Ash

I pushed through the living wall of makeup covered humans with no small amount of irritation. No doubt these costumed humans masquerading as supernatural creatures thought their disguises were clever and convincing while in reality they were simply laughable. Real life werewolves didn't come covered in fur and vampires didn't always show fangs. I shoved my way through the last few feet of crowd and into the air conditioned Las Vegas convention hall, home to the countries largest yearly Supernatural Convention taking place Halloween week. It was the only week of the year were adults came out wearing children's costumes. It was also the only week of the year that we had a truce with the bloodsuckers.

No one around me even looked twice at my golden eyes, the most obvious of my werewolf traits. About half the people here were wearing yellow contacts and running around pretending to be werewolves so why would they? In their safe little world vampires and werewolves were fake, nothing but fairy tales told to little children. During this week they would follow the legendary parameters of werewolf and vampire but next week they would forget all about it and go back to their ordinary lives. My pack would continue having yellow eyes and transforming into a wolf at the rise of the full moon long after this convention finished. Similarly the bloodsuckers would continue to avoid sunlight like the plague. The world will go on.

I inhaled deeply, trying to catch any scent traces of my pack. Instead I got an overwhelming nose full of sweat and skin, entirely human. The urge to shift, to attack and tear into vulnerable flesh, was almost overwhelming. There was a swift tug on my pack bond, full of urgency, and I reigned the monster in, searching for the source of the tug. It was Natalia, my once best friend. She had been my playmate, companion, and confidant as well as my partner in crime since we could crawl. Then she started dating my older brother Tyler, the alpha of our pack, and everything changed. Nat was no longer willing to pull pranks or get into trouble just for the sake of a little fun. Instead she was Little Miss Responsibility.

I send a tug back to Nat that was practically dripping with reassurance and annoyance. I had no intention nor had I ever had any intention to hunt humans. She was hovering. Besides the consequences were too steep a price to pay for one slip up. We were humanity's protectors. If a werewolf started hunting humans they were rabid and if they were rabid they were put down. I had no desire to be dead. Despite what Nat seemed to think as she glared meaningfully at me. I rolled luminous yellow eyes at her and pushed my way further into the convention hall away from my once best friend.

The crowd in the convention hall may have been less packed than the area outside but only because the guards at the front allowed a limited amount of people inside. I slipped through the milling herd of humans and then froze as the scent of something cold and harsh, almost like ammonia, burned my nose. Vampires, real ones and not the few fakes trying to flow around the packed space in store bought black capes and red contacts. They were blocking my intended path and none of them looked exactly happy that they couldn't dispose of me now instead of waiting until the week, and the truce, were over.

They hissed at me quietly but moved out of the way, not willing to break the truce and bring the wrath of Tyler, not to mention their coven leader, down on them. I let out a silent sigh of relief and slipped by. Even though the truce normally prevented fights between our two races from breaking out I was always afraid I would be a victim of the exception. As I moved further into the massive convention hall I caught a glimpse of Nat again, her long chocolate curls standing out in a crowd of blond and washed out brown hair. Was she following me? I felt a spasm of annoyance as I turned fully to find her face in the crowd. Then I saw who she was with.

Nat was standing across from my brother smiling sweetly at him just before she leaned in for a kiss. My annoyance turned to disgust and my nose wrinkled. Gross. I turned away quickly and made for one of the side exits, feeling nauseated. Fresh air smacked me in the face as I all but ran outside. It mixed with the scent of nicotine and I wrinkled my nose as I darted by a couple smokers and toward the forest beyond the convention hall. Tall pines rose up into the sky and I escaped into their shadows, letting out a relieved breath.

I sucked in a fresh breath, expecting to smell earth, blood, and water from the heavy storm clouds above me head. Instead the scent of blood clogged my nose and made me gag. My lips curled back in a snarl and I forced down a growl. It was just like a vampire to murder someone on truce grounds, confidant in the assumption that we wolves would do nothing because of the aforementioned truce. I slipped carefully around a tree and then froze.

The figure standing over the bloody body was not vampire, far from it. His skin was bronzed from sun exposure and I thought I saw blue eyes. A wave of dread washed across my skin. Raw terror rolled in my stomach. Then the man turned and looked directly at my hiding place. He smiled and that was all it took. I broke and ran.

I was so terrified I didn't even flinch when icy fingers wrapped around my wrist, pulling me along faster. Instead I was struggling to keep up and silently cursing myself for wearing a tight fitting black skirt. I had lost my sandals, cream colored with a yellow flower on each, somewhere farther back and I was gasping for breath when my companion and I emerged from the woods. A couple of members of my pack with nicotine addictions, namely Jessica and Andrew, were staring at me when reality sank it.

The bloodsucker released my arm just as I snapped, "Let go of me!" His cold eyes met mine for just a second before he turned and made his way back into the crowded convention hall without a hair out of place. Life just wasn't fair. Now the whole pack would suspect me of betraying them and my hair was a crazy mess. I limped into the convention hall after shooting a venomous glare at Jess and Andrew. It took me fifteen minutes to locate Nat in the chaos. "Can I have the key to our room?" I asked her tiredly. "I'm ready to go back to the hotel room and call it a night." Nat raised an eyebrow at my disheveled appearance but obligingly handed over the key card.

"Stay safe," she called after me as I wove my way through the crowd. I lifted a hand in acknowledgement but didn't otherwise respond. I had just made it to the entrance when someone tapped my shoulder. I turned and blue eyes met my golden ones.

"You left these," the man said, handing over my sandals. The smell of death lingered for a full minute after he had vanished into the thick crowd. I swallowed hard and left the convention hall, hailing a taxi. Only when the yellow vehicle pulled away from the packed convention hall did I allow myself to think about what I had just learned. There was a rogue Necromancer hanging around murdering people. And he just might be planning my death next.