Taken by Moonlight

By: Violette Dubrinsky


“Eli, I’m leaving you to watch her. She will be your responsibility. Do you understand?”

Eli nodded immediately. “Yes.”

While he was unsure the young werewolf understood the extent of the question, Conall was pleased with his answer. “Good.” Even if something happened, and the human managed to escape Eli, she would be unable to go very far.

He made his way from the cave, into the midst of the wolves and humans alike, swarming together near the water’s edge. As soon as he joined them, howls went up, and they began to nip playfully at each other. He released his beast, called it to the forefront and felt the pleasure-mixed-pain as his limbs both stretched and contorted, until he was no longer man but a large, black wolf in the midst of smaller wolves. His size and brute strength had allowed him to take and retain the title of alpha when Gregory had died. As was their way, many had challenged him. All had lost.

Lifting his head, Conall sent a call to the moon. As his howl permeated the air, his pack grew silent, allowing his plea for a safe and fruitful run to travel to Luna. Pushing through the throng surrounding him, he began to run, feeling the wind as it ruffled his fur and scenting the smaller creatures that would soon become meals for him and his pack.

He heard the resounding howls and knew they were following him. Tonight would be their last pack run before they returned to their seemingly human lives.





***




Vivienne couldn’t suppress the groan of pain even if she wanted to. Her head was on fire, her legs throbbed, and it felt as if someone had taken a strap to her backside, decided that wasn’t enough, and proceeded to use a cane. She shifted and opened her eyes. Pitch black. Why was it so dark? Where was she?

It came back to her quickly. She’d been chased by a wild animal, and then she’d run into a serial killer—and oh God, she was probably in his house somewhere, chained to a wall in his basement as he went to Rite Aid to buy something seemingly inconspicuous to torture her with. Dental Floss or toothpicks….

She began to struggle, and was surprised to find that her arms were not restrained. Something covered her eyes, though, and she went to remove it.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” said a chipper voice from somewhere to her right.

Vivienne started, then froze. Oh hell, the serial killer was next to her. Her hands played around the edges of the blindfold and she licked at her dry lips.

“Are you thirsty?”

Had she not been so terrified, Vivienne might have marveled at the fact that he sounded so nice. She was, but she wasn’t stupid. What if he got off from killing women after drugging them? The water could easily be roofied or poisoned.

Vivienne nodded, testing her legs to see if they were bound. They weren’t. She could take her chances and run.

“Yes. Can I have something to drink?” Her voice was hoarse. She felt him shift next to her and tugged off the blindfold the same instant she bolted upright and sprung to her feet. It was dark but there was light coming from an opening directly ahead of her. She was heading for it when he was suddenly before her. He was fast! From what she could make out of him, he was young, too young to be killing women.

“Just release me. I won’t tell anyone where you are. I swear,” she began, sizing him up even as she said those words. She’d taken a few karate courses in college. Could she take him? She’d been able to take Max, and Max was bigger. If she jabbed him in the throat, she’d have time to run and find help. If help was nearby….

“I won’t hurt you,” he told her softly, and she drew back when she felt him nuzzle her cheek, like an animal. More specifically, almost like a dog.

“Sorry. You smell different.”

He grabbed her arms and in that moment, Vivienne realized that despite his appearance, the teenager was strong. She reluctantly sat down after being led back to the quilt. A flask of water was placed into her hands and at his insistence, Vivienne lifted it to her lips and sniffed.

“It’s from the spring.”

The annoyingly sweet voice, and her parched throat, made Vivienne take a sip. Heaven rushed down her throat, but she waited. When she didn’t feel hazy or drugged, she began long swallows that made her feel lethargic afterward.

“Who are you?” she asked after long minutes of silence.

“Eli,” was his vague reply. When he made no move to follow up his answer, Vivienne continued with her questions. “Are you going to release me, Eli?”

“Oh yes. We’re not going to hurt you. I promise. Conall will take you back to your friends soon.”

Conall? As he spoke, she began to relax. He didn’t sound like a killer, just an excited teenager.

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