Title: Pele’s Story
Chapter: Part I
The wolf would have snarled; the hatred in its eyes made that clear. Pele walked a slow circle around the wolf, tapping her chin thoughtfully. “You need to go away, but I thought that since you needed to be off’d anyways, I’d have some fun. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun together.” She grinned like a little girl with a new doll, and were this another setting, a pretty garden or a home – that grin would have been commonplace. But in this dank cell, it was ominous.
The silver chains rattled as she picked them up by one end and let the rest of the length of chain trail behind her like the train on a dress. She searched the floor until she found what she was looking for: rings. Some werewolves were so violent during their transformation that they seriously hurt themselves, so to protect both the wolf and the rest of creation stakes were driven down ten feet and imbedded in the natural foundation of rock under the city. Metal reinforcements made a network of crossbeams under the cell, and concrete and the paving stones finished it off.
Pele attached each of the four chains to their rings and only then did she turn back to the silent, still werewolf. “Oh I’m sorry,” she purred, “are you having difficulty breathing? I’m sure that must be excruciatingly hard on you. I thought you might have passed out my now. Well, we’ll just put these on.” She knelt close enough to the wolf that its fur brushed against her tanned skin and ticked her nose. The cuffs closed with a metallic clink on each limb. “There we go. Now, just to make sure you don’t try anything nasty, I’m going to wench you into place.”
Sauntering out of the cells she had to cross to what appeared to be just another shadowed corner. The chains were pulled down into the ground, taking up the slack until they were stretched taunt against Pele’s spell. “I’m going to let you go now. Be a good boy, and remember to be quiet.”
It didn’t take words to dissipate a spell, but Pele liked to be dramatic. She liked this feeling of power and hording it over this creature – just like her twisted father held the darker side of the city in the palm of his hand.
The werewolf’s body uncoiled into spasms and jerks. Its jaws worked in a silent howl, the lips pulled back into an evil snarl. The chains attached to its forequarters were taunt, but the two attached to its hindquarters lay in two coils of silvery chain. The wolf sprang forward toward the open cell doors, the only sound being the clanking of silver chain and its nails on stone.
“No, no, no, that’s not playing nice.” Pele cranked the wench, hauling in the chain so quickly the wolf’s legs were pulled out from under it and its bulk landed on the stones with a sickening thud. It’s whole form writhed and spasmed as the silver counteracted the shift and slowly human hands and feet began to form where before paw and claw had been.
She stepped forward, a hungry glint in her eyes as she grasped the bars and watched as the silver slowly and painfully transformed the wolf into a man. It might have been creepy, for a thing that large to writhe so powerfully and yet never utter a sound. Slowly, like a cat stalking a mouse, Pele walked the half circle back to the cell doors, her eyes enraptured by her prey. The now man lay spread eagle on his stomach, chin mashed painfully into the stones so he could look through brown shaggy hair at her; even in a human form he still had a feral look to his eyes.
“We’re going to have fun together, lupo.”
Pele’s head snapped up from the monitor, “Yes sir?”
“Get in here.”
Her heels clicked on the tiled floor as she took the short, quick steps the tight pencil skirt necessitated. Sliding through the doors that stood slightly ajar the young woman looked expectantly at a large brooding man sitting behind a spartan desk, dragging images around on a display with his fingers.
A thrill went through Pele as she realized Daddy was admiring her handiwork. The gashes made by silver flayed flesh open, exposing sinews and bones. Her plaything had been wonderfully cooperative.
“Don’t look if you’re going to be sick,” her brother, Abaddon, sneered from his comfortable place in a leather arm chair, a glass of amber liquor in his hands.
Pele returned his harsh gaze with a smooth one of her own. It was pathetic how Don started drinking so early; he didn’t do anything. Privately Pele thought, Donny doesn’t deserve Daddy’s attention like I do.
“Pele, pay attention!”
She snapped back to her father, Hemigidius – though most called him Dius for simplicities sake. It wasn’t his real name, not even Pele or her brother Don knew what their father had once been called, though they knew that when he came to Comloth he took on the name to name himself a god. He had even named his children after gods; Abaddon was the name of a destroyer god, Pele the goddess of destruction and creation from their native country.
“I need for you to get law enforcement on the phone – preferably one of those vampires. Then I need you to call the Alpha of that –“
“The northern pack,” Don offered.
Dius glared at his son, the gaze alone enough to cause the young man to gulp his liquor and pretend to be interested in his fingernails.
“Sir, if I may?” There were three other men in the office, one stepped forward and spread his hands politely out to Dius in a gesture of subservient difference.
“Allow me to contact the pack. I can extend our condolences for the loss of an alpha male and offer a gift. It could be beneficial to allow them to assume that this was our doing, but if all three packs put aside their differences and band together it could make things difficult for us.”
Dius nodded. “Rotten time for this one to get himself sliced up,” he leaned back in his chair, the hinges squeaking as his bulk shifted back. “Not that I’m sorry to see his hide gone – but he could have found a more convenient time to piss someone off.”
The man turned to Pele and smiled. All the men who looked at Pele smiled; she was Dius’ daughter and though he might dismiss her for her gender, it was that very reason everyone else paid attention to her. The snug dress hugged her curves and exposed just enough cleavage to be tempting; she filled just about every man’s naughty secretary dreams. “Pele, could you arrange for a side of beef to be delivered to the pack?”
She jotted down a list of requests, things to placate the pack and people to call. She painted a false smile on her face, the kind of vapid thing that deflected anyone suspecting her of being able to harm a fly. Her worth to Daddy was that no one, not even Daddy, knew who took care of his problems. But inside she was a swirling mess of emotion; she had done something wrong. Killing the wolf wasn’t what Daddy wanted! She had to figure out a way to fix it. She knew in theory how to raise the dead, but hadn’t had the opportunity or need to test out her teachers instructions.
“If we can find out who did this,” Dius said out loud, pulling up a ghastly image of what had been done to the wolf’s feet, “hire him.”
All the voices in Pele’s mind stilled and behind a curtain of black hair she grinned.
“I’ll get those things for you right away,” she said quietly and left the office.
Pele sat down in her own chair, feeling a heady sense of accomplishment. Daddy did want her. Daddy needed her. She could help Daddy. Pele’s fingers flew over the keys as she quickly executed what the little man wanted to placate the wolves while she imagined telling her Kumu how successful last night was. She would be happy for Pele but also reserved. The witches, Kumu as Pele called them, were not fond of her father though they did bend to his will at times and occasionally he had need of their services.
That was why she had first decided to become Kumu herself. After mother died and they were alone with Daddy, he called the Kumu and asked them to do something. She would never forget that first time she saw the vein in his forehead pulse with fear, the way his eyes grew just a little bit bigger and the way his trousers twitched from fiddling with change in his pocket. She knew at a young age the Kumu had power. She hated seeing Daddy afraid.
At first Pele had wanted to kill the Kumu. She tried, once, as a young woman to slit her Kumu’s throat but the woman showed her real power and Pele realized the best way to protect her father from the Kumu was to become one herself, and then he would never want for one again. But he couldn’t know what she was. He couldn’t know she was his black angel.
So she made his phone calls and arranged for the pitiful peace offerings to the mangy dogs who had lost one of their own with a smug smile on her lips.
“What are you smiling about?”
“Don,” she smiled a little larger. Not even noon and he was drunk. Disgusting. “Is there something I can do for you?”
The door behind him closed with force, punctuating Pele’s suspicion that her brother had been expulsed against his will. “You can suck my cock.”
She frowned, all pretenses of smiles and placating behavior gone. “You’re drunk.”
“And you’re a genius.” He took a few steps towards her desk, squinting at the open windows that let in the day’s sunshine with open arms. “What are you doing, my worthless sister?”
“Working. Unlike you.” She tilted her chin up, annoyed that he was now her problem, interrupting her pleasant daydreams. It would be easier for Daddy to like her better if Don weren’t in the way; it would be better if he would just disappear. But Donny was family.
“Whose cock are you sucking these days?” He crossed the rest of the distance between the door and her desk and shoved aside a stack of files so he could half-sit on the edge of the desk.
“That is none of your business,” she said sharply and gave him a warning look.
Pele snatched up the phone, glad for the distraction, especially since it was from a normally helpful freelance demon. Don continued to sit on the edge of her desk, breathing heavily and watching her until she hung up the phone. She had decided to ignore him; he would get bored and go off to satisfy himself on some whore with a bit of blue ice and a bottle of whatever he was drinking this month and he would cease to be her problem until he needed Daddy to pay for something – and then she would have to take care of it. But at least then it was more like taking out the trash than giving the cat a bath.
Don’s hand clamped around her throat and he rolled her chair back until it slammed against the wall. With more strength and speed than Pele would have guessed he possessed he hauled her up until only the tips of her toes were on the floor, her back against a photograph hung in a frame. Pele struggled for breath as the sound of scraping sounded close in her ears. The glass over the picture was cracked and broken in a few places, shards of glass cutting her bare skin.
Pele couldn’t breathe to speak, to give the magic in her purpose; she was powerless to her brothers superior strength. The skirt constricted her legs so much she couldn’t even kick him in the balls! She had to hold onto his arm with both hands to even get the smallest breath in. Don’s breath smelled of liquor and onions and he leered at her – her own brother.
His two days of stubble scraped against the sensitive flesh of her breast as he rubbed himself against her. Pele’s stomach clenched, revolted. She knew her brother was depraved, but to go after his sister? In their father’s place of work? And in public? Despite her own panic, his hold on her was growing shaky, she could breathe even.
“Donny,” she gasped. It took a great amount of willpower, but she steadied her voice, making herself appear at least a little calm. It would never do to beg her brother. “Please put me down.”
Glass scraped painfully across her skin as his hold on her throat relaxed and she landed heavily on her feet. What breath she recovered was instantly shoved out of her lungs as Don pushed up against her, his mouth lost in the sea of her hair searching for her neck.
With the use of her hands, Pele had the advantage she needed. She shoved her unsteady brother back and grabbed an arm, flipping him onto the floor. She grappled a paperweight on her desk and hit him with it; not hard enough to bleed, just enough to stun him. “Maka hiamoe,” she hissed and released the merest amount of magic. Don slumped on the floor, asleep.
Quickly Pele put her desk to rights, and knelt over her brother. If she could clean things up and put him in another room, no one would know what kind of sad shape Dius’ son was in.