Chapter VI

Chapter XV

More than One

"Boys! I didn't put you on the Varsity level for this! Pick up the pace!" Coach Walker yelled with determination in his tone. Scott and Justin increased their momentum, as they were one of the top runners down the line. Justin was in front of Scott increasing an abnormally fast rate. He has always been incredibly athletic but the vampire instincts seem to build an even higher supernatural level. They were near the last ten minutes of practice.

Luna was sitting up near the bleachers watching her brothers practice as she finished up some things for Divination that she needed to complete. It was mostly stuff about picking one of the famous oracles that studied the night sky. Apparently they believed it would lead to a map of truth about the future. She was looking through her books, watching the boys every now and then. Mostly she looked up when the coach yelled for it spooked her constantly.

As the boys finished up, Coach Walker looked at each of the players with stern eyes.

"Gentlemen, our beginning season is upon us. Solomon's Scorpions are our first target. Now I want you to keep your head clear, your energy pumped and your head held high. Friday is the day we go against them. We've worked hard for the past two weeks and I intend to keep it that way. On three: one…two…three, BANSHEES!"

The team scattered about the field. When Justin and Scott were about to leave the fields, Coach Walker pulled the two of them aside. Luna walked down to the bottom of the bleachers as she noticed her brothers talking to the head coach.

"You boys know I picked you two for a reason right?" Coach Walker inquired.

"Yes sir," Justin and Scott replied with obedient tones.

"Good, good. Well I'm counting on you two to do your best on Friday. Got it?" he asked.

"Yes sir," they repeated.

"Good. Move along gentlemen," Coach Walker ordered. The boys nodded, turning off towards their sister. Luna walked out onto the field.

"Look's like you guys are doing pretty well for your first week, don't you think?" Luna commented.

"I feel a little rusty," Scott replied. "I think it's these huge monsters on our team."

"I wouldn't be surprised, that Thomson kid almost killed you," Justin mentioned.

"No way, I just…slipped on the field that's all," Scott defended.

"Just for future reference, don't anger that guy," Luna warned. "I saw him in my gym class and when he gets angry…you don't want to mess with him."

They walked across the wide school grounds to the parking lot. Luna opened the trunk for the boys to get their equipment together. Suddenly, she felt rather alert. Her body became tense with caution. She looked around the borders of the woods as if something was watching them.

"Luna," a voice echoed. "Luna…"

She turned her head frantically towards the noise. Justin and Scott were laughing about something until they noticed their sister's strange behavior.

"Luna?" Justin questioned but she seemed to be somewhere else. Luna's eyes turned into their white shade, as if defending herself from a predator. She bared her teeth, which her canines became beastly.

"Skin-walker," the voice continued to taunt.

"Luna!" Scott yelled to snap her out of her distraction. Luna turned towards her brothers as if forgetting that they were there. "What's the matter?"

They could feel her stern protective stare slowly turn hesitant.

"Nothing," she replied, opening the car door with a shaky hand. She got into the car, starting the ignition. The boys exchanged glances of curiosity. What was up with her?

The boys were upstairs in their rooms, the parents went out to do some errands and Luna was stuck in her room. She was gazing outside her window, as the sun began to set. What was causing her to become so nervous? Was it because she was afraid of the shadow demon that entered into their lives twice? As she began to turn away from the window, she suddenly saw something at the corner of her eye. She turned frantically towards the movement outside.

Another fast shadowed figure sped about border of the forest. Luna jumped at the sight. She suddenly grabbed thin sweatshirt along with her denim coat from her closet and departed from her room. She sped down the hallway.

"I'm going for a walk," she yelled down the hall as she ran quickly down the stairs. She was out the back door before the boys had time to object.

She walked out from the porch to the soft ground of the back yard. She felt the cool autumn breeze surround her as she stared into the borderline of the woods. She could feel something near. She dared to enter into the boundaries of the forest.

Luna followed a path that was made out by leaves and cleared brush. One foot after the other, she went further and further into the woods. Every time she heard a rustle in the leaves, she turned towards it with caution. It was after ten minutes of walking that she realized she was completely clear of her house. She looked back anxiously, curious of whether she should turn back home. She stood there listening, hearing nothing but a few birds flying and maybe a small rodent moving around the leaves.

She couldn't hear anything. She finally decided to turn back and head towards the house.

"Hey," a voice suddenly spoke from behind her. Luna gasped, jumping in surprise and turned back around. There wasn't anything there. She turned her head frantically, examining through the trees. She started getting annoyed.

"Who are you?" she asked loudly.

"You should know by now skin-walker," the voice replied. Luna concentrated; her nails became beastly, her teeth sharpening. Her eyes were giving off their silvery-white glow. She needed to defend herself from the unseen.

"Easy skin-walker. I won't bite," the voice teased. Luna readied herself, her eyes scanning everywhere around her.

"Show yourself," she commanded. Nothing. "I said show yourself coward!"

"Fine," the voice replied.

Suddenly a figure manifested from the ground. It was the shadowed man from before. Luna stared at the stranger with caution.

"Who are you? Why do you keep following me?" Luna questioned with anger. The shadowed figure suddenly sped in front of her within a second's time. He was now standing face to face with her. He pushed her to the ground, making her back herself into a large tree trunk.

Luna had a weird sensation around her body. She couldn't move. It was as if something was forcing her down against the tree trunk. The figure knelt in front of her.

"You're a pretty brave girl to be sneaking off like that," he commented. His 'shadowed' appearance began to fade. Soon his arms had the color of flesh, his head began to form a face and a head of hair. As soon as he fully appeared as a normal human being, she realized he was a teenage boy.

His skin was pale; his hair was a shade of dirty blond with a medium length about his shoulders, some covering his eyes. His eyes however were a weird shade. One was dark, almost golden brown while the other was a brilliant turquoise. He wore torn jeans, dark black and red shirt and a dark hooded sweatshirt. He must've been maybe nineteen. Luna stared at the boy with curiosity.

"Who are you?"

"I'll make a deal with you. I'll let you go if you promise not to bite or claw me okay skin-walker?"

Luna eyed him suspiciously for a moment. He smiled at her as she started to ease the tense sensation in her body. The unseen force that bound her suddenly loosened, allowing her to be free to move about again. The boy held out his hand to help her up. Luna looked at it with uncertainty.

"Don't worry I won't bite," he commented with an amused smile. She took it as he pulled her back towards her feet. She watched the boy with great uncertainty. She didn't fear of him attacking anymore but just the fact that he knew her somehow gave her chills.

"Sorry about being a little rough with you. I didn't think you were going to be so defensive," he mentioned.

"Wouldn't you be if you've been hearing someone's voice calling you?" Luna asked.

"I probably would be," he agreed. Luna stood there nodding, trying to recompose herself. He stared her down, examining her from top to bottom.

"Now can you tell me why you've been following me?" Luna questioned.

"Following you?" he repeated with a confused look. "I haven't even met you."

"You can't be serious. The other night you were in my house," she pointed out. The boy looked at her bewildered.

"Look I didn't even know you lived over there until you came out and started following me," the boy corrected.

"But," she began then growled in frustration. "Then who was it if it wasn't you?"

The boy looked at her with interested gaze, laughing at her softly under his breath.

"Look, I think you're confused with somebody else," he concluded. Luna nodded with acceptance.

"Gabe Tylar," he introduced.

"Luna Alexander," she replied. He smiled which sort of comforted her for a mere second. "So, if you haven't met me before, how did you know what I was?"

"I've read about your kind before. Rare. I never actually thought I'd meet one," Gabe replied. "Plus it's part of my curse I'm afraid."

"Is that what you think of it as?"

"Well only if you knew what I could actually do," he answered.

"Then tell me."
"My abilities help me…awaken certain things. I can raise unknown auras in certain people. Plus as you seen, I can be unseen. But I also have the power of control."

"Is that what you did to me?"

"It takes practice believe me," he commented. "But if someone masters it, there's no telling what they'll do."

Luna thought for a moment. This sounded familiar.

"You're one of the Mörk Maji," she suddenly concluded. "But I thought they didn't exist."

"Well I thought that skin-walkers didn't exist anymore but here we are," Gabe shrugged with a smile.

"Then that means there's more like you," she added.

"Very likely. There were a couple of people I knew a few years ago that were like me. Don't know where they ended up though," he explained.

"So Gabe," Luna began. "If you're one of us. Then why haven't I seen you around Balthazar High?"

"Well," Gabe began his hand behind his neck. They started to walk further into the forest without thought. Luna walked beside him with her hands in her jean pockets watching him.

"Let's just say that it was a little…hard for someone like me to hang around that place for long," he finished.

"You mean because of the myths about you?" Luna asked. Gabe turned to her nodding his head in reply.

"Problem is that some myths don't turn out to be that way," he added. "I might not be a threat to the uncommon, but I am to the normal; or at least those who were normal temporarily.

"Thing is they blame people like me for how they became uncommon. Some might enjoy it, others would rather die for some of the curses they think they have become," he explained.

Luna nodded politely. Gabe's discomfort suddenly vanished as he smiled.

"But at least you seem to not take offense to me," he commented.
"Well not now. But if I haven't seen you before it just bothers me that there was someone like you more threatening," she pointed out.

"Kind of scares me too. But there are always good people and bad no matter what you're considered as," he added. He turned around realizing they have walked a good distance away from the house.

"Perhaps you should be heading back before dark. Your family must be worried," he mentioned.

"No, they went out and I told my brothers I was out for a walk anyway," Luna informed. "But it is probably best to make our way back."

They walked back towards the house at a relaxed pace. The sun was about to set by the time they returned. As they reached the entrance of the woods they stopped. Luna looked back at Gabe with curiosity. They stared at each other awkwardly.

"You should be careful there skin-walker, there are a million things you have to be cautious of out here."

"Like you," Luna replied with a sly smile.

"Watch it skin-walker," Gabe commented with a smirk, winking at her. Luna laughed under her breath as she looked back at the house. As she turned to look back at Gabe, he was gone.

She looked around with anxiously. Where did he go? She just smiled a bit, heading back towards the house. As she went into the house, Gabe's figure watched her go in. He hid behind the shadows of the trees.

"Another time skin-walker," he said then disappeared into the growing shadows of the forest.