I was asleep when Derek's dad got there. His mom stayed in the kitchen to talk to the boys, kids she's known since Derek was a toddler.
Derek shook me awake, helping me sit up where I was on the couch.
"Hi, Mya. How are you feeling?" Dr. Carlson asked, sitting down in a chair in front of where I was. He was an older man, gray streaking his hair. He was about fifty or so, the average age of a man with a son Derek's age. His brown eyes matched Derek's though Derek had his mom's nose and lips.
He was a nice man, hardly a temper. It was obvious Derek had been bitten rather than having the gene passed on.
My eyes were barely opened to slits when I answered him. "Crappy."
He chuckled, no humor coming out of it. "Let's see what's causing it then."
After a five minute inspection, he hardly found anything wrong with me. He asked the rest of the boys to give me a minute alone with him, even Derek was kicked out.
"I'm sure you didn't want to hear this. Especially not from me..." He said with a sigh. "Your symptoms are... werewolf symptoms. I'd always wondered if the gene was in your DNA. Now I'm sure that's what's wrong with you. The high temperature, for instance."
"Are you... You think I'm a werewolf?" I asked, trying not to raise my voice.
Dr. Carlson nodded.
I was momentarily speechless. I wanted to argue, say it couldn't happen. But things to the puzzle fit perfectly. If my brother was a werewolf and other members probably were... I could turn any day now.
"I wasn't sure if you wanted me to tell your brother or not-"
I shook my head. "I don't want him to know yet. Not until..."
I sighed. "How long will it take for me to get better?"
"This should only last a matter of days, a week at most." He said with a light tone.
"I'll just... What should I say to Max?"
"It's simple. You have a high fever cause by a flu."
I nodded. "Okay. Thanks for..."
"You're welcome. I'm sure this is hard on you."
"I'll deal with it somehow."
"If you felt like it, you could always tell Derek. He'd help you deal with this. You know that." He said quietly. He got to his feet and watched me closely.
"I know. But I don't want him freaking out if I never... phase."
"You have to tell him sometime, Mya."
"I will. I promise. I don't like keeping this from him, especially something like this. But I don't want him to feel more overprotective than he needs to be." I said, pulling one of the blankets off the back of the couch.
"Call if you need anything." He said, patting my hand. He walked out. Derek came in just as quickly, taking his father's place.
"What did he say?"
"The stupid flu." I mumbled, wrapping myself in the blanket. "Can you come here? I'm cold again."
He nodded and sat down beside me, wrapping his arms around me. I was afraid to tell him the truth. Afraid that, somehow, things would change. Maybe it'd be insignificant or maybe he wouldn't want me at all anymore. I didn't know. I didn't want to chance it at all, really.
I decided to enjoy the time I had now, when my secret was just a secret. When it was just a small possibility to everyone else. When no one knew the truth.
"Just do it." I said, my eyes squeezed tightly shut. "I wanna get it over with."
The woman standing behind me started cutting my hair, inch after inch. The three of us were quiet, only the sound of our breathing in my ears.
"Relax, Mya. It looks fine." Collin said, his voice sounding closer than before. A warm hand took mine and squeezed it, a little less gently than I was used to.
I sighed but didn't relax. Not in the slightest. I knew the more I hid myself, the more obvious my secret would become. I didn't want anyone else finding out. Telling Collin had been a stretch for me.
"All done." The woman said, running her fingers through my hair.
I opened my eyes slowly, afraid I wouldn't like what I saw. Instead, it was a big difference. My hair was cut above my shoulders, in slightly shorter layers in the front. My bangs had been cut, making me look older.
"Like it?" Collin asked, his hand on the back of the chair.
"I've had worse." I admitted.
He grinned. "Now that I wish I could see."
I hit him in the chest and got to my feet. The woman was already walking to her desk where the cash register was placed.
Collin handed over a twenty, being generous enough to pay for me since I was broke.
The woman smiled at us, more to Collin than me. "So are you two..."
My face flushed a dark red. "N-no-"
"I'm her brother." Collin said, hardly noticing the catch in my voice. It's not like I wanted to be with him, I didn't, but it was weird that someone thought we liked each other that way. Is that how Derek saw things when I was around the others?
"Oh, I'm terribly sorry." She said, a frightened look on her face.
He laughed. "I can see how you'd ask. Different moms... you know."
She nodded. "Of course, of course." She handed the change to Collin with a slight wink. "Have a nice day."
"You, too." He said, practically pushing me out into the cold, winter air.
"What was that about?" I asked, looking over at him.
He shrugged. "What was what?"
"The way you acted around her. That was just... ugh." I said, shuddering.
He laughed. "You'll understand later on."
Since I would hardly, or never, grow older, maybe I'd never understand.
I sighed and stuffed my hands into my pockets.
"You okay?" Collin asked, looking down at me.
"I'll live, I guess."
He laughed. "You guess?"
"It's hard to tell anymore."
He wrapped an arm around my shoulders. "Just because you're a werewolf, doesn't mean your life is over."
"It feels like it." I mumbled.
"Have you ever paid attention to Derek? His life was depressing before he was bit. He was a single child with hardly any friends. Now? He has you. And he loves you-"
"He has to. It's not like he chose it."
"I'm sure if he wasn't a wolf, he'd pick you anyway."
"Why haven't I... you know..." I asked, my voice trailing off.
"You haven't phased yet. I'm sure that once you do, you'll find him. And I would bet big money it'll be Derek you imprint on."
"You would?" I'd always wondered what would happen if I'd turned. Would I still be the same person? Would Derek still want to be around me? Would we still be imprinted with each other?
He smiled. "Of course."
I smiled to myself. It was nice to know that the rest of the pack had faith in Derek and I. It made our relationship feel a little more real than I'd thought.