Among Us

by Darkenedkarma

Disclaimers: No werewolves were harmed while writing this story. A man was seriously mangled though. (shame about that)

Violence: Alas, there is some violence here. I can't help it. I'm considering therapy for it.

Sex and stuff: There are some sexual aspects. Nothing that would burn the retina's though.

Adult Language: Well, normally I don't use potty mouth. This time it was a must. I'm sorry if I offend anyone. Just remember it's not directed at you.

Misc: This story is mine....blah, blah, blah. You know what? If you want to borrow it go for it. If you want to use it, have at it. If you want to burn it please do so in a responsible manner.

Comments: I like em'. I never get 'em but I like 'em. I wonder if I got em' would I still like 'em? Maybe comments are one of those things that are better in abstract. Oh, I do have one comment, I love WitchBlade. Yancy Butler kicks butt. If she and Buffy had a show down she might win with that blade on her side. It's almost as cool as an invisible jet or that golden lasso. Xena would still kick her but though. Anyway, I can be reached at

She didn't move. She dke noise at all. She couldn't control the trembling but the noise was stopped. She didn't want to draw any attention to herself. The pavement was cold and hard, unyielding to her body as she sat backed against the building in the alley. She was afraid to move. Afraid to even shift her eyes away from those glowing orbs only inches away. It finished with Michael. There was nothing left of her fiancée. Nothing recognizable. The blood made her want to vomit. That sickly sweet and faintly metallic smell unique to blood. She watched as the blood and gore that used to be Michael dripped off its teeth. She wanted to cry. She wanted to run. Instead all she could do was sit and silently pray that she would not die that horrible death.

It moved closer. It's head weaving from side to side and up and down. Like a cat trying to glimpse it's target. She couldn't even close her eyes or blink. The first light of dawn was just beginning to light the city, allowing her to see the form crouched before her. She stared into its eyes. Those burning eyes that radiated an all too human understanding of what she was. Scared. Alone. Prey. It moved back suddenly. Samantha gasped, unable to stop the reaction to the beast's sudden movement. She knew it was going to attack. She closed her eyes waiting for the end. It never came. She slowly opened her eyes and saw it cautiously backing away from her. It never took its eyes from hers. At the mouth of the alley it turned away from her. Then in the light of the rising sun she saw the form rise up on it's hind legs. She watched as the sharp fanged demon wolf melted into a human form. Samantha watched in shock as a woman, who only moments ago had been a figure of nightmares and fairy tales, ran off into the first rays of dawn.

Samantha's hands trembled. She wrapped her arms around her knees as she sat against the concrete wall. She looked down at the throbbing in her calf. Only just noticing the jagged cut that could only have been caused by one thing. The memory of the sharp, deadly claws made her shudder as she rocked. She closed her eyes too scared to call for help; too terrified to move. She rocked in a comforting motion trying to block out the smell of the blood and the sight of Michael.


The uniformed officer walked over to the bench. He looked down on the pathetic figure sleeping on its hard wooden surface and shook his head. With the toe of his boot he nudged the sleeping figure. He didn't want to touch the stinking, dirty figure. His wife hated it when he came home smelling like garbage.

"Come on, get up." The officer said loudly as he poked at the sleeping vagrant.

"Wha? Whadya want? Can't you see I'm sleepin'?" Came the slurred response as well as a swipe of a filthy hand at the offending poker.

"Get up, no sleeping on public benches." The officer told him unsympathetically.

The drunk glared at the officer as he sat up. He looked around for his bottle and noticed it lying on the ground not too far away. He lurched off the bench and staggered towards the bottle. Bending down unsteadily he snatched up the bottle and held it up like a prize as he smiled with black and missing teeth. The officer frowned in disgust and thought about just letting this one go. He didn't want to put him in his vehicle. The stench would take weeks to air out. With that thought in mind he turned away from the swaying drunk and started walking towards his partner.

"Where the hell is my coat?" The drunk yelled as he looked around as if it would suddenly appear from thin air. He looked at the officer accusingly. "Did you take my coat? I want my coat! Only goddamn coat I have!" He yelled as he staggered forward.

The officer sighed and turned to face the now yelling drunk. "I don't have your coat." He said with forced patience. He really didn't want to take this guy in. 'Please just shut the hell up and go away why don't you.'

"You don't?" The drunk looked confused. Then a light dawned on his face. "That's right! That woman took it. Bitch just took it right from me. Growled at me too. Bitch. Naked as a damn jaybird. Crazy bitch. People like that should be locked up." He grumbled loudly.

The drunk looked at the cop expectantly. "Bitch stole my coat. Ya gonna get it back?"

"Do you remember what she looked like?" The cop asked. He wasn't interested at all. He just wanted to placate the guy so he would go his merry way.

"Yeah, yeah. Tall. Naked. Bright blue eyes. She took my coat. She almost tore my arm off getting it too." He told the police officer as he approached.

The cop stepped back nodding his head. "I'll make sure I look for her. I'll get it back to you when we find her." He turned and walked briskly away. It wasn't like they didn't have enough problems already. He didn't need to deal with a stinking bum. The blood on his uniform and car from that lion attack victim was enough to deal with.


"Samantha? Samantha can you look at me please?" Dr. Benson watched as the young auburn haired woman rocked back and forth as she hugged her knees to her body. He couldn't make out the litany of whispers she used to comfort herself.

"Samantha I need you to speak up." He tried in a soothing voice. She rarely responded but, sometimes simple requests where granted. He strained to hear the words that had increased minutely in volume. He inched nearer kneeling down to her level. He stopped two feet from her. He could see her light blue eyes staring at the white walls and could hear her finally. He didn't understand what it meant. He took out his pad and wrote the single sentence she repeated over and over. I can see it.

"Samantha, who do you see?" Dr. Benson asked softly. The soft droning in her ear couldn't distract her. Everything was white in here; it made a perfect screen. It was so clear; she could see it all. Every horrendous second of the attack. She rocked faster as her heart pounded like a racehorse in her chest.

"Dr. Benson?" The orderly said softly drawing his attention away from his patient.

"Yes?" Dr. Benson turned towards the hulking man standing a few feet behind him. The orderly too was dressed in white.

"Should I put her in her bed?" The burly orderly started to walk towards the woman rocking on the floor as he spoke.

Dr. Benson held up his hand to stop him. "No, leave her alone."

"But, doctor all patients are required to be in their beds at six."

Dr. Benson shot the orderly an annoyed look. "I said leave her." The whispers drew his attention again. Ah, he thought a new line. He knelt down in front of Samantha again listening intently. I can see it. God help me.

She chanted those two sentences over and over almost as if offering them as prayer or maybe a curse. The world was so white, everything was so clear. She could see everything so perfectly. She didn't want to see it anymore. She didn't want to see any of it. Yet there it was a screen in her mind that showed horrific, nightmarish images.


Dr. Benson sat in his office waiting for the orderly to escort his next patient in to see him. He still had fifteen minutes before the appointment. He tapped the end of his pencil against his desk as he scanned written notes. He leaned back in his chair and gazed up at the ceiling as he formed his thoughts. The knock on the door brought him to his feet as he called out admittance.

Dr. Benson moved around his desk smiling as Samantha entered his office. She didn't smile back but the vacant stare that she had worn for so long wasn't present either. The glance she shot him was acknowledgement enough of his greeting. He motioned for her to sit down while dismissing the orderly with a small nod. He waited while she sat down in one of the more comfortable chairs in his office. He did note that she took the chair that allowed her to see the door and only window in his office.

Taking his own chair directly across from her, he picked up his note pad and smiled again. "How are you feeling today Samantha?"

Her eyes tracked over the room, checking it for anything that could be considered dangerous before her gaze settled on him. "Fine, thank you." Samantha replied politely.

He knew from interviews with her parents and twin brother that Samantha was a much more vibrant and outgoing young woman than the person who now sat in front of him. "Would you like to talk more about what we were discussing yesterday?" Dr. Benson prodded gently. Samantha was still firmly maintaining that a monster had attacked and killed Michael. Attributing his death to a supernatural means, rather than the freak accident it actually was. Almost five months ago a lion escaped from the zoo, it is believed that the lion attacked Michael and Samantha as they were walking home from a club. Yet, Samantha insisted that a werewolf was responsible for Michael's death. Of course, they all knew the truth. Samantha was hiding from the truth, unable to face Michael's death. The events she described were obviously the imaginations of a traumatized mind.

"Not really." Samantha sighed. It didn't matter what they talked about. No one ever believed her. She knew what she had seen though. She knew. Samantha drew her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them in her chair. Her hand unconsciously went to the five-inch scar on her right calf. The mark the beast had left on her.

"Samantha the fear and panic are going to stay with you unless we talk about this. You can't go through your life looking over your shoulder for monsters." Dr. Benson's voice was full of understanding and compassion.

"I know what I saw." Samantha said softly. Not looking at the doctor but into her mind. The image of the beast snarling at her. Those unnatural eyes that she couldn't look away from.

"What makes you so sure it wasn't a lion Samantha?" Dr. Benson asked reasonably.

Samantha looked into the blue eyes of the doctor and tilted her head slightly. "The eyes are the same." Samantha noted quietly.

"Eyes?" He asked blankly. Unsure of what Samantha was talking about.

"It had bright blue eyes like you." Samantha told him. "Not brown. They were blue, human eyes."

"Samantha..." Dr. Benson started but stopped as she shook her head.

"Doctor, I know what I saw. You can rationalize it all you want. You can even try to convince me. But the reality is; I didn't see a lion. I didn't see it. I know what I saw. It's not going to change today or even three years from now." Samantha told him in a calm reasonable voice.

Dr. Benson gazed at Samantha intently. She was calm, which was a change from her usual behavior. He decided to bring up the other topic that they had begun discussing a few weeks ago. "Samantha, do you still feel you're ready to go home?"

She smiled sadly and shook her head as she spoke. "I don't think I'll ever really feel ready. But, I want to go home anyway. I want to get on with my life. Or at least try to get on with my life."

"I suppose you know I've spoken with your family about your going home. They seem to feel that a family environment would be good for you." The doctor acknowledged. " They're very eager to have you home again."

A ghost of a smile crossed Samantha's face at the thought of her family. Especially her brother. Greg her twin had wanted to bring her home for some time. Convinced that he could help her more than any Psychiatrist ever could. After all they had the bond of being twins. Two sides to the same coin. There was never a time when they didn't know what the other one was thinking or feeling.

"I take that smile to mean that you think it's a good idea as well." Dr. Benson stated rather than asking. " I'm prepared to send you home. I think that at this point you would be better served living with your family and participating in your life, rather than here at the hospital."

Samantha nodded her head. It was a formality really. She hadn't been committed; she could check herself out anytime she felt she was ready. It just so happens she hadn't felt ready up until now. Until two months ago she hadn't even realized she was in a hospital. She knew she had been here for five months already. She didn't remember anything up until two months ago. It was like she had stopped or been put on pause. Now it was time to push the play button again. It was time to go home.


The banging on the door wouldn't stop. She knew who it was. She'd heard the messages Greg left on her machine. The blinking light was annoying but not something she felt she had to do anything about. The banging and shouting however was grating on her last nerve. Samantha opened her eyes and sighed. It had only been a few weeks since she got out of the hospital. Couldn't he just give her some room to breathe. Their parents had understood. They hadn't insisted she stay with them. They even gave her the time off from the family business. Greg was more tenacious. Annoyingly tenacious.

Samantha rolled out of bed. She sat on the edge waiting to see if he would just give up and go home. The banging started again. Even louder if that was possible. It was even starting to shake the walls a bit. She sighed and picked up her robe off the floor. She shrugged into it as she went to the door. She didn't bother to call out an answer. He'd never hear it over all the banging anyway.

She slid the bolt back, unlatched the chain and threw the deadbolt open. The banging finally stopped. She opened the door and leaned against it as she glared at her twin. "What?"

"I've been trying to get hold of you for days! Don't you ever return a phone call?" Greg asked as he pushed past her into her apartment.

"I figured sooner or later I might. Mostly later." Came the sarcastic reply as Samantha shut the door.

Greg looked around his sister's apartment. It used to be immaculate, now it was a complete wreck. He saw clothes on her bedroom floor from the living room. Sections of the newspaper were scattered about the room. Dirty dishes were left on the coffee table. He shuddered as he picked up a bowl of cereal with what looked like week old sour milk in it. He walked into the kitchen with the bowl. 'What the hell is that smell?' He leaned down and sniffed experimentally at the sink where the garbage disposal was housed. He pulled back quickly with a sour look on his face. It took all his will power not to vomit. He quickly turned on the tap and flipped the garbage disposal switch. He left the kitchen quickly hoping that leaving the water and disposal running might get rid of the stench.

When he came back into the living room he found Samantha digging into a pizza box under a mountain of papers and trash.

"What are you doing?" The apprehension and disgust warred with each other on Greg's face.

"I'm hungry. This is pizza. I thought I might eat it." Samantha replied slowly as if talking to a child. She fished a piece of cold pizza out of the box and took a bite. She noticed Greg turning a little green and wanted to laugh.

"Oh god." He moaned and turned away from her. He could see it moving. Or at least he thought it was moving. He hoped that there wasn't anything on that pizza. Maybe it was just his imagination. "Why don't I take you grocery shopping? Maybe clean this place up a little?" He finally managed to get out. If he didn't look at her, he'd be ok. If he could get this place cleaned up he'd be even better.

"I don't want to go shopping. And, I don't feel like cleaning."

Greg let out a frustrated sigh. "Just sit there and watch then." He refused to look at her as he started to clean up.

Samantha shrugged as she watched him move around the living room. It wasn't so bad. At least it wasn't so bad from her bedroom. She glanced down at the pizza before taking another bite. She looked closer and noticed a little white thing moving. She shrugged and flicked it off as she continued to eat.

"How can you live like this?" Greg grumbled. He glanced at Samantha to see if she was still eating. He saw her examine the pizza and flick something off. He watched in horror as a small white something landed on the paper in front of him. He stared down at it until it moved. It moved! He pulled back covering his mouth as he lurched towards her bathroom.

The sounds of his puking drifted back to Samantha and she laughed softly. She hadn't invited him and she didn't want him here. It served him right. Not surprisingly after she heard the toilet flush Greg came back out into the living room. She'd finished her piece of pizza and before she could get another piece he picked up the box and took it into the kitchen throwing it into the trash. He stomped back and stood in front of her.

"Get dressed." His voice was quiet.

"I don't want to go out Greg. Can't you understand that?" Samantha asked.

"I understand that we've let you sit in this apartment too long. Dr. Benson told us to make sure you didn't exhibit certain behaviors and we didn't listen. Well, I'm finally listening Samantha." He sat down next to her and took her hand, studiously ignoring the pizza crumbs. "I don't want to have to call Dr. Benson, but I will if this is how you plan to keep living."

Samantha didn't look at him. Her gaze was glued to their entwined fingers. "I'm not ready. It's too soon Greg." She whispered.

"'s been too long. You have to face it. He's gone."

"I know. I know. God I know." She stood up suddenly and looked around helplessly. Her eyes landed on the door. Unlocked. She walked over too it quickly and snapped the deadbolt into place. "I'm scared." She said in a hushed voice.

He stood up and walked up behind Samantha and put his hand on her shoulders. "There's nothing to be scared of. It was an accident. It's gone, they destroyed the lion Sam."

"You don't understand."

"Sam, you have to realize that it was just a lion. Nothing else. There are no such things as Werewolves." Greg told her firmly.

"I'm not ready! I'm just not ready!" Samantha's shouted as she shrugged off his hands.

Greg rubbed his hand over his face. He nodded his head slowly. "Ok, Sam." He watched as she went into the bedroom and shut the door. She wasn't the same anymore. He wasn't even sure she would ever be the same. He started picking up the living room again. After an hour he finally had her apartment looking livable. He picked up his keys and whispered a soft prayer as he left her apartment locking the door after himself.

Samantha lay on her bed listening to Greg's movements on the other side of her door. She closed her eyes and noticed that just by the shuffle of his feet she could tell where he was in the apartment. Finally she heard the jingle of keys. The lock unbolting. Impossibly, she heard his whispered prayer. She closed her eyes again. God what is happening to me?


Blue eyes. Beautiful blue eyes. The face swam into focus as she stared into those eyes. Strong high cheek bones, generous full lips, a softly rounded chin surrounded by dark shaggy hair. She reached out a trembling hand to the woman crouched over her supine form. Even as her fingertips touched the smooth skin it began to change. The cheekbones flattened and elongated. The patrician nose extended. Powerful jaws emerged with deadly fangs. The scream came involuntarily as she stared in horror at the beast. She struggled to get away, to move, to run. She turned over and pulled away, somehow breaking free. She felt the claws grab her foot. Not breaking skin yet holding tightly. It started up her body again, stopping to sniff at the scar on her leg. The soft swipe of the tongue across it made her shiver and whimper with fear.

"Samantha, wake up!" Greg shouted as he shook her. Her scream had sent fear rocketing through him. He'd broken the key she'd given him to her apartment in his haste to get to her. The whimpering made his face contort in sympathy. She was going through so much. But it did seem to be getting a little better. She was going out again. He shook her again. "C'mon Sam, wake up now. It's just a dream." He soothed as he watched her eyelids flutter open.

Samantha gasped and bolted upright. She scooted as far from Greg as she could across the bed until she recognized him. She glanced around her room, still not quite believing it was a dream and she was safe. She took a deep breath and ran a shaking hand through her hair. Just a dream. It really was just a dream.

Greg stood up and moved away from Samantha giving her some room. He turned his back when he noticed that she wasn't wearing anything other than a tank top. "Um, I guess I'm a little early." He stammered.

"No, I over slept. I'll get my stuff on and we'll go." Samantha told his back as she tried to get a hold of herself and calm her racing heart.

"I'll just wait out in the living room." He told her. Leaving the room without another glance back.

"Who's idea was it to go running again?" Greg gasped as he tried to keep up with his twins pace.

Samantha turned around while she ran and gave him a pitying look. "It was yours. You said you'd been running regularly. Remember?"

"I have! You'd think laying on your ass for months would give me an edge here." He grumbled.

"I don't think you've been running as much as you think you have. I'm not even tired yet." Samantha taunted him. The amazing thing was she wasn't tired yet. They had been running for three miles already and she felt as fresh as she did on the first mile. In fact she'd been deliberately slowing her pace so Greg could keep up.

"I don't suppose you'd take mercy on me and stop for a few minutes?" He wheezed. He stopped without waiting for Samantha's agreement. He watched her keep going for a few hundred feet. She finally glanced around and saw him barely standing with his hands braced on his knees while he tried to breathe.

"Oh, you were serious." She said in apology as she jogged up. She didn't stop moving she just jogged in place while he glared at her.

"I meant three miles total Sam. Not three miles out and three miles back in."

"I felt like going further."

"Next time you feel like going further leave me at home." He complained.

"You invited me, Greg. In fact you demanded that I come with you. Quit your whining." She ordered as her eyes moved over the lake they had stopped beside. The woman caught her eye across the lake. She was staring openly at Samantha, not even pretending to look elsewhere when Sam's eyes met hers. She watched as the woman lifted her face and sniffed the air. Even across the length of the lake Samantha could see her clearly. Those eyes burned with a blue fire that made Samantha gasp.

Samantha took a step back from the woman and nearly tripped over Greg. The contact startled her and she glanced at Greg, then back at the woman. She was gone. Samantha looked around searching for her.

"What are you looking at?" Greg asked as he watched her look around. She looked terrified and frustrated all at once.

"Did you see her?" Samantha demanded without dragging her eyes away from the spot the woman had occupied only moments before.

"See who?" Greg asked as he glanced around them. It was unusually quiet for this time of day.

"That woman. You didn't see her?" Samantha asked as she turned to look at Greg. She couldn't disguise the fear and curiosity on her face even if she'd tried.

"No, I didn't see anyone. We're the only one's here." He told her slowly. He was starting to get worried. Something was wrong with her. "Sam should I call someone. Mom and Dad can come get us..." He trailed off as she shook her head.

"No. I'm gonna go. I'll see you later." She said quickly before sprinting away. She moved faster than Greg thought anyone could. Her ground eating stride taking her out of his sight before he could even call for her to wait.

She ran as fast as she could. In a very short time she noticed that she was only a mile away from her apartment. She slowed to a walk and stopped all together looking around in confusion. How on earth did I get here so fast? She hadn't even realized that she and Greg had jogged past this place. She glanced down the alley. How many months ago had it been? Five, six, seven maybe. Time really had no meaning for her anymore. Standing there staring down the alley she could still see everything as clear as the night it happened. The werewolf haunted her dreams. Those eyes burned in her mind making every moment a living torment. She had to face this. She was tired of running and hiding. She started to walk down the alley, going to where she had cowered that night. She stood staring at the faint discoloration of blood that couldn't or hadn't been removed. She could even smell the faint metallic smell of blood. Samantha closed her eyes and breathed deeply. It must have been her imagination but she could have sworn she could detect Michael's scent. She inhaled again trying to capture the elusive scent. A slight frown developed on her face as she detected a musky aroma. Something primal. The smell caused an immediate response. She felt heaviness in the pit of her stomach. Her nipples hardened painfully. She gasped trying to take in a cleansing breath, suddenly frightened by her body's reaction. The scent overwhelmed her. The arousal consumed her body. She turned around looking for the source.

Standing at the entrance of the alley was the woman. Samantha backed away, coming up against the wall. She couldn't seem to look away from her. The woman walked towards her. Every movement of her body radiating danger. Samantha felt the heaviness in her lower torso increase as the woman got closer. She was panting slowly, feeling the full effects of her arousal. Then sooner than Samantha thought possible the woman was standing in front of her. So close. She was so close. Samantha stared into those familiar blue eyes. Blue eyes that caused fear, loathing and desire all in the same moment. Samantha wondered how, knowing who this woman was, she could feel any kind of desire for her. The woman was so close that Samantha could feel the heat of her body. She was so hot Samantha thought that if she just touched the woman her fingers would come away blistered. She stood entranced as the woman leaned closer. The blue eyes closed as she inhaled Samantha's own scent. The eyes opened again and Samantha could see the burning blue fire that had ignited. The woman raised her hand and gently ran her finger down Samantha's cheek. The feel of that fingertip against her skin caused Samantha to moan. She was no longer afraid. Not even fear could penetrate the fog of desire that had enveloped her. A growl answered Samantha's groan.

"One of us. Soon." The woman breathed into Samantha's ear.

Samantha watched as the woman turned and walked away from her. Samantha fell to the ground, her knees finally giving out when she could no longer see the woman. She shook as she stared at the entrance of the alley. Only one word echoed in her mind as the trembling over took her. Soon.

Samantha sat in the alley for what felt like hours. The trembling had stopped. The fog that had held her so captivated had released her. Her thoughts ran rampant in her mind. She had to face the truth. This was happening to her. It has been happening to her. She was changing. She could feel it. Everything was more. Colors, sounds, smells were all more. She rose unsteadily to her feet, standing for a moment to regain her bearings. She started for home again. Where it was safe, where she could think.


Samantha watched Dr. Benson as he made notes on a pad by his elbow. She'd come to him with every intention of telling him what had happened with the woman. She wanted to unburden herself. To make him understand and help her. She sat watching him and realized that she couldn't tell him anything. He hadn't believed her before. He wouldn't believe her now. She sighed softly realizing that there really wasn't any point to even coming to him anymore. She decided to just do it.

"Dr. Benson, I don't think I'll be coming back anymore. I don't think there's anything else you can help me with." Or nothing that I would ask for help with she thought privately.

"Samantha I think it's a bit soon to stop your therapy." Dr. Benson said slowly. Her sudden announcement alarmed the doctor. He felt that Samantha was still a long ways from accepting and dealing with everything that happened to her that night.

"I don't." Came the swift reply.

"Shouldn't we at least talk about why you think you're ready to quit therapy?"

"There's nothing to talk about. I understand what happened. I understand why it happened. Talking about it won't change it." Samantha told him patiently.

Dr. Benson sighed. He knew when a patient had made up their minds. It didn't accomplish anything to force the issue. In fact in most cases it could hurt the patient if he insisted. She wasn't a threat to herself or anyone else in his opinion. He had no choice but to go along with her decision.

He smiled at her. " So this is it then, the end. I hope you have a good life Samantha. If you need to talk please don't hesitate to call me." He said as he stood up and offered her his hand.

She shook his hand not returning the smile. "Actually this is just the beginning." She said before leaving him standing there staring after her, a slightly worried frown on his face.


Samantha arrived at her parent's house a few minutes early. They'd called right after she got home from Dr. Benson's office asking her over to dinner. She sat in her car only a couple of houses down from her parent's home. A heavy sigh escaped as she sat staring at the house. She had a feeling that Dr. Benson had called her parents right after she left his office. He hadn't seemed to take her quitting therapy very well. She supposed this is what she deserved for not only living so close to her parents but also working in the family business. Her parents and her brother all thought they could tell her what to do. They thought they knew what was best for her. Samantha realized that they loved and cared for her. They only wanted to protect her and this was their way of doing that. But even parents couldn't protect you from some things.

Samantha opened her car door and took a deep breath preparing for the inevitable battle with her family. She walked up the sidewalk to the front door and before she could knock or ring the doorbell her mom opened the door.

Mrs. Anderson pulled her daughter in to the house and gave her a hug. She had been so close to losing her. She couldn't imagine the world without Samantha in it. She didn't want to imagine that world.

"I'm so glad you're here early. I invited someone else to dinner; she's already here. I can't wait for you to meet her." Mrs. Anderson babbled excitedly. "I know you'll like her. We met her when we were visiting you in the hospital."

"Oh?" Samantha managed in the lull.

"Yes, she was such a nice girl. Always so pleasant and helpful when we visited. I was so happy to hear she was being released. I hope you don't mind the extra company?" Her mother continued explaining.

"No that's great. I'm glad you made a new friend." Samantha hesitated for a moment her mother's words just registering. "Released?"

"Oh yes, she was a patient on your ward. For so many days you didn't say anything, so we talked to some of the other patients. We met Claire on our second visit. She's such a nice girl." Mrs. Anderson told her quietly. "A little misunderstood, but very sweet."

"You don't think one person from the loony bin is enough?" Samantha asked sarcastically.

"Dear we don't call it the loony bin. It's not politically correct." Her mother admonished gently.

"No? What do you call it then?"

"Well, the ...seventh floor actually." She said as she lead her daughter into the living room where Claire was talking with her father and Greg.

"Claire," Mrs. Anderson said as she entered the room with Samantha. "I'd like you to meet my daughter, Samantha Anderson. Samantha this is Claire Gavin."

Samantha pasted a small smile on her face and approached the other woman intent on shaking her hand and making a quick escape to the kitchen to avoid any small talk. The closer she got the more enticing the aroma became. Samantha sniffed the air unobtrusively. She turned her head from side to side trying to pinpoint the smell. When her hand met Claire's in greeting, Samantha realized that the scent was Claire's.

Samantha stumbled back a little. Her hasty retreat caused her to blush. She mumbled an apology for being clumsy as she stared hard at Claire. Claire's dark eyes met her stare boldly. Equally intrigued by Samantha as she apparently was with her. She closed her eyes as the scent increased in strength. Samantha wanted to get closer to the woman. Hell she wanted to bend over and sniff her in an inappropriate place. She didn't think that would go over in polite company.

"Samantha." Her mother whispered as she came to her side. "Samantha you're staring."

"I'm sorry." She smiled an apology to Claire. Samantha hurried to the bathroom for a quick escape. "I'm just going to freshen up. I'll only be a moment." She threw over her shoulder hastily.

Samantha looked at her reflection in the mirror. Then she glared at her reflection, becoming irritated with the woman staring back at her. "What the hell is wrong with you?" She snarled at her reflection. "Have you lost your mind? That was a woman you were about ...I don't know what you were about to do, but it wasn't good!" She poked the reflection's chest. "Get." She poked harder. "A." Another poke. "Grip!" The last poke rattled the mirror and bruised her finger. Samantha shook her finger and glared at her reflection blaming her finger on it as well.

She took a calming breath trying to take her own advice. "Ok, I'm good." Samantha shook out her shoulders trying to loosen some of the tension. "I'm fine. It was no big deal. I'm sure everyone smells differently." Samantha rationalized. "That's it. I just haven't been around enough people. I'm sure men have the same effect on me too." She told herself comfortingly. She frowned and glanced up at the mirror. Her reflection was mocking her. "That guy in the elevator doesn't count. For god sakes, he was wearing a Klingon Bird of Prey T-shirt." Her voice held a hint of exasperation. The mocking look still stared back at her. "So what if I had almost the same response to Claire as I did to the woman in the alley. It doesn't mean anything. Just go out there and ignore it, it'll go away." She reassured herself.

She finally sat down on the side of the tub and rested her arms on her thighs. She glanced around the small bathroom. Her mother needed to clean the base of the toilet again. She glanced down at the scar prominent on her leg. She slapped it in frustration, then let out a pained hiss. She knew what was happening. She'd known for a while. She was becoming one...a werewolf. She'd never been one of those kids who dreamed about being a werewolf or a vampire or a witch. Well, once she'd thought it would be fun to be Wonderwoman. The invisible jet was cool. But, it wasn't real.

Samantha put her face in her hands and started to cry. She hadn't really cried when Michael died. She hadn't cried in the hospital. She hadn't even cried when she was in her apartment hiding from the world. This made her cry though. It figured that it would happen in the bathroom. All her epiphanies occurred in the bathroom. It must be something about the acoustics, or not. Samantha sniffled, trying to stop crying. She stood up and looked into the mirror again. The mocking face was gone, replaced by red and puffy eyes in a sad face. She splashed cold water on her face hoping it would help. When she looked back up into the mirror all she saw was the disguise of a monster. Her face covered up evil. Soon she would be the one attacking and killing innocent people. It was more than she could stand to think about. She splashed more water on her face as she drove the thought away. If she didn't think about it, it wasn't true. 'It is true' her mind screamed. Werewolves were real and they walk among us. And I'm one of them.

The knock on the door a few seconds later made her jump slightly. She turned towards the door and caught that scent again. She felt her heart start to pound in her chest. Samantha took a deep, calming breath and opened the door.

Claire stood with her hand poised to knock again when Samantha opened the door. Samantha's eyes were riveted on the other woman. Her nostrils flared as Claire's scent assailed her. Samantha took a step forward causing Claire to take a step back. Samantha knew she had invaded Claire's personal space, but she couldn't seem to help herself. She was like chocolate to a person on a diet. It took all her will power to not take another step forward and force Claire against the hallway wall.

"I'm sorry if my being here made you uncomfortable." Claire offered sadly. "I know I'm probably a reminder of the hospital. I just wanted to apologize, and say it was nice to finally meet you." Claire smiled faintly and turned starting down the hallway back towards the living room and the door.

Samantha stared at her retreating back, realizing slowly exactly what Claire was subtly saying. "Wait!" She should have just let her go. She should have opened the front door and bolted it when she stepped over the threshold. And JFK should've had a bullet proof Limo.

Claire stopped and did a slow pivot. She stood waiting with an expectant look on her face.

"You don't have to leave." Samantha told her as she approached. "I'd rather you didn't leave."

"I don't want to cause you anymore pain." Claire said as she raised her hands indicating Samantha's slightly red eyes. It was obvious to Claire that Samantha had been crying.

Samantha smiled slightly, trying to hide the bitterness and anger that were in her eyes at the real reason for her tears. "Believe me it wasn't because of you." She told Claire.

"If your certain?" Claire offered Samantha a final out.

"Very." Samantha said ending the discussion. "Why don't we join everyone else. I'm sure Greg is ready to starve by now." Samantha said as she motioned Claire to proceed her.

"He did seem to be sniffing around the kitchen a bit when I came back here."

Samantha laughed softly and shook her head. "In that case there's the possibility that there isn't any food left to eat."


Dinner turned out to be slightly less awkward than Samantha had originally feared. Claire and her mother kept up the majority of the conversation, while Greg and her father chatted with each other about the business. Samantha let the conversations roll over her content to sit and listen. Claire's laughter caught her attention. She found herself studying the woman critically. Once Samantha had gotten used to the constant state of arousal that Claire's scent inspired she noticed the woman's looks. Claire reminded her of Tia Carerra. Her features were slightly oriental. Long straight black hair framed dark eyes that seemed to absorb light. Her looks suggested a subdued personality but she was very outgoing.

Samantha set down her fork and picked up her glass. The scent of beer filled her nostrils. She took a cautious sip. She'd already had two, she didn't want to over do it. She still had to drive home. Her eyes flickered back over to Claire. She let her eyes travel down her torso, the inspection stopping only because she couldn't see through the table. She couldn't help wondering what Claire would look like...

"Samantha, sweetheart did you here me?" Mrs. Anderson asked her daughter.

"What?" An embarrassed blush stole up Samantha's neck and face. "I'm sorry. What was that?"

"Claire was just saying that she does group therapy now and finds it helpful. I thought it would be something for you to look into."

"Somehow I don't think group therapy would be right for me, mother."

"Well, it couldn't hurt to look into it." Mrs. Anderson persisted.

Samantha just shook her head not willing to get into it.

"It's not just therapy, it's a support structure. It can do a lot of good for you if you'll let it." Claire told her.

Samantha glared at the woman. She'd overstepped her bounds. Claire didn't know anything about her. How dare she tell her what could be good for her. "Oh, is that your professional opinion as a lunatic?" Samantha asked snidely.

Samantha watched as anger flashed in her eyes and red washed up Claire's neck. "I was just trying to help." Claire bit out through her clenched jaw.

"You don't know anything about me. Don't try to help." Samantha snapped.

"Samantha! That's uncalled for, you owe Claire an apology." Mrs. Anderson said, embarrassment and anger showing equally in her features and voice. "She was only doing what I asked her to." Greg and Mr. Anderson remained quiet as surprised by Samantha's outburst as Mrs. Anderson was.

"That's alright Mrs. Anderson." Claire said softly. "Samantha's had a difficult time." Claire turned to face Samantha. "You're wrong though." Claire leaned forward her dark eyes boring into Samantha's. "I know quite a bit about you. You can't be on the seventh floor and not have every patient there know what you're there for."

"I doubt you know that much." Samantha said with less heat.

Claire laughed condescendingly. "You think you saw a werewolf kill you fiancée. Everyone knew it." Claire continued on ignoring the shocked looks of everyone else at the table. No one had mentioned to Claire exactly what had happened to Samantha that night. "Everyone thought you were a nutcase. Even the nutcases!"

"Really, what exactly were you in there for?" Samantha asked angrily, ready to bring her dirty laundry to light.

Claire smiled again and shrugged unconcerned about the question. "I had a nervous breakdown. Coming out was very hard for me. It took a long time for me to accept myself." Claire said matter of factly.

"You're gay?" Mrs. Anderson asked astonished. She knew the phrase 'coming out' she'd just never heard anyone use it.

"Yes." Claire answered.

Samantha leaned back in her chair and glared Claire. That was why dammit. That was why she was so affected by the scent. Claire was attracted to her. No wonder everyone else she'd had contact with didn't smell as strong.

Samantha stood up slowly and put her napkin beside her plate. "If you'll excuse me, I have to go." She gave a nod to her family and left. She stopped and took a breath of air when she got outside. When she started to cut across the manicured lawn to her car she heard the door to her parents house open. She expected to hear her mother's voice, instead she heard Claire calling out her name.

Samantha stopped and turned around still feeling irrationally angry with Claire for being attracted to her and causing an arousal in her. She waited while Claire walked over to her.

"So, you have a problem with gay people?" Claire asked accusingly.


Claire stepped back for a moment put off by the answer. "What?"

"I said I don't have a problem with gay people." Samantha said slowly.

"You have a problem with me?" Claire said after a few seconds.


"What the hell did I ever do to you?" Claire asked angrily. She was well past the point of good judgement. Samantha had verbally attacked her for no reason. She was pissed.

"You're attracted to me!" Samantha accused.

"You're fucking insane. More insane than anyone thought before." Claire shot back. She watched as Samantha's eyes dilated to pinpoints.

"I can smell it! I can smell it from here!"

Claire looked confused at those words. Smell it? Smell what? She turned her head slightly and sniffed at her underarm. "You're crazy. I don't smell anything."

"I do." Samantha said quietly as she moved closer. The smell had gotten stronger, laced with anger. Quite intoxicating and irresistible. Samantha stepped up to Claire and looked into her eyes. She closed her eyes and dipped her head inhaling delicately. She opened her eyes just as Claire tried to take a step back away from her. Samantha grabbed the other woman's belt loops and held her in place. Claire looked into eyes that impossibly, didn't even have pupils. Not even pinpoints. Just a light blue, the color of the sky on a slightly overcast day. Samantha leaned forward again this time capturing Claire's lips.

Samantha let her lips softly move over Claire's. She traced those lips with her tongue until they parted allowing her tongue to slip inside. The kiss lasted for what felt like an eternity until Samantha caught another scent on the wind. A frighteningly familiar scent. She ended the kiss abruptly pulling away from Claire and glanced around for the woman from the alley.

Samantha stepped back from Claire and did a slow turn, her eyes scanning for the woman. She closed her eyes and sniffed the air. She caught it again and turned her face into it. She opened her eyes and looked down the street. Standing under a tree about two blocks away was a shadowy figure. Watching. Samantha started towards the woman. An equal mixture of fear, rage and desire filled her as she walked towards her.

"Samantha!" Claire called out in confusion. "Samantha!"

Samantha didn't even hear Claire she was so intent on the other woman. She was surprised when a hand grabbed her arm and turned her around forcefully.

"Where the hell are you going? You don't just kiss someone and walk off!" Claire practically yelled.

Samantha opened her mouth to say something but didn't know what to say. She glanced over her shoulder at the woman under the tree and back at Claire again. Samantha knew instinctively that Claire was in danger from the other woman. If aggressiveness was a smell then it was what Samantha smelled from the shadowy figure. Possessive aggressiveness.

"Claire, I have to go. Go back inside." Samantha said evenly. She tried to sound as calm as possible.

"No. I'm not leaving until you tell me what the hell that was back there." Claire demanded.

Samantha glared at Claire. She grabbed her hand, pulling Claire to her car, practically pushing her inside. She stared at the shadow figure under the tree as she waited for Claire to start the car.

"I can't just leave, I haven't even said goodnight to your family!" Claire said in exasperation. Samantha must be even crazier than everyone thought.

Samantha slowly tore her eyes away from the other woman and looked at Claire. Samantha heard her gasp. The animal intensity of her gaze must have startled Claire. She could only imagine what Claire was seeing in her. "It's safer if you leave now."

Claire nodded her head and started the car. Samantha looked back down the road to the shaded tree. She was gone. She turned quickly, afraid that somehow she'd managed to stop Claire. She sighed with relief as she saw Claire watching her in her rearview mirror as she drove away.


Samantha paced her living room trying not to panic. She'd left her parent's house with only a terse goodbye and barely an explanation as to why Claire had to leave so unexpectedly. She stopped pacing suddenly. An overpowering anger enveloping her as she thought about that woman, that monster stalking her. And the woman was stalking her. She could smell her scent in the apartment building, it wasn't as strong as it had been in front of her parent's house, but it was still present.

The question, Samantha thought, is why is she stalking me. Why did she attack Michael and I? Why did she leave me alive? And why the hell, if there are werewolves wandering around this city, aren't the police aware of them? Didn't a full moon have to be present for a werewolf to transform? It hadn't been a full moon that night. So many questions. Samantha sighed letting go of her anger and plopped down on her couch to stare at the ceiling as she tried to work it out.

She had to find out what was happening to her. She had to find information about what was happening to her. Of course, some of what is written in fairy tales and folklore must be true. Distinguishing between fact and fiction was going to be a trial. Samantha was willing to bet she couldn't just type in werewolf on an Internet search and get the scoop. She also couldn't afford to wait to find out about werewolves by waiting to see what happened with herself. She only knew of one person, or rather one thing that had the answers she needed. She closed her eyes thinking about frightening blue eyes that had the power to arouse as well as terrify her.

Samantha woke up slowly. The pain in her neck pulling her out of a pleasant sleep induced fog. She sat up on the couch and rolled her shoulders, truly regretting falling asleep on the infernal couch. What had possessed her to buy such a hard piece of furniture was beyond her, from now on only downy softness. She turned around and looked at the clock. Hmm...two o'clock. She'd only been asleep for a few hours. It was the perfect time to look for her, or rather be found by her. Samantha wasn't naive enough to believe that she could find the woman. But, she knew that the woman could find her. Time to go be bait.

Samantha decided to go grab a quick shower before going out. She was surprised when the doorbell sounded. She glanced at the door with annoyance. Who the hell would come over at 2am? It was probably Greg checking up on her. Their parents probably sent him over to make sure she wasn't having a psychological break, probably after hours of discussing her. Still what if she'd been sleeping! She stalked over to the door ready to let loose some of her annoyance on her overprotective brother. Samantha yanked the door open after unlocking the deadbolt and releasing the chain and glared into the Claire's astonished face.

Samantha just stared at Claire, not really sure what to say to her unexpected presence except: "What the hell are you doing here? Do you know what time it is?"

"You told me it wasn't safe at your parents house yesterday, so I came here." Claire told her reasonably. "And it's two o'clock or around two o'clock."

"That's right! What the hell are you doing here at two o'clock in the morning?" Samantha asked exasperated.

Claire looked at Samantha oddly. "Actually it's two in the afternoon." Claire told her with a raised eyebrow. She gestured behind her to the sunlight streaming through the windows.

Samantha looked around her into the hallway. She glanced back into her apartment at the closed blinds. She left the door and lifted the blinds letting the bright sunshine into her apartment. She ran her hands through her hair. She'd been asleep for eighteen hours? How the hell had that happened? She turned around helplessly confused about what was happening. Claire was standing inside the door watching her with a speculative look.

"What?" Samantha asked annoyed.

"Is something wrong?" Claire asked slowly.

"I feel like Rip VanWinkle." Samantha mumbled to herself. Claire heard her anyway.

"I take it you've just woke up?" Claire asked.

"Yeah." Samantha said distractedly as she rubbed her aching neck.

"You look good that way." Claire told her with a sexy crooked smile.

Samantha gazed at Claire for a moment. She could detect the faint scent of arousal beginning to exude from Claire. This time it caused a much faster and more intense response in Samantha. She felt an instant arousal.

Samantha stepped further away from Claire, trying in vain to clear the arousal from her mind and body. She shook her head impatiently. She knew from experience it was only a matter of time before she gave into her baser instincts. But dammit now was not the time for her body to go hormonal on her. She had to find answers.

"You need to go." Samantha told Claire calmly and quietly. Maintaining her composure by sheer force of will.

"You just can't kiss a girl and think she's going to just let it go. Especially a kiss like the one we had yesterday." Claire responded while shaking her head. "You're attracted to me." She told Samantha confidently as she moved closer.

"You don't know what you're doing." She felt the desire surging through her body, ready to take over.

"I know exactly what I'm doing Samantha." Claire said as she stepped yet closer, their bodies almost touching.

Samantha could feel the heat radiating off Claire. She could smell the strong musk of her arousal. She couldn't resist; there wasn't any point to trying. She closed the distance in split second surrender. Her mouth claimed Claire's slowly. Every bit of desire and passion was transmitting itself through that kiss.

The sound of a throat being cleared interrupted them. Or that was what Claire assumed it was. It actually sounded more like a growl. That wasn't possible though, certainly a growl wouldn't come out of the beautiful woman standing in Samantha's doorway.

Samantha glanced over Claire's shoulder and saw her standing there. The woman's eyes glowed unnaturally as her gaze devoured Samantha. She watched as the werewolf's eyes glanced over Claire. The flash of anger that ignited them made Samantha step in front of Claire.

:"What do you want?" Samantha asked angrily. She may have decided to find this woman for answers but on her own terms. Certainly not in her home and not with Claire or anyone else present. She also couldn't forget what this woman had done. How she'd ruined her life and made her into a monster.

The woman just smiled seductively in response and walked inside closing the apartment door behind her.

Samantha refused to ask again. She didn't want to appear impatient or weak. She knew instinctively if she did it would have devastating consequences. So she waited patiently keeping Claire behind her.

"I came to see you." The werewolf finally responded. She cocked her head as she looked at Samantha. "I know you've been waiting for me."

Samantha was entranced. The werewolf's eyes held hers in a silent battle of wills. Samantha shook herself and blinked, breaking the trance. She glanced over her shoulder at Claire. Her eyes lingering on the soft features and concerned eyes. Claire was concerned about her? Samantha smiled briefly and spoke softly. "I need to speak with her. I think you should go."

"I'd rather not." Claire whispered back. She didn't like the looks of that woman. Nor did she like how she was looking at Samantha.

Samantha nodded in understanding. She didn't want to stop what had only just begun between them either. "I'll see you later." It wasn't a question it was a promise. They both knew it.

Claire finally nodded in acceptance. This wasn't the time or place to ask Samantha who this woman was to her. Besides, Samantha didn't owe her anything. Yet when she stepped forward to leave Samantha grabbed her hand and walked her to the door. Keeping herself between Claire and the mysterious dark haired woman. Claire opened the door and stepped into the hallway. She turned back to Samantha mesmerized by the intensity of those eyes staring at her. She felt like the gaze was devouring her. Claire glanced into the apartment as Samantha stepped back to shut the door. The mysterious woman's eyes glinted with cunning animal viciousness that made her shiver.

Samantha closed the door not bothering to lock it. What she normally locked her door against was already in the apartment with her. They started circling each other cautiously. Samantha wondered briefly what the other woman had to be cautious about, of the two of them Samantha wasn't the killer.

The woman tilted her head and smiled slightly. "You hate me." It wasn't a question.

Samantha laughed harshly. "You're surprised?"

"You're afraid of me." The woman continued as if she didn't hear Samantha. She watched Samantha as Samantha glared her hate. The woman took an aggressive step towards her. "Tell me!"

Samantha glared at her, her eyes glittering unnaturally with hatred. When she spoke her voice wasn't her own. It was gravely and deep. More a snarl than anything. "I'd kill you if I could!"

The woman nodded her head. "If you could." She smiled. "But, you need me."

Samantha shuddered. It was so hard. So hard to control these feelings. So hard not to try to tear the woman apart, leaving nothing but mangled remains. She released a deep sigh and took another breath. Finally after what seemed like never ending minutes she regained some control. "Yes. I do need you." Samantha agreed grudgingly.

"You have questions, no?" The woman asked.

Samantha nodded 'yes' noting for the first time that the woman had a way of speaking that made one think that she wasn't native to the English language. "What's your name?" Samantha asked after a pause. Samantha could tell that the question was a surprise to the woman. There were so many more important questions to ask. However, none as important to Samantha. She wanted to know the name of the thing that killed Michael. She wanted to know the name she would curse for the rest of her life.

"Anique." She said bowing in introduction. "I would provide a last name but it wouldn't be my true name. Nor is it important."

"Anique," Samantha paused testing out the name. "What did you do to me?"

Anique chuckled softly. "You know that already."

"I'd still like to hear you say it." Samantha said evenly.

Anique smiled easily and regarded her with shrewd eyes. "I have given you a gift. Longer life. Heightened senses. Freedom. In ancient times you would be a god."

"You mean a monster." Samantha returned.

Anique's face changed suddenly becoming a frightening mask of anger that thrust into Samantha's own. "A god!" She snarled.

Samantha stared transfixed as Anique's face shifted and changed slightly, becoming partially wolf-like before settling back into her human features.

Anique moved away walking around the apartment, appearing to examine the room in detail. "You're lucky you know. I've known people who starved to death during the initial part of the transformation. The catatonic state has caused many people to be killed or committed."

"What?" Samantha asked confused.

"You were asleep for months, no? I believe they call it shock, autism, catatonic. Whatever they diagnosed you as being, it was merely a form of hibernation while you changed." Anique said dismissing the thought. "Now your senses are becoming more." Anique smiled slyly then. "I'm sure you've noticed this?"

Samantha just murmured a positive answer.

"You've noticed the arousal. You can smell it can't you? Strong. Overpowering." Anique moved closer her voice becoming more intimate, caressing Samantha as she spoke. "You wanted her? You even wanted me, didn't you? Yes. I can smell it even now." Anique lowered her face to Samantha's body and inhaled delicately. "You can't control it yet." Anique whispered as she drew a finger down Samantha's cheek. "Anyone's arousal can trigger your own. As can anyone's anger. It's the pheromones that people put off. Women have stronger scents, as you have noticed."

Samantha shivered feeling her arousal building. She fought it down. "So I'm going to become a killer?" She felt nauseous asking the question. It was something she had to know. Something that had burned in her mind since she figured out what was happening to her. Death would be preferable to that.

"Ah, you have a moral dilemma." Anique acknowledged. "There are some who exist without killing humans." Anique spat condescendingly. "We are predators, Samantha. The ultimate predators. No prey is beyond us. You need not concern yourself with this too much. We only hunt once a month."

Samantha closed her eyes. She savored hearing her name purred in that voice even as she despaired what it was saying. A voice that was so close, seducing her slowly. Samantha had to continually remind herself who and what this woman was.

"I think we've talked enough for now." Anique said breaking Samantha out of the spell.

Anique moved towards the door, turning just as she reached it. "Just one other thing Samantha. You are mine. I will kill anyone who comes between us." Anique walked out the door leaving Samantha staring after her. ___________________________________________________________________

Samantha paced her apartment, those last words ringing in her mind. 'I will kill anyone who comes between us'. She had to get away from here. Samantha knew that running was the only option she had left. She couldn't wait around for Anique to kill everyone close to Samantha that she felt threatened by. She'd have to arrange it with her family. They were the only one's who really needed to know. She'd tell them she was going on a vacation, a retreat, to get away for a little while. None of her friends called or stopped by anymore, she didn't have to worry about them. Claire. Samantha ran a hand through her hair in frustration. She'd promised Claire that she would see her. It just isn't safe! Anique could feel that Claire was coming between them right now, for God's sake. Claire could already be in danger. God, she would have to warn Claire. Maybe she could leave town for a while too. Moving would be better but Samantha would settle for Claire leaving until this somehow resolved itself.

She picked up the phone and dialed her parent's house. Her mother picked up on the first ring. Samantha quickly informed her mother of her plans and told her not to give her whereabouts out to anyone. She wanted complete and total privacy.

She called Greg next. He put up more of a fight that he or someone else goes with her. She finally had to tell him that all the smothering was the reason she had to get away. He was quiet for a few seconds before agreeing. He knew they had all been extremely overprotective of her.

Samantha packed a couple of suitcases and carried them to her car. She put them into the trunk and scanned the area looking for any signs of Anique. She took a deep breath trying to pick up her scent. She couldn't detect her at all. Samantha climbed into her car and headed for the nearest ATM. There were hundreds of them everywhere but she wanted to have as much cash on her as possible. She fished out her cell phone while she was waiting for the machine to give her the money. She dialed the number that her mother had given her for Claire when she called. She waited anxiously for Claire to pick-up. Samantha was terrified that somehow Anique had already gotten to Claire. When she heard the husky voice she let loose a sigh of relief.

"Hi, um it's Samantha."

"I thought you said you would see me later?" Claire asked teasingly.

Samantha laughed softly as she grabbed the five hundred dollars and stuffed it into her pocket. "Actually, that's why I'm calling. I want to see you. I just don't know where you live."

"Oh, well in that case, I live just outside of town in the WinterGarden Condo complex. Number five." Claire told her.

"I'll be there soon. And Claire?"


"Don't open the door for anyone except me." Samantha hung up without saying anything else.

She pulled into a spot in front of number five. As soon as Samantha stepped out of the car the front door opened. Claire waited patiently while Samantha scanned the area around the Condo. When Samantha seemed satisfied she walked up to Claire and brushed past her grabbing her hand and pulling Claire in after her. Samantha locked the door, wishing that Claire had a deadbolt. But in all honesty if Anique showed up would even a deadbolt be able to keep her out. Samantha didn't think so. She remembered the rippling muscle of the werewolf. Nothing would be able to stop her from getting in.

"Do you want to tell me what's going on?" Claire asked confused and slightly alarmed. "Why shouldn't I have opened my door to anyone but you?"

"I'm leaving town, I think you should do the same." Samantha said without preamble. She had meant to explain things, to ease into asking Claire to leave town. However, with Claire standing in front of her, the scent of her excitement present, Samantha was feeling anxious and overly excited herself.

"You're leaving? Why?"

It was as if she hadn't even heard Samantha's suggestion that Claire leave as well. "It's not safe here for me. I don't think it's safe for you either." Samantha told her.

"What in the hell are you talking about?" Claire said sharply taking a step closer to Samantha.

Samantha could smell the fear and anger coming from Claire now. It made her growl in response. A deep rumbling growl that couldn't possibly be made by a human being.

Claire stepped back, retreating from the sound. Samantha felt her aggression ease somewhat when Claire stepped away. Just to be safe Samantha put even more distance between them by turning her back and walking a few steps away to the couch, where she sat down. She glanced up at Claire through her eyelashes. She decided to try again.

"Claire, I need you to leave town for a while. It's not safe here. There's something...someone who could hurt you." Samantha said quietly.

"Who?" Claire asked disbelievingly.

"The woman from my apartment this afternoon." Samantha hesitated unsure how much she could and should tell her. "She's ..dangerous."

"Why is she interested in me?"

"Because I'm interested in you." Samantha said honestly.

Claire smiled for the first time since Samantha first walked in the door. "As it happens I'm interested in you too."

Samantha just nodded her head in acknowledgement of those words. She watched Claire move to the couch and sit down next to her. It occurred to Samantha that Claire wasn't taking the threat seriously. She didn't know how to make Claire understand just how dangerous Anique was without telling her everything. Not that Claire didn't know about Samantha seeing a werewolf. Claire leaned over and took Samantha's hand holding it gently. She stroked the hand with her thumb while she leaned towards Samantha.

Just like every other time Samantha was powerless to resist. Once the scent of arousal overwhelmed her senses she was lost. Unlike the other times however this kiss wasn't interrupted. Samantha pressed Claire back into the couch, covering her body with her own. The kiss went on for endless minutes. Samantha felt an excitement building in her body that she'd never felt before. A flame ignited in the pit of her stomach and radiated throughout her body obliterating all thoughts but the feeling of this woman in her arms and the scent surrounding her. Samantha didn't even hear Claire when she spoke. She did finally notice when Claire pushed at her. She shook herself out of the fog and looked down on Claire with burning eyes.

Claire rubbed Samantha's arms in a caressing motion as she gasped for breath. Those kisses were incendiary. She wanted to slow things down. She wanted to slow Samantha down. Claire felt as if she were being devoured.

Samantha closed her eyes concentrating on the feel of Claire's hands rubbing her bare arms below her shirtsleeve. She had trouble breathing. She realized with horror that the power to mate was beginning to overwhelm her. She didn't have control over her actions. Samantha rolled off Claire and staggered away, afraid that if she didn't put some distance between them she would just take her. That thought sent a shiver of revulsion down her spine. She wasn't an animal. Not completely. Not yet.

"I'm sorry I didn't mean to get so out of control. I have to go." Samantha said her voice hoarse and short.

"No!" Claire said quickly springing up from the couch were she had been reclining while she regained her bearings. "God, Samantha you can't just kiss me then run off again. You don't have anything to be sorry for. I started the kiss. I wanted it."

Samantha shook her head slowly as Claire started towards her. She started to panic, feeling those instincts rise up again. Something had changed in her. She felt complete. She felt the completeness inside. It felt wonderful. She wanted so badly to give in. To let go. To let it take over. Yet she held back afraid for herself, even more afraid for Claire. She held up her hands warding off Claire as she approached. "No, you don't understand!" Samantha said desperately as she glanced around for an escape.

"Yes I do. You're scared Samantha, I understand that perfectly. But, there's nothing to be afraid of." Claire said softly.

"I could hurt you." Samantha told her in a desolate voice.

"We could hurt each other." Claire responded reasonably.

"You don't understand." Samantha tried again. "I'm changing."

"I know you've never been with a woman before Samantha. It's nothing to be afraid of. I can help you." Claire said gently.

Samantha ran her hand through her hair in frustration. She would just have to tell her. Just say it. "No!" Samantha raised her voice. "I'm changing! I'm turning into...into a werewolf." Samantha finished softly. She didn't glance up to see Claire's reaction. The silence was enough. She knew she had to get it all out. To explain it before she lost her nerve and before Claire kicked her out. " scratched me that night." Samantha sat down on the floor and pulled up the leg of her jeans showing Claire the long scar. "I've been changing ever since. That's who that woman was in my apartment. She's the one who did this to me. She turned me into a monster and I can't stop it." Tears shimmered in Samantha's eyes but she refused to let them fall. She shed her last tear over this ages ago. "I can't even control it." She whispered brokenly as she slid down the wall. She closed her eyes and rested her chin on her knees as she hugged them to her body. Samantha expected Claire to run in fear or call her insane and throw her out instead she felt soft fingertips on her cheek. She hadn't even been aware that Claire had moved.

"I know you believe that Samantha. I know you feel like you have to believe that. I understand how hard it is to cope with the death of someone you love." Claire said sympathetically. "But, Samantha you have to understand there are no such thing as werewolves. They don't exist...." Claire was interrupted by the deep growl that emanated from Samantha. She pulled her hand away quickly and fell back onto her hands. She stared at Samantha's face wondering at the enraged growl that was still rumbling up from her chest. Then, Samantha's pupils constricted to pinpoints before they disappeared totally. Claire gasped as Samantha's features began to shift. Before her eyes Samantha's face began to change to that of a canine. Claire cried out suddenly terrified. She scuttled back on her hands and feet in a crab walk before she stood and dashed for the door. She glanced over her shoulder as she opened the door and saw intelligent, pain filled light blue eyes staring at her as she ran.

Samantha sat on the floor struggling to bring it back under control. She'd fought so hard to make it happen. She had to convince Claire. She had to make sure Claire was safe. Samantha listened to Claire's car door slam and the engine start. The tires squealing caused a pain in Samantha's heart. Claire would be safe. Claire would hide from Samantha and be protected from Anique at the same time. Samantha stared down, as her hands became human once again. She knew she had changed back, she could feel that as well. She stood up and glanced around the room. A brief moment of happiness had been had here. It was quickly eclipsed by the image of Claire's horror stricken face as she stared at her. Samantha sighed softly. It was time to hide.


The cabin was on small lake surrounded by a dense forest. Her parents had thought that the land would be a good investment and possibly a nice retirement residence. Instead being so isolated it became a piece of property to maintain but never really use. Everything was miles away. The nearest store was an hour drive. Samantha spent most of her evening staring out at the water. The moon's reflection off the rippling water captivated her. And if the moon brought to mind the myths of werewolves she tried not to dwell on it. After two months of hiding Samantha had really come to terms with everything. She accepted what she felt for Claire. She did wonder idly if she had met a man first, would the attraction be this intense? Or would meeting Claire have eclipsed any attraction? Her thoughts wandered back to Anique. She knew eventually Anique would find her and she had come to accept that as well. Samantha accepted there was something between them, just like there was with Claire. Some kind of bond with both of them that made them irresistible even while she fought against it. She was prepared now. She knew what she had to do. The end was finally drawing near.

She stood slowly stretching as she did. Samantha made her way back to the cabin. She had a feeling that things were going to happen soon. Things had been prepared since she arrived. When the time came she would make sure that Claire remained safe from Anique and from herself. Samantha could feel the apprehension in her body. Maybe it was her heightened senses that were warning her of danger. Or maybe it was merely the paranoia of knowing that something was stalking her. Whatever the reason she wasn't at all shocked when she heard the knock on the door. The only thing that surprised her was that Anique would bother to knock. She always imagined when Anique finally found her that the woman would burst through a window, shattering glass all over the room as she attacked.

Samantha went to the door without hesitation. She felt calm. The thought of all this finally coming to an end gave her a measure of peace and determination. Samantha pulled the door open expecting the to see the startling bright blue eyes and dark hair glaring at her with an animal intensity. Instead Claire stood staring at her apprehensively. Samantha didn't move. She just stood there in an amazed stupor. Never had she fathomed that Claire would be standing in front of her ever again. Not after seeing the horror, fear and revulsion on her face those many nights ago.

"Your mother told me how to find you." Claire explained softly. "Can I come in?"

Samantha continued to stare. She realized that Claire must be as unsure of her welcome as Samantha was about what Claire was doing here. Not trusting her voice Samantha stepped back allowing her to enter. She shut the door after a few seconds unsure if that was really what she should do. Running away from Claire and the ache in her mind and heart seemed a better idea.

"I tried to find you." Claire said when the silence continued.

Samantha gave a defeated shrug. "Why?"

"I won't say that I wasn't terrified. Hell I won't say that I wasn't shocked." Claire took a deep breath and Samantha could see the pain shining in her eyes. "I didn't believe you. Who would believe you?" Claire said helplessly. "These things don't exist. Or at least I didn't think they existed until now." Claire turned away going to stare out the window. "I tried to imagine how I would feel if I were going through what you are. If when I tried to tell people they wouldn't or couldn't believe me." Claire turned back to face Samantha taking a cautious step towards her. "I did it. It took me a while but I did it. I wouldn't want people to look at me like I'm a monster or a freak. I wouldn't want my family and friends to run from me in fear." She took another step towards Samantha closing the gap to only a few feet. "I know you're not a monster Samantha. I know you're a good person, otherwise you wouldn't have warned me or stopped what we came so close to doing at my place. You wouldn't have protected me."

Samantha just shook her head in negation. She would have done it had Claire not stopped her. Had Claire not made her realize what she was doing.

"Don't shake your head no." Claire smiled guiltily. "I know. Believe me I know. It wasn't by chance that I met your parents. I watched you in the hospital. I couldn't help watching you. I never believed in love at first sight. I thought it was something that the media made up to sell books and movies. Then I saw you." Claire told her simply.

"It's too late." Samantha said softly refusing to look at Claire. Samantha wanted to accept everything Claire was saying. Her scent was comforting and tantalizing. Hard to resist. But it couldn't be. Anique would always be a threat, always be hovering in a shadow making them look over their shoulders. Claire would never be safe. It couldn't work between them...not...unless ..No! She had to finish this.

"It's not too late!" Claire said firmly closing the space between them. Using her body to distract and entice Samantha. "I know you feel something for me Samantha. I don't care if it's just lust; I'm willing to accept that. I want whatever you can give me." Claire told her as she caressed Samantha's cheek.

"It's not safe." Samantha whispered. The dam broke in Samantha. "She'll come after you. She won't let you go. She'll kill you. I can't take that chance."

"Who?" Claire asked confused.

"Anique." Samantha said angrily. Her anger wasn't directed at Claire but at Anique. Just thinking about her made Samantha seethe with anger.

"The woman you were telling me about?" Claire asked.


"And you think by sending me away that I'll be safe?" Claire asked skeptically. "Do you really think that if she thinks you have feelings for me I'd ever be safe?"

"No." Samantha said as she shook her head. She didn't tell Claire that she'd already thought of that. Had a way of taking care of that.

They were so intent on each other Samantha didn't notice the sounds of light footsteps on the wood porch. Not until the footsteps stopped and the sound of splintering wood invaded the cabin.

Claire stumbled away from the broken door. Something big was coming through something big and angry. Claire glanced back at Samantha terrified by the growls on the other side of the door.

Samantha seemed placid. Calm in the middle of the confusion and noise. As if she had all the time in the world Samantha walked over to the far wall and flicked a switch. The loud popping sound that started as soon as Samantha moved the switch made Claire jump. That done Samantha walked over to the door and stood a few feet from it, patiently waiting for whatever it was to break through.

She glanced back at Claire. "Leave out the back door. You need to run. Don't come back in no matter what you see or hear."

"I can't leave you here to just deal with this. I don't care what you are. You can't stop that." Claire's voice shook as she pointed to the door that was quickly splintering under the force of the body being hurled against it. Or were those claws that were breaking through?

"I said go!" Samantha snarled. She didn't have much time. She couldn't have Claire trapped in there with them when everything went up in flames.


They both whipped their heads back towards the door as it burst through the hole in the splintered and broken wood. So much for sturdy oak craftsmanship. There it stood chest high, it's body rippling with muscle and covered in a dense black fur. It's long muzzle sporting vicious looking teeth that could rip into flesh and bone without any trouble. Bright blue eyes flickered from Samantha to Claire then back again.

Without taking her eyes off Anique Samantha shouted at Claire to get out. Claire took a step only to be stopped by a menacing growl as its eyes pinned Claire in place. It stalked towards her. Samantha moved quickly shoving Claire back towards the window as she placed herself between the werewolf and Claire. "Out now!" Samantha shouted even as the beast attacked. Samantha went down with it. She felt the change come over her just as she did that day at Claire's home.

Claire tried to open the window as she glanced behind her. She saw two impossibly large wolves tearing at each other in a frenzy. She turned back to the window struggling frantically to open it. She had to get out. To get away. She couldn't help Samantha. Not with this. She was a fool to think she could. The window finally gave and she managed to push it up with a mighty shove born of adrenaline. She glanced back once more drawn by the sharp cry of an animal in pain. The large dark haired one was crouched over the other it's razor sharp claws digging into its throat. Claire didn't even realize she'd made a sound until the bright blue eyes met hers. It leaped at her. Claire felt the claws dig into her back even as she tried to throw herself out the window. The explosion of flames around the cabin threw her back into the cabin. The gas filled pipes surrounding the house that Samantha had planned for this very moment finally burst shooting flame and gas onto the wood cabin.

Claire shook her head trying to clear it of the ringing. She glanced around at the smoke and flames igniting everything in the cabin. The drapes around the window went burned fast and hot igniting the wood on the inside. Claire struggled to her feet glancing around for the two wolves. Both lay unconscious just inches from the front door and window both were human once again. Had the blast been that bad? The flames were licking under the door, doing their best to engulf the front of the cabin. The heat caused the window to shatter all over their prone figures. Claire searched for a way out. She started to panic, her eyes casting about the cabin for anything to help. Finally her eyes settled on Samantha. Samantha did this. Samantha should know a way out. She couldn't have wanted to burn in this. Claire sank to the floor forced to her knees by the smoke in the air. She crawled over to Samantha and began shaking her, screaming to be heard over the roaring of the flames.

"Wake up! Samantha wake up! God dammit we're gonna die. Wake up!"

Samantha's eyes fluttered open and immediately began to water as the smoke bombarded them.

"That's it Samantha wake up. We have to get out of here." Claire said in a rush, relief and terror warring within her.

Samantha coughed when she tried to speak. She leaned up on an elbow and saw Anique lying beside her still unconscious. She sighed with relief. She glanced around at the burning cabin then at Claire who was near hysteria. "Tunnel." Samantha choked out as she gasped for breath in the contaminated air.

"What? What are you talking about?" Claire grabbed Samantha's arms in a painful grip. Panic making her violent.

"In the bedroom." Came the muffled response. Samantha had snatched a piece of cloth from the floor and pressed it to her face. She started crawling through the cabin to the bedroom, leading Claire. She reached the far corner of the bedroom and struggled to push a heavy dresser out of the way. Claire moved to help her, the adrenaline giving her extra strength. Samantha lifted a trap door and stuck her head down into the cool air that wasn't filled with smoke yet. Samantha had spent days digging out this escape route in case something went wrong. She shut the door quickly to keep the smoke out and gestured Claire forward. She yanked the door open again and started to push Claire in. That was when she noticed the tear marks in the shape of claws in Claire's shirt. Without warning she pulled Claire to her and sniffed at the wound, barely detecting Anique's scent mingled with the smoke and blood. She let out a howl of rage then and threw herself back away from Claire. She hadn't been able to save Claire at all. Anique had gotten to her.

Samantha banged on the floor her anger and hurt so deep she couldn't contain them. She stared as Claire yelled to her gesturing for her to follow Claire out. Samantha couldn't hear her but the meaning was clear. She didn't want to go. It was supposed to end here. It was supposed to be over. She didn't want to live like this. Not as a monster. She wanted to die in this funeral pyre that she had painstakingly constructed. A noble death, to sacrifice herself for someone else. But, how could she do that now. How could she leave Claire to face all this alone when it was Samantha's fault that Claire had been infected?

Claire was hoarse from yelling at Samantha to come on. They had to get out. She looked back at the main room of the cabin it was completely engulfed in flames. Flames that were quickly spreading into the bedroom where there was even more combustible material for it to feed from. Claire gave up calling and crawled to Samantha who was staring blankly ahead of her with tears shimmering in her eyes. Claire cupped Samantha's face in her hands and pulled her close. She kissed her softly, trying to get her attention. Finally Samantha's eyes focused on Claire's face. Claire nodded her head and pulled Samantha closer until her ear was by Claire's mouth.

"Samantha, I don't know what you're going through right now. I realize that you wanted to die here today, but I can't let you." Claire brushed her lips against Samantha's cheek before going on. "I need you too much. I love you too much to leave you here. Please come with me."


The if you couldn't figure it out without my telling you. :-)

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