I tapped my foot to the beat of follow me by uncle Kracker as it played from the phone on my stomach. I could see the sun glowing through my eye lids and feel it heating up my already feverish skin. The song ended and I slapped the phone shut glancing at the sleek black cover I realized I was going to be late. Shoving it in my pocket and jumping off the roof of my house I landed on the browned grass and walked off to meet up with my pack. Josh is going to give me hell for being late if I don’t hurry up, I thought. As soon as I turned the corner of the single story white house I ran into my step sister Allison.
“Watch where you’re going coal fire.” She said to me in a snobby tone.
I frowned at her and felt the urge to punch her for using that god forsaken nickname she gave me. She felt the need to give me the so called “perfect” nickname when she hugged me ten years ago for my arrived at the Duval foster house. I muttered a sorry and rushed past her careful not to touch her at all. Allision Duval is what you call a spoiled stuck up bitch from a no where town. She thought she was all that just because she had flawless skin, nice curves, and silky blonde hair. The fact that she is the only one the hottie quarter back from school would date didn’t help her ego one bit.
It didn’t take me long to walk the two blocks down to the back alley of Carson’s general store. If you were a normal person walking down the streets of Hagerville you’d think we were a bunch of street kids up to no good. But that was far from the truth. I scratched at the tattoo on my wrist as I got closer to the group of kids. I glanced down at the tattoo I had since I could remember, not that I remembered anything before I was seven when I went into an orphanage. But I was glad it was at least a cool tattoo of a Celtic sun and moon. I dropped my hands to the side looking away from Josh’s glare; I was five minutes late because I stood glaring at Allison earlier.
“The meeting was for five sharp not five o’five.”
His voice was cutting and he wasn’t being fair using his edge over me to push home his anger. I shivered in my skin but stood my ground and looked him in the eye. They were a fierce dark blue almost black color making him look scarier then I knew he was. I knew the other pack members were watching us but I didn’t care, everyone knew I was the outcast thrown into a human world with no knowledge of who I was or where I came from. Just that I have this tattoo and I’m a werewolf. I glared at him defying his obvious want of me to apologize.
“Allison was being her usual self, give me a break you know she bugs the hell out of me.”
I didn’t use an angry tone but he flinched back like I had. He looked away from me and I saw his lips move before he turned away. The words strangely came to me after he had returned to the others.
“Let’s talk alone later, sorry.”
There was a sharp knock at my door then a squeak as it was pushed opened gently. A familiar face poked in and smiled at me.
“Can I come in?” Skylar asked.
“Sure,” I said. Skylar is the youngest one in the coven and she seems to enjoy it. She was spoiled to the core. She always gets what she wants.
“What’s wrong? You are usually up and about by now,” she said looking out my window. The sky was clear. No moon, no stars.
“I always feel down when the moon is not out,” I said shrugging.
“You are being ridiculous,” she said.
“Maybe,” I said. I sat up in the chair I was sitting in, hoping this depressed feeling will go away.
“Maybe a hunt will help you feel better,” she said. She held her hand out for me to take but I just looked at it.
“I’m just not up for it,” I told her. She looked at me for half a second and grinned wickedly at me.
“You either go voluntarily or you go by force,” she said. She flashed her fangs at me. I gave her a weak mockery of my smile.
“I’m not going,” I said.
“Is that your final answer?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said.
“By force it is,” she said. She launched her small body at me but fell into the empty chair because I was now standing behind her. She turned to face me with a playful smile at her lips. I answered it with my own devilish smile. A little growl rumbled up in her chest and I hissed playfully in response. She launched at me again but this time I grabbed her and slammed her hard on the ground. She kicked me over her head and I landed on my feet in the chair.
“I taught you better than this,” I teased. She crouched down in front of me.
“I’m just getting warmed up,” she said. She leaped off the floor and I swung my leg, kicking her to the floor. She quickly rose to her feet and prepared to attack again.
“Ready to quit?” I asked her.
“Nope,” she answered. I sighed heavily and put a hand on my hip.
“Well if we are going to do this, then let’s make this interesting,” I said. I jumped off the chair and out the window. Skylar was behind me and she was grabbing at my legs. I began kicking at her and I listened as she laughed when I caught her jaw.
“Ready to end this?” she yelled over the loud wind in our ears. I growled and grabbed at her throat. We began twirling and wrestling as we fell. When we where ten feet from the ground, we kicked each other’s leg hard enough to make a flip backwards to land on our feet.
“I call a quits,” she said.
“Thank you,” I said. I turned around and walked away. I move to the side just in time to see her fall where I was standing.
“You’re getting better,” I said, lending her a hand.
“What can I say? I have an awesome teacher,” she said, grabbing my hand and pulling herself up. She wiped the sleeves of her long sleeve shirt.
“You still don’t want to go with us?” she said.
“I’ll go but only because you’re doing so well with your training,” I told her. She smiled and threw her arms around me.
“Thanks Nyx,” she said. She ran into the night leaving tree leaves in her wake.
“Was the window really necessary?” A voice asked from behind me. I smiled and looked behind me. Blake was standing behind me with a white rose in his hand.
“It is a good challenge. She seemed to have enjoyed herself,” I said.
“Well, we have a hunt to prepare for,” he said wrapping an arm around my waist. He bent down to kiss my forehead. He grabbed my wrist and touched the Celtic moon and sun tattoo. “I am still curious on how you got this.”
“It’s been there for as long as I can remember and I only can remember up to the day I was placed in that stupid orphanage when I was seven,” I said bitterly.
“You never did tell me why you left,” he said pulling me forward.
“Too many rules to follow. I could stay there,” I sighed. He chuckled and threw his head back.
“You never were good with rules,” he said. We walked into an opening to the woods behind Lunaville, the town I spent most of my immortal life living in. We met up with the rest of the coven who was laughing at each other and leaning against the trees. I cleared my throat and immediately got every ones attention.
“Do we know the rules?” I asked, loud enough for everyone to hear. A lot of people answered yes and nodded their heads.
“Ok then. Have fun and be careful,” I said. They were gone before I finished and it was just me and Blake. I laughed at how fast they ran off.
“For someone who doesn’t care much for rules, you know how to enforce them.”
“I have to keep my coven safe,” I said smiling up at him.
The pack followed Josh out of the alley and to the forest at the end of Hagerville. I brought up the rear messing with my cell phone till it was time. My phone buzzed and I opened the text to find it was Josh texting me from inside his jacket pocket. I looked up momentarily to see him with his hands in his pockets looking ahead leading like he was doing nothing at all.
From Josh boy 7:30 p.m.
I’m sorry about before. I know you and Allison don’t get along but it’s a full moon. Even I can’t let it slip on nights like this. Unless we want the pack to find out?
I groaned internally. Then I texted back a fast reply.
To Josh boy 7:34 p.m.
NO! You said it yourself they won’t follow an alpha with a stray as a mate. I’ll be fine and try to be on time on full moons. I’m sorry, love you <3
My phone buzzed before I even had a chance to shut it. I opened Josh’s reply.
From Josh boy 7:32 p.m.
You know I don’t care who follows me or not. I love you and that’s all that matters. Were here, meet me at the spot?
I smiled at my phone sending a quick ‘always’ before the pack saw my silly grin I slapped it shut and shoved it in my back pocket as we entered the edge of the forest. The pack consisted of five other guys and two other girls. They all looked rough like a gang in its hay day but that was because of the werewolf DNA. It had a tendency to make eye colors darker and people more irritable looking, their tempers are affected too. I walked through the underbrush letting my fingers glide over the foliage till I found the pack forming a semi circle. The one drawback to being a werewolf, forced change on full moons, otherwise we can transform whenever we want. I hid behind a tree pulling out my cell phone and tying it to my calf. The cool part about being a werewolf, your clothes just disappear so no worries about awkward nakedness later, unfortunately that meant my cell phone went with them.
As soon as I finished fixing my phone I felt my body pulse. When I looked up the moon had come out from behind the clouds shining down on the forest, on us. I felt my body surge with heat that ate me alive. I pulled in on myself dropping to one knee, it wasn’t painful or anything, well ok for a normal werewolf. But for me my wrist throbbed and the tattoo changed color. The black ink of the sun slowly turned red like it felt angry I was betraying the sunlight for a life in the moonlight. And then my body burst forward and I knew I was racing through the forest as a werewolf. I headed for the part of the forest that had a small creek and large boulders making a natural hiding place for me and Josh to be with each other away from the others. My body froze midstride when a powerful florescent scent invaded my need to see my boyfriend. It was the scent of a vampire. I turned ninety degrees and headed toward the smell to be sure one of them wasn’t in our forest. As I burst forth from the tree line I caught sight of her. It was like looking in a negative mirror. She had similar facial features and an hourglass figure like I did. But her hair unlike my fiery red was silvery white. She turned her red eyes on me and growled.
"Mongrel! You’re on my territory!" She shouted at me.
"Your territory? This is Hagerville forest! It belongs to the werewolves leech!"
"In case you haven't got the memo, this forest is in the center of both towns so it belongs to no town, but it’s my land!! Now leave!!"
"I think you’re the one without a memo. Werewolf territory means we've lived here for decades. So you leave!" I was snarling by now.
"I will leave when I die. If that ever happens!"
"Oh you will. Die that is!"
"That's what you think pup!"
My ears shot forward when I heard someone crunching through the forest toward us. She heard it too and turned for half a second. I took the chance and ran to find Josh and tell him we were in for a fight tonight.
“You know what?” Blake asked me.
“What?” I asked him.
“I think I’m in love with you,” he said.
“Really?” I asked biting my lips. He pulled me close to him and kissed my forehead.
“Really,” he said whispering in my ear. A smell hit me hard and I shivered. “What’s wrong?”
“What is that god awful smell?” I said covering my nose.
“Yeah, I smell it too. Smells like a werewolf,” he said.
“Go get the others and tell them the hunt is over,” I said. I ran from him before he got the chance to protest. I swished past the trees easily with my vampire speed. The smell was getting stronger and my tattoo on my arm felt like it was pulsing. I stopped to catch the scent when a white wolf with red strands of hair looked up at me baring it’s teeth. I growled in return.
“Mongrel!! You’re on my territory!!” I shouted coldly.
“Your territory? This is Hagerville forest! It belongs to the werewolves, leech!!!” it growled at me.
“In case you haven't got the memo, this forest is in the center of both towns so it belongs to no town, but is my land!! Now leave!!" I yelled.
"I think you’re the one without a memo. Werewolf territory means we've lived here for decades.
So you leave!" the mongrel growled at me. I bared my fangs and balled my fist.
"I will leave when I die. If that ever happens!!" I said. The wolf clawed at the dirt under her paws aggravated and that made me smile.
"Oh you will. Die that is!" she yelled.
"That's what you think pup!!" I said crouching in a fighting position. I heard a noise behind me and turned to find Blake standing behind me. I turned back to the white wolf and screamed when I saw she was gone. “Damn it!!”
“Are you alright?” Blake asked me.
“The bitch got away,” I said.
“We’ll find her,” he said. I ran in the direction back to Lunaville leaving Blake far behind me. Who did that Mongrel think she is? The tattoo on my wrist was pulsing less like the closer I was too that dog made it react. I can’t believe this is happening.
When I reached the tranquil creek Josh was nowhere to been seen. His scent lingered telling me he had been there. I pulled my black cell phone from the leather thong on my leg. I sent a message to Josh asking where he was. A couple minutes later my phone buzzed of the wall, he was calling.
“Hello?” I said.
‘I’m out looking for you. You didn’t show up where are you?’ His husky voice said through the phone.
“At the spot I had to check something out before I came.”
‘For a half hour?’ He asked. I blinked pulled the phone away and looked at the time. Sure enough it was almost eight o’clock.
“There was a vampire in the forest.” I told him when I put the phone back to my face.
‘Where are you I’m coming right now!’
“Easy killer I ran away before things got to intense. And there was another one with her. I wanted to find you so we could take her out but that won’t happen.”
‘Your right it won’t because I’m going alone and you’re staying there till I come back for you.’ He said sternly using his alpha tone. I glared at the rock in front of me, he might be the alpha of this pack but I was his mate which meant his macho man routine didn’t faze me.
“I will not stay here while you fight!” I shouted into the phone.
I snapped it shut before he had a chance to protest. Slipping it back into the cord on my calf I ran after him. I picked his scent up not too far from the center of the forest where I had encountered the vampire. When I reached him he was circling the spot where she had been standing in his human form. I forced myself back into mine with some effort. It was like the tattoo was punishing me and making it hard to change back. But when I did I felt drained and collapsed to my knees.
“Lux! Are you alright?” He was concerned.
“Yeah fine just bad idea, really bad idea.”
I held up my shaking wrist to show him the angry red sun. He took it in his firm hands and kissed it then kissed my lips softly.
“Nyx, what’s going on? Why did you call off the hunt?” Skylar asked me when I walked in. I was still steamed after my encounter with the werewolf. I pulled my hair back from my face but something grabbed my wrist.
“What the hell?” Blake asked. He was looking at the tattoo that was glowing bright red on my arm. The sun was redder but the moon still had a hint of red in it. I starred at my arm confused at what I was saying. He ran a finger against it and flinched away. “It’s hot.”
“It’s never did that before,” I said looking at it.
“Get Nyx something cold,” Blake said. He let my wrist go and grabbed the ice pack that Skylar was holding out. He placed it on the tattoo and it hissed in protest.
“Thanks,” I told him. I turned to my coven to find that all their eyes were on me. “We have a problem.”
“What is it?” Misty asked from the far left corner of the room.
“There are werewolves that live not too far from here. From what I know they live in Hagerville,” I spoke. All seven pair of eyes widened in shock. “That is why the hunt was cut short. Until we know what these mongrels are doing on our territory, we will hunt elsewhere. Is that clear?”
“What exactly are we going to do about them?” Misty asked.
“Don’t worry about that. Me and Blake will run around the forest and see what we can find. You guys stay here and locate a good hunting spot,” I said. I turned out the front door and removed the ice from my arm. My arm was still red but it wasn’t hot.
“Are you alright?” Blake asked for behind me.
“I want to tear at that dog’s throat for calling me a leech,” I hissed.
“Just relax,” he said wrapping his arms around me. I loosened my muscles and sighed. “Where were we before the mongrel interrupted us?”
“You were telling me that you think you are in love with me,” I said. He kissed the side of neck repeatedly and chuckled.
“I don’t think. I know,” he said rocking me in his arms. I grinned and let my hair fall in my face.
He pushed my hair back and twirled me around in a circle. “I bet you would look really beautiful in white.”
“Black is more my color,” I said. He stopped twirling me and pulled me close to him.
“It’s worth a try,” he said. I smiled at him adoringly.
“Fine, I will try it.” He grinned. “Let’s go before the trail is gone.”
“How about you stay here and I will go see where the trail leads. While you try to see if white can be your color too,” he said. He grabbed my face in his hand and forced me to look at his bright blue eyes.
“Really?”I asked, frowning at him.
“Yes. There is a gift for you in your room,” he said. He kissed my forehead and he was gone. I sighed and jumped up to my window. The door was right there but where’s the fun in that? I climbed through the opened window. I turned the light by my bed on and found a large box with white and blue roses around it.
“What is he up to now?” I asked, unable to keep the smile from my face. I moved the roses and lifted the lid off the box. I gasped in shock at what I found.
I fell to one knee again feeling my body pulse with the moon. I had forced myself to stay human for too long on a night like this. I looked up into Josh’s black blue eyes a second before the white fur bust forth from my body. I crouched there watching Josh with my new eyes as he too transformed. He looked at the moon and closed his eyes for a second while black fur over took his body and he hunched forward letting his bones snap and pop so he took on the shape of a wolf. He opened his eyes showing off a vibrant green that glistened in the light. I let a whine escape my throat getting his attention. He walked over to me slowly and rubbed his head affectionately against mine. I leaned into his neck closing my eyes in comfort.
“I want to tell them.” He said all of a sudden.
“Tell who what?” I asked.
“The pack about us. I’m tired of hiding it, tired of hiding you.”
“NO! You can’t!” I snarled quietly.
“I can and I will.”
I took a step back when he used his alpha tone. He was using it more then he needed to. I could tell this issue was going to become a full blown argument. I wasn’t the type to bow down or give up I was more stubborn then a mule, just like him. I took back the ground I had lost when I flinched away from him.
“You love being the leader of a pack, even if it’s only eight of us. You told me they want you to have a mate with lineage so the pack would be strong. I’m a throw away.”
“Shut up! Don’t talk about yourself like that.” He said sweetly.
“I’ll talk how I want and I want to say we’re keeping it a secret. It’s what’s best and better for you.” I told him rubbing his nose.
He pulled back throwing his head up to let out a long low howl. My eyes went wide; he had signaled the others to come. I could feel my fur stand on end before I turned to run for it. I heard him snarl before I felt him grab my legs. Rolling on my back to face him, I made the half shift. I growled at him as his strong arms pinned mine to the ground immobilizing me. I glared at his midshift form. He still had the black fur of a wolf and the head, paws, tail, and legs. The only difference was he stood on two legs instead of four and his green eyes now looked black blue from his human DNA.
“Let me go!” I shouted at him.
“No not till we tell them!”
“Hell no! I just saw a vampire, heard another one coming, and you’re willing to risk the pack now!?”
“We can handle the vampire.” He said.
“VAMPIRESSSS, as in more than one, as in we need a pack to kill them! I won’t let you get yourself killed over me!” I was furious with him by now.
“Well to bad.”
His nose slammed down on mine then ran down my muzzle till his wolf lips touched mine. I growled at him unwilling to give up this fight yet. But as he kissed me we reverted back to human and I swung my arms up around his neck. He pressed himself to me as the kiss deepened. He was such an unfair person using my weakness to keep me quite till they got here. I dug my fingers into his back trying to pull him off but he just pinned my arms back down again. I groaned under his lips as the realization set in that it was going to happen and I couldn’t fight it this time. I began to cry as the sound of wolves closing in became apparent.
The dress was gorgeous. I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life. The dress was white and strapless. I held it to my chest and watched it sway around me as I twirled in front of my full body mirror. There was a note at the bottom of the box. I picked it up and read it:
A beautiful dress for a beautiful girl. I hope you like it.
“It’s beautiful,” I said. I quickly changed into the dress and watched as it flowed around me when I twirled. It looked amazing and it fit me perfectly.
“Wow,” Blake said from at the window. He’s not to big on using the doors either.
“It’s beautiful,” I said twirling again. He walked up to me and tried to get a better look.
“You are beautiful,” he said.
“Still think white is my color?” I asked him teasingly.
“Definitely,” he said. I shook my head and went into my bathroom closing the door behind me.
“Did you find the trail?”I asked him.
“Yeah, there were two werewolves in that forest tonight.” I slid myself out of the dress and sighed. If I didn’t look back at Blake for that second I would have had her.
“I will get her,” I said. I slipped into my black jeans and t-shirt. I walked out the bathroom and folded the dress. I placed it safely in its box. “What am I suppose to where this to?”
“In time you will know,” he said grinning. He held his arms out for me and I was about to refuse when he scooped me up anyway. He picked me up off the floor and placed me on my bed. He laid next to me. “Do you want me to leave?”
“Not if you don’t want to,” I answered.
“You just gave me permission to move in your room,” he said grinning.
“Very funny,” I said. I punched him in the arm. “I can’t stop thinking of that wolf. I wanted to slap her so badly but there was something about which she is that seemed familiar.”
“Let’s not talk about it tonight,” he said. I laid on his shoulder and closed my eyes. The last thing I heard was Blake mumble I love you in my ear before I drifted into unconsciousness.
I shoved Josh off of me causing the shift to take effect. Rolling to my feet I posed ready to run. I swallowed hard looking at the pack as some glared and others looked relieved. I blinked at the rainbow of wolf colored fur ranging from russet brown Hank to ashen Charlotte. Standing up Josh looked at every pack member daring them to speak up about his choice. Surprisingly the quietest werewolf Hank stepped forward looking unhappy.
“The runt really? When Charlotte has bloodlines going back three hundred years you decide to choose the runt over her.” He said aggressively.
I frowned I knew I was small compared to the others, even the females. But that hurt my feelings to be called a runt. Josh snarled at him taking a step forward raising his black fur to puff himself up. Hank shrunk down and whispered his opinion this time.
“She isn’t good for you alpha.”
“And you are what my mother? I choose who I want as a mate and I chose Lux. If you don’t like it leave!” Josh snarled.
Everyone flinched back at his unexpected anger, even me. I knew it wasn’t directed at me personally but I still felt scared. I made the full change back to a wolf. My movement caught Charlotte’s eye and she winked at me. I blinked confused by her kindness. Didn’t Hank say she was the better choice for Josh? To answer my unsaid question she walked forward shoving Hank aside to take the spotlight and Josh’s anger. Hank gave her a what-the-heck look and Josh glared. I was just plain curious about what she was going to say. Charlotte lowered her ash colored head in respect and let her musical voice ring out.
“Hank does not speak for me. It is true I am of noble blood if you trace it back 300 generations. But that does not mean I am right for you. I have had my suspicions for some time now about Lux and you.”
I gasped at her. How did she know about us? And why didn’t she tell the others? Were the questions running through my head as she continued to speak.
“And from what I gathered this ‘runt’”, she said glaring at Hank, “is a better match for you than I am.” She said that part to Josh and I.
I blinked. Was she serious that she truly believed that? I took a step forward to ask her if she really meant that. But then Hank pulled his lips back over his teeth showing them as a threat. Josh saw his reaction and blocked me from view snarling. I heard a rumble come from his chest and he struck out at Hank with his claws. Hank’s russet fur came into view as he made the midshift. I think everyone was taken aback by his defiance and eagerness to challenge Josh. I watched the two werewolves battle for dominance, Hank to throw me out of the pack, Josh for them to accept me.
I woke up in my room alone. I laid there running my trembling fingers through my hair. I had the weirdest dream I have ever had. The wolf was there and she was about to attack me but before she touched me she changed. I side stepped before she made contact but her body form seemed similar to mine in so many ways. I woke up before she actually lifted her face and looked up at me.
“You ok?” a voice spoke from my room door. Misty was standing at my door way with Serene and Arissa behind her. They looked at me quizzically waiting for me to speak.
“Yeah just a bad dream,” I said, sitting up in my bed.
“So the princess of darkness does dream,” Serene said pushing past Misty and sitting at the edge of my bed.
“Very funny,” I said kicking at her ribs. She grinned wickedly and examined her nails. “Where are the guys?”
“Looking for Blakey are already?” Selene asked grabbing my cheek.
“That’s it you,” I said throwing a pillow hard at her head. She laughed and threw it back.
“Well Luke, Mitch and Blake where tracking the trail from yesterday. No one knows where the hell Xander went,” Arissa said.
“And Skylar?” I asked.
“In her room playing with her headless doll collection. Something is really wrong with that kid,” she said shaking her head.
“Leave her alone Arissa. That’s the last time I’m going to tell you that,” I said. She lifted her hand innocently, getting the message.
“So what was your bad dream about?” Misty asked.
“The werewolf I seen yesterday. It kind of looked familiar in its human form,” I said.
“Did you see its face?” Serene asked.
“No I woke up. But we had an awkward conversation,” I said.
“What were you two saying?” Misty asked.
“I didn’t say anything. She on the other hand kept whispering ‘From two different worlds with two different purposes, we represent two different things. How do we find the balance with what we are if who we are is a mystery?’” I said quoting the wolf.
“What the hell does that mean?” Serene asked, looking at me like I was crazy.
“Sounds pretty,” Misty said shrugging her shoulder. Arissa rolled her eyes and examined her stilettos.
“I don’t know what it means. I know that it’s permanently stuck in my head,” I said. I sighed and hopped of my bed. I looked in the mirror and too my surprise I stood there without moving.
“What’s up?” Serene asked watching me. I kept looking at the way my body curved. It was the same as the wolf in its human form. But that was impossible because I never seen the wolf in its human form.
“Uh, nothing,” I said. I pulled at my shirt and walked to my bathroom.
“Anyway, what do you want to do today?” Serene asked.
“What do you have in mind?” I asked loud enough for her to hear me from the bathroom.
“I was thinking we could go to the bar,” she replied.
“Sounds like a plan,” I said.
“What’s in this box?” Serene asked. I splashed some water on my face and pinned up my hair.
“A gift from Blake,” I told her, stepping out the bathroom.
“Can I open it?” she asked.
“Like I can really stop you,” I said rolling my eyes.
“True,” she said. She opened the box carefully and looked at the dress. It was just as beautiful as the day before. Serene, Misty and Arissa stared at me open mouth. I looked back at them feeling like I was missing something.
“What?” I asked looking back and forth between the three of them.
“This is a dress,” Serene said.
“Yes,” I said.
“A white dress,” Misty said.
“I know what color it is?” I told her.
“What occasion do you usually wear a white dress to?” Arissa asked me. I just shook my head no and put the cover back on the box.
“You guys are insane,” I told them.
“You know where right,” Serene told me. I just shook my head no at the thought of me wearing this dress down a alter. I couldn’t believe they would think of such a thing. Yes, me and Blake do love each other but we never talked about getting married.
“Whatever,” I said. We all heard the sound of a door downstairs being closed.
“Come on,” I said walking past Misty and Arissa to the stairs. I walked down the stairs and ran into a breath taking hug. I tried to see who it was but I was being held so tightly that I couldn’t look up. I sniffed the person that held me so tightly. It was a smell familiar to me but I couldn’t put a name on the person who had the smell. It was a sweet smell almost like lavender and wine. That’s when I remember who the smell belong to.
“Ethan. What are you doing here?” I asked my foster brother.
Watching the sun rise over the tree line of the forest I flopped back on the tan roof and let it warm me. I was already warm from my normal high temperature but I felt chilled till the sun touched my skin. I let the sun soak my skin till I felt the coolness of a shadow slid over me. I pulled my arm off my face opening one eye to see who was looming over me. I clenched my hand and put my arm back over my eyes.
“You’re in the way of my sun Hank.” I grumbled.
I heard the shift of his feet but he never moved out of my way. I groaned and stood up. I was thankful everyone else in my house was asleep. They called me strange enough as it was I didn’t need them to see me on the roof with Hank. He wore a ripped up flannel shirt and cut off blue jeans. The term redneck always came to mind when I saw him. He pulled down his red baseball cap to cover his black eye. In the end last night he came out worse for wear and the loser. I could see marks on his tan skin from where Josh had bitten him or slashed open his arm.
“What do you want Hank I’m not in the mood for crap today?” I said glaring him down.
A frown pulled down one side of his lips as he looked away from me. I could tell he was only here because Josh had told him to be. So it was an apology he was going to give me was it. I turned away from him crossing my arms over my chest.
“You apologize great now go away.”
“Who said I was going to apologize to you.” He said angrily.
I turned around to face him.
“Then what?” I asked.
He flinched back shaking with annoyance. Then out of anger he grabbed the neck of my white tank top and pulled me up. I felt embarrassed because he pulled my top up almost to my bra. I slapped his hand away tugging down my shirt. Grinding my teeth together I balled my fists up till I drew blood. I glared at him feeling the tattoo on me arm begin to heat up.
“Fine sorry for calling you a runt, Josh has summoned you to the woods too.”
I let my hands relax at my sides looking at his brown eyes for a sign that he was lying. He wasn’t, he actually was sorry. I stuck my hand out letting the anger fall from me. He awkwardly took my hand and shook it.
“I came to see my little foster sister. Was that a crime?” he said letting me go out of his bear hug. I blocked Arissa, Serene and Misty’s way.
“Yes it is, Ethan,” I said. “Now leave now.”
“What’s wrong with you Nixie? You weren’t always this way,” he said looking at me sideways.
“How the hell did you find me?” I said. I can feel Serene’s nails digging in my arms. Ethan is a human and he doesn’t belong in a vampire house.
“I heard this Xander dude talking about a bar and a list of names of people that might be going. He mentioned your name and I followed him here,” he said bored. Ethan was like a big brother to me when we were in foster care. That was until he left me and never came back.
“Where is Xander then?” I asked curiously.
“I don’t know. I heard a noise behind me and turned back but he was gone,” he said.
“Ethan, you have to leave. Now,” I said. I started to push him out the door when he grabbed my arm.
“Are you still mad at me?”I gave him my ‘are you really this stupid’ look and pulled my arm away.
“Now why would I be mad at you? You only left me in that foster house by myself. Just leave Ethan,” I said. I felt the adrenaline that was waving off of Serene, Misty and Arissa. They were getting impatient and I can’t stop all three of them at the same time.
“Can we talk outside because your pretty friends are looking at me funny,” he said. Ethan is tall and muscular. Back when we were younger, he was in the football team.
“Sure. After you,” I said. He walked out the front door and I turned on the three hooligans behind me. I flashed my fangs and watched them flash away up the stairs. Following Ethan out the door, I looked for Xander. Knowing him, he is probably hunting Ethan for following him.
“I’m sorry that I left you,” he said.
“It was a long time ago. Just forget it,” I said folding my arms over my chest.
“I can’t forget it. I always did want to come back for you,” he said. I looked up at the cloudy sky and I could smell the rain.
“It doesn’t matter anymore Ethan,” I said. I turned to walk away but he grabbed my arm. I pulled away gently, not using any of my vampire strength.
“We aren’t done yet,” he said.
“Yes we are,” I said pulling away a little harder but not too hard. He still didn’t let go. “Let me go.”
“Is there a problem here?” a voice asked from near a tree by the house. I recognized the voice and turned to it. Blake stood leaning on a old tree. He was grinning a little and I shook my head no. It was too late. Blake was already walking toward us.
“Not at all. Who are you?” Ethan asked.
“Nyx’s fiancé,” he said.
“Your getting married?” Ethan asked in shock. I just shrugged and looked guilty.
“Trust me. I am just as surprised as you are,” I said turning to Blake. He smiled and wrapped his arm around my waist. He began to eye Ethan’s hand because it was still on my arm. Ethan pulled his hand back and took a step back.
“Blake can you do me a favor and find Xander for me?” I said suddenly uncomfortable in his arms. He looked at me with sadly and walked the way he came.
“I can’t believe your getting married,” Ethan said looking away from me.
“Ethan, why does it matter? You left any way,” I said.
“It wasn’t my fault,” he screamed.
“I have to go now. Please go away and don’t come back,” I said ad headed for the house. Closing the door behind me, I sighed in relief.
“Who’s the mundane?” Blake asked. He was standing on the first step of the stairs and he was leaning on the banister.
“My foster brother,” I said.
“He smells appetizing,” Blake smiled.
“Really, I didn’t noticed but that’s probably because he’s like a brother to me,” I shouted. I ran past him up the stairs.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, right behind me.
“You know what’s wrong with me,” I said stubbornly.
“Are you mad at me?” he asked as we reached the top of the stairs. I ignored him. He pulled me into his room.
“Yes, I am mad at you. How can you not tell you ‘fiancé’ that she is your fiancé?” I asked.
“I’m sorry. Don’t be mad at me,” he said holding me close. I avoided his eyes and he grabbed my chin bringing his eyes up to his. “I really am sorry Nyx. Can you forgive me?”
“Yes. I forgive you,” I said. Then his lips were on mine and nothing else matter. Not even the scream of my name. Wait, why is my name being screamed. I pulled away from Blake and ran out his room. I heard Serene shouting my name from downstairs in the living room.
“Nyx, something happened,” she called out. I ran down the stairs to find Ethan lying on the living floor with blood dripping down his neck. I covered my mouth in horror and fell to the floor.
I stood on Josh’s door step with my hand paused in the air to knock. I swallowed and let my hand hit the door once and left it there. Even thou a normal person wouldn’t have heard the quite thud someone was opening the door. When it opened the first thing I saw was a pair of deep blue almost black eyes looking pained. A smile spread across his face and he pulled me into a hug holding me for too long. I snuggled into it but made sure I didn’t press to hard. I could feel him flinching away from my weight. A thought accrued to me and I pulled away scrutinizing him.
“What?” He asked.
“Take your shirt off.”
“Why?” He sounded alarmed.
I glared at him. He knew why. Hank had thrown him against a tree and stopped his already broken ribs. The ribs would have healed but anything other than major injuries healed normally. That’s why Hank still had a black eye and why I suspected bruised ribs on Josh. Still he didn’t move so I tugged up his ripped white shirt myself. He struggled trying to push it back down but I pinned his wrists to one side of the door and looked at his chest. I felt like I might cry. Across his entire chest and part of his stomach was black and purple. Josh didn’t move so I knew my arms were the ones shaking. I didn’t realize he broke my grip but he was hugging me.
He pulled me up so I was cradled against his chest and then he ran. I closed my eyes letting the wind whip against me as I stroked Josh’s midshift forms fur chest. He stopped running and I opened my eyes to find we were on my roof. Josh sat me down and shifted back collapsing on his back. I fell to his side on my knees and took his shirt off. I took a side long look to see him watching me. I looked back to his chest and lightly glided my finger tips over the marks. I felt his muscles spasm and I pulled back quickly. His hand caught my wrist and placed my finger tips back on his blue chest. I could feel him shiver under my touch and I realized he wasn’t hurting when I touched him he was enjoying it.
I placed the rest of my hand on his chest stretching out my fingers. Then I laid down next to him so my captured wrist still rested on his chest. He dragged his finger tips up my arm and I shivered. I bowed my head on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry.” I whispered in his ear.
“Why?” He asked.
I pulled away sitting up looking at the sun that had risen higher in the sky. I placed my chin on my knees that were hugged to me. Closing my eyes I let a single tear fall down my cheek before I felt arms wrap around me from behind. Because I’m the reason your hurt is what I wanted to say.
“Because I’m a no good throw away.” I said hoarsely.
He squeezed me snaking his arm undermine and around my waist. His other arm went up my neck and brushed my red hair back. I felt his lips brush my ear then my cheek as he turned my head to face him. I saw his black eyes shining down at me.
“No you’re a no good werewolf whose in love with a pathetic excuse for an alpha.”
He silenced me with one of his fingers. I could feel my lips quivering under his touch. I wanted to tell him he was wrong he was an excellent alpha, I was the issue. His forehead touched mine as my phone rang out.
“I will lose my mind. Make it real this time. To leave it all behind. I won’t cry wolf.”
Filled the air as my ringtone planets by adema started. He ignored my hand reaching for my pocket and kissed me for the first time. I didn’t count the time in the forest when he was just staling me till the others arrived. This was our first kiss.
I finally came out of shock and I was moving fast. I was hovering over Ethan. His eyes were half closed and he didn’t seem to be able to see me.
“Who bit him?!” I yelled. Xander came from the other room with blood dripping down his chin and a nervous smile. “Damn it Xander!!!”
“It wasn’t his fault,” Serene said. I looked at her questionably and was surprised at what I saw. I saw a spark in her silvery blue eyes. The same spark that Drake has when he looks at me. She looked away guilty.
“We have to talk,” I said, turning back to Ethan.
“I don’t need to talk to you,” Serene said, looking away from me.
“To bad I wasn’t asking you,” I said. I heard her mumble something but I didn’t try to pay attention to what she said. “Get me some ice and a first aid kit.”
“We don’t have one,” Xander said.
“Find me one,” I said sweetly. I wasn’t angry with Xander. He just had to learn how to control his needs.
“Here,” he said handing me a pile of bandages and a ice tray. I nodded at him and gestured for him to whip his mouth. Ethan wasn’t going to become one of us but he is going to have a hell of a scar. I began to clean his wound when Blake came downstairs. He wrinkled his nose trying to fight temptations.
“Who did it?” he asked, laughing.
“Xander,” Serene said sadly.
“Ethan is going to be fine,” I told her.
“I’m worried about Xander. He needs to be more careful with his cravings,” she said handing me a bandage.
“It was a mistake. Skylar did the same thing a couple of months ago,” Blake said.
“Skylar is different,” Serene said sadly. She hopped to her feet and went up stairs.
“What are you going to do about him?” Blake said, pointing at Ethan.
“He’s is going to stay in my room until he recovers,” I said avoiding his eyes.
“What?” he asked angrily.
“What else am I suppose to do?” I asked.
“Do you really think it’s ok to let a mundane stay with us?” he asked concerned. I finished putting a bandage on Ethan’s wound.
“I really don’t have a choice,” I said. Blake hugged my waist and kissed my forehead.
“I’ll go along with whatever you decide,” he said.
“That’s why I love you,” I said. He kissed me and walked over to where Ethan laid. He picked Ethan up gently and carried him up the stairs easily. It looked funny because Ethan looked twice Blake’s size. I cleaned up the bloody stuff of the floor and threw it in the fire place. It sizzled in the flames and turned to ashes. Xander came into the room with a fresh white t-shirt and a frown on his face.
“I’m sorry Nyx,” he said sadly.
“It’s ok Xander. I’m not mad at you,” I said. He looked confused. “I know how it feels to not be in control of your cravings. It isn’t your fault.”
“Thanks for understanding,” he said.
“Can you do me a favor?”I asked. He nodded immediately and I smiled. “Can you talk to Serene for me. She seemed a little shook up about the smell of Ethan.
“Sure,” he said trying to hide the happiness in his eyes.
“Thanks,” I said. I watched as he disappeared like the others. I set on the couch and closed my eyes. I felt a hand on my cheek and my eyes flew open. Drake was sitting beside me on the couch.
“You don’t have to sleep on the couch,” he said.
“I know,” I said. I leaned on his shoulder and tucked my feet under me. “This isn’t good Blake.”
“It’ll get better,” he whispered in my hair.
“I hope so,” I said.
He was kissing me actually kissing me! It was so intense like an emotional build up from the three years we were together and never got to kiss because of his pack. His hands roamed my back and neck till he pulled me onto of him. Then it happened. The burning like I was on fire. At first I didn’t notice it because of my emotional high but then I did and I screamed. I bit it off jerking back and tumbling off the roof. My eyes went wide as I midshifted to grab my window sill with a clawed hand. The light in my room switched on making a split second decision for me I didn’t know I had to. I dropped to the ground bolting from the house at full speed. Once I took the first step I was off racing on all fours as a wolf for the forest, to anywhere in the forest I could scream and not be heard. I finally lost it somewhere turning mid stride and tumbling through the air.
I smacked a tree bending around it as my ribs cracked. I rolled off catching the angry red sun tattoo and the fair blue of the moon I never noticed before. I got to my hands and knees letting out a breath I didn’t know I was holding. The cracking of my ribs healing didn’t bother me it was the searing pain in my wrist. I let out a horrendous scream like I was being murdered slow and painfully. I was half out of breath from the scream when my ribs finished healing. I let out a second scream as the heat somehow worsened. I was hunching forward convulsing like I was trying to throw up. But really I was just in that much pain as my body tried to figure out how to help it’s self.
I shivered in my freezing body as my forehead sweated and my wrist burned. I thought I might be dying because what else could cause this. For the third time today arms wrapped around me ceasing my shaking. They pulled me up off the ground and into something warm. I whimpered softly because I had lost my voice from the force of screaming. I closed my eyes and turned to tell Josh I was sorry that my arm was messed up. I froze when I saw red eyes. I pushed back trying to get out of the vampires grip. I was so cold I actually thought that thing was warm.
“Jo-“My scream came out horse and cracked.
I sucked in air to call out again as I heard the snarling wolf get closer. But then a fiercer pain shot through my head and I lost consciousness.
“Nyx!! Blake!!” I heard Mitch and Luke yell from the front door.
“What is it now?” I asked. I pulled away from Blake and stood up. I walked to the door and was surprised when I saw Mitch and Luke caring two unconscious bodies.
“We have some good news,” Mitch said grinning.
“And some bad news,” Luke said frowning. Blake was leaning on the banister of the stairs.
“Well what’s the good news?” he asked.
“These are the wolves,” Mitch said excitedly.
“And the bad news?” I sighed.
“Look at the chick,” Luke said. I walked behind him and lifted the female head. I screamed and fell to the floor.
“Nyx?” Blake asked. He looked at the female, at me and back to the female.
“I know. Pretty damn weird,” Mitch said. I heard a smack and Mitch say ouch.
“Take them to the basement. Tie them up or something,” Blake said. Mitch and Luke disappeared and I was left alone with Blake he reached for me but I pushed his hand away. I felt sick and my hands were shaking. Blake reached for me again and squirmed away from him. I stared at the floor and didn’t move. I heard voices around me but I couldn’t make out what they are saying. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and my eyes began to blur.
“Nyx!!! Listen to me Nyx,” I heard Serena calling me but I couldn’t see her. I shook my head. I felt a hand firmly grab my chin and brought my eyes to theirs but I couldn’t see them clearly. “Snap out of it!!!”
“What’s wrong with Nyx?” I heard Skylar ask.
“The werewolf looks exactly like her and she freaked out,” Arissa said uncaringly.
“Nyx, come on. Snap out of it!!” Serena said. She was slapping my cheek now and I felt the burn of it.
“She is in complete shock,” Blake said.
“Tell me about it,” Misty said. My arm started burning again and I started to scream. “Her arm!! It’s glowing!!!”
“Get me some ice!!”Blake yelled. I could see now but I was too busy twisting and kicking in pain. I felt hands grabbing me and holding me down. I felt something cold on my arm and then the burning was gone. I laid there on the floor and felt myself being lifted off the floor and put on the couch. I sat up quickly and pushed everyone out my way. I jumped on my feet and ran to the basement. I stood standing over the unconscious female look alike and watched as she opened her eyes slowly.
“We meet again,” I hissed.
Publication Date: 07-28-2011
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