A week later, Luc and Meg headed up into the mountains for the last camping trip before hunting season really kicked in. Right now it was just the bow hunters and black powder muzzle loaders out there in the woods. Luc was confident that he’d scent them before they got too close.
“Do you think we have enough blankets?” Meg asked looking at the pile in the back of the car.
“Maybe. It gets cold this time of year and sometimes even I don’t have enough fur,” Luc said. He smiled at Meg who shot him a look of sheer disbelief.
“I didn’t think that was possible,” she said.
“Oh, it is. ODFS is just about over, and the nights are cold,” he replied.
“ODFS?” she asked.
“Out Door Fucking Season,” Luc answered.
They both broke up with giggles.
“I had never heard that term before,” admitted Meg.
“Well, now you have. Soon we will have to just hike in the woods and leave the nookie to the bedroom and lots of warm indoor heat,” said Luc.
Meg smiled. She thought about how hot and sweaty they had been most of the summer and sort of relished the idea of being cooler. She watched the scenery go by as they drove higher into the mountains. Last weekend had been upsetting and while she was glad her cycle had shown up, there was still a part of her that had really wanted to be pregnant. That was a situation she had never expected to find herself in let alone desiring. Ginny had taken her out for lunch and the two of them had had a really good girl’s night out. She found out that Ginny had been dumped by a lover when she couldn’t keep a baby. After that, Ginny had decided to just enjoy life and not worry about babies. Besides, she had Duke’s brood to worry about.
Luc looked over at Meg. She was deep in thought and he just let her be. While they hadn’t really argued this week, it was a rough one for both of them. His cousin Bert had been after him to dump Meg and find a good shifter to make babies. Luc had decked him and told him to never show his face again at the office or Luc’s home. Duke had been sympathetic. He’d explained that Penny had a rough time when they first got together. Luc hadn’t realized that. They’d had a few beers while the girls had been out and talked while waiting for them to get home.
“Meg, we’re almost there,” he said as he turned into the campground. They had decided to see how things were as this was a rather isolated area. There were maybe two campers in the whole campground.
“Are we going to camp here and hike in the morning or are we going up higher?” she asked.
“I’m all for going higher if you want,” he said.
“Let’s do that. I know I’m still in a bit of a funky mood, and I think I want to be as far from people as we can,” Meg said.
“Fine by me,” said Luc as he turned up a road at the back of the campground. The road lead to a wilderness area that had primitive camping. He noticed that the bushes were loaded with berries as they drove up to higher elevations. Five miles up the road, they stopped and pulled into a big meadow. Meg got out and stretched.
“This looks good. The river is just over on the other side of the meadow,” she said.
“This is nice. We might car camp up here more often. I’ll get the tent if you’ll start dinner,” he said.
“Okay,” answered Meg. She got out the little Svea stove and started up water for tea and was cutting up meat to cook with the noodles.
Luc found a soft grassy area to put the tent up. He got it set up in record time and started setting up the bedding. Amongst the extra blankets, he had a few treats hidden. He put them under his side of the nest he’d built. Standing up out of the tent, he could see that Meg had the tea ready and the meat and noodles were simmering. It smelled good.
“I didn’t realize how hungry I was until I stood up out of the tent,” he said.
“I agree. I haven’t felt really hungry all week, but right now I could eat every bite of this,” said Meg. She spooned the food into two bowls and handed Luc one. She sat down and began to eat.
They sat there quietly eating and drinking their tea as the sunlight began to fade. As the sun set, the wind picked up. It seemed to howl down the valley and then ten minutes later it changed directions and howled up the valley.
“What the heck is with this wind?” she asked Luc.
This valley is called Lungs of the Earth by the local Native Americans,” he said.
“Are we going to have to listen to this all night?” she asked.
“I have no idea. I’ve never camped up here before. I’ve camped higher up, but didn’t notice the wind.”
“Oh. Okay. Well, let’s get the dishes done and take a bit of a walk before bed,” she said.
Luc nodded and began to heat water. That took longer than they expected, because the wind kept shifting. It even blew out the stove once. As Luc started the stove again, something caught his eye.
“Meg, move very slowly and look out about 30 yards from my left shoulder,” he said softly.
“What?” she asked.
“Just look,” he said again.
Meg looked and soon she saw a pair of eyes reflecting in the darkness. “Oh,” she said softly.
“If my nose is correct, that is something that doesn’t exist,” he said.
“Huh?” Meg asked.
“That is a wolf. A real one, not a shifter, and she is very interested in us. She is having a terrible time trying to understand why a two-legs smells like a wolf,” he said with a smile as he slowly stood up from the stove.
“I bet that is confusing,” replied Meg.
“It certainly would be for me,” Luc said. “I know I was terribly confused the first time I met a non-wolf shifter. All I could think was ‘why did that man smell like a bear?’ and then I realized what he was,” said Luc.
“Oh, I bet that was funny,” she said.
“It was. He really did smell like a bear. Garbage and all. Had all the bad manners too,” he said.
“You’re joking,” Meg said.
“No, You’ve met him. Mr. Michaels. The guy who didn’t want to believe your projections this week?”
“Him? Ewww! He did stink in spite of all that fancy cologne,” said Meg. “Now I know who it was that Ginny called Mr. Griz, and why.”
“Yep. There’s a short order cook I know who’s a were-coyote. Great cook, moves like greased lightening and a really sweet guy. Then there is the fae. Most of them are small and stay away from men. However, there are those that are almost human sized,” he said.
“You mentioned them before. Said that fairies make Tinkerbell look sweet,” said Meg.
“Oh yeah. They steal and have no problems moving things just for the hell of it,” Luc said. “Hey, our wolf just got closer.”
Meg looked and nodded. “Shall we just go to bed, and not scare her off?” she asked.
“Sounds good. Let’s finish up the dishes and close up the car,” agreed Luc.
They spent ten minutes cleaning up and packing stuff into the car. After a trip to the bushes, they headed to bed.
“Wow this is soft,” said Meg.
“Meadow grass and extra blankets,” said Luc. “I figured we deserved comfort tonight.”
“I could go for that,” she said laying down after taking off her boots and kicking off her jeans.
Luc smiled. “I think that is one of my favorite outfits,” he said.
“What, me in a flannel shirt and undies?” Meg asked.
“Especially when it is my flannel shirt. I love it when your scent mixes with mine.” he said laying down next to Meg. He pulled her to him and kissed her lips. Meg returned the kiss. Her hands moved down his side and crossed down. He was growing hard under his jeans.
“Are you sure you want to stay dressed?” she asked.
“Noh,” he answered, his voice growing thick with excitement.
“Don’t you turn furry on me yet! This is the first time we’ve had a chance to have sex in a week,” she scolded him.
“Noht trying to. Juhst hard after a weehk,” he moaned as her hand rubbed his erection under his jeans.
“I agree, it has been way too long. You have too many clothes on,” she said pulling at his belt.
Luc moved to get undressed. His erection sprang upwards as his jeans were pushed to the bottom of the tent. His undies followed as did Meg’s. He pulled her to him and kissed her roughly on the lips as his hands roamed over her ass. Meg wrapped her arms around Luc, bringing her flannel covered breast up to his shoulders. Luc moved down and pulled at the buttons with his teeth.
Meg moaned as his lips and teeth grazed her bare skin and nipples taunt with sensation. She rocked her hips forward. Luc took advantage of her position and grabbed a nipple while his fingers found her wet nether lips and plunged into her.
“Oh! Ogods!” Meg cried out. She was so sensitive after her cycle and no sex. She almost came just from his fingers entering her pussy.
Luc growled sub-vocally against her nipple sending shivers up and down her spine.
“Geeze!” she gasped.
Luc smiled, her nipple still in his mouth. His hand between her legs was dripping with moisture. It hadn’t taken him long to figure out that sub-vocals done just right turned Meg on. He slipped a second and then a third finger between her lips, slowly pumping in and out.
Meg reached down between them and caressed his cock that was bumping against her.
“Ahh,” Luc gasped, dropping her nipple.
Meg squirmed around and brought her mouth down to his cock and wrapped her lips around his head. Luc moved to let her have access to his cock while still fingering her. She wiggled her hips at him, encouraging him to continue touching her. He slid his thumb down and touched her clit.
“Mmmmph!” Meg screamed against his cock as she came.
Luc repeated the movement, enjoying the way she came as well as the vibrations against his cock. His hand was dripping with moisture, and he was afraid he’d come too soon.
“Hhhold on Meg,” he said.
Meg stopped and he got on his knees, pulling her to him so they could do it ‘wolfy-style’ as Meg teasingly called this position. She leaned forward on her arms while he grabbed her hips, pulling her to him while he buried himself deep in her.
Bliss. Holding her hips, he moved slowly and then sped up. It felt so good to be back inside of Meg. They fit so well together.
Meg could feel the heat building up in her groin and drove herself back against Luc. Luc took note and increased his own rhythm. The slapping of flesh was punctuated with rapid panting breaths and then a howl as Luc came deep in Meg. Meg shuddered and felt her orgasm rip through her.
“Arrrrrrrr,” growled Luc as he came and came.
Meg shuddered and collapsed into the nest of bedding. Luc followed her down. She’d clamped her muscles around him so tightly, it was like they couldn’t separate. Meg came again as they moved. Luc realized that he’d partially shifted and he honestly couldn’t separate from Meg.
“Hhhold stihl Mehg,” he said.
“What’s the matter Luc?” she asked trying to think through the haze of orgasmic bliss.
“Knoht,” he managed as his jaw tried to shift more towards wolf.
“Knot?” she asked without understanding what he meant.
“Wolhf, knoht, ph-ppen-hiss, knoht,” he panted.
“Oh! Knot!” she said finally understanding that he’d shifted enough to form that knot particular to canines and werewolves.
“Uhhuh,” he said laying there trying to relax.
Meg smiled. She had found that she liked the feeling. It was an extra bit of sensation that made sex just that bit nicer. They laid there in post coital bliss as the wind breathed over the tent.
Meg woke to the sound of the wind shaking the tent. At some point, Luc must have covered them up. The tent flapping against her head had woke her up and she settled down to go back to sleep after moving down a bit. Just as before, the wind blew hard, settled down and almost stopped and then reversed direction. It was like being in the presence of a huge sleeping giant.
The wind started to blow the tent back onto her head when suddenly something outside fell against her head. It was warm. In the next moment, it was gone.
“Luc, did you feel that?” she asked.
“Huh?” Luc asked sleepily.
“Did you feel something fall against the tent? Next to your head?” she asked.
“Noh,” he said, and then sniffed the air. “Lihill wof ouside,” he muttered, and then wrapping Meg in his arms, went to sleep.
Meg laid there awake for a few moments waiting to see if it happened again. Luc shifted more and as he wrapped her in his arms, she fell asleep. It was cold, and she was glad not only for the extra blankets, but for Luc’s fur.
Luc woke first as the sun hit the tent. He rolled over to see if his present was still hidden. It was. He looked over at Meg. She was sleeping peacefully. It was the first time she’d done so all week. He’d asked Ginny if he was doing the right thing, and she had spent an hour reassuring him that he was doing the right thing. Now to wait for Meg to wake. He leaned on his arm watching her.
Meg woke to see Luc leaning on his arm and watching her.
“Were you watching me sleep?” she asked through a yawn.
“Yeah, watching and thinking.”
“About what?” she asked.
“About us. This whole thing last week made me think about things I hadn’t considered,” he said.
“Like what?” she asked wondering where he was going.
“Relationships, children, contracts, family, those kind of things,” he said.
“Okay,” she said wonder where he was going with this. “Continue.”
“I was thinking about the contract and how we’ve dealt with humans all these years and whether it was right or wrong,” he said.
“I can see that. This week has been rather chaotic for all of us. So, where did your thoughts go?” she asked.
“I love you, and would love to have babies with you. I’ve also decided that if you don’t want to sign that contract, I won’t push. I won’t have that threat hanging over our relationship,” he said.
“Oh, are you sure?” Meg asked, amazed at this statement.
“Yes, and it has tied me up in knots, because I’ve never liked the damn thing and almost let it destroy the best relationship I’ve had in years,” he admitted.
Meg reached up and wrapped her arms around Luc. He hugged her back and started kissing her face.
“I love you,” she said softly.
“Love me enough to be my partner? My mate?” he asked reaching behind him.
“What?” she asked trying to see what he was pulling out from behind the bedding.
“You heard me,” he said with a smile. “Would you like to be my mate?” he asked as he put a box in her hand.
Meg looked at the box. It wasn’t a ring box which sort of surprised her. She took the box and opened it up. Inside was a silver necklace. The chain was woven of interlinking sections like a four strand braid. The clasp was a buckle. The medallion on the necklace was another woven piece like a delicate wreath and in the center were two initials twined together, M and L. It was beautiful. Delicate enough to be feminine, but only just so. She looked at it and then she got the giggles.
“You give collars and tags as love tokens?” she asked between giggles.
“Yes,” said Luc trying not to turn red with embarrassment. “But it’s practical,” he tried to say in an attempt to explain his choice.
“Luc, I’m sure it is. I don’t understand why just now, but it is beautiful and I would love to be your mate,” she said.
Luc took the box and necklace from her and put it around her neck. It laid across her collar bone as if it had melted. The medallion rested between her breasts. He smiled.
“So, oh mate of mine, why is it practical?” she asked.
“Well,” he started. Then he blushed. “Um,… because if you shift, you tend to loose rings, but collars stay on,” he said swiftly.
Meg tried not to laugh. Her lips twitched and then the smile spread across her face. Finally, she couldn’t hold it in any longer and fell against Luc in a mass of limbs and giggles.
“Woof!” Meg said as she looked up at him between giggles. They both laughed.
“Oh! That reminds me. Did I hear you right about the wolf falling on my head last night during the wind?” she asked.
“Yeah, I think she came up to check us out and the wind knocked her over. I was going to look for foot prints this morning when we got up,” he said.
“Cool. Oh, before I forget, am I suppose to reciprocate with a necklace for you?” she asked.
“If you’d like to, but it isn’t required. Sort of like some weddings where the bride is the only one to get the ring. Totally up to you,” he said.
“Okay,” Meg answered. She and Ginny had a shopping trip in their future. “Oh, one other thing. How on earth have you shifters kept out of the eye of the general public all these years?”
“Caution and lots of misdirection. In the old days, we just stayed away from humans for the most part. It has only been in the last 100 years that we’ve really had any issues. People either freak out or accept us. Most of those that accepted us married into the family. Those that freaked out either got killed or discredited. That’s where all the werewolf monster stories came from in the first place. We’d move if it got too bad, or people would die. Now most of us have big dogs and do the ‘oh, you must have seen Buster last night’ thing if people get nosy,” Luc said.
“I can see that. But what if someone like Sara says her Unky Wolfy is really a werewolf at school or something?” she asked.
“Would you believe a little kid, or would you believe their parent that said they watched a werewolf movie and had an over active imagination?” he asked.
“The parent. Geeze,” said Meg. “You’ve literally been hiding in plain sight.”
“Yes, we have. Any other questions or can we get up and have breakfast?” he asked.
“Yeah, just one. Do we have any big ceremony like a wedding or do we just carry on as normal?” she asked looking down at the necklace.
“What do you want to do?” Luc asked.
“Honestly? I’d rather carry on as normal,” she said.
“Then that’s what we’ll do. Ginny of course will want at least a dinner party, but I think we can manage that,” he admitted.
“I can cope. Last one dressed makes tea!” she said as she dived for her clothes. Luc laughed.
After breakfast, they packed up their stuff and then hiked up to a waterfall. They ate lunch next to it, but conversation was limited as the roar of the falls deafened them. They had crackers, cheese and sardines for lunch. Luc put the trash from their feast in the ziplock they’d used for crackers. The waterfall deafened them enough that they didn’t hear the bear that came up to eat the choke cherries next to the falls. He didn’t hear or scent them either. They might have gone totally unnoticed if the wind hadn’t shifted.
As they headed down the trail, the wind blew across the falls to where the bear had been eating. He snuffed the air. A scent tickled his nose. He abandoned his berries and started to follow the enticing odor.
Luc and Meg laughed and bounced down the trail. They were noisy and goofing around. They didn’t hear the noise of the bear. They got back to the car and were relaxing before heading down the road when the bear shambled into the clearing.
Luc looked up as the smell and the movement registered at the same time. “Oh shit!” he gasped. “Meg, get into the car now!” Luc ran for their packs and was tossing them into the car when the bear charged. Luc scrambled for the driver’s door and almost got it closed when the bear swiped at the car. The car rocked and Luc nearly lost his grip on the door. Meg was trying not to scream as the huge bear shook the car. The sound of metal ripping under the heavy claws sent shivers through Meg.
Luc was trying to hold onto the car door and start the engine at the same time. Hard to do when the car is a standard. He almost had it going when the door wrenched open. The bear’s paw swiped in and caught Luc across the shoulder. The glass of the window shattered and scattered everywhere. Luc roared in pain and hit the gas as he tried to hold onto the steering wheel. The bear was still trying to pull him out of the car. The car hurked and jerked across the meadow in a contorted dance as the bear tried to keep up. His last attempt scored the side of the car from the driver’s door to the rear fender. Luc, who had partially shifted, barely fit behind the wheel. He grabbed the door and slammed it closed as they bounced down the road in first gear.
“Luc, are you okay?” Meg asked over the whine of the gears and engine.
“Nho!” he growled.
“Pull over and let me drive,” she said.
“NHO!” he growled loudly with sub-vocals thundering inside the car.
Meg took a deep breath and grabbed the rear view mirror to try and see the side of Luc that the bear had swiped. She could see blood and that was about it. They bounced down the road for almost a mile when she tried to get his attention again.
“Luc, pull over now!” she hollered.
“Nho! Beahr! Mus geht whay!” he gasped.
She knew he was in pain and wouldn’t listen. The bear was far enough behind them that they weren’t in danger any more. As soon as she could see that the road was cutting across a fairly level meadow, she reached over and turned off the car.
“Nho! Mehg!” he said and turned towards her.
Meg could see the damage to his shoulder and about threw up. Swallowing hard, she grabbed her shirt from the back and stuffed it against his neck.
“And if you bleed to death being a hero, I will be so pissed at you!” she yelled. “The bear is gone. Back in the meadow. We can stop for five minutes to stop the bleeding and change drivers,” she shouted.
Luc blinked and her words cut through the fog of adrenaline and pain. He tried to swallow and move his neck. A whimper broke from his lips. “Hokay,” he said and stopped fighting Meg’s attentions. Meg scrambled out of the car and ran around to the driver’s side. She helped Luc out and got him into her seat. Wrapping her shirt around his wound as best she could, she added another shirt from the back and then belted him into the seat. She swept the glass off the seat, got in and headed down the mountain. She knew that there was no cell service for the next twenty miles. However, she had her phone tucked in her shirt ready to use it as soon as it beeped that there was service.
“Mehg, sorry,…” he started.
“Just shut up and don’t die on me,” she barked back at him.
“Call Ghinny,” he said.
“Why? Why not go to a hospital?” she asked as they bounced down the road.
“Neehd shihfter doc,” he gasped.
Then it dawned on her that there was no way he could go to a hospital. Dammit! She drove as fast as she could down the dirt road. Meg blew through the lower campground at 75mph. She was grateful that all the campers had left. Crossing the cattle guard, they caught air, and when the car landed, Luc winced in pain.
Meg drove as fast as she could. She drifted around curves and left dust plumes that were probably visible for miles. She hit pavement at the same time her phone beeped. She had signal. Reaching for her phone, she slowed a bit and hit the speed dial button for Ginny.
“Ginny! We need a doctor! A bear slashed Luc!” she hollered into the phone.
“What?” Ginny asked, not sure what she just heard.
“A BEAR HURT LUC! We need a doctor!” she shouted again.
“Fuck!” Ginny exclaimed into the phone. “Where are you?”
“On highway 69, about 27 miles from the nearest junction,” Meg answered.
Ginny thought for a moment. Then she remembered. “Meg, there’s a truck stop there. We’ll meet you there,” she said as she gathered her coat and headed for the door.
“Okay,” said Meg and turned off the phone to concentrate on the road. She looked over at Luc. He was still conscious. Just barely. He nodded at her. She turned back to the road and drove like hell for the truck stop.