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Chapter 9 - Truth Comes Out

The sky was mostly overcast, rays of sun peeking through the mass of clouds that hung overhead. Somewhere nearby, birdsong erupted as the new day was greeted. These were the first things that Oliver was to notice as his bleary blue eyes took in the world around him.

A sharp pain split his thoughts and he winced at the migraine beginning there, placing a hand to his forehead gingerly. Moving to prop himself up on his elbows, his hand straying to the pendant around his neck as it always did, his eyes immediately widened. Why had he slept outside? And more importantly, why was he naked?

And just like that, realization came crashing down on him as fast as a bullet - he had turned last night. Turned into something...unspeakable. It was still hard to comprehend, even with the bright light of day burning down on him from above. Oliver had never bought into folklore or any supernatural mumbo-jumbo, for that matter. But he couldn’t deny that something...out of the ordinary had occurred last night. And he was determined to figure out why.

But first things first, he had to get back home. He needed to talk to his mother. Picking himself up off the ground, he began to head in the direction he had come last night. Or at least...he hoped he was headed in the right direction. His surroundings were clearer to him than they had been the previous night though, trees rising up all around. A rank smell emanated from the right of him - a heady blend of stagnant water, pungent dirt, and rotten eggs. Whatever lie that way, it was not the scent of the city that he was searching for. Best not to dwell on it too much.

It took Oliver longer than he imagined it would before he finally came upon civilization once more. In his mind, he promised to pay back the owners’ as he stole a shirt and pair of jeans from a passing clothesline. He couldn’t very well have gone back home stark naked. For some reason, he assumed his mother would frown on that. As the sounds of the New Orleans metropolis came to life around him, the familiar run-down house came into view. Cautiously, he slowed down his pace. What was he to say anyway? “Sorry, mom, I got lost last night and oh, yeah, I transformed into a werewolf. What’s for breakfast?”

He rolled his eyes at the thought, running a hand through his thick, black curls before biting the bullet. Now or never. Putting a hand on the doorknob, he was mildly surprised to find it twist easily under his grip. Mom must have forgot to lock it back. Or maybe she was still waiting on him to show up.

Almost as soon as his foot stepped through the door, he was engulfed in a tight embrace. Elizabeth’s long dark hair was tousled, dark rings under her eyes as she pulled away to look at him properly. She must’ve waited up all night long. But as soon as she realized he was alright, the expression of concern gave way to that of anger.

“Where were you, Oliver? You had me worried sick! I was about to call the cops,” she said sternly, an edge of desperation in her voice.

Normally, he would placate her, come up with some sort of excuse as to where he had been. But this time, Oliver couldn’t help but feel shame wash over him. The first time he’d been free to explore, he had broken the only rules his mother had ever really set down - don’t stay out too late, don’t get lost, and the most import one of all: call her.

A frown formed on his face and he bit his lip as he replied, “I...I got lost. I shouldn’t have wandered off so far. I’m sorry,”

She was clearly not pleased but ignored it as she plunged ahead, her brown eyes raking over his disheveled form.

“And whose clothes are these? They’re definitely not yours, Oliver Sage.”

All of a sudden, the room felt too hot, the air too stale as he brushed past his mom and began to head for the stairs. Because, really, what answer could he give that would even make sense at this point? There wasn’t - not one that she would accept as the truth anyway. And possibly not one that even Oliver could accept as the truth for that matter.

“Oliver! Oliver, don’t you walk away from me when I’m speaking to you!”

He spun on his heel then, feeling anger course through his veins at the insinuation - as if any of this had been his fault. He couldn’t help or even explain what had transpired last night. Trouble always seemed to follow Oliver wherever he went. But this time? This time he was not to blame for the course of events that had taken place.

“I got lost, okay?! I don’t know what else you want me to say. Just drop it, mom!” he snapped, his blood boiling.

Everything happened in slow motion then - a tingling sensation behind his eyes, that spark of rage heavy in his chest. And then without warning, Elizabeth gasped in alarm and took an involuntary step back. Terror filled her brown eyes for a split-second before being replaced by an expression of deep distress and concern as she reached out her hand to him.

But Oliver recoiled, sensing the change immediately. The look on his mother’s face was all he needed to confirm it. His eyes had changed. His mother knew what he was. And worst of all? She wasn’t surprised.

The question fell from his lips in that moment, unable to stop himself from asking it.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

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