• “What? Why would he give you…unless…have you ever been on a date with a vampire before?” Lexi asked.
    I nodded. “Yeah, as a dare. It worked; she invited me to her place even. I said no and went and barfed in a trash can where she couldn’t see me. It was funny though, at least to the rest of my pack. I made a couple hundred dollars.” I said.
    She looked as if to say ‘what’ but was curious about what I just said.
    “You’re…pack?” she asked.
    I nodded. “Ya…you know, lots of woffys run in lots of big numbers…” I said like I was talking to a three year old.
    “But…where? Around here? Your kind doesn’t have authorization to have a pack here.” She said, getting into my face.
    “Oh God, you went there…” Duke said to Lexi.
    Now I wasn’t going to be pushed around by a girl. I defiantly wasn’t going to let a vampire push me around. And I absolutely wasn’t going to be pushed around by a vampire chick. I got right up into her face too.
    “You want to talk about authorization? Oh, ok, great! No, we don’t have authorization to have a pack here. Did you have authorization for your kind to be six Dusks per werewolf; even though our treaty says if our Tribes become that low, all ‘traditions’ are cancelled till it balances back out.
    I know personally that you’re Tribe isn’t holding up to that deal, and don’t make me go on.” I said, growling.
    She snarled too, both of us flashing pearly whites at each other. Mine were almost twice the size of hers though.
    “Proof it.” she snarled.
    That’s when Duke stepped in. He through himself as a wall in front of Lexi, staring me down. He knew I was going maul her if he hadn’t done anything.
    “Ace, she didn’t mean it. She’s just a stupid Dusk member.” He said.
    “I don’t care I’m still going to rip her throat out!” I said as I lunged for her.
    Duke held me at bay while Lexi back up. That when I felt my eyes change. I was either going to Warp and kill her, or…well, there isn’t as much as a not ‘killing her’ ending to this dilemma.
    Duke pushed me and held me against the wall, by my throat, with his hands. Both of them we wrapped around my neck, cutting off not only air but I felt the blood got cut off too. I was going to black out in a just a little bit. I tried Warping my arm, to knock him off of me, but I wasn’t fast enough. I blacked out and the next thing I knew I was on the floor.
    “God damn it…” I mumbled.
    “Yes! That was awesome! Even I had to say; I mean, you were like all ‘Arrrrr!’ and Duke was all like ‘not uh!’ and then he dropped you like a sack of rocks!”
    “Trixi shut up…” I said as I sat up, feeling the bruise on my head.
    Man…that hurt like hell. Duke reached down a hand to help me up. I grabbed his hand and I slowly got onto my feet.
    “That was a pretty epic fall, even I had to say.” He chuckled.
    I rolled my eyes at him as Lexi ran down stairs. Duke went to fallow her, but stopped at the door way. “What’s wrong with her!?” he exclaimed.
    “Nothing, I fed her some garlic to torture a little info out of her.” I said.
    Duke whistled. “Shame…shame on you Ace.” He said, hands in pockets.
    I blew him off, walking to the basement. I knew it was a low blow, but I had to do it. I need to know why she and her little group were trying to kill me. I don’t take being shot at lightly. As I walked down the stairs, one thud after another, I raced my fingers down the walls, chipping some paint away as I did. This place in a dump. I’m glad I never brought Megan here.
    Megan…that kiss…you would think she would be all I was thinking about, but so much has happen in the last…couple hours. But I’ve been busy. As I hit the bottom of basement, I heard a cry of pain from the bathroom. I twitched. I feel for her now; that bathroom is probably dirtier than one in all the Saw movies.
    When I walked in there, she was curled up into a ball in the tub, barely able to keep in the cries of pain in. It was a small bathroom. No toilet, it just had a sink that came out of the wall like something a factor bathroom would have. It had an old time bathtub, one that was up a little up off the ground. It had a shower head at one point, but that was gone along with the shower curtain.
    As I walked in, I saw the tears in her eyes as she held her stomach. I heard this is like hunger pains you get before you die of starvation. I heard its worst because of the garlic in the stomach too.
    I sat next to the tub, against the wall. I stuck my hand in and grabbed Lexi’s face softly, guiding her to turn her over to her back. I heard the crying start now. I could tell all she wanted to do was tear my finger and just inhale the blood down; but it would bring to much pain to even move. If she had to breathe, I think it might kill her, but she’s already dead so…
    “So, why did your little gang try to kill me?” I asked softly.
    She let ever more tears now, like a child who just learned their hamster died. I sighed. “Lexi, honey its ok…it’ll be over so fast if you just answer the question as quickly as you can…” I said.
    I stoked her cheek in a comforting way with my finger.
    She choked up a response. “I-I-I just need a w-werewolf’s skin, y-y-you know, for the Tradition…” she said.
    I continued to stroke her cheek, trying to calm her.
    “Ok, I assumed that, but why the guns and the other guys? I mean, I thought you were just supposed to use a knife and-” I was saying.
    “Y-y-you are, but some guy told me t-to come after you particularly, I-I don’t know why, he just sent t-those g-g-guys with me…please, I-I d-d-don’t know how much more-”
    I brushed the back of my palm on her cheek. I felt bad about this, but I still had to ask more questions.
    “I know Lexi, I know, just a couple questions, that’s it…” I said remorseless. “What did the guy look like?”
    “I-I don’t know, it w-was dark when he talked to m-me…I-I just rememb-ber that he had really d-dry and cracked hands, l-l-like he hand corpse hands…” she mumbled.
    “Alright Lexi, thank you, last question, I promise, just one last question. Did you know that the werewolf population was critically low?” I asked.
    I felt her shake her head. “No, I m-mean, I heard my f-friends talking about how it’s hard and harder to fine some w-werewolf packs to mess with…” she said.
    If I had my werewolf’s ears out, they would have twitch in curiosity. “But didn’t your Tribe leader, or whatever you call him or her, tell you about the werewolf-”
    I heard a gurgle, like something a stomach would do if…it just started eating it’s self. That was fallowed by a scream. A blood curtailing scream that broke my heart. I know what you’re thinking, ‘She’s a vampire, you’re a werewolf, and you’re supposed to hate her.’ That’s all true…but she’s still a person.
    I felt for her lips. “Say Ahh.” I said.
    She did what she was told, crying. I knew where he lips where, and I knew my fingers were dangling above them. Ok Lexi, it’s all over now. I took out my pocket knife. It was a sliver switch blade. The blade was made of silver, but the rest was wood or steel or something. I don’t know really.
    I rolled up my sleeve on my arm. I closed my eyes when I pressed the blade against my skin, listening to it sizzled and bubbled…like what pop-rocks sound like. I pulled my arm back, slicing my skin clean and swiftly with the blade. It hurt like hell, and it’s going to scar, but it’s the only thing I could have thought of on short notice.
    As the snakes of blood ran down my arm, I bent my fingers slightly. As the red reptiles came to my finger, it gradually dripped off my finger, but it sped up the dripping slowly.
    I could here a satisfied moan from Lexi. As we sat there in silence, the only sounds were my breathing and the drops of blood hitting the back of Lexi’s throat. It was almost like water torture. But more than that, it was war inside’s each off our minds.
    Mine, I couldn’t believed I just harmed myself to help a vampire feel better, one that has tried to kill me none the less. According to the Treaty, I have the right to kill her. The absolute right.

    Hers, she’s actually drink werewolf blood. That’s like me…well, there’s nothing equivalent to it for me. It’s not allowed. Like, at all. It’s…taboo beyond belief. I don’t know how long we sat there in silence, but it seamed like for ever two seconds that ticked by, one ticked back. Finally, she spoke.
    “Why did you do that?” she asked softly.
    I shrugged as if I was looking at her. “I don’t know; it was impulse. I’m not a bad person.” I said with a grin.
    I heard a small chuckle. “Yeah…me neither. Matter a fact, I still haven’t…well, I haven’t done ‘it’ yet.” She said little shyly.
    I did everything I could not to laugh and ask questions and freak out basically. “Really? You really haven’t had human blood yet?” I asked.
    I figured that much was ok as questions go.
    “Nope. I lie about it when my friends first asked. So if anyone asks, my record is six.” she said.
    I nodded. I remember when I did ‘it’. I hated it. But it’s true for any Dusk or Dog, ‘When year dozen plus three year’s moon rises, a child of human will fall to one of Dusk or Dog.’ It’s been like since were first evolved into what we are now.
    “I remember my first time…” I said.
    “Really?” she asked. “Might I hear about it?”
    I laughed. Well, she did say it nicely. You can’t deny that.
    “Sure, why not…Katie. Her name was Katie.” I said.
    “You knew their name?” She asked me.
    I nodded mutinously. “Yeah…I felt so bad after I realized what I’ve done; I looked into her life a little, just to know how badly I’ve just impacted her friends and family.” I murmured.
    “I haven’t heard of someone doing that before…” Lexi said in a small, shocked voice.
    “Yeah, I know…anyway, I learned a lot about this sparkling red head. I learned she was class president twice, once in elementary and once that year…I figure out that she was just accepted into Harvard too. Her grade point average of 3.7. Really high as you might know.
    As I dug deeper and deeper, I found out that she was prom queen during her first prom. She went with her boyfriend that has been with her since she was twelve. Her parents, a doctor and a nurse, who met while saving a world leader from a heart attack, just got her a new car that day too that they were going to surprise her when she got home.
    Everyone in school loved her, she was miss popular who would go and sit with the chess team, play a game, win, then go about her day. She was voted prettiest, nicest and smartest girl in school.” I finished.
    The room just reeked of awkwardness and depression. I couldn’t have that silence, no; it’ll just be too hard on my psyche.
    “I remember the second it hit me. You know that moment; where all you want to see is blood, taste the blood…bath in the blood. I ran out of the class, since I was in mortal school at the time to blend in, and to the bathroom. I was barley able to hold it in. It’s like you just found out you’re dying the next day and you’re looking for the person that has your new heart.
    I couldn’t hold it in really. I snuck out, using a window in the bathroom, already Warping. My ears were sticking out my head, claws but not paws, smacking the ground, Eyes blue as a chemical fire. I went off into the woods next to the school, trying to do anything I could do to keep the thought of human blood out of my head.
    I had to kill two deer and eat them. Was I was full, I realized I just wanted to see carnage. So I went around, killing anything I could. A couple birds and raccoons, a not fast enough fox and four more deer all met my wrath. I just tore them apart. Pulled the legs out of the sockets while they were still alive. I would take the leg, while the animal limped away and crack it over a tree as hard as I could, most of the time just tearing the leg in two by the sheer impact onto the tree.
    It was…my worst nightmare, but I wasn’t sleeping. I stood over the bodies of various woolen creatures that look like they went through a meat grinder. My claws dripped with blood, my fur twenty pounds heavier from all the blood caked in it or just running through it.
    It was two a.m. when I picked up the sent of Katie. She was walking home from a party, a hint of alcohol on her breath, but not much at all. Just enough for me to pick up the sent.
    I chased after the sent till I was twenty feet away from her, hiding in the shadows. I tracked her till I saw an opening. Cars, trucks and vans pasted her by on the road, and she was all by her lone self. I-I…like to think that I saved her from being kidnapped…but you just never know about stuff…anyway, when I saw an opening, I jumped out of the woods in a single hop. I landed next to her and let out a monstrous roar.
    She screamed and ran in the directing I wanted. I ran after her. I ran slowly, to get her to go deeper and deeper into the woods. I howled occasionally to get her adrenaline pumping, so she wouldn’t have any to fight me off, but not as she could anyway.
    By the time she was near cardiac arrest, I had Warped back and slowly walked towards her. I just went from blood lust to fear lust. The next stage is blood lust again…but it’ll be stronger than the first time…
    When she turned around, breathless, she saw it was me in mortal disguise. She saw me the other day at the skate park. I was talking smack to a couple skateboarders, I got into a fight with four of them and won.” I said.
    Lexi laughed. She was feeling better by now. “Really? You didn’t get any ‘help’?”
    I laughed too. “Ya, I did, I admit it; but they used they’re skate boards on me, so I think we’re even. But that’s were she saw me, so when she saw me walking towards her, shirtless, jeans looked like they came back from an angry tailor, she…I don’t know, she must have thought I beat the beast that was fallowing her or something.
    I remember she ran up to and hugged, thanking God I showed up. I-I…threw her away from me, slowly Warping in front of her, starting with the teeth.
    She landed wrong and broke her ankle, but that was the least of her worries. She…said something. ‘My dear, don’t you realize it yet? I am that beast…’ I remember telling her. She looked worried, but I couldn’t tell that it was fully hitting her yet.
    I remember crawling at her, most of my body covered in fur now, bone cracking as they stretched. ‘W-w-w-what’s going to happen to me!?’ she shouted at me.
    I smiled as I grabbed her arm. She didn’t pull it away, fearing if she did I would kill her. I bit into it. Blood filling my mouth. At this time she did rip it away, screaming.
    I was…I was…a cub again. I couldn’t believe the taste that was in my mouth. I can’t believe what I’ve been missing all along. I couldn’t believe that it’s taken fourteen years to taste this. I-I…enter the third stage.
    But I had enough time for her to make peace for what I was about to say. ‘My name is Ace…’ I said. I thought I was going to say something clever, but I didn’t have enough time to think as the liquid liquorish flowed out of my mouth. ‘And mine’s Katie…’ she said, not knowing what else to say.
    I laughed a psychotic laugh as I came up with what to say. ‘Katie…it’s a pleasure to eat you…’ That’s the last…last thing she heard. What a way to go out huh? Such a cheese line like that?
    I…I always wonder… do you have enough time to hear your own skull cracking in someone’s jaw before you die…” I finished.
    It was silent as I breathed heavily. Duke was leaning in the door way.
    “Poor messed up guy, isn’t he? Makes you just want to fix him,” he said as he walked in. He walked in and sat on the other side of the tub, across from me. “I just know he’s too broke to fix, even for duck-tape.” He finished with a smile.
    Jee thanks Duke…