Prologue: Two Months Earlier

Kitee, North Karelia, Finland

Aleksander stared wide-eyed at the headlights. He had to move. Brakes brought the car to a sudden halt, giving him the chance to quickly dart across the road and into the safety zone of the forest. He knew it was big mistake to return to Finland. Even though his family was in Lapland, it was still too close for his liking. He could not let them know that their son was alive. Letting them know the truth was worse than anything.

He made his way through the thick brush and to the small tent. He winced as the sounds of Sebastiaan's coughing filled the night air. Aleksander knew that Sebastiaan's time was running out, but everything was failing.

Aleksander had failed his best friend, the one he vowed to protect.

Taking a deep breath, Aleksander brushed the tent flap aside and stepped in. He threw a sandwich at Sebastiaan. "This is all I found find."
Sebastiaan sat up in his sleeping bag and started to undo the wrapping. "Don't worry about it. I'm sure it will be great."
Aleksander slowly started opening his. He knew what was going on, but didn't want to say anything.

Sebastiaan took a bit of food. "You know, it's rather strange being back here. It's been so long that I have forgotten what this country looks like."
Aleksander nodded and looked at his friend. Sebastiaan was getting thinner and paler by the day. Soon, he would be nothing more than a pile of bones.

"It's pretty. Maybe we could travel up to Lapland to see the Northern Lights," Sebastiaan went on.

Aleksander froze. Even though they were both from Lapland, Sebastiaan did not know that Aleksander's family thought he was dead. Sebastiaan had no one, but Aleksander did not want his family to see the monster their son had become. Besides, it had been four years since Aleksander had been bitten and he did not want to open up any old wounds.

Sebastiaan looked at Aleksander with a concerned look on his face. "Alek?"
Aleksander looked over at his best friend. "Sure, we can do that."
Sebastiaan beamed.

Then again, Aleksander could not turn Sebastiaan down for anything.

They fell into silence, both too busy stuffing their faces to say a word. The sweet sounds of the forest filled the tent. Aleksander listened to the flapping of the birds' wings, the movement of small animals on the forest's floor. It was peaceful, living in a tent. The outside world could not touch them here.

Aleksander stared at the tent's flapping entrance. He would have to fix that before they went to bed. The cold Finnish air would certainly kill Sebastiaan.

"Did you hear that?" Sebastiaan whispered.

Aleksander snapped his head back in the direction of the other werewolf. "Hear what?"

Sebastiaan held his finger to his mouth. "That."

Aleksander listened very closely. It took several seconds before he was able to hear it: the hissing of hundreds of snakes coming toward them.

"We have to go!" Aleksander exclaimed.

Both werewolves began stuffing all their belongings into their backpacks.

Picture credits: "Tree Bark" by MileyRowling © 2015. Used with permission.

Text credits: "Beta" by AlysonSerenaStone © 2014. Content may not be copied without permission from AlysonSerenaStone.