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The Accomplice

By Nin

Drama / Romance

Someone Too Good To Be True

It was a cool fall day in San Francisco, as the Fangface Gang was visiting their friends, Stutz and Luca, as well as helping Stutz prepare to move into a new apartment, as he had been going to college in Texas for the past couple of years, but transferred to a new university to be closer to home. Toni, Puggsy's cousin, wanted to come as Luca was her best friend, but her parents forbid it after she had gotten into a fight at school, let alone didn't want her missing two weeks of school anyway… plus, Fangpuss and Claw needed the company since they had to stay behind, as they were starting preschool that year.

Though what Fangpuss, Claw, and Toni's parents didn't say was that they wanted their kids to stay home and away from any more perils, after hearing about what the gang encountered last year... when they met Kasandra Bickerson, aka Hunter the she-wolf.

The gang had been visiting Texas to see Fangs' twin sister, Samantha/Storm, and Stutz at their old college when Martin, a school-friend of Sam's, invited her over to his parents for dinner. Later that night the gang is receiving a call from Sam about some lunatic who tried breaking in and sliced Martin's father on the arm before making a run for it, and figured he would be back. When they arrived, the fiend had returned, revealing to be a werewolf hunter named Vincent Fondane who found out a werewolf family was living nearby and was out for blood, where the gang realized the Bickersons were all werewolves, save for Martin.

(And yes, Puggsy did nearly have a stroke)

Luckily, with the gang's help, Vincent was captured and taken away by the police… but it wasn't a victory for the gang yet, as the villain had broken out of prison months ago, and this time was targeting the Fangface gang, and he had a few tricks up his sleeves…

That day, after helping Stutz move, the gang checked into a hotel, while Kasandra called her parents to make sure everything was alright. "Hi, mom, is everything going okay?" she asked after she phoned.

"Everything is okay here, sweetie. Your father set up a new security system so that no more hunters try to get on the property," Lilly, her mother, replied… as well as looking out the window where her husband had set up a 10 ft electric fence with barb wire, and automated guns that fired at anything that came within 3 feet of the property (a bird getting shot down). "…I hope Vincent is caught soon, though, just so your dad can ease down on the drastic measures."

"Honey, where do we keep the magnum?" came Blaze's (Hunter's father) voice from the cellar.

She sighed, rolling her eyes. "How are you and your friends doing?"

"Good, no sign of trouble so far. We'll be heading back to Brooklyn next week," Kasandra replied.

"Oh, good. I have to go now, before your father gets the idea to plant land mines."

"Okay, love you both."

"We love you too, honey. You stay safe,"

"You too." With that, she hung up, then turned to Fangs, who was watching television while she was on the phone.

"How is everything?" Fangs asked her.

"Good, Dad's setting up one heck of a security system, it sounds like."

"Ooh, ooh, I don't blame him. I'm surprised he hasn't planted land mines yet!"

Kasandra chuckled. "Don't worry, Fangs, everything is alright now. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if Vincent was arrested again by now. He IS a wanted man, you know."

"Yeah… but I'm still scared. I don't want anything to happen to us… especially you," he stood up and wrapped his arm around her.

She rested her head on his shoulder. After the first six months since she began travelling with the gang, as she had decided to do to not only make sure they caught Vincent but also to fulfill her desire to see the world, she and Fangs had become close and developed a romance, the same going for Hunter and Fangface.

"I'll be fine, don't worry," she told him, giving him a peck on the cheek. "Plus, I have to make sure nothing bad happens to you, either."

"Have fun with that responsibility," came a voice, and they looked over at Puggsy, who was sitting in a chair across the room, having killed the romantic atmosphere that could have taken place. "Keeping Fangs out of trouble is as hard as pushing a ten-ton truck up a hill."

"Heh, a task that's easy for werewolves, so no problem." she retorted. She thought Puggsy was a real jerk, and was always there to keep him in line if he started to torment Fangs, though she knew that- for some reason she didn't know- they were good friends, no matter how many times Fangface tried to eat him (which she was trying to train him to quit, not wanting him to eat any 'junk food'). There were times when she wanted to turn into Hunter and attack the loudmouth herself, but the way her mother raised her, she learned how to get him back with her wit rather than brawn (let alone it was more fun to watch Fangface harass him).

Plus, he was a loyal friend to the werewolves. She could tell this from how he tried to wrestle the gun away from Vincent when the hunter was about to shoot Fangface, and threatened that if the hunter even thought about coming after the gang or her family again, he would make sure the villain would die a slow and painful death. Being good friends with the werewolves despite the antics they put him through, it was no wonder Vincent promised he would make Puggsy his first 'human' target and shoot him on sight.

But when the gang was just hanging out and Puggsy started to show his attitude, Kasandra had the urge to point a gun at him, but of course he didn't do or say anything bad enough to deserve such a threat. He was a jerk, but he was still a good friend.

"C'mon, lets go meet up with the others," Fangs said quickly, to prevent an argument between his best friend and his girlfriend (always hating to be caught in the middle). "It's almost 5,"

"Yeah, lets go," Puggsy muttered in agreement, and they walked out to meet up with Biff, Kim, and Stutz at a movie theater, where they were seeing Van Helsing.

"S-So d-did y-y-you hear anything f-from S-Sam or M-Martin lately?" Stutz asked Fangs and Kasandra. He had survived a plane-crash when he was a kid, and it resulted in him having a stutter in his speech… as well as a fear of flying.

"I talked with Sam today, she and Martin are doing fine." Fangs replied, though sneered a bit. "Though… as much as they've been hanging out, I'm starting to think they're going out,"

"That doesn't bother you, does it?" Kasandra asked, slyly.

"What? Of course not! Why would I be upset that some kid is dating my twin sister?"

"FYI, 'that kid' is my brother… and you seem a little antsy about it."

"Okay, okay, so it makes me uncomfortable. I guess I'm just defensive about someone dating my sister. I mean, your brother must feel the same way about us, right?"

"True, but don't worry about it. Martin's a good kid, and he knows you're a great guy too."

"Plus, I-I think t-they're s-still f-friends, s-since M-Martin t-told me h-he w-w-wasn't going t-to be r-r-ready for a r-r-relationship until after V-Vincent is g-gone for g-good," Stutz added.

"Yeah, and even if they were dating, Kasandra is right- there's nothing to be upset about," Kim added.

"And they'll be looking out for each other even better," Biff put in.

As the others talked about Sam and Martin having a 'could be' relationship, Puggsy tried to tune them out, not being one to talk about romance and junk like that. It was annoying enough that he had to be around Fangs and Kasandra when they express their feelings. Nowadays he would tag along with Biff and Kim to avoid the love-induced atmosphere, only to notice how close Biff was to Kim, possibly having a crush on her, or they were secretly going out but didn't want to tell anyone just yet. It didn't take him long to realize that he was the only one without a girl at his side… yet it didn't bother him, he just found it annoying to be around his friends while they were love-struck.

True, he tried to go out with a few girls, even find a relationship, but something never worked out- the girls he dated would either find him obnoxious, would be too prissy and annoying, or turn out to be sluts that didn't really care about getting to know him, and ended up cheating on him when he made it clear he wasn't ready for such a step. On one occasion, a girl went as far as squirting pepper-spray in his eyes, but only because- in an attempt to ask her out- he tripped and pulled her down, making her think he was some perverted creep. After having enough of getting turned down or played by so many girls, he decided to give up searching for a girlfriend and just hang out with his friends, since- before Kasandra came along- no romance was involved, except for the time Fangface fell in love with the actress Raquel Taylor, though it only ended up being a crush which faded after their encounter with a gargoyle, and a time when he was entranced by a she-wolf robot, but quickly lost interest after Fangpuss made it to where the robot acted more like a stubborn house-wife.

He figured it would be like that for a few more years- him and his friends traveling, just hanging out, fending off a few creeps along the way, and keeping everything platonic. But the moment they saw Hunter, he knew for sure things were going to change- it was easy to tell from the way Fangface looked at her, excited at first at meeting a fellow-werewolf, but he knew sooner or later that excitement would turn to fancy, especially since Hunter seemed fond of him as well. Well, at least she's not a robot, and she tends to keep Fangface in-line, he thought at first, knowing that with Hunter around, Fangface thought more of her than he did about attacking him… unless he did or said something that would cause the werewolf to put him through some form of harassment. But as time went on, he found their romance to be more irritating than Fangface's usual attacks, and even felt slight disgust at how Hunter would 'charm' Fangface out of eating or attacking him rather than just rub his foot or remind him that Puggsy was his friend.

The weird thing was, he barely heard that phrase anymore: "Puggsy's your friend, remember?" It was as if, with Hunter there to persuade Fangface to leave him alone, the werewolf forgot his buddy was present and turned his full attention on the she-wolf, not even apologizing to Puggsy anymore when he'd shove him into something, or toss him around, or make a sandwich out of him, let alone stopped kissing him on the cheek to add on to it (which Puggsy didn't really miss, yet figured the only reason he stopped was because Hunter was present and didn't want her to think wrong of him). Even Biff and Kim stopped trying to keep Fangface from attacking/eating him, perhaps because they knew Hunter could sort things out now, maybe even prevent him from doing it anymore in the future. Puggsy would try to say it a few times himself as he used to do, but Hunter would always manage to step up before he could say anything. It was the only time when he could remind his best friend that he was his best friend, and always would be, despite the torment or attitude he'd give, and there was no reason for the werewolf to think otherwise… Now, though, the only reason he stopped was because his 'girlfriend told him to'.

It made him sick, and hearing that the others were talking about Sam and Martin being in love next was getting to him. He was happy that his friends found someone to love, he really was… but he just couldn't stand the talk of romance and all the pet-names and dating plans or discussing ideas on what it would be like after they got married or had kids. He just wasn't the kind of guy who thought about those things, and he wished his friends would shut up about it unless they were alone with their lovers.

"Puggsy? …Hey, Puggsy!" Biff said, tapping him on the shoulder, breaking him from his thoughts.

"What?" Puggsy asked, and Biff pointed ahead, and the teen saw that the line had moved… so much, in fact that there was a 5 foot gap between him and the ticket booth.

"The line's moved," Fangs pointed out.

Puggsy moved quick, the others following, as they bought their tickets and entered the theater, him and Stutz buying some snacks while the others looked for some good seats. "You r-r-really spaced out b-back there. Is something w-w-wrong?" Stutz asked, though tried to control his stutter, after learning how easily irritated Puggsy could get he didn't want to annoy him.

"Nah, I was just thinking and got lost in thought," Puggsy replied. "There's been a lot on my mind lately,"

"L-Like w-w-what?"

"Is it any of your business?"

"No… I w-w-was just w-w-…" he paused, a bit aggravated, taking in a deep breath. "w-wondering."

"Eh, it's nothing big."

Stutz nodded, though wasn't convinced. It has to be something, if it causes him to space out from reality that long. he figured, but decided not to press the issue.

Getting some popcorn and sodas, they met up with the others, passing the snacks around then watching as the movie came on… and after a few minutes, the moon was shown, and Fangs and Kasandra transformed into their werewolf halves. "Arrooooo! Where's Pugs?! Where's-" Fangface growled.

"SHUSH!" The rest of the audience hissed loudly, making the werewolf cringe in his seat.

"…where's pugs…?" he whispered quietly, then upon noticing his friend sitting next to him, grabbed him. "gotcha."

Puggsy sighed, waiting for the werewolf to start shaking him, until Hunter put a paw on her love's shoulder, stopping him before he could do anything. "Let him go, Fangsy. Lets watch the movie," she told him quietly.

"Ooh, ooh, whatever you say." With that, he let go of Puggsy and put his arm around Hunter, not even giving his friend a second glance.

He slouched in his seat, resting his face on his fist and glaring at the screen, hoping that watching Van Helsing slay Mr. Hyde would help get his mind off things.

Nope.

Halfway through the movie, Biff put his arm around Kim, and Hunter was nuzzling close to Fangface, and Stutz… well, he passed out from the sight of blood after the first ten minutes so he was unconscious. Puggsy tried to pay attention to the movie, but every couple seconds his eyes would drift towards the werewolves, watching as they stayed close, barely moving an inch away from each other. Damn it, why do I care that they're so close? he thought bitterly, his eyes turning back to the screen. So they've got their arms around each other, it's not like they're… oh for the love of… is she…?

He watched as Hunter had cupped Fangface's cheek in her palm, and was moving in to kiss.

"Oh, for crying out loud! Would you two just watch the movie?!" Puggsy snapped, startling everyone.

"SHUSH!" went the audience.

"Huh? W-W-What did I m-miss?" Stutz asked, snapping awake… then saw Van Helsing slay a vampire, blood everywhere, and passed out again.

"What's up with you?" Hunter demanded quietly.

Puggsy slouched. "Never mind. I'm stepping outside, tell me how the movie ends," he muttered, then got up and left.

"I'll go talk to him," Kim whispered, then followed Puggsy outside. "Puggsy, what's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong, I just needed some air."

She crossed her arms, unconvinced. "That doesn't explain why you snapped at Fangface and Hunter. Is something bothering you?"

"Nothing's bothering me, Kim! I was just… getting a little closet-phobia in the crowd, alright?"

"I doubt that. Tell me what's going on… or do I have to deal with you myself?"

Kim, despite how friendly she was and seemed like the every-day nice-girl, had a tendency to rough people up if they got too cocky… yet only when she was pissed off. Puggsy learned this a week after the gang first met, when he was tormenting Fangs and Kim grabbed him by the ear, hauled him around the corner, chewed him out (as well as slapping him) and forced him to apologize. What no one knew was that, next to Fangface, Kim was the second member of the group who was intimidating enough to make Puggsy drop the attitude, yet she didn't want to make everyone think she was cruel and had the mind to coax them, only showing her rage if necessary.

Next to being eaten by Fangface, getting slapped across the face by Kim was the last thing Puggsy wanted. "Fine. I'm sick of all the romance between you all- you happy now?" he sneered.

"Romance? Is that it?" Kim questioned.

"What do you mean… Are you crazified?! Ever since Kasandra and Fangs started dating, it's basically all you guys ever bring up! And you and Biff aren't really helping that much either!"

"Me and Biff… What are you talking about?!"

"Oh, don't try to hide it, Kim! I see what's going on between you guys!"

She gave him a look. "NOTHING is going on between us! We're just friends!"

"Yeah, then how come you're getting so close, huh?"

"Biff and I have always been close… but that doesn't mean- Why does this upset you anyway?" her eyes widened a bit. "You… you don't feel like a fifth wheel, do you?"

He began to fume. "NO, I don't! I just find it annoying that we can't even go out to a movie without two of you putting your arms around each other, or trying to make out… especially when one of your friends is sitting right next to you, and you forget they exist!"

"They're just in love, Puggsy! It happens, but that doesn't mean… I mean, they just…"

"I know. They get so wrapped up in each other that no one else matters- I've heard that line a thousand times in movies before."

"You still matter! If you found the perfect person, you'd understand!"

He scoffed. "Sure. Look, you guys can continue your double-date. I'm going back to the hotel."

Kim scowled. "It's NOT a double-date! I told you, Biff and I are just friends!"

"Not the way I've been seeing it."

Kim fumed. "Oh, you… You just don't get it!" she then stormed back into the theater.

Puggsy sighed, but trudged on, heading back to the hotel… but didn't go to his room. Not when he knew that Fangface and Hunter would be back after the movie, and would want to snuggle up and fall asleep in each other's arms- which would be awkward to do if he were in the room. It was bad enough he caused a scene at the movie, he didn't want to come between them again.

Instead, he walked up to the roof, deciding he'd hang out there for a couple hours until everyone fell asleep, and looked out at all the bright lights and cars speeding along. It was cold out, and he kicked himself for not grabbing his jacket, as he breathed softly and could see his breath, watching it fade away, and he closed his eyes, wanting to clear his head of everything, allowing the cold to blow around him as long as it helped.

"Hey!"

His eyes shot open upon hearing a shout, and he looked over, seeing some kid in a black jacket, a hood pulled over their heads, running towards him. As they got closer, he noticed the kid was a girl, noticing some blond bangs hanging down the side of her face, and looked to be 18, yet stood to be his height if not an inch shorter.

"Can you help me out?" she asked, out of breath. "There's some goon chasing after me. He was stalking me from my hotel room, and I think he's on his way up here! I think I saw a gun on him!"

"Alright, just calm down-" Puggsy tried to say, until suddenly someone yanked the girl off to the side, and he saw it was a boy with brown hair, green eyes, at least a foot taller than him… and indeed had a gun. "Hey! Let her go!"

"Back off, half-pint!" he snapped, then turned to the girl. "As for you, you little bitch, you're coming with me! Try to resist, and I'll put a bullet in your-"

*Bap!*

The girl kicked him in the shin, and he released her. "Yeow! Ooh, you little-"

*BAM!*

Puggsy punched him in the face, knocking him out then grabbing the gun off him. "Geez, some people just can't take a hint, can they?" he quipped.

"Tell me about it," The girl said. "C'mon, lets get inside, I'll call the cops."

"Has he been chasifying you all night?"

"Nah. I just walked out of my hotel room, headed down to the lobby, seeing him following me. I figured he was just walking by, so I went into the café, and he walked in there next, watching me from behind a menu. I tried going back up to my room, but I noticed he was still coming my way, and spotted him with a gun, so I made my way up here."

"Why didn't you just go to your room and call security?"

"He would probably make a break for it. I planned on coming up here and making it seem like I jumped over the edge, but I saw you and figured I'd ask for help first. …Could have backfired, though, you might have turned out to be a creep too."

"Trust me, I'm no creepo. My name's Puggsy,"

"Call me Astrid. Astrid Southerland."

"Southerland? You related to anyone named Biff?"

"No, why?"

"I have a friend with the same last name."

She shrugged. "Not such an uncommon surname, though it could be possible. Hard to say, I lost contact with my family four years ago after I started traveling."

"Ah. What for?"

She scoffed. "Is it any of your business?"

He arched an eyebrow. "No… just wondering." Sheesh, talk about touchy. he thought.

"Meh, whatever." they stopped at a room. "Well, Pugs, thanks for helping me get rid of that moron."

"Anytime, Astrid."

She began to walk in, but paused. "Hey, maybe we could meet up tomorrow or something. You hanging out with anyone tomorrow?"

"Well, my friends and I are in town for the week, so… maybe, sure."

"Cool. Let me know if you feel like it… Who knows? I might need your help taking out a mugger next."

He smirked, scoffing a bit. "Alright, let me know if a burglar breaks in then. Night."

"Night." She walked into her room, and he went back to his.

It was an odd way to end the day, but on the bright side, it got his mind off his issues.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

The next morning, Puggsy got up, seeing Hunter was awake already, Fangface nowhere to be seen. "Hey, morning." she said, sitting in the chair, reading a magazine. "Feeling any better today?"

"Eh, sort of… a weird thing happened last night. I was outside, and this girl came running up with some creep following. I had to knock him out when he pulled out a gun,"

"Did you call the cops?"

"I think the girl did. She's staying at this hotel, and asked if we wanted to hang out with her later,"

Hunter chuckled. "I hope she doesn't mind werewolves."

"Speaking of which, where's Fangface? It's rare to see him absent from your side these days,"

She rolled her eyes. "Ha ha, very funny. He's out on the balcony, calling up Storm to check up on her," she looked out the balcony doors, seeing Fangface standing on one foot on a chair, holding his cell-phone up high. "…and having trouble finding good reception, it looks like."

"Alright, well I'll meet you two downstairs…" He headed for the door.

Hunter got up quick. "Pugs, wait… I want to talk to you about something."

He paused. If this has anything to do with last night… he thought bitterly, but instead, calmly replied, "What?"

The she-wolf looked out the window, making sure Fangface wasn't listening, and turned back to the teen. "I… I want to know how you feel about Fangface and I dating. Be honest."

He arched an eyebrow. "Why do you care about my opinion? It's not like I'm his keeper or something,"

"You keep getting all tensed up when we're together—and you nearly bit our heads off last night. I just want to know if you're okay with it, and that you don't think I'm trying to steal away your best friend or anything,"

He rolled his eyes. "Of course not. I just can't stand seeing you both romantified,"

"So, you do have a problem with it?"

"What the…? No! I just hate romance, alright? Next time you guys want to get all mushy, get a room first! Sheesh!" with that, he stormed out.

"Someone really needs a kick in the pants," Hunter sneered, then walked out onto the balcony. "Any luck, hon?"

"Almost!" Fangface said… now standing on one hand, bending his legs like an old TV antenna as he did so, while talking on the phone. "Okay, can you hear me now? …How about now? …Now- WHOOP!"

*Thud!*

Hunter shook her head, staring at her beau as he was sprawled on the concrete patio. "Any further to the left, and you'd be in the hospital," she said.

"Maybe I'll just send her a text…" Fangface groaned, hanging up.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Puggsy and the werewolves met up by the café for breakfast a few minutes later. The sun shined through the windows, thereby changing the werewolves back to human. "Ooh, I hate when that happens," Fangs said, steadying himself. "I always get dizzy,"

"As if you weren't dizzy enough," Puggsy remarked.

Kasandra gave him a glare, then turned back to Fangs. "Don't worry, Fangs. Maybe this will clear it up," she said, then kissed him on the lips.

Gag me. Puggsy thought, grimacing.

Fangs grinned after they broke out of their kiss. "You're right, that does feel better." he said.

"Makes me feel sick," Puggsy said quietly to himself.

Biff walked over just then. "Hey guys, ready to eat?" he asked.

"Sure are… but where's Kim?" Kasandra asked, noticing one of their friends was absent.

"She said she'd meet up with us later… Actually, I'm a little concerned." Out of the corner of his eye, he gave Puggsy a sharp glare. "She was really upset last night."

Puggsy cringed a bit. Oh, for the love of… he thought. "We'll see how she's doing later. Right now, lets get something to eat," he said, hiding the irritation in his voice. Why was everyone getting so touchy about how he felt about two of his friends going out? It's not like he cared… right?

They sat down at a table, placing their orders, then Fangs brought up how Samantha texted him back before they came down. "…and it's official. She and Martin are going out," he said, sighing a bit.

"Remember what we said last night- it's nothing to get worked up about," Kasandra told him, holding his hand.

"I know… Plus, at least I know my sister's in good hands, and found someone special like what I did," Fangs said, nuzzling her cheek.

"Yeah. Just think, if you hadn't come along last year, I'd have nothing good in my life."

"Well, you do now… and I'm glad I do, too." With that, he gave her a kiss on the neck.

"Oh, get a room already!" Puggsy snapped… a little louder than he planned, as a few people in the café fell silent and looked over at their table.

Kasandra and Fangs both gave him a sharp glare, until the coward turned to his beau. "Kassy, can you excuse us a minute? I need to speak with my 'friend' outside,"

The way he said 'friend' only made Puggsy scowl, and he and Fangs stormed outside the hotel… and to his shock, Fangs shoved him hard enough to nearly have him hit the pavement.

"What is your deal, Puggsy?!" Fangs snapped, his tone more harsh than what he had expected. "How come you've been acting like a total jerk around me and Kassy lately, huh?! Do you have a problem with me having a girlfriend or something?!"

He scowled. "The only time I have a problem with it is when the two of you act all lovey-dovey in public! It's annoying!"

"It's called 'being in love', Pugs! Try it sometime! Just because you don't have a girlfriend doesn't mean you have to harass me about it! And if you can't handle it then just stay away from us!" With that, Fangs stormed back into the hotel.

Puggsy clenched his fists, then stormed off down the street.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Kim walked down from the room, just in time to hear the commotion outside, and watched Fangs storm in… and she saw tears in his eyes. "Fangs! What's the matter?" she asked.

Fangs took in a deep breath. "I got in a fight with Puggsy, and I…" he said, wiping his eyes. "I just told him to leave me and Kassy alone if he was going to keep being a jerk."

Kim lead him over to some chairs and they sat down. "Tell me everything,"

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Puggsy trudged along until he came across a bench, sitting down and resting his face in his hands. What is everyone's problem? What's my problem? Why am I letting Fangs and Kassy's relationship bother me so much? he wondered, and his head began to ache just by trying to think of an answer. I can't be jealous- I swore off trying to find a girlfriend a long time ago, and just hang out with the others until we decided to move on with our lives… has it begun already? Are we beginning to drift apart? That can't be it- it's too soon! We're not ready to split up just yet, there's still a lot of things for us to do, places to see, people to meet! I don't want to end it all so quickly. I don't want to…

"Are you okay?"

He gasped, his head jerking up, and he noticed Astrid sitting right next to him! "Gah! Leaping ignorpotomas, what… what are you doing here?" he stammered, then noticed her hood was down today, seeing she had long blonde hair, and her eyes were blue.

She shrugged. "Sitting, for the most part. I was in the lobby when I heard you shout in the café, and watched you storm out with someone. When you didn't come back in, well, I decided to see if you were okay."

Puggsy scoffed. "You don't even know me, why would you care?"

She sneered. "You don't know me, yet you still helped me get rid of that creep last night."

"That was different, you were in trouble,"

"And you seem to be in trouble yourself, and I want to return the favor. You don't have to tell me everything- just tell me what's bothering you, and maybe I can help."

Puggsy sighed. "Everyone's getting on my case today, aren't they? …Alright, my best friend as a girlfriend, they keep getting all lovey-dovey, it makes me sick, and we got in a fight about it. That's it." he rested his face on his palm, waving his other hand. "So go ahead, tell me 'it's just love', 'I shouldn't be upset' and all that crap,"

"Actually, I understand."

His eyes widened, and he looked at her. "You do?"

"Heck yeah. I can't stand romance either. If I had to hang around a couple of love-birds and watch them make goo-goo eyes all day, I'd snap too. Don't get me wrong, it's nice that they're in love, but can they try to keep it between themselves and NOT show it off to other people?"

Puggsy felt relief wash over him just then. "FINALLY, someone who gets it! Thank you!"

Astrid shrugged. "Meh, I do what I can do. Well, hope you guys work things out. I'm off,"

"Hey, wait… didn't you want to hang out today or something?"

She smirked, scoffing as she looked at him. "You hardly know me, remember?"

"Yeah well… that doesn't mean we can't get to know each other. I already told you my problem, so that's a start, right?"

"Alright. Want to see if one of your friends wants to tag along?"

Puggsy looked back at the hotel. "If you can't handle it, then just stay away from us!" Fangs' words seemed to repeat in his head, and he turned back to Astrid. "I, uh, don't think they want to hang out with me for a while. I might just let them cool down, first."

"Yeah, that would be a good idea. Okay, then, c'mon, there's a pastry shop just up the street, we can get breakfast there."

"Sounds good to me,"

0o0o0o0o0o0

"…and that's when I just blew up, telling him that just because he doesn't have a girlfriend doesn't mean he should torment me and Kassy, and then I came back in," Fangs finished telling the others. He had told Kim first, then repeated the story to Biff and Kassandra.

"Well, it's good that you stood up to him," Biff said.

"Then why do I feel so bad?"

"You did sound a little harsh, on the part mentioning he doesn't have a girlfriend," Kasandra pointed out. "But, you know, he's been acting like a jerk, so it's about time you gave him a taste of his own medicine."

Fangs sighed. "I don't know, guys… I should go look for him, try to fix things up before it gets worse,"

"It won't be easy- I already tried, but he still shut me out," Kim said, solemnly.

"Then I guess we'll have to stage an intervention. When he gets back, we'll meet up with him," Biff said. "He should be back in a couple hours. Just give him time to calm down,"

"...if that's possible," Kasandra sighed.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Puggsy and Astrid were walking through the mall, after buying a couple muffins and coffees for breakfast, and he told her about all the places he had been and all the trouble he and the gang got into, as well as what the werewolves put him through. "No kidding, your friends are actually werewolves?" she questioned.

"Yeah, I know it's hard to believe, but I've got the bite-marks to prove it," he replied.

"I'm surprised you're not carrying silver on you, or keeping wolfsbane planted in your yard,"

"Ah, they're not that bad. Me and Fangface are always watching each other's backs in the face of danger, and he's always there to help in any kind of saturation."

"How did you guys meet?"

"It was a long time ago… I got in trouble with some gang-members who rigged a boxing match I was in, and they came after me, and I ran into Fangface out in the woods during my escape. We didn't really start out as friends, but after a couple more villains came after us, we had to work together to save everyone as well as ourselves, and… he looked out for all of us, making sure no creeps tried to harm us. I remember one time when I was kidnappified, and the gang came to my rescue, and this psychotical kid pulled out a gun to shoot Fangface, but I shielded him from it." He pulled his shirt collar a ways, showing a scar just above his heart. "I had a mirror tucked away in my shirt so it caught the bullet, but it still caused some damage."

Astrid stared for a bit, surprised. "Wow… so, you really care about him,"

Puggsy nodded. "He's my best friend, what can I say?" he cleared his throat after a pause. "So… what about you? What kind of friends do you have?"

Astrid scoffed. "They're not werewolves, to start with… actually, I don't think they're really 'friends' of mine. They're just children of my parents' friends, who I was set up with to hang around during get-togethers. I didn't have much in common with them, and they didn't really see me as part of their clique. The only time I ever saw them was at school, and they only came over to my place just to use my stuff. In other words… they were just snobs."

"Ouch, so no point in asking if you kept in contact, huh?"

"None. I wanted to make friends myself, but my parents didn't think I had the capability- actually, they didn't think I was capable of doing anything on my own."

He arched an eyebrow. "What kind of parents would think that?"

Astrid clenched her fists, but remained calm. "The same kind who have a set of twins, but one is born sick and had to stay in the hospital longer than her brother, who grew up healthy and strong and was allowed to travel when he was only 16, while she had to stay at home and watch as everyone did things for her because they thought she was so damn fragile…" her jaw was clenching as she finished, and she let out a heavy sigh. "One day, I was sick of it, so I saved up all my money and decided to travel, taking self-defense classes as I did just so I could protect myself and prove I wasn't so weak. I plan on buying a gun next, after last night." she looked at him. "I suppose you're going to tell me I should go back, right?"

"Nah, I see your point. Parents need to let their kids get out on their own once they're old enough, and let them learn how to do things on their own. Though you should at least call them, let them know you're alright and doing fine- they must be worried sick."

She sighed. "I did try calling them once, a couple years ago. …All they did was chew me out, tell me how irresponsible I was, and that I needed to come home before I got myself killed. I tried telling them about all the things I've done, and that I was doing okay, but they didn't listen, thinking I wasn't ready to be out in the world. I wanted to tell them that I've already seen part of the world- I went all the way to England even, and I may head to France next."

"I've been on a few different continents myself. My family was worried, too, but as long as I was alright they didn't fuss so much- my younger cousin, Toni, mostly wants me to bring something back for her, heh." he cleared his throat. "But, still, you'd think that, after all these years, they'd realize you were capable of handling yourself."

"Yeah, only my brother understands. He's seen half the world before he was out of school, made great friends… Mom and Dad barely contact him, knowing he can take good care of himself. He told me this last week when I called him- apparently, he's the only one in our whole family who doesn't see me as a weakling."

"Must be twinstinct."

"Twinstinct?"

"Yeah- when twins understand each other better than others. I came up with it after hanging around Fangs and his twin sister, Sam. They're complete opposites, but they know what's going on with each other better than I do- like they know what's going on in each other's minds, know what the other is feeling, and know what kind of stunt the other is about to pull. Same with their weird-wolf halves,"

Astrid chuckled. "You have quite the vocabulary, don't you?"

He rolled his eyes, sarcastically. "Gee, is it that noticeable?"

"Pretty much, but hey I like it." she looked around the mall. "So, anywhere specific you want to go?"

He looked around, seeing an arcade. "You play videogames much?"

She shrugged, and they walked in. They began to play a virtual-reality assassin game, in which they had to explore a maze of hallways and try to hunt each other down. After five minutes, he had lost sight of Astrid, and was cautiously lurking through the 3D hallways. "C'mon… where'd you go?" he asked.

*BANG!*

"Boom! Headshot!" came Astrid's voice, and suddenly the words 'Game Over' were flashing on Puggsy's screen.

"Ah, darn it," Puggsy cursed, taking off his helmet, while Astrid did the same.

"And the world's most skilled assassin is…" Astrid boasted, raising her arms then pointed to herself. "Myself."

"Ah can it. You cheated."

"Pfft, how can you cheat at arcade games? Don't be a sore loser," She walked over to a motor-cross videogame next. "C'mon, rematch. …Or are you too proud to get beat again?"

He stared at her defiantly, yet smirked. "You're on."

They played the game, driving through the virtual streets of Italy, until Puggsy cut across Astrid, making her wipe out and burst into flames, while he crossed the finish line. "Hey!"

"And the world's motor-cross champion is…" Puggsy raised his arms and pointed to himself, as Astrid had done. "Moi."

"No fair, you made me wipe-out,"

"Hey, you shot me in the head. I'd say we're even."

She rolled her eyes. "Fine, whatever." she looked over, seeing a DDR game, only more advanced with a larger dance-panel with several more arrows. "You like to dance?"

He arched an eyebrow. "You're kidding, right?"

"C'mon, it'll be fun,"

"Eh, no thanks. I don't like looking like an idiot,"

"That's a surprise- you seem good at it,"

He gave her a glare, though she ignored it and put some quarters in the machine, the song 'Daddy DJ' playing. To Puggsy, the DDR games weren't that interesting- all you had to do was step on the arrows to match the pattern, not really 'dance'. But with there being more arrows, which formed a circle, it appeared to be required, as he watched her spin her body to match the patterns. A few other people gathered, watching her. Halfway through the song, she turned and looked at him, motioning him to join. He shook his head, though a few people egged him on, until finally he sighed and got up, putting in his quarters and joining in the dance. He didn't move much at first, just trying to step and match the patterns.

Astrid nudged him. "Like this,"

He then tried to copy her, and managed to do well by the time the song reached the final verse, though he slipped and landed on his rear, causing a few people to laugh. "Fail!" someone teased.

"Loser!" Another jerk added.

Puggsy stood up, ready to punch them… though Astrid stepped up to them first. "Like you homos could do better," she sneered.

"Hey, we're not the ones who look like retards," The first jerk sneered.

"Yeah? Then prove it- I'll give you both $100 if you can beat my score," she pointed to the screen, showing that her score was 220,045.

"You're on!" The second jerk sneered, and they got up on the machine, trying to dance the way she and Puggsy had… but focused more on trying to beat her score than get into the beat, hopping around and looking like a pair of idiots, until one of them kicked his leg out too far and tripped the other, both of them falling and screwing their game up, only getting as high as 356. The crowd laughed.

"Who's the losers now?" Puggsy taunted.

"I'll show you!" The first jerk snarled, and he and his friend stood up and ran at them.

Astrid stepped in once again and flipped the first jerk over her shoulder, then caught the other by the arm and swung him into a PacMan machine, and everyone in the arcade stopped and looked over to see what was going on. "We'd… better go," she said quickly, grabbing Puggsy by the arm, and they ran out of the arcade.

"And your parents still think you can't handle yourself?" Puggsy questioned, chuckling a bit.

She shrugged. "Like I said, I just needed to get out on my own," With that, they walked out of the mall.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

"…okay, Stutz. Thanks." Biff said on the phone, then hung up. "Well, Stutz hasn't seen him either,"

"It's been five hours… where could he have gone?" Kim asked, concerned. "He's never went off to brood this long before,"

"I don't know… there was that time he didn't talk to us for a whole week, remember?" Fangs said, just as worried.

"Hon, that was because he had laryngitis, remember?" Kasandra replied.

Fangs paused. "Oh yeah…"

"C'mon, lets go look for him," Biff advised. "I just hope he hasn't gotten into any trouble,"

"With Puggsy, I wouldn't get my hopes up," Kasandra commented.

They went down to the lobby… pausing when they saw Puggsy walking in, with a girl at his side. "There he is! But… who's that with him?" Fangs asked, surprised.

Kasandra studied the girl. "I don't know… but I feel like I've seen her somewhere, before."

"C'mon, lets go find out," Kim said, and they walked over. "Puggsy! Where have you been?"

"Oh, hey guys. I was just hanging out with Astrid, here." Puggsy replied. "Astrid, these are my friends- Biff, Kim, Fangs, and Kassy."

Astrid nodded, though her eyes widened when she saw Kasandra. "Hi," she said, trying not to sound uneasy.

"You've been hanging out… with another girl?" Fangs asked, then whispered to Kasandra. "I don't believe it,"

"Is this the girl you saved last night?" Kasandra asked, after giving Fangs a warning glance.

"Yeah, he just knocked out this creep who's been stalking me," Astrid answered. "I met up with him outside a few hours ago, and we've just been hanging out around town."

"That's a relief. We were getting worried when you didn't come back after breakfast," Biff told him. "We're just glad you're okay,"

"We're going to go out for dinner later, would you like to join us?" Kim asked Astrid.

"Um, sure. I gotta head back up to my room. I'll meet up with you guys around 5," she replied.

"Okay, see you then." Puggsy said, watching as she walked off towards the elevators. He then noticed the others were giving him a look. "What?"

"So, you've been hanging out with a new friend all day, I see." Fangs said, smirking a bit while bouncing his eyebrows.

"Oh, get real! We're still on the acquaintance level, we just met!"

"Considering you've been with her half the day, I'd think otherwise,"

"…if you think at all."

"Alright, don't start you two." Kasandra said, stepping between them. "Fangs, don't tease Puggsy- he's right, he and Astrid did just meet. She might already have a boyfriend," she rubbed her chin. "But I can't shake the feeling that I know her from somewhere…"

"How so?"

"I don't know. She just reminds me of someone I knew as a kid, before she and her family moved to Nebraska,"

"You think she might be the same girl?" Kim guessed.

"I thought so… but I don't remember knowing anyone named Astrid," she shook her head. "Probably just a coincidence."

"We'll find out tonight at dinner. Getting to know her better might jog your memory," Biff suggested.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Later at five, the gang met up in the lobby, waiting for Astrid. During that time, Fangs had been trying to ask Puggsy what all he and Astrid did, though after a couple 'None of your business's, he decided to avoid another fight and leave the matter alone. Puggsy appreciated this, finding it annoying that his best friend now thought he was dating a girl- especially one he had barely known for 24 hours. Astrid showed up fifteen minutes later. "Sorry I'm late, I was on the phone with my brother," she told them as they walked out, heading towards a restaurant down the street. "I like to keep him updated whenever I go places. He said he's just thirty minutes away from the city, and might drop by."

"Ooh, I almost forgot! I need to call Sam," Fangs said, taking out his cell-phone… holding it up in random spots. "Darn reception…"

"You just called her this morning," Kasandra told him.

"I know- but a lot can happen in 10 hours,"

"You must be really concerned about her, or something. Something going on?" Astrid asked.

"Well, yeah… A year ago, some maniac named Vincent Fondane attacked my family." Kasandra told her. "The gang here stepped in and helped throw him in prison, but he managed to escape and is after us. We've been calling our families every day to make sure they're alright,"

Astrid cringed. "Why is he after you?"

"He hunts werewolves. We tried to tell him our friends weren't dangerous, but he wouldn't listen- he must hunt them for sport (asshole)." Puggsy said, muttering the last word under his breath.

"We haven't heard anything about him for months, but we're still on guard," Biff said. "We don't know what kind of tricks he has up his sleeves."

"But, we don't want you to worry about it," Kim assured Astrid. "We're doing fine."

"Yeah, lets go eat." Puggsy said, and they walked inside.

Turns out they could have chosen a better restaurant, for inside the walls were decorated with a star-like pattern, moon-shaped lights hanging from the ceilings to match… and before Puggsy knew it, Fangface was holding him by the ankles, shaking him. "I gotcha now, Pugs! (grr)" he exclaimed.

"Fangsy…" Hunter began to say, persuasively.

"Uh, excuse me, but I thought he was your best friend," Astrid stepped up instead. "Last time I checked, friends didn't shake their pals by the ankles… no matter how hilarious it is."

"Ooh, ooh, I almost forgot." Fangface said, then set Puggsy down. "(grr) Sorry about that, Pugs. I'm trying to quit, I really am."

"Eh, forget it," Puggsy said, while looking over at Astrid, who gave him a wink.

They sat down at a table… where he noticed that Fangface wasn't trying that hard to control is urges, as he looked at a menu, saw a picture of a steak, and shoved Puggsy in his mouth! "Let me out!" he muffled.

"Fangsy, didn't I tell you to cut down on the junk food?" Hunter told him. "Let him out,"

"Aw, but I haven't eaten all day…" Fangface said. Hunter opened her mouth to reply, and he raised his finger. "Fangs eating doesn't count!"

"Oh c'mon, honey, just open your mouth and…"

"OW!" Fangface yelled, opening his mouth wide enough for Puggsy to leap out, and the werewolf grabbed his foot, rubbing it. "Ooh, ooh, that hurts!"

"What happened?"

"She stepped on my foot!" Fangface pointed over at Astrid.

"I'm sorry! I was distracted at seeing Puggsy in your mouth, and wasn't watching where I was walking," Astrid said, innocently. "At least he's out of your mouth now, right? I saved you from some indigestion."

"Lets just eat- Fangface, please try to control yourself," Hunter said, sitting down with Fangface, who was still rubbing his foot.

"For the sake of my feet, I will. (grr)" Fangface replied.

Puggsy wiped himself off, then looked over at Astrid, who gave him a smirk. Something tells me that was no accident, he thought, and couldn't help but smirk too.

During dinner, the gang chatted with Astrid, learning she's traveled half the country, explored most of England and had made a friend there named Edwin Miles Smith- who, she said, planned on visiting America himself one of these days- and how her brother, Twiggy (as friends called him), graduated from an elite university and spent most of his time traveling as well. She didn't say anything about leaving home or how protective her parents had been of her, and Puggsy figured she didn't want to say anything about it yet, in case everyone tried to persuade her to go back- at least, that's what he figured they would do.

Afterwards, they left the restaurant, Astrid picking up the tab- claiming it was no trouble- and they decided to take a walk through the park, as the sun began to set. "Well, this was a pretty good day," Kim said as she sat with Biff on a bench, watching as Hunter, Fangface, Puggsy, and Brielle stood by the pond, skipping rocks- Fangface throwing his clear across to the other side, to which Puggsy only rolled his eyes, calling the werewolf a show-off.

"Yeah, and it's really nice that Puggsy's behaving himself, too- it's like he's watching himself around Astrid…" Biff said.

They watched as, for some reason, Puggsy swatted Fangface with his hat, and the werewolf pushed him into the pond… and Astrid tripped him from behind and made him fall in next. "Or… like she's watching out for him," Kim guessed. "You think she likes him?"

They watched as Hunter chewed out Astrid, who apologized and helped Fangface out of the pond… only to get pulled in. Puggsy retaliated by splashing Hunter and getting her soaked next, and soon the werewolves were chasing the teens around.

"Well, you'd have to admit, they do make a good match," Biff joked, and then stood up. "C'mon, we'd better go after them before they cause any trouble,"

The werewolves chased Puggsy and Astrid across the park until the teens ran out of breath, allowing Fangface to shake Puggsy around, while Hunter had Astrid pinned. "Alright, alright, we're sorry!" Astrid laughed… which Puggsy didn't understand, as he always found the werewolves' harassment annoying. "We were just funning around, no need to get touchy."

"We're touchy? You're the one who pushed Fangface in the pond," Hunter scoffed.

"He threw Puggsy in, first."

"That's because he called Fangface a nitwolf, just because he beat him at skipping rocks,"

"Hey, the 'nitwolf' was bragging… don't act like you wouldn't do the same thing. Now, can I get up now?"

Hunter stood up. "Just watch yourself, girl. It's not wise to pick on werewolves,"

Astrid scoffed. "Oh, what are you going to do, eat me?"

"I wouldn't be surprised," came a chilling voice, and they looked over into the shadows, where a man who appeared to be in his 40's, wearing a wide-rimmed black fedora, with a matching black outfit and cloak, equipped with three knives (one in a holster in his boot), two guns, a rifle strapped to his back, stepped out of the shadows. "Werewolves are, after all, natural-born killers."

"YOU!" Hunter snarled, jumping back, and Fangface rushed to her side. "What are you doing here?!"

"I came to finish what we started," He then raised one of his guns, aiming it at each of them. "Now… who wants to die first?" he aimed it at Puggsy. "If I don't recall, I promised to kill you off first, runt."

Puggsy clenched his fists. "Yeah… and I disremember promising I'd kill you slowly and painfully if you showed your face again!" he retorted sharply.

"Then I guess I'll be holding up to my promise-"

*THWACK!*

A rock hit Vincent in the side of the head just then. "Back off, you bastard!" Biff shouted, as he and Kim threw two more rocks at his face.

"Run, guys!" Kim called, and the gang shot off down the street, Vincent in pursuit.

"Split up- Kim and I will go to the police; Fangface, Hunter, you hide somewhere with Pugs and Astrid."

"Be careful!" Kim said, and she and Biff turned one way, while the werewolves, Astrid, and Puggsy went the other way.

Vincent paused, then decided to cut through an alley to head them off.

Biff and Kim ran towards the police station, which was fortunately just up the block… not noticing they passed Luca and Stutz along the way. "Hey, Biff! Kim! What's the rush?" Luca called, as the 13-year-old raced after them.

"No time to talk! Vincent Fondane is after the werewolves!" Biff said quickly.

"He's h-h-here?!" Stutz stammered.

"Where are the others?" Luca asked.

"They ran the other way to go hide," Kim answered, as they reached the police station and she ran in with Biff.

Luca turned to Stutz. "You stay here with Biff and Kim, I'll go help the others,"

"A-Are y-y-you NUTS?!" Stutz cried.

"Don't worry, I know this town like the back of my hand, I can help them hide!" With that, he ran down the street to find the rest of their friends.

Stutz sighed, worriedly. "G-Good g-grief, w-w-why couldn't he b-be like n-normal b-boys and just s-sneak into R-rated m-movies?" With that, he ran inside to help inform the cops before the younger teen got himself killed.

0o0o0o0o0

Fangface, Hunter, Puggsy, and Astrid ran to an old warehouse, ducking behind a few crates. "Listen, I got a plan," Astrid whispered. "Werewolves, you climb up to the rafters up there, keep an eye out for Vincent. Pugs and I will try to lead him over to that conveyor belt, where we'll snag that hook onto his shirt and haul him up."

"Right, and we'll swing down on those other hooks to knock over crates, just to distract him- maybe even crush him a little," Hunter agreed.

"Lets go," Puggsy said, and he and Astrid snuck off around the crates, while Fangface and Hunter went towards the stairway, climbing up to the catwalks until they were high enough to scale up to the rafters.

That's when Hunter noticed a problem. At their angle, it was hard to see over all the crates, since they were stacked so close that they could only see over the first three rows below them. "Great, we'll have to move around the rafters to keep an eye on them," Hunter muttered. "And if we do that, we'll make too much noise and attract his attention!"

"Ooh, ooh, then I hope Astrid and Pugs can lure him towards that conveyor belt," Fangface said, looking down at the conveyor belt.

Little did they know the two weren't heading towards the conveyor belt.

Instead, Astrid lead him towards the exit. "You think we lost him?" he asked.

*Thump!* They heard a sound from around the corner, and Astrid shoved him down behind a crate. "Nope. Stay down, and no matter what, don't follow me." she said, then ran towards the exit.

"Astrid? What…"

"QUICK, OUT THIS WAY!" Astrid feigned, then went out the exit.

Puggsy began to stand up, until he noticed Vincent running towards the exit. "Damn brat," he groused to himself, then ripped the door open and ran outside.

Acting fast, Puggsy caught the door, following the hunter out, ducking behind a dumpster. He saw a lead pipe on the ground and picked it up, then looked over, seeing Astrid and Vincent standing face-to-face, the girl looking pissed. Why isn't she running… and why hasn't he tried taking her hostage yet? he wondered.

"How stupid are you?! After all I've done for you, you turn against me to help those beasts?!" Vincent griped. "All I asked was for you to lead those teens to me tonight- instead, I ended up having to come look for you! We had a deal, remember?!"

"The deal is off, this is going too far!" Astrid snapped. "They're all nice kids, and the werewolves aren't evil like you think!"

"You've only met them today! Don't let them manipulate you!"

"The only one I let manipulate me is you! I thought you just needed my help taking out someone dangerous, saying I was finally ready to put my training to the test… but it only turns out you just needed a pawn to help murder those kids!"

"Ugh, I should have had Keith be the lure… but no, I set him up as the 'so-called stalker' that you had to be 'rescued' from! I should've known you weren't capable of this…"

"Capable of what?! Taking innocent lives?! I thought you were different than my parents- that you knew how to see someone on the inside… but you're just like them. You take one look at them and-"

*SLAP!*

Vincent struck her. "Enough of your sentimental shit! You're weaker than I thought…"

*Swish!* Astrid struck him with a knife she had hidden in her jacket, slicing his shoulder. "I'm not weak… I just realized who's the real enemy," she snarled. "Just go away, and leave them alone!"

Vincent grabbed her by the arm, holding a gun up to her throat. "If I have to go, you're coming with me!"

*Clang!*

Puggsy struck him in the back of the head, knocking him out. As the hunter dropped to the ground, he glared at Astrid, then tapped the pipe in his hand. "Alright, get explaining, otherwise you're next." he said, coldly.

"Everything I told you already is true… but I didn't tell you everything. My real name is Brielle Shereba. I've only been going by 'Astrid' just to keep from being tracked down by my parents." Astrid, now to be referred to as 'Brielle', told him. "I took lessons from Vincent, and in return he asked for my help to take out some dangerous people… I didn't think he was a psycho until after I met you guys! He had me and Keith- the 'stalker' you knocked out- set up a trap to try to gain your guys' trust. I called up Keith and told him to go home, that the mission was over. I guess he contacted Vincent, and that's how he found out." She sighed bitterly. "So go ahead and knock me out too… you might as well."

Puggsy lowered the pipe, grabbing her by the arm. "First, we're going to get Hunter and Fangface, you're going to tell them everything, and you're going to help us put Vincent in jail. …Then, I'm going to call your parents."

Brielle sneered. "Can't you just send me to jail, instead?"

"No. Now c'mon,"

*Bang!*

"Agh!" Puggsy gasped, feeling a pain in his chest… then looked, seeing blood seeping through his shirt.

"PUGGSY!" Brielle screamed, then looked up, seeing the brown-haired, green-eyed 'stalker' from last night, standing on the rooftop. Keith. "You bastard! What are you doing?!"

"My job," Keith sneered, then aimed the gun at her. "Not really wise of you to turn on our master, Shereba. Don't worry about your parents, though… they probably think you're already-"

*Thwack!* A rock hit Keith in the face. "Back off, dirtbag!" Luca snarled from down the alley, running and grabbing the lead pipe Puggsy had held, and used it to hit Keith.

Keith growled, then grabbed Luca by the throat, keeping his gun aimed at Brielle. "I'll handle you after I kill this bitch, you little-"

"Let him go!" came a voice, and they looked over to see that Vincent had come to. "Let that boy go!"

"But… master! He-"

Vincent aimed his gun at Keith. "I said let him go!" he heard police sirens coming their way. "We have to move out. Now!"

Keith sneered, but shoved Luca aside, keeping his gun aimed at Brielle as he ran. Brielle, in the meantime, ran towards Puggsy, who was on his hands and knees, dropping to the ground with a groan. "Pugs-" she gasped.

Quick as a flash, Vincent lunged and sliced her throat. "That's for your betrayal," he snapped, then took off with Keith, who laughed as they ran.

"Help!" Luca began to scream, while Brielle held her throat. "Someone, HELP!"

Fangface and Hunter burst out of the warehouse. "I heard a gunshot out here!" Hunter said. "Luca what's-"

"PUGS!" Fangface cried, running to his friend, turning him on his back, seeing the blood stained on his shirt. "No… Puggsy…"

Hunter knelt by Brielle, ripping off a chunk of her shirt to press against her wound. "Don't worry, it's not that deep," the she-wolf told her. "You'll be okay…"

"It was my fault…" Brielle sobbed, staring at Puggsy.

The police cars arrived, along with an ambulance. "It's a good thing Luca called," Kim said as she, Biff, and Stutz climbed out of a squad car. "Now Vincent is in for it!"

"I think we're too late…" Biff said, frozen in his steps, as he pointed over. Kim gasped and Stutz gagged at the sight of blood, trying not to faint.

"No! He's not… he can't be!"

"He isn't," Luca said, seeing that Puggsy was, by all odds, still breathing.

"Pugs… don't go… I don't want to go through this again!" Fangface sobbed.

"…fangface…" came a quiet voice, and the werewolf looked down, seeing it came from Puggsy, as his friend grasped his paw. "Sorry… for being a jerk… I just didn't want to be… alone."

"Be alone? What are you talking about?" He waited for him to answer, but his friend had already shut his eyes, his grip becoming limp. "No… Puggsy! Please!"

Brielle watched as the teen was then surrounded by paramedics, as she herself was tended to… but her vision grew dark, as she focused on the scene, watching the trouble she caused unfold before everything went black.


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