Moonlight

Crimson Moon

Chapter 1-New Moon part 1

Tranquility was a large town located in North Dakote in the central region of the Amaya Republic. It gained its name for the tranquil scenery of the large forests that surrounded the town, and the amazing view of the mountains in the distance that tourists got a glimpse of when passing through. Of course, Tranquility was far from some national landmark or historical location of great importance, but many couldn't deny that being surrounded by so much nature helped make the place feel fresher in a way. Not too secluded that it felt like an isolated shit town but not too large that it felt disconnected from its surrounded. Tranquility was just right.

Sherman High School was just like any other high school, a relic from the 1950s. With its six story window and impressive six story height, it would have been passed on as a combination of a cathedral and a college to anyone else. However, the school was also equipped with the most advanced security system known to most security companies. It wasn't much of a secret considering the school faculty liked to brag about it like it was their best feature, and not the fact that the school could probably pass for a college, but that's beside the point.

It was just a few minutes before first period began and Daniel was spending it doing some reading while he waited for the bell to ring. He sat on one of the front benches in the courtyard, his eyes scanning the pages while the rest of the world moved around him. The other students paid him no mind, he was just another face in the crowd.

Daniel was just a regular sixteen year old, slim but not gangly, with messy black hair that fell over his storm grey eyes and a small light pink scar that sat just under his left eye. He wore a black short-sleeve shirt with a great undershirt and jeans with black sneakers. His grey sweater was tied around his waist, forgotten as he read the latest volume in the book series he was reading.

"Danny!" A girl called out. Daniel briefly looked up with a smile before returning his gaze to his book.

"Hey, Sahira." He greeted her. "What's up?"

The attractive girl that plopped herself beside Daniel pouted at his lackluster greeting. "That's no way to greet your best girl friend in the whole wide world."

Sahira Quadir was a young woman of Indus descent, with tan skin and short black hair tied back in a simple but still elaborate ponytail. Despite it being early fall, she wore a light pink tank top and tight blue jeans that highlighted her figure (the result of daily exercise and proper dieting) really well. She was one of Daniel's best friends, in fact, she was one of the few friends he had in this school.

"We see each other every day, Sahira. Running into you isn't that out of this world." Daniel said.

"You ass." She grinned and nudged him with her elbow.

"So where's Heather?" He asked.

"In the library, where else? She heard about the recent string of lycanthrope attacks in over in Sherwood and wanted to check out the news before first period." Sahira said.

"Sherwood? As in the town right next door to us?" Daniel said, surprised. "I didn't know they were having lycanthrope attacks."

"It was just confirmed by the hunter's association after they did tests on the bodies they found. And this is only a few days after they found the remains of that man in Tranquility last week." Sahira said. She gave Daniel a look and said, "You know, Danny, you'd be gobbled up by a werewolf in a heartbeat. A scrawny kid like you wouldn't even notice a werewolf if it was right on top of you."

"Fat chance of that, considering even lycanthropes avoid Tranquility." He said.

"How do you know? You can't tell a lycan from a regular human." Sahira said. She waved her arm at the crowd around them. "They can be anyone, and you wouldn't even know. I've heard that even experienced hunters have problems identifying lycanthropes apart from humans."

"It's probably like that saying where if you're close enough to hear a mountain lion growling, then you're already dead." Daniel said.

"Hey, if you were a lycan, what kind would you be?" Sahira suddenly asked.

Daniel blinked at her. "Why that question?"

Sahira shrugged. "Just curious. I'd have no problem being a weresnake. They're really popular over in Indus."

"I'm not going to answer that question because I'm totally not interested in being any kind of lycanthrope." Daniel replied. "Having superhuman strength is moo when you're being labeled as shoot on sight in some states."

The bell rang and all the students began to flood into the school. Daniel packed up his things and stood up. "That's the bell. Let's go before we're late."

Sahira smirked and got up as well. "I'll have your answer at lunch, Danny."

"No you won't!" He called back to her.

The two friends entered the school together, instantly lost in the sea of students as they made their way to class. Neither of them noticed the pair of intense eyes following them with disdain before looking away in a huff.

XXXXXX

Class 3-A was one of the most active classrooms in Sherman High. They had a reputation for being composed of the most rambunctious, mischievous, smartest and loudest students in the 6th grade. That, and they had a reputation for taking in exchange students from other schools both in-country and abroad.

When Daniel and Sahira made it to their class, Daniel's eyes immediately gravitated towards the girl sitting in the desk near the window. She was a beauty, not like the makeup coated mean girls commonly found in high school, but a sweet, almost petite kind of beauty that you'd suddenly run into inside a coffee shop. The cream-colored dress she wore complimented her dark lavender hair, and she wore a thin pair of glasses over her coal black eyes.

Her name was Veronica Dare. She moved to Tranquility last year and had instantly enchanted the boys in her grade with her kind smile and sweet disposition. She was also a member of Daniel's book club and he enjoyed the long, in depth conversations about books they liked and different genres they wanted to try out. Daniel was man enough to say that he was a member of her fan club. Hard not to be after having one conversation with her.

"Trying to ice skate uphill, dork?" A mean voice said behind him before Daniel found himself being roughly shoved forward.

'Wonderful.' Daniel drawled in his mind as he caught himself and sent a glare at the taller boy behind him.

"Hey, watch it, asshole!" Sahira growled.

"Back off, girl. This is between the big boys!"

Roland Zellinski was your typical high school alpha male who had yet to get his dose of reality. He was, as expected, a member of the football team, and a very good player at that. The only thing this big guy had against him however was that his attitude was crap all around. He tormented people like Daniel and his friend Heather for months since they started the school year, but Daniel was more exasperated than afraid. The high school bully act had gotten really old really fast.

"What do you want now, Roland?" Daniel sighed, leaning against his desk. "It's too early in the morning for this."

"Don't act all innocent, Blake. I saw you looking at my woman." Roland hissed, towering a head taller than Daniel.

"Since when was Veronica your woman? You haven't even spoken to her at all since she came here!" Daniel said.

"Doesn't mean she isn't into me. Girls like her are always looking for an alpha male!" Roland said arrogantly.

"Only the brain dead bimbos on the cheerleading squad, Roland." Sahira sighed, heading to her seat. "You're hardly the biggest fish in the sea."

"In more ways than one." Daniel grinned.

Roland's face turned red at the witty comeback and he gnashed his teeth. As he watched Roland raise his fist, Daniel idly thought that if anyone would be a lycanthrope in disguise, it's Roland. Daniel braced himself for the punch he knew was coming, but before Roland could do anything, someone spoke up behind him.

"Move."

Both Roland and Daniel turned to the speaker. It was a girl, clad in a short dark grey t-shirt that left her stomach bare, a plain skirt, stockings and heavy black boots. Her skin was pale, but not sickly, and her long black hair was tied behind her head but still left flowing. Her hard black eyes stared impassively at Roland, not at all intimidated by his size. Daniel recognized this girl as Morgan, another odd flower in the class.

"What did you just say?"

Morgan's black painted lips turned into a frown by a only a fraction. "I said move. You're standing in front of my desk."

Roland, who was still angry at Daniel and Sahira for showing him up in front of his "girl" wasn't really thinking straight when he made a threatening move toward Morgan. To the pure amazement of the onlookers watching the scene, before Roland could even grab Morgan's arm, her hand shot up faster than Daniel could process and she chopped him in the throat. The burly football player crumpled to the floor coughing and hacking, holding a hand to his throat.

"Holy shit." Sahira muttered. "That's the first time I've seen her do that."

"It's always the quiet ones." Daniel muttered to her.

Morgan easily pushed the choking Roland aside before taking her seat and closing her eyes. Daniel stared at the girl for a moment before following Sahira to his seat, near the back of the class.

"That girl confuses me." Sahira hummed. "She doesn't talk to anyone in any of her classes unless it's related to school, and she barely says a word even to the teachers. I've never seen a person move that fast either. You think she does material arts?"

"Sahira," Daniel sighed. "Just stop prying. The last thing we need is her knocking you out for asking too many questions."

Sahira snorted. "Bitch, please. I can take her."

Suddenly a girl burst through the door, nearly crashing into the teacher's desk before bending over to catch her breath. She was a slender girl with short blond hair that reached just below her ears and had two bangs framing her face. She had dark brown eyes with a pair of bottle lens glasses over them, and wore a short sleeve blue striped shirt with jeans and sneakers.

The girl finally caught her breath and stood up straight, calmly walking over to her desk behind Daniel. "Hey, guys."

"Hey, Heather," Sahira grinned, waving her over. "Nice of you to finally join us."

The bell rang for the last time and Daniel sent a grin back at Heather, the third and final member of Daniel's inner circle of friends. "Made it with time to spare. Cutting it close, Heather."

"Sorry, I lost track of time in the library." Heather smiled sheepishly. She saw Roland stumbling over to his desk while rubbing his throat and asked, "Um, did I miss anything?"

"Nothing important." Daniel said.

Soon their homeroom teacher, Mr. Talbot, entered the class and they began to take attendance. But as the day started, Morgan sent a discreet glance at Daniel before turning her eyes back to the front.

XXXXXX

Come lunchtime, Daniel, Heather and Sahira got their trays and sat at their usual table, away from the rest of the rabble. No one else sat their table, but that was fine with them. The three friends only needed each other, and that was all that mattered.

"So Sahira tells me you were reading up on that lycanthrope attack that's on the news." Daniel said. "I didn't peg you as someone who watches ID in the evenings. I know how you are with all that gruesome stuff."

"You're right, but I was just a bit curious." Heather said, munching on her burger. "Sherwood is practically next door to Tranquility. You think they're going to come here?"

"Don't sound so excited, Heather. This is a murder we're talking about." Sahira said.

"S-Sorry. I just got a bit too excited." Heather blushed and looked down at her hands. Sahira reached over and pinched her cheek.

"I know you like Lycans, but not everything about them is glamorous and cool. Keep in mind that the criminal lycans on the news are the bad guys."

"Yeah, got it."

Daniel smiled and took a sip of his soda. Heather was crazy about lycanthropes ever since she saw a group of wereleopard performers do an act at a traveling circus when she was little. They always fascinated her, and when she got older she aspired to study more about them, eventually planning on studying lycanthrope biology and sociology in college once she graduated.

"The only thing that bugs me is that those psychopathic yahoos in Humanity First are going to be starting up again. You'd think they'd learn." Heather sighed.

"When it comes to zealots, they'll never learn." Daniel told her. "Don't expect anything from a group of people who think waving a pitchfork in a wereleopard's face is going to scare them off."

"That's true." Heather nodded.

As they talked, the speaker phone was sounding off, and the principal's voice came over the intercom. "Attention students. This is Principal Lane reminding you that today is the last day to sign up for the Wolfcreek Spring Break Camping Trip. Remember, it's your Spring Break, what better way than to spend it outdoors?"

The three friends looked at one another, and the two girls shared a crafty smile before turning to Daniel, who was munching on his pizza in confusion. Then he realized their intentions and vehemently shook his head.

"Oh hell no, I'm not—"

"You're coming along on the camping trip." Heather said, pointing her half-eaten burger at him playfully. "If I'm going, then so do you."

"But Sahira made you go!"

"Damn right, and I'm going to do the same to you too." Sahira said shamelessly, calmly taking a bite of her salad.

"For heaven's sake, I'm not interested in spending time out in the middle of a forest. Roland's going along and I'm not dealing with his crap all day for the entire break." Daniel shook his head. "You two are welcome to go, I'm going to spend some time with auntie and chill at home watching anime, thank you very much."

Sahira shook her head at him, but before she could say anything, there was a loud yell that made them jump.

"HALE!"

They looked to the middle isle and saw a very angry Roland stomping towards a disinterested Morgan, who was heading to a table with her lunch tray in hand. Roland's football buddies were trying to stop him, but he pushed them all away and stopped in front of the shorter girl.

"Did you think I was gonna let you get away with that stunt you pulled in class earlier?" Roland growled in her face.

"I didn't know you had the mental capacity to even form a thought." Morgan replied easily.

"Listen you bitch, you better apologize or I'll—"

"Do what? Do your alpha male act on someone smaller than you? Wow, you're a piece of work. No wonder our team keeps getting beat every year. They have your dumb ass leading the team." Morgan said scathingly.

"Oh shit." Daniel muttered.

His shock was shared by the rest of the crowd as they laughed and taunted Roland, who was sporting a red face. The football player gnashed his teeth together and snorted like an angry bull before he raised his arm. Daniel's eyes widened when he saw what Roland was about to do.

"Look out!" He called out to Morgan.

As it turned out, Morgan didn't need the warning. As soon as Roland's fist shot at her, she sidestepped his punch, spinning around his arm and reaching out to chop him once again in the throat. Roland stumbled back, coughing and hacking, but he didn't go down this time. He charged at Morgan and started throwing several punches at her. To amazement of everyone present, Morgan was dodging every single one of them, all while still holding her tray!

"Wow," Heather breathed. "She's good."

"And she's not even throwing a punch." Sahira said.

Morgan practically danced around Roland and her avoiding his punches only made him madder. He faked a left hook and lashed out with his right, trying to catch her off guard. Morgan saw this, but she immediately dodged it, leaning to the left to let the punch sail over her shoulder. Roland's fist landed in the face of a poor boy at full force, and he was sent flying back into another table.

"Hey, he didn't do anything!" The girl next to him shouted.

"Get him to the nurse, his nose is broken!" A boy called out.

Roland looked around and saw that everyone was looking at him with anger right now, even some of his buddies weren't smiling anymore. What did he do? He didn't mean to punch that kid, though his face was very punchable. He turned to Morgan, who had put her tray down and was shaking her head.

"You bitch!" He roared and charged at her, ready to knock her face out, but before he could take another step, a loud shout made everyone freeze.

"Alright, that's enough you morons!"

The crowd backed away to allow another young man to walk through. He was a tall, burly man in his early forties, physically fit for his age and had a very noticeable accent, one of Eurian origin. He was Paul Vincent, the Biology teacher and coach of the school's Lacrosse team. And the normally easy going man looked absolutely living.

He pulled Roland close by his shirt and snarled, "Roland Zellinski, what exactly have we discussed about your behavior? If you have aggression, work it out on the field, not the students!"

"I wasn't being aggressive!" Roland lied. "That bitch—"

"Had done nothing to you, while you just broke a boy's nose!" Coach Vincent growled. "Attacking a girl out of nowhere and seriously injuring a bystander. You think that gets you all the hot chick? Huh?"

Roland remained silent, knowing better than to talk back to the coach. Vincent shrugged and said, "Okay, fine. Expect to have a cold Spring Break, because you're going nowhere. I'm putting you on school community service duty…as my janitor for the gym stadium, the locker room, and anything else I can come up with!"

Roland balked at the idea and turned to his friends for help. However none of them, not even his cheerleader girlfriend, looked at him. He gritted his teeth and looked down at his feet.

"My parents will tan my hide for this, Coach."

"Should've thought of that before you tried attacking random people with half the staff watching you." Vincent said and pulled him along towards the doors. "Now let's go give your folks a call. I'm not wasting my afternoon dealing with you."

Daniel, Heather and Sahira watched them go with wide eyes. Daniel then turned to Morgan, who had retrieved her lunch and was now sitting at a table away from the muttering students.

"Well that was something." Heather said.

Sahira clapped her hands and smiled. "So who's excited for that camping trip, huh?"

XXXXXX

The rest of the day went fine. Daniel, Heather and Sahira finished the rest of their afternoon classes, but throughout it all everyone was talking about Morgan's display with Roland earlier.

It wasn't as if no one knew Morgan existed, it was just that she wasn't the talkative type, and rarely socialized with anyone. Obviously no one knew she could fight, and fight that damn well too. To the girls who'd seen how toned she was in the locker room during gym weren't as surprised.

But that wasn't the only surprising thing Daniel witnessed that day.

Right after last period, Daniel saw the girls off and headed to his book club, and just as he was entering the clubroom, he almost ran into Veronica.

"Oh, sorry!" Daniel said.

"No, I'm sorry. I wasn't looking where I was going." Veronica laughed.

Daniel looked at the book in her hands and smiled. "Oh you're reading Tatsuki Kaneki's new horror?"

"Of course I am! His stories are especially visceral when it comes down to it." Veronica said. "A story about humans fighting against man-eating monsters called Ghouls, and one boy waking up as a ghoul after a vicious accident one night. I won't tell you any spoilers, but it gets pretty action-packed later on."

"Horror isn't usually my cup of tea, but I'm willing to give it a look if you like it." Daniel said.

As they took their seats, Veronica said, "Oh you'll love it. It makes you think about our own world, and how we live with our own monsters. In the book, humans live in conflict with ghouls, but in the real world, we live alongside lycans, yes?"

Daniel blinked at her. "Well, I wouldn't say we were in total conflict with them…"

"But we do still have issues with lycanthropes in this country, despite the government's best efforts not to demonize them. Groups like Alpha Luna don't just appear out of nowhere." Veronica said. "Some states still have shoot on sight orders for wereanimals, and that doesn't fare well for local lycan groups."

She lifted the book in her hand. "What I like about this story is that it puts into perspective on what truly makes a monster. Is it their behavior, their looks, their aggressiveness? Or maybe something that we can't see immediately. Humans have a way of surpassing lycanthropes when it comes to committing atrocities." A look came over her eyes that somehow made them more enticing. "For lycanthropes, being violent and savage is within their nature. But what's our excuse when we do the same thing? Good question, yes?"

Daniel didn't know what to say, and he didn't really want to comment on something that deep. Veronica laughed at his expression and put her book down.

"I'm sorry, I've been reading a lot of thought-provoking stories lately and I needed someone to vent my thoughts to." She said smiling. Thankfully she changed the subject. "Hey, are you going on the camping trip coming up?"

"I'm still thinking about it." Daniel replied. "Are you?"

"Of course! I love the outdoors, and I rarely get a chance to go camping." Veronica said. "What better way than to spend it with friends?"

Daniel wanted to say that it'd be better if half the school wasn't going, considering that there were a good amount of kids whom he saw as wastes of space going on the trip just to hook up or make out, but he refrained. He was never an outdoor person, but now that Roland was stuck in school serving out his punishment, going along seemed so much better.

He jumped when Veronica reached out and gripped his hand, looking at him earnestly.

"You should go on the trip, Daniel. Camping is something that you'd have to do at least once in your life." Veronica urged him. "Especially with how busy our lives will later on."

"I…I…" Daniel's brain short-circuited, not expecting a pretty girl to actually get this close to him. Thus, when the door swung open and Heather's face popped in, he was too frozen to do anything at the time.

"Daniel, are you there yet? I think I left my…" Heather's face went blank when she saw Veronica sitting really close to Daniel, and her eyes slowly slid down to their clasped hands.

"H-Heather!" Daniel exclaimed.

"Hello, Heather." Had Daniel been looking at Veronica, he would've seen the little smirk she was sending Heather. "Did you need something?"

"…No, I was just checking on Daniel. Seems like he's doing just fine." Heather said with a dark look. "I'll see you tomorrow, Daniel."

Before he could say anything, Heather was gone and the door slammed shut behind her. Veronica smiled sympathetically at him and patted his back.

"Oh my, I wonder what has her so cross." She said.

XXXXXX

Outside the school building, Morgan was heading down the street with some other students on their way home. She never found any interest in afterschool clubs, as she saw them as relatively pointless. Her personal life was a hell of a lot more active than whatever chump club that school could spit out.

As she turned a corner, a blue sports car drove down the street and slowed down to match her pace. The dark tinted window rolled down to reveal a tall, muscular black man with short black hair and bright blue eyes looked up at her. He gave her an easy smile and whistled at her.

"Hey, girl." He said. "How's it going?"

"Hey, Leo. Out on patrol again?" Morgan asked without looking at him.

"Yeah, and still not finding a damn thing." The man named Leo sighed. "I hope you're having more luck than I am."

"I've hit a dead end. I've smelt wolves in the area, mostly around the school, and I have a good idea who they're watching, but once they shift to human form, I can't smell their scent anymore." Morgan growled low in her throat.

"Only powerful lycans are capable of doing that." Leo said, losing his smile. "We're dealing with a professional here."

"That was obvious from how the missing people were hunted down and attacked and then kidnapped without anyone ever realizing who or what did it." Morgan said. "Tell Mina not to expect any progress until later on. If I find anything, then I'll act."

"Just try not to get anyone killed, all right?" Leo said. "I hear that the police are sending for hunters from the National Preternatural Department. If that happens, then we're going to be worrying about things other than rogue lycans."

"You let me do my job. I'll handle it." Morgan glared at him. "Now get going before someone jumps you for harassing a teenage girl."

Leo cracked a smile and waved her off. "I'll see you tonight, Morgan. Try not to be late this time."

Morgan flipped him off and Leo drove down the street laughing his head off. She grumbled under her breath and continued on her way. There were better things she could be doing instead of playing cat and mouse with a wolf.

XXXXXX

Jason Lancaster stood outside of his new home, trying not to let his look of distaste show on his features. He was a handsome young man of seventeen, not too muscular, but toned enough to show the results of his daily exercise and combat training. His dark blond hair stopped at his ears, short and curly, and made his dark green eyes shine. He was a handsome young man, and he knew it, but he didn't like to flaunt it like other boys his age.

His new house was big, but not too big that it could be classified as a mansion. It belonged to some family that descended from old money, but vacated the place in the late 1890s due to a sudden increase of lycanthrope violence in the area. The Lancasters, ever the ones to utilize their money for every occasion, bought both the house and the surrounding land, effectively isolating themselves from the rest of the neighborhood. It took months to renovate the house and the land, and almost as long moving from their old home in Zona Arida, but like the great Tybalt Lancaster always says, a true hunter moves with his prey.

"Please stop glaring at the house like it killed your pet cat." Someone whined behind him. "You're going to set it on fire with your eyes, and I doubt dad is going to like that very much."

Jason looked over his shoulder. "Fire slinging is your thing, Jane, not mine."

Jane Lancaster, his twin sister, shared her brother's long blond hair and striking green eyes, but that was where the similarities ended. She was a slender, pretty little thing but her face was molded in a way that even when she was smiling it was almost a sneer. Her uppity attitude and needlessly high opinion of herself and her family didn't help either. Jane was the prime example of beautiful things that were dangerous.

"Whatever, just keep your grumbling to a minimum, okay? Dad's not here to shut you up and I'm not in the mood to deal with you and the little monster at the same time." Jane said carelessly.

"Would it kill you not to refer to Damien like that?" Jason hissed. "I don't need you starting shit up in school like the last time."

"Then why don't you fight his battles for him, big brother?" Jane mocked and walked past him to enter the house. Probably to make sure the movers didn't drop her things.

Jason sighed and ran a hand through his hair. No matter where they moved, things will still remain the same. The scathing remarks of his sister, the cold indifference of his father, and protecting his little brother from the cruelty of others. All in a day's work for the greatest hunter family in the Amayan Republic.

XXXXXX

"Stupid Veronica, of course she makes a move on him." Heather grumbled angrily as she got ready for bed. She was still fuming from seeing that girl all over Daniel in his book club, and at the boy himself for looking so clueless. "I thought she wasn't interested in dating anyway!"

Heather yanked on her nightshirt with an angry huff and sat down at her computer. Why was she even mad? By rights Daniel was free to date any girl he wanted, she had no monopoly on him. Granted, her crush on him was almost well-known enough that most girls would think twice about going after him, though that was just wishful thinking on her part.

With a sigh, she switched on her computer from sleep mode and clicked on the lycanthrope news website that she was subscribed to. It was a fansite made for people who wanted to know more about lycanthropes and their society, and had a huge archive of almost every lycanthrope news article and broadcast on file. For a girl who was interested in taking lycanthrope biology when she got into college, it wasn't terribly accurate, but it was all she really had to curb her obsession with shapeshifters.

Seeking to take her mind off of Daniel and the seductive fox he got himself caught up by, Heather scrolled down the page and frowned when she spotted the most recent article.

Today's Top Story: Hunter's Association uncovers and neutralizes wererat drug smuggling ring with no civilian casualties.

Heather looked through the blurry images of HA soldiers clad in black body armor fighting off a group of fully formed wererats attacking them. Large, humanoid rats jumping through the air, hissing and squeeking as they fought the local authorities in November City, Washington.

"Wonderful, more news about indiscriminate killing." She muttered and scrolled the page down to read the rest of the article.

Were these wererat criminals accomplices in the anti-human bombings in New York and Washington? Police say the evidence is undeniable, but human rights group Amnesty International have condemned the recent surge of HA raids as "inhumane and unconstitutional", provoking a stern response from Vivian Taylor of the Department of Supernatural Defense…

The article cut to a photo of a rather pretty red haired woman in a crisp black suit with thin glasses over her cold blue eyes as she addressed the public at a press conference. "How can anyone question the PRD's actions after the Washington Annihilation is beyond me. Our job is to protect the country from nonhuman threats and the president, as well as myself, believe that is exactly what we're doing. The president wishes to reaffirm his support for the project and offers his most sincere congratulations to the federal employees behind it."

The DSD Chairwoman was of course referring to Alpha Luna's devastating bomb blast on Capitol Hill only seven days ago, and the recent broadcasts from Dante Raines, the death cult's self-proclaimed leader…

In the middle of the page there was a video showing the blurry image of a man clad in white armor sitting regally on a throne of animal bones and skin. He was a young looking man with pale skin and dark grey hair, but despite his advanced age, he still looked strong and powerful.

"This is only the beginning. Some would say that I'm a terrorist, but I like to think of myself as a savior, a savior who looks out for man's superior predators, lycanthropes, the children of the moon. No longer will we live in fear of those inferior homo-sapiens—soon, it will be the humans who will know fear. Naturally, our attacks on this cesspool of a country will continue until you cede this land to its rightful owners. But we grow impatient, and you don't want to know what happens when our patience runs out."

Heather stopped reading at that point and just sat back in her chair. She always had a strange fascination with lycanthropes since seeing a woman transform into a massive wolf as a child. Heather wasn't afraid to admit that it bordered on obsession; wanting to know all about their society, culture, biology, what exactly makes lycans so different from humans aside from their physical abilities.

Daniel and Sahira thought her little obsession with lycans strange, but they supposed it was better than hating them at least. There was too much of that already, with anti-lycan groups like Humans First, or that lycan terrorist organizations like Alpha Luna. Her interest in lycanthropes was something that was hard to really explain, other than wanting to know more about the things that people don't see on television. She didn't care how people saw her, she just enjoyed learning more about them.

Unfortunately for her, not even lycanthropes could get her mind off of earlier. That damn floozy Veronica just had to go all over Daniel like some innocent maiden and not the vixen she was. Just thinking about her made Heather "grr" under her breath.

'Ugh, she's not worth it. Daniel's smart enough not to get fooled by her.' Heather thought. 'Maybe…hopefully…'

With her mind still on possibly having the beautiful Veronica Dare as competition, Heather stood up and headed out of her room to wash up for bed. She didn't notice the pair of red eyes staring through her window.

XXXXXX

When Spring Break finally came around, it was time for the overhyped camping trip that Daniel totally didn't want to go on but had to so his best friends weren't jilted and mad at him till the end of time. Though he had to admit that he was a bit excited at spending time in a forest.

Camp Wolfcreek was a famous campsite for highschoolers. There were two-story cabins built there, complete with working plumbing and electricity, making outdoor fun a bit better than usual. The lake a mile from the campsite was clean, with a waterfall jump to it, which was also an added benefit. Food and drinks were available at the mess area of the building, not too far from the cabins, and there were plenty of sweet places to do some stargazing. All in all, it was a pretty lovely place to have a camping trip or party, the perfect spot to spend Spring Break. Which was exactly what the bus filled with teenagers was here for.

Once the bus came to a stop and was parked, the door opened and the teens came flooding out. They all went to their cabins, and Daniel was the last one out. He looked around at the lush evergreen scenery that was all around him and took a deep breath of the fresh air.

"Okay, I'll admit that this isn't so bad." Daniel said. He picked up his bags and headed towards his cabin.

When he passed by the girls' cabins, he spotted Veronica amongst the girls entering their cabin. She spotted him and gave him a short wave, which Daniel returned. Honestly he wasn't sure why veronica had taken such an interest in him, but he wasn't complaining. Then he spotted Heather and Sahira glaring at him and started complaining again.

"Daniel!" Someone called out from one of the cabins. "Hey, Daniel, over here!"

Daniel looked to the Boys side and grinned when he spotted Terrance, another friend he had in seventh grade. Terrance was a tall black boy with long black hair put into braids and a muscular physique that was the result of him playing basketball. He was an overall friendly guy and got along with almost everybody, even a social wallflower like Daniel.

Daniel walked over to Terrance and they gave each other a high five. "Yo, Terry! You ready for the best trip of your life?"

"You bet I am!" Terrance laughed. "Man, I can't wait until we actually get to hiking. We just need to get past the lame stuff first."

"And hiking's not lame?" Daniel remarked. Terrance lightly punched him on the arm.

"Only because you're a bookworm who doesn't like to move around too much. You need to get out more, same for Heather." He said. "Thank god for Sahira being the team mother."

"You should see her during study group." Daniel replied. Both boys laughed a bit, feeling just a bit better after joking around as usual.

"So, how's your aunt doing?" Terrance asked as he unloaded his backpack on the bottom bunk.

"She's doing fine." Daniel said, climbing onto the top bunk. "Aunt Cassie's having more time at the hospital lately, but it's nothing to worry about."

Daniel's family situation was a unique one for him. He was raised by his aunt Cassie since he was a baby, brought over to live with her by his father, who died mysteriously. Daniel never got a straight answer from his aunt as to why his father was halfway around the world only to be mauled by a werewolf. He knew little to nothing about his mother, and only had an inkling that his aunt didn't like her at all. It wasn't too bad, as Daniel loved his aunt and she loved him just as much. They were all they had in this world.

Once he was unpacked, Daniel went to the main room and plopped down onto the couch, taking out a thick paperback and flipped through the pages until he found his place.

"I know you didn't bring all of your books with you, bro." Terrance chided. "Come on, man, we're in Camp Wolfcreek. You just gonna spend the entire day—no—the entire week reading?"

"I'm only going to read a couple of comics and hit a few novels. Heather brought her laptop with her so I'm not that bad." At his friend's credulous look, Daniel sighed and closed his book. "I'm just trying to pass the time. Sports isn't my thing, and I'm not going to spend this camping trip getting new bruises to replace my old ones."

"You don't even know what we're doing today." Terrance scolded him.

"Okay then, what do they have planned for us?" Daniel asked.

"You name it." Terrance said enthusiastically. "Hiking, fishing, rafting, hell, there's even an old quarry near the lake where we can go rock climbing. I was able to get my harness and a second set of climbing equipment for you. I'll even pull you up for most of the climb if you want."

"No, no, I'm good." Daniel refused instantly. Rock climbing was hardly his forte, but he wasn't going to take a handout like that from a friend. This trip was going to be hell.

"But that's later this week. For tonight, it's…"

They both smiled as they said together, "Ghost stories!"

XXXXXX

That evening they lit a large bonfire that was big enough to light up the campsite, but not too big to be dangerous. Long benches were placed around the area and all the kids from Sherman High were present. It was the perfect night for telling all kinds of scary stories, especially with the forest as deathly quiet as it was.

At the moment, it was Thomas's turn to tell a scary story, but the one he chose wasn't very…riveting as he thought it was.

"Suddenly, they heard something down the hall, in the dark. It came into the flashlight," Thomas said as he was halfway through the ending of his story. He smiled evilly, trying to be scary but only serving to look rather goofy in his attempt. "And as the hulking figure came into view, the couple knew…that Machete Sam was hunting them all along! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Everyone looked at Thomas completely unafraid and unimpressed by his story. There was even a girl lying on a log fast asleep.

"I think I liked "the Hockey-Masked killer with a machete for a hand" better than this." Heather said.

Sahira nodded. "Not gonna lie, but this scary story session isn't as scary as it should be. So far everyone's stories sucked."

"Like you could do better, Quadir!" Thomas sneered.

"After seeing your performance, maybe I could." Sahira shot back.

Terrance clapped his hands to get everyone's attention. "Be nice, children, the night's still young and there are people who haven't had a chance yet. Like…Daniel!"

Daniel jumped at being the center of attention and everyone's eyes turned to him. He sent Terrance a glare. "Really, dude?"

"Come on, man, I've heard from a credible source that you tell some pretty wicked stories." Terrance grinned.

Daniel sent a look at Heather, who rubbed the back of her head. "Well, you do tell some pretty scary stories when we were younger."

Thomas snorted and sat back down. "Fine, Danny boy, tell us a story! I doubt you could do better than me."

Seeing that he wasn't getting out of this, Daniel decided to just go with it and cleared his throat. "Okay, I've got one. This is a true story that happened in a small town in Eastern Eura."

One of the girls, Ashley, sighed and looked at her nails. "Is this one of those fake true story things that you got from a cousin, Blake? Or is it your remake of The Wolfman?"

"No, it's actually a little folktale that my grandmother told me when I was around seven." Daniel stated. "A little girl in a red hood was walking through a forest alone to visit her grandmother. Along the way she met a man, who was covered in dirt and leaves, like he'd been running through the bushes without a care. The folks from the girl's village called him a wild man, a savage, because he would rather spend time acting like an animal than a human and had blamed him for the deaths of their livestock.

On the first day she met him, the wild man was watching her walk by and was following her down the path. She didn't notice him at first, always keeping her red hood over her face. When she stopped, she asked him something." Daniel changed his voice so it was more high-pitched. "She asked, 'Sir, why do humans have eyes?'. The man took a moment before answering 'To see the darkness in men's hearts.' The next day, as she was returning home, the girl met the man again and asked him 'Why do humans have ears?' and he answered 'To hear men's lies'. On the third day, the girl asked the man, 'Why do humans have teeth?' to which the boy replied 'To rip out men's black hearts.' When she heard this, the girl looked up at the man who stood threateningly over her, yet she was not scared. She asked him one final question."

No one said a thing as Daniel reached the end of his story and were watching him intently as he told it in vivid detail. "She asked him, 'Sir, is your heart black?' and he replied 'Why do you think that, little girl?'. She answered, 'Because I can see it in your eyes.' 'Then I must have a black heart as you say, for the eyes are windows to the soul.'" Daniel said. "At this, the girl smiled, exposing a line of teeth so large and sharp that they couldn't have possibly belonged to a human. She lunged at him, digging her claws into his flesh, ripping his chest open with her teeth and tearing his heart out, devouring it in a single gulp. Now covered in red from head to toe, the little girl with the red hood and red eyes stood over the dead man and said 'Then you should have looked into my eyes, for they are the windows to my soul, which is hell."

The other kids were more than a little freaked out by that, including Thomas and Ashely. Even Sahira was a bit creeped out by the story, and Heather was huddle close next to her.

"W-What was she?" Thomas asked in a shaky voice.

"She was the beast hiding in plain sight, killing livestock and wayward travelers on the path to her grandmother's house. No one suspected her, after all, who would suspect a little girl of being a fearsome beast. My grandmother told me this story to teach me that not everything is as it appears, and often times the most innocent creatures are also the most dangerous."

Everyone was silent, and the only sounds were the flickering fire and the whistling of the wind blowing through the campsite. Then, just as everyone was starting to settle down, a howl as heard from afar.

A wolf's howl.

Everyone screamed and zoomed over to Daniel, who looked more than a little scared himself. They trembled in fear for a moment before Sahira pushed Thomas off her with a kick and stood up, clearing her throat.

"That was a good one, Danny." She said, trying to regain her composure. "And you said you weren't good with scary stories."

"I only told the story. I wasn't planning to have sound effects." Daniel grunted. His neck was in a choke hold by a terrified Heather. "Heather, could you please let go?"

"Huh? Oh, sorry!" Heather quickly released Daniel, who took a deep breath and massaged his neck.

Another howl echoed throughout the dark forest, this time it was louder. Some of the students couldn't take it anymore and quickly left the bonfire, while others began shivering in fear. Even Daniel wasn't feeling very brave as the atmosphere of the place grew darker.

"All right…now I'm scared."

XXXXXX

Once the scary moment passed, everyone was heading back to their cabins, calling it quits for the night. But in reality, they were a bit freaked out by Daniel's story and were quick to get out of the open. Only Daniel, Heather and Sahira remained outside, talking to each other.

"You know, Daniel, that story was actually pretty good." Heather commented. "A little too good."

"It was one of many freaky stories that grandma read to me growing up. I think it was supposed to teach me a lesson on top of scaring the ever loving hell out of me." Daniel said. "She was a hard ass, but she loved her family."

They stopped by one of the girls' cabins, and Daniel let out a sigh. "Well, I don't know about you guys, but tomorrow I'm just going to sit around, avoid contact with the so-called alpha males and just chill on my bunk reading manga."

"And how is that different from what you're doing at home?" Sahira asked, chuckling. "Danny, real talk, I'm not one to deny some manga and chill, but you have better things to do than lounge around in the middle of a forest on a camping trip. Come on, just try something new. It doesn't have to be hardcore rock climbing or anything, just take a dip with us in the lake or something."

"She's right, we should do something that friends can do together, other than chat online or play online RPGs." Heather said. "And this is coming from a shut-in like me."

"What friends?" Daniel sighed. "Everyone else at school is either a jock, mean girl, arrogant spaz, or just doesn't want to get involved with each other. It's literally the Wild Kingdom out there! All I've got are you two and Terrance."

"What about Veronica?" Sahira smirked, which grew when she felt Heather's glare on her.

"Veronica just shares the same interests as me, Sahira. There's nothing going on." Daniel rolled his eyes.

Sahira chuckled and walked past her friends to enter the cabin. "Well, I'm done for the night. See you two nerds tomorrow. And I expect to see you with us at the lake, Danny. That's unconditional."

"Everything's unconditional with you." Daniel remarked.

Heather glanced over his shoulder at Sahira, who gave her a wink and a thumbs up before closing the door. Now the two were alone, and suddenly neither of them knew what exactly to say to each other.

"You know, the only reason I came with you and didn't stay behind to binge watch sci-fi movies is because I wanted to urge you to try something new." Heather said. "Come on, give it a chance. For all you know, you might actually grow some muscle and like something. Maybe even fall in love with camping. You can't deny that this is a pretty cool place."

Daniel looked around at the forest, taking in the cool air and quiet atmosphere. He nodded after a moment. "Okay, I admit, the forest is a cool place. Maybe I'll go swimming with you guys tomorrow. I guess it wouldn't hurt to get my feet wet."

"Good." She smiled and ran back to her cabin. Before she entered, she turned around and said, "As an added incentive, you get to see me and Sahira in a bikini. Enjoy!"

She was gone before he could even say a word. Not that he had anything to say. The thought of seeing his two friends, both girls, in bikinis was actually a damn good reason to go swimming. A smile came over his face as he left the camp.

"Clever girl." He chuckled.

XXXXXX

"You didn't kiss him?!" Sahira yelled in Heather's face.

"Sahira, would you keep it down?" Heather hissed at her. She didn't want the girl blabbing her business to the entire cabin!

"Girl, that was the perfect opportunity to lay one on him. What's wrong with you?" Sahira growled.

"Don't be mad at me! I'm the one trying to snag my crush, not you!" Heather said. "And it totally wasn't the time to up and randomly kiss him. You're the supposed to be the romantic one!"

"No, I'm the headstrong girl power advocate trying to get her best friends together! Which is hard when one of them won't make the first move."

"Both of you shut up!" Ashely yelled from her bed. "Some of us are trying to sleep!"

"You're better off dead, Ashely!" Sahira yelled back before turning back to Heather. "Look, girl, you're not getting anywhere by dancing around the subject. I'm not asking you to rip off his clothes and bone him on the spot, though that would be both epic and awesome, but just take the first step. He's certainly not going to."

Heather sighed and slumped down onto the couch. "Sahira, it's not that easy. How do you go from being friends to being a couple? It's not that simple."

Before Sahira could reply, someone tapped her on the shoulder. "Excuse me."

Both girls turned to see Maya, the resident goth forced onto the trip by her parents to exorcise the "weirdness" from her, standing there.

"If you're talking about Daniel, he just walked off with Veronica just a few minutes ago while you were talking." She said.

Heather and Sahira were quiet for several seconds before they both muttered the same word. "Fuck."

XXXXXX

'Okay, so maybe this camping trip isn't a total waste of time.' Daniel thought happily as he walked alongside Veronica.

The girl had blindsided him as soon as Heather had gone into her cabin and shyly asked if he wanted to go for a walk…just the two of them. Now Daniel was planning on burning through his manga collection as soon as he got back to his cabin, but it's hard to deny the request of a pretty girl who knows her way around literature.

It was night now, and they were strolling through the dark forest like they were taking a walk through a flower garden. Daniel flinched at every noise he heard, and he could barely see what was in front of him, let alone take note of his surroundings. Without the lights of human civilization, the natural world got pretty dark for a human. It was honestly terrifying.

Yet Veronica just walked on without a care. He could barely see but she had no trouble navigating the small plants and branches that nearly tripped Daniel a couple of times. She was even humming a little tune, smiling serenely, like this place wasn't home to dangerous predators. Why did he agree to this again?

"You're not enjoying this, are you?" Veronica said smiling.

"What makes you say that?" He asked.

"The look on your face. You've been tense ever since we entered the forest." She noted.

"Well, there are a lot of dangerous animals, and bugs, around here. I'm just trying not to get caught off guard." Daniel said. "And how can you see my expression? I can barely see the hair in front of my eyes."

"Despite the glasses, I actually have pretty good eyesight. I just use them for reading, which is very often thanks to my hobbies." Veronica looked up at the sky and spotted a crescent moon hanging in the clear night sky. "What a beautiful night. The forest really comes alive when night falls. Creatures that sleep in the daytime come out to play as soon as the sun goes down. It's like a different side to the forest awakens and the contrast between how things are during daylight is amazing."

"Very poetic." Daniel smirked. "Honestly, it just screams me a bit. I've never been the bravest person."

"That's natural, Daniel. Humans, despite all their advancements and achievements, know that when left alone in the wild, they are no longer in control. They are no longer the baddest thing on two legs." Veronica said eloquently. "It's an almost instinctual fear that no one can shake, not even the strongest hunter."

"But what about lycans? I hear some like to wander the woods in animal form hunting for prey and sometimes attack humans."

"Oh I wouldn't worry about that. We're nowhere near the places where those people were attacked. And if you're still afraid," She reached over and grabbed his arm, holding it close to her chest. She smirked when he started blushing. "I'll keep you safe."

XXXXXX

Over an hour had passed and Daniel and Veronica had yet to return to camp. Heather and Sahira were starting to get worried, especially when the teachers said that there were wolf sightings just reported thirty minutes ago.

"Daniel!" Heather waited for a response, and then shouted once more. "Daniel!"

Her cry went unanswered. She stared into the dark forest, anxiously rubbing her hands together to remain calm. She heard footsteps behind her and turned to see Sahira and Terrance approaching her, a flashlight in hand. Sahira's normally calm and easygoing face was wrought with concern and worry.

"I asked around, but no one's seen him or Veronica since they left." Sahira said. "And there was no sign of them recently either."

"How long has it been?" Heather asked shakily.

Terrance looked at his watch. "About an hour."

"Where could they have gone off to?" She murmured, rubbing her forehead.

"They probably just went off for a little stroll. Once it got dark, they probably got lost along the way. It's easy to do that in a forest this big." Terrance said.

"Oh god, no." Heather whispered. "Ms. Sanders just told us that wolves were spotted a few hundred miles from here. What if they run into them?"

"Don't worry, Heather." Sahira said. "There are other campsites out there, and plenty of people have fires going. I'm sure they'll stumble upon one of them and find the way back."

"I don't know. I mean, we're camped on the very edge of the park." Heather pointed out. "What are the chances of them running into those wolves?"

"It's a fifty-fifty chance." Sahira said, though she didn't sound very sure. "I mean, probably. Maybe."

XXXXXX

"Um, Veronica, shouldn't we be getting back now?" Daniel asked, looking around him nervously. "It's really dark, and I don't think I know where to head back to camp."

"Let's just enjoy the peace and quiet, Daniel." Veronica sighed, leaning her head on his shoulder. She closed her eyes, enjoying the silence of nature. It really was comforting.

Daniel didn't try to convince her again, but he wasn't feeling as relaxed as he should have been with a girl on his arm. It was late at night now and the forest was nearly pitch black. There was not a cloud in the sky, but aside from the half-moon hanging above them, the only other light source were the stars, which were admittedly cool to look at.

Veronica had led Daniel over to a little field overlooking the wider forest. It was a great view to look at, and Daniel spending over an hour looking out at the landscape was probably what had led to him losing track of time in the first place. But as beautiful as this place looked, Daniel knew they had to get back to camp.

"Seriously, Veronica, we need to get back to camp. I'm sure everyone's wondering where we are." Daniel said.

"Oh fine." She sighed. "I hate to leave a moment like this, but it'd be better than listening to the rest of the class whine about us."

Daniel stood up and helped Veronica to her feet. He turned to the path they came down earlier, but paused when he realized that aside from a few feet, he had absolutely no idea where to go.

"Oh crap." He whispered.

"What's the matter?" Veronica asked.

"I…I think we're lost." He said. "I have no idea where to go!"

"Relax, Daniel, I know where we need to go." Veronica said smiling. "Follow me."

"Huh? But how—wait!" He called out, but Veronica was already running ahead of him. with no other choice, he chased after her, straining his eyes to follow the outline of her body as she danced between the trees, giggling like a little girl.

"Veronica, wait up!"

"Come on, Daniel, you're no athlete, but I know you're not that slow!" She yelled back, still laughing.

Grumbling he ran harder, trying to match her unfairly fast pace. That girl could run. He chased after her as best as he could, but eventually he lost sight of her. He slowed to a stop and leaned against a tree, panting. He looked up and saw no sign of Veronica. Did she seriously run off without him and left him there?

"I'm so dead." Daniel groaned. He didn't know where the hell he was and Veronica was out there alone as well. There weren't supposed to be any dangerous animals in these woods, and there was bound to be a ranger or two out there. Heather and Sahira could probably have the teachers call for him.

But no matter how much he reassured himself, there was still a nagging uncertainty, that unsettling but undeniable possibility that he could be in real danger. He had never experienced anything like this in his entire life.

"Veronica!" He called out into the darkness. His voice echoed throughout the forest, but he heard nothing. "Veronica, are you still out there! Answer me!"

Daniel cursed and shook his head. If anything happened to her, he didn't know what he'd do. Then he heard a branch crack and looked up. Something entered the periphery of his limited vision. Daniel turned and squinted his eyes to better look through the darkness. For a moment he thought that it was Veronica…but Veronica didn't walk on all fours and was certainly not covered in light grey fur!

"Oh shit!" He whimpered. It was a wolf! And a large one at that.

The wolf was larger than any wolf Daniel had seen. It had light grey fur, and was probably about the same size at a pony. The wolf was slowly walking around Daniel until it was standing right in front of him, watching him intently with dark eyes that reflected light right back at him.

'I thought there weren't any big predators out here!' Daniel thought. His heart was pounding in his chest and he struggled not to make a noise as he kept his eyes on the wolf. Steeling himself, he slowly took a step backwards, and then another, and another. After a few more cautious steps backwards, Daniel took a deep breath and spun around, bolting into the woods.

Leaves and dirt were kicked up in his wake. Daniel ignored the burning of his lungs as he ran like hell, praying to the gods that the giant wolf was following him. Daniel mustered up the courage to look over his shoulder, and cried out when he saw the massive wolf chasing after him, and quickly gaining on him!

"Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit," Daniel cursed repeatedly. The wolf was moving faster than he expected and was already upon him. His eyes widened when it lunged at him. "OH SHIT!"

He jumped to the side and just narrowly dodged the wolf, but its large body hit his right shoulder and he spun around into a tree. Daniel's face slammed into the rough bark and he grunted in pain, stumbling back. He got some scratches on his face from the impact, but he ignored them as he looked at the big wolf, who had righted itself and was running at him again.

"Leave me alone!" He shouted, as if that would save him. The wolf clearly wasn't impressed as it lunged at Daniel again. This time however, it opened its large jaws and sank its teeth into Daniel's right shoulder. "AAAAHHHHH!"

The wolf's maw was huge, nearly encompassing Daniel's entire shoulder. Daniel screamed as he felt those sharp teeth rip into his flesh, felt blood run down into his shirt and down his chest. The wolf lifted its head, actually pulling Daniel along with it, before throwing him aside like a discarded toy. It eyed him for a moment before it turned away disappeared into the forest.

Daniel laid on the ground, slowly passing out from blood loss and the intense pain. He was barely conscious, but he heard someone call out his name in the distance as he lost consciousness and his eyes slid closed.

"Daniel!"

XXXXXX

Sahira sighed as she put the phone down. She looked over at Heather, who was sitting on the steps of their cabin with her hands on her face.

"You're not helping anyone by acting like that, you know." Sahira said.

Heather lifted her head and gave her a hard stare. "What do you suggest I do, aside from worry about my best friend?"

"Maybe not stress yourself out to the point of exhaustion?" Sahira replied. "The teacher said that the rangers could search the entire park in a day or two. I'll be you he'll be with us before tomorrow night." Then she frowned. "Although, I have to admit, this isn't like him. He wasn't too thrilled to come here, so why'd he run off?"

"Why else? Because of that black widow he's so enchanted with." Heather spat.

"Heather…"

"No, she dragged him off and those two got lost in the forest in the middle of the night while there's a murderous werewolf in the next town over. Daniel didn't do anything wrong, she's the reason he's gone!" She shouted.

"Don't go blabbing that to the police." A weak voice joked.

Both girls looked to the camp entrance and saw a pale and tired Veronica, who was limping into the cap with something hanging off her shoulder. Only it wasn't something, it was something.

"Daniel!" Heather cried out and ran over to them. She looked them over and gasped at the massive blood stain on Daniel's shirt. "Oh god, what happened to him?"

"I don't know. I think he was attacked after we got separated." Veronica said, looking scared. "He was on the ground bleeding when I found him, so I covered his wounds and got him back here."

Sahira noticed that Veronica had used a large piece of her shirt to staunch the bleeding, exposing her stomach, which was surprisingly firm and toned, showing signs of intensive training. Sahira took note of that for later, more concerned about her unconscious friend.

"I'll go get the teacher. Keep an eye on him!" Sahira ran off to get help, leaving Heather alone with Veronica.

Heather's earlier anger towards Veronica was forgotten as she took Daniel from Veronica and cradled him in her arms. He looked so still, so pale, it was like he was dead. She prayed to the gods that Daniel would be okay. She didn't know what she would do if she lost him.

Little did anyone know, this night would make a turning point in their lives when everything changed. For better, and for worse.


This is a little something new that I decided to try out. Moonlight is a series that focuses on a supernatural creature that I feel isn't as represented as vividly as vampires-Lycanthropes. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is werewolves, and Moonlight was born from me wanting more media to focus on werewolves outside of the usual dynamic of wolf vs vamp. Honestly, the best werewolf show I've watched was Teen Wolf, and I can count my favorite werewolf movies on one hand. I wanted to make a series that portrayed wereanimals in both a physical and a metaphysical light.

So far, I have two series planned for Moonlight, each focusing on different characters, but we'll see how much time I have to get to that point. So sit back, enjoy the story and please leave a review. Thanks for reading!