I spin around to see Deya riding on a large wolf I've never seen before, a mixture of brown, black, white and grey, it's eyes dark blue. The wolf is even bigger than Tyler. Then I notice the other five wolves beside him. I notice a certain wolf right next to the one Deya's on, all black, striking green eyes.
Then I look toward the direction they came in. There's a big hole in the wall, debris and chunks of concrete on the ground all around the opening. How did I not hear it?
"Incompetent mutts," Abilene spits. The wolves let out a low, menacing snarl in response. "Valerie! Aleksei! Take care of them, now." No one moves. "Valerie! Aleksei!" She spins around. So do I, and there's no one there. Valerie was just here, and now she's gone. Although I've never noticed anyone else here, so I don't know who this Aleksei is or what he looks like. I honestly don't care.
"Where the hell are they?! How dare they disrespect and disobey me!" Abilene shrieks, enraged. "Fine. We'll use the newborns." She scoffs and raises her hand. Snaps her fingers.
Immediately an entire army of vampires are standing in the room, most of them staring at Leah's dead body, the blood spattered all over the floor. There are others who are staring at me and I cringe away slowly from their hungry stares. I swallow the lump lodged in my throat. All the vampires crouch into position, ready to pounce. I look back the wolves, all crouched as well and I'm waiting to see which one will signal the fight.
At the same exact time, a bark from the largest wolf and another snap of Abilene's fingers.
The bodies of the young vampires are in a blur, throwing themselves at the wolves, who are clearly at an advantage, pinning handfuls of vampires down with one hit. Abilene is steaming with anger, she's losing so quickly. I'm forever grateful.
Suddenly the same grey wolf that carried Deya away is now nudging my hip. Abilene doesn't miss a thing, her face livid. I hear an outraged snarl escape her throat and she's charging at me - no, not me, the grey wolf - and then the largest wolf, the multi-colored one is suddenly on top of her, pinning her down and he bites her waist. She hisses in pain, and then a dark brown-haired man is suddenly behind her and snaps her neck. Who is this? Perhaps Aleksei? Why is one of her own lackeys turning on her?
Then all of a sudden, the vampires are writhing in pain, their skin blistering from invisible heat, and after a few seconds, they all burst aflame, turning to ash. The only vampire left standing has a face I recognize - Valerie.
What is she doing here, betraying her own kind, under her own bosses' nose? I mean, sure, no one wants to work for Abilene, but I still don't understand. I haven't understood a lot of things lately.
The grey wolf nudges my hip again with more force and urgency, whines a little. I nod as he dips down, gesturing for me to get on his back. I start to get on when I see Valerie suddenly a couple of feet in front of me. I gasp, fall backward to the floor.
"We'll meet again," she says, not threatening, but friendly, before speeding away in a blur.
I sit on the floor, dazed. She seemed like she was helping us, but I can't be sure. I've never really known her, so I can't just automatically put my trust into her and suddenly be buddy-buddy. It could be a trap, considering the fact that Abilene isn't dead. The guy only snapped her neck; that wouldn't possibly kill a vampire. But. . . what if their intentions were good? What if they want Abilene gone as much as I do? What if they're trying to help me, even? It's hard to tell; I've only known Valerie for an hour, and she never told me anything about her. Then again, she couldn't have; she was doing a job. It makes me wonder why she was even working for Abilene in the first place.
Just then, I feel my butt is no longer on the ground. I look around, confused and partially afraid, and then I see multi-colored fur underneath me. The Alpha.
I lean forward, resting my face on the wolf's fur, wrap my arms around his neck. I realize I'm exhausted, struggling to keep my eyes open. This wolf's soft fur isn't exactly helping me stay awake, either.
I try to fight it, to stay awake, but it only lasts for so long.
I open my eyes to see I'm in Tyler's bedroom. How'd I get here? I pull myself up with my elbows and notice Tyler and Deya sitting on the floor, Deya's head resting on his shoulder. They both look up at the rustle of my movement. What happened? I pull my hand to my stomach. Why does it hurt? And then-
The fight. Abilene. The girl, Leah. The blood, the vampires, witches-
"Why, the first step, of course." She pauses. "We're going to trigger your werewolf curse."
I gasp, I feel drops of rain drip down my face and throat when I realize no, it's not rain, it's tears because I am what I never wanted to be, what I never dreamed of being.
I feel two sets of arms wrap around me and I wrap my arms around each of them, holding them close.
"I understand now," Deya says, "why you didn't want to tell us what was bothering you. It was obvious something was up, but Tyler told me to hold off, that you didn't even tell him. And I'm so sorry that I even thought of being mad at you. I'm so, so sorry." She inhales a shaky breath, but says no more.
A minute of silence we sit like that.
"I also come from a long line of witches, by the way," I say with a hint of acid, directed at mainly myself.
"I know," Deya says, rubbing my back gently. "Ty's mom told us everything."
I look back at Tyler, who hasn't moved an inch, hasn't said a single word, still holding my waist, head on my shoulder.
Suddenly I don't feel bad for myself anymore, but him.
"Ty. . ." I say. He's been hit hard, almost as hard as me. He didn't even want this for himself; why would he want this for his best friend?
"Why you?" He finally says. "Why, of all people, did it have to be you, the nicest person I have ever met, the least masochistic person to ever exist on this planet?"
"I think we all know it's you who are all those thi-" I start to say.
"No. I just-" he takes a shaky breath; I feel him shudder next to me. "Myself alone shouldn't even have this, much less you guys. Where is the normal life that we should have? That we're supposed to have? Where is it?" He stops abruptly, shudders again, tightens his hold around me.
"It's okay, Ty," I say. He laughs weakly, a failed attempt at humor.
"Why are you the one comforting me? It's supposed to be the other way around." I can feel his smile on my shoulder.
"Because you obviously know how this situation is, and having that knowledge, and knowing who has it is someone you care about, makes it so much worse. Because of experience," I say, smile a little. I told his chin up to meet his eyes. Striking green as always, but bloodshot.
"But that's exactly why it's worse for you," he counters. "Because it's so new; you don't know what you're doing, or how you're doing it, or why you're doing it. The feeling is unknown."
"And that's why I want you to help me."
His eyes widen. "Why me? I'm still new, and I wouldn't be much help, probably only get you hurt-"
"But you still know what's happening and what to do about it, the basics. And it'll be more helpful because it's my friend who's helping me."
"Well. . ." He falters. "Okay. But at least talk to Riker, too."
I tilt my head. "Who's Riker?"
Understanding washes through me. "The one with multiple colors?" Who also happens to be the largest, might I add.
"Who was that smaller grey one?" Deya asks.
Tyler looks up. "Oh, that's Gray."
"Huh," Deya smirks. "He's a grey wolf, and his name is also Gray?" She snorts. "Figures."
"He was very gentle; I was immediately drawn to him," I confess. "Is that the way he actually is when he's human?"
"Yeah, pretty much," Tyler smiles. "I've always loved that kid like he was my little brother. It makes sense why anybody would want to be around him a lot. Everyone has taken a liking to Grey, especially Riker. He's like our personal sun." He laughs.
Speaking of Riker, how will I get in touch with him?" I ask, steering us back to our original subject. Tyler seems surprised for a second.
"Oh, I'll take you."
"Huh? Take me where?" I'm confused.
I choke on air. Both Deya and Tyler look at me like I'm mentally retarted.
"What?" Tyler asks.
"I just- he's a complete stranger. . . I have no idea what kind of person he is."
He laughs a little.
"Oh, don't worry about him," Tyler assures me. "He's the most respectful guy I've ever met, always putting others' needs before his own. Even though his name makes him sound like he should be a complete ass, he's the exact opposite. Nothing to fret over." He pats my arm and smiles his adorable lopsided grin. Deya and I can't help but smile back. "And besides, do you think I'd even suggest it if he were someone you shouldn't be around?"
I laugh a little. "Of course not."
"Right, so there's nothing to worry about."
I sigh, pull both of my best friends down on the bed as I go down. "I love you guys, more than you'll ever know."
"I beg to differ," Deya disagrees. "I know because I love you guys even more."
"Impossible," I scoff playfully.
"I love you both more than you love each other and me times ten," Tyler says.
"K. O.," I say, putting the back of my hand to my forehead, pretending to faint.
"You win," Deya admits. "For now. Just wait till I think of something better."
Tyler laughs. "Yeah, okay." I snicker.
"C'mon," Tyler says. "Get dressed. We're going to Riker's for lunch." He smiles. "Time for you to meet the gang."
Once were in the driveway of Riker's house, Tyler gets out immediately, holding the passenger door open for me, then the backseat for Deya. I get out slowly, examining the house.
It's not big, smaller than mine. Not a trailer, but not a full house, either. The color is a beige sort of shade, with black shutters and roof. Nothing not normal or out of place.
Tyler is already unlocking on the door, Deya close behind him. I stumble to catch up. By the time I'm on the steps, the door opens to reveal a fair-skinned boy with sandy blond hair that sticks out every which way. The looks suits him. He has light jade-green eyes, so light it's almost unreal.
So basically, he's pretty handsome.
"Hey, c'mon in," his deep, husky voice says, his hand ushering us in. I follow behind Deya and Tyler, past the threshold, and into the little home.
The inside is just as normal as the outside; a nice, comfortable living room, a plush couch and chairs, a coffee table, a flat-screen TV. A roomy kitchen, wooden cupboards, a gas stove, blender, your basic kitchen necessities. The door to what I assume is the bathroom down the hall, another open door to what looks like a bedroom just over there. A small laundry room, smelling strongly of detergent. Another closed door with a Hamilton poster on it; I instantly love it. The colors match the outside decor well enough, the carpet being beige, the walls either the same shade or dirty white. All in all, a very nice, comfortable home. I'd live in it, although it seems like no one else is. There's no sign of other people here, completely vacant.
"Lets go in the cave," Riker says. "That's where the gang's staying right now."
"Has everyone made it?" Tyler asks, a small hint of concern in his voice I almost don't catch. Riker nods meaningfully, as though the question meant more than just mere absence.
They see me looking and quickly change their moods and faces. "Alright then! Let's go!" Tyler says just a little bit too excitedly. Deya shrugs. I hesitate, but finally decide to just let it go.
We make our way out the back door and across the lawn, where there is thick forest behind it. Just a little bit in the greenery, just far enough to where any normal person can get back easily, but you can't see it from outside the trees, a huge classic barn sits on the grass. The structure and paint job looks really old, but I'm astonished about the size. It's bigger than his actual house.
"You call this a cave?"I whisper to Tyler and Deya.
"It sounds cooler," defends himself, pretending to be offended. Deya just rolls her eyes, as do I.
"Boys," she whispers to me, and we both giggle.
Riker jogs up with Tyler close behind, Deya and I hurrying to follow suit. Tyler pounds on the door while Riker hollers, "Yo, it's me, let me in."
"Alright, comin'," says a younger voice, maybe a 15-year-old's before unlocking what sounds like 10 or 11 locks on the door. The door swings open with so much force the door rattles from the impact of slamming on the wall.
A younger boy with light grey hair but dark eyebrows opens the door, his face lighting up with excitement. His eyes look very familiar, and I realize they look exactly like mine, color and shape, which is very strange. I cock my head slightly at the boy, confusion taking over my thoughts, questions flying around my head like flies.
"Hey Riker, Tyler!" He beams. He sees us behind them and lights up even more. "I see you brought the girls, too! C'mon in!" He waves us inside the old barn.
There is hay covering every inch of the floor, but no animals contained in the stables. It smells musty and is very humid; I'm having trouble breathing normally from how humid it is. Everything looks as old and worn inside as it does on the outside, but still stable. The space is very roomy, not much stored here. There's a long wooden island on the left by the entrance, and behind it is a stove and counters, a microwave. Then I notice a large table on the right side of the entrance, a long rectangular surface with stools surrounding surrounding it, only two seats occupied by someone's person.
"Alright, everyone," Riker says. All eyes meet his gaze. "Tyler is back, and he has brought two of his friends for us to meet them. One of his friends is like us, and she is very new to our environment." He looks at me, as if seeking clarification that what he's saying is correct. He gives Tyler the same look, who nods. Riker continues. "His other friends is not like us, but Tyler refused to not include her with his life's information."
"And that still stands," Tyler says. "I don't wanna hear any shit coming from any of you, alright?"
Shrugs and nods, some murmurs come from them in response.
"Okay, so first, this is Deya, the one not like us, as you know. You kind of met her, but probably don't remember much about her, as you were in your wolf forms." Everyone nods.
"Hi," Deya says, waving a little.
"And then this," he says, gesturing to me now, "is Lisanna, the one who recently became one of us." I wait for him to say something else when I realize he's waiting for me to say something.
I clear my throat. "H-hey," I say, running my hand through my messy white hair.
"Alright, guys, let's introduce you, too. This is-"
"Wait, why are you introducing us like we're kindergarteners meeting our teachers?" A guy with dark blue hair says, his pitch-back eyebrows bunched together. "C'mon, man, we can do this shit ourselves. It's just weird."
"It's called consideration, jackass," a girl with brown hair says, pausing to take a swig of a liquid from a glass bottle. Perhaps alcohol? "Something you obviously don't have. Hell, this girl just figured out some serious shit about her family and herself, and you don't even have the consideration to filter your mouth." She waits for a response, which never comes. "Right. So shut up." The guy just rolls his eyes and snatches her bottle, takes a swig before she can stop him. She takes it back and glares at him, yet she takes another drink of it. "It won't stop me from finishing it," she mutters.
I look back at Tyler, whose expression is blank, completely empty of any emotion. I don't know what to make of it.
"Sorry 'bout them," a voice says from behind. I turn to see the grey-haired boy still by the door, leaning against the frame. He straightens up and extends his hand to me. "I'm Gray," he adds.
I take his hand, shake up a couple times. "Lisanna," I say, feeling oddly comfortable around him, as though we're old friends or something.
"Hey, hey, enough of him; take a good look at me," the guy with the blue hair says from behind me. "I'm Jake."
I cock my eyebrow as I feel his hand take my chin, which turns me around to face him. His face is smug; he's obviously one of those guys with the cheap pick-up lines, desperate to get a girl's number. "And I," I take his hand off my face, flick it away, "am not interested."
He just smiles, chuckles a little. "Ooh, playing hard to get, I see. I dig that."
"No, you're just an idiot who can't seem to take a hint."
"And sassy, too. I like this one," he says to no one in particular.
"Jacob," Tyler says, a warning in his voice. "Don't."
"Oh, c'mon, chill. I'm just messing around-"
Tyler elbows him in the chest, hard. Jacob grunts from the impact.
I decide to just ignore them and go by Deya, who's standing next to the girl that was arguing with Jacob before.
"Hey," I say as I walk up to them. I look at the girl and smile. "Who's this?"
"Hey, I'm Cana," she says, puts her hand out. I take it, shake it a couple of times before we let go. She grabs her bottle and takes a drink. "Welcome to the family, girls. Even if your not one of us," she turns to Deya. "You are still in our family now. Drink?" She offers us her bottle.
"What is it?" Deya asks. "Alcohol?"
"Yeah, not strong though. If you don't like beer, I got something that not only gives you the buzz, it actually tastes good. And it's not as strong as this." She gestures to her bottle again before getting up and walking to the island. Deya and I follow.
She rummaged through the drawers until she finds two bottles. "They're not my favorites, personally, but I know a lot of newcomers like them. I'm more of a hard-liquor kind of girl." She hands the bottles to us.
"Y'know were underage, right?" Deya says.
"Yeah, but people aren't gonna find out. Everyone here usually drinks some sort of alcohol, and most of us are underage. We can get drunk without throwing up, and we can't get alcohol poisoning, so," she shrugs.
"I wanna not be able to get drunk without being sick afterwards," Deya pouts.
"Then be careful how much you drink."
"Wolves can't get poisoning?" I say, incredulous.
"Nope. I'm grateful for it, though. No objections from me." She takes another swig from her bottle.
I examine the bottle. It's white with a circle in the middle of palm trees, the background colors a mixture of purples, pinks and oranges. It says coconut rum under it.
"Can I still get sick, since I haven't actually changed yet?" I ask.
"I don't think so. Your wolf genes have been turned on, even though they aren't released yet. So you're fine."
I unscrew the cap and smell the liquid. It's smells like the taste coconut and pineapple water, actually.
Cana puts her bottle up. "Hey guys, a toast?"
Everyone grabs drinks and raises them in the air.
"To Deya and Lisanna, our new family members!" Everyone touches glasses and drinks.
I sip my drink, surprised it really does taste good. I take a look around, realizing I only count five people in this room.
"Aren't there two more people in the pack?" I ask Cana.
"Oh, yeah, but they're hunting right now. They'll be back really early in the morning, I assume."
I nod. "Okay."
There's talking around the whole barn. Tyler and Jacob are arm wresting, which Jacob is losing terribly. Deya and I cheer Tyler on loudly, earning laughs from everyone else. I think we're kinda tipsy, although we both only had one bottle.
Finally, Tyler puts us both to bed. I'm glad though; I didn't realize I was exhausted until I was under the covers of the queen-size bed.
"Goodnight," Tyler says, planting a soft kiss on both of our heads before turning off the lights and closing the door behind him as he leaves.
"I had a good time today," Deya says before cuddling up to me.
"Yay, cuddle time," I say before curling up and relax.
"Night," she says.
"Mhm," I respond, too tired and buzzed to form actual words. My mind wanders back to the fight with my not-so-dead grandmother, and Valerie helping me get away from her.
Valerie. . .
I wonder when I'll see her again. . .
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