Bite Marks

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"Werewolves? Like in the movies?" "Yes." Well great, he was off his fucking rocker and I was never getting out of here. Cassie has spent her whole life fighting. Fighting for attention from her emotionally absent father in the aftermath of her mother's death. Fighting to stay sane in an abusive relationship with her husband Jason, and fighting to keep all these things from affecting her sarcastic, no bullshit attitude, but her life was starting to wear her down, and she had to get away. Now after she fought her way free from her old life, and moved to a quiet small town in Montana, she thinks she can finally relax. Maybe her life will finally take a turn for the better. She's made some friends, has a job, and her own little apartment. She even met a sexy cop, who has shown more than a little interest in her. But when she is attacked one night on her way home she enters into a war between creatures that she's only seen on TV or read about in books. Cassie doesn't know how to handle this new life she has been given, or the infuriating man who comes with it. Cassie has been a fighter her whole life, but this is one fight she's not sure she'll survive.

Fantasy / Romance
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

I threw the dirty dishrag over my shoulder with a sigh. I pushed my sweaty bangs out of my eyes and tried to push the dark thoughts out of my head as well. The soft music floating out of the scratchy speaker above me did nothing to occupy my mind. I did the math and after paying the electric bill I would have about $20 left over for food for the rest of the week. I guessed I could stand to lose a few pounds.

I moved on to the next table wincing at the pain in soles of my feet. I needed new shoes, but that was another luxury I couldn’t afford. I cursed myself again for not grabbing the good pair of running nikes I kept by the door when I had left. My panic addled brain hadn’t been thinking enough about appropriate footwear. The gray speckled formica didn’t look any cleaner when I was done scrubbing it, but it was old, and I was distracted.

The whole restaurant had a dated feel to it, which I liked. It was easier to blend in among the older couples and families that frequented the establishment. You didn’t see many people my age coming in here, and even when you did many of the younger girls were more than happy to switch tables with me. A few of them had started to notice my reluctance and I had to wonder, how paranoid was too paranoid?

“Hey Cassie, are you about done? I’m going to start flipping chairs.”

I nodded at Kelsey. Somehow more often than not we were stuck with the closing shift. I liked Kelsey, she was nice, but she had been through her fair share of hardships and knew when to stop asking questions. On the flip side of that coin she wasn’t shy with her information. In the past month I had been working here I had learned that Kelsey was a single mother. She had a son named Bradley who was now five years old. His father had run off with an eighteen year old fresh out of high school six months after Bradley was born and she hadn’t heard from him since. Probably for the best if you asked me, but she didn’t ask.

“I hate to ask this, but can I slip out early? The only person I could find to watch Bradley tonight was Eileen from across the hall and she always falls asleep at eleven. Who can really blame her though she just celebrated her eighty-sixth birthday.”

Kelsey always had a hard time finding a sitter, I was curious about her family, but I wouldn’t answer any of her questions so I figured I wouldn’t ask any either.

“Yeah, go ahead. I’ve got this.”

“Thank you Cassie! I’ll split my tips with you next Friday.”

I wanted to tell her she didn’t have to do that, but we both knew I needed the money. She left with a wave and I went into the back room to pull out the mop.

Once the floors were as clean as worn laminate could be I stretched, popping my back and wincing at the tight muscles. Closing was really a two person job. Dirty water flowed down the drain as I wrung the mop out in the industrial sink. I grabbed my purse from my locker and headed toward the door flipping off lights as I went. Leaving the light on above the counter I opened the glass double doors.

The chilly air flooded in and I wrapped my jacket tighter around myself fighting a shiver. Before I pulled the locked doors shut behind me I fished out my pepper spray from my purse and gripped it tightly in my hand. I wanted to be reassured by the little metal can, but I couldn’t help but think about how quickly it could be taken away from me.

Again I bemoaned the fact that I had to ditch my little Camaro on the side of road. The license plate was so easily traceable, and it wasn’t a risk I could afford. I hadn’t anticipated how expensive Montana would be, but I couldn’t get any farther from Tennessee if I tried, at least not without crossing the border into Canada.

Eventually I would be able to figure something out, but until then I just had to thank my lucky stars that my apartment building was only a few blocks from the restaurant. I kept my head down as I started walking, but I listened hard. The wind was blowing and every skittering leaf or shaking branch caused my shoulder muscles to knit tighter and tighter together. The sidewalk was deserted. It was after twelve and everyone was home in bed. The little town of Whitefish, Montana didn’t have much of a nightlife to speak of. It was quiet. I needed quiet.

I tried to keep my pace even and slow, not like a crazy person, and not like I thought I could physically outrun the world’s worst case of bad luck. Which I had. I turned onto the last street, I was one block away, one fucking block, when I heard a noise. My heart jump started, jackhammering in my chest like it was trying to break free. I fought the instinct to run. I felt like prey and running would just make it more fun for whatever might want to chase me.

I looked around searching for the source of the noise, trying to decide what I had even heard. My instincts were screaming danger, but I didn’t know why. I cut my eyes to the left and across the street was a man. My body flinched away and I immediately began to panic. Young and Unsuspecting Girl Murdered and Left in Alley, front page news in tomorrow’s paper. I fought down hysterical laughter. I was anything but unsuspecting.

I could see my damn apartment building. I could make it. I would slam the auto lock door behind me, breath a ridiculous sigh of relief, and have a nice laugh at myself for being so paranoid. I glanced back over to see where the man was, only to realize I couldn’t see him anymore. Finally my nerves got the best of me and I took a quicker step. My body had entered fight or flight mode and it was flight. It would always be flight.

I had taken two steps when a hand wrapped around my upper arm. I yelped in surprise as I was yanked into the alley. I had been so fucking close. He shoved me into the brick wall and the force of it almost knocked the mace out of my hand, but I had a steel grip on my only means of defense. I shoved my purse at him quickly. Please let this be a robbery. When he dropped my bag with a smiling leer I knew I was in trouble.

I raised the mace as he reached for me, spraying him in the face. He flinched back, hands going automatically to his face and I willed my frozen feet to move. I turned toward the mouth of the alley and came face to face with a giant dog. Saliva dripped from elongated canines and I swallowed a scream. The dog growled and stepped toward me backing me once more against the brick wall. Yellowed eyes met mine and I shuddered at the intelligence reflected back at me.

The man dropped his hands from his swollen angry face. His eyes were watering and his nose was dripping and he was pissed.

“You stupid bitch!”

He yanked the mace from my hand and it clattered to the ground behind him. Well, you already knew that shit was going to happen, Cassie. I gasped as my heart stuttered back into rhythm, pounding in my chest to combat the stasis it had been in. Course hands grabbed me once again pinning me to the rough brick wall.

I opened my mouth, unsurprised that I hadn’t screamed earlier. My body had gone automatically into defense mode. Don’t scream, don’t cry, keep quiet and it will be over soon.

“Oh, I don’t think so.”

One hand went over my mouth, and the other pressed some hard against my stomach. I flicked my eyes down, glancing quickly at the object. A giant knife was pushed up against the soft skin of my belly. Fucking knife, where was he even hiding that!? I fought a whimper as I imagined the sharp blade sliding smoothly through my skin and into my stomach. My breath started coming in quick pants and I knew a panic attack was imminent.

I took a moment to reflect on the fact that I had the worst luck of any person ever. Most people survived one good hardship, but apparently I was yet to reach my quota. I was going to be raped, murdered, and possibly eaten by this psycho’s dog. I tried to slow my breathing, worried the quick movement of my stomach would lead to the sharp bite of the knife in my skin.

“Now I’m going to move my hand, but you’re not going to make a fucking sound. You hear me?”

I tried to nod my head, but the side of my face was shoved into the bricks and his warm breath in my ear made me shudder in revulsion. He must have decided I understood though, because he slowly removed his hand from my face. I turned and got a good look at him for the first time.

His eyes were still watery and swollen, bloodshot from the pepper spray. I hoped it hurt like a bitch. I realized I was genuinely terrified which was kind of surprising considering my history. Apparently I wasn’t as jaded as I had thought. I guess there was some merit to all that “Devil you know” stuff, and I most certainly did not know his man. His haggard face and greasy blonde hair were completely unfamiliar to me. A slow anger started to burn in my stomach. I was nothing to this man, a nameless victim in the wrong place at the wrong time.

My anger and terror fought one another, but when I felt the nip of canine teeth against my fingertips the terror prevailed. My limbs began to shake, and my heart tried to gallop from my chest.

“Not yet, dammit! You’ll get your turn,” the man snarled at the dog in response to another growl.

I knew it. He was going to let it eat me. Bile rose in the back of my throat and I struggled to swallow it back down. The man turned back to me with hunger in his eyes. I knew what he wanted and I wasn’t going down without a fight. Not this time; never again.

With the knife still pressed into my belly the man started to fumble with my belt. My hands were pressed hard against the rough bricks in my effort to keep motionless. I knew that he would drive the knife home before I would be able to push it away. I needed him distracted enough that I might have a slim chance of escape, so I held my breath and didn’t move as one of his sweaty hands touched my waist. Gag.

He loosened my jeans around my hips and reached down for his own belt. My hand twitched when I felt more hot dog breath on it, but I still didn’t move. I had been so careful. So fucking careful and here I was, the poor hapless victim. Again.

He was fumbling, awkwardly trying to remove his belt with his left hand while his right kept the knife firmly up against my stomach. His belt got caught in a loop and he cursed, slackening his grip on the knife as he struggled. I saw my measly chance and I took it. I shoved his arm away, pushing with all my strength and ran. Deeper into the alley, away from the man and the dog.

I made it about three feet before a giant fist grabbed my hair pulling me back. I moaned as some of the strands ripped free stumbled back and tried not to fall. I finally let out a scream, putting all my fear and anxiety into it. God, Cassie, just give him all the time in the world to kill you before you scream for help.

“Dammit, I was hoping to take my time with you,” he whispered in my ear.

I felt a white hot pain in my lower back. The dog let out a short bark, but all I could do was gasp as the pain radiated outward. The man let go of my hair and I collapsed to my knees. Everything began to slow down. My heart, my lungs, everything except the warm wetness spilling down my back.

I finished falling. Lying face down in the alley I tried to hang on to consciousness. Every blink seemed to take a lifetime. My body was beginning to numb and I knew I was dying. All my blood was spilling onto the dirty asphalt, but I relaxed. If I was dead I could stop running. No one could hurt me anymore. I blinked one more time and saw glowing eyes at the mouth of the alley, then I gave in and closed my eyes.

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