Family Scuffle

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'DeLacy's eyes'

'Hold up. What did they mean by mate?!' To say I was confused would be an understatement. Once I'm confident my legs can support my weight I follow Stella and Mr. Tenbrook down the stairs.

Mom was close behind me as we entered the open plan living room. Looking into the kitchen where Mrs. Tenbrook was doing dishes I saw Stella flop down into one of the barstools.

Walking up to the bar I cautiously stood beside her placing my hands on the back of the stool in front of me as I silently watched the family dispute.

"Dear." Mr. Tenbrook addresses his wife, gaining her attention and the attention of Eric sitting on the couch. "Your daughter has something she'd like to tell you." He says motioning to Stella.

"Oh, come on Dad." Stella whines dropping her head on the bar with an audible thump.

"Stella." Mrs. Tenbrook warns, looking at her daughter with a steely gaze. "What did you do?" She demands with that universal mom tone.

"I den...teow dai I fowd a mae." She mumbles not lifting her head from the bar.

"What?" Mrs. Tenbrook ask both confused and annoyed by Stella's mumbling. "Lift your head up and say that again."

With a huge sigh Stella grudgingly raised her head up off the bar, "I didn't tell Dad I found a mate." She repeats, resting her chin on her arms now folded on the bar in front of her.

Mrs. Tenbrook stands there silent for a moment looking at her daughter. Then suddenly loud laughter could be heard from the living room. Looking over my shoulder I saw Eric practically rolling on the floor with laughter. "Who would have the bad luck to be a potential mate for you!" He half shouts before breaking back down into laughter.

I still wasn't sure what they were talking about but I could infer that they were talking about me, and thanks to my still frazzled nerves his statement made me far angrier then it should have. It shouldn't have bothered me, in fact I should have been laughing right along with him but I was hit with a wave of anger that came out in a nasty snarl before I could put a clamp on it.

At the sound of the deep rumbling snarl coming from me Eric's laughter immediately secede and he shot up into a defensive position.

I could feel my eyes burn and knew they were changing color. Since the burn was only on my iris I figured they must be glowing a bright aquamarine which meant I wasn't fazing, not yet at least.

"What in the hell?!" Eric exclaims his expression switching between shock, fear and finally aggression as he drops into a fighting stance. This causes my own defensive aggression to surface in response.

"No!" Mom tries to intervene holding her hands out to Eric while keeping an eye on me. "Eric please, you don't want to frighten her." She warns.

Ignoring her, he stares me right in the eye and I can feel the burn spread across my eyes until I'm sure they're fazing. I wasn't losing control like before. I could take him and I knew it. But I still wanted to be ready in case he did try something stupid.

"Eric..." Mr. Tenbrook's voice rings out in warning, thick with unspoken power and authority.

At the sound of his father Eric flinches and his growl wavers but he doesn't drop his snarl or his challenging glare.

Unsheathing my claws I lower my head slightly and tense my muscles, ready to spring at the slightest hint of attack.

His eyes drop to the claws now adorning the ends of my fingers. "DeLa..." Stella starts drawing my attention to her, but before she could finish Eric leapt forwards upon seeing my temporary distraction.

Shifting into his wolf form mid-air he tries to pin me with his massive paws to avoid hurting me.

Sidestepping one paw I put myself right in front of him. As both forelegs miss to either side of me I plant one hand on his chest and the use the other to grab the top of his snout and redirect his moment up and to the side making him flip on his back next to me.

Scrambling to get his feet back under him I quickly straddle his broad neck before he can flip over and use my legs to partially choke him and clamp his jaw shut with my still clawed hands.

He starts whining in panic and blindly scrambling his feet on the ground. "You don't hurt me. I don't hurt you." I snarl in a low echoey voice so only he can hear me clearly.

Whining in consent he stops struggling and looks up at me out of the corner of his solid black eye. Slowly letting the pressure off his neck in case he tries to attack again I stand up with my hands still holding his jaw shut and only after I'm fully off him do I release his snout.

Shakily he climbs to his feet and looks around at the others in the room. Mom had a look of relief on her face, while Mrs. Tenbrook looked worried, and both Mr. Tenbrook and Stella had angered expressions directed at Eric.

"What were you thinking?!" The older man yells at his son.

Eric flinched in response and lowered his large shaggy head in submission.

I decided to jump in and help the poor boy, "He was just frightened." I say stepping forward, slightly in front of Eric now. "He did no different than any of you would have." I point out meeting Mr. Tenbrook's glair with a steady gaze.

After what seemed like hours he grunted and looked to the side at his wife, who was looking between Stella and I with narrowed eyes.

Stella for her part seemed unperturbed by this and continued to glair holes in her brothers head.

"Stella," Mrs. Tenbrook says looking at her daughter with a carefully blank expression. "You had better tell me everything, from the beginning." She demands pointing a stern finger at her daughter. Then she turned her piercing gaze on me. "After you tell us what exactly you are." She finishes.

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