When Kale finished, his hair brushed but still wet, he unlocked the room and we went downstairs. He seemed to get nervous and withdrawn as we went to see the others. I wondered why there was so big a change in him meeting his family compared to being alone with me but didn’t ask.
The kitchen was huge. Two fridges, a stove with extra burners and an oven the old witch in the gingerbread house would have envied. Everyone sat around a long table that looked like it could have seated at least forty people. Conversation once again stopped and the two women scurried forward to fuss over me. I appreciated the concern but I have to admit that the looks the men were giving me made me nervous. Some looked me up and down appraisingly, some frowned at me, and a few smiled smiles of various meaning. I noticed Kale seated us apart from the family group but not too far. And today there were definitely more people. I could count at least twelve men.
“I do hope you slept well.” Judi was saying.
She seemed to want a response so I nodded my head. “I did thanks.”
“We heard the screaming.” One of the men said pointedly to Kale.
Kale frowned. “So what? It’s my business.”
“You trying out your torture tactics on her?” The guy named Mike asked with a wicked smile.
Kale gave him the finger before grabbing the glass of orange juice that Candace had put before him. “F you Mike. Keep your big trap shut.”
“Or what?” Mike taunted. “Is the big bad wolf going to come get me?”
I glanced sharply at Kale after that comment and I guess my reaction kind of tipped someone off as to what the screaming had been about.
“You told her?” Someone asked.
Kale glared at the group but either it was a telling glare because they knew him or were just assuming from the silence.
“I’ll be damned.” Someone said. “You were right Jay.”
Jay turned out to be the guy at the end of the table. He was clean shaven with dark brown hair and soft hazel eyes. He was a thin, lanky guy but seemed very animated and full of energy. Leaning his elbows on the table, he looked down the table at me and grinned.
“Have fun with the wolf man?” Jay said with a wink. “Once you have a werewolf you never go back.”
There was hooting all around as some guys pounded on the table and called out to Jay adding their voices. I saw Judi glance sharply at more then one man and try to settle things down but it was Kale who actually managed to quiet everyone with his outburst. He roared up from his seat making the chair tip over behind him.
“Damn it!!” He roared. “Can’t you people ever be quiet? How about polite or civilized?”
“Like you are!” Someone snorted sarcastically.
“Executioners don’t do politeness.” Someone else said. “They just kick you in the balls until you don’t notice or shut the F up about it.”
The conversation moved too fast for me to follow what everyone was saying but it was very clear that Kale was the butt of the jokes today. And it wasn’t something he was taking lightly. He threatened people while glancing at me. Oddly enough, everyone seemed to back off for the most part. Kale glared around before sitting again.
Candace who was seated close to my right leaned over to whisper. “Don’t take what they say too seriously. This bunch is wild and likes to joke around. You’ll get used to it. Kale is just worried they will scare you.”
Kale nodded as Judi refilled everyone’s orange juice and sat down. The pancakes in the middle of the table started to deplete before I even moved my fork but I managed to snag two. Kale had four on his plate. I noticed no grace was said but then I was a captive here. The whole situation was odd.