As expected, Dale’s death unhinged the household for several weeks.  Brendon took the loss of his father hard.  He was more aloof than normal, rarely speaking.  He would stay out late at night.  He would rarely eat with Calder and Kaylynn.

Then, one weekend morning, Brendon stalked out to where Calder was fishing in the small pond his father had built.  Calder could tell his brother was upset and Brendon immediately wasted no time tearing into him over his father’s death.  The mystery of Brendon’s mood over the past weeks was revealed.

“You were there.  You’re a doctor.  You could have done SOMETHING!  You let him die!”

Calder tried to explain there was nothing he could have done.  Besides, his father had asked that he not try anything.  Their father had wanted to pass on.  He tried to get Brendon to understand.

It was pointless.  Brendon accused Calder of trying to take the house and finally, in a fit of anger, lost his temper.

Calder was stunned.  Brendon turned and stormed back into the house.  As he entered, his glare at Kaylynn set her back on her heels and she moved out of his way.  Going to his room, he changed clothes and took the old family car to an unknown destination.

Kaylynn did her best to reassure Calder about his brother.  He was only grieving, young, and angry at the loss of his parents.  He would come to reason in time.

Brendon tried to calm down.  He wandered the local park and the day slipped away.  As the sun set, he drove to one of the clubs where he would occasionally do DJ work.  He wanted to drink.  It was late.  He wanted to forget.  He wanted his anger to go away.

He was surprised when a beautiful but eccentric blonde woman approached him.  He’d heard of her kind but had never seen one in person.  With pale skin and red eyes, she moved close to him and introduced herself to him.

“You drew my attention,” she said to him.  When asked why she simply explained, “Your anger. ”

He was caught off guard and she moved closer to him.  Her voice was like velvet on his neck, relaxing him.  He couldn’t remember everything she said but he did catch, “I could help you with it.  I could help you with it in many many ways.”  A thrill shot through Brendon.  He was sure she could help him.

However, something in him caused him to step back and fold his arms, the woman smiled and said, “Think about it.  Here is my number.  I think we would have an…. interesting relationship.”

Off center, Brendon stumbled to the other side of the club only to have his second surprise of the evening.  This one, however, was far more pleasant.

“Hi, you don’t know me but I know you.”

Her name was Crystal Kody.  She was brash, intelligent, fun and obviously interested in Brendon.  Recovering from the Contessa, he asked Crystal to have a bite to eat with him and she accepted.  She’d first seen him DJ’ing at another club and had been following his performances.  She promised she wasn’t a stalker just someone who thought he had a real talent as a DJ.

They talked for long time.  He told her about his father and how he had come to hate his current living situation.  She was straightforward in her answer, “So?  Move out.  Get your own place.”  She smiled and moved a bit closer to him, “It was the best thing I ever did.”

Brendon was no fool and he knew his cues when given to him.  The night moved on, turned into morning and became increasingly warmer.

Brendon didn’t go back home that night.

Meanwhile, that same evening, Kaylynn was awoken with an odd feeling.  It was an odd mix of sensations but by the time she had crawled out of bed, she knew what it was.

And with it came a sudden hunger.  There was only one thing to do in the middle of the night and that was eat a large bowl of macaroni and cheese.

While other members of his family had their own surprises through the night, he had his own in the form of a dream.  The wolf with the glowing eyes was back in his dream.  Calder was in dressed as if he had just gotten up in the middle of the night.  He met the wolf outside the house.  Brendon was there this time, looking down on them.  Calder was talking to the wolf about something.  There was a vague memory that it concerned his father’s death.

Then, the wolf saw Brendon and as Brendon reached down to greet it the wolf snarled at him.  It crouched.  Brendon cowered.  Fangs flashed and just as the wolf was sure to lunge forward, Calder awoke.

Calder showered and tried to recollect more of the dream but he could not.  His newlywed wife called him down for breakfast and he trudged downstairs.

Kaylynn told him the news over a  plate of grilled cheese sandwiches she had made when the macaroni and cheese did not fill her up.   Calder thought the combination of grilled cheese and orange juice was a strange combination but he understood completely when he heard the news.   The dream from the night before faded from his memory.  They were going to have a baby.

They were so lost in their delight they did not stop to wonder where Brendon might be.


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