“Stupid bloodsucking ****s.”
Rex gripped the steering wheel just a little bit harder than he meant to and heard the plastic creak, never taking his eyes off the road as he slowly allowed his fingers to relax. The large thickly built bald African-American had no trouble imagining the expression his young pack-mate currently had on his face. At any other time he might have cracked a smile; Emile was, despite being the pack’s best scout and tracker as a natural born Irraka, utterly terrible at hiding how he felt in any form. Rex could put that down to his age though – Emile had barely been an Uratha a year, and at only fourteen any normal human teenager would be entering a whole world of mood swings and other such wonders.
Rex mused for a brief second that perhaps Emile hadn’t entirely left that behind, but couldn’t fault the boy. No, all of the pack – though only four – where still hurting over the loss of Amelia. She had always been the motherly one with a smile that could work wonders for everyone’s moral and happiness. Of course, fate would have it that she would be the first to die – and with it, the Pack lost their link to the Spirit Realm.
“Why are we playing nice, Rex? We should be ripping out their ****ing throats, not agreeing to meet them so they can stroke their ****ing ego-” Emile snarled out but was cut off by another, the woman sitting in the passenger seat to Rex.
“Emi, enough. I know you’re hurting over loosing Amelia. We all are, and this doesn’t sit right with any of us, but they’re offering to play nice for a little while, and we shouldn’t waste this chance to settle it without violence.” Rachel murmured, never having opened her eyes. The Irraka didn’t reply but for a small rumble in his throat that faded out as his attention turned to something else – probably the window. Rex spared Rachel a glance; the small blonde-haired mousey woman was much akin to Emile in that one would not expect her to be a strong and proud Uratha. As the Elodoth, Rachel would be the pack’s voice in the upcoming meeting. She was quiet and reserved with her words and actions, but was just as willing to throw herself into a fight in a split second if her pack was in danger – any of them would. Though Rex was the Alpha, she had a way with words that he simply did not, and he often looked to her to find the words he couldn’t.
There was silence as the jeep turned into a small side street, heading towards the outskirts of town. They were almost there now – and perhaps on queue the final member of the pack spoke up. It was so sudden that Emile jumped out of his skin and the sound of a skull meeting glass was heard along with a small yelp – that was enough to make everyone smile just a bit. The boy rubbed the side of his head under his black hooded top as the figure beside him spoke.
“Don’t matter anyways; if they step out of line we’ll beat the **** out of them. Blood drinking ****s aint got nothing on us. Bring all the cheap shades and fancy suits they want.” Ross said, the man running a hand through his bright pink Mohawk as he flashed a wide confident grin, nestling back into the seat. Ross was the loudmouthed one who was always the first into the fight and last out, looking like the stereotypical punk rocker – which he quite proudly blasted around the Den on those rare times the pack had to rest. He was also the one Emile had bonded to the most, as Ross had really taken a liking to the young teenager. Rex glanced in the rear view mirror in time to see Ross casually reach over and ruffle Emile’s shoulder length curly brown hair under his hooded sweatshirt, earning a swat from the young boy, but a wide grin too. Rex smiled then; Ross could also cheer damn near anyone up despite their mood. They drove for another few minutes before the other vehicle came into view – a limo, of all things. Three figures stood out a good distance away, obscured by the darkness that permeated the woodland – Rex hadn’t even realized he’d been driving the car damn near on autopilot. This place was on the fringes of their territory, but still very much inside it – and just the sight of the Vampires put everyone into defensive mode. Rex pulled into the clearing and stopped the car; everyone simply staring out the windscreen for several moments before they got out.
Rex took the time as he got out examining the three figures – even in Hishu form he had rather good eyesight. And he’d be damned if they weren’t the picture of stuck up aristocrats. The leader was dressed in a plainly expensive black dress suit like you’d go to a fancy dinner with, his blonde hair slicked back against his scalp and, yes, black sunglasses over his eyes. It was almost enough to make the man burst out into laugher. He looked like a complete and utter prick. The other two – a redheaded woman and a smaller Caucasian man with spiked brown hair who was smoking a cigarette – looked to have bought their clothes from the same store as the leader. The redhead with a slim, almost attractive face wore a revealing red dress with matching high-heels and the other male wore a simple suit himself..
Rex heard Ross snort a laugh, but true to form Rachel didn’t give a reaction either way – quiet and meditated. The Alpha heard the subtle cracking of bones and the light thump as paws hit the grass, Emile having assumed his small and slender Urhan form. The small wolf was covered in a thick mottled brown coat of fur that matched his hair as a human, his long legs built for running and endurance. He padded up beside Rex with a soft rumble, before as one the pack crossed the ground between themselves and the Vampires until the two groups stood not fifteen feet apart from one another.
“Welcome.” The leader smirked as he pushed the sunglasses down his nose to take each of the Uratha in one at a time. Rex didn’t miss the fact he was showing off. “I expected you to be a little more punctual.”
Without missing a beat, Ross rolled his shoulders and spoke. “Traffic was a nightmare.” The Rahu replied with a cocky smirk; Emile snorted and trotted up beside his friend, eyes never leaving any of the Kindred facing them. The leader frowned, his face flashing with anger for a moment before he cleared his throat to regain his composure.
“I see.” He forced out before the confident smirk returned. “Our Prince sends his deepest apologies for the tragedy that has befallen your... pack.” He forced the word out as though saying it would make him gag. “My name is Alexander Belmont and these are my associates, Miss Amanda Jane and Alistair Craven.” He gestured to each in turn, the woman and the male, who weren’t taking a bit of notice to what was going on. Rachel pushed her glasses up her nose before she spoke in her usual calm, measured tone.
“It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Sir Belmont.” She replied, her voice giving away not a bit of discomfort. “These are my pack; Lucan Rexford, Ross Eton, Emile Avaant and I, Rachel Noble.”
Alexander nodded his head swiftly, before he leant back and cleared his throat once more. Rex glanced at his pack to take in their emotions; Ross had a scowl on his face, arms folded across his chest tightly and Emile was trotting back and forth along an invisible line with his hackles up – he was the most uncomfortable, but Rex wasn’t worried about him turning the meeting into a bloodbath. He was far more inclined to believe the Vampires would incite it.
Perhaps the negotiations would have truly begun in earnest if the wind hadn’t suddenly changed in the opposite direction; with it came the horrible scent of cloying decay and something else; something none of them had previously detected. Emile stopped pacing, sniffing the air – his Urhan senses where the most acute. And then he started snarling ferociously, muzzle wrinkling into a line of large fangs and his brown fur standing up on end, ears tilted forward in anger. The Pack didn’t need to scent it themselves to know what it was – Silver.
They’d brought Silver to a diplomatic meeting.