House and Cameron sat at the gently smouldering campfire and chatted with Lucas, Alex and Marcus. The small village of tents filled slowly through the afternoon, the new arrivals sauntered passed them looking at them in various degrees of awe, curiosity and some scepticism.
"Why are they looking at us like that?" Cameron asked watching them watch her.
Alex sighed softly. "It's hard enough for them to take to new comers or betas at the best of times but you two? You two are something completely different."
House kissed Cameron's temple softly. "It'll be fine as soon as they get to know us."
Marcus sighed. "Sometimes it isn't that simple. I'm only really allowed here because of Alex, because Lucas made me and because Jeremiah likes me. Lots of guys round here seem to have a problem with me. They see me as weak and lower than them." He said with a darkness in his voice, his mind lingering on past events.
"It's unfortunate but yeah sometimes even good werewolves can be some what prejudice and elitist." Lucas added. "You might have to prove yourself this weekend." He continued knowing that it would be true.
"How? Are we supposed to fight or something?"
"Maybe. Jeremiah said he was working on something for tonight." Lucas said elusively.
"Working on something?" Cameron asked softly.
"Yeah that's what he said last night." Lucas replied.
"Nice of him to let us know." House grumbled.
"Did you really expect it to be that easy? You're a newcomer to the pack." Lucas answered haughtily.
"Well shit I guess I missed that part on animal planet!" House growled back threateningly.
Lucas glared slightly and shivered back from him. "Get that angry tonight and you shouldn't have much trouble." He snipped bravely.
Cameron cupped House's cheek and kissed him softly. "There's not much we can do."
"We don't have to be here." He whispered looking deep into her eyes.
Alex gasped behind them in fear.
"It's their lives baby let them decide." Marcus murmured in her ear.
House and Cameron didn't hear them as he drew her over his lap and they kissed softly arms wrapped protectively around each other; their feelings mingled, twisting together until they balanced and an answer was reached.
"I love how we do this." House gasped breathlessly against her lips.
"Me too." She said with a grin before turning to the waiting werewolves. "We're staying."
It was safer than the danger that lay in wait for them outside the walls of this enclosure. At least here they had friends… even if it was just a few among a crowd of strangers.
"Yup but right now we're going back to our tent." House said standing effortlessly with Cameron still wrapped around him.
Jeremiah and his companion watched the pair from across the compound.
"They're beautiful together." She murmured.
"They are." Jeremiah whispered, standing behind her with his arms around her waist.
"So this is it? Great battle on the horizon and this is the calm before the storm?"
"We'll win. We have them." Jeremiah murmured.
"What about… about him?"
"I know what he's capable of." She whispered shaking in his arms.
"Sh, Em I'm here. I've got you." He said turning her to him and holding her to his chest.
"He's my son Jeremiah. He's my son." She said crying silently.
"I know, Mariska. I only hope he'll change when the twins are born."
"Me too." She sighed. "But if he doesn't… I'll help you find him. He must be stopped."
"He will." Jeremiah murmured softly stroking her hair. "I promise." And he pressed her lips gently to hers.
She kissed him for a moment and pulled away shyly looking down at the ground. Jeremiah smiled and kissed her temple softly. "I love you."
"I love you too." She whispered smiling up at him so glad that he knew everything about her and understood her reaction to the simplest of touches. "Are you ready for tonight?"
"Of course." He said with a smile, a little nervousness lingering in his eyes. "Come on let's go get the barbeque started." He said taking her hand.
Night drew in thick and fast. The camp fire grew higher and hotter. In the twilight the cooked meat was proclaimed done and all the visitors emerged from their tents for their meal. House and Cameron waited until all the others had been given their food before emerging both very wary of the new group and the pack mentality that hung in the air.
"Hi guys." Jeremiah said with a gentle smile as he gave them their food.
"Hey." Cameron said kindly.
"What's this Lucas said about you coming up with some sort of agenda for tonight?" House asked curiously, his eyes regarding Jeremiah warily.
"It's a power struggle of sorts. Time for me to step down." He said with some sadness in his eyes. "We'll change before the moon comes out… you have to prove to them that you can change at will… prove that you are your true selves in either form. There might be a scuffle… but your natural instincts will take care of that."
"What are you saying?" House asked.
"You have to challenge me." He said with a sigh.
"But…" Cameron tried to protest. He'd done so much for them; told them so much.
"You might not believe it but you probably would do it anyway." He glanced at House. "You're all ready challenging the things I say right now, when we change that will become physical. It's natural. Don't worry about it. I've been ready for this ever since Lucas told me about you two. Mariska is here and she'll look after me." He rested his hands on their shoulders. "It'll be fine. Trust me."
They nodded somewhat dumbly and made their way slowly over to the campfire.
"It's two against one." Cameron murmured as the crossed over the grassy hill. "How can that be fair?"
"It isn't." House replied thoughtfully.
Dinner was a loud affair for the pack, catching up and chatting had to be done since the last meeting. House and Cameron watched almost silent but for a few comments with Lucas, Alex and Marcus.
It seemed as though the meal was over too soon, the empty tang of hunger still lingered in their stomachs, as if they'd eaten nothing at all.
Jeremiah stood on the other side of the fire to House and Cameron.
"Good evening and welcome to you all. I'm sure many of you have seen our newcomers, Greg and Allison. And no doubt heard rumours about them. Yes they are betas and yes Allison is pregnant with twins."
There was a murmur around the camp.
House and Cameron felt their hearts beating faster, their skin crawling with anticipation and the heat of the stares from those around him.
Jeremiah reached behind his log and drew a large leg of cured meat from a vacuum sealed bag. The whole camp watched House and Cameron as their hunger grew at the sweet tangy smell. "Still hungry guys?" he said with a slight smirk.
A short chuckle sounded around the campfire.
"What do you mean?" House asked with a shiver.
"You've had rabbit for dinner which had no nutritional value what so ever, so you're still hungry." Jeremiah said smugly. "You're going to have to hunt for your dinner tonight. Unless you want this?" He said swaying the joint gently in the air.
House and Cameron felt rage curling around them, at their sides the fears of Lucas, Alex and Marcus where all too apparent and they fed on them too; provoking their rage further. Standing they tossed the bones of the rabbit into the fire making it spit and hiss. Their skin tingled and began to change. The whole atmosphere of the camp changed and became far more serious than ever before. Together they leapt over the flickering fire and landed before Jeremiah complete in the werewolf forms tall, ravenous and angered; their clothing draped over their joints in smouldering rags.
Jeremiah waited for them fur and claws out ready. Backing away he drew the two out into the open ground way from the fire. Crouching low they pounced at the same time, House pinning him to the ground and Cameron taking the meat. Moments later six or seven more wolves surrounded them, the strongest of the pack there to defend their leader and challenge the top position for their own.
Cameron set the meat down between her and House and turned to the group growling ferociously. Standing to her full height she roared loudly, House's voice echoing hers the sound shivering through the hearts of those that would challenge them. Five backed away leaving two and Jeremiah still struggling against House.
The two wolves advanced on Cameron, House growled and bared his teeth at them but there was little he could do having to pin Jeremiah to the ground as well. The darkest wolf, his teeth yellowed and dripping with saliva seemed the most aggressive and ferocious and pounced on Cameron with little mercy. His claws marred her back and his teeth found shoulder. Growling loudly Cameron clamped her jaws down on his upper arm and swiped cleanly at his head dislodging and dislocating his jaw with ease.
The other seeing Cameron preoccupied with the other wolf attempted to attack her from behind but House was there to kick him away as he carried a struggling Jeremiah on his back before throwing him at the now recently kicked wolf then standing shoulder to shoulder with Cameron against the injured three. House and Cameron watched as they lowered their heads in submission, standing together the couple took a deep breath and howled up into the night.
The pack joined them in chorus until the whole estate shook with their song and the new status was accepted by all.
House grabbed the meat and helped Cameron back to the campfire, despite the fact that her wounds were mainly superficial House flustered over his pregnant mate attending to her wounds carefully and insisting she eat the whole leg of meat.
The injured wolves limped off into the thick woods. Jeremiah and Mariska watched over the two new leaders by the fire happy in the knowledge that the pack was in safe hands.
A pair of glowing green eyes watched them from the shadows; with a disgruntled growl to himself he licked at the wounds he could reach before limping into the forest.