Chapter 1: In the Dead of the Night
Now edited, this story can be read on the Fizzo reading app and Novel-Cat 😊
I jumped up, ready to fight as the loud voice boomed in my bedroom. But my feet got tangled in the sheets and I face planted the floor. I groaned and rubbed my throbbing nose. Damn! Thank the goddess for werewolf healing otherwise I’m sure I’d be needing a nose job.
“DINA!” the voice called again, and two strong arms grabbed me. “Stop messing around and get up!”
“Wha----?!” I muttered still half asleep. Finally, I recognized the voice. It was my older brother – and mock guardian – Dylan. He was running around in the dark, taking whatever he could get his hands on. I groaned and walked back to the bed, letting myself fall into the warm covers again.
Dylan has issues. Although he’s older than me and is supposed to be my guardian, he can’t seem to get his shit together. He was always running away from loan sharks, mobsters, or some shitty ‘get rich fast’ deal that went bad. He’s been talking big, throw his dick around, and then disappear for months at the time. And it usually ended like this: him running around in our parent’s house, looking for anything he could sell…
He shouted – this time into my ear before he ran to the wall and turned the lights on. I groaned forcing myself off the bed. Our parents had died in a car crash five years ago along with our baby brother, Dug. And although werewolves do heal quicker and generally aren’t that easy to kill, there are some injuries that not even the wolf can walk away from.
“Dylan?! What the shit---?” I muttered as I watched him tumble around in my small bedroom. Until I finally became wide awake when I noticed that he was emptying my drawers and closet into a duffel bag.
“What the shit are you doing?” I screamed as I jumped up and pulled the sack out of his hands. I’d gotten used to Dylan’s behavior over time. He had no regard for personal space, stuff, or even my money. He’d long since emptied the savings my parents made for us and anything that had any value, he pawned off somewhere. Our parent’s bedroom was empty and everything that Dug had owned was gone. Even some of my stuff had disappeared over time.
Now, I could hate him for it, but--- I didn’t. Most of the time, I even covered for him, lied to social workers, and what shit not, just to keep us together. What can I say? He was family – the ONLY family I had. The wolf was blood...
But seriously! My clothes are where I draw the line!
“I don’t have time to explain,” he said harshly but didn’t try and take the sack back. “Pack whatever you need! We leave in 10 minutes.”
“WHAT?!” I called at the retreating figure. Only a second later I could hear him go through his own stuff, cursing and mumbling to himself. I sighed and for a second, I wondered if this was the day, I should stand my ground and demand that enough is enough. That I didn’t want to put up with more of his bullshit… But knowing him, he was going to ger his way one way or another. He may be my brother, but gentle he was not. He’d beat me and threaten my life on more than one occasion if I didn’t do what he wanted. I can proudly announce that I never gave in without a fight, but right now, I was just tired. And with that, I started putting some more necessities into the duffle bag, along with anything I considered valuable. Like the only family photo, I had of my parents and baby brother.
I groaned when I went to the bathroom to pack whatever I needed from there. I can’t believe a guy like my brother has the power to decide my future for another 3 years. Yes, he’d actually managed to convince some sick bastards that I was restarted, and he needed to be my guardian for additional 3 years; until I was 21. And of course, receive the healthy dose of money the government provided to the poor and needy! Not that it did him any good…
“Come on!” he suddenly called from the door. Before waiting for an answer, he grabbed my arm and pulled me along. “We don’t have much time!”
I stumbled out into the cold night, barely catching my fall. Yeah, I was really, really clumsy. You’d think that being part wolf, I’d have some natural grace about me, but no! I was just as clumsy at 18 as a newborn foal. I hated it and my wolf hated it. And for some reason, she thought it would help, by growling at the staircase. I grinned at the motion.
I got up and followed Dylan into the car. It was another one – just like every time and like every time before that, I suspected that he’d stolen it. But I didn’t comment. I just threw in my duffel bag and sat in the passenger seat.
“Where to this time?” I scoffed, still half asleep, but fully pissed off. And no, this wasn’t the first time either my brother had woken me up in the middle of the night and pulled me out of the house to stay at some crappy motel for a couple of days. At this point, I was just fuming about all the homework and projects I’d be behind when he deemed it to be safe to resurface.
“All in good time, sis,” he muttered before pushing the accelerator to the max. And with that, my life was about to take an unexpected turn.