I jumped up and just caught the edge of the fence with my fingertips, somehow I managed to haul myself up and over the damn thing. “At least, the dogs aren’t going to make it over that, ” I thought. I had been running for some time so I stopped for a moment to catch my breath, and as I stood there I heard a growl behind me, I whipped around and saw that one of the damn mutts had made it to the top of the fence. “How the hell…” I turned and ran as fast as I could toward the home that I could see through the trees.
As I approached the home, the front door opened and I yelled: “Go back inside, rabid dogs loose!” A giant of a man continued out and onto the front porch, he was carrying a shotgun and I saw him raise it and turn it towards me, I hoped that he was aiming at something behind me but I couldn’t be sure. It didn’t matter though, I just kept on running until I was within ten feet of him and then I heard the blast. I dropped flat against the ground and hoped that it wasn’t me he was trying to hit.
I lifted my head only to see the man heading towards me and the next thing I knew I was being yanked up by my arm and he was yelling “Get on your feet!” Then I was up and running with him to the house, we got inside and he slammed the door and put a brace against it.
“What in the hell are you doing out at this time of night?” he demanded, “Are you crazy or just looking to be dog fodder?”
I looked up at him, and I mean looked up, he had to stand at least 7 feet tall and he was very intimidating. I stammered a reply ” The-They ca-ame in th-th-through th-the doors, j-j-just broke through th-them li-i-ke they we-we-weren’t there. I-I-I h-had n-n-no choi-oi-ce but to r-r-un.”
I stood there shivering and trying to get my breath, all I wanted was to sit down for a few minutes and rest.
He took me by the arm again and gently led me into a front room and sat me on the couch, he grabbed a blanket from the back of it and whipped it around my shoulders. He then squatted in front of me and said: “I’m Drew, this is my home and you are safe here.”
I looked into his dark green eyes and said: “Thank you, my name is Liz.” He shook my hand and then turned away and said over his shoulder “Would you like a cup of tea or do you want a drink?”
I answered with “I’ll take a shot of whiskey if you have it, then some tea.” I was still shivering.
“On its way for both,” he stated, and turned into the doorway of another room and disappeared.
Just then there was a furious pounding on the front door, I damn near jumped to the ceiling, and Drew came charging back through the room to the front door picking up his shotgun as he went.
Drew took a look through the window at the top of the door, good thing he has the height, I thought; and then he started to unlock the door and I almost screamed “What are you doing?” to him but instead I swallowed it down and stood just inside the opening of the front room peering around the wall to see what was coming at us.
The door opened and another man rushed in, Drew slammed the door and locked it, as a thud came from the other side of it.
“Damn, Mike, what are you thinking being out at this time, you should be holed up somewhere until sunrise when you can at least see them coming at you?” he nodded towards me. “I already have one guest for the night, what were you thinking?”
Mike turned to look at me and I thought “Geez, they have to be related, only someone related to Drew could stand taller than he was.” As I looked at Mike a slow smile crept over his face and he came slowly towards me and introduced himself.
“Hi, I’m Mike, the younger and better-looking version of the monster over there.” pointing at Drew.
I smiled and held out my hand, “Hi, I’m Liz, and from my vantage point of 5 foot 2 inches, I think you are both monsters.”
Drew laughed and started off to the other room again “I’ll just get those drinks you wanted.” Mike came into the front room and looked out over the couch and through the barred windows, a growl came out of his mouth much like the sound the dogs had made but deeper.
Startled, I turned to look at him pulling the blanket tighter around my shoulders. Drew came in at that moment and said, “Mike, knock it off you’re scaring our guest.”
I laughed and managed to giggle out “Some guest, those are usually invited and I kind of just landed in your lap.” Both men looked at me and gave an odd little smirk, and Mike said, “well if he hasn’t invited you then I will. Lovely Liz would you like to stay with us and stay safe from the packs of wild dogs out there?”
Drew’s eyebrow just raised and he smirked over to his brother “I was just about to ask her, once she had something warm in her stomach.”
I looked at both of them and I thankfully agreed to stay “Thank you both for the invitation, if it won’t be too much trouble, I’ll spend the night and then see if I can find somewhere safe so that I am out of your hair.”
Mike looked like he was about to speak when Drew beat him to the punch, “You are welcome here for as long as you like, it gets kind of boring just having him to talk to.” I heard Mike grunt “I’m the boring one, since when?”
We all sat down around the room and Mike was just opening his mouth when a howl came from out of the night. This didn’t sound like any howl I’d ever heard before and It made me jump, Drew came over and sat beside me, took my hand and said: “You’re safe Liz, they can’t get in here.”
Mike came over to the other side of me and also took my hand, “Don’t you worry about that motley bunch, you’ve got the brothers Bear to watch over you.” The words were barely out of his mouth when he turned and growled again. “They won’t mess with us because they know they can’t win!”
Drew didn’t say anything but the look he gave Mike should have had him dropping dead right then. Drew was furious at Mike but continued to just look at him. Mike kind of slunk down in his seat and blinked a couple of times. Then his shoulders came back up and he lifted his chin “We should tell her, Drew. Maybe she won’t be so frightened of the damn dogs then. She doesn’t seem the type to run screaming from the room at the truth, but it’s up to you brother.”
Drew took in a very large breath and growled long and hard at his brother. Mike kind of shrunk down again and ducked his head down.
I turned to Drew and said “If it’s something personal, I don’t want to intrude, if you could just point me in the direction of where I’ll be sleeping, I’ll get out of your hair and then you and Mike can have a discussion about whatever it is that seems to be upsetting you.”
Drew shook his head and swiftly took my hand, “No, this is probably something you should know just in case you hear something during the night.” He took a deep breath “Have you ever heard of shifters?” he asked.
I stood up quickly, turned towards both of them “Of course, I’ve heard of them, you’re just trying to play games with me right? You must have scented me the moment I came in, I know that I did both of you. ”
“What kind of crap are you trying to pull here, surely you realise that I knew you were Bears as soon as I walked in? I just assumed you knew that I was Leopard.” “Why do you think those damned dogs chased me so hard, they could smell the cat in me.”
Both brothers turned to me stunned by my mini explosion. Mike managed to get in first this time “Holy shit, are you really? We didn’t pick up on it at all, you must be really good at hiding your scent.”
Drew stood and walked over to where I was standing, took my hand and shook it, “Glad to meet you, Leopard, I’ve never been near one before so I didn’t recognise what I was scenting. But, now that I know, I have to tell you, I think you are my mate. My bear has been going crazy since you arrived, I just thought I was attracted to a pretty girl, but now it all makes sense.”
Stunned, I pulled back and then I felt it, the mating instinct, that pull that only happens between mates. I just stood there for a second before stammering out “S-s-son of a b-bitch, the last thing I w-wanted was a m-mate. I g-guess fate just s-stuck h-her hand i-into out lives.”
“I-I’m sorry, that didn’t come out right, now that I’ve met you, I am very happy that I have met my mate. How do you feel about it?”
Drew smiled ” I don’t care what you are, I honestly thought with how badly the world is screwed up right now I’d never have a chance to find my mate. I am ecstatic, and don’t worry I’ll give you all the time you need to get accustomed to the idea.”
Mike ran up behind me and gave me a big hug, “Welcome to the Clan, little Liz. I am overjoyed to have a new sister.” “Wow, Mum is going to be over the moon, I think she despaired of either of us ever finding our mates. She will welcome you with open arms.”
A tear slipped down my face and I smiled sadly and said “My parents died when the first virus hit, one of the ill managed to get to them before they could change and ripped their throats out. You know what’s sort of funny about that? The Walking Dead was one of their favourite shows, you would have thought that they would have figured out what was happening quickly, but they just didn’t see it coming.”
Drew put his arm around my shoulders and Mike took my hands, both of them said in unison “I’m so sorry.”
Drew gave me a quick hug and then stated positively “Now you have a new family and we are well aware of what has happened to the world. The only reason Mike and I are here is to look for anyone that might still be hiding from them and the dogs. As it turns out, our last shift was tonight and then we are headed home. You can come with us and I promise you, you will never have to be scared again.”
Drew pulled me into his arms and gave me a big hug, and Mike came to put his hand on my shoulder. All of a sudden, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me, I knew that from then on I would be safe, and I also knew that my life was going to be better than I had ever hoped, with this man beside me and his family being mine.
The sun started to make an appearance just a few minutes later, and all three of us left for my new home.