A HOWL IN THE NIGHT: Episode 11 – 15

“Oh, you’re back,” I smile as Wes leads the way into the kitchen, followed by a slew of werewolves. Yi has the bed head, his ruffled black hair sticking straight up. His eyes are bloodshot, as if he just had a bad night’s sleep.

“Are you better now?” Wes asks concernedly.

“Yes.” I gesture to the dining room right next to the kitchen. “Just go sit in there and I will bring out the food soon.”

“You’re amazing, Mona,” Wes laughs, coming close and wrapping an arm around my waist. I stiffen a little, amazed at the way it seems completely different when Xavier touches me. Xavier tends to send sparks of flame through my body, while Wes freezes me like an icicle. With another happy-go-lucky grin, he sneaks forward and ksses my cheek.

I smack him on the arm, slightly angered but still playful. “What are you thinking, trying to steal a kiss from me?” I ask in a teasing tone. But inwardly, I am wondering why, exactly, I feel nothing when Wes’s truly delicious lips brush against my skin.

“It is like a greeting with Wes. He ksses everybody,” Jake shrugs, “all his girls. I suggest you get used to it.”

“And I suppose you do the same thing?” I raise one eyebrow.

“We all do,” Ray says, and then turns to Jake. “You haven’t told her about the club yet, have you?”

Jake shakes his head, “I thought we were going to have to quit because Xavier finally got mated. I was going to close it for this week.”

“What club?” I ask, even more curious because Ray is talking.

“Um, well…” Jake starts, and then trails off.

“We’ll tell you over breakfast,” Wes finishes for him, “don’t worry about it right now.”

Yi just stares at his shoes, not talking. What’s wrong with him? It is as if he is afraid to look at me.

Wes looks over his shoulder into the hallway, and his eyes widen. “Hurry guys, into the dining room,” he pushes them out of the kitchen with great force. As he exits, he shoots me a wink.

I take the French toast I had prepared and laid two on each plate. After scattering powdered sugar on it, as well as adding a tiny bowl of syrup and butter, it soon looks professional. After a healthy dab of whipped cream and a small strawberry, they are meals fit for a king. My cooking skills really haven’t deteriorated.

“That looks really good,” a voice murmurs beside my ear. I smile slightly, not looking up, drunk in my own pleasurable thoughts.


“Where did you learn to cook?”

“I used to help at the orphanage. The cook would always give me extra scraps if I washed the dishes, and eventually she let me cook most of the food for her while she was the one to get paid. But I didn’t mind, because the cook was nice to me… and it was better than playing with the other kids.” I stop in my tracks, staring at the granite sadly.

“What happened? Ms. Penn found out?”

“Of course,” I laugh shakily, “Ms. Penn knows everything. At first she wanted me to continue cooking so she wouldn’t have to pay the cook, but then, once she realized I was happy to do it, she fired the cook and hired another one. She banished me from the kitchen for just being happy.”

“I’m sorry,” the voice sparks electricity in my blood, arousing desire within me. Wait… it is as if I am waking from a dream, the fog lifted, and then I look up at his face.

“Xavier,” I back away from the devilishly handsome figure.

“You didn’t know it was me?” he asks innocently, “I made no attempt to disguise myself.”

“That’s not the point,” I say, anger boiling in my blood, “you were completely awake the whole time, even when you tried to kiss me? You laughed at me?”

Xavier covers his mouth to stifle another chuckle. “Oh, I thought you were actually mad-”

“What do you mean, ‘actually mad’?!” I snap, feeling rather immature under Xavier’s laughing gaze.

“I thought you were mad about something important,” he clarifies laughingly. I punch him in the arm, and he staggers back a little. I start to see red, almost forgetting why I am mad at him.

“You’re so mean, Xavier! Why would you laugh about one little mistake…” I punch him again, fury emanating from me.

“I laughed because of how cute you were,” he smiles, stopping me in my tracks, “I just had to try and kss you.” My clenched fist hovers right beside his arm, all force evaporated.

“You get so angry and embarrassed over little things… I think it’s adorable,” Xavier winks, whirling me towards him with his hand and plopping his lips on my cheek. Immediately passion and lust arise, flowing between us both. I look to the ground, breaking away from his grasp. My breathing is heavy, face flushed. How can his ksses affect me so much?

“Are you serious?” my voice is tiny, squeaky.

Xavier nods, reaching forward with one finger and tilting my face upwards. He laughs in amusement. “You’re blushing,” he observes, a smirk slowly creeping onto his features.

I yank his hand away, anger sparked once more. “I’m not!” I protest uselessly, picking up a few of the plates hurriedly.

“Whatever you say,” he says, voice dripping with amused sarcasm. I have never heard him use sarcasm before.

He follows me into the dining room, where everyone is seated and perfectly still. I narrow my eyes at the mischievous werewolves, knowing exactly why they are so quiet. “You heard it all, didn’t you?” I ask, expressionless.

All of them, excluding Ray and Yi, break out into a sly smile. “Having a lover’s spat?” Jake teases, elbowing Xavier who just sat down next to him.

“Just shut up,” I place one plate in front of Xavier, then hesitate before giving Jake his share, “or I won’t give you breakfast.”

“Okay, okay,” Jake concedes defeat, though still grinning. I place the other plates in front of Ray and Wes, then retreat to grab Yi’s.

Shouts immediately erupt from the dining room. “This is fantastic!”

“I love French toast!”

“I love you Mona!”

“That’s my mate you’re talking about…”

I inwardly laugh, entering the room once more with my plate and Yi’s plate. Yi is staring at the table, almost completely lifeless. I put the plate in front of him, and then gently touch his shoulder. “Yi?” I ask.

He tilts his head sharply to meet my gaze, anger in his features. “Don’t touch me,” he snaps, jumping to his feet. Immediately he turns away from me, facing the others. “I’m going to eat in the courtyard today,” he states robotically, then picks up his plate and brushes past me.

“What’s with him?” I ask worriedly, sitting down in his old spot. They just shake their heads.

“He was staring at you as if he had seen a ghost yesterday…” Wes points out, “and has been sort of weird ever since.”

I take the first bite of my home-made breakfast, reveling at the sweetness I am finally able to indulge in. No matter how annoying Xavier may be, I still feel lucky that things have turned out this way.

“Let’s not talk about Yi,” Wes dismisses after a long, awkward silence, “tell her about the club, Jake.”

“Yeah,” I agree, “what club?”

“We own a nightclub in the city called Moonlight. It is one of the most exclusive clubs you will find anywhere in the state,” Jake says, “and it is also how we make our money.”

“It is also where we get our woman of the week,” Ray interrupts, smiling.

“Ray… just shut up,” Xavier cuts in. Ray lazily ambles from the table to the door, exiting to go who-knows-where.

“I’m done,” he throws over his shoulder, and I look at his perfectly clean plate. How can he eat so fast?

“Anyways,” Jake continues, “we only open on Saturday nights, and charge an astronomical entrance fee. All the rich and famous locals go there.”

“Woman of the week?” I probe, to Wes’s obvious dismay.

“Don’t think bad of me…” he stresses.

“We enter the nightclub every two weeks and… auction ourselves off, if that makes any sense,” Jake tries to explain. My eyes widen.

“A bachelor auction!” I exclaim, “is it just you guys or do you auction off more men?”

“Nah, only werewolves will do,” Wes laughs, “we don’t need any more bachelors than the five, no, four ones right here.”

“Women pay serious bucks for boyfriends,” Jake says, “especially if they are wanted by their other rich friends.”

So that’s how they have so much money…

I stand up while I listen, taking their perfectly clean plates to the kitchen. “So the money’s not for charity or something?” I call from the sink.

“We say it is,” Xavier says.

“And, you know, we do give some of it away. Maybe half,” Jake grins. I laugh, although still a little bewildered. “We auction off boyfriend for the week, which includes three dates, our phone number, three requests, and a bouquet of roses. We all sell for big cash, though Xavier is king,” Jake adds rather enviously.

“How much?” I ask curiously. I can understand rich women paying a lot of money for these handsome flirts.

“Around ten thousand to twenty thousand,” Jake laughs, “although one time Xavier did sell for fifty thousand. Two women were feeling rather competitive.”

“Fifty thousand!” I couldn’t imagine that number in my wildest daydreams. I haven’t even seen a fifty dollar bill in years.

“You don’t understand,” Wes starts in, “to get us for one week is the ultimate trophy. Our women get supreme bragging rights for the entire time they have us. Our looks are above ordinary, especially Xavier’s crazy hair, and we are famous among the Moonlight attendance. We are like what you would call ‘trophy wives’, but are temporary and also men, of course.”

“The trophy men…” I snicker quietly.

“I don’t know what we are going to do without Xavier… it’ll be an outrage among the women,” Jake shakes his head regretfully, “let’s hope none of us get mated as well.”

I scan the area for any hint of Ray, and then I lean in slowly. “Why do women even bid on Ray? He’s practically a monster, and so rude too!” I whisper, my voice lingering on the wind before reaching their ears. Wes bursts out into laughter, Xavier soon joining in. Jake is the only one managing to stay calm, answering my question smoothly.

“You haven’t seen him around the ladies… and he is practically a mirror image of Xavier, minus the hair and a few other details. Many women think of him as Xavier’s slightly less desirable double.”

“So he sells for a lot…”

“Well, pretty much. It usually goes in this order, from least amount of money to most; Yi, Me, Ray, Wes, and Xavier. We all sell really close together though, except for that one fifty thousand.”

“Wow,” I say, “this is amazing. Do you guys ever get attached to your women?”

“Never,” Wes says darkly, serious for the first time ever, “it’s not allowed.”

“But I’m sure they get attached to you,” I grin, crossing my arms, “maybe a few stalkers?” I pointedly stare at the blushing Xavier.

“That’s the fun part,” Wes smiles, “no one knows anything about us. They only know us by our first names. . In return for being their boyfriend for a week, we make them sign a contract of strict confidentiality. They are not allowed to ask us questions about our past, family, or even where we live. They are also required to only use our number during the week we are their boyfriends. After that week, if they use our number they will be fined $500 or more. For many, it is like a dream with a rough awakening at the end.”

“Harsh,” I shake slightly. They truly are the pack of players. Xavier looks at me, and I suddenly think of a question. “Are you going to still auction yourself off?” I ask him, trying to remain indifferent.