"What are those?" Denton asked, waving a hand at the symbols on the ceiling.
"A major Shielding spell," Stefan answered.
Denton gave him a blank look.
"Think of it as a more powerful version of what I did for you."
Denton looked the symbols over again.
"You shouldn't be telling him that," Martin commented. "He isn't initiated."
"He did the ceremony of Vitality."
"How do you know?"
"We had a talk on the way to his parent's place. He doesn't remember anything before the fire, which happened when he was eight and a half. He father was a Stenton, there's no way he would have kept him from that, no matter how poorly he lived."
"Doesn't matter. We don't learn about that until after the ceremony of Dominance. If he hasn't done that, he shouldn't about it."
Stefan turned in his seat. "Dent, you're what? Twenty-nine?"
"In three month," he replied absentmindedly. He was trying to see if there was a pattern to the symbols.
"He's almost twenty nine," he told Martin, "You're really going to treat him like a kid?"
Martin glanced in the rear view mirror, and Denton happened to meet his gaze. "Okay, fine. I just hate that this is breaking tradition."
The collie stared at the cougar. "You're telling me there's a tradition that covers one of us who happens to miss most of the ceremonies?"
Martin glared at him. "I said I get your point."
"That's good," Denton cut in, "because I have questions."
Martin sighed. "Go ahead."
"What's the thing with using cum on this things?"
"The power is within us. Blood, Cum, precum, in order of potency," Martin answered.
"And the kiss?"
"That was to kick start the spell,"
Denton smirked. "So who went about kissing this van?"
"No one," Colby said dryly.
"It's only something we have to do with people," Martin continued. "It's based on life force, so others tend to have a resistance to it because they have their own life. Objects don't. So we either have to use more power to push through that, or get them to provide that power themselves."
"You've probably noticed that's based on sex," Stefan added. "So turning a guy on usually does the thing."
Denton's ears started burning.
"Objects don't have innate live force, so writing the spell, and giving it a little of our power is all that's needed." Martin indicated the inside of the van with a wave of the hand. "There are more symbols here than Stefan put on your hand because this is a greater shield. No type of signals can get through it."
"That's why he couldn't make his phone call," added Colby.
"Right. Think of this van as a Faraday cage, but one that stops magical and normal signals."
Denton looked at them. They spoke about magic as if it was such a common thing, almost normal. "Do you realize how crazy you sound? Magic, from cum? From sex?"
Martin looked at Stefan. "That's why there's a way to things. You learn about this slowly, as you go through the ceremonies."
The collie waved the comment away. "Dent, you have to realize things aren't normal anymore. You couldn't get out of the house, the door wouldn't open, the windows wouldn't break. That isn't normal."
Denton reluctantly nodded.
"The reason that happened is that someone placed a spell on it to keep you inside. Someone extremely powerful."
"Then how did Fred breakdown the door?"
"His thing, is ability, is to break other's magic. But he almost wasn't able to, that gives us an idea of how powerful the guy behind this is."
"Okay, then why did he burn down my folk's house?"
"He wants you dead."
"The only thing that makes sense, is that he wants to finish what he started with your family line twenty years ago."
Denton leaned back in the seat. "Great, some sort of supernatural thing wants me dead. Any idea why he killed them?"
"No. It's never happened before that, so we don't know what his end goal was. From what I read, everyone was ready for the worse when the last Stenton died, but nothing happened. They figured it was because what ever he'd been trying to do didn't involve the rest of us. Now I'm thinking your survival threw a wrench in his plan."
"Then why didn't he come kill me right then?"
"We don't know. As best as we can figure it's that you were too well hidden."
"Right, because the neighbors of your victims adopting a cheetah a few weeks after their death isn't suspicious at all."
"We didn't know they had done it."
"Yeah, but you didn't know what was going on. He knew something had gone wrong, presumably only because someone survived. He would have been looking for me."
Everyone was silent.
"So who is he? You seem to know."
"But you know he's one of you, right?"
"He can't be. No one within the Society would do something like that."
"What? They're all saints?"
"Or course not. There are vendettas, feuds, infighting and revenges. Normal stuff for our kind of groups, but to try to wipe out an entire line, that's unheard of. No one in their right minds would do it. It would be an affront to our God, and he might act directly."
"If you don't know who *he* is, why do you keep saying *he*? I'm guessing there are woman who can do what you can."
Colby nodded. "The Josephines."
"But we've never had any trouble with them, not since before recorded history. The Followers stick to their areas now."
"Except for the church," Colby said.
"The Church? So God's real too?"
Stefan snorted. "Of course not. It's just something a bunch of nobles who were afraid of what we could do created to make people afraid of coming to us."
"And they were a lot more successful than any of us expected. Back in the dark ages they almost wiped all of the Followers out. The Society was down to one or two man in each family line when we went into hiding. They rebuild since then, but in secret. Even now, they'll sometime suspect a group of being Followers, and something will happen to them."
"Salem witch trials," Colby offered.
"Yes, those were women, so we didn't suffer, and as far as we know, those women weren't Followers, just regular people."
Denton's head started to hurt. He was actually starting to wonder if it might not be true. These guys were way too organize to be a bunch of crazies. Then there was what had just happened to him and his family.
Fortunately the rest of the drive was in silence. When they arrived to the house Martin ran out of the car. "Colby, send everyone home, and tell the initiates to be on their guards."
Denton and Stefan followed Martin to the basement, and into the records room. It was a mess, the desks were overturned, files littered the floor.
The horse was face first on the floor on one side of the room, the feline on the other side. Neither moved.
Martin ran to Leroy. "Stefan, see to Oscar."
The horse had a wound at the temple. Blunt force trauma, form what Denton could tell. His breathing was normal.
Martin checked his vitals, then called a doctor.
"Oscar's unconscious," Stefan said. "Just a bump over the head from what I can tell."
"Doc Emerson's on his way. See Shirley anywhere?"
"Shirley left half an hour ago," Colby said from the door. "In a hurry."
Martin and Stefan looked at each other.
"There's no way he did this," Martin said. "He's been with us since his ceremony."
"It gets worse." Stefan nodded to Oscar. "He's had an orgasm."
"How is that worse?" Denton asked.
"Means someone collected his cum."
"You get someone's cum," Martin said, keeping his anger in check, "You get a direct line to them."
Denton thought about it. "Like you did to me," he told Stefan.
"Yes, except you took it mine in you, that limits what I can do. They collected it. So they can incorporate it in any kind of spell."
"And shielding won't do any good." Martin cursed. "You know how to do the suspension spell?"
Stefan shook his head.
"Take him to the guest bedroom. If he wakes up try to find out what happened, but don't tell him anything, and do not let him out." He sighed. "I need to call my dad again. Detective, can you look after Leroy until Doctor Emerson gets here?"
"Sure, and Martin? Call me Denton, This is insane, but I'm with you until it's resolved."
Martin gave him a sad smile. "I'm glad to hear it, Denton. I really am."
"What are those?" Denton asked, waving a hand at the symbols on the ceiling.