It has been a rough couple of months after the release of Komainu, most of you all hate me by now and want to string me from my innards? Or do you still love my evil wicked ways?
anyway as they say on to the next morsel of evil darkness covered in fluffy sweetness … that might just be me but…
Some time ago I showed you a teaser from my WIP: The Wulf Chronicles Book I.
Here is the continuation of that first chapter Teaser.
I do hope you enjoy it!
The Wulf Chronicles
What if Werewolves were real?
What if one of them was different?
What if you were a defective werewolf?
Welcome to my life. I’m Michael Salem. I’m a defective werewolf.
This is not the story of how in one night I got bitten and my life changed.
Nor is it the story of how I go on a savage killing spree left with guilt and dread the next morning.
No. I am born one, born defective and instead, I’m the one on the menu.
I am born one, born defective and instead, I’m the one on the menu.
CHAPTER ONE ( continued…)
I sucked in a deep breath, gripped the door handle and glanced left then right… This would be so easy. One small act and it all could be over. I had enough money in my pocket to cover the ferry fee. I would find a way to survive somehow. It wouldn’t matter because Mom wouldn’t need to bother with me. She could find someone else, start a new life—without me. Be happy for goddamn once. While I led Them away from her. She had sacrificed so much for me. Be cruel to be kind, as they say. I closed my eyes. I wanted to do it, the urge so strong in my gut it made my bones tremble. But one thought left an acidic slash in my chest, a gush so deep it penetrated my vulnerable heart.
I would destroy her, because I was all she had.
I was her happy.
Before I could wrench my thoughts from the gutter they had fallen into and raise my hand to knock, the handle slipped under my hold and the door swung open.
The classroom walls were painted a soft canary-yellow—a color I deemed smiling sunlight—while radiance dancing through the large windows added a gentle glow to the room. As I entered, each student looked up, yet no whispers rippled through the silence. Not that I would have heard: my attention was too rooted on the attractive, older man standing before the blackboard, his hand stretched out, chalk pressed against the board while he openly gawked at me.
I stared right back, because that face… There was a familiarity to it, so striking that my brain jackhammered as I tried to remember where and when we had met before…and not just once. The snug fitting, pastel baby-blue sweater, and collared white shirt underneath with a dark-blue tie, revealed a tall, slender but well defined muscular frame. His hair was a dark copper brown with almost a touch of red as the sun sang through it. His eyes, however, freaked me out.
I had only once seen such deep dark-blues before, but unlike mine—a frigid cold that warned others to stay away—his had a warmth that beckoned you to them.
He was maybe in his mid-forties at most, yet still dashingly striking despite his age. He wasn’t nearly as large as Big, but sturdy underneath all that nice fitting formal wear. My mind continued to scream, searching for the memories, the knowledge that I should’ve known who the teacher was the moment our gazes locked. No matter how deep I reached, how far back I searched, I couldn’t pull those memories forward. Because, maybe they didn’t exist?
The snap of chalk made us both blink. He took a step back, clearing his throat as he reached up and took off his glasses. He wiped them with the edge of his sweater and cleared his throat a second time as he placed them back on, before gazing at me again. His smile, so warm, so welcoming, stung my gut, tendrils of heat stretching in my stomach and embracing my heart. His smile was kind, his presence amicable to the point that I felt safe and protected. And God, did it hurt…hurt because instinct howled at me that I should know this man! Yet, as I desperately tried not to throw myself at the teacher, to the safety I somehow knew I would find in his embrace, he stood a stranger before me.
“Mr. Oliphire, and you would be?”
I stuttered, my mouth pulp, trying to make the simple words spill from my lips. I kept stumbling over each letter as I pushed out my name. “M-mic-heal S-Salem.”
He smiled. “Welcome.”
There was something more to that word than just ‘welcome.’ A sense of home, of coming back, of finally belonging. It terrified me because I had only ever known home with one person. Within that simple word, this man made me feel it and so much more. It struck me then—my skin breaking out in sweat, my gut coiling in a violent twist of nerves and nausea—the power of his word, the image this man portrayed, far stranger than the fear and de trop Big had infected me with.
Was this man my father?
It was an ephemeral thought, a flash of something I could hardly touch before I dismissed it. He couldn’t be, he simply was not… Mom wouldn’t…would she? Not with the heart wrenching pain in her voice whenever my father was mentioned.
After all these years… Why would she return to him?
So he, Mr. Oliphire could not be my father.
A hand on my shoulder made me jerk. The teacher offered me a smile as he took a step back. “Pick a seat, Mr. Salem, and once again, welcome to our school.”
I turned, ready to face the tribunal of teenage judgment, but more so to get away from him, only to be met with a room full of high school kids with their heads bowed, attention deeply imbedded in a book, or whatever was in front of them. I had seen some freaky shit out there in life—this experience meeting Mr. Oliphire as well as Principal Black, topping the list—but this took the bull’s balls.
The only open desks were at the back of the class. I zoned in on one like it was a lifeline, passing the rows of students. My heart rate slowed on its way to a calmer state, when his voice flared though the room, making me freeze.
A dark haired girl looked up and past me toward Mr. Oliphire at my back.
“Would you be so kind as to show our Mr. Salem around school?”
She simply nodded and gave the man a smile, before ducking back into her paperback of Dawn of the Dead, not even so much as sparing me a glance.
I took my seat in the far back corner, gazing over the sea of bowed heads, scanning the crowd.
The windows on the second floor looked old and would easily shatter with a strong enough push. The drop down wouldn’t be too bad, a minor fissure of shock to my thick bones. With the mist swirling around the island like thick smog, I could easily slip away into that blanket of white.
Content with my escape route, I deemed the surroundings safe enough for now, and relaxed my shoulder, letting my backpack slide to the floor. I tensed, suppressing a growl as a prickle nibbled on the back of my neck, the telltale sensation of observant eyes. I glanced at the teacher first, but the man’s back was turned to the class as he wrote on the blackboard. It was clear as I skimmed over the writing that he was a history teacher. His curling script-like handwriting was something to be admired, but I continued to scan the crowd, trying to pinpoint the spy…
She sat only a few feet away, her face creased, brows furrowed as she ran her hand through her wavy black hair. Traces of fire smoke, herbs and earth were spat into the air currents. I knew the smells weren’t that of a witch. She was probably a Wiccan. I stilled as her lips parted, air flowing in ready to be pushed out for words when the bell screamed.
Seniors spilled out of the class making me the last to leave. Thankfully, Oliphire didn’t pay me any more attention than any other student, and I breathed a little easier as I slipped past the door frame into a heavily populated corridor.
Shit. Gone was the noiseless silence, now densely populated with a current of chatter and feet rushing for their next class. I flattened myself against the wall as students zipped past like an angry swarm of rushing bees.
I turned to my left, spotting April mimicking my stance but devoid of my anxiety. “Good idea,” she said, face all serious. I frowned at her. She jerked with her chin at the passing students. “Best not to get swooped up in all that. Who knows where you’ll end up? Might be Cairo for all I know.”
Oh…oh! She was making a joke, breaking the ice. I relaxed against the wall. The students thinned out faster now, breaking up the sweeping storm.
I breathed deeply, sucking in the air surrounding me; all earth and herbs and teenage hormon—
“What are you?” came the cautious whisper.
“What?” I took a step back as the last of the students dispersed around the corner, leaving the corridor silent again.
“Don’t act like you don’t know what you are.” April’s gaze peered around, flicking between closed classroom doors and a vacant hallway. “You know.” She sighed, seeming relieved that I wasn’t going to jump and kill her like some deranged animal. “My name’s April Peterson. I’m a medium.”
Say what? I’d never met a medium before. Didn’t they deal with ghosts?
“Michael Salem.” I contemplated if I should stick out my hand or leave it at my side. It stayed put.
“And, I don’t deal with ghosts like the attention-seeking people on TV,” she said emphatically, stepping off the wall and faced me. “Mediums are totally different than what the public believes us to be. You see, we sense things. We feel the earth and the trees, the wind and the water. Think of us as Native Americans.”
April’s warm umber-toned skin held a soft glow in the late morning light spilling in from the windows. She wore no makeup or, if she did, it was applied lightly. Standing as tall as me, a bit curved ‘around the hips’, she was small and petite. Her raven-black hair lay thickly, reaching past her shoulders. It looked unnaturally styled, like wild waves glistening in the low winter sun.
“So you’re not Wiccan?” I raised an eyebrow, a bit disappointed with her explanation.
“Ga! Please! Leave children to play with their petty beliefs. No, I’m a medium, and I know what you are.”
She looked away. The slight scent of fear played on her skin, her heart drumming faster as she bit her pale-rose bottom lip. “Well, part of you anyway,” she whispered, dropping her gaze and peering at me through long lashes. “There are many like you here.” Her voice was softer now, almost as if she was too scared to say the words. “But they aren’t quite like you, are they?”
Things were getting too close for comfort with April. I didn’t like the interest she showed in her eyes, like I was some unknown species being observed for the first time. She stepped past me, took in a deep whiff of air, and swung around. She stared at me with narrowed lids, green gaze sharp, reaching into my soul, wanting to scrape its fingers around in my genetic makeup.
“You are something old. Something the world has forgotten. As old as time itself? Something so powerful and sinister, it suppresses the beast that lives within you.” She clawed nervously at the backpack’s strap over her left shoulder, her pupils constricting, heart rushing in her chest. April shivered. “Are you a demon?”
April’s last words were a distant undertone in my mind.
My muscles rippled, fire flaring out and spreading over my skin in a devastating infestation of goose flesh. The air was laced with a sweaty, musky scent, igniting my nasal cavities as I drew the smell in far too deep. My throat swelled, the air forced out in low, guttural pants. My heartbeat slowed, my blood crackled and hissed in my ears, my skin prickled as my body became a blistering furnace.
Several feet away, a group of guys wearing lettermans were joking around, shoving into one another as they came around the corner. Two girls walked with them, chit-chatting about some party on Saturday while their fingers chipped away on their cell phone screens. A nerdy guy with large black-framed glasses zipped past them all in a rush, the pencils and pens in his bulging backpack clacking together.
But only one of them held my attention. The one in front, leading ‘the pack,’ cold determination blazing in his sinisterly, beautiful dark amber eyes. A superior presence surrounded him: dominant, alpha-like, and so very male. I shivered, sucking saliva hard. The light playing through the windows shimmered off his jet-black hair and drew razor-edged shades on his handsome face and along the five o’clock blue hue on his jaw. It even gave a golden glow to his thickly muscled frame, broad shoulders and wide chest.
It was a violent shock to my nervous system, sizzling my blood. The black haired boy with his fiery gaze pinned me, had my blood baking, and my senses in a hostile lurch.
The human’s heart thrust blood throughout his body, muscles twitching and contracting as he moved his bulky jock frame. His tongue flicked against his pale lips when he parted them before they spread into a deadly, bone-melting grin.
Wanted his blood.Wanted his lips to scrape along mine, to feel him suck the breath straight from my lungs, to feel the power of his sharp chiseled jaw as we kissed.
And I wanted to pounce on him, to pin him to the floor so I could sink my teeth and claws into his soft, warm flesh, marking him as my own. My tongue smeared moisture across my lips as his scent played past my flaring nostrils. So sweet, his taste petted my tongue.
Until hot-as-fuck grabbed Nerdy boy by the collar, swinging him like he was nothing but a backpack straight into me. Our heads collided in a hard smack, sending the poor guy rocking back, legs buckling, from the force of meeting my thick skull.
Out of the corner of my sight, a shadow moved fast. There was no need to confirm who it was. I only had to listen and perceive, reaching out with my sixth sense: the ragged deep breaths, the strong, slow pump of a heart, the powerful stride of legs, and the destructive flex of his muscles. The imperiousness that Big’s presence radiated. The jolting shiver that raked down my spine as Big moved past April and me with lethal speed and grabbed nerdy boy before his ass met the floor.
He’d seen what had happened, but he grasped my shoulder with his free hand, yanking me in front of him. His deathlike scowl, ready to liquefy stone, was carving his name into my soul. “You’re not even here a full hour, and you’re already causing trouble!” His lips vibrated as he grunted, angry crimson staining his hard face, nostrils splayed, hot breath spilling bloodshed against my face.
Well, fuck you too! In the few minutes that had passed since meeting him, it seemed I had forgotten how monstrously big the beast was. This close up, even hot-as-fuck guy looked like a breadcrumb in comparison. The only Alpha male that was right here in this corridor was Big, convulsing to rip out my throat.
“It was an accident, Mr. Black, Sir. I slipped,” Nerdy boy fumbled his words. Behind him, the hyenas snickered.
“No it wasn’t.” I squirmed in Big’s hold, turning to Nerdy boy. “Are you okay?” I didn’t fail to notice hot-as-fuck’s smile crippling into a vicious sneer, his hard stare spitting embers straight at me. Even pissed off and vexed, I wanted him. I flicked my gaze back to Nerdy boy.
He looked shaken, whether scared under the devil’s scrutiny or still dazed from slamming into me, I wasn’t sure, but if the increasingly vice-like grip on my shoulder was anything to go by…
Big grunted something about being late for classes at the jocks and their twigs-for-chicks’ entourage before he released me, flashing me one last primal glimpse of black hell in his bright-deep cyan eyes and pulled open Oliphire’s classroom door. The group of assholes made quick work of upping their pace as they passed us.
My attention was split between Big’s massive shoulders barely slipping past the door frame, and hot-as-fuck’s tight ass as he walked off. My heart’s mantra echoed so loudly, my head was hitting a freight train face first.
Why was I experiencing these sensations? Skin on fire as boiling blood became corrupted with fear.
What the hell was wrong with me? Never had I experienced this before.
Was this what werewolves went through when they fell in love?