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Lester stretched his stiff muscles and rubbed his face. He glanced at his watch and wondered how Nick was getting on with his trap to catch the ARC traitor. He just hoped Nick wasn't going to do anything stupid ... well, stupid for Nick, anyway. At least Abby could be relied upon to keep a cool head.

Lester thoughts turned to the mammoth's reaction towards him. He really didn't need the creature to trumpet in alarm whenever he went near it. Someone was bound to notice, sooner or later. Not that he was the only one it reacted to in that way. Nick had earned a few alarm calls, as well. Lester smiled as he recalled that those had mostly followed some very enjoyable nights. Lester assumed that his scent clung to Nick for some time afterwards and the mammoth had really been reacting to the wolf. Although thinking about it, Lester was sure that the mammoth had trumpeted when neither of them had been near it. He had meant to look into it, but the ADD had screamed at that point.

Lester mused over his attempts to befriend the mammoth. It had worked with horses in his youth. They had reacted similarly until he had made friends with them, until they had realised that the wolf was not a threat to them. He just hoped the same method would work with the mammoth.

Lester felt the need to stretch his legs and decided to get a cup of coffee from one of the kitchens. Maybe he should take some time now and see if his befriending efforts had paid off. Since he was going to the kitchen anyway, picking up some apples wouldn't be a problem.

However, once on the walkway down to the atrium, he stopped. Every nerve twitched in warning. Something was out here. Something predatory.

Scanning the area as he cautiously moved down to the atrium floor, Lester called out “Hello”.

There was no reply.

There should have been a reply.

He did not stop the low warning growl in his throat.

Lester's eyes narrowed as they fell on the van. What was it doing there, instead of being in the garage?

He walked cautiously around the van towards its open doors, expecting an attack at any moment.

He lunged behind the vehicle, and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw it was empty ... but quickly tensed again when he smelt something. The concentrated scent of a caged predator.

Lester backed away, his eyes in constant motion. He knew that the traitor had acted and had attacked the ARC itself. Lester's only hope was that Nick, and the others, were not in similar danger.

As he moved across the atrium floor Lester called out “Anybody there?”, even though he did not expect an answer.

The ADD screens flickered unnoticed behind him. Then he heard a voice. Leek!

“You're on your own, James. There's no one there but you.”

Lester spun to face Leek as he listened to the man speak. Leek was the bloody traitor! He had never liked Leek. The man had always made his inner-wolf growl.

“Now, I want you to feel what it's like to be on the wrong end of your grand disdain. The little man looking up at the big boss.”

Even as he called out again for security, Lester knew that no one would answer. That he was on his own.

Leek gloated, “I'm going to hunt you.”

Even as the Future Predator chased him, Lester couldn't help his grin.

***

As the creature swiped and barely missed him, Lester growled softly before he scrambled into the armoury. He would prefer to defeat the creature without revealing that he was a werewolf.

Unfortunately, although the machine-gun bullets hit the creature, they seemed to succeed more in angering it than anything else.

Cursing under his breath, Lester knew that he had only one option left if he wanted to survive this mess. Lester sighed, at least now Temple knew, Lester could just get him to wipe the incriminating tapes.

Lester strolled calmly back into the atrium and called out, “Leek! You're never going to make me beg for my life, so let's just end it now.”

Lester smiled at the almost disappointed tone in Leek's voice when he agreed. Lester couldn't resist one final barb, “Oh, one more thing ...”

Leek sounded curious, almost needy, “Yes?”

Lester felt great satisfaction at his next words, “You really are a tiresome little man.”

As the predator leapt for him, Lester waited until almost the last moment before he let the wolf out. The fight was fierce, but surprise was on Lester's side. The creature only got one claw hit in, slicing painfully into Lester's chest, before its neck was crushed between Lester's jaws.

Shifting back to his human form, Lester bent over and clasped his knees as he regained his breath, the creature dead at his feet. He heard the warning trumpet of the mammoth split seconds before he was slammed into the ground, stunned as the creature pinned him down. In that moment, as he felt the creature's breath on his neck and heard its ominous clicking, Lester thought of his beloved mate. If he got out of this alive, things would change.

From what seemed a great distance Lester heard the mammoth's trumpet and the sound of something being violently shattered, then the weight was gone from his back.

As his senses returned, Lester rolled onto his back with a wince. He saw that the second predator was skewered on the mammoth's tusk as it pulped the first into the ground. Lester grinned, obviously his befriending tactics had worked and the mammoth no longer considered him a threat.

“Good boy,” Lester whispered, “Good mammoth.”

***

As he fed the mammoth another apple, Lester heard running feet. Turning he watched as Nick, Connor, Abby, Jenny and several soldiers arrived.

Quirking an eyebrow, Lester drawled, “You are a little late.”

“Ja ... Lester. Are you OK?” Nick asked worriedly.

Lester smirked at his lover's slip before he pulled the man into a deep kiss. Once he released Nick, Lester couldn't help grinning at his lover's stunned expression as Connor's cheer reminded Nick that they were not alone.

“James? I thought ...”

Lester shook his head, “I'm not going to hide how I feel about you any longer, Nick. My beloved. My mate.”

Nick returned Lester's grin before he realised that Lester was injured. “Time to let Ditzy check you out, James. My love.”

***

Hidden behind a grill, a red light blinked ...