Jared sat impatiently in the vet’s office bouncing his leg. His father, Jeff and Ranger Misha had gone back to Colville national forest, to check for more traps and possibly find some clues about the hunters. Gerry was reluctant to take Jared back again...although Jared tried to talk his way in and pretty much begged, it had not worked as his father was adamant about his decision. Jared sighed and promised not to wander around alone.
His father had come with ranger Misha to help them with the wolves. Ranger Misha said that the hunting of wolves is on and off during the years. But it had been more since the reintroduction had started and the rangers mostly had concentrated more on the reintroduction process than tracking down the hunters. Since the hunting of Gray wolves was forbidden by the law, they needed to find the hunters and bring them to the law.
Jared busied himself by reading some magazines that were in Donnas’ office. Donna Ackles was the vet of Colville ranger station. She was busy with operating the injured wolf. Much to Jared dismay, he was not allowed to be around the cub until he was given proper care and medications. Jared pouted for a while but gave up seeing Donna was not going to let him have his way.
Her assistant, Steve was prepping the wolf for the operation, when Donna ushered him to her office. Giving him some books and magazines she asked him to go through them until his father came to pick him up. Jared looked at her indignantly saying that he doesn’t need to be baby-sat by her. Donna chuckled. She said that if he stayed around for a while he might be able to see the wolf and the cub after she had operated. Jared thought for a moment and agreed.
And now he was feeling restless. Jared was never able to stay at one place for a long time. He was a bundle of energy that needed to be out...And sitting on a chair in vet’s office was not doing any good for him. He had looked through the magazines.
His mind was restless. Thinking about his father and Jeff, worrying about them. Thinking of the she-wolf and the cub they saved. Hoping that the she-wolf would response to the treatments without any complications...He thought about the poor cub. Of how the little guy was doing.
He wondered what had happened to the pack...whether the pack was in danger as wolves don’t usually abandon their pack members...unless they found the wolves as soon as the she-wolf got caught in the trap.
Jared stood up abruptly and walked around the office, reading the notices and the diagrams from one wall to the other wall. Sighing Jared ran a hand through his hair. Brushing back the too long bangs from his eyes Jared walked towards to the closed door to go out and get some fresh air.
He didn’t get the chance to open the door as it was opened by a guy who stormed in screaming “Mom”. Jared flinched and took a step back, by the sudden approach of the guy. It was a boy probably around his age. The guy stopped abruptly seeing Jared. He gave him a good look, eyes narrowed and looking suspicious.
“Who are you?” He asked looking at Jared from head to toe. Jared fiddled looking nervous. “What are you doing in mom’s office” the guy asked his voice still laced with suspicion.
“Brought in a wounded she-wolf...and a cub...I...am waiting for my dad to come and pick me up...” Jared said biting his lower lip. The guy looked relaxed and gave him a small smile. Jared heart skipped a bit, seeing how his green eyes lit up. There were pretty much the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen...and the lips. Jared couldn’t help staring at the lips...they looked just...
“Huh?” Jared asked disconnected. He shook his mind out of kissing those lips. He mentally kicked himself. The guy was probably straight as an arrow...Most of the hot guys turned out to be like that...
“You know it’s rude not to introduce yourself.” the guy... Jensen said with a slight smirk... like he knew the very reason why he was acting like a total idiot, in the first place.
“I’m Jared...” He said smiling nervously. Jensen smiled warmly at him.
“You are new around here right? I have never seen you before. “He motioned him to one of the chairs.
“Take a seat.” He waited until Jared sat back on the chair.
“Yeah...we just moved in yesterday...My parents are wildlife rangers...”
“Oh... hey you must be Pada...Pada...” Jensen frowned, burrowing his forehead.
“Padalecki” Jared offered helpfully.
“Oh yeah...no offense dude, but that’s a mouthful of a name.” Jared chuckled.
“Look, I’ll be back in a minute...I have a dog that needs to be looked at” Jensen said looking back at the hallway.
Jared got up from the chair. “Is it ok if I come?”
Jensen looked taken back for a minute then he grinned at him. “Yeah sure”
“Thanks man I have been bored sitting here”
Jensen led Jared to a large room which Jensen said that, it was where they keep the animals after their treatments.
Jensen made his way to a golden retriever, inside one of the cages. His tail started wagging at the boys as they reached to him. Jensen opened the cage and let the dog out. The dog was probably two or three years old. Grabbing a bowl and dog food he emptied the packet in the bowl.
“Found him near our basketball court today... Poor guy looked starved.” Jensen said after giving the bowl to the dog.. “He’s tame and trained which means some bastard had dumped him.”
“What’s going to happen to him?” Jared asked staring at the dog.
“Well we’ll look for the owner first just in case the dog ran away. If an owner doesn’t turn up, then he’s going to the pound”
They watched the dog finish the food. Once he was finished eating and drinking, he made his way to the boys wagging his tail and nudging their hands.
Jared knelt and hesitatingly reached out to scratch the dog behind his ears. The dog whined and started licking Jared on the face.
“Do you think I might be able to keep him?” Jared asked giggling as the dog licked him on the nose.
Jensen shrugged. “If an owner doesn’t turn up...he’s all yours. I’d be happy if you can keep him too. I mean I’ll get to see him often right? I kind of have a soft spot for this buddy” Jensen patted the dog on the head.
“Why don’t you keep him then?”
“Ahhh” Jensen scratched his head. “My dad is allergic to dogs” he said dryly.
“Oh...That’s too bad!” Jared said feeling sorry for Jensen.
“So... you said you brought a wounded wolf? I’m glad to hear that the wolf survived the journey here.” Jensen grimaced.
“The two wolves that the rangers found the last couple of weeks were already dead by the time they reached them. Hunting is always there. Rangers will catch them and some time later it’ll start again. It’s a never ending process when most of the locals help them.”
“Yeah... We found them when my brother and I were hiking in the national forest. We must have found them as soon as the she-wolf got caught. I mean we didn’t even run into the pack, which was surprising”
“You two were lucky that you didn’t get caught by the pack”
Jared shrugged. “The cub wasn’t harmed...Thank God...The little guy might not have survived if it had been...But I’m worried about their pack. If they weren’t there with them what would have happened to them?”
Jensen’s face darkened. ”All we can do is hope that they were not caught.”
“Least of all those two are safe for now.” Jensen said patting him on the back as he walked inside the room. Jared smiled. Maybe they would be good friends...hopefully...unless Jensen had a problem with...Jared sighed deeply.
They chatted aimlessly, about their family, hobbies, school, sports until Donna came out looking tired
“Jensen...” she nodded at Jensen and she smiled at Jared.
“Who’s this one?” she pointed at the golden retriever.
“Found him near the basketball court today... Probably a stray” Donna nodded patting the dog on the head.
“How are the wolves?” Jared asked worriedly.
“Well the she-wolf will not be hunting for a while.” She said sighing. “The poor thing’s leg is broken...it will take a month or two before she can go back to the woods.”
“What will happen to the cub?”
“We can either let him go or we can keep him around until his mother is released from here. Honestly he’s too young to go hunting all by himself...He must be around eight to ten weeks old. He still needs time to learn hunting. Unless we could find the right pack and return him, his chances of survival out there are limited. Besides we can have them with the reintroduction wolves.”
“Damn.” Jared ran a hand through his hair. “I’m worried about their pack. Considering how close the packs usually are it’s weird that they weren’t there... something must have happened to them”
“Hunters won’t open fire in the national forest. That’s a dead give away.”
“There are guns that don’t make a sound.” Jared argued back darkly. Donna shook her head.
“They wouldn’t go that far Jared!”
“How would you know? You guys haven’t even caught them...the animals in a national forest are in danger because you people don’t find the hunters soon” Jared hissed. He was surprised at how fast he got pissed off. Animals and hunters have always being a sensitive subject for him. He stood up abruptly and hurried away from the room. Worried that he might say something he’d regret later. Jared knew that it was not their fault but it was not reassuring enough.
Jared sat on the front steps, his mind kept going back to the hurt wolf and the cub. He barely noticed when Jensen came and sat next to him, until he started talking.
“Mom asked whether you want to see the wolves and we need to give Buddy a bath before we can vaccinate him” Jensen asked bumping on his shoulder. Jared looked at him.
“Oh! And I’m sorry about earlier.”
Jensen nodded. “I understand it’s frustrating... to all of us. We want to find the hunters. It may take time Jared, but we’ll find them.”
Jared nodded. “I know...It’s just I wish it was sooner.”
“We can only hope...I’m sure the rangers and the cops will be able to find them soon”, Jensen said reassuringly. Jared wasn’t sure which one he thought; it was as if Jensen didn’t believe it himself too.
“So, are you coming?” he asked raising an eyebrow, smirking at him. Jared heart skipped another beat. This guy was going to be the death of him.