”Well done, my boy. Well done. Bring her in here. She will be comfortable on the couch. ” Sloane Michael Gilhoughley directs the younger Sloane Anthony into the living room. Sloane Anthony lays Brianna out on the couch and gently puts a pillow under her head.

”So we
e going to take a sample of blood to see the future, right? ” Sloane Anthony was concerned. It was one thing to kidnap a stranger and either kill them or bring them back with the fear of repercussions if they talk, but quite another to ”borrow ” a family member.

”Here, use my athame. ” Sloane Michael hands the knife to his nephew. ”And heres a vial for the blood. Ill add it to the crushed herbs. We can add it to the scrying bowl in about an hour. ”

The younger Sloane touches the knife to Briannas palm and presses the vial to the cut to collect the blood. A whispered ”No, ” escapes Briannas lips. Sloane takes a few drops of Briannas blood and hands the vial to the elder Sloane. The elder Sloane scampers away, despite his 101 years of age. In a beaker, he mixes the blood and the dry contents from a mortar. He places it next to a large black mirrored bowl and a gallon of distilled water.

Sloane Michael is giddy. His plan is working. He had treated the athame with a distilled concentration of wolfsbane. The younger Sloane had introduced it straight into the bloodstream when he cut Briannas skin. From what he knew about werewolves, the fetus would not be able to sustain a wolf spirit. Either that, or the fetus could abort completely. He should know within the hour whether or not it worked. The Lycan contingent will be in chaos if they lose their seat on the Council.

The Lycan population has been waning since 1348, when bubonic plague came to Europe. Yes, some werewolves were affected, in fact, everyone was affected except the Fae. The Fae changed their diet to make their blood unappealing to fleas. However, humans were devastated compared to the magical beings. It galled him that the hope for the human race, his nephew, as a Councillor, would soil his human blood with a flea carrying mutt.

Sloane Michael locked the doors with a key and turned to his favorite nephew. ”Shall we have some lunch? ”

”Why won she wake? ” Sloane Anthony was still concerned for the flea bag.

”She should sleep until after we finish scrying. ” Sloane Michael knew that the wolfsbane may do more than that, but didn want his nephew to waste his energy.

After lunch and iced tea on the back porch, they were ready to look into the future. The two druids do a small ceremony with the lighting of candles, pouring the water and adding the blood and herbs. Sloane Michael stirs the water clockwise, mumbling the incantation with his eyes closed. Faster and faster he stirs until the edge looks like a whirlpool. He opens his eyes and looks into the mirrored bowl. An image starts to form, making Sloane Anthony gasp. ”Two? ” The younger Sloane is stunned to silence.

”It looks that way, ” says the elder Sloane, hiding his fury. Sloane Michael sits still, refusing to move, knowing that if he were to stand, the younger Sloane would see the tremble of emotion creeping up his knees. ”At least we now know that the Council seat may be returning to the family. ”

Sloane Anthony smiles, ”Thats good to know. We can help train the child in the Druid way so that he or she can truly represent us. ”

”That we could, lad, should the bairn be suitable for the Council. ” Sloane Michael secretly swears to the Gods above that Brianna and the flea bags inside her will not leave his care alive.

”Should I wake her? I need to get home soon. ”

”Leave her to me, lad. I will make sure she gets to where she needs to be. ” Sloane Michael smiles and stands, his fury focused on what needs to be done. He shakes hie nephews hand and ushers him out the door.

”Now, to work, ” he says, as Brianna sleeps.


Sloane Anthony felt that something was wrong in his uncles behavior. Usually, he was well tuned to Uncle Sloanes emotions, but he felt cut off from that today. Uncle Sloane did not like it when Seamus married a Lycan. He refused to attend Aubreys, now Briannas, christening. Sloane Anthony just felt that something wasn right. He drove five minutes down the road, then turned around and came back again. The retired Navy Seal stopped at an abandoned neighbors cottage and walked into the woods to watch his uncles property.

”I could kick myself! ” he whispered to himself. He saw his uncle put Brianna in a wheelbarrow and wheel her over to the bomb shelter they had built ten years ago together. Hefting her over his shoulder, the slight man took his hostage down the stairs and disappeared. ”Im going to need help. ” Sloane needed to gather the family. He could not believe what he, himself, has helped to do.


Brianna hears the crying of two babies. She reaches out with her mind to calm them, but they cry harder. Must protect pups!, whines Tia in her head.

What pups? Brianna is confused.

Our pups! Protect pups! Tia let out a long whine, like a howl with no power behind it.

”Wake up! ” Briannas breath is taken away by the cold water that covers her. She opens her eyes to a man, 510 ” with a shaved head and red-brown bushy eyebrows. His blue eyes glint with pleasure as he takes in her predicament. ”My name is Sloane Michael Gilhoughley, but today, I am your executioner. ”

My fathers uncle introduced himself as a threat. I had to stall. I had to get stronger. I was foggy from whatever drug I had been dosed with. ”You don look like you could execute a deli order, never mind a person. ”

”Very funny. Your bootstrap levitation has served you well in the past, ” my Great Uncle Sloane sneered, ”but it can help you today. ”

I was bound, ankles and wrists, with silver coated stainless steel. Short chains were secured to a concrete wall with deep bolts. The silver hurt, burning like fire on my wrists and ankles, but I can give up. ”Hah! ” I laughed at him. ”I HAD to pull myself up by my bootstraps. I had a beautiful daughter and no family to help me. But you know that, because you had them KILLED! For what? Jealousy? Pride? Oh, let me guess. You
e a BIGOT! ” I threw the accusation at him, seeing it hit the target. Keep it up, my beautiful human! Give us time to heal! Tia helped, if only by cheering me on.

”And you
e an abomination! You, you
e an ANIMAL! ” His comeback did not surprise me. Zealots seldom have original thoughts as to why they do things.

I started to calm myself, to focus. My fury was about to rise. ”Whos the one who decided to kill family members? How could you see your own family as a threat? What ever happened to your family motto? ” Id noticed that the wall bolts for my arms were loosening. I would have to double my efforts. I felt that my time was running out.

”Enough! ” Sloane Michael turns away from me. ”Im not some cartoonish bad guy who tells you my plans. I saw a threat to humankind and I will eliminate it. You will die here and alone. Everyone will think of it as a tragic accident. ”

”Not Uncle Sloane. ” I spoke softly, my last ditch effort. ”He knows. ”

”Hell see the light soon enough. He knows better than to go against Natural Law. ” Sloane Michael seems a little deflated.

”Natural Law? ” I scoff as he starts to walk away. ”Who died and upgraded you to a God? ” I called after him. He leaves me with one last knowing sneer. That look makes me so Angry! I feel my pulse in my temples.

I can shift yet. I can feel the wolfsbane leaving my system, but Tia is still weak. I still have some fogginess in my consciousness, but my Pack is out of reach.

Wait. My Pack is out of reach, but I have another side to my family. Could I reach the Druids? I reach for the iron ring, still on my forefinger. What did Uncle Doug say? Twist four times? Scratch once in wolf form? No. Scratch four wolf, full turn human. I turn the ring 360 degrees – a full circle. Please help me! I send it like a prayer. I hope my fathers family can hear me. I feel Sloane Michaels laughter, but I ignore it. If he heard, they others may have as well.

”May the Gods and Goddesses of my ancestors send help, ” I say to an empty bunker.

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