Moonlight Beast

"Werewolves?" she gasped in a whisper, "Impossible!"
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Aspen is a young detective living in the small woodland town of Foniaulf. Her life is equally as quiet as the town, population 2000, until a series of killings send her into a spiral of fantasies she'd previously related to fairy tales and folk stories. She begins to discover the towns deep roots with mystic and werewolves. Completely under the mercy of a boy who howls to the moon in his spare time, Aspen must learn to cope or the consequences are fatal for both of them.

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2. I swear

 

"You'll never get rid of me, no matter how hard you try,"

 

Jake's breath left my ear tingling as he persisted in reminding me of the same statement repetitively. We rolled over so he was on top of me, while he tickled me and I continued to giggle uncontrollably.

"I know, I know!" I gasped, hungrily guzzling the air. I had briefly managed to push him off of my torso. Looking down at me, he smirked, cocky. Oh, two could play this game.

Without warning, I jolted upwards and cupped his face melodramatically. Staring deep into his nutty eyes, I let him lose himself as he gazed back and stared into my own sapphire eyes. While he was distracted, I seized the opportunity and flipped him over so now I was on top.

I smirked before stuck my tongue out at him.

"Gotcha," I taunted, resisting the strong urge to kiss his baffled, cute little face. He began to struggle but my hold stayed firm, determined to win. I chuckled to myself as I watched his blue veins stick out with the strain, a contrast to his golden brown skin tone. After a while, he heaved a sigh of defeat.

My turn now.

Straddling his torso, I began with his most tender spot: the upper ribs, just below his armpit. My gentle strokes on the area were almost too much to bare for him. He firmly clamped his lips shut and gripped my hair in an attempt to resist bursting into fits of giggles. However, it wasn't long until it became too much.

Jake exploded, literally crying with laughter. We were both nostalgic, giddy in the moment. I tasted his salty tears as I half-heartedly kissed his red cheek, weak from the sniggers which were consuming me. Still creased with laughter, I fell to his chiseled chest. Our body parts were messily tangled together as we both chuckled until there wasn't a drop of energy remaining.

Eventually, I lay back with a shaky sigh, unable to look him in the eye without exploding into a further episode of childish giggles.

"Damn, babe, I don't remember you being that strong!" Jake exclaimed, still chuckling under his breath. I considered his point for a moment before shaking my head in dismissal. Probably just a burst of adrenaline.

Soon, I found the strength to face him again, grinning widely as we turned to face each other. He scooped me into his strong arms, and I felt warm both inside and out as he cradled me impossibly close. With Jake, I always found a sense of security which no other person on the earth could give me. We said no words yet spoke with our eyes, smiling and content. When I was beside him I felt unstoppable, invincible and most importantly, happy.

Since the early years of high school, Jake had stood firmly by my side. When my dad was jailed for abusing me and my mother, he comforted me and let me cry. That was when our intimacy began, really. I would hide in the caretaker's closet or a shadowy corner and cry for hours. Jake would always find me, hug me, and whisper reassuring words in my ear.

One terrible day, before dad was jailed and when I was still being hit, I felt slightly disorientated and in a haze, and I admitted to Jake that I loved him. He laughed, joking 'I know, I know- we're meant to be,' I nodded sheepishly, smiling even though tears still streamed down my face. Being a stupid thirteen year old with her head stuck in fan fiction fantasies, I dared to ask if he could make my scars better. I didn't actually expect him to and was unprepared when he nodded and one by one kissed my visible cuts, burns, and bruises with a loving tenderness. We walked back to my estate in the pouring rain, laughing through the tears.

High school was spent by Jake's side at almost every moment. Even after the kissing scars incident, we were both oblivious of our romantic affection towards one another. I always saw him as 'Jake, my best buddy!'

Often we would say 'I love you,' and always found comfort in our frequent hugs. However, we stayed best friends. I guess you could call us friends with benefits. Or perhaps you would prefer ignorant, a tad stupid? I should've realized – he should've realized – that what we had was more than a close friendship. At the time, I considered him as a big brother who forever was there for me when depression snuck up to bite or bullies jeered at my crimson hair.

I remember at a party, some drunk approached me, trying to kiss me as I desperately attempted to slap him away. Furious, Jake ran to the rescue, pulling me away and threatening the idiot. Nonetheless, the drunk sniggered, making a joke about my hair and finding it somehow hilarious that my boobs were 'small'. (F.Y.I. they are a C cup which I personally am very happy with.) Enraged, he punched the idiot, a stupid move because he happened to be, like, 6 foot tall and had pretty huge muscles.

Grabbing my hand, Jake pulled me away and we ran away into the night laughing and screaming. I guess the drunk probably gave up before even stepping out the party and moved onto another unlucky chick. Anyhow, we ran for what must've been 2 miles before we finally slowed. He grabbed my wrist and pulled me into an alley. He pinned my arms to the wall, panting wildly. I stared into his wild eyes, automatically our eye communication was activated.

In his chocolate eyes I could see a swirl of emotion; confusion and anger yet a sprinkling of lust and desire. It was as if he really wanted something but was frustrated because he was being held back, unable to get it. Also, I think he was terribly confused about what it was that he had such a burning lust for.

That night I was feeling pretty mischievous yet still slightly overwhelmed so I'm guessing in my eyes it probably looked like I was challenging him, perhaps even daring him to do what we both wanted.

Rain began to fall, not unusual to Foniaulf's frequent, dull weather. But in the moment it was a brisk reminder to both of us of the day when Jake kissed the pain away. He stared at me looking slightly sorrowful and I flinched, disliking his pity. I looked down, fiddling with a strand of soaked hair but Jake gently lifted my chin up, relocking our special eye contact.

Out of reflex, he stroked my dripping chin as I studied his handsome façade like never before. The creases in his eyes and forehead which formed as he frowned down at me. His very curly pompadour which was currently soaked causing it to flatten in cute ringlets on his forehead. His amazing cheekbones, his deliciously plump lips and the single beauty spot underneath his eye. Sure, Jake was nowhere near perfect with a minor acne issue and slightly over-elongated face but that was ok. If this moment was any more perfect, it would've felt more like a dream rather than reality.

My arms slipped around his neck and he pushed us further against the wall, leaving, literally, not even a millimeter of space in between our torsos which were raging hot despite the cool rain. Naturally, we moved in but instead of what you might expect, we only rested our foreheads together. Our muggy breaths intermingled, sending rings of white vapor into the frosty air. "I think I'm falling for you," he murmured, barely even whispering.

I'm in utter shock. "You can't be." I replied quickly.

"You're right."

"Huh?"

"I mean, I fell for you since the start, I've just been too stupid to admit it,"

"Me too... I think,"

"You think?"

"I'm just confused," I heaved a long sigh.

"Me too... I know,"

"That sentence is grammatically incorrect, Jakery Samuel Boston," I said, playfully poking his red nose.

"Shut up,"

"Nope."

"Okay..."

"Okay, what?"

"Okay, I guess I'll have to shut you up."

"Oh, and how might you do that, kind sir?"

"Like this."

He slammed his lips down on mine, knocking the breath out of me. at first, I was overwhelmed and didn't return the kiss. The only thing going through my head was 'holy crap Jake is kissing me!'. But soon, I pushed my lips back, becoming part of the kiss. My arms, which were sloped around his neck, made their way up until I was desperately gripping his long, wet locks causing a cascade out water to stream down my cardigan's sleeve. His own arms wrapped around my waist, somehow drawing me closer than I would ever believe possible.

At some point he accidently pinched my butt, causing me to gasp and his tongue managed to venture into my mouth. However, I was soon breathless and stopped before anything else happened. I arched back, catching my breath while Jake held me in his arms, also panting.

Beginning to feel woozy and intoxicated, my knight in shining armor carried me home wedding style, both of us wearing matching, giddy grins.

Before he dropped me off I had something to say.

"I think I'm falling for you," I sheepishly whispered in his ear.

Then I walked off to my front door, leaving him pondering my words in the pouring rain.

---------------

While we were sober, the last few weeks of term were awfully awkward, as we acknowledged that perhaps it had gone a bit too far in our drunken states. However, the words we had said were true deep down and I guess we both found it difficult to believe that the other had shared feelings. Generally, I felt awful because we'd been avoiding each other lately and I was lost without my rock.

Nevertheless, when prom arrived we were finally united. Months earlier we had both concluded that we'd never get dates and decided to go as friends. Of course, when the night came we concluded that it was the time we became more than just friends.

So 5 years later and many ups and downs, I find myself in the strong arms of my fiancée, best friend, and soulmate. As I stare down at my unique, opal ring, I find myself remembering the amazing day when he proposed.

It was nothing romantic. Like, seriously, not in the tiniest way.

We were spooning on the sofa watching a PLL marathon and eating a packet of Haribo starmix. He had seemed a bit preoccupied that day and couldn't focus, not even in the exciting parts. This was strange, I know most boys despise it, but it was his favourite TV series, and nothing could usually distract him from it.

Studying a red and white Haribo ring, he frowned. I paused the TV and looked at him with a lop-sided smile.

"What's up, babe?" I asked, kissing his ear.

He looked startled, embarrassed even. He looked down at the Haribo ring for another moment then studied me, frowning.

"Have you ever seen something amazing which could change your future forever, in a good way, and been scared to grab the opportunity?" he suddenly gushed.

"No, because I live by the saying 'never live to regret something you didn't do',"

"Mhm," he stopped to think for a moment.

"Aspen?"

"Yes."

"Do you remember that perfectly amazing night when we kissed in that creepy alleyway after some drunk hit on you?"

I giggled, "Of course, that was amazing," He furrowed his brow. "I mean the kissing part, not the drunk dude part," His face relaxed a little.

"I knew in that moment you were the one I wanted to be with, no one else. I thought that I should be yours and you should be mine, forever," he smiled to himself.

"Okay, slightly cheesy but cute. Go on." I giggled.

He cleared his throat and climbed off the sofa. "What I'm saying is exactly that. Aspen Kaylee Lorentia. I know, deep in my heart, that you're the one and no one else is going to come. So, with this Haribo ring, on this perfectly perfect yet unperfect day, I want to ask you something,"

I gasped. Tears forming in my eyes. "Babe, you don't mean?-"

He nodded, getting down on one knee. "Aspen Kaylee Lorentia, I want to spend the rest of my existence with you, my beautiful. Therefore, please, will you marry me?" He held out the edible ring on his palm, grinning like an idiot.

"Will you get me a proper engagement ring? That one is too delicious not to eat," I whined. He chuckled nodding.

"Then, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Yes a gazillion times!" I cried, jumping into his open arms after sliding the sticky treat onto my finger.

Five minutes later I'd ate it, of course...

A month later and yes it is now replaced with my opal stone ring but I will forever think of that moment whenever I see a packet of Haribo or watch PLL.

I turned to face Jake, giving him a long, loving kiss. "I am so lucky to have you," I whispered, tickling his ear with my breath.

"You are so incredibly sexy when you whisper," he whispered in reply.

"Likewise," I laughed.

Relaxing again on his chest, he stroked my hair. However, this didn't last for long as Jake suddenly jumped out of bed. I groaned, hitting my temple off the wooden headboard.

"Crap, sorry," Jake uttered, all of a sudden distracted and slightly panicking. He raked his fingers through his long, brown hair, pacing the room, grabbing clothes and frantically pulling on boxers somehow all at the same time. I turned my head away from his exposed junk, chills going down my spine.

He chuckled. "Why so nervous to see me like this, nothing you haven't seen before."

"Just shut up," I shuddered.

The truth was I kept imagining being my thirteen-year-old self, disgusted at even the thought of her best friend naked. It wasn't like she hadn't comfortably seen him like that before but the child in her was still disgusted.

"I just saw the time. There's a conference going on at work in 20 minutes," he explained while manically pulling on a shoe. I slid out of bed to assist him. Pouting, I readjusted his lopsided tie then attempted to tuck in his shirt as he brushed his teeth.

"Can we all just agree I'm so much more attractive than you?" he smirked. I lightly slapped him, horrified. He just laughed.

"Sometimes I wonder why I agreed to this," I retorted, pointing to my sparkling ring. He pretend punched my arm, rolling his eyes.

Finally ready, he planted a kiss on my forehead. "Goodbye, beautiful," I gave him one last peck on the cheek before getting ready myself.

Slipping on black leggings, a loose fitting white top, my signature black boots and my infamous brown, cropped jacket, I slipped outside half an hour later, locking the door behind me.

There was a bustle of people going about their daily tasks in the small shopping area. Usually, I would pass through all the activity, turning left to go the police station, however, today I went right, wanting to find the boy with green eyes. My mind seemed to be willing me to go, almost as if an unexplainable force was pulling me there.

On the way, I subconsciously rang Imogen to explain that I was staying off work, sick. I hated lying to her but no one could know that I was going back.

The woods were rapidly nearing and I felt strange. It was as if my every movement was choreographed and I knew exactly where to go. My feet quickly led me to the road where I had been knocked out on last night. Typical.

Cautiously, I approached. Peering around the bend, I saw policemen searching the area, some even standing guard. Oh, Jesus Christ.

I scanned the area for a means of escape. Everywhere seemed normal except for the trees beside me. Something about them alarmed me and my instincts began to urge me to go into there. Without thinking, I stepped into the trees. An alien may as well have been in control of my body because I had no control.

In through the yellow woods, I followed instinct and now, a mysterious rustling in the bushes ahead. I jogged, eager to find out where I was being led to. For all someone might say this is a trap, for some reason I just knew it wasn't, there had to be a reason why I was being led to this place.

As I stepped out into a greener clearing and the loud sound of rushing water filled the air. Brushing aside the branches of a willow, I was introduced to a spectacular waterfall. There was something mystic about the way the water gracefully fell and how the rock surface was littered with what seemed like hundreds of perfectly sized caves.

Feeling as if I needed to be quiet, I tip-toed lightly over the pebbled ground. All of a sudden, there was a rustle in the bushes just 5ft away. I cautiously approached, clutching a bottle of pepper spray. Behind the bush was a dark brown wolf, giant with large teeth yellowed and stained slightly with blood. I gasped. It was them green eyes...

------------------

Hackles raised he circled me. It didn't seem like he was going to attack, more like he was showing me who was the boss. When he was satisfied he disappeared into the trees again. Several minutes later, a boy emerged. It was the same boy who had knocked me out.

"Werewolf..." I breathed, terrified, everything now adding up in my head.

"I won't hurt you, you're different." He attempted to reassure me. 
"I don't believe that for a second." I thought.

"I won't hurt you, for god's sake!" He said, gruffly.
"But he will, don't trust him, Aspen, goddammit!I thought to myself, still staying adamantly silent. He thought for a second, brows furrowed.

"Aspen..." He tasted the word, saying it to no one in particular.

I frowned in disgust. Who the heck was this guy and how did he know my name. This was quickly becoming creepy. "How the hell do you know my name!?" I demanded.
"You can trust me, Aspen," He sighed, getting impatient. Of course I couldn't trust him! He was some strange dude who apparently would turn into a werewolf. Oh, and on top of that, he bit me when I was young.

"Trust my ass." I hissed.

His face contorted in thought. It stayed like this until he chuckled, presumably at what he was thinking about. "What?" I snapped, sounding angry yet my eyes were wide with fear and curiosity. It was natural, I couldn't help having a thirst to find things out. Like at that moment I was determined to find out who green eyes was.

"You should really work on looking angry, I can't take you seriously," he was howling by now. I don't even know why it wasn't even funny. At all. Frustrated and annoyed, I narrowed my eyes at him. But I was still scared and not ready to proceed in arguing back. I mean, if he changed now, he could rip my eyes out, right? Green eyes had the upper hand in this.

My fierce mask began to quiver. "He's going to kill me, isn't he?" whimpered in my thoughts. He had no reason to keep me alive, did he? He was probably going to murder me like everyone else because I knew his biggest secret. He stopped laughing as if my thoughts had triggered him. Well, they had.

"Stop it with the negative thoughts!" He cried, getting increasingly annoyed.

"How the hell can you read my mind?" I gasped. Ok, first the werewolf thing and then this?! Was he the flipping werewolf version of Edward Cullen?

"You're my bloody pet, that's how. We're linked by blood," he explained, making no sense to me.

"What the fudge cakes are you talking about?" I Cried. Fudge cakes? Damn, I sounded crazy... But so did he, so we were even.
"This guy seems crazy. Pet? Linked by blood?" I thought, perplexed.

"Oh Jesus Christ, this will all take a while to explain," he growled. "And the name's Jace, so stop referring to me as 'green eyes' in your head."

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