In the Service of the Wolf: Part III

10Aug18

Part one here

Alice Eden leaned back against the diner wall and looked up at the Montana sky with a groan. All she had to do to complete the probate work on the Stephens estate was get three crumby signatures and then she was out of this dump. Dr Anderson had been pleasant enough. He had promised her that there would be no problem, but to leave the papers with her for his own lawyers and he would get back to her.

Mrs Dangerfield had taken a week to find her reading glasses, all the while making it clear that she was suspicious and wary of outsiders. Then after taking another age to read every last word she too had insisted on passing it on to her own lawyer.

However that had not been the real sticking point. The third signature was needed from a rancher called Garrick Stone, but a simple inquiry to the hitherto cooperative Dr Anderson had gotten her a strange response.

“Yes I know him,” the good doctor had replied, his demeanour now reticent. “What does he have to do with this?”

“Bateman Stephens stipulated that Mr Stone and yourself had to sign off on these particulars before we can dispose of the property, it is just a formality,” Alice said easily.

“I make it my business to stay out of Garrick’s. He doesn’t like visitors and he doesn’t mix much with the townsfolk,” the doctor had muttered.

“But where can I find him?” Alice had pressed him.

“Around,” Dr Anderson had shrugged, adding with a tone of finality, “Good day.”

Most people around town had claimed not know Stone and those that admitted an acquaintance had refused to talk.

“This is crazy,” she breathed and rolled her eyes. As if to add to her loss of composure a strand of her otherwise immaculate auburn hair flicked over her face to itch her and she blew at it like a sullen teen before she caught herself and brushed it away.

Then she saw them and her heart stopped for the longest tenth of a second in the short history of her life. The car was a beaten up once red 4×4 pick-up. The roll bar even held an empty gun rack like a million others. But the two men exiting the truck seized her gaze as in something like slow motion as they gathered their considerable height like two primeval predators.

It took a moment to realise that they were so similar in the face that they could be the same man. However, one was rugged in a working shirt and wore his hair long. The other, more cruel in his outward appearance wore his hair close cropped and was sleek all over in Levis and a figure hugging tailored motorcycle jacket.

“Who are they?” she said breathily.

“Those are the younger Stone brothers,” the girl who was clearing cups from the sidewalk tables said in a tone of awe.

Alice shook herself, “Stone? Garrick Stone’s sons?” she guessed.

The girl frowned, she knew better than to discuss Garrick. “So they say,” she muttered and moved away.

Alice was still gaping like a candy-struck teen when the long-haired Stone turned his gaze towards her and offered up an easy smile. Following his brother’s gaze the hard-edged one looked at her more piercingly and Alice broke eye-contact.

*

The morning had dragged slowly and the red tang in the girl’s exposed bottoms had eased enough so that experience had become more embarrassing than painful. Lana had taken to shifting her weight to one hip and her elbows had dropped so that her hands were now pressed to the sides of her head.

Keri was more attentive to the drill, being much too scared now to defy Garrick in any way. At each unseen footfall her face glowed and she pressed her head into the barn wall as she wished herself elsewhere.

It was still too shaming to be boring, but most of the others had now drifted away to go about their day and only the occasional wolf-whistle from one of the passing men reminded them they hadn’t been completely forgotten.

“Come on, how much longer?” Lana groaned under her breath.

Talking was verboten and Keri cringed. Her friend had a knack of getting them both into trouble. She could only pray that Augusta or Garrick hadn’t heard. Not that she had any way of telling if they were nearby as her own nose was firmly rooted the barn wall and would stay there until she had been dismissed.

*

Melanie wanted to rage at Jared, how dare he tell her how to cut her hair? Instead she made a pout of her gloss-red lips and ran an agitated hand through her shorn blonde locks. Her husband regarded her with much the same expression he reserved for the men after a misdirected hunt or some other failure.

“It is just a haircut,” she said in a tone of impatient exasperation and defiantly folded her arms.

Rain sucked in her cheeks to hide a smile and carefully stood up before glancing at the door. Melanie was playing this all wrong, she thought.

Jared narrowed his eyes so that his brows nearly met. He already towered over both women, now he seemed to get bigger.

“Well it is,” Melanie said nervously and averted her eyes.

“A Thursday night special is just a haircut, just like a Sunday mow of the lawn is just a grass cut,” Jared’s voice had a dark edge and was leaning on his second best menace. “This,” he spat jerking a finger at her head, “Is a massacre.”

Melanie coloured and thought about mocking his clumsy analogy. Words weren’t his strong point. But in truth she regretted her impetuous new look and she had known as soon as she looked in Betty Samson’s mirror that she was in shit with Jared.

“So you said,” she muttered and met his glare with one of her own. One day she might be the Alpha female of this crew, she didn’t have to take shit from Jared over a haircut. Their eyes met for a minor geological age before she finally surrender her gaze to the carpet. “Look, you spanked me already, remember,” she sighed.

“Yes and you had it coming and a hell of a lot more besides,” he barked at her and then swung about to face the wall, which he pounded suddenly with a steady fist. Then letting out a slow breath he wearily said, “I can scarcely beat my point into you.”

Melanie was about to spit in his face. His point was an ascetic one, not that he could spell it. She had shown some independent spirit and challenged his ownership of her. But she knew that wasn’t fair. Long hair was not only a mark of status among their kind; she knew he loved her white gold tresses, just as he revelled in Rain’s jet mane. As for ownership, well that ship had long since sailed. Some days she still could not believe that she shared her man with another, but it was the way of things and it was what she had signed on for. She rolled her eyes.

“Look, I’m sorry okay, I totally screwed up. I probably only did it to piss you off,” she admitted and looked off to the side, embarrassed by her admission. When he didn’t answer her she whispered, “You’re going to spank me again aren’t you?”

He turned his head and studied his spirited wife in amusement. “I think you know that I am,” he chuckled, finally lightening the mood.

“As much as I would love to see the fireworks I think I had better go,” Rain said as she pulled a face and slipped away.

Melanie had given up fighting for now, she had long since learned that apart from when he had to defer to his father, for Jared it was his way or nothing. She worked her tongue in her mouth and swallowed. “Did you mean what you said before?” she asked, apprehension gently settling on her face.

“What was that?” Jared said casually, half-ignoring her as he stripped off his biker jacket. His cotton-clad barrel chest now tapered to a tight waist and his broad leather belt. The latter held Melanie’s attention.

“Th-that you would spank me every day until my hair grew back,” again she worked her tongue in a dry mouth and fixed her eyes on the wolf’s head buckle of his belt.

“I was mad,” he snorted, “Not that you don’t deserve it.”

“I don’t,” she blurted in dismay, “I mean… I am sorry okay.”

Jared cocked a single stern eye brow and gave her a one eye glare. Then seeing her dip her head in submission he muttered, “That’s better.”

“Sorry,” she said again, her voice barely a whisper.

Jared nodded. He hated that she had cut her hair and he hated it even more that he was so mad about it. Such trivia should be beneath him and there were other ways he could have displayed his displeasure. He knew he was a brutal man, it was part of his nature, but there was a line when it came to women and he was afraid he had already crossed it. The trouble was there was no way he could easily back down.

“Are you afraid of me?” he growled more harshly than he had meant to.

Melanie shook her head without looking up and then shrugged. “Maybe a little,” she said.

“I mean…” he began, cursing himself for the lack of words.

Melanie looked up and met his eyes. “No, not like that, not ever.” Her tone was fierce and defiant.

Jared folded his arms and regarded her like a puzzle. The hair still made him mad, but for a moment he just wanted to hold her. To call back Rain and…

“It’s just…” Melanie ducked her head again and swallowed as the little girl returned. “It hurts… and… and… it will take a couple of years for my hair to grow back how it was…”

She was right and that realisation almost summoned the wolf in him. For a second his eyes flashed red a baleful and it was all he could do not to grab her and strip her. He would spank her alright… until his hand was blistered raw and she rued the day she had been born with a backside…

Melanie with her head still bowed, saw none of this in his face and as quickly as it had come he supressed it.

“Tell you what,” he said at last. “You think on it and when I get back if you can’t look me in the eye and say you don’t deserve it… then you will feel my belt, today and once a week until your hair… until your hair touches your collar.”

She looked up and nodded, her mouth forming the tight line of a smile.

“If you did this just to get…” he became angry again, “Just to raise some hell… then I put you on notice, while your hair grows back you had better behave or someone is going to be fetching some mean switches from woods instead of just a spanking.”

Melanie gaped at him and almost rebelled again, but Jared turned on the spot and rolled out of the room.

“Shit,” Melanie sighed.

To be continued



2 Responses to “In the Service of the Wolf: Part III”

  1. 1 Svetlana

    If I had written this, I would have been unable to resist the temptation to make Lana or Keri say: “It feel like we’ve been out here for two years!”


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