Im playing dress-up with jess today. Yea you heard that right. Shes bringing a couple of dresses over for me to try for Maxs sisters wedding.

Max has a thing with his boys so Im stuck with Jess.

I was trying to convenience max to stay by seducing him when the doorbell rang. Its Jess. Max was eager to escape from my trap to keep him in all day. Thats the only way I would release him. He ran to get the door with his bag too.

Jess came in with several racks filled with clothes, which made me certain that it was going to be a long day. Jess kissed her brother goodbye and we started the journey to Barbie world.

I put on the first silk nude dress and it looked really beautiful.

When jess saw it, she decided immediately that it was the one and I agreed.

Now we have a full day to ourselves so we went out for drinks.

We were chit-chatting over drinks when I sighted men in suits at the bar making comments about us.

”20 bucks says I bang a blonde. ” Man 1 said.

”Id wait to see you try. ” Man 2 said.

Im the blonde one and I feel very offended by this comment but I plan to keep calm as long as they don get close to me.

The attendee then brought two more glasses of what we were having.

”Did we order these? ” Jess asked in surprise.

”They
e courtesy of the gentlemen at the bar. ” The waiter placed them on our table. ”He also wanted me to give you this… ” the waiter stretched a hotel key to me.

I was repulsed and angry but I still kept calm.

Jess was so surprised that she was short of words.

”Let me handle this… ” I said

”Um go get em, tiger… ” Jess said awkwardly.

I slowly approached the two stupid men.

”Hello, I see you got my message. ” The first guy said.

”I did. But you see, Im having a nice drink with my boyfriends sister. ”

”Boyfriend. Lucky guy. ” The first fool cut me short again.

I sighed. ”Let me ask you. The drinks, I understand, but did you think giving me the key to your hotel room would work? ”

”Nothing ventured. ” He said with a disgusting smirk on his face.

”Thanks but no thanks. ” I tossed the key back to him and turned to walk back to my seat when I felt a hand on my wrist.

”Ooh just like that… ” I didn wait to confirm whose hand it was when I twisted his wrist with little force and which made the fool fall to his knees.

”AHH, please, I was just joking! ” he screamed.

Everyone in the restaurant marveled which reminded me that I was dealing with a mere human.

”uh…Emerald? ” Jess called as she walked towards me carefully.

I left his arm immediately and we left the restaurant.

”Are you okay ” jess questioned as we left the restaurant.

”Im fine. Look can we just keep this between us? ” I begged

”Im not going to pry but…Screw it, Im going to pry. What was that ” she slowed me down to talk.

”theres usually only one reason why women know that kind of self-defense, ” she said.

”Sometimes its to prevent anything bad from happening. Other times, its to prevent those bad things from happening again. The thing about bad families is that they make it easy to know when youve landed in a good one. ” I had to come up with some theory to clean up this mess up.

Jess smiled as she understood. ”How quickly you forget about my mother. ” She chuckled.

***

I haven spoken to Alfred and I have no plans to.

God, I hate to go back to Vine Valley. Its a bad memory for me.

The Pack didn understand why I chose to live among humans. They couldn understand because they weren like me. First, I wasn born a werewolf. Most werewolves are, or at least they
e born carrying the blood in their veins and will experience their first Change when they reach adulthood.

The other way to become a werewolf is to be bitten by one. Very few people survive a werewolfs bite. Werewolves are neither stupid nor altruistic. If they bite, they intend to kill. If they bite and fail to kill, theyll stalk their victim and finish the job. Its a simple matter of survival.

If you
e a werewolf who has comfortably assimilated into a town or city, the last thing you want is some half-crazed new werewolf lurching around your territory, slaughtering people, and calling attention to himself. Even if someone is bitten and escapes, the chances of surviving are minimal.

The first few Changes are hell, on the body and the sanity. Hereditary werewolves grow up knowing their lot in life and having their fathers to guide them.

Bitten werewolves are on their own. If they don die from the physical stress, the mental stress drives them either to kill themselves or raise a big enough ruckus that another werewolf finds them and ends their suffering before they cause trouble. So there aren many bitten werewolves running around. At last count, there were approximately thirty-five werewolves in the world. Exactly three were non-hereditary, including me.

Me.

The only female werewolf in existence. The werewolf gene is passed only through the male line, father to son, so the only way for a woman to become a werewolf is to be bitten and survive, which, as Ive said, is rare.

Given the odds, its not surprising Im the only female.

Bitten on purpose, turned into a werewolf on purpose. Amazing that I survived. After all, when youve got a species with three dozen males and one female, that one female becomes something of a prize. And werewolves do not settle their battles over a nice game of chess.

Nor do they have a history of respect for women. Women serve two functions in the werewolf world: sex and dinner, or if they
e feeling lazy, sex followed by dinner.

Although I doubt any werewolf would dine on me, Im an irresistible object for satisfying the other primal urge. Left on my own, I wouldn have survived.

Fortunately, I wasn left on my own. Since Id been bitten, Id been under the protection of the Pack. Every society has its ruling class. In the werewolf world, it was the Pack.

For reasons that had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the status of the werewolf whod bitten me, Id been part of the Pack from the time I was turned. A year ago Id left. Id cut myself off and I wasn going back. Given the choice between human and werewolf, Id chosen to be human.

I grew up in foster homes. Bad foster homes. Not having had a family as a child, I became determined to create one for myself. Becoming a werewolf pretty much knocked those plans into the dumper. Still, even if a husband and children were out of the question, that didn mean I couldn pursue some part of that dream. I was making a career for myself in

Photography. I was making a home in Toronto.

But Im glad I met Max. the only normal and sweetest thing still. Wed been together long enough that Id begun to believe some stability in my life was possible. I couldn believe my luck in finding someone as normal and decent as Max. I knew what I was. I was difficult, temperamental, and argumentative, not the sort of woman someone like Max would fall for.

Of course, I wasn like that around Max. I kept that part of me–the werewolf part–hidden, hoping Id eventually slough it off like dead skin. With Max, I had the chance to reinvent myself, to become the kind of person he thought I was. Which, of course, was exactly the kind of person I wanted to be.

Max had to work late the next day. Tuesday evening, I was waiting for his ”Ill be late ” phone call when he walked into the apartment carrying dinner.

”Hope you
e hungry, ” he said, swinging a bag of Indian takeout onto the table.

I was, though Id grabbed two sausages from a vendor on the way home from work. The pre-dinner meal had taken the edge off, so a normal dinner would now suffice. Yet another of the million tricks Id learned to accommodate human life.

Max chatted about work as he took the cartons from the bag and set the table. I graciously shifted my papers to the side to let him lay out my place setting. I can be so helpful sometimes. Even after the food was on my plate, I managed to resist eating while I jotted down the final piece picture I was working on. Then I pushed the pad of paper aside and dug in.

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