Shifted

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Chapter 13

“Okay... So tell me more about this werewolf shit...” I demanded that evening, slouching on the couch in the living room in my house.

I actually quite liked how mum decorated the space, giving it a warm and comfy feeling, one I most definitely needed after today’s excitement.

Thank God Bennett left me alone after the talk in their kitchen, and it was Emmie who drove me home. Apparently, it took finding a dead body in the woods for her parents to lift the ban on me. It didn’t even surprise me at that point.

The brunette scooped a big spoon of cookie flavoured ice cream from the container I was holding with my knees and put it in her mouth.

“What would you like to know?” She asked matter-of-factly.

“For starters, what had actually happened in those woods?” I mused, a bit detached.

I still couldn’t really wrap my head around all the revelations.

“You were attacked by the rogue wolf. You know what a rogue wolf is, right?” She frowned.

“I had an idea...”

“Right, so like I said, you were attacked. And as Zack's mum mentioned, attacking a human is strictly against the law. One of the reason is that the bite, most often than not, triggers the change. But only those bitten by Alpha-blood have a slight chance of surviving,” she explained. “As it happens, that mutt who bit you in the woods was not the Alpha-blood. So once he infected you, the toxins triggered the shift. You probably don’t remember it because you blacked out. Anyway, Zack gave you his blood, saving you, and here we are...”

I shuddered, feeling my insides squirming.

“I still can’t believe I was so close to ending up like Stacy...” I jabbed the ice cream with my spoon a couple of times, irked. If not for my stupidity, I would live pleasantly oblivious of the supernatural.

Emmie made a face.

“Yeah...” She sighed. “I feel so sorry for Stacy. She had a whole life ahead... I hope we’re going to catch the bastard soon...”

I looked at her, intrigued.

“When did the other victims turn up?” I asked, curious yet uncomfortable with the answer.

“The first one showed up a month ago, a young woman, about 20-something, I’ve heard. Then a second one was found about two weeks ago, similar age. You and Stacy were attacked in the space of one day...”

I felt cold fingers of dread crawling down my spine.

“Is that wolf attacking only women?”

Emmie grunted her agreement.

“Only human women. Our suspicion is, he’s gone crazy and is trying to make himself a mate...”

“What’s a mate?”

Emmie gave me a side glance.

“Well, it’s like a husband or wife in our world, however, a slightly perfected version. The mates recognise and link themselves on the most spiritual level, so much, actually, that they can sense each other moods or feelings. They know when the other one is in danger, and so on,” she waved her hand, playing it down.

It was my turn to cringe.

“That sounds...” Awful. ”...intense.”

“And it is,” my friend shrugged. “But the truth is, it doesn’t even happen that often. We have way too few females in our world. There are so few of us, in fact, that sometimes males choose to pair up with humans, or they end up crazy.”

“Just like that rogue...” I pointed out.

“Yep, just like that one...” She added, and for a second there, got lost in her thoughts. “But on the bright sight, being a werewolf have its perks. For one, we have better sight, sense of smell, we are stronger, faster...” She counted on her fingers, musing.

But I didn’t want to hear all about it. I never wanted or needed any kind of superpowers. What I needed was peace and normalcy.

“When will I turn into one of you...?” I interrupted her, putting away the ice cream container on the coffee table in front of us.

I skimmed my eyes around the room and stopped at the walls, decorated with a bazillion of pictures of me, my dad and mum. How would they react if they knew their daughter was becoming a monster out of movies?

Emmie placed her hand on my arm, probably sensing my mood.

I gazed into her almost black eyes, seeing the sadness in them. After a couple of seconds, she looked away and bit her lower lip.

“You have already changed,” she admitted quietly after a while. I presumed it had happened but hearing it still shocked me nonetheless. “But you don’t remember it, probably because your brain had shut down from all the stimuli. It is quite normal for humans during the first time they turn into wolves. Full-born wolves are a bit different. They can change whenever they like from the get-go. But you’re not exactly like us. Your next change will happen during a full moon, two weeks from now - unless a strong emotion will trigger it earlier. But that won’t probably be the case as far as you are concerned, seeing how you didn’t shift even after discovering Stacy...” She trailed off as I leaned back, throwing my head onto the headrest and looking at the ceiling, exhausted.

“I’m so tired...” I admitted.

“I’m sorry...” Emmie once again apologised.

I could sense her emotions on the tip of my tongue like a sour aftertaste of bitter medicine. Something in me stirred, agitated by the feeling. I exhaled loudly, closing my eyes and fists and trying to get rid of the sudden unwelcome emotions.

“Well, don’t be,” I said harsher than needed, vexed. “What’s done, is done. You will have to help me pull this werewolf shit, though. I don’t know whether I will be able to figure it out on my own...”

“Don’t worry, we will be there for you,” she said quickly, soothing some of my worries.

Which reminded me...

“Are all in your cousin’s elite clique of dorks werewolves?”

Emmie cringed.

“Haha, funny... Though I guess they may seem a bit aloof, trying to keep the humans at bay and such...”

I snorted.

“That’s putting it mildly. Will Bennett leave us be now that I am a we... erm... just like you?” I stumbled on the word. I just couldn’t put it and myself in one sentence. It was beyond absurd.

“You mean a werewolf? Yeah. There is no point in keeping you away. You now know our dirty little secret and will soon become a part of the pack anyway.” She explained.

“A part of the pack?” I asked.

“Yeah. The wolves like to keep together, and we feel best being a part of a larger group, called a pack. Every pack has an Alpha pair - the two strongest wolves who lead the pack or group, if you prefer, and...”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa... Stop right there,” I sat up. “What if I’d rather not be a part of anything? What if I want to be left alone?” I asked, suddenly anxious.

Emmie looked away and stood up.

“It’s late. I’ll be going...” She changed the subject.

“Emmie...”

“We’ll talk tomorrow, Gem-Gem. Rest, you need it.”

And with that, she was gone.

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