August sighed and looked at Jed. "My next fully coherent memory is your Dad giving me a shot of something and helping me into that beat up jeep that's out in the barn. Lone Wolf was grinning. Hemanth and a couple other guys were there, too, every one of them fully geared up for battle. We came here and I've been here ever since."
"That's all Dad mentioned to me. He said he helped Lone Wolf get you back from a government gone mad." Jed rubbed his chin, and Maddie patted his knee. "He never gave me more details than that."
"Lone Wolf could," said Maddie.
"Lone Wolf won't," August said. "It's a moot point anyway. The virus swept the country shortly after that and now everything is changed."
"Yes, it is." Jed smiled. "Thanks for the story."
August looked somber. "You can see why I want to keep it a secret."
Maddie shook her head. "No, not in today's world. Why keep the secret that you're immortal when the world now has them everywhere?" Maddie grinned, teasing him. "What about telling someone nice, like Claire?"
August's face lightened. "I'd like that, but I can't." He spread his big hands wide. "Don't you see? I don't age. She isn't ageless. I'd have to watch her grow old and die." He sighed. "That's a hard thing to do. Lone Wolf's heart broke so badly it took decades for him to get over it. He might still be heartbroken, in fact."
"Too bad Claire is Immune and not Transformed, August." Jed smiled. "I don't hear anything that leads me to think Sam is a threat, though. He is different, I'll grant you that. He might be a form of Transformed that we can't sense." Jed looked at Maddie. "What do you think?"
Maddie shook her head. "I don't know. He seems odd at times. Even Claire says he's all talk and no action." She laughed at the look on August's face. "What, August? Even if you have forever, she doesn't."
"So he's odd, but harmless. Everyone is allowed to be a little odd," Jed said.
August sighed. "You're right, of course. Maybe I'm a little annoyed because he pays so much attention to Claire."
Jed chuckled. "Claire doesn't think too much of Sam, August. Sam does help around here. Do me a favor and look for the best in him. If you look for the bad, that's all you'll see."
Maddie looked at Jed. "I'll keep an eye on Sam and make sure he doesn't cause trouble."
Jed stood up. "Hey, I'm beat. I have to get some sleep. You need to find your big brother and invite him to dinner. That's why we got the venison."
"Right. I'll tell him about it." August shrugged and smiled tiredly. "I'm sure he'll come. It's free food." He chuckled. "He probably already knows about the venison."
Maddie covered her mouth as she yawned. "I think we need to talk about a scavenging trip before we have a venison feast. We need some supplies." She stood on her tiptoes and hugged August tightly. "Thanks for the story. We love you, you know."
Jed patted August on the shoulder. "Someday we'll hear those Wendigo Tales, August." He grinned. "Good night, Wendigo Hunter."