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Burning the Alpha

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His name was Shaun McCallum. His father - rest his soul - had been known as Archie McCallum. I had found this information in a matter of moments, with minimal effort. I'd only had to check the paperwork on the body he had claimed.

I could guarantee that he would have a much harder time finding information about me, because, one: even I didn't know anything about it, two: it didn't exist, and three: I changed my fake identity every few years.

My current nom-de-guere was Avril Bloom, funeral home assistant.

It occured to me that is was almost time to relocate again as I locked the office for the night. Reg, the director, had been a bit perplexed at my insistence on being the last to leave when I'd first started five years ago. These days, he took it for granted that I'd be the one to lock up, and the place would still be standing when he arrived in the morning.

I walked downstairs and lit the furnace for the crematorium. If Reg had any idea what I got up to once I had the place to myself, well...he'd probably have a heart attack...

Not that I got up to much. I double checked the tags on the waiting bodies, before making my way over to open the door of the crematorium. Humans just have very weak constitutions.

I shuffled inside and lay down on the slab, basking in the flames.

Where should I go to next?

I'm not gonna lie. I don't have the best imagination. All I knew was that I needed fire to survive, and I couldn't use my own fire to sustain myself.

It was easier hundreds of years ago, when fire was used for everything. I've worked on trains, in blacksmith forges, I even took a rather precarious turn with the fire brigade. These days, even finding a house with a good fireplace was a stretch.

I closed my eyes and let the flames wash over me, filling me with strength and energy. I'd been spoiled in this little hamlet of a town. It was probably about time to return to the city; a thought I didn't relish. People cared less about what you did in the city, but with more people, there were more opportunities to be caught making mistakes. And these days, there were cameras everywhere.

And what of the werewolf? Would he follow me? I was no expert on werewolf lore, not by any means, but even I was familiar with how serious they were about their 'mate' bonds.

What a cruel twist of fate, for a creature like him, to be mated to a creature like me.

I took one last deep breath, taking in as much fire as my body wanted to hold, and crawled back out of the furnace.

It was time to head home. I looked around the room. Surely there was some more work I could do. Anything to put off returning home. Returning to him.

Ah, yes. Him. It occurs to me that I may have been too feeble rebutting the werewolf. I could have just told him I was already spoken for...in a manner of speaking...

Convinced there was no more work to give me a legitimate excuse to get home any later, I grabbed my bag, set the alarm, and pulled the locked door behind me as I left.

Would he be angry? He was usually in a pretty foul mood, regardless of how long I took.

It was impossible to lie to him. But he was like me, enough to understand my need to bask in the fire for a bit, at least.

I paused at my car door. Something was off. It was too dark to see, but I could swear someone was watching me from the shadows.

"Hello?" I called into the darkness.

A breeze swept past me, rustling through the hedges in response.

Whatever. I wasn't overly concerned for my safety. Anyone hoping to hurt me would most likely be an inconvenience, at best. There are few creatures on this Earth that can really hurt me.

I was going home to one.

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