I would like to especially thank Sean Patrick Lee.

He gave me his time, lent his expertise, and educated me with his editing skills.

I have learned so much from your insightful pen Patrick that I doubt I could ever repay you in a life time. So like you I will play it forward.

You were the answer to a prayer, thank you.






“Woohoo! ”   An excited Texan's voice pierced David Manx's earpiece. “Time to lasso us a Werewolf!”  The FBI agent tried not to flinched at the sudden sound while he gazed over at what held his boss attention. 

 Special Agent in Charge Clyde Barton showed no emotion to the outburst; instead his brown eyes were captivated by the green door of room 236.

The motel was neither the best nor the worst of them that Agent Manx has seen in his years with the agency.  It’s different, because there’s just one vehicle occupying the parking lot at this late hour.

 The agents had positioned their trucks out of view of the motel but stayed in the general area to monitor the activity of the op. Barton directed him to park their black Explorer on the north side of the building, downwind and away from the motel. "We're ready on this end Boss."

The night was silent, when a cat shrieked before its telling hiss. Then someone, somewhere slammed a door. “Cats don’t like Werewolves,” the same voice told Manx as Barton led the way to the green door. “It’s that whole dog, cat thing.”

Barton flushed his long, lean frame against the wall. Those eyes  waited until Manx took his position on the other side.  He signaled ready with a nod with his hand on the knob.

Manx nodded back.

 Barton gave it a twist and the door opened without protest.  He frowned before stepping across the threshold.

A man had to trust if he’s going through a door with you, but Manx knew this wasn’t the case with Barton.  He knew this was his chance to redeem himself after the New Mexico job, perhaps his only chance.

  Six years as an agent, before joining ISBI, Barton and his team were schooling Manx in areas that they hadn’t taught him in the academy.  It’s as if he’s going through boot-camp again.

Barton’s reputation for fearlessness preceded him.  Because no seasoned officer went through a door blind with a rookie at his back.

Manx didn’t hesitate, he followed Barton’s led and step through the door.


There’s nothing out of the ordinary about the narrow hallway that Barton took with a brisk pace. Unless you counted the long smears of fresh blood against the dingy white walls or the thick, red clots on the already stained carpet. Manx kept pace, not wanting to be trapped with a werewolf in a confined space.

The door had opened without a sound, but closed with a final click.  Why didn’t you catch the door, Manx chastised himself, that’s a rookie mistake. But self-consciously he knew why.

Barton turned. Even through the gas mask, Manx saw his stern scowl. Messages sent, he spun back to proceed down the hall.

The overpowering smell of decaying flesh seemed to seep into his mask to flood Manx senses. Staring at the amount of blood loss, he gagged at the imaged stench, but held it down. 

Barton stopped halfway down the hall, pointing to indicated which way he wanted Manx to go once things started.

Manx nodded, watching as the ASAC raised his hand to begin the countdown.   The sound of a squeaky floorboard broke the stillness and  accounted for the frantic  throbbing of his heart in his ears.

On three, Barton mouthed.  Manx braced himself.

The sound of shattering glass followed by a hard thud greeted him with the telltale hiss from a leaking canister. The room filled fast with a thick blue cloud of Wolf’s bane.

“Fuck!” someone coughed.

In a mad dash to flee the intoxicating fumes, the werewolf showed himself in the doorway, soaked in blood.

“He’s up!” Barton yelled.

The amount of Wolf’s bane spewing from that can should’ve put  Pauli Keys on his back, but he was up, staring at them with  hate  flaming  in his yellowish-green eyes.

“Feds.” The word disgorged from his distorted mouth along with blood and bits of flesh.

The plan had gone awry.

“Going hot!” the Texan chirped.


The creature had surprised Manx in New Mexico, after the buildup about the frightening and vicious Werewolves. It was anticlimactic to see a disheveled, skinny man, who’s far shorter than Manx and much less intimidating than Barton had led him to believe.  That’s why he’d underestimated the creature, not this time.

“Damn Feds,” Pauli growled.

“You’re done Pauli,” Barton words muffled behind the mask.

 Manx kept his weapon drawn on the man that looked like an addict.

“I ain’t.”  He went low.

“Don’t do it, don’t!” Barton yelled.

 Pauli rushed them.

 They fired, but Pauli moved with the speed of his distant ancestor, their rounds whizzed by missing him by inches. He leveled through the agents as if a running-back, heading to the goal line. They were down, but Barton managed to fire again just as Pauli exited the door striking him in the arm.

“Eyes on?” He got to his feet, yanking off the mask, giving chase. Manx at his side..

“He’s heading for the rig Boss!”  the Texan told them.

They were already out of the room and running through the lot. "On him!'



It was fear that kept Pauli going.

Coughing from Wolf’s bane in his lungs, he still managed to dart around trying to avoid getting hit again while racing to his rig.

“Stop Pauli!”  Barton  fired a, .45 caliber round laced with small amounts of quicksilver, just enough to slow down a werewolf, but not kill.

 One caught Pauli in the right shoulder. The force of Barton’s Glock would’ve dropped a man, but the werewolf just howled in pain. He stumbled forward a few feet, taking him off stride, but he got his bearings and was off again.

The silver slowed his progress enough to allow them time to catch up.

“Stop!” Barton yelled. He aimed the powerful weapon at the man’s head. Pauli continued to stagger forward. “I said stop!”

He finally stopped, holding his injured arm. “I ain’t done nothing’ wrong!” Pauli bellowed. He tilted to one side. “She was already dead, ain’t a man got to eat.”

“Tell it to someone who cares! Now turn around, time to go back.”

The man’s shoulders sagged.

“Slow Pauli; don’t make me shoot you again.”

To Manx, it looked as if Pauli would collapse from the silver and blood loss. The injured man bowed his head and nodded, his voice defeated. “Okay.”

Barton gestured to Manx.  

 Manx kept his weapon drawn,advancing on the werewolf slowly taking the thick silver handcuffs off his belt. He was a few feet away when suddenly Pauli turned.

“No!”  He made the move so fast that either of them had time to react.




 Pauli ran straight at Barton. “I ain’t going back!”

The agent tried to fire, but his gun jammed.  “Shit!”   He hurried to chamber another round as the beast drew near.  “Put him down!”

Manx froze.

He stared in horror as the man’s human face transformed into a long narrow maul. In one leap, the man Pauli jumped over Barton’s head. What landed was a large hairy ferocious half-beast , half-man that ran on all fours toward the undergrowth on the side of the hotel.

Barton chambered another round and fired but missed the fast moving creature. “Goddamnit, he's running!”

Manx snapped out of his daze. “Got’em Boss.” He took a shooter’s stance, firing twice at the animal before it disappeared in the shadows of the brush.

“Status!”  Barton ran toward the undergrowth, Manx  flanked him.

The thicket grew darker the further they traveled.  They were hindered by the dense group of bushes and trees which the creature ran through with ease. Manx noticed with great dread that they were losing ground with each passing footfall. We’re going to lose him.

“We got him!” Another teammate’s voice spoke through the earpiece. “He’s heading straight for us.”

“Is he still lit in this form?” Barton voice was neutral.

“He’s bright as the morning jewel, Boss.” the Texan again.

They had managed to plant a tracker on the Werewolf in New Mexico despite Manx’s  failure to capture the creature. They followed the beacon as it led them across the country to this motel. Barton got local FBI agents to evacuate staff and residents without alerting their suspect.  To capture beasts with senses twenty times better than a wolf and much faster, Barton’s agents had become proficient at capturing them. Becoming the silence and stealth of a hungry cat.

“Be ready!” Barton told his team.

Manx matched his mentor’s pace until they reached the other side of the small undergrowth. He was eager to make amends for his past mistakes.  They emerged from the bushes and he realized it was over.

The silvery glow of the full moon splashed against the night sky in a beautiful fusion of light and dark that glimmered off the two black vans with government plates. They were parked a few feet from where Pauli, the man, laid on the ground nude, ensnared, and bleeding.

Other ISBI agents stood over the shrill man laughing and taking pictures of their prize like hunters on a safari, Manx reasoned with a sense of pang to his ego.




Barton pushed his way through the group of agents. “How is he?”

“Unconscious, minor wounds that are already healing, he’ll live.” The Texan told him.

“The tracker worked even in wolf form?” Barton sat back on his haunches to check the implant.

“Like a charm Boss. Those Mason’s really know their gadgets.”

Barton stared at Pauli with a dispassionate eye. “Good job.”

Manx took a knee to catch his breath. Every FBI agent was fit, but he’d never had to chase after a werewolf before or any wolf for that matter.

He stared at Barton. It’s evident, in his heightened awareness, intense brown eyes, flushed skin, and controlled breathing, that this man loves the thrill of the hunt.

“This was easy Boss.” The Texan grinned.

“Like taking milk from a baby,” added another.

“Alright,  get him prepared for transport.” Barton got to his feet. “Seal off the motel, get a cleaner in that room; you know the drill.”

“Yeah Boss.” The agents rushed off to complete the tasks.

Barton turned to Manx. He got to his feet, fast.

The Special Agent approached him wearing his trademark firm expression. “Go, and let Medical take a look at you. They need to check for any scratches, bites, or cuts.”

“Yeah Boss.”

Barton paused. Manx knew he’d messed up again. There wasn’t any excuse for not doing the job, but seeing a 90 pound man, change into a 250 pound beast was something his brain couldn’t handle.

“You froze back there, just when things got hot.” Barton added.

“Sorry Boss.” He had no explanation other than fright.

“The job is dangerous enough without an agent freezing.”

Barton told him the first day, that he wanted to test how well he’d react in the midst of a real life situation. “It’s always best to see if a recruit can swim with the little fishes before putting him in the face of a shark.” Manx knew he’d drowned.

 “Report to me after medical is finished with you.” Barton turned and walked away.  Dismissing the agent without a word.

“We got another one Boss!” An agent yelled from the opened door of a van.


 Manx watched Barton jog over to the van while his team worked on the Werewolf creature Pauli Keys. He sighed and walked over to the medic van. He’d washed out of the ISBI.

Chapter One

                                                 The Witness


“Oh Shit! There’s so much blood!”

Sara Doe gasped at the sight of the mangled, bloody bodies lying on the floor. Thick, rich crimson had spattered across the modest kitchen of the Elton's home, in odd shapes and designs. That mimicked the wet finger paintings of a child.

 “Nell!” She rushed to her foster mother’s side, gagging at the putrid smell emitting from her open wounds.   The stench caused Sara to shiver.  Queasiness, forced her to swallow hard. “Dear God!”

Thick clots of blood caked Nell’s thin blond hair and pooled around her head.  It ran from a face frozen in fright with pupils starin, absent of sight. Sara made herself look at the gaping hole seeping blood from her foster mother’s carcass void of organs.

Still hopeful, she reached out with a shaky hand to touch Nell’s body. She brought her hand away fast from the lifeless flesh, that gave her goose bumps and an unwanted chill down her spine. “Jesus!”

  Sara stopped just short of putting her hands to her mouth. “Oh Shit!”

She rushed to her feet, wiping the sticky mess on her already smeared and tattered jeans. When she looked again, they’re still stained. “Ewww!” 

Frighten, she wiped her hands again, but it was no use.

Sara ran from the room, avoiding the pools of congealed blood that littered the kitchen. She felt their creepy blind stares on her back as she entered the laundry room.

 She kicked off her tennis shoes and removed her clothes, dumping them in a large garbage bag before washing up at the large sink with a towel. Sara scrubbed until the towel came away clean. Then she cleaned her snickers before throwing the towel in the bag too.   I’ll burn them later.

Sara searched the hamper for clothes. She found a pair of day old black jeans, a black tee-shirt with a mustard stain on the front and her favorite black hoodie with the white angel wings on back.

After dressing, Sara knew she had to come up with a plan. She gathered up the bag and shoes to return to the kitchen, but as soon as she crossed the threshold Sara heard the first screeching sounds of sirens.

 “Shit, the police!”

 She didn’t have time to freak.  Sara slipped into her shoes, grabbed a knife from the cutting board and did the only thing she could do, she ran from the house to hide.

Chapter Two

Xavier Burgot ran through the narrow streets as the sun moved further behind the horizon.  The traffic on the south side of the city was thin as cars began to turn on their headlights. There’s few pedestrians to be bumped and dodged making it easy for him to weave in and out of the oncoming traffic.

“I’m right behind you!” Rocco Alverza laughed, giving chase.

Xavier knew the city; as a wolf in the night, he ran its length many times just for fun. He made a hard turn through a shade filled alleyway. In the fast disappearing sunlight, the shadows pooled around him as if a dark fabric dropping from the sky.

  Xavier loved to run, loved the flow of wind against his face and tousling his hair. He liked to see buildings and people moving past him in a blur.  He loved the feeling of the blacktop under his feet. But he yearned for was the openness of an ever present distance horizon.

The two frisky friends taunted each other as if pups. A few street kids tried kicking around a soccer ball thought they’d run with the older boys. “Wanna play?” one of them asked.

“Sure kid.” Rocco slowed to show them a few tricks. “Check this out!”

 While Rocco showcased his poor skills, Xavier’s senses caught a whiff of something that compelled him to keep running.

The nose of a werewolf can sniff out anything including emotion.  Xavier caught a trace of fear and something else.  An unusual aroma that he’s never encountered. The interesting scent forced him to discover its origin.

 A hypnotic, piquant odor filled his senses, called to his animal nature and deep primitive desires. The volatile fragrances drew him like a powerful magnet, he couldn’t resist.

This fragrance wasn’t something meant to be shared, it was his and his alone.

  “Later kids, wait up Xavier!” Rocco dashed after his friend.

Xavier neared the busy intersection caught off guard. He stopped fast. It allowed Rocco to catch up with him.

“Wow, you smell that?” Rocco uttered with understandable strain. They weren't dogs having to sniff around to track a scent. They have a higher level of recognition and can detect a scent from miles away.  This particular odor filled the air with its sharpness. “Oh man!”

The fresh, pungent scent of carrion filled them with a yearning to wolf out. The boys looked seventeen, but they weren’t new wolves with little control over their desires.  They’ve been werewolves for over a century, hunted for the community and helped new werewolves to control their wolf.

Blood hunger wasn’t Xavier’s problem.

 The rich, exotic aroma he'd pursued fused with the overpowering scent. The combination of fear, blood, and death was a dangerous concoction. It meant only one thing.

 “There’s been a murder!” Rocco proclaimed.

Chapter Three

“An Amber Alert!”  Captain Albertson barked into the phone. “Wash is that necessary?”

 “Best judgment here Cap,” Homicide Detective Wash replied. “The girl’s fifteen; she’s at risk for either bodily harm or she could be dead too.”

  Albertson sighed. “Are we sure she’s not out with friends? We don’t want more attention drawn there unless we have too.”

“This is my best judgment based on the evidence.” A flash of the murder room crossed his mind.  In his twenty years on the force and fifteen in homicide, Wash’s never seen so much carnage. 

 “She might’ve run Cap, but what if she didn’t.  A victim, hostage, whatever the case, we need to find her to take her out of the equation.”

 “Agreed, but try to keep a low profile. This is Lincoln Park; we don’t want it getting away from us.”

“Understood.” Wash stared at the young police officer standing beside his city issue

The first on the scene was Officer Wilburn. He’s long, lean and handsome, perhaps too handsome for law enforcement. There’s a glimmer in his eyes that’s shouting he’s fresh out the academy and eager to get his hands dirty.  He’d ask the officer to hang around, there seemed something seemed off.  Wash wanted to go over his report again.

  “Alright, I’ll get her description out to the proper channels.” Albertson drew him back to the conversation. “But get it done Wash.”

“Yes sir.”

Wash placed the phone on his belt.  “Run it by me again Officer.”

“Mrs. Booken.” Wilburn pointed across the street where an officer stood talking with a woman dressed in a pink gown. Even in the dark Wash saw her bewilderment. “She called 911 at 2012 complaining about the noise.”

“What kind of noise?”

“Shouting mostly, she’s called before concerning their fun.”  His smile left as soon as it appeared.

“Okay.” Wash made an entry in his notebook. “Go on.”

“While she’s on the phone with dispatch, she heard multiple gunshots.”

“Does she know how many?”

“No Detective.”

“What time was this?”

  He looked through his notes. “2027, I got here five minutes later.”

“What did you see?”

“I waited until my partner got here a few minutes later. We checked around the house first. The place’s quiet and dark except for a light coming from the open kitchen door in the back. We went inside, saw the slaughter and called it in after doing a quick search.”

“Did you see or hear anything once you entered the house, think?”

Wilburn focused for a moment. “Nothing Detective, like I said, we did a quick search of the house and secured the scene until you guys arrived.”

That’s the same report he gave earlier at the walk-through so what’s nagging at him, Wash pondered? The academy taught a recruit to give the fact and never volunteer information.

 “Got something you want to add?”

The officer’s handsome face broke in a concentrating frown. “I don’t think so.” He focused a moment longer before the light bulb moment. “Oh! The girl’s bedroom.”

“What about it?”

“The door was closed.”

Wash narrowed his eyes. “Closed, are you sure?”

Wilburn nodded. “At first we thought that the perpetrator hid inside. But when we went to search, we didn’t find anyone.”

Wash didn’t like this one bit. “Why would her bedroom door be closed?  If she ran, it would be open.” He thought aloud.

 Wilburn frown deepened. “You think she went out of the window?”

“What window?”

Chapter Four

“We saw her window open, but just assumed she went out the door.”

 Wilburn led Wash to the opposite side of the house where a large oak stood as a dark sentinel.  The area’s covered in shadows, but the light glowing from the cruisers brighten their path. An open window on the second floor held shadows of techs moving about the room.

“That’s the girl’s room?”  The tree’s large branches could hold a girl, but they were too far away from the house for her to jump.

   Wilburn nodded. “So that’s her way out the house? She hears the screams, got scared and decided to climb out of a two story window, but how?” 

 It’s a sound theory, Wash thought. He’d seen people run from crimes scene plenty of times. Adrenaline makes a person do things that seemed crazy. He saw a woman locked in a burning room; throw her children from a two story building to save their lives.  People did amazingly stupid things when frightened.

 Wash didn’t know a lot about fifteen year old girls.  Hell, the little he knew about women could be put in a tea cup, but what if she’d done this heroic feet, just to go meet a boy. Fear and lust are the world’s greatest motivators. 

 “Or this was her way back inside, see if you can climb up there Wilburn.”

 “On it!” The young officer didn’t hesitate; he crossed over and began to climb the tree.

An owl hooted just as Sergeant Powers sauntered up to him like a bantam ghoul.  “Detective Wash!” 

Wash jumped.

“Shit man!"  He frowned. "Where are we on the search Sergeant?”

“Got officers canvassing the neighborhood, the canine unit is here. If the girl is still in the area, we’ll find her.”

“Any word on her family, anyone she might reach out to for help?” Wash shivered. The sergeant gave him the willies.

“Do you remember about ten years back when a Forest Ranger found a girl in the woods upstate?” Powers asked.

Wash rubbed his head. “Can’t say that I do; so this Sara Doe’s some missing kid?”

“No, she isn’t missing, just never claimed. Thus her, sir name, Doe.”

Wash shook his head. “What about friends, classmates?”

“Nothing on friends of either gender; it looks like the Elton kept the girl lock down.”  Wash looked up at Wilburn progress. He’s having problems finding his footing.

“Okay, take point on the search; but let me know the minute they find anything.” Wash ordered.

“Yes Detective.” Powers headed back into the gloom like a specter.

  He looked back up, but Wilburn had already disappeared inside the window.

“I don’t ever want to be young and naïve again.”

Wash stepped back to the front of the well-kept house, but remained in the shadows watching the flashing lights of cruisers and emergency vehicles lining the middle class neighborhood.

 The Mayor’s pet project was the gentrification of the Southside.  Lincoln Park was news even before this double homicide. But Wash still frowned when a group of TV vans parked on the opposite side of the street behind the yellow tape but well within view of the house.

“Damn, this is messy.”

Wash’s happy to see the chief medical examiner Dr. Robe, step from the city van. They’re sending out the A team on this, he thought grabbing an officer from a group hanging around the porch. “Get that crime tape moved further out!”                                                             


Chapter Five

 It’s the perfect hiding place.

Sara found the crawl space a few months ago when she saw a squirrel climb through a hole under the house. It took her two days to work the wooden boards loose enough for her to squeeze inside. The small enclosure was the height of the crawl space under her bed with just enough legroom.

The hide-a-hole became her refuge from Nell’s cruelty and Tom’s fists.  Her solace, the place where she didn’t have to pretend for Social Workers, DHS or her foster parents, is also the perfect place to dig a hole.

Sara used the knife to remove the soft dirt to hide the bag full of blood smeared clothes. The next best thing to burning them, she thought.

While she covered the hole, Sara listened to the police sarcastic bantering about her parents. She lay on her stomach breathing hard, hearing them search the house and the surround vicinity. When they called out her name, she didn't answer. All the while hoping they wouldn’t find her under the house until she’s ready.

 Sara got mad when she overheard a neighbor telling the police about the Elton’s abusive nature.

  “I don't won't to speak ill of the dead. And mind you that girl has a temple, but it’s just awful how those people treated that child.”

  The neighbors knew they abused her, yet none of them lifted a finger to help.

She hated them, all of them.


Sara knew they were dead.  It wasn’t some strange devotion to her abusers that made her rushed to their side, just simple human instinct. She loathed the two people that made life a living hell for years. Yet in that moment, seeing their disemboweled distorted bodies, Sara sensed something other than what she’d always borne toward the Elton’s. She pitied them.

  The police wasn’t going to believe her story, not with her juvenile record. Her only choice was to hide until she came up with a version of the truth that they'd believe.

Sara planned to wait the police out, but feeling closed in and fidgety changed everything.

 The dark, small, spider webbed enclosure was a different place at night. The weird multi-legged things crawling around and over her body made Sara shivered.  When something with many hairy legs walked across her arm, she assumed it’s one of those flesh eating insect attracted by the blood in the bag. She saw a program on the nature channel that talked about them.

 “Ewww.”   She whispered, shaking the insect off her arm. It’s time to leave, she deduced.

 Besides, she had a plan.  Sara had her hand on a board to remove it when she heard the barking of a dog at the gap of her opening.

“She’s in here!” Some man shouted. While the dog continued to bark, someone began to pull away the boards.

 “They’ve found me!” Sara scurried further back inside the darkness.

 “Hello, are you in there?” A young male officer stuck his head inside; he flashed his light around the dark space until it landed on Sara’s frightened face. “You can come out now Sara, I’m with the police. I’m not going to hurt you.”

 “I hope not.” She whispered.              

Chapter Six

He’s close.

 Xavier smelled the thrill of the kill still lingering in the air. But that wasn’t what led him through a thicket of bushes. He’d have continued on, but Rocco grabbed his shirt. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“I need to find out what happened.”                                            

“Why?” The six foot four, slender,  young man looked both fierce and beautiful.

In 1893 a hungry werewolf came upon the last living person in a desolate Maasai settlement. A young warrior crawled on all four fighting off a swarm of hovering vultures.  The madness of starvation glared in his eyes, but he fought them off the skeleton remains of his wife and child. The strength observed in the warrior convinced the werewolf to add him to his Pack.

A natural protector, fear wasn’t part of Rocco’s character. They ran the streets as wolves, reveled in the thrill of the hunt, and partook of their spoils. They knew the city held dangers for man and wolf alike, but this night held her own special blend of perils.  Rocco held Xavier back from himself.

  Xavier yanked his shirt free from Rocco’s gasp. “You’re challenging me?”

Rocco didn’t move. He narrowed his eyes at his best friend.

Xavier’s self-discipline, strength and fortitude spoke volumes about his Alpha nature. It would one day serve him well as a leader. However, as a Beta, Rocco’s not only a warrior, but a guardian of the Pack. They've never tested the limits of their fighting skills on each other.  Insight, warned that this wasn’t the time. “You don’t think I got a whiff her?”

It’s a simple question, but one that seemed to defused Xavier’s temper. The scent had made him foolish; territorial over something that doesn’t belong to him, at least not yet.

“I’ve got to follow this through.”

 Rocco nodded, knowing the pull on his friend. “If she’s killed…”

“I understand.” Xavier  turned from his friend and stepped through the thicket.




Rocco watched Xavier vanish through the underbrush. The emotional impact the endorphins had on his mind and body were overwhelming, even for his century old wolf.  Rocco’s lips curved at the corners, he knew actually how Xavier felt.  It’s fortunate for him that he found his mate decades ago or his friend would have a rival. He suddenly frowned.

The shadows grew longer as the new moon replaced the sun.  The moon affected the chemistry already coursing through Rocco’s system.  It only added to the feeling of dread rising in his gut.

Moonstruck werewolves are territorial and dangerous creatures. Newly formed are suspicious, edgy, and menacing. However, Rogues are traitorous, cunning beasts with no loyalties.  He didn’t know which Xavier chased in his haste to mate. 

Added to that the possibility of violence whenever two strange Wolves meet, plus the call of a new moon and it made for a dangerous, possibly deadly night.

Rococo sighed; he’s not a fan of dark, damp woods, preferring instead the openness of the dusty savannah of his homeland. But he couldn’t let Xavier face this night alone in his condition.

“Here I go into the jungle!” He stepped through the thick, tangled plant life of the underbrush to follow his friend.   

Chapter Seven

Wash needed to get a feel for Nell and Tom Elton as people before seeing them as victims. In order to do that he had to understand how they lived.  He walked around looking over the shoulders of the crime scene techs as they swept the house for evidence.

 He’s impressed with Tom Elton’s cache of assorted guns on display behind a trick-door in the living room wall.  The gold platted Berretta they found beside his body had half its clip expelled.

The techs found a small fortune of cocaine hidden in a box of frozen peas in the refrigerator. And a drawer full of assorted colorful drug stained paraphernalia in the living area. So it didn’t surprise Wash when they found a hide-a-hole in their walk in closet. It had a large purple velvet lined jewelry box with crimson and diamond jewelry as well as a few thousand dollars in 100 dollar bills.

“Don’t know what’s going on in this house?”

Wash stood in Sara Doe’s bedroom looking at the large knife in a tech’s gloved hand. “Where did you find it?”

“Under the pillow, there are a few razor blades in her sock drawer too.” Wilburn answered, pointing to the open drawers of the bureau.

The room wasn’t, but a closet with a bed, and nowhere near as deck out as the rest of the house. “This is piss poor!”

Wilburn frown. “Why would she need all these blades?”

“They’re for protection; anything else?” Wash went to look inside her closet. There’s just a few worn pieces of clothes and a pair of old boots.

“Kid hasn’t got much.” Wilburn offered while the techs continued to work. “My little sister Carol, she’s fourteen; girl got like all kinds of pictures on her wall and posters of some teen idol.”

 “There are no signs of a hobby or sports, nothing.” Wash stared at her bare walls.  Sara had nothing that said she belonged.  “Who are you Sara Doe?”

He walked over to the open window and looked down. Wash couldn’t make that jump from the window to the closet limb, not with his knees. “Closed door; open window.”

Cases involving kids were always messy.  “Could a fifteen year old girl make that climb?”

“If she’s Gina Carano sure.” Wilburn replied.

Wash nodded; he stopped thinking about the girl to wrap his mind around what he knew about the Elton’s.  Who would want to kill them? Wash asked himself.  That murder room didn’t look like a dealer’s handy work, so who else, the kid?”

He didn’t think that’s likely either.

Wash gazed at the night sky. The full moon was bright, but paled in light of the harsh lighting of the cityscape. He’s tried and knew it was a factor in the way he felt about the victims.

An officer interrupted his mulling. “Doctor Rode said he’s ready for you Wash.”  

Chapter Eight

“Throw the knife out first Sara.”  The officer instructed.

It came out the hole he made between the wooden boards.

 “Now come out, hands first.”

 Sara crawled from her dark hiding place, surprised at the dazzling display of flashing lights from an array of cars and vans that filled the street. She covered her eyes against the glare.

“Hands down!” the officer shouted. He grabbed her by the hands and yanked Sara the rest of the way out the hole. He laid her face down on the ground with his knee planted in her back so she couldn’t move.

  "Oh! You said you wouldn’t hurt me!”  She scowled under his weight.

“I’m sorry,” he removed his knee, “but I needed you to do what I told you, okay.”

 She didn’t reply.  It wasn’t okay the police always lied. She hated them.

The officer placed Sara's hands on top of her head to search her thin frame.  She trembled as his hands ran over the length of her body. Sara blocked out the memories that threatened to surface.  “I’m just making sure you haven’t got any more weapons.”

He cuffed her small hands in his, trapping them behind her back.  “Come on, let’s go.” The officer tried to yank Sara off the ground, but found it difficult. “Stand up Sara.” 

She got to her feet in one swift move.

  Nell’s words boomed in Sara’s ears as the officer led her away. “All we have to do is call the police and they’ll take you away. Bye, bye, locked up never to be seen again.”

  The system in place to protect her taught Sara one thing, she couldn’t rely on the system.   In fact, it trained her to mistrust it from the moment she entered foster care.  She’s been in four homes and each helped to hard-wire fear and mistrust into her brain.

They walked passed officers who cheered, patting each other on the back, shaking hands and smiled, but some of them stared. One tall ghoulish cop in particular stared at her with loathing. The words she’s always heard lay dull in his eyes.

 “We don't like you, and we don't have to. You’re part of the system kid and when you grow up you’ll doubtless go to jail!”

 It surprised Sara that they weren’t heading for a cruiser; instead he took her up the stairs to the house.

“I don’t want to go back in there!” she pulled out of the officer’s tight grip.

“Hey, it’s okay! A detective just wants to talk with you about what happened here tonight. He’s going to help find out who killed your parents.”

“Foster parents!” Sara yelped. “I haven’t got parents!”

  The noise of police chatter inside the house seeped outside to greet them. The overhead light on the porch where they stood allowed the pity to shine in the officer’s blue eyes. She didn’t need or want his pity. It wasn’t going to get her out of this; she’ll need her wit Sara thought. She narrowed her eyes at the officer.

The officer sighed. He grabbed her arm and led her into the house.   



Xavier stared into the dark, thick underbrush, his heart thumping hard against his chest.  He decided not to transform, but let his nose led him through the thick bushes. Xavier walked fast, ducking under low line limbs and through thick, tall, grass until he could pick up his pace.   He didn’t need a light; his wolf’s vision allowed him to see in the dark.

Xavier ran towards her scent. It blended into a mosaic of aromas, pushing him forward through the dim. He heard the sirens long before he reached a shadowy alcove. Werewolves are supposed to avoid the cops, but curiosity and that wonderful scent got the better of him.

Night fell while Xavier stayed within the shadows. He sat on the hard, dry ground underneath a grove of thick sycamores staring at the chaos.

The police had cornered off an entire block. No one got in or out without being stopped and searched.  A helicopter flew overhead, its lights slicing through the darkness, while news crews’ set up along the yellow police tape. A large crowd gathered to watch the activity surrounding a house peppered with police cruisers, emergency vehicles, officers, and police dogs.

Was she in there? He needn't wonder. Xavier still smelled the scent of blood and fear, but something was different, it had changed. She was no longer a part of the muck that clouded his senses. Instead, he recognized her pleasing odor underneath the layers. its a tantalizing mix of a warm summer breeze combined with the rich headiness of exotic flowers and fruits. In it was her personal uniqueness and charisma.

Xavier inhaled. Her distinctive aroma woke his primitive nature. 

Chapter Nine

“Man Rode, I can’t understand how this doesn’t bother you?”

Wash took pictures of the murder room, imagining seeing things from the viewpoint of the killer.  But he couldn’t see where a dog played in this. There wasn’t a dog bowl, chew toy or food in the place, but there were clear large paw prints tracked in the blood.

 Wash swallowed back the remains of his dinner as the waft of blood and death met him in the room.  All his years as a homicide detective, he’s yet to be gifted with an iron stomach.

“Still having a problem with the aroma of death, Detective?”   Rode smiled.

 Wash dipped a finger into a bottle of Vicks and smeared it under his nose.

  “It’s not just the odor so much as the job that’s got my stomach in a twist.” Wash replied, remembering the conversation he had with Albertson a few minutes ago.

 “So what we got Doctor?” Wash made his way through the splattering of congealed blood and crime markers to reach the medical examiner.  He kneeled beside the dismembered corpse of Nell Elton.

 “It seems body parts Detective,” Rode replied, keeping his head down and his hands inside the cadaver. “Someone ripped your victims apart.”

Wash listened while Rode explained the victim’s wounds. “Their livers, hearts, and a pair of kidneys are missing, but I’ll know more once I get them on the table.”

“So what are you saying, someone killed them for body parts?”

“What I’m saying is, I don’t know how they died, yet.” Rode signaled for a tech for help.

Wash watched Rode, and the tech turned the torso over on its side where the right arm’s missing. “See here, this pattern around her right shoulder. Those deep lacerations are inconsistent with a tool like a serrated knife. Both bodies have the same kind of scratches and wounds; whoever did this I don’t think they were looking for body parts.”

“Then why take their organs?”

Rode didn’t respond. He put the corpse down to examine other areas of the body.


Rode sighed. “The significant injuries, gouging type and what look like bites, it’s almost.” He sighed again.  “Those scratches appear to be animal mutilation.”

  Wash was aghast. “What?”

Rode gazed up at Wash. “Whoever did this ripped those parts out, Wash. No one does that, not if they plan on selling the parts. They wouldn’t be viable.”

Wash face twisted. “So what’re you saying an animal killed them?”

“I want to show you something.” He grabbed a pen from his pocket and pointed to the victim exposed rib. “See here, those marks are consistent with teeth marks.” He moved the pen around the inside of the corpse. “The element of tearing here and here are all characteristics of animal predation.  These are not post-mortem injuries either.” He put the pen back in his pocket, his eyes austere. “You want to know why they’re removed,   I can’t say for sure, but it wasn’t by human means.”

“There are paw prints around the bodies; you think someone let a dog loose on them?” Wash remembered there’s a murder a few years ago where a man died after a vicious dog attack, but it didn’t look anything like this carnage.

Robe went back to examining the corpse. “I’m not sure I’ll know more once I get to look at the wounds under my equipment.”

“Great, now I’m supposed to be looking for some deranged person with a man eating dog?”

He’s about to ask another question when someone called his name.

“Hey Wash!  They found the girl.”


  Dr. Rode didn’t glimpse up from the body as Wash made his way back out the kitchen. He felt guilty for not doing his job.  It’s crucial for the Medical Examiner to help successfully investigate any case. Trust and honesty are essential in the relationship between the investigator and examiner.

He’s never held back vital information during the commission of his job.   Today, however,  he purposely withheld  critical details. He lied about the facts, but he did so in order to save lives.  


Chapter Ten


Sergeant Powers watched Sara Doe across the yard and walk up the stairs. The pale glow of the overhead light on the porch made her pretty features look ethereal.  He saw the coat of fear in her dark eyes and heard the rapid beat of her heart. The girl smelled scared. But his nose also told him that she’s the source of the mixture of aromas filling the night skies.

Power witnessed death in all her many forms over the centuries. He remembers with a shiver the many times he’s killed for blood hunger.  An old wolf, he’s long ago lost his lust for killing.  Death and feasting on fear’s blood no longer called to his wolf. He’d quelled that alluring desire a century ago. However, what lingered in the night made him want to howl at the moon and run on a hunt. The wish to feast on fear’s blood grew within every fiber of his being. He quenched his desires with sure well. 

“Who are you?”  Powers asked the night suppressing the primal instinct within.   He waited until Sara Doe went into the house before making the call.



Zoe Burgot didn’t make it a habit to listen in on her husband’s conversation. It wasn’t as if she had her ear to the door eavesdropping.  Werewolves just had very good hearing.  

“Goddamn! Are you sure Powers?” Dante paused. “Shit! I want you to get to the morgue and make sure they get put down! We can’t have them popping up around here drawing attention to us." He paused again. “Get me everything they got on this case! I need to stay on top of this.”

 Zoe heard his heavy pacing on the wood floor of the living area. “Get us access to where their holding this rogue Powers, so we can put her down tonight!”

Zoe listened to the one sided conversation from their bedroom upstairs.  She saw the report of the double homicide on the news. That had to be it; she pondered, a rogue killed that young couple. That's bad for everyone.

 The Pack's a community of families and friends; everyone monitored the airwaves for any signs of questionable activity. If something went down the local Alpha was informed. In this area that's the leader of the Bloods, her husband Dante Burgot.

 The Alpha maintained order with a strong hand.  “Find Big Boi, I want him on this.”

Zoe gasped.

 Big Boi's a dangerous Beta, whose challenges Dante at every turn. He’s also the Blood’s best assassin. If Dante asked for Big Boi, he wanted this done quiet and fast.

 She wondered if this was a new-formed werewolf, they were rare in the city. It’s against Pack rules to make a wolf without the Alpha’s okay.  Whenever one popped up they’re generally made from a young untrained wolf or a rogue. Rogues got put down along with any victims; they sired to protect the Pack.

What Zoe overheard amounted to a kill order for this untrained, dangerous werewolf. 

  Zoe listened to the deafening silence creeping up the stairs and knew Dante had ended the call.  She opened the door and went downstairs to talk with her husband.



She found Dante in his office on the far end of the house. He stood at the large bay windows a cloak of stillness. His Anglo-French surname betrayed his dark skin, coal eyes, and high cheek bones. Thick black curls touched his broad shoulders. Dante didn’t turn to face Zoe, but she saw in the dark glass that his wide sensual mouth was firm in concentration.

 He wasn’t what anyone would call beautiful, nor was he tall or thick. In human terms he would be plain, but Dante's anything but ordinary.  An Alpha in every way imaginable, Dante’s masculine presence made heads turn. It’s that wave of power that washed over her and made her surrender to his wolf over five centuries ago.

“Powers said it’s the child.” Dante’s thick voice thundered through the quietness.

 Zoe inhaled sharply. “A child?”

“Someone turned a child!” Dante turned to face Zoe.  His dark eyes met hers before glowing yellow with anger. “What evil does that?”

“I don’t know.” Her husband took these things personally.

“I’m doing what’s right for the community.”

She’s watched over the centuries, how the weight of his decisions has taken its toll on him physically.  Zoe's tried to relieve him of that stress in her own way by sharing his burden. “I know.”

 She walked to him, as his submissive, but has never coward to his power.  They’re a mated pair. Her authority in the community comes from her position as his mate; his strength comes from the fortitude of their love.  They made a perfect team. “Tell me everything.”

Chapter Eleven

  “Hello Sara my name Detective Wash.”

What broke across his face was a smirk of a smile. She met the Homicide Detective in the foray. He was a big red bear of a man with green eyes and short dirty blonde hair, who stared at Sara with suspicion while he and the young officer spoke in whispers.  

 Sara frowned, she didn’t like Wash. 

Adults smiled like that when they’re trying to be nice. That false pretense has never fooled anyone, especially a foster kid.

Wash had formed an opinion, his eyes and that smile told her one thing, he didn’t like kids. So be it, Sara didn’t smile back at the tall red man.

 “I know you were scared Sara,” Wash began. “What you experienced no one should have gone through. Is it alright if I ask you a few questions about what happened here tonight?”  

Sara nodded, giving him, her eyes.

Wash took her around the house. “I want you to look around and tell me if anything missing, anything at all.” Sara stood next to him looking at the mess they’d made in her foster parent’s room.

“I don’t see anything missing.”

They had gone from room to room checking, she knew there's nothing missing. 

They stood in the hallway now, the one adjacent to the kitchen in full view of the bodies forever frozen in death. Wash positioned her where she could watch the activities inside.

She knew Wash wanted her to see the blood, watch the violation their home, and probed the bodies of two people she had known as parents just to gage her reaction. 

If he wanted to unnerve her it was working, this was too surreal.

This wasn’t one of those crime scene shows Nell watched, but the real thing Sara thought. And it felt wrong to be watching what they were doing to Nell and Tom. These people were disrespecting them somehow and it made her sick.

Sara couldn’t tell if Wash noticed her uneasiness or he simply didn’t care, nothing showed in his cold eyes. It's possible this was his plan, to upset her enough that she'd trip up when answering his question.

Sara stiffened her back, he don’t know me. I’ve kept their secrets for years.

“Did you ever overhear your foster parents having an argument with someone, a friend or family member?”


“Did your foster father ever get into an altercation with anyone over money or a bill?”

“You mean a fight? That wasn’t Tom style.”

“What was his style?”

The musky stench of blood prickled her nose and made her stomach recoil. Sara was about to respond when the first wave of thick vomit filled her throat.

She gagged.

“What’s wrong Sara?” Wash stiffened.

 Sara put her hand to her mouth to hold the vomit back, but before she could swallow, another wave came in a vile rush.  She spewed out the nasty substances like a volcano eruption.   

“Holy Shit!” Wash yapped stepping back in time or it would have spattered all over him.

 “Sorry.” Sara wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. She wasn’t that sorry.

“Damn!” Someone yelled. “Wash we’re busy enough without having to seal an area off from the crime scene.”

Wash shrugged. “Sorry guys.”

He took Sara down the hall passed the downstairs bathroom to the front of the house.  “I need to wash my mouth out.”

“In a minute.” Wash opened a door to a room off the living area. He looked inside before pushing her forward. “In here.” 

“Can I get some water at least?”

“Okay, have a seat.”

He spoke to an officer at the door before closing it to the noise and chaos. He walked over to take a seat across from Sara to continue his questions.

“So tell me what happened this evening?”

“I told you.” Sara groaned.

“Tell me again.”

Sara sat in a chair within a room, Nell never allowed her to enter. She was tired and didn’t want to answer any more of Wash questions. What she wanted was to brush her teeth and take a long hot shower, but that didn’t look like it would happen anytime soon.




Wash had drilled her with a barrage of repetitive questions while they walked around the house looking at the destruction incurred by their search and despite her discomfort at staring at those bodies Sara never changed her story.

 “I found them on the floor, blood everywhere.” She made a face.

“Start at the beginning, when did you come home?”

She told Wash that she went to the mall with friends and came home to find her foster parents dead.

“It was around 8:30 or 9:00.”

“Which was it closer too, 8:30 or 9:00?”

Sara shrugged. “I guess nine.”

“Okay, go on.”

“I saw the door to the kitchen opened.”

“Is that the way you usually come into the house?”


He waved for her to continue. “So I went inside.”

“What's the first thing you saw?”

“Blood, lots of blood, it was everywhere.”

“Did you hear anything footsteps, a dog barking, running water anything?”

She frowned. “No.”

“What about the smell? Besides the smell of blood was there any other odor in the room. Think now, did you smell anything like a cologne or perfume?”

“No, just the smell of blood.”

Wash nodded. “Did you rush right in or walked in slowly?”

“I saw Nell first and… rushed inside, or at least I thought it was Nell.” She spoke to him, but looked over his shoulder at a point on the wall. It's as if she saw it play out again on a big screen.

“She was one big blob on the floor so I went to help her, to see if she was still alive. I must have known she was dead; she had to have been dead. I touched her body; I think I touched her body. It was cold, so cold.” Sara shivered. “That’s when I got scared and ran out the room.” She answered truthfully.

Wash sat back in his chair to allow Sara to compose herself for a moment.  A knock at the door made him get to his feet.  He opened it and talked in whispers with an officer before returning.

 “Here, drink this.” Wash handed her a glass of water.

“Thanks.” Sara took a large swallow to rinse out her mouth, and then she drank the rest. She placed the empty glass on the side table next to her chair with a shaky hand.

 Wash watched carefully. “You okay?”

Sara nodded.

“Ready to continue?”

She nodded again.

He scooted to the edge of his chair to read from his notes. “You said you touched your foster mother, but your hands aren’t stained?”

“Maybe I didn’t, I’m not sure.” She rubbed her forehead.

“You’re not sure or you don’t remember?”

 “I don’t remember?”

Every detail of this horrible night was scorched into Sara’s brain.  She remembered how hard it was to remove their blood off her hands, she’ll never forget how it got there, she thought, never.

Despite the noise in the house that penetrated the room, it was silent between the two. Wash stared at her with his intimidating green eyes, while the silence became so uncomfortable that Sara found herself shouting in frustration.

 “You think I didn’t this! You think I killed them?”

  “I don’t know what to think Sara,” Wash said, sneering. “I’m just trying to find out what happened here, piece together the puzzle. Like why you didn’t call the police? ”

“I told you I was scared!”

“What scared you Sara? You said you didn’t hear anything?”

 She hesitated for a moment.  “I was scared of you, okay!”

“Why would you be scared of the police?”

“I don’t trust the police.” She sneered.

Wash scowled, but didn’t say anything.

“Besides, I was on my way out when they found me.”

“That’s what the officer said too.” Wash frowned deepen. It sent his thick brow into a more innate connection with his broad forehead. “That’s a convenient excuse, but you could have let us know you weren’t a victim.”

“What reason would I have to kill them?”

She didn’t answer his question, Wash noticed. “You tell me?”

Sara knew that look, saw it too many times on the faces of social workers and state officials who evaluated her case every year. He wasn’t convinced she wasn’t involved.

“No one wants to hear the truth. There’s too much paperwork involve.” Sara offered instead.

“Try me.” Wash folded his arms over his chest.

“I already told you the truth!”

“How did you leave the house tonight Sara, was it through the kitchen door or through your window?”

And they wonder why she distrusted the police; they set traps for you to walk into.  Sara shook her head. “You know, people have their opinions about how horrible Foster Care is, but those who truly know are the children that live it every day. You have no idea what I went through living here with those people.”

“I need the truth, Sara, all of it!” Wash face turned red.

“I told you the truth!  No matter what I say now, I’m lying.”

 She told the truth about the abuse and neglect she received at the hands of Nell and Tom Elton, but not one person believed either.  Instead, they sided with them, her abusive caregivers who labeled her a liar, with lies of their own. So what she told him was a half-truth, it didn’t matter anyway, he wasn’t going to believe her.

 Sara met Wash’s glare with one of her own. She didn’t let it falter.

Chapter Twelve

Hardened by her circumstances with no faith in the system, Sara fears what people like Wash could do to her. But no matter how much he baited her with his bullying tactics, she wasn’t going to confess to murder. She hadn’t killed Nell and Tom.

“Fine, let’s go!”

Wash stood. He grabbed her by the arm to lift her from the chair. 

“Go where?”

He led Sara through the house, out the front door, and down the porch without saying a word.

This was the scenario that played out in Sara’s mind whenever Nell yelled. “This is why they put kids like you in jail, you deserve it! You’re a stain on sociality.”  

“You’re taking me to jail, for what!” She screeched. “I ain’t done nothing!”

 Sara dreaded going to jail for something she didn’t do. But it would be worse to go into another foster home.

She shuddered at the thought of not knowing where she’d end up next or how long she'd have to stay.  Another place that she didn’t choice, where she’s told she didn’t belong and was expected to be grateful.

Wash took her to a waiting cruiser parked in the drive. He opened the door, told her to watch her head, placing her inside.

Wash believed she had lied Sara supposed ducking to take a seat.

 “Where are you taking me?” She demanded an answer.

 “I’ve got a few more questions and then we’ll see.” Wash closed the door.

“We’ll see! Let me out of here!” She yelled, glaring at him through the window.

Wash stared at her for a moment, but didn’t respond. Instead, he turned, leaving her in the dark cruiser alone.

  Tears brimmed to the surface as Sara watched him walk over to talk with a tall, lean officer.

“Please let me out!” she whispered.

  Sara forced herself not to cry. She knew Wash didn’t see her, not really, the police never do. All they saw was the stigma she carried as a foster child, a ward of the state, a delinquent nobody.

She turned from Wash to watch the paramedics roll the heavy-laden stretchers out of the house with her foster parents secured in black plastic bags. In the darkness, where no one saw her tears, Sara could no longer hold back the floodgates she’s held since she saw their bloody bodies.

 After what she witnessed tonight, Sara knew should be dead too. She cried, not just for them, but because no one would believe the truth.

Sara stared at the lights and cameras of the news crews gathering, eager to film the gruesome. There were the nosy neighbors in their night clothes, flocking like vultures to see the festivity.

Sara averted her eyes from the crowd.

In the distance, just beyond the chaos and lights was a boy.  He’s cloaked in shadows, yet she felt his stare in the pit of her stomach. It's different than the others; as if touched with compassion and sympathy for her dilemma.

While tears fell, Sara felt a spark of hope.   Perhaps there’s someone out there that will believe her story.



Xavier stared into the dark, thick underbrush, his heart thumping hard against his chest.  He decided not to transform, instead he let his nose led him through the thick bushes. He hiked fast, ducking under low line limbs and through thick, tall, grass until he could pick up his pace.   He didn’t need a light; his wolf’s vision allowed him to see in the dark.

Once clear of the shrubberies, Xavier ran towards the intoxicating scent, her scent. It blended into a mosaic of aromas, pushing him forward through the dim. He heard the sirens long before he reached an alcove. Werewolves were supposed to avoid the police, but curiosity and that wonderful scent got the better of him.

Night fell, but Xavier stayed within the shadows of the overgrown nook staring at the chaos. The police had cornered off an entire block. No one got in or out without them stopping to search.  A helicopter flew overhead, its lights slicing through the darkness, while news crews’ set up along the yellow police tape. A large crowd gathered to watch the activity surrounding a house peppered with police cruisers, emergency vehicles, officers, and police dogs.

Was she in there? He still smelled the scent of blood and fear, but something was different, it had changed. She was no longer a part of the muck that clouded his senses. Instead, he recognized her pleasing odor underneath the layers of death, fear, and despair. In it was her personal uniqueness and charisma. Xavier inhaled her distinctive aroma, and it awakened him.

The smell of her conferred a great deal, much more than catching a mere sight alone.  Xavier wasn’t a reclusive, but he had the tendency to avoid people and crowds. Over the centuries, there’ve been many human women that shared his bed, yet none that made him feel this sense of knowing.

He’s gone a long time without finding a mate, that one person to make him feel complete. If he’s honest, he’s envied Rocco and the others who have mates.

For a lone wolf in the city, there were many obstacles that stood in the way of him finding a mate.  The obvious problem was demand. There are far fewer women werewolves than men.  Many died before the transformation or weren’t strong enough to handle the viciousness of their wolf.

But she’s strong, he thought, inhaling her again.

Just the smell of her made everything feel right.  



Chapter Thirteen

“What’s happened?” Rocco broke through the undergrowth to sit beside Xavier.

Hidden from the chaos within the shadows of the underbrush, they had a ring size seat to the police drama playing out before them. 

“Not sure, the police cornered off the street.”

The intoxicating smell of her conferred a great deal, much more than catching a mere sight alone.  Xavier wasn’t reclusive, but he had the tendency to avoid people and crowds. Although over the centuries, there’ve been many human women that shared his bed; none made him feel this sense of knowing.  

They watched the heavy laden stretcher being rolled out the house.

  “Damn, two murders.” Rocco frowned. “We got to call Dante.”

“And tell him what? We don’t have any idea what’s happened. The murderer might be human for all we know." In the days he'd walked as a human, he'd been an dispassionate teenager. Then fate played its hand. In all this time, he's yet to find a mate, that one person that'd make him feel complete.

Xavier eyes turned to Rocco. If he’s honest, he'd envied his friend of his relationship.

Rocco places a comforting hand on Xavier’s shoulder. “Don’t we Xavier.”

  He wasn’t going to let this opportunity get away. He shook off Rocco’s hand. “She's mine!”

Rocco stared at him bewildered. “She’s not your mate Xavier!" His voice stern, "She’s a new-formed at best, a Rouge at worst.”

 He reared up to fight, but caught sight of a tall red man leading a young girl out of the house.

That's her, she's beautiful, he thought, sandy haired and tall, but not as tall as the man.  

“Xavier, we got to report this to Dante. He might’ve sent an assassin to handle this by now.”

When Xavier spoke again, his voice was calmer. “We didn’t know if she did this.” He tried to convince himself, but panic course through his veins.  She’s no match for one of Dante’s assassins.

The big red man led the girl to a police cruiser parked in the drive. She looked gaunt, but walked beside officer indignant, with a regal air of an Alpha queen. 

“Dante might’ve sent an assassin to handle this already.” Rocco said.

Calmer, Xavier spoke. “No one knows if she's the killer.” But panic course through his veins, the girl's no match for one of Dante’s assassins. "Besides, if she's new she's untaught, a victim like the dead."

"You know that doesn't matter."

 But it must, he thought, inhaling her essence.

"They're going to put her down." Rocco proclaimed watching the man place the girl inside the police car.

 Not if I can help it. Xavier made the decision to protect her at any cost.




The pair were engrossed with the events across the street and would've missed the dog sniffing in their direction if it wasn't for their heighten physiological capacity to smell a threat. 

 “We got to go.” Rocco stood to leave just as the sound of a helicopter hovered overhead.

“Shit!”  He turned to run back into the underbrush.

 Xavier stood too, but stared one last time at the dark cruiser, before following his friend.

“There he is!” someone yelled, dogs barking. “Follow him boy.”

 Xavier increased his speed. No man or dog could outrun a wolf, but the German Shepard on his tail gave it his all. He thought they'd make a clean escaped, but he heard sounds up ahead. The police had laid a trap.

The pair ripped through the brushwood, leaving a trail the police couldn’t follow, but not their dogs.

“Jump!” Rocco said, realizing the truth too.

“We can’t change now, it’s too late.” The first rule of a Werewolf was to never let a mundane see you change. Although, the cops weren't close enough to see them change. The sudden appearance of two large wolves would draw suspension. “We got to split up!”

 “Shit! I should’ve never followed you in here.”

Xavier didn't catch the whiff of Rocco’s fear, but his disgust. He knew his friend hated the woodlands, but running deeper in the woods was the only way out. At least one of them would get away. 


Xavier waited until they were near the thickest of the vegetation.   “Now!”

They broke away. Rocco went left, and he went right.  


Chapter Fourteen

“Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Robert Robe, ending the autopsy of Tom Elton.” Rode snapped off his bloody rubber gloves.

“Do you want to get started on the woman now doctor?”  His lab clerk asked. Steve Fina stood at the large black counter weighing Elton’s brain on a scale.

Robe went to the big red contamination ben. He flipped the lid open with his foot pulled off his gown and threw it inside. “No, let’s get started on her tomorrow.”

“It’s already tomorrow sir.”

Robe looked at the clock on the wall over his office. It was two o’clock in the morning, he’d work through the night. I'm getting too old for these long nights.

 “Have her ready for me this evening.”

“You don’t want the day shift to handle it?” They usually handled any leftover corpse from the nightshift.

“No, I want to finish this case up myself.”

Steve nodded. After storing Tom Elton’s brain, he went to wrap corpse's remains. “Well you send the report over to Detective Wash tonight Doctor?”

Robe stood over the large sink washing his hands. “Yes, once I look over a few things.”

Steve nodded again while continuing to clean up after the doctor. He didn’t notice the strain on Rode’s face.

Robe looked at the digital recording device before heading to his office.

Once inside, he took a seat at his clutter-free desk,unsure how to process. It’s an issue of disclosure, he thought.

Robe knew he had to send Wash a copy of his findings, but he also knew the detective wouldn’t understand the implications of the report. He could disclose his findings to cover entities under the protected health information act without authorization from the detective in charge. But he's never gone over a detective’s head to contact the FBI.

After twenty years on the job, Robe was at a crossroad in his career. “I’m too old for this!”

Robe sent the report to Wash; then reached for the phone.  He waited just a heartbeat before someone pick up.

“You have reached the office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” a lovely female voice said. “How may I direct your call?”

“I need to speak with someone from ISBI.” Robe chimed with apprehension.

“Just a moment, sir, may I ask who you are?”

“I’m Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Robert Rode, calling from Memphis Tennessee.”

“Thank you, sir, and the nature of this call?”

“I believe we have a Werewolf running loose in the city.”




 Aged trees and thick shrubbery engraved the gardens and grounds, helping to secure the Chapman manor.  The roses and daisy covered most of the yard and bordered the two-story house, outbuildings and woods of the estate. But there were dandelions sprouting up on lumps of dirt scattered across the  gardens.

The dense night mist clung to the large brown wolf as he emerged from the darken woods.  Big Boi growled low, raising his hackles in anger at the sound of a ringing phone.  He strode over to a grassy knoll to lie down, licking the remains of blood from his huge maw and paws.

For most werewolves the transformation process is painful.  Despite his pain, Big Boi lay in a heap, motionless as if asleep. His thick fur matted  held gobs of blood that gripped at his human skin like a dejected lover, but he never yelled out. The sounds of bones cracking and setting were loud enough to drown out the ringing phone. Moments later, Dr. Dylan Chapman lay naked in the wet grass covered in discarded blood.

The phone continued to ring. He sighed. “What now?”

He hated any interruptions of his nightly hunts, tonight had been especially pleasing. Dylan stood on human legs. His strong, lean muscles, wet with mist, blood, and sweat, glistened in the moonlight as he walked over to the courtyard.

Dylan stepped down the dusty stairs from the garden to the patio. He looked at the clothes, folded neatly on a chair, but didn’t reach for them. Instead, he took a seat and reached for the phone.  “ Yeah.” 

“ Still tending to your garden?” asked the voice on the other end.

Dylan touched one of the red roses in the expensive eighteenth  century  vase on the table. They had withered under the harshness of the sun.

 “Sargent Powers, this must be important if you’re calling me?” Dylan put his feet up in another chair and brought the vase of roses closer to him.  He smelled one.  Roses were his mother’s favorite.  As a child, he’d planted the Heirloom around the estate. When summer came, he delighted in walking the grounds with her and seeing her smile.  He grabbed one of the large spray bottles and squirted the roses until they glistened in the rays of the moonlight.

His garden had all the earmarks of a man dedicated to the profession. Dylan Chapman was no gardener,  unless you counted the mounds of dirt scattered around the yard that hide evidence of his hunts.  

Dr. Dylan Chapman had been a doctor once, concerned with promoting human health. Until that night in 1876 when he tried to help a stranger.  It had taken years, but Dylan finally surrendered to his wolf and its Blood Hunger.  A century later, Big Boi is an insidious monster.

“This is Pack business.”  He heard the revulsion in Powers voice.

“Do tell.” Dylan smelled anther rose.

“Burgot needs your expertise in a matter.” Powers tried to make his voice sound indifferent.

Dylan smiled. Powers was loyal to a fault. There wasn’t any love lost between him and Dante, but as a Pack brother,  he tried to remain civil. But to follow the Alpha’s  led blindly, like some trained dog, he couldn’t do.  “Give me the specifics and I’ll see what I can do.”

"It's a young girl,"  Powers informed the assassin. “I’m sure you don’t have any problems with that?”

“ A kid!” Excited, Dylan got to his feet,  knocking over the vase. " I thought Dante said we didn’t do kids?"

"This is a special case, you up for a hunt?"

Dylan smile widened.   He felt the sharp, painful edge of a transformation, forming, as his canines protruded through his gums.   "Of course, tell the Alpha it'll be my pleasure to do his bidding."

Chapter Fifteen

“Breaking News! As we reported earlier, the victims of the double homicide on Beechnut in the middle-class neighborhood in the Lincoln Park area are Nell and Tom Elton both thirty two. They were murdered in their home this evening…”

Psychologist Tyrell Rogers reached over and turned off the radio. He’d parked his Civic in the pay parking lot across the street from the Criminal Justice Building, but sat to listen to the broadcast. The report revealed nothing new. He stared across the street at the building that's abuzz with activity, even at this late hour.

 It'd been a long, exhausting day. Although this was one of his rare days off at the hospital, Tyrell had spent most of it volunteering down at the department of children services as a child advocate. He wanted to spend his night in bed reading a medical journal. There's an informative article on early-childhood trauma and Post-traumatic stress that he was eager to read.

Often abuse and neglect were points of interest during any major crime investigation where children are involved. Tyrell’s extensive background in child psychology and advocacy meant he's frequently called on by the police department for his services.

So when his phone chimed, just as he was about to slide between the sheets, he didn’t hesitate to answer.  “Rogers?”

He threw on a shirt and jeans, grabbed his keys and rushed out the house curious about the foster child of the double homicide couple he heard about in the news.  

   “Guess I’ll find out now.” Tyrell opened the car door. He jogged across the unusually quiet Poplar Avenue to the Criminal Justice Building.

Before entering the front doors, he identifies the presence of a young man hiding in the shadows.




“Hey Doc!” The old desk Sergeant had just handcuffed a young man to the wooden beach when he spotted Tyrell walk through the door of the busy Precinct.

“Hello Smith, how’s your night going? It looks busy.” Tyrell smiled, he liked the old guy.

  The Sargent Smith shrugged. “It’s always going to hell around here, Doc. You here for that double?”

Tyrell nodded.

 “They called me in.” Tyrell walked up to the older man.

“Double homicide,” Smith shook his head. “In my day that was unheard of, but they’re all bad when a kid is involved.”

“That’s true.”

The Sargent sighed. He looked at the young man handcuffed to the beach. “This is Rocco Alverza. He’s seventeen with a juvenile rap sheet as varied as they come.”

“Variety is the spice of life.” The boy smiled.

“Why are you here tonight Rocco?” Tyrell asked.

He shrugged. “They tryin’ to frame me for something ain’t do.”

Tyrell examined the handsome young man.  Even though he's sitting down, it's obvious Rocco's unusually tall.  He had dark skin with dark eyes and thick black twist that touched his shoulders. For someone so young, the air around him felt daunting. 

“So you weren’t attempting to elude the police, cause wanton endangerment, or resisting arrest.” Smith shook his head and looked at Tyrell. “The gangs use the younger members to do the heavy lifting to earn their stripes.”

 “I ain’t scared of jail old man!” Rocco yelled undaunted. “Besides, all that’s circumstantial, unless you can prove I did a crime.”

“You were seen running from the scene of a murder.” Smith countered. “Why run if you didn't have anything to hide? Your suspicious action caused the officers to give chase. Once you were caught, you refused to say why you were in the area. That's the reason you're here. What have I missed?

“Don’t mean I did anything!” Defiant, Rocco sat back.  “Last I heard running ain’t no crime. Want to hold me, go right ahead, you still got to prove I did something.”

  Tyrell saw an ageless wisdom flash in the young man’s eyes and something else. He raised an inquisitive brow.

“Sure, kid stick with that.” Smith walked away. “Man, I hate to see kids in here.”

Tyrell paused for a moment. He met Rocco’s eyes. “You think the streets are the way out?”

A crooked smile crossed Rocco's thick lips.

“What? You think just because you’re black you know me?” Rocco bucked. “Walk a fucking day in my world; then come talk to me about another way.” He turned his head. “Step suit!”

Tyrell nodded and walked away.

“If he needs an advocate, let me know.” Tyrell pulled out his wallet and handed the seasoned officer one of his cards.  “Perhaps I can help.”

“Thanks Doc.”  Smith looked down at the card. “If only these kids wanted help.”

“They all want help Smith; it’s up to us, the adults in their lives to find a way to reach them.”

“Dr. Rogers?” An officer called from the back; drawing Tyrell’ attention.

“I guess that’s my cue. Talk with you later.” Tyrell walked past the desk. “Hope the night gets better.”

“Yeah, me too Doc.” Smith turned but didn't notice Rocco staring a hole in Tyrell’s back.


Chapter Sixteen

“This way Dr. Rogers we have a room set up for you.” The officer led him through the front door to the inner offices passing the clutter desks of detectives to a small room in the back.

It wasn’t a room, but the detective’s kitchenette.

“Wash wanted me to give you her DHS file.”


The officer put the file on the table and left the room.

The daunting task of an advocate Tyrell thought. He’s spent too many nights in a room like this drinking bad coffee and eating stale donuts just to make it through the night with a child after a trauma. Yet without people like him who represented those individuals whose concerns and interests didn’t have a voice in this system, they would be lost.

Tyrell poured himself a cup of thick coffee, grabbed a stale jelly filled and took a seat. Tonight he would do it again, would give the victim’s foster daughter a voice.

The usual sounds of the station entered the room as Tyrell settle at the cluttered table. He blocked out the sounds and opened the thick folder. It was time he got to know Sara Doe.

Abandoned by her parents at the age of five, a forest ranger, by the name of Clyde Barton, found her wandering the woods in the State Park at night. In his case file, Barton noted that the child had injuries that were probably the results of a fall.  He thought her inability to remember her name was a result of a head trauma, but that was discounted by doctors at the hospital. 

  The local agencies went through the regular means of finding the girl’s family, but when no one came forth, after a few days, the hospital released her to Department Children Services. A social worker started calling her Sara instead of Jane and the name stuck.

Sara Doe’s disciplinary problems started almost the moment of her first placement with increasing frequency and violence. Out-of-control temper tantrums, outbursts resulting in physical exchanges and outright violence against her caregivers had them returning the child often. 

 An altercation at her middle school, which put three children in the hospital with critical injuries, caused Sara to be placed in a juvenile detention center for a year.  After her release Sara entered two more homes before she settled with the Elton’s.  Sara got lost in the murky tentacles of the foster-care system soon after this placement. Now just fifteen; Sara Doe's in police custody waiting to answer questions about her foster parents' murders.

In her short life, this child has had her share of drama, Tyrell thought.



Xavier knew the system was made to stop people from finding a way out of the 201 Poplar not those trying to get inside. He found his way in through the ventilation systems. 

Chapter Seventeen

“Detective Wash is ready for you Doc.” The same officer greeted Tyrell from the open door. “He’s got you set up in interrogation room two.”

Tyrell was so involved with Sara’s file that he startled at the sound of his name.

 “Oh, okay.” He gathered the contents of the file spread across the table.

“Good thing I decided to read the highlights. You guys never give me enough time with these files.” Tyrell folded the file closed and stood.    

“Sorry about that Doc.”

 He wished he had more time, but he’d garnered enough to get some kind of idea of her mental state before tonight’s events.

 Besides, this was the first of many sessions he hope to conduct with Sara.

Tyrell  grabbed the folder off the table. “I’m ready.”

He stepped out of the room to follow the officer.


  They rushed down the hall, weaving between and past cluttered detective desks, overweight officers and smelly criminals. All while the officer talked non- stop about the case.

 “You should have seen her Doc; she was all wide-eyed and scared, looking at cops like one of us was the perpetrator. Can you imagine?”

“Was she in the house when it happened?” Tyrell wondered if this officer helped searched for the child.

“I don’t know, but they found her under the house. If she didn’t see what happened, she heard it. I saw that murder room.” The officer visibly shivered. “Poor kid.”

Tyrell didn’t know what to think.  He tried to prepare for what he would see in the eyes of a traumatized child.


They stopped at interrogation room two, where Detective Wash waited his arrival.

“Doc, glad you could come.” Wash held out his hand.

“I’m always available to help a kid, Wash.”

Tyrell shook Wash hand.

They were the same height, but Wash had more bulk to his frame. Tyrell's pleased that a seasoned detective is on the case. He’d worked with the detective before and felt confident Wash would handle this case with professional objectivity.  “A double murder, how's she doing?”

Wash sighed. “Let me show you something Doc.”

They stepped inside the viewing room.  Tyrell could see the two occupants clearly, but turned his attention to the open a file on Wash tablet.

 “I wanted you to see why I called you here. This is what that kid saw.”

 “Shit!" Tyrell yelped shocked. He’d never seen anything so gruesome.  “How can anyone do something so…so?” He didn’t have the words.

“Grisly!” Wash supplied.

Tyrell stared at him, he couldn’t think of a better word so he nodded.

 “We know she saw something, Doc,” Wash stated without preamble. “We got a set of her footprints in the murder room. They led from the kitchen to the laundry room and back.  That’s also where techs found blood in the drain.”

Wash went through the facts of the case with his usual rigid deep southern drawl. After he finished briefing Tyrell, he added.  “We just need you to get her talking.”

 “She hasn’t said what happened?”

That wasn’t unusual; children that witnessed violence often became traumatized and withdrawn. It could take years of coaching to bring some children around, if ever.

 “Oh sure, she’s talking.” The Detective offered surprising him. “But it’s all been Bull."

 The Detective’s response was harsh with quiet control.  “She’s been spinning horsehair for the past five hours, and we need the little lady to get to the truth.”

Tyrell knew that tone, having heard it a few times before. Wash wasn’t happy. He must think the girl's lying; however, almost everyone lies to the police.  Yet, there's something in Wash's demeanor that made this revelation more unpleasant than usual.  But what Tyrell pondered?

“What’s going on?”

Wash rubbed his face red. “She’s giving us just enough Doc.”

“Just enough, what?” Tyrell didn’t understand.

“Just enough to pacify my question, tick… I don’t know. Perhaps it’s just this case.”

“What about it?”

“It’s the crazy evidence, it’s giving me the...” Wash hesitated. “Never mind, I’m just tired, it’s been a long day.”

“You sure you’re okay?” He’s never seen Wash shaken.

“Yeah, I’m good.” He waved the thought of dog bites aside.

Wash met Tyrell’s eyes. “Get us something we can use, because what she’s telling us ain’t making sense.”

 Wash opened the door but stood in the threshold waiting for Tyrell.


Chapter Eighteen

It’s too small. Tyrell thought looking inside the plain interrogation room with its dreary walls and no windows. The only way out was through the door at a young lean officer’s back. It wasn’t big enough for the poor furnishings: a scratched metal table and two metal chairs where a thin teenage girl sat with her head down over her arms, let along the two people that occupied the cramped space. It made him feel claustrophobic.

  “What’s with the guard?” Tyrell asked.

 He’d worked many cases involving children and there was never a need for an officer in the room with a child, unless they were under arrest or under police protection. After what Wash just told him, he wasn’t sure which of those Sara Doe fell under.

 “We’re protecting the chain of evidence until a crime scene tech can get to her.” Wash offered as a weak explanation. “I think she might have blood on her person.”

Yet Tyrell was surprised and shocked. He worried about Sara’s mental state and turned frowning at Wash.   “After everything she’d been through, now she has to remain in your custody under the guise that she might have some of her parent’s blood on her! I’m not telling you how to do your job Wash, but this seemed unusually cruel. Do you have a warrant?”

 “I know, I know!” He saw the expression on Tyrell’s face.  “I’ve got a warrant coming; once I have it, I’ll send for a tech. I can’t go any faster than the clogs of the justice system allow. If there’s more evidence on her person we need to preserve it.” Wash offered. “Ain’t nothing else I can do here Doc.”

Tyrell still wasn’t convinced.

“Look, we found her outside the crime scene, hiding under the house in a hide-a-hole where we also found a bag of bloody torn clothes that matches her size. We’re checking to see if the blood splatter places her in the room at the time of the murder.”

“All that’s circumstantial at best Wash, she was at the mall.”  Tyrell said to convince himself.

“She said she was at the mall.” He did the finger gestures. “At the time this all went down, but she’s not on any of the tapes—what are we to conclude from all that?” Wash explained in a fast cadence when Tyrell's facial confusion didn't change.

Tyrell didn’t respond.

 “Plus the dang girl had a knife.”

“Was it the murder weapon?”

“No, but I think she used it to rip up the clothes. The officer that found her reported, he thought she would turn the thing on herself.” He's pulling at straws to get Tyrell to help him.

 “Now she’s suicidal?” Tyrell found all of this hard to believe. Children do commit suicide every year for one reason or another, but for Sara to try after perhaps witnessing her parents' murder didn’t seem plausible.

Wash rubbed his neck with one thick paw and it turned a rosy pink. “I don’t know Doc. That’s your call, but we can’t have her hurting herself while in police custody, or contaminating our evidence.”

“Presumed evidence, just because you think your evidence points to that fact doesn’t mean they’re there.”

“Okay presumed.”  Wash gave up just as his phone vibrated on his belt. He yanked it off to check the ID, before placing the phone next to his ear.

 "Finally,” he barked.  After a moment he stopped nodding his head in response to the other person on the line. He said, “Okay. “

 Wash hung up. He turned his attention back to the conversation where he left off. “She’s my only witness, Doc. Be prepared to stay here because she’s not leaving until she gives me the answer to my questions.”

Tyrell understood Wash’s position, he needed help to solve this case, but his first priority would always be the child’s well-being.

Tyrell gestured with a slight nodded.

“Good. Man, I need some aspirin.”  Wash stepped aside to lead the advocate to the interrogation room’s door and his client.

 Tyrell halted at the door. “I’ll see what I can do to convince her to tell you what you want to know, but Wash if she doesn’t want to tell me there's nothing I can do.”

   Wash stepped up to him in a non-threatening manner. “I need you to do more here Doc.  I’m not asking you to violate her rights, but we need her help. Remember those pictures; we got to find this bastard or bastards before they kill again.”

“So you don’t think she did this?”

“Come on Doc. I doubt one man could slice up two bodies in one night, let alone a kid. She’s my witness, although uncooperative, but my only witness. ”

Tyrell nodded. “You think she knows who killed them?”

“I think she knows more than she’s saying.” Wash opened the door.

  “Oh just got word.” Wash tapped his phone.  “Got my warrant, someone will be in shortly to take my presumed evidence.”

 He closed the door after Tyrell crossed the threshold.


Chapter Nineteen

How long have they’d had you in here.

Tyrell shivered. The confined space wasn’t conducive for three people to move around. He turned his attention away from his own drama to focus on his job.

He spied the officer’s name tag. “Officer Wilburn.”

The officer didn’t reply.

Tyrell still wasn’t comfortable having him present during this stage of introduction.  Dealing with children who’ve seen violence, was bad enough without distraction.  It’s best to present a reassuring presence, but he sensed the young officer’s unease.

The petite girl didn’t look up, not when the door opened, and not now as Tyrell moved closer. “Hello Sara?”

The specifics of her file flashed in his head. Fifteen-years-old mixed heritage, African-American and Native American with brown eyes and black hair, five foot-six inches tall and just ninety pounds, but she looked about eighty even with her oversized clothes providing bulk. No scars or tattoos and no known family.

 She's too small for her age, he kept thinking.  What did they do to you?

Stunted growth was a sure sign of neglect, yet there weren’t any records of abuse in her file. The way this child looks should have sent up a red flag to her case workers.

Tyrell glanced at her attire. Was that Gothic or Emo?

He saw worse-dressed girls that were abused, abandoned and those in unstable homes. Some because they were acting out, others didn’t have a choice. For all her hardship, Sara was dressed like a misunderstood teen.

  Like an emaciated black dove, Tyrell thought.

 What had this child gone through? Tyrell got a bad feeling in his gut.

All of that ran through Tyrell’s mind on his short trek to the table. He could smell dried blood emitting from somewhere in the room from the door. Where it came from he didn’t know for sure, but it's rank now that the doors closed.

Tyrell stood behind the chair across from his client. “Hi Sara.”

He placed her closed file on the table before taking his seat. “I’m Tyrell Rogers, but you can call me Tyrell.”

He waited for a response, but she kept her head down and didn’t reply.

 “I’m here to talk to you about what happened or if you prefer just listen.”

 He paused again looking for any reaction. When none came, he added. “I’ll wait right here until you’re ready to talk- got nothing better to do this early in the morning.”

He pulled a notepad and pen from his pant pocket and began to doodle while he talked. “Guess you’re wondering who I am, and I must say, that’s a good question.  You know, most people don’t know how to ask good questions anymore.”

He shrugged. “I guess living in the digital age; good conversational skills are hard to come by. A sign of the times, perhaps, but to answer your question, I’m a child advocate. Do you know what that means?”

 She still didn’t remark on his one-sided bantering. So he continued. “It means I’m here for you, for whatever you need. Your needs are my needs; your concerns are my concerns.”

 After a moment, Sara raised her head to look at him. A halo of thick brown curls circled the pretty, broad features of her chestnut-brown face. Her sad, mahogany eyes were puffy and red from crying, but she wasn’t crying now.

She’s just a child, Tyrell thought, a scared little girl.

“I ain’t done nothing.” She sniffed. “Why they got me in here like I’m some kind of criminal?”

“Its procedure for them to keep you here, Sara,” he replied. “You’re a witness to a capital crime.”

  He wanted to help Sara through the emotional aftermath of her traumatic event; if he couldn’t help the police solve this case while doing that he would.

 “I told them.” Sara said in a loud whisper. “I told them.”

 “You told them what?” he probed.

  Sara didn’t answer; just stared at him, wiping her runny nose with the back of her forearm.

 “They need to know what happened in your home, Sara.” Tyrell told her.

 “That ain’t my home!” She bristled.

“Okay.” He knew what she meant; most foster children didn’t consider any place, their home.

 “Anyway, I already told them!” She shouted. It's as if she knew someone else listened beside those in the room.

Bright girl, Tyrell thought.

Chapter Twenty

“They don’t believe you.” He replied in a controlled even tone.

  She released a heavy moan, placing her head back down.

  “Yeah,” she retorted, sad. “I got that.”

 “Do you know why?”

 Sara didn’t answer.

 “It doesn’t make sense, what you told them, with what the evidence shows.” Tyrell prompted.

“What doesn’t?”

“None of it, can you tell me what really happen?”

  “No!” She yelled, but it sounded muffled to Tyrell.

  “Why not?”  Tyrell never met anger with anger; it only further upset the distressed child. No matter what she did, he had to remain calm within her storm.

 “You won’t believe me!” She said in a huff.

 “I might.”

Sara raised her head just enough to stare at him. The way she examined the contours of his broad features, it was as if she’d never seen a black man before, Tyrell assumed.

 "You a doctor or something, you don’t sound like a social worker?"

 “After all those years in school, that’s what they told me when they gave me a diploma." He smiled. Tyrell pulled out his wallet to show her his IDs.

 Sara glanced at them and snorted. She stared back at him, but this time with contempt shaking her head. “It figures they would send a shrink this time.”

Tyrell winced. He hated when people called him that, especially children. He watched her gaze travel down his body to where his hands sat on the table, and added sarcastically. “Nice Timex."

He winced again. Tyrell understood the nature of the beast before him. In order to live in the kind of environment Sara had, you survived or you didn’t. The fastest way to do that is to size a person up quickly or find yourself in harm’s way.

 He knew that jab about his watch was twofold; it struck him personal to knock him down a peg, but also to let him know that she still had bite. Tyrell smiled.

He looked down at the moderately priced watch. "Thanks, it was my father's."

Sara played disinterested he noticed, but said. "Yeah, so what, Jay-Z got a five million dollar watch form Beyoncé."

 "Ouch! Well, mine didn’t cost that much,” Tyrell offered with a half-smile. He noticed something creeping at the corners of Sara’s lips, but it quickly faded. Had he made a connection, he wondered if he could find more.

Tyrell dropped his smile too, staring at the old watch. “My Dad… he died when I was ten.” He paused a moment to gather his thoughts. “He left this for me. So I guess you can say it has sentimental value, which means a lot more than money to me.”

Tyrell looked up, he’d felt Sara staring.  Her eyes were glued to his but she held a blank expression. He'd shared something personal and hoped she would as well. 

 “You got anything like that? I mean, from your family that has sentimental value to you?” he asked.

He noticed the worn rope bracelet on her arm with the oversized bronze charm engraved with the word Believe, she had been mindlessly fondling it.

Sara shrugged, turning her eyes downward. She didn’t look up when she said, almost inaudibly. "I don’t have family.”

The girl had shut down; she had lost herself somewhere inside while looking at that bracelet.

 Damn! Tyrell immediately wished he hadn’t said anything. The little progress he’d made slipped out of his hands like sand. He knew he needed to switch gears before he lost Sara for good.

He decided to push her for information about the murders that was her fire.

 "Tell me who murdered your foster parents, Sara?”

When her head snapped up Sara frowned with anger.

  “None of them believed me!” She gestured toward the officer with her head; then looked back at the bracelet with a sad smirk. “None of my foster parents, the army of social workers and government inspectors, Wash. None of them believed what I had to say.” She finally looked up him with hatred laced in her brown eyes. “So why would you, shrink!”

Tyrell knew he couldn’t take anything she said or did personally. He had to reassure the girl that he would trust what she had to say. He looked into her brown gaze unblinking and spoke with candor.

  “Sara my job is to listen to you, to understand your concerns and believe what you tell me. I won’t judge what you say as a lie just because you're a child.”

 Sara sat back against the metal chair. She wiped away the tears that had formed on her cheeks with her small fingers. He could tell by the slight frown across her smooth brow that she's judging whether to trust him or not. He hoped that she would.

  “You’ll think I’m lying if I told you the truth, just like everybody else. People like you always think that I’m lying because they read my file.” She laughed without humor. “You know, Nell always said I was a habitual liar. Didn’t know what that meant until I looked it up.” She chuckled again, this time with a bit of wit. “I told her she was a habitual whore.”

Despite himself Tyrell laughed, so did Officer Wilburn.




He recognized why Sara was callous. There was no reason for her to feel otherwise; perhaps she’s built a wall around her heart to keep out fear and pain from years of hurt, anger, and disappointment.  She’s probably been let down so often that she can’t see a reason to believe him.

Tyrell understood the subtlety of this dance. Years spent in the system taught a child one thing, not to trust anyone in authority. It’s often foster parents that communicate this learned behavior. Advocate or not, he had to earn Sara’s trust, or he's wasting everyone’s time.

“I’ll believe you Sara,” Tyrell told her with as much frankness as he could muster. “Whatever you tell me I’ll believe.”

This was only the first hurdle Tyrell would have to cross in his pursuit of the truth. He would have to weave through what Sara thought was true with what the evidence offered. A child's imagination often added to the drama of any event. It was his job to know the facts, while working out the child’s fantasy from the reality and sometimes that didn’t mesh. A child could hold on to the fantasy for years. Sadly, he’s seen some never return to reality.

Sara stared at him with those wide brown eyes that were older than her age. A deeper frown crept into them when she cut her eyes over to the young officer. When her gaze returned, she exhaled loudly.  “Alright, but you won’t believe me either.”

Tyrell smiled. “I just might surprise you Sara.”

Chapter Twenty One

“Really! What happened to, I’ll believe whatever you say?  So that was all bullshit!” Sara shouted with resentment.

“I didn’t say that I didn’t think it was the truth. I said I think you might be confused because of what happened last night.” 

He didn’t have to say anything; she knew Tyrell did not believe her. It was in the way his eyes shifted just a bit to the left while she spoke and in the way he sat like a rod was up his backside.  What else was new, what did she expect? No one ever believes the foster kid.

 “Oh, so that’s why you’re looking at me like I got two heads.”

Sara paced the small room frustrated. She told the truth, the actual version of what occurred. If her, so called, advocate didn’t believe her, who would.  Guess that’s what I get for hoping.

She rolled her eyes at the snickering Wilburn, she didn’t like him anyway.

“Sara, perhaps, if you sit down, we can talk about this.”

  Fuck ‘em, Sara thought.  Fuck ‘em all! She knew what she saw. 

Suddenly, Sara felt the physical chill of fright raced down her spine. She shivered at the sensation and stopped pacing. The strong feeling to flee high- jacked her nerves, putting them on edge. 

 “Sara, are you okay?” Tyrell’s voice faded to the background as her eyes darted around the room or the threat.

She needed to get out of here fast before, before what?  She went to the door, but Wilburn blocked her path.  “Step back kid.”

She frowned at him confused.  “I need to get out of here.”

“No, you have to stay until Wash says you can go.”

After everything that’s happened, seeing their bloody bodies, hiding under the house, getting questioned by Wash and seating around this room, Sara couldn't think straight. She remembered Tyrell told her she had to stay here, but for how long. She’s been here for hours.

“I’m sick of being in here.” She yelled. “I got to go!”

“Why don’t you sit down you look tired.” Tyrell spoke from the backdrop of her confusion.

Sara turned to face him. He held out the chair for her to sit back down, and her eyes suddenly drooped.

 She was wiped, that had to be it. Wash hadn’t let her sleep just kept asking those same old stupid questions. She was hungry too, even after that vending machine sandwich he gave her when they first arrived.

No wonder you’re on edge! Girl, get a grip, there’s no need to be afraid.  She’s in a police station, in a room with an armed officer; nothing's going to happen in here, she reasoned.

Nevertheless the murder of her foster parents had sparked a memory of the Bad Men.  

Chapter Twenty Two

For years, as a child, she had dreams of men coming for her in the night. The doctors told her that it's just her imagination playing tricks on her mind, but Sara knew they weren’t dreams. They were memories.

 She felt Tyrell place a hand on her shoulder as she stood in front of the mirror. “Sara, are you okay?”

 She wasn’t listening to him, she was inside a memory.

Sara remembered he said his name was Clyde Barton. He was the Forest Ranger who found her that night in the forest. “Can you tell me how long you’ve been out here?”

She didn’t know, so she shrugged.

“Where are your parents, sweetie?”

“Are you one of them?” Her tiny voice shook with fear.

“One of whom?”  He was confused.

“The Bad Men,” she replied through tears.

He picked her up and held her in his arms. “What Bad Men, honey?”

  “The one’s up there, they killed my parents. They killed everyone.”

She pointed to the fire and smoke blooming off the mountain.

 When everyone else thought her statement as the confused jabbering of an injured child, Clyde Barton had believed. He was the only one that believed, the only one that ever believed.  

Will it happen again? Sara thought about the memory flashed; of people screaming, a raging fire, and so much death.

Sara shivered.

Why now, after all these years, were those memories coming back to haunt her?  Was it because of the murders or did it mean her parent’s killers were still out there? Could they come after her too, even here? The question hung on her mind like a cloak.

 Sara felt a cold bead of sweat slide down her back. 

She had to get out.

Chapter Twenty Three

“Let me out!” Sara spoke to the two-sided mirror sensing Wash there. She hadn’t told him the truth because she saw his kind far too many times in the system; they would never put their badge on the line for a child. “Please!”

  Sara didn’t care if they didn’t believe her. Well, not really, although it did hurt a little that she had no one.  She just needed someone, anyone, to hear her out and believe what she told them was the truth. She wished Clyde was here.

Sara felt the tickle of fear again; she knew Wash wasn’t going to let her leave. She turned her thoughts to Tyrell.  She watched him while he stared at her, their eyes locking through their reflections in the mirror.  Are you okay? The question lay in his onyx eyes.

 Tyrell was tall and dark, he reminded her of a slick black animal with his ebony smooth skin.  His features were naturally broad, but quite handsome in any circle. He looked more at home running the streets wearing jeans than a suit and tie job. Like those men she knew who roamed the streets around the last home she was in, who she feared would do her harm, Sara sensed the air of a predator swirling around Tyrell.

 Could he be what she feared? She pondered, but dismissed the thought. No way.

The threat she felt came from somewhere else. Although he wasn’t the threat, there was no humor in Tyrell’s eyes, unlike Wilburn, just a hint of sadness in his black gaze. She supposed he felt pity for her because he thought she fabricated the facts. That might be a good thing. 

Sara thought about how she could use Tyrell’s compassion as a means to get out of here. He was a doctor after all not a hard-nosed cop like Wash.

Sara slid her eyes back to her reflection. The person staring back had dark, scary eyes under a heavy scowled brow that glared at Sara with malice. The girl looking back was someone she had never really known, had no persona, just a scared little rabbit, but no more.

 Sara stared at Tyrell. Yeah, I’m okay.

Chapter Twenty Four

“Have you told them this?” Tyrell knew she told them a version, a half-truth. Sara had a history of lying that was clearly stated in her file like she mentioned.

 He wanted to believe her story, but it was unbelievable.

 “Would you?” She furiously returned to her pacing.

 “Sara, come on!” Tyrell gave a long-suffering sigh. It was late; he's grown tired and hungry. He knew she was too. Plus, this small room wasn’t helping his patience.

 Sara turned back to him. “I’m not crazy!” she snapped.

 “No one said you were. ”Tyrell started, but she interrupted.

 “Fuck’em!” Sara spat. She directed her venom at Wilburn, but to his credit, the officer didn’t reply.

 “Damn cops!” She yelled irate. “Why you got me in here, huh, why? I haven’t done shit!”

Tyrell saw Wilburn place his hand on his weapon.

 “Sit down little girl!” Wilburn yelled, pointing to the chair.

 “Fuck you!” Sara yelled again. “Ain't nobody scared of the Po Po!"

“Sit down!”

 “I ain’t got to sit nowhere!”

Tyrell rushed to stand between them. “Let’s all calm down.”

He held out his hands to stop them both, but frowned at Wilburn because he should know better. Tyrell had to get Sara calm before this officer overreacted to an irritated child’s outburst. He didn’t want or need an incident in this confined space.

 “She’s just a child venting her frustration out over what happened, Wilburn. If you just lost your parents, in the way that she had, then brought here and be placed in a room for hours with an armed guard, wouldn’t you be upset and angry. Surely you can understand her outburst?” Tyrell spoke in a rapid cadence.

Wilburn nodded.

He turned to Sara.  “It’s okay, Sara, let us all calm down and take a seat.”

 Wilburn relinquished the tight grip he had on his weapon, allowing Tyrell to release the breath he didn’t realize he held. He turned his attention back to Sara. She's pacing again, having completely ignored the officer’s gesture.

“You think he cares! Please,” she hissed. “He thinks I’m crazy!” she blurted.

  “That’s not helping…"Tyrell started, but she stopped him again.

 “I saw it!” She yelled at him for a second time. “No matter what you all think. I know what I saw!”

“Get her to sit down Doc!” Wilburn sounded nervous.

Tyrell didn’t have to look at Wilburn to know he’d gone for his gun. He wondered why officers often went for their weapons, when it wasn’t always necessary. Sara’s outburst was no match for his brute.

“Let me handle this Wilburn, please.”

 Tyrell kept his eye on Sara while waving the young officer to stand down. He saw from the corner of his eye that he had indeed relaxed, if just for a bit, but  kept his hand on his weapon. Where do they get these people, Tyrell pondered turning his thoughts back to Sara.

 “Now really….”Tyrell began yet his words were stammered by her outburst.

 “Fuck you too!” Sara hissed disappointed. “If you don’t believe what I said, then FUCK you!”

“Sit down!” Wilburn yelled back.

The room sizzled with frustrated tension as if, static was released into an electrical room. Things were about to escalate when someone knocked on the door, breaking the bubble of tension.

Wilburn yanked the door open. A pretty young woman in a white lab coat stood in the doorway holding a large black case and a warm, be it tried, smile.

 “Crime scene tech,” she said, looking around the officer to the occupants in the room. “I’ve come for the evidence.”


Chapter Twenty Five

Dr. Dylan" Big Boi" Chapman was cold and callous and all business when he worked a job.

He entered the city morgue with an air of authority as if he belonged in the secure facility. He greeted Steve Fina with a nod.

The morgue tech made the necessary arrangements so Big Boi had no problems entering the building.

“Where are they?” he asked.

“In here.” Steve led him to the cold storage crypt in the back.  “The male was autopsied, his samples destroyed. I’ve separated the woman from the others so this can be done fast.”

The large cold room held between fifty and eighty black plastic bags in what looked like stainless steel bunk beds. The room was always a surprise to Big Boi because of the bright lights. Guess the dead don't care if the lights are on or not, he thought.  In the center of the room was a single gurney with a body bag, it's moving.

 “Shit! She’s awake!” Big Boi unzip the large plastic bag.  What he saw was the bloody face of Nell Elton. She stared at him with fright apparent in her eye.

 Confused, she stared at the handsome black man. “What happened…where am I?”

“Don’t worry Mrs Elton; we’re going to take care of you.” Big Boi told her before turning to Steve. “ Did any of the staff photograph or document the damage to the bodies?”

“Are you a doctor? I need help!” Nell tried to move, but Big Boi held her down. “Yes, I’m a doctor Mrs. Elton, please remain calm. I need to get as much information as I can before I examine you.”

“No, I’m the only tech on duty tonight,” Steve watched Big Boi survey Nell’s wounds.

The big man nodded once. Then he turned Nell over on her side, “Hold her here.”

Steve held the woman while Big Boi reached inside his black bag to remove a long, thin blade.

“Am I hunt bad, well I be alright?” Nell asked, frighten. “Where’s Tom, my husband? Is he okay?”

"He's fine ma'am." Steve told the terrified woman.“We have access to resources here,” he said to Big Boi.

“ I know, but I prefer to use my own.” Big Boi patted Nell's shoulder. “ I’m here to help Mrs. Elton, this might hurt a bit.”

He made a small incision at the base of the woman’s neck, just below her hairline.

She screamed in pain. “Nooo! Please don’t… please! You're hurting me!”

Nell struggled to get out of Steve’s grasp, but he held her motionless while Big Boi inserted the blade.  The skilled assassin cut her spinal cord with two quick slices of the transverse ligaments. Mrs. Nell Elton stopped struggling.

"It’s done."

The old ways of breaking a werewolf’s neck or removing its heart were long gone now that autopsies were being performed on almost every body. Big Boi knew an injury of this kind can easily be the result of post mortem dissection.

The clans had to get smarter. They’re werewolves who were doctors, in pharmaceutical and research labs as well as morgues to keep down their exposures to the humans. They’ve been successful so far, but even as much as Big Boi enjoyed his work. Dr. Chapman knew it wasn’t going to last forever.

While Big Boi cleaned his blade at the utility sink Steve restored the body bag.

  “Power said you have a package for me?” Big Boi asked replacing his blade.

Steve handed him a small envelope.  “You’ll find everything you need to get inside the police station. She’s on the top floor in integration room two.”

Big Boi removed the items from the envelope while Steve continued to talk. "She's under guard, so you'll have to find your own way inside that room."

He threw the envelope back at Steve, put the badge on his wallet, the ID on his shirt and the nine millimeter with the silencer in his waistband.

Big Boi nodded once to Steve before leaving the morgue.

Chapter Twenty Six

While Wilburn escorted Sara and the young lab tech to some undisclosed area in the building. Tyrell walked back to the viewing room next door. What happened to you to make you so angry Sara?

 Wash stood with his back to the two way mirror talking on the phone when Tyrell entered. He heard only some of the conversation he was having with the person on the other line.

 “This is all over the news! The Mayor's calling the Chief who’s sending it down the chain. This is a priority, they want everything done!” The person on the other line shouted.

“Yes, sir, but the FBI?”

“They'll be there within the hour! Give them your full cooperation.”

“Yes Sir.” The sound of a click came before Wash finished his sentences.

He hung up too.  “On top of everything else I’ve got to deal with; now I’ve got to make Brass look good too by working with the FBI. I've got a headache.”

“I didn’t know you were under so much pressure.” Tyrell watched the detective lean against the thick glass.

 “Yeah.” Wash closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. “Every murdered victim is important to their family members, no matter where in the city it happened. But the Mayor wants me to work my ass off to solve this case in a day! ”

He sighed before opening his eyes. Wash stared, as if telling Tyrell he's ready to get back to work.  “A Werewolf Doc; man I never thought the girl was crazy, foolish perhaps, but never crazy.”

“She’s clearly in shock.”

“What, really?” Wash snorted as if finding that humorous.

“Didn't you see her eyes darting around the room? She's having a hard time focusing. Her skin was clammy and she's confused. Plus, she looks dehydrated. Sara needs medical attention!    No telling what went on in that house before you got there. You did have a paramedic look at her before you brought her here, didn't you?”

Tyrell's aware of the failings within the foster care system¬--how it wasn’t the best environment the state government had to offer lost and unwanted children.   He’d worked within the system long enough to know how it ignored some of the worst home conditions the state had to offer a child and how those children suffered because of it, both mentally and physically.

Wash drew his eyes away to look at something on his tablet. “Yes, I did,” he sounded offended. “ And they didn’t see any signs of shock or any injuries.”

It annoyed him that Wash wasn't taken this serious. “Well, there are clear signs now. Let me take her to the hospital.”

Wash raised his eyes to the girl’s advocate. “Can’t do that Doc.”

 “Why not, you can have Wilburn stand guard if you think she might leave.”  Tyrell knew he had to help Sara, even if it meant violating her rights.

“What I think is that she saw something.” Wash walked passed Tyrell and out the room to his desk.




The large detective room's abuzz with cops doing the job even at this early hour. “We got splatter marks on her clothes, that's saying she was in the room at the time of the murders?”

Tyrell followed him through the labyrinth of bodies. “No wonders she’s confused about seeing a werewolf, can you imagine how something like that affects her mind?”

A few of the detectives stopped what they were doing to stare in their direction. When Wash frowned at them, they turned their heads. “Keep it down Doc!” he whispered, “I don’t need that attention drawn here.”

Tyrell nodded. They walked over to Wash's desk.

“I send her to the hospital on a crazy tip; I lose my witness for good.” Wash sat behind his cluttered desk while Tyrell took the empty chair beside it.

  “Sara’s not crazy. She’s confused and that’s all the more reason for letting me take her to the emergency room so we can rule out what’s causing her to be confused.”

Wash moved around a few items, but it didn't help the heap of paper. “You’re a doctor, can’t you tell if she’s in shock or not?”

Tyrell moved his leg out to way of a disgrutled officer walking down the narrow aisle.“I’m not a medical doctor Wash. I know the symptoms of shock, but I can’t diagnose her. She needs to be seen by a physician in a controlled environment not in a police station.”

“Tell you what; we’ll see how cooperative she is when she gets back." He threw some files in a draw."If she’s still loony toons, then we’ll take her to get checked out.”

Tyell placed an elbow on the desk. “I think we should take her now, before this gets worst.”

Wash opened his mouth to respond when a ping drew both their attention to the computer on his desk.  He hit a few keys and read the incoming messages with raised his brow. “Don’t know how I missed this?"

Tyell tried to read the screeen. "Missed what?"

"Doctor Rode’s report on the Elton's. I guess it came through while I watched your interview with Sara.”

“The Medical Examiner, anything you can share?” Tyrell leaned across to the desk.

Wash looked up from the computer screen, deepening his frown. “The bit marks on the victims were inconstant with any known species of dog.”

Tyell sat back. “If it wasn’t a dog, then what bit them?”

Wash stared at him stun. “The closest they could come to, is the bit mark of a wolf.”  





Chapter Thirteen

Xavier stared into the dark, thick underbrush, his heart thumping hard against his chest.  He decided not to transform, instead he let his nose led him through the thick bushes. He hiked fast, ducking under low line limbs and through thick, tall, grass until he could pick up his pace.   He didn’t need a light; his wolf’s vision allowed him to see in the dark.

Once clear of the shrubberies, Xavier ran towards the intoxicating scent, her scent. It blended into a mosaic of aromas, pushing him forward through the dim. He heard the sirens long before he reached an alcove. Werewolves were supposed to avoid the police, but curiosity and that wonderful scent got the better of him.

Night fell, but Xavier stayed within the shadows of the overgrown nook staring at the chaos. The police had cornered off an entire block. No one got in or out without them stopping to search.  A helicopter flew overhead, its lights slicing through the darkness, while news crews’ set up along the yellow police tape. A large crowd gathered to watch the activity surrounding a house peppered with police cruisers, emergency vehicles, officers, and police dogs.

Was she in there? He still smelled the scent of blood and fear, but something was different, it had changed. She was no longer a part of the muck that clouded his senses. Instead, he recognized her pleasing odor underneath the layers of death and despair. In it was her personal uniqueness and charisma. Xavier inhaled her distinctive aroma, and it awakened him.

The smell of her conferred a great deal, much more than catching a mere sight alone.  Xavier wasn’t a reclusive, but he had the tendency to avoid people and crowds. Over the centuries, there’ve been many human women that shared his bed, yet none that made him feel this sense of knowing.

He’s gone a long time without finding a mate, that one person to make him feel complete. If he’s honest, he’s envied Rocco and the others who have mates.

For a lone wolf in the city, there were many obstacles that stood in the way of him finding a mate.  The obvious problem was demand. There are far fewer women werewolves than men.  Many died before the transformation or weren’t strong enough to handle the viciousness of their wolf.

But she’s strong, he thought, inhaling her again.

Just the smell of her made everything feel right.  


Lektorat: Patrick Sean Lee
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 13.10.2012

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Thank You To my Family, who tolerated my rantings and for encouraging my foolishness about all things werewolf. Thank you Patrick Sean Lee for your encouragement, support understanding and helping to see this through with me. I'm forever grateful. Thank you Tanya Black for your friendship, insight, patience and knowledge. A friend indeed. All Rights Reserved © Glynis Rankin, 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system - except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a magazine or newspaper - without permission in writing from the publisher. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

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