I do hope that this revised version comes across as reading smoother and better than the previous rendition. This of course will be updated faster than the other stories since I will just be editing instead of writing from scratch. So enjoy this edited version!

Chapter 1

God Hates Me

It had been a long time since I walked the streets of Providence, North Dakota. Almost 6 years now. My sister Natalie was yapping about the boy she wanted me to meet. I had missed her—even if I had called her often during my time in college. Walking beside her was refreshing. Hell, walking in Providence was refreshing. Much more quiet then the bustle of Atlanta.

I racked my brain for the name of the boy my sister seemed so infatuated with. Freddie? Frederick? It was Fred-something, I was almost positive of that. She shoved open the glass door to an auto store. We made our way to a counter in the small auto store. The store was obviously new; it had not been there when I had left for school. It looked like a parts shop, with big sections of mufflers, rims, and audio parts.

Behind the counter stood a kid with jet black hair talking to a man. I couldn't see the man's face but I stared appreciatively at his backside. He was dressed in a white shirt and black slacks. His clothing emphasized his wide shoulders and dear I say, taut, behind. I was a little anxious to see his face. I would be pissed as hell if he turned around and looked like a gargoyle. I almost laughed as I remembered the first time that had happened to me. The man had then proceeded to flirt shamelessly with me. I almost dried up and died right then. My friends had fits of laughter at my expense.

Natalie walked up to the counter and the boy looked at her before smiling. I could see he had these bright, almost gold, eyes. I paused. He was a wolf—that much was painfully obvious. No human I had ever met had gold eyes. He leaned over the counter, a feet easily accomplished by his tall frame, and placed a kiss on her cheek. His hand came up to brush hair from her face before kissing her again. I assumed he was Fred-something. He looked up at me, and had the decency to blush. "Hi, how are you." He moved slightly away from my sister.

"Marilein, this is Frederick, my boyfriend." She turned back to him. "Frederick, this is my big sis."

His name was Fredrick. I had been pretty close with Fred-something. "Hi."

His smiled beamed and I noticed he had deep dimples in his cheeks. He looked like someone—and for some reason, it made my stomach flip. His resemblance to someone I couldn't place unnerved me. The man he had been talking to turned to look at me and I felt my throat tighten. My chest constricted slightly as I stared at the man. His gold eyes glowed brightly at me—it was like looking into molten gold. As I took in his image, my breath skipped. He moved closer to me, pushing me against the locker and I was trapped. I was trapped between this monster and metal. I can't remember if I peed myself or not. I just remember his breath on my neck. He said, 'Why do you smell so good?' and he somehow found a way to get even closer to me. I could feel his lips moving against my ear. I could hear him breathing me in and my vision got cloudy. I was going to start crying I was so terrified. And he said to me 'Do you even realize how damn delicious you look? I don't think I have the resolve to stop myself from just having you, right here, right now…' I had pissed myself right then. 'I bet you taste even better than you smell.' I had melted then, and I felt like I would now too. He stared at me, his eyes narrowing before his tongue darted out to lick his lips. Those fucking lips. His lips brushed my neck. His hands held me tightly in place. I could feel him against me, and it was then that I realized that this wolf didn't want to eat me like little red. And that realization terrified me more than the thought of being devoured.

"Marilein," my name rolled off his tongue. His German accent turned my name into something strangely exotic.

"Ashland…" My mouth felt impossibly dry. I had returned home and had blissfully forgotten about the wolf. I had thought he would have went back to Germany after school. He had talked so much about home. He stood, leaning back on the counter, his shirt stretched against his impressive expanse of chest. God hates me. His eyes darkened to amber.

"Natalie, you never told me Marilein Chastain was your sister." He gave my sister a sideways glance. My mother had remarried when I was two and had Natalie with my stepfather. She never bothered to change my last name, but I always felt more like a Gardner than a Chastain. My stepfather treated me like his own. Of course Ashland would not have initially realized that we were related. Natalie had said she had only begun dating Frederick about a month and a half ago. His eyes lingered on her for a moment until the startling jingle of the door rang. His head turned slowly. This boy was all predator. He stood straight from his relaxed position, but I could see him visibly relax slightly as he saw whoever came in. I turned then to see a welcoming familiar face. Peter Long.

"Hey! Marilein!" He smiled at me before embracing me in a warm hug. I almost cried at his rescue. I could feel him tense slightly as I clung to him. I could practically feel Ashland's eyes on my back—it burned. "Ashland. Frederick. What's all this tense energy about?" His voice hadn't skipped a beat. He still sounded so relaxed, but I could feel his back was tight, prepared to take action. "She just got back and you're already at work scaring her?" Pete moved from me to clap his hands down on Ashland's shoulders. I could see Ashland look away, his eyes narrowed.

"Um, Natalie, lets head home. I'll make you lunch. How about some stir-fry?" I reached for my sister. She seemed dumbfounded by the events but nodded slowly. "It was nice to meet you Frederick. I'll see you some time Pete?"

Pete didn't look at me. "Yeah, yeah! I'll call you, k?"

I left the store. God hates me.