One Wolf Moon, No T-shirt
Later that night, I stood in the middle of a clearing in pitch blackness. An owl hooted and I rubbed my hands together. How did I get myself into these situations? I suppose, in the end, I just didn’t want to be the one left out. It started out so simple and everything just kept spiraling out of control.
“Psst…” I looked around, not quite sure where the voice came from, “I’m over here.”
I looked up in a tree, Andrew stood on one of the branches, seemingly without effort. He wore a tight white shirt that seemed to almost glow with light in the darkness. It outlined his pectorals and abs quite nicely if I do say so myself. Why did he keep having to wear tight shirts that showed off his abs? Well, at least it was better than being naked. Or was it? I considered the thought briefly before discarding it. Those were thoughts for my alone time.
“Will you be okay? You don’t have to do this if you don’t want,” Andrew offered.
“Will you stop fraternizing with the bait?” Rune snapped. His voice came from a bush on ground level.
“Hey, you’re supposed to be keeping watch, making sure that whatever this is doesn’t come up on us without warning!” Andrew replied back.
“If you would both please be quiet, then this plan has a chance of coming to fruition. I apologize, but it won’t work if you two don’t play your parts,” a whisper came from a farther distance away.
Andrew blushed with embarrassment, then leaped onto another branch and climbed away. How was he able to keep his balance like that? He was like a spider monkey. I was expecting him to throw poo next.
“Jane… if you don’t want to do this, we don’t…” Rune’s voice stopped for a second, “What I’m saying is we just want you to be safe, and I don’t like using you as bait.”
“It’s fine Rune,” I responded, “But thanks.”
However, when he turned to walk away, my emotions were turbulent. Why exactly had I agreed to do this tonight? I was beginning to think my own curiosity was going to get me killed. At least for tonight, I had three boys here to protect me. One of them couldn’t die, and the others had their own secrets. Still, what brought me to this point? Oh yes…
“What were you two doing in the closet together?” Andrew tried to keep a cool face as the pair of us pushed through the door and separated.
The pair of them had just seen us in the closet together and I was at a complete loss of what to say.Rune looked a tad angry today, I supposed he had reasons to feel that way after I had tasered him.
“We need to get to class, we’ll be late,” I tried to explain.
“I think we all need to have a sit down right about now,” Rune chided.
Stephan sighed, “Alright, we all have lunch together, let’s meet at the art room at lunch. It’s empty at that time.”
The three of them gave a nod to each other before breaking away. Well, I guess I wasn’t going to be consulted on this big private meeting. I don’t know why it bugged me so much. We should probably talk things out and the art room would be a good place to meet. Still, it felt almost like I was in a big tug-of-war. Maybe I should bring the taser to the art room. They could all use a little lesson in how to treat a lady.
Lunch came quickly, and I managed to duck out before a shocked Samantha could grab be and subject me to another series of obnoxious questions. I went up to the art room, and surprisingly all three boys were already there. Andrew and Rune shot angry looks at each other which was nothing new. However, Andrew seemed to throw a few angry looks at Stephan as well. Rune seemed cautious but indifferent towards Stephan while Stephan remained politely neutral to the pair of them.
“What did I miss?” I asked, joining the three of them.
“Your friend was just telling us about his little condition,” Andrew said, his voice sounding cold, even for him.
“I don’t really care one way or the other, he explained himself, we can move on. I’d rather have you tell me why I woke up smothered in cross markings and shaving cream, I still have a pounding headache and a twitch,” Rune demanded.
“He’s an abomination,” Andrew responded vehemently, ignoring Rune.
“Who isn’t an abomination to your kind?” Rune snapped back.
I pricked my ears at that, but the pair must have noticed and descended into dark stares instead. Well, it was too much to hope for that I’d hear more.
“Well I don’t know about being an abomination,” Stephan spoke in to try to fill the stressful silence, “but I try to use my second life for good. Stopping people that mean harm and the like.”
Andrew threw up his hands, shaking his head in irritation.
“Well, I do want to apologize to you Rune,” I spoke up, “I accidently knocked you unconscious and we sort of fell down some stairs. I left you with Andrew. I don’t know what you mean by cross marks and shaving cream?”
Rune suddenly turned darkly to Andrew, who started to smirk despite himself.
“Hey, don’t look at me,” Andrew chuckled, “She’s the one who tasered you.”
Rune looked back at me, “You…tasered me?”
“I’m sorry! You grabbed me, and I was scared.”
“I was just seeing if you were alright!” Rune defended.
“That might have been my fault,” Stephan raised his hand calmly, “I might have freaked her out a bit. She found me in pretty bad shape last night.”
“Well isn’t that just perfect,” Rune leans back, “You scared her within an inch of her life and she rewards you with seven minutes in heaven and she hits me with a taser.”
“Rune, that’s not what happened,” I defended vehemently.
What’re seven minutes in heaven? Stephan seemed to blush a bit and Andrew was a little more irritated. Maybe it wasn’t something good. I’d have to ask Samantha later. I checked my twitter feed. Samantha’s latest post was ‘Jane’s getting it on with Stephan in the second-floor closet, reward if you get pictures’. Well, now I knew how Rune and Andrew found me. Samantha, that snake, it looks like I needed to add another to the taser list.
“Please guys, none of this would have happened if it weren’t for the creature that got me. I may or may not be an abomination, but this creature thought nothing of ripping me in half and I’ve been tracking it for months. It’s the most active during full moons, which is tonight. It’s been kidnapping people, killing animals, scaring townsfolk. If there is something you want to focus your aggression on, that would be it.”
Andrew seemed to think about it for a moment, “If this is as dangerous as you claim, then I’ll be willing to help you stop it.”
“Well there is no way I’m letting you have all the fun, I’ll catch this thing before either of you can blink,” Rune spoke up, sounding surprisingly chipper compared to moments before.
“I appreciate your willingness to help,” Stephan nodded, “but the person’s help who I really need is Jane’s.”
“Why Jane?” Rune asked at the same time Andrew said, “Absolutely not.”
Stephan looked at each of them, and then me, before speaking, “The creature seems to be attracted to women more than men. I don’t know why, but in order to have any chance of catching it before someone else goes missing, I’m going to need some bait.”
I shuddered as a particularly cold breeze struck me. Before I knew it, I was here in the middle of the forest, waiting for some creature to attack me so they could trap it. It really was ridiculous when you thought about it. A sudden large howl came out from the darkness not too far away.
“It’s near!” whispered Stephan.
The three men converged in the direction of the howl, leaving me with nothing but my thoughts. I didn’t even know what to think. I didn’t know if I was excited, frightened, or what. Perhaps I was an adrenaline junky. Maybe that’s what coming out here in the middle of the night to my favorite park was, just my way of getting my next buzz. Maybe there was something seriously wrong with me. Like 50 shades of gray wrong with me.
A growling sound came from the direction the three boys had run. I turned in that direction, but I could make nothing out in the darkness.
“Stephan? Andrew? Rune?” I called out.
There was no response. The growling grew louder and closer. Oh no, whatever it was had gotten passed them. I backed up several steps; I kept backing up until I backed right into a tree. When the growling ceased, I let out a sigh of relief. Well, at least there was nothing in front of me to be concerned about. I took in a deep breath. The forest smelled great, like maple leaves. The tree was also quite comfortable. It was warm and cozy, hard yet soft at the same time; it’s rhythmic breathing giving me something I could fall asleep to.
Wait… trees don’t… The hands grabbed me and I tried to let out a scream, but it was too late. A hand was around my mouth and I was pulled out of the small clearing. My face was covered with a massive hand, making it difficult to see anything, but it was clear that I was being carried somewhere. The massive monster that was carrying me seemed to run with a steady rhythm, his deep breaths forming a mist in the air. I just couldn’t get a good look at his face.
I wasn’t sure how long the creature ran. It was at least ten minutes of a continuous sprint. Whatever it was, it had endurance. During that time, my mind sat numbly. It occurred to me that I should struggle and try to call out for help. For whatever reason, I couldn’t do it. It was as if I was paralyzed by the arms around me. Then, as quickly as I had been picked up, I was put down. The creature put me down gently on the ground, and a quick look found we were in a small cave. It had several lit torches and was far warmer than the air outside.
I turned to the monster that captured me and gasped. A strong, mature, tanned, muscular looking man stood there. He wore no shirt, or pants, or anything at all for that matter. His rippling biceps glistened in the torchlight, his body slick with the sweat of the night run. He grabbed a pair of pants and shirt and hastily threw them on himself.
“I’m sorry for that,” he responded, “I didn’t mean for you to see me that way, it’s just easier to get around in my wolf form.”
“I am a werewolf,” the man said looking confused, “Did the whole running around naked during the full moon thing not tip you off?”
“Apparently not,” I frowned.
I didn’t know if I should be more or less worried that I could more easily accept undead zombie boys versus werewolf boys. The man moved more into the light and I finally could get a better look at his face. I knew who this boy was. It was Fairmont High’s resident bad-boy, Daniel himself. I never knew the boy, just his reputation. He was rumored to have had run-in’s with the law, tattoos, piercings, the whole bit. I did think I saw a tattoo across his chest and another on his butt, now that I think about it. I blushed at the thought.
“Don’t worry,” he suddenly tried to reassure me, “I protected you from those other guys. The ones that smell wrong. I will keep you safe, away from them.”
“Look, I don’t know what you think you smell, but they’re my friends, I’m going back to them.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I’ll tell you more about it in a bit, but first I need to make sure to cover my trail and lay a few false ones before they find this place. They think they’re hunters but there is no better tracker than me.” Daniel stood straight and proud.
“You can’t watch me and do that, I’ll just leave.”
“Oh don’t worry; I have a cage to keep you in.”
“Of course you do. A common thing? Keeping a lot of girls in cages in your lair?”
To my surprise, Daniel blushed, “You’d be the first.”
He leaned over and picked me up again gently, moving far back into the cave. The room filled with cages was surprisingly well lit. The cages were surprisingly roomy but were still cages however you looked at it. He shoved me in one and then locked the door before I could even react. Then, he turned around and began walking back where he had come from.
“Hey!” I shouted, “You can’t just keep me here!”
“Oh don’t worry about him,” a voice came from next to me, “He’s just a mister cranky pants.”
I turned to my side and gasped. There was a cage alongside mine, and it held very possibly the most beautiful boy I had ever seen. He had a perfect nose, perfect cheekbones, and an absolutely perfect physique. I had never seen someone more alluring, more attractive, and more desirable in my entire life. I wanted him. I wanted him more than anyone ever before. So much for me being the only one. Maybe he thinks guys don’t count.
“Also,” Daniel came back a few steps, “Ignore it in the other cage. I caught it a while ago because it seemed useful. It seems like its purpose has come to an end.”
The beautiful man frowned at Daniel before sticking out his tongue. Daniel growled back before turning and heading for the cave entrance. Well, this was just perfect. Now I was going to become a werewolf’s bitch. As Samantha put it, my betas about to get alpha’d. What would that make the new guy, a sigma?
“What was that about?” I asked the strangely hot man.
“Oh, he’s probably planning to eat me, or murder me, or murder me and then eat me. I really don’t know. My name is Alex, by the way,” the man smiled at me, and then shrugged.
“You sound surprisingly okay with this,” I responded after a few moments of awkward silence.
The man looked me up and down as if deciding my worth before speaking, “No, you sweet girl. Despite the sound of my voice, I am actually terrified beyond belief. My only consolation is that my last sight might fall upon your beautiful visage.”
I shook my head. Everything this person said sounded wrong. I could understand the words, but the way he said them made me weak at the knees. They were full of seduction and desire and want, not terror. Maybe the werewolf wasn’t interested in dominating women. I might make it out of this only being savagely murdered and eaten. Always looking at the bright side, I am.
“What are you?” the words slipped out before I could help myself.
“Oh, beautiful butterfly, I suppose there is no point in hiding my identity, given the fact that we will almost certainly die. I suppose the word your kind use for me is a succubae.”
“I don’t know…”
“We’re creatures of love, we simply love too much. For example, I’d love nothing more than to strip off all of your clothing, and smother your ample body with fluttery kisses.”
For a second, just a little bit of a second, I wanted to let him. I shook my head and looked away; it was honestly a little easier if I wasn’t looking at him.
“I’m sorry about that, I truly am; I can’t stop talking like that. I truly do want to stop, but tell me, do you like apples?”
“Apples, do you like apples?” Alex insisted.
“Yeah, I guess…”
“Well, I know the quaint little apple orchard a little bit from here. When we get out of here, I will take you to it. We will watch the sunrise together, feeding each other slices of apples dipped in caramel. I will rub your back and make all your pains go away. Then my hands will run up your thighs and…”
Alex coughed, “I’m sorry again…”
“Alex, is there any way out of here?”
Alex shook his head mournfully. Even that looked seductive to me. I closed my eyes tightly, trying to keep my mind focused. Alex began humming a sweet tune, it was not helping.
“Are you in there?” a voice came from outside the cave.
“Yes!” I shouted, “It’s me!”
Boots immediately began thudding and Andrew came into the light, I called out to him. “Oh thank God, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you!”
Andrew breathed a sigh of relief as he approached my cage. “I am so glad to see you too. I was so frightened when you disappeared. We’re all searching for you. We shouldn’t have left you like that; I am so sorry.”
Andrew broke apart the lock with ease and then raced in, embracing me. It was the first time he had ever hugged me, and it felt good. His wafting scent of vanilla had a calming effect on my nerves. He was here with me now, I was safe.
“Who’s this sexy Adonis you’re with?” a seductively feminine voice suddenly came from behind us.
I turned to Alex’s cage and stared dumbfounded. Alex was gone, but there was a girl in his cage instead. She had a skinny yet curvy body, long blonde hair with just a splash of curls, and the most piercingly beautiful green eyes I had ever seen on a girl. She was the mere image of angelic perfection. She was looking right at Andrew, and for a second I felt a spike of jealousy.
Her effect seemed to hit Andrew as well. He adopted a stupid grin and quickly let go of me as if I was suddenly less interesting.
“Oh, I’m sorry miss, I didn’t realize the creature had others here, let me get you out of there.”
He ran over and broke open her lock. She stepped out of the cage gracefully. As she passed him, she let her hand glide across his cheek. I suddenly noticed something. She was wearing the same exact clothing that Alex had been.
“Alex?” I breathed out.
The woman walked up to me, a seductive smile on her face, “Oh, I forgot to mention, sweet girl, I’m bisexual.”
I don’t think it means what she thinks it means, but I suppose that it’s not technically wrong.
“I’ll check and make sure the coast is clear, you ladies follow behind me,” Andrew whispered, moving ahead.
Alex smiled at me and winked, holding out her hand. I brushed passed her without taking her offer. The taken aback look on her face was just a bit satisfying.She still followed close by, just a bit closer than comfortable. Maybe she or he, or whatever you call it was genuinely scared right now. It was just about to be killed by that werewolf. Now I was starting to feel bad. I grabbed her hand but avoided making eye contact or acknowledging the gesture.
We reached the mouth of the cave just as something started to rustle in the bushes outside. Andrew quickly moved into a defensive stance. Rune and Stephan emerged from the bushes and I let out a relieved breath. Alex didn’t know these men, so I gave her a squeeze of my hand to reassure her.
“I found them,” Andrew announced smugly, his eyes turning back and meeting with Alex, who giggled coyly in a sickeningly flirtatious way.
Stephan’s mouth opened when his eyes landed on Alex, but he shook his head and then turned to me, “Are you okay? I am really sorry.”
“Yeah, we’re all sorry,” Rune barked, shaking his head.
He saw Alex too. There was an immediate look of recognition, but it was carpeted with annoyance. For whatever reason, he quickly dismissed her.
“Come on ladies,” Andrew purred, holding a hand out specifically for Alex, “Let’s get you out of here and to safety. ”
Stephan graciously offered me a hand as well; meanwhile, Rune had noticed the way Andrew was looking at Alex. He seemed more amused by the scene than interested in Alex. Andrew continued to fuss with Alex’s well-being, and as he did, Rune became closer and closer to the point of laughing.
“What is it Rune, is something funny?” Andrew turned angrily, seeming to put Alex behind him as he had previously done for me.
“As much as this amuses me, and as much as I hate to help you, I just can’t stand by and watch you swoon all love sick anymore. The creature behind you is a succubus, I’m shocked you didn’t resist its charms.”
Andrew blinked, slowly turning his head back toward Alex. The look of complete and absolute horror on his face was intensely satisfying. I grinned as Andrew backed away several steps, looking like he was staring into the mouth of Hell itself. Rune glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. Did he do that for me? No, that’s not the kind of person Rune is, is it?
Stephan seemed more curious than anything, just looking her up and down like you might examine a new art piece or the like. Alex seemed to pout more than anything as if it was all a game and she just got caught cheating. Then her eyes met Rune’s and the excitement seemed to go back into them.
“I recognize you! You’re Rune, my lord of destruction! It’s been so long, I missed…” She spoke excitedly as Rune suddenly put his hands up to quiet her.
Without warning, her entire body began to shimmer and I stared in amazement. Her body twisted and changed, turning into something else.She stood up with a new form and I choked. It was me. Well, an approximation of me. The girl before me looked a little older, like an older sister. Her body was voluptuous with larger breasts, smoother lines, and a tighter body.
Rune seemed to shake with something between anger and shock. Stephan and Andrew just appeared dumbfounded.
“What just happened?” I finally managed to work out the words.
“I’m sorry,” the new Alex shook her head as if embarrassed, her voice only slightly lighter and more feminine than mine, “I can’t help it. You see, my body takes the form of whatever a person desires most. For example, when I looked like a guy when you were brought in the cage, it was because I was looking like the guy you’d have the most taste for.”
“But then you changed into a girl,” I asked.
“Right, well I typically change for whatever person I like the most at the time. He was coming in to save us, so then I turned into what he desired most.”
“That’s what you like Andrew?” I turned to him, “Some blonde bimbo?”
Andrew’s eyes widened, his face stuck somewhere between embarrassment and consternation. Stephan laughed, finding this immensely hilarious.
“And what about now?”
“Well, I found someone I like more is all…” Alex suddenly blushed, lowering her head in a way almost like I might have.
“Who do you like more? Who desires this?” I asked incredulously.
“Does that matter right now?” Rune suddenly broke in, “We’re sitting right in front of a cave that is being frequented by some kind of creature.”
“A werewolf,” I chimed in.
“Alright, a werewolf, and he is probably going to-”
A large bestial creature suddenly leaped down into the middle of the group. I screamed and leaped to the side, echoed by Alex who seemed to do it in much the same way.
“You will not take my mate away from me!” The werewolf shouted, swiping at the group.
Andrew dodged away, but Stephan took the bulk of it, the slash causing him to fly to the side. One of his arms went the other direction. He ended up landing near us. I screamed as he got back up.
“I’m fine, remember, I fix up real easy,” Stephan assured me.
I did remember that, kind of. Well, at least he was alright.
“Look, Alex, can we trust you?” Stephan turned to Alex who nodded enthusiastically. “Get her out of the park, get her to safety, we’ll keep this guy distracted.”
Alex nodded, grabbing my hand and standing up. I let her drag me away from the cave. The werewolf bellowed in anger as it realized we were leaving, but as it bound after us, it suddenly found itself enveloped in purple flame. I kept running, the sounds of fighting and roars left behind me.