Connie sat the terrified human on the bed upstairs. She spoke in as calm of a voice as she could muster. “Aiden, we’re going to wait until Stetson comes back. If he doesn’t, I’ll go looking for him.” Stuttering, Aiden held her paw gently. “D-don’t go, please.” Connie took this time to clean up, to rearrange her weapons and make sure that whatever happened she’d be prepared. For so long she had been alone, now that she had someone to look after, she wouldn’t fail them.
Marco couldn’t walk very fast, the injuries still plagued him. He had gone to the doctor, and they wanted to keep him overnight, but he wouldn’t have it. He wanted to make Stetson’s life a living hell. A furry hurting a hunter was embarrassing, even more embarrassing was the fact that the woods are littered with orange-vested bodies which Stetson and Connie killed.
Breathing heavily, he saw Connie’s house in the distance. He would get his son back. He knew that whatever furry he killed in the future, he’d proudly display. No more hiding his hobby. Furries needed to fear him. Maybe even some humans needed to fear him.
The wind kicked up. Sending shivers through the large man as he lumbered closer and closer to the house, his gun raised and ready to fire. The inside of his mouth felt frozen and ached like nothing he’d ever experienced. He couldn’t take pills, they would fall right through the jagged hole on the side of his mouth.
The sound of the ATV engine approached, and intense headlights filled Marco’s eyes before he had time to turn to take the shot at Connie through the bedroom window, he was slammed by the metal vehicle. Looking up at Stetson from his fallen position, he saw the battered, mud covered vigilante. The front wheel of the vehicle was pressed into his right leg, sitting on his knee cap.
Keeping the engine going, the buck sighed. The snowflakes fell hard onto his fur, creating a slightly moist feeling. He didn’t feel the cold, he didn’t feel the gentle blanket of snow beneath his feet, he only paid attention to Marco. Stetson’s entire body didn’t feel right, his big muscles ached, and he knew from the fall from the tree, at least two of his ribs were bruised.
Looking down at Marco, he couldn’t help but smile a bit as he saw how badly damaged his cheek was. “Gotta say Marco, you hunters are persistent.” The bearded man tried to move his leg out from under the wheel, aiming the shotgun at Stetson, the deer swiftly kicked Marco’s face, causing him to give up the weapon. With blood oozing from his nose and seeping into his eyes, Marco begged for his life. “Please Stetson. I-I’m sorry! I’llstop trophy hunting! I’ll STOP! I’m sorry about everything!” His words were slurred from his injury, but Stetson understood it plainly enough.
From the upstairs window, Connie and Aiden looked at the front yard. The bloody and muddy furry standing triumphantly over the battered hunter. An image neither of them thought they’d see. The bright headlights from the ATV perfectly lighting the action as it unfolded. “Marco. If I let you live, that won’t be a good example for all the others. Sadly, you’re only one in hundreds of humans who enjoy these sick little hunting games.” Yelling at the top of his lungs, Marco closed his eyes tightly. Hoping this was a nightmare. Pressing his boot onto Marco’s neck, the deer pressed hard. Marco’s breathing became nothing but giant wheezes and soon, the pressure became too much for his body. His neck snapped, sending his head cocked to one side,nearly turning it all the way around.
Hearing Connie’s front door open, Aiden came rushing to Stetson and wrapped his arms around him tightly. Looking down at Aiden’smessed up hair, he hugged back. This was the first hug he received in a longtime. Crying, the human nuzzled Stetson’s chest. “L-love you.” He muttered out,the deer thought he heard him right. Love?
At first it seemed puzzling. But then, maybe it all came through. Aiden was trapped, abused and then rescued. Not just by a furry, but by a furry who was once a dad and had natural fatherly instincts, even though they had not really surfaced in a long time. Stetson sat in the snow,Aiden didn’t let go of his warm body. Not caring the deer was caked in mud,worms and snow. All the fear Aiden had felt had boiled up to this.
The fear that Marco would kill him, the fear that he’d see Stetson die on his quest for revenge. Hugging someone he felt close to was something he needed. Rubbing Aiden’s back, Stetson realized that he too needed time to relax and feel comfortable. Like before, the cold didn’t bother him. Sitting in the icy snow, holding a human who hadn’t felt love like this perhaps ever in his life. The two of them barely move.
Aiden shifts his position, sitting in Stetson’s large lap. The flashbacks to Daisy were not painful, they were a soft, gentle reminder of his days as a dad. Stetson couldn’t help but shed a small tear, he knew that maybe his days as a caretaker would be far from over. Whether or not Aiden would live with another furry family or go to human parents didn’t matter. The buck would see the human as often as he could. He’d always makesure Aiden was okay, wherever he ended up.