It had been a week since the last mission on the alpha’s lair. We had still no clue about what we had to do next. Everything was blank. There was no news about murder or the hunter found some stray werewolves. And somehow, we had no choice but to live our life normally. I, even though still hiding my identity to Ino, tried to live every second of my life with my families and friends, and also Norah. Frank seemed to give up continuing the investigation. I didn’t know for sure, but I thought I felt him that way. He never talked about Angelica and the wolves again recently. That week was so peaceful, unless when I had to encounter Ino while in school. It was like hell.
But forget about the hellish moment I underwent when I saw Ino. It makes me think that my life was so despair.
In vampire favorite spot of the canteen, I was the only werewolf that sat there. Some vampires were still uneasy with my existence, but they couldn’t do anything since Frank allowed me to sit anywhere in that area. Who dare to face Frank after all, the oldest and living son of Damon who is the most powerful vampire family in town, protected by the uncrown prince of Roval who was the general that led the Great Fantasy War long ago? By the way, Frank told me about that knowledge, that Hope was really a great person. I was lucky that I was also protected by him. Somehow, the most merciless hunter Ino Rays has also showed his care to him. Norah told me that she felt that way. I don’t know for what reason. Just like usually, Frank didn’t eat anything besides the plasma juice, his favorite drink. He said that basically vampire only needed blood to maintain their life. But Sam and Walter did like French fries so much. I never once saw them eat without that on their menu.
I ate my sandwich with lettuce, other vegetables and raw meat inside. I made it myself in the morning secretly, or my little brother would call me a freak again. I really like raw meat although it kind of gross to think about. But Norah and Frank asked me to not showing off that I really liked raw meat. Ino could be suspicious on me if he saw that.
We had just been talking about Frank’s past love. Somehow I asked him again after I remembered that Ivan had been thinking that Frank was into a guy. Sam and Walter were also eager about my question, making Frank only sighed while sipping his juice. I never know that Sam and Walter was also had no any idea about his mysterious girl.
“C’mon, Frank! We never talked about it. Just spill it a little. I’m 289 years old and Walter is only 256 years old. We’re toddler compared to you,” Sam insisted, explaining why they didn’t know about Frank’s thing.
“Nothing to be spilled out, Guys,” Frank said so.
I sighed, “At least I can defend you when someone thinking that you are a gay, Frank. Actually you’re not, right?”
“Of course I’m not. Who is thinking I’m gay anyway?” he explained but calmly, “There’s not even a slightest thing in mind that I like guys. I just…can forget about her.”
“So, who is she?” I asked again, calmly but effective to make him spoke.
Frank sighed again, he exhaled heavily and we smiled, knowing that he gave up keeping the story by himself. He nodded slowly, “Okay. I’ll tell you now. She and I met long ago. It was still in the middle of the pureblood war. We were in love and continued to have a relationship. But we were separated by the war.”
“Is she died?” I wrinkled my forehead, trying to take it serious.
Frank raised his shoulder, “I don’t know. I never heard of her since then.”
“God, you’re too melodramatic, Frank. Perhaps she’s dead. She’s your past and it has been too long. Why are you waiting for something uncertain? There’re plenty of beautiful girls in the world. Vampires, humans, fairies, they like you,” Sam said.
I nodded, “Uh-oh! Even werewolves like you, Frank.”
“Who?” Walter looked at me with increasing tone and curious face.
“Let Frank finish his story first,” I told him and his sight was turning back to Frank.
Frank paused for a moment, looking our face one by one. “The reason I never search for another girl is…” he paused again, made us desperately curious, “We’re married.”
The three of us yelled altogether, “What???” Our eyes bugged out and we were really shocked. I was sure that all the vampires there or whoever heard that, got to be very shocked just like we were.
“She’s my wife and…we have a daughter,” he explained.
Again, we yelled like an idiot, saying what in a very loud tone. I thought that every Frank’s fan would be broken-hearted.
“I have never gotten any news that she is dead. There’s still hope that she’s alive. And when I find her, I don’t want her to see me with another girl. That’s my reason,” he said.
What a romantic story! I never knew that Frank was such a loyal person.
“What about your daughter?” I asked.
“She was missing too. I lost my two precious girls because of the war. I hate when I think about that. I spent my life mourning for years after that. This pain will never stop,” he replied.
I heard some vampire girls around us were crying. Perhaps they were touched by Frank’s story. Yeah, for what other reason would be? They all could hear all the things we were talking about right then.
“If she’s alive, why didn’t she try to find you, Frank? Maybe she’s already with another man,” Walter said.
“Stop it, Walter! You just killed his hope!” Sam was mad.
“Sorry, Frank, I just don’t want to see my friend like this. I want you to live your life with happiness,” Walter said.
“This is my happiness, Walter, living with my past,” Frank replied.
Suddenly the air became so eerie. The other vampires were casting down their sight. Me? I was shivering. It was me to see him first. The three of them had just realized after they saw my changing expression. I quickly put my half sandwich into my mouth, really all of it. It was suck!
Ino walked to our table and put his tetra pack juice onto it. He sat in the empty chair and smiled. Next time I promised myself I wouldn’t let a single empty chair near around us.
“You have a very big appetite, Fender,” he said, but I felt like he was mocking me.
I pretend to smile and nodded, “Yeah!” but my voice was unclear since my mouth was still full of sandwich.
“You all seemed exciting,” he said, “Mind if I sit here?” Ino asked.
“Who dare, Ino?” Sam replied, and I thought he was brave enough to speak to him like that. I didn’t know what made him lost his mind for that moment.
Ino chuckled, “Please don’t say that, Sam. I just try to be nice. Is it wrong?”
“No, but I’m sure you want to talk about business,” Frank said confidently, “What is it?” he asked directly.
Ino cleared his throat, “I think it’s hard for us to have strings attached. Okay, Damon, actually I just want to ask you something. I believe you are very familiar with Red Moon Party.”
Frank’s eyes grew larger in a sudden. He looked surprised. Even Sam and Walter had the same expression. What is the Red Moon Party? Frank never mentioned about that to me, I thought.
“How do you know?” Frank asked, “It’s my family’s secret ceremonial. Only relatives and close friends know about that.”
I still tried to swallow my sandwich in my mouth. Even though it was hard, but I manage to succeed, “How can I not know about that? I’m your close friend right?” I protested.
Frank sighed, looking at me with a boring sight, “It’s held every 20 years. How long have we been friends? More than a hundred?” he quipped.
“Yes! And I think the party will be held this month, though I’m not sure on what day,” Ino continued.
“You still haven’t told me even though you will hold a party within this month? What a great friend you are!” I satirized.
“Oh my God, Fender, why are you and your curiosity always annoying?” he looked upset, “We only invite people a day before the party. That’s when I will tell you. We always do that. Got it?” he explained, and I nodded without speaking anymore. He then looked at Ino again, “You still haven’t answered me yet, Ino. How do you know?”
“It’s not important. What’s important is…I want you to invite me to the party,” Ino said.
Frank winced, “What did you say? You want to be in the party? No, Ino! You’re not invited!”
Ino smiled, seemed like grinning to me, “I believe you know I never accept rejection.”
“What do you want anyway?” Frank asked.
“It’s not important!” Ino replied.
Frank suddenly stood up. He looked so angry, “You’re about to going to infiltrate my lair! I must know your true intention!”
Ino also stood up. He lost his smile. Somehow I felt so frightened with this situation. “I never asked for the second time, Damon. Just count me in! Understand?” he said, “Now tell me when the party will be held!”
“Next week. On Thursday,” Frank gave up and answered.
Ino smiled again. Oh, I really hate that smile. “Then I’ll wait for your invitation. I will wait, Damon. Don’t you dare miss it for me! And one more thing, I don’t want you to tell anyone that you will invite me to the party. Thank you,” he quickly grabbed his juice and walked away. Such arrogant person! I really hate him.
“You really want to invite him, Frank?” Sam asked.
Frank sat down and sighed, “Do I have a choice? It’s better than he chops me into two pieces. I just want to know his true intention. He’s too suspicious.”
“What about your parents? They won’t agree,” Walter said.
“Of course they won’t agree!” Sam replied impatiently, “But didn’t you hear what Ino said earlier? He doesn’t want Frank to tell anybody, including his parents.”
I raised my hand, “Okay, Guys! Since I know about this thing right now, why don’t you tell me about the detail?” I asked.
“Frank’s right! You’re really annoying, Fender,” Sam sighed.
“It’s just like an ordinary party, like a ball. Nothing special! But not everyone knows. The purpose is only to tighten the relationship between Damon families and our relatives and friends. Sometimes, we’re talking about our secret business. That’s why not everybody knows. But I never care about that,” he explained.
“I don’t understand why Ino insisted to ask for your invitation. He’s Ino Rays after all. He can break in easily,” I was confused.
Frank cleared his throat, pausing for a while before he replied that, “When the night of Red Moon Party, my castle is protected by my ancestor’s power. Long ago, a very powerful witch had a prophecy that every 20 years for 10 times, my family would be in danger. Some of my ancestors sacrificed themselves to protect my place. Nothing can infiltrate the castle for one day. The prophecy was right. 20 years after that, there was an occasion that Damon family was in danger. And it repeated until 10 times. It included the pureblood war. I was safe because I was in a castle, but my wife and my daughter weren’t,” he took a breath for a moment, “Then every 20 years my ancestors’ power always protects my castle. We praise that day by holding Red Moon Party. Only the invited one can enter the party.”
“Satisfied now, Fender?” Sam teased me.
But I didn’t complain. I nodded and smiled. “By the way, I’m invited, aren’t I?” I made sure.
“Of course!” Frank replied, “But I plan to tell you when I give you the invitation because the invitation can only be given one day before.”
Suddenly we heard a girl calling my name. It was Norah. She waved her hand while running a little toward us. When she came, I just wrinkled my forehead since she looked around with an odd sight.
“Don’t give me a kiss?” I asked.
She looked at me and smiled. She just pecked me quickly then. “I feel like most vampire girls in here are sobbing. What’s wrong?” she asked.
“They’re broken-hearted,” I replied, “Frank has just told us a story about his missing wife and daughter.”
She just looked at Frank and bugged out, always the same expression when somebody heard that Frank had a wife and a child. “Since when you’re married?” she was shocked.
Frank sighed, “It was long ago, Norah. And please don’t ask me about that thing.”
“As you wish, Sweetheart,” Norah nodded. She was not like me who always was curious about one thing I didn’t know. That was one thing I like about her, she wasn’t annoying person like me who always asked question. She held my face and with her teasing look, she whispered to me, “It’s time.”
I winced, “It’s time what?” I asked.
“I want you to go to my house. My parents want to meet you,” she explained.
I was shocked. I hoped that I misheard. But it wasn’t. She really wanted me to meet her parents. Why so sudden, I thought and scared. “Do they know that I’m a werewolf?” I whispered very quietly.
Norah just smiled, “Of course. Evans told them everything,” she said calmly like there was nothing happened in my heart. She got to know that I wasn’t ready to meet her parents. Her parents are hunters, perhaps only one of them but it’s the same. I’m a werewolf and there’s no way I could be easy about that.
Damn that son of a bitch! I really hate you, Evans, I thought.
“It’s because Evans told them about you being my boyfriend,” she said, and I already guessed that, “My parents always want to meet every boy I have. But don’t worry. They don’t bite.”
But they slash, shot, or even worse than that, I thought desperately. But I just smiled and didn’t speak a word. Sam and Walter chuckled behind my despair. They were really very…very good friends!
“I’ll wait you in the parking lot after school,” she then kissed me quickly, “See you there, Tiger!” she waved again and walked away.
And after she disappeared, Sam and Walter were burst into laughter. I looked at them with a very boring and mad look, “Shut up!” I yelled.
My heart pounded so hard when Norah stopped her car in front of her house. Her house was quite big. It was a big mansion-like house with luxury and modern style. I thought that her parents got to be quite rich. I never passed through that place since the house belonged to her. Previously, that house belonged to a rich widow who lived with her only child. But the child was murdered several months ago and the widow sold the house and moved out from town.
I believed that my face was as pale as vampire then. Norah looked at me and laughed a bit. I’m really not ready to meet her parents, I thought. Along the travel, I didn’t speak a word and neither did Norah. I was too nervous and I thought Norah understood that.
“Who’s the hunter? Both of them?” I finally spoke.
She chuckled, “Only my father.”
I gulped. In my mind, there was an image that I would face a very fierce looking man since he was a hunter, with a ripped body, ready to strangle me if he didn’t like me. I was so scared.
Norah held my hand, “Don’t worry, Honey. You’re going to be okay. This is not the first time I date with supernatural. Before you, I dated a vampire.”
I quickly looked at Norah, “Really? Why did you break up with him?”
“Why are you asking that?” Norah winced.
I raised my shoulder, “Just want to know,” I replied.
She took a breath first before she spoke, “We didn’t break up. He died.”
Then I was the one who wrinkled my forehead, “Died? How?”
“Do you really want to know?” she asked me back and I nodded. I thought I ought to know how her previous boyfriend died. Norah sighed, “Killed by my father,” she answered.
It was like a lightning struck right into my forehead. I bugged out, yelling like a freak, “What????” sometimes I was kind of annoyed too with my stupid curiosity.
“Fender, you’re too much!” she said.
“Are you joking? Your father killed your previous boyfriend and you said I’m too much? You’re the one who is too much! You’re ridiculous! There’s no way I have guts to meet your father,” I spoke panicky.
Norah quickly held my face with her both hands and smiled, “Calm. Just take a breath slowly,” she said and I did what she said, “Good boy. Now, listen to me. My father killed him because he wanted to rape my little sister. There’s nothing to worry about if you never want to get close on something stupid,” she said and chuckled.
I nodded, inhaled and exhaled like a woman who wanted to give birth.
Norah get back to her position, “You know that hunter’s gene only inherited to the first child. My little sister had no power to defend herself and my ex-boyfriend tried to take the advantage,” she moved her car again to the yard in front of the garage.
“What about Evans? He’s older than you and you still get the hunter’s gene?” I asked.
“Yeah, I never told you about that. Evans is adopted child. My father found him after a bunch of vampires suddenly attacked his house and killed his parents,” she explained, “He was five and I wasn’t born yet. My father raised him then like his own son and trained him until he became a fine swordsman.”
“What happened to those vampires who killed his parents?” I asked again.
“Evans killed them one by one along with their families. He found every single remaining of them and avenged his parents,” Norah finished the story as he switched off the car’s machine and opened the car’s door, “Now, let’s get in!”
We both got out from the car and walked to the terrace. It was already dusk and gloomy. Frankly, I was still not ready for all meeting-her-parents stuffs. I tried to control my breath, hoping that my panic attack would be reduced even a little.
Norah opened the door and pulled me inside, “Mom, Dad, I’m home.”
We heard a woman’s voice calling from the other room, “In the dining room, Norah. The food is ready.”
Norah looked at me and smile, “They’ve already prepared everything. C’mon,” she kept pulling me until we reached the dining room.
I was frozen when I had my first step into the room. There were three people, and they staring at me. The woman, Norah’s mother, was still busy preparing the remaining food onto the table. She smiled at me. Her smile was just like Norah’s. She was about 40 years old and still quite pretty, although there were already wrinkles around her face. Her hair was blond, mixed with her beautiful green eyes. The man, Norah’s father, was just like I imagined, fierce face and muscled body. Norah got her mother’s hair. I thought he was about 45 years old, or perhaps almost 50. His hands were really big and strong and I was scared of that. He didn’t smile even though I tried to smile back to him. Such typical of girlfriend’s father!
The other man was Evans, and I don’t need to explain him anymore. He already ate a plate of pasta. He stared at me calmly. God, I really want to punch him in the face, I thought.
“Mom, Dad, this is Fender,” Norah introduced me to them.
“Please sit down, Honey,” Mrs. Levin offered me, such a friendly and lovely woman.
I smiled, barely talking, and Norah suddenly pulled me again to sit in the empty chair next to Evans. She sat between me and her father. She really understood me by not placing me right next to his father. She knew I was powerless then.
Mrs. Levin put the last food onto the table and sat. She smiled at me, “Please make yourself at home,” she said.
“Thanks, Ma’am,” I replied, for the first time since I got my first step into that house.
“What do you want, Fender?” Norah whispered in front of my face. I just whispered back and said anything. I really lost my appetite. After that, Norah put a big grilled meat onto my plate.
Mr. Levin suddenly cleared his throat, made me shocked for several seconds. I saw him looking at me with his sharp eyes and I was trembling. My heart’s beat was going faster and faster. I could feel my knees were very weak.
“Where do you live, Boy?” he asked.
I hummed for a second, “24th Well Avenue, Sir. Harmony district, it’s near the main road to the Skyfall City,” I answered.
He nodded slowly, then ate a piece of his chicken fast, “I heard you were a human before,” he said and I nodded, “Do your parents know about your condition?” he asked.
I shook my head, “No, Sir, they don’t.”
“Do you plan to tell them, Sweetheart?” Mrs. Levin asked.
I was thinking for a moment. That question was very hard to answer. I hummed again, “I don’t know, Ma’am. I’m afraid,” I said.
“It’s okay, Sweetheart. We can understand your position. It’s very hard for such young boy like you to bear all the things happened to you. You’re lucky you can manage this far,” Mrs. Levin said.
I laughed a bit, “Yeah, I’m lucky I have many good friends. And I’m lucky I have Norah.”
“We protect each other,” Norah said while holding my hand. She looked at me for a moment and smiled.
“By the way, Fender, you still can’t control your changing right?” Mr. Levin asked.
I gulped. I couldn’t imagine that he would ask me that question. I shook my head slowly, “No, Sir.”
“Don’t worry, Dad. It’s not a big deal,” Norah defended me, “Moreover, Fender is under his training with a purebred to control his wolf,” she said without mentioning Ivan’s name. Perhaps people would think it was Carter. She then looked at me and asked me to eat my food. I nodded and grab a small piece of it.
Suddenly I heard someone walking in the yard and opening the front door. I just turned my head to the door as that person walked toward the dining room. Everybody also looked at the same direction, and we saw a pretty girl showed up. She is pretty and had a brown hair like his father. She looked like Norah very much, but she was just a bit younger.
“Linda, just come here and sit with us,” asked her mother.
She must be Norah’s little sister, I thought.
She was quiet for a while and I realized that she was staring at me. But suddenly she looked at her mother and shook her head, “No, Mom. I just want to rest in my room,” and without waiting anything, she just walked passing the door.
Norah suddenly cleared her throat and got up, “I’m sorry. I want to go the restroom,” she quickly walked out the room. She must be can’t bear the urge anymore, I thought.
But along the way, she pulled her sister to the bathroom. Linda just wrinkled her forehead without protesting. Norah closed the door and opened all the faucets available in the bathroom.
“What do you want to speak to me that you don’t want your werewolf boyfriend can hear us?” she asked calmly.
Norah pushed her sister to the wall, “I know that look, Linda. Don’t ever think that you can do the same to Fender just like you did to Vaughn!”
“Your vampire boyfriend was weak. He should’ve resisted my temptation. But he fell for it. Unlucky him, Dad saw us and I don’t have a choice to accuse him for raping me,” Linda said.
“I should’ve told everyone about the truth,” Norah said.
“Like Mom and Dad will believe you instead of me?” she chuckled a bit.
“You’re lucky you are very dear to Mom and Dad, Little bitch! I just don’t want Dad regret about killing innocent, or think Mom will be very sad to have a slut daughter like you!”
A young man sat alone in a bar, enjoying his half-glass of beer. His eyes were wandering around, looking at some people who were passing through him. He sipped his beer a little then put the glass again on the counter. He sighed, a little bit tired about many things in his mind.
A muscled-man bartender approached him with a big bottle of beer in his hand, “Do you want some again, Carter?” he offered.
Carter Dale nodded. He pushed his glass a bit toward the bartender and after the bartender poured the beer to the glass until it was full, he drank again some.
“The last one is on me, but you’ll pay for the next one, Buddy,” the bartender said.
Carter smiled happily, “Yeah, thanks, Man. By the way it’s enough. I don’t want to get drunk tonight,” he explained.
“You can barely drunk, Carter, even you drink too much,” the bartender chuckled, “Until when you will stay in this town?” he asked.
“I don’t know, Man,” Carter spoke and sipped his beer again.
“Okay, just enjoy this night. There’s another customer,” the bartender clapped Carter’s shoulder and left him alone.
Carter didn’t realize that there was someone approaching him. The young boy sat on the empty chair next to him and leaned to the counter.
“Enjoying your long vacation?” he asked.
Carter turned his head and winced, “How can an underage pass through the gate?” he was confused.
“He’s with me,” the other young guy appeared next to him on the other side. Carter looked at him also and winced again. “I think I’m old enough to have an access to enter this place,” the guy said.
Carter sighed, “Ino Rays and Sergey Jackson I believe. What business do you have with me?” he asked, “By the way, you drink? I’ll treat,” he offered.
Ino shook his head, “You said yourself I’m still underage. By the way, no thanks! We just want to have an important thing with you.”
“Why did you leave the town recently?” Sergey asked, “We succeeded to find the alpha’s lair, for your information.”
Carter looked at Sergey, wrinkling his forehead, “Are you serious?” he asked. He saw Sergey grinned and nodded. “I was back to my pack, seeking for help. But as you see now, I got nothing. They still don’t want to help. So, did you fight her?”
Ino shook his head, “Nope. We didn’t find her. We just fought a bunch of betas and some powerless witches,” he said.
“Witches? Must be from Valorous clan. They were close to the Graysons,” Carter guessed, “So that’s why she could manage to escape before you landed a step to her place.”
“Yeah, it’s been a week since then. There was no movement from them. They all seem gone by the wind. We got one chance, but we need your help. Yet, you left town,” Sergey said.
“What do you want me to do?” Sergey asked.
Ino cleared his throat, “Actually we got a 50:50 chance. And after waiting this long, I don’t know if the chance still stands. But there’s worth a try. We got information that one of her beta was successfully escaping. If the beta is still around this town, you’ll help us find it. Once we find it, we’ll find a clue and I’m going to kill it,” Ino said.
Far away from the bar, we had already finished my dinner. Mrs. Levin was really a friendly person. I liked her so much. Unlike his wife, Mr. Levin had barely smiled. I didn’t know what made him so rigid. We talked many things and so far it was fun. Somehow how the way Mr. Levin looked at me still made me thrilled. At least, Norah’s mother could ease my heart.
Mrs. Levin threw a bag of trash on the floor right next to her. It was a quite big trash bag, “Evans, could you please throw this to the garbage?” she asked.
Evans quickly stood up, “I’m sorry, Mom. I have to go to the toilet,” he then ran away just before Mrs. Levin had commented anything, leaving her sighed.
Norah smiled at me, “He knows that our garbage can on the back was full. I don’t know why the garbage service didn’t take it today,” she then looked at her mom, “I’ll go.”
“Let me do it,” I offered and stood up, seeing them watching at me, “It’s okay. Just let me throw away the garbage.”
“There’s another garbage can about 50 meters away into the woods. Are you sure you want to do it?” Mrs. Levin asked.
I laughed a bit and moved, “It’s okay, Mrs. Levin,” I took the garbage and went.
“Thanks, Sweetheart,” Mrs. Levin said.
I walked through the back door of the house, on the kitchen next to the dining room. I looked at the woods behind Norah’s house, it was eerie. God, why do I have to be scared? There’s nothing to be scared of. I’m a mighty werewolf, and ghost is not scary at all, I tried to make myself brave.
I took a deep breath and walked slowly. I whistling, trying to ease my mind. I don’t know why the garbage can is put so far, I thought.
Finally I saw a green large can under one of the trees. I increased my walking speed until I reached it. I opened the can’s lid, but suddenly I stunned…
I thought I smell something familiar. I sniffed, trying to recognize the smell. Damn, the garbage’s smell disturbs my ability to smell that thing, I thought. Somehow, I got my mind uneasy in a sudden.
I quickly threw the garbage and put off the lid again. I turned back and walked, but after several steps I stopped.
I know this smell. Yeah, I know it, I thought.
I quickly turned around then and I gasped. I saw a silhouette. It was a woman. I couldn’t see her face since she was covered by the shadow. But all I can see was her red eyes glowing in the dark.
It was her. It was the alpha. I didn’t know how she could be there. I wondered if she was waiting for me all that time. I never imagined that that was my encounter with her.
I wanted to run away. But she already moved before I could think of that. She pounced on me and I screamed out very loud…