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My head is spinning. After all I just found out, how am I supposed to breathe? Everything I had ever thought of life was—no is—a lie. There are monsters under beds and ghouls in the closets. There is a heaven and a hell, angels and demons, ghouls and ghosts, and right now the worst of all nightmares barred glistening teeth down on me. I waited for the earth shattering pain, but it did not come.
In the seconds it took me for my adrenaline and shock to settle, Anne had changed, Taking form of the girl I loved. Her brown hair falling out around her shoulders in frizzed untamed corkscrews. Her alabaster skin shined with sweat and her eyes swollen and wild, fearful. She wasn’t human…she was a monster.
“Jacob,” she murmured, stepping forward and reaching a shaking hand out to touch the side of my face
“No.” I said, grabbing her outstretched fingers and staring into her clear blue eyes.
“J-Jacob that hurts” she whispered, pulling back slightly. I didn’t let her go.
“Tell me what you are.” I said, my jaw clenched, the scratches on my back stinging and warmth dripping down my skin
“I can’t, Jacob. Please.” She said, her eyes cast down towards her knees, red with cold from being pressed against the roughly grooved cement floor.
“Yes you can, and you will. I want to hear u say it.” I took my other hand and grabbed her chin gently, forcing her face up to meet my eyes. She starred back, her jaw trembling and her eyes gathering tears.
“Not human, not a girl” she said, her voice even despite the tears rolling down her cheeks.
“What are you then?” I whispered, leaning forward and pressing my lips to hers for just a moment, then pulling back and looking deeply into her eyes, hoping to draw the truth out of them.
“I want to tell you. I hate lying to you…but I can’t say it…” my heart burst, she was in danger here, she was afraid.
“Anne…” I mumbled, pulling her forward into my lap, she was shaking with sobs that quaked her whole body.
She was so perfect, so innocent and scared. So young and naïve. And she needed me right now, and I needed to forget what she had just done to me and hold her, just comfort her. I knew she hadn’t meant to hurt me, she would never.
My memory flicked back and forth between now and earlier that day.
I walked up to Anne’s door, my heart pounding as I knocked. Seconds later her father, a slight and very tall man opened the door. The first thing I noticed about him was his eyes, they were crinkled up in a smile, but they were the same ice blue as Anne’s. Cold, calculating. The next was his very long straight blonde hair.
“You must be this Jacob we’ve been hearing about nonstop.” He said his voice dull and monotonic.
“I guess.” I shrugged, the blood running to my face and a nervous smile playing on my lips.
“Annie will be just a moment, come in.” he held the door open wider and dropped his arm so I could get through.
The second I stepped in the house goose bumps raised on my arms. It was spring and inside the house the thermostat was on and blasting cold hair through the entire house. I pulled my jacket tighter around me and smiled, not wanting to seem rude as Anne’s father stared me up and down.
“Honey? Who was it?” came a melodic feminine voice from the kitchen.
“It’s Jacob, for Annie.” He called back, not taking his eyes off of me.
“Oh! He’s here already?”
She came around the corner, her hair loose and just as curly as Anne’s, kind brown eyes liked with makeup less eyelashes and pale skin. She was blonde and thin, tall, and beautiful. She looked a lot like Anne and she smiled, flashing white straight teeth.
“I’m Anne’s mother, Carol.” She said, her perfectly manicured hand held out to take mine.
“Jacob.” I replied, my legs turning to jelly as I touched her fiery warm skin.
It’s just from being in the kitchen, nothing strange about having warm hands around hot food.
I turned and saw Anne. She wore a shin long white skirt and a light blue blouse, her hair was pulled into a pony tail and she had a smile on her face.
“Hey Anne,” I mumbled nervously, shoving my hand’s into my pockets. She nearly reached my jaw as she stood next to me and I realized she was wearing shoes with a tall heel.
“You kid’s have fun” Carol said with another gorgeous smile.
“She’s home by 8, right Jacob?” said her father-and I realized he hadn’t introduced himself with a name.
“Yes sir” I nodded
“Bye daddy” Anne said as she walked forward, standing on her toes to kiss his cheek and hugging her mother.
Anne stared at me.
“My Dad’s name is Corvinus.” She said her voice suddenly loud as it pierced my thoughts.
“Weird name…” I mumbled, touching her hair
“He’s a weird guy.” She answered solemnly.
“Oh.” I replied, unsure of what to say.
“We should go, Jacob.” She whispered. “I don’t like it here.”
“Me neither,” I agreed. “C’mon.”
She slid out of my lap and I stood, holding my hand out to her. She took it, her hand hot and moist. I pulled her up, shaking my hand as soon as she let go.
“Sorry” she mumbled, blushing slightly and dusting off her skirt.
“Don’t be.” I looked at the floor.
Things were changing. She was once that girl at school that sat next to my sister at lunch with the awesome smile and mysterious eyes. She became my friend and we trusted each other with everything. The only thing I ever hid from her was the feelings that bloomed in my stomach when she bounded over to me and laughed. It had been 2 years now.
The day we first admitted our feelings to each other was at Grace’s 15th birthday party. Anne was there wearing a white sundress and sandals. I still remember the smell of her in that closet, something like apples. I still remember the honey taste of that first kiss and the shaky voice that whispered “I love you.”
While I was working and Anne was at school I always wondered what was happening to her, if she was learning, if she was smiling at my sister or another guy with that kiss me grin. We weren’t dating, but we knew we were in love. She told me her parents wouldn’t approve, so we began to act like Romeo and Juliet. Sneaking off to see each other in the moonlight, maybe go driving. Not parking like others our age but just driving through the town and singing to songs on the radio.
She was like sunshine. But we knew it was only a matter of time before her parents found out. So she told them. She said at first they were upset that she was afraid to tell them, than they were wary of meeting the high school graduate who stole their daughter’s heart and first kiss, than they were ready to meet me.
I admitted to her one night that I wasn’t ready.
“What if they don’t like me Anne?” I whispered, my arm wrapped around her shoulders and her head on mine.
“They will,” she sighed, turning to look at me and giving me a stern look.
“You don’t know that.” She rolled her eyes, already having gone over this subject dozens of times with me.
“I’m a guy, an older guy at that. You didn’t tell them about us because you were afraid that they would disapprove wha-“
“They did disapprove, but they’re over it.” She interrupted, running her fingers through her hair exasperatingly.
“As I was saying, Anne. What if they expect me to be this…uptight and serious guy and all I am is this?” I gestured around us, indicating me and myself solely.
“Then oh well, ya know? I love you for who you are and if they can’t accept u….oh freaking well.” She said, unwrapping herself wrong my arms and looking me dead in the eyes. “Gracie didn’t like us dating either.”
“That’s because she’s my little sister, it’s weird to her that I’m dating her best friend.”
“You missed the point, Jacob.” She sighed again, shaking her head. “I was meaning that if my mom and dad don’t like it, give it time and they will once they see how happy I am with you.”
As she said this I knew she was right. Parents want their kids to be happy, right? And if Anne was happy with me than they shouldn’t care that I’m not rich, or smart, or serious. We loved each other, she had told me her limits and I pushed them but not too far. We respected each others boundaries. There wasn’t anything for her parents to really worry about as long as Anne was still smiling.
And now I looked down at her, her flushed and worried face still the sweetest and most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Her parents liked me, and if they didn’t they didn’t let on. I was in for the long run, even if it meant dealing with what she was.
“Hey…” I mumbled, touching her curls.
She met my eyes and I couldn’t resist, I bent my face and pressed my lips against hers. Her arms found their way around my neck and hands around her hips, pulling her against me. It was like the first kiss all over again, like honey and mint. In a way it was out first kiss. Now I knew the truth and if I had scars down my back it didn’t matter.
She pulled back and smiled, color blooming in her cheeks again.
“Hi there.” She giggled, biting her bottom lip.
“C’mon.” I said, taking her hand in mine again, ignoring the heat and gripping her hand tighter.
And with that was the start of something incredibly strange and amazing. I was in love with a werewolf and she was in danger…but I would die before I let anything happen. Who knows though? I might.
Chapter two: the beginning
When I dropped Anne off at her house, she turned and kissed me. Knowing her parents might see but not caring I kissed her back. It still felt like the first, it tasted more like honey and sugar then ever and her hair smelled of apples as she hugged me. Maybe in a way it still was the first kiss, the first time of knowing what she could become. What she was and what she wasn’t. Will I ever forget? Will the new scars on my back heal?
I don’t think I will ever understand what had happened in that falling apart abandoned mill. The way we went from kissing and dancing to my crappy iPod speakers to the flashing pain of her claws digging into my back. It was all so fast. I hadn’t even asked her what I did to make her shift, but when she did it was the quickest thing I’d every experienced.
One minute I was holding Anne in my arms, smiling down at her—the next I was on the ground staring up at a monster with rips down my skin. I couldn’t get the gleam of her fangs out of my mind, how they seemed to be made of silver and how they glimmered in the shadows. Her eyes…her eyes stayed the same. Only they were cold, like her fathers. They were full of hatred and amusement at my wriggling pain.
I stayed parked out front of her house, too shell-shocked to move. My heart was hammering as I relived the memory. A peal of whistling whipped me out of my own mind and Anne’s father stood on the porch, Corvinus. He seemed to realize who it was and he bounded down the steps, jogging over to me and tapping on the window. I cranked it down and looked at him.
“Waiting for an invite to go?” he asked, the hardness of his voice surprising me.
“N-no. Sorry sir just lost in thought.” I mustered up a casual smile but had to look away from his eyes.
“Well, Carol wanted to ask you to come inside. Considering you’re out here and such.” He shrugged, as if his wife made a habit of inviting stray love struck teenagers into the house.
“Uh, sure.” I said, looking down as warmth spread into my cheeks.
“Good.” Corvinus smiled and tapped the hood of my truck and turning on his heel, walking back to the porch.
I slowly got out, my back screaming in protest of movement again. I decided after this I should go to the hospital or something, Nana couldn’t mind if I’m out pretty late. But then came the problem of explaining how I got jagged claw marks from my shoulders down.
I fallowed Corvinus into the house, the cold not bothering me much anymore. Anne sat on the couch in blue and yellow duck pajamas.
“Daddy I- Jacob?” she asked, surprised to see me. She made haste to cover herself with a blanket as her cheeks bloomed a loud pink color.
“I know what you saw today. I could smell it on you.” Corvinus glared, his hands clenched into fists.
“W-what?” I stuttered, taken back by the hardness of his face.
“Daddy!” Anne shouted, jumping up and letting the blanket drop.
In some part of my panicking mind I had to admit to myself how cute she looked.
“Now you have to pay.” He growled, his teeth barred.
“Honey?” came Carol’s voice from up the stairs, “Sweetheart what’s going on down there?”
“You lied. Carol didn’t want me to come in, did she?” I asked quietly, staring at Corvinus’ cruel blue eyes.
“Of course I did silly boy.” He growled, something about him was changing.
He seemed bigger, his voice deeper, his teeth sharper. His eyes stayed the same as always, cold blue and dangerous. The energy in the room shifted as his bones slowly cracked, shifting.
“Corvinus!” Carol screamed, running down the stairs in her red bath robe.
“This boy must die, or become one of us.” The monster said in a deep voice, my eyes closed in fear at the sight of it.
Memories flashing, voices screaming, sirens wailing as I stood-too young and terrified to understand what were happening. No. I am 19, I am not too young. My girlfriend’s father stood before me as a monster. My life was going to end if I didn’t become one too. Choices, choices. I am afraid.
“He won’t tell, will you Jacob?” Carol asked, her voice pleading.
I felt myself shaking my head. More growls, more shouting. I see eyes, blue against the night and I toddle over to them, patting the nose of a doggy-no…not a dog. A beast, a monster. It turns and runs as I start to cry.
I see my nana then; she’s running forward and scooping me up. She smells funny, something like old things. She’s rubbing my back and bouncing me. She does not know I feel like puking, she does not know the bouncing is rolling my head. Her face is wet though, is nana ok? I feel like asking her but I don’t.
I am too young to understand what has happened, but I will grow up and learn about my parent’s bloody death.
And now I stare into the eyes of the black monster that killed them. Blue, icy, cold and dangerous. Here he was, Corvinus. I stared at him, realization hitting me in the chest.
“Daddy!” Anne screamed again, “Stop it!”
I hear a deep laugh and I stumble backwards. I remember that laugh; it prickles recognition in the back of my mind. He is laughing at me, he knows I remember him. I am too afraid to speak.
I feel my arms shove him off of me, my muscles straining against his weight. I’m bleeding but I don’t care. All I care about is that Anne is safe. She looks at me, her eyes red and I stare at her father. Corvinus is hunched over and laughing at me still.
“Remember me, little boy?” he jeered, his blue eyes narrowed.
“Yes.” I said, staring him down.
“Good, your death will make your stupid mother and your uselessly ignorant father roll in their graves.” He spat, crouching low to pounce.
Anger flew through my body at the insults of my parents name; I grabbed a poker by the fireplace and held it in my hand. Corvinus faltered for a moment then smirked. In a flash he turned to Carol who stood by the stairs still and lunged at her.
A scream had barely left Anne’s mouth before her mother’s blood covered everything in the living room. Blinded by a sudden rage I ran forward, raising the poker above my head and smashing it down on Corvinus’ head. A battle cry left my throat as he stumbled; I brought it down again and again on him, the metal ripping his skin open.
He turned and batted the poker away, snarling at me. His teeth red with his wife’s blood. He launched at me, pinning me to the ground.
“Choose boy, now.” He growled, his eyes bearing into my soul. His breath smelled metallic and I tried to not think about what it was.
“I would rather die than become something like you” I spat at him; he snarled and dug his teeth into my skin again.
I screamed and writhed in pain.
Anne screamed and suddenly there was no weight on me. I turned my head, blood dripping from my open shoulder. There she was, her teeth clamped into Corvinus’ neck and shaking her head fiercely. No, it wasn’t Anne. It was a large red wolf with an angrily swishing tail.
I couldn’t feel my wounds now as I stood and stumbled over to Carol’s body. Her head was gone, and blood spewed freely from her neck. A red cascade of life pouring out of her. I just stared at her, perplexed at how much blood was in a human’s body. It was as if the river would never stop flowing.
I opened my mouth, as if to scream or comment on it. Instead I was knocked forward, onto Carol’s dead body, face planting into the blood.
More pain screaming down my back. It felt as if I was on fire. Everything hurt.
“I’ll make this slow.” Corvinus growled in my ear, his breath hot and sticky.
I was going to die, but I wasn’t afraid.
“Your mother screamed. Her skin was so soft…so easy to shred. What was her name? Sarah. Yes…Sarah. Her blood tasted like wine. It was amazing.” He snarled, I realized I was crying. His laughter pierced the fogginess of pain.
“Dad! Stop!” Anne screamed again. But her voice sounded wrong. Thick and drawling.
“And you think you’re worthy of Annie? You think you are worth anything? You’re wrong. You’re nothing.”
“I couldn’t speak then, but I wanted to. I couldn’t fight like a can now.” I sputtered, Carol’s blood forcing its way into my mouth as I struggled under the weight of Corvinus.
“You think u can fight now?” he roared with laughter “You think you have the strength to push me off of u and fight me, the all mighty Corvinus?” his weight shifted for a brief second and I turned, shoving my legs up and into his stomach.
He startled, rolling off of me and I jumped up, running at him as he tried to recover from surprise. He stared at me with wide eyes, his motions slow and clumsy as he tried to hit me with his massive paw. I dodged him and grabbed the poker from the ground, slamming it into his front leg. He fell into the ground and I ran behind him as he struggled to sit up. I flipped the poker and brought the blunt end of the poker into his heel.
He let out a howl of pain and I spotted Anne. She was looking at me like she had never seen me before, then her gaze shifted behind me. I turned cursing under my breath.
“You’re already changing, boy.” He laughed.
He fell over and my heart stopped.