Night Moves

     Tor looked out over the wooded valley, now that Spring was coming the snow cover was mostly melted.  The only sounds were the soft ticking of cooling metal from the Harley he sat on, the thundering engine he had just shut down had frightened all the wildlife into silence. For a moment it was as if the world stood still. He reached back and let his long black hair fall loosely around him, shaking his head, remembering the strange circumstances that brought a Get of Fenris Werewolf  here four months earlier. Tor’s mind wandered back in time to the first time he sat on this bike overlooking this valley…
    Tor had come to Michigan with his Pack-mate and family to restore the true leader of the Black Fury Tribe to her position after being kidnapped 11 years ago.
    The new leaders were corrupted by the Wyrm, they had ordered the death of any males of the Tribe and the death of many Black Furies that opposed them. Tor’s Pack-mate, Bruce, was the last male Back Fury. The battle had been swift, Bruce’s father, a Vampire, had organized a precise strike, Artemis, the true leader spoke, then as the Wyrm infested leaders started to attack, they were eliminated by silver bullets and Werewolf claws.
    Tor had led the assault on the Wyrm that had inhabited a tree, the victory was complete and savage. That night’s work saw Tor recognized as an Elder. The fact that it was the Full Moon and his curse to transform to the man-wolf form seen in so many movies and known among the Werewolves as Crinos meant that he had to remain while his companions returned home to New York.

     Tor was asked by Artemis to join the ruling Council until a permanent one could be elected; he had little choice but to accept. After three long nights of hearing debates and rants all night, and sleeping all day in a large circular Army tent that smelled of human blood and sweat, it was a tribute to his self-control that no one had been killed and he had defeated only three, those had attacked first.
    The morning after the last of the Full Moon had dawned chilly and bright. He shifted to his human form, actually, the superior form known as Glabro, having no liking for the weaker form. Tor was born a wolf, but if he had to be human, may as well be a big one!
    His hearing picked out voices nearby; two women were arguing over who he would choose to mate with, Black Fury kinfolk had no men to mate with in 11 years… Tor decided that he really needed to get away, so he dropped to his natural, wolf form, and snuck away.

     It had been a great day running free; he had taken two rabbits and wandered until past nightfall. He knew he was near a road by the sounds, but then he heard two humans, a male and a female. As he stalked closer he could hear voices raised. He smelled the female's fear and the male’s anger. It seemed that the male thought that since he had brought the female out to the woods on his motorcycle, that she should mate with him. The female disagreed. Tor closed to the clearing just in time to see the male tear the female’s shirt and strike her across the face.
    Three days of Rage took hold, Tor shifted to human form, closing with inhuman speed to the male. The man stared blankly, unmoving, when Tor yelled “Hey! Thanks, man, you made my whole night!”
    Then Tor’s fist shattered the man’s jaw making conversation useless. Tor got down to the business of inflicting pain that ended far too soon when a playful toss landed the would-be rapist across a tree with a sickening crack.

     The woman smelled more of fear now. She half whispered, “You killed him.” Tor turned from the mangled corpse and took the man’s jacket from his bike. Offering it to the woman, he simply replied “there was a mix-up in incarnation, he was supposed to be a cockroach.” He straddled the bike, looking it over, late ‘60s Shovelhead, some custom work, flashy, keys were still in the ignition…
    Tor smiled, “well, he would have wanted me to have this…. You want a ride home?”
    It had taken a little persuading to get her to get back on, but Tor took her home. Then rode back out to the woods. Of all the things humans created, motorcycles were the closest thing to running as a wolf.

     Tor had stopped here to look over the woods, the bike had silenced everything then too… The sounds of the woods were just coming back when Tor heard the sound of another motorcycle. This was different, more like a purr than the thunder of his Harley. The rider pulled up next to him and shut down. Tor could see that the rider was a big woman, about 6’4 and muscular, long black hair tied in a ponytail, had to be a Black Fury Werewolf. He used his gift of determining what things were, a found that she was kinfolk, but not a Werewolf.
    She looked out over the valley a moment, then asked “are you leaving?”
    Tor replied grimly, “How many want me to?”
    She smiled, “some, but I saw you earlier, not me, not anymore. By the way, I’m Raven.”
    Tor let out a long sigh; “I guess you are following me for other reasons then. That’s why I took off, at least you are more my taste.”
    Tor tried to smile at that, he knew he was still too on edge, and that wasn’t a very good pick-up line.  Tor could smell the anger as she replied;
    “Some of kinfolk have gone a little man- crazy, you and Bruce are known for your fighting the Wyrm, many would have your children for that alone. I’m a bit pickier.”
    Tor was a bit shocked and intrigued by this, he definitely liked this woman. Desperately trying to be charming, he asked, “how do you choose? Among wolves the strongest breeds, I qualify there.”
    She smiled, “Yes, you are strong, and honorable. Perhaps a test of skill, we’ll race, if you can catch me, you can have me!” She fired up her bike, and spinning it swiftly away, was racing down the road.

     Tor stomped down on the kickstarter, bringing the Harley to life grinning, this promised to be fun. He suddenly noticed a scent drifting in the smell of exhaust that she was in season! He thought to himself “humans are almost always in season, that’s what makes them so insane.”
    All the while his instincts were driving him to race, he shifted quickly through the gears, trying to gain on Raven’s bike. He closed enough that he could see her, she easily handled the sharp turns and hills, as if there was a track she rode in. Tor was forced to rely on his inhuman speed and strength to keep on the road. They raced into the valley, and up the next hill, Tor noticed that they were going well over the posted speeds, running around 100 and taking the turns at more than double the listed speeds.

    As they ran up a road that seemed to be laid out by following a snake, he wondered how well built a bike owned by someone that took women in the woods was. Almost as an answer, as he tossed the bike into a sharp left turn a little to late, the rear wheel lost traction. The bike skidded out from under him as they headed into the trees.
    Tor awoke seconds later in his true form, a wolf. The impact would have killed a human, but Werewolves heal quickly. He shifted back to his human form, but laid still while nature finished repairing the damage. He heard Raven’s bike draw closer, then saw her ride up and rush over to him.
    “Are you all right?” she practically screamed.
    Tor smiled, “I’m OK, takes more than that to stop me!”
    She came over and examined him, from the amount of blood on the ground around Tor’s head and body, the impact almost tore him in half, and even Werewolves can’t survive that. She was stunned that her game had almost taken the life of a Werewolf Elder.
    She simply said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for you to be hurt.”
    Tor grinned, touched her arm and laughed, “I caught you though!”
     Raven drew back suddenly, angrily she said, “I suppose you think that counts!”
     Tor got up, and picked up his bike, which had surprisingly little damage, having missed the tree, he just chuckled, “it counts as much as you want it to, though the last rider of this bike would disagree.”

    It turned out that those words had won the race better than any skill with a bike. Raven had grown up being told that Get of Fenris, and men in general lived only to dominate women. There were some looks, but no one had the courage to say anything to either Tor or Raven.
    At the coming of Winter Tor went with the Tribe to their community. They took in battered women with nowhere else to go. Raven had encouraged Tor to mate with some of the kinfolk, but it was her that slept next to him every night. She was accustomed to sleeping with a wolf; her sister had been a wolf. She even slept near him when he was forced to stay in Crinos form.
    Tor had led attacks against the Wyrm with the Black Furies, taught them again the joy of battle.

    With the warmth of Spring, he knew he needed to move on. He had a Pack; there were more battles to fight against the Wyrm. The Furies had asked that he step down anyway, no one would challenge him for position and they wanted to restore the Tribe.
    Raven didn’t want to leave her home, she had made a life here, and she wanted family for her child. She understood Tor’s need to travel; she had never tried to hold him. Now it was time to return to the City.
    The animal sounds returned, somewhere an owl hooted, a lonely wolf called for company. Tor half expected the familiar purr of Raven’s bike, but there was nothing on the road. He briefly shifted to Crinos, just long enough to release one long mournful howl of his loneliness. Several wolves responded in sympathy as Tor tucked his hair back in his jacket.

    Tor twisted the throttle to prime the carb, stomped on the kickstarter, and took one last look before heading back on the road.
    If he rode hard he could be in New York in two days…