The monsters are real, and they've come for him again.


6. Six

Ash Terrence had died a marked man.

“Clean off your hands before you go home,” Olivia told him. She licked the blood from the corner of her mouth, and smiled. “Wouldn't want your mom to see what you've been doing.”

Charlie nodded, his eyes on Carly. “What's going to happen to her?”

Liam followed his gaze: Carly was sitting down, her back against the couch, eyes fixated on the destroyed body of Ash Terrence.

“Hopefully her unfinished business is through,” Liam said quietly. “Then she can go home. We all can. Her final wish was that we helped her, and we have.”

“You'll be free of us soon enough,” Olivia replied, walking over. She looked at her friend. “She's full of regret.”

“Regret?” Charlie answered, and he couldn't believe it. “For what? He left her to die!”

“Easy there,” Olivia said, rolling her eyes. “I don't think that goes away. She wanted to hurt him, because he deserved it. An eye for an eye, isn't that the saying?”

“A life for a life,” muttered Liam.

“Basically.” Olivia frowned. “Hey, why do you look so sad? You got your revenge. You should be celebrating.”

“I killed someone,” Carly answered, her voice hoarse.

“He left you for dead, and correct me if I'm wrong, but you did die. He ran away, without taking you to a hospital. With their care, you could have lived. As far as I'm concerned, and you should be too, Ash Terrence is a murderer.”

It was Charlie who spoke. After hearing everything, he couldn't feel anything for the dead man, whose blood covered his hands. It was thick and warm, and to the untrained eye would have been mistaken for paint.

They had caused more carnage than Charlie had ever seen in his life; Liam, taking charge, had changed back into a wolf and ripped out Ash's throat, killing him instantly, and spraying the rest of them with his blood.

None of this appeared wrong to the human boy, Carly noticed, when Ash took his final, choking breath. Charlie had stood over the mangled corpse, taking it all in.

This worried Liam, too, as he watched the scene in his fur, his brain struggling to understand the strange expression on Charlie's face. But when he was in his skin again he heard a thought that rattled him.

Charlie Cross would become a killer.

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