TJ held his face in his hands as tears ran freely from his eyes. "I'm sorry Thomas" the nameless social worker said and put her pretty hand on TJ's shoulder to reassure him, "I know it's hard losing your parents like this, but we found a home for you so don't worry about that"
He didn't care where he went now, his life was officially over. Part of the fifteen year old teen wanted to be mad. TJ wanted to be angry at his parents for going out that night in the rain. They should have known better! They should have!
Another much darker part of the boy wondered why he couldn't have just died alongside them. Why couldn't they be like those families who died and everyone felt bad but moved on; thankful that it hadn't happened to them?
It was late in the day when TJ finally ran out of tears. He found himself outside the church his mother had sometimes attended. Neither TJ nor his father had been expressively religious, but that hadn't stopped the pastor from talking to him about his parents going to heaven. "I hope they're just dead" TJ had said much to the man's horror. "Who wants to live on when everyone they love is dead and gone?"
"But they are in heaven; in paradise" The pastor had said softly.
"Whatever" TJ had said sullenly.
Later that afternoon, long after the lines of sad faced people in dark and dreary clothes had filed past the two closed coffins, TJ was gathered by another social worker and taken to the funeral. The young man watched as his parent's coffins were lowered into the ground side by side and buried together.
The funeral only lasted a short while and afterwards TJ was sitting alone in front of his parent's gravestones when a loud sound distracted him from his depressed thoughts. It was a mechanical sound, like a motorcycle engine, and as TJ turned to look over at the cemetery road he realized that his guess had been right.
The motorcycle's rider stood up after switching the loud engine off and then fiddled with his bike before turning towards TJ. He was a tall man, and clearly well build judging by how well he filled out his leather jacket. When he took his helmet off TJ saw that the man had a wicked Mohawk that was pulled back into a long braid that ran about a foot down the man's back. A rugged and dark stubble beard covered most of the guy's angular jaw. TJ was at once struck by how handsome he was.
Much to the teen's shock the man walked straight up to him and reached into his pocket to pull out a slip of paper. "Are you Thomas Jay Darken?" the man asked in a low rough voice.
TJ nodded and looked up at him with mixed fear and awe in his eyes.
"I'm Jeffry Cage... your brother?" he said when TJ didn't recognize his name.
"Well half brother really..."
Jeff looked down at the shrimpy little kid standing in front of him. If he hadn't read on the papers the social workers made him sign that the squirt was fifteen he almost wouldn't have believed it. The kid looked like his jaw was about to drop off his face as he stared up at Jeff. He didn't say anything so Jeff just let him stand there.
What do you say to some kid you barely knew existed most of his life?
Was there even anything Jeff could say to make this kid's life any better? He was legally responsible for him now. It was almost as hard for Jeff to believe as it was for the kid! "Well I got your stuff from the suits before I came to get you. Sorry I missed the funeral kid"
"My name is TJ" the teen said and frowned at Jeff.
Shit, he hadn't meant to make him mad! "Right, TJ then!" Jeff said as cheerfully as possible. "So have you ever ridden a motorcycle before?"
Jeff felt like he was guiding a kid around as he gently led TJ up to his bike. It was a beautiful maroon and black Harley Davidson with every sort of accessory you could imagine on it. Despite being loaded up the bike was still sleek and stylish with enough dirt on it to tell it was loved by the man who drove it. It was painfully obvious that the kid had never even been this close to a motorcycle before, but Jeff couldn't help but smile at TJ's reaction.
He ran his hand over the sleek leather seats and then looked up at Jeff in awe again. "Do you ride this?" he asked softly.
"Hell yea!" Jeff said and reached into one of the side compartments. "I got you a helmet" he said and handed a maroon helmet that matched his own to the kid. "I thought you could use my old jacket too" he said and handed an old leather jacket he had saved for old times' sake. It was a little too small for Jeff, but it looked huge on TJ. Jeff laughed, adjusted the jacket, and then zipped it up. Next he helped TJ put his new helmet on and adjusted that too.
It took a bit to explain how to get on and off the bike while Jeff was riding, but the kid caught on pretty fast. Before too long Jeff was sitting on the bike with the kid behind him. Almost as soon as the bike started TJ wrapped his arms around Jeff in fear. The older man could feel the kid put his head against his back as he brought the Harley into gear and then pulled around to head out of the cemetery parking lot. Jeff just chuckled to himself as he felt his little brother cling to him. Maybe this kid wasn't so bad after all?
The ride seemed to last forever, but TJ never once dozed off as he watched the country side fly by. A heavy sadness still hung on the teen's heart, but it was hard to be sad when you were riding a motorcycle. It was pretty late when Jeff finally pulled off the interstate and into the parking lot of a rundown looking motel. After getting off his bike Jeff told TJ to wait with the bike while he went in to get them a room.
TJ took his helmet off and put it in the compartment that Jeff had told him to use. The side of the bike had all sorts of bags and cases on the side of it, almost like the saddle bags of a horse. TJ had never seen a horse's saddle bags, but he thought they would look a lot like Jeff's side bags did.
After a short while Jeff returned and unbuckled three of the large bags from the side of his Harley. He handed one to TJ and carried the others himself. "We'd better get some sleep while we can" he said and led his brother to a room not far from where the bike was parked.
TJ was a little surprised to see only one bed in the room. "I don't usually share my bed," Jeff said and chuckled, "but we're brothers right?"
TJ nodded and tried not to blush. Jeff took off his jacket and then his shirt. TJ could only watch as the man undressed to his boxers. Not only was Jeff a handsome guy in the face, but he was ripped too! He didn't seem to notice TJ staring at his abs and pecs though. "I can't wait to get back home" he said gruffly and helped TJ out of his jacket. "Do you exercise any?"
"No, not really" TJ said softly and tried not to look at the muscular man in boxers beside him.
"I've always exercised a lot" Jeff said and flexed for his brother. "This is mostly natural though, but I bet you could get big too if you applied yourself" he added.
"You think so?" TJ asked.
"Sure!" Jeff said as he pulled TJ's shirt over his head and then watched as the kid took off his pants.
TJ wasn't as skinny as Jeff had first thought he was. A lean layer of muscle covered most of the his young body giving him a tight almost swimmer-like build. It almost made Jeff smile to see that his brother was so slim. Even if TJ was only a few inches over five and a half feet tall he might grow more in the next few years. Jeff hadn't hit six feet until he was twenty, and even after that he'd kept growing until he was six two. Both guys had dark brown hair, but Jeff was the only one who had any facial or body hair. Even in that department Jeff was mostly bare with only a light dusting of hairs on his chest and stomach.
"We'd better get some sleep" Jeff said and turned out the lights.
They both climbed into the large bed, but TJ fell asleep much faster than his brother. As he slept he turned to his brother and snuggled up beside him. Jeff was still half awake when he felt TJ move up against him. The older brother smiled in his sleep as he put his arm around his younger brother and pulled him against his bigger body. TJ was cold, despite the covers, and Jeff didn't feel like anyone would care if he kept his brother warm like this.
Morning came faster than either male would have liked, but by about six that morning they were both up and dressed. After tuning in their key Jeff packed up his bike and the brothers headed back out on the road. It would be another long while before they got to the outskirts of a large town, and Jeff finally turned off the road and make his way towards his house.
The ride was finally over when Jeff pulled up to an older looking house and parked the bike in the garage. He grabbed two of the bags and led TJ inside. "It's not much, but it's home" he said as he flicked the lights on.
The whole front room and kitchen were neatly cleaned. It was clear from the kitchen that Jeff liked to cook. There wasn't a TV in the living room either, but instead a fire place and a big old couch. A dozen book cases lined the walls and TJ almost ran over to them in excitement. "Are these all yours?" he asked.
"Yea" Jeff said and scratched his head. "I like to read when I'm not working out or riding around" he said and put his hand on TJ's shoulder. "I bet you'd like these stories" he said and gestured to a whole shelf filled with werewolf stories and other horror novels.
TJ reached up to pull out a book with a huge full moon and a werewolf howling below it on the cover. "This looks neat" TJ said and opened the book.
"That's one of my favorites" Jeff said and smiled at TJ, "You're welcome to read anything here" he said and then led his brother through the house.
It was a pretty simple house. There were two bed rooms down the hall, the bigger was Jeff's, and then another large room that was best described as a personal gym. Apparently Jeff really did like working out! He made sure TJ was situated in the room across the hall from his own before he left to cook dinner in the kitchen.
Dinner was great, but TJ couldn't help his sullen mood. Jeff didn't seem to press him into talking much, but he did make some polite conversation. They talked about what sort of foods TJ liked, mostly anything really, and then somehow Jeff got on the topic of how old TJ was. When he mentioned TJ being fifteen the teenager corrected him. "Actually today is my birthday" he said sadly. "I'm sixteen today"
Jeff looked horrified when he heard that. "If I knew I could have gotten you a cake or something" he said and quickly stood up.
The man went to the pantry and started getting ingredients together. "What are you doing?" TJ asked.
"Making a cake!" Jeff said and frowned at his brother. "You're not telling anybody we didn't celebrate your first birthday living with me!" he said angrily.
It wasn't a fancy cake, but Jeff managed to make a tasty looking pound cake which he pulled out of the oven and stuck sixteen candles in. TJ had been reading the werewolf book the whole time he was waiting for his brother to finish baking. At long last Jeff insisted on putting TJ in front of the cake and singing happy birthday to him. Part of the teen wanted to be embarrassed at his brother for acting this way, but another part of him was secretly glad Jeff had made such a big deal about it.
"Don't forget to make three wishes!" Jeff said when he finished singing.
TJ blew the candles out with one big breath and then thought about his wishes. "It would be awesome to be a werewolf" he thought to himself and then frowned. "I wish me and Jeff were both werewolves," TJ wished, "and I wish we could be together forever, and... I wish Jeff loved me more than anything, and would never leave me like my parents did" he thought sadly and looked up at his smiling brother. He really would like it if Jeff could be his friend, maybe even more than a friend.
"That looked like a serious wish" Jeff said and laughed at his brother's face.
"It was a serious wish" TJ said and tried not to smile as Jeff cut him a piece of cake. They traded birthday stories from when they were kids as they ate. By the time dinner was over TJ had almost laughed a few times much to his brother's delight. He didn't know it, but Jeff wanted him to be happy so badly that it hurt the man.
After the cake TJ helped Jeff clean up and then they both sat and read for a while. Jeff promised TJ that he would show him some exercises tomorrow when they woke up. Apparently the man had already mapped out a mental exercise plan for his little brother. He didn't know it, but soon enough TJ wouldn't be needing much help when it came to growing muscle.
Jeff had decided to stay up a little later than normal that night just to make sure TJ didn't wake up needing something. He was reading quietly in the living room when a loud crack came from Jeff's jaw and he gasped in pain. The taste of blood quickly filled the his mouth as Jeff rushed to the bathroom. Once he was inside the man spat blood into the sink basin and groaned as he felt something akin to having his teeth pushed out of their sockets.
Jeff spat again, but this time he heard the clatter of four teeth hitting the side of the sink. "What the fu... ugh!" Jeff said as the pain in his jaw came back a thousand times stronger. Blood poured from the man's gaping maw to join his teeth below him as he looked up at his reflection in the mirror above the sink. At that moment Jeff could begin to see four long jagged fangs pushing up and out of the top and bottom of his jaw. These teeth were obviously not human teeth, but before Jeff could think about that he heard and felt another series of cracks and pops as the teeth between his growing canines began to pop out as well.
These teeth joined his four canines in the sink as Jeff groaned in pain. He could feel his four huge canines migrating outward in his mouth to make room for the six top and bottom front teeth that were replacing the eight he had just lost. Again the pain subsided just in time for Jeff to look up and at his new front teeth. They met quite well when he closed his mouth, and the man couldn't help but open and close his new teeth a few times just to see them snap shut.
Unfortunately the brief moment of self inspection could not last. Another loud crack signaled the most painful part of the whole ordeal yet. This time Jeff forced himself to watch his reflection as his jaw seemed to push forward and jut out just a bit more than usual. As soon as this happened he felt his back teeth pop out of their sockets as well, and they joined their fellows in the sink as Jeff's new teeth grew into the back of his mouth.
Unlike his previous set of ten molars and premolars the teeth that grew to replace them were much larger and shaped differently from before. Jeff had to pull his cheek back to look at the new teeth in the back of his mouth. There were eight in all on both the top and bottom of his jaw, but they seemed to be almost like the back teeth of a dog, or maybe a wolf. Jeff watched for a while as his newly grown set of teeth pushed out of his gums and eventually settled into place. As shocking as the whole bloody ordeal had been Jeff couldn't stop staring at the huge fangs on the top and bottom of his mouth. They were way larger than any human could ever need! When he opened and closed his mouth quickly the teeth would snap closed with a satisfying clicking sound. It was almost like the snap of an animal's teeth when they closed a hair away from your skin.
It took a while to clean up the mess of blood and then, when he was finished cleaning, Jeff flushed his old teeth down the toilet. He was too afraid of what had happened to say anything to TJ. The man washed the blood out of his mouth and brushed his teeth before he went to bed that night. Less than an hour after Jeff had fallen asleep TJ woke with a terrible pain in his own jaw. The young man ran to the bathroom and spat blood as he too began to grow a new set of wolfish teeth.
By the time TJ had finished and cleaned up he was more freaked out than his brother had been. The distraught teen made his way back to his room and fell into a restless slumber. They both dreamed of running that night. They also dreamed of eating meat; sweat, juicy, bloody, raw meat.
When morning did finally come Jeff woke before his little brother. Like most mornings he got up and started cooking breakfast. At first he had almost forgotten about what had happened last night, but as soon as he yawned and licked his new sharp fangs he remembered. Not being prone to panic Jeff just kept his cool and cooked breakfast, making sure to go wake TJ by softly knocking on his door. "Breakfast's almost done sport" he said cheerfully.
TJ eventually emerged into the kitchen with a sleepy look on his face. He sat down with Jeff who put two plates of mostly meat down on the table. Maybe if the two guys hadn't been so hungry they would have noticed the other tearing into the thick cut bacon, which was slightly undercooked, and the oddly thick hunks of breakfast sausage. The eggs slid down their throats without much chewing, but they both got stuck on the toast which they quickly discovered was difficult to eat with fangs meant for chopping meat instead of chewing food.
Once they were finished Jeff cleaned up. After breakfast he took TJ to his personal gym where he promptly ran the poor kid through every exercise he knew. For someone who obviously had next to no experience with exercises and weight lifting TJ took to it all quite naturally. It turned out that Jeff too had an unnaturally large about of energy that day, and for some reason the two of them worked out for hours longer than Jeff had ever worked out before. It was lunch that finally ended their weight training. TJ hadn't talked much during the work out, but as soon as they ate again Jeff started speaking and realized his new fangs made talking normally a bit difficult. They almost gave him an accent.
After lunch Jeff took TJ with him to the store to get groceries. On the drive through town Jeff let TJ drive around a bit with some help from his brother behind him. Jeff loved the way TJ seemed to get excited each time he learned something new about riding a motor cycle. When they finally got to the grocery store Jeff let TJ park his bike and the kid did a pretty good job all on his own. Once inside the store they both picked out copious amounts of meat for their next week's diet. Neither one of them knew it, but they wouldn't have enjoyed vegetables much anymore. As the day progressed it became more and more clear that they were both craving meat; and raw meat made them practically drool with hunger.
It was steak for dinner, but Jeff only barely cooked the meat. For the third time that day neither guy noticed the other tearing into his food with an almost animalistic passion. They forgot about forks and knives, opting instead to tear into the meat with their huge sharp fangs. It was so easy to carve the meat into manageable bites when you had wolf fangs.
"Hey Jeff" TJ said after dinner was cleaned up and they were both sitting in the den reading books.
"Huh?" Jeff asked.
"You said you go out and ride sometimes right," TJ asked, "Who do you ride with?"
Jeff thought for a while before he replied. "I have some old buds and some favorite spots, but I guess I was always a lone wolf until you came along," he said with a small shrug.
TJ almost looked hurt and Jeff wondered if he had said something wrong. It was a while before the kid spoke up again. "Do you think I could go riding with you sometime?" TJ asked softly.
Jeff smiled, but was careful not to show any teeth, "I would like that" Jeff said and chuckled. "I don't know how we'd get you into the bars, but I bet some of my old friends would like you" Jeff said in a jovial manner.
"What do you mean?" TJ asked.
"You're a good looking kid TJ, I bet with some exercise you'd look a lot like I did when I was your age!"
"You think I could?" TJ asked excitedly.
"If we keep working out like we did today than you're bound to get bigger eventually!" Jeff said and stood up. "You need to get lots of sleep though, if you want to keep your energy up," he added.
TJ nodded and stood up too. "Um... Jeff" he said and walked up to his brother. Jeff wondered what the kid could want, but TJ surprised him with what he did next. "I love you Jeff," he said and wrapped his arms around his brother in a tender hug.
Jeff was surprised by his teenage brother's unexpected intimacy, but it was the realization that TJ was crying that made the man's heart melt. Not being used to this sort of behavior Jeff didn't know what to do as his brother sobbed into his chest. The tears were slow at first, but they turned from a trickle into a river as Jeff held TJ in his arms. "What's wrong?" Jeff asked softly as he looked down at his distraught brother.
"It's just..." TJ said and sniffed back the snot in his nose. "... I thought I was alone... then you showed up... took me in... we had my birthday," he sobbed. "I don't know what I want anymore, and I still feel all sad inside," TJ sobbed and kept crying.
Jeff pulled his brother's face up to look at his own. "Hey," he said and looked into TJ's eyes. "You're a strong kid. I'll always be right here" Jeff said and pulled his brother into a tight hug. "I'll stay with you forever if you want me too"
TJ seemed a bit better after crying for a while; Jeff took him to his room and got him into bed. A strange and distant part of Jeff didn't want to leave his brother as he walked across the hall and into his own room, but the kid needed space and time to sort things out. Jeff knew he would be there again if TJ needed a shoulder to cry on. That's what brothers are for.