The Wardens Series (S01E02: Howl) – 2012

Chapter 20

As if the night couldn’t get any worse, when they came to Erin and Zach were hanging, suspended from the upstairs balcony, just out of reach of the now riled up werewolves. The beasts clawed at the air, leaping high as they tried to reach the two wardens. Seeing their chains kept the werewolves far enough away from them, Erin swallowed the first hints of fear that had tried to possess her. She knew the chains wouldn’t hold them for long but did not let this cloud her thoughts.

            “You good Zach?” she called to her partner, strung up just a few feet away.

            “I’m alive.”

Satisfied Zach was okay, Erin wondered what their best bet of escape would be. She couldn’t use magic without getting one of them hurt and there just wasn’t enough wriggle room in her bonds to even get close to her knives.

            “Good, you wake,” Kaleb’s cheerful voice came from below. “Come my pets, behave yourselves.” From her vantage point, Erin could make out Kaleb stroking the heads of the werewolves. Watching was surreal and Erin knew that should they live to tell the tale, it would take some convincing for others to believe them. These things didn’t happen among werewolves and lycans. Knowing lycans’ distaste for them, werewolves avoided their distant cousins and certainly did not bow to them, but here were two doing just that, just as the Lawson women had earlier.

            “This isn’t a fair fight lycan,” Erin shouted down at him, but Kaleb just laughed.

            “You two should have stayed out of this, it didn’t concern you.” The new voice came from the containment commander who’d spoken to them earlier.

            “Traitors, that’s all you fuckers are.” The anger in Zach’s voice was palpable, but all his outburst was met with was more laughter.

            “Fighting words from someone in your predicament,” Commander Tremblay retorted.

            “Gentlemen,” Kaleb’s tone was firm, “There’s no reason we can’t be civil. The wardens already know my price and should they agree to my terms, not only will I tell the girl of her lineage, but I will let them go free.”

            “You can’t be serious, they know who we are, everyone in the organisation will know too if you let them live!” Yelled the commander, but Kaleb rebuffed his tirade,

            “The politics of Praesidium have nothing to do with me or my clan, I would never betray the Reshu as you have. Maybe you deserve this punishment,” he chuckled.

Erin felt a stirring in the pit of her stomach. This won’t end well.

            “We did everything you asked and now you’re saying that you won’t protect us from the organisation? That wasn’t our deal.” The commander’s voice was almost trembling as he tried to control his rage.

            “You have been paid all you asked for your services. Now I must hold your hand too?” came Kaleb’s cheeky reply.

            “You can’t do this—” Commander Tremblay’s speech was cut off by a loud snarl, but hanging upside down Erin strained to see what was happening.

The werewolves took action as the commander and the officer with him attacked Kaleb, while the lycan removed himself from the fray and allowed his werewolves to take charge. Without their skeletal armour, the werewolves made light work of the containment officers and Erin cringed each time she heard snapping jaws sinking deep into flesh or the screams of the men as they met their demise.

            Zach too had listened with an increasingly sick feeling growing in his stomach. There was no way either of them would try to negotiate their lives for the male werewolves and that meant that if they couldn’t find some other way to free themselves, they’d be dead before daybreak. He couldn’t feel either of his guns anymore and assumed they’d been taken when they’d been tied up. His mind raced as he considered possibilities, when suddenly he thought of something,

            “Hey Kaleb, even if we try to get the males out, you killed the only two containment officers who would have been able to transport them. We don’t have the clearance to do that.”

Kaleb came closer so that he was standing right beneath them and peered up, “You will think of something.” He turned to walk away, Zach wasn’t finished.

            “How the hell did you guys pull this off anyway? And the males, Erin here thinks it’s evolution.” Kaleb looked up at them, with hints of pride, exactly what Zach had hoped for. He didn’t know why he hadn’t thought of playing this card before.

            “You wardens think you are so wise, that we must bow to your leaders and the rules you make our kind impose. These last days the Reshu clan has proven that we are the greatest lycan clan on Earth and when we return for the Gathering, all will know this.”

            “That still doesn’t explain how you were able to get males to live through the change. That’s something isn’t it Erin?”

Erin, catching on replied, “Can’t think straight hanging upside down like this, blood rushing and all that. Lycan, why don’t you cut us down so we can talk properly?”

Kaleb thought hard for a few moments, before springing into the air. With two quick slashes of his extended claws, he broke their bonds, sending them falling into the midst of the werewolves.

            “Haruyei Nauhte!” Erin shouted, terror gripping her, then thankfully felt herself being flung backwards against the brick wall, as her disengage spell took effect. Zach crashed into her soon after and they both slumped to the floor.

Erin jumped up first, remembering where they were and what was with them. Her worries were unfounded however, as the werewolves were as silent as lambs, eyeing them with the same rage they were known for, but not willing to move an inch without Kaleb’s command.

            “See, how do you make them obey you like that?” Erin asked, daring to come closer and Kaleb smiled at her, staring in the same disturbing way he had before.

            “All will be revealed at the Gathering, if you make it there,” Kaleb replied.

Zach spoke up, “I’ll help you, but you can’t tell her the truth about who she is.” He looked over at Erin, holding her gaze for seconds, his expression saying what he needed her to do. She got into character, turning to her partner as if outraged,

            “What’s this Zach? You know things about me and you won’t tell me?

            “We fight monsters Erin, what more do you want?” Zach fired back.

Erin turned back to Kaleb, a small smile on her face, “Him.” She could feel her dark magic pulsing through her and in an easy movement charged Kaleb. Taken off guard, he was unable to avoid her punch and fell down a few steps and into his werewolves. Erin didn’t stop moving and channelling all her power, jumped into the air, kicking one, then the other werewolf hard. She landed again, skidding in the blood of the dead containment officers and her adrenaline high, used the momentum to propel her forward.

            Blue flame spewed from her hands, temporarily blinding her opponents, then pulling two of the daggers from her waist, she slit the blades clean across the neck of one. The werewolf fell, returning to her human form, blood spilling from the gash in her neck as she gagged for breath.

            Kaleb reappeared now, fully transformed, his eyes bloodshot red. He was furious. He came at her, the other werewolf in tow and Erin, seeing the danger in going up against a lycan, but feeling as though her body had taken on a life of its own, met their charge, shouting with exhilaration as she went.

            “Out of the way Erin,” Zach yelled, as he pulled four miniature explosives, each no bigger than a fingernail, from his back pocket and flung them in the direction of the fight. Erin didn’t listen. She crashed into Kaleb, her dark-caramel skin seeming to glow as a greater power overtook her. The explosives connected with their targets and Zach was pushed back from the sheer force.

            After a few minutes had passed, he pushed himself up on shaky legs, worry etched on his face as the dust settled, “Oh my fucking God. Erin?” He shouted, stumbling forward at first, the aftershock of the impact still affecting him. He climbed over debris of the front of the house, seeing werewolf hair, charred skin and meat wherever he looked. He ran his hands through his dark hair and his breaths came fast and hard.

            “I’m over here.” Zach looked to where the voice had come from, seeing Erin standing nearly untouched some feet away from him. Her hair had come loose in the ruckus and her curls now fell messily about her shoulders. To him she was as beautiful as ever in the light of the moon and unlike Zach, who now had a thick layer of dust covering his skin and clothing, would make anyone believe that she’d had no part in what had just taken place. He ran over to her, clutching her arms tightly as he inspected her face, making sure she was all right. She didn’t say anything, as relief washed over him.

            “Sorry, I just had to make sure.” Zach released her, wanting to hug her really, but knowing better than to do so. “We should call this in right away, they need to know what went down here.”

Erin still didn’t move. She’d felt something very different when she’d used magic this time. It was more powerful than anything she’d ever felt, as though she was invincible. “Kaleb got away,” she said, pointing at the rubble.

            “Centuries-year-old lycan? I’m not surprised, I’ll just call it in so we can get some wardens to try and track him down before he gets too far away.” Zach reached for his cell phone, then paused, noticing that Erin hadn’t taken her eyes off him.

            Her jaw tensed as she spoke. “Zach, what am I?”

You’ve come to the end of The Wardens Series S01E02: Howl. Thanks for reading! To purchase a signed PDF copy for $8, contact me with your request.

Read on to S01E03: Lust. To check for availability of episodes, visit my Stories’ page.

Note: Apologies for any formatting issues in this or subsequent episodes. This seems to be a technical problem in the WordPress backend.

Begin the story again with S01E01: Skins, and for more information about The Wardens Series, visit the Inside Worlds’ page.

For more info, questions, or comments, share below or contact me :).

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