Copyright© 2021 by Charly Young
Quinn was relishing the peace and quiet of the morning. Saria and her sisters had introduced Charlie and Katinka to Friday movie night and the resulting chocolate and vanilla ice cream driven cacophony over Veronica Mars’ choices in men was enough to drive him out to his truck to get some sleep
He was carefully replacing two rotted boards on the wrap-around porch of his new house. He reflected not for the first time how much his life had changed in the past three weeks when a big Chevy Silverado came up the driveway and parked.
Kirk Falstad hopped out with an elderly woman and a young guy in his twenties.
Shifters. Wonder what they want.
“Hey Kirk,” he said. “How do you know where to find me? This place is a bit off the beaten path.”
“Yes, it is, but I called Gus. He sent me a map. What are you doing living this close to the Opari,” Kirk looked a bit warily at Opari looming behind the cabin. “Lan, that whole town down there is chock full of witches. What the hell are you doing here. I thought you were just going to stop in and say goodbye and then go fishing.”
“I got side-tracked a bit.” Quinn said. “Who are your friends?”
Quinn looked at the two of them. The woman looked back at him curiously. The man looked resentful.
“Remember, you asked me to make some inquiries among the Kin. This is Jarvi Murtro and Dorotea Kangas from over on the Okanagan. They showed up at my mother’s place yesterday. They heard about my inquiry and were wondering if you had seen a little wolf.”
Quinn nodded to the two.
“Old Jarvi here,” Kirk pointed to the young male, “is a tough guy. So, I thought it best to bring him here as quickly as possible.”
For some reason, Kirk seemed to be enjoying himself.
“Glad to meet you,” Quinn said. “She’s here with me.” His hackles were up: there was something wrong here. “Are you her people?”
“Where is she?” Jarvi looked to be about twenty or so. Very fit. About six foot tall. He had the leanness of a long-distance runner. Green eyes and a shock of coarse black hair. His handsome face looked to be set into a sneer for life. “Bring her forth immediately.”
“Easy Jarvi,” The older woman who had the same runner’s leanness and large green eyes put her hand on his arm,
He shook her off. “The Alpha put me in charge. Be silent.”
Quinn looked at Kirk and mouthed “immediately?”
“Well, Mr. Murtro, first maybe you can tell me about her. Why was her mother forced to give her to a stranger for safekeeping when she had a pack to protect her?”
“I don’t know. Katrinka was abducted while in the company of my daughters. Her mother went to look for her. That was the last I saw of her.” The woman looked pained and shook her head.
“Shut up woman, you are out of favor with the Alpha. I want the girl.”
“Wolf pack squabbles,” said Kirk.
“Like the Ursa do not fight,” the man snapped.
Kirk nodded amiably to give him the point, then growled, “Good point, we do not however hand cubs over to Slavers.”
The cabin door opened and Charlie and Katrinka came out blinking sleepily and stood by Quinn.
Katrinka stiffened when she spotted the visitors.
Quinn reached down and put a calming hand on her shoulder.
“Easy now, everything will be okay, little one.”