Moonlight Hills-Book One: Lycanthrope

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Hail Grayson stood in front of the window of the small hut in the deep forest near the border of Skyfall City. It was rainy outside, quite heavy with some thunder roaring in the sky. She looked so gloomy, just like the situation that she was watching at. She took a deep breath several times, feeling so damn restless.

A big lightning suddenly flashed, producing a big roaring sound. It was probably the biggest one. Hail closed her ears with her bare hands. The sound was very annoying to her, perhaps to all werewolves who could hear that. Some beta werewolves were standing behind her. They were muttering about something.

One of them, a woman who had scar on her forehead, slowly approached her alpha. She was a little bit scared to talk with Hail, but she forced herself to keep doing that. In a doubt, she began to talk, asking if she was thinking about Fender. Hail turned her body around, looking at her under-leveled werewolf. Hail winced to her, making her feeling more nervous. “I’m just asking, Madam,” she said.

Hail smiled a bit. She knew that her beta was afraid of her, and she didn’t want to keep that impression to them. She nodded then, “That little son of a bitch…yes, I’m thinking of him. Please don’t ask me why. Everybody thinks it’s ridiculous, and I know that,” she said.

The beta was calm a little bit, seeing Hail smiled and talked softly. Hail wasn’t always angry and mean to her betas. But sometimes she was very bad if in the bad mood. She was just concern about how she was doing. “I never see him before. Is he really…pretty?” she asked.

Hail chuckled for a while. “I don’t know. I think it depends of individual,” she answered. She turned back again, looking at the water of rain that hit the glass window continuously. “Frank Damon is cuter than him. He even can’t be compared to Ino Rays. But…when the first time I saw him, I think I’m imprinted to him,” she explained. The beta approached her, standing at her side. She looked at her, smiling like she wasn’t the bad guy, “Thanks for your concern, Miriam,” she said.

Miriam smiled back at her, “Anything for you, Madam,” she replied. They both looked at to the window. The rain still fell heavily. It was very dark outside but they both could see how wet the road was. “What was it like to be imprinted on someone, Madam?” she suddenly asked.

“It feels…great I think. In our race, we called it imprinted. It’s not the same as falling in love. It’s more than that,” Hail answered, “When you see someone who you are imprinted to, you’re going to strongly feel that he is the only one for you. I don’t know if that feeling is true or only an image that is created by your mind. But, you can’t resist that.”

Miriam sighed, “It’s cruel. Why is this happening to us, Madam? If the one that we are imprinted to is replying our feeling, maybe it’s great. But if otherwise…”

“Indeed, Miriam. But it’s the part of our curse. It is the fault of our ancestor that we are like this now. But have no regret. I believe Fender will be mine soon, that he will see that I’m the one who truly care about him, who meant for him, and I’m sure of it,” she smiled, more like grinning while still looking at the rain outside.

They were caught by surprised when they heard somebody knocking the door. All of them stared at each other, wondering who was coming that night. Hail moved her head, signaling to one of them to immediately open the door. A man, a big one with all muscles in his body finally got up. He looked at Hail and once again, she signaled him to open the door.

Feeling a little bit anxious, the man approached the door and slowly opened it. Someone in the black raincoat with a hood stood in front of the door, being poured by the rain. Hail sighed, feeling a little bit upset that her brother didn’t tell her that he wanted to come.

Ansem Grayson, the youngest of the Grayson siblings, opened his hood and grinning. He stepped inside the hut and made the floor wet. He chuckled, feeling funny while the others weren’t. “I love lurking in the rain. I bet you can’t smell me and even can’t hear my steps, making you curious about who is coming, right?” he joked. Hail didn’t want to reply his brother stupidity. She was just asking about the purpose of him coming there. Ansem sat in the chair and smiled, let everything he touched being wet, “I have quite great news from the ghost,” he said.

Hail winced, with her arms crossed in front of her stomach. She didn’t reply, only stared and wait for Ansem to continue his words. The other werewolves stood up and listened. They looked so curious. Such typical of Ansem Grayson, he just stay quiet and watched their curious face. His grinning didn’t disappear at all.

Ansem laughed then, although no one thought it funny. He quickly stopped laughing and continued to talk. He saw his big sister already glared at him. “Have you heard about bloodstone?” he said.

The wrinkle on Hail’s forehead became more and more, “What? Bloodstone? I think I’ve heard that,” Hail commented.

Ansem stood up and began to explain, “It’s an evil thing that caused the war among the purebloods long ago. The spirit heard that Frank Damon knows the location of that stone. It’s time for you to move again, Hail,” he said.

Bloodstone. Yes, it holds a very powerful energy which can make vampires strong. Those fool purebloods fought for the stone that led them into extinction. The whereabouts of that stone is unknown. But it’s possible Frank found the stone just like Fender found the moonstone, she thought. Hail scrubbed her chin slowly, thinking about something. She looked so damn serious, while others were waiting for her to respond. She was wondering what had happened recently, thinking that suddenly the powerful things like those stones coincidently revealed themselves.

“Do you have plans, Sister?” Ansem suddenly asked, “Don’t make my effort for coming here through this forest and heavy rain become in vain! You started this war with the founder family. They mustn’t know about our existence too soon.”

“I know that, Ansem,” Hail said, “Retrieving the bloodstone is necessary. We cannot let Damons use that bloodstone to defy us. I will gather my force to snatch it when they find the stone, while both of you back me up,” she explained.

I was confused. I didn’t know whether Frank had already figured it out that I tried to retrieve moonstone and succeed, although in the end Hail snatched it from us. It was too coincidence that Frank suddenly mentioned the bloodstone, a powerful evil thing that caused the pureblood war long ago. I thought there was something similar in those things. But I was afraid to bring it up to him, too afraid. Considering that it was a crime to retrieve moonstone after knowing that it was an evil thing, he got to be very mad at me. And then, I couldn’t imagine if he knew that the stone was already in Hail’s possession, our greatest enemy. God, he must be very…very mad at me, I thought.

That day was very cloudy. For several days, Moonlight Hills was rainy. I could feel the wind blowing fast through my face. Some black clouds approached fast from the west. I saw some people were in hurry to safe their asses from the rage of rain. Some of them were ready with their umbrella.

I, at that time, had just come home from school. I rode my bike through the sidewalk. Some old women yelled at me when I rang the bell right behind them. I just laughed a bit and said sorry. Everybody should understand I thought. We all were in a hurry.

A very familiar car suddenly passed through me. The car quickly stopped right in front of me, and I suddenly stopped next to it. The window was opened and I saw a beautiful face smiling at me from the inside.

Norah Levin asked me to hang my bike at the back of her SUV car and to get inside the car. I did just what she asked. I hung up my bike and opened the door, then I sat next her with my big smile. “You miss me?” I said. But she ignored me and pouted. She began to push the pedal and the car was moving thoroughly. I didn’t know where she wanted to bring me to.

While driving her car, she looked at me sometimes. I didn’t even turn away my sight a bit. She was so lovely.

“So, what’s the issue?” I started the conversation. She looked at me again without saying anything. I didn’t know why she acted like that. She was so serious. I thought that she was thinking hard to even talk to me. She then brought her car into a back alley. In the dead end, she stopped. I was confused, really. I didn’t ask again, just waiting for her to talk. I was nervous in a sudden.

She sighed, pulled up the hand brake and leaned against the back seat. She then looked at me. It was like she mourned. “What are you doing, Fender?” she asked. Not really a clear start I thought. I winced, not feeling anything but confused. I raised my shoulders. She then sighed again. She looked at me deeply. Slowly, she put off her seatbelt and then kissed me in a sudden. Not really a bad start I thought.

But I realized something. When she acted like that, she would think that she was going to lose me. I backed off and began to ask what had happened. She fixed her position again and said, “Ino told me everything.” The words were still confusing to me. I didn’t feel it right when she began to talk about Ino Rays. “He knows your crime,” she talked again, “Sergey and that vampire kid interrogated the ghost. She told them everything she knew, including how you retrieved the moonstone and quickly lost it,” she explained.

It was like she stabbed me right through my heart when I heard that. The words were so painful to be digested by my mind. When Ino thought that I did a very terrible crime, I began to wonder that he would start a mission to kill me again. And I began to understand why Norah suddenly kissed me previously.

“So…” I was trembled in fear, “Ino will kill me?” I whispered.

Norah shook his head, a response that I never expected at all. “The problem is not Ino Rays, Fender. In fact, it’s Ino who wants to protect you.” Seriously, it was like a thunder right in front of my ear. It was unbelievable. I was bugged out. For several seconds, I couldn’t even close my mouth.

“I know you will be shocked, Fender. But it can be explained,” she said, “You don’t forget that Ino treasures the Damons a lot, right? He didn’t say it explicitly, but I can guess it. You and Frank are close. It was proved that several times, he spared your life despite of how merciless he is. The reason could be the same,” she explained in detail.

I told myself, how could you forget that, Fender? Perhaps I was lucky. But my hearts wouldn’t stop being restless. “So, wh-what is going to kill me?” I asked her.

“After knowing about the stone from the wandering spirit, Sergey tried to study it. It didn’t take long time for him to know everything. God, he’s truly amazing despite of how annoying he is,” she said. She looked to the front, taking a breath slowly, “I know about the tale of werewolves, that the first werewolves were cursed by God. But that was a fake story. God didn’t involve in that part, but it was a devil instead. The curse was put on purpose. I believe you know that story, right, Fender?” she looked at me again, seeing me nodded quickly. “It was a crime from the beginning, and the crime had been sealed for a very long time. But you…and Ivan…you both released it. That was a great crime. If the hunter association know, you both will face their judgment,” Norah stopped his explanation and all I could do was just gulping.

The situation was very silent, even though I could hear some cars honking on the street. But for me at that time, it felt like I couldn’t hear anything and everything was black out like I was going to lose consciousness. We just stared at each other without saying anything. Suddenly, I could hear the rain began to pour onto the ground. It was quite heavy. But I didn’t care about it. My mind was blank. I couldn’t think of anything but the very bad fate of mine.

From the beginning, I shouldn’t have followed Ivan and his stupid idea about retrieving the stone, I thought.

“Has anyone known?” I asked again.

“I think not. Ino and his companions keep that a secret from everyone. He said I’m the first one who knows about this. He wants me to warn you, because it’s impossible for him to directly tell this to you,” she said. Somehow, there was hope blooming in heart. I thought that many people knew that. I said to her that there was a chance for me to be safe. But then she gave me a sad look again, killing my hope in a sudden. “It can’t last forever I’m afraid, Fender. The problem is Hail Grayson has that stone. It will be obvious when the population of alphas grow rapidly. Furthermore, if they suddenly attack the founder family of this town, it will cause suspicion. Hunters will investigate, and that will lead to you and Ivan. You’ve never expected that the first one who knows this is Ino, right? A hunter?” she explained and everything was making sense.

I sighed, looked so damn flagging. There was no spirit in me. It felt like everything was going to an end. I wondered, why do I never get away with the situation like this? My life had been cursed. I was cursed. Sometimes I was hoping that it was a nightmare that suddenly I woke up and felt relieved.

Norah held my hand, looked at me with her gentle eyes. “You know I’m afraid that I will lose you. I’ll protect you no matter what, Fender. Even Ino will help us won’t he? Don’t give up hope. We’re going to find a way,” she tried to calm me just like when she did some times ago. I looked at her, no words at all. She smiled faintly and I replied it even though it felt so bitter.

I couldn’t hold the feeling anymore. All I wanted to do was just kissing her. I quickly grabbed her head and kissed her passionately as if it was my last day meeting her. She replied it eagerly until we stopped and gasped.

She gently stroked my face. She chuckled and said, “I never felt so thrilled and exited at the same time,” she told me. I didn’t reply, just smiled at her. But she suddenly winced and back off, “By the way, does Frank know this?” she kept looking at me when I didn’t speak anything. And she knew for sure what the true answer was. She sighed, “I don’t know if we should tell this to Frank. It’s up to you,” she gave me a choice.

I hummed. Actually I was still afraid if Frank knew that. “I’m afraid he would very mad to me,” I said. And she added that Frank would be madder if he knew the news from others. She was right. But I still had no courage to tell Frank very soon.

“I suggest you to tell him by yourself, Fender,” she said. I was only grinning then. But I thought I would consider that.

Lyon Daendels jumped onto Sergey’s body as he lied down on his bed. They both were wrestling until the bed was so messy. After that childish thing finished, they both laughed very loud. Mrs. Jackson, Sergey’s mother, yelled from outside the room, asking them to be quiet. But it seemed like they were ignoring him. Lyon accused Sergey cheating, while Sergey complained that it was not fair to face a mighty vampire without magical thing even though he was still a kid. But in the end, they both felt it very fun.

Mrs. Jackson yelled again, but Sergey and Lyon didn’t stopped laughing. Suddenly, Sergey’s door opened by itself and a wind was blowing fast inside. That was a very abnormal situation inside a room actually. A middle-aged woman with black long hair appeared in a sudden and glared with her arms akimbo.

Sergey and Lyon were quiet immediately, feeling trembled that a great witch was standing before them with her glowing eyes. The wind was disappeared and the room was messier than before. “Do I have to tell you over and over, Boys?” she said deeply, with her scary voice.

Mrs. Jackson looked old with many wrinkles on her face. Her eyes were as dark as the night. She was tall and skinny. Her face was so tapering. She really looked like a very evil witch, but without a pointy hat and a black robe. She grew her nails in purpose, making her looked creepier.

She was a quite powerful summoner. Jackson family was one of the members of Hawkbeak clan. Hawkbeak clan was infamous for their great sorcerers. One of them was the Daltons, a witch founder family of Moonlight Hills that no longer existed there. It was believed that all witches in one clan had the same ancestor. That’s what made them a family.

Still with her dark scary eyes, she glared at them and said, “Don’t make me seal your mouth permanently! Do you understand?” Once again, all they could do was nodded without a word. She sighed, feeling exhausted to use all such magic in her old age just to scare those boys. She looked at her son, “Sergey Jackson, you must stop acting like a child! You are no longer child! Your big brother is studying upstairs to get his job in wizard parliament. Don’t distract him!” she then took a deep breath. She said she would go outside but when she stepped out the door, she turned around and smiled to Lyon, “Lyon, I’m still baking delicious cookies. When they finish, you want to try some, don’t you, Sweetheart?” she offered.

Lyon smiled very wide and said, “I’d love too, Ma’am.”

After replying his cute smile and waved, Mrs. Jackson closed the door again. Even though she looks so scary, she really loved kids. Unfortunately, many kids are afraid of her.

Lyon looked at Sergey with his mesmerizing eyes, “Your family is great, Big brother! Wizard parliament? That sounds glorious!” he sounded so excited. Sergey’s cocky face suddenly switched from his previous sullen face after he got scolded by his mother. He laughed like a ruthless king. Such a terrible person! But Lyon seemed not care after some time he befriended with him.

Sergey began to brag about the greatness of his family. He started with his great ancestors who were very powerful and infamous sorcerers. Then he moved to his deceased grandfather who was a minister in wizard parliament. It continued to his father, mother, elder sister, and then his elder brother. He explained that they were part of wizard parliament and some infamous organization in the world of sorcerer, though his big brother was about to begin to step into. A big wow from Lyon’s mouth made Sergey’s cockiness grew larger even more.

“You’re great, too, Big brother. The way you fight, I admire it. I like master’s style too. And when you both show your combination, I cannot blink even once. That’s too great to miss even one blink. God, I really like you both!” Lyon said it expressively. And Sergey got even cockier when he heard that little boy praised him to the heaven. “But, Big brother…you seems afraid to master. Why’s that? You’re older than him?” he asked.

Annoying little brat! Why does he ask that stupid question? Do I look very obvious, he thought. But he tried to answer it calmly and with a big smile, “It’s not like that, Lyon. I just spoil him. You know he was like my own little brother. We’ve been so close since we were kids,” he explained, “Did I miss telling you that our parents were close friends?” he asked. Lyon shook his head without replying by words.

Suddenly Lyon stood up on the bed and jump off from it. He seemed so excited. He looked at Sergey and yelled, “Master is coming!” he jumped like an exciting kid and whooshed through the door.

Sergey sighed and talked in mind, brat!

Not long after that, Ino and Lyon came to the room where Sergey silently waited for them. Lyon was so excited, telling that he had a wonderful story from Sergey. But Ino said it was a boring story.

“What kept you so long, Little brother?” Sergey asked. Lyon stopped talking. He sat on the bed and listened to his elders’ conversation like a good boy. Ino looked a little bit in a bad mood. He took a deep breath first.

Ino took a chair and sat on it, “My gramps asked me many things. It felt like he was interrogating me,” he explained, and Sergey asked him about what. Ino sighed, “Werewolf things! What else? That’s the hottest topic of Moonlight Hills. I’m afraid he is suspicious that I’m hiding something, that…actually…I am hiding something from him.”

“It’s all because of Fender Luts and his stupidity!” Sergey complained. He looked so upset just thinking about that thing. “So what’s our next action? We can’t hide it forever,” he asked.

Ino stared at Lyon, making him nervous in a sudden. He was very afraid when Ino began to move his mouth. Ino then asked, “Are you sure he is worth to be saved?” After hearing that, Lyon felt relieved. He thought that Ino will mad at him about something he didn’t know about. Master is really scary. Even when he just asks question, he thought.

Lyon hummed before he replied. “Nobody is sure about the future, Master. But I’m pretty sure about what I saw,” he said. While still sitting, Ino crossed his arms in front of his stomach with his eyes staring at Lyon. Lyon was gulping. He was afraid that his answer didn’t satisfy his master.

Ino stood up suddenly and Lyon’s heart was about to jump out. “I think I will bet on you, Lyon,” he said, “We must retrieve the moonstone and seal it again. We’re going to tell Norah to share our plan to Luts and Damon. I’m sure the fairy will help them too. We’re going to kill Hail Grayson and get the stone back,” he said surely.

But Sergey seemed a little bit pessimistic, “What if we fail to retrieve the stone, Ino? Will we let all the blame to Fender and let him face the judgment?” he asked.

“It’s not certain that hunters will know about that matter in the future. But…if we fail and they can lead their investigation to Fender, then I will defend him from the order no matter what. Just like I said, I’m going to bet on Lyon’s words,” Ino swore to himself.

The moon in the sky wasn’t full yet, but it was shining so bright. At the top of the hills, on the cliff not far from the waterfall site, some people stood up at the very edge and watched the lower far cliff from there. Hail Grayson looked at her watch. It was almost 2 o’clock in the midnight. She then looked at some of her companions. Some of them were ready with their half-shifted form. They didn’t sound nor howl.

Miriam, still in her normal for, stepped forward to where Hail stood, “Madam, some squads are gathered in their each position as you instructed,” she said. Hail set some of her minions to ambush from every direction. After what she did to Fender, she had to assume that the next one would not be as easy as the previous one. “Do you know where your brothers are?” she asked.

“They say they will come. But actually, I don’t need those morons. We can do it by ourselves,” Hail said. Miriam took a deep breath. Hail looked at her and studied her face. She grinned, “What’s wrong? Are you afraid?” she asked. Miriam didn’t answer anything. She just looked at her master’s face nervously. Hail laughed a bit, then looked at the cliffs again, “Don’t worry! We are more than ten. Frank’s companion could be Fender, that fairy, or perhaps that bitch hunter who already broke my sweetie’s heart. Even I alone can beat them all,” she encouraged her.

Miriam smiled widely, and when some movements appeared on the cliff below them, her eyes were bugged out. They could see three persons came out from the woods, approaching slowly to the edge of the cliff where they could see a waterfall directly.

The sound of the waterfall was noisy, preventing them to hear what they were conversing. The same condition applied to them, too. Miriam looked at Hail and spoke to her, “We can’t howl and gave them a signal from here. Frank and Fender can hear us if we do that. What should we do next, Madam?” she asked.

Hail looked at the three men who already turned into their ugly faces, “You three! Moved fast and tell the others! Your time is 10 minutes. I’ll give you my howl as a sign for you to ambush,” she ordered. The three wolf-men nodded and made their move as fast as they could, leaving only Hail and Miriam there.

Miriam asked again about what they were going to do. Hail suddenly ran away and Miriam followed her steps. “We encounter them first, Miriam! Be ready!” she said. Miriam just nodded. They kept running through the woods. Until finally…

A bright light of the moon touched their face again. They could see the waterfall was flowing hard right behind where Frank and the others stood, including me. The solid rock beneath us, the moon, and the trees were witness that finally we could fool her. But we didn’t want to jump into conclusion. Hail wasn’t an easy prey. Moreover, she was with many of her betas.

Hail winced at us, Angelica Brownwood? Since when was she there, she thought. We were silent. We just kept staring at each other without any words. I thought that she might feel that something was wrong. She and her only companion suddenly turned their face into a monster. Hail wasn’t fully-shifted, but it didn’t make her weaker. She howled. I knew she was calling for her friends. I could hear the fast steps from every direction. They were approaching us. It was like what Angelica had said.

Norah told us to be there. She said that Ino had a plan. But she didn’t tell us what. I didn’t have a choice. In order to retrieve the stone, I begged Frank to follow his plan. I didn’t tell him the true reason though. I just said that it was necessary to capture Hail and stop her terror in Moonlight Hills. Hope, as my guardian angel, was willingly to help me through the danger. But I didn’t expect Hail would bring such army. Perhaps she already imagined that Hope would come.

In the contrary, I felt very nervous. We couldn’t depend on Hope alone. Their number was too large, and I didn’t know the certainty what Ino had planned for this. I didn’t talk anything. Ino hadn’t come yet and I wouldn’t let Hail knew our true intention.

“I’d better go, Fender,” Angelica whispered behind my head. I didn’t turned back and saw her gone, but she actually disappeared. There were only I, Hope, and Frank, waiting for what would happen next.

The sound of their steps was getting nearer. The three of us began to get closer at each other. Some creatures jumped out from the woods. They came from every direction. They were more than ten, enough to massacre us if Ino abandoned us. They were growling. Some of them began to howl, showing that they believed they would win.

Where are they, I thought nervously. Still, the three of us didn’t speak anything.

“I heard about the bloodstone, Damon! You’re going to tell me where it’s hidden!” she ordered Frank.

Frank grinned, had the chance to finally speak up, “You’re crazy. Why would I tell you? Do you think I’m stupid?” he rejected harshly.

“So you prefer pain, Frank Damon. I won’t kill you yet. You know it’s going to be worse than hell,” she warned, and then she looked at me, “If you resist, Fender, I won’t go easy on you. You still have time to side with me, Fender,” she said. I didn’t reply anything. I was just quiet. She could realize that my answer was a no. She growled at us first, and suddenly she howled long.

I knew it. It began.

Those werewolves moved fast toward us. We were ready when they have they first step forward. But not more than a second, something had stopped them. A chain of lightning from the sky appeared and created a circle around the three of us. I saw Hail could dodge the sudden attack, some of them could too. But the lightning which was moving and getting bigger had electrocuted many of them.

We were in the center when the circle of lightning surrounded us, covering our eyes from the very bright light. It was furious, like the nature itself showing its rage.

The light stopped in a sudden just like it appeared before, and we could see clearly then. I tried to tidy up my hair because the wind was strong before. They wouldn’t die easily but electric could weaken werewolves at the most. Some of them were fainted, some could survive. Those who could dodge the attack began to wonder who did such thing.

I could feel the air of magic around us. I believed they could feel that too. We all looked around. I recognized the condition. It was like something put us inside a very big glass. I couldn’t feel the wind anymore and the sound was damped.

A magic barrier, I talked in mind. Frank muttered, saying a name, “Sergey Jackson!”

Some arrows were suddenly fired from the woods. Some werewolves cried out loud when the arrows hit them. We looked at the direction where the arrows came. It was not far. Norah appeared and shot again. But the werewolves were faster. I saw a lone wolf who wanted to abandon his pack. But he was too unlucky. In front of him, Ino and Sergey appeared right before his pale face. In one slash, the head was detached.

“It’s a trap!” Hail shouted, and then she looked at Frank with her angry eyes, “You never know where the bloodstone is hidden!”

Frank grinned, “It will end here, Hail Grayson. This will be the conclusion!”

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