Matt walked into the falling snow, stopping at the ledge of the landing that overlooked the steep rocky face that boarded two sides of their home. As he paused he looked back toward the home and the patio. The Bears he had just left were starting to stir and reenter the house. Matt chuckled to himself and turned to head down the path that led to the road below. The snow had been falling steadily for over an hour. If it had not been for the enhanced physical prowess that came with being a were-creature, Matt would have certainly fallen to his death on the rock and road below.
Landing at the base of the road a familiar scent caught his nose, as he turned Matt was tackled to the ground and rolled to a stop a few meters down the snow covered street. Tumbling to a stop and coming to his feet, a familiar creature blocked his path. Chuckling, “What’s up Jason”, Matt growled in Wolf. Crouched down in front of him was Jason, a Great Gray Wolf that had moved into the area a few seasons ago with his partner and lover. Unknown to Luke, Matt had made friends and enjoyed palling around with Jason whenever he could. It would seem the heavy falling snow, closed roads and generally deserted area gave the two the almost perfect playground for wrestling around in full or half forms. It was always a one sided conversation, since Jason had experienced extensive trauma, and was now mute. He would grunt, whimper, or whine in Wolf form, but that was the extent of his animal vocalization. In human form, he hung his head, walked behind his partner, and wore a hoodie 24/7.
“You know I wish you would talk to me, but I know you need time,” chuffed the Bear. The Wolf returned the sentence with a long low whine, a dipping of his tale, and lowering of his head, walking slowly up to Matt as he stood up, watching his advance. “You want to walk with me to the market? We can take the long way through the nature preserve. It will give you some space to stretch. What do you say?” Matt asked in English as he moved back to his human form, and pulled the hood of his jacket back into place. Jason gave an excited jump and started to dance around him, like a playful puppy. “Ok, Ok, come here give me a hug, then we can get moving.”
After the two departed and made there way into the nature preserve, Matt reached down and grabbed the fluffy tail of the Wolf that was walking beside him. Jason head snapped back and a little grimace crossed his face. Just a momentary glimpse of aggression, then as easily as it came it was replaced with a small whimper and soft, almost sad eyes. Matt wondered what kind of hell he had been through to make the genetic response of a Wolf, disappear as if it was a bad thing. Matt thought that Jason has been conditioned that way, but later tossed that idea, when digging a little deeper into the past of the couple. The Wolf couple that had come to live close to them had started to become loose friends, until Luke’s jealously and harsh nature destroyed that chance. So, Matt contacted the pair and tried to remain a distant, yet supportive friend. Jason’s partner, Alex, who was also a Wolf, had been horribly disabled and disfigured while serving in the US Army, alongside Jason. Later they both made a shift to Wolf, but Matt was still a bit fuzzy on who changed them. Both Jason and Alex had been healed, much like Matt was, when they made the shift to Wolf, but it was still odd in Matt’s mind. Normally Wolves are pack oriented. Although it was not odd to find a lone-Wolf now and then, it was odd that these two had been abandoned by there sire. Almost since birth.
As the two walked deeply into the nature preserve, they came to the small brook/steam that ran though its rear corner. This was a place Matt liked to come to. The rocks, along with the ambling water made the perfect meditation spot. With the falling snow and now ice, it was almost assured that they would be alone. Humans were not made for these type of weather conditions. However, a Great Wolf was, and Jason was having a great time. Matt looked over as Jason sniffed the ground and then started to roll around in the snow and scratch his back, making little grunting noises as he went. “You know, if you keep that up, you’re going to need a bath when you get home,” chuckled Matt. Jason stopped, got up and proceeded to shake. Slinging the slow that had stuck to his fur in Matt’s direction. Shielding his face and eyes from the onslaught, Matt smiled, and the smile was returned in Wolf-like fashion. Sitting quietly for a moment. The two were wrapped in the quiet of the snowfall and running water. Jason moved up to Matt’s side as the Bear started to gently rub the Wolf from his head and down his back. Just a long petting motion, not a sexual one, but just affection. The two were lost in that simple gesture, letting thoughts enter there minds. No words were passed between the two. Just two beings, enjoying each others company.
After a time, the chirp of Matt’s cell brought them both out of the dreamy thoughts. “Hello my dear Bear, whats up?” Matt asked. “No no, I took a walk through the preserve, I’m fine, nothings the matter…. Okay, you need Dates, and Condensed Milk. Okay got it, not to worry. Love you too. Bye Now.” Matt closed the case on his phone and put it back in his pocket. Looking down Jason was staring up at him. In that ‘I really don’t want you to go look.’ “I know, I know. Lets get moving. I have a house full of Bears and cubs, and they are eating me out of house and home. Hubby wants to make Toffee Pudding,” Matt said as he noticed the words seemed to be cutting into Jason like knives.
Shifting and partially kneeling to get to eye level with the Wolf. Speaking slowly and looking right into his eyes; “I don’t know what happened to you, but just know that I am your friend and will help when I can. When you are ready to talk again, I am here to listen. If you need help, I will be there. You are part of a pack, all-be-it a weird Bear-Wolf-Boar-Elk pack, but none-the-less a Pack. Take heart in that, relax, enjoy life with your mate and cherish the gifts that you have been given. I know that the change, no matter what species, is given with the utmost respect and caution. If your sires didn’t think you two could handle it, then they would not have offered it. Lets get moving, before I get called again.”
As Matt finished he reached up and hugged the Wolf around his neck and lowered his head. The Wolf returned the gesture and licked Matt around his ears. Both looked in each others eyes for a time, then stood and made there way out of the preserve. The Wolf bounding around trying to tackle the Bear and Matt lazily lobbing balls of snow at the Wolf. The two were just palling around and enjoying the time.
Much later in life. Matt would come to know that Jason and his partner were changed by an elder, just before the elder ended his life. They could not save there sire and decided to leave his pack. The memory was to hard for them. It had been Jason that held his sire as he passed away, and the sadness had taken away his ability to speak. Matt never forgot the pair as they moved through many lives in many places, and the impact of the friendship would hold Matt together through many tough times.
Remember, friendship and brotherly love is not always and equal exchange. Sometime you have to give everything and wait a lifetime to see any kind of return. Jason did speak again, and when he did it was to Matt, many years later. But that is a topic for a different story.
-To Be Continued-