Title: The Bitch and the Beast
Author: Jos Mous
RATING: I'm guessing R
PAIRING: Nicole/Sam, eventually
DISCLAIMER: None of these characters belong to me. I'm just borrowing them.
NOTE: This fic does not take place in the regular Popular-universe, but in my personal version of it. Puritans not approving of this fact should ignore this fic. Puritans telling me they don't approve of this fic will be laughed at.
Nicole Julian silently kept berating herself for her own stupidity. What had she been thinking? It must've been some temporary insanity, no doubt about it. The only excuse she had for her own behaviour was the fact that her car had broken down. That was the _only_ reason she was now walking down the streets and towards her own house. No, she wasn't doing this because her car broke down, she was doing this to get a little exercise. That's right, exercise.
Still it didn't change the fact that it was dark and cold and slightly eerie. A man stepped out of an alley and in front of Nicole, he smiled at her with what could only be described as a sick, twisted grin. Nicole shot him one of her famed 'death-looks'. The man was not impressed.
"Well, well, well, look who thinks she's something." He said laughing. "I'm sorry little girl but you're gonna have to do better than stare a little to survive this one." The man laughed again.
Nicole noticed quite uncomfortably that the man didn't cast a shadow, even though he was standing beneath a lamppost. What was more concerning was the fact that his teeth looked a little too sharp to be human. She had never been much of a fan of bad horror stories and had never believed in anything supernatural, but she had to form one rather unpleasant conclusion.
This man was a vampire.
Worse, a vampire who had her on his menu.
Nicole started to back away, for the first time in her life truly afraid of anything. She was going to die. She could try running but a part of her brain said that wouldn't really be a good idea. In all likelihood the vampire would find it amusing. Then he would grab her and suck her blood. So, having come to this logical conclusion she did the one thing her body could think of doing.
She closed her eyes in part to pray to whoever was up there, but mostly because she didn't want to face her impending death. She suddenly heard a few snarling sounds, a loud thump or two and then nothing.
She carefully opened one of her eyes. She then opened both her eyes in surprise. The vampire was nowhere to be seen. Instead a large brown wolf stood in front of her. But not very long. The wolf began… shifting… its muscles and bones rearranging, its fur changing into… clothes? In a few seconds where had once been a wolf now stood a girl. A girl Nicole knew all too well.
"Sam?" Nicole was too surprised to say anything but that. She had even momentarily forgotten her usual nickname for the brunette she abhorred. But not for long though, soon her bitchiness came back full orce.
"What the hell is going on here?" She demanded.
Sam looked at her with contempt and a strange gleam in her eyes. Nicole was frightened for the second time in her life.
"What are you doing here, Julian?" It was more growled than said and added to Nicole's anxiety. She wasn't about to show it, of course.
"What are _you_ doing here?" She said with what she hoped was a steel voice.
"That's none of your business. But it includes getting you home, so come on." Sam grabbed by Nicole by the arm and dragged her forward.
"Hey!" Nicole protested indignantly. "You can't do this to me!"
"Shut up! Do you want to get home alive or not?" Somehow Sam's tone of voice made it quite clear to her that the only way she was getting home alive was to simply follow her. Not that she had much of a choice, the brunette was extremely strong.
"Look, what's going on here?" Nicole asked again, not really expecting an answer.
"Like I said, none of your business. This isn't your world, leave it at that."
"There's only one world Spam."
"No there isn't." Sam said, pointedly ignoring Nicole's usual insult. "When _you_ get home you watch TV, flush your meal down the toilet, do senseless girl-things and go to sleep. I don't. I sneak out every night to make sure you can stay in that sheltered little world of yours without things like me walking around in it."
"What are you then?" Nicole asked.
"Haven't you figured it out yet?" Was Sam's only response. "Look, here's your house. Get inside, crawl into bed and forget it, alright? And if I hear something about this at school tomorrow you are going to be _really_ sorry, understood?"
"You can't threaten me!" Nicole said, forgetting the fact that Sam had still been a wolf about ten minutes ago.
Sam simply glared at her with more venom than anyone had ever done, including herself. Slightly cowed by this Nicole turned around majestically and headed towards her house. Sam watched her go in before turning around and walking away.
"Humans," She darkly muttered to herself. "Why do we even bother protecting them?"
A new day awoke and the events of last night seemed to be very far away to Nicole Julian. In fact, she wasn't exactly sure if it had really happened or if it had been some bizarre dream. This state of mind could easily be explained by the fact that we try to rationalise everything unexplainable so it will go away and stay away. It may hinder our view on this world, but at least it gives us peace of mind. And quite frankly Nicole started to seriously wonder why she had been afraid of Sam in the first place. I mean, come on, Nicole Julian, second on the school's popular scale afraid of some nobody like Spam McPherson? Yeah, right. The girl didn't even look like the graceful predator she had seen- no, dreamed of last night.
Then there was one of those eternally long moments. You knew that it only lasted a second, maybe less, but that second really took its time before disappearing into the past. If it weren't for the fact that Nicole had been looking at Sam's face when it happened she wouldn't have noticed. But in that split second Sam had this smirk on her face that just screamed 'Predator' in the most animalistic sense of the word. And it was directed straight at Nicole.
Then it was gone again and the world was once again as it should be, except for one tiny difference.
Nicole's world had just fallen to pieces.
And no amount of denial could ever repair it again.
NOTE: I got feedback requesting more, so now I'm pretty nervous because I've got to live up to expectations. Still, don't let that prevent you from feedbacking some more.
Nicole strode confidently through the halls of Kennedy High. Her eyes didn't seem to see anything except her target, which right now wasn't in sight yet. It was one of those expressions that made everyone suddenly realise they had to be somewhere else. Preferably on another planet. It was clear that someone had done something horrible and that Nicole Julian was going to make that someone pay.
She spotted her target near a locker, grabbed her by the arm and dragged her along with her, still staring off into the distance. Sam was shouting all kinds of things, but Nicole blocked them out of her mind. Some small part of her knew that Sam could easily break free, but Nicole gambled Sam wouldn't want to blow her cover.
She gambled correctly.
When the two of them entered the Novak Sam immediately and very easily freed her arm. She then proceeded to check the stalls. Pleased that there was no one else here she turned and faced Nicole. It was a little frightening to see Sam standing there. The annoying-everyday-Sam was gone and instead there stood the I-change-into-a-wolf-at-night-Sam.
"What do you want?" She asked making her voice sound both threatening and extremely bored at the same time.
"I want some answers, Spam."
"Hand over the recorder." Sam demanded.
"I don't know wha-"
"Don't lie to me. Now hand it over."
Grudgingly Nicole took out a cassette recorder, quite pointedly pressed the 'stop' button and threw it over to Sam.
"Well, I trust that you've only brought one (at that moment Nicole made a mental note to take two recorders with her next time) so fire away."
"What are you?"
"If you can't guess that this conversation is now over."
"Bingo. Anything else?"
"I thought you only changed during full moon?"
"You think a lot of things about us that aren't true."
"Who else what?"
"Are there more of you around here?"
"A couple." Sam admitted. "But I'm the only one on Kennedy High." She added smiling.
"Are you lying to me?"
"Maybe." Sam shrugged. "Maybe not. You're not even supposed to know all this."
"'All this' is an impressively small amount Spam."
"And it's already too much. If you get involved you get killed." Sam started heading for the door. "I suggest you back off and let my kind do what we do best."
And with that Sam was gone. Nicole didn't even register that she didn't get her recorder back. She was still trying to process the rather awkward conversation. If it weren't for the fact that she had seen Sam change in front of her eyes last night she'd happily forget all about it.
But she couldn't.
Because werewolves were suddenly real. So were vampires.
And those two facts made Nicole wonder how much more things were out there.
Sam McPherson had a problem. She was a werewolf. That in itself wasn't so much of a problem to her. The problem was that once upon a time she had been human. And that time was about five months ago. And being a werewolf also meant having a lot more primal emotions and a lot less control over them. It was starting to get difficult for her as the night approached to not let her werewolf side show. She had let it show a little this afternoon in the Novak with Nicole and that proved to have been a mistake. Because right now Sam McPherson really felt like ripping something's throat out. That urge usually came around the time when she slipped out of her bedroom window to start hunting, but right now it was still diner time. So Sam focused extremely on the plate with all that cooked food on it. Normally she liked her food cooked but in her present mindset -lingering somewhere between human and wolf- she'd much rather have something raw. The rest of the pack had ensured her that all cubs went through this, but that wasn't much of a comfort to her right now.
"Sam honey, are you alright?" Jane asked concerned.
Sam snapped out of her reverie that contained a lot of blood, flesh, fur and teeth. "Err… well… no, I'm not feeling very well." Which wasn't exactly true. She felt great, only not in a human kind of way. "Could I be excused?" Without waiting for an answer she put down her fork and rushed towards her room. She breathed in and out heavily a few times before sinking down against a wall. 'Only a few more hours', she kept telling herself.
Holding on to her humanity seemed like too great a task right now.
Finally the moment arrived. The last lights in the house were turned off, the last conversations had ended. Everybody was finally asleep. In her short life as a werewolf this was probably the worst night yet. She had her mom, Mike and even Brooke come over to her room to 'talk to her'. It had been very trying to say the least. She had paced, talked gibberish and quite frankly looked like an idiot. She wasn't going to hear the end of that very soon.
But right now that didn't matter, because right now she was climbing out her window, after which she jumped to the ground. Any human might have been injured by a fall like that, but Sam landed gracefully on her feet. When she stood up again she could see someone she really didn't want to see.
Nicole Julian with a camcorder.
Verging on the edge of homicidal Sam almost ran towards Nicole, grabbed her camcorder, threw the blasted thing to ground and easily smashed it with her foot. She then looked at Nicole who suddenly didn't seem as confident as she was a few seconds ago.
"What the Hell do you THINK you're doing!" Sam shouted, not really caring if anyone could hear them. "Wasn't I clear the last few times when I said stuff like this could get you killed!?" Sam held up her hands and shook her head. "No, forget it. I don't care. If you want to risk your life, go ahead. I promise I won't interfere again." She stared at Nicole, who by now was seriously reconsidering if all this had been a good idea. "Just get out of my way."
Sam was about to shove Nicole quite a few feet away when she was interrupted by a series of snarls and growls. Nicole, knowing that this might be bad, looked frightened. Sam on the other hand looked extremely relieved. Out of the darkness 15 shapes appeared, six men, four women and five wolves. Sam immediately ran over to one of the men, hugged him and started talking in that strange language of snarls and growls. Nicole assumed that the man was either the leader or Sam's new boyfriend. Either way, Nicole didn't really care.
After a few moments Sam broke free from the man and changed into her wolf form. She and the five other wolves quickly darted away. Nine of the ten remaining humans shifted as well shortly after and dashed off in another direction, leaving only Nicole and the man Sam had been talking to.
The man walked up to her and put one of his arms around Nicole's shoulder.
"Walk with me, will you?" The man said calmly.
Nicole, not seeing any other option, said nothing and walked with him.
"What's your name?" The man asked.
"Name's David." The man said. "Sam told me you were being quite bothersome."
"Sam always thinks I'm 'quite bothersome'."
"Maybe." David admitted. "But going to her house in the middle of the night with a camcorder, well… That's not something we can really allow." David made it all sound very reasonable.
"Yeah, well what are you gonna do about it?" Nicole asked defiantly. "Eat me?"
For a split second the blonde feared that the answer was going to be 'yes'. Fortunately it wasn't.
"We're not cannibals, Nicole." David said.
"You're not human." Nicole pointed out. "You're werewolves."
"We're human. Most of the time." David assured her. "But that's not really the point."
"Then what is the point?"
"The point is that Sam is still a young cub."
"A cub?" Nicole asked incredulously.
"A cub is someone who hasn't been a werewolf for very long regardless of age." David clarified. "Anyway, Sam is still relatively new to all this. In her mind there is still a difference between 'human' and 'wolf' and those two concepts clash occasionally. During that little scene back then Sam had great difficulty keeping herself under control. You're lucky we showed up or she might have done some rather permanent things to you."
"So you want me to stay away from Sam?"
"Not necessarily, I just want you to stop reminding her she's a werewolf. She needs to sort everything out by herself and your constant nagging might drive her over the edge.""I was not-"
"Yes you were. But don't worry, after tonight's hunt she'll be fine again. For a whole day at least."
"Gee, what a comforting thought." Nicole said sarcastically.
"But enough about Sam." David said. "Let's talk about you. What do you think you were going to do with that tape?" He asked calmly without any trace of accusation in his voice.
"I… I don't know. Prove Sam's a werewolf."
"Prove it to who?"
"To… me, mostly." Nicole admitted.
"So you weren't planning on showing it to anybody else?"
"No! Well, maybe Brooke and Mary Cherry. But that's all."
"And then they know as well we are real. Then what?"
"What do you mean?"
"I'll tell you. Then you have the absolute truth that werewolves are real. And that will mean that pretty soon the world knows as well. And we both know what will happen next."
"Pretend I'm stupid."
"We'll be hunted and killed." David said simply. "But maybe also dissected and studied." He added as an afterthought.
"Alright, alright, I get the picture. No more tapes."
"Good." David grabbed Nicole and after some futile struggling and shouts from the blonde he managed to reveal two cassette recorders. "So then you don't mind if I take these, do you?"
Nicole merely glared at him.
"Splendid." He said. "So, what do you want?"
Nicole was genuinely confused by this question. "What do you mean?"
"Frankly, there are only two choices." David cheerfully moved on, not really caring if Nicole could follow him. "One: remain human and never bother us again, or two: become a werewolf and join the pack."
"I…" Nicole tried to find more words, but somewhere she realised that she needed to have an answer first. It frightened her slightly that she didn't immediately yell that she wanted to stay human.
"Well, here's your stop." David said suddenly. "Get inside, have a good night's rest and let me know whatever you decide, alright?"
"Wait… how did you know-"
"Where you lived? We now everyone and everything in this town." David explained. "See you later."
"Wait!" Nicole shouted.
"Was there anything else?"
"Spa- Sam, how did she find out?"
"She didn't. We, well, I approached her. She immediately leapt at the opportunity." David leaned in closer to Nicole and whispered in a conspiratory fashion. "She's going to be my successor as pack leader." He backed off again. "But that doesn't really matter right now. You have a lot to think about so I'll let you be. Goodnight Miss Julian."And with that he transformed and ran off.
Sam loved the hunt. It was simple, it was fast and most importantly it was fun. And tonight had been quite a profitable night for the pack. They had faced a total of twenty different demons and had killed them easily. After having fed the pack had dragged or carried (depending on the form they were in) whatever remained to David's house where it would be stored indefinitely. It was likely most of the meat was never going to be eaten, but it was still a shame to just let it go to waste. Besides, if people found demon flesh and blood all over the streets they would start asking questions.
So quite satisfied, and her bloodlust back to normal levels Sam climbed up the drainpipe and crawled back into the house through her bedroom window. But when she stepped into her bedroom she was met with a rather unwelcome surprise.
"I can't believe she grounded me." Sam moaned.
Sam had just finished telling about what had happened the previous night. It really hadn't been pretty. After a rather lengthy argument in which the word 'trust' was used a little too often Sam had become a little… aggressive. In the end both Mike and Brooke had mingled into the discussion as well and it had ended in Sam almost literally throwing all of them out of her room.
She was grounded for four months.
At the very least.
"Come on Sam, it's not that bad." Lily tried to comfort her."I mean, it's not like you've never been grounded before, right?" Carmen added helpfully.
"I know," Sam sighed. "It's just… really bad timing."
"Why DID you sneak out of the house at night?" Harrison asked.
"I… I… hang out with a couple guys I know." Sam realised that this was not a very good response, but she couldn't think of anything else.
"Do we know 'em?" Carmen asked.
"Don't really think so." Sam answered.
"This isn't about drugs or anything, is it?" Harrison asked.
"NO! No, it's…"
(Come on Sam, think of something good.)
"Bible study group."
"'Bible study group'?" Carmen asked incredulously. "You sneak out at night to study the Bible?"
"Yeah, well, can't live without the Lord, right?" She offered weakly. (Why didn't I just say I used drugs? That'd be a lot simpler.)
"Then why didn't you tell your mom that?" Lily asked. "I'm sure she'd understand. Or at least ground you for a little less long."
Sam groaned and banged her head on the table. "I'm doomed."
"Now, now Sam, being grounded doesn't mean you go to Hell." Harrison tried to comfort her, but instead earned two glares from Carmen and Lily and another groan from Sam.
After that Sam decided it might be best not to listen to her friends very carefully and think. She knew she had to do something, but she didn't want to drag her friends into her world. She needed to tell Dave about this, but since her mom was going to pick her up after school that may be rather difficult. Then the brunette had a sudden insight that might help her get out of this mess. She was hopeful for a moment, but then she realised WHO it was exactly that could help her.
"Nicole." She said softly. "I can't believe I have to go Nicole for help."
Sam got up from the table, excused herself and left, leaving three very confused teenagers behind.
"Did Sam just say she needed Nicole to help her out?" Harrison asked.Carmen and Lily merely nodded.
"Is anyone else scared about this turn of events?"
Again Carmen and Lily just nodded.
"You got WHAT!?"
"This isn't funny Nicole."
"Sorry, but, yes it is." Nicole couldn't contain her laughter after Sam had told her in grave tones that she was grounded.
"You know what this means, don't you?"
"Wolfie doesn't get to play?" Nicole said in a singsong voice. The blonde knew that Sam was probably terrified that she might harm someone and she was going to exploit this as far as she could.
"Nic, I really need your help." Sam almost begged. "Please." Sam must be really, really, very desperate to say 'please' to Nicole.
"You know, I thought I was banned from dealing with you." Nicole said. "If I'm not mistaken you told me repeatedly that it would kill me. Literally."
"It'll kill you if you don't help me." Sam growled.
"Threatening me isn't going to get you very far, Spam."
"Apparently neither does saying 'please'." Sam muttered darkly.
"But I don't want you to think I'm completely unreasonable." Nicole was having an advantage here and she liked it. "So if you do me a small favour I might help you out."
"What kind of favour?" Sam asked grudgingly.
"I'm not sure yet." Nicole admitted. "But I'm sure I'll think of something."
"OK, fine, just help me out."
"How do I know I can believe you? I mean, face it we're not exactly best friends, now are we?"
"You Have My Word." Sam said slowly. "And where I come from that means something."
"What? Werewolves have a sense of honour?" Nicole asked laughing.
"Is that really so hard to believe?"
"Frankly, yes. But alright, what do you want me to do?"
"Thought you'd never ask." Sam sighed relieved. "Go to David's house, he's-"
"He's the leader, right?"
"Right. How did you know?"
"Came to talk me last night." Nicole explained.
"Oh." Sam seemed to be rather disappointed by this. "Well anyway, tell him I'm grounded and that I can't get out of the house."
"That's all?" Nicole asked incredulously.
"That's all." Sam confirmed.
"Why don't you just call him?"
"For some reason we don't like talking about stuff like this over the phone. Call it paranoia, but we just don't want to risk anything."
"Right." Nicole said slowly.
(And talking about it openly in the Novak isn't a risk?)
"You have the address?" The blonde asked.
Sam fumbled through her pockets and took out a small business card. Nicole looked at it and then looked back at Sam.
"OK I'll go there after school." Nicole said.
"I'll pretend I didn't hear that." The blonde said.
Nicole was a bout to leave the Novak when she thought of something."Couldn't you just sneak out the window again?"
"Mom nailed it shut."
"But you could break through it, right?"
"Easy." Sam said. "But I'm not going to. I'm grounded so I'm not to leave the house unless absolutely necessary."
"And going out to hunt so that you won't kill your family isn't necessary?"
"Nicole." Sam said threateningly.
"Fine, fine. I'm going." She said smiling. "But Spam, I just want you to know that right now you look like a junkie who's got to have her shot."
Sam was about to say something back, but then she realised that that may not be as far from the truth as she hoped.
Nicole had expected David's shop to be a musty old bookstore or maybe one of those stores where they sold stuffed animals. But no, much to her surprise David owned a music store. And a quite modern one at that judging from the enormous amount of juvenile fashion victims lounging around the place. Well, at least the shop had a corny name.'White Wolf Records.' Honestly, what kind of a name is that?Inside it was both crowded and noisy and Nicole had to make her way through quite a lot of people before she reached the counter.
"Can I help you, miss?" The man behind the counter asked.
It was David and he smiled that faint 'I'm-going-to-sell-you-something-whether-you-like-it-or-not'-smile.
"Yeah, it's about Sam." Nicole said, hoping the guy would get the clue.
The guy got the clue. His smile disappeared again and he gestured to the back door.
"Hank! Take over for a sec, will you!" He then directed his attention back to Nicole again. "This way, Miss Julian."
The shop was connected to David's house through a rather short corridor. And the interior of the house was indeed what Nicole expected. Lots of musty old books and several stuffed animals. The blonde was half expecting whether or not she wanted tea.
"Please, sit down." David asked as he gestured towards a rather large, rather old chair.
Nicole quite reluctantly sat down on the ancient piece of furniture praying that nobody could see here in a room like this.
"So, have you reached a decision?" Dave asked.
"Yes I've made my decision! I want to remain human, I have no desire to turn into a wolf and chase things all around town!" Was what Nicole _wanted_ to say, but what she _really_ said was: "I'm still thinking about it."
"Fair enough." David said. "Now what's the matter with Sam? Anything wrong?"
"You could say that. She's grounded."
"And that's it. She can't get out and she's terrified she might do something to someone."
"I see." David said. "For how long?"
"Four months. At least, that's what she told me."
David whistled through his teeth. "That IS a bit long. But for now I can't do much about it. Come on, I'll show you out."
Nicole didn't like Sam, but for this man to be so casual about what Sam perceived as a predicament went a bit too far. Even for her."What do you mean, 'you can't do much about it'? Sam has begged me to go talk to you and all you say is 'I can't do much about it'!? What kind of leader _are_ you?"
"You are in no position to pass judgement miss Julian. Sam needs to understand that there is no difference between 'human' and 'wolf' and this might help her."
"There is a difference, you know. A pretty big one."
"Not when it comes to our kind. And I'll admit that Sam is probably going to have a very rough time. But every one of us has to go through it. Even me." He looked at Nicole and smiled. "And even you."
"I'm not a-"
"Not yet. But your continuing refusal to say 'no' means that one day you will say 'yes'. It's a textbook case, really. Now then, if you'll excuse me, I have a store to manage."
And with that the conversation was officially over.
Once Nicole stood outside the shop again she wasn't quite sure what to do next. She should probably go tell Sam what happened, but that wasn't really what was bothering her.
(I can't believe I'm doing this.)
Nicole took out yet another concealed cassette recorder, removed the cassette and looked at it. She then took out a lighter and set the tape on fire. After a few attempts the thing finally started to burn. She walked over to the nearest garbage can and threw the burning cassette in it. If she were to look behind she would see David standing behind the window to his shop. She would also see him grinning broadly.
NOTE: I suddenly realised that I don't have a plot outlined. Maybe it's time I should start working on one.
Sam was very, very nervous. She had every reason to of course. She knew that in a few more hours she'd want to start hunting. But the problem was that she couldn't go hunting. So instead she just paced up and down her room while occasionally casting a glance at the window. She knew that if she really had to she could break the window and get out after all. But since she wasn't allowed to, she wasn't going to do it. It was funny when she thought about it. She was a predator who had already killed a large number of creatures. Why would she listen to some human telling her what to do? Because that human was her mother. And because Sam somewhere felt she had probably deserved this.
Sam halted in her tracks when she heard the doorbell ring. Footsteps were moving towards the front door and she could hear it open.
"Hey Miss McPherson." It was Nicole. "Is Brooke home?"
"She just left a few minutes ago. I don't know when she'll be back."
"Oh." There was a moment of silence. "Can I come in and wait for her?"
There was the sound of the door closing, the sound of her mother going back to the living room and the sound of Nicole going up the stairs. After a few moments Nicole entered Sam's bedroom who had once again started pacing.
"And?" Sam asked anxious.
"He… err…" Normally Nicole enjoyed being the bearer of bad news, but for some reason she actually felt sorry for the girl. "He said he couldn't do anything."
Sam groaned and looked up at the ceiling with an expression saying 'Why me?'
"I… I'm really sorry." The blonde said. And she meant it too.
"It's OK. Something like this'd probably happen sooner or later. Good thing it's sooner."
"Are you gonna be OK?" Nicole was actually concerned about her.
"I will be. Can't say much for the others, but I will be OK."
"Why did you do it?" Nicole asked.
"Become a werewolf."
"Are you kidding? Why wouldn't I do it? When you go out at night to hunt, that's… that's freedom. You're not bound to rules, you don't have to do what society expects you to do; the only thing that matters is the chase, the kill and the pack."
"Ever killed a human?"
"Of course not. Even I can still tell the difference between a cowering human and a murderous demon."
"So it's unlikely you're going to attack anyone tonight."
"I don't know. I'll probably _know_ the difference, but I'm not sure if I'll _care_ about the difference. I've already been that far gone a couple times, but then the others were still there to remind me about it."
"Ever regret your choice?"
"No." Sam said resolutely. "I could never ever regret this."
"Even if you kill all your friends?"
"Even then I wouldn't regret it."
"That's… pretty scary, Sam."
The brunette shrugged. "Maybe." She looked at Nicole with a smirk on her face. "But why are you asking all this? Want to be bitten?"
Nicole had already opened her mouth to say 'no', but once again the word just didn't seem able to pass her lips. So instead of standing there like an idiot she closed her mouth again and looked at everything but Sam. Which also looked a bit idiotic to tell you the truth.
"Not yet ready, huh?" Sam said.
"Guess not." Nicole answered.
Sam grinned. "It's OK. We'll wait. Don't want to pressure you into doing something huge like this."
"Nicole?" Brooke's voice came floating up the staircase, effectively ending the conversation.
Nicole's eyes went wide. "I don't have a reason to be here."
"You came to talk to me." Sam reminded her.
"That's what I said. I can't just come over here to talk to _you_ of all people."
"Better think of something fast, I can hear her coming up the stairs."Nicole looked rather panicky a moment before rushing out the room.
Despite the fact that Sam was on the verge of a panic attack as well she couldn't help but smile. Humans could be so cute sometimes. Then she got gloomy again and started pacing around the room again.
She closely resembled an animal pacing up and down its cage.
Sam had decided that there was only going to be one possible way if she wanted to survive this night. It was really simple when she thought about it. Don't think, don't feel, don't talk. Complete mental shutdown. And it seemed to be working. Sure the others were worried but Sam didn't have the need to go kill something. But when the lights went out and house was quiet there was nothing Sam could do to distract her even the slightest little bit. So she was once again pacing up and down her room, getting more and more frustrated by the minute. She wanted to hunt, she wanted to chase and most importantly, she didn't want to be here. She felt trapped and there was nothing she could do about it. After banging on the walls for a few minutes Sam managed to calm down enough to form a few coherent thoughts.
The brunette made her way over to the bathroom and filled the sink with water. After splashing some in her face to cool down a little she looked up at the reflection in the mirror.
"Sam, you have two problems." She said to her reflection. "One: you're werewolf and need to get out of this house very, very badly. But unfortunately your mother told you not to leave the house and so you refuse to go out because your sense of honour is way too large. Secondly, and most importantly: you're talking to yourself in the mirror again. Really bad sign."
Sam sighed and turned away from the mirror. If she wasn't allowed to walk outside she might as well wander through the house a little. She wanted to go to sleep, but since werewolves don't really need to sleep that option was pretty much out of the question. Sam ended up in the kitchen. She walked over to the refrigerator and decided to see if there was something edible inside. Unfortunately there was very little in it. Then her eye fell on some raw meat that was probably going to be used for diner tomorrow night. Without thinking Sam grabbed it and in a few hungry bites swallowed the entire thing. It hadn't exactly been quality flesh and she didn't have to hunt for it, but somehow it managed to calm her down. There was this tiny voice somewhere in the back of her head that kept insisting that eating raw meat out of the fridge in the middle of the night was extremely gross, but Sam couldn't imagine how it could possibly be gross. She had eaten raw meat before and the fact that on those occasions she walked on four feet, had a tail and a lot of fur wasn't really much of a difference to her.
The brunette carefully made her way back to her room. She still wanted to get out of this house. The urge wasn't as strong any more, but it was still there. But Sam couldn't find the energy to really care any more. She had been extremely nervous all day and that was now taking its emotional toll. She had fed, she reasoned, so why go out hunting? She curled up on the floor next to her bed and closed her eyes. Maybe she could get a little sleep after all.
She didn't know where she was going, but that didn't really matter. She did know what she was running from and that was a whole lot more important. Every time she cast a glance behind her she could see this large black… shape… coming after her. And each time it seemed a little bit larger and a little bit closer. She could start seeing individual shapes behind her and could hear the howls and the barks. She looked ahead, but there was still nothing there. The howling became louder and nearer and she feared she was never going to get out of this alive. She could see light in the distance. It wasn't very large, but it was there. And that could mean only one thing.
She had almost escaped her pursuers when the inevitable happened.
Her heel broke.
She stumbled forward and fell to the ground. The black beings behind her charged at her. She closed her eyes, not wanting to see what exactly they were.
Nothing happened and when she looked up again she could see the things still running, but now in front of her. She crawled back to her feet when someone tapped on her shoulder.
It was Sam.
"Come on Nic, you're gonna be left behind."
Sam was unsure how exactly it happened. She had been walking through the hallways, chatting with her friends when Lily suddenly fainted. Her pulse turned out to be much too weak and in a moment of clarity she both panicked and called an ambulance. The ride to hospital seemed to have taken ages.
And now here she was in the waiting room. Waiting for any news. Nobody spoke, it would only depress the mood even more if somebody would. Carmen had managed to pull herself together and was leafing through a magazine. Harrison simply sat in a chair, looking off into the distance. Sam felt rather numb. Here she was, living it up at night, caring for very little except the next hunt. And now one of her friends lay in the hospital. All of Sam's instincts screamed to go find whoever did this to Lily and tear him to pieces, but she knew that the cause probably wasn't some evil monster lurking in the darkness. Sam looked up when she heard someone approach. Brooke walked around the corner, followed closely by a rather embarrassed Nicole. Sam didn't know what she appreciated more. Brooke probably came for Lily, but she had a feeling Nicole tagged along because she was concerned about Sam. The brunette wasn't sure whether she was touched or angry. Brooke sat down next to Sam, but Nicole remained standing rather awkwardly.
A doctor came walking in and immediately Carmen, Harrison and Sam stood in front of him.
"How's Lily?" Carmen asked concerned.
"Are you related?" The doctor asked.
"I'm her sister." Carmen lied.
The doctor looked suspicious for a moment, then shrugged. "There's not much to tell, really. She has suffered major bloodloss. We gave her some blood and a room. She'll be out of here in a few days."
"Can we see her?" Carmen asked.
"She's sleeping right now." The doctor said. "It might be best to leave her alone for a few hours."
"Do you know what caused the bloodloss?" Sam asked.
"It was the strangest thing." The doctor said. "The only injury she had were a few small wounds on her neck. It's almost as though that blood simply… disappeared."
At the very same instance both Sam's and Nicole's eyes went wide. Sam's instincts turned out to be right after all. There _was_ some big evil being lurking in the darkness just waiting for her to come and tear it to pieces.
Sam grinned darkly when she started counting in just how many ways one can kill a vampire.
Being grounded turned out to have one tiny advantage. Since she wasn't out chasing all kinds of things Sam had the time to think. The vampire who did this to Lily had probably seen 'Dracula' one too many times. The basic principle was that the vampire would visit his or her victim night after night. The victim would weaken slowly and nearly imperceptibly until one day he or she died.
And that had nearly happened to Lily today.
Sam knew that running around town wasn't going to help if she ever wanted to find the bastard, but being locked in the house also didn't help that much. She couldn't ask Nicole to go out and search because she would probably end up dead. Sam stared at the window. She was about to smash it to pieces and get out of the house when she heard a faint ticking sound. It was too soft for any human to be able to pick it up. Curious Sam made her way down the stairs and into the living room. It turned out to be Nicole ticking on the window. When she spotted Sam the blonde started gesturing towards the front door. A few minutes later they were both in the living room.
"Not that I don't appreciate the company, but what are you doing here?" Sam asked.
"Well, I was afraid you might up doing something stupid so I came by to make sure you didn't. How are you holding up?"
"Despite the fact that I'm trapped in this house and that one of my best friends is being snacked upon by some vampire?"
"Not that great I take it."
"But still better than you I imagine." Sam said. "You're stuck between my world and their world and you're not sure which one to choose, am I right?"
"More or less." Nicole grudgingly admitted. "I mean… Before that vamp attacked me the most important thing in the world was my absolute perfection. But now my whole world has shaken on its foundation. Being popular just seems so… insignificant."
"Nicole Julian not really caring about her popularity?" Sam said, too amazed to turn it in a mocking remark. "Hell must've just frozen over."
"I wasn't that bad." Nicole weakly defended herself, knowing that it was the biggest lie she has ever told.
"Yes you were. Not even Lady MacBeth could ever rival your expertise at stabbing people in the back."
"At least I'm good at something, right?" Nicole said sadly.
"Sorry," Sam quickly apologised. "That was-"
"Well deserved." Nicole cut her off.
"I'm gonna grab something to eat." Sam said to lighten the mood a little and to steer the conversation from the depressing topics she could see looming in the distance. "You want some?"
"Nah, not hungry."
Sam disappeared into the kitchen for a moment only to re-emerge again with a piece of raw meat in her hands. At that point Nicole could think of only one thing to say.
"That's really gross Sam."
"Why?" Sam asked as she sat back down on the couch.
"Do you even have to ask that?"
Sam thought about it for a moment, shrugged and took a bite. Nicole watched her with a fascinated horror. If this were Sam in wolf form she wouldn't have thought much about it. But since Sam was now in her human shape it was simply disgusting. When Sam had finally finished Nicole also regained the ability to form thoughts that didn't concern the brunette's eating habits.
"What time is it?" Nicole asked, more to say anything than out of a sudden urge to know.
"Around one o'clock I guess."
"Maybe I should go home." The blonde said. "I only came here to check up on you."
Nicole was about to stand up when she felt a hand on her arm pulling her down. "You're not going home." Sam said resolutely. "It was already dangerous coming here in the first place. You're staying here."
"You have to be kidding!" Nicole exclaimed. "I can't just stay here. How do you think everyone will react?"
"Well then, I'll awake you around five when things quiet down a little. That leaves you with plenty of time to sneak back into your house."
"Who says I sneaked out in the first place?"
"Please, no parent would let his child to go out this late at night. You're staying here and that's final."
The scene was familiar. Somewhere in the back of her head she knew what was going and what going to come, but it seemed as though her body didn't listen. She was once again being chased by that black mass and even though that by now she knew that they weren't going to hurt her she still tried to get away from them. She knew that her heel was going to break, but she was still surprised when it happened. And when she struggled back up to her feet she knew that Sam was making an appearance any second now telling her to hurry up.
Nicole bolted upright in the darkness. She was lying in Sam's bed and the werewolf was sleeping calmly on the ground next to her. She looked over to the brunette trying to sort out what the hell had just happened. She quietly got out of bed, hoping that she wouldn't awake the sleeping girl. She took off the T-shirt Sam had given her and started to put on her clothes. She was almost out of the room when Sam stirred and opened her eyes.
"Nic?" She mumbled drowsily. "Going already?"
"I'm going to take a glass of water. Be right back." She said, hoping Sam wouldn't see that she had her clothes and shoes back on.Sam looked at her for a moment longer and closed her eyes again. Nicole breathed a sigh of relief when she shut the door behind her. Her recurring dream had changed rather enormously at the end. Instead of telling her to hurry up Sam had _kissed_ her.
But that wasn't the worst part of it.
The worst part was that Nicole had kissed back.
Sam was a little upset. Actually that was lie, she was seething with rage. It's not often that people back away from Sam when she walked through the hallways. But today was one of those rare occasions. There was one guy, however who wasn't impressed in the least and he kept leaning against the wall when the fury that was Sam approached.
"Hey there. What's the rush?"
Sam paused for a moment to identify the man brave enough to talk to her.
"Brian." She greeted. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"See how you were dealing." The man said. "What's with all the anger?"
"Nic bailed on me last night. I mean, she of all humans should know how dangerous it can be."
"Is _that_ why you're so upset? 'Cause it seems like a pretty lame reason to me."
"It's just… I'm actually starting to like her. I just don't want to see her get hurt."
"Right." Brian said, smiling broadly. "Well, it all makes sense now, doesn't it?"
"What do you mean?" Sam asked darkly.
"Nothing." The man said smiling. "Oh, David wanted me to tell you that we're keeping an eye on your friend in the hospital.""Thanks."
"We're not doing it for you nor for her, we just wanna catch that vamp."
"I know, but thanks anyway."
Nicole was freaked. And she had every right to be. After all, her world had changed enough already without Sam kissing her.
Sam kissing her.
Nicole smiled faintly when she briefly relived those few seconds. She knew that it had been just a dream, that it probably didn't mean anything. It was just some trick of her subconscious mind.
Ah, who was she kidding?
Even if the dream meant nothing she certainly wouldn't mind it ever coming true.
And that freaked her more than anything.
The door to the Novak opened and a certain brunette stepped inside. She leaned back against the door and looked at the blonde with a disapproving look on her face.
"Somehow I knew I'd find you here." Sam said.
"What do you want?" Nicole asked in the same unfriendly manner. It was the only way she knew how to react and she hated herself for it.
"Why did you sneak out again?"
"That's none of your business. I come and go as I please."
"Have you gone nuts? You should know you can't just walk around at night."
"Why couldn't I? Your furry friends keep following me where-ever I go."
Sam suddenly smirked. "And do you know why they do that?"
"I'm gambling, to keep me safe?"
"No." Sam said simply. "You know, therefor you are a target. And if you follow a target around you're bound to run into something tasty trying to kill you. That's why."
"I should've guessed. The only thing you freaks care about is the next kill, right?"
"If we only cared about hunting, then why am I so angry at you for walking out?"
"Because you care for me?" Nicole said it in her most mocking voice, but secretly hoped that Sam was going to say 'yes'.
"Yeah, I care for you." Sam said. "I know what's behind that mask you wear constantly and I actually like the person behind it." The brunette was quiet for a moment. "Or was that all an act?" She whispered. "Are you really the cold-hearted bitch I always suspected you were?"
"NO!" Nicole screamed. "It's not like that. I…" The blonde knew she had to say something. She just didn't know what. "I like you, I _really_ like you." She said calmly. "It's just… something really freaked me out last night. I'm sorry."
Sam was speechless for a moment. Nicole had opened up to her in the middle of a fight, but now Sam didn't know what to say or do. After all, Nicole doesn't open up to a lot of people except maybe her best friends and even they probably don't know who she really is…
Nicole observed Sam closely, uncertain of how the brunette would react. She could see a thousand expressions going over her face in seconds. Then she saw her eyes widen slightly as if the brunette had suddenly figured it out. She slowly walked over to Nicole, gently took her face in her hands and kissed her.
And once again, Nicole kissed back.
|Section 2||Jos Mous||Popular||Main Index|