“I don’t care if they have press passes. They trespassed on my business property,” said Luc growling through the phone. Everyone in the office could feel the sub-vocals. This was the third time in as many days that they had called the police to arrest trespassers trying to get a story on werewolves. “For the record, they got themselves bitten by two guard dogs named Buttercup and Fezzik. They were hired from /Dread Pirates Guard Service. If you want to come down, please be my guest,” he said and slammed the phone into it’s cradle.
“Luc, want me to take care of things while you go cool off?” asked Kevin from the door.
“No, but I’d like you to help Ginny finish packing up Meg’s office. I refuse to have her down here while this stupidity is going on,” said Luc. He was still growling.
“All right. We’ll have the stuff moved by noon,” said Kevin. It was only 9:30 am and Luc had been on the phone since 6am, when the two reporters had decided to brave the warehouse. Yesterday had been rough and the day before crazy, but this was the end. He’d ordered Meg to stay home and that had caused a fight. Ginny was growling under her breath and Cal and Peter were mopping up blood and trying to settle the two guard dogs down.
Kevin went down to Meg’s office and helped Ginny pack it up. Luckily Meg already had her laptop at home. They got the files and papers boxed up and loaded in the back of Kevin’s van. He checked with Luc and then headed for Luc’s house.
Kevin pulled up outside the house and started grabbing boxes. He knocked on the door and no one answered. He knew that Luc said she was home, so he cautiously opened the door. “Meg? Hey Meg, it’s Kevin. You home?” he called softly in case she had taken a nap. He walked in with the first boxes and still didn’t see Meg. He headed towards the kitchen when he heard crying coming from the bedroom. He found Meg curled up on the bed with her arms wrapped around a pillow.
“Hey Meg,” he said as he walked over to the bed.
“Hhhi Kev,” she sniffled.
Kevin sat on the bed and did what he would with any pack member. He wrapped his arms around her. Meg dissolved in his arms and cried. “It’s okay Meg. We all have fights and Luc is just super stressed and he didn’t mean to take it out on you,” he said.
“I… I know, bbut this, this was our first real fight an…” she broke off to blow her nose.
“He’s worried about you and is just trying to keep you and the babies safe,” said Kevin.
Meg nodded. “I kkknow, but I just can’t seem to sstop crying,” she snuffled against his chest.
Kevin just rocked her and held her. After a bit, she settled down. “Meg, go take a shower and I’ll bring the rest of the boxes in out of the car. Then I’ll take you out to lunch. Okay?” he asked.
Meg nodded. Kevin helped her up off the bed and headed for the bathroom. Kevin got the boxes and brought them into the dining room. He heard the shower running and walked outside with his cell phone. He called Ginny. He let her know what was going on and explained that he was handling it. Then he grabbed the last of the boxes and headed inside.
He had everything unpacked by the time Meg came out of the bedroom. She was dressed in a summery top and a pair of yoga pants. Her face was still a little puffy, but she looked much better.
“I have everything set up for you,” he said.
“Thanks Kevin. Thanks for everything,” Meg said.
“You ready for lunch?” he asked.
“Yeah. Can we go to the Mall as well?” she asked.
“Sure. We can go anywhere you want to,” said Kevin.
“I’ve got my keys, lets get out of here,” she said.
Two hours later, with full stomachs, and enough shopping bags to make Kevin wonder if they would all fit in his car, they headed home. He’d called Ginny and given her an update when Meg headed for the bathroom for the third time. Ginny told him that Luc had settled down and appreciated what Kevin was doing. This whole mess was just stressing Luc to his limits.
“Home?” asked Kevin.
“Yeah. I think I’ve worn you out,” said Meg.
“No, Go shopping with my mother in November, when she’s doing her last minute holiday shopping. Then you’re tired,” said Kevin.
That made Meg laugh. “I think all mom’s are that way,” she said.
Kevin nodded. “I love the things you found today. You still haven’t found out what sex the babies are?” he asked.
“Nope and I don’t want to know. Sara of course says there is one of each, but I’m not betting on our little psychic,” said Meg.
“Nope, but she’s damn accurate at times. Don’t know if it is intuition or scent though,” he admitted.
“Me either,” said Meg as they pulled into the driveway of her house. It took them ten minutes to get everything in and unpacked. Kevin helped her put some of it in the laundry and the rest in the nursery. Luc had given up his office for a nursery as it was closer than the spare bedroom. Meg had been decorating it in greens, and forest tones. No pinks or blues.
“Thanks Kevin. I should let you get back to the office before Luc rips your head off,” said Meg.
“To be honest, I called Ginny a while back and let her know that I’d taken you shopping,” said Kevin.
“Oh good. Now to wait until Luc gets home,” said Meg a little apprehensively.
“It will be okay. He isn’t mad at you, just being over protective. If you were my mate, I’d be the same way,” said Kevin who gave her a kiss and then left.
Luc stopped at the flower shop to pick up a dozen roses. Then he stopped by the Chinese place they both liked and picked up the order he’d called in thirty minutes before. He pulled into the driveway to find the lights on in the living room and Meg sitting at the table with her papers scattered around. She was humming away under her breath to Maroon 5 and didn’t hear him come in.
“Oh! You startled me Luc,” she said.
“Sorry Meg,” he said and handed her the roses.
“Oh, they’re beautiful,” she said as she set them on the table.
He set the food down on the table and then took Meg in his arms. “I’m so sorry I displaced my anger on you. I was worried and concerned and I was being over protective,” he said to her.
“And I over reacted and the hormones just took a ride and I’m sorry too,” she said.
Luc kissed her and held her in his arms. “Plus, Ginny has been yelling at me for at least the last three hours reminding me that I’m an ass. I swear that my ass is at least three sizes smaller for all the chewing she did,” he said.
That made Meg giggle. She disengaged from the hug and looked at Luc’s ass. “Yup, at least two sizes,” she said. That made them both laugh.
“We better eat this before it gets too cold,” he said gesturing to the food. Meg smiled and went to get plates. They dived into eggrolls, orange beef, stir fried rice and fortune cookies.
“What does yours say?” Meg asked Luc.
“Your family will benefit by your wise judgment,” said Luc. “And yours?”
“Perfection comes from working hard. Joy is doubled by perfection,” said Meg. “Are you sure you didn’t plant these?”
“No! Little Ma looked at me and just picked those two out,” said Luc.
“Weird. Take the dishes to the kitchen and I’ll show you what Kevin and I bought today,” she said.
“Okay. And yes, I thanked Kevin for coming to your rescue. I was upset and so mad and just wasn’t thinking about anything except eating reporters,” he said.
“I hear Buttercup and Fezzik got a couple of bites in,” she said as she showed him blankets, booties and little sleepers.
“Oh yeah. And that’s another reason I don’t want you around the office for the moment. We had to bring the reporters in and Buttercup came tearing into the office. I’d have killed the reporter and the dog if you’d have gotten hurt,” he said.
“I understand. It’s just been a very rough couple of weeks. Is this ever going to settle down?” she asked as she put the last of the purchases away.
“I think so. George called this afternoon and said that things have been much quieter. Only one incident and that was someone local. He took care of it,” said Luc.
“Good. Are you going to be able to cope if they don’t come home?” she asked.
“Why do you say that?” asked Luc.
“Well, I just have this feeling that Sam is going to want company. In spite of all she said, she and Buster were an item for a long time. Even when George stops playing Buster, she’s going to miss him. Plus, didn’t you notice how much more relaxed George and Angie were up there?” Meg said.
“Now that you mention it, yes. Hmm,” he said as he thought for a moment. “You know, I think you’re right. Plus, Ginny and Patrick have the house under control and plenty of room. I guess we’ll see what happens when the sale on Angie’s house goes through,” said Luc.
“Did they get an offer?” asked Meg.
“Yeah. That call came in today too. It’s why George called me,” said Luc.
Meg nodded and stretched out on the bed. She was full and the day had been exhausting. Luc curled up next to her and put his hand on her stomach. He waited and after a few minutes, he felt the kicks. They looked at each other and smiled.
“Meg, if Jeff says it’s okay, and the world doesn’t end, would you like to go camping one last time before you’re too big to do so?” he asked.
Friday finally arrived. Meg went to her doctor’s appointment and Luc headed to work. He got there to find Buttercup and Fezzik wagging their tails at the warehouse gate. Luc walked up to the gate and spoke the off duty phrase and then walked in the gate. Buttercup sat waiting for her treat and Fezzik sat right next to her. Luc realized that he’d actually miss these two when this was all over. It wasn’t often that he had been so comfortable with a working dog. Far too many of them cowered at the scent of him.
He headed to the office to find that Cal and Peter were already unpacking the latest order from their supplier. New routers and servers for an office complex. Kevin was handling the phones and when he got to his desk, there were maple doughnuts in a bag waiting for him.
“Thank you Ginny!” he called towards her cubbyhole.
“You’re welcome!” she hollered back.
Luc ate his doughnuts and drank his coffee while reviewing the papers from his lawyers. The two reporters that got bit had tried to sue. Luc provided his lawyers with all papers as well as the video of the two reporters in the warehouse. The reporters had dropped the suit.
“Luc, you have those two installations at 10am,” Ginny said as she dropped the paperwork on his desk. Luc smiled, gathered his gear and headed out the door at 9:40am.
Meg sat up and straightened her clothes. “So, how are the kids?” she asked Jeff.
“They’re doing great. Growing well and sounding healthy,” he said.
“So, can Luc and I go camping?” she asked.
“Well, if you were doing the whole RV thing in a national park, yes. However, I know where you two like to go. In all honesty, I’d worry myself sick until you got home. Picnic, but no overnight unless you are somewhere more civilized. Sorry Meg,” he said.
Meg sighed. “Okay. Have to admit that the idea of sleeping on the ground didn’t exactly thrill me as much as I want to get out of the city. That trip up to Spoon River made me realize how much I had missed camping,” she said.
“I understand. Civilized camping, yes. Rough camping, no. Do you need me to thump it into Luc’s head?” Jeff asked.
“No, but don’t be surprised if you get called,” said Meg.
“I won’t. See you in two weeks,” Jeff said and opened the door for her.
Luc was disappointed when he got home, but they planned a picnic. Saturday dawned early and Meg got the fried chicken, biscuits and coleslaw out of the fridge and placed it in the cooler with the water bottles. Luc packed what he called his daypack. He had more emergency stuff in there than most people took on a week long backpack, but to be honest he was taking no chances. He also had Patrick’s 9mm.
They were packed and on the road in thirty minutes and out of town less than twenty minutes after that.
“You know the last time we were on this road, I was out of it and you were driving,” said Luc.
“I know. I thought about that,” said Meg.
“Well, hopefully that bear has moved on or didn’t survive the event,” said Luc.
Meg nodded and watched the scenery. The Subaru climbed higher and higher into the mountains. Around 10am, they reached the lower campground. Meg headed for the outhouse and Luc looked around.
“So, do you see a place you want to eat, or do you want to go higher?” Luc asked.
“If you drive slow, can we go higher?” she asked.
“Tell you what, we’ll go as high as you feel comfortable,” said Luc.
“Deal!” said Meg as they climbed back into the car.
Thirty minutes later, they were up in the meadow that they’d camped in months ago. Luc spread a blanket out and they had their chicken picnic. Meg was stretched out on the blanket relaxing and enjoying the sun as well as the breeze when Luc touched her shoulder.
“Look very slowly to your left,” he whispered.
Meg slowly moved her head and for a minute, she didn’t see a thing. Then out of the low bushes, she saw movement. She and Luc held absolutely still. Finally, a wolf cub appeared, and then another and another. Three of them played at the edge of the meadow for probably ten minutes and then there was a sharp yip. The three little cubs sat up and then out of the shadows appeared their mother. She was lean from nursing. She looked right at Luc and Meg then disappeared with her cubs into the bushes with her babies.
When they’d gone, Luc turned to Meg. “That was cool!” he said.
“Do you think that was our little wolf who bumped the tent?” Meg asked.
Luc sniffed the air, thought a moment and then nodded. “I think so. That was so neat. Are you done with the chicken?” he asked.
“What?” Meg asked wondering what he was thinking.
“I’m going to give it to them. She’s a little lean,” he said.
“Go ahead if you’ll think they’ll eat it,” Meg said.
Luc just gave her this dumbfounded look and then laughed. He scooped up the chicken and headed towards where the cubs had first appeared. He was back in a few minutes.
“I found the den and left the chicken nearby. They’ll find it,” said Luc.
“Shall we go?” asked Meg. She was getting uncomfortable and the ride down would be bumpy.
“Yeah. We can take a drive instead of a hike if you’d like,” he suggested.
“That would be great,” said Meg and gave him a kiss.
They packed up and were almost done when Luc nudged Meg and pointed towards the edge of the meadow. Meg turned to see a wolf cub run across the edge of the meadow with a piece of chicken held high as his litter mates chased after him.
The two of them laughed and got in the car for the drive home.