Scott stood behind the podium in the back of their small community hall while a mob of people yelled question after question, “Everyone please calm down,”he repeated for the tenth time.
Theo strode purposefully up to the podium and removed his ballcap. “Sit down and shut up!” He hollered in his loudest voice, which was booming considering he was an alpha wildling. The old window panes rattled and once the people in the community hall pulled their hands from their ears, they sat quietly and waited for answers. Theo hoped he could oblige.
“Hello everyone, glad you could all make it on such short notice. Now I’m gonna ask that you hold your questions until your called on. We’ll get to everyone, I promise.” He pointed to Shelly, “Since this meeting seems to have stemmed from you, I’ll take your question first.”
Looking like she was about to uncover the scandal of the century, she asked. “Are you going to turn the woman in to the government or are you going to let them just round us all up and use our children for experiments?!” Her large chest heaved after her passionate performance. The crowd began an uproar, “Yeah!” was shouted repeatedly.
“Now, good people, the sky is not falling and the government is not coming to get your babies. I will personally look into the matter of the flyer. I highly doubt it’s even talking about our guest, but I will take precautions. Don’t you worry. We take care of our own, and she needs help. Someone beat her near to death and I can’t just toss her out into the city. I’m sure all you god lovin’ folk agree?” Theo looked around and saw the majority of people nodding in agreement. He asked, “Anybody have any questions left?” He nodded when the group all looked anywhere but his face. “Good, I will hold another meeting tomorrow to keep y’all posted. I haven’t let you down yet, have I?”
“No Sir!” Echoed many times throughout the hall as people headed back to their homes. Shelly glared viciously in Theo’s direction, then dragged her husband out the door by his arm.
Standing at Theo’s side, Scott cringed, “That woman’s a viper! You have to feel pity for her poor husband…She looked like she wanted to skin you and wear your fur as as next winter’s coat.”
Theo could only shrug it off, “Yeah, she’s had her eye on being alpha for years. I’m almost tempted to give it to her.” Theo and Scott left the community center together, enjoying the sunshine and restored quiet.
Scott stopped walking and pulled him to a halt by his jacket, “Theo don’t even joke about that. Can you imagine that woman with any kind of power in her hands. It’s going to give me nightmares just thinking on it.”
Theo laughed and pulled his arm out of Scott’s grasp to get walking again. “I wouldn’t do that to you, don’t worry yourself. It’s just dang tiring sometimes dealing with folks and their fears.”
“So what is your plan to deal with the little lady in your house?” Scott scratched his graying head and offered a suggestion when Theo didn’t answer right away. “There’s always that hunting cabin out in the west mountains. No one goes there since the deer migrated away. Then no one would know where she was. That’s if someone’s lookin’ anyway.”
Theo cleared his throat and whacked his dear friend on the back, “That…that is a good idea. I could send Seth up with her, he’s due for a punishment for that stunt he pulled near town couple days back.”
Scott grinned, “Not sure he’ll see it as a punishment, being shacked up in the woods with a pretty young lady. Anyway, let me know if you need me.” He chuckled and waved goodbye.
Theo waved back, still deep in thought about the government and why they would want the girl badly enough to risk exposure. He didn’t even know where to begin.
Ruby called to him from the porch, lunch was on the table. He put the subject to rest while he anticipated Ruby’s special venison soup. Taking the stairs two at a time, Theo scooped his wife up and stole a kiss. After he set her back on her feet and she fixed her clothes, Ruby patted his butt. “Run along now and get washed up. If you don’t hurry you’ll be eating nothing but bread, Seth’s on his second bowl already.” Ruby laughed when Theo rushed into the kitchen, yelling for his son to slow down.
She took out the tray they used when the boys got sick. It had metal feet and bears dancing in a pattern on the top. Not that the poor thing would be able to see them, Ruby thought. A bowl of soup, glass of water, and bread all went on the tray and she brought it in to the small woman. It was Ruby’s goal to fatten her up a bit while she was there. Looked like a strong wind might push her over.
Knocking first, she entered the room and lay the tray down on Sam’s dresser. “Dear, would you like to try and eat?”
Vikki rolled over to look at her and Ruby gasped. “Your face!”
“What now, did I grow another nose?” She felt around and it seemed the same as usual. “What?”
Ruby smiled, “No, it’s right as rain. I was just surprised to see you in such fine shape, so quickly.” She picked up the tray and gestured for Vikki to sit up. “You seem to be speaking easier too. Is your vision any better?”
“Yes, I can make out your eyes and mouth now, there’s less pain than before my nap. Thank you… Ma.” Vikki blushed at her last word, but she knew Ruby would enjoy it. Her beaming smile was proof that Vikki was right.
Ruby asked, “I was wondering if you remembered your name now that your feeling better?” She carefully set the tray in Vikki’s lap, then pushed pillows behind her back to keep her upright.
“It’s Vikki Nightinger. Can you not tell anyone though?” She winced as the warm soup washed over an open sore in her cheek. She was thankful that her eyesight seemed to be recovering and by the speed of recovery so far, she would be back to normal by morning. “Mmm! Good soup,” she told Ma.
“Thank you, Vikki. I’ll let you eat in peace. I’ve got to go check and see if Seth has left any for his brothers. The boy is a bottomless pit.” Vikki nodded slowly, sighing once the door was gently closed. It was so nice for her being mothered, her own had died when she was fifteen. It was going to be heartbreaking when she had to go. But when she had to run, she had to run.
Sitting around the kitchen table, where most big desicions were made, Theo and Scott were discussing something intensely and of course Ruby was curious.
“What you got there?” Theo handed it to her. It was the flyer that Shelly had gotten the whole town riled up about. Only, by the looks of it, it wasn’t for nothing. The paper described and even had a dead on sketch of Vikki. No doubt. There was also no doubt that the wording and approach screamed Goverment, or one of it’s affiliates.
Theo held her hand and skimmed his thumb over her palm, “I’ve talked to Seth already, were going to sneak her out of here. He’ll stay with her, keep her safe until we get this sorted. He’s leaving town right now to “go hunting” and throw off suspicion. Seth can wait for us by the river bend till midnight.” Theo ruffed his beard and sighed. The plan was in place, now they just needed to pack a few things.
Scott gave Ruby his best puppy dog eyes, “Got any more soup?”
More to come…