??A Howl In The Night ??
?From Novel Rom@nce?
“Mona,” a voice whispers, on the edge of my almost nonexistent thoughts. I am floating, suspended in time. For now, I am dead. Dead to my hopes, dead to my troubles, dead to reality.
A hand shakes my arm. “Please wake up, Mona.” The voice serves as a fishing rod, reeling me to surface no matter how much I want to lay beneath the murky waters. I cough and sputter, unwilling to revive myself. Being dead is so peaceful.
“W-what?” I groan, my eyes cracking open. The first thing I see is a clear, white ceiling. Then, there is a face. “Jake?” I wonder, spotting the crystal hair and the light skin.
“Yep, that’s me,” he grins with a vibrant smile someone could only describe as perfect.
No one else is around me, only the soft breeze and velvet covers. I peer up at his face as he continues to talk, obviously unwilling to surrender me to the void once more. “Xavier was here, but he had to go to his room to get ready for something about thirty minutes ago,” he chatters, “we are all sort of used to you fainting by now. This one was pretty bad, about three hours. It is almost six o’ clock already.”
“Three hours?” I shake myself free of the suffocating chains, “usually it is around thirty minutes!” She must have sucked every ounce of energy I had. Anger flashes through my head at the thought that the beautiful woman took three hours of my life. Not that it matters anyway. I’m… immortal now, I suppose.
It is rather hard to believe, that I will be stuck with them forever. At first it sounded appealing, but now the thought of not living out the rest of my life seems dull and boring. It is as if we took a video tape, pressed pause on a certain scene, and threw away the remote. I never should have agreed… and I wouldn’t have if not for my parents. But now it doesn’t matter so much. It isn’t like banishing these Shifters are helping my parents come back to life. However, it gives me a good feeling, as if my life is actually worth something. Although what I am now living isn’t true life.
“Wes is taking her to a nearby airport to send her to Europe. Apparently she knows some French, and we found a passport in her wallet. Anywhere right now is better than America,” he smiles slightly.
“Did she remember what she had done?” I question. He shakes his head.
“When the Shifter left, so did her memory. Just like the last few.”
A sad, defeated feeling enters my chest. Shifters are so mean… just waltzing in and ruining people’s lives for fun. Look at how they ruined me. I am who I am because of them.
Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?
I sit up, watching Jake stare out the window. He is alight with wonder, seeing the leaves shake off the trees and dance in the nighttime wind. They are swirling, twisting and diving, dipping and weaving, waltzing in the sky. I turn to look at them also, my small, red lips parting in a smile. The sun is hanging just over the ground, so close that they are barely an inch apart. The orange and purple are just beginning to spread across the horizon, and the garden flowers are shining like jewels in the light.
Then, I turn and peer at my own skin in its radiant beauty, creamy skin without a flaw. My hands are slender and smooth, along with my feet. I slide off the bed, walking to a mirror. For a minute, I watch my body in all its elegance, its perfection.
I hate this body, for it has brought me much sorrow. Beauty has a terrible, terrible price.
“Mona, are you okay?” Jake comes to stand beside me, placing a hand on my shoulder. He must have spied the small, almost invisible tear brimming in my eyes.
“Yes, I’m fine,” I bluff, slowly pushing him away, “never been better.”
“That’s a lie,” he says softly. There is a pause while I just stare at myself. Trying to believe the person in the mirror is truly me. After a few more seconds, Jake can’t take it. “Go talk to Xavier about it,” he points towards the doorway.
Maybe that would be best. After a moment of contemplating, I edge out of the room, heading towards Xavier’s chamber slowly. My vision is still shaking, wobbly as I stumble over to the door. I think back to the school, when Xavier was talking to Sidney. Jealousy strikes like lightning, and I quickly shake my head. I don’t want to remember. I don’t want that green envy to blossom within me until there is no containing it.
I knock on the door, feeling the carpet beneath my feet crinkle slightly.
“Who’s there?” Xavier opens the door slowly, looking out at me. Immediately his icy cold green eyes scan me, as if I am only a parcel. He seems tired, his handsomeness rugged. Slight circles are beneath his eyes, and he is wearing a t-shirt and jeans. I detect strong cologne that nearly makes my eyes water, mixed with that attractive scent that is on him naturally.
“What’s with that cologne?” I walk into the room, trying to find the bottle it came from, “it is so strong!” Not that it doesn’t smell good, but its presence is suffocating.
Xavier chuckles, immediately spiking my interest. “We both have strong senses of smell,” he smiles, “but regular people don’t.”
He feels so cold to me right now. Why is that?
“But there are no regular people here,” I point out the obvious, “only werewolves and… me.”
There is a brief silence as Xavier checks his watch. “Oops, got to go,” he says, “I’m going to be late.” He shoots me a brief smile, and before I can protest, lands a kss on my forehead. Then he starts walking out of the room, inciting my anger.
“Where are you going?!” I yell after him, but no response follows. Running into the hallway, I race to the garage. He is sliding into a car, the Mercedes that is used to impress people. Why is he driving? And why not one of the cheaper cars?
Is he going back to that stupid club he said he would stop visiting?
I jog to the front door, and zip into the wild underbrush. Tailing the car, I follow it perfectly. Yi has been teaching me stealth techniques, and I have gotten pretty good at it. My heartbeat pounds furiously in my chest. Why can’t Xavier tell me what he is doing?
I begin to question my own actions. Why am I acting like the jealous girlfriend? Not that I am his girlfriend. Not at all.
I wonder briefly why I am such a good liar to myself.
The forest ends, and the houses begin. I find it a little trickier to maneuver through the scenery and behind the car. The car is easier to spot than most, with it being a strikingly red color. However, it must be incredibly easy for him to see me, wearing a light blue shirt, dark jeans and is running like cr@zy.
Quickly I duck behind a bush as the car suddenly halts. Xavier probably caught sight of me, and was wondering if the figure was really me, or a ghost. There is a few more seconds, and then the car starts again. I creep along, trying to let the car get as far ahead as possible without losing it.
I almost trip over a branch, scraping my foot slightly as I stumble along. The blood comes forth, and then disappears completely as the wound heals. With the fast recovery comes remembrance, and I recall Sidney’s deathly sharp nails as they scraped across my cheek…
With a shudder, I shake myself free of the daze and follow the car into a strange neighborhood. The houses are huge here, almost like mansions. It reminds me of Ken and Barbie’s dream house, a perfect world for the perfect couple. Suddenly I think of how Barbie, the perfect girl, must have felt when she gained envious girls’ fondling and young boys’ hatred.
The car stops in front of a gigantic house, the biggest one in the neighborhood. It is a creamy color, with enchantingly tall pillars and a beautiful, yet small fountain in the yard. Gorgeous flowers line the walls, and a huge set of marble doors stand proudly in the front. It is beautiful, almost as elegant as the mansion in the forest.
The door swings open, and a slender, yet built man exits the building. I gasp.
He swings down the stairs with a swagger that suits him so well, sliding into the car smoothly. I suddenly hear Ian muttering, my brain shockingly processing Ian’s words.
“I thought I wouldn’t have to go to her stinking party…” he says sharply, “why do I have to help you, anyway?”
“Because if you don’t, I’ll beat you up,” a melodious, joking voice replies, a hint of seriousness is involved.
“Whatever.” He slams the door shut, and suddenly I hear nothing except the grumbling of the engine. What party would be going on right now?
I think briefly about the terrible feeling in my stomach. This feeling is usually associated with one person, one I know very well. Didn’t Sidney say she had a party on Monday?
But if I go to the party, then won’t they see me? How am I going to slip in without being noticed…?
A stupid, obnoxious plan forms in my head, and I immediately act upon it.
I walk to the door after the car drives away, standing on the flawless floor. Excitement ripples through me as I raise my knuckles and knock. I have never done anything this crazy before.
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