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Authors: Cheree Alsop

Tags: #romance, #love, #fantasy, #danger, #werewolf, #teen, #urban, #series, #1

Silver

BOOK: Silver
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SILVER

 

By Cheree L. Alsop

 

 

Copyright © 2011 by Cheree L. Alsop
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be
reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express
written permission of the author except for the use of brief
quotations in a book review. This ebook is licensed for your
personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given
away to other people. If you would like to share this book with
another person, please purchase an additional copy for each
recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or
it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to
Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting
the hard work of this author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places,
and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Any
resemblance to actual persons, events, or locales is entirely
coincidental.

Smashwords Edition

Cover Design by Andy Hair

www.ChereeAlsop.com

 

 

 

 

To my husband, Michael Alsop.

Thank you for believing in me.

 

To my family for their endless support.

 

I love you!

 

 

Chapter 1

 

I knew the contents of the trunk by heart; a
brown leather jacket so worn the cloth showed through in places, an
empty bottle of cologne that still held its scent, an old pair of
sparing gloves with faded knuckles, and a couple of sheets of paper
covered in the precise penmanship of the son of a teacher. A Hunter
would kill me if he ever found the trunk, but Mom knew better than
to suggest I get rid of it.

I pushed it back under my bed. My heart
ached at the scent that lingered, but I forced myself to get on
with unpacking. I wondered with a glance at the multitude of
cardboard boxes if it was futile to pursue emptying them, but the
thought of inactivity and the barrage of memories it brought sent a
shudder down my spine and I turned back to work.

Night chased the shadows of evening from the
street below. I couldn’t see the moon through my window, but knew
it would be full in a week and a half. I didn’t need to look at the
calendar anymore; I could feel it in my bones. I tossed several
shirts into the closet and went down for dinner even though my
stomach twisted at the thought of the spaghetti and meatballs that
touched the air with their wheat and tomato scent.


Do you have everything
ready for school tomorrow?” Mom smiled, but her tight eyes and
creased forehead belied her cheerful demeanor.

I nodded and swallowed another bite of
spaghetti without tasting it.


Did you find your
backpack? I was worried you wouldn’t find it in all those
boxes.”

The strange tone in her voice caught my
attention. I looked up to see tears tracing lines down her cheeks.
My heart clenched away from her pain, shoving me back into the
black void I had buried myself in to survive the past couple of
weeks. I couldn’t let her face her pain alone, but I didn’t have to
face my own.

I rose and hugged her tight where she sat in
her chair. She froze for a split second, then turned against my
chest and started to sob. I patted her head, smoothing the long
strands of dark blond hair. It was hard not to say anything, hard
not to let the fire in my throat and the ache in my chest turn into
its own sob, but I forced it back. A single tear traced down my
cheek; I wiped it off before she saw.


We’re gonna be okay, Mom,”
I whispered. I stared out the kitchen window. I searched the
darkness for golden eyes, but only my own image reflected back at
me. It wasn’t the image I held in my head.

I looked older, worn. The past two weeks had
aged me more than I could have guessed. My stare reflected back
hard and angry, my jaw clenched tight. Strands of blond hair fell
in front of my eyes, eyes the same dark brown that dad’s had been.
I shook my head to clear them and turned away from my reflection,
angry at the things it didn’t show.


A new school, a new
territory,” Mom said, her shoulders bowed. She shook her head. “You
shouldn’t have to go through this alone. It could be
dangerous.”

I couldn’t help the wry tone that came to my
voice. “There is no one else, Mom. I’ll be okay. Who’s going to
mess with me?” But we both knew the truth. I stepped away. “I’ll be
in the backyard for a bit.”

She wiped the tears from her cheeks and
looked at my plate. “You’re not going to finish your dinner?”

I shook my head. “Not hungry.”

I didn’t wait for her answer. I grabbed the
pair of gloves on the counter and slid open the back door. Fresh
air, so different in taste and smell it felt like we had stepped
onto a different planet instead of across the country, swirled
around me in an eddy of humidity, the dull roar of city night life,
and a hint of rain. A cacophony of crickets, the slight breeze
catching in the trees, and a pair of dogs barking at each other a
few blocks away completed the portrait of night.

I strapped on the gloves and made my way to
the bag I had put up the second the moving truck left. It hung from
the pecan tree like a lone sentry guarding the yard against night
demons. The thick paneled fence gave a facade of privacy, but it
felt like eyes watched from the gaps between the wood. I shrugged
off the feeling and jabbed the bag. It shook and the familiar
rattle of the chain drew me back to better times. I dodged and
swung. The bag rocked with the force of the blow. I stepped back
and kicked it to get it moving, then ducked and punched when it
came back my way.

Sweat trickled between my shoulder blades
and my heart pounded by the time I finished. I leaned against the
tree, my legs rubbery.


Wear yourself out
yet?”

I jumped and spun, searching the yard for
any sign of movement. Lit only by stars and the faint light of the
waxing moon that filtered through the reaching trees, the yard
would have been nearly pitch black to anyone else; but to my eyes,
shades of gray defined the shapes around me. I stood up when I
confirmed that I was alone in the yard.

A faint motion between the fence panels
revealed the silhouette of a person a few inches shorter than me. I
stepped sideways into the slight breeze; the scent it carried, a
floral perfume faint from the day, a whispered hush of mint and
apricot, and a hint of pizza which I guessed was from dinner,
confirmed that my watcher was a girl. There was nothing hostile in
the scent.

I shook my head at my own fears.


Should I take you to be
the strong, silent type then?” she asked with a touch of
humor.

I wasn’t in the mood to be teased. “Just the
type who prefers to be left alone in his own backyard.” I
unstrapped the gloves, the sound of the velcro loud in the silence
between us. A siren wailed in the distance, followed closely by
another.


Wow, and blunt. No beating
around the bush for you, huh?”

I rolled my eyes, forgetting that she
couldn’t see me. “Is it too much to ask for some privacy?”


In this city? Yes, or
haven't you noticed that there’s barely enough room to breathe back
here, let alone keep to one’s self.” She leaned against the fence
with a huff. “What do they expect us to do after curfew,
sleep?”

I laughed despite my foul mood. “I think
that’s the idea.” I toyed with the gloves in my hands and debated
whether to go in the house. The night was cool, but not the
freezing temperatures I was accustomed to in early March.


So you get all moved in?”
she pressed.

I gave an inward sigh. “Yeah, pretty
much.”


The moving truck wasn’t
there long.” When I didn’t answer, she waited in silence. I hoped
if I kept quiet long enough she would grow bored and leave. But a
few minutes later, she asked, “You starting school
tomorrow?”

I frowned and fought back an urge to hit the
bag again. “Yeah, why?”


It sucks to start a new
school in the middle of the year. Why’d you move?”

I turned back to the house. “Have a good
night.”


You’re leaving? Just like
that?” She sounded surprised and a little hurt.


Yeah, like I said, have a
good night.”

I took two steps when a long, low howl cut
through the symphony that made up the city twilight. Dogs stopped
barking, the shouts of an angry wife a few houses down quieted, and
insects that had seconds ago been weaving their songs of worship to
the moon fell silent. Hair rose on the back of my neck. The source
wasn’t close, but it was definitely werewolf. I fought the urge to
bare my teeth.

The howl drifted away to a thick silence; I
wondered that no other werewolf answered, then remembered that it
wasn’t a full moon. Uneasiness tangled under my skin at the thought
of a werewolf running alone when the moon was only waxing.


Goodnight.” Her voice
startled me. She made her way toward the house without waiting for
a response.


Do you have a lot of
wolves here?” I wanted to kick myself as soon as the question left
my mouth, but it caught her attention.

She turned and the faint light that spilled
through the back door gave life to her silhouette. She had long
black hair and wore loose-fitting pajama pants and a tee-shirt with
a black bird printed on it. She showed her annoyance with a hand on
her hip and the hard stare she gave as she tried to make out my
form in the shadows.


Oh, so now you want to
talk?” she accused.

I shook my head. “Never mind.”

I had reached my own back door and slid it
open when she said, “Yeah, there’re wolves.”

I paused, a knot in my stomach. “I didn’t
think there would be wolves here, especially in the city.” I forced
my tone to lighten. “I figured there'd be more coyotes; you know,
like in the westerns.”

She gave an unfeminine snort. “Sorry to
disappoint you. Welcome to the big city, partner.” She tipped an
imaginary hat my way and a laugh escaped her lips.


Why thank you, little
lady,” I replied. I felt foolish, but grinned just the
same.

We stared across the darkness at each other
for a moment, then I stepped inside the house. “Have a good night,”
I called over my shoulder.


You, too,” she
said.

I slid the door shut behind me and listened
for her to do the same, then went upstairs for a quick shower
before bed. The howl echoed through my thoughts and quickened the
foreboding that rose in my chest when I thought of what the morning
would bring. It was a long time before I gave in to sleep and the
ever-present nightmares it heralded.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

I walked to school the next morning. We
didn’t have an extra car and Mom was out searching for a job all
day; I figured the fresh air would help clear my head.

The school looked normal enough from the
outside. Students streamed in from buses, cars, on bikes, and on
foot. The atmosphere was solemn at the early hour, and several of
the seniors carried cups of coffee from the nearby Starbucks. But
the similarities to my previous high school stopped when I entered
the building.

Metal detectors had also decorated the
entrance of my old school, but it was the cups that caught my
attention. Bracelets, necklaces, rings, chains, earrings, and wrist
bands, all made of silver, filled the small containers used to hold
any metal that had the potential to set off the alarms. Each
student that passed through the detector filled a cup nearly to the
brim; two guards didn’t bat an eye when one student required two
cups to hold all of his silver.

The students around me threw suspicious
glances my way when I passed through the detectors without putting
anything in a cup. Distracted, it took two more steps for the smell
to hit me.

There had been two other werewolves at my
last school and we were in the same pack with eight others from
around the city. It was a large pack as far as convention went.
Here, my senses strained at the obvious presence of at least a
dozen werewolves, enough to complete a whole pack within the school
alone. My mind reeled at the implications.

The metal detectors took on a new light.
Students looped necklaces and reattached bracelets with practiced
ease while juggling school books and backpacks. Silver flashed in
the neon glare and the light chime of metal on metal resonated
harsh to my ears. The guards also wore silver, though it was much
less extravagant than that of the students.

BOOK: Silver
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