Castle Roland

Who Is He

by Eric Aune


Chapter 28

Posted: N/A

Suddenly, everything started moving again. Nicky ran upstairs as quick as possible. The others watched the wolfman advance. From out of nowhere, two large furred shapes flew through the air and slammed into the wolfman, smashing him to the ground. The backyard was filled with the growls and snarls of the Lycan fighting in the backyard. They could see the wolfman had changed fully into a wolf now and there were three wolves fighting in the backyard now. The two that had attacked the wolfman were Henry and Mark, who had been patrolling outside, when they heard the crash of the sliding glass door.

Upstairs, Nicky ran into Tyler's room and saw Tyler squeezed into the far corner of the room. A wolfman was advancing slowly on him, so that he could enjoy the terror on Tyler's face. He spoke in a gravelly voice to the young boy, "Ooo, you look tender. I bet you'll taste yummy," the wolfman growled.

Tyler's eyes were wide and tears of fright ran down his face. Tyler suddenly noticed Nicky in the doorway and screamed, "NICKY, HELP ME!"

Nicky let loose a snarl and launched himself at the wolfman, changing as he did into his wolf form. The wolfman turned at the interruption. He saw Nicky flying at him and completed his change into his wolf form. Nicky crashed into him and they both went out the open window, taking the window frame and part of the surrounding wall with them as they flew through it.

Tyler stood there in shock for a few moments, staring at the broken window frame, before he turned and ran back downstairs, "MOM! DAD! CHRIS! HELP!"

Downstairs they heard Tyler's yell for Nicky, then a loud snarl followed by a crash, then Tyler running down the stairs yelling. Heather ran to the stairs and gathered the frightened boy into her arms. He was shaking and crying. By this time, Robin and Jessie were also screaming in fright. Ben and Alicia went to the girls to try to calm them down. They looked in the backyard and could see Nicky, and the other wolf, who had flown out the window and rolled off the roof. They were now another snarling mass of fur as they fought.

Michael ran upstairs past Heather and Tyler. The others were mesmerized by the fighting that they could see going on out in the back. Michael ran back downstairs with a couple of 12 gauge shotguns in his hands. He threw one to Richard, the nearest adult.

"Michael that won't do any good," Eric yelled. Michael ignored him and ran to a cabinet in the dining room where they kept their good dishes, he pulled out the silver chest and put it on top of the cabinet. He opened it and pulled a knife out.

"During the Civil War, in the heat of battle, men sometimes forgot to take their ramrods out of their guns after they had loaded them before firing. When they fired the gun, their ramrods were sometimes launched like spears at the enemy. I figured a silver knife might work the same way," he explained as he dropped a table knife, handle side first, into the end of the barrel. "These are sterling silver plated and might not kill them, but it might hurt a bit and slow them down if it hits them right."

Eric looked dubious but nodded. Richard joined Michael at the counter and grabbed a couple of the knives. "How many shells?" he asked. "Three or four," Michael replied. Richard nodded and grabbed a couple more knives, slipping three of them in his back pocket before dropping one down the barrel.

"The rest of you get away from the front window and get down," Michael ordered.

Jamie was watching the fights going on in the backyard, wanting desperately to join his twin. Among the snarls and growls were yelps of pain. The two fighting piles were moving so fast, you couldn't quite make out who was winning. The adults directed the younger people back and away from the window. Tyler was still clinging to his mom, but he wasn't shaking as much now.

Richard kept his eyes on the stairs, while Michael faced toward the front of the house. Jamie looked at his dad, "Dad, I gotta help Nicky," he said fearfully.

Eric shook his head, "Just wait Jamie."

Suddenly they saw a large shape filling the front window and simultaneously the window and the front door crashed inward as a wolf came through the window and a wolfman came through the door. Michael leveled his shotgun and fired. The knife wasn't quite as pointed as a steak knife might be but it wasn't blunt either. The force of the fired shell propelled the blade. The pellets hit the wolfman at the front door in the chest and belly. Michael was close enough that the knife didn't have a chance to start tumbling before it penetrated into the wolfman's upper abdomen. The thing let out a howl of pain and rage as it was knocked back out the front door. Richard turned from watching the stairs and quickly pointed the shotgun at the wolf that had come through the front window and fired. His knife hit it high on its front leg and the force of the blast knocked it backward. It let out a howl of pain.

Michael and Richard pumped another shell into the chamber and dropped another knife in the barrels. While they did that, Chris broke from the group that was huddled away from the window and ran to where the silver chest was on the china buffet, and he pulled out a large sharp serving knife and ran at the wolf. The wolf got up, and lunged at him. As the wolf lunged, time seemed to slow down for Chris and he saw the direction the wolf was lunging, he easily sidestepped, and with both hands, buried the knife deep into the wolf's side. It thrashed around and threw Chris off which caused him to lose his grip on the knife.

For the next few seconds they saw the wolf trying to pull the knife out with its teeth, then Richard and Michael stepped up and fired another round each into it, this time the knives in their shotgun went deep into its side. The wolf gave a yelp and collapsed.

Through the haze of gunpowder, they could see the wolf slowly change into the form of a large muscled man. One knife stuck out of its shoulder and three in its flank. More growling was coming from the front and another larger wolf came to the open door. Michael raised his shotgun to fire, but Eric motioned for him to stop and turned toward the wolf. The two of them regarded each other for a few moments as the wolf bared its teeth and growled. A deep growl came from Eric's chest and he launched himself while changing into a huge wolf at the same time. This caused more shrieks from the younger people who didn't know about Eric. At the same time Jamie turned into a wolf as well and ran into the backyard to help his twin.

Those left in the house saw large wolves in the front and back yards fighting. They could see Eric fighting off three of them out in front. There was no sign of the wolfman who had taken Michael's shot. Michael and Richard had their guns up and were looking both ways.

In the backyard, they saw Nicky get thrown against the house and heard him slam into the wall, causing the house to shake a little. Jamie ran at the wolf and the bigger wolf tossed him to side where he hit the fence and burst through it. The bigger wolf looked up at the sky and howled in triumph before turning toward the house.

Michael and Richard brought their guns up to fire when several rapid gunshots came from the direction of the break in the fence. The wolf staggered back a few steps before collapsing. They saw someone jump through the hole in the fence and hurry towards the house. It was Troy, he had a backpack on his shoulder and he was holding his service pistol and pointing it toward the other wolf that was fighting with the two younger Lycan as he backed into the house through the broken door.

"Troy, don't shoot! Two of the wolves are on our side," Michael yelled.

Troy nodded and looked around, "What the hell happened?" he yelled.

"I'm guessing that Robert's enemy decided to attack us!" Michael yelled back.

In the backyard, Jamie had shaken himself off and come back into the yard through the broken fence; he saw the wolf, who had by this time, changed back into his human form lying in the yard unmoving. He looked over at Nicky who had now changed back into his human form as well and was trying to get up and get his senses back. The other wolf was still fighting Henry and Mark, so he charged that one.

Troy walked over to where his Dad was standing looking out into the front yard where Eric was fighting with three other wolves. None were quite as big, but they were all larger than average. He could see his dad was pointing his gun through the front window and seemed to be trying to get a clear shot at one, of the three, attacking wolves. He stepped up next to him with his pistol held at the ready. He was scanning the outside, looking for any other threats.

They could see their neighbors looking out the windows. "Shit. Dad, you know someone is calling 911. We're going to be swarmed with cops soon." Troy said.

Richard nodded, "Yeah. I don't know what we can do about it. I don't know how many more there are out there," Richard said.

Just then everyone heard the screech of brakes from outside as three SUV's halted in front of the house. The driver's side door opened and all they could see were the streaks, as someone moved by very fast. Two of them headed toward Eric and slammed into two, of the three, wolves that were attacking him. The other headed toward the house. Michael, Richard and Troy pointed their guns at the front door as the figure entered. They saw glowing blue eyes, black hair and fangs; and their fingers tightened on the triggers.

The figure stopped and put its hands up, "It's Jason," the figure said. The three raised their guns and let out a sigh of relief.

The three younger kids, who didn't know about him, stared with shock at the sight of the vampire before them. He noticed their shocked looks and retracted his fangs, losing the glow in his eyes at the same time. "Sorry. Is anyone hurt?" he asked.

Everyone shook their heads. The youngest were a little numb and just stared at him. He looked in the backyard and saw the mass of fur rolling around and fighting in the backyard. They saw the larger wolf break free of the others and start to run away. Without hesitation Troy ran into the backyard and fired several times at the wolf as it headed toward the fence. They saw it tumble and the other three wolves pounced on it.

The mass of fur went through the hole in the fence and into the Grayson's yard. A few moments later there was a loud yelp that was cutoff, then silence. Moments later, the three wolves came back into the Hale's backyard. One of them headed over to Nicky, who was sitting with his back against the outside wall of the house, while the other two walked toward the house. Both of them were bloodied and limping a little. Jason nodded to them and turned his attention to the front yard.

Michael came over to Jason, "Jace, there's going to be cops here soon."

Jason nodded absently as he watched the fighting in the front yard.

Patrick and Allison were the other two vampires who were fighting against the wolves. They were moving their fight toward the sides of the house. Inside, they heard crashes from each side of the house as the combatants crashed through the gates, that were on each side of the house. The wolves that had started to head toward the house turned and ran to the sides of the house to help the two vampires.

Suddenly, Eric's opponent flew through the broken front window. Eric was close behind. Michael, Richard and Troy kept their guns trained on the two wolves as they re-engaged each other. The fight in the living room was causing the furniture to be smashed, ripped up and thrown about. Ben and the three adult women, with the help of Chris and his friends, were helping to get the younger kids back toward the dining room. The younger kids were screaming in fear, while their mothers were trying to comfort them and move them away from the living room. Jason stood there trying to find an opening to jump in and help Eric.

The fights were going on around them. The sounds of fighting from the back and sides of the house died away and they saw Patrick and Allison come from around the sides of the house along with the other wolves. Both of them were bloody. Behind them were the four teenage Lycan who were still in the wolf form. One of them looked a little wobbly as it tried to walk. It seemed to be leaning against one of the other wolves. The fighting in the living room came to an end as Eric's muzzle was buried in the neck of the large wolf that he had been fighting. The wolf became still beneath him. He raised his head and howled in triumph.

People in the neighborhood cowered in their houses. The wolf looked at everyone and then focused on Jason. Eric changed to his wolfman form and growled to Jason, "Get the bags from my truck."

Jason nodded and ran outside to the truck. He grabbed a couple of backpacks and hurried into the house. "Jay, you need to get them to Robert's estate. I'll have some of my people clean this up. The twins and I will be right behind you," Eric said when Jason tossed the backpacks to him. He reached inside and pulled a long robe out of it and finished his change back to his human form.

Eric saw Jamie coming through the broken back door, and supporting Nicky, who was still a bit out of it. Both had changed back into their human forms and were naked. Henry and Mark had also changed back. Eric threw his sons a backpack, "Hurry, you two put these on. Henry, Mark, you stay here, take care of Jon and help the others clean this mess up," he ordered as he threw them the other backpack. The four teens took robes out of the backpacks

Jason looked at everyone else; the sound of sirens could be heard in the distance. "Let's get going, we need to get you guys somewhere safe," Jason said.

The adults helped everyone get their stuff and hurried them out the door. Richard, Michael and Troy kept their guns at the ready as they moved out the ruined front door. Patrick and Allison came and helped move everyone along to the SUV's. Bryce and his family went with Patrick and Jamie, Michael and his family, minus Chris, went with Allison and Eric and the rest went with Jason. As soon as they were in the SUV's, their drivers burned rubber as they peeled out of there.

Once they were gone, neighbors started coming out of their houses as the SUV's drove away. They all looked at the sound of a siren nearing them and looked up the street. Coming down the street, from the opposite direction, was another SUV, this one marked with the Sheriff's office logo. The lights were flashing as it pulled up to a stop in front of the house and turned off the siren. A large Sheriff's sergeant got out on the driver's side and another powerful looking officer got out from the passenger side. From the back seat a woman got out who was dressed in plain clothes. The Sergeant looked around at the front of the house and noted the damaged door and window. "Jack, you and Jean should go inside and check it out," the sergeant ordered.

"Will do Brian," the other office replied. Jean nodded and followed him.

The deputy pulled his gun and ran up to the house. Jean pulled her gun as well. He paused at the broken front door. He extended his gun and yelled, "Sheriff's office!"

There was no immediate answer, so he advanced inside, with Jean right behind him and was greeted with a, "Thank god, Jack."

Looking towards the living room, Jack lowered his gun as he saw Mark and Henry dressed in the robes and now carrying Jon over to the couch. He looked at the floor near the front window and saw the two still forms lying on the floor.

"There're two more in the backyard next door and two along the sides of the house." Mark said with a jerk of his head.

Jack moved toward the back and took a look out the broken glass door, to the large section of wooden fence that was destroyed. He nodded and went back out front to talk to Brian, while Jean stayed inside.

Brian, had by this time, started unrolling crime tape, and putting it up to keep people away. Jack walked up to him, "There's two in the house, two in the backyard next door, and two on the sides of the house," he reported in a low voice while pointing at the two houses. "Mark and Henry are inside, helping Jon, who appears to be in pretty bad shape."

Brian nodded and handed the roll of tape to Jack, "Extend the tape to the other house as well and make sure everyone keeps back," Brian ordered.

He turned toward the house and headed inside. On the front porch, just before he went in, he saw a glint of silver on the ground. He looked and saw that it was a silver knife with blood on it. He bent down, picked it up and carried it in the house with him. When he entered, the two teens looked up from where they were tending Jon. Jean was crouching down by the two bodies.

"Hi boys, how is he?" he asked. Mark glanced down, "He's pretty bad, his neck was broken, but I think we got it straightened out. He'll be out for a while, but I think he'll be okay again."

Brian nodded, dropped the silver knife, and pulled something out of the leg pocket of his pants. The teens saw that it was a silencer that he attached to his pistol that he had drawn. Jean looked and reached into her jacket pocket and took out her own silencer. She stood back up and fired one shot into each Lycan's head.

Brian looked at the teens, "Gotta make sure."

They nodded in agreement. She pulled the knives out of the one that they had been stuck into and held them out to the teens, "Take care of these. Clean them off and put them away," she told them.

"There's one over here as well, Henry," Brian told him.

Henry took them to the kitchen to clean them.

Brian walked out the back and through the hole in the fence, a moment later the teens heard the muffled sound of two shots. Brian came back in the house after checking the bodies on the side of the house, who had had their heads ripped off. He had removed the silencer and holstered his gun. He keyed his mike and spoke into it.

"Dispatch, David 3."

"Go ahead David 3."

"Contact Lieutenant McCoy of SWAT and have him call me."

"10-4, David 7."

Brian looked at the teens as the sound of more sirens could be heard nearing the house, "Okay guys, this place is going to have some people around here that don't need to see you guys here. Go next door, and hole up for a bit, until I can get someone to come and get you," he told them.

The two teens nodded, picked up Jon and carried him out the back and over to the Grayson's. Once they got Jon settled in the living room of the Grayson house, Mark went back to the rear door and locked it, and they also made sure the front door was locked as well, so that it looked like no one was there. They then made themselves comfortable and waited.

Once the teens were out of sight, Brian's cell phone rang. He quickly took it out, checked the caller ID and answered it.

"Lieutenant, we have some SWAT Team 7 business…..Yes, sir. There are six here, all dead, but I think there may be more business for you tonight….Yes, sir, that would be prudent. If I hear anymore, I will let you know….Yes, sir."

He hung up and headed back out front as the fire paramedics, another sheriff's car and fire truck pulled up, while Jean stayed inside the house. Jack joined him as he met with the others. "We won't need any paramedics' guys, there's no one here that will benefit from your assistance. The coroner has been called," he told them.

The officer looked at the damage to the front of the house, "What happened, Sarge?"

The Sergeant looked back at the body, "Not sure yet Mike, but I think it was a home invasion that went wrong, the owners fought back and took them out. Jack, you and Mike, check with the neighbors and see if there are any witnesses. Don't ask them anything, just bring them over here and let me talk to them," he said.

"Where are the homeowners?" Mike asked.

"Protective Custody," Brian answered quickly, "Now go, and check for witnesses."

Jack nodded, and he and Mike went to check with the clusters of people watching the scene.

Brian turned to the station Chief, "Thanks Chief, but there's nothing for you guys to do, so you might as well head off, we'll take it from here."

The Chief waved his hand in acknowledgement, got his men back on the trucks, and they left the scene.

After a few minutes, the two officers escorted some people over to Brian. Brian smiled and greeted them all, "Good evening folks, I'm Sergeant Brian Golie. Obviously, there was an unfortunate event this evening and the officers and I need to ask for your discretion in discussing what you may have witnessed this evening with anyone, as the investigation is ongoing." He looked around at the people and saw nodding heads from the people that were there and smiled in thanks, "Okay, Deputies Ransom and Baker will take your statements. When you are finished you are free to go back to your homes and remember, please do not discuss anything with others, thank you," he said before walking over to his vehicle.

The two deputies had divided the group of people up into a couple of small groups. There were not too many witnesses, as most people had stayed inside their houses, and did not get a clear view of the attack. The few neighbors that happened to have been outside told the officers about seeing huge dogs fighting in the front yard, and jumping into the house. One mentioned that there was some huge guy who had kicked in the front door when one of the big dogs jumped through the window. When they were finished recounting what they had witnessed, the two deputies dismissed them with thanks and walked over to where Brian was sitting in the SUV writing his notes.

"What do you have gentlemen?" Brian asked.

"It appears that they saw some huge guy kick in the front door, while another large dog jumped through the front window. After that, they saw another huge dog fighting with other dogs in the front yard. Then some SUV's pulled up and two of the dogs in the front seemed to run off towards the sides of the house, while the two dogs that were fighting in front yard ended up crashing through the broken front window and back into the house," he paused before continuing, "They heard what they thought might be gunshots and then once everything was quiet, a bunch of people came out of the house and jumped in the SUV's and drove away," Jack recounted as he conferred with his notes.

He looked over at Mike, "Did you get anything different?" he asked him.

Mike looked through his notebook and after scanning the pages he shook his head, "That seems to be pretty much it," he replied.

Brian held his hand out to Mike, "Mike, can I see your notebook?"

Mike handed it over. Brian looked through the notes and then ripped them out of the book and handed it back. He smiled at him, "Thanks for the assist Mike. Jack and I will take care of the reports, you can go back to your patrol," he said.

Mike looked at Brian as if to say more, but the look Brian gave him reminded him that Brian was a Sergeant and he was not.

He simply nodded, "Glad to help, Sergeant."

They both watched as Mike got in his car and drove away. As he was pulling away a large black van with "County Coroner" on the outside pulled up, followed by an unmarked car. Two large guys got out of the van and a guy with a jacket that read "Forensics" got out of the car and walked over to the Sheriff's vehicle.

"Hey, Brian, what do we have?" one of them asked in a low voice.

"There are six of Marius' people here; two in the living room of the house, one on each side of the house, and two in the backyard next door." Brian answered them.

The two men looked around as he explained and nodded. "Shit, that's a lot," he said.

The Forensics guy looked around the street and saw that there were quite a few people watching what was going on. "You know the press is going to get a hold of this," he remarked.

Brian nodded, "Just try to do it as quick as you can, we'll try to run interference, as much as possible."

They nodded and went to the back of their van to get the gurney and six body bags out, while the Forensics guy got his camera and equipment from the trunk of his car. The three of them went inside where they met up with Jean, while Brian and Jack made sure that people stayed back. They saw that some of the people were taking pictures with their cell phones. That was something that they could do little about.

Inside, the Forensics guy was quickly taking pictures of the two in the living room, while Jean took notes. When the two of them finished their pictures and notes, they moved aside while the coroners got the bodies into the body bags and hauled them out. The two of them went outside and did the same thing for each of the rest of the bodies. This continued for thirty minutes until all of the bodies were loaded in the van. The van drove off, while Brian went back inside to talk to Jean and Charles, the Forensics guy.

"How's it going Jean?" he asked.

She shook her head, "This one's going to be hard to contain," she stated.

"Yeah, too many bodies and witnesses, at least the witnesses saw big dogs fighting, and not too much else; but yeah, this is going to be hard. Hopefully Eric and Robert have enough friends to control it." Brian added.

Jean nodded, "I hope so."

Several miles away, the SUV's were doing their best to stay within the speed limit as they shuttled the families to Robert's estate. Chris and Travis were in the backseat, with their hands joined, trying to give each other comfort.

Troy was in the front seat. He opened his backpack, ejected the magazine and took a box of the silver bullets out of the pack and reloaded the magazine until it was full. He replaced the magazine, pulled his spare one out, and checked to make sure it was the other one will silver bullets in it. He looked at Jason, "What happens now?" he asked.

Jason glanced at him, "I don't know. Robert will tell us when we get to the estate. He knows were on the way," Jason stated.

They drove on in silence. In the other vehicles, the parents finally got their youngest children calmed down. Thirty minutes later, as they pulled into the road that led up to where Robert's estate was located, Troy's window crashed in and a hairy arm reached in to grab him. Troy raised his gun and fired several shots at the face that filled the window. The Lycan fell to the ground twitching.

Up ahead they could see a large number of Vans, SUVs and motorcycles parked everywhere in the street. A large number of Lycan, in wolfman and wolf form, along with a number of vampires were moving toward the estate and jumping the fence. The sound of the gunfire caused several to look their way, and change from heading toward the estate grounds and head toward the three vehicles.

"Shit!" Jason yelled. He then pressed a button on the steering wheel, "Get the hell out of here and head to the other way in!" he yelled into the mic that was installed into the dashboard.

Patrick and Allison didn't answer, but they saw that other SUV's quickly stopped and headed in the other direction. Jason stomped on the gas and spun the wheel to head the other way; before their pursuers caught them.

Troy got up from his seat and headed to the back, where he could see out the back window. He dropped the backpack in Travis' lap. One of the Lycan started to catch up and Troy raised his pistol and fired, wounding it and causing it to fall back. He fired at more of them trying to keep them back. The slide locked open and he quickly changed magazines. He tossed the empty one toward Travis, "Travis, load the mag!" he yelled.

Travis opened the backpack, took the box of bullets out and started reloading the mag. When he was done, the box was almost empty. "Troy, the box is almost empty!" Travis yelled to his brother.

Troy glanced back at him, "There's another box in there," he said as he held out his hand to Travis for the loaded magazine.

Travis handed it to him and rummaged through the backpack until he found the other box. He also found a can of pepper spray, took that out and handed it to Chris, "Here hold this."

Chris nodded.

Troy continued to take shots at the pursuers when they got too close, but soon they were able to put enough distance between themselves and the pursuers; they followed the other vehicles as they headed down a different road and turned their lights off. The road eventually came to a dirt road with a closed gate. The lead vehicle never slowed down and rammed right through the gate, slamming it open and tearing it off the fence. The gate fell to the side and they were soon going fairly fast on the road. Troy sat back down next to his brother and ejected the magazine replacing it with the full one. He handed the partially empty magazine to Travis to reload.

"What now, Jason?" Richard asked.

"We're going on a back road to the estate. When Eric called Robert about us picking you guys up, Robert expected something; so he called everyone back to the estate and Eric sent some more of his pack members to help guard the place. We'll come in the back way. There is a hidden way into the mansion, we'll use that to get inside, where we have the best chance of fighting them off," Jason explained. After a moment he continued, "We can't protect you out here as well as we can inside the mansion."

Five minutes later, they stopped the SUVs. Everyone got out and Patrick called everyone together. "Okay, we're now on the backside of the estate. It is apparent that Marks has decided to attack us. We have to go help, if any of you wish to take the SUVs and leave, you are free to do so, but you will be without our protection if you do. If you come with us, we should be able to protect you long enough, until we can get you in the house where you should be well protected." He looked at them, and waited.

The adults looked at each other silently for a few moments before nodding and turning back to Patrick. "We'll follow you," Richard said, "Mike and I have the shotguns and Troy has his pistol. Jason said there was a hidden way into the mansion." He said.

"Wait, I've got an idea," Troy said. He pulled his wallet out and took a business card out of it. He then pulled his cell phone out and made a call.

"Hello, sir, is this Lieutenant McCoy?.....Sir, this is Cadet Grayson…Yes sir, the same…..Well sir, we've got a problem….Do you know Robert?…..Yes sir, that's the one…..He's being attacked by some very bad people…..Yes sir, those kind of bad people….There are a lot of em, sir, and I think we need some help…..Yes sir, my friends and family are here because we wer….Oh, you know about that…..Yes sir, we're okay at the moment….Thank you sir, goodbye, sir."

Troy looked up at the others, "Reinforcements are on the way. That was Lieutenant McCoy from SWAT team 7."

Patrick nodded, "I know him, that might help us, but we better get going so we can get you folks inside the house. It's not too far from here. We'll take you in that way. Once inside the house, we'll be better able to protect you. There should be better weapons that you can use also." He told them.

"Good. I've been feeling a little helpless without something in my hand," Ben stated.

Patrick smiled, "I know that Robert will have something for you. His human staff will have to use such things themselves. Okay, let's get going."

Patrick and Eric led the way, while Jason and Allison trailed behind. Jamie and Nicky, who had finally recovered, ranged out of sight on either side of the group.

A short distance away was a trail. Patrick and Eric were careful where they walked so that those who couldn't see very well in the dark would not trip on anything. After five minutes the trail started to climb a little bit. They walked a short distance more before they came to the base of a short hill. Patrick stopped the group and walked toward the hillside. The loud crack of a branch was all the warning they had before they were attacked.

They heard the sounds of growling and snarling start up from either side of their group, and they were sure that meant Jamie and Nicky were fighting. One wolf hit Patrick high and clamped down on his upraised arm. Eric dropped his robe and quickly changed as a couple more wolves burst out of the surrounding trees and bushes. Eric and the closest wolf crashed into each other. The women and the younger kids screamed. Michael and Richard brought their guns up and fired at the closest one. Richard's shot hit and a knife was left sticking out of the wolf causing it to stagger back. Troy brought his pistol up and fired several shots into the wounded wolf, and it fell to the ground. Jason moved closer to the unarmed group to protect them, while Allison ran to help Patrick deal with the one that was on him.

Eric had driven the wolf that attacked him back, away from the group, and into the surrounding trees and bushes. They were still fighting, but Eric's greater strength was slowly overpowering the smaller wolf.

Patrick's attacker still had his arm in its mouth, when Allison slammed into it from behind and grabbed its head as they tumbled away from Patrick, tearing its jaws free of Patrick's arm. She tightened her grip and quickly twisted his head completely around. A very audible crack was heard as the wolf's neck was broken. She got up and went to help Patrick get up.

The sounds of fighting where Eric had rolled out of sight had died off. Eric came back out of the woods and picked his robe up from where he had dropped it. He was slipping it on just as Jamie and Nicky came out of the woods, both had cuts and scratches all over their bodies, but seemed to be whole. Eric looked at each of them, and they each nodded to let him know that their opponents were dead.

Patrick looked at Troy, "Troy, we need to make sure of this one," he said as he gestured to the wolf. Troy looked at him steadily for a few moments and then nodded and walked over to where the body of the wolf was lying. It had turned back into its human form. Troy looked down on it and hesitated.

Eric came up and stood next to him, "I can do it," he said, quietly and holding his hand out.

Troy shook his head after a moment and raised the gun and fired a one shot into its head, before turning away quickly. Eric gently squeezed his shoulder as he walked by him to return to his family.

Patrick paused for a moment before he turned back to the rock face, and with Eric's help quickly moved some screening bushes away from what looked like part of a large rock. He went up to it and reached for a hidden latch. There was a click and he pushed a hidden door open.

He turned to the group, "Eric, you and your boys take the lead with me, the rest of you follow behind them. Jason, you take the rear of the group. Allison, be sure to hide the door and lock it behind us. Catch up as soon as you can."

He looked at them and received nods of acknowledgement of his orders. The twins changed back into their wolf forms, since their robes had been ripped to pieces when they were attacked, and followed their dad as he led the group into the tunnel. Patrick flipped a switch and dim light filled the tunnel from widely spaced lights on the ceiling, showing a brick lined tunnel that looked old.

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