Hour of the Wolf

Maybe my depression was due to the grey skies. It was a steady cold rain outside the car as I drove Wayne to Norfolk International airport. It had been raining a lot over the past couple of months. Actually, it had rained almost every other day and the ground was soaked. I longed for some snow instead of this rain. There were few things I missed from up north but I did miss the crystalline beauty of the first snow not the cold rain you mostly got down here in Virginia during the winter. You were lucky if you got any snow at all in a year and often the roads were a complete disaster when it happened.

"Nickie, I wish I did not have to go," he almost whispered to me. "You can still come up with me." Wayne had spend the last two months down here but he had to go back to New York. It was just before Christmas and there were problems with his estate that needed to be settled. We had discussed it extensively last night among other activities. Maybe it would be better to call it pillow talk.

He had offered several times for me to come with him and I had reluctantly already declined. "I wish I could go but I still have several ongoing investigations and already had agreed on a meeting with Ms Walden before you found out you had to go to New York," I responded back.

I did not want to add that I was a bit nervous about going up to New York. I am originally from Boston and my mother still lived up there. I knew that she sometimes went down to New York and had associates there as well. Many of them demon-thralls just like her. While the odds of me meeting her there was virtually non-existent, it still bother me. Someone might tell her that they saw me. While likely not really the case, I wished to believe that she had forgotten about me and did not want to remind he of me.

My hand moved to the heater controls, bringing it up to full blast. With a convertible top, my little red Mustang was a bit cooler than the Taurus and I could feel a cold draft. Let me just say that I had dressed to impress. A little scarlet silk number with a plunging neck line and the hem ending just south of pornographic. For his departure, I wanted him to remember me. While we had just finished rumpling the sheets less than two hours before, I was already missing him.

My right hand reached across to him, gently on his leg. I was tempted to reach just a bit further but there would just be too much potential of an accident if I did. After a moment, his hand clasped around mine and just held them on his leg. They were quite warm. We had been lovers almost since we had met and I knew that we were much more than lovers. For the first time, I was in love. With the hundreds of lovers I had over the years, I knew that was something quite different.

"Nickie, just remember what I told you. If you need to feed, do not starve yourself. I mean it. I don't want you to weaken yourself," he told me. I nodded my head in agreement but in my head I was determined that I would 'Feed' on anyone while Wayne was gone. It might have been foolish but the idea of spending time with any other man was completely unappealing.

He was the first man I had been able to have a long term relationship with. I am a half demon and I need to feed on emotional energies. While I can feed on pain and torture, I have always preferred sexual energies and it always resonated with me. If I fed too long on any mortal, I could destroy their mind or even kill them. Wayne had the blood of angels running through his veins, just like the blood of demons running through mine, and my feeding did not seem to hurt him. Wayne was the first man who it appeared I could remain with. Still, it was far more than that.

We pulled from Interstate 64 to drive into the airport terminal. In just a few more minutes, I would have to wave goodbye to him. Hopefully he would only be gone for a week or so. His plan was to eventually move down here full time. "Don't worry about parking," he told me. I pulled under the canopy for him to get out of the car.

Just as his hand went for the handle to open the door, I snaked around from my seat and brought my lips up to his. His lips locked around mine and my tongue found its way into his mouth, exploring the top of his teeth. I could feel myself suddenly feel like I was on fire. My loins tingled along with the tips of my breasts. I could feel them pushing through the thin material of my red dress. His eyes went down for just a moment to where my nipples were quite visible through the silk.

His arms wrapped around me and pulled me closer, half out of the driver's seat. A pair of hands found themselves going lower and lower, his hands reaching around at my buttocks. With that, I could feel myself getting even hotter. I wanted to pull of his cloths right now and truly feed the fire. 'Now,' my body shouted to me. While we had fed the fire all last night, it did not seem to matter.

Before we could go further, he broke off the kiss and I found myself sliding back into the driver's seat. He opened the door to slide out. Before he did, he told me gently, "I love you."

"I love you too," I replied back as he climbed from the car. I fought the sadness which seemed to fall on me. At least I did not cry.

For a change, I was actually early making it to my office. As a result, I did not have to run and could settle properly before Ms Walden got her. There was no chance to change but I was not particularly concerned with it. If she did not like the way I was dressed, that was tough. There was nothing wrong with a woman being sexy and if she was a Christian Fundamentalist, I did not really want the job anyway.

Settling into the seat, I pulled up on the computer what I had found out. Nothing but her name so far and just relaxed. It had only been a few minutes when I heard a knock on my door. "Enter," I spoke and through the door stepped a woman who appeared to be in her mid thirties dressed in a conservative grey business suit. Although she had straight brown hair and brown eyes, she was far from being plain. There was something unusual which I felt coming from her.

Just as she stepped through and the door closed, she sniffed and her eyes went wide. The woman went on guard and looked like she was just about to attack me. Even her stance moved to that of a fighting stance. This was not what I expected at all and did not know how to react. Here I was, wondering how she would react to how I was dressed. Still, she did not immediately attack.

There was some danger involved but I invoked my mage sense and looked at her aura. There was the aura which appeared to be that of a wolf's head. This is something which I had never seen before and it took me several moments before I realized what she was. In my readings, I had read about werewolves although I had never met one before. They were extraordinarily tough and they were also suppose to have incredible senses of smell. She could probably sense my demon blood with her sense of smell. To other mages, my aura appeared stained in black so I was used to being reacted to badly. Most believed I was a black sorceress.

"Hello, Ms Walden, would you like to take a seat?" I asked her as I motioned towards the seat right in front of my desk. My voice stayed calm and I tried to project that I was no threat in my tone.

"Ms Darkenwald, I believe I made a mistake in coming here," she replied and looked like she was preparing to leave.

"I am not quite as I appear, perhaps I can still help you," I stated. My voice I kept in a measured tone which I had already been projecting. Recently, I had almost destroyed the local Vampire community and those left were likely out for revenge even though nothing had happened so far. Still, I did not want to add the local werewolf community to my list of enemies.

"You came highly recommended and the person who recommended you suggested that you understood the community," Ms Walden replied. Over time, I had made acquaintances with many others in the secret community underlining the humans which we hid in. Most of whom I dealt with were mages. Otherwise, just a few of the fey. The Vampires would not give a good opinion and everything I read was that vampires and werewolves were generally bitter enemies.

Nodding my head, I told her, "Yes, you might say that. I can see from your aura that you are what is called a Werewolf. I have never met one before but have read a bit about them." I motioned towards the seat in front of me again. "Please, sit down."

Looking almost like a caged wolf but she at least finally sat down. "Have you heard anything about the animal attacks." I nodded my head to her. There had been a series of attacks by a wild dog or several wild dogs, likely rabid, around Norfolk mostly in the areas of government run and low rent housing. Happening during heavy rains, each of the attacks had been extremely vicious and the bodies had been virtually ripped apart. There had been a total of four killings and the police seemed to expect more.

"Well, there is a rogue wolf in the city. I don't know if someone was turned into a wolf which we don't know about or if they come from some other city. There are no reports of any badly injured person in a hospital where was mauled by an animal," She stated. Everything fell into place. From what I had read, Werewolves were created by the bite or the claws of a Werewolf in their wolf form. It could not just be a simple bite or scratch but had to be almost mauled to death. They had to almost be at death's door for the Lycanthropy to get through the body's natural defenses. Most often they died from those injuries but if they survived, they usually found their way into emergency rooms. It seemed likely that werewolves watched for that. Their extremely rapid healing would set them appart. Unlike vampires though, they did not come back to life if they died in the process.

I motioned for her to continue. "We can normally tell by scent other wolves. Unfortunately, heavy rain have washed away all scent on the bodies. There is no way to tell who is responsible."

"So what are you looking from me?" I asked.

"You are a practitioner of the arcane arts and by all accounts, the most skilled one in this area." Her voice made the word 'arts' mean 'dark arts.' I had heard that werewolves often distrusted those who practice sorcery anyway. Continuing she added, "Since we cannot track down the wolf responsible, we are hoping that through magic you could track down the one responsible."

My brow narrowed in thought considering how I might be able to find the one responsible. The only idea which I could come up with was that I would have to find a body before the police got to it and examine the auras around it for psychic traces. That was not my favorite idea and hoped I could come up with another. I frown just a bit more with the thought of waiting for another death.

She must have taken it for rejection because she hastily added, "You would not have to fight the wolf at all. All you would have to do is find where he or she is. Besides, if we are uncovered, there is the risk of the whole supernatural community being revealed." There was always concerns about normal humans discovering the supernatural community. We did everything possible to keep to keep ourselves secret. Practitioners of the arcane arts generally policed ourselves and werewolves also usually policed themselves. Even vampires worked to keep normals from knowing about their existence.

Shaking my head, I replied, "No, I am not rejecting your request. You are right in the concern that the whole supernatural community could be at risk if the wolf is discovered. I am just considering how I might be able to trace the one responsible. I just have a few questions though." I crossed my hands in front of me on the surface of my desk.

"Go ahead with your questions," she replied, caution in her voice.

"First, how can you be sure that it really is a werewolf? There are some extremely large dogs around and there is more pit bull fighting than the government wants to admit. There was that football player convicted of it less than a year before" I asked.

"Wolves, when we transform, stay the same mass as we are when we are human. That means that a two hundred pound man becomes a two hundred pound wolf when he transforms. The bite makes are simply too large to be that of any dog, even a large one. Even more important, the first one was during the full moon and likely it was the first time the wolf had transformed,"she responded.

I still thought it was barely possible that it was a huge dog but it was extremely doubtful especially with the first murder occurring during the full moon. "Second, what do you plan to do with this wolf? Especially, what do you plan to do if you find out that a wolf from the local pack is responsible?"

"No matter, the Alpha cannot allow one such as this to survive. Once they go wild like this, it is almost impossible to bring them back. If it is a member of the pack, I pity them when the Alpha finds out," She responded, anger wiping away much of her appearance of civilization and the bestial nature of her wolf was almost coming out.

One item that was clear from the writings I had read about werewolves is that in most cases they formed packs with one, usually the toughest, being the leader of the pack. They were called the 'Alpha' of the pack and almost all were male. Likely one of the most levelheaded in the pack, she was likely the speaker for the pack when having to deal with those outside the pack. I could only wonder how accurate what I read was on the real structure of the Werewolf community.

Deciding to take a different tact, I replied, "Why don't you go ahead and call me Nickie instead of Ms Darkenwald." She nodded her head still not really trusting me. "I have more which I have to discuss but you do know that I don't come cheap." I did not want to tell her that I would do it for free if I needed to, there were bills which I would need to pay.

The interview had taken almost two hours in total. She did not want to reveal anything about the pack to an outsider, especially one who she thought was in league with demons. I had to use round about questions to find out as much as I had. Other than those who practiced the arcane arts, meaning wizard, werewolves were among the most common of the supernatural community. There were actually only a tiny minority of those who practiced the arcane arts who were truly powerful, and yes I am one of them, and we are greatly outnumbered by those of two natures.

Still, I was on my way south down 464. Most of the interstate was above tree level and there were high winds which buffeted my car. My home was in southern Chesapeake, an old farmhouse which I had remodeled completely. She had written me a check for the initial fee which I had already deposited in my bank account. I was ahead of the evening rush hour traffic and soon would be home.

Pulling off the interstate, my mind was full of what I would need to do once I reached home. There was much in the way of new buildup even here and it was not as rural as when I first moved down here. In my mind, I had to consider if I would need to move in a few years to keep ahead of the encroaching civilization. The wolves were likely feeling the same thing. I wondered where the hunted when they transformed into their wolves. Perhaps the Great Dismal Swamp? There had recently been stories about wolves wandering the woods but most had dismissed the stories.

Reaching my driveway, I pulled the Mustang behind the Taurus. I was home but it seemed like it was too quiet there. It took a moment or two for me to realize why that was. Wayne had gone up north and I was the only one in the house for the first time in almost two months. Him being not here settled even further on my heart. It was already far more than just missing him.

It did not pay to not be cautious. I examined the protective wards which I had placed on my house. They were intact and nothing appeared to have brushed them during the day. The wards would not take out any truly powerful supernatural creatures but they would leave a disturbance in my wards. Against mortals, they would create an aversion which would make them in most cases just avoid the house. Someone breaking in is virtually not even a consideration.

As I opened the door and stepped through it, it felt like there was a wall between me and the rest of the world. Alone or otherwise, this was my sanctuary. Closing the door and locking it, I wiggled out of the scarlet silk and allowed it to fall to the floor. I slid my feet from the matching set of red stiletto pumps a few moments later and the thong I had worn matching the dress fell to the floor. I would have to sit down before I could take off my garter and red stockings.

Leaning back in the couch, I took them off as quickly as I could. They were also silk. Finally, I allowed myself to truly relax as I laid down fully. With it became the reversion to my true form. There was no real limit to maintaining my human seeming but it somehow felt like my skin was too tight. Usually it did not bother me all that much but it still felt good to transform into my natural form.

A pair of wings, mostly bat like, grew from my shoulders. Yes, I can fly using them even though physics says that it should be impossible. At the same time, a long tail extended from where a human's tail bone is. It was almost as prehensile as the tail of a monkey and I used it to pick up my clothing and drop in on the seat beside me. Finally, a set of small horns grew from my head. Yes, my natural form looks much like stories you might have heard about Succubus. My father, as you might expect, was an Incubus.

It seemed like I was only lain down for a moment or two when I felt a set of four small feet land on my bare belly almost making me jump up. It was just my black tomcat wanting to be petted. My hand went up to his shoulders and I petting him and within just a few moments he began purring. Sebastian is what I had named him and he is truly huge, the size of many small dogs and had beaten up quite a few in his time. I would not be surprised if he was not the match for a werewolf. Well, not really but it was interesting to fantasize about it. He had free reign of the house and considered it his house not mine. There was a small cat door which allowed him to go in and out of the house. My hands absently went to the collar which I had made for him. It protected him from the wards on the house.

With some reluctance, I grabbed the black feline by the shoulders and dropped him to the floor. He looked up at me with disgust. I slid my feet back to the floor and stood up. I walked towards the kitchen and picked up the cat's bowl to fill it up. Sometimes I had to wonder if the cat only tolerated me because I fed him. I had never been much of a cook and had survived mostly on take-out and fast food. Luckily as a half demon, I did not have to worry about cholesterol. Wayne was quite different and the cupboard and refrigerator were bulging with food since he had moved in. I pulled out a loaf of wheat bread along with some roast beef and cheese. Quickly, I made a large sandwich. I even remembered to put everything back in the refrigerator.

While I had some nebulas ideas, I did not head for my workroom but instead headed for the library with my sandwich. Like the door to my workroom, the door to my library was always kept locked when I was not in there. The previous owner had used it as a den but now was filled from wall to wall with books. There were several books which I had not perused all that deeply which had more information about werewolves. I pulled them down and prepared to look through them more completely. There was also news which I wanted to look into and I brought up the local newspaper's website to see what I could find out about the murders.

The website only had the barest facts on the deaths. So far each of the four deaths had been only a few days apart. The longest had been a week and a pair were only two days apart. Each time, the murder happened in a different area and the cops seemed to be chasing their tails. There was also some speculation that someone was using the dogs for murders. I checked the date of the first murder and sure enough it had been a full moon. Three of the victims were black with one being white. The general location where each of the bodies were found was also listed in the articles. While I did know a few people in the police, I could usually not get too much more than rumors. Still, it might be a good time to take one of them to dinner. Maybe I could tell him that I was representing an animal rights organization who was concerned that the animals were escaped dog fighting animals. It was not likely that I could find any older mauling which might have been survived, but I also rechecked for them and saw none local or national.

After finishing with looking up what I could from the newspaper's online archives, I next went back to my books. Propping my feet up on the recliner I began to read slowly through the pages. The books were in extremely tiny print. These were not the normal books you might read about werewolves, either from the library or from a normal book store, and included legends on how werewolves were first created. Most of what I read agreed with what I had already known and what Ms Walden had told me. The books did fill in many of the details which I had not been familiar with.

I had confirmed what I already suspected. A practitioner of the mystic arts could be transformed into a Werewolf but unlike if they were transformed into a Vampire, they lose their ability to manipulate the magic. Instead, it appears to become part of their link to the wildness, the wolf, part of their nature. Werewolves could not be transformed into vampires and protected them from many of a vampire's mind controlling abilities just like my half demon blood protected me from Vampires control and their ability to transform me into a vampire. As well, my demon blood protected me from being able to be transformed into a Werewolf. Generally, I have found you cannot be two different flavors of supernatural. Only mages seem to be able to become something else. As well, the Fay, Vampires, and those of Demon Blood can also be mages.

One book did mention several intriguing alternatives although it was much more likely that it was a werewolf. There was a legend of other ways which humans could shift to animal forms. First, there were shifters. These creatures were sorcerers and sorceress who could done the skin of an animal and transform. Extremely evil magic, the shifter would have to kill a family member to complete the ritual. Second, there were legends of faery shape shifters who could transform into cat forms. The third was that there were various demons which were said to be able to shape shift or were in the form of humanoid animal figures. I shied away from that idea. Finally, mentioned were legends of native shape shifters who were born with the ability to shift into the form of Coyotes and possibly Foxes. All four types were extremely rare according to the writer, maybe even non-existent, and it almost had to be a werewolf.

Long ago I had purchased a box of silver rounds for a .45 pistol but had never loaded them. They had just sat in my gun safe. The books all confirmed that silver rounds were the only way to effectively take down a werewolf beside magic. There were a few specialty ammo makers who made the rounds, mostly I suspected for would-be werewolf hunters. Werewolf hunting for a mortal would seem to be a very dangerous occupation. I loaded an empty magazine with the rounds although I kept a standard magazine in my Smith and Wesson. While the werewolves were suppose to take care of their own, I planned to be ready just in case.

The research had taken hours and I needed to see what more I could find out tomorrow. While it was only ten o'clock, it might be a good idea to go to bed early. My demon blood gave me incredible endurance but even my stamina was not unlimited. Still, I could not help but wonder how well I could sleep with Wayne beside me. My body was already itching for his and it could be an extremely long night. It seems that many girls can get enjoyment out of toys but that never seemed to really work for me. Maybe it was because of how I survived off of the sexual and emotional energies of others. Hopefully, a long whirlpool bath would help.

I had been right about having trouble sleeping. The bed felt empty without someone at my side. Waking up multiple times, I had tossed and turned on the bed for much of the night. For a moment, I half woke and thought I felt Wayne's presence beside me and thought he might have already returned. Unfortunately, it was all an illusion. In all my life, I had never missed anyone as much as I had him. It had been a relief when it had been time to get moving for the next day.

At least I had come up with one new idea about how to find the one responsible for the murders. There was a chance that I might be able to summon the spirit of one of the departed who might be able to tell me who had murdered them. Spirits were hard to contact, even for those of power. Virtually all "Spirit Mediums" were frauds and the few who could actually contact spirits kept their abilities secret. The best chance to contact a spirit would be where they died, where the were buried, or where they considered "Home." If they had been on drugs, the spirits could be so confused that it almost always a waste of time.

In the meantime, I had arranged to meet Chris Houston, a Norfolk city detective, for lunch and hopefully I could fish some information out of him. He and I had talked earlier on the phone and had agreed to meet for lunch at the usual place. I dressed carefully, trying to keep myself from looking too sexual but still distracting in my appearance. He was married and even before Wayne, I did not poach on men who were already taken. Yes, I had my rules. A little flirting was fine but nothing more. My makeup was more subtle than it usually was. I had chosen a rose business suit with a short but not incredibly short skirt. Underneath, I wore a pink silk blouse open enough to show some cleavage. Slipping on a set of stiletto pumps, off-white this time, I was ready to meet with him.

Other than the kitchen, the only other room which had changed was the bedroom we shared. Originally, I had kept in various shades of red and had been extremely feminine. A weakness I guess. My room with my mother had been extremely stark. The room was now a mixture of whites and red which we had managed to get into a harmonious whole. As well, I had a large number of plush devil figures along the walls. Since Wayne had moved in here as well, we had added a number of plush angel figures to the collection. One, a T.Y Bear which was dressed in an angel costume sat next to a similar bear dressed in a devil costume. So close together, their hands touched. They were meant to represent Wayne and I together. I turned in my spike heels for the door from my bedroom with a smile on my face.

The usual place for Chris and I to meet is Cherry's Pizza. It is a chain of pizza buffet restaurants which are scattered all over shopping strips around the Tidewater area. The food is cheap enough that paying for his lunch cannot be considered bribery. Popular restaurants, they were often fairly crowded and as a result our meetings were considered completely public. Because of their price, they were also extremely popular with police officers and there was half a dozen police officers dining besides Chris. Three were uniformed city officers, one was a plain clothed officer, and there were a pair of State Troopers also in uniform.

I was dressed up more than most of the people in Cherry's but there was a sprinkling of customers in suits so I was all that out of place. Paying for mine as well as Chris's meal, I handed him a plate with a smile. Many went there because it was one of the few restaurants which had a salad bar. While I might get some salad later, I loaded my plate with pepperoni pizza, sausage pizza, and cheesy garlic sticks. Loaded down, I sat down in a quiet corner. One problem with Cherry's Pizza is that there are often many screaming kids.

A few moments later, Chris sat down opposite where I had sat down. I knew he was over thirty years old and had two children. He had sandy brown hair and had kept himself quite fit. A tall and lanky man, he was over six feet in height.. He was dressed in blue jeans and a blue t-shirt with a battered leather jacket over the top. He had been a detective for four years and had been a police officer for eight years before that. I had never met either his wife or his children.

We made various unimportant chatting while we worked our way through the meal. Throughout the meal, I flirted just a bit mostly with my eyes. We both knew it was a game. Finally, it seemed like the right time to ask the question, "I have a client who is concerned with cruelty to animals with these killings which appear to be the work of wild dogs. She is concerned that they may be training these dogs to attack people. I was helping you might be able to help me with some information?"

His eyes opened wide and did not say anything for several moments. When he did not say anything, I continued, "I looked up everything I could publically. All of the killings were in low income areas but otherwise I don't know if there is anything in common with all of the victims."

He finally found his voice and asked "PETA?" There was definite scorn in his voice. PETA is an extremely annoying organization which has its National headquartered locally. PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In many ways they verged on a terrorist organization.

Shaking me head, I replied, "I am not at liberty to tell you the name of who I am working for but it is not PETA." I allowed scorn to color my voice as well. They were against the consuming of all meat and I was definitely a meat eater.

His voice turned slightly threatening and he stated flatly, "I can get a warrant for that name."

Opening my hands palm up in a gesture of truce, I replied gently, "Peace, I don't think that they are responsible for the murders. They are mostly concerned with a specific breed getting the blame." Not even really a lie. I saw his mind come to a conclusion of who my client might be. Of course he would be wrong but that was not my problem.

"Funny, you should mention that because whatever did the killing was huge. Our estimates put the dog at two hundred to two hundred and fifty pounds from the bite marks. It does appear to be from the same dog even though they are widely separated. The rain also has washed off all footprints so that is the only evidence we have is the bite marks." His voice came as almost a whisper. "Plenty of human tracks but they seem to be from tenants around the crime scenes rubbernecking. While some tracks are the same size, none of the shoes have the same tread."

This was more than I often got from him but I hoped to get more from him. My mother would have used charm magic to get the information from him but I did not like doing that. I just waited patiently nodding my head. It sounded like whoever this wolf was, it was far more than bestial greed. Bestial greed would mean that all the victims would be in the same area.

I was rewarded and he continued after a moment or two, "The first two, girls about twenty, were known to turn tricks. I would not have called them professionals and both were known to use drugs. Of the other two, one worked as a scrap yard as a temporary labor and had no record. From what I heard, he might have smoked a little bit of weed but that is it. He was not armed but was extremely tough from what I have heard. The last was a drug dealer which we had been investigating but had never been able to pin anything on him. He had a gun lying beside his body and both bags of crack and a huge wad of cash was found with him."

"If the dogs are being sent by someone to kill them, it sounds like more and more powerful dangerous targets are being attacked," I replied back after a couple of moments.

"I can't tell you much more," he stated. "Of course, I better not hear of you telling anyone about even what I just told you. The media is clamoring for more details and are baying for blood."

"Thanks, you have been a help. Maybe I can figure out what is going on. If I do find anything valuable to you, I will tell you." With that, I got up to leave Cherry's.

I had fed information back to him in several cases when it turned out to be mundane in origin. I really wished that there were a cop or two who were practitioners in their own right. I had heard that many cities, especially in the north, had a police officer who had connections to the arcane. Of course, the Tidewater area was the home of Pat Robertson. As a result, there was almost a critical mass of conservative Christians with many finding their way into the police forces.

The police do not draw an outline around where a body is found but instead just leave a simple marker in the ground to make the spot where the body lain. It was not a wonderful neighborhood but I had definitely been in worse in my time. It was in Ocean View. While parts of Ocean View had been revitalized, the renovation had not gotten this far. I was looking from the marker where the man who had been a temporary laborer had been killed. Marvin Jones had been his name and he had two children and a girlfriend at home. He seemed to be the best candidate.

Dressed in worn blue jeans and a ratty sweater, a cheap jacket over them. I had used a simple spell which made a illusion which made me look like a black woman who might live in the area. It was extremely similar to the one I had used on 'Tony' a few months before and any other practitioner of the arcane would see right through the magic. As well, I had laid a second spell which would cause most people to simply ignore me. Petty thieves would not see me as a target. Again, the magic would have no effect on the practitioners of the arcane except to put them on guard. The aura spell would show me to be a fellow practitioner of magic. It was not likely that I would encounter another though.

It was four in the morning and most people, even those up to no good, should be in bed by now. I had taken the Taurus instead of the Mustang but had parked it several blocks away just in case. A simply enchantment which I had on myself to keep people from bothering me was also on the car. It was harder to cast on the Mustang because it was much more attention getting. This way, anyone who might want to steal the car would lose interest in it. It was an extremely effective yet simple enchantment.

There was the marker I had been looking for marking where the body had once lain. It had taken me quite a while to find it. I figured Marvin's spirit would be the best one to attempt to contact. The body was in an alley behind an apartment complex. A sturdy brick building with all of the windows intact. This apartments were not in bad condition although those on either side were in much poorer shape. As well, I could smell the ammonia odor of piss even though it had rained recently.

Looking around, I looked for a place which I could be concealed while I entered a trance to try to contact his spirit. It took several minutes, as much as ten or fifteen minutes, to try and create a rapport. There was a dumpster which I could hide in but that would be filthy. Maybe I was in junk clothing but it did not mean I wanted to wallow in muck. There was also some kind of door which appeared to go to a storage shed. I checked the door and found that it was locked. That would be simple enough to solve. A focus of will and the lock clicked open. Opening the door just a crack, I could see that is was virtually filled with miscellaneous junk. There was a small cleared area in the middle of the shed, just enough for me to get on my knees and descend into a trance.

Quickly, I slid through the partially open door and quickly closed in behind me. I went slowly down to my knees and brought my bag to my lap. The biggest item I needed to try and summon the spirit of the dead was myrrh incense.. Myrrh was burned in ancient Roman funerals to mask the smell emanating from charring corpses. Hopefully, no one would note the scent of myrrh and investigate where it was coming from. My concern was with interrupting the spell. Laying out four cones, I lit them one by one already beginning the ritual. It would be even better if I could have gotten a bit of hair from the man or an item which was important to him. Slowly, my mind sight want deeper and deeper, looking for the spirit of the man. I mouthed the chant to bridge the world of the living and the world of the dead.

I tried for as long as I could but felt absolutely nothing. No sense of Marvin at all. Slowly, I opened my eyes, my vision blurred for several moments. The real world returned but it did only reluctantly. The unspent magical energies of the spell burned through my mind with a massive headache. My hand found their way to the wall of the shed and I slowly stood up. My legs tingled from not having moved in so long. I slid back through the door and close it behind me, a bit of will locking the door once again.

I began walking back towards my car. The first few steps were unsteady but became more steady as I walked out from the alley. My headache faded just a bit so I could at least think straight. Still, my only real goal at the moment was to get home and get some rest. At this time, I did not know if I was going to try to contact the spirits of any of the others. It seemed quite unlikely to succeed and I was never very good at contacting spirits anyway. I had plenty of power but it is more an art than a skill. As well, it was also quite possible that spirits shied away from me when they saw my aura.

In spite of my magical abilities, sometimes mundane means were the only way to get information. Legwork is one of the chief means of getting information in such cases. I was hoping that some of the friends of the victim knew something. New anything to be honest because it seemed like I was at a complete halt. It was only a matter of time until there would be a new victim.

The black girl who had been the second victim was named Monica. She had been killed on Church Street, near downtown Norfolk. It was a popular place for some of these girls to turn tricks. There was always fresh meat hanging around on the streets and perhaps I could talk to some of the other girls to see if they had seen anything.

It was the night after my failed attempt to contact the spirit of Marvin. Still early, it was just after ten in the evening. I had slept most of the day and my reserves were for the most part back to normal. Without feeding off of sexual energies, I could feel just a bit of weakness but I was still determined that I would not have a relationship with anybody other than Wayne. Beside, I could still last quite a while and he would be back before I truly weaken.

The illusion I had chosen was similar to the one I had worn the other day. A black woman, not too bad looking but a little worse for wear. To make myself a bit more convincing, I added the appearance of being a bit strung out. For clothing, I wore a halter top and a tight set of spandex pants. A thin fake leather jacket over the top. All of the clothing was quite worn so I did not look too prosperous. Not your normal assumption on what a whore might wear. Still, it was around forty degrees outside so what could you expect.

The cold did not effect me like one without the blood of a demon but even I could feel the cold. How the girls walked the streets like this day after day was amazing to me. In many cases, I guess it was the drugs controlling their actions.

Walking up slowly from a side street, I looked at who was hanging around at the street. There was a group of black girls hanging around looking towards the cars which passed by. They were fairly spread out, a dozen or so feet apart. They would step closer to each other and talk for a few minutes when there were no cars nearby. Sometimes, they would step a few steps closer to the street if a car slowed down.

I could see a hundred feet or so away a figure, a bit larger than the girls for what I could see. He was a bit from the street, half in shadow. It would be doubtful that anybody with normal vision could see him. Their pimp or a drug dealer in likelihood. It was quite possible that he was both. The girls could also be selling drugs for him. Many girls on the street did both.

I activated my senses and felt what their emotions told me. There was a feeling of slight fear from all of them but more fear from one. Perhaps the fear indicated that she had been a friend of Monica. She was just a bit separated from the others. I walked over towards where she was standing, hugging myself from the cold just like she was. She nodded at me and I nodded back. We were not going to fight over this turf.

There I stood for a while, pretending just like the other girls. I stepped closer to a car if it slowed down. In addition to boosting lust, I also have the ability to boost fear. Most of the men approaching the girls were nervous. Whenever a car approached either me or the girl beside me, I would use the ability to boost their nervousness so that they would decide to leave.

After about half a hour of this, her having no luck and me apparently having no luck either. I stepped over towards her and said, "Fuck, its cold out here. Lexa." To make her more comfortable, I transmitted an aura of trust. So that it was not overpowering, I kept it extremely low.

"Been colder. At least it is not fucking raining," she responded. "Kimmy." She was a bit shorter than I was and a few pounds overweight. Not model material but she was not unattractive. I felt sorry for her being on the streets like this.

Another car was going by and I pretended to solicit that car. The car barely slowed down. Once gone, I stepped over to Kimmy again. I told the girl, "A friend of mine suggested that I come here if I get low. I don't see her here though." I increased the aura of trust just a few notches.

"Who is you friend?" Kimmy asked. "I might know her."

"Monica," I replied

She looked back with nervousness. "She..." Kimmy paused. "She is dead. Those dogs. You hear anything about the dogs attacking."

My eyes went wide with what she should assume was fear, "She's dead?" She did not answer for a moment and I continued, "Heard something about some dogs attacking people. Boyfriend threw a fucking bottle through the TV though. He in jail again right now."

"That's screwed up. I was with her for most of the night. It was raining so I left early. She said she needed to make some money so she stayed," Kimmy responded.

"Was anyone around when she was killed?" I asked her, continuing with concern in my voice.

Shaking her head, she responded, "Don't think so. Heard that the Cops found her body in the alley behind Jones Hardware. Prob' on her way home as well."

"I don't know if I should be here. Scared. Need money but not that bad," I replied back, allowing my voice to project even more fear than previously. It did not seem as if there was going to be any useful information to be found here and was looking for an excuse to get out of here.

"Don't worry about it. The dogs ain't attacked anymore here. Heard they in Ocean View now. Couple of guys up there got killed," Kimmy replied, trying to project cheer.

Suddenly my cell phone rang. Picking up the phone, I could see it was Wayne's number. Saved by the phone. I told Kimmy, "That is my Mamma. She watching my son. I got to get that." With that, I stepped a few steps away from the other girl.

Putting the phone up to my ear, I heard Wayne state, "Where are you at, Nickie? You did not answer at home so a bit worried?" We had talked almost every night but had only planned this excursion at the last minute.

"Working unfortunately my dear," I responded back, keeping my voice low.

"How much longer you working tonight, love?" He asked.

"I miss you too. I can be home soon. Can talk to you then," I responded.

"Well, call me as soon as you get home?" he asked.

"Sure," I responded. With that, I hung up my cell phone and walked back over to Kimmy.

She looked at me questioning when I got back over to her. "I need to get home. Momma has a problem with Eric. She don't know where I am an' don't want to tell her."

Kimmy seemed to accept my excuse and responded, "I got a girl at home. Sometimes I have her grandmamma watch her too." I nodded and walked off in the direction of the projects. I almost did not notice the dark figure which had been watching us begin following me.

Once out of sight of the other girls, I began looking towards the man who was following me. I could have simply warded him off using my aura. He would have simply felt a reluctance to continue following me. No, I wanted to draw him in. Instead, I fed his predatory instincts.

He was a large black male. Much of that mass was fat but even so, he was much stronger than a girl my size would normally be. His pace had quickened to catch up with me and by now anyone who was not deaf would have heard him. I had my pistol with me but a shootout is not what I wanted. Beside, he might know more than Kimmy had.

I allowed myself to stumble to let him catch up with me. He picked his pace even faster than he had before and was within a dozen or so feet of where I was. "Bitch, you better stop or I will fucking hurt you."

Looking towards him, I walked back a few more steps but did not run. "Don't hurt me."

He heard the scared voice I projected and responded, "From now on, you work for me."

"Nnoo," I responded back.

"Yes but first I am going to test that booty for myself," he stated, satisfaction and arousal in his voice. "Perhaps if you good, I let you keep some you money."

I backed up several more steps and pretended to stumble again. The stumble ended up with me half on the asphalt. It also put me even more in shadows. He stated to me, "You better get up and take it like a girl."

It needed to be made clear that while I am not all that skilled in hand to hand combat, I am incredibly strong. Likely, I am as strong as a chimpanzee of my size would be and that makes me much stronger than most humans. Still, there was problems with dealing with those who massed far more than I did. I prefer to use my magic when at all possible. This would be a pleasure though. All he saw is what I hoped he would, a helpless girl. His defenses were completely down.

My foot swung out and went for his knee. It is doubtful that he ever saw my foot coming but the sound of his knee cracking was quite loud. The first thing on his face was shock and before he could yell out, I brought my hand up on his mouth so he could not scream and not attract unwanted attention. He crumbled slowly.

The guy ended up on the ground on the ground with his back to the cold asphalt with my knee pressing against his manhood. Just enough pressure to hurt. There was strong fear coming from him and I drunk it in. Some of the people who consider themselves tough, especially men, have the strongest fear. I fed the fear through my aura, making it like ambrosia. Usually, I preferred the energies from sex but I could feed on fear as well.

I told him in a steady voice, "I am going to remove my hand. If you don't my knee to press any harder, you will not yell out and you will answer my questions. Nod you head if you agree."

He nodded his head and I slowly removed my hand. As soon as my hand was from his mouth, he asked, "What do you want?" His voice quavered as I had hoped it would.

"You know Monica?" I asked him.

"She dead," he responded. "You his sista or somthin. I not kill her."

"You see who killed her," I asked back.

Shaking his head, he responded, "No."

"Have you heard anything?" I asked, my knee exerting just a bit more force on his groin, "I should break it anyway. You tried to rape me. Make it so you cannot rape any other girls."

"She not my girl but heard something. Bobby, he saw some skinny white guy hanging around. Not a regular. From what he said, never saw the guy before," he responded. "New guys hanging out all the time though. Sometimes it take a few days to get up the nerve to approach a bitch."

"Where might I find this Bobby?" I asked. My hands stroked along the side of his face almost like a lover, continuing to enjoy the fear I felt from him.

"He lives on Gramby Street," he responded, his breath coming as almost a gasp. I had to be careful, he was not in the best of shape and could make him have a heart attack if I was not careful.

I asked. Lowering fear I was feeding him, I asked, "What is his address."

"Don' know," his voice less gasping less that it had a moment ago.

"Think really hard," I responded back. While I did not strengthening the fear he felt, I put more threat in my voice.

"Umm, Don't know," he stated again. "His apartment is across from the zoo. Two stories, grey, with large porches. His apartment is upstairs. Number twelve I think."

I felt I could not get much more from him. Truthfully, I should kill him and somewhere inside I wanted to do just that. Still, I just could not stomach the idea. At least it would take extensive reconstructive surgery before his knee would be usable again. He would not be raping any girls for quite a while.

Reaching into his pockets, I found a large wad of cash, a pistol, and a cell phone. No reason to make it easy for him. Holding it in front of his face, I crushed the cell phone in my hands. Plastic fragments landed on his face. Pocketing the cash and the pistol, I stood up to walk off. "Hope it does not rain later."

Going home or visiting Bobby. Eventually, I decided that I would go home. I doubted that the would be rapist would be warning anyone. As well, I just had to get the filth off of me. Visions of soaking in the whirlpool while talking to Wayne paraded through my mind.

Just inside the door, I pulled off the cloths and left them on the floor. Not bothering with anything else, I headed upstair towards the bathroom. When I moved into the house, I had it extensively redone. One change I had made was to convert one of the spare bedrooms into a much larger master bathroom as well as a much larger walk in closet. The closet had been incredibly tiny and I needed a place to keep my shoes and mini-skirt. Wayne was still struggling to find a place to put his clothes.

I turned the water on as hot as I could. Another change I had made was to put the largest water heater I could. Stepping over to the wall, I turned on my favorite music. From concealed speakers, a soft song began playing. It did not take very long for the tub to fill up. Once full, I turned on the jets full blast and the tub began foaming and churning.

Lowering myself into the deep churning water, my body began to relax. After the day I had, I needed this. After a few minutes of relaxing in the hot water, I picked up the wireless phone which I had on the table beside the whirlpool. I had already put Wayne's number on the speed dial list and all I had to do was press a single button.

It was only a couple of rings before he picked up, "Nickie, I was beginning to become worried about you. I expected you to call sooner."

In a slightly hoarse voice, I responds, "Sorry, love. I ran into some problems on my way back. I really wish you were here. How long until you can come back down?"

"Angel, there is a tangle up here. It will be at least a few more days. I wish you were with me too. You could fly up tomorrow if you wish?" His voice took on a soft tone. He loved calling me angel.

"Sorry, still cannot get a handle around these attacks in Norfolk although it is definitely not normal." I paused for a few breaths before adding in a whisper, "Still that is not what I called you for. I had other things I wanted to talk about."

"What are you doing right now?" he asked, passion evident in his own voice.

"Taking a bath, lover. The warm water feels wonderful," I responded, my voice turning just a bit coy. Almost without meaning to, my hand moved towards my loins. It was something I rarely did, preferring the real thing, the company of a man, over my own imagination however vivid. I added after a moment, "Imagining you with me."

"Wish I could see you but I can imagine myself," he responded, his own voice just a bit more hoarse.

Continuing to imagine Wayne sitting in the tub with me, I allowed my eyes to close as we continued to talk. Unfortunately, I cannot feed in this manner and the pleasure gained in this manner is extremely fleeting. Still, my hand massaged myself gently. It was some relieve and sometimes if felt for just a moment or two that Wayne'ss breath was in my ear. His voice was arousing even through a phone. I could not help but want more though. Slowly, I could feel the energies building and could hear Wayne's breath getting deeper and deeper.

The energies suddenly exploded and my who body tingled with the energies and I could hear than that Wayne had spent himself as well. For a moment, I felt like just drifting off and almost dropped the phone into the water. My eyes remained closed as I caught my breath and could hear death breaths, almost panting, from the other side of the phone.

It took him a while before he found the breath to speak again. "Angel, remember that I know you have to feed. I will not think any less of you if you need to spend some time with a man to keep up you strength." While the punishment of the would be rapist had fed me just a little, it was not enough. As well, the energies from torture always left what seemed to be bad taste. Wayne was likely right that I should find someone to feed from but I was determined not to be with anyone other than Wayne.

"Love, I need to get some sleep," I whispered back. "I suspect that you have a busy day tomorrow as well." I did not want to argue with him about the need to feed.

"You are right. I love you. Talk to you tomorrow, oops, I mean later on tonight," and then he hung up. I was left with only a dial tone.

The next couple of days went by slowly. I considered if I should attempt to question this Barry but was not sure if it would really do any good. From what I had been told, this white guy may or may not have been the person responsible and even if he was, a description would do little good. There was around half a million or so people in the local area. I needed something stronger, something which I could get a clue towards his true location.

In the interest in gathering intelligence, I had scouted out Barry's apartment. All told, I had driven by his apartment half a dozen times and also parked a distance away and watched with a set of high powered binoculars. If I had the right apartment, which I felt I did, it was virtually a fortress. There were bars on all of the windows and bars on the door. From the times I went by, there were light on but I did not see anyone entering or leaving.

In addition to scouting out where Barry lived, I had examined where the various murders had taken place. The murder of the white girl just before Monica had happened just a few blocks away near a cheap hotel. She had apparently been living there. The drug dealer who had been murdered just a short distance from where Marvin had been killed. His death had also been near a cheap hotel. There was definitely additional police presence with squad cars seeming to go by the places of the killings every few minutes.

Wayne and I had talked several more times and tried to relieve the stress of separation as best we could. I had not answered him when he suggested again that I find some male company for some relief. I could only hope that Wayne would come back sometime soon. There was some weakness beginning to be felt, the effect of starving myself from the emotional energy of others. I had never been this long without feeding since my hunger had awoken but I was determined to hold out though.

I woke up to my cell phone ringing. Grabbing it half by instinct, I saw the phone number of Ms Walden. She had never given me leave to use her first name of Mary. Picking up the phone, I answered, "Yes?"

"Did you see that there has been another murder?" She asked. There was annoyance and anger in her voice. I had been pounding the streets until early in the morning and had not looked at the news yet. If fact, I likely would have slept for an hour or so more before waking up on my own. Still, it had rained last night, quite heavily in fact, and all of the murders had occurred on rainy days.

"Sorry, I was up until early this morning and had not checked the news," I replied cautiously, keeping my voice calm. "What happened?"

"It was a Security Guard this time. This time it happened it Portsmouth instead of Norfolk. There is a cheap motel which there have been a lot of problems with drug dealers and prostitutes. To keep them away, the owners pay a security company to guard the motel," she answered.

Some thoughts, some possibilities, were beginning to seem worth pursuing. Maybe there was a pattern of attacking twice in one area and then moving on. "When did it happen?" I asked. I began climbing out of bed and heading towards my library so that I could check the news for myself.

"According to what I heard, the body was discovered around four in the morning. From what I understand, one of the girls who worked the hotel found the body. Just a couple of years ago, one of our pack was able to join the Portsmouth police so we might be able to get a bit more information." Portsmouth was the lowest paying of the cities and always the most undermanned of the local police forces. Still, I had to wonder how he managed to avoid duty every full moon. Werewolves could transform anytime they wished but they had to transform each full moon.

Walking down the stairs, I asked, "Is the police considering it something other than just the attack of feral dogs?"

"The Newspaper is calling it the Rainy Day Dog Mauling," she answered. "Even if the police were not, the newspaper is speculating along those lines. If they ask too many questions and the supernatural community is revealed." Her voice had the sound in it of 'Do something' in it. I don't think she was used to being helpless and the whole situation was eating at her.

"I have an idea actually," I responded, keeping my voice hopeful. "The member of your pack who is a police officer, I need to speak with him."

Like those who practiced the arcane arts, those who are Werewolves did not like others know what they were. Most people did not believe in werewolves these days but people had been murdered for supposedly being werewolves in Europe only around a century before. Of course, supposed demon blood would receive the same treatment. After several heartbeats she answered, "I will have to speak with the Alpha. I will call you back in a few hours within a few hours." With that, she just hung up.

Once I got into the library, I sat down behind my computer and found the bookmark for website of the local newspaper. It was as Ms Walden had told me. The headline read, "Rainy Day Dog Mauling" and reading through the article, there was the suggestion that someone might be training these dogs to attack people. The article also managed to mention the football player who was recently convicted of dog fighting.

At least my metabolism was one which I could eat almost all I wanted without gaining weight. If I had been the daughter of a demon of gluttony that would not be the case. The reason why was that I was going to be meeting the police officer at Golden Steakhouse, a chain of buffet restaurants which served steaks. Of course, a werewolf would be meeting at a place which served steak, probably as rare as possible.

After I payed the cashier, I looked around for the officer. I was not sure if he would be in uniform or not. Of course, I should be able to just look for his aura and find him that way. I brought my mage sight up and slowly I allowed my eyes to pass around the restaurant. My eyes locked onto a figure which was in the smoking area. He was sandy haired and rangy in build. There was a wildness about him even without his wolf aura over him. It looked like he had not shaved in several days and his hair was half wild. He was dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans, both worn.

I walked towards where he was sitting. There was quite a crowd to dodge around being that it was lunch time. There was an interesting mixture of people in the restaurant, from people in jeans and t-shirts to others in business suits. There were kids screaming as well as old people.

As I preferred, I had dressed to kill in a business suit that was tailored to fit my figure perfectly. It was a hot pink with a skirt which was just a bit shorter than it should be without looking trashy with a white silk blouse opened enough to show just the suggestion of cleavage but not actually being beyond the limits of professional. Sometimes the best way to attract attention was not to dress trashy but with style.

Here and there, I could see the eyes of men trying to undress me. One woman's eyes was doing the same thing but there were more who looked at me with envy. The energy of the lust around me made my heart beat slightly faster. After being so long away from Wayne, there was the thoughts of grabbing one of the men and pulling him down right on the table.

A bright red smile was on my lips as I slid into the seat beside him. I could see that he had already been here for some time with several plates stacked up. It looked like he had been chowing down on steaks, extremely rare from the blood on his plate. It looked like he had two or three already. There was also an ashtray with half a dozen cigarette butts. "Hi, Ms Walden asked for me to meet you here."

At first he looked like he was about to smile back from the attention of a hot babe but then I think he caught a whiff of me. Danger warnings went up and it almost looked like he was going to growl at me. I held my hands palms up in a gesture of peace. As well, I made sure that my eyes did not look with his. Wolves and werewolves see this as a challenge and we were suppose to be allies not enemies.

After a few moments he settled down, "Sorry about that. I understand that you think you can help me find the person doing this? Jason Beard, by the way." His voice sounded like he was not local to the Tidewater area. It sounded like he might be from Tennessee or Kentucky.

"No problem, what you sense is something from long in my past." I was tempted to use just a bit of persuasion into the statement but I had read that werewolves were extremely hard to control. If he sensed what I was trying to do and reacted the wrong way, it might destroy any ability to work together.

For the sanctity of our conversation, I pulled just a little power and shaped it into a bubble around our table. The bubble would muffle the sound just enough that anyone outside of our sphere would be unable to understand what we were saying even if they were listening with a sensitive microphone. It require but a single command word.

"How about I call you Jason and you call me Nickie?" I asked. After he nodded, I continued, "What I really need to know first is what the police plans are?"

"There noted that there is a pattern in that there are two attacks in close vicinity as well as the attacks being near cheap hotels," he responded. "What they plan to do is set several police officers in the area, some in plain cloths and others in uniform to effectively blanket the area. The problem is that they ave no clue on how fast a werewolf is and none are armed with silver. I have managed to get myself assigned to the area. The problem is that I cannot have any other wolves in the area as backup. They would be too suspicious and there are good odds that they would be detained."

I smiled faintly back, "That, I can help with, Jason. One of my abilities will allow me to blend with the other individuals who live around there. I can make it so that there is nothing to me which attracts attention." He looked quite skeptically back at me. I nodded back.

"One of my abilities is that of an empath," I added. "I hope to be able to sense something unusual and find the person who is responsible before they attack again." With a frown, I added, "Fear is an incredibly strong emotion and the panic from one being attacked should be easy to follow. If need be, I should be able to catch the werewolf in the act."

Taking a deep breath, I continued. "I am a lot tougher than I look but I cannot fight a werewolf in a tooth and claw battle. I can only try and shoot him with silver or use magic. Both could attract unwanted attention. Shooting him might get me even arrested. As such, I am going to need to have you back me up and most likely take him out. I also cannot keep up if he was to run."

Jason nodded his head but he did not look happy about it. It was obvious that he did not like the idea of working with me. I was not wolf, I was not a cop, and my smell set his danger senses off.

I smiled lopsidedly, "Well, it looks like you have already eaten but I am hungry." I stood up and grabbed my plate to get some food. "When I get back, we can talk some more."

Another day on the Rack. That was the term which prostitutes often used for hanging around on a street corner looking for Johns. Well, at least that is the way it felt. This was the fourth day I had been wandering the streets around the hotel. There was a steady rain and the cold penetrated everything. It even effected me. Already, it had been raining for three out of the four days and it was extremely miserable.

My energies had been slowly ebbing with not having fed since Wayne departed. My hand when to my brow and I wiped in exhaustion. I knew I should have found someone to fed on but I was still determined to wait for him to return. In many ways, I was as determined as ever. Still, I had to keep my concentration because it was nights just like this one that all of the attacks had occurred.

The police officers, uniformed or not, just did not fit in. They simply did not know how to blend with the crowd and the residents knew that they did not belong. Even the two female officers did not really fit in. They spooked most of the regulars. Normally this area would be bustling with various deals but was far from it. Perhaps it was partially the rain as well although I doubted it. It was almost dead and I had to wonder if it might cause the renegade werewolf to hunt elsewhere or see it even easier to catch its prey alone.

The police simply ignored me which is exactly what I wanted. I was surrounded by an aura which I had carefully crafted. It made it so that I was seen as a person who belonged her but not one which they wished to bother with. The cold effected the cops more that it effected me and their concentration suffered with shivering in the cold.

Suddenly, I heard a scream. It sounded like a woman's voice and cut off suddenly. There was a pause for several moments and then all of the police officers went running in the direction of where the sound came from. Jason ran ahead of them and if he ran any faster, the other officers might be suspicious. I tried to follow more quietly and strengthened the aura around me that made others not pay attention to me. It would not work on another practitioner of the mystical arts but worked quite well against those who did not have any type of gift.

The cops payed me no attention as I walked over towards where the woman had screamed. It was next to a small one story blue green house. There was a woman on the ground with a police officer over her. A heavy set older black woman although not truly fat, there was no sign of injury on her and I noted after a moment that she was breathing regularly. She appeared to be in her early fifties maybe older forties. There was an older Chevy beside her with the door open and the inside light on.

Looking around for what had caused her to pass out, I saw that there was a second body a few feet way on the porch of the house. Crumpled on the ground, it was a young black male, maybe in his late teens, and it seemed to me that there was some resemblance between the woman and this young man. He did not appear to be breathing and one of the police officers was attempting to perform CPR.

Next to him was a glass pipe, a crack pipe. Concentrating, I could feel an evil emanation which I knew well. It was Hell Dust. Made from black magic involving both demons and human sacrifice. It causes a person to act on their most evil impulses and there was no detoxifying from the drug without the use of magic. It was virtually the only thing which could generally cure someone from this evil drug. In his case, too heavy a hit had taken both his life and his soul. Regular drugs don't take your soul.

There was nothing I could do and I slowly backed away from the body and the police officers. I began heading back over towards where the hotel was. Just in the corner of my eyes, I saw movement. The rain made it hard for me to see well but it appeared to be a large man grabbing a much smaller figure, probably a woman and she appeared to be limp and her neck hanging at a strange angle. Whoever it was had taken advantage of the police being distracted.

Yelling "Help" at the top of my lungs, I charged towards the two figures. The larger figure seemed surprised and dropped the smaller figure. The figure laid still, not moving. I expected the figure to turn and challenge me and I was ready with silver bullets if it turned out to be the renegade werewolf. There was several sets of running footsteps behind me and instead of turning to face me, the figure ran. As a demon, my endurance is nothing short of supernatural but he turned light lightning and ran at an even faster pace than I could manage. No normal human could manage anything like it.

I passed where the figure had collapsed to the ground. Yes, it was a woman. It was one of the female police officers. Another black woman, she had been posing as a Hooker and had managed to get a couple of johns while trolling for the killer. Her neck was now almost gone, having appeared to have been virtually bitten off. No knife could make a wound like what I saw.

A moment later, Jason passed me running although the other officers appeared to be falling behind us. Still, the figure running away was even faster than him and we were both falling behind rapidly. I thought about drawing my pistol but while I was a good shot, the figure was at least a couple of dozen yards away and would be further before I could draw an fire. Extreme range and with the conditions out here almost an impossible shot.

It was obvious that we would not catch him. Several of the officers behind us stopped where the female officer had fallen. At the same time, the siren of an ambulance could be heard, likely called in response to the first disturbance. The ambulance slid to a halt next to the officers although I knew it would be more of a formality than anything else. Some other officers continued the chase but their footsteps were falling further and further behind.

The running figure ahead of us disappeared around a corner. Jason got to the corner just a few moments later and stopped and looked around in bewilderment. He shook his head and I caught up with him and looked around myself.. It was a dead end with a chain like fence topped by razor wire blocking the end of the alley. On each side, there were two story brick walls. Whoever we were chasing almost must have jumped over the fence.

Within moments the other officers would catch up with us. It might be thirty seconds before they came upon us and I was not sure what kind of excuse I could use. Jason whispered to me, "I cannot smell anything. This rain makes it impossible to track him. Never got close enough to even get a good scent." He walked over towards the razor wire and stated, "No blood or anything either."

He was mostly right but I saw what looked like just a bit of cloth caught on the metal wire above where we were. It was tiny, maybe a couple on inches square. Maybe it would help or maybe it was from someone else. Without much time, I grabbed the chain links and climbed the fence so I could reach it. Pulling a piece of silk from my purse, I wrapped the piece of cloth on the razor wire carful not to touch the fragment. In case there was something to track on it, I did not want my aura contaminated it. With it safely wrapped up, I jumped down. The whole thing I put in a plastic zip-lock bag.

With only moments remaining before the other officers reached the alley, I spotted a doorway. Putting my hand against the door, I concentrated just a bit of power on the lock. The spell normally takes a minimal amount of power but it had not been unlocked in years. It did not help that I had not restored my energies and I was running extremely low but the effort left me dizzy. Still, the door lock clicked open. It was also painted closed but I was able to put my weight against the door and get it open. Quickly, I slammed the door shut and focused my energies on locking the door again. Luckily, it was easier with the locking having be freed by my spell unlocking it a few moment before.

I could hear through the door, "Where did they go" but could not hear what Jason might have said in response. Sitting on my knees, I tried to catch my breath and see just what resources I had left. It had been years since I had allowed myself to get this low in my magic. The truth is that I should have found someone who I could feed off of and restore myself but I was still determined that I would not feed off of anyone else now that I had Wayne.

A little shaky but I still got to my feet. Looking around at the room, it was the back areas of what appeared to be an abandoned store. There was a huge pile of collapsed boxes which had fallen down around the doorway. They had apparently been stacked in front of the door. The paint was peeling from the ceiling and walls. There was also a thick layer of dust covered the floor.

It was time to go home.

One home, I slept in until the late afternoon. With the police around, I had to wait for several hours before I could sneak out from the abandoned shop and retrieve my car. As a result, I had not gotten home until around five in the morning.

Gently, I folded the satin sheets down and sat up. Sebastian sat up from the foot of the bed and looked at me. Probably wanted to get fed. The black huge tomcat still seemed to look more with patience than anything else. My magical resources were still pretty low but otherwise I felt restored. I was in my natural form. That is that I had a long prehensile tail, bat wings, and small horns on top of my head.

Reaching across to the table beside the bed, I retrieved the remote to the television from a push devil figure who held it and turned on the television in front of the bed.

On the television was that ever cheerful face with all of her makeup perfect and showing a professional concern. As that old song stated, "Could tell you about a place crash with a gleam in her eye." The first words out of her mouth were, "Continuing with the news that Sandra King of the Portsmouth City Police was killed this morning around two A.M."

On the T.V. came a picture of the parking lot next to the hotel and panned around the area to show. It was even seedier in daylight. After taking a breath, she continued "The police still refuse to comment on the exact nature of what happened but we have learned that she was killed on the corner of Military Highway and Gilmerton Road. This is the same corner which a security officer was killed six days ago."

You could see the glee in her eyes as she added, "There is speculation that the police officer was murdered in the same manner as the guard and by the same assailant. The police also have not commented about the exact cause of death but there are unconfirmed reports that he was killed by a huge dog of some sort."

"We are left to wonder if someone is not training dogs to attack people and using the dogs as his murder tool of choice. This is Eileen Duvall reporting from News Channel Seven." With that, the television went back to the regular program which seemed to be some sort of soup opera.

Reluctantly, I slid my feet from the bed and put them down on the thick carpet. I wiggled my toes into the deep plush as I collected myself. There were little bits of Wayne's aura still remaining in the room and it seemed to have helped a little bit. I had some talismans and amulets which I could use for some additional energy at least temporarily. After the last report on the television, I was surprised that I had not already had my phone ringing off the hook by Ms Walden.

Leaving the sheets strewn and rumpled, I headed down the stairs. Long ago I had managed to get a group of Brownies, the fae type not the girl scout type, to help with chores around the house. For some reason, they really liked the new pink M&Ms. They would clean up the room and leave it spotless.

Not bothering with any clothes, I walked down the stairs with thoughts of heading towards my workshop and see if I could get any information off the fragment which I had found last night. It was still most likely to be nothing but I was grasping any clue I could find. Sebastian followed me down the stairs rubbing himself against my tail. It was obvious he was hungry and I had forgotten to feed him last night before going to bed.

When I reach the bottom of the stairs, I looked towards the living room. The cloths I had discarded last night were gone from where I had strewn them. The Brownies had already cleaned up downstairs. Stopping by the kitchen, which was Wayne's domain since he had moved in with me, I grabbed the box of cat food and poured some into Sebastian's bowl along with just a bit of milk from the refrigerator.

I could say that I can burn water but I am not that bad. Still, no one could consider me to be a cook. Most of the time I went out to eat if I had a choice. Since Wayne had moved in, this had changed and Wayne had thoughtfully frozen a number of meals. I was quite hungry and looked through what was available. Pulling out a bowl of chili he had made for me, I pressed the buttons for an eight minutes countdown and waited patiently. He made me a number of meals for while he was gone and put them in microwave dishes.

Once the timer reached zero, I pulled the steaming bowl out and sat down at the kitchen table. It was an old wooden farmhouse table which had been restored. It had been in the house when I moved in. While I slowly spooned the rich chili down, I tried to pretend that Wayne was sitting beside me.

Finally almost ready to start the ritual, I laid the plastic back which contained the silk wrapped fragment of cloth on my work table. It was made from marble and I was careful to cleanse all auras from the glossy surface each time when I finished my magic.

Shelves covered the walls of the room. A wide variety of different objects sat on them. Some were filled with boxes of herbs used for certain rituals while others were filled with a variety of magic artifacts which I had found. Most I had purchased at auctions and at antique stores, the sellers not knowing anything about the objects magic properties. A few I had purchased at incredible expense from the mystic shop in Norfolk.

On one shelf I had a large jewelry box. This is not where I kept my real jewelry. They were kept in a safe in my bedroom. I actually would prefer that my jewelry was stolen instead of what was in this room or some of the books which I had acquired. No, the box contained crystals which I used as magical energy batteries. I sometimes used them to boost my energies for rituals which I did not have enough mystic energy to power on my own. This time, I could use them to give me a bit of power to power my magic for the next few days.

If Wayne did not come back in the next three or four days, I would need to find someone to feed. I would have to be extremely careful or I would drain them completely. Yes, I could drain a person to the point of killing them although I had never gotten to that. I had heard stories and had drained someone once to the point of being unconscious.

I laid the jewelry box on the table and opened the lock keeping it closed. It was not locked with a key but instead was spelled closed. Luckily it only took a spark of will, no real power, to open up. I brought out thirteen stones, unwrapping them carefully. Each was carefully wrapped in silk and I laid them in a rough circle once they were unwrapped. They did not absorb magic energy themselves but I had stored my own energies into them. As such, the energy could be brought back into me and would not need to be tamed like magic from outside myself.

With my finger and focusing my will, I drew a pentacle. After a moment it began to glow, a five pointed star within a circle. The pentacle began glowing a gentle white light. Power slowly fed me from the mystic symbol. It was not the massive flow of power which I would get from a feeding but it helped. Actually, it helped quite a bit. I felt like a sorceress once again. The pentacle faded as the energy became exhausted. With that, I wrapped the crystal back up and put them back into the jewelry before laying it off to the side.

It was time to begin the ritual now that I had refreshed myself finally. Unzipping the plastic bag, I gently slipped the silk out from it and laid it on the table. Silk is useful as a mystic barrier to both hold in mystic energies and protect them. I gently unfolded the silk to reveal the fragment inside. It was black and appeared to be cotton, perhaps a piece of T-Shirt.

Chiding myself that it was likely useless and a waste of my energies to get impression for it, I concentrated my will on the tiny piece of cloth letting go of everything else. The ritual was fairly easy but you never knew what you might get or even it you would get anything. Slowly, I felt myself get deeper and deeper into the trance that would allow me to get impressions off the fragment.

Suddenly, I felt hunger. Incredible hunger which seemed to permeated every cell of my being. I wanted hot blood and I wanted it now. The blood tasted wonderful. I wanted to rend and kill. Taking a deep breath to stabilize myself, I told myself that it was not me. A bit distant from the wild emotions, I could think once again. It was obvious I got something. Maybe this was what it was to be a werewolf. Still, there was something evil which I did not expect to feel. It felt familiar somehow. That was confusing, even if they were said to allow their anger to often rule them as I had read, the wolves I had met did not strike me as truly evil.

I saw images of an old and beat up van mostly concealed by a group of trees. A light tan with a darker brown strip down the sides. A full sized van, it looked like it might have been manufactured in the late Eighties or early Nineties. A bit rust and the paint had faded as well. A favorite place for the homeless to travel around, kind of like a cheap RV. The was a dirt road between the trees and there were small fields as if there might have been plans to once built houses in the forested area. Badly overgrown, the tracks were still visible. There was a broken chain across the dirt road. Few would believe that even in the middle of the city, there were secluded areas where one might set up a tent or hide a van. The Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach areas were more of suburban sprawls than a true urban setting like Boston. A surprising number of homeless people lived in those areas as well. The vision flashed to that of the front of a store, it appeared to be a pawn shop. Somewhere, I had seen this store before but was not sure where I had seen it. Mixed in the vision was a gas station and some mobile homes. It was familiar even with the distortion which seems a part of all visions. How long it would be before he moved again, I did not know so I had to look for him now. With what had happened last night, it might not be long or even if he had already disappeared.

Slowly, I pulled from my trance. Sometimes times play tricks on you when you are in a trance. It can feel like just a few minutes when hours had passed or hours may seems to have passed when it is just a few minutes. I had worn no watch, it could be a distraction, and it was hard to tell just how long I had been working on this.

Leaving my work room and entering the kitchen, the red glow of the sun setting and the sky was rapidly darkening. Sunset was extremely early but over two hours had passed while I was in a trance. I had left my cell phone on the kitchen table. I picked up the phone and noted that there were several missed calls while I was in the work room. There had been no calls before I had Ms Walden had called twice and Jason had called once as well. There was the voice mail symbol on the phone. I pressed the talk button to dial my voice mail.

My phone began the message, "Ms Darkenwald, this is Ms Walden, since you have been unable to find the dog, we have gone hunting ourselves." Her voice was dripping with disdain and anger. "We will pay you what we owe you but consider yourself terminated." I was stunned with what she said.

Quickly, I attempted to dial her number. The phone rang without her picking up. After about thirty seconds, it flipped to her voice mail. I spoke into the phone, "This is Ms Darkenwald, I think I have traced back where the missing animal is. Call me back as soon as you can." With that, I hung up the phone and thought for several moments. I had been counting on her help.

Maybe Jason would pick up his phone. Like her phone, his went to voice mail without him ever picking up the phone. "Jason, this is Nickie. Hey, I think I know where the one we are looking for is at but I need some help." With that, I hung up the phone and sat for several minutes hoping that one or the other would call back.

Should I wait longer. No, I knew I could not wait. He might be moving to a new hiding place right now. The longer I waited, the more likely it was that he would. My mind racing, I ran up the stairs to my bedroom to get dressed as fast as I could. It would be me against the werewolf. Still, a silver bullet to the rogue's head would solve the problem.

I did not bother with the usual rituals when I get dressed. I pride myself on style but now was not the time for it. No time for makeup or to get my hair right. Instead, I ran up the stairs and grabbed jeans and a bright red T-Shirt. I pulled the jeans on with desperate has and pulled the T-Shirt over by breasts, not bothering with a bra. It was only then I noted that it had written on it "Nice Rack" which I have to admit that I do have. Socks and black sneakers came next.

Hanging in my closet was also my vest. Most people call it a "Bullet Proof" vest but "Bullet Resistant" would be more accurate. It was designed to protect me from pistol rounds but not most rifle rounds. I quickly strapped the vest over the T-Shirt. While I did not have trauma plates in my armor, it still at least gave some protection against blades and claws as well. The shoulder holster for my forty-five was strapped over the vest.

Grabbing a leather jacket to conceal the vest and holster, I ran back down the stairs. Before running out the door, I went back to my magic workroom and grabbed the enchanted dagger. I did not really know why but I had a feeling. A sorceress as powerful as I was always followed her feelings. I almost forgot to reset the wards as I exited the front door but remembered just before racing off.

Luckily, most of the traffic at this time of the evening is traveling south towards North Carolina while I was traveling North. As well, it was lucky I did not run into any cops along the way because I was definitely speeding. While I could usually talk an officer, especially a male, into giving me a warning at worse, it would make me lose time that I did not think I can afford. Unfortunately, there was an accident on the highway so that I had to take Battlefield Boulevard virtually the whole way which took more time.

While racing towards Military Highway, I tried to call both Ms Walden and Jason again. Maybe they could get there before I could. Neither of them picked up their phones and I decided that it would be a waste of time to leave any more messages. Where were they? I tossed the phone on the passenger seat and went back to concentrating on the road.

It was full dark long before I reached Military Highway. It had not been raining when I left the house but the rain was coming down once again. It had been windy when I left home and the rain was now hitting the car almost sideways. In many ways, this evening was even worse than yesterday evening had been.

There is a ramp from Battlefield Boulevard to Military Highway. It is posted at a speed limited of fifteen and I much of hit at as almost forty. I had to slow down or I would have flipped over or flew through the guard rail. If I had not taken the Mustang, I likely would have anyway. I scared myself with just how close I came to flipping over. The rain and wind did not help any either. It was quite sobering and I chided myself silently.

On Military Highway, there was the mobile home park that I recognized from my vision. On the far side of the road and mostly older trailers. Just a few hundred yards further was the area of woods which the van was in the same vision. There was a grass divider in the middle of the road. Instead of crossing the road and pulling into the overgrown track, I stayed on my side and pulled into the parking lot of a Free Health Care center. It appeared to be closed for the evening. I did not want him to race off when he heard the engine of my car. Besides, the dirt track was not a great place for as low to the ground car as my Mustang.

Looking across the road, I could see that the chain was broken as I had seen in my vision. I shut the engine off and opened the door quietly. Just in case, I grabbed the phone and stuck in on my waist. Slowly, I stepped out of the car. The noise of the traffic between the parking area and the track should hide any sounds. Just as gently as I opened door, I closed it again. Rain plastered my hair against my head within moments. It was just as cold as I expected.

Almost silently, I crossed the road, jogging quickly across traffic. There was still quite a few vehicles and most appeared to not want to slow down for anything or anyone. After I made it across Military Highway, I slowed down and began walking as quietly as possible. The wind was also shaking the trees violently and should make it easier to sneak up to him. Werewolves have incredible hearing but even they have limits.

After I got a few dozen yards from Military Highway, I could see the van. It was still here. I walked towards the side door, preparing to make a scan of the vehicle to see exactly where he was. My hand went across to the holster of my Smith. Suddenly, my cell phone went off. I could have sworn that I had silenced it before I had stepped from my Mustang.

I took a deep breath in surprise. While I hit the button to silence my phone, there was no way he would miss the sound of my phone. The sliding door to the Van open up and a large male could be just barely seen in the darkness inside. From what I could see in a moment, he looked extremely young, younger than twenty almost definitely and possibly less than eighteen. Still, I noted he was much larger than I was. I figured he was over six feet and around two hundred and fifty. It was not fat either but solid muscle.

He charged towards me, flying towards me. I tried to draw my pistol but he was incredibly fast. People as bulky as he was were rarely as fast as he was and he caught my by surprise. He knocked the pistol from my hand and it flew to the side, landing somewhere in the leaves.

His hand became claws and he slashed towards me. It dug through my bullet proof vest and slashed my T-Shirt. I was just barely able to slide off to the side and he only managed to scratch me. The blow was also like being hit by a sledge hammer. I was incredibly strong but he definitely was far more massive. I was flung to the ground and if I had been of only human blood, I would likely have ended up with broken bones. Still, the blow hurt and I would have bruises all over my body for several days. While I was bleeding, the injury was not deep enough to slow me. It was pretty painful with the fact that it was in such a sensitive area. My T-Shirt lay in tatters and my breasts were openly visible.

Rolling with the blow, I was able to reach my knees. I was coated in mud from rolling across the ground. Maybe I had lost my pistol but I was far from unarmed. Before he could turn around, I focuses a ball of Hellfire in my hand and threw it at him. It took but a moment to focus the energy. With demon blood running through my veins, it was one of the easiest

The crackling ball of energy strike him right in the center of his chest. It seemed to smoke a little bit but otherwise did not seem to do much. From what I knew, Werewolves had no special defenses against Hellfire. Only demons and those with demon blood have an immunity to it. It hit me suddenly. He was a part demon, not a rogue werewolf. No wonder I had felt the darkness around hum. There were wolf like demons which I had heard stories about although I had never encountered one. While considered greater demons by most sources, they were considered bestial. They were usually summoned to kill a specific target and then returned back to Hades. How a human woman had been impregnated by him would have been a good question if I had a chance to ask it.

He was charging me once again. By now his head had transformed into that of a wolf. Instead of throwing a second ball of Hellfire, I focused my energy into the bracelet I wore. It was a focus which allowed me to create a magic shield around myself for far less energy than would otherwise be required. He struck the shield and bounced off the shield although it pushed me back several feet. It crackled as he struck it. His strength was immense although it did not look he had any magical training.

He slashed his claw across my shield again and my shield crackled again although was holding. Unfortunately, I was still quite low on my magical resources. If he kept on striking it, it would go down quickly.

Instead he pause and locked his eyes on my own. He growled out, "You are not like the others. You are just like me. I can feel you."

"Yes," I responded, slowly getting back to my feet. I wish I had brought a second pistol with me, perhaps in an ankle holster. If I survived this, it was something I seriously would consider. Of course if I had not let my magical resources become as depleted as they are, there would be far more which I could do.

"Why are you looking for me," he asked. His began stalking around me like a dangerous wolf. As he made his circuit, I rotated on my heels always keeping him in front of me. He lacked the self control which had been drilled into me as a child. An uncontrolled half demon was at least as dangerous as a rogue werewolf and maybe even more dangerous.

"Your killing is attracting too much attention," I answered keeping at least partially truthful. My eyes stayed locked onto his just in case he decided to attack again. "You can make life hard for me as well. There are some who hunt those of demon blood." I had heard stories about the Catholic church having actual teams sent out to hunt demons so that was not really a lie. It was not an organization I wanted to have hunting me.

"They are just mortals. There is nothing to fear from any of them. I just move when I get tired of an area. You can join me." Even though rough, speaking through a wolf head, I could hear the scoffing in his voice. As well, I could sense an arousal in him. That was pretty dangerous.

"You are not a full demon." I responded, trying to distract him while playing for time. "Human blood runs through your veins as well. What happened to your mother?"

"Mother, right. I was raised in a series of foster homes. The last ones pissed me off and I killed them,"he answered me. It was quite possible that his birth would have killed a mortal mother and left him a mortal. Without someone to teach him control of his instincts, the demon nature would take over.

"How did you discover what you were?" I asked, trying to stay steady even with my extremely drained magical energies.

"I got angry one day and transformed into a half wolf," his answer came. "The last foster home was extremely religious. They kept trying to preach various bible passages at me and to repent my sins. Finally, they made me extremely angry and I became this."

"Their fear was wonderful as they shrank back. Holding out a cross, the man called me a demon as bit through his throat." His savagery was as strong as it had been before with an angry tone.

"Many would mistake you for a werewolf," I stated. "How did you know that you were not one of them?" I asked.

"The moon has no sway on me. I don't transform when the moon is in the sky. Silver has no effect on me. A supposed 'Werewolf Hunter' was sent after me," he answered. "He shot me, expecting me to go down from the silver. Like all, he died with his blood on my lips. He had already been angry and it was building up to a ever stronger rage.

Involuntarily, I backed up a step. He growled at me and prepared to charge me again. As he charged again, I focused magical energies into a physical barrier right at his ankles. I jumped to the side as he tripped over the magical plane of force.

He got up and prepared to charge me again. Feeling behind my back, I felt the dagger. It was thrumming with magical energies. Deciding to try a trick, I feigned weakness. I pretended to stumble as I backed up several more steps. He slashed his claws at me and I allowed the shield to weaken with each blow. The weakness was only partially faked and I was truly panting from the effort of holding the shield up. With a final blow, instead of using my shield to deflect him, I stumbled again with the blow and almost fell to the ground. He could also see that I was bleeding from this blow. This time he had hit me in the shoulder.

Seeing my weakness, he leaped as if to crush me under his weight. My right hand went for the enchanted dagger and drew it out just as he came down. He landed right on the blade and the sharp enchanted steel dug right through the breast plate. It did not stop him from landing heavily on top of me and I collapsed completely. His claws slashed at me but he could not get good leverage against me. Unfortunately, the ancient weapon had missed his heart.

With all of my might, I pushed the blade both deeper and further upwards in an attempt to reach his heart. Hot blood poured on me. Suddenly, he stopped moving and went limp on top of me. There was a look of shock on his face. The blade had finally reached his heart. I had to wonder if the blade was a demon slayer.

A werewolf transforms into their original human form when they die and a true demon would disintegrate and leave little left. A bit of blood, tissue, and bone would all that would remain. Half demons like him were different. Instead, he retained his demon form even after death. He stayed a humanoid figure with a wolf's head and claws on his hands. As well, such a body would not rot very well because it was alien to the environment it was in. At least the horrible weather would mean that it would not be likely that anyone would stumble on his body before a way could be found to dispose of it.

Under his weight, I took a deep breath. It took me a few moments to get ready to push him off. He was surprisingly heavy, over three hundred pounds even heavier than I thought. It was likely because he appeared to be almost solid muscles. Still, I managed to toss him off me and stood up. I rolled his body over and pulled the ancient blade from his body. The whole front of my cloths were covered in black. I pretty much knew that was covered in his blood. Hopefully, the rain would was away at least some of the rain. Even so,

Like me, the blade was covered in his black blood. I whipped the enchanted steel on his shirt before sheathing it. It was the best I could do for the moment. When I got home, I would need to do a more complete cleanup.

Looking around, I was able to find my pistol in just few minutes. It was lying under a bush and was half covered in mud. Whipping it off as best I could, I prepared to holster it. The straps of the shoulder holster were cut when he slashed through my vest. I still put the Smith into the holster. To cover my open breasts, I zipped the leather jacket up. At least only the shoulder was slashed.

It was only then that I remembered to check the phone. Probably Ms Walden or Jason finally returning my call. Well, at least their enemy was taken care of and hopefully they could take care of the body. If not, I did not want to know what the police would think of the body when it was found. No matter what, I would need some help in disposing of the body.

No, it was Wayne and he had left me a voice mail. Excitedly, I entered my code to listen to my voice mail. Letting it play, I heard my angel lover's voice tell me in a hurried tone, "Nickie, I am finally finished and am getting onto the plane as I am calling you. I will see you in just a few hours." I almost passed out in pleasure.

By Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2008, Kitsune. All rights reserved.