In the Shadows of Dryden

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CHAPTER 39 - A forest walk

Claire’s POV

We walked hand in hand. Our only light source was provided by the yellowish glow of the moonlight reflected over the forest’s vegetation. The wind was cold and agitated, blowing the tree leaves over us. I looked back at the house, wondering if Clarisse or my granny would be outside on the balcony reading a book, as they often did. The house was pitch black and there were no cars parked in the garage. That struck me as something weird and I thought about going back to check if there was something wrong but a little tug on my hand was enough to convince me otherwise, erasing any worrying thoughts I had.

We followed down a little stone path between the trees and the lake and soon stopped by a big willow tree. Leaning back on the tree, I enjoyed the nice breeze of the night while I gazed at him. His hand slowly lifted up to play with my hair as we peered into each other’s gaze. As he closed in, in almost slow motion, I let my instincts guide me, hands reaching towards his bare hairy chest. Our faces came near, barely brushing one another as we both paused to breathe each other’s scent like it was an all-consuming drug. In a second, our lips pressed together and our lips parted as we tilted our heads in the opposite directions. A perfect dance began in between our tongues. To taste him was like drinking water in a desert, it was a primal need that my body couldn’t go without. It turned into a consuming desire to touch and be with him. It became intense, passionate, lustful. His hands slid down from my exposed back to my booty, where he gently but firmly fondled it at the same time as he pressed his hip against mine. A soft moan escaped my mouth, surprising me a little and getting me to half-open my eyes. Softly, I nibbled on his lower lip, getting a groan of pleasure in return. We briefly parted to catch our breath but the moment our eyes met again, he picked me up in his arms, taking me to a nearby leave bed and laying me down on it. I watched him as he undressed his long black leather coat and threw it on the ground. I began to get up into a sitting position but he crouched in front of me, pushing me down on the ground under him. He wasn’t really forcing me to do anything I didn’t want, in fact, I wanted to submit to him. I wanted to submit to his embrace, his lips, his powerful arms, and his delicious body that knew just exactly how to tempt me. My own hands seem to have a mind of their own, barely touching his back with the tips of my nails while making small invisible circles on his skin. All the while, he kissed every little bit of my face, down my neck, and over my collarbone. His hands astutely undoing the buttons of my blouse without stopping a single time to look at it. It was exhilarant to feel the little jolts of the electric shocks running throughout my body for every single kiss he landed on me, or every contact our skin made. One of my hands moved up to his hair, grabbing hold of it, pulling him closer. With my other hand, I clawed his back and shoulder. Arching my back, needing him, begging him to take me, to make me his.

I felt his hot breathing hover over my neck, his aroused member press over against my pelvis, another relentless trail of kisses spread over my neck and down my collarbone again. The small jolts helping push me closer and closer to the edge. Another moan finally made itself out of my mouth, no longer able to contain it in me. I closed my eyes, letting all the lustful feelings I had for him explode inside me. I felt his hands reach for my arms, pushing them back against the bed of leaves over the ground and successfully pinning me in place. With partly opened eyes, I gazed at him, catching the exact moment as his enigmatic emerald eyes turned into a more primal, savage color. Hunger. That was the new color filling his irises, the dark shining red color of blood. I assumed it was the heat of the moment and tried to move my arm down to stroke his face, soon to realize that I couldn’t move. His hungry pupils stared down on me, ready to devour me at any given time. His protruding fangs steadily poked from behind a malicious grin that spread across his lips. I tried to scream but it got lost in my throat when he bared his fangs down on my neck. Tears trickle down my face as I swallowed my own saliva, heart-throbbing, broken, desperate. There was also a mix of… need, lust, desire. Did I like him biting me? Was that what he wanted from me all along? I tried to free myself, push him back but it was to no avail, his hold on me was too strong. He effortlessly maintained me pinned down while draining my precious blood, my life. I blinked hard, gathering my remaining strength and screamed from the top of my lungs.

Clarisse’s POV

*AAAAAAHhhhh*

I jumped off the bed with a startle, quickly putting on my bathrobe while fumbling to find my flip-flops on the ground. Although one moment I was in my room and the other, I was dashing to my sister’s room, I found myself slowing down when I neared the door. I couldn’t hear anything else and so I stopped in the middle of the corridor.

‘Did she fall asleep with the tv on or did I imagined her screaming?’ I couldn’t help but ponder on the possibility. ‘Did I have a nightmare? That’s so strange, I don’t remember anything.’

*Sniff, sniff… sob...*

‘No, I didn’t have a nightmare!’

It was faint but I did hear that sobbing. Was she crying? She was so happy yesterday, making a list of things to take to the field trip today. I shook my head, deciding to check on her before heading back to bed. It was 3 in the morning and we both needed our sleep. After giving a couple of steps towards her room, the door next to me suddenly opened. My grandmother’s head poking out into the corridor.

“Did you hear that scream too, deary?” She whispered, swinging the door completely open and readjusting her shawl over her shoulders while she joined me in the corridor.

I nodded, pointing to Claire’s room.

“I can hear some sniffing inside her room but I’m not totally sure that’s her or the tv.”

Now, it was her time to nod. Without waiting for me, she walked to my sister’s room and gently creaked the door open so she could peek inside. After a couple of seconds, she looked at me, shrugged and completely opened the door to enter. I followed suit.

Claire was bundled up in her covers, tears streaming down to the pillow. Granny sat beside her, gently patting her arm.

“Deary? Deary, you need to wake up.” Granny patted and rocked her, trying to get Claire to wake up. She frowned, pulling the covers even tighter around herself.

I crouched down next to the bed, one of my hands rubbing over her arm in a comforting way.

“Sis? It’s alright! It was just a nightmare.”

Her eyes visibly tightened before she slowly opened them to look at us.

“Deary, everything is fine. We are here for you.”

Claire instantly sprang from her position to hug granny, a new set of tears rolling down her cheeks and more sniffs and sobs. Granny seemed to be taken by surprise for an instant but quickly smiled, patting her head and hugging her.

I stood and moved to sit down next to her too. My sister kept on crying for a few more minutes. Granny and I made sure not to question her just yet, we needed to make sure that she knew she was safe before we could ask anything.

It was times like this that I was glad our parents worked weird hours. Mom had called saying that she would come home earlier in the morning to take a shower and have some rest and dad said he would sleep at work. At least that way, they didn’t have to worry about Claire’s nightmare on top of all the work they have to do.

“Deary, do you think you could tell me what happened now?” Said granny, gently patting my sister’s hair. She didn’t react for a few minutes other than the normal sniffing and sobbing she’s been doing until…

“He… he bit me!” She looked up at granny, frightened eyes flooded with tears. Granny stared at her, not at all surprised by what my sister said.

“He bit you? Who? What are you talking about?” I asked instead. If granny doesn’t care for asking, I would. She shook her head and hugged granny again, going back to her silent crying.

“Sis, who bit you?” I scanned her body for any visible bite marks but there were none.

Granny lifted a hand and signalized for me to stop asking. I stared at her. How could she be so calm?

“Asking her that right now will not help your sister get better. Do her a favor and go get a cup of water with one tablespoon of sugar and one teaspoon of salt. She needs to calm down first, deary.”

I was about to say something to that but found myself closing my mouth. She was right. Claire has probably just had a nightmare. Even if I did find it a bit weird.

“Sure!” I say instead, nodding and getting up to go fetch the water.

Thia’s POV

Once Clarisse was out of the room, I pushed Claire a bit away from me and lifted her face up to look at me. I needed to make sure it was really just a nightmare. If Caio have really bitten her, he would pay for it!

“Tell me, deary. Has Caio really bitten you?”

She blinked a few times, confused.

“I… I think it was a… *sob, sob* … a nightmare. It... *sniff* … seemed so… *sniff* … real.” Her cheeks seemed to turn a darker shade of pink but I can’t tell for sure. After all, she’s been crying enough to make her face redden up like that. She rubbed her eyes to wiped off the tears with her other hand.

“Has he bitten you?” I repeated my question.

“Yes!” She nodded, looking down. With a frown, I lowered the collar of her sleeping shirt so I could scan her neck and shoulders for bite marks but she pushed my hands away.

“You don’t have any bite marks. Did he…”

“He bit me in the… nightmare.” She held her head, shutting her eyes tightly as if she had a headache.

“Deary, are you sure it was a nightmare?” I scanned her arms and legs, or at least, what was visible. No bite marks. “Alright!! Tell me about this nightmare of yours.” Claire shot her big wide eyes up at me. I could definitely see her face turning tomato red. Interesting, I didn’t think her face could get any redder than it already was. She shook her head vehemently, drawing a sigh out of me. Younglings…

“Deary…”

Clarisse enters the room and hands the cup of water to her sister. Claire immediately takes it from her hand and starts to drink it, looking away from me. Great!

“Did I miss anything?” Clarisse seems to notice that something was up and pulls the computer chair near the bed to sit on it. Once Claire was done with her water, she looked down at her lap, holding the now empty cup over her crossed legs.

“No, deary. Claire was just about to start telling about her nightmare when you came in.”

Claire shot me a worried stare, going back and forth between me and her sister.

“Come on sis! I know it was a nightmare but it can’t have traumatized you! Tell us!”

“Ah…” Claire looked at me, imploring with her eyes. Ah, I see. She doesn’t want to let out that Caio is a vampire.

“What happened in this nightmare of yours. You can tell us, don’t be afraid.” Reassured Clarisse.

Claire still looked unsure if it was alright to tell Clarisse about Caio, looking between us.

“It was during the night. I went out with… for a walk near the lake. I thought it was weird that the house seemed so dark and that there were no cars in the garage but…” She blushed, looking away for a bit. We waited patiently for her to continue. “We… uh…” She took the cup of water in hand and tried to drink some more water but the cup was empty, so she put it back over the side table.

“We who? Do you remember who you were with?” She nodded, grabbing tightly over her cover.

Slowly, she told us what transpassed in her nightmare. It was clear that she was trying to avoid telling some vivid scenes that I wouldn’t have minded hearing at all. So, she does like him that much, to be dreaming about him in that way. Claire had the cover high up, almost completely hiding her red face by the time she was done telling us what happened.

“Nice, sis! I didn’t know you had it in you to dream something like that with that boy.” Chuckled Clarisse.

“He’s no boy!” She rebuked firmly, getting Clarisse to lift an inquisitive eyebrow at her.

“Oh, come on! From what I’ve seen of him, he’s around your age. He’s a boy to me. Although, he does have a killer body.” She winked. Clarisse is a lot more like me than she thinks.

Claire was about to answer back when I let out a sigh and turned my attention to both of them.

“Alright, dearies! You two are sisters and it’s time certain secrets come out between you two.” This time, Clarisse shifted uncomfortably in her chair, staring at me in confusion.

“What are you talking ab…”

“I’m talking about both Richard and Caio!” I made sure to emphasize each of their names as I looked at them, respectively. They both stiffened, worry pouring out of their faces.

“Claire, deary. As you know, your sister here is dating Richard, who happens to be your mother’s boss.”

Claire nodded, there wasn’t anything there she didn’t already know. Clarisse, on the other hand, started to fiddle in her chair.

“Neither one of those two are mere humans.”

“Who is Caio?” Asked a curious Clarisse while Claire just kept half-covering her face.

“Caio is the guy your sister is in love with.”

“In love with is a VERY strong sentence, granny. I simply… like his looks.” Chided Claire, having lowered the cover from her face but still flushed red.

“Oh! So this Caio is the boy from school? I didn’t know his name.” She snickered. “Guess you’re finally freeing yourself, sis. Although, I thought you had the hots for that guy in the lake.” She winked again, chuckling softly.

“He IS the guy from the lake!” Screamed Claire in anger. Clarisse stopped laughing and stared at her sister.

“Wait! I don’t understand…”

“Caio is a vampire that your sister is in lo… has developed a soft spot for.” I cleared my throat.

“A vampire…”

“Yes!” I turned to Claire. “Claire, the important thing for you to know, is that Richard is a wer…”

“A WEIRD fella!” We both looked at Clarisse, sweat dripping on the side of her face. “Well. he’s not exactly weird, he’s just very funny and sometimes, his jokes come out weird.” She nodded with fervor, trying to appear confident and failing miserably. Claire just tilted her head, frowning. I facepalmed myself, rubbing my eyes and this time, letting out a heavy sigh.

“As I was saying before I was so abruptly interrupted…” I chided, giving her a pointed eye before continuing. “Richard is a werewolf!”

Clarisse froze, staring at us. Guess she didn’t know what to do.

Claire closed a hand in a fist and then hit her other hand with it.

“HA! Is Richard that gigantic Husky we met when we first went out to walk in the forest after we moved here?” Carisse looked sideways and nodded, embarrassed. “Now it makes total sense!”

“With that out of the way, I need to tell you two something so you can support each other in the future.”

They looked at me.

“Both Caio and Richard are special in their own way. Richard is the alpha of his pack, meaning that your sister Clarisse will most likely become his Luna. That is if they are mates.”

“Hmm…” Clarisse blushed. “I think I already am.” I turn to her as she lowers the collar of her bathrobe, showing a red bite mark on the base of her neck.

“Oh My God! What happened to you?” Claire jumps from the bed and hushes over to her sister in worry.

“I’m alright. It’s the mating mark.” Her face turns even redder.

“Your sister is fine. If she’s got Richard’s mark, then she is definitely the next Luna of his pack. She will have the backing of every werewolf in town. That’s a good thing!”

Clarisse takes her sister’s hand in hers and brings her to sit back on the bed. They look at me.

“... But, I’m afraid about this Caio guy. You never told me that you had met him again.”

“It’s… complicated.” Claire looks away, embarrassed.

“But sis, he’s a vampire. He can’t be good for you. I can talk with Richard and…”

“NO!” Screams Claire. “Don’t tell Richard about Caio. I beg you, sis!”

“But, why not? Richard can prot…”

“NO! I don’t need protection from Caio.”

“Calm down, dearies.” I say as I go sit down on the computer chair, leaving them seated together on the bed. “Clarisse, only a handful of people know Caio by his name. Most people refer to him by Forest Ghost.” Clarisse’s mouth drops open in shock.

“He’s wanted by the police and by the pack!” Claire grabs her hand, forcing her sister to look at her.

“What do you mean, wanted by the pack?”

“Richard ordered the pack to be on the lookout for him because he’s the murder suspect.”

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