cabin of the helicopter, and surrounding the craft outside as it raced along, an invisible fog. Unbeknownst even to them, Beth and Phelan’s bodies were summoning the cosmic material…….drawing it to themselves unconsciously as they prepared to shift their forms. Soon, when they shifted, their bodies would pull the Dark Matter into themselves, converting it, temporarily, into conventional matter as they each added hundreds of pounds to their physical mass.

“Beth?”, Phelan’s deep voice, with its Irish accent, filled the cabin. He was turned in his seat, looking back at her. “Look at me, dearheart.”

Beth’s sapphire-blue eyes snapped open and locked onto Phelan’s face. “Stop calling me dearheart!”, she growled through clenched teeth, “You don’t get to do that! I’m not your dearheart!”

“Sorry, dea…..er……Beth.”, Phelan grinned sheepishly, knowing that a labile mood was normal for a new werewolf during the full moon, “But ya need to listen to me right now. I’m your teacher tonight. Remember?”

Beth nodded fiercely, glaring at him.

“Okay then,” Phelan continued, “Good. Now…..if ya feel yourself losing control while we’re still in the air, open your door and jump.”

“Are you crazy?!”, Beth hissed.

Phelan snorted. “Don’t worry about the altitude. It’s nothing. Ya would most likely shift on the way down and land on all fours like a great big cat…..but even if ya didn’t, ya would still be unharmed by the drop. However……if ya shift inside the cabin of Josef’s chopper…… Well, I’m sure ya can do the math on that one.”

Phelan looked over to Mick, and then turned his head to look at Josef beside him. “If she starts to lose it inside this chopper, ya both need to jump. It’ll get mighty crowded in here mighty fast.”

“I’m not jumping out of my Bell!” Josef snapped.

“I’m not leaving Beth!” Mick snarled.

Phelan sighed and shook his head. “Fine…..whatever…… Let’s just hope she can hold herself together til ya get this tub back on the ground.”

“She can.”, Josef replied tersely, “And the Bell is NOT a ‘tub’!”

Beth curled into an even tighter ball in her seat, squeezing her eyes shut again. Mick absently rubbed and scratched her back between her shoulder blades. It helped……it was a soothing, comforting touch. It diminished her need to stretch just alittle…….gave her another sensation to focus on.

Josef banked the Bell sharply and came in for a landing on the peak of a large hill, gently settling the helicopter beside a gazebo that graced the top of the hill. Grass buffeted violently in the prop wash.

Feeling the skids touch the earth, Beth grabbed for the handle of her door, flipping it open and launching herself out, and away, in one smoothly powerful motion. As she pushed off from the doorway, kicking away from the copter, she gave in to the fierce need to stretch……….transforming explosively in mid-air.

Knowing this might happen, Beth had worn only an old pair of sweatpants, one of Mick’s plain white tee shirts, and a cheap pair of rubber flip-flops. The shredded remains of these items now floated to the ground in her wake.

The elk-sized golden she-wolf landed gracefully on all fours and turned to face the helicopter, watching Mick, Josef, and Phelan expectantly as they opened their doors and got out. Her sapphire eyes gleamed, and her fluffy half-tail waved slowly back and forth.

Josef looked down at the remains of Beth’s clothing on the ground. “Told you it was prudent to bring that bathrobe along.”, he smirked at Mick, “Aren’t you glad you listened to me?”

“Yep.” Mick smiled, watching Beth, “I always listen to 400 year old experts.”

Phelan rolled his eyes and snorted.

The full moon, as golden as Beth in the low atmospheric haze, was just peeking above the hills on the eastern horizon. The night was cloudless. The spacious hilltop gazebo was painted a bright white, reflecting the light of the moon and the stars.

Mick glanced around them, taking everything in. The gazebo was situated on a lone hilltop that rose gently above an expanse of rolling pastures. Copses of trees dotted the wide savannah below them, and large herds of grazing animals milled in the distance. A tall mesh fence circled the base of the hill and extended up into the hills in both directions across the wide pasture lands. This was no ordinary fence…… It bore some resemblance to a cyclone fence, but it was much heavier and taller, easily 8 feet high. Clearly, it was designed to keep in a lot more than cattle, and it must have cost a small fortune.

A neat little walking path led from the gazebo, back down the hillside, and then off across the pasture land towards Vince’s home, which was now lost from view behind other gently rolling hills. The walking path was bordered on each side by the tremendously tall, sturdy fencing. This was apparently a viewing stand, of sorts. Someplace Vince’s potential buyers could walk out to, on the nicely maintained foot path, and then survey the herds all around from the well appointed gazebo. Very nice. The place was like a park. Mick nodded in appreciation. Vince was obviously a very good businessman, and a very successful one.

Mick’s musings on the scenic business set-up were interrupted as a melodious howling began..……clear, ringing, and hauntingly beautiful. The musical sound echoed across the pastures, reverberating off the surrounding hillsides.

Everyone turned to watch Beth for a moment……. The golden she-wolf stood several feet away, her graceful lupine muzzle tipped up into her howl, her eyes closed as she threw herself fully into the experience. Her silky golden fur stirred and fluttered in the soft breeze.

Mick smiled in amazement…….she was such a magnificent creature!

“Ahhh….. The children of the night!” Josef joked, deliberately slipping back into his old Romanian accent for a moment, “What music they make!”

Mick rolled his eyes at his friend’s Bella Lugosi impression.

“What?” Josef asked, feigning irritation, “Lugosi was an actor……I was the real thing! And I wouldn’t have been caught dead in that ridiculous cape.” He winked.

As her beautiful howl trailed off, Beth locked her large sapphire eyes on her audience. With a happy yap, she suddenly dropped into a play-bow for an instant, and then bounded up, dashing past them, circling the gazebo at high speed. Everyone watched her, grinning broadly.

She skidded to a halt in front of Phelan. “Come on!”, she panted, prancing in place, “What are you waiting for?! Let’s go! Let’s go! I want to run!” She bounded right, and then left, before taking off again……circling the large gazebo a second time, romping happily, her pink tongue lolling from her jaws in a wide canine grin.

Phelan chuckled. “That’s my cue!” He winked at Josef and Mick before toeing off his Nikes and tossing them into the floorboards of the helicopter. He then pulled his ‘I heart LA!’ tee shirt off over his head and dropped it on the co-pilot’s seat. Lastly, he shucked his high-end Rodeo Drive blue jeans and dropped them on top of the tee shirt. Like Beth, he had forgone both socks and underwear.

Now naked, Phelan stepped away from the helicopter and walked towards Beth. She had stopped to watch him, and, to her credit, her only reaction to Phelan’s tall, powerfully muscled…… and flawless……. human form was a single blink of her large sapphire eyes. Then her canine features took on a ho-hum-I’m-so-bored expression, as she waited for her teacher to shift.

Mick glared as Phelan strolled past him and Josef. “Exhibitionist.”, he grumbled under his breath, “Beth didn’t peel off her clothes in front of the two of you before she shifted.”

Josef snorted. “You say that like it’s a good thing! Beth is inexperienced, Mick. A werewolf would quickly break their budget if they routinely shifted right through their clothing. Beth can’t help it right now…… She still lacks the self-control needed to wait long enough to get her clothes off before shifting. Phelan, on the other hand, is very experienced…..centuries of practice. He’s not being an exhibitionist…..he’s being practical. All werewolves eventually get very blasé about human nudity over time.”

Phelan shifted, his human form exploding up, and out, into his lupine form. He then balanced gracefully on his hind paws for a moment, towering above everyone like a trophy bear, before dropping forward onto all fours. He shook himself, coppery-red fur gleaming in the moonlight, and focused his bright, emerald-green eyes on the golden she-wolf.

Abruptly, Phelan dropped into a play-bow of his own, before bounding up and leaping towards Beth. She yapped and dodged him, quickly turning and launching herself at the much larger red wolf. They tussled, a happy canine chortling sound coming from both of them, as they romped around each other….. chasing, and then being chased. Clumps of grass and sand flew.

Mick glared. Josef glanced at his friend out of the corner of his eye. “Relax, Mick.”, he said, smirking, “They’re just playing. Let ‘em have their fun. It’s a wolf thing.”

“As long as he keeps his ‘wolf thing’ away from my Beth,”, Mick replied tersely, “we’ll get along just fine.”

Josef snorted again and shook his head. “I think you know Beth better than that, buddy.” He paused, eyeing Mick for a moment, “Stop it, Okay? Your jealousy is turning into a real buzz-kill. Didn’t Beth’s attack on Phelan Sunday night prove to you who she loves? A wolf-fight that, I must add, would not have happened in the first place if you hadn’t over-reacted and flown off the handle. It was all downhill from there…… Thanks to you, my neighbors probably suspect me of operating a dog-fighting ring!”

Mick nodded, only half listening, and didn’t take his eyes off the frolicking werewolves. “I trust Beth……It’s him I don’t trust.”

Josef sighed. Mick was just going to have to get past this awkward phase on his own, apparently. It was normal, Josef supposed……Phelan was able to share something with Beth that Mick could not. Mick didn’t have four legs, and he never would.

Abruptly, Beth broke off the rough housing game, and romped over to Mick, skidding to a halt in front of him with her forelegs braced wide apart. “You’ll wait here for us?” , She panted excitedly, her sapphire eyes blazing, “I want to run…..I want to hunt!” Both she and Phelan had overheard Mick’s jealous remarks, and Josef’s responses, but were choosing not to react to those comments.

“Take your time, sweetheart. We’ve got all night.” Mick smiled, trying his best to appear confident and casual. He shot the big red wolf a warning glare. Phelan returned his gaze with a schooled expression, bland and mild.

“Don’t worry about us, Beth.” Josef added, “We’ve got the best seats in the house, and I brought plenty of Scotch!”, he grinned and winked, “You and Phelan go have some fun. Mick and I will be doing the armchair quarterback thing in comfort, and we’ll be here when you get back.”

With that reassurance, Beth spun on her haunches and plunged down the slope of the hillside in great bounding strides, Phelan close behind.

Beth saw the tall fencing at the base of the hill. She could hear Phelan running just behind her. Why wait til they got to the fence to jump it? This slope was steep. The muscles in her powerful haunches bunched, and she sprang away from the hill’s slope, out over the pasture. The wind whistled through her pale golden fur as she sailed over the tall fencing far below.

Beth landed silently in the pasture, her large hand-like front paws first, followed and instant later by her hindquarters. She celebrated this success in silence for a moment, spinning in a circle, happily chasing her own fluffy half-tail.

Phelan landed silently beside her in the next second, grinning indulgently at her youthful enthusiasm. “Well done, Beth.”, he said softly.

She stopped chasing her tail and stood quietly watching the horse-sized red wolf who would be her teacher tonight.

“Now,” Phelan continued in quiet tones, “Follow me, and watch what I do. Since there are two of us, I think I’ll pull down a large elk. We can clean it up.” , he paused to smile a wolfy grin, “If it were just me alone, or just you alone, the target should be smaller……probably just a deer. Never kill more than you can eat.”

Beth returned the wolfy grin and nodded, “Lead on!”

Phelan nodded once more and then spun on his haunches, darting off toward the eastern pastures like a racehorse breaking from the gate. Beth bolted after him, running along just off his right flank.


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Mick stood watching intently, his brow slightly creased, as Beth raced off across the large pasture with the enormous red wolf. Josef clapped him on the shoulder.

“Come on, buddy!”, Josef said lightly, “Let’s make ourselves comfortable in Vince’s facilities! Not bad, for a human, huh?”

“Mmm……yeah.”, Mick replied absently, not really paying attention, “Real nice.”

Josef rummaged through an old fashion picnic basket on the floorboards of the Bell, just in front of the third row seats. He pulled out a bottle of fine Scotch and two tumblers. He glanced once at Mick’s back, and sighed, shaking his head. He pocketed his little dropper of human blood, for flavoring the Scotch, and shut the Bell’s doors, before turning and heading for the large gazebo.

“Mick!”, he snapped, “Come sit down now! You’ll be able to see just fine from over here. I intend to enjoy the evening, and I insist you at least try to do the same! You’re fussing like an old fish-wife! Knock it off.”

Mick turned and glared at his old friend for a moment, and then he softened, realizing that Josef was right…….. He walked toward the gazebo and up the stairs into the structure. It was impressive. Solid and sturdy, with an old world charm……like something you might see in a Norman Rockwell painting. There was room for more than a couple dozen people, comfortably. Benches adorned the inner railing. A large picnic table commanded the center of the space. A telescope was mounted on each compass point of the railing, North, West, East, and South……..obviously for human buyers to examine livestock in the fields below. Adirondack chairs were scattered about, and several hammock style chairs hung from the high ceiling.

Josef set the tumblers on the picnic table and poured the Scotch. He then set the bottle down on the table too, and put a few drops of his human blood supply in each glass. The amber Scotch took on a slightly pink tinge.

“Here you go, buddy.”, Josef said, handing a tumbler to Mick.

Mick accepted the Scotch and downed half of it in one big swallow. Josef raised an eyebrow and smirked…..Mick didn’t usually hit the Scotch very hard……must be trying to take the edge off his nerves tonight. That was fine. He had brought more than one bottle……it took a lot to get a vampire even mildly tipsy.

Josef extended his tumbler toward Mick’s and clinked them together. “Here’s to a successful first night out!”

“Here, here.”, Mick agreed quietly, offering Josef a faint smile.

Mick watched as Josef settled himself into one of the hammock chairs hanging from the ceiling. He started himself swinging gently back and forth with a push of one foot on the floor.

“Now this….”, Josef grinned, gesturing around himself with his free hand, “this is just too much fun!”

Mick chuckled softly and dropped into another one of the hammock chairs closest to Josef. He took another sip of his Scotch as his eyes scanned the moonlit pastures below. Vampires didn’t need telescopes. He spotted Beth easily, pale golden in the moonlight, loping gracefully towards a large herd of elk in the distance. The larger and darker coppery-red Phelan was running with her. Mick sighed.

Josef sipped his Scotch and eyed his young friend. “Relax, Mick. She’s going to be fine. She’ll hunt, she’ll fill her belly, she’ll have fun, and she’ll be just fine.”

Mick glanced at Josef, and smiled, nodding, before turning his attention back to watching the wolves running towards the apparently oblivious elk herd. He felt the wind blowing softly in his face. Yeah….. Beth and Phelan were downwind from the herd. The animals had not noticed them yet.


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Beth could think of no words to adequately describe what she was feeling…….the sheer exhilaration of running with such power and speed! She had never felt so free, so incredibly vital and alive! She was aware of everything around her…..every tiny creature scurrying in burrows, every owl and bat in the sky above, and all the large prey animals milling about, grazing, just ahead. She felt…..connected…..to everything. And she felt powerful, invincible……completely unstoppable.

She was running along slightly behind Phelan, and off to his right. She maintained this position because she wanted to observe him bringing the elk down……to watch an experienced hunter in action.

As they neared the herd, Beth veered further away from Phelan, giving him more room, and increasing her vantage point on the kill.

Phelan felt, and heard, Beth drift further to the right as they ran, getting herself into better position to be a spectator to his kill. He scanned the large herd ahead as he ran. There…….. That was what he was looking for…….a nice big bull elk. He changed his course slightly, angling towards the large bull.

His intended target was an impressive animal. His developing new antlers for this year were still in velvet, but Phelan counted eight points on each side, including the huge eye-guards. Wow…..a royal…..very nice indeed!

The wind shifted and the herd caught their scents. They panicked, turning to flee. It made no difference……they had no hope of outrunning these wolves.

Phelan increased his speed and veered again, closing in on his target. He was completely focused on his prey now, having momentarily lost track of his student.

Abruptly, the golden she-wolf slammed into his right side, knocking him off course, breaking his stride. He stumbled, and snarled at her in frustration, turning furious emerald eyes on her……. What was she doing?!

“Red collar!”, Beth growled, “No red collars!”, she ran alongside him, still using her body to push him further off course.

Phelan trotted to a stop, and Beth slowed with him, watching him warily. He blinked at her, and then took another look at the big bull elk he had been about to pull down. Sure enough…..the fleeing animal was sporting a reflective red collar around its thick neck. Breeding stock…… off-limits. Damn. He had forgotten all about that rule.


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Mick and Josef, still sitting in their hammock chairs under the shelter of the hilltop gazebo, had watched the distant scene in stunned silence……both their mouths hanging open, both their eyes wide in horror.

“Damn!”, Josef whispered finally, “That was too close!”

“Yeah.....”, Mick breathed, relaxing a bit, now that it seemed the bullet had been dodged. He turned and smirked at his friend. “So much for 500 years of experience! If it weren’t for Beth, your ranch-owner friend would have lost one of his prize bulls tonight!”

Josef winced. “Phelan’s not used to hunting domestic herds, and he’s not used to looking out for things like collars.”, he shrugged, “It’s an understandable mistake.” He took a long sip of his pink Scotch.

“Sure, right…..”, Mick chuckled, shaking his head.

“Look, Mick…….”, Josef said, “Please don’t say anything to Phelan about this little near miss, okay? He’s going to feel bad enough about it as it is…….”

Mick snorted, displaying a lopsided grin, just before taking another sip of his Scotch.

“No, really.”, Josef continued quietly, “I mean…..think about it, Mick. Phelan got blindsided by this entire situation! Just like we did. If it weren’t for CNN, he wouldn’t have known anything about the rampage of Beth’s Sire. Anderson Cooper and his stupid ‘Shot Of The Day’! Why doesn’t that guy stick to serious news?! Anyway, Phelan came to LA thinking he was either going to be protecting me from a rogue wolf……. or else avenging my death. He wasn’t expecting to be drafted into helping school a brand new werewolf! He’s been doing the best he can, under the circumstances, just like the rest of us. Cut him a break, okay? For me?”

Mick blinked at his old friend, surprised at how serious he was about protecting Phelan’s feelings. Then he remembered Josef’s story of how he had met Phelan….. how he had been saved, and sheltered, by the big red wolf all those centuries ago.

Mick smiled gently and nodded. “Sure, Josef. Anything for you, buddy.”

Josef beamed and nodded back. Then they both returned to watching the wolves in the distant field.

“By the way,” Mick said, “I like Anderson Cooper…..he’s funny.”

“Hilarious.”, Josef agreed.


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Beth and Phelan stood quietly and watched as the elk herd stampeded out of sight around the curve of a low hill.

Phelan was wishing the earth would just open up and swallow him. He was supposed to be teaching this young female….setting a good example. He remembered Josef and Mick up by the helicopter, and cringed. Had they seen? Of course they had…….

The golden she-wolf cocked her head and stepped forward to catch his gaze. The corners of her mouth crooked up in a soft smile, and her half-tail waved slowly back and forth. He met her deep sapphire eyes sheepishly.

“Shall we try again?”, Beth asked gently, “Something without a red collar this time?” Her canine grin widened, and Phelan saw no ridicule in her expression, only enthusiasm.

The red wolf smiled back. “Sure,” Phelan replied, “No red collars…..got it.”

They started off again, loping silently along. As before, Beth followed slightly behind Phelan, off to his right. It did not take them long to reacquire the elk herd, and to swing around to approach the animals from downwind.

Phelan selected another bull elk, a smaller one, but one with no red collar. This one was on the menu. Beth hung back and watched his technique as he stalked closer to the herd. When he broke cover and charged, he moved at cheetah-speed, and the herd barely had time to flinch before Phelan was on his target.

The rest of the herd fled away as the horse-sized red wolf bowled the chosen bull off its feet, his powerful jaws snapping the elk’s neck in one smooth movement. It was dead before it hit the ground. Snarling, Phelan ripped open the lifeless elk’s shoulder and tore off a chunk of flesh, bolting it down whole.

Beth caught the scent of fresh blood and meat. Longing boiled through her and she whined softly, trotting forward, her sapphire eyes glowing. Her belly rumbled as she realized just how hungry she was……how much she needed that meat. She hesitated a few feet from the kill…..manners……Phelan had brought this elk down…..instinct dictated it was his……

The huge coppery wolf lifted his head from his kill, his muzzle slick with blood. Emerald green eyes met the sapphire blue of the golden she-wolf. Phelan smiled a canine grin. “Well, don’t just stand there, lass! Dig in! There’s plenty to go around!”

Beth tossed her head and yapped happily, prancing in place a couple times, before lunging forward and sinking her fangs into the fresh meat.
Yeah…..she decided…..fresh had it all over a cleaned carcass hanging in a meat locker…..no comparison.


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Josef and Mick had lost sight of the wolves when they followed the elk herd around a low hill in the distance. Moments later, the herd reappeared, stampeding away from the little hillock as fast as they could run.

But…..the wolves did not reappear. They must have made a kill.

Mick fidgeted, idly swinging himself in his hammock chair, and knocked back the remains of his Scotch. He didn’t like not being able to see Beth…..to know that she was okay.

“Don’t start fussing again, Mick.”, Josef said, rolling his eyes, “They’re fine. Listen……can’t you hear the meat tearing? They’re eating.”

Mick cocked his head and listened. Yeah…..Josef was right…..if he concentrated, he could hear the tearing and popping of flesh and tendon, as the wolves fed from their kill. He chuckled softly, and shook his head. Who would ever think that a sound like that could be reassuring? But, it was now.

Josef stood from his hammock chair and snatched the bottle of Scotch off of the picnic table. Playing the attentive host…..and wanting to keep Mick pacified…..he refilled both their tumblers and added a few drops of human blood to each for flavor, as before. Mick murmured a distracted thank you. Setting the bottle back down, Josef dropped back into his hammock chair and started himself swinging back and forth. He sighed and smiled.

Mick glanced over at him. “What?”, he asked.

Josef glanced at him sidelong, his smile widening. “Oh…..I just have an idea for later…..maybe……we’ll see…..”

Mick’s brow pinched slightly, and one eyebrow hiked up. “What?”, he repeated.

Josef grinned. “It’s a surprise. It may not work out….. So I’m going to wait and see, before I say anything more.”

Mick frowned. “Josef….”

“No….. You’ll just have to wait. Like I said…….it may not work out.”

Mick sighed. Clearly, Josef wasn’t going to tell him what he was thinking. He returned his attention to the gruesome sounds of Beth and Phelan feeding in the distance, and nursed his Scotch.

After a few more minutes, they saw the wolves emerge from behind the distant hillock. Beth and Phelan appeared to be running in tandem, like a pair of horses on a hitch, pulling an invisible wagon. Beth was closest to them……good thing, or she would have been hidden behind Phelan’s larger profile.

Mick leaned forward and peered at them, trying to make out details….“What are they doing?”, he wondered aloud, “Are they carrying something?”

Josef was also leaning forward, peering, trying to make out details….. “Yes…..”, he hesitated, “Yes…..Oh! It’s the carcass! Of course! Good girl!”

“What?!”

“Beth is following Vince’s instructions to the letter tonight!”, Josef beamed, “I’m so proud of her!”

At Mick’s confused expression, Josef continued, “Vince told her to bring all carcasses to the back of his big barn…… for billing purposes. Looks like that’s what they’re doing…… They’re heading for the check-out stand!” Josef chuckled.

“Oh….”, Mick trailed off, watching the golden wolf, and the much larger red wolf, gallop across the field side by side, each carrying one end of a denuded elk carcass in their jaws.

The wolves disappeared with their burden behind the hills that blocked Vince’s house and barn from view. Josef and Mick waited in silence, each periodically sipping their pink-tinged Scotch.


***************************************************


Beth and Phelan loped carefully in unison, holding the stripped elk carcass aloft between them, trying to keep it from disarticulating. Beth wanted to deliver it in one piece, if possible.

It wasn’t heavy…..there wasn’t much left of it…..and it could easily have been dragged along by just one of them. Actually, and entire elk, or bison, could be dragged along by just one of them. The challenge was in carrying the carcass so that it didn’t come apart as they ran with it.

So far, they were doing pretty well. They had only lost a couple of hooves. Phelan carried the remains of the front quarters in his massive jaws, with the head and velvet antlers doubled back against the shoulders, so they were supported. Beth carried the hindquarters in her jaws.

As they rounded a low hill and headed towards the main barn, Beth noted that the tall, heavy fencing was funneling toward the same destination.
They approached some paddocks, which were fortunately empty, and leaped those lower fences in tandem, carrying their item to check-out, so to speak.

At last, the two huge wolves trotted to a stop in back of the warehouse-sized main barn. Beth hesitated, her deep sapphire eyes scanning the surroundings, looking for any clue as to where…..exactly…..they were supposed to leave the carcass of the elk. A ‘Leave Carcasses Here’ sign would have been helpful…..but no such luck.

Finally, Beth decided it made the most sense to just leave it in plain sight by the back door. She tugged forward, leading the way. Phelan followed, a long-suffering expression on his lupine face, as he supported his half carefully. They laid the grisly skeletal remains of the elk down and backed away.

Phelan huffed. “I’ve never had to clean up after myself before…..big city life……proceed to check-out! This is the Wal-Marting of the wilderness.” He looked around at the paddocks and corrals, his expression indignant. “In the woods, you just leave it where you eat it…..and nobody bills you for it!”

The golden she-wolf smiled. “I bet they don’t have one of these in the woods!”, she said imperiously, stepping towards a large multi-animal wash rack that extended off the rear of the vast barn. Using her hand-like forepaws, she turned on the water and picked up the hose nozzle, squeezing the lever and releasing a jet of water for emphasis. She then hosed herself off thoroughly, rinsing the blood from her chest, forelegs, and face. She opened her jaws and water-picked her enormous fangs.

“Yeah…..”, Phelan smirked, watching Beth’s bath, “We got something like that in the woods…… It’s called a river!”


*******************************************************


“Here they come!”, Josef smiled, pointing, as he spotted the two massive wolves emerge from behind the hillside at a gallop.

Mick nodded, “Yeah…..and looks like they did drop off the carcass, just like you thought.”

They both watched in silence as Beth and Phelan raced across the field below, heading for their position. They stood from their hammock chairs as the wolves disappeared from view at the base of the hill. The soft thudding of huge paws could be heard as the wolves jumped the fence below them, and galloped up the side of the hill towards the gazebo.

The horse-sized red wolf, and the smaller golden she-wolf, bounded into view at the top of the hill and trotted towards the gazebo. Both displayed tongue-lolling canine grins, and both tails waved happily.

As the wolves romped to a stop in front of the gazebo, Mick darted down the steps in a blur and flung his arms around the golden wolf’s neck, burying his face in her dense ruff. Her fur was still faintly damp from the wash rack bath, but that didn’t bother him in the slightest. Nor did the clinging scent of elk’s blood.

Beth stilled, all but the gentle waving of her half-tail. She tucked her elegant muzzle until it was pressed down against Mick’s back. Her brilliant sapphire eyes slid shut as his earthy musk filled her senses, pushing everything else out. Nothing else mattered……only Mick. She wrapped one foreleg around his waist, pulling him to her chest.

Not enough……. She settled down on her haunches and wrapped her other arm around Mick also. The huge golden she-wolf then sat back on her powerful haunches, balancing there, straightening up while embracing him. Mick was lifted off the ground in this hug, his feet dangling in front of the creamy white fur of Beth’s belly.

Phelan sighed and, rolling his eyes, sat down to wait for the public display of affection to end. Josef watched Beth and Mick quietly with a gentle smile of approval.

“Miss me this much already?”, Beth asked softly, as she cuddled her vampire.

“Always…..every minute…..”, Mick murmured against her silky mane. He sighed and let his senses sink into Beth’s wild musk. Beneath the lingering scent of elk’s blood, Beth’s primary scent was the essence of wilderness……of forest and field……. of blue skies in remote, far away places. It flickered across his mind that he was......at that moment…..being held above the ground in the arms of an elk-sized werewolf…..and the moon was full. He knew that should be a terrifying prospect for any vampire……and yet, he felt completely safe and secure.

“Alright you two!”, Josef snapped playfully, “Break it up! I have an idea.”

Beth leaned forward and gently set Mick back on the ground in front of her. They reluctantly released their embraces on each other. Mick turned to face Josef, and Beth also looked to the elder vampire, waiting.

“An idea about what, Josef?”, Phelan asked, cocking his massive head to one side.

“How to pass the rest of this beautiful evening, of course!”, Josef answered, grinning from ear to ear now. “Let’s all have some fun!”


******************************************************


Mick eyed Josef doubtfully. He and Beth exchanged a glance. The corners of Beth’s lupine muzzle turned up in a smile. She liked this idea, apparently.

“Ah, Josef,” Mick began, “I was born and raised in modern LA. I don’t know how to sit a horse. I never went to camp.”

“Good thing you won’t be riding a horse then, isn’t it?”

“But…..”

“No buts, buddy! Come on……Saddle up!” Josef strolled over to Phelan, who had risen to all fours and stood waiting for his old friend.

Josef reached up to Phelan’s massive shoulders and grabbed a hank of the wolf’s coppery red ruff. He then swung himself easily up onto the horse-sized wolf, landing astride his back just behind his powerful shoulders.

Phelan turned his head to look back at Josef. “Just like old times.”, the red wolf murmured, smiling, “Let’s show the kids how it’s done.”

Josef nodded at Phelan, grinning, and thumped him a couple times on the shoulder.

“This is silly!”, Mick protested, “I can run faster than Beth! Why ride when I could just run alongside her?”

Josef rolled his eyes. “And I can run faster than my Ferrari…… That’s SO not the point, buddy! It’s all about the experience, Mick. Yes, we……vampires in general, I mean…..are the ultimate sprinters. Nothing is faster than us in the short hall. But we can’t keep that speed up for very long. We tire and slow. Werewolves, on the other hand, are the planet’s greatest marathon runners. They top out at approximately cheetah-speed, about 70 mph, but they can run like that for days.”

“It sounds like fun to me, Mick!”, Beth’s graceful lupine head swung to look at him, her expression bright and happy, “I’m game! Come on! Let’s go!”

Mick’s eyes flicked to Beth’s back, noting again the beautiful symmetry of her coloring, the way the deeper gold of her top line faded to creamy white along her chest and belly. She was magnificent. “I don’t know…..”, he replied slowly, “I mean, you’re not as big as Phelan, and I’m a lot bigger than a jockey…..”

Beth barked a laugh, her sapphire eyes sparkling, “What?! You think you’re too heavy for me!?” She shook her shaggy head, her canine grin widening, “Please!”

“Mick,” Josef added, “You don’t have to know ‘how’ to ride, buddy. Superhuman strength and agility……remember? I could toss you up onto the back of the wildest Mustang alive, and if you wanted to, you could stay on it. Beth, by comparison, is not going to be trying to throw you. Just hang on to her ruff, and grip her ribcage with your legs. It’s easy. You’re gonna have a blast…..I promise.” He grinned.

As Mick continued to hesitate, Beth abruptly moved, backing up swiftly and lunging at him from behind, dipping her long graceful muzzle toward the ground. Before Mick could react, Beth’s lupine head had shot between his legs……. knocking him off his feet….. followed by her shaggy golden neck and shoulders.

“Whoa!!!”, Mick shouted, startled, as Beth rose underneath him, rising with him. He grabbed handfuls of silky golden fur as he slid down her neck, back over her shoulders and came to rest, sitting astride her, just behind those powerfully muscled shoulders. Reflexively, he gripped her body with his legs.

Josef was laughing so hard, he nearly tumbled from Phelan’s back. For his part, the gigantic red wolf appeared equally amused, his coppery shoulders shaking in chortling laughter. Mick glared at both of them.

Beth turned her head and looked back at Mick, a tongue-lolling grin of triumph on her lupine face. Her sapphire eyes sparkled with merriment. Mick tried to glare at her…….but then broke into a smile instead. “Okay….”, he said, “Looks like you win.”

Beth yapped happily and took off, rocketing away from the gazebo again. Mick hung on for dear life, clutching handfuls of her thick ruff. Phelan’s claws dug furrows in the ground as he pushed off in pursuit, with Josef clinging to his back. They plunged head long down the hillside, heading for the towering fence below.

Mick felt Beth gathering herself, and remembered what she had done earlier when approaching this same fence. “No….no….no……NO…..!”, he shouted, as Beth kicked away from the steep slope, sailing out, and over, the heavy fence far below. “…….Oooh gaaawhd!”, he finished, as the huge golden she-wolf landed gracefully in the field below the gazebo’s hill.

Phelan landed lightly beside them, a grinning Josef astride his back. “What’d I tell you!” Josef crowed, “What a rush, huh?!”

Huffing with excitement, Mick looked back the way they had just come…… What an amazing leap! A broad smile broke across his face. Okay…… Maybe this was pretty fun….. “Which way now?”, he asked Josef.

“Let’s run the fence line!”, Josef answered, sounding breathless, as Phelan pranced in place beneath him, “We can circle the entire acreage, see all the animals….. Take a tour! It’ll be good for Beth to learn the boundaries of this hunting ground, anyway.”

Taking the cue, both wolves spun on their haunches and bolted back towards the fence line, veering out to parallel its course. There turned out to be a dirt service road following the fence line. On this flat, even terrain, Beth and Phelan accelerated, rapidly reaching cheetah-speed, racing along, side by side.

Mick and Josef gripped their mounts tightly with their legs, and twined their fingers securely through the wolves’ thick ruffs. Mick glanced over at Josef, and saw the elder vamp grinning from ear to ear, bent low over Phelan’s shaggy neck as the massive red wolf galloped on with powerful, ground-devouring strides.

Mick realized he was mirroring that giddy grin…… Yeah….this was definitely fun!
Last edited by lionsonleashes on Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby mitzie » Fri May 22, 2009 9:25 am

I love Beth so much as the golden-haired wolf!! :hearts: She seems to be wise beyond her years as a wolf, poor Phelan puts his paw in mouth again!! :whistle: They are both so much fun and I really loved the reluctant Mick and the riding scene!! :evillaugh: And the Legion is going to be at it again!! :gasp: :eyes: I love this story and can't wait to see what happens next... :yahoo: :yahoo: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :eek2: :eyes: :eyes: :slappy: :swords: :yahoo: :yahoo: :seesaw: :stir: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :clover: :yahoo: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :thud: :thud: :thud: :thud: :notworthy: :worship: :heart: :chair:

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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby coco » Sat May 23, 2009 6:03 pm

What a lovely chapter lions :rose:

I absolutely adore Beth in this. :biggrin:
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby lionsonleashes » Mon May 25, 2009 12:31 am

Hi Coco and Mitzie! :ghug:
Thanks sooooo much for the encouraging feedback! :curtesy: :cloud9: As always, it feeds my muse and keeps me writing. :notworthy:
And yeah.... Brace for impact! :evillaugh: Here comes The Legion! :chair:
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby mitzie » Mon May 25, 2009 5:50 am

Lions,
I love feeding your muse!!!! :yahoo: :hyper2: :hyper2: This is one of my favorite stories, very unique, creative and well-written!!!! :heart: :hug: :clapping: :clapping: :hyper2: :hyper2: :wave:


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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby lionsonleashes » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:59 pm

Thanks Mitzie! :hug:
Chapter 24 will be posted on this Board sometime today. :D
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby allegrita » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:37 pm

Lions, this chapter was wonderful--beautifully paced, interesting throughout, and really carrying the story along. I could feel the tension as we wondered if Beth would be able to withstand the urge to change, the thrill Beth felt at her strength and power after she transformed, the fun she and Phelan were having, the joy of the hunt. And I could also sense Mick's concern, jealousy, and tension, and Josef's almost fatherly concern about both Mick and Beth. Phelan is really beginning to come into himself as a character as well. He started out on the wrong foot and he's having to scramble to make up for it, but he's manning (uh, wolfing?) up and doing what needs to be done. I'm starting to really like him!

Poor Mick--he doesn't like change very much, and he's had an awful lot of changes to adapt to lately. I think he's doing pretty well, considering. :hug: Josef is really helping him--offering him friendship and support, and helping him understand Phelan better, too. And the love between Mick and Beth is just beautiful. Beth's strength as a werewolf is tempered and contained by her love for Mick. He helps her now, just as she helped him control his vampire nature when she was a human. And now he can see what a wonderful immortal she's going to be. :hearts: With Josef and Mick helping her, and Phelan tutoring her (and giving her an opportunity to exercise judgment and restraint), there will be no stopping our Beth. I love it that she can control herself so well already. Go, Beth!! :yahoo: :cheer:

I have to say that your beautiful descriptions of the scenes, the wolves, and the vampires' expressions really add a lot to my enjoyment of your writing. I can see, smell, taste, hear, and feel everything that's happening. Your writing really is cinematic--this would make a wonderful series!
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby lionsonleashes » Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:10 am

Oh, thank you so much, Alle! :hug: :rose:
Your praise and encouragement means a great deal to me because you are such a gifted author in your own right. :notworthy: I appreciate all your input so much! :yahoo: :hug:
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby jen » Sun May 30, 2010 12:56 am

Lions

This chapter was fabulous. Beth is a city girl. I didn't see any evidence of a naturalist bone in her body, yet here she is relishing the freedom and open spaces of the ranch, the thrill of the hunt and the sheer joy of a good run. Then, she wants to share those pleasures with Mick.

Mick's unconditional love and support are just heartwarming. It is a wonderful, strong anchor to Beth at a time when she so badly needs one. Josef and Phelan are priceless.

My favorite lines in this chapter

“Ahhh….. The children of the night!” Josef joked, deliberately slipping back into his old Romanian accent for a moment, “What music they make!”

Mick rolled his eyes at his friend’s Bella Lugosi impression.

“What?” Josef asked, feigning irritation, “Lugosi was an actor……I was the real thing! And I wouldn’t have been caught dead in that ridiculous cape.” He winked.


It captures one of the wonderful characteristics of Moonlight (to me) the ease with which the characters would occasionally kid about their condition. It struck me that this type of humor is very true to human nature and was a fabulous touch.

Thanks, Lions

Jenna

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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby jen » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:11 pm

bump

:bump: :bump: :bump:
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby lionsonleashes » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:22 am

Thanks so much Jen! :hug: :rose:
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby jen » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:17 am

Beth is exploring more of her new reality, and continuing to find out it is a pretty wonderful place to be!

This chapter is very much like the description, 'a giant thrill ride that never ends' much to delight of all that are there.

Mick and Phelan will make up, I just know they will.

Josef Kostan is an amazing man/vampire/surrogate sire/benefactor here.

Love this variation in the Moonlight universe you have created!

Thank you!

Jenna

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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby jen » Sun May 01, 2011 6:53 pm

This is amazing.

First, Mick's jealousy of Phelan and Beth is just adorable.

I know. Guys don't like for women to describe anything they do as adorable, but it just is.

Josef has done a fabulous job of planning Beth's first hunting experience and Phelan's appearance has been the icing on the cake. The section of this chapter dealing with the ranch is just so sensory. I can feel the warm night air, the golden moonlight and delight of the werewolves as they revel in their abilities. You have done a fabulous job of drawing the reader in and giving them a taste of the werewolves' joy in this setting.

The scenes at the end with Mick and Josef riding the werewolves was almost slapstick, echoing Mick's alarmed protests to Tierney Taylor's driving at the begining of Click but they quickly merged into the pure enjoyment of running in this natural setting.

Fabulous job!!!

Thanks, Lions

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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 23---Lessons, Part 2. (PG-13)

Postby francis » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:28 pm

What a wonderful story this is! I love the description of the hunt and of Mick worrying, and of the ride. Great idea!
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