AN: The timeline in this chapter flips back and forth a little. Sorry

The Irish phrase Ewen uses is Súile Dé – God's eyes.

Thanks for reading!


Messages and Packs

Two days later Eliot found himself standing on the tarmac at the Ireland West Airport Knock, with his hands zip tied behind his back, at five thirty in the morning. Ewen stood slightly behind and to his right with a shotgun pointed at Eliot's head. Natali stood even with Eliot, just in front of Ewen. James and another couple of wolves were in the panel van behind them.

He had been stripped down to what had once been a white tank and his jeans and boots. Now his shirt was covered in mud, blood and dried sweat. Eliot's jeans were muddy at the knees and generally grimy all over. It was chilly out and Eliot couldn't completely suppress the tremors. The gash over his left eyebrow was still bleeding pretty freely and his bottom lip on his right side felt puffy. They hadn't had him out of the van long but he could smell how nervous Ewen was. He just hoped Ewen didn't shoot him by accident. He knew the shotgun was loaded with silver shot. But, then he figured that, at this range silver or not he wouldn't be caring about anything if Ewen pulled that trigger.

"Steady man." Natali encouraged Ewen and they watched the plane taxi closer.

"Nati, you and I are gonna have words when this is over. If we make it out of this, that is." Ewen told Natali and then straightened up and fixed his glare on Eliot.

A white Cessna with a green stripe taxied to within fifty feet of their small group. Three men deplaned and started toward them. Eliot recognized one of the men up front as Chastel's errand boy from Gévaudan. The other one Eliot didn't know. Walking behind them was Chastel.

"Natali, it is good to see you again. My thanks for returning my property. I really didn't expect this from you but it is nice to see that you have moved on." Chastel looked smug and sounded condescending.

"That's Ms. Ossory to you Chastel. And I'm not returning anything. I'm selling. You want your property back you'll have to pay for it."

Chastel's second man held up a brief case. "Send Spencer over and you can have your payment."

Natalie glared at Chastel and her voice was sharp. "You owe me more than the money and you know it! I expect your apology as well as the money."

"You will just have to settle for the money. Just as I told you last time I will not apologize for your sisters poor choices." Chastel sounded mildly irritated.

"I have never believed you. Caroline wouldn't have been anywhere near Müller if it weren't for you. You sent her there for your own purposes! You owe me far more than money. Far more than you can ever pay. But I will settle for an apology and that case of cash." Eliot could smell the anger and hatred pouring off of Natali and he figured that even with Chastel upwind of them he couldn't have missed it either.

"You can have the cash and be done. I won't grovel. Now give me my property!" Chastel shoved the man with the case in their direction. The man walked towards Eliot's left, making sure that Ewen couldn't cover him and Chastel at the same time with the shotgun.

Ewen swung the shotgun up and around to face Chastel's man. "I'd stop right there if I was you. At this range the silver shot might not kill you but I guarantee that you'll wish you were dead." Despite how nervous Eliot knew Ewen was he was impressed by the man's tone. It sounded like he dealt with hostage situations every day of the week.

Chastel's man held still except for a glance at his boss. Chastel glared at Ewen. "How do you recommend we proceed then?"

"Alpha?" Ewen didn't even glance at Chastel when he addressed Natali. He kept his focus on the man closest to him and Chastel's other errand boy who was looking like he might be making a move for a gun at his back.

"Apology or no deal Chastel. You knew the terms before you even got on your plane in France." Natalie continued to look daggers at Chastel.

The errand boy closest to Chastel finally decided to make the reach for his gun. Ewen swung the shotgun in his direction. "I wouldn't do it mate. You don't wantta get your boss shot do you?"

While Ewen was still talking the man with the briefcase pulled his gun. Eliot couldn't tell which of the three of them the man was aiming at. Eliot pulled against the zip tie until it snapped. As the tie snapped Eliot turned shielding Natali as he dove for the ground pulling her under him. The crack of the hand gun rang out and Eliot heard Ewen grunt. He looked up to see blood soaking Ewen's left coat sleeve. Just then the shotgun went off with a roar peppering Chastel and his errand boy. Eliot covering as much of Natali as he could as he felt along the back of her until he found the gun she had concealed near her waist. The doors to the panel van opened and three wolves stepped out. James took aim on the man holding the brief case. The sound of Ewen racking the shotgun again caught Eliot's attention and from his prone position he started shooting at Chastel and his men. Things quickly devolved into all out pandemonium as everyone started moving for cover and returning fire.

Chastel started back for his plane. Eliot didn't know if the man was running or just getting behind his reinforcements and he didn't care. Eliot ran after Chastel. He tried to skirt some of the fight by ducking behind some crates that were between the van and the plane. Eliot knew he had been spotted when he heard a few bullets smash into the wood near his head. He kept running and dodging.

When he was a few yards from him he shouted to catch Chastel's attention. "Chastel!"

Chastel spun to face Eliot. "Spencer. You can see that you aren't wanted here. Get on the plane and I'll get you out of here." Chastel was reaching into his suit jacket and Eliot was sure he was wearing a shoulder holster.

"Like hell. I'm not going anywhere with you! You and your men will stay away from me. I'm going my own way from here." Eliot brought up the Sig Saur nine-millimeter that Natalie had been carrying and leveled it on Chastel.

"Spencer. We both know that you don't have Moreau's backing anymore. You were changed by my wolves. I own you!" Chastel pulled his gun but his shot was wide and missed Eliot by inches.

"I am not your property. If you knew anything about me you would know that it wasn't just Moreau that made me what I am. You'd know that he was what was holding me back. Now there's no reason not to kill you. You will leave me alone or I will make you pay for it." At that he shot Chastel center mass. He knew the shot wouldn't kill him since it wasn't silver and he only got in the one shot before he had to start ducking shots from Chastel's men. But he hoped that it made his message to Chastel very clear.

Chastel fell back holding a hand over the entry wound in his chest. The wound might not kill him but he was in no hurry to get up and go after Spencer just yet either. Chastel's men ran to regroup around their alpha. They seemed more concerned with getting out of there than they did with continuing on with the gun fight. Eliot headed back for Natali and her pack members; not interested in continuing the fight either.

As Eliot headed back for the van he spotted Ewen sitting in the open side door of the van with Natali not far off. It looked like there had been a few minor injuries but Ewen's arm look like the worst of the bunch. Eliot supposed that werewolf reflexes would allow for better reaction time and that was probably what was responsible for lack of major injuries or casualties. It certainly wasn't because any of Natali's wolves were that experienced in this kind of thing.

"Eliot. My thanks. Are you hurt?" Ewen was cradling his left arm but still looked remarkably pleased. Ewen got up from sitting in the open door of the van and started walking toward Eliot. He let go of his left arm long enough to unfurl Eliot's jacket from under his right elbow.

Eliot quickly pulled the jacket on despite his filthy clothes. "Don't know what you're thanking me for. You're the one that got shot."

"You protected Nati. And with what we already asked of you… Well I really appreciate it." Ewen shook hands with Eliot before they headed back for the van.

"Spencer! Glad you were on our side. Thanks for helping us with this!" Natali hugged him and stepped back wiping her eyes.

"I'm sorry you didn't get what you came for." Eliot could see that Natali was shaken from the confrontation with Chastel. She may not have been physically wounded in the fight but Eliot knew that other wounds took longer to heal.

It wouldn't be long before someone came to investigate the gunfire and none of them wanted to be there when that happened. As soon as everyone was back in the van James didn't waste any time getting as far from there as possible.

"I guess I didn't really expect I would but at least now you're free. Or at least as free as you can be." She tried to smile as they drove away.


Two days before.

Natali heard her cell phone ring moments after Eliot left with Ewen. The number wasn't one she recognized but that hardly mattered. "Natali."

"Is this Natali Ossory?"


"I'm inspector Colbert with the Paris Gendarmerie. I'm sorry to bother you missus but I thought you should know that Monsieur François Bertrand was murdered this morning. You were listed as his next of kin."

"Thank you for telling me. Do you know what happened? Who killed him I mean?"

"We are still looking into it. Can I call you if we have questions?"

Natali and Colbert exchanged information and she was told whom she needed to contact about Bertrand's remains before they hung up.

"Okay. I let that wait to long." Natali muttered to herself as she dialed the number for Chastel.

"You didn't need to kill Bertrand. He wasn't a threat to our secret. And I already told one of your underlings that we could meet in week to talk business."

"Good morning to you too Natali. I'm sure I don't know what you are talking about." Chastel sounded absolutely bored on the other side of the phone.

"I know you are looking for Spencer and that was why you went after Bertrand. Well I've got Spencer."

"He doesn't belong to you."

"Actually since he is not bonded he doesn't belong to you either. But if you want him, I have him, so you have to deal with me."

"Fine. What do you want?"

"Your apology for what happened to Caroline and a million euros should do nicely."

"Spencer isn't worth that much. Quarter of a million euros."

"I will hang up on you and sell him to the next bidder."

"Half a mil."

"Fine. One week from now in Dublin."

"I have other business to attend to. Two days."

"Ireland West Airport Knock then. Don't forget my apology." She found it very satisfying to hang up on him.

As she hung up the phone she could feel a rush of anxiety through the pack bonds. She realized that the feeling was coming from her second. She looked out the window at the end of the hall and could just make out Ewen and Eliot in the distance. Opening the hall closet she grabbed her shotgun and sprinted for Ewen.


Chhhuchhhick. The sound of a shotgun being racked directly behind him had Eliot's full attention but he didn't let go of Ewen's throat. "Mind tellin me what this is all about?" Natali's falsely cheerful voice rang out.

"It's about you. You lying bitch!" Eliot hissed at her

"Mind takin yer hands off of my second. I'm rather fond of Ewen. And, while I like you Eliot, I will shoot you." Eliot let go of Ewen's throat and put both hands in the air but stayed on his knees.

Ewen scrambled away and rubbed his bruised throat for a moment. "Súile Dé! Nati I thought you were about tellin him last night! What the hell?" He coughed clearing his throat.

"Well and I meant to, but it slipped by." While Natali had never taken her eyes off of Eliot she now turned her full attention to him. "Mr. Spencer I'm very sorry for this …"

Eliot cut her off. "For selling me or shooting me?" He nodded at the shotgun that was still trained on his head.

"I'm sorry for the miss communication that lead to this. I promise that I have no intention of actually selling you and I would, very much, like it if I didn't have to shoot you. Can I put this down?"

"You better have a damn good explanation." Eliot lowered his hands and stood up.

"I do. But I think I'm going to need a shot of whiskey to go with it. Mind coming back to the house?"

Natali turned and started walking back to the house. Eliot didn't move until Ewen was in front of him. Ewen turned slightly so that he could see Eliot. "I'm sorry for how that went back there. Truly. I thought Nati had told you the plan. I wouldn't have said it like that if I had known that she hadn't."

Eliot didn't say anything. He followed them back to the house and no one said anything else on the way. When they got to the back yard Natali sent Ewen into the house for the bottle of whiskey and three glasses. She sat at a picnic table that was still there after last night's party. She gestured toward the other side of the table but Eliot refused to sit. Ewen came back and poured them each a shot. Natali tossed hers back and Ewen sipped at his. Eliot left his glass sitting at the end of the table untouched.

"Okay. So twelve years ago my sister Caroline had gotten herself into some trouble that was tied to Chastel. Carrie was never happy or settled, with the pack. She had gone lone wolf decades before. I still don't know exactly what she was doing." She paused and took another shot. "Okay I do know but that's not important here. Some of what she was doing was couriering messages. She was freelance but had started taking more jobs for Chastel. She called me a week before she was killed and I told her to walk away but I think he was holding something over her." She took a third shot and looked away.

Ewen finished his drink and picked up the story. "Chastel knew that Nati was Caroline's sister and had been trying to get our pack to work for him. I'm sure you know the kind of business Chastel is in. He wanted to use us as a shipping hub. Nati had refused him again, just two days before Caroline disappeared. A week later Caroline's body was left on the doorstep with a fleur-de-lis branded on her cheek."

"And you think selling me to Chastel will what? Appease him?" Eliot still stood arms crossed, drink untouched.

"I was hoping that I could ask a favor of you. I, personally, would owe you." Natali began.

Ewen broke in. "Our pack would owe you Mr. Spencer. Caroline may have gone lone wolf but she was still ours."

"I want an apology for my sister's death. I want Chastel to admit to his part in it. But until now I haven't had any leverage. If you would play along I would be very grateful."

"And what do I get out of this besides dead? I've done this kinda thing enough times to tell you that the bait usually ends up dead. I'm not going into this without an actual plan and not just wishful thinking."

"I will do everything in my power to see that you come out of this alive and free." Natali sounded just a little bit hopeful but more important to Eliot he could feel the power and promise in her words.

"And I'll do my best to see that you get your shot at Chastel." Ewen held his hand out to Eliot.


Eliot spent most of that day going over plans with Natali and Ewen. After he had exhausted all possible scenarios and reviewed the maps of the airport a dozen times Eliot decided that the plan was as solid as possible.

Ewen had gone into the village to pick up food from the pub since none of them wanted to cook. He came back with Abby and several bags of food. Abby started setting things out in the kitchen.

"Natali? Where are your napkins? I told George to give me extras when I called in for the food but of course the silly man forgot them again." Abby continued pulling things out of the bags while she talked. Natali was distracted going over a few of the details with Ewen one more time. Eliot walked into the kitchen with his usual silent grace and brought a package of paper napkins down from the cupboard over the refrigerator. He set them on the counter next to Abby.

"Gosh! And you startled me there!" Abby had jumped holding a hand over her heart.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to." Eliot was about to turn back for the living room when he felt her hand on his arm.

"It's a brave, kind, thing you're doing for Natali and the pack. You're a good man Eliot Spencer."

"I'm not actually, and I haven't been for a long time. Did Ewen tell you what I get out of this? Because I'm not doing this strictly for them." He nodded his head toward the two in the other room.

"It doesn't make it any less, just because you might be free of Chastel in the end." She smiled softly at him before turning back to the food.

Eliot couldn't remember the last time he knew that someone thought of him as a good man. People thought of him as dangerous and violent. Most people that knew him since he left the military knew he was a murderer, an assassin for hire, and Moreau's right hand. There were stories that were becoming legend about him but none of them painted him as a good man. He knew that with everything he had done he could never be a good man again. Natali had encouraged him to let the past go. And while he could recognize this as a possible fresh start he knew that he wasn't ready to become "Joe Citizen" and run an everyday nine to five job. He was still restless. Besides his skill set didn't lead itself well to the law abiding average kind of life. But maybe he could start doing things that he wouldn't regret later. He would have to think more on it if he made it out of this thing with Chastel.

Dinner wasn't as lively as other meals had been but Abby kept things as light as possible. Near the end of the meal Abby caught Eliot looking at the fading bruise on Ewen's neck. She leaned back in her chair and spoke softly to Eliot so as not to interrupt the conversation going on between Natali and Ewen.

"He doesn't blame you, you know. He feels a right prat for springing that on you the way he did. And besides nothing permanent was done, the bruises will be gone before bed." Abby looked fondly at her husband.

"You're taking this all pretty well. Most people would be pretty ticked regardless of how it started."

"I've lived around the wolves for most of my life. They can be violent and scary under the right circumstances, but so can most folks. Wolves heal so fast that it seems to inspire them to try some truly mad things. I've seen too many bruises and worse, over the years to be gettin worked up over my Ewen coming home a bit banged up. If Ewen doesn't mind, and even more that he feels he provoked it, I won't be gettin my head up over it."


The next day Eliot and Ewen headed back to the clearing in woods to practice Eliot's shift again. On the way Eliot started thinking of what his next steps would be if he lived through the meet with Chastel.

"What does lone wolf mean? As far as werewolves go." Eliot kept pace with Ewen.

"A wolf that is bound by magic and pack ties to other wolves is part of a pack. A lone wolf doesn't have those ties." Ewen shrugged in his long coat as stepped wide around some scattered rocks.

"It sounds like most wolves are in packs. But why? Why not be independent?"

"If I didn't already know you for an American that would have cinched it." Ewen chuckled "Most wolves feel drawn to be with other wolves. If you ever spend time with a pack you'll find that wolves have a need for contact. Wolves tend to be very physically affectionate. It also shows up in our tempers. It's kind of hard to explain until you spend some time with us. The pack fulfills that need for touch and companionship helps most wolves stay sane in the long term and in the more immediate there are other benefits as well. A pack shares power. So if a wolf is injured they will heal more quickly in a pack. The pack bonds allow members to know if everyone is ok or not. That was how Nati knew something was wrong between you and me yesterday. She could feel what I was feeling."

"Truthfully man, that just sounds creepy to me. I can't imagine having a group of people that I could depend on like that or that would want to depend on me like that." Eliot shuddered at the thought of being in a pack. "So is that it? Wolves are just in a pack cause they want to be?"

"Well I suppose so. Most wolves do want to be in a pack of some kind. And there are some dangers to being a lone wolf. First off since you are not bound to anyone you could be forced into a pack if a wolf more powerful than you can force their will on you. Once a bond is formed it is hard to break. For example Josiah is one of our submissives he's the weakest member of our pack. You are far more dominant than he is but you could not take him from our pack. Second most wolves need that physical contact, the emotional connection and companionship that a pack provides. Most lone wolves get a little strange if they're not careful. Temper is another issue as well. Most wolves seem to have a bit of a temper but lone wolves don't usually have anything to balance it out."

Eliot thought about it for quite a while but he still couldn't see himself settling in with a pack. The thought made him distinctly uncomfortable.


That night Natali, Ewen, and Eliot went over the plan one more time. Then Natali called in the pack. Everyone was told what would be happening the next morning. The wolves that would be accompanying them in the van were given their assignments. The rest were told to ready the pack to leave in case the worst happened. All the wolves that wouldn't be going to the air strip in the morning were sent home. The rest stayed and they went over the plan in more detail.

As the last of the wolves were preparing to leave Eliot called James over. "James there's one more thing we're going to need you to do."

"You are not my Alpha." James glared at Eliot.

"No. But I really think you are going to like this part. Chastel might think that something is up if he comes to get me and it looks like I came along willingly or if it looks like y'all have been taking care of me."

James glared at Eliot and didn't give any indication that he might be following along.

"Right after we get to the airport I'm going to need some fresh injuries and I figured you might like to help with that." Eliot couldn't help the smirk on his face.


When the van full of wolves got back from the airport Eliot was the first one out of the van. He could hardly believe how well things had gone. Ewen had been shot in the arm and two of the others had been grazed. One of the ones that had been grazed had also broken his ankle. Other than that it was all scrapes and bruises that wouldn't last past dinner time. No one was dead and he wasn't tied up in the cargo hold of a plane. All things considered this went far better than he thought it would have.

Eliot showered and changed clothes before packing his bag. He had learned a lot, and while there was probably more to learn, he was ready to move on. Eliot took his bag and his jacket to his rental car and then headed back into the house to say his good byes.

"Eliot are you sure you won't stay. Even just for a little while." Natali hugged him as he came back into the kitchen.

"We would love to have you around for a while. I think it would do you some good to spend some time with the pack." Abby kissed his cheek and went back to Ewen, tucking herself under his arm.

"If you won't stay I hope you'll be back soon for a visit." Ewen stepped forward and hugged Eliot as well. Eliot was very awkward for a moment before he patted Ewen on the back.

"No. I'm definitely ready to head out. I appreciate what you guys have done for me. What all you've taught me." A few more good byes were exchanged but in no time Eliot was back on the road.

-{(~ * ~)}-


Hardison and even Parker had managed to stay quiet throughout Eliot's story. When Eliot finished his story he tilted his coffee mug as though he had just noticed it was empty.

"Well damn man." Hardison went to the mini fridge to grab an orange soda. "So, um, wow. I got questions. You know I got questions."

Parker was tracing her finger around and around on the table top in a pattern that only she could see. "Parker, darlin, are you okay?" Eliot stepped down from the tall chair he'd been sitting in and padded over to her. He rubbed her back for a moment. "Werewolf got your tongue?" He teased gently.

"So you didn't want us. If you didn't want us why have you stayed?" Parker wouldn't look at him.

"Oh Parker, what made you think that?" Eliot sounded confused.

"You said that you didn't stay with the Moonies because you didn't want to depend on people or have people depend on you. And, um, well . . . I depend on you." The last few words were whispered. Hardison came over to Parker on the other side of her from Eliot. He gently wrapped his arms around Parker. She leaned her head against his chest and finally looked at Eliot.

"Parker how many times have y'all told me that I'm not the same person I was back then? After I left the Moonies I started doing my own thing with retrievals mostly but I was still dealing with a lot of stuff. And how long have we been working together now? You guys have helped me change. I still don't think I'm a good man, better than I was but…, but you guys have helped me find a good road and things are better. I didn't know how much I needed you at first but now I do. I'm glad you depend on me and I'll do my best to always be here. If you couldn't tell by now I'll say it, you guys are my family and I depend on you too."

Hardison reached out and pulled Eliot into a group hug. Eliot relaxed into the hug for just a second before he gave Hardison a light shove and stepped back. "Okay. Stop!" The growl in his tone was the one they expected and Parker and Hardison smiled at each other.

"So… Can you show us what it looks like when you change?" Hardison grinned at Eliot.

"What? No. You don't wana see that."

"Sure I do."

"I am not stripping off in front of you two!"

"Does it still hurt?" Parker still looked a little uncertain and she leaned back into Hardison.

"Not so much. You ever pinch your finger in your rigging or get a little rope burn?" Eliot asked her.

"Of course. You bandaged my finger last week, remember."

"And would that stop you from repelling off the next tall building you find?"

"No way!"

"Well for me changing is kind of like that. It still aches a little while it's happening but I usually feel better right after on either side of the change."

"So, come on man! Let's see it!" Hardison's smile got bigger.

"Yeah can we! I wanna see!" Parker was always so mercurial flashing from exuberance to sullenness and back in a moment. Eliot had grown to love that about Parker. It reminded him to live in the moment and let the past go.

"Alright fine. But you two stay right there." Eliot made his way around to the other side of the tall table. He hoped that with the table between them it might at least offer the illusion of cover. Though he supposed it didn't matter too much since the team had seen him naked or nearly so on many occasions before. Although any time that had happened it was usually because of an injury of some kind. He pulled off his shirt and beany. Unfastened his belt and pulled off his under shirt. He had just turned his back to them and was about to take off his pants when Parker spoke up.

"Um Eliot?"


"Can I ask another question before you go all wolfy?"

Eliot turned around leaning his forearms on the table top. "Sure."

"So if you need us and we need you does that make us a pack?"

"It does to me." Eliot looked down at his arms on the table top and Hardison got the impression that Eliot was a little embarrassed by the admission, although he wasn't sure why.

"But does that keep you safe?" Hardison wanted to make sure that Eliot wasn't missing anything that he needed since the rest of the team was human.

Eliot looked puzzled.

"You said something about how you could be forced into a pack or somethin if you don't already belong to a pack."

"Remember a few years back just after Sophie left and we all had a little down time while Nate was waiting on her to come back? Well I spent a couple of days with the Moonies. When Nati picked me up at the airport" Eliot couldn't seem to suppress the grin. "she hugged me and then stepped back with this big goofy smile and says how happy she is that I finally found a pack. I asked what she meant and she said that as an alpha the magic that is part of each wolf calls to her if that wolf isn't in a pack. She said that she could tell that I finally had a pack." Eliot looked back and forth between Hardison and Parker. "I hope you don't mind."

"Mind about what?" Parker looked like he had just told her that two plus two was five.

"Well, I guess, it's just, a little weird. And I don't really think it has any effect on you guys. But…" Eliot caught himself before he started rambling.

"Dude. You turn into a dog. I think the weird ship has already sailed." Hardison teased with a big grin. "Nah, seriously though, I'm glad that we can be that for you."

"So change already! I wanna see! I wanna see!" Parker chanted

Eliot was ready to have an excuse not to talk for a little bit anyway. So turning away from them he pulled off the last of his clothes and changed. This change took him less than a minute and when it was over he shook to settle the last of the sensation left from the change. Looking up he got to enjoy the stunned looks on his family's faces.

"Well I'll be damned." Hardison breathed.

"You want your squeaky toy?" Parker sounded far more excited than Eliot was comfortable with.


Later that morning Hardison was relaxing on the couch while Parker and Eliot were out on a run. Hardison grinned as he remembered the exasperated look on Eliot's face as Parker had tried to convince him to run as a wolf. He was still processing what Eliot had told them this morning. There was a lot to think about. His best friend was a werewolf and apparently Hardison was now a part of a werewolf pack. Could it be a werewolf pack if there was only one wolf in the pack?

Now that he knew more about Eliot how could they use his skills on the con? He knew there were more ways that Eliot's skills could be applied than they had been in the past. But he wanted to make sure that Eliot knew that they weren't using him. He just didn't want Eliot to feel like he needed to hide anything from them.

Hardison started remembering back over the years and noticing the ways that Eliot had changed and some of the things that had been less obvious before this current revelation. He had always thought that Eliot didn't like to be touched and he couldn't even put touchy-feely and Eliot in the same room. But now that he thought about it he remembered all the times that Eliot would put a hand on his shoulder and lean closer while Hardison explained something on a tablet. Eliot often touched Parker or Sophie on the arms or back in passing. And there were several times that Eliot had hugged him. Any time that Eliot was on the couch he didn't move over if one of the team sat next to him and lately the three of them all shared the couch on movie nights. The more that Hardison thought about it, the more he realized that Eliot touched all of them a lot; he just didn't like to be touched unexpectedly.

When the team had first gotten together Eliot clearly had his walls up and it had taken them years to find out more than just the surface info. Now Eliot had told them what had to be his biggest secret. Eliot was very protective of them, and he was growly, and short tempered, and the more Hardison thought about it the more Eliot being a werewolf started to make sense to him.

Hardison heard the door open and close and the stomp of feet coming into the room.

"So can you bend a crowbar in half? Oooh how about a car; can you pick up a car? What about holy water? I mean I know you can go into a church cause of that time we stole Santa Clause for Nate's priest friend. But does holy water burn you like silver does?"

Eliot wasn't exactly ignoring Parker but she wasn't really allowing him time to answer any of her questions. After getting a glass of water and wiping his face and neck on a towel he turned and leaned against one of the upright beams, and crossed his arms. He growled a little at Parker until she took a breath. "You want answers or not?"

"Well how strong are you?" Parker huffed blowing her bangs away from her face.

"I tell you after your shower. Now come here." Eliot held his arm down with his palm up and indicated that Parker should step up onto his hand. With absolutely no visible effort on his part he tossed Parker almost straight up into the air. She very nearly brushed the rafters above before she landed lightly on the second floor landing at the top of the stairs.

Hardison chuckled and held out his hand. Eliot immediately went through the hand slapping, fist bumping routine that they had developed over recent years. Eliot shook his head and headed off for his own shower on the first floor.

With a big smile Hardison settled in to research their next mark. He loved his family even with all the new twists and turns. Hardison could hardly wait to see what would come next.

~The End~

For now. Fingers crossed.