A/N: This is a completed project, but I'm going through and editing. Mostly correcting the multitude of errors that always seem to escape me. Thanks to Awaking Kills the Dream for proofing.
Chapter One: A Beginning Of Sorts
Claire hummed under her breath as the creaky elevator slowly descended, and brushed her light brown hair out of her eyes. It had been a long day, and her hair refused to hold any style for more than thirty minutes. She hated working down-town, but that was the only place she could geta job that didn't involve fast food. So now she spent her evenings filing records for the court house in the records department. The elevator jerked to a halt, groaning in protest. She glanced nervously at the lit panel- she worried about getting stuck in here. But the door slid open and a young man in a black jacket stepped in. She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye- she'd always been kind of shy- and did a double take. And with that, she Knew.
He was a werewolf.
Involuntarily she stepped back, her eyes widening in surprise and more than a little fear. Claire had Known things since she was very little; she didn't understand her gift and never had any control over it. It came and went, with its own agenda. But she had never been wrong- not once, not about anything. She had come to trust it withoutquestion. Even if it told her some guy in the elevator was a werewolf, and she didn't even believe in werewolves.
His eyes were on her, narrowed suspiciously. His dark hair fell around his face, framing his dark eyes. His features were strong and rather striking.
"What?" he demanded.
"Nnnnothing," she stammered, trying to regain her composure and wishing that she could act, "You, ah, look like someone I know."
Faster than she could flinch, his hand shot out and gripped her elbow.
"That's a lie," his voice was calm, matter-of-fact, but his grip on her arm was fierce.
"No…really," she began, but he cut her off.
"Listen, girl, I know when I'm being lied to. Now, the truth."
"You're a werewolf," she blurted, regretting it even as she said it. Why couldn't she keep her mouth shut?
It was his turn to look surprised; he released her and stepped back, disbelief on his face.
"How do you know that? You're not…you're just a human."
The elevator doors took that opportunity to open, finally, with a hiss. She took a grateful step towards them, but he was suddenly in front of her, standing in the exit, blocking it. He hadn't seemed that big when he'd gotten on, but now he loomed over her, his expression dark. Her fear nearly strangled her.
"How do you know that?" he demanded again, more insistent.
"I just do, alright?!"
"Ever since I was a kid I've just Known stuff, don't ask me how or why- I just do. Get out of my way."
Fear always made her irritable. But to her surprise he did move, enough for her to get by.
She started warily past him; she had to pass so close that she brushed against him. The foyer was empty- of course, her luck was never good
"What are you going to do with this information?" he asked, falling in behind her.
"Sell it tothe freaking newspapers. I'll keep my mouth shut. What did you think I was going to do? Not stupid here."
"I dunno, it took you all of two seconds to get yourself into trouble with me- not too bright by my estimation."
"Point taken. Look, I'll be quiet." They'd reached the revolving door; he let her go through first.
Outside he caught her arm again and said warningly, "Be careful."
She was unsure whether it was a warning or a threat, but she turned and made her escape, walking quickly and praying her legs wouldn't give out. He watched as she got in her aging car and drove off.
She made it all the way home before the shaking started. She didn't even know why she was so upset. The dark-haired werewolf had let her go. She was out of the woods, so to speak. But she couldn't get rid of a nagging doubt at the back of her mind. He'd looked perfectly ordinary- well, ordinary in a cute sort of way. His features would have been handsome if he'd been smiling instead of snarling. Perhaps his eyes had been a bit too dark, his teeth a touch too sharp for a human. But she was kidding herself- if she hadn't Known, she never would have guessed he was a werewolf. And just because she Knew about him didn't mean she would Know about others.
And would he really just let her go if she was able to snitch on him to…to whoever his enemies were? She had a sinking feeling the answer was no.