Dylan and I went out looking for Trent and his team together. The boys stayed at camp inside a set perimeter and a wall of air Dylan insisted I erect. He was worried about the werelion who might take revenge on the boys without any of us there. We didn’t want that. Thankfully the 10 boys were more than happy to just hang out by the fire. They were already goofing off by the time we had left camp.
We checked the obvious places first. The obstacle course, the zip line, the rock face. But they weren’t anywhere. They didn’t seem to be anywhere within the Venatori grounds. Which meant they’d gone hunting for the therians who were in the woods. And it meant that Trent knew exactly what had clawed at John, he’d known that it was supernatural but played dumb.
But There wasn’t much we could do about it now, we had to find them before they killed innocents. When I voiced the thought to Dylan he gave me a sad smile and told me, we had to help them. That if we didn’t they’d probably all die.
He told me then about the pack of therians living in these woods. Apparently they are governed by a pack leader – Darwynn Randall, a former marine who served for years but when he was bitten he was dishonorably discharged. The rumors say he was a hermit who took up living off the grid because he hated all things – including the supernatural – especially the supernatural.
Randall kinda had a cult following. Other weres flocked to his beliefs – all hating what they’d become forming their own group in these very mountains. No one’s ever seen them, no one’s ever really come to the truth, but every year, around this time, Darwynn Randall, kills an entire class of kids the Venatori send up here to learn survival. It’s his way of thinning the herd. They call it Darwynn’s Law.
I don’t know how much of it I believed, but Dylan seemed to believe it. All of it. Dylan confided, “I had thought we’d escaped it when the camp burnt down. Things were different. I’d been wrong. I should have moved the class.”
I didn’t have anything to say to comfort him. “So you asked for me? Just in case?”
Dylan looked at me with wide eyes. His shock was apparent. He shook his head, but I could see the lie as he said them, “No. Dae’lin sent you.”
“She sent me. Right? You requested an experienced hunter to come with you. You wanted someone like Kai or Emilio to come to hunt these things for you, to keep your class from dying. You wanted a real hunter.”
Dylan sighed. “Trent was disappointed our request yielded you. I knew Mick thought good things about you. But she said you’d never make it as a hunter. You were too caring, too soft.”
“And yet, here I am. The one Dae’lin sent to help you.”
“I don’t know why she sent a city hunter with us. You were the only one free I guess.”
I laughed. “You think maybe, Dae’lin knows more than you? She didn’t send me to help you. Well not specifically you and Trent.”
I grinned at Dylan. “If the rumors are true, she sent me to keep the peace.”
Dylan sighed. “I’d heard you were friends with the monsters.”
I took a few steps away from the Dylan and laughed, “I am more than friends with the monsters, Dylan.”
I opened myself to the things around me. The smells, the sounds, the sights. The patterns of nature swirled and shifted with the breeze. I felt the nausea rise from all the movement and waited for it to subside with my eyes closed but all my other senses opened. I caught a whiff of Trent’s cologne and headed in that direction. I smelled fear too.
Dylan followed me. I could hear his footsteps behind me, but he wasn’t saying anything more. I don’t know if everything was all an act or if he was afraid of me now. I could deal with the fear, but I wasn’t sure I liked being played like that. Though it would suit me just right because of the way I treated people. Karma is a bitch.
We headed towards a cave. I heard others nearby and the stench of fear was strong. I also smelt wolf, and felt a weak and waning power.
Dylan stopped me by grabbing my hand and went first, gun drawn. I sighed, “I don’t need your protection.”
Dylan frowned back at me, “Of the two of us, I’m expendable.”
His comment made me pause, this was a first for me. I was never the valuable one. I was the no-nothing kid who liked the monsters we hunted. I couldn’t analyze it any further then, but now, I’m still at a loss of what he might have been thinking and I didn’t have a mind to ask him. I didn’t want to know really. It was a scary thought.
Dylan lead the way inside the cave. I heard whimpering and boys taunting. It was a familiar sound, I remembered when the man in front of me had kicked me in a similar fashion. Him and his friends getting in on the action. Dylan must have recognized the sound as well because he hurried deeper into the cave.
Deeper in we found three boys kicking another boy. Patrick was holding Chris back from the other three boys while they kicked and taunted the boy on the ground. He was curled up in a ball protecting the soft parts. I could feel the wolf power ebbing inside of him. He wasn’t of age to change naturally which meant he was born a wolf. Otherwise these boys would have had a werewolf on the ground and not a scraggly kid who probably hadn’t done anything to them. His clothes were dirty, his face was unwashed. I swept my hand in front of me and the three boys were pinned to the cave wall with air. They squawked and yelled but the look Dylan gave them stilled their tongues.
The wolf boy took off down the way Dylan and I had come without a warning. Dylan turned and fired a shot before I could push his gun up towards the ceiling. “He’s just a boy, he can’t turn, leave him alone.”
“He’s a werewolf. He deserves to die.” Dylan spat at me.
“He’s a boy. He’s done nothing wrong.” I looked at the boys in the cave, “Where is Trent?”
Chris and Patrick had stopped what they were doing and stood watching us. Patrick said, “He went looking for their camp. He told us to get the boy to give us the information.”
I asked, “Did he?”
Chris shook his head. “No. No one asked him.”
I looked at Dylan. “I’m going to take the boys back. You look for Trent. I don’t have to remind you that neither of you are hunters, so once you find him you should return to camp. I’ll call HQ and have them send hunters out. I expect the boy’s pack will retaliate and the boys won’t stand up to a pack full of pissed of werewolves.”
The boys all left without a word. We all walked back to the camp and it’s wall of air protection. I called Boulder HQ and told them about the situation. They weren’t in a hurry to send out help. I didn’t expect they would, but it was on their heads if they didn’t. And they didn’t recall the class when I called the Academy to tell them the same thing. They didn’t care if they lost kids. I wondered if Dorian knew…
I’m going to sleep this shitty day away not that my dreams are any better.