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Maxine Dennis never believed in the Others, excluding Falcon, her friendly ghost. With the loss of her parents, she traveled the world to forget. Discovered by a lost friend, she ends up in Boston. Attacked in an abandoned alleyway on the walk home from work, she awakes to a man in silk boxers with a secret. Xavier, a customer at Lunar CafA(c), was now her alpha and of local werewolf pack. Shawn, alpha of the Darklings, is holding a grudge against Xavier for his past. In Shawn's plan to exterminate Xavieras existence from this earth, he kidnaps Maxine, causing more chaos than Maxine can handle. Soon Maxine learns the truth about whom and what she really was. Running for her life once again, only to be dragged back by the guilt of lust, betrayal and her pack.

Fantasy / Romance
Caitlin Holden
Age Rating:

Chapter One

It was the bag-boy who told me my mother was dead; his hands trembled with fear as they slid across her throat looking for life. Coldness crept inside every pore of my twenty-one year old body. My lungs fought with deaths grip begging for air, everyone around me went blurry, mashing together resembling the monsters that became my nightmares since that day.

The rushing of car horns broke the memory of my dying mother, letting me remember how much I dreaded the city. The yellow taxis, black BMWs and hungry sport car drivers going fifteen miles over the speed limit concern of not making the green light.
Their rubber tires screeched with disgust as green walking figure indicated me to move, its classic stick man mocking me. Approaching the busy streets here in Boston was like playing poker with the Devil. The wager is your life.

My mother was all I had in this big world, just a small fish in the big-O-Sea. “I miss you mum” I whispered before following the other civilians double checking the four way street, positive no car will zoom by taking its opportunity to obliterate me.

Born and raised in South the most you had to look out for was Mr. Johnson’s horse getting loose again. Like everyday for the past month, I walked the same rundown streets mind-tumbling with my atrocious yet inspiring photography teacher comments about my photos. When “Maxine, your photos lack passion, imagination…you might want to check on that refund…” hissed from his mouth only thirty minutes ago, I screamed with frustration. The Photography Institute is the best in the country, excepting little over hundred students a year with a grant portfolio for show. Not like you need college Max…My father’s words came back to me. I shook his voice from my head, letting the feelings of abandonment take

It’s a thirty minute death walk to my studio apartment on a good day, it’s exactly as the landlord said “Fridge, stove, you share a bathroom with another college student. No pets, it’s a hazard. Rents every first Monday of the month, if it’s late, no excuse your out.”
Once I passed him enough rent for a year, he knew kicking me out wasn’t going to happen. I’ve never being to keen on the idea of moving to Boston, with its high mugging stats and polluted streets but after my parents…things change.

Given, leaving their twenty- one year old girl to survive on her own in this savaged world- alone. I forgiven them.

Fighting with my sticky door, all my concentration was on trying to block out the obnoxious noise from above. Marissa my roommate, rather bathroom mate, is having yet another party. Lucky for me it’s during the day, although yet again I possibly will undergo an operation that permits me to beat down her door asking to lower the music, World War III will break out one of these days and I’m the rebellion group with little ammo and zero backup.

I believe lawyers are birthed with a black heart the moment the doctor pinches there butt screaming lawsuit for sexual harassment, why Melissa is perfect for the job.

Not counting Peter, he is an exception with a lover’s heart and a knack of arguing. Law school usually straightens kids out, but with Marissa its party central. Although she did help move me in last month, it was a lack of help and more of her mixing martinis in my kitchen while Peter and I carried the furniture inside.

Till last week she was uninformed about whom I was, the daughter of two very successful parents- a trust with whopping millions inheritance. Not including what I was given when my parents kicked the bucket, their assets sold off and put I to well conservative fund.

BITCHY had a new definition, but I’m use to people acting that way towards me. In the end she did set up the job at Lunar café for me which is just a hop-skip away. I always looked for the good in people.

Yet taking 45 minute showers, soaking up all the hot water, she even went as far as to hide my toothbrush. For me and the horrible experiences at boarding school, I knew how girls like Marissa acted. I flipped the stereo; Gretchen Wilson rode the sound waves, tossing her rap out the door.

How you like that Marissa? My inner bad girl said.

“So how was your day flower?” A voice behind me rattled off. Never having to turn around, I picture abman in his early 30’s, dressed in a ratty war uniform with no metals, god knows what War. His transparent skin tells me he is not alive.

“As good as yours, Falcon” I said. The thing about Falcon is that he’s a ghost. Yeah, I thought about it, I never bring it up in conversations or on dates, makes men search for the nearest exit.

Let’s just say he popped up the day after my mother died. I don’t know much about him, other then he was what my mom called a “lonely soul”. It reminds me of those days I find her talking to herself in the kitchen, when daddy is at work or the lab. After the funeral, I was given a bracelet from my dustant aunt who told me my mother would have wanted me to have it. Cliché I know, but she did and I have it now weighting down my wrist for the past two years.

“Hello?” He asked waving his pale hand in front of my face. I tell you ghosts aren’t as invisible as you think. Well this ghost isn’t. I wouldn’t know for sure since Falcon is the only ghost I’ve seen. He’s pretty solid, I’ve had the urge a few times to go over and poke him. Most of the time he just vanishes, relocates somewhere else in the room.
After Falcon, I still refusal to believe in dark magic or paranormal beings, as some might say. With Falcon there is no explanation that came to mind, a logical scientific one at that.
I saw him, he saw me; the closes thing to family.
The only family you got…
Since Peter, my best friend in the world can’t see him; I just leave it at that.

“Sorry, thinking” I said slowly shifting over to the couch. One thing is, I’m touchy about couches, maybe it’s because I’ve spent endless hours in furniture warehouses when younger. Mother had a taste for comfy couches, old paintings, and crystal like lamps. Our living room was from the magazines Opera would have laying on her table in her million dollar house.
“Oh thinking, I did that once…Lost” This ongoing questionnaire of what he meant by “lost” is a pointless conversation, been there not doing it again. I glance over to see him staring at the floor.

It only took a few conversations for me to understand what my aunt meant about him being a lonely soul. Although he never told me why he choose to stick around here on earth or why he calls me flowers. He was great company to have when traveling the world. It might seem weird, a twenty year old handing with a guy she knew zilch about, but a friend is what I needed then, with his
stories and ridiculous jokes.

“Falcon you ever going to tell why you call me flowers?” I asked just like the last time and the time before that. I changed my shampoo, body spray and deodorant over dozen times since I meet him. He still calls me flower. I’m guessing it’s a personal topic, but I figure I ask.

“Flowers why you ask questions that make me hurt?” He continued “I remember when I first saw you, you couldn’t figure out how it was possible. Young, beautiful, bright new women ready to fight the world. Keep your spirit up, in the end its all you got…Ha-Ha Spirit get it?” He mimics himself placing his hand inside his belly. Ha-ha.

Weirdo…I thought.

“I still have no clue why you’re visible and no other ghost is. Or how its possible your even here." I always thought it was just strange, brain laps or something. Having white hair, bright green eyes, and being totally opposite from my parents you think I was adopted. Then there’s the bracelet…

I glance to the old chucky thing handing off my wrist.

Take one look at me; you would think I was albino, except my skin is more soft white then pale; sometimes summer time lets me tan. This brought me back to looking at Falcon.

“Ah, the bracelet Flowers, we will continue this conversation another time, for you have a visitor.” He disappeared right in front of me, leaving me in a mystifying state before hearing the knock at the door. How did Falcon know that?

The peephole revealed Peter standing with a takeout bag that smelled of yummy Chinese food. Like I said, Peter is my best friend, well my only friend, he likes to rub it in my face
He gets laid by more guys then me. I’ve known him since freshman year of boarding school.

Most of the girls went crazy over him, with his short blond hair always gelled, then his wide shoulders and chest connecting to his million-hours-at-the-gym abs.

I unlock two deadbolts, and chain link. Living in Boston you never know when someone is going to break in.

“Peter, I thought you were at the office” I said taking the taken-out bag from him. I turned knowing he follow me inside. The Chinese food already unpacked scattered across my small two seated table, I hear his mumbles, him complaining about the traffic even though it was two in the afternoon.
“This is my lunch break Max. I had a court case right up the road. I decided to come by and check on you. It’s been so long since I seen my Maxy-waxy!” Peter said in his baby voice, that same one he used in convinced me to move to Boston little over two months ago, he tracked me down using his ‘connection’ came to visit me in London and demand me to come back to the states.

Peter was shipped off to Harvard right out of boarding school becoming Thee-next-big-lawyer-money-could-buy as his also abandoning father puts it.

It was in-between the time my mother passed away and my father picked up the bottle. He slowly drank himself to miser they buried him less than foot away from her,, leaving me to fend for myself. Stop thinking about that, a year traveling cured that, your parents loved you. They wouldn’t want you to end up like them.

Rich and Powerful, I ask myself or Sick and Forgotten? With all the money I have sitting in the bank; the tip to Europe specializing in “How to forget you were ever born” never formed a dent in my pocket. I was shaken out of my thoughts with the sweet smell of sesame chicken.
“When you work today?” Peter asked stabbing his fork into the carton.

“Around three…why? Coming to see your lover…You do know stalking in a crime?" Peter has had an utterly annoying obsession with “Video Hottie” . He strolls by everyday stealing peeks into the store window. I admit Video Hottie is cute, but not my type…like you have a type!

“Its not stalking, I would know. I just like visiting you at work darling. My little Max growing up…besides…” Hesitation at the end tells me there is more to it. My head snaps up to see his evil smile hit the corner of his lips, an evil smile that indicated I wasn’t about to like where this conversation was going.

“I am not hitting on the video hottie so you can find out if he is gay or not.” I said before he could ask. This ongoing battle between the two of us since ninth grade, same situation different guy, I was never good at picking up men.

I am sad early twenties year old virgin, who just hasn’t found someone worth jumping into bed with…yet. My parents never told me about the Birds-an-Bee’s, they figured I marry some rich kid from boarding school and settle down. Never happen, besides who would want that?

“Why Max! I need you to do this, friend to friend; I don’t see why you make such a big deal. You tell him he is hot, sexy, and drop dead gorgeous in that uniform…”

“Enough with the adjectives” I said sourly, as he portrayed his ultimate orgasm.

“…and then he will tell you if he is into men or not. I mean half the guys in our senior class asked you out for prom, he wouldn’t dare turn you down. You broke their rich rotten hearts.”

“Because there self-absorbed boys who were after my inheritance.” I barked back. I grew up being the “kid with the rich parents” getting whatever I wanted but nothing I didn’t need. My parents made sure I never turned out a spoiled brat or a victim to premarital sex.

Once my thirteenth birthday came and gone, I was sent off to the boys and girls boarding school. Peter and I learned fast that being rich was power, not a privilege. Harsh things happen in those halls that even I’m mortified to experience again. It was Gossip girl meets Friday the 13th, just Freddy Cougar was the nerdy girl wearing glasses running for her life.

“You could have just said yes for the thrill, I admit there were a few boys I would have done.” Yeah because you do anything that will let you, I thought, but never dare say it out loud.

Now I feel guilty. Peter done so much for me.

“What you’re asking is complete out of the question! Also it is totally embarrassing and I’m not good at flirting with guys. I can barely talk to the cashier guy at CVS. Even then all they do is gawk at my eyes. They think I’m so freak.”

“They don’t think that of you Maxine. What do you see in the morning when you look in the mirror? You’re striking beautiful; I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked at the office by the guys for your number.” This was news to me.

“this because of your intact flower? There’s no problem with a one night stand.” Peter said.

“EW, you never know what kind of diseases peopple are carrying! Why are we talking about this!” No chance now my morning would do a 180 and be perfect? I pray to god for lightening to strike me now. No? No sign of life up there?

Jeez, now that leaves me with Peter with the effort of talking about video hottie and my nonexistent sex life wasn’t how I pictured my day. Its more excitement then you had all week!

Sometimes I wish just for once something would happen, making my life a little more exiting then worrying about school, depressing cloud over my head and being able to brush my teeth in the morning.

“I’m asking this from the bottom of my heart, Max. Please, please, please.” He gave his best puppy dogface holding his hands together waiting. “My friends are my estate.” As Emily Dickinson said, Peter’s problems are mine, in a sense…

“Fine, but if he is gay and mysteriously you two hook up and get married. I’m going to be the horrible friend that gets drunk before the ceremony is even over.” I said standing up and collecting the left over Chinese, opening the chilly fridge. It was filled with half empty take out cartons, bottles of water and some black growing.... I need to fix that.

A detail overstepped when I moved in was how everything I owned would be out in the open in this open lift. So I bought some wall separators that have fish painted on them, to divide my kitchen and living room from my bedroom. I fell in love with the fish, little me had dreams of living under the sea. With the light on, all you can see is the other person’s shadow.

I had no problem changing in front of Peter, for he prefers flat chest bodies with high testosterone. I changed into my dark blue Lunar café collared shirt and black pants. Throwing my hair up into a high pony tail, I heard the humming of my small 35' inch TV turn on.

“Maxine, I don’t understand for a woman of your stature. Why would she buy a hammy down TV” It was more of a statement then a question. I never cared much for expensive items. I didn’t even buy a car when I moved here, for everything was right around the corner or train ticket away.

Living the large life was never flattering; either I buy a cozy small apartment and feel content, or a considerable large
mansion with no family and feel lonely as a divorced wife. “She felt it was a cliché to buy an expensive TV, blending in
with the richly stuck-up people was not a priority to her.” I said. After applying some blush and lipstick I walked out from behind my corner room to see Peter lying on my couch flipping through channels.

“Maybe for once she should learn that being stereotypical is good thing when coming to electronics.” He said laughing at his own words. The crystal like clock read 2:45, just in time to make the walk to work.

“Well I got to go. You can stay here till your lunch break is over. Just lock up when you’re done.” I left hearing him mumble an “ok” and “see you around nine.” I left with a reminder that I had a date with video hottie. Maybe I could talk him into giving me a discount on the next movie night?

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