Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Part 6 - The Greatest Mystery

“What kind of a question is that?” Kenzie’s father asked on the other end of the line.

“Just…well, I’ve got all these supernatural friends, and they got to talking about how their family had supernatural creatures, and how it’s possible that some supernatural genes can skip generations...”

It probably wasn’t the most subtle approach, coming right out and asking her parents bluntly if they knew of any history of witches in the family tree. Plus, she had two sides to climb – her mother’s and her father’s. And neither one of them seemed to know anything.

“Right,” Russ continued. “There’s nothing you won’t investigate, is there?”

“Not really, no.”

Her dad chuckled. “Okay, well, I sure as heck don’t remember anything, and neither does your mom. But we’ve got our old family photo albums, and I did that genealogy thing a few years ago, when that long-lost cousin called. You’re welcome to look through those.”

“Thanks. It’ll be a start, anyway.”

Kenzie hung up and made her way to her parents’ house. Sage had greeted her warmly when she’d returned, though she could sense that something was amiss. But her feelings didn’t seem to have altered since her master had been bitten.

Regardless of what the case may be with her blood and soul, Kenzie’s feelings toward her loyal companion didn’t change, either. She still loved Sage deeply, just as she loved her family and friends.

She was just confused and determined to know the truth, or at least get as close to it as possible.

When she arrived at the house just down the street, she was greeted by Flossy, her parents’ dachshund.

“Kenzie,” her mother said as her daughter stood up from the giddy yapping pooch, “your dad’s bringing his research up from the basement, but I need to ask you – why the sudden interest in possible supernatural creatures being in the family?”

“Like I told Dad, I’m just curious since I have all these supernatural friends.”

“There’s more to it than that. I can tell.”

Kenzie sighed. “Fine,” she acceded. “Paige mentioned a while back that it was so uncanny how I have a pet dog that’s essentially a genius, and half wolf besides. Wolves were common familiars of witches, next to cats. And then there’s the question of why I’m so interested in wolves. I don’t even remember when I began liking them, so it makes me wonder if there’s something else at work.”

Before Constance could reply, Russ came upstairs, dragging a large box.

“Here you go,” he announced as he set it down. “Here’s everything I dug up during that genealogy project, plus some of my old personal albums and contributions from other family members. Whatever you’re investigating, I’m sure you’ll get to the bottom of it.”

“Thanks, Dad. You didn’t have to drag it all the way up here, though. I could have just looked at it downstairs.”

“I figured you may want to take it home with you.”

“Well, I guess I could. I don’t know how much research I’ll have to do.”

Her dad chuckled while Constance seemed dubious. But Kenzie didn’t have time to speculate what could have been behind her mother’s look. She picked up the box and headed back home with it.

Once there, she wasn’t entirely sure where to begin. Her father wasn’t one to keep things in any particular order, and family photo albums were no exception. They were dated, and some papers were placed into folders labeled Genealogy, but that was about it. Everything seemed to be scattered one way or the other, tossed haphazardly into the box.

Until she opened a folder buried at the bottom of the box, almost as though it had been the least interesting file, and a yellowed newspaper clipping fluttered out. Furrowing her brow, she picked it up and scanned the contents.

The article was very old, its paper brittle and nearly crumbling at Kenzie’s soft touch. There was an equally old picture of a family paper-clipped to the article. There was a man and woman, who Kenzie ascertained to be the parents, and two girls, one a teenager and one a child. A sticky note on the back depicted them as being Phinius, Rosagunde, Gwendolyn, and Davina Howell.

Kenzie laid the picture aside and scoured the newspaper article. It spoke of the Howell family, the four in the sepia picture, and rumors of the eldest daughter, Gwendolyn, practicing witchcraft. Based on the age of the paper and photo, plus the attire worn by the family members, Kenzie guessed that this article had been written during the infamous witch trials in the 1600s. Hundreds of people, men and women alike, and even some children, had been accused of being witches and tortured and killed for crimes they didn’t commit.

At least, that was Kenzie’s opinion. She’d studied the trials in school but never outside of the classroom. Now she was beginning to wish she’d looked into them more. Plus, when she’d been at school, supernatural creatures were living in isolation. Everything about witchcraft back then was speculation that innocent mortals had paid the price for something they hadn’t done. Could it be that the accused witches were, in fact, the very creatures they were accused of being?

Continuing to read the article, she learned that Gwendolyn had had a child out of wedlock, a very big no-no for that time period. That was reason enough for the town to turn on her. As for where her child went, no one seemed to know. Or they didn’t care; their biggest concern was burning the “witch.”

Kenzie found it odd that her father never mentioned this to her. Of course, she’d never taken much interest in genealogy before. Plus, this folder was buried at the bottom, so he probably thought it was all ludicrous. Still, had this girl actually been a witch? Had she been killed for being what she truly was, or was she an innocent, misunderstood young woman who’d died at the hands of a judgmental town?

Unfortunately, it seemed like Kenzie would never know that, for she didn’t find any other mention of this family in her father’s files. So she took to the Internet instead.

Sage watched her master questioningly as she searched relentlessly for information. She didn’t know how reliable her online sources were on a subject that happened so long ago, but there were a few more mentions of the family in question on a few different sites.

One even stated that both Gwendolyn and her younger sister, Davina, were witches, and many villagers had witnessed them performing magic and chanting indecipherable words, all while other worldly things occurred. When Gwendolyn was burned for her crimes, Davina had simply vanished. No one knew where she went, nor did anyone know what became of Gwendolyn’s child. Phinius and Rosagunde, however, were also killed, not so much for being witches but for bringing them into the world.

Kenzie was so absorbed in this information that the shrill sound of her phone receiving a text message startled her to the point of making her jump, nearly toppling out of her chair. She saw that it was only Hayden, checking up on her. She stood up and sent a reply.

WolfKen: Finding out some interesting stuff about my family. Looks like witches did exist on my dad’s side. Crazy.

LoneWolf: Any news on the wolf part?

WolfKen: Not yet, but I almost wonder if that was on my mom’s side. In fact, she seemed really concerned about why I was digging into this. Maybe I should go pay them another visit.

LoneWolf: Or Isaiah could be right.

WolfKen: Yeah, I guess. I think I better go talk to them again.

As soon as Kenzie sent that last message, she promptly made her way back over to her parents’ house, throwing off her coat as soon as she stepped in the door. They were surprised to see her return so quickly, but Kenzie wasn’t worried about that. Her visit had a more imperative purpose.

Everyone sat down in the living room and Kenzie relayed all that she’d discovered in a few short hours.

“Dad,” she concluded, “why didn’t you mention the witchcraft portion of our family history before?”

“Truthfully,” Russ replied, “I forgot about that part. All that research was done before the supernatural creatures revealed themselves, so I thought it was all a crock. I just threw it into that box and didn’t give it a second thought.”

“Well, the little girl, Davina, and Gwendolyn’s kid just vanished. If they went on to live normal lives and had kids of their own, they could have all been born with the witch gene. After so long, maybe it died out, but now, it could have skipped down to me when I was born. It skipped over you, Dad, and all your brothers, and your own parents, but who knows where it ended before it hit me?”

“Are you suggesting that you’re a witch?” her mother asked in horror.

“No. I’m suggesting that I’m half witch, half human, and half…something else. Which brings me to you, Mom. Why were you so worried about me digging into possible supernatural things in our family? Does something run on your side?”

“Absolutely not!”

“How do you know? Dad didn’t know, or at least he didn’t think anything of it, until now.”

“It wasn’t the supernatural portion that I was afraid of you researching. Kenzie, there’s something we’ve never told you, but I guess now we might as well. The way your father organizes things, I figured he threw the doctor’s report in the box, too.”

“What doctor’s report?”

Constance sighed. “There is a history of something in my family,” she said at least, “but it’s nothing supernatural.”

“Then what is it?”


“Twins? Okay…you don’t have a twin, none of your siblings have twins, your parents…”

“It usually skips a couple of generations, too. Like the witch gene you’re talking about. But in this case, when I was pregnant with you, I was supposed to have twins. They kept showing up on sonograms and everything.”

“Wha…? I was supposed to be a twin?”

“You would have been, but one day the sonogram just didn’t show the other baby. The doctor said it was very common that sometimes one twin is absorbed into the other. It usually happens earlier in the pregnancy than it did with you, but it was perfectly normal. You were born just fine, healthy as could be, and we thought that was the end of it.”

“The end of it?” Kenzie hissed, angry now. “I was supposed to be a twin, and in twenty-seven years, you never thought to mention that to me once?!”

“Kenzie, calm down,” Russ said as his daughter stood up. “This is why we didn’t tell you. We knew you’d blame yourself. It’s not your fault.”

“And,” Constance interjected, “you’re not alone. I was supposed to be a twin, too, but the same thing happened to me. I absorbed my twin before I was born. I don’t know why, but I guess it’s like mother, like daughter.”

Kenzie was about to blast something back in retaliation, but she realized that her father was right. She’d blamed herself for inadvertently killing her twin sibling in their mother’s womb, even though she didn’t know she did it. For all she knew, she didn’t do it and it just happened naturally. Much like her mother.

Funny, she’d always wanted a younger sister as a child. She’d had no idea that she was originally meant to be a twin.

She didn’t press the issue. She had a quick dinner with her parents, the subject was dropped, and she returned home to tell Hayden.

“Well, now it makes sense,” he declared when she told him what she’d discovered.

“What?” she inquired. “What makes sense, and how could it possibly make sense?”

“Well,” Hayden explained, “if there were witches in your family like you said, and the gene skipped several generations to you, you would have been born as a half human, half witch. But your twin, on the other hand, could have been the reincarnation of the werewolf Isaiah mentioned. When you absorbed your twin, you absorbed that blood, too. Hence why you were born with all three blood types in your system – the dominant human blood from your parents, the witch blood from your ancestors, and the werewolf blood, which contributes to your love of wolves. I don’t know about the appearance, but you do resemble your dad.”

“Yeah, and Paige said that reincarnations don’t necessarily have to look like their ‘original’ or whatever you want to call it. I look like my dad did when he was my age, except my hair isn’t getting darker like his. There’s no doubt that I’m still their daughter.”

“Exactly. And it doesn’t matter to me. I love you either way, and I always will. You are you, and no one else.”

“Thanks, Hayden. I love you, too.”

At last, Kenzie said goodnight to Hayden and hung up. As she showered and later crawled into bed that night, her head was spinning. She’d discovered so much about herself in just a short period of time, and yet, it felt good to at least have part of this mystery solved.

There was no solid proof that her theory was correct, however. But at least it was a start.

Plus, there was still the fact that, despite having both werewolf and witch blood in her body, she didn’t possess any advantages of either, like superior senses or magical abilities. But on the plus side, she didn’t have any of the bad parts, either. And really, it wasn’t so bad. She was safe, happy, healthy, and alive. That was the most important thing.

Some questions were left unanswered regarding her family tree, but Kenzie was determined to solve them one day. Maybe she’d eventually discover what became of Gwendolyn’s child and of Davina. Maybe that would further pave her toward the absolute certainty that her theory was correct.

She’d solved several mysteries in her lifetime, but now she knew of one thing for certain – the greatest mystery, one that might be completely unsolvable, was the one inside yourself.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Part 5 - The New Breed

Lucky Palms was a few hours away from Moonlight Falls. It was warmer there, but Kenzie wasn’t as thrilled about the preferable weather as she would have been under better circumstances. She was going to Lucky Palms with Hayden to get blood drawn by a witch coven to determine why she didn’t transform into a werewolf after being bitten by one, and why the wound had healed so quickly.

When did her life become a supernatural science fiction novel?

“So, what exactly is this ritual for?” she asked as they drove. “What is their theory?”

“Well, it didn’t make a lot of sense to me. It was pretty vague in terms of explanation. I think it’ll be better to let the coven explain it to you.”

“Hayden, I know you know something. Spill it.”

Hayden sighed. “Basically, like I said, there’s no way that wound could have healed so fast unless you had some sort of supernatural blood in your system that caused rapid healing. And the only supernatural creatures that can do that are vampires and werewolves. But obviously, you’re not either. So they’re going to test all of our blood to see if yours bonds with any of them.”


“I know, it sounds complex. But we’ll be at Paige’s house soon, so she can explain it to you then.”

Kenzie leaned back against the seat. She’d solved countless cases and unraveled many mysteries. But now, her greatest one, the one that she may be unable to solve, was about herself.

They arrived at Paige’s house shortly thereafter, as Hayden had said. Kenzie had only been to her witch friend’s house once, and that had been after helping Jillian’s younger sister recover from a near-fatal drug overdose. Too bad this situation wasn’t much better.

Isaiah’s car was already there. Hayden pulled his car in behind it and they both sauntered to the door and rang the bell. Paige answered it quickly and gave her friend a reassuring hug. Then, she led them into the living room.

“We could use my hidden room with all my spell books and things,” she said, “but there’s more room in here.”

Kenzie saw Jillian, who was at her side in literally an instant thanks to her superior speed. She wrapped her arms around her, and Kenzie almost felt crushed. Her best friend’s strength was still new to her, and Jillian herself was probably still getting used to it. But she appreciated the gesture.

“I’m so glad you’re okay,” Jillian said as she released Kenzie.

“I don’t know that I am,” Kenzie replied, forlorn.

“You will be,” Hayden insisted.

“Everyone calm down,” Paige instructed as Erika came into the room. “Kenzie, now that you’re here, we can begin. Sasha and Miranda are at work today, at their ‘regular’ jobs, so that’s why they’re not here. But we should be okay without them. First, I’ll let Erika explain what’s going to happen.”

“It’s simpler than it sounds,” Erika explained. “A long time ago, back in the Renaissance period, my family had something unique happen. They documented it, and it’s been passed down through the generations, but it hasn’t happened again. A witch from my family married a vampire, and they had a baby. That baby had witch and vampire blood, so it was a hybrid. The only one of its kind, but when he had a child of his own with his witch wife, their baby was a witch. The hybrid lineage died out after that. As you know, there’s a fifty percent chance of a baby being born a witch if one of its parents is a witch. The witch gene was more dominant in my family, and that’s why we were all born with our powers.”

“Okay…I don’t see where you’re going with this.”

“Are there any werewolves in your family tree?”

“Uh…I have no idea. My parents are human, my grandparents were human, I don’t remember my great-grandparents, and all my aunts and uncles are human…I highly doubt it.”

“Well, this ritual is going to find out for sure what’s in your blood. And actually, Paige and I both thought of something else to try while you were on your way here.”

Kenzie perused the room. She was getting as nervous as she’d been when she was supposed to have transformed.

“What is it?” she asked tentatively.

“Well,” Paige explained, “you’re aware of the old history between vampires and werewolves, right? They were arch enemies, and a werewolf bite can kill a vampire. But a werewolf’s blood tastes putrid to vampires. That’s part of the reason werewolves are considered stronger and more capable of taking down vampires.”

“Hey, now,” Isaiah began.

“No offense intended, Isaiah. It’s just one of those old legends, and it makes sense to us. But that’s not the point. The point is, Kenzie was bitten by a werewolf, but the wound healed fast and she didn’t transform into one. If she’s willing, we want to have one of her vampire friends taste just a small sample of her blood. If it tastes bad, we’ll definitely know something’s amiss. Vampires love human blood, but not werewolf blood.”

“Hell, no!” Hayden roared. “You are not going to draw my girlfriend’s blood and feed it to a damn vampire, even if they’re our friends!”

“Hayden,” Kenzie began.

“No. Don’t even think about it. No way in hell!”

Kenzie sighed inwardly. She knew that Hayden was only trying to protect her. But he also knew her and how stubborn she was, especially when it came to solving enigmas. And this one was about herself and who – or what – she truly was.

“I want to do it, Hayden,” she proclaimed. “I have to. I have to know what’s going on with me. Please.”

Hayden clenched his fist, but he finally acceded.

“On one condition,” he asserted firmly. “I want Isaiah to be the one to do it. He’s had more practice at control, and he’d be able to tell easier since he’s drank his fair share of human blood. No offense.”

“None taken,” Isaiah replied. He turned to his mate. “Jill?”

“I think it would be better if you did it,” she affirmed.

“Oh, one other thing,” Hayden added, “you’re not going to bite her.”

“No,” Paige interjected, “we’ll draw a little bit with a sterile knife, put it into a clean cup, and he’ll drink it that way.”

That was how Kenzie found herself squeezing her eyes shut and extending her palm forward. Erika, as gently as possible, sliced a gash down her palm, and Kenzie had to look away as the blood spilled forth. It was quickly poured into two separate cups, one for Isaiah and one for the spell. In that short time, everyone saw that the slice in Kenzie’s hand was beginning to heal itself already. Isaiah took the first cup, keeping it away from Jillian, who was being held back by Hayden just in case the smell got to her, and took a sip.

Everyone seemed to be holding their breath, but that didn’t last long. Isaiah’s face contorted into a disgusted grimace as he spat the blood back into the cup.

“Yep, it’s nasty,” he confirmed. “Ugh. No offense, Kenzie, but that is some of the worst blood I’ve ever tasted.”

Hayden actually chuckled, and Jillian was trying to stifle a chortle of her own. “It doesn’t smell appealing, either,” she said.

“Okay then,” Erika declared. “Now for the next part of the test. And since we’re all here, we’ll all give blood samples.”

Everyone’s palms were slashed and their blood was dripped onto a piece of paper set up on the coffee table. Paige put labels next to each puddle indicating which species the blood belonged to. Kenzie’s blood was applied last, right in the middle of the circle of blood samples.

It looked like a supernatural crime scene when it was complete.

“This is how it’s going to work,” Erika explained. “Kenzie, your blood is in the center. When we perform the ritual, if there is another type of blood in your body, your blood will move toward the type it matches. So if there is werewolf blood in your body, your blood will move toward Hayden’s blood. Does that make sense?”

Kenzie nodded mutely as she stared at the table. A grimoire was sprawled open next to the paper. Paige and Erika used this to recite the incantation.

As the foreign, almost other-worldly words were spoken, everyone watched the blood-spattered paper. Kenzie’s blood in the center began to move, and then it began to branch out.

The blood moved slowly, but it gradually made its way toward Hayden’s. That was confirmation that somehow, Kenzie had werewolf blood in her system.

But that was only the beginning. Kenzie received another shock when her blood began to branch out in another direction, this time toward Paige’s.

When the ritual was complete, the only blood that was untouched on the paper was Isaiah’s, the vampire’s.

“What…?” Kenzie gasped as she turned toward Hayden. He held her tightly.

“Are you sure you did that spell right?” Jillian inquired.

“Positive,” Paige replied. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

“Never mind that,” Hayden interjected. “How did she get werewolf blood in her body? She didn’t bite me, and I didn’t bite her.”

“She didn’t have to bite anyone,” Erika replied. “It could be as simple as she was born with it in her system.”

“What about the witch blood?” Isaiah asked.

“Same story. Truthfully, I don’t know of any way to become a witch except to be born as one.”

“You know,” Paige said thoughtfully, “I’ve always said that Kenzie’s had certain traits of a witch. Of course, I was just kidding, but think about it. The way she is with animals, and how faithful Sage is to her. Yes, Sage is highly intelligent, but it’s almost like she’s a familiar. And that unicorn Kenzie told us about. Unicorns don’t approach just anyone, and that one in Appaloosa Plains actually helped save her life.”

Kenzie put her hand over her face. This was too much for her to process. Just when she thought she might finally know what was going on, the plot thickened.

“I don’t get how I can be born with two supernatural blood types in my system and not even know it,” she said at last. “I’ve never transformed into a werewolf, and I’ve never cast a spell, even accidentally. Don’t hybrid creatures have the abilities of both species they’re a part of?”

“Yeah,” Paige said, “but not always the bad parts, like transforming during a full moon. Maybe we should have you try to cast a spell.”

“No, that won’t work,” Erika said. “She doesn’t have the superior werewolf senses, like hearing and seeing, but apparently she has the fast healing ability. This whole thing makes no sense.”

“And if her family is all human…”

“I’ve heard of traits and things skipping generations. Maybe she did have werewolves or witches in her family, but it was a really long time ago. And it just skipped several generations until Kenzie was born as one. Well, part of one. Maybe she even had both.”

“Reincarnation,” Isaiah interposed, startling everyone. They all turned to stare at him.

“Excuse me?” Hayden retorted.

Isaiah sighed. “I was hoping to never have to explain this, but I guess now is the best time to do so.”

“What are you talking about?” Jillian asked, her eyes wide.

“Kenzie,” Isaiah said as he turned to her, “do you remember when we first met in Bridgeport?”

“Yeah…you were putting a note on my car, warning me to leave.”

“Well, I was concerned about your safety, but there’s more to the story than that. The truth is, when I first saw you, it was only a glimpse from behind, but I…I thought you were someone else. Someone I knew a long time ago.”


“Kenzie, I never said anything, but the resemblance is striking. You look very much like a werewolf I knew when I was still human. And, well, it’s not an exact duplicate, but at first glance from afar, you looked just like her.”

“You knew a werewolf that looked like me before you were a vampire?”

“Similar to you. Her hair was a little darker and her eyes were brown, but before I met Elijah, she was my best friend. And, well, at times I hoped that it would be more.”

“Wait,” Jillian cut in, “you were dating a werewolf that looked like Kenzie? You basically dated her in some other life?!”

“No! Of course not! Kenzie is a completely different person from Bianca, and she has her own soul. I swear, Jillian, it’s not like that.”

“Except you warned her of danger in Bridgeport…because you thought she was your werewolf crush!”

“That ended as soon as I was transformed. I couldn’t get close to her without the smell nauseating me, since I hadn’t yet become accustomed to it. But yes, when I saw Kenzie, I thought it was impossible that Bianca would still be alive after all these years, and I didn’t want her to see me like this but I did want her to be safe. So I left her a note…only to discover that it was Kenzie, not Bianca, who I saw, when she caught me in the act.”

This was a lot to take in. Was Kenzie truly the reincarnation of a werewolf that may or may not have been romantically involved with Isaiah? Yet, it did make sense, considering how she and Isaiah had met, and considering another factor that was spelled out verbally by Paige as she spelled it out inwardly for herself.

“That explains her strong love for wolves,” Paige was saying. “She said she can’t remember how she even started liking them, and of course she has a dog that’s half wolf, and a werewolf boyfriend. Yes, that could be coincidence, but a lot of girls would run away if they found out their boyfriend was a werewolf. Kenzie stayed, and she doesn’t care. It’s all a part of her former life, and the werewolf blood inside her.”

“But doesn’t reincarnation involve the same soul inside a new body?” Hayden wanted to know.

“Not always,” Paige amended. “In fact, a lot of times, there’s a close resemblance to the original soul carrier, but that’s it. Everything Kenzie feels and believes in are her own thoughts. There isn’t some ancient soul dictating her life or feelings. It was just a blueprint, so to speak, that helped build the person that she is. The most it did was give Kenzie her strong love of wolves.”

“And her appearance?”

“She looks just like her dad,” Jillian interjected. “I’ve seen pictures of her when she was little. Her dad had the same hair color as she does now when he was her age. It got darker over the years, but that’s it. She has his eyes, and her mom’s nose. She looks like herself, not someone else.”

“It’s true,” Isaiah confirmed. “Bianca had darker hair, brown eyes, and she was significantly tanner than Kenzie.  No offense intended, of course.”

“Kenzie,” Erika cut in, “I think you should go up your family tree and see if you can find any evidence of witches in it. That’s my theory – you were born with reincarnated werewolf blood in your body, and a witch ancestor gene skipped several generations until it came to you.”

“But why don’t I have any magical powers or superior senses?”

“You’re essentially a three-way hybrid. That’s very rare. In fact, it hasn’t been heard of for centuries. Your parents are both human, and a lot of generations before them probably are, too. Your human blood is more dominant because of that. And of course, blood is thicker than water. Your human blood kept your werewolf and witch blood in check, so that’s why you can’t experience any of the perks or disadvantages of being either species. You were able to live your life as a human. If it weren’t for this rogue werewolf, you may never have known this. Maybe it was fate that you were bit. To find out who you really are.”

“Who I really am?” Kenzie exploded. “Who and what I really am is a freak of nature! I have two supernatural blood types inside me, and I can’t even use them! I don’t know my own history and my soul came from some werewolf that Isaiah was infatuated with in a past life! I’d rather have turned into a werewolf! Next, I’m going to find out that I’m so pale because I’m part vampire, too!”

Hayden embraced his sobbing girlfriend, who was on the verge of hysterics. “Kenzie, you are your own person. I love you just as you are. I don’t give a shit what breed you are. You know that. However,” he glared at Isaiah, “you are mine, and if fang boy over there tries to rewrite history…”

“Never,” Isaiah retorted. “It’s Jillian that I love.”

“It’s just…I feel so…lost,” Kenzie wept, ignoring the conflict. “I thought I knew who I was, and even what my future would be. But now I find out all this…”

“We don’t know for sure that that’s the case,” Jillian said gently. “They’re theories. And as a detective, you have to prove or disprove them.”

“Yeah, you’re right. I guess I’ll start by asking my parents what they know of their family history. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to figure out the werewolf part. All we have to go on is Isaiah’s story, and I’m sure that werewolf died a long time ago. They aren’t immortal.”

With nothing else that could be done, Kenzie and Hayden said their goodbyes to their friends. Kenzie saw on her cell phone that she’d missed a call from her parents. She realized that she’d best return home to Riverview now and begin her new, and most likely biggest, investigation.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Part 4 - The Unexplained

The moon began to rise right on schedule. As it climbed higher and higher into the night sky, Kenzie’s heart beat faster. Hayden held her tightly until he himself could no longer control it. He stood up and let the transition claim him, though this time he tried to make it look as painless as possible for Kenzie’s sake.

Kenzie had seen him transform several times before. But knowing that this was now her fate made the spectacle more foreboding.

“Does it hurt?” she asked.

Hayden shook his head. “No. It’s just a little uncomfortable, since you feel your hair growing out really fast, and of course your nails and teeth. Oh, and your ears and nose, sometimes your jaw…”

Hayden stopped short. Kenzie was inadvertently making a face tinged with peril.

“Remember, I’m here,” Hayden consoled. “And I don’t care what you end up looking like. I love you, and I’ll always love you, no matter what.”

“Thank you.”

Kenzie had been sure that as soon as Hayden transformed, she would shortly thereafter. But she didn’t.

“Do all werewolves transform at the same time?” she asked, bewildered.

“Normally, yes. When the moon’s at its highest peak, all werewolves transform into their wolf state, unless they were already in that state. But maybe it’s different for new werewolves.”

Still, minutes turned into hours, and Kenzie remained completely normal. She’d planned to stay awake all night, but her eyelids were beginning to droop, and she was actually getting frustrated. She was finally ready for this to happen, and it wasn’t happening.

“This makes no sense,” she quipped as Hayden paced the room. They were both growing more and more perplexed, and Kenzie was also impatient. By this time, it was nearly sunrise.

“Maybe he didn’t bite you hard enough,” Hayden suggested, though not sounding convinced. “Let me see your arm.”

Kenzie had forgotten all about the bite, focusing only on the aftermath. She hadn’t even noticed it lately, really. She extended her arm, and both she and Hayden received a shock. There was no evidence of a bite whatsoever. At least, not to Kenzie’s eyes.

Hayden, however, scrutinized the invisible wound and furrowed his brow.

“How…?” he began.

“What? What is it?”

“The wound. It’s…it’s still there, I can see it, very light. But it’s healed.”

“Healed? In three days?”

“Exactly. We both saw that wound. We know it was there, and it was deep.”

“It drew blood and went right through my coat.”

“I know. But now it’s…gone. Healed. And the only way that could happen is with superior healing abilities, which only belong to vampires and werewolves.”

Hayden sat on the edge of the bed to ponder this. Kenzie was just as befuddled as he was. She was a human. She’d been human her entire life. When she’d gotten scrapes on her knee as a kid, it would take at least a week for them to heal. But now, somehow, a werewolf had bitten her and the wound had healed itself in three days, and she didn’t transform.

Hayden was punching something into his cell phone, his face molded into one of curiousness, concern, and relief.

“Ellis,” he barked into the phone, “did you find anything out about that kid that bit Kenzie? I don’t give a shit what time it is. This is serious. Besides, it was a full moon; I know you were out doing the creator knows what. Now spit it out.”

Ellis said something inaudible to Kenzie’s ears. Another factor that confirmed that she was indeed human. She didn’t have superior hearing, and she had to wear glasses in order to see great distances. She couldn’t be a werewolf or vampire.

“You’re sure there was nothing suspicious about him?” Hayden was going on. Finally, he heaved a resonating sigh and hung up.

“What did he say?” Kenzie asked.

“The kid woke up and they questioned him, but there was nothing wrong with him. No reason to explain why you didn’t transform. He was a rogue, just as I’d suspected, who couldn’t handle his transformation.”

“Well…isn’t this a good thing?”

“Of course it is. I’m beyond relieved, believe me. But I’m an investigative reporter, so of course I’m curious.”

“I am, too. I’m a detective, so my curiousness is spinning out of control.”

“Well, maybe Paige and her coven will know something about this, or even Isaiah. They didn’t know of a cure, but this is something different.”

“It’s worth a try.”

“Yeah. But first, let me give you something.”

Hayden walked over to Kenzie and pulled her off the bed. Then, he wrapped his arm around her and kissed her deeply.

Kenzie eagerly returned the gesture as she placed her hands on Hayden’s chest.

“What’s this for?” she asked after they parted.

“Nothing in particular. I just love you and wanted to kiss you.”

“Would you still have wanted to if I’d turned?”

“Of course I would have. The only reason I was against it was because I was afraid of the transformation hurting you. I know you have a low pain tolerance. I told you last night that it didn’t hurt, but it might have for you.”

“Hayden, we don’t know that I’m completely safe yet. Maybe you should hold off on telling me this.”

“Right. Sorry. I’ll call Paige.”

“I’ll fix us some breakfast. And don’t you have to go back to work?”

“I called the other day. Told the boss something serious had come up, and it could very well lead to a story, so I’d need some time off. He didn’t even argue.”

“He didn’t?”

“Well, not to sound smug, but I am one of the best reporters he’s got. He trusts me.”

“Well, that’s a good thing, then.”

The two embraced once more before Kenzie threw on some fresh clothes and trotted downstairs to fix some breakfast while Hayden called Paige.


Kenzie dug through the fridge and extracted some milk, eggs, and fruit. She thought a hearty breakfast of eggs machiavellian would hit the spot for both her and Hayden.

She was so absorbed in her task that she didn’t detect Hayden come up behind her until he wrapped his arms around her.

“Hayden!” she shrieked with a laugh. “You scared me!”

“Sorry. Something smells good. What’s cooking?”

“Eggs, maybe some bacon if you behave.”

“Mmm, bacon. I can already tell you’re going to be a great cook.”

“You’re not so bad yourself.”

“Glad you think so. Here, allow me.”

Hayden reached around Kenzie and began slicing the watermelon. She noticed that he was no longer in his werewolf form, and that he’d also changed out of yesterday’s clothes.

“Did you find anything out from Paige?” Kenzie asked.

“Well, sort of. She agrees that it’s very odd that you didn’t transform last night like I did, but she has a theory she wants to test. Apparently, Erika’s family has some old legends that might explain what happened, so they’re going to look into that. They’ll call me back.”

“Okay…and what legends are they looking into?”

“She didn’t say. I think she just doesn’t want to jump to conclusions and wants to know for sure before telling us.”

“I see.”

The two carried their plates to the table and sat down to dig in.

“This tastes great!” Hayden exclaimed as he took a hearty bite out of his bacon.

Kenzie giggled. “I’m glad you think so. I’m usually not the best cook in the world.”

“That’s okay. It tastes great to me, and that’s what matters, right?”


They’d just finished the meal when Hayden’s cell phone rang. He answered it and began talking to Paige. Kenzie listened to his side of the conversation as she cleaned the dishes in the sink before transporting them to the dishwasher.

Her ears perked up when she heard Hayden say, “Are you sure about that?”

She stopped splashing water around to listen closer.

“Okay, well, should we go there or do you want to meet us here? Oh, okay. All right, we’ll head out, then. See you later.”

Hayden hung up and Kenzie spun around.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, suddenly apprehensive again.

“There’s a spell they can try to determine what’s up, but they’ll need your blood to do it.”

“Wonderful. And we’re going to Lucky Palms?”

“Yeah…they called Isaiah to ask him for his input too, and he’s on his way there right now.”

“Is Jillian going too?”

“Of course.”

Hayden could sense Kenzie’s turmoil, so he wrapped his arms around her in consolation. “It’s going to be okay,” he soothed. “I promise.”