Chapter One

                The glade was calm, so quiet and so seeming-still this time of night. The stars were large in the sky and the moon was bright tonight. Full and round, and so comforting on his back. Things moved so softly in the dark trees surrounding the glade. There was none of the typical night time commotion, no frogs croaking, no mouse sounds. There was not so much as a sleeping partridge cooing as it slept. The creatures knew something wasn't right. They just didn't know how 'not right' that something was.

                A rabbit was hunched in the grass, frozen. It was so unmoving, an untrained eye might have overlooked it, ever so slightly quivering beneath the grass. It radiated fear in tangible waves. Its eyes were wide, round and black. Cute little beady animal eyes. Soft brown rabbit fur. It might have belonged in a pet store, certainly not here underneath this frigid moon. 

                A step closer, a step closer, and still it stayed. Its ears moved to the sounds that it heard, and still Tommy could get closer. It didn't recognize the sound of death. It twitched its nose, wondering what exactly that unusual scent was. It didn't understand that death was on the wind, tonight.

                Snarling, Tommy seized the frightened rabbit. Freezing in place might have worked on a normal wolf. A normal wolf might have just prowled on by, headed for larger prey, for grander kills. But Tommy was a werewolf. Not a normal wolf at all. He felt the rabbit's heart burst from fear as his jaws enclosed around it.

                It excited him. Intoxicated him. Evoked all the dark parts of him. Blood, sweet blood filled his mouth, promising the dark mysteries. He ripped it apart in a frenzy of red warmth. The metallic taste enticed him, was more effective on him than a thousand pounds of catnip on a single cat. And there wasn't nearly enough of it . . .  The rabbit was too small.

                He lifted his bloodstained muzzle to the moon and howled his bittersweet regrets. Come morning, he would be sick. Vomiting and utterly repulsed. And for what? A single rabbit. Not even a morsel of what he truly craved.

                He sighed, in a wolf-like puff of air, and he carefully buried the rabbit remains.

                "Hey, Thomas, wait up." Mark called out, from somewhere down the long hallway. "That was sure a hell of a pass. Where did you learn to throw like that?"

                Tommy looked at him. "Football camp like everybody else."

                "Well, I think you're a shoe-in to make the team." Mark said, uncomfortable.

                "Wonderful." Tommy turned mid-stride and changed directions. As he walked down the hall, he noticed the blank-eyed stares of everybody else. Tommy was fairly tall, and carried his height well. He was muscled, lean rather than bulky. His hair was dark brown, and his eyes, warm amber-brown.

                None of that was the least bit out of the ordinary. It got unordinary when they noticed the way he walked. Silently, gracefully, navigating a hallway of hundreds of human bodies like they were just trees in a forest.

                He headed down to the cafeteria to buy his lunch. He was instantly turned off by the smell of cooked meat and vegetables. Yummy, charred flesh and rabbit food. Great. Forget lunch. He wasn't that hungry, anyway. Tommy remembered the rabbit and almost threw up again.

                No, he was definitely not hungry. He turned to leave when he caught a smell on the air. A jewel among the garbage. It was a deer. And raw. He turned. It was Seth's lunch. Raw venison impersonating a rare steak.

                He looked at Seth and his hackles instinctively rose. Seth caught his glance and returned it. He waved a small piece of meat infuriatingly, while the gorgeous girls he was sitting with glanced in his direction. They quickly returned their eyes to Seth, taking in his dark good looks, and darker fashion sense. Seth wore pure black and his green eyes shone in this darkness.

                Tommy and Seth shared a look of grudging respect, and Tommy moved on, leaving Seth the foul smells of the cafeteria and his perfumed bimbos.

                 Tommy made it to History class just as the bell rang. He slipped quietly into his desk in the back. He opened his binder, and attempted not to be distracted by the smell of the humans beside him. Tonight, was the night of the full moon, and that made the demon that lived inside him a little harder to control. Thankfully, most of them were putting him off his appetite with a wide variety of perfumes, colognes, lip glosses, make - up, hair sprays, and antiperspirant. Some of the girls even wore silver jewelry that hurt his eyes to look at.

                This was also the only class he had to share with Seth. And he had tried to transfer out of it. But some things are unavoidable. Huntersfield was a small community. That made the territory ever so much more precious. And it kicked Tommy somewhere deep inside to share it with another predator. Especially Seth.  

                 Oh well. Class would be over in fifty-six minutes. He could be a good boy. He finally glanced up toward the front. There was a strange girl standing besides the teacher.

                "This is Tommy, is that how you say it?" The teacher asked the girl.

                "No. It's said like two words, Toe - Me. Tomi." The girl was different. Small and thin. She had plain brown spiked hair, tipped in a defiantly unordinary bright purple. She was wearing loose comfortable khakis. A skintight, long sleeved, netted dark green shirt, with a plain black T-shirt over it. Her shoes were black runners, and her eyes, a disturbing shade forest green.  She was without make-up and perfume, something no female in this school would dare attempt.

                There was something about her. This girl was special. And he wanted to know her, and everything about her. He just plain wanted her. Most definitely. He noticed Seth straighten out of the corner of his eye. Fine. If that's the way you want to play it.

                "Now, I'd like someone to show Tomi around the school. Any volunteers?" The teacher asked in a routine voice.

                There wasn't much response from the human male population - she wasn't a cutie by their limiting, blond Barbie Doll standards. And when Seth put up his hand the teacher looked at the playboy in distaste.

                "I'll do it." Tommy raised his hand, and the teacher looked grateful.

                "Good, there's an extra seat by Thomas there. Why don't you go sit down, Tomi?" Tomi nodded and hauled her backpack over by him.

                "Hi, Tomi." He held out his hand. "What an unusual name. My name's Tommy."

                She looked his hand up and down, like it was going to bite her, before taking it in her own. "It's short for Natomi."

                He smiled, somewhat uneasily. It had been a long time since he smiled in school. "That's an unusual name, too."