Infusion is a short story which tells of Jeremy Danvers conception and birth, told from the perspective of his father Malcolm Danvers. It is the first of a series of short stories and novellas detailing the history of the North American Werewolf Pack and in particular, the Danvers family. The short story was originally part of Kelley Armstrong's early e-serials and was later published in the anthology novel Men of the Otherworld.
The year is 1946 and members of the North American Werewolf Pack are in a bar, 5 years after the events of Pearl Harbour having a few drinks as Dominic Sorrentino, the heir apparent to Alpha announces he's chosen to name his son, Antonio. Wally and Raymond Santos are shown to be early followers of Malcolm's, checking to see his opinion before deciding whether to congratulate Dominic.
A young Japanese waitress seems interested in Malcolm, who is in uninterested merely because of her race. Malcolm has been trying to conceive a son for a few years now and the Pack smells that the woman is in her fertile stage. Malcolm gives the opinion that he doesn't want a part Asian child, Dominic espouses the idea that with Werewolves women are merely 'the vehicle' and that it is there blood that counts, he also mentions that 'foreign blood' might help to counteract the Danvers' fertility issues.
Malcolm decides to see if mixing races will help him to conceive and commandingly tells the woman he'll spend the night with her. She agrees and takes Malcolm upstairs to her room where the owner of the bar, Vincent, seemingly hasn't bothered to provide her with electricity. The woman offers Malcolm a herbal drink and with limited English conveys that it will make the sex better, although not believing he needs any aid Malcolm takes it and drinks anyway.
Malcolm passes out or falls asleep at some point after three bouts of sex, still affected by the concoction he drank, he stumbles upon the woman in a somewhat drugged state. She's in another room of the apartment with walls painted with symbols, candles and incense burning. The woman herself has also been painted in symbols and she sits on a stool with poise and confidence, unlike the shy girl Malcolm believed her to be when he went to bed with her. Two women are performing a ritual in front of the woman with a focus on her stomach area (her womb), chanting and swinging a pendulum.
Malcolm decides that it's a dream or a hallucination and heads back to bed. When he rouses from sleep again, the room he saw the woman in is plain white with no symbols on the wall. Malcolm asks Vincent about the woman and finds that she hasn't shown up for work, when Malcolm visits the apartment he finds it empty. Malcolm beats or tortures Vincent to ensure he's telling the truth and gets an emergency contact for the woman.
After stalking the woman at her new address for around five months, Malcolm discovers the girl is pregnant. When the time comes Malcolm goes to witness his son's birth on May 29th 1947. It is during the birth that Malcolm witnesses a ritual done by the same three women he saw before, this one is even more clearly mystical in nature with the candle flames being drawn to the woman giving birth. Malcolm admits that although the Pack keeps its self separate and feign ignorance they are aware of other supernaturals, whether this is true of the entire Pack or merely an assumption of Malcolm's in unclear but he believes the women to be some kind of magic-makers.
To make matters worse, his child didn't even let out a single cry when he was born and according to Dominic you can predict a child's strength from its first cry. Malcolm assumes the child to be dead and is glad as he doesn't want a child who is part magic, believing that a Werewolf who can use magic is a sign of weakness, that they should be reliant on physical power and strength. He also worries that a child who is part magic wouldn't be able to Change which would be the greatest humiliation. The child turns out to be alive and a boy though, Malcolm can smell Werewolf on him and knows that he's his son. Pack law states a son has to be claimed by the Pack but Malcolm decides that as magic-makers they'll know what to do with him and there's no exposure to the Pack so he can leave the child with his mother.
Malcolm returns to his normal life and roughly two weeks later his father, Edward Danvers, confronts him. He's suspected that Malcolm was expecting a child and assumes it was a girl, Malcolm lies and claims the boy died in childbirth. Edward doesn't believe him, thinking that Malcolm didn't claim him because the child looked to Asian and berates him for sleeping with the Japanese girl if he didn't want a half Asian child in the first place. Edward tells Malcolm that there's nothing wrong with having a mixed-race child, not knowing that mixed supernatural race is what bothers Malcolm the most. Edward tells him that if Malcolm doesn't want the child he'll raise him and never bother Malcolm with him.
Edward accompanies Malcolm to New York, waiting at the hotel while his son goes to retrieve the boy. Malcolm goes at night and finds that the women are in the midst of getting ready to move. Malcolm finds the woman's grandmother in the kitchen and questions her about where his son is. She claims he isn't home, she knows what Malcolm is and tells him that she's 'seen' he will have many more sons so he doesn't need to take this one. She tells him that they are part of a dying race, that they wanted an 'infusion' of strong blood and what is stronger than a Werewolf. Malcolm snaps her neck anyway.
Shortly after, the mother of his child returns home with the baby. She tells Malcolm that she didn't enjoy sleeping with him and that she wanted Dominic who'd already proven he could produce sons, the other women had wanted Edward but decided he was too old so she got stuck with Malcolm instead. They fight briefly until Malcolm gets ahold of the baby and wraps a hand round its throat. Malcolm's gut tells him to kill the boy, that if he doesn't he'll regret it, the mother begs him not to and tells him that her grandmother lied, that their race can't see the future and this boy might be the only child he'll father.
Malcolm is willing to risk that and the woman resumes the fight, getting up and continuing to attack him even after sustaining injuries that Malcolm believed should keep her down. To fight her off Malcolm drops the baby, she dives for him, halting his fall, but Malcolm kicks her into the wall and the baby drops the last foot to the floor. She's dragging herself to the baby when Edward bursts in, as the woman dies he promises her that Malcolm won't harm their son and that Edward will care for him. After she dies Edward tells Malcolm to clean up what he's done and Malcolm promises himself that no one will ever know about the boys mixed blood.
- Malcolm Danvers
- Jeremy's mother
- Jeremy Danvers
- Edward Danvers
- Jeremy's great-grandmother
- Dominic Sorrentino
- Wally Santos
- Raymond Santos
- Billy Koenig
- Emilio Sorrentino
- Vincent, the human man who owned the bar where Malcolm met Jeremy's mother.
- Ross Werner, mentioned as having a black mother in Dominic's example of women being 'the vehicle' when it comes to a Werewolf son.
|Novels||Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, No Humans Involved, Personal Demon, Living With The Dead, Waking the Witch, Spell Bound, 13|
|Anthologies||Men of the Otherworld, Tales of the Otherworld, Otherworld Nights, Otherworld Secrets, Otherworld Chills, Led Astray|
|Novellas||Savage, Ascension, Chaotic, Angelic, Counterfeit Magic, The Case of El Chupacabra, Beginnings, Bewitched, Forbidden, Hidden, Vanishing Act, The Ungrateful Dead|
|Short Stories||V Plates, The List, Chivalrous, Lucifer's Daughter, Learning Curve, Life Sentence, Twilight, Zen and the Art of Vampirism, Paranormal Romance Blues, Stalked, Rebirth, Infusion, Kitsunegari, Demonology, Birthright, The Case of the Half-Demon Spy, Expectations, Truth and Consequences, Territorial, Ghosts, Escape, Wedding Bell Hell, Adventurer, Bargain, Framed, Bamboozled, Young Bloods|