I don’t know what Angelo means by not trusting anyone. I don’t trust him either. I was forced to trust his family for the sake of our safety. Not trusting others was an easy task for me. I don’t talk to strangers, especially social people who only know how to talk a lot.
Angelo’s first class was different than mine. My brothers were familiar with my previous classes that’s why they picked the same for me. I picked AP US History before because I thought that would be amazing and entertaining. I was wrong. The teacher we had was boring. It felt like an hour of speech and not an engaging lecture. I took European History back in junior year and the teacher was great. In US History, we are forced to finish a certain number of pages for the recitation next class.
I do love reading. Being a reader since I was a child was an advantage for that class. It took me a few minutes to read fifty pages while others took more than an hour. I hate the thought of forcing myself to read a material I don’t even enjoy instead of teaching it to us.
The class was quiet as I entered. Their eyes were on me. I’m a transferee and a human. I had to remind myself that all these peers are werewolves. They are different from me. They are dangerous. I should not trust anyone.
The teacher, who entered the room late, introduced me to the class as a transferee. I was lucky that no one asked where I was from. They were silent. No one even bothers to smile at me.
The teacher was great at teaching the class. We have recitation about the topic after he discussed it thoroughly. Even though they are werewolves, no one opened a topic about it. I guessed it’s a rule in the town.
The feel in this new school was bland. Before, my classmates would approach me though we were not friends. Now, they were creepily looking at me. After a few seconds, they wouldn’t care about it.
During lunch, I ate alone in the cafeteria. The food was cheap. I hope it wasn’t human pork. When it tasted chicken, I breathe comfortably. I guessed that werewolves also eat normal meals like us.
I ate alone. I don’t have any friends aside from Angelo or Gelo. I don’t really care what nickname he’s using. He’s exactly not my friend. A neighbor or a savior was a better predicament for that. I also don’t want to get involved with him. In my previous school, anyone who’s a friend to the campus crush is in life-threatening danger. I wasn’t sure if he’s a campus crush but he has the looks for it.
I had to attend a few more classes after lunch and headed back home alone, without Angelo.
On Saturday, I got out of the house as soon the sun rises with my audiobook. I missed running and the safest hour to do that was early in the morning. I hope werewolves won’t be awake at that time.
I wasn’t right the moment I saw Nana watering her plants around her house. I don’t know how old she was. There were wrinkles on her face, which were crumpled like paper. She’s still strong despite her looks.
“Good morning, dear,” she said. A wide smile on her face.
“Good morning, Nana. What are you doing?” I’m too bad at communicating. I wish I knew other phrases or sentences to reply to a person and not to ask the obvious.
“Here watering my plants. I love flowers during the spring. You wake up early, don’t you?” She scanned my body. “You’re going for a run. Gelo loves to run occasionally. He’s busy with other things. I can tell him if you need a running buddy.”
“I used to wake up early. Late-night movies were an exception but it happens rarely. Also, I don’t want to bother your grandson for running with me. You just said he’s busy.”
“He’s free during Sundays. He isn’t at home right now.”
I checked the time on my phone. Why was Gelo wasn’t at home early this morning? I guessed he has a part-time job or doing something else. He wasn’t my business and my friend. I don’t have to think about him.
Gelo appeared in front of my house the next morning. He was wearing running gear and the same white sneakers he used at school. He looked good but unbathe. We’re the same. We don’t like a cold shower in the morning.
Nana probably told him about being my running buddy. I don’t like having partners in activities. I’m the type of person who would volunteer to go individual instead of having groupmates. Unless it’s a group performance.
“Nana said you want me as a partner for your morning run?” he asked. This wolf. He’s just so nice.
“I don’t.” He blinked twice. I almost forgot that I need to explain things so other people could understand what I’m trying to say. “I mean she saw me running yesterday, and she volunteered to ask you about it. She said you’re busy yesterday.”
“Ah, yes! I wasn’t at home. I was on training.” Training? Was he training for a war or something else? Maybe he’s a wrestler. But he’s too thin for that! “Since we’re already both in our gears. I guessed we should try to run around the town with each other.”
As if I have the choice. I’m bad at rejecting offers and people. That’s why I nodded at him. “Sure. That would be good. Please wait for me here.”
“Okay.” He smiled at me. He was one of those people who has a genuine smile. Felix smiles mysteriously. Angelo and Jay were the same. They were a happy person who casually smiles.
I got back inside. Felix was already awake. He saw me wearing my running shoes.
“Are you going for a run?” He blinks his scratchy eyes. Also stretching his arms upward.
“Yes. With our neighbor, Angelo.” I don’t have to explain to him that it’s Nana’s fault that I’m going to run with our neighbor this morning.
“Good. You’re starting to make friends. He’s the only one in this town that you can trust.”
I know. He’d been telling me that for a couple of times as if I would talk and befriend everyone in a town full of werewolves. I bid him goodbye and went back to Gelo who was still standing in front of our house.
“It took a while for you to wear your shoes.”
“Felix asked me where I was going.” He kept silent. “It’s a natural thing between brothers and sisters.”
“I also have brothers and sisters. I do understand what you’re saying.” Does he have brothers and sisters? I didn’t know about that. Except for Nana, he’s the only person I saw in their house. “But they were only here during special occasions and long holidays. They’re busy with their job.”
He started walking and I copied him. I didn’t bring my phone and earbuds with me. The last time I listened to an audiobook while running with a companion was a disaster. Jay thought I was having an anxiety attack because of my facial reaction to the thriller book I was listening to. I don’t want Angelo to think of me like that.
“Are your brother and sisters are also like you?” I hate asking the obvious. If there’s a habit I would like to erase, that would be it.
“You mean werewolves?” I nodded. “Yes. Our family is a full-blooded werewolf.”
“I didn’t know that werewolves are anywhere on Earth.”
He smirked at me. “Humans aren’t the only creatures present. There are a whole bunch of creatures in the world. Werewolves are anywhere else, Catherine.”
He removed the letter-e on the way he pronounced my name and I liked it better. All my life, I’ve met different people in different places. I’ve always thought of them as humans. I guessed fifty percent of them are werewolves.
CHAPTER 6For my next days as a high school student in the community high school, Angelo became my walking buddy. It wasn’t awkward between the two of us. Aside from Saturdays, we get to spend other days with each other. He’s a more open person than I thought of. I guessed I earned my first friend in this town.I was waiting for him when Nana offered me cookies. It looked like a normal cookie, then I remembered that she was a werewolf. I’m afraid there’s something in the ingredient of that cookie.“It’s a normal treat, dear. You don’t have to be scared of us. I told you to trust us,” she said and I accepted the cookie.Inside their house, I saw a family picture near the television set. Angelo got his features from his mother. They almost looked the same. His brother was also good-looking like him though they didn’t have the same face. His sister, like his brother and Gelo, was also attractive. I guesse
CHAPTER 7My parents were covered with blood. I was at the staircase and they were at the door. Werewolves did these things to them. And I wasn’t able to save them.They were screaming for help. They screamed for pain. I couldn't move my body from my position. I want to run towards them. I want to help them to stand out. But I was frozen in my place.“You’re always my girl, Cath,” Daddy said in a low monotone voice. His voice sounded like he was losing blood.“You’re always our baby.” My mom smiled despited of the pain she was struggling with.I love you Mom and Dad, I thought to myself. I wasn’t able to let it through my mouth. I love them and I wished I was able to protect them.My eyes opened. Everything was a dream. A nightmare. I found myself in a dark place. Old classroom chairs, broken tables, dirt on the ground. I was tied around a chair. Where am I?I almost forgot that Mr. Higg
CHAPTER 8Jay was massaging my nose with an ice pack. There’s a stream of blood that bled from it earlier. The way Ms. Durrant spanked my face with the plank must be that hard to cause bleeding.Angelo saved me. I don’t know what happened to me if he didn’t arrive there. Those three teachers must’ve killed me. The two other werewolves he was with were Minnie and Sage. The two of them looked the same as what I saw in their picture frame.The night was already dark when we left the basement of that building. There was no other person in the school aside from the three teachers who kidnapped me, me, and three people who saved me. The school was surprisingly open during the night even without bodyguards. We’re lucky that we didn’t encounter any wolves. I mean, there were werewolves in human form around. But none of them shapeshifted into a wolf.“What happened, Catherine?” Felix asked. He wasn’t mad at thi
CHAPTER 9Gwen and Aki chaired themselves on both of my sides. Their face was curious. I knew they were going to ask about what happened yesterday. I had to thank them for telling Angelo where I was. They indirectly saved my life.“I’m flattered to see that you’re perfectly fine. We knew what happened yesterday,” Gwen said. Her dazzling hair was blown by the wind coming from the outside. I hope they were not gaining my trust for the worst-case scenario. I reminded myself to socialize with them but not put my trust in the first place.“We’re still unable to shapeshift. We knew Gelo already learned how to shapeshift. Our parents were slaves of betas. Fighting them would put our life at stake,” Aki explained. Then he narrated a whole lot of a story about his friendship with Gwen since they were kids. Unfair justice was also applicable in the life of these werewolves. We can’t go wrong on our steps, especially if we&rs
CHAPTER 10Today, my brothers will kill me. At least on the inside. I have to tell them my decision on training with Angelo wherever he was training. This wasn’t for my safety—for them. The family who took care of me. This was my way to give back on their efforts on me.I expected Felix would open up a hot debate about the matter. They won’t let me go. For them, it would be too dangerous. They didn’t want me to open up as a half-blood werewolf. They wanted to keep things normal to me. But life wouldn’t be normal because I’m different. And I belong to these creatures living in this town.Felix was watching a thriller action movie on our television—Jay was folding clothes. I choked my fears as I approached them.“Catherine,” Felix muttered. He has strong instincts as he felt my presence though I wasn’t too close to him. “You need anything?”We weren’t siblings only in paper
CHAPTER 11The training grounds look like a gym.There were a few attractions like hurdles and sit-ups. It wasn’t a typical training ground where we are going to train outside. There’s an apartment-like house near the low-lying grasses. Inside the building, there were gym types of equipment like stationary bikes and things I don’t know the name of. I wasn’t going to the gym even before. Running and walking was the only exercise that I know.I didn’t care about how our training would be. Walking our way here was more of a training than a warm-up. If Angelo described it as a warm-up, I’m afraid that the training would be vigorous.The last time I count the number of young peers in here, we were eleven. I lost count when I answered the registration form. I don’t know how things work in this place. But it’s a similar process to what humans do.Unlike the classroom in the community school, this place was f
Chapter 12Three kilometers into my pedometer and I can’t run anymore. We didn’t have a proper warm-up. And the rule was that we can’t walk around. My muscles were soaring and I can’t handle this anymore.I was gasping. I needed water to hydrate myself. I lost more than a liter by all the sweat all over my body. Angelo was either beside or behind me. I was never behind him.There’s a huge gap between our conditions. At this moment, I already lost all my energy. But he’s fine as if he didn’t run at all. It made sense that he’d been doing this since the day he trained her.I wanted to stop. I wanted to quit. But quitting is for weak people. It is for those who can’t handle things anymore. If I didn’t continue to train here, I wouldn’t be able to gain the strength to protect my brothers. This isn’t just for me, I reminded myself. This is for my brothers and justice on the death of
CHAPTER 13I finished the contemporary book I was reading just after Angelo took a bath. He asked me yesterday if we could bake cookies at his place, but it turned out he wasn’t expecting me early. As a morning person, I would go to him early if he didn’t specify a time.I don’t have anyone to talk to. Minnie was still asleep. Sage was in his room—as always. Except for Nana who sat on the couch the moment Angelo entered his room to wear an outfit.“What are you going today? It seems that you have plans, dear?” Nana asked. I never met my grandparents on Mom and Dad. Maybe they’re as sweet as Nana—who would ask questions and take care of her grandchildren.“He asked me to bake cookies.” I don’t have anything to do at home that’s why I agreed to the plan. Besides, he’s my only friend. And I should do better as his friend.“Oh, that is his favorite pastime