Doug gets up from the dinner table to answer the pounding door. He opens it to find his brother Sloane, holding a Mag Lite ready to pound again. Sloane is in full turn out gear, ready for a military raid. ”Briannas in trouble and its my fault. ” The look on Sloanes face said that all questions would have to wait for later.

”Karen, me darlin, ” Doug calls out to his wife, ”call the Clan to action! ” Doug and his brothers all did at least basic training in a military branch. Doug was an Army grunt. Sloane, the second born, was a Navy Seal. The third born, Shaylan, was a Marine Chaplain. Siobhan was fourth, and did basic training in the Navy in San Diego and married an Army surgeon. Scully went into the Air Force and ended up in their Marching Band. Seamus, the youngest, became an Army mechanic. Sarah, did not go into the military, but she married an Army Ranger.

Karen geared up with Doug. She and Siobhan would be able to help Brianna, their training in Krav Maga wouldn hurt. Sarah would stay home, by the phone, making pizzas and taking notes for the Family Archives.

With everyone in their place and ready to leave in vehicles, they all hear it – Please help me. The voice is weak, but unmistakable.

e coming, Brianna. Hang in there! ” Sloane answers for everyone, without hesitation. ”Shes at Uncle Sloanes fishing cabin at Forest Hills Lake. Shes in the bomb shelter we built ten years ago. Be careful. I don know what updates and security precautions hes had installed. ” Sloane rechecked his matching Desert Eagles. He thought it fitting that the man who presented him the pistols at his Naval Academy graduation would end up at the wrong end of them.

Doug had seen that look on his brother Sloanes face before – at Seamus and Mary-Cates funeral. Their daughter had buried them together, since they refused to be parted for more than a day. Doug and the family had found out about their death in the newspaper. Aubrey, as she was named at her christening, was lovely with her long blonde hair pulled into a ponytail and a simple black dress and shoes.

Seamus had found the only person in the world who would make him his best self. He would walk around like a peacock and Mary-Cate glowed in his presence.They went into hiding shortly after the first trimester of pregnancy. The Gilhoughleys never knew why. Doug had heard, from his Dad, that they had received death threats. Why anyone would want to harm such a lovely couple or their unborn child completely escaped Doug. Now that child was born with kids of her own and another on the way. She was in trouble and needed her family. ”Blood Before Others, God Above All, ” Doug mutters the family creed rumored to be from Crusade times.

”Blood Before Others, God Above All, ” Sloane replies, in full scowl. They hopped into Sloanes Jeep with Karen and Sarahs husband, Mike Ferreli.


Edward was pacing. Cain was howling in his head. Why can we find Mate? Why can we HEAR her?

Suddenly, Edward feels a vibration in the ring that the Gilhoughleys gifted him and Brianna on their wedding day. please. help me. He hears a whispered prayer over miles and miles.

Then, a response, stronger, ”We
e coming, Brianna. Hang in there. ” Edward locks his mind on that mental voice. Its a Gilhoughley, though he doesn know which one. He sees a cabin and then a sign that says, ”Welcome to Forest Lake Hill, VA. ”

Edward snarls, then howls. I know where we
e going. Lets hurry or well miss the fighting! Four Chevy Suburbans fill quickly with werewolves in T-shirts and sweatpants. Theyll not need weapons.

”We have an escort starting on I-64. I told Ethan its a kidnapping. Hes clearing the way for us. ” Andrew, is a wonderful Archivist, but a better husband. He kisses his wife, Blaire, ”Go get her, baby. ”


A Jeep Wrangler, Cadillac Escalade, and two Ford Explorers, all black, roar South on I-95 like a Federal emergency response team – no lights, no sirens – just determined people with military spacing and formation. If anyone were to look into the vehicles, they would find enough firepower for a small militia team. Sloane leads the charge with his federal license plates and no one stops them.

Two of Sloanes former team members meet the family two cabins away from the Uncles cabin. The family had met Jeb and Chris before, but this is the first time they had seen their business faces.

”We can go in two-by-two. There are cameras and trip wires everywhere. If we want to go in undetected, we have three entry points that we can go in single file. ” Jeb summed up the situation, knowing that time was not on their side. A bald head and bandana had replaced the blond curls and ever-present cowboy hat. Although he was tall and lanky, Jeb could fold himself up into incredibly small spaces.

”So we expected. Uncle is a former Marine. He knows military strategy almost as well as we do. ” Sloane nodded to his friends. ”Thanks for this. ”

”Ah, hell. Weve been through some scrapes before and well be through more after this one. ” Chris had a face made for smiling. His full set of dentures brought his face back to its former glory, even if the thinning gray hair and full beard made him look a little like a Santa with a home gym.

It had been hours since Sloane had seen Brianna loaded into the bomb shelter. He hadn heard from her through the ring, but he knew that Uncle Sloane could hear as well. He couldn give away his position, no matter how worried he was. He sighed, knowing what had to be done.

”Doug – you and I go to the front door. Karen and Siobhan – Jeb will lead you to the bomb shelter. Chris – you direct the rest. Surround the house, block the driveway. Don forget the french doors on the East side. ” Sloane knew his uncles properties as if they were his own. Yes, there were cameras, but with the distraction at the front door, the cabin can be surrounded in minutes.

Sloane knocks on the front door and waits until he hears the door unlock before he signals the others to move out. There is no question in his mind. He knows that everyone will work as a team. The door opens and he moves in, ”Wheres Aubrey? ”

Uncle Sloane cackles. ”Are you sure that the mutts aren dead? ”

”We knew better than to come alone and unprepared. ” Doug grabs his elder uncle and zipties his hands together. ”We
e making a citizens arrest for kidnapping. ”

Uncle Sloane cackles harder, ”And I managed to kidnap a full grown woman all by meself? You
e kidding yourself, boyo. Ill not see the inside of a jail, at least not by meself. ”

”If you
e thinking of taking me down with me, it will be the last thing you do. I have betrayed my family because you have betrayed us first. ” Sloane Anthony was vibrating with anger. ”Either way, I will no longer be part of your schemes, your life, or your family. ”

”So be it. I am a witness to your oath. ” Doug was all business. As the eldest of the generation, he was to enforce all oaths of his siblings.

”We need to check on Brianna. ” Doug brought Sloane back to the other part of the mission.

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