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A few weeks later Teodor went back to Steopa's lair. He found Steopa in a large empty room, practicing his swordsmanship.
“You still practice?” Teodor asked from the door.
“It is something to do,” Steopa said swing the sword down, then he laid it on a table. “Are you still hiding from the police?”
“No, I went down and talked to them. They could not pin the murders on me,” Teodor said. “Besides Amanda, Gunner and Trucker all backed me up.
Teodor walked into the room. “I have something to ask you.”
“Where did you find all that loot?”
Steopa chuckled. “It was here. I think they used the vault to store personal items.”
“So is that where you have been getting that money?”
Steopa shook his head. “I have not touched anything in that vault.”
“Ah.” Teodor ran his fingers through his hair. “Did you see the house for sale outside the old loading docks?”
“What about it?” Steopa asked.
“Amanda wants to start a family. We just can't seem to save any money, you know.”
Steopa leaned against the table. “I see.”
“Why didn't you tell me about the money before?”
“Because you wanted to try to fit into human society,” Steopa said. “Do you think that having access to that amount of money would have been good?”
“It would have helped.”
Steopa shook his head. “Humans define too much of who you are by what you do. If you did not need to work, you would have drawn more attention than working.”
“I could have said I was an artist,” Teodor said.
Steopa raised his eyebrow.
“Except I can't draw.” Teodor sighed. “What about now?”
“You only have to ask, it does not belong to me.”
“Just enough to get the house, that's all. Amanda and I can work at the Pit for any other cash.”
“What about that child?”
“Trucker? He wants to live with Amanda and I.”
Steopa shook his head. “Bad idea.”
“What do you mean? He's a great kid.”
“I have heard stories of humans raised by wolves, and perhaps being raised by werewolves would not be any worse than what he has known.” Steopa faced Teodor. “But, if you start your own family, what would his feelings be?”
Teodor thought. “Werewolf children can be vicious without meaning to be.”
“I am sure there is a better solution.”
“I don't want to see him in a foster home, he ran away from the last one,” Teodor said.
“Think about it. Do what you feel is correct.”
Teodor scoffed. “Thanks.”
Steopa straightened up. “Follow me,” he said.
Teodor shrugged. He followed Steopa out of the larger room. Steopa led him back to the small vault with all the valuables.
“I did sort through all of the items,” Steopa said. “I found Amanda's packet. And I found this.”
He handed Teodor a large envelope. On the its outside were written the words “Specimen 1759”. The weight and the shape that bulged through the envelope was familiar. Teodor opened it.
The black cross had pearls and rubies inlaid. No silver, but gold and copper wire worked its way around the small crucifix. At the base of the cross were two wolves, under them was his family's name: Navarro.
“I thought I had lost this on the Bering Straight,” Teodor said.
“I never understood why you kept it,” Steopa said.
“To remind me why my family was the way they were. Father's whole life revolved around this.” Teodor rubbed his thumb over the golden wolf's head. “He still believe in this, even after the church turned against us.”
“You know my feelings.”
Navarro nodded. “Yeah.”
“But an antique, that is an impressive piece.”
Teodor scoffed. “I just can't turn away like you did.”
Steopa shrugged. “There is something else.”
He pulled out a box. This one had Amanda's name written on it. Steopa opened it. Teodor looked down.
“Would she want any of these items back?” Steopa asked.
A couple of uniforms, both her nurse and dress ones, a box of jewelry, and other personal items. Teodor placed the cross on top of the items, then closed the box.
“I'll take it back to her,” he said. He stood up with the box under his arm. “Did you find the cells?”
Steopa shook his head. “I think they should stay buried.”
“Yeah, me too.”
Steopa held out his hand. “Good luck, Teodor. I think you will make a far better father than you father did.”
Teodor shook Steopa's hand. “You will be the godfather, you know that.”
“You expect me to go to a church?”
“Will you burn up?”
“No, but I would find it hard not to laugh.”
Teodor chuckled. “Have any of your victims tried to shove a cross in you face?”
“What did you do?”
“Crushed them in my hands.” Steopa smiled. The points of his fangs glistened. “But more grab their guns. The old beliefs and superstitions are disappearing.”
“Maybe that's good.”
“If we had forgotten, how would have we fought the Hag?” Steopa asked. “There are reasons those stories are handed down.”
Teodor shrugged. “As long as people don't see me as a werewolf, it will make my life easier.”
“Yes, for you it would be.”
Teodor gave Steopa a hug with one arm. “Don't be a stranger,” he said. “That house is not far from here.”
“I will come over as much as I can,” Steopa said.
Teodor left the room. He walked back to one of the hidden entrances. As he left the old base, the rays from the full moon hit his face. Teodor looked around. The street was empty. He threw back his head and howled.