(Dark Knights)

by Crow

Warning: This is an Adult story with slash/ a male/male relationship. If that is not something you can handle turn back now.
Author's Note: I have several ideas on more stories in this Verse. I am calling it the Dark Knights Verse. It is a shapshifters/Were verse. It is open; I only ask that all stories be sent to me before being posted anywhere. I do as I said have ideas for where this story will go and although I welcome any stories that this may inspire I request the right to say if those stories are canon or not in my Verse.
Disclaimer: I don't own the guys or anything but my verse and this story idea.

Back to: Tangle

Again, pain greeted Ezra as consciousness crept upon him. With it came a sense of safety and warmth as well, as the voices of his friends filtered in to his hearing. A moan escaped as he shifted slightly and the pain intensified. The sounds and voices around him silenced and then restarted as bodies moved closer to him. He heard footsteps stop around the bed he found himself on.

"Ez, can ya hear me now? Can ya open your eyes for me?" came Nathan's gentle rumble of a voice close to him, gentle hands smoothed hair off his forehead and rubbed his arm comfortingly.

Ezra worked to open his eyes slowly, they seemed so much heavier than normal, finally he was blurrily able to make out the shape of his friends surrounding him. As his vision cleared, he looked at the other regulators and then the room around them. They weren't in Nathan's clinic; they were in Chris's shack. Confusion hit him as his mind cleared of the fog of exhaustion. Images and memories came back to him made all the sharper by the pain shooting through him. His sharp mind categorized the pains and separated them and matched them to the events he was remembering; the pain in his head, arm, and side from getting knocked off his horse, bumps and bruises from fighting Creel and the blond man, throbbing aching pain in his leg from the pale wolf biting him, the dull ache in his ass from Creel's aborted rape attempt.

Memories of the six wolves remaining after the fight suddenly gone and replaced by his friends caused him to gasp and draw himself up against the wall at the head of the bed.

"Easy Ez, ya got a nasty bump on your head there along with other injuries and ya shouldn't be moving around much." Nathan gently reached out wanting to get Ezra settled back down in the bed but froze when the young southerner instinctively flinched from his touch. Nathan slowly drew his hand away as a sad remorseful look washed over his handsome dark features as he turned to look at his other friends. Looking back at his patient, he tried to comfort the scared smaller man. "I'd never hurt ya Ez."

Nathan and the other men exchanged looks again as doubt and fear and shock flashed over the usually calm features.

"Wh... what are ya'll?" Ezra shivered as flashes repeated in his mind of Creel and what he had wanted from him. "He wanted to make me join his pack... wan... wanted me to be his mate he said. What did he mean by gift? What is goin' on?"

Chris sighed and stepped slowly closer to the bed and sat carefully on its edge and looked the gambler in the eye. The other men found places to lean or sit or stand close around the bed but not so close as to scare their friend any more than he already was. "We and the people that attacked you last night are shapeshifters. The only shape other than our human shape we can take is that of a wolf. Like normal wolves, we run in packs and live by pack laws. We are the same people you have known us to be for the last two years Ez; you just didn't know everything about us. Just like with normal humans and any other species there are good and bad shifters, don't blame us all or put us all in the same corner as them. The pack yesterday were rogues, they don't care about laws except their own and they feel like humans are lesser beings and that they have the right to take whatever they want."

"Like me..." Ezra whispered softly looking at Chris.

Chris sadly nodded his head. "Yes, like you. That bite, Ez... when one of us bites a human while we are in wolf form that person becomes like us. Some call it 'The Gift' others call it 'The Curse', the wolf that bit your leg made you into one of us. There will be a full moon next week and when that full moon comes you will be forced to change if you have not already learned how to by then." Chris stopped and watched as the smaller man took in all that he'd said. "The alpha of that pack forced 'The Gift' on you because he wanted to take you for his mate. It is not a well looked on act to force the change on humans; it is fine to change someone if they know what's goin' on and make the choice. He was selfish; he saw a beautiful strong young man, one that he thought he could force to submit to him and tried to take him."

The group of friends sat explaining their world to their seventh for several hours. Ezra for his part paid rapt attention to everything the other six told him and found himself growing calmer and more intrigued by the moment. He asked every question he could think of and the others patiently tried to answer them all. By the time dinnertime came around, they were teasing each other gently and Ezra was tired but much less stressed. Chris and Josiah cooked the meal and the friends all ate together around their injured new packmate; when the meal was finished and Ezra had fallen back into a healing sleep Chris waved the rest of his pack out onto the porch outside the kitchen door.

He looked steadily at his pack and they all calmly waited for their alpha to speak. "Vin, you and I will work with Ez over the next week so by full moon he is comfortable shiftin'. Buck I want you and 'Siah to talk to people and find out if they've seen this pack hangin' around. If they have seen or heard anything strange lately, if there's been any cattle killed or anything to suggest that a feral pack has been around a while. JD I want you contacting other packs, in the code, and see if they got any information on this Tangle Pack or Creel, give them descriptions and warn them the pack is feral. Nathan I need you keepin' close to Ez till he has learned control, when we get back to town, you know the signs and changes, you are the best to spot it if we need to get Ez out here to shift." Chris sighed and rubbed his hands over his face, he pulled out a cheroot and lit it.

Chris took a deep soothing drag on the cheroot and then slowly released the breath as he leaned against the post next to Vin and at the door to his shack. "That son of a bitch is not to get near him ever again boys. If any of ya see that bastard or any of his pack in town or anywhere near Ez I want them brought to me." He looked each in the eye as he took another drag. "Ez is ours. Nobody gets away with trying to take one of our pack. If Creel didn't learn his lesson on our last meetin' then he'll sure as hell learn next time. He'll learn the painful way and if he don't then he'll learn through lead."

Buck studied his old friend and pack leader. "You plannin' on tellin' that boy you want him to be your mate old dawg?"

Chris looked at Buck and mock growled at the lanky man. Buck just grinned and waggled his eyebrows at him. "Not now pard. That bastard just tried to make him his mate by force, and even though I would never force him, I doubt he could handle me showin' my interest right now. I will give him time to heal and gently feel him out see if he'd be interested and if he shows interest, I will court him. I will not force him; I will go without a mate if the one I want doesn't want me. I'd die before I'd hurt him like that scum."

Inside the shack, Ezra stood shaken on the other side of the door his good hand still hovering above the handle. He had woken and needed to get up, he needed to move some, and he'd heard his friends' voices out side on the porch and decided to join them. He'd struggled out of the bed, wrapped his nightshirt-clad body in a quilt, and headed for the door. Just as he reached it and went to open the door, he'd heard Buck's question, he had frozen and gasped softly as he heard Chris's voice begin to answer and he found himself waiting and listening with bated breath for the man's reply. Ezra had been attracted to Chris the first time he'd seen him and had been afraid to approach him.

Ezra felt like his smile was going to split his face after listening to Chris's words. A mischievous light came into his eyes as Ezra determined in his mind the best way to break Chris of the delusion that he was some delicate little flower that he had to tread carefully around. He wanted his new pack leader for his mate and he wanted him now.

Ezra waited a beat as the others finished talking and then opened the door and stepped onto the porch. Vin was the only one to notice him at first and Ezra gave him a little smirk, which caused the tracker to raise his eyebrow, and then a slow grin spread across his face causing him to lower his head to hide behind his hat. As Vin hid his grin, Ezra let his poker face fall in place and then closed the door behind him just hard enough to let the others know he was there.

Josiah and Nathan both started to stand and fuss at him but he just waved them back. He limped over to Chris and then pressed his quilt covered body against the blond's and then rubbed against him as he slid up onto his toes and gave the pack leader a slow sweet inviting kiss filled with promise. Ezra pulled back slowly and enjoyed the slack jaws of everyone but Vin whose shoulders shook in the attempt to hide his mirth. The green-eyed man looked up at his soon-to-be-mate and grinned.

"I am not some delicate little doll you need to coddle Chris. I want you, have for some time, and that miscreant's acts are not going to stop me from being with you now that I know you feel the same."

The others all broke out into laughs and rowdy catcalls as Chris and Ezra grinned at each other. Chris pulled the smaller man tighter against him and wrapped him in his arms as he dived back in for a possessive claiming kiss that stole the southerner's breath away.

The End... for now

On to: Belonging

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