Chapter 16: Flashbacks All the Time
Fighting with Devlin always made me want to slam all the doors I could, but as I grew older I learned to calmly go to my own room and just sit on my bed or take a nap. Of course, I always locked my bedroom door and I made sure he couldn't get in the window. After we'd fight as kids he always loved sneaking in when I thought he couldn't and it wasn't until I stayed up sitting on my bed reading or trying to decide what to listen to that I found out how he was always getting in when I'd lock the door.
After locking my door and window I shut the curtains and laid on my bed, trying to relax. All I could think about was what I'd tell Angeline. How would I break it to her about what Devlin is? And if I should break it to both of them at the same time about what I am. I still did paperwork for the gang Devlin was a part of, yes, and I had friends in the gang, like Sam and Luke, but Demeter was the only one of all of them who really knew what I was. I guess all those years around Devlin after he shifted paid off because no one really ever knew by scent alone that I was a werewolf. I knew once Devlin found out he'd freak out and run off for good or he'd just flat out try to kill me. Our dad explained this to me after I found him guarding my mom and accidentally got bitten. By my own mother.
"You can't let your brother know what happened to you. Just tell him you got bit by some random stray dog. He goes around killing them anyway. I swear if I didn't go out with him during those hunts he'd do nothing but kill."
"Would... Would he?"
"Yes, Duval, your own brother would kill you if he found out about what you are."
"He wouldn't hesitate for a minute to kill you. Which is why your mother is going to train you better in how to track and hunt and how to build a good restraining device. She's also going to teach you how to hide what you are, though the best bet is if you can hide your scent in with Devlin's no one is going to notice. Since you're twins you already smell similar and that's going to work to your advantage."
Fast forward to after our parents died and when Devlin joined the gang.
"Next!" He called out. Demeter was a large guy, intimidating to anyone who wasn't used to being around tough people, but my parents had thought me how to fight and how to defend myself. My parents had Devlin and I grow up fighting each other to help keep Devlin out of trouble and to help me get stronger. I still looked stringy, but I had swimmer's muscle. There wasn't really any tone on the outside, but I was stronger than I looked.
He looked at me and Devlin stood up. "He's not a shifter."
Demeter glared at him. "You're going to stand down. He's here to try out and if I beat him to a pulp so what. He's not a shifter."
Devlin nodded and stepped back, watching me as I walked up to Demeter. "I have one request. Since my brother is in the gang already I'd prefer not to have him, or anyone else, watching us fight. I don't want interruptions." I didn't have anything to prove to anyone, but I didn't want Devlin finding out if I transformed during the fight.
Demeter nodded and cleared the room of everyone else before locking us in the room. "Rules are simple. Normally whoever gets to a three hit first is the winner, but in your case I'll change it. Normally I shift and say the other person can shift as well, but you can't shift."
His tone was so damn condescending that I lost my temper. The full moon wasn't until the next night according to the calendar, but it was strong enough near me that it didn't matter. I was a werewolf who was born to a shifter and a werewolf. I knew how to defend myself. I knew how to fight. The question would be if I could hold back enough to not kill Demeter or if I could get enough energy out to change back after the fight.
"Hello? Moron? Are you sure you understand what you're getting yourself into? This isn't a normal gang. We're shifters! Like your brother."
"I know damn well what type of gang this is you asshole now shut up and let me strip down to my fighting clothes."
"Just like your brother. Does ANYONE in your family wear clothes?"
"Yeah, I do, but when I'm about to fight I prefer freedom of movement and this is the easiest way to get it. Don't treat me like I'm human. And whatever happens in here, my brother never finds out. Understood?"
"Fine, if you can hit me at least one time I'll keep my mouth shut about whatever happens in here. Not that your brother even cares."
"Not yet he doesn't."
Demeter was silent for a moment as he paused to put things down and get into the marked area for fighting.
I grinned as he charged me. Mid-charge he shifted and I slid underneath him, punching up and into one of his hind flanks as he moved over me. I spun around and stood, staring him down. I felt my eyes changing and I let the change sweep over me as he stood there, amazed that I had managed to hit him at all.
By the time I had transformed into my werewolf self he was speechless and had his tail between his legs, but he didn't want to back down. It wasn't in him. He was the leader of the gang and he could not risk showing weakness of any sort, even if he and I were the only ones in the room.
I waved a paw at him, coaxing him to come closer as I moved towards him. He growled, hair on the back of his neck rising quickly and I opened my mouth to laugh at him before I rushed him, stopping just inches from his face. He looked up at me, wide-eyed and I smelled his fear.
Fear was bad for him, but it worked to my advantage. I grinned, swiping at him while he was frozen there in front of me and I slammed him into a wall. He was larger than a normal shifter and shifters were already slightly larger than their normal animal counterparts, but I was a werewolf and werewolves had the bigger size, even if the shifters never wanted to admit it.
We went round and round with him trying to attack me and failing each time. He refused to believe I'd made contact until the fifth time I sent him flying into the padded wall. I changed back to my human self and looked him dead in the eye as I walked over to him. "Listen and listen once. If you come at me again I'm not going to throw you into the padded wall or into the floor. I'm going to throw you into the concrete wall. And that wall will not give way like the padding on the other walls and the floor. The concrete wall will stop you quickly unless you go through it and break not only part of the wall, but probably several of your bones as well. Are you ready to give up and admit that I beat you?"
He stood and walked back to the fighting area before changing back to his human self. "Alright, you win, but what do we do about the others? They're all expecting me to win and for you to come out probably bloodied to a pulp. If we don't come up with something to explain how long we've been in here we're going to have a lot of questions that neither of us want to answer, kid."
"I have a solution for that. If you're willing to listen." I said. He nodded and I went on, talking about how he can say that I managed to avoid one of his attacks without getting harmed by using one of the free-floating spare wall pads that was cluttering the floor outside of the fighting area and that I hid behind that while begging for everything to fight and he took mercy on me because I was Devlin's brother. We agreed that this would be the best option, but not to tell Devlin. Since everyone in the gang had to have a "job" we walked about what I was good with. No one else in the gang had wanted to tackle the financial mess that the building alone was, not to mention everything else involved with forming an account that everyone would get paid from and such. I told Demeter it would be easy enough for me to set something like that up because I'd done something similar before.
All these years we'd kept that fight secret and Devlin was wanting to blow his secrets out into the open. He had never been happy that I'd made it into the gang to begin with and he hated it even more that eventually I stopped being an "active" member of the gang even though I still did the job that I was doing when I got into the gang. My brother was fickle that way. He always had been.
If I told Angeline about what I was then I'd have to tell her everything. How I became what I was. Why I wanted to be in the gang, which was only because I wanted to keep an eye on my brother. And how Demeter and I came to agree on many things and that the only reason he kept Devlin as a "second in command" was because he refused to have me as a second only because I was a werewolf. Whenever Demeter and I were in the same room I didn't back down like all his little minions did, including my brother. I stood as straight and tall as I always did, making sure it was known that I didn't care what his rank was. When we were alone, Demeter always made it a point to make sure I 'knew my place' and how worthless werewolves were. He was too prejudiced to see that we had far more similarities than differences and the differences were details in the similarities. I laid there on my bed until I heard the back door slam. I kept the house quiet until Angeline got home. I never could have seen what was coming, but I should have known something was going to go wrong.