Theo walked in the shop while Bili and I were just getting underway on the clean-up. It was no surprise as to the amount of damage done to the store. Luckily most of the damage occurred in the front portion of the showroom floor, as most of the more valuable items were in the back. Even still, the cost was going to be substantial, and I doubt Theo was going to claim it on his insurance. I don’t think he would have had a rider for this type of damage. He would have had to drive a car through the store to cause that amount of carnage.
“Jack.” Theo said as he walked into the store and headed toward the back room. I instinctively followed behind him as we made our way to his desk.
He motioned to the seat with his hand and I sat. He sat as well, giving me a knowing and apologetic look.
I was in the same chair that I had my interview in, but something told me that this conversation was going to be quite different.
“It seems you had quite a night.” Theo said with a gentle
He had an overwhelming ability to set you at ease in any situation. I was glad for it too. Everything happened to so fast that I hadn’t had time to process all of this new information.
“How are you...adjusting?”
There was no confusion as to what he was talking about, and I grew excited that I may get some answers to all my questions.
“I haven’t had much time to think about it. Everything happened so fast.” I said.
“That it has. It will take some time for you to get a full grasp of the magnitude of tonight’s events. I’m sure your imagination is working overtime right now, am I right?”
“Yes sir. It is.”
That was a large understatement.
“Let me assure you that you haven’t even glimpsed the new world you have been....born into, for a lack of better word. I will do everything I can to help with this transition.”
I nodded in thankful agreement, but kept quiet as I wanted him to continue.
“I want you to know something Jack. This was not part of any grand plan or scheme. You were not supposed to become as you are, but if there is one thing that I am certain of, it’s that nothing in this life is certain. Or in one’s complete control.”
“So you knew who I was before I started working for you?” I asked.
“How? Why? I’m nothing special.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth.”
“How do you mean?” I asked with genuine interest.
I’ve always thought of myself as the average boring guy next door. I’ve never been anywhere, or done anything great. I was always good in school, but I’m sure that’s not what he was talking about.
“How do I explain this?” He began. “I learned that your existence had leaked and that it was likely that certain individuals may eventually come looking for you. When this happened I started keeping tabs on you as a precaution. Kinda like an invisible security detail. I didn’t know if you would ever be found, so I kept my distance, watched and waited. I wanted to be close enough to help if the need presented itself.”
Though my new cognitive skills were very efficient and I was thinking crystal clear, this new information had me stumped.
“My existence?” I said, not hiding my ignorance.
“Yes. Though not directly, you are part of a larger story that goes back many years. We don’t have the time to go into it all right now, but I will do my best to answer the immediate questions that must be bubbling up inside you.”
Theo leaned back in his chair and collected his thoughts for a second. It was obvious he was going to be careful how he approached the enormity of it all.
“You have been subjected to an enormous amount of foreign information. Much of it will take years to fully comprehend, but one thing you may have guessed from recent events is that you are unique. And rather infamous as of late. You have caught the attention of others and not all of them are friends. As we speak your name and reputation are growing worldwide.”
“Kristov and Franklin definitely hammered home the not all friends part.” I said.
“I’m sure it did.” Theo said with a smile. “You will have to tell me all about it sometime, but there are more important things to discuss at the moment, so let’s get the obvious questions out of way first.” He said looking at me expectantly.
“You and Bili are vampires or something, and unless I am dreaming and about to wake up, so am I.” I said.
It came out almost as a question.
“That would be the modern generic term for us, and for the purposes of understanding and your current knowledge base I would say that we would fit into that category.”
“I assume that Kristov and Franklin are some type of wolf derivative and so is your friend. I don’t know why I assume that, but...”
“Also correct, and again with the same disclaimer. The younger ones of both of our kinds identify as you do because of the era you were born, but some of the elders would take a slight offense to such names.” Theo said.
I looked at Theo with my new eyes and it was if I was seeing him for the first time. I was seeing someone with a vast knowledge few would believe, or comprehend.
“Are you immortal?” I said, still not really associating myself as being the thing same as Theo.
“No. Not in the literal sense. We can die. We are just a lot less fragile than our human counterparts. We are made up of the same genetic material as anyone else, for the most part. We are just blessed, or cursed, depending on who ask, with a certain gene or genes that affect many attributes of our being. Our overall anatomy is much stronger and we can recover from most injuries quite quickly. That being said, if we sustain massive trauma to the heart or brain, it’s good night.”
“I feel silly for asking, but do you drink blood? Cause the thought of it still doesn’t sound appealing.”
Theo grinned. I think he was waiting for this question.
“No. Many of the legends and historical inaccuracies of our kind have stemmed from centuries of story-telling and the mentally unbalanced. The most famous being Vlad, who was human by the way. He wanted to be a vampire in the worst way, but he was so far gone mentally that no one wanted anything to do with him. You will have to ask Jacques about him one day. He has a good Story.
“Some legends though may have had some historical basis at one time, but like all living creatures we have evolved over time to blend better with our surroundings.”
“What about the wolves?” I asked
I wasn’t sure what I was asking about in particular, but Theo took my meaning.
“Same rules apply for the most part, but genetically they are a little different. One being that they can be a little more difficult to kill.”
“So they don’t turn into anything or...?” I started to asked
“Not really. However, as you could see when Kristov became furious with me, there were some minor changes in his physical make-up. Most of it so subtle that the average human might not notice, but I know you could. Am I right?”
“Yes, vividly. His eyes seemed to change color slightly and his teeth looked fuller, sharper.” I said.
“Yes. When this happens the wolves can be a handful. They are slightly stronger than most of us anyway. On the contrary, we are faster and have better cognitive skills, but as in all things there are exceptions. They do have one other distinct advantage. When the moon is full their strength and speed are increased even further. Mind this if you find yourself in a troubling situation. There is a time to fight and there is a time to run.” Theo said this with a very stern look.
“Understood.” I said
“Good. Listen Jack, I don’t want to scare you, but these are troubling times. With your existence no longer a secret, things may escalate. I don’t know how this will all play out, but I’m fairly certain we have not seen the last of Kristov, and some others I fear.”
“Aside from Jacques, do all werewolves hate us?” I asked
“No. There was a time long ago when war was common between our clans, but over the past several centuries we had moved past that and even worked together quite well. War between us does not benefit anyone. That being said, I feel that in this current climate things could change,”
“Who am I?” I asked
“Ahh. That’s the one I’ve been waiting for.”
Theo put his hands together on the desk in front of him and took a deep breath.
“If only that question was as easy to answer as it was to ask. It’s complicated.”
“In what way?” I asked
“In every way.” Theo said.
My whole life I had thought I was just a normal kid with an at best, average life, and now I felt like I had just stumbled down the rabbit hole. I was a curious person by nature, but you add something like this and I was bursting with questions.
I kept quiet as Theo continued
“Perhaps if I explain some things about us as a species it will shed some light. Relationships between humans and our kind are extremely rare, and almost nonexistent. There are all of the obvious reasons, but also a few not so obvious. When the transformation takes place for us and the wolves alike, we become sterile. On top of that we develop a strong aversion to the human odor. This is nature’s way of keeping are numbers low I guess. But like I told you before, there are exceptions. There have only been a few documented cases of those who have remained fertile. There may be others, but like I said, most of those very few wouldn’t know it because of what I just explained. It’s chemistry you could say. So the possibility of a relationship existing and producing a child is nearly unfathomable.”
“I’m a product of one of those rare relationships?”
My mind was spinning from this new development, but I was still hanging on every word Theo said.
“How…who..?” I asked clumsily.
“I’m afraid that this is the information that will have to wait. I’m sorry Jack, but some things must be spoon fed. I don’t like holding back secrets any more than you like waiting, but there are reasons for this. Patience.”
I was disappointed, but I trusted that Theo really did have my best interest in mind, so I relented and changed the topic.
“I know I am new to this life, but I hope you will allow me to help in any way that I can?” I said.
I didn’t know what kind of reaction I would get from him. He may very well have told me to go home and not to worry about it.
“You will be an integral part of the events to come, but for now the only thing you should be concerned with is rest. You need to complete your transformation and the only way to do it is to sleep and allow your body to complete the process. I have an apartment upstairs I want you to use. It’s the one with the green door that looks like a storage closet. It’s not.”
Theo threw me a set of keys he had on his desk.
“Go rest and unwind. Sleep will take you before you know it. I suggest you get your things from your house sometime in the near future too. Preferably when none of your friends are around. In all the excitement I’m sure you haven’t noticed the changes in your physical appearance. It will be easy to explain these things to your friends, but only after a lengthy vacation. The changes are not something that could occur over night.” Theo said.
He held his gaze, making sure I took his last point seriously.
“Okay.” I said.
“We will talk more later, I promise.” Theo said as he motioned for me to head upstairs.
I took the keys and started to walk away. I stopped and turned back toward Theo.
“I hope I haven’t become a burden on you and Bili.” I said.
Theo’s look spoke a thousand words, and I felt better instantly.
“Get some rest.”
I did as I was told and went to the upstairs flat. I had seen the green door on my first day of work, and he was right, I thought it was just a storage closet we never used.
Though it was small, it seemed to fit me like a glove. I took it in for a minute, looking around at everything, and then sat in the most comfortable leather chair I ever felt. I sat in quiet contemplation about everything that had happened in the last few hours, and I genuinely thought I must be in a fantastic dream.
What I saw tonight couldn’t exist. I couldn’t exist.