Xander looked at the purring man in front of him. Someone had dropped him off and Fu had him escorted in since clearly it was something he needed to handle. "Who did you piss off?" he asked dryly. The man rubbed his cheek against Xander's shoulder, giving him a little purr. "I like you too, Jensen." He petted his hair gently. "We should get you home so we can fix this. You can play with Hubert today." He looked at the dealer, checking his hand. "Can I call?"
"Nope. You can bow out," he said with a smile.
"Fine. Two cards." He tossed his over, then went back to petting the kitty human. He got the two and smirked. The rest of the table but the dealer folded.
"There's no way."
"If you're not stacking the deck, how would you know that?" another one asked casually. The dealer got up and ran out.
Xander shrugged, taking his few dollars back. "Get your own back, guys." He got up and grabbed the rest, walking Jensen off. He had barely gotten to play today. "It's a good thing the corvette is slightly roomy," he teased. He got Jensen into the seat, watching him lick his hand to clean his ears and hair as he walked around to get in and drive. One the way, he hit the speed dial button on his on-star. "Don, it's me. Can you please tell Richard that I could use a magical consult at home?"
"What happened? New demon in town?" Don demanded. "Are you purring?"
"No, the reason for the consult is."
"Is it still human?"
"Mostly." He hung up and pulled through a store to get some milk, they were out at home, then home. He waved at the community guards, who smiled. He got Jensen out once they were at home, watching him saunter inside then take off running up and down the stairs. Xander poured some milk into a bowl, putting it down in the living room. "Want some milk, Jensen?" He rushed down to lap at it. Then he walked around the couch until he flopped down next to Xander, head conveniently just out of reach for petting.
Xander shifted to pet him, calling the coven he knew locally. "It's Xander. I have a person who had a radical personality shift. No, I'm sure it's magical. He's purring and hissing and clawing." He patted the hand kneading his leg. "You're going to hurt yourself." He listened. "No, we're home. It's safer. Thank you." He hung up. "The coven will look for me too, that way we can undo whoever did this." Jensen stretched and started to purr when Xander petted him again.
Hubert hopped up on the back of the couch to stare down at Jensen, who sniffed, hissed a bit until Xander yanked on his hair, then the dragon got a purr. It looked at Xander, giving him a 'what the fuck' look. Xander shrugged. "Some witch," he explained. "We can help him get back to normal but it's probably not a good idea for him to play with the ferrets today."
Hubert slid down, walking up to sniffle at Jensen's head. Then he flopped down. Jensen gave him cheek nuzzles. It looked like they had a playmate. Xander handed over a ball to the dragon, who bounced it on the floor. They both followed it and batted it around the living room and kitchen area. Xander got back to his research topic of the moment.
Clay stomped in an hour later while Xander was looking at the notes the coven had emailed. "Why is he curled up with his chin pointed up and his body like that? Did he get infected with some horrible disease like yoga?"
"No, he's not sick." He looked up. "I'm working on curing him, Clay."
"Then what's wrong with him?" He moved closer and Jensen meowed at him, then purred and shifted to sniff him and nudged him until Clay whimpered but petted him. "Why is he acting like a cat?"
"Because he's temporarily a Jensen kitty. I'm working on getting it ended. The coven I know locally sent me some good ideas to try. That way we can find out who did it and if there's a curse attached or not." He petted the head when it came back over to lay on top of the papers. "I need those to make you human again." Jensen kneaded his stomach and purred so he petted him. "You're a good boy, Jensen. Just stay calm, okay?" He read them while petting with his free hand. Clay was gaping. Xander looked over. "You want him to stay this way?"
"Who did it?"
"That's going to take me a bit to find out. If I'm really lucky it'll be fixed by dinner."
"It'd better be fixed as soon as you can. He'd hate that."
Xander stared at him. "Willow once turned me into a puppy, a full one. Been here done this." Clay nodded once and got up to leave him to his work. Xander got back to reading and petting. Jensen was purring again now that they weren't fighting. It was nice to have a purring thing on his lap. Even if it was a really heavy purring thing.
Clay stomped into the apartment Pooch and his wife and child shared, slamming the door. "Someone partially turned Jensen into a cat."
"How?" Jolene, Pooch's wife, asked.
"I don't know more than he was purring and kneading. Xander's working on it."
Cougar looked at him. "Fiebre (Fever)?"
"No, I tested it when he headbutted me to pet him."
"At least it's not contagious," Pooch said. "I'd make a horrible pussy."
His wife swatted him. "Not that you don't lap now and then." He smirked at her.
"I don't need to hear that," Clay noted. "Ever." He looked at Cougar. "I'm hoping he'll be cured before we leave for that last mission tomorrow."
"If not, maybe he can be a diversion," Pooch said. "A purring human might be. We can throw catnip on them and watch him attack it to get kitty high. Maybe roll jingle balls at them so he pounces it?" Clay glared at him and so did Jolene so he wisely shut up.
"Okay, Jensen. Let's try this spell instead." Jensen hissed. "I know. You didn't like the water the last time. This time is nicer. It's oil." He smoothed some infused oil over his head, earning a head shake. "I know, it's messing up your fur. I'm sorry." He purred back and the kitty calmed down. Xander finished his anointing marks. "There." He started the chant, holding up a hand when Sam leaned into the room. He finished and Jensen stiffened then yawned. "Jensen?"
"Xander?" He looked around. Then at himself. "Why am I here and partially naked?"
"Because the kitty cat hated your clothes," Xander said dryly. "It struggled to get free of them."
"What kitty cat?" Xander showed him the video he had taken on his phone. "Oh, shit. Who else knows?"
"Clay showed up." He did something else. "And it looks like you pissed off a witch. She usually turns them fully. The coven I work with has had a few calls at the pound recently." He stared at him. "You're damn lucky you weren't small and furry."
"Yeah, I guess. So why am I naked?"
"Because you struggled to get out of the clothes. Thankfully you kept on the boxers." Jensen nodded quickly. Xander hauled him up. "Go use my shower. It's got the better water pressure to get the stuff we used in the earlier attempts out of your hair."
"Thanks, Xander." He rushed that way. "Um, hi, Danny."
Danny pointed when Sam grinned at him. "Why?"
"Some bruja turned him into a human kitty."
"Ah." He nodded. "So Xander fixed it but he had to do messy magic?"
"Yup," Sam agreed. "He's getting stuff out of his hair."
"That's fine. I've had to do that a time or two myself." He got himself a drink and went to the living room. Xander came bouncing out and climbed into his lap to kiss him. "I love you too. What did you do today?"
"I attempted a poker game. They dropped him off."
Danny stared at him then smirked. "What are you planning that's naughty enough to need begging?"
"I have to go to the Bazaar for speciality ammo soon?"
"Um, yeah, with Ryan or someone." He let Xander cuddle but didn't give in on that point. Jensen peeked out. "You better?"
"Much. What did you put in my hair?"
"Don't ask," Sam advised, handing him a can of soda. "Sometimes the stuff is gross."
Dean strolled in. "Hey, Jensen. What's up?"
"Some Bruja turned him into a human kitty," Sam said.
"We can find the Bruja and handle that," Dean said. He looked at Jensen. "Any idea which one it was?"
"The same one that keeps hitting the pound," Xander called.
"Got it," Dean said. He grinned at Jensen. "We'll handle it. You go do commando stuff."
That gave him the warm fuzzies. He hadn't had the warm fuzzies like that since the first time Clay had growled he was going to kill the woman trying to kill Jensen for sleeping with her. Jensen skipped out calling a cab. He called Clay too. "I'm much better now. Dean's promised to get rid of the witch who did it for me. Getting a cab now. At the community gates."
He hung up and got into the cab, giving them the address. The cab driver took him off and it was a short trip back there. Of course, when he got in, Pooch had kitty toys for him to play with. "Thanks," he said with a grin. "Xander said she's sent a lot of people in animal form to the pound." Clay shuddered. "Dean said they'd handle it." He smirked. "Oh, Xander was talking about going to the Bazaar again."
"Not without backup he's not," Clay said.
"Danny said Ryan."
"Ryan's good but he's only one being."
Jensen sat down to pick up one of the balls, jingling it in front of the baby. The baby cooed, grabbing it to chew on. "I knew I could teach you about toys," he cooed. "You'll have all the cool toys. Nothing lame like a Tickle Me Elmo. I'll get you one of those baby CSI kits and all that."
"Those things are scary," Jolene said. "You can actually pull DNA and start to process it. You can pull fingerprints, all that. Stick with musical instruments and finger paints. Normal kid things that aren't scary."
"And none of your dinosaurs either," she said dryly.
He smirked. "I doubt it. He'll get plenty of action figures and dinosaurs to figure out his own games to play with them."
"The son of Pooch doesn't need that sort of stimulation until he's sixteen," Pooch said dryly.
"He'll play more innocent games until then," Jensen agreed.
"Maybe if you got laid more you'd need less action figures," Clay told him.
"I can always volunteer you to go with Xander to the Bazaar," Jensen shot back. Clay growled. He smirked. "Or introduce him to Aisha."
"Xander told me she's not allowed near him because she hit on Don," Jolene said.
"Awwww. That figures," Pooch said dryly.
Xander knocked and walked in. "We have a major problem," he told Clay, staring at him. "Someone has decided you need a villain to fight against."
"Someone resurrected Max?" he asked dryly.
"Roque?" Jensen guessed.
"Wade," Pooch said.
"Blondish minion guy? Yes."
"Wade," he agreed. "Okay, where is Roque?"
"He showed up at my fucking poker circuit today. Fu called me to tell me that the dead was walking in to play poker. I told him to knock the fucker out and I'd deal with it. So how do you want me to deal with it?"
"He was a teammate before he turned on us," Clay said, trying to stay calm. "Who?"
"Max apparently didn't believe in the occult but one of his people did. Something about an ex-girlfriend and how it was fitting that you had a villain to fight against. Apparently mine is now the minion guy but I think I can make a new minion. I could use one to do little things for me like collect poker debts." He grinned.
"Wade's a psychotic, dangerous sort who doesn't care who dies," Pooch said.
"I know a few of those in New York. And Sonny when he was alive. I get along really well with most of the underground. Even the mafia guys, even the strange guys, all of them." He shrugged. "I can always hormone him. Both of them if I have to."
Clay shook his head. "As much as I'd like to see him beg, I need to kick his ass first."
"I owe him two gunshot wounds to the thigh," Pooch agreed. "Where are they now?"
"Locked in the mirror house. If the door's closed you can't open it from that side," Xander said with a grin. "That's a safety feature as well."
"Wonderful," Jensen said. "That's a good thing to know."
"We leave in an hour," Clay said. "We can push it back by a half hour and come kick their asses." The others nodded. Jolene started to get up. "No, you and the sprout can stay. Xander, they are not to get near the baby or her or Jensen's sister or niece."
"Okay. If I can."
"Good. Did you bring the SUV?"
"No. The corvette and only I drive my baby." He walked off, letting them follow however.
"Let's go, Losers," Clay said, going down to their present car.
Jolene looked at her son. "Why do I think that was his version of 'sit, stay, good wife'?" she asked the baby, who cooed back. "We'll make sure you don't grow up like that or bouncy like Xander, dear." He waved the jingly ball. "That's fine. You can play with kitty toys until you're walking. Then we'll get you human boy toys."
Xander walked in and found one of them in the kitchen making coffee. "Don, did you let him out?"
"There was the mother of all fights and it was upsetting Hubert so he let him out," Danny called. "Don's still not home yet." He walked in. "He's on good behavior before Hubert eats him."
Xander stared at him then hormoned him. Wade fell to his knees, staring at him like he was strange. Xander smirked. "Hubert, he tried to kill Clay and his people," he told the dragon.
Hubert stared at him then bit him on the shoulder, making him yelp. "It was just business!" he complained.
"We don't like that sort of business here," Xander said. "I may play poker with the underground but we aren't that sort of Family. Around here, they only die if they try to kidnap me or yank my hair."
"Sure, I can live with that. Is Max still living?"
"No. I had two hellhounds rip him apart," Xander said honestly. "He was dog chow. The ME nearly puked." Wade whimpered, nodding. "Clay, Hubert let him out," he said when he heard him stomping in.
"That's fine. The dragon probably wanted to maul him for me." He hauled him up. "What, can't handle the hormones?" he sneered, shoving him back into that house.
Roque looked up. "I only wanted my life back," he said quietly.
"Yay," Clay said, punching him. The dragon roared. He looked back at the little, steaming beast. "He nearly got us killed." The dragon bit him and huffed, nuzzling Jensen's leg.
"Thanks, Hubert. You're a great friend." Hubert waddled out and kicked the door shut with his tail.
Pooch hit Wade. "You don't come near Xander. You're not worthy to breathe the air in his city." He hit him again. "Those hormones you got blasted by? Only a quarter of what he can do without even picking up a weapon."
Clay snickered. "True, I've seen him do worse."
Don opened the door and leaned in. "If you're going to commit homicide, bury them over there. Don't bring them through the house because that means I have to admit to it when I'm asked." He stared at Clay. "Though, kick his ass all you want. We're all good with that outcome." He closed the door most of the way again. "Xander's cooking so you can eat on the plane."
Clay shook his head. "That boy needs more to do." He kicked Roque again, making him moan. "We're not done with this even if we do have to leave to do something." Wade yelled so he looked back. "What did you do? Kick him in the nuts?"
"He's not worthy of having any," Jensen said, kicking him again. Pooch winced at that. Even Cougar winced at that treatment. He smirked. "I'm still coming down from the magic to make me quit purring." He got him again.
Pooch walked over and kicked Roque himself. "I owe you two gunshot wounds."
"You could've went home!" he complained. "You wanted that revenge shit!"
"We never would've gotten our lives back if he was still alive," Clay said.
"Have you now?" Wade asked. They all smirked and nodded. "How?"
"Xander." Jensen smirked. "He's like a long-lost twin in some ways."
"If you *ever* grow hormones like him, I'll take your head myself," Clay growled.
"It would make some missions easier," Pooch said.
Jensen looked at him. "There's others in the group."
"How many?" Clay asked.
"Fifteen?" Cougar said.
"I'm so glad we only have the one." Cougar shook his head with a smirk. "No?"
"No," Jensen agreed, shaking his head. "Most of the whole family. That's fifteen outside this family group, Clay."
"How many here?"
Xander opened the door, lounging in it wearing basically a towel and some oil. "How many what?"
"Sword fighting sorts."
"Most of us outside of Ray Junior."
"Wolfe?" Xander nodded. "Good, you still can't go to the Bazaar with just him."
"Want me to take them?" He smirked. "That would get them out of Miami."
"That's almost evil," Clay said. "Though fitting. That's a horrible torture from what Dean told us."
"Dean, you're going to the stores with me tomorrow for that."
"C'mon, Xander. Let's wear you out," Don said, dragging him off. "Are you trying to make one of them a minion? You know seeing you nearly naked will make them slaveish like the last guy. Hell, we had to arrest that one." He slammed the bedroom door.
"Is that too mean?" Pooch asked Clay.
"Yes, but do I care?"
"Me either," Pooch said, shooting Roque in the same places he had been shot. "My son wants to kick your ass too. Thankfully he's better than you'll ever be."
Danny leaned in. "Of course he is. Xander will teach him self defense without the dance stuff. Dinner's in the bags and Don won't hold Xander off for long, guys."
Clay kicked Wade in the head, making him pass out. "Keep them locked up for us? We should be back in a few days."
"Sure.... Because kidnaping isn't against the law," he said smugly. "We can keep them over here though."
"That'll work." They walked out.
Jensen looked in the bag, grinning at Danny. "Thank him for me, Danny."
"I will." He shut the door after tossing in the first aid kit. He walked into the bedroom. "Xander, Jensen said thank you for the snacks."
"He's welcome." He went back to teasing Don. "He's mean, Danny. He won't ride me into needing a nap."
"That's because you're overly upset," Danny said dryly. He found the toys they'd need to help them. Xander hadn't been worn out in days again. They needed to quit working so many hours or find him a new playmate.
Later that night, Wade found the cellphone charging in the kitchen. His unfortunately was missing in action thanks to the situation in LA. He called a number he knew by heart. "It's Wade," he said quietly. "No, not dead. No, I got dislocated. I'm not sure how but I'm in Miami. I need a sit rep and to see where things stand. I don't know what we're doing. Tell me what's going on."
He listened to her report on where all the other minions were. The higher minions were being pains in the ass to Interpol apparently. The other 'assistants' like he had been were hiding to keep out of anyone's scope. "No, Max is fully dead. No, Harris down here in Miami, someone sent me to him when they sent me back, yeah the guy with the hair, he's got us hostage in a safe place so he can decide what to do with us, he said Max got ripped apart and Clay confirmed he had seen it."
He listened, nodding some. "You know what? I'm going to be my old self," Wade said quietly. "Let's give severance packages. Yeah, those causing problems, deal with. Please. I don't know. I might retire. There's some weird stuff down here and it's creeping me out badly. Yeah, Harris is aligned with Clay and his team. Thank you." He hung up and called another few numbers. He had most of his phonebook on a secure online spot and this place did have internet access somehow.
So maybe he'd be a smart minion and make sure he got what he should.
Clay looked up as the stewardess on the private flight - because the GHS retrieval teams each had one for the city teams and the main ones shared two - walked back to them. "Problems?" he asked.
"You're switching destinations. Apparently we're near one who's been captured and they want you to go before whoever Xander is gets there tomorrow."
"Sure," he said. "Where?"
"The Treasure Cove?"
"I know of it. Any idea which one?" She handed over the note. "Thank you." She nodded and refilled his coffee, then went back to the kitchen. "We have another one at the Treasure Cove."
"Who?" Pooch asked through a yawn.
He read it. "Ray Junior, Horatio's nephew. Apparently Xander's going spastic in Miami so they're sending us before he can find a flight or a portal."
"Good deal," Jensen said, getting online though the plane's systems to send Xander a message. "Hmm. One of the poker buddies decided Ray Junior was a good hostage."
"Xander actually owe someone?" Clay joked.
"No. They want Horatio's help with a case." He sent a message to him too so he'd worry less. "I've told Horatio we're nearly local to there so he quits worrying. Xander sent me a full list of who was responsible, why, and that Horatio is going to destroy parts of Miami over this. And if he doesn't, his mother may come back from Brazil to do it. It's not even GHS related. Xander said Ray Junior used to be his helper and all that stuff."
He looked up. "Xander's losing his temper big time. I have requests from three of his poker buddies, all highly illegal, begging, literally, for us to lock the weapons warehouse from him. I had to tell one we're on retrieval so they sent back they're going to beg him to let the rest of them live."
"Figures he'd have a temper," Pooch said.
"I got told he turned the guy who poisoned their dogs into bait chunks with a sword," Clay told him.
Jensen shook his head. "It's rare now but we were warned Xander is a berserker," he said quietly. "He can totally lose it and drop during a battle. Somehow they trained him to respond to Ryan to get him out but otherwise, no. He hasn't done it often but one of the times he was taken it was to a battle ring. Don warned me of that when Xander was having a high hormone surge and they made him drop and spar with Ryan to cure it."
"Like that slave market in LA?" Aisha asked.
Jensen nodded. "Yeah, that was Xander getting them all free."
She hissed. "I heard it was a mess of parts."
"I'm sure it was. Guns?" he asked Jensen.
"No, sword. When Xander loses it usually he's got a sword. He carries a gun everywhere and he'll use it while he's down if he realizes he has it. He's never shown to use any of his *other* skills during it but that incident and another led to the government briefing others about GHS. Which is why we had a lot of agents down to Miami during the time we took out Max."
"Which agencies do we have people in? Epps was FBI, Edgerton is Fugitive Retrieval in the FBI. Gibbs was NCIS and I feel sorry for the guy since he's got two on his team."
"They're together so they balance each other out," Pooch said.
"Which is why they got the speciality SUV from Xander," Jensen quipped, showing it to them. Pooch moaned. "Like his only normal backseats." He put his netbook back on the table. "I'm told there's FBI that know in each major city they gather in. Customs knows. The State Department knows. CIA knows because apparently Xander walked up to a spook sometime last year and took his partner off to help her cure her surge that he was causing on purpose to hurt their case." Cougar snickered at that one, shaking his head.
"They said the guy complained so Xander made him beg and crawl after them while talking to her about the expanded allergy list she should've gotten. He got her a mentor once he got her back on even footing. The head of the CIA assured her she was not going on those sort of missions again because it was too risky. They'd just take her." Clay burst out laughing. "Seriously! Pieter warned me that they had taken her back last month from South Africa and she had ruined the guy that had taken her. Plus handed him over to her bosses to make miserable."
"That sounds like something Xander would do," Pooch agreed, smiling.
"He's done it before. Oh, I was given a warning by someone in the poker circle. Someone tried to shoot Xander to get out of paying a debt early on in his poker career. Succeeded in shooting Xander. Xander comes back *hard* and there's a little brain tumor that grows each time he does. It leads to him doing stupid stuff.
"Apparently Horatio sent Xander to Monaco when he found out. Then he went on a rip through the poker circuit. The circuit used to have about eighty percent more people. Xander had a *good* friend among the Mala Noches, one he chatted with and all that, trusted him, and that's why the General got dead when he started to cheat both of them. The guy later gave him a warning about an apocalypse battle, the one in LA, and killed himself in NCIS custody."
"The Mala Noche wouldn't like gay men," Clay said. None of the ones they had run into would've done more than shoot them.
"They still don't. They respect him. They respected his buddy too. Apparently he's on the honored wall. The same one that went to jail for taking out the General." Jenesn smirked. "That's why Horatio makes Xander tell him what he knows about poker debts that don't pay up. It's a standing order and they *all* know that Horatio will pressure him into it. Horatio's like the first dad figure he's ever had. Xander's used it as a threat before but they all know if they piss Xander off, Horatio will end up hearing about how he's filed his blackmail files."
"Which are where?" Pooch asked.
"Office, media center for any tapes, and some in the mirror house," Clay said. "I went looking while you guys were out making him shop. There's some scary damn people in Miami's poker circuit. Some of the names on the files are ones I wanted years ago."
"Who all think Xander is. He's nice, bouncy, happy most of the time but the whole circuit is aware Xander has a temper and will use it. Apparently he's gotten pissed at one and ruined him without Horatio's help. Blatantly challenged him to a game, ruined his entire net worth, and then cackled pleasingly as the guy handed over everything he owned, including his kids and wife. Xander let them keep their house and asked a few of the others to keep an eye on the kids since Daddy committed suicide instead of going to jail. And I'm told Xander told her why."
"That seems like him," Clay agreed. "The kids all right?"
"Yeah, apparently he had Steve put all the money into investments no one else could touch. The kids are in a good school going toward college. The wife remarried someone mostly decent that a poker buddy introduced her to. Nothing and no one goes near the kids. They're banned for life from joining the circuit or Daddy's former job. He's made sure was all right after the funeral when he went to her."
"That's classy," Clay said. "Quietly done."
"Yeah, she told the others, not him. They agreed too. It was a good job and that guy had been a pimple on the circuit for months."
"Supposedly retired mafia," Jensen agreed. "If we can't make Wade and Roque leave Miami, they'll fit in real well in the poker circuit."
"To be blunt, Xander could use a minion like Wade, only less psycho," Pooch said. "They could keep each other out of trouble."
"Definitely. Maybe some shopping torture will change him for the better," Clay quipped.
"Siendo malvado (Being evil)?" Cougar asked.
"Yup, and it's fun." They felt the plane change altitude and checked weapons before they landed. They no more than opened the door before Ray Junior was handed over. With a nicely huge takeout bag from a place all the guys liked to eat.
"Here, please. We only wanted Horatio to look at things for us."
"Horatio would've done it if you had asked," Clay pointed out. "Taking his nephew pissed him off greatly."
"Him! I'm not worried about his temper! I'm worried about Xander's temper!" He looked at Ray Junior. "Please tell him I was good to you?"
"I will." The man smiled. "And I'll see if Uncle H will look at that. Send an apology email, today." The man nodded and ran off. Ray settled into a chair, shaking his head. "Hi, guys. I haven't met you guys yet since I've been at school. I'm Horatio's nephew Ray Junior."
Clay sat back down. "Clay, Pooch, Jensen, Cougar, and Aisha," he said, pointing at the others.
"Cool." He grinned. "Can we calm Xander down?"
Jensen called. "Horatio, I have your nephew. He's safe. He's calm. I don't see a bruise. He wanted Xander to calm down. They even got him lunch." He handed over the phone.
"Hi, Uncle H. Please calm Xander down? No, I'm fine. The guy wasn't mean to me. He knew better because you'd come down here and shoot his ass. He did not want to make you do a retake of the threat that came near Marisol that time." He laughed. "Yup, on the plane, I'm good. Please calm Xander down?" He grinned. "Thanks."
He hung up and dialed. "I'm okay. They didn't hurt me. Tell Xander to quit throwing a hissy. Yes it's Ray Junior. I'm on the plane home. He even got me lunch. Please? Thanks, Paul." He hung up and tossed the phone back, shaking his head. "Xander was down looking at what he had stored for gear at Fu's storage area. No one let him near the weapons."
"That's something I'd like to see too," Pooch admitted.
Ray smirked. "I know there's the computer bag, which is for emergency escapes so it has some clothes, some illusion necklaces, some cash. There's money bags, there's at least one bag with guns. All shrink wrapped so they can't be used without opening them and they won't get dirty." Jensen snickered at that. "He tested it over a week." Ray shrugged. "I thought it was a neat exercise. Better than taking inventory."
"That's something we do now," Clay said.
"Don't even think about getting rid of his stuff from Sunnydale. They're his babies like the ferrets are. Someone actually stole the ones Uncle H talked him out of and gave them back to him."
"Bet that cause some glares over the sunglasses," Jensen quipped.
"Definitely. They found a dirty cop thanks to that. We know most of the really bad officers and agents in Miami thanks to them wanting Xander. Plus taken out a lot of demon realms because they wanted Xander." Ray grinned. "They so spoiled me for a bit to get the harem's attention." Everyone stared at him. "Demons consider those who help your family your harem. So Steve, Ryan, Eric, Don, Danny, me, Uncle H and Speed, all those who're close and help the family are Xander's harem. Because we all gather around him."
"How long does that take?" Clay asked.
"Probably too late if Xander's spoiled you but it will mean certain clans of demons will help you or leave you totally alone. A lot of them would like to own Xander so they're nice to the harem to prove how good they would be to him and a lot of them respect Xander so they'll respect you."
"That's good to know."
"It's been really nice. Someone gave me a sports car, a hummer, and some pretty, shiny things so I would come be her wife and bear her babies." Clay burst out laughing. "To their people, that's how it happens. Uncle H made me give back everything but the sports car. She said I was nice when I explained why it couldn't happen so I could keep it."
Clay moaned, shaking his head. "That's insane."
"Sometimes but it's better to be gifted by someone you can discourage instead of being stolen by one. A monsoon demon decided to steal Xander and 'marry' him while he was unconscious. Since marriage to them usually involves castration...." Everyone, even Aisha, winced and curled up a bit around their middles. "Exactly." He smirked. "Xander went after that one with a sword. He was going to cut up that blast of warm air if there was any possible way. When they first got to Miami, he showered the whole welcome dinner with rubies. Just opened up above the table and hit them all."
Clay shook his head. "That's still insane." Ray nodded with a grin. "Do they do it to your mother?"
"Nope. We're not really talking any longer. I love my mother but she chose my junkie father over me. She liked the girl that tied me up and decided I was going to sleep with her. Thought she'd be a good influence. Hates my hormones and won't accept it even though she knew other GHS before I got revved up. So no, they tend to ignore her. Every now and then one will go taunt her about wanting me. I'm told it pisses her off greatly."
Pooch smirked. "How high are you?"
"Four. I learned to control my hormones because I used to be Xander's apprentice and helper. Shopping buddy, poker helper, bag carrier, all that. He even taught me to drive."
"We're hoping he doesn't adopt us as shopping buddies," Aisha told him.
"I'm surprised he would with you, miss. He doesn't usually get along well with women since one of them blew up his car and the other hacked his house to get porn she could sell after hacking his bank accounts."
"Those were his friends?" Jensen asked.
Ray nodded. "Unfortunately so. His two friends from Sunnydale. They told him not to go home. One of the mentors is the one that sold him to a battle ring."
"Charming," Aisha said.
"Exactly. So he usually don't get along well with women anymore." He buckled up because they were taking off. He looked at the stewardess. "Do we have any soda?"
"Of course, sir. Once we level off."
Ray nodded. "Thank you." He looked at the guys. "Xander moped when I went to college. He got Greg for a while but he hasn't had a trouble buddy for a few years."
"He can take Jensen around Miami if he wants," Clay assured him.
"Gee, thanks," Jensen said dryly. "That means I'll get Christmas shopping done long before usual. Plus remind him he's a geek and take him to my sort of shops. Maybe I'll even teach him hacking." They all moaned, shaking their heads.
"Xander be not a book person," Ray warned with a smirk. "Comics yes, necessary research definitely, read for fun or education not usually. He does need more hobbies."
"We noticed," Aisha assured him. "Does he do anything beyond cook?"
"He learned how to crochet but Adam *really* hates it when he does that. Especially after the hummer cozy."
"Hummer...cozy," Clay said, staring at him oddly. "Like a crocheted cover for one of the crime lab hummers?"
"Baby blue to match Uncle H's eyes. Uncle Speed has one in yellow for his bike."
"That's not exactly the manly sort of hobby I would expect with the swords," Pooch said. "Though it might go with the hair."
"I used to call Xander a concubine kitty so he when I told him play with some yarn one day as a tease he went to a hobby shop and learned." Pooch shook his head quickly. "Yeah, exactly." He grinned. "But we want to help him find others. He's getting bored again without anyone to play with. Dean and Sam are a bit uptight. Though it is nice he taught them to ride."
"We followed him to the farm twice," Jensen said. "His horse is pretty."
"He'll have you taught soon. I did." He grinned. "Furry's mine but he's at school."
"Xander name him?" Clay guessed.
"Yup. When he first bought the farm, the ASPCA needed some room for some rescued horses. Furry was just a baby but Xander babied his whip marks and taught him all he knows. We eventually got a trainer in for the two royalty brats but mostly Furry learned from him."
"Brats?" Aisha asked.
"Duchess and Countess. The daughters of Ryan's warmares. They used to come when called then trot off if you didn't have a treat for them. Ryan came out one weekend to out-stubborn them. Now they're all trained and Don keeps reminding Xander the family has enough horses unless we all need to ride them at once." The stewardess brought him a drink. "Thank you," he said, smiling at her. She went back to the galley.
"Can I have some more coffee?" Pooch called.
"Got any pixie sticks?" Jensen called.
"Sorry, most sugar has been banned on these flights because it can negatively impact people who have been drugged," she said sweetly. She handed him a donut and Pooch more coffee. She refilled the other cups, earning smiles.
"She makes good coffee," Clay admitted. "Which drugs react negatively with sugary things?"
"The hormone raising ones and the endorphin raising ones can make us bouncy," Ray said. "Like Xander when he hasn't gotten any for two days."
"We saw that," Jensen said with a smirk. "I almost offered Cougar to sub in."
"Talk to Danny and Don. They have an authorized playlist for emergencies. Dean's on it in case they get taken across realms again for over a hundred years. Ryan and Eric are both on it. Stella and Aiden as a last resort."
Cougar shook his head. "No mi estilo (Not my style)."
Clay smirked at him. "Hell, if we have to so he's safe...."
"Have fun with that," Aisha teased him.
"The Pooch doesn't do that either," Pooch agreed, taking a sip.
Jensen shrugged. "Being on top might be okay. He'd at least make it fun and bouncy."
Cougar shook his head he wasn't going to touch that one. Pooch shook his head too. "Jolene would kill my ass."
Clay nodded. "Yes she would."
Aisha smirked at him. "It could be worse, we could suggest you."
"No, I'd wear his ass out."
"That would almost be a godly miracle," Ray told him. "He wears out Danny and Don all the time."
"We were told if he had more constant attention that would be solved," Clay said.
Ray shrugged. "It helped when he had Greg to play with and make him go do things but he was also teaching Greg the dance and that stuff. He still had some higher days but I'm not sure if they were playing or *playing*."
"Probably both," Pooch said. "How did he learn to crochet?"
"He went to the store after I told him to play with some yarn and asked the lady what he could do with it. She taught him the basic things." Ray sipped his soda. "Hmm, interesting after taste." He handed it to Clay, who tasted it and growled. "At least we're not going to a demon plane."
The stewardess stepped out. "No, you're going to Brazil." She gave him a smug look. "Someone down there wants you very badly."
"Probably someone my mother knows but she's not going to have me." Ray stared at her. "You won't win. Even if I'm unconscious."
"No one will save you. These ones won't remember."
Jensen smirked at her. "Wanna bet since I don't drink coffee?" He stared at her. She sneered so he got up and kicked her back into the galley. Cougar got up to help. "Aww, come on!"
"Sit," he ordered. He punched her, making her scream. The pilot came out with a wrench and Cougar pulled his pistol. "Home."
"We were told to take you to Brazil, sir."
"No, we're going to Miami," Clay ordered. "Brazil is someone who wants to own the young man. Since his uncle is one of the top lieutenants in the city...." The man went pale and went back to radio in that change of direction and the information that they had someone in custody for attempted kidnaping.
"I'm wondering if he thought you meant the PD," Ray said quietly. He yawned. "Don't mind me if I nap. Let Xander fuss. He's really great at it." He yawned again. "Just don't make us crash."
"I wouldn't do that. Pooch can fly," Clay assured him.
"Decent." He yawned again and tipped his chair back, getting comfortable. "Let me nap this shit off."
Jensen looked at Clay. "Why can't I beat up on people?"
"You don't hit hard enough."
"I'll have to have Xander work on that with me then."
"Are you carrying a blade?" Clay asked quietly.
"Xander's getting us special hidden harnesses for them. He told us we can shoot one to get away temporarily but they'll come back usually."
"Fine. Fix that once we get home."
"He said getting them made will take a month."
"That's fine. Find a way to bring one."
"We have one in the gear bag, but it's a take apart so not as strong," Jensen said. "Which is pretty cool that someone makes one like that. Have you seen Dean's axe?" Clay nodded. "That used to be Xander's when he was hunting demons. He gave it to Dean because Dean's still hunting and she deserved to be used."
"It's a sweet thing but impractical in the field."
"There's smaller ones," Jensen offered, looking up that file he had saved down to go over with Cougar. "That's the most available weapons."
Clay looked them over. "None are easily concealed."
"Somehow some of them can hide a katana in a hip-length jacket," Jensen said. "Xander said he's not sure how, they might go up their asses for all he knows."
"Some might enjoy that," he agreed dryly. "How does Xander hide his?"
"Non magically? With his hair. Under his shirt."
"Machete," Cougar said with a shrug.
"Dean and Sam carry them more often than they do swords but in a sword fight that lack of distance would hurt you." Jensen looked at him. "Which is why I'm looking at something lightweight but somewhat longer to carry on a back holster system."
Cougar nodded. He took it to look over as well. He had to make the same decision.
"Does Xander know where you can find them?" Clay asked.
"Jace keeps some that have lost fights," Jensen said. "So some I can get from there. Some Ryan thinks they can get off-realm. Xander contacted a few people in the Bazaar who make specialty weapons because one was supposedly making one of those super hard carbon ones into a katana sized sword."
"Pick something practical and do what you can to have him hide it for you both," Clay ordered.
Aisha cleared her throat. "Why are we talking about swords?"
"Because sometimes you gotta have a blade," Jensen told her. "Xander's teaching us sword work."
"That's not real practical."
Pooch nodded. "I've seen him in a fight. He took some people apart when they tried to grab him last week."
Clay nodded quickly. "He can, yeah." He'd seen the same fight and been amazed.
"Plus, you can get a sword through customs as an antique or a family heirloom, handing it to a friend, just bought it for the wall sort of excuses," Jensen said. "We are learning better knife work with Dean too."
Clay nodded. "Learn the hell out of whatever you can from the family. I'm sure Wolfe knows a lot he hasn't taught to Dean and Sam."
"That's mostly more war oriented fighting," Jensen said. "I asked. That's more battle centric since he trained off-world at a temple of Ares."
Aisha gaped. "Excuse me?"
"Yeah. He, Horatio, and Xander got taken because that realm thought redheads were next to the Gods. Xander and Horatio both did some training with Cupid, I got told Horatio sanctified some marriages for Hera's temple, and Ryan and Xander both took lessons at the temple of Ares, then he and Ryan went on a trip together where he learned the special dance and self defense style he usually uses. It's actually pretty cool. I think we watched them for twenty minutes and didn't drain a drop out of the hot water tank in the house when we washed off the sweat." They felt the plane descending. "Already?"
"Maybe," Clay admitted. He looked outside. "This isn't Miami. This is Paraguay it looks like." They all checked their arms.
Jensen nudged Ray awake. "We're making an emergency landing," he said quietly.
Ray yawned but nodded, going into the galley to find her stash of drugs. He found the one he wanted and came out holding it up. "She even had the raising it stuff." He took it and when the door opened he stared at the well dressed man there. "Yes?"
"Are you Raymond Caine?"
"Your mother wishes to see you."
"My mother can bark, dude." He hormoned him, making him swoon and move closer. "My mother tried to make me be someone other than the man I am, to make me follow the drug addict bastard she married. I don't care what my mother wants. Do you?"
"No," he said, swallowing hard. "I do not." He stared at him. "There are many who would treasure you."
"Yeah but unless they're in the mood to woo me like the special man I am, I'm not interested. Now, can we refuel and finish going home before Xander has to come for me with my uncle, Lieutenant Caine?" He nodded, backing off. "Clay, should we drop that stewardess here?"
"Sure." He handed her out. "She tried to drug him earlier."
"Oh, dear. That should not be allowed." He shot her. He smiled at Ray. "She will not bother you again."
"Thank you." He smiled a shy smile, getting a smirk back. Ray walked down to kiss him on the cheek. "I need wooing, full wooing, before I pick my keeper."
"I will let them know." He watched Ray get back into the plane and the pilot order the refueling. He watched them fly off, smiling at them. He would tell his bosses later. That one could be wooed just as easily in the United States. They could get many fine things there to prove he would belong to them.
Ray flopped down, slumping some. "I'm sorry my mother's with them." He took Jensen's phone to call home. "Uncle H, me again. We had a sudden stop in Paraguay because Mom ordered it." He pulled the phone away from his ear. "Hi, Uncle Speed. No, I told them I wasn't going to, I needed wooed hard, and now we're back in the air."
Pooch went up there to make sure they were heading back to the States. He nodded at them and stayed up there.
Ray grinned when Xander grabbed the phone. "I'm fine. I don't know why Mom was doing that. No, I'm good. She had some endorphin raisers so I took it when we were landing." He smirked at Clay. "No, I'm going to finish my drugged nap and hopefully by then we'll be in Miami. Sure, let me know what sort of plan this is." He tossed it to Clay. "Uncle H."
He put it against his ear. "He's fine, Horatio. No, he handled it and we were ready to back him up but he made him a begging slave. The guy shot the stewardess for daring to drug him. Thanks." He hung up. "He's watching where we're going harder now and telling Pieter."
"That's cool. New pilot," Jensen said dryly. "Ray, finish your nap." He nodded, curling up again to do that. He looked at Clay then at Cougar and Aisha. Who both shrugged. "Want me to do a background?"
"Yelina Salas," Clay mouthed. Jensen nodded, working on that. What he found amused him. "Send that to Xander. Since he has contacts there."
"Done," Jensen said.
In Miami, Xander was still ranting only now it was a different name. He stomped off to find out what Yelina was up to this time. When he found out, he hiked out to the SUV and got in. Wade hopped in and Roque got in the back. "Aren't you two supposed to be locked in the house?"
"The dragon let us out," Roque said. "Clay would want you guarded.
"Puh-lease! I'm going to gut a poker buddy." He drove off, turning up the music. The officer that turned on his lights behind him made him slow down but they went around him, giving him an evil look as they went to catch someone else. "Fuck you too," Xander muttered. "I have better fuel efficiency than your off-duty car." He found the area he wanted and parked. "Sit, stay." He got out and locked it then turned on the alarm, heading for the bar. He walked in and a few people jumped. "Oh, you fucking run from me, watch me take your ass out," he ordered, stomping over to one.
"What did I do!" he defended.
"Your bosses took Ray Junior's mother hostage to get him." He stared at him. "I'm so fucking pissed all of Rio should probably hide." He stared him down. "Am I clear?"
"Very. We know not to touch Ray Junior, Xander," he said, backing away slightly. "You're the scariest gay man ever because you can turn us too."
Xander smirked. "Is that beyond the weapons I have?"
"Yup." He smirked. "Ray safe?"
"On his way back. They tried to drug him and take him from the retrieval team."
"Ooh, shit, I know who runs your local retrieval team. Clay's gonna kill."
"Not if I get there first."
The gang member nodded. "I'll let them know that. Who has her?"
"Ooooh. He's a top level, Xander." He almost looked sad at his future death.
Xander stared at him. "I can get there and fix it. I can do it calling in a favor and not even have to use a weapon I'm not carrying right now."
"I'll warn him you're pissed off and are going to make war on us."
"I don't make war. I make messes."
"I'll make sure he knows that. Plus that he's tangling with the lieutenant again. Because we don't like him."
"I'd hate like hell to have to call in my poker debts from you guys by ten tonight." He stared at him. "Or else I'll tell Epps."
"Who's he?" another gang member from another gang asked.
"Oops. You know them?"
Xander smirked at him. "He's on for our conventions." They all moaned and shook their heads. He looked at that one again. "Yelina goes free, they never touch my family again, or else I'm going to make the Brazilian cops puke. Get my point across."
"Thank you." He walked out, then came back to look at one guy's neck, grabbing a bar towel to pop that cyst. "Have that taken out in case it's cancerous. You owe me too much to die from such meaningless and easily healed things." He stomped out again.
"Yes, sir," he said weakly. He was holding the towel over it. "Damn he's pissed."
"Yeah," the Mala Noche member he had talked to said, eyes wide. "He's so pissed off." He went to tell the local head guy, who was scared of Xander already. Someone had made a copy on their phone so he knew exactly what to pass on. Fidra's lieutenant laughed until the demon crashed into their house to eat him. Then, Yelina got to go free and Xander's point got heard quickly. They were not going to touch Ray or any other Caine ever again. Fidra promised the demon that and got eaten anyway.
The head guy heard the demon burp 'tasty and corrupt, like chocolate' before he hung up and went to beg Xander for their lives. He'd pay all their poker debts that day, even if they had to rob a bank. The big guys with him were scary because he knew who one was. He told the others he was alive again and that made a few more pay up quickly.
Wade pouted at Xander. "I could've hurt them for you. It's my job."
Xander gave him an odd look. "What?"
"Max wanted me to kill people whenever he got that pissed off."
"I'm not Max. You should probably raid his accounts and go settle somewhere quietly."
"I've already done that. I'm waiting on the house to close." He stared at him. "You need a good lieutenant."
"I'm not in that life."
"You sure as hell are."
"No, I just play poker with them. They learned to respect me after the last time one of them came for me. Most of them learned the first time but there's always new people in the circle." He looked at Roque. Then he changed him into a dog. "Don't bite the dragon." He looked at Wade again. "I'm not like Max."
"I noticed. He was a lot more even tempered." He stared at him. "I could help you if you wanted."
"I don't need that sort of help. Especially since I'm dating cops."
"Good point. You could..." Xander pulled his sword. "They're nice and all but you need someone with a lot more stamina."
"They're still building some. Danny only used to get two a night."
"I remember those days," Wade sighed. He sat down. Xander relaxed. "Seriously though. A lot of them consider you an influential person."
"Very few ever ask my opinion."
"That is the way we like it," Horatio said as he walked in. He stared at the dog then at Wade. "Do not harm anyone in my city or you will pay for it."
"Got it, Lieutenant. You guys are the good guys and I'm going to retire."
"Thank you. The dog?"
"He can stay that way until Clay gets back." Xander shrugged. "Did they come beg you to make me calm down?"
"Yes." Horatio smirked at him. "What did you do?"
"My current suitor thought I was too upset so he went to solve it."
"I was going to," Wade reminded him.
"I'd rather neither did that."
"I think the demon ate him, Horatio."
"Wonderful. They'll fight over who has what position. Is Yelina safe?"
"Thank you, Xander, and please calm down. Your anger makes others nervous. Don and Danny are presently counting the poker debts that got paid today." He stared at him.
"Good." He smiled sweetly. "I'm going shopping."
"Excellent idea. Then go to the farm and ride for a while. You can even take him as long as he does no harm to this city."
"Good boy." He gave him a hug. "Thank you for protecting Ray, Xander." He left them alone, walking around the dog. "Get him his rabies shot as well."
"I'm not sure if I should since he was human." Xander looked at him. "Want me to get you a chewbone?" The dog growled. "I have a leash and muzzle around here somewhere." The dog huffed off to the other house. Where he yelped. "Give him back," Xander called. "Clay wants to finish kicking his ass." The dog got returned and Xander looked at Wade. "I'm going shopping and to the farm."
"I can be a good bodyguard. That way no one else upsets you." He followed him back to the SUV. The thing was huge but nice. "I can drive."
"I'm fully capable of driving unless I'm backed up."
"Sure." He was still learning his way around this one. Xander was scarier than Max - Max only shot you, Xander made death messy if he was pissed off - but he didn't want to rule the world or make big changes. It was odd but slightly familiar. They drove downtown and Wade followed him, giving honest opinions when asked. The salesmen fell all over Xander.
Halfway through Xander went to the bank and came out to hand him money. He could be the wallet holder. If he had to have his world turned upside down, Xander was a good anchor. Plus a nice enough employer. He let him loot his last one's funds to set himself up sweetly and hire himself a new girlfriend. "Which Mala Noche did you used to run with?" he asked between stores. He knew not to complain he was tired. Max would've shot him.
"I heard about him. He was a strong man." Xander smiled and nodded. That made sense in a lot of ways. One of the strongest of his generation and he had treated Xander as an equal. The others did because they had figured out what Jorge had seen in him as a leader. Now Wade was seeing the leader he could be, if he wasn't hormoned to hell and back.
Which was strange but he could deal with it. It was a serious handicap that made total sense. The strong ones always had some sort of defect: Max had his insanity, Wade had his violent tendencies and likes, Clay had his tragic taste in women, Xander had his hormones and would make everyone who crossed him suffer. Yeah, that made sense on the Max scale.
Clay walked off the plane, handing Ray to Horatio. "He napped the whole way back," he said quietly.
"Thank you." He smiled, giving his nephew a hug. "Speed is making a huge dinner for us."
"Great! I'm starved." He smirked at Clay. "They're really nice."
"They are," he agreed. "Thank you, Clay and boys. Plus you, Aisha."
She smiled. "He's a good kid who plays a mean hand of poker from what I've heard."
"Yes, we nearly spanked Xander for teaching him that." He walked them off. "Xander was torturing Wade by making him shop with him. Your former teammate is presently a rottweiler, and Xander is at the farm riding."
"That's fine," Clay agreed.
"What about Mom?" Ray asked.
"Xander's current demon paramour decided to go eat the people who had her hostage because it upset him so much. They were quite sorry and so are most of the poker circuit because he called in all his debts today while pissed off. The local Mala Noche promised to pay him even if they had to rob a bank."
Ray cackled. "Xander's so going to be pouty tomorrow."
Clay shook his head, taking his bag. They walked off together to go home and make contact with their friends in the more legal underground. They were all hearing how Xander was pissed off. Clay assured his that it was fixed. That calmed down some. Then they went to get the drooling dog known as Roque so they could have him turned back and kick his ass some more. They got to glare at Wade since he was watching Xander exercise the horses. One of them came over to nuzzle Cougar, getting a smile and a pat on the nose. "He's cute," Clay said.
Xander looked over. "The only male here is mine," he said with a point. "That's my Pride. The one petting Cougar is the first Princess."
"How did you get two identical horses?" Wade asked. Clay growled at him. "It's an honest question," he defended. He wasn't going to back down from that team but he did feel odd not being armed at the moment. That might change things if they got into a fight.
"The demon who made the mirror house couldn't bring most of the animals with us so he made us copies. That's why we have two sets of identical ferrets and had two dalmatians until that asshole poisoned them."
"Can I kill him?" Wade asked.
"No, I killed him very hard. Mac was green plucking up bits and pieces for over an hour." He kneed the one he was walking over. "This is Countess, the daughter of one of Ryan's warmares. She was pregnant when she got cloned."
"So you went from one horse to four," Clay said dryly.
"Yup, after a few months. Thankfully I had already bought this place." He patted her neck. She shook her head. "I know you hate doing pointless exercises but we aren't going across realms for a little while, dear. Then you and your cousin can go." The other trotted over looking pretty. "Awww, did someone brush you," he teased, whistling to bring her over. "This is Duchess."
"She's pretty too," Clay agreed. He let the horse sniff him but when a treat didn't appear she huffed at him and moved to Jensen, who cooed and petted her. "Figures." He looked at Xander. "Can you change Roque back?"
"Sure." He undid the spell, making the human give him a pouty look. "I do that so much better. There's a house in the woods," he told Clay. "It had a roof problem so it's not in good shape. I'm going to have it torn down and rebuilt. Have fun." Clay smirked, walking him off to kick his ass out there. Xander dismounted and took off the saddle and bridle, looking at Duchess. "C'mon, your turn." She trotted off. "That won't save you. Princess, herd Duchess here."
The two elder mares herded her back over, making Wade laugh. "They act like their names." Xander saddled and bridled her, even if she didn't want him to. Then he got up to walk her around for a bit. Pride was sunning himself. The two warmares were nicely tired since Ryan had been out earlier with them. Then Pride jumped the fence and went into the woods. "Shit," Xander muttered, following him. She knew how to jump and all the horses were used to wild rides through the woods. "Pride!"
Wade stiffened at the gunshots and took off running. There was no way he was as fast as a horse. Xander shot the animal threatening the group again, killing it this time. "Damn."
"They're kinda rare around here," Xander admitted. He patted himself down. "Clay, call DNR?"
"On it," Wade said, finding the local emergency number in his phone. He called it in as he walked over to it. "It's a male so no cubs probably."
"Probably hungry," Xander agreed. He pointed. "That way about two degrees to the right." Clay nodded and walked his former friend and teammate that way. The others followed. Xander got down. "Good boy, Pride. Such a good boy!" He petted him, making him a happy horse. Someone came jogging their way. "DNR?"
"Yes, sir, what happened?"
"My horse took off, apparently he sensed the cougar." He pointed. "I have some friends out here beating the hell out of their former teammate for turning on them to save his own ass stupidly and the thing was trying to attack them. So I shot it. Twice. The first to move it because it was about to pounce." He let him see it.
"Nice shooting, sir. Do you own this farm?"
"Yes, I do. These are some of my horses. Pride heard it while I was exercising Duchess here."
"Good call to shoot it, sir. It doesn't look rabid but it would've torn up someone." He heard a human yelp and looked then at Xander.
Xander smiled. "He turned on his commando teammates to save his own ass during a difficult, necessary mission."
"I don't need to know about that. It's probably classified," the DNR officer assured him. "Can we lift it?"
"Sure. Duchess, stand," he ordered. She stood still and let them put it on her back.
"Usually horses wouldn't react that well."
"We've had to carry injured people on her before." He nodded. "C'mon, Pride, barn. Good boy, you get treats." She nuzzled him. "You too, sweetheart. Yes." He walked the horses back. They paused by the truck to get the carcass off then Xander took them to the barn to rub them down and give them good treats. He whistled. "Dinner!" he called. The other three trotted up and let themselves be put in for the night.
He fed them all, getting a smile from his stable hand. "They did very good. You're obviously spoiling them like they want to be." He clapped him on the arm. "Thanks." He walked off. "Okay, I'm going home," he said. Wade nodded. "Thank you for calling. Go home." He nodded, doing that. Xander got into his car and drove off. That guy was just..strange and that said something coming from him.
Roque looked at his former friends. "How many more times are we going to do this?"
"Until I figure out if I can send your ass back to hell," Clay said bluntly.
"Oh, so it's that way." He hit him back. The others got to jump in earlier this time. Roque howled as Jensen stabbed him in the side. "Damn it!"
Jensen watched. "Clay, small sitch."
"What?" He looked at the wound. "Huh, he's not immortal, right?"
"No. Can't feel a thing from him." Cougar shook his head too. "So...."
"Whoever brought them back did it," Clay said. "We'll have to test Wade and figure out why he's going all minion stalker on Xander." He dropped Roque onto the floor, staring at him. "Leave Miami. We don't want you here."
"The kid could use me," he sneered.
"Not really. He's got Wolfe." He smirked. "And us." They walked off together. Xander was clearly gone for the night. So was Wade. They'd have to ...talk to him soon to see what was going on there. Hopefully it wasn't the hormones tainting him. Well, that might be nice but they didn't want to let any man suffer that way.
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