Wolf’s Survival

Wolf’s Survival copyright c. 2010 T.A. Chase

Part One-

Ignoring the stares of the townsfolk of Red Cliff, Idaho, Jacob strolled into Marci’s Diner and took a seat in the far booth. Only a half hour into his monthly visit to town and he already wanted to go back to the ranch.

“What’ll you have, Jacob?”

He looked up as a chipped coffee mug appeared in front of him filled with steaming liquid. The owner of the diner, Marci, stood eyeing him, her bouffant hair sporting more gray than red these days.

“Whatever’s the special, I guess.”

He winced along with Marci. His voice sounded like five miles of bad road. It’d been a while since he talked to anyone besides his dogs.

“One special coming up.” Marci winked before she headed back to yell his order at her husband.

Jacob wrapped his hands around the warm cup and inhaled the rich scent of coffee. He’d heard the footsteps make their way through the crowd, and recognized their owner, so he was ready when Von Hausling plopped down in the seat across from him. He barely managed to refrain from snarling at the man.

“Good to see you, Tasker. I wanted to talk to you about some stuff. Was considering a drive up to your place.”

Snorting softly, Jacob rolled his eyes before meeting the man’s gaze. He disliked this generation of Von Hauslings as much as every previous one starting back to when Jacob was a pup.
“What do you want?”

Anything the jackass wanted, Jacob was sure to go against, more on general principal than any true conviction on Jacob’s part.

Von Hausling never seemed to grasp Jacob’s disgust. He was often like an eager puppy trying to get the Alpha dog to notice him.

“There’s a big meeting over at the town hall tonight. Some team from the Department of Fish and Game are here. Seems they want to do some investigating.”

“If they’re interested in poaching, you might want to watch your back.”

The man’s eyes went wide. “Don’t know what you’re talking about, Tasker.”

He set his coffee down and leaned forward into Von Hausling’s personal space, letting his upper lip curl. “Sure you do, and if you take another deer off my property again, I’ll make you pay.”

Von Hausling paled and shot to his feet. “Fuck you.”

They both knew Jacob’s threat wasn’t an idle one. He could make the other man pay without anyone ever finding out. Accidents happened all the time up in the hills around Red Cliff.

“You scaring people again, Jacob?”

Mari set down Jacob’s food after dodging Von Hausling’s hasty retreat.

“Only the ones who deserve it. He trespassed on my land and took a doe. Left behind a little one.”

She shook her head, knowing the orphaned fawn’s chances were slim. She’d be right if Jacob hadn’t found the baby and dropped it off at an animal refuge in the next county.

“What’s this meeting idiot boy wanted me to attend?”

Marci had all the gossip. She wrinkled her nose and sighed. “The government’s squawking about transplanting a couple breeding pairs of wolves in the hills by your place.”

After taking a sip of his drink, he shook his head. “Is it that time of year again?”

The diner owner laughed. “Does seem like they’re on a regular cycle, doesn’t it?”

She wandered off to wait on another customer, leaving Jacob to eat his meal in peace.

Bringing wolves back to the hills? Just so humans could kill and wipe them out again. Jacob had been around for the first slaughter. He didn’t want to be around for the next one.

He finished his lunch without another interruption, paid Marci and headed out. As he wandered back to the vet’s office, his acute hearing picked up snatches of conversation.

“Damn government. Coming in to tell us how to live our lives.”

“Wolves are terrible creatures. They’ll kill our cattle.”

Were they more upset about the government trying to tell them what to do then they were about the wolves? It was hard to tell. Jacob kept his head down. None of it concerned him. Whether wolves came back to the country or not, Jacob would be there, surviving on his own like always.

Checking his watch, he figured Doc. Smith would be finished giving Belle her check-up. He strolled down the sidewalk, not acknowledging the people who dodged out of his way. At his size, Jacob was used to intimidating humans, and it worked out well since he didn’t want to talk to any of them anyway.

Being the last of his kind made it easy for Jacob to become a recluse. He saw no need in becoming friendly with creatures that would turn on him in a heartbeat if they ever found out what he was. He’d seen too much of that when he was young, and he didn’t want to go through that kind of pain again.

He pushed open the door and drudged up a half-smile for the perky receptionist behind the desk at Doc’s office. She gave a frightened squeak, but pulled herself together by the time he drew closer to her.

“Is Belle ready to go?”

“Yes, Mr. Tasker. Doc Smith gave her a clean bill of health and said the puppies look good. You can expect them to arrive in the next month or so.”

She rang the buzzer and Jacob nodded, waiting impatiently for whoever had Belle in the back to bring her out.

“I’m glad to hear that.” He handed her the check for the appointment.

“You have Doc’s number, right? That way if Belle has any problems, you can call and Doc will be right out to your place in a hurry.” Her smile held a little bit of fear and a hint of attraction.

“Yeah, I got it. I’m not worried though. Belle’s an old hand at puppies. She’ll be fine.”

He was the one who would be a nervous wreck until the last one was born and breathing. He hated like hell to lose one of the little ones before they even had a chance to breathe. It broke his heart sometimes, even though he understood it was nature’s way.

16 Responses “Wolf’s Survival”

  1. danae72 says:

    Love the start! Even with just this glimpse, Jacob has already grabbed my attention.

  2. Sue says:

    Great start. You pulled me right in. Can't wait for Thursday!! Beautiful picture of Jacob!

  3. Perpetua says:

    ohh I love that Jacob is so big and mean looking but under it all he is a big cuddly bear he just needs someone to bring it out in him!!

  4. elaineg0707 says:

    TA you are SO good at sucking me right into a story with very few sentences….I LIKE Jacob;)

    Can't wait til Thursday!

  5. Karin says:

    Great start! 🙂

  6. mariewig says:

    I'm hooked
    is it Tuesday yet 🙂

  7. chrysalis1975 says:

    I adore Jacob already 🙂 Great start to an obviously tender & exciting story!! Can't wait for the next installment 🙂

  8. Blaidd-Drwg says:

    Great start of the new story! I like Jacob already! Can't wait for more!

  9. melanie says:

    I am loving Jacob already. He so needs a mate.

  10. T.A.Chase says:

    Thanks, everyone.

    Yeah, Jacob's going to be fun because he's so grumpy…lol. And I think Oliver's going to be good for him.

  11. Kara says:

    Fantastic start…love Jacob already!!!

  12. jodecarlson says:

    Thursday Thursday Thursday! I'm already intrigued – thanks TA. 🙂

  13. Rhonda says:

    TA, great look into Jacob! I already love it and I'm looking forward to Thursday!

    Thanks for giving us another great story.

  14. Jambrea says:

    Great first look at Jacob! Thanks TA!

  15. Helen says:

    Awesome start TA 🙂

  16. Jen says:

    What a start – I think I already kinda love Jacob. Can't wait until Thursday!

    Thanks TA for spoiling us! 😉


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