Chapter 1 - Poppy
Living among werewolves wasn't always easy.
They were faster, stronger and deadlier than you would ever be. They could smell fear, or lust, within a few meters, taking advantage of every situation like the wolves they were.
But they gave the best tips.
And believe me, when, like yours truly, you were counting every penny to make ends meet, you'd go for the biggest tipper.
My shift at Lenny's just ended, my feet hurt and my back wasn't any better. But I made almost twice my pay on tips so I wouldn't complain. I'd be able to eat and even have a little extra this week.
Werewolves ate a lot. The trays were so heavy that at the end of the day you couldn't feel your arms anymore. I nearly dropped one while greeting customers before the end of my shift, that would've cost me half the tips I earned. Lenny the dickhead insisted that we paid for everything we broke even if it was the costumers fault. But I needed this job so I kept my mouth shut.
Fortunately I managed to not drop the tray and finished my shift with another good tip, this almost felt like Christmas! I would be able to get a few nice drinks at the club Eva invited me to tonight. I couldn't remember the last time I had time and money to go out.
I rushed back home, hopped in the shower and got ready in less than twenty minutes. I was putting one last touch of eyeliner on when I heard a knock on the door.
This should be Eva, my closest friend here. I never stayed longer than a few months in every city, I didn't know why but I'd always been more of a lone wolf if I might say. So ‘closest friend’ meant that Eva knew pretty much my name and my taste in pizza and nightclubs. In a couple months, I'd be gone and she'd forget about me faster than she'd expect. It was always like that.
Eva and I met at Lenny's three weeks ago, she had a shift just before mine when I started and she stayed to show me around. We bounded instantly. She wasn't from the town either but stopped there on her way to the southern border and never left. Apparently men here were too sexy for her to leave just yet.
I had to admit that being friends with a werewolf had its perks : Eva could scare any drunk guy around and didn't budge in front of an angry wolf so no-one pissed us off at the restaurant and especially on the dancefloor.
"Hurryyyy !" Eva shouted eagerly from behind my door. "My friend only works there until midnight, we need to get there ASAP to get in." She added. How she managed to befriend a security guy at one of the most famous nightclubs in town was still a mystery to me. But I wasn't complaining if it meant that I didn't have to pay to get in.
And indeed, being friends with a trendy and connected she-wolf had its perks. We could get into any nightclub in town for free, if we got there in time. Because Eva knew EVERYBODY and everybody liked her.
"I'm ready!" I shouted back, grabbing my keys and running out of my apartment. "Let's get this party started!"
The night club was in the city center, well located on one of the main avenues. The lights and neons indicated a special party tonight and the queue of people hoping to get in made me glad we rushed to Eva's friend at the entrance on time. There was no way I was waiting that long in the queue, my time wasn't worth much but more than that.
"Hi there, gorgeous! I booked you a table at the back." Eva's friend said, opening the line to get us inside quickly. She then showed us around and I was surprised to see she was a she. Eva had more aces up her sleeves than I thought. "Don't forget to say my name when you order at the bar".
The friend then smiled and disappeared into the crowd. What did Eva do to get us a table and free drinks? And. Oh. My. God. The club was huge! Eva wore the biggest smile on her face when she turned to me, screaming in delight. I couldn't agree more, this night was going to be epic!
We spent the night dancing with strangers, dumping them every time they became too interested. The drinks were good but my budget was short and I was still not believing we didn't have to pay for them at some point so I was fine just being tipsy.
Eva, on the other hand, was downing drinks faster than the bartender was making them. Perks of being a werewolf I guess, getting drunk was harder, but not impossible. I heard they were mostly enjoying the taste, if they could find one behind the burning feeling of alcohol.
Around 2am, I got tired and my sore feet were making dancing less agreeable. I looked for Eva, whom I found exchanging deep throat kisses with a blond tattooed guy. Honestly, I didn't know how she could just kiss a stranger and bring him home. She didn't know the guy!
Smiling at my friend, I motioned to her the exit, telling her I was done for the night. She nodded and waved at me, never leaving her guy's lips for longer than taking her breath. Go girl, I chuckled.
The walk back home was fast. The avenue the club was situated on was not far from my place. You just had to walk to the suburbs and you'd find my shitty apartment.
Feeling glad for the feeling of fresh air on my skin, I breathed in deeply and hummed while walking home. This night had been great and tomorrow was my day off. What a blast! No Lenny shouting at me, no heavy tray to carry around. Only me and my quilt, maybe with a good book.
A sudden cold breeze made me stop. I was at a crossroad, two blocks from home. But something was off.
There was no sound. No car. No one. Nothing. We weren't that far from the city center though, there should have been people around, shouldn't it?
When a shadow emerged from the building on my right, I took a step back. Then another one. My body tensed, my sens were on high alert.
This creature was not human. But it wasn't a werewolf either. And that scared me. I couldn't deal with werewolves but at least I knew how they reacted.
Something was off with that guy in front of me. His eyes were yellow, not bright but tamed. As if no life existed behind them.
When he got closer, I could see his smile, as dead as his eyes. Shivers ran down my spine as I stepped back. But he kept on coming closer, his thin legs closing the distance between us.
"Good evening, wolf." He said.
"I-- I'm not a wolf." I answered, hurryingly. If that was just a misunderstanding maybe he'd let me go. "You-- You should be mistaken." I told him softly, I even tried to smile. Please let me get home.
Unfortunately, the stranger took another step toward me. His laugh was cold as steel when he jumped on me.