Title: Chapter 6
Series: The Key, the Dark-Hunter, and the Link
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. Joss Whedon owns anything Buffy or Angel while Sherrilyn Kenyon owns everything Dark Hunter. I am just playing with them.
A side note: For those that haven't actually read any of the Dark Hunter books, the hero and heroine usually hook up pretty damn fast. Usually within a couple days, sometimes even a couple hours. And while I plan to stay true to that, for the most part, I also feel like I have to stay true to the fact that Dawn has had so much evidence about how sex is bad, she's going to be a little gun-shy. But only a little. I'd also like to say thank everyone who's reviewed; they make me happy and want to write more.
A/N: Simi can 'mold' onto Ash's body as a tattoo
"Akra, want some?" Simi holds her plate of barbecue ribs out.
"No thanks, sweetie." Dawn's mouth waters at the smell of the meat but it's been over a year since she's eaten any so it probably wouldn't be a good idea to right off. But god does she want to.
"Dawn, you have to eat." Ash says.
"Alright, let's get one thing straight, I don't take orders." Dawn lifts her head to glare at him, still pissed by the bathroom incident. "I don't even take orders from my sister so don't think you're going to get me to take them."
"I'm a lot scarier than your sister." Ash pushes off the counter and stalks towards her.
Dawn snorts. "Please, Buffy is so much scarier."
"Buffy?" Sundown laughs, arms crossed over his chest as he watches the scene in amusement.
"Hey, you’ve got no room to laugh, buddy." Dawn points out. "And she's way scarier when she needs to be."
He's insulted. In fact, Ash can't remember being insulted more. There's no way her human sister is scarier than him. "You don't know me."
"Sure I do." Dawn argues. "You're older than dirt and are the leader of a group of warriors with a dorky-ass name."
Kyrian, Ash, Valerius, and Sundown all straighten up.
"Come on, Dark-Hunters…who's that going to scare?" Dawn asks with an innocent smile; the same one she uses on Angel when she calls him 'poof-daddy'. "It's almost as bad as 'Ghost Busters'."
Tabitha laughs, loudly. "I've always thought the same thing but I didn’t want to say anything."
"Well, when you're married to one of them, that makes sense." Dawn replies. "Men get all flustered when you insult their manhood."
Amanda and Grace both cough to cover laughs.
"Dawn, I think I'm going to like you." Tabitha says. "And I think I've finally found somebody a little crazier than myself."
"You have." Dawn agrees. "And we should do the hanging out thing sometime; I'm sure there's all kinds of trouble we can find in this city."
Ash clenches his fists.
"I'm sure we can." Tabitha agrees with a smile.
"Dawn, are you sure you don't want something?" Amanda asks, trying to change the subject before Valerius or Ash get pissed, both men looking close to doing so. Though why Ash would be pissed off, she's not sure. "You have to be hungry."
"Starving, actually." Dawn says.
"The Simi share." Simi once again holds up her plate.
"I'm not sure my stomach can handle real food, Simi." Dawn says. "Remember, I haven't had any meat in over a year."
Simi nods and returns to eating the large platter of ribs in front of her.
"Why not?" Ash asks, still a little startled that Simi offered to share her food, twice. Simi doesn't like to share, at all. And he's also a little startled by the way Simi is eating. Normally, she inhales food by the pounds but she's not doing that now. She's eating slowly, savoring each bite as if it might be her last.
"Simi needs more food than me." Dawn answers. "She got all the animals and I stuck to the berries and roots."
Simi suddenly drops the rib in her hand and looks up at Dawn with wide eyes. "Raven."
Oh, god, she forgot about him. She can't believe she forgot about the horse that is probably the only reason they're alive right now. Without him, they would have never made it deep into the woods and away from the village.
"A bird?" Ash steps towards Simi, not liking the tears in her eyes.
"Our horse." Dawn whispers.
"We left Raven." Simi's bottom lip trembles and tears fill her eyes.
"I know we did." Dawn agrees. "But he'll be fine."
"They hurt him like they hurt my akra." Simi protests.
"No, baby, they won't hurt him." Dawn assures her. "He's a horse and he's useful. They'll keep him."
"They won't hurt him?" Simi whispers. "They like to hurt."
Dawn gathers Simi off the chair and into her arms. "I know they did, baby girl, but Raven will be fine."
"Promise." Simi orders.
Dawn kisses Simi's horns and then the top of her head. "Promise."
He doesn't like this. He doesn't like the terror in Simi's voice or the way she said they like to hurt. But reality sets in. Something happened. Simi is different. She's more child-like than she's been in thousands of years. He wanted her to stay his little girl but not like this. Not because of something that he didn't know about and couldn't prevent. He's been the only parent that Simi remembers, the first person she comes to and wants when she's scared or upset. He can't believe how much it bothers him that she's seeking comfort from someone else. He's not used to feeling jealous. He long ago accepted his life for what it is. But Simi has always first and foremost been his and he's not used to sharing her with anyone but Alexion. He's not sure he can. But he's suddenly very sure he doesn't have a choice in that matter.
Dawn yawns and then glances at the clock on the microwave; it's only four thirty pm and she's exhausted. It's not surprising seeing how back there, they would have been asleep. And Simi's tired too, she can tell by the listlessness in her movements. Then something occurs to her. "Simi, can you change?"
Simi's eyes widen and she jumps out of Dawn's arms. Her eyes close and after a second, she morphs into her 'human' form. "Look, akra, the Simi isn't broken."
"I see that." Dawn smiles at the excitement in Simi's voice and the way the demon claps her hands. And then she squeals loudly when Simi jumps towards her: a human sized Simi.
Ash tries to stop Simi but his demon is too fast.
Dawn squeals and flies backwards as Simi jumps into her arms. She hits the ground with a loud umph, the wind knocking out of her in a gush. This is the part about the fighting that she's always hated; having the wind knocked out of her. She'd rather be punched than not be able to breathe. And she can't. Not with Simi's human frame sitting on her chest, the demon weighing at least a hundred and ten pounds. She tries to move Simi off her but can't budge her and right when she starts to panic, the weight is lifted off her chest.
"Simi, you can't jump on Dawn like that when you're big." Ash sets Simi on her feet and then reaches down to pull Dawn up. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I didn't need to breathe." Dawn rubs her chest with a grimace.
Simi tilts her head to look at Dawn.
Dawn tilts her head the opposite way and looks back at Simi.
Both girls giggle.
"Sorry, akra." Simi murmurs.
"S'okay, baby." Dawn murmurs back.
"Akra, the Simi is sleepy." Simi yawns, snuggling against Ash's side.
"So is the Dawn." Dawn replies. "Why don't we go to sleep?"
"Akri, we go to bed, okay?" Simi looks up at him.
"Simi, return to me." Ash says after a moment, wanting her on him where he knows she's safe. Where he can feel her and keep anything from happening to her. There's nowhere safer for his demon than bound to his body.
Simi's reaction is completely shocking to everyone but Dawn. The demon's eyes widen, she jumps away from Ash and behind Dawn with a loud, terrified cry, and buries her face in the teenagers back.
Ash takes a step towards Simi but stops when she wails. This he can't handle; he can't handle her being afraid of him. She's never been afraid of him.
"Please don't make the Simi, akri." Simi whispers. "Akra, tell my akri I stay here. Don't want to."
Dawn picks Simi up when she fades back into her former smaller state and whispers in the demon's ear. After a few seconds, Simi nods and lets Dawn put her on her feet. "Go on and get ready for bed, I'll be there in a second."
"Good night, akri." Simi rushes over and hugs Ash's legs. "The Simi missed her akri and he not allowed to leave her again. I miss him, right akra?"
"That's right." Dawn agrees.
Ash watches Simi walk out of the kitchen and is reminded of her from a long time ago. She's acting more like a child than the thousands of years old demon that she is. "Dawn, I'm trying to be as patient as I can but it's growing thin. Why is she…."
"She doesn't like to be confined." Dawn interrupts. "She told me about the tattoo thing, how she's stuck until you let her out or you're in danger. She can't handle that right now. It would be the equivalent of you chaining her up."
Ash breathes deeply through his nostrils, trying to calm himself down somewhat; it doesn't work. He's not sure he can handle hearing what he couldn't protect Simi from but he has to know. "Is that what happened to her?"
After a second, Dawn nods.
Dead silence fills the kitchen and everyone backs up a few paces when Ash's body literally fills with fury. He normally oozes power but this is different; the kitchen almost fizzles with the energy leaking off him.
"Hey, you gotta cool it." Dawn orders, taking a step towards him.
"Dawn, don't." Julian orders, actually fearing the man he normally considers a friend. He understands Ash's anger; Simi is as much Ash's daughter as his children are his. He knows how he would react if somebody hurt one of his kids and it wouldn't be good. And while he may have powers, he is a half-god after all, his power is nowhere near Ash's. "Just step away from him."
Dawn ignores him and grabs Ash's arm. In the back of her head, a little voice (which sounds remarkably like her sister) tells her to stop; she ignores the voice. Ash growls deep in his chest and she knows it should scare her but it doesn't. Why, she's not sure because Spike and Angel both sometimes freak her out when they go all growly and she knows they wouldn't hurt a hair on her head. She rises up on her tiptoes, he really is too tall, and cups his face in her right hand while her left holds onto his arm for balance. "Ash, you have to knock it off. This isn't helping anything."
"Simi…" His voice sounds possessed, nothing like the normal super sexy voice he has. He radiates power but it doesn't scare her, not like Willow sometimes does.
"I know, they hurt Simi." His face is slightly rippled, kinda like a 'normal' vamp and his eyes are red, almost looking blood-filled. She rubs her thumb along his cheekbone, hoping it'll calm him down; it always works with Simi. "And I know you're pissed and you want to rip somebody's head off. I get that. And if you go out and kill a couple dozen Daimons when the sun goes down, that's cool. But right now, you need to calm down. Simi needs us both to be calm. She needs us both to be here."
He closes his eyes, one hand moving to her waist, his hand squeezing around her tightly. "I want to know…"
"When she's asleep." Dawn bites the inside of her cheek to keep from whimpering; she's going to have a big ole bruise on her side. "She freaks out." After a few minutes of dead silence, the only sounds audible being Ash's deep breaths, growls, and Dawn's thumb rubbing on his cheek, his face fades back into his human visage.
"I could have killed you without realizing it." Ash murmurs, his eyes opening slowly to look down at Dawn. He's not sure how she did it, how she got through his rage, but he's grateful for it. It was nowhere as bad as it could have been but it was bad enough that she should have been terrified of him.
"Yeah, I kinda thought that." Dawn agrees, smiling up at him. "But, look, still all here."
Ash looks over her to the group he considers his friends; Valerius, Julian, Kyrian, and Sundown are standing protectively in front of Tabitha, Grace, and Amanda, each man holding a weapon. He's not surprised. He's not controllable or even approachable in that state; not when his anger controls him. Not that they'll remember having to do it; they won't remember anything but him being upset and Dawn talking to him. And neither will she. The moment they leave this room,, the memory will leave them. It's the way it has to be.
Julian sets his weapon on the counter behind him when he finally sees it's his friend in front of him and not the monster he was. "Dawn, you're…do you have any common sense?"
"You mean like a little voice that tells me not to do something stupid?" Dawn turns her head to look at him.
"Yes, that's exactly what I mean." Julian agrees.
"Yeah, but it sounds like my sister so I tend to ignore it." Dawn winces. "Ash, can I have my waist back now?"
Ash looks down to where his hand is holding onto her, shocked that he didn't even realize it. He tends to avoid physical contact at as much as possible and for him to have been touching her and not know it, shocks him. He releases her instantly and then grabs her again, lifting up the side of her shirt where his hand was. Deep, purple bruises are already starting to form in the shape of his hand. "I hurt you."
"Uh huh." Dawn agrees, smacking his hands away. "Stop being all grabby, Mr. Peeper Guy. What, the shower wasn't enough of a peek for you?"
"I wasn't peeking." Ash defends, arms crossed over his chest as he glares down at her.
"The heck you weren't." Dawn glares back and then grabs his hand. "Come on, we have to go to bed."
Ash arches an eyebrow, Julian chokes, while Sundown and Kyrian laugh.
"Not like that." Dawn rolls her eyes. "Professor A, you really need to keep your head out of the gutter. Not everything is about sex, not unless you're trapped in a book as a…."
"Stop!" Julian orders. "Are you going to continue to bring that up?"
"Depends." Dawn grins. "You going to get all flustered every time I do?"
"Yes." Kyrian answers for his best friend.
"Then I'll continue to do it." Dawn tugs Ash with her and pats her professor on the arm when she passes him. "Don't worry, your secret's safe with me."
She's a mystery. Her reactions to different situations puzzle him. She blushed and screamed like a little kid when he saw her naked yet she approached him without regards to her own safety when he was in an uncontrollable state of rage. He really could have killed her, killed every one in this house, hell the city if he's being honest, with little more than a thought. Even Artemis would think twice about approaching him in that state and she's a goddess.
He's very aware of what he looks like when his darker characteristics take control and it's not at all approachable. Artemis is disgusted by it and even Simi dislikes his 'demonic' face, even if she won't say so. Dawn either didn't notice (which she had to of, unless she's blind and he knows she's not) or she didn't care. She couldn't have been acting like it didn't bother her because he would have felt it; felt her fear and disgust, but she felt neither. There was only concern. It's puzzling.
Alexion has been in his life for over eight thousand years. The other man knows him better than anyone alive or dead, save Simi. And yet Alexion, at times, treats him like everyone else. Something inhumane, like a robot who doesn't feel anything. Simi is the only one that never has, who loves him unconditionally and treats him as if he's a normal man. Until Dawn. She yells at him, argues with him, touches him, and calls him on things that no one else would ever dare, as if he's a normal man.
If he wasn't already beholden to her for bringing Simi back to him, the way she treats his demon would make him so. There's not an smidgen of fear or disgust in Dawn in regards to Simi. She loves Simi the same way he loves Simi; unconditionally. He saw that love in Dawn's eyes, in her actions when he came into the room. The way she made Simi brush her teeth before she got into bed. The way she kissed Simi's horns, the gesture one he could tell she does regularly. And Simi absolutely adores Dawn. Loves her just as unconditionally. Is completely and utterly attached to the teenage human, almost as much as she's attached to him. To lose Dawn would devastate Simi. These reasons alone place Dawn under his protection.
She's a part of Simi and that's how he'll treat her. As an extension of his daughter. But even as he thinks it, he knows it's not true. He's never once looked at Simi the way he's looked at Dawn. The way he's looking at her now.
They're in his bed, the one he uses when he stays with Kyrian. Simi is nestled between them, her head on his chest and feet on Dawn's hip. They're both asleep. Have been for the past three hours. They both fell asleep within ten minutes and though he wants answers from Dawn, he hasn't woke her up. Dawn is on her side, facing him, with one arm thrown protectively over Simi. She's long since kicked the blanket off and her bare legs catch his attention as she moves. His physical reactions to her startles him. She is little more than a child, more so when compared to him. And while she may be attractive, he's known much more beautiful women. Artemis, for example, is absolutely stunning, as close to physical perfection that a person can get. She's completely cold inside but outside, she's stunningly beautiful. And he has to force himself not to shudder with disgust when she touches him. Dawn, on the other hand, has his body reacting without her even trying, something Artemis would love to be able to do.
Simi's gut-wrenching, terror filled scream throws him out of his musings and onto his feet, scanning the room for any type of threat.
Dawn's awake in an instant, sitting up and pulling Simi's sobbing body onto her lap. "Shh..I'm right here."
"Akri." Simi sobs. "Simi want her akri but he not here. Her akri is gone."
"No, sweetie, your akri is right here." Dawn soothes, lifting her eyes to Ash.
Ash moves back down beside them and finds himself with a lap full of teenage girl and demon. Dawn nestles back into his chest, her arms wrapped around Simi as she gently rocks the distressed demon. He in turn, wraps his arms around both of them.
Simi starts to calm down but the occasional whimper still escapes her lips. On instinct, and because she knows it'll work, Dawn starts singing the lullaby she always sings to Simi.
Ash looks down at her in disbelief. His arms actually drop from around them for a moment. Dawn is singing the same lullaby to Simi that he's always sang to her, in his native language. Simi must have taught her though Dawn's pronunciation is perfect, something he doesn't think Simi could have taught her. After a few moments, he joins in, his voice melding easily with hers, as if they've done this countless times.
Dawn wiggles a little on Ash's lap, trying to get comfortable, and then stops. She's not stupid; she knows all about sex, even if she's never had it. She knows that Ash's body is…reacting to hers and she can feel the flush cover her body. She's had exactly one real boyfriend in her life and that ended with Connor almost beating the crap out of him. It's kinda funny, if it had been Buffy, Angel, or Spike that attacked Brent for what he did, she would have been pissed. But Connor thinks of himself as her big brother so she didn't stop him when he attacked like it.
Her 'relationship' with Brent was a series of dates worked around avoiding everyone in her family. In fact, Connor is the only one that actually knows about Brent; he's the one that covered for her when they went out and he's the one that comforted her after Brent cheated on her. He's also the one that caught Brent cheating on her but that's a whole 'nother story. She wasn't heartbroken when she dumped Brent, she liked him but wasn't in love with him. They'd only been dating for a few months and hadn't made it past the making out stage. This was all before the 'incident' since there's no way she could have dated with everyone watching her constantly.
But Ash…he's like nine-thousand, nine-hundred and eighty plus years older than her. He's been more than around the block, he probably invented the block. And if she couldn't even keep one mortal twenty year old interested in her, there's no way she'd be able to keep Ash interested. Not that she's even thinking that. Nope. She's not even thinking how hot he is, how he makes her tingle, how warm he feels under her body or how comfortable and safe she feels right now, in this moment. Nope, she's not thinking that at all.
"We can move her." Dawn whispers to Ash a few minutes later, Simi's freight train like snores almost drowning out her voice.
Ash stands up, his arms wrapped around both of them, and lays them both back down on the bed. He starts to sit back down when Dawn stands up and starts to step over Simi's sleeping body. He grabs her around the waist and lifts her off the bed, setting her on her feet right in front of him.
"Thanks." Dawn murmurs, her hands resting on his chest to steady herself. She can feel the firmness of his chest under the softness of his shirt and she has the strangest urge to kneed his chest like a cat but she refrains, barely. Instead, she reaches back to cover Simi up and turns on the television in the room for noise. Then, grabbing Ash's hand, she pulls him out of the room, flipping the closet light on as they pass, and shuts the door most of the way. "She won't wake up again, not for a couple hours anyways."
"She does that a lot?" Ash leads Dawn down the hallway, his hand placed on the small of her back.
"Uh huh." Dawn nods. "Just about every night she wakes up crying for you; she always goes back to sleep after a few minutes and she won't wake up for at least a couple hours, not unless we wake her up which frankly, isn't that easy to do."
"I know." Ash agrees, leading her down the stairs and into the living room.
Dawn steps into the living room and then freezes. There's a lot of people in here, way more than there was when they went to sleep. Along with the group that was here before, a good nine or ten more are standing around. She recoginizes Fabio and his girlfriend-slash-maybe wife from the alley but that's about it. The rest of them are mostly males, really hot males, though there are two other girls. A glance out the window tells her it's dark so that explains the other guests. These must be weres, not like Oz were though, according to what Simi said about them. These weres are completely different. Some of them turn into their animal half during the day while some of them only turn into their animal half when they want to. It's all very confusing and she's going to ask Ash to explain it better than Simi did. Then she notices one person in particular and pushes away from Ash to cross the room. "Aimee, are you okay?"
Aimee nods, not sure what Dawn's talking about. "Yes."
"Oh, that's good cuz I felt all guilty with the tackling thing. I was afraid I might have hurt you and I'm glad I didn't." Dawn smiles at her. "But if you're sure you're okay, then I'll stop with the guilt."
"Dawn, I'm a were." Aimee reminds her. "I can handle being tackled."
"Well, yeah, but that doesn't mean you should be." Dawn replies. "And it doesn't mean I'm not sorry for tackling you."
"Thanks." Aimee smiles at the human girl. "Are you okay? Julian told us what happened."
"I'm of the good." Dawn replies. "A little tired and a lot hungry but I'm good." Then she looks at the man next to Aimee. "So, is this your Romeo?"
"My what?" Aimee glances at Fang and then back at Dawn.
"Romeo, Juliet, forbidden love." Dawn gestures between them. "Two families at war…any of this ringing a bell?" Then off their confused looks. "Simi told me all about you two."
"He's not my….Romeo." Aimee whispers.
"Oh, then you two weren't sneaking around and having the smooches." Dawn taps her chin thoughtfully. "My bad. So, if you're not 'together' then we should go to the mall sometime and scam on some boys."
Fang growls, his arm moving around Aimee's waist in an outright display of possession.
Ash straightens, unsure if she's being serious or just trying to push Fang's buttons.
"Ah hah." Dawn smiles triumphantly. "He just did the possessive growling 'the only way I could mark my territory more is if I peed on you' thing. Pretty much means you're his girl."
"And you know this from personal experience?" Aimee asks, neither admitting nor denying what Dawn just said.
"Yes and no." Dawn replies. "My sister and her best friend Willow, both their boyfriends do the growling thing. And they'll both do that whole 'stay the hell away from my little niblet' growl when guys try to, I don't know, so much as look at me. So yeah, I'm pretty much an expert on the growling thing."
"Growling thing." Fury growls.
"Yeah." Dawn arches an eyebrow. "What's with the 'tude?"
"It's not a 'tude, human." Fury growls. "It's my temperament; you better remember it."
"Well, at least you admit you have an anger problem." Dawn comments, not the least bit fazed by his growling. "They say the first step of overcoming anything is admitting that you have a problem."
A bark of laughter escapes Vane's mouth at the look on his brother's face.
Fury, on the other hand, tilts his head to examine the human in front of him. She's not afraid of him; there's not a drop of fear coming off her body. "You must be incredibly stupid or insane, human."
"Don't worry, you'll grow to appreciate my insanity." Dawn assures him. "Or try to have me committed, depends on your level of patience and your sense of humor really." She drops down onto the couch beside her professor's wife and crosses her bare legs. And then jumps to her feet, her face flaming. "And I'm suddenly thinking I shouldn't be sitting around a bunch of people I don't know in my jammies. I'll be right back." Then she runs out of the room.
"She really is the strangest girl." Julian comments after she's gone.
Ash nods his agreement, amused by her behavior. She wasn't the least bit afraid of Fury or Fang, not that he would let them hurt her, but she should have been afraid, especially when the wolves growled at her. But she's wasn't. And then she blushed like the virgin she is when she finally realized she was wearing the skimpy pair of shorts she went to sleep in. Her reactions really are puzzling.
Fury stalks over to where she was standing and then over to the staircase. "I can't find her trail."
"I told you." Vane says smugly.
"I can smell her on you, Ash." Fury says the Dark-Hunter leader. "I can remember what she smells like…"
"You just can't follow her scent." Ash finishes. "I know."
"Why?" Fury questions.
"I don't know yet." Ash runs a hand through his hair. "I haven't asked her yet."
"Asked who what?" Dawn bounces back into the room, now wearing a pair of low hanging sweats with the word 'Princess' across the butt in pink, sparkly letters. "I'm thinking the who is me but I'm not sure what the what is since you've probably got all kinds of questions. First though, can I get some water and something to eat?"
Amanda stands up quickly, glad to have something to do. "What would you like?"
"I would love a large, cheesy pizza with extra anchovies but my stomach is saying no." Dawn almost drools at the thought. "Or a peanut butter and salami sandwich….mmm….do you have any Jello?"
"Yes." Amanda walks into the kitchen and returns a few moments later with a bottle of water, a spoon, and 'Jello' snack pack.
"Thank you." Dawn takes the items from her and sits down on the empty loveseat. She takes a drink out of the water, lets the cool liquid coat every inch of her dry mouth before swallowing it. Then she remembers she doesn't have to ration this water and guzzles down half the bottle. She opens the Jello and takes a small bite. After only a few, her stomach protests and she places everything down on the table in front of her. "Okay, you can start the inquisition now."
This part was like thirty pages but I cut it in half as best I could. The next part will start off directly from where this one ends.
A/N: The 'weres' in the Dark-Hunters series are completely different from the weres in most universes. They aren't controlled by the moon, instead they're controlled by the sun. One group, called Arcadian, have human hearts and can change at will when they want to. The other group, Katagaria, have animal hearts and will turn into their 'animal' half during the day. Basically, the Katagaria are born as animals and stay animals until they hit puberty. Then, when they hit puberty, their magic enables them to become human, externally. They're 'animal' hearts still control them, meaning they'll be more growly and violent then the the Arcadians. The Arcadians, on the other hand, are born human and when they hit puberty, their animal halves come out. Both groups live much longer than humans (thousands of years) and because the creator of their race pissed off the Fates by making them they are forever at war. Also, the weres come in lots of different animals: lions, dragons, hawks, eagles, falcons, wolves, bears, tigers, panthers, jackals, snow leopards, leopards, jaguars, and cheetahs. All the weres in this story so far are of the Katagaria branch (excluding Vane who was Katagaria but when he hit puberty, he switched to Arcadian). I hope that's enough of an explanation for those not familiar with this verse and hope that I didn't bore those that are. And if I got any of that wrong, feel free to tell me (I'm writing it as I understand it and using the were-hunter site as a reference.