I started to close my eyes, and had I actually been thinking a little bit straighter, I'd probably have freaked out. Just what did I think I was doing? Well, I don't really know what I was thinking, but I can tell you what I did. I closed that millimeter of distance that separated our lips and movd my hand up to rest on his shoulder, pressing my lips harder against his. Hell, I pressed my whole body harder against his.
He pulled back after only a moment. Asshole. What in the hell was this, anyway? First, he acts like he wants to kiss me, but doesn't. No, not him. He just waits, and when I actually kiss him, he pulls back. What the hell?
I watched him, and it felt like I was doing it through the eyes of someone else – Barrock, the Southern gentleman all gown up, right inside his prime – and carefully noted his appearance: Shoulder-length, poker-straight, black hair; tall, lean, handsome. Hell, he was sexy . . . Hey!
I felt my body convulse involuntarily and seethed. Just what in the hell was going on? I tried to shake the feeling of watching Barrock back away from me from someone else's eyes – mostly because it's fucking freaky, guys – by shaking my head, as if that would clear it. Well, lo and behold – it didn't work. And it felt like I was being freaking invaded by some other thing that wanted Barrock.
Ever had that particular feeling? I doubt it. You probably think I'm losing my pretty little head; don't worry, you're probably right. Courtesy of mixing werewolf blood in with mine, hmm? They said they didn't know what was going to happen; I was probably going to die before I even hit the first full moon. And they probably knew it. You wonder why they all bowed their heads? More than likely it was because Jin had singed my death warrant. Well, not that Barrock hadn't, per se, when he bit me; but Jin just made it worse. Somebody might have hoped back then, but noooo. Screw that idea; just kill the boy.
And now I felt like I was being possessed. And I wasn't. Nope, not me; it's all in my head. Call me Crazy Davie.
So the only thing I could think to do was to scream, "MINE!" in my head and out of my mouth as loud and possessively as I possibly could. Smart and sane, don't you think? I think so. Especially when I felt shock that wasn't mine – my eyes even widened quite a bit in response. "Get away from me," I ordered heatedly.
Don't worry; I wasn't talking to anybody 'cept my damn imagination. But Barrock backed up a couple more steps, his eyes were very wide – almost as if he'd just stepped into a horror move. Kudos to him for stepping slowly away from his crazy mate. I sure gave him kudos, but that didn't really make it fair. I wanted some kudos . . .
I felt an 'I'm sorry' in my head, like someone was talking to me telepathically and didn't really know what to do. Who was sorry? What was sorry? Imagination should not be able to talk to you. It's really just not fair; it's not. Why do I have to be the crazy one?
I thought 'Who are you?' It seemed like a great idea at the time; it really did. But when I got an answer, I started to cry. 'Adriel.'
Who or what the fuck was Adriel? It sounded like a freaking race of . . . I don't know . . . Shapeshifters, perhaps?
"Get out of my head." Yeah, and Barrock was really looking at me strangely from a good ten feet in the opposite direction. Studying, trying to find out who the heck I was talking to or where it was, if I wasn't crazy. But, there you have it; I was crazy, so I obviously wasn't really talking to anyone.
'Shut your gift down'. Okay, so maybe I lied. Italics say it all; someone was talking to me. Someone had better frickin be talking to me in my head.
"GET OUT!" Yeah, there you go! Smart move for the crazy boy; scream at nothing and hope it goes away.
'SHUT. IT. DOWN.' Demanding little shit, isn't he?
"HOW!" I wasn't even paying attention to poor Barrock; probably because I was mostly concerned that I was having an argument with my own head over some weird 'gift' thing. And let me tell you this: It's pretty damn weird when your head is telling you to do something, and yet you have no idea what it's talking about. I suppose it comes with being crazy.
I seethed; as afraid and distraught as I was, I was also fairly pissed.
I saw a door in my head, and I was pretty much glad it wasn't pink and covered in painted-on daisies. Woo. Finally some kudos to me. 'Close it. Lock it. Don't reopen it. Please.'
I just did as I was told because I . . . Stop looking at my text like that. You know you would have done it too; being insane makes you listen to things like that, you know. You're pretty much only concerned with getting the voices in your head to stop nagging you. Well, so am I. So I listened. And you shut up about it because it's totally not my fault if I did something horrible on accident.
I felt it, too; the door closing ceremony might have actually meant something – otherwise I am one hell of a talented hallucinator. (Hallucinator. It isn't a word. But I'm using it. Crazy people get special privileges.) It was like a weight being lifted off my shoulders, but it left me cold. I felt too . . . normal.
I looked up at Barrock, who stood a few feet from me, staring. Yeah, okay; so your fiancé is losing it. Give him a break, darling, there's not a thing he can do about it. He didn't even realize he was on his knees, hands over . . .
How did I get on my knees? I was practically in the freaking fetal position, half curled into myself with my hands over my ears, pleading, screaming. I must have really freaked out . . .
But . . .
"Adriel?" I asked, my voice husky from screaming.
"Who?" Barrock knelt down in front of me and took me into his arms. I was pretty happy about that; it was fairly comforting to me to be held. Now I know why girls liked the gesture so much. It just didn't really help the craziness go away.
I cuddled into his arms, staring about the overly plain office as if there were a spirit or something lurking in the shadows, trying to get me. Stupid thing. What in the hell was going on? I really needed to find a ghost or a zombie, something, because I really didn't want to admit I was losing it; not even me. Maybe I could hallucinate one. At the very least, it would make me feel better.
"I don't know." I could feel the tears on my cheeks. Great. I was crying; very manly thing to do, I tell ya. (And, in case you didn't notice, that was a sarcastic statement.)
Barrock tousled my hair. "I sensed something; it made you kiss me." He sounded rather disappointed, and that had me thinking – for a second. I was mainly just happy because –
"I wasn't imagining it? Something was in my head?" I stared at him, and he opened his mouth to speak but stopped when I opened mine. "It told me to close my gift. Or. Well, shut it down; same difference, really." I looked down, and pulled myself into his lap; the closer I was to him the safer from that thing I felt. Or, at least, that's what I told myself, because no normal (ha, nice word. I'm so far from normal) teenage boy is about to crawl into a guy's lap. Unless he's gay. And I'm not.
"Did you listen?"
"Uh huh," I replied, waiting for the inevitable 'Oh, holy shit; you stupid little prick. I can't believe you listened to it! Are you really that stupid?' that usually came after I did something brilliant like that.
However, Barrock just leaned his head down and buried it in the groove of my neck – on the side that he'd bitten, of course, and said, "Good. Good boy. Don't open it back up, okay? It's called an Inner Eye, and it lets people into your mind, and that's just not good. I didn't know you had it open. But you're untrained in your craft, hmm?"
I said, "Mm hmm," and pushed up my shoulder against where his lips were against my skin, relaxing (though only God knows why) when he opened his mouth and started to nibble and scrape my skin with his teeth. He even bit down into my skin – hard enough to draw blood – like the first time. I stifled a moan; it felt so good. And this time I couldn't even blame my passivity on being possessed, though I'd hardly call it passivity. It was kind of nice, now that I thought about it, that I could at least blame having kissed him on whoever or whatever Adriel was. No problem with that. Nope. Not me.
A few moments later, Barrock pulled back. I pushed away from him and sat at about a foot away, studying him. He gave me a funny, somewhat hurt look, but I didn't notice. Handsome Southern gentleman? The voice in my head – that Adriel or whoever he was – had made it sound like, 'Oh, he's that one. Okay, then. Good. Wow, I forgot he was that sexy.' It was like he knew him. So, then why didn't Barrock know Adriel?
We both stood at roughly the same time and walked out. And since I felt a little bad because Barrock looked kind of like a scolded child (no idea why), I – like a young, shy teenager (which I was, damn it) – tried to casually grab his hand and hold it. I even did that stupid thing where you look away when that person glances over at you. He was shocked, albeit pleased. And my face was probably all red like some dumb little schoolgirl's.
I only looked over when he squeezed my hand, feeling a blush on my cheeks. I didn't want him to see my face all red like this. Holy crap. Would you? I mean, come on. So I'm not gay and I'm holding the hand of the guy who I just kissed (but only because I was possessed, I swear) a few minutes ago, and it has me blushing. What the heck? What was wrong with me?
"Hey!" He sounded vaguely amused, and he stopped walking, pulling me to stop too because he had a hold of my hand. "Hey," he said again.
I was rather reluctant to look at him, even as he snaked an arm around my waist and tugged me forward so that we were all close and cuddly again. I felt . . . uncomfortable at best; calmed at worst. And then I felt eyes and a rising temper directed toward us, and turned my head to see Jin standing there, his eyes locked on Barrock with one of those not-a-hint-of-amusement looks on his face. I'd never even seen him really mad before; but I suppose he really was mad at Barrock for turning me and Lina must have used that blind rage – even if it was only a momentary one – to spellbind him.
Hmm. Maybe I should write that down someday in my spell book. The trick to spellbinding a Alpha werewolf is to catch him when he has no control. Nice, isn't it? What would really be the most useful thing to learn would be how to break the bind. Which I did, come to think of it; but how? Slamming him into the wall? The pain wouldn't have done it, but the hit rendered him unconscious. So . . . if you made someone who was spellbound unconscious, the spell was rendered inert? It's possible; stop staring at the screen like I'm an idiot. I'm not.
And what the heck? I'd forgotten, again, to ask how I'd ended up in that office, much less in wolf form. Maybe from two bites. Hell, maybe I passed out the first time because Barrock bit me, and the second time from Jin's bite. I couldn't remember a thing after I had Rini go to him. And I could sense his growing interest in her, so why was he being so possessive over me?
"Jin," I said, commanding. He bowed his head, and I just stood there in mute shock. My voice was still rather husky from screaming, and it hinted at the dark, seductive voice I'd come to have when I grew up fully. Well . . . never mind. Scratch that thought; I wasn't ever going to grow up. Maybe I could fake the voice, I thought with a slight smile, which was erased when I remembered the situation I was in. Nothing sobering like a bad case of what-the-hell-is-going-on.
I pulled away from Barrock; or well, I tried to. He growled at me, and then at Jin, and refused to let go. So I let out an angry, "Barrock," and he looked down at me, startled, hurt, and pissed. I was pissed, too, so I pushed him away. I wasn't about to let them fight over me; something told me that – had the situation been different – they'd have been great friends, just like Bane and Barrock; like Jin and Micah.
"This has nothing to do with that," I growled at him. I had no idea what I meant by what I'd just said. None. But he understood, and I suppose that does make a slight difference. "Look, Jin's my friend, and he's looking out for me." At least, I think that's what's happening. "Yeah, he's a little mad, and it probably has more to do with how young I am than the fact that I'm now a werewolf, and not by his hand . . . or mouth . . . whatever." I sighed. I was confusing myself. "You get the point."
Barrock nodded, but his mood wasn't improved; actually, it was rather worsened, because he'd blocked my empathy thing from being able to feel his emotions again. (Twice in a day, wow!) Maybe I should explain about us, too; not that I was sure what that meant, either. The words two-sided came into my head. I shook it, because I didn't really understand, and chanced a glance at Jin, wondering if he was projecting that to me and maybe that's why I was thinking any of it in the first place. Would make sense. But he still had his head bowed. I couldn't be sure.
I didn't know whether to talk to him now or later, so I turned my attention to Barrock and hoped my choice wouldn't sever mine and Jin's friendship. Werewolves are rather prickly.
"And he's a friend. And . . . and I don't know what the hell is going on between us. I don't." I reached a hand up into my hair and pulled at it. "I mean, I do; I really do but then I . . ."
"Am a seventeen-year-old boy who has never before experienced that kind of male attention." Jin's head was still down; I wanted to reach out to him, but . . .Well, why the hell not? He was as much my friend as Barrock was; even more.
"Jin, come here." My tone wasn't commanding, but the words were still presented in a command, and I was really starting to wonder where I was getting off ordering a bunch of werewolves around and . . . oh, right. I was one. But still! Oh, well, I was still alive; best not to think about it.
Jin lifted his head and walked over, coming to rest beside me. It made me nervous and uncomfortable to be directly between the two – well, it felt that way. But I just gave him a warm smile and patted his shoulder.
"You've got the right idea," I said. I looked to Barrock. "I just don't get why he gets it more than I do . . ." I sighed. Pulled at my hair again.
Jin reached forward and grabbed my hand. He was shaking; there were tears in his eyes. "Look, Davie: I think of you . . . and not even as a little brother; I feel like you're an adopted son. And my natural instinct is to kill him for doting that kind of attention on you. And I know he can't help it; you're bonded." He glared at the dried blood and recently healed over wound from Barrock's bite. "God only knows why, but you are. That and the fact that I know you don't want me to kill him is the only thing that stops me from trying to." Jin took a deep breath and sighed. "But my better judgment still tells me not to listen to either. I'm trying."
I shook my head; Jin needed space from Barrock; that's all there was to it, and I knew it well enough. With a sigh, I grabbed the wolf's hand and placed it over my heart, whispering words to him in a language long forgotten – Jin had always been up on his Sumerian, and he'd taught me some phrases way back when. Ask me why, and I'll just stare. Not like I know. After that, he bowed low to me and turned to leave, almost yelling when I bowed back, even lower.
"Davie, no!" He sighed in disapproval mixed with amusement. "You're not . . ." Light shone in his eyes; idea time for Jin. Bad time for me – that guy could get a kid in trouble worse than anything. Seriously. So, I was rather relieved when he looked to Barrock and said, "Please, explain this to him. He needs to hear it from you; from Bane, too."
He turned to leave, slowly walking toward the entrance to the garage. "I'll come by occasionally and visit."
I grabbed a handful of his shirt and pulled him to me, hugging him. He returned the gesture with a chuckle and we both paid no mind to Barrock – he was rather huffy to see his fiancé in the arms of another, and I didn't need to look at him or feel his emotions to know that. But I really didn't want to make him angry – well, angrier, so I made the contact short, leaning up to whisper, "I love you . . . . . . . Papa," in his ear before I let go.
Barrock heard; I even felt a small approval. Jin . . . Jin glowed the way a happily married woman does when she learns she's pregnant. I just smiled and let the poor man leave. He really did need to get away.XXX
Bane sat on the floor, reclined against a desk and watching Barrock and I calmly as we silently regarded each other while entering the part of the garage that was actually a garage. I figured we'd each find new facets to the other's personality every day – hell, from the way things were going, it could very well be every hour. I didn't want to find new facets to his personality that often. It would take up too much of my time.
With a huff, I grabbed Barrock's arm (daring of me, don't you think? After just one day I converted myself from being terrified of werewolves to dragging them around. Aren't I just a smart little puppy?) and dragged him over to where Bane sat. I took a seat on the floor next to him, followed by my so-called fiancé.
Rini looked over at us from the corner of the garage. She looked almost as if she were about to say something, but she changed her mind, closed her mouth, and went back to tinkering with only god knows what. Scary thought, hmm?
I rubbed my eyes warily, wondering. Bane said I might not make it through the first full moon. If I did, did that mean I was safe? What about the second full moon? I shook my head at myself, sighed, and looked over at him. What could I do but ask; demand some answers?
"Tell me what's going on," I said softly. I wished things could go back to the way the were, hell, it was just hours ago. We were going to play fetch; I liked fetch. Why couldn't things just be normal (well, as normal as is possible, all things considered) for a day?
Bane looked to Barrock and smiled sadly. I guess he could see in his friend's eyes that he was unhappy. With an exasperated sigh, he looked at me. "We're not sure. What we do know is that the first full moon is in two nights, and that makes things dangerous already. When a werewolf wants to turn a human, he has to pick the day furthest from the next full moon. You already know that candidate has to be of age. And that's usually at twenty for us."
"Add to that what you are, and things get complicated." Bane swallowed hard. "We've all met your friends, Scotty and Auriel; we even granted you our protection, because of what you are. Perhaps I should say in spite of it. I don't know." He studied me for a minute. "You do know what you are, don't you?"
"I've been told, but it depends on who you're talking to. Lina says I'm a male witch – I could be. I can use their magic, after all. But I can do lots of other things, too, like turning into an animal. Scotty says I'm just powerful."
I looked over at Barrock and a thought struck me. "You know, don't you? What I am. You know."
"Of course I know," was his reply. Bit temperamental today, aren't you?
"What, then?" I looked from one wolf to the other, and decided that it was hard sitting right in the middle of them. I needed to see both of their faces, so I scooted forward and turned around to face them – I could see them both at the same time this way. "What am I?" I repeated.
"A lot of things," Bane said. He looked over at Barrock, and then to me. "You're a Raven, first and foremost."
I pressed my lips together. Raven? I didn't believe that for a second.
"But you're also a Seer," Barrock chimed in. His hands were folded in his lap, legs outstretched and crossed at the ankles. Auriel was right; he was an uptight Southern gentleman. Right as rain.
My expression faltered. I was going for a look of confusion, but I'm fairly certain that's not the way it came off. Go me. I must have looked shocked – and don't get me wrong, I was. I mean, you have someone tell you that you're the thing you hate the most. Ravens. They were murderers – just a whole race of hateful, powerful beings who thought they secretly ruled the world. Maybe they did. I didn't want to think about that.
I took a deep breath and shut my eyes, trying to block out the world for just a moment. Woo. Ever wanted to just disappear for a little while? I sure did. I needed a vacation.
"A Seer?" I repeated finally. I bit my lip.
Barrock's expression started to soften. I think he was catching on to just how hard all of this was for me. One day I was just another kid, the next an entire coven of witches was trying to break me, and then I was engaged to a werewolf and finding out . . . Ah, I was going to have one hell of a headache.
Reaching a hand out to me, Barrock gave me a curious look. He was probably wondering if I even wanted to be around them. Did I want any of this? Certainly not.
I sighed and reached forward, taking his hand, and allowed myself to be pulled to him. It was easier this way; all cuddled in his arms, safe from the world even if only for a moment.
"Why me?" I asked. "You think the Fates decided I was the best candidate?"
"The Fates?" Barrock sounded outright confused. I looked up at him from inside his embrace and about laughed at his expression. "You mean those three witches from Greek Mythology that have to share one eye?"
"Uh." It was my turn to be confused. That wasn't exactly what I'd meant, but I guess it is what I'd said.
"And they cut a piece of thread that is supposed to represent a certain person's life, before they die. It ends their life." He paused. "What exactly do they have to do with your being what you are?"
I suddenly wanted to smack him; I think he was being a smart ass on purpose. I can't prove it, but I really do think he was being a smart ass. Damn him.
"Maybe I meant to say 'fate' and not 'Fates,'" I said apologetically with a shy smile.
He smiled then. I liked it when he smiled – otherwise he was just one hell of a good-looking scary sonovabitch. And nobody likes a pretty boy who's scary.
"We should go and visit Graveyard tonight," Bane said, interrupting my train of thought. He looked over at me and smiled lightly. "They called when you were out," he explained. "Something about wanting you to meet someone else. Like you. Only not. Who knows what they really mean? They are, after all, vampires." A smile.
I nodded. At worst, I could kick Scotty's ass – that would make me feel better. He loved to spar with me, even if it meant getting his ass kicked by a mere mortal every single time. He might've thought it was funny. Guess Bane was kind of right – you just never know when it comes to a vampire.
Author's Rant: Everyone seems to be a bit confused when they read this. I wonder if I said that you should think as each chapter almost as its own short story, if it would help. Every chapter that is from Davie's point of view is part of a series, but the others are just there to help you get to know the other characters. For fun, you know? And it hints at plot and gives more details to the story than I can tell in Davie's pov. Which probably means that I should have just wrote the story in third person omniscient, but . . . then it just wouldn't be as fun.