Now, this one's more violent and longer than the other chapters so far, but it has a lot more romance than the other ones too.
There's only about five more chapters left on this, so it's almost done,
The Church bells chimed throughout the forest as a large crowd, made mostly of wolves, piled into the church. Father Duran, a turtle, helped the guests into their assigned seats among the sea of various animals and a few humans. In the back, the now seventy-nine year old Wolf was looking at his granddaughter Anna. She had grown so much since she was just that small brown bundle. Now a full grown female, she was being married off today. He flowing white gown was almost blinding in the lights as she made her hair. Wolf, who was sitting in a chair in the corner watching, was snapped out of his memory day dreaming by Anne.
"Wolf sweetie." She said rubbing his shoulder bringing him back to earth. "Hmm? Oh, Yeah?" he said as he adjusted the glasses on his muzzle. He now depended on his cane to walk, and his eyesight was growing more and more unfocused by the year and the ringing in his ears kept getting louder and louder. Anne was no exception either, she no longer had the silky black fur that had enchanted her husband for so long, now her fur was a sleek pepper-grey, but he still loved it. She had glasses too, but she didn't need a cane though. Mainly because she didn't suffer as many injuries as he did. "Honey, the ceremony is about to start." She said handing him a small black container and fixing his tie. "Oh, heh, sorry hon, almost forgot. Old age." He said with his characteristic smirk before kissing his wife and slowly standing up and walking over to Anna. He was now face to face with her. Her brown fur contrasted beautifully with her dress as she smiled and hugged her grandpa. Being careful not to hurt his now problematic back. "Hey, grandpa, what's up?" she said with her paws still on his shoulders. Wolf was bursting with pride at how much his granddaughter had grown up. "Seeing as I'm still the alpha male of the family," he said looking back and smirking at Anne, who pushed her paws in a "go on" gesture. "Anyway, seeing as how I'm still the alpha male of the family, your' grandma can't present you with any heirloom. Which is, of course custom to our species. And you will be breaking away from mine to make your own with your new husband, I want you to have this to pass down to your children and grandchildren, and great-whatever grand kids." He said holding the small box in front of her. He opened it up and watched as tears of happiness began to form in her eyes as she saw what it was. It was a pure silver bracelet. With many intricate designs on the face of the silver and in between some of the designs were either diamonds or aquamarine stones. The stone belonging to march, the month Anna was born. She hugged her grandfather tightly. "Oh, grandpa, you didn't have to" she said quickly wiping away the tears so as not to mess up her appearance. Wolf gently took the bracelet and slipped it onto her wrist.
"Hey, don't cry, you don't want to mess up your makeup" Wolf said, knowing that it was tears of happiness. "This is for you to hand down through the ages. Treat it with respect." He said hugging her one more time. She was sill shorter than him, "I never had any kind of heirloom." He said smiling to her, "but, I do know the value of one." He said as Jerry. Who now showed signs of his age as well, came forward to lead Anna down the aisle to receive the sacrament of marriage.
"Come on Anne, let's go find our seats." He said with a look of pride and relief as he and Anne held paws on their way to their seats.
As Wolf watched her be led down the aisle towards the altar. He thought about his own wedding and how he had to literally fight to get there.
The much younger Wolf strapped on the heavy black Kevlar vest over his stomach and chest. Ever since being shot in the stomach he isn't taking any more chances, and the HEA now requires that all field agents where them due to an increase in violent resistance among the suspects. Wolf knew that first-hand. He snapped on the Velcro and reached down towards his jet black, agency-issued AK47. Ever since the suspects have started attacking, and even killing one, agents, they had to step up their tactics, moving away from tear gas and stun rifles to flash bangs and hardcore lead. It has been about two years since he was shot, and he was still at the top of his game. He was a little irritated because the mission Nicky had them going on didn't require him using a disguise. Something he always loved doing and liked to drive his then girlfriend Anne nuts with. He loved watching her freak out every time he would show up on her door step dressed either as an inspector wanting to take a look at the pipes, or showing up at the hospital she worked at as a surgeon and luring her into a room convincing her that they have a patient that has a ridiculous situation. Frederick Cannis always saw through his disguises, a fact that kind of actually worried him, but Frederick surprisingly has a sense of humor and let him get away with it. Anne also stopped falling for his disguises after a while and came up with ways to actually detect him. She would look at his eye color, the dark brown stripe going down his muzzle and his unique scent. She had described it to him as smelling like a mix between fallen leaves in the autumn and a minty type of smell. Something he had worked with Anne to cover under the promise that he wouldn't use it on her.
Putting the shoulder strap to his weapon on, he felt underneath his vest for the small little box he had retrieved earlier that day. It was an engagement ring, and he was going to propose to her tomorrow. Hence the reason why Wolf was more than happy to put on the vest. He slipped the dark grey helmet on top of his head and slipped his ears through the holes at the top. Luckily he didn't have antlers to worry about, like poor Jeff. He always had a hard time putting on his tactical gear. That is, until he was the first agent to be killed in the line of duty.
Red Pucket also took the incident pretty hard. She was the one who had to shoot the witch who had killed him with some sort of spell. He felt sorry for his family, he had a wife and three kids.
Snapping from his train of thought, he walked over to Red, who had just turned eighteen, and gave her a few pats on the back. "You okay Hood?" he asked not sarcastically but actually seriously. She turned and smiled at seeing her partner who was so used to disguises now wearing something that a SWAT team does. She was no exception either. But she carried an M4, an eighteenth birthday present from Granny.
"Yeah, I'm fine Wolf. Thanks" she said with a smile as she put her red hood over her helmet and vest. As Wolf turned to walk away. Red noticed the brown bulge in his pocket. "Hey Wolf, what's that?" she asked, she never seen something that small as part of the their tactical gear. "That's not a disguise is it? You know we aren't undercover and you remember what happened last time you unnecessarily put on a disguise? Remember the Hansel and Gretel incident that happened two year ago?" she asked putting her hands on her hips. "Yeah, I remember….good times." Wolf said dreamily with a laugh.
"so what is it?" asked Red, getting curious, something that always drove Wolf insane because she was somehow able to get him to do anything when it came to information. "It's nothing" Wolf said nonchalantly, Red persisted, "come on, what is it old man?" she asked playfully elbowing his side. "I'm only 30" he said a little offended. He actually didn't really look like he was in his thirties at the time. All the exercise that accompanied his training really helped him keep a good appearance. "You really want to know?" Wolf asked looking around to make sure that Anne wouldn't somehow jump own from the vents. "You have to promise me not t tell anyone." He said seriously, "Promise," she said snapping her helmets' straps as Wolf took out the small package. He opened it to reveal the engagement ring. Red gasped at it. It was made of a mix between gold and silver, it looked like two bands, one gold one silver, in the middle of the band were three diamonds, six would be added to it when it became their wedding band, that is if she said yes. "Wow…Wolf, wha-?"
"I'm gonna ask her tomorrow night, I'm taking her out to eat and we'll go to the park by the river and that's where I'll pop the question". He said with pride while snapping it shut and putting it securely back into his pocket. "I wish you luck Wolf" She said giving him a hug, being careful not to accidentally make his weapon fire. She then walked away and went to find Twitchy, he found him at one of the many dispatch computers, he now served as the main recon person of the agency, which included dispatching unmanned drones over shady areas and communicating with the local police force. " 'Sup Twitch?" Wolf said taking a seat next to him as he clacked away at the specially small keyboard. "Notmuch,I'mdoingreconoverthesuspectedc hocolatefactorytodetermineth ebestpossiblewaytogetin,whichisthroughtheroof,itisnotasheavilyguardedandwi llgiveyouguystheelementofsur prise..andniceengegmentringWolf!" he said, Wolf, somehow understanding his hyperactive friend, did perk up his attention to Twitchy after he said something about an engagement ring.
"Hey! How do you-?" He asked before being interrupted by Twitchy. "I'mpartofrecon,Icancontrolanycameraintheage ncyandcanlisteninonconversat ions" said Twitchy swiveling around in his chair and pressing a button on the keyboard , which immediately showed the footage of Wolf and Red talking, ending with him pulling out the engagement ring. Twitchy however, pressed 'delete' on the computer and Wolf watched as the clip was wiped out from the computer. Wolf smiled as he and Twitchy bumped fists. He walked away from Twitchy while putting the last bit of his equipment on, including ammunition, two flash-bangs, and a taser in case he would be in hand-to-hand combat. As he was fixing his night vision goggles on top of his helmet, he walked into another part of the lobby in the agency. This was a mix between a sad and happy place for everyone. This area is where all the agents could talk to their friends and families (mostly families) before they went on any kind of mission. Especially this one. Agents were either just talking to their wives (no women except Red and Granny were allowed to become combat-active). Some of them were crying, thinking of the chance that they would never see them again, some would be hugging their kids and giving them heirlooms such as a necklace that they always wore or something like that. Wolf lifted the goggles so that they weren't over his eyes when he saw his girlfriend/future fiancé Anne sitting in one of the chairs.
She nervously got up and hugged him after Wolf made sure the safety on his AK was on. They both kissed as they embraced for a few seconds. They finally separated. Her green eyes were filled with worry, and her tail was nearly tucked between her legs. She didn't like seeing him in his combat gear, it always made her nervous and frightened for his safety. Wolf smiled sweetly and lifted her chin so she met his chocolate eyes gently. "hey," he said softly while stroking her chin with his thumb, "don't worry, that crazy short-kid always knows what he's doing, and I have a secret weapon," she lightened up a little, "and what's that?" she asked as she held his paws. "my vest isn't HEA issued, it just has the logo on it. It's actually one of those really thick bullet and knife-proof vests that U.S spec-ops use. Don't tell Nick, Granny, or Red. They'd be pissed." he said lightly laughing.
She smiled at that and kissed her boyfriend once more before he had to leave her. He wave at her one more time before he walked out the door and climbed into the HEA helicopter. There that crazy kid that he was talking about was waiting for them. That kid scared him sometimes.
The kid, named James, was about five foot four inches tall, a midget compared to Wolf, who was about six feet. He had messy brown hair, and a slightly muscular and thick build. What kind of scared Wolf about him was that first he was only nineteen, second, he was probably the most violent person Nicky ever hired, and he was part of an armed militia group who fought against a group of people who kept trying to harm the animals whenever they moved into a human community. They never negotiated, just adjusted their gun sights whenever there was a disagreement. He wasn't wearing the normal gear that everyone else was, instead he was wearing an old camouflage jacket, a pair of baggy blue jeans, combat boots, and was never seen without his black baseball cap. The smoke from his cigarette filled the copter as it started to take off. He stood at the front facing everyone, and acted indifferently to the animals that covered their sensitive noses against the potent smell of the cigarette. He flicked some of his ashes onto the floor and held it in his mouth before putting his wild-west style revolver in its holster and loading up his own AK, his didn't have any of the sights or flashlights on it like the ones the agents had. He was also the one that trained most of them how to use their new, lethal means. 'boy wasn't that a fun time?' Wolf thought to himself ignoring the burning sensation in his nose from that damn cigarette.
"All right," he said flicking the cigarette out of the large door of the chopper, "Do we all know the objective?" he asked looking around at the animals and human in front of him. "Well, let me remind you just in case, we are here away from the forest to stop an overnight operation of the 'blood clan' I know, their name sucks but they've been some nasty sons of bitches lately." Silence except for the chopper and communication of the pilots. "As you all may know this is the group who have so far been responsible for the hate crimes against the animals moving into predominately human communities. Some of you may know about them, they've been burning their houses, breaking into their homes and stealing random shit, and just randomly attacking any intelligent animal they see, just for sport. They've also been going to their workplace and either attacking them or threatening them any way that they can. They believe that humans should be the dominant race, well, that's why the resistance is letting you guys have 'em. Because we all know how much love them and they love you." Some nervous laughter filled the chopper as James lit another cigarette. 'damnit' Wolf thought covering his nose and glaring at him. " Now, the resistance along with the rest of the HEA have been pushing them back into the outskirts of the big city. Recon alerts us that they've been hiding in this large abandoned warehouse, intelligence tells us that they've been planning something they call 'fun night' which is where they basically terrorize all animals they find in their area late at night when they're asleep. Our main objective is first obviously to prevent this from happening and second, we plan on taking out a very high valued individual, goes by the name of the Red Knight" James watched as some of the animal agents shuddered at his name, "he's their head honcho. If we take out him and the rest of his little whores in this warehouse, we take out the blood clan. Got it?" he asked, they all nodded, some cocked their weapons in response. Some kept silent as they made their way to the dimly lit warehouse.
Inside, the blood clan were getting their trucks and assortment of weapons ready for their night of fun. The Red Knight, their leader was actually a man to be very cautious of, tall, bald, muscular and covered in tattoos, he struck fear into the hearts of not only their furry victims, but of his own comrades as well. He bore a few good knife scars from when he and James had met a few weeks ago near the outskirts of the forest. James almost finished him too. He was called the red knight because he always wore a red colored Kevlar vest and metallic biker helmet, giving him the appearance of a knight.
Outside, the two guards on the roof were standing their smoking when they heard the helicopter motor, they turned to look at it before they were taken out by the two sharpshooters sitting on the side doors, the helicopter lowered and the HEA agents one by one jumped out and waited for their comrades while keeping watch on the door leading to the roof. When they had all gotten out, the helicopter went to a safe but effective location in case it was needed, James jumped out last and pointed to Red and Wolf, "you two will each take a team, and I'll take a team, our best bet is to go down that staircase" he pointed at the door, "I don't think they heard the chopper, they'd be all over the place if they knew, so we should still have the element of surprise. Just one more thing before we take off, be careful, these guys aren't like Hansel and Gretel, they WILL kill you if they get the chance. Make sure everyone gets back home tonight. Lets move!" he yelled as he, Red and Wolf led squads down those stairs, they ended up on the catwalks surrounding the main floor of the warehouse. They still didn't notice them. Red and James's squad each took off in different directions, wolf motioned for each agent to line up on the catwalk, where they could see their parked trucks, Wolf counted down from five and then, he fired the first shot, it echoed and was lost as the rest of the agents opened fire, taking out the tires and engines of the trucks. The blood clan members scattered each grabbing a weapon, they fired blindly at the catwalk, making some of the agents back off from the sparks as bullets went all over. The heard someone yell "HEA!" as the abandoned their trucks and fallen brothers behind, Wolf took a shot and got one in the back as he and a group of them tried running down a hallway. "Zip-line NOW!" wolf yelled as eh and the rest of the agents zipped down to ground level. They ran down a hallway to the left as the warehouse was flooded with the sounds of gunfire and yelling. A loud blast suddenly made Wolf's world ring and seem hazy, a one of their trucks nearby blew up, causing a fireball to rip through the warehouse. Making Wolf fall flat. He slowly crawled to a corner when he lost sight of the rest of his squad. And he couldn't hear the radio communications either. He was worried that he was blind when it slowly went back to normal. He noticed the gunfire getting more and more distant, and heard Red's voice shout "THEY'RE RETREATING, KEEP FIRING!" he mentally shook himself when he saw no one was around. He got up by so had the breath knocked out of him by a large forearm. He fell backwards and felt his arms and legs pinned down. "Think you filthy animals can get ME?!" he heard a hoarse voice whisper in his ear, it was the Red Knight. Wolf knew he was in serious trouble, there were no other agents around, and he was pinned to the floor by this maniac. His heart stopped and his eyes widened when he saw the Red Knight pull out a coil of rope.
Wolf would try to respond or yell for help but every time he opened his muzzle, he was hit in the chest again, one of them knocking off his helmet. He kicked and flailed as much as he could when another of the blood clan members showed up, probably to help him escape. The Red Knight tied the rope around his thin neck and wrists as his partner held them together. He tried to yell again, but was hit in the chest again, even harder, making him gasp for air as the Red Knight flung the rope over a piece of metal above them. "If I'm gonna go out, then this dog is going with me." He said as Wolf felt the rope tighten against his neck, still flailing, he felt pressure and pain as he was rose up a little at a time while the Red Knight taunted him, "too bad your little agency friends cant help ya now!" he said laughing, Wolf could only touch the ground with the claws on his feet, his breath was slowing, his world was starting to fade, and the rope was digging into his neck. Just then he heard a loud "POP!" he then fell back to the ground and landed on his face, coughing and gasping now that he had barely escaped being hanged. He looked up and saw the Red Knight's comrade laying on the ground with a pool of blood forming around the back of his head. He then saw a pair of black boots run past him and heard several punches and kicks. He used the claws on his feet and cut the rope tying his hands together and untied the noose that just nearly took his life. He got back on his feet looking for his gun when he saw James and the Red Knight fighting. James kicked him several times in the groin as the Red Knight plowed him into a wall. If he could only find his weapon. He found the black wild-west revolver that belonged to James. The metal was still hot and smoking when Wolf saw what happened next. James spat in his eye and Wolf only caught a glint of metal coming out of the sheath on his jeans before it disappeared into the Red Knights throat. He sputtered and gagged as the sounds of agents running towards them was heard. James then saw Wolf, as the Red Knight fell to his knees, James walked up to Wolf, snagged his pistol from his paws, and with the rest of the agents watching, walked up to the Red Knight pointed his pistol at him, cock back the firing pin and said.
"Remember the last time we met, when I almost got your ass but you got away? Well guess what, your ass is mine!" and then a deafening POP echoed as blood sprayed from his face when the pistol fired. The Red Knight fell to the floor dead as James put the pistol back into its holster. He walked up to Wolf and held out his dirty, blood-soaked hand, "need help old-man?" he asked. James and Wolf did actually get along pretty well, and James always joke with Wolf calling him old man because he was now about twenty-nine. He took James' hand as Red came up to him, the sounds of the chopper returning echoed through the warehouse. Now mostly filled with burning trucks and bullet casings, Red looked over him and saw the dark red line going around his neck. "What happened?" she snapped turning to James, who was too occupied trying to light yet another cigarette. Red and James didn't get along however, and they didn't exactly keep it secret from each other either.
"They tried to hang me," Wolf said rubbing his throat, that was going to leave a mark. He picked up his helmet and joined the rest of the agents as they made their way up to the helicopter. Wolf watched his squad enter before he climbed in too. With James climbing in last. Wolf was exhausted, Red sat next to him to make sure he was okay, "Anne's gonna wonder about that mark you know." She said looking at the friction burn on his neck, Wolf half-opened his chocolate brown eyes, which were glowing inside the dark helicopter, "yeah," he said groggily, feeling in the pocket of his vest to make sure that the ring was still there, "she might, but she'll at least be happy I wasn't shot…again." He said playfully elbowing Red in the shoulder, referring to when he was shot in the stomach two years ago. They kept silent for a while, with Red snapping at James for smoking in the helicopter again when smoke blew near her, at which he venemously said "would a simple thanks for saving your friend's ass would be too much?" she then just huffed and rolled her eyes at him, and she muttered, "hope you enjoy your cancer," at which James just murmured just loud enough for her to hear "bitch,". The rest of the agents didn't really do anything when Red and James got into it like this, it was actually becoming something of a mission ending ritual, seeing the both of them work together great during an actual mission, then being entertained on the way home as they went back to going at each other's throats.
Red looked at Wolf, who had taken off his helmet and vest, cooling him off as he was glistening from sweat under his fur. He laid his head back against the seat, and would normally have just announced "children, play nice," when James and Red frequently got close from slitting each others' throats. But he was too tired, 'let 'em fight' he thought to himself with a sigh and folding his hands over his chest.
Noticing that he didn't breakup Red and James snapping at each other…again, Red looked at him strangely. He was breathing deeply, and his eyelids were sealed shut and despite the noise from the helicopter, she could hear him softly snoring in his seat. That's when she saw James "accidentally" flick cigarette ashes in her direction. Which gave the rest of the agents another show.
The next day, Wolf and Anne were both sitting together at Pappi's bistro, one of the more elegant places to eat at in the forest. Wolf wore his signature blue hoodie, a black t-shirt and grey pants, as well as a baseball cap. Anne wore her casual blue jeans and green sweatshirt, really bringing out the color in her eyes. They sat across from each other at the wrought-iron table outside, the birds still chirping happily as the sun cast its last rays for the day across the forest. Wolf frequently kept feeling the pocket of his hoodie to make sure that the ring was still there, and kept feeling the still-present mark on his neck. Anne kept looking at him as she ate her Panini, "So, have Red and James actually killed each other yet?" she asked smiling at him. Wolf wiped his mouth with his napkin, "No, not yet," he said laughing as a deer waiter refilled their drinks, "Come on," Anne begged playfully leaning up closer to her boyfriend, "what's this 'surprise' you keep telling me about?" she asked as Wolf finished his food. "You'll find out, honey." He said softly flicking her nose. After a little bit, they got their check and Wolf took out some money and put it on the table, the sky had now gotten to a dark purple hue and more and more animals were filling into the bistro, some on dates, others hanging with friends and family. Wolf's heart start to race as he pondered if he should do it now with others watching or when they would be in private. The deer came to collect their payment when Wolf held up his paw, "could you give us a minute?" he asked, the deer nodded curtly and left with an irritated sigh.
Anne had already retrieved her purse and was looking in a small mirror to make sure her jet-black fur hadn't gotten messy, she looked at Wolf after he waved off the waiter, "what's up?" she asked, wondering if her fur-adjusting held him up. "Well, I've actually been meaning to ask you something," he said, his heart thumping in his throat and his paws clenching tightly around the ring as he silently took it out of the box while it was still in his hoodie, luckily Anne didn't notice.
"Well, I've just noticed that we've been dating for about two years now," he said as his free paw removed his hat and scratched the fur on top of his head, an undercover way of hiding him taking off his hat, "yeah, and surprisingly my dad hasn't scared you away yet." She said laughing, this made Wolf laugh as well but in a nervous way.
"Yeah, he tried, but he didn't." Wolf said with his casual smirk. "but anyway, seeing as how we've been dating for quite a while and its even gotten to where you stay at my apartment all the time. And you've just always been so sweet, and patient whenever I've had to leave suddenly to go on a mission, and kind, but you definitely have strong character,"… Anne had a feeling about this. "and well, you aren't too bad looking either" he said smiling. Wolf now looked Anne directly in the eyes, something that always really meant business in Wolf customs, and got up. "So, with all of these admirable traits about you," she loved his awkwardness at times. "I was hoping," Wolf now said kneeling down on one knee in front of her, at which most of the animals and some humans in the bistro stopped talking and looked at the couple. Wolf took the ring out of his pocket and watched as Anne's eyes fogged up, he didn't understand why females cry when happy, but he could tell she wasn't angry or upset with him, "that you, Annabelle Joyce Cannis, would grow old with me as my lawfully wedded wife." He held the ring closer to her. It was silent for about the longest few seconds in history, every eye focused on Anne. She looked at the ring, then back at his pleading eyes. And yelled, "YES! YES!" She then flung herself onto her now fiancé. The bistro erupted with cheers and applause as they both embraced and locked their muzzles together. Both wolves felt like the happiest animals on the face of the earth right now. They were both going to get married, maybe even start a family. All that mattered to Wolf was that he was going to live out his days with the she-wolf he truly loved.
Back in present day, the now seventy-nine year old Wolf, with a bad back, horrible knees, degrading eyesight and much more easily tired, watched as his granddaughter proceeded down the aisle of the church, her hand in Jerry, her father's arm. Wolf and Anne got cozy to each other as they remembered their own wedding day, which took place in this same church. He looked down at her, her grey-streaked fur shining in the light of the candles. He gently kissed the top of her muzzle as their tails swished slowly in affection.
Anne looked up at her husband, still thin, still a smart mouth with a constant quick wit, and still as kind and sweet as he was when she met him for the first time while he was half-passed out in the hospital. She still enjoyed looking into his warm chocolate brown eyes and adored the now little tuft of white fur under his chin, making it look like he was growing a beard. Her father had that too, but she liked Wolf's more, loving to run her claws through it, which sometimes did irritate him when he was trying to work on some paperwork, but when he wasn't it helped him relax and melt in her arms. She thought to the time they had their own wedding, and when she had Timmy, and then Emily, then to the times when they would argue, when they would make each other mad, happy, upset, worried, and every other emotion they could think of. And as she remembered the evening that she had that glistening ring held up to her, she still to this very day would have said yes.