My Dear Readers,

I know it’s been a long time and the years have not been particularly good. Between losing my long time fiance and some illness it’s been rough getting back into the groove of things. However, as you will see, I’ve gotten another Lyssa and Emmett story done and will parcel out over the next couple of weeks.

Thank you to those of you who continued to send feedback. There’s nothing that a writer treasures more.

This story follows: What Next?

Enjoy, KemMyst


They were celebrating. Nathan and the police department had been sued by the family of a young boy who had witnessed Nathan’s shift to intermediate on their Day of Discovery. Shot during a traffic stop, his pain and rage had shredded his control.

Nathan was sued for scaring the boy and giving him nightmares, “emotional distress.” The department was sued because they ‘should have known.’

The department’s case was dismissed based upon the fact that no one had recognized that werewolves existed. Though, of course, there were always rumors of unusual individuals. And fantasy books.

Nathan’s case took a bit more research by his attorneys. They found that the boy, 8, loved horror stories. In interviewing his friends and some other family members they found that watching Nathan change had been the ‘coolest thing, ever.’

While not completely exonerated, the settlement was very small, only a few thousand dollars, as the jury (all humans) thought the werewolves should pay… something.

The lawsuits were many. Unfortunately.

An auto accident blamed on an alleged werewolf sighting. Complaints about missing pets. Neighbors for emotional distress. Members of the police force for discriminatory treatment. The best was prostitute who claimed an allergic reaction at the station.

Thankfully, they had never joined athletic teams or entered competitions involving power or speed. Their insularity had, at least, provided them with some little level of protection.

Then, again, there was the precedent-setting trial. Lyssa’s ex-boyfriend had murdered a young wolf named Jamie in a case of mistaken identity. Ronnie had waited at a road crossing, waiting for a grey wolf. In the darkness, he had mistaken the light-colored, adolescent wolf for Emmett. Whom he wanted to kill because Lyssa had mated Emmett after breaking up with him. In jail for almost a year now, jury selection had, finally, begun.

Mercy had turned 16 and had, through a shared sense of grief, gotten closer to Justin, Jamie’s twin. She would testify at the trial since she had witnessed the murder and had been shot herself. Lyssa would be there, too, since she had gotten Ronnie to confess. Emmett would be there to support.

Alex and Desiree would come to see their son’s killer. And to witness the justice of humans.

None of the pack, or the council, could understand what was taking so long. Within their community, the perpetrator would have been bones long ago.


The Ross pack, meanwhile, was enjoying the antics of their Alpha heir.

Clayton Ross was 8 months old, and a handful. No matter the commands, pack members would spoil him. There was also another problem. For some unknown reason, he had developed a decided dislike of Sampson. And, while he didn’t regularly try to bite him anymore, Sampson was still subjected to growling, as feeble as it was from such a young pup. At first it was almost endearing, then it was annoying, by now, it was a hazard.

Unfortunately, as Beta, Sampson had frequent interaction with the Ross Alpha. He was not adept at handling pups though he understood their value. The older females chuckled at his awkwardness.

Phillip was trying to de-sensitize the little one, mixing his mate’s scent with his own. This, of course, meant that Phillip also got some growls.

While everyone, of course, watched out for the young Alpha heir, Phillip had become a de facto babysitter.

Stephanie had nested with her new pup for about three weeks before emerging to resume her duties as Alpha. Life was difficult for some time as young Clay demanded all her attention and required frequent feedings. Sharilyn checked on both of them regularly.

Clayton was a healthy pup and, after his eyes opened, was found to have his mother’s green eyes.

The Alpha Ross’ only complaint was the rate at which milk flowed from her mangled nipple. The pup was often too impatient and it was sometimes painful to nurse him on that side. So, she ended up bringing an unusual device into the den to help her deal with the engorgement, which was painful on its own: a breast pump. As a result, Clay was also sometimes fed from a bottle. Having milk teeth, he also regularly shredded the rubber nipples.

Sampson attended the first couple of council meetings after his birth. Both he and Amanda assisted with Alpha duties for a few months since Stephanie was overwhelmed early on.


While human legislation generally moved very slowly, many states had quickly passed laws making the turning of any human being illegal. A couple had even tried to make it an immediate death sentence. Thankfully, that was quickly shot down. As it was, some people brought suit against these states, saying they wanted to be turned, and that adults should be allowed to do so.

The packs were both amused and disheartened by this. Amused because they wouldn’t let just anyone into their pack and upset that it made any turning punishable, even the accidental.

They mostly kept to themselves and most had very limited interactions with humans. So, accidental turnings were extraordinarily rare. It was more than a simple bite. Involuntary turnings were normally carried out by rogues on the few occasions when their victims survived. And, when rogues were found, the entire company was destroyed by the pack or packs that found them.

The packs, of course, were pushing for anti-discrimination legislation and the ability to govern themselves.

They had participated in, permitted, some tests. Only a couple had they consented to be recorded.

In the first case, they had been checked for their ability to track by scent. It started simply, with the identification of an individual out of a group. Next was following someone through a building.

Austin, of Severn, was then subjected to following a pair of individuals through a spring festival. He had dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, with a light, tan jacket for the weather.

The festival held the usual fair attractions. There were games of chance, rides, and vendors. Noise. Numerous, overlapping scents. Humans, in quantity. And their perfumes and body products. And, of course, there was food. Lemonade. Sausages. A couple were a bit more unusual as they were small, local businesses. The first sold baked goods, cookies, muffins, cupcakes. The second was a wrap place – breakfast wraps, vegetarian, meat-filled, spicy, savory. Austin spared nary a glance to any but he hesitated, briefly, taking a deep inhale as he passed the last. There were two humans at the stand.

She was wearing an apron over a long-sleeved navy henley, and khakis. Her hair was medium brown, shoulder-length, and wavy, pulled back in a ponytail. Her eyes were a greenish-brown. Her skin was lightly tanned and she was sweating, working on a couple orders.

Austin shook himself and continued on. He had to find both of his targets, and touch them. There was a limit to how far they were allowed to go but he still had to track them and get close.

For the first 10 minutes they had stuck together but had since split up.

This was not unexpected.

Pick one. The less potent scent. Around the outskirts, a big circle. Austin caught him buying a funnel cake.

One down.

Now back, to where they split up. Follow the other scent.

Garlic. Lots and lots of garlic. It almost completely overrode the man’s individual scent. They had had both of them eschew any scents – toiletries, perfumes, colognes – and had had them wash their clothes in the scent-removing detergent used by hunters. But he obviously had eaten a lot of garlic recently.

The scent trail had gotten fainter, of course, but, as he got toward the edges of the crowd, it dissipated. And he lost it.

Whereas scents eddied and flowed, trapped by the press of people, once in a more open area they could readily be lost to a breeze. So, time to use a search pattern, since he had to be in the assigned area. Austin began a standard spiral.

It would be so much easier, faster, if he were wolf. Sigh.

It took another 15 minutes, and some circling until he realized he was being followed by his target. So, he ducked round a corner and waited, briefly, before grabbing him. “Tag.”

Austin was then to report back to the station but he slowed as he passed the wrap stand. Wray’s Wraps. He’d have to stop in. Some of the meat-filled wraps smelled good. As did the one female. The other was older and held no interest.

The report indicated that he’d completed the assignment successfully. His superiors were both disappointed and impressed. Impressed that he had actually been able to finish the task; disappointed that it had taken as long as it had. They had some unrealistic expectations of some aspects of their capabilities. While they expected wolves to be able to act as bloodhounds, they had also expected them to act more quickly.


The other recorded test was strength-based.

Casey’s first task was to leave the room. Two human officers were tasked with preventing him.

One man got him around the waist; the other stood in his way. Casey barely broke stride.

Next was a pile on. Casey was down with three men atop him. It took a little maneuvering, but he was able to wriggle out and get away.

The tactics changed and they switched to one of the females. After all, being weaker, a woman would be easier to subdue.

Angelica was subjected to a takedown. She played the perpetrator and some of the officers attempted to take her down. The four of them were unable to control her. The test ended when one of them cheated, and tased her. She was none too pleased.

She rose from the floor, growling. The officer who tased her backed away, smelling of sudden fear. A gun was drawn by one of the human officers and quickly pulled away by one of the Severns.

The most private, personal thing that was shown was only for the police chief. Nathan shifted through the three forms. Because of the change in bone structure and musculature, they were taller in the intermediate form. This was also the form that was more intimidating. The commissioner required Nathan to answer certain questions while in wolf form as he didn’t quite believe there was an intellect within the beast form.


The council discussed what should be divulged and all had agreed they would keep their sending a secret from the humans as long as possible. They also refused to part with bodily fluids.

They were reviewing a request from the NSF to study them.

Based upon what was being asked – their speed, strength, stamina, ability to take and heal damage – they suspected it was at the behest of one of the armed forces. Someone apparently thought that, since a number of them were on the police force, they might be willing to serve in the military.

The humans didn’t understand the wolves’ mentality. Wolves didn’t kill indiscriminately, though every population had its exceptions. What attracted them to the police force was the probability of the hunt, granted it was a different kind. Pursuit, even if in a vehicle, stirred their blood.

A couple of young, unmated males had even taken a couple of the large cities up on the offer to join the police force there.

One of them returned home almost immediately. He was unable to stand the smells, the press of humans.

The second, however, happened to run across a female.

They had smelled her around a gym on his beat and it startled him, badly. The last thing he had expected was to find other werewolves in the city.

Tina had been going to the boxing ring. She was the oldest of her siblings and a more aggressive female. She had sparred with her packmates, of course, but derived more satisfaction from beating up humans. Her normal bouts were against women but she’d also fought some of the men.

She was good, having quick reflexes. There were matches at the gym and Tina fairly quickly rose in the ranks. Even though human, some of those women were very good. Duwann, the gym’s owner, suggested she try the amateur fights.

She had seen all the reports from the Day of Discovery, as had the rest of her pack. Most were afraid. Afraid of humans.

She scoffed. As if anyone should be afraid of them. Weak. Slow. Fragile. With inferior senses.

Tina was 32 and well into her prime. She’d been approached by some of the males in her pack but they just wanted to subjugate her. Make her obey. She wouldn’t be a slave to them or the sexual cycle.

So, though her Alpha and parents wanted, as all parents did, to see her happily mated, she never felt a pull.

She ran. She fought. She hunted.

The Kolchak pack watched, and worried a bit. But all thought it would be a phase she would get over in a few years. Her father humored her.

She came out of the gym one night with the group on their way to an after-workout night at a bar. Everyone turned to look at her when she stopped dead.

Andrew saw her eyes search for the origin of the scent that she’d just picked up, although they didn’t realize what had caused her to stop. He stuck to the shadows and didn’t move.

“Hey, T, what’s up?”

“You OK?”

Tina shook herself and he watched her nostrils flare once more. “Nothin’. Let’s go.”


Lyssa was sitting at the computer in their room, staring at the screen, one hand clutching the chestnut hair at the back of her head. She blew out a breath as her mate walked into the room. “Who is it now?”

“There’s a couple of counties down south talking about not letting werewolves get married.”

That made him break stride. “Luna, what other crazy stuff will they think of?” He put a hand on the back of her chair and one on the desk and leaned in.

“You’ve lived among humans how long…” She turned to look over her shoulder at him. “Hey, you’ve never told me how old you are.”

Emmett cupped the back of her head and brought his lips down on hers, while a finger traced from her jawbone to her collarbone, then over, and around the outer edge of a breast. She gasped as his thumb rubbed over her nipple.

He pulled back slightly and looked at her. Eyes closed, lips parted, leaning into his touch. She was [gorgeous.]

His heart swelled as she opened her eyes and looked up at him. “See something you like, mate?”

His head turned slightly, to the window, then back to her. He licked his lips. “It’s a beautiful day. I see something I’d like to chase. And catch.”

Emmett had barely gotten the last word out and she was already out of the chair, heading for the door, shucking clothes.

She had started life as a human and was still more shy about nudity than the rest of them. But, over time, she had grown to wearing fewer clothes, and clothes that were easily removed. Werewolves were hard on clothing.

He waited, holding back from chasing her, though the urge was strong. And he watched. T-shirt first, reaching for the bra clasp with a quirk at her lips that set his blood to boil. Lyssa dropped the bra inside as she pulled the door closed.

No howl yet. How long would he last before he came after her?

She was formulating where she would go, where she wanted to get caught as she stepped out of her pants. She knew he was probably at intermediate form by now, since he wouldn’t be able to work doorhandles as wolf.

Huh. She stopped a second. Maybe they should get knobs they could work in that form.

OOps! Had to move. It wasn’t any fun to get caught too soon.

She started her shift on the stairs, finished on the second floor landing. Young Paul saw her coming and opened the front door. She rushed out, her chestnut fur contrasting against the soft greens of spring. And she ran, toward the back, past the lake. She had an idea.

Still no howl. What was he waiting for?

How long could he stand it? The urge was almost overwhelming. His fists were clenched so tightly, his nails bit into his palms.

He was shaking now.

“Enough.” he growled and tore off his shirt. The pants came next as he started his shift. He practically pulled the knob off as he opened the door to a startled Madeline. She flattened herself against the wall as he expanded his chest, threw back his head, and howled.

Everyone knew what it meant and acted accordingly, moving out of the way. It wasn’t the best idea to get in the way of a wolf chasing his mate.

Ah! There was his howl. She was surprised at how far she’d gotten.

Now, to get where she wanted to be.

Run. Feel the give in the soil, the soft new grass under your paws.

Smell. Small animals, fresh breezes, tiny ephemeral wild flowers.

Listen. The call of a finch, the scrabbling of tiny claws, moans and… squelching? Ah, that’s right. Desiree was in heat. Lyssa took a deep breath. Maybe she’d catch and it would help her heal from her son Jamie’s death.

She gave them a wide berth for two reasons. Though she was not at fault, she was still associated with Jamie’s death and her nearness would aggravate them. In addition, no male would tolerate another near his mate when she was in season. With Emmett tracking her, there could be trouble if he got too close.

There was humidity in the air and the ground was damp. It would make her a bit more difficult to track, since he’d let her get so far ahead. But, track her he would, anticipating the treasure that awaited him. Warm. Welcoming.

He skirted the small lake. Some of the pups were chasing minnows or frogs off to one side. As he continued to follow Lyssa’s track, the enticing scent of a female in heat filled the air.

She had veered away. Good. Alex would be truly pissed if they were interrupted.

Now. Where was she going? There were a couple of nice spots out that way. He could beat her there and surprise her if he figured out the destination. She would, of course, try to divert him from that final spot.

The dampness of the earth and foliage dampened her scent but held her track. Mm, the Little Gorge? She’d gone crossways in but wasn’t there. Out the low end. Where?

The bed she’d found was soft, the colors hid her coat somewhat. He hadn’t called to her so he was obviously concentrating on the hunt.

Lyssa, he thought, where’d you go?

She was headed southeast now, towards a stand of white pines.

She whuffled as he entered the trees, hidden slightly by the boughs and fallen needles. Emmett smiled a wolf smile and sniffed her. She licked his muzzle and he rubbed down her side.

As he was about to ask, Wolf or not? she flopped on her side and pawed at him. He settled on his haunches, his cock extended. She was not in any position for him to put it to good use and, oh, at the end of the hunt he was ready.

Lyssa smiled at him, tongue lolling. She relaxed into her shift, fur and muzzle and tail shortening, bones, limbs changing shape. She reclined on the bed of needles, looking luscious, and extended her arms to him. Wolf eyes saw differently, skin, eyes, breathing. And her scent, always alluring. Un, ideas. He stuck his nose in her crotch and she made a funny sort of erp. Emmett took a leisurely lick, bottom to top, and she squirmed. Slippery. Tasty. He did it again, watching her as his tongue flicked over her hidden jewel. She grabbed his ears, almost to the point of pain, then relaxed and scratched them.

He moved to her side and ran his tongue over her nipple and then brought his teeth together, nipping it. She sucked in a breath and arched her back.

As he stepped back a bit, she turned her head to look at him. Eyes, languid, nipples taut. Her voice was lower, husky. “One of us has to change, mate.”

He gave her a wolf smile and ran his tongue across his muzzle, over his nose.

Emmett slipped back between her legs and took a deep breath. Her lower lips glistened, covered with her feminine dew.

He licked her again and savored the taste for a moment before he began an assault on her pussy. His rough tongue pressed over her clit. Its muscular length filled her, the slipperiness of his saliva mingling with her wetness. She panted, writhed, and moaned. He knew he had her on the brink when her legs began to shake. So, he pushed her. She opened her mouth on a silent cry before she crashed over the edge.

He gave her a few seconds before pushing her to a second, then a third orgasm.

As her heart hammered and the sweat rose on her body, he shifted. Fingers had much more utility than paws and his cock was aching with the need to be inside her. Emmett crawled up her body with small nips and licks along the way. Milk chocolate eyes gazed into dark brown as he entered her with one smooth thrust. They both groaned. Her muscles twitched around him with the aftershocks.

He set up a punishing pace as she quivered but he couldn’t keep it up for long after his treatment of her. It took him almost by surprise, the gush of his seed into her depths.

Emmett dropped to his elbows to keep from crushing her. She smiled up at him as a drop of sweat fell from his nose onto her forehead.

They would be tied for quite a while so he rolled them over so that she was splayed out on his body. After some time to recover they shifted back to wolves and went for a run. They chased a couple of flying insects and shared a rabbit before returning to the den.

The Wyeth business had taken a hit with the revelation of their true nature but seemed to be making some recovery. The pack had tightened their belts for a while, cutting spending on a couple of new vehicles as well as the clothing budget. Food was a large part of their expenditures and costs had risen but they really couldn’t cut down on that line item.

But, other things couldn’t be cut or delayed, of course, utility bills, insurance on vehicles, taxes, the fact that the roof needed repair. At least, a half-dozen of them could get the roof cleared and re-shingled in a couple of days. Unfortunately, two of the adolescent males got into a lighthearted tussle and a loose bit of shingle resulted in a broken arm. Thankfully, it hadn’t been worse.

The prosecuting attorney had met with Lyssa for several hours, in order to get some idea of her relationship with Ronnie and what had happened at the end of it, and after. He also asked her pointed questions about her life with the pack, particularly early on. She got annoyed, after a bit, telling him she hadn’t been brainwashed, threatened, or otherwise coerced to join the pack. Of course, things had been a bit complicated at the beginning, but she loved her mate and son.

Mercy, as a minor, was supported by her parents, telling the story in halting answers to questions asked.

In addition, he was taken to the murder site for a look around. Lastly, he asked for pictures of Emmett and Jamie, in wolf form. But the wolves didn’t often take pictures, and there had been none of Jamie. Justin, his twin, posed instead. Upon seeing the pictures, the lawyer balked at the obvious differences between the two then recognized that they had to be taken at night.

The jury selection, they were told, was going slowly. Their side wanted people who believed in werewolves, or, at the very least, were sympathetic toward animals. The other side, of course, wanted people with discriminatory tendencies. Who thought werewolves weren’t human, which they weren’t, but who also thought they were less and not subject to the laws of the land.

Of course, as soon as they got the questionnaires, some in the jury pool were smart enough to figure out that this was the werewolf trial and wanted to be in on it. So, they lied, providing answers they thought would give them a shot at participating.

There were others, of course, who wanted nothing to do with it, wanted to be as far away from it as possible. This group generally had a higher probability of being impartial but most recognized the inevitable fallout of the trial, no matter which way it went. Harassment. Death threats. Vandalism, or worse.

No good could come of being involved.

The lawyers, of course, had different reasons for wanting to be a part of the precedent-setting trial. Publicity for them, and their firms. And money, lots of money.

The prosecuting attorney was getting a pretty big retainer. The council was contributing since it would affect them all. And Ross had set up a GoFundMe page, which was at the $36,000 mark. So far.

The other side, well, Ronnie had no money. But a couple of foundations ponied up a sizable sum and, hey, who didn’t want to be the lawyer who got the ‘werewolf killer’ off. It would be in the law journals and would bring in clients with difficult cases for more money.

After the first day, there were only 10 people who had made the first cut. The next day they garnered 12, and only one had made it to the jury box.

They changed the questionnaire after that, distilled it down to three questions: Do you hunt? Has anyone you’ve known been murdered? and Do you think that abused women should have a program akin to Witness Protection?

They were going to have to cast a wider net than any normal trial due to the publicity and the nature of the case.

It took three weeks to fill the jury box, and another two to chose alternates. They doubled the number of alternates, just in case. The jury consisted of eight women and four men. Their side grudgingly considered that a good thing. Women tended to be sympathetic, maternal, and fiercely protective of their young.

The judge then declared a week break, since the trial could be expected to go on for weeks. The jurors were cautioned not to talk to their fellows outside of the courtroom, nor were they to speak to friends, family, reporters, or any one representing the other side. They were to report any interference. They nodded grimly before filing out.