“What… what makes you think that?” Adeline asked, her voice as quiet as she could make it. “If I were the werewolf, wouldn’t I be a wolf right now?”
Emlyn tilted his head to one side. “Well yes, I haven’t figured that out yet, but you’re the werewolf.” He smiled at her. “I mean, I should know, shouldn’t I? I’m the wolf cub.”
Adeline frowned, looking at him for a few moments. “How do I know that you’re not just lying? I mean, if I were the werewolf, then why would I reveal my true identity to you just because you say that you’re the wolf cub, with no proof?”
He sighed. “Look, I know I’m the wolf cub because I become a werewolf at night as well. I don’t know why not this night, but I have every other night. I know I’m not the werewolf, because one, I don’t kill someone each night, and two, I’ve seen you in your wolf form before.”
“So how come you’re not a werewolf right now?”
Emlyn shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s something to do with what you ate yesterday. Maybe it’s affecting both of us.”
“Hey, hey, hold up a second here.” She straightened herself, her fists still clenched. “How do you know that werewolf was me?”
“I can smell it on you during the day, and… you’re quite obviously the only one sick.”
Adeline’s body was rigid. “So is there any way that you could prove to me, right now, that you’re the wolf cub, and I’m the werewolf?”
Emlyn lit up, like he’d remembered something. “Oh yeah! I have… something downstairs. It’ll at least prove that you’re the werewolf…” He turned back around onto her landing. “I’m sure I could find something to prove that I’m the wolf cub…”
“I have something.” She muttered, following him out of the room. The pair of them headed down the stairs, walking into her living room. Adeline felt considerably better now.
The small, wooden box was still on the table. Adeline regarded it with hatred, but she still walked toward it. Emlyn went to his coat, which was draped over on of the chairs, and started fumbling around in his pockets. Adeline picked up the box, and held it as far as possible as she could from her.
Emlyn turned around, with a few bits of wolfsbane in hand. The pair met eyes. “You first.” Emlyn said, putting his hands down beside him in a submissive gesture.
Adeline nodded, opening the box slowly, wincing as she did so, before walking slowly toward him. As soon as it got close enough, Emlyn started staring at it, as though it were poison. As Adeline moved it closer, he started backing away. When he came to the wall, he resorted to staring at it. Adeline watched him with interest as she moved the box closer and closer, before he knocked it from her hands, his breathing heavy. She tilted her head to one side, shifting quickly to dodge one of the falling leaves as she did so.
Emlyn looked at her, raising his head to meet her gaze. Was this man really another werewolf, like her? Or had he merely faked his reaction. Adeline didn’t know. She clenched her fists, preparing herself as he held out the wolfsbane. It was unpleasant, certainly. The very smell of it made her want to leave the room. And yet, she found it bearable. She watched it closely as Emlyn did the same as she had done to him. When he held it underneath her nose, she withdrew, sneezing and coughing.
He frowned as he looked at her again, holding the small purple flowers at arms length. “How come you can deal with it?”
She watched him for a few moments. Should she really tell him? Was he really the other werewolf? She was uncertain, and that uncertainty made her nervous. She would have to go with it for now, though, she decided. “I encountered it on the first night, then again on the third. I could not kill because of it on the first, but I had started to get used to it by the third. Now… I can stand it.”
Emlyn looked uncomfortable. Adeline didn’t really blame him. If he really was the Wolf Cub, then his evidence toward her being the werewolf had turned out flawed. If he wasn’t the wolf cub, then he was dealing with the werewolf, and she was now suspicious of him. Adeline sighed, walking toward her kitchen. “How do you like your tea?” She asked, picking up her kettle and filling it with water.
Emlyn didn’t answer for a moment, taken aback by the sudden change of topic. “Uh. Milk and sugar, please.”
Adeline nodded, retrieving two cups from a cupboard, putting them down on the counter beside the kettle, before getting out the milk and putting a little in each cup. “You can sit down, you know.” She called through, looking around for the sugar. She herself didn’t like sugar in her tea. It made it taste strange, in her opinion. She found it, and got a spoon from the draw, putting those beside the cups.
Emlyn sat in her living room, twiddling his thumbs, looking around nervously.
After a few moments, Adeline sighed, pouring the tea and carrying it in. She gave him his tea, before taking a seat opposite. They sat in silence for a little while, sipping tea quietly and enjoying the calm. “So, what’s it been like for you?” Adeline finally asked. The answer to her question had been eating away at her. Her curiosity demanding to know exactly what Emlyn had to go through. After all, from what he’d told her, he didn’t have to kill somebody every night. He wasn’t necessarily being hunted down by all the villagers. Perhaps they had forgotten about him.
“It’s been…” He trailed off into thought, mulling over the past few days. “… well it hasn’t been that different from life before. I mean, except for the whole killing somebody every day, and transforming into a humanoid wolf every night…” He trailed off again, and looked up toward her suddenly, asking his question with a hint of excitement. “You’ve had to kill someone each night, haven’t you?”
Adeline looked away, finding herself sitting straighter than she had before. She became conscious of the warmth in her hands, which came from her tea. It smelt strangely calming. “… Yes, I have.” Was all she said, shutting her eyes and taking a deep breath, before meeting his gaze again.
He looked back at her with unspoken awe. “Really?” He breathed, his hands tightening around the cup. “How can you cope? I mean, you’re killing people. They’re not just animals- they’re people. I couldn’t do… something like that.”
“You don’t need to remind me.” She put her cup down clasping her hands together in her lap, pulling at her fingers on alternating sides. There was a quiet crack in the silence. “To be fair… I don’t really cope. Every single day I wake up and I remember their faces as I went and… did what I did. I can’t stop it, you know. I can’t not go after them, I can’t not attack them. I do try, let me assure you, I do. But… it never works.”
“What do you mean? Surely if you don’t want to kill someone, you just… don’t kill them. I thought you actually wanted to kill them.” She saw him shudder, and sighed.
“No, I don’t want to kill them. If I weren’t doing it… unconsciously, then how would I have done it on the first two nights?”
“You mean you didn’t notice that you were a wolf?”
She shook her head. “Nope. I hadn’t a clue. I only found out for certain when I asked the Seer.”
He stared at her in stunned silence. Adeline raised an eyebrow questioningly. “Why the heck would you ask the Seer?! Now they know you’re the werewolf!”
Adeline shrugged. “It’s mutual. I know that she’s the Seer, she knows that I’m the werewolf. She also knows that if she tells anyone, then I’ll kill her the next night.”
“How did you know who she was in the first place?” He leaned forward in his chair, clinging to her words like a child to a storyteller’s.
“Well I’m the Seer’s Apprentice. I was told who she was to begin with. I… replace her if she gets killed.”
“So who is it?”
Adeline leaned back in her chair, retrieving her cup of tea. “I’m not telling you.”
His face fell. “Why not?”
She shrugged. “Perhaps I don’t trust you yet. If I told you who the Seer was, and you were a mere human, then you could tell every single person here that the Seer was telling the truth.”
He stared at his tea. The pair fell into silence. “So what could I do to earn your trust?” He said eventually.
Adeline thought for a few moments. What would convince her? Well, of course, there was the fact that he had a wolf form. She stretched her arms, suppressing a yawn. “Well… tomorrow night, we should be back to normal. If you’re the wolf cub, meet me… in the town square. At midnight. No later than midnight. Show me that it’s you, and I will believe you.”
“Alright.” He said, as soon as she had finished. He put the cup down on the table in front of him. “Tomorrow, town square, midnight.” He muttered to himself. He looked back at her. “So what now?”
This was a question she hadn’t been expecting. This was a question that Adeline didn’t have a clue how to answer. During the day, she had plenty to do alone. She could check her traps, she could prepare her meat, she could read, or she could go for a walk. She hadn’t needed to entertain herself and other people during the night time. “I don’t know.” She said simply, putting down her own empty cup.
Emlyn deflated a little. The two of them sat in silence for a while once more, twiddling their thumbs, keeping themselves to themselves.
“We could always go to sleep, you know. It’s been a while since I had a proper night’s rest.”
He looked up, frowning. “Do you have a spare room, then?”
Adeline nodded. “Yeah. It’s through the door opposite the bathroom.” She stood up, picking up the two cups and taking them into her kitchen. She heard Emlyn stand up as well, and make his way to the stairs. She put the cups in the sink, and padded back into the living room, flicking off the light as she went. A silver glow illuminated the silver surfaces, throwing light into the room. She looked at it for a few moments, before turning around and heading toward the foot of the stairs. She checked her door, made sure it was locked, before turning off the light downstairs and walking up. She passed the Guest Bedroom’s door, noticing it was slightly ajar. She smiled to herself, continuing to her own bedroom and entering, shutting the door behind her.
It was dark in her room, and she liked it that way. The curtains were open, though. She hadn’t closed them after Emlyn had surprised her earlier. The moonlight that entered the room was calming to her. A shaft of it fell onto her plain bed, walking up the pale blue wall before stopping half-way up. Adeline sighed. This wasn’t a sigh of annoyance. It wasn’t a sigh of weariness. It was a sigh of calm, a sigh that made her feel light, that made her feel like she was walking through the air. She liked this feeling, and she’d missed it. Tonight was probably going to be one of the only nights that she would be able to pretend as though this entire thing had never happened. She heard quiet movement from the other room, and smiled softly to herself, walking over to her own bed and changing into pyjamas, before heading out onto the landing to brush her teeth.
When she had finished, she returned to her dark room, and sat on her bed. She sat there for a while, breathing deeply, in and out, relaxing. After a little while, she stood up and closer her curtains properly, before she went to her bed and pulled herself inside, snuggling down within her covers and falling asleep relatively quickly.
The previous night, both the Seer and the Detective had discovered somebody innocent. The Doctor had chosen to protect Cameron Savege.
She was woken the next morning by the light that was getting through her curtains. Adeline lay there for a few moments, before sitting up. She had started to feel considerably better after her collapse on the pavement. Now, she felt normal once more. Adeline took a deep breath, wriggling her toes in the soft carpet, before standing up, and opening the curtains fully. Sunlight streamed in. It was another clear, sunny day. Adeline opened the window, letting a cool breeze wash over her slowly, before she turned and got dressed. Emlyn needed to leave her house before anybody noticed. It would be suspicious if he was caught leaving her house by anyone else, they would ask him why he was out so early, so soon after the sun had risen.
When she was dressed, she walked out onto the landing, stopping outside the guest room door and knocking quietly on it. There was a bit of movement from inside.
“Emlyn? You should probably leave sooner rather than later.” She remarked, heading downstairs. She walked into her living room, clinging to her banister for a second, before stepping down onto the wooden floor. She felt alert and well-rested. She felt the best she had in a few days. A night of sleep had done her more good than she had imagined. Adeline sighed again, heading into her kitchen and washing up the cups from the night before. By the time the last of the water had drained away, Emlyn was downstairs and getting his coat. She walked back into the room, and smiled in gratitude. “Thanks for bringing me back, and thanks for becoming a potential friend. You… may be the only person I can trust, if you are really the wolf cub.”
He smiled back. It was a genuine smile. “Same here. It’s nice to know you’re not alone, isn’t it?” She nodded back, returning the smile, before he opened the door and left. She moved toward the window, pulling apart the curtains to watch him leave. When he was out of sight, she turned back around and let herself fall into her normal routine.
For the first time in few days, she felt hungry. And so she acted accordingly, getting herself some toast to eat once more. After that, she decided it was about time to go to the village square. It was all very well skipping their morning meeting once. Skipping it twice would be disrespectful. She pulled on some shoes, and left her house, starting the short walk to the village square.
She had been right. Yesterday it had taken her a lot longer to arrive in a simple place. The village square was alive with chatter. Only a few people were missing. Everybody’s eyes were bright with curiosity, muttering away to each other as they discussed the events of the previous night. They had been few. Adeline caught snippets of conversation, things such as “A lucky escape” and “Clear Night” were commonplace through the crowd. She smiled contentedly, joining the group of people, finding herself alone once more. Keelan was talking to Annelise, and Emlyn was talking to Mason. Adeline sighed, letting her mind wander.
She found herself looking at the hills, following the slopes and imperfections with her eyes, smiling faintly at the mist which clung to the deepest valleys. It was a rather beautiful place. Trees lined some of the closer hills, covering them in thick forests of deep green. Adeline noticed the numerous birds, flying high and wide, little more than black specks against an endless sea of blue. The occasional cloud boat drifted aimlessly in an Easterly direction, sometimes passing past the shining brilliance that was the sun today. Yes, she thought to herself. Today was a good day.
As the crowd started to drift apart, Adeline found herself wandering around as well. She didn’t head down her usual road today. She didn’t feel like returning to her home. Instead, she went for a little walk, heading off in the opposite direction from her usual route. She could think of little else that she wanted to do, little else that would make any significant difference to the current situation. She would think over who to vote for, and think about what she was to do when she got out of here. It was strange. Adeline had no doubt in her mind. She was certain that she would escape the village alive. She had a good feeling, one that she felt that she could trust.
Adeline sighed as she walked, walking through a small pathway overshadowed on one side by tall, leaning branches. She took a deep breath, smelling the slightly damp air. She could smell everything once more. She could pick out at least ten different flowers, four of which she couldn’t see, by smell alone.
Reluctantly, she started to make her way back, cutting through a few gardens as she started to head home. She thought that she might as well spend her time today reading and enjoying the day at her own pace. She wouldn’t have to speak to anyone today. She wasn’t feeling ill. She could check her traps. Adeline felt strangely calm, strangely at peace with herself. Perhaps a night of being human was good for her, perhaps a night of sleep allowed her to rearrange her thoughts. Technically she hadn’t had a proper sleep since the day before they came here, after all. Adeline suppressed a yawn. While she did feel far better than before, she was finding herself more tired than usual, and strangely hungry. Her hunger from that morning had stuck with her as she had gone to the square. It had stuck with her as she had started to walk, and it was still with her. It was bearable, although Adeline wanted to know its source. It was dim, for now, but she got the feeling that it would grow before she knew it.
She shut the door behind her, pulling off her boots and walking into the center of the room. She breathed in the scents of her own house- smelling Emlyn and Keelan- before breathing out again. Her mind was clear, for once. It was quiet. She let herself fall into a nearby chair, sprawling out across it. She had a lot of the day to herself- but that was the same as it had been since they had arrived here, and yet… and yet Adeline felt better than before. She had a clear goal in her mind now, and she felt she could do whatever it took to achieve, she felt that nothing would hold her back. Adeline was determined to reach this goal, and achieve her aims. She opened her eyes, looking at the mottled ceiling. She was going to survive. She was going to win this, with Emlyn. She was going to escape. She clenched her fists. It was not a hope. It was a certainty, and Adeline was going to make it happen. If they tried to kill her, Adeline would fight back. She was going to overcome her other side.