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From the forthcoming release of
A Quarrel of Sparrows - A Sparrows Hollow Lycanthropic Adventure
Cal - Three Months Later …

    I sat at the window, trying to keep my breathing steady. It had been three months since I’d returned to them. Three months since I haven’t been able to sleep an entire night comfortably. Three months where I would look into my boy’s eyes and the overwhelming joy I felt in having him close again. Three months to contemplate how much of his life I’ve allowed to slip by.
    “Cal?” Ruth murmured sleepily from our bed.
    “Still here, Ruthie. Just can’t sleep again. Go back to sleep. I’ll be fine.”
    She rolled onto her back and drew a hand up over her head onto the pillow. Her eyes opened just barely enough to let me know she was rapidly waking.
    “They back yet?” she yawned softly, bringing that hand from the pillow to her mouth to stifle it back.
    “Yeah, ‘bout fifteen minutes ago. They’s settlin’ down now.”
    She sat up onto her bent elbows to watch me at the window. “How is it that their parents don’t fret too much about them being gone all the time? You’d think their mas would be a wee-bit concerned.”
    “They’s grow’d up men, now. C’mon Ruthie, even you know how the kids run around here and the next towns over. Hell, I’m amazed that we didn’t have them around before Hank accepted who he was to them.”
    “There were times that Cory thought it’d never happen. We both did.” She rolled onto her side and pulled the covers back for me, beckoning me back to her arms and our bed.
    I missed this. I missed them all, far more than I ever wanted to admit during those terrible long years of exile while I watched over them.
    She watched my naked form move to her, her eyes riveted to my more than ample sex. Even in her drowsed state, she didn’t bother masking the lust that lingered there. She’d been denied the pleasures of her flesh for too long. As of late, we’d made our love-making a nightly routine. Sometimes more than once a night. All I could think was thank the maker that we were both talented enough to silence the sounds coming from our room while I took her to new heights of sensual pleasure.
    There was one thing we hadn’t talked about since my return. The fact that I knew that she was with child again. The wolf must have its way. Every one of those boys were going to have to sort out how they were going to balance a family life of their own with some girl in town and their absolute devotion to my son.
    Not an easy proposition by any stretch.
    I was lucky enough that what I was kept me from being bound to anyone in that way. When I shared the pleasures of my flesh, of what prowess I had in sex, it was a conscious choice I made. And given how the wolves who were not of my kind – which admittedly was a very long list since there were only two of our kind consisting of just me and my son – could feed upon the power we carried within us, I had to keep a very careful eye to anyone who approached Hank.
    Cade has slipped by me once, nearly did us all in with that singularly brilliant move. I won’t make that mistake again. Not with my boy. But with the wards we placed on Hank’s room when we rebuilt it, converting it into a single room with a massive homemade mattress that sprawled across the floor for the boys to stay connected to Hank after a hunt, I knew we were in an okay place so I could try to sleep each night. Didn’t mean that I did sleep.
    As I slipped under the covers of the bed, pulling my wife to me allowing her to move on top, drawing her simple nightgown up enough so I could slip into her as we began a slow arduous fuck, my mind did wander a bit over what was Cade’s end goal. One thing was sure: he had become far more smooth in his approach and his delivery. That pit stop in the shop that Cory relayed to me with Riley and Tanner was just his way of playing the crude card so if I was around I wouldn’t think that he’d changed much.
    “Sssst, yeah baby, right there,” she whispered as I let her use my thick elongated cock to pleasure herself, angling her body to use my sizable girth to stimulate herself, bringing a fair amount of shuddering to me in the process. I grunted in response. I didn’t think she knew I had sort of checked out. In a way I knew I could keep from blowing inside her if I did. It was definitely a big check mark in the plus category between us. She continued to milk me for all her worth, my hands slipping up under her shift to grip her hips tightly so I could drive a few times forcefully into her. It seemed to please her, so my thoughts moved elsewhere, my body on automatic as she continued to use my body to satiate her carnal pleasures.
    A small smirk coursed across my lips as I pondered where my life had gone over the past decade. I wasn’t always around during that prolonged exile from my family. I spent a fair amount in Charleston. I even took to taking classes in Morgantown at the University so I could further educate myself. I got a degree in engineering so I could gain employment in any number of well-established companies along the eastern seaboard. Didn’t mean I did that, only ‘cause I didn’t. My manner of speaking had greatly improved, though I found it so easy to slip back into Sparrow’s manner of speech from the moment I returned. It wasn’t that I thought they needed talking down to any. Because it ‘tweren’t like that at all. There was just a comforting rhythm to it that I found I needed to feel connected to the world I’d grown up and felt deeply rooted in continuing to call her home.
    I gently rolled her onto her back and kissed her passionately as I began to fuck her in earnest. I relished the way her small feet would come up alongside my narrow waist as I fucked her relentlessly with long strides of my cock. She writhed under me, whispering to me that she liked what I was doing. ’Tweren’t like it was when I was with the boys, and that was a very good thing ‘cause it helped me keep this part of my life completely contained. I didn’t think I could ever keep her happy, keep my family together, and still have my way with the boys as I needed to if this ever started to bleed over into that wolf-infused life.
    Twenty or so minutes later and a solid round of her climax before I’d allowed my own, we spent a few minutes cuddling before I rolled onto my back next to her as she slipped into slumber again. I stared up into the ceiling trying to work out what was Cade’s endgame.
    Power, that was definitely on the list.
    Cade was nothing if not about power. He’d wanted it then; he seemed to still want it now. I even recalled in that hellish moment when he was fucking Hank that I saw a malevolent glee in his face – as if he knew what he was doing was aimed solely at me.
    But what else could he be needling at? The pack?
    Would he move to destroy what I put into place to protect Hank?
    I knew the answer to that. It could only be yes, and that troubled me. Mostly because in those intervening years Cade had to have been waiting and watching just as much as I was and I didn’t detect him none until that gut-wrenching night when he made his move.
    In a very real way, while he was rather slick about slipping past Ruthie and Cory’s protections, he was also tenacious about how he slipped past my own – even going so far as to mask his scent until he got too worked up in fucking my boy.
    That was his singular mistake.
    It was epic, in that his failure to keep in place the veil that would prevent us to see him, was the only thing that had allowed me to move in and save my boy from something that would’ve messed him up. Probably for the rest of his life, too. I shuddered inwardly just thinking about that – how close it had all come crashing down around us.
    I knew I should be more angry about Cade’s rape of Hank. But the wolf controlled those baser instincts. It had an off-switch that wouldn’t allow us to wallow in that sort of thing. I had to explain that to Hank after he’d had a solid round of being sexual with his boys only an hour or so after he’d been taken by Cade.
    He didn’t understand it. Riley and the boys had to help me explain it to him that the wolf protects what it needs to. It only increases clarity of mind in the hunt to shutter up those feelings of guilt and remorse. The wolf won’t allow those feelings to fester.
    It’s why Hank seemed to bounce back from it all so easily.
    The wolf must always win. That’s its endgame. It’s what made being a wolf so challenging, that duality that was at war inside. It was something you felt the entire time even if he was in the background while you were human. He constantly stalked you, waiting for a moment to come to the fore.
    Sometime between all those thoughts I found sleep. It would have to do, even if it was only for a few hours before I had to get up and tend to the store and the surrounding chores what needed to be done. That part I always looked forward to, mostly because that was quality Hank-and-me time. Having my boy near me was the greatest feeling a father could have. His smile did more for my soul than anything else in this world could.
    He was mine.
    He was a part of me.
    He was my greatest effort and my greatest work.
    And I’d be damned if Cade Bowen could come along and tear that down. That man had better watch hisself. Shit was about to get real.