Valeri, Vincent, and the other Children of the Moon
Jason Christopher is taken by the forces of his father, the self-styled werewolf king.
Near La Push, WA
The party had been a success, and the little oddly matched family of three were making their way home. The mood had been one of good cheer and high spirits, but it came to a sudden end--
Jason Christopher Lupus paused suddenly as he walked with Jacob Black and his son, Roberte "Sly" Lupus, back to the home they all shared. The forest between K9's and the refurbished chapel that was said home was quiet, in the immortal words of many a wise man: too quiet. His eyes shifted side to side as he surveyed the wood. His animals. His spies. They were missing, fled or--no, they would have fled if something too terrible appeared. That was the standing directive. The lack of their presence was warning enough.
Jason spoke quietly, as always, but there was a note of caution or concern in his voice. "Get behind me, both of you." He could smell them now as the wind shifted; they were close, too. Dammit, Sergei could control the wind to a limited extent. But now he could smell them. Werewolves. Children of the Moon. And his brother as well, Valeri.
His older brother stepped out first, but Jason's senses could identify others in the shadows of the trees, more than twenty, at least. Most of them he knew enough to realize they all likely had "gifts." Valeri spoke. "Quite the happy home you have built, Frate mai mic. Now it burns, just like the last one." Jason growled low in his chest, and Valeri just laughed. "Not expecting us yet, yes? Thinking that father's problems would keep us from you? Oh, but father has come to rely on me where you are concerned. The trust he once had for you, tradator, now he has for me. It was time to collect you, before you had any ideas of coming for us--as greu de cap as such an idea would be."
There were too many. Jason knew that he could avoid them. He also knew he couldn't. Behind him were those he was Oath-bound to Talia's son to protect, but so much more compelling, still, his mate and his son were with him. Nearly a century before, he had not been there to protect them. This time, he was.
Quietly he spoke again, this time to Jacob Black. "Take care of Roberte, of... Sly." It was the first time he had used his son's nickname. "Get the others to the yacht. It is warded. Now, Jacob, please listen closely to me. I need you, I need you. To hit me. As hard as you can. Do not hold back at all." He felt shameful of abusing the imprint this way.
Sly answered first, his voice rising in concern, "What? No! I'm not going to--!" But Jacob cut him off.
"Don't," was all he said, his voice unusually guttural and ringing with power. The look he gave Jason was twisted with conflict--torture, really--but Jason needed him. There wasn't much else to say, except-- "I'm coming back for you." And that was all. He didn't make a big production of swearing it, of making threats. His spoken word was his oath, sure enough. Stepping between father and son, Jacob balled up a fist, drew it back, and--despite the flash of pain running through him--punched Jason hard across the jaw, a crack echoing through the night.
Pain flared through him. Inside, The Beast rattled at its chains, and this time there was no attempt to contain it, no effort to hold it in check. Sensing its freedom at hand, The Beast within surged forward, and Jason began to change, his entire body trembling, his eyes too large for the sockets as if they would literally pop out of them any moment--huge, bloodshot and glowing yellow eyes that turned to look at Jacob and his son. In a voice replete with a chainsaw-like snarl he spoke, "Whhhy...? Why aren't you... running!?" Then Jason was gone, and only The Beast remained.
The roar was a thing beyond primal. Jason's ordinary roars had that quality, as if he was one with nature, and this still had some natural aspects--but this was its rage, pure and unadulterated rage. With that sound, horrible as it was, echoing in his ears, Jacob--now in his wolf phase, with a protesting Sly clinging to his back--bolts from the scene, headed for safety. Yes, he had to get Jason's son to safety. He would do that thing for his mate.
It would not end there.
As they fled, Jason's body distorted in ways that made his usual phasing look pleasant, body parts growing out of sync with the others to sizes far beyond anything he had displayed before. Even the other werewolves and Valeri took a step back as the phase finished and The Beast stood fully up. Towering taller than some of the smaller trees, it was sixteen feet tall if it was a foot.
Taking a breath, it SCREAMED its hatred at the wolves ahead of it and lunged, covering the thirty-plus feet in the blink of its eye and crashing into the forward most wolves like a tsunami. They reformed quickly, though, leaping at the monster that had been Jason. The sounds of the battle carried for miles around. Massive tree-limb-sized arms swept forward, scattering the other werewolves like tenpins as they lunged and snapped and raked with claws. The Beast healed as fast as they could hurt it and gave far better than it got, mindless savagery given shape, fur, and breath.
The fight seemed to go on for hours, though it was only truly moments. Then a voice rang out, accented, ancient, and ringing with power. "ENOUGH!" The werewolves all stopped their fighting, falling back as an older man, appearing perhaps in his late 60s, strode into view. He was bearded and stocky, his shoulder-length hair having gone gray, like the beard. Standing at about six feet tall, even, he was much smaller than most of the wolves present and yet seemed to carry himself with such authority that he appeared even larger than The Beast itself.
The Beast, upon seeing him, screamed in outrage again and lunged, but the man merely smiled grimly and spoke with that same power and authority again. "STOP!" His voice rang with some hidden power. The Beast clawed at its head and thrashed on the ground like a fish that was just hauled onto shore. With a note of derision the man leaned down and said in that same tone, "You are mine again, child. My weapon. COME." Then he stood up and spun on his heel. "We have what we have come for. We go."
The Beast stood jerkily to its feet and followed its father, followed to where another, much smaller wolf stood, scrawny by comparison to the others. It clawed a rectangle in the bark of a tree and then ripped it open, a doorway into The Ways. Johnathan Gregor Lupus rumbled in his chest, "Well done Vincent. Now we return with my weapon. When the bloodmoon rises, we shall launch him at the Volturi. Finally." He was still laughing heartily as he stepped into the gateway and was lost to sight.
Some distance away, upon the ridge overlooking the scene, Jacob Black heard and saw every moment, every word. Sly had subsided into angry silence, then perhaps despairing silence, but either way he was quiet, numbly hanging on. And Jacob turned again and ran, ran to safety, to help.
No, it would certainly not end there.