“I’m not sure how much more of this I can take,” Cynthia said, stretching her long, jean clad legs in front of her. Her feet were bare, which was so rare she knew her friend still had trouble processing the sight of her polish-free toes. The combat boots she favoured were tossed in a corner; also out of character.
“This last few days have been hell on earth,” she added, taking a swig of beer.
Justine eyed her over her own bottle. Her long dark locks were piled haphazardly on top of her head. A fine layer of sweat stood out along her skin, despite the thin camisole and the blast of air conditioning from overhead.
In contrast, Justine was clothed in a jumper and still had to utilise her magic to keep out the chill. “What happened this time?” she asked, snagging her own beer.
“Put it this way…the postman smiled at me this morning and I almost jumped him.”
“That’s one dog bite he’d never forget!” Justine said, cackling at her own joke.
Cynthia clicked her fingers together and all four legs on Justine’s chair snapped like twigs, taking her down hard.
She recovered quickly, and by the time she was on her feet, a frothy foam of beer was running down Cynthia’s bottle and onto her stomach.
“What did I tell you about calling me that?” Cynthia muttered.
“I can’t help it if you’re like a bitch in heat,” Justine shot back, walking to another chair.
She waited for retaliation, and was surprised when Cynthia threw back her head and laughed hard; she hadn’t seen her laugh in weeks. Not since she’d been bitten.
“You’ve got me there, my friend. And if I ever find that son of a bitch he’ll be…”
“Dog meat?” Justine supplied and grinned.
They lived in a world of magic, one not only hidden, but guarded by strict protocols and centuries of tradition. Cynthia had dispatched more supernatural beings than anyone in the coven and yet, somehow, she’d been defeated by a werewolf.
“How did he get the better of you anyway?” Justine asked. So far Cynthia hadn’t given up the goods. It hadn’t helped she’d been out of it for days, and though her magic had finally returned she wasn’t herself. Not by a long shot.
The fact Cynthia had been infected by the bite and was now displaying symptoms of the change was a first among their kind.
Cynthia shook her head. “It’s humiliating,” she said. “The worst of it is, I think he was trying to help. A group of skin-walkers ambushed me and I was holding my own, kind of having fun actually, when he came in and ruined everything.”
“You’re going to tell me your arm got in the way of his teeth?” Justine snorted. “Because that sounds completely reasonable.”
A pink blush rose in Cynthia’s cheeks, which was pretty hard to spot, considering her face was heated to boiling point.
“I might have struck out a little and pissed him off. Nobody was more surprised than me when he drew blood. If he hadn’t dispatched the motley crew after that I would’ve been toast.” She shrugged. “Major power cut the moment he broke skin.”
“It’s a wonder you got it back at all,” Justine said, having a hard time believing the story.
“Tell me about it. So now I’m a what? Werewitch?”
A grin slipped onto Justine’s face. “Or a Witchhound.”
“Hilarious,” Cynthia droned.
“You have a bigger problem,” Justine said, glancing out of the kitchen window. “The moon will be up soon. So instead of wanting to jump every man with a pulse, you’ll want to tear him limb from limb.”
“Maybe I won’t discriminate against gender,” Cynthia muttered, scraping her chair back from the table.
More uncharacteristic behaviour, Justine thought. Cynthia rarely wasted energy. She had certainly never paced.
“It’s a moot point anyway. Because I’m not changing. No way am I growing fur.”
That was the least of her worries when, two hours later, she was writing in pain. It wasn’t the change that hurt, it was the fact her body opposed the transition. The heat inside her was like an inferno. It pushed against her skin and scorched every cell in an effort to break free.
The problem was, her witch would never let the beast win. It was a battle of wills and Cynthia was losing, because the wolf wanted out – even if she had to die.
“Stop fighting it,” Justine gasped. “You have to let it happen.”
“I can’t,” Cynthia panted. “I have no control. I…” a scream tore from her lips as her internal organs began to expand, only to be forced back.
Her senses were so heightened she swore she could hear the splintering. Then her little house shook and she realised the door had been smashed from its hinges.
A pair of silver coloured eyes stared out at her. So intense they seemed to increase the heat along her skin. She felt the reaction to him immediately. She’d felt it that night, though she would never admit it to Justine.
He filled the doorway. His large, bulky frame heaving with the effort to hold his beast in check. His dark hair was cropped short to his head, but she recognised the colour. In wolf form it had gleamed in the moonlight, casting a silver glow across his back.
The vision wavered for a moment as her body convulsed; the two halves of her competing until the end.
“Let. It. Out.” A voice demanded and she knew it was him.
It was like he spoke directly to the wolf and, as though obeying the command, it tore out of its cage.
Cynthia leapt into the air, her body changing mid-flight as she launched herself at the man in her doorway. When they collided she sank her teeth into his neck and her wolf howled in triumph.
I know there are a few POV errors. I decided to leave it unedited, and hopefully that didn’t take anything away from the story.
Thanks for reading