A/N: *Sequal to 'Lone Wolf'. Hope you enjoy!!
“I understand, sir.” Brendon said obediently as he stood in front of the Hunting Council. The council was comprised of old men, all mortals, who were tasked with keeping the Hunters in line and insuring that they took care of their responsibilities. It was believed that mortals should be in charge of those sworn to protect mortals. It made the mortals feel as if they were in control.
Mortals always wanted to be in control.
Brendon had been trained since shortly after his birth to be respectful to the ever changing group of men. He was a Hunter and these were his bosses, his lords, his masters. He was but their puppet.
And he hated it.
“Do you fully understand?”
“Yes, sir.” Brendon replied, forcing politeness into his tone. Guards stood at the door and on either side of the dais where the council was seated. If Brendon so much as breathed wrong they would not hesitate to take him down, lock him up and then kill him at their earliest convenience.
“You were sent to find out what was killing mortals and immortals alike in that town and destroy it, and instead we go nearly a year without hearing from you and you come back without having completed your assignment.” Farris said angrily. Farris was the oldest and sternest of the council members. With his handlebar mustache, thin rimmed glasses and heavy jowls, he was the single most annoying man that Brendon had ever met.
“I don’t mean to be disrespectful, sir, but I did find out what was doing the killing and it wasn’t the threat you suspected. The vampire that was killed was praying on mortals and was killed by the werewolf alpha in the area. The girl that was killed was killed by a mortal man who was in turn also killed by the alpha. Grange is plenty capable of protecting the mortals in that area.”
“You don’t get to make those decisions, Brendon. You failed in your assignment as far as this council is concerned.”
“Not the entire council.” Jeremy countered. Jeremy was the youngest, just over middle aged, and he was the easiest to get along with in Brendon’s opinion. Brendon tipped his head to the man in thanks.
“Enough of the council.” Farris spat angrily at the other judge. Then he turned his stern gaze back to Brendon. “What were you doing this whole time?”
“Spending some down time, sir. I figure I earned it after all my loyal years of service.” Brendon replied dryly and Farris shook his head.
“I will decide when you earn downtime.”
“Don’t you mean the council will decide?” Jeremy questioned and ten other white, gray and balding heads nodded in agreement. Farris sputtered several times, his fat cheeks shaking with his movement.
“Of course.” he finally stated. “Of course that’s what I meant. You, Brendon, had no right to take this so called ‘down time’.
“I apologize, sir. I overstepped my bounds and for that I know I deserve the strictest form of punishment available…..”
“Death?” Farris asked with a sneer and Brendon met his sneer with a cold stare.
“If you really think that’s necessary, sir.”
“Of course not!” Alfred, another council member said with exasperation. “Truly, Farris, your dislike of Brendon and his equal dislike of you is beginning to wear on my patience.”
“Mine as well.” Jeremy agreed.
“Brendon, you did earn some down time, but may we ask that the next time you choose to take some, you ensure that we are aware and approving.” Alfred added.
“Understood.” Brendon replied graciously. “Thank you, sirs, for being understanding.” All the councilmen other than Farris smiled and tipped their heads. Brendon knew that if Farris ever tipped his head to him it would because the old man had finally killed over and had slumped forward, dead in his high backed chair.
“Now, on to the next order of business.” Jeremy stated seriously. “We trust you received our summons and that is why you rushed back?’
“Yes, sir. A vampire in northern Georgia.”
“There are more than a few vampires that call that large town home, however only one is slaughtering men. Nearly every morning a new body turns up from the night before.”
“And you don’t know which of the vampires is doing this?”
“No. We just received word of the problem and so we are relaying the message to you.” Jeremy stated before taking a drink of water from the crystal glass in front of him.