Shifting

Layla Rivers is a typical teen. Until one night when a friend plays a horrible trick on her, leaving Layla under the full moon's power. Suddenly, her world turns upside down when she discovers who she really is. And with Toby Darnell taking an interest in her once he gets suspicious, makes things thing much more worse. Secrets are spilled, love is at risk, and lives are on the line.

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3. Dreams & Stalkers

   I woke up in complete darkness, unable to see anything around me. But, I wasn't awake. I was in a dream because I could hear a faint, slow breathing around me. 

   I turned in slow circles trying to make out figures, but my eyes just wouldn't adjust to the night around me. I out stretched my arms trying to grasp onto something, anything.

   I gulped, holding back the screams of fear that were desperately trying to claw their way out of my throat. I closed my eyes, concentrating on my heart beat. Toby told me to keep it low or i'll shift.

   I took a step forwards, flinching like I had just rammed into a tree. But I hadn't made a noise. It was still a deathly silence until I heard a faint intake of air from an invisible sleeping body. I couldn't tell which direction it was coming from though. It was like it was surrounding me in a fog.

   I took another step, without making a noise again. I could smell the forest floor, so wouldn't there be a crunch under my feet? I knelt down and placed my hand on the ground only to find decaying leaves, dirt, and twigs.

   How is that?

   'It's a dream' I reminded myself. Bringing myself back up to my feet I tried to make out the direction of the breathing.

   Standing in what seemed like a dark forest I waited for the intake of air.

   'sigh' 

   I turned on my heels and  headed in the direction looking like an idiot. 

   One moment I was walking through darkness and then the next I was standing in a field with blinding light from all directions.

   I covered most of my eyes with only a slit to barely see through. I looked down to find myself standing on grass and still whenever I moved I didn't here a thing.

   'Sigh' 

   I jumped at the body's breathing because I was so much closer to it.

   Then I realized I was in the field where I had changed into Muffin. But I was just laying there unconscious with a pained look on my face.

   'Layla' Something hissed in my ear. I whipped myself around to face nothing, with the moonlight dimming a little, I stopped shielding my face.

   "Who's there?" I called squinting my eyes into the treeline. I heard the rustling of leaves, but saw nothing.

   'Your the one?' a different voice said just behind me. But as i turned I again faced nothing but the moon.

   'Yesssss she isss' said another.

   'The lassst Shifter?" whispered something else. I made another desperate attempt to see who was talking to me, but I was alone.

   "Shifter? What's that?" I asked.

   Suddenly a loud rumbling rolled throughout the clearing making me take a few uneasy steps. Then figures appeared out of now where, surrounding my sleeping body that laid on the ground. Laughter roared through the trees.

   'What's that?' A figure mocked in my voice. Another belt of laughing erupted from the group.

   'It'ssss the one we need, darling' hissed a man.

   "Why do you need me?" I questioned. I regretted asking that as all heads slowly turned to face me. I gulped as they crawled toward me. They rose to stand on two feet and they looked like black smoke but morphed into human beings just before my eyes. A woman with fiery red eyes glared at me.

   'Sssso we can rissse once again' She snarled grabbing my shoulders and throwing me to the ground. She changed into lion and clawed at me. I screamed out as the others morphed into other deadly animals and they all took turns ripping me to shreds.

 

**

 

   "NO!" I screamed as I bolted out of bed and raked my hands all over my body to see if it was in shreds.

   I crouched on my knees and ran my fingers through my tangled hair as I controlled my breathing. It was just a dream. It was just a dream.

   I jumped again as my alarm blared through my room, with me leaping across my bed to press off.

   "Okay, that's enough scares for one morning," I stated to my mirror as I looked my body over. I was utterly confused at the fact that I was speckled with dirt, my feet were caked with mud, and my pajama's were torn from the shoulder down. I trembled as a cold feeling raced through my body.

   The dream.

   Was it real?

   Add yet another scare to my two I had already. I shook the feeling and grabbed my towel and hit the shower.

 

**

 

   "hey," Toby greeted as I opened my locker.

   "Hey," I replied. So now all of a sudden were friends?

   "Do you want to walk to french together?" he raised his eyebrows while leaning against the lockers. I had to admit he had that bad boy look to him just now.

   "I guess." I said as I shut my locker and hugged my french book to my chest. 

   I looked down at the floor resisting to make eye contact with him. That whole werewolf thing from yesterday still rumbled through my mind. But, I wasn't a werewolf. I was a cat on the full moon. Is there a thing such as a werecat? That would explain me then.

   "So is this going to be a silent walk?" Toby asked bending down to look at me. I gazed into his eyes and saw the dilated pupil with the thick black line around the outer rim. It was almost as if his eyes were completely black except for the smallest line of blue in the middle.

   "Toby? Can I ask you something?" I pursed my lips wondering if I should of said that.

   "Depends on what it is?" He answered as we walked through the door into the french classroom.

   "It's about the werewolf thing." I whispered.

   Toby's eyes widened and he grabbed my elbow to pull me away to the back of the classroom.

   "What is it?" He whispered. He was so close to me as if he didn't want anyone to hear our conversation.

   "Do you only change into a wolf or can you change into something else?" I whispered.

   Toby searched my eyes and sniffed the air. He dropped his book on the ground and grasped my shoulders with both hands.

   "Layla. What did you turn into on the full moon?" His eyes were a cold black as if the blue disappeared from them completely. He closed the gap between us so our bodies were pressed together.

   "I was just asking. I mean I had a dream and there were these people that changed into different animals and it was the night of the full moon. I just wanted to see if that was possible." I spoke the words hoarsely as his face was like stone. But at my answer his eyes softened and he stepped away from me. 

   "Layla, I'm sorry for that. It's just that werewolves aren't the only mythical creatures that exist. And the ones you just asked about are... bad news." He ran his hand through his hair and sighed.

   "Well, what are they?" I furrowed my brow awaiting his answer.

   He opened his mouth to speak but he was saved by the bell.

   "Take your seats!" The teacher cheered as she stood up from her desk.

   "I'll tell you later, okay?" He picked up his book and strode over to his desk without waiting to here my answer.

   That's lovely. 

   Reaching my own seat, I tuned out the foreign language of French and thought of the creatures in my dreams. They were of black smoke or was it mist? i shook my head at my failing memory. Anyway, they morphed into humans and practically mauled me until I woke up.

   I shuddered with fright, I hope those things weren't real, but Toby might say they are. I glanced at him, but he was writing something down. I sighed slightly. What was my world becoming?

"Class," The teacher interrupted, "I wasn't aware, but we have a new student that'll be joining our class." 

   All the students whipped their heads to the doorway, including me. Another student, this school was jam packed enough. As we heard the footsteps nearing the doorway I looked at Toby. He... was sniffing the...air? Why? Was the new kid a werewolf?

   I joined in by raising my nose and flaring my nostrils, I inhaled deeply, but i smelled nothing. Possibly, because i wasn't a werewolf, but a werecat. The boy strode through the doorway and...he was amazingly gorgeous.

   The mouths of the girls were wide open and I resisted the urge to do the same. But, oh my. His hair was jet black and tousled perfectly with bangs that fell just above his eyebrows. And his mossy green eyes complimented his flawless pale skin. He was tall(taller than me anyway) and built. As he walked to the teacher, he flashed us all a smile, butterflies erupted out of nowhere and I had a hard time hiding it. This man was a god. 

   "I'm Colton," He announced, showing how deep and husky his voice was. Yet, another thing that made him perfect.

   "Hello Colton. Welcome to the class. You can take the seat..." She paused overlooking the room for a desk," right behind Layla." she finished with a smile.

   Our eyes locked and it felt like we were the only two people on earth. He smiled, directed right at me, I wanted to smile back, but I felt my cheeks get hot so I turned away. I focused on the worksheet that laid in front of me. 

   Why am I such an awkward person?

   I heard him sit down and drop his books to the ground. I held my breath, I don't know why I did, I just felt so awkward. I didn't even know him, but yet I wanted him to like me. I just can't embarrass  myself anytime I'm around him. Easy.

   I felt a tap on my shoulder and immediately tensed. Just don't embarrass yourself. I swallowed a lump in my throat before turning.

   "Yes?" I asked looking up to the most beautiful man on earth.

   "I know nothing about French. Can you help me," He pleaded making my heart drop to the pit of my stomach.

   I laughed lightly,"Then why did you take it?"

   He pursed his lips before answering," I was taking Spanish, but I sucked ass, so I thought I might try something else." He shrugged his shoulders before glancing down at the worksheet. His eyes widened.

   "I obviously made the wrong decision," he nodded his head as he spoke. I couldn't laugh at how adorable he was. I mean he was the cutest thing in the world. Forget Dylan, I have a new crush.

   "I can't really help you though. I suck at it more than you. Trust me." I smiled at him, hoping that this little conversation would escalate to us beings friends. 

   "Layla, do your own work. Colton, if you need help just ask me." Mrs. Evans instructed. I gave Colton an  exaggerated eye roll before turning around to try to do my own work.

 

**

 

   "Layla I need to talk to you," Toby whispered, pulling me aside in the hallway.

   "About what?" I asked furrowing my brows. 

   Toby leaned in close to me like he had done in French Class. His eye flickered around as he made sure no one would hear us.

   "I need you to stay away from Colton, Okay." He stared into my eyes, it was like they were black holes again.

   "Why? We're not even friends. He just didn't understand French," I protested.

   He grasped my shoulders, "You didn't smell his scent?"

  "I did. I saw you doing it. But I didn't smell anything wrong. Why? Is he a werewolf?"

  "No...He's something else. I know you recently turned, so I'm not going to overwhelm you. Just please. Don't be friends with him." His eyes were pleading as the blue returned back into the iris. 

  I sighed, "Well, what is he?"

  "Remember, those people in your dream?" He looked around the hallway.

  "Is he one of those things?" The thought of that beautiful man turning into a lion and mauling me caused my to cringe.

  "Can we go... somewhere else to talk about this?" He rubbed the back of his neck, with his eyebrows raised waiting for my answer.

  It dawned on me as I realized what he meant. "You mean ditch! But what happens if we get caught?! My mom would KILL me!" I whisper-screamed at him. He smiled devilishly at me. 

  He chuckled, " Is Layla Rivers afraid to get in trouble?" He whined in a high pitched baby voice. My face was plastered with disgust.

  "No." I stated pushing him away from me.

  He walked a few feet away from me. He threw out his arms to his sides, "Then prove it." He raised his eyebrows at me grinning from ear to ear.

  I looked around the hallways, which were deserted. I huffed in triumph," Let's go." I said skittishly.

   He smiled even more, "That a girl," 

   "Shut up," I growled. I walked forward purposely knocking into him, he chuckled before following next to me. 

   All we did was walk out the side doors. It was really just that easy. I felt stupid making a big deal about it. 

   "So where do you plan on taking me?" I asked watching the cars pass us as we exited the school parking lot

   "My house," he said.

   "What about your parents?" I asked looking over to him. Toby looked over to me.

   "They're at work. They won't be home until six. Stop worrying so much," He lightly pushed me teasingly.

     "I don't worry that much," I said pushing him back.

        Toby lightly laughs as i scowl at him and cross my arms. We continue walking silently for a few minutes until he tugs at my elbow leading my down a driveway. He owns a two-story house painted a brilliant white. He was right about his parent being at work because the driveway was car free.

        He lead me to the back of the house, revealing a small patio with sliding glass doors.

        "Watch your step," Toby cautioned as he opened the door and stepped into the house.

        I was in the living room now with Toby in the kitchen to my left.

        "Do you want something to drink?" he asked. 

        "Uh, water?" I say, still awkwardly standing by the door debating wether or not to move. Toby looks over at me and laughs.

        "You can take a seat you know," He smiles over at me while holding to glasses in his hand hand. He walks past me and sits on the couch. I follow him and take a seat next to him.

        "Okay. Let's get you filled in on werewolves. So, this was your first shift, correct?" he asks casually turning on the  TV.

        "Yeah," I respond taking a sip of water. Should I tell him about my cat?

        "Okay so I imagine it was scary and painful, but dont worry the pain does go away and you can control it so you don't shift on full moons. It's just that if you don't shift for a while the wolf inside you kinda goes crazy and needs to get out so the moon forces it out of you," He explains. I don't speak thinking about a little cat inside me going crazy.

        "Okay, but what about the people who don't shift into werewolves, but other animals. Are those real." I ask. I already know the answer to that considering I am on of those.

        Toby tenses, before answering. "Skinwalkers," he whispers.

        "Skin what?" I question leaning in closer to him.

        "There called skinwalkers. There terrible creatures. They wear the skin of their animals to become them. Except they kind of go crazy with blood lust. And they're jealous of the others, Like us werewolves, because in order to shift they need skin and if they don't have one on the full moon it's extremely painful because their body morphs but it doesn't shift completely which will kill them."

        That's terrible," I say under my breath. Toby whips his head at me, his eyes wild.

        "They deserve it. They hunt every other creature because their envious until they're extinct." He hisses at me. I scoot away at his sudden anger. His eyes look almost black. Is that a sign of the shift?

        "I'm sorry. I didn't know that." I try to calm him a little, but he doesn't look me in the eyes.

        He sighs heavily before answering," No, it's okay. You need to know this stuff. You need to stay away from them, they're dangerous. That's why i asked you to stay away from Colton. There's a chance he is one but no one is ever right until they shift."

        I nodded at him but I was still disappointed for not finding out what i am. I could just ask him, but know that's a definite no. What if I was some bad guy? Would he have to kill me? On the bright side I'm not a skin walker.

        "So, what other creatures exist?" I ask, trying to figure out what I am.

        "Lot's actually." Toby answers, while watching TV. well, didn't answer my question completely.

        "Like vampires and... mermaids?" I coax him with examples.

        "Yup," He says with no further explanation. My shoulders slump.

        "Uhm. Okay well I should get going. My mom will be expecting me home." I say as an excuse.

        "Do you want me to walk you?" He asks half-heartedly, eyes still glued to the television set.

       "No, I'll be fine." I gather my bag and exit through the back door as I walk down his driveway.

        "Well I got nothing out of that," I sigh as I walk home.

 

 

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