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Fangs Fr Th Mmmrs

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Of all the things Lex Foster expected to happen on an average Thursday night, saving the life of her classmate was certainly not one of them.

 

Lex didn’t usually leave parties this early, especially not one that had free booze. Danny usually threw pretty good parties. Snacks, booze, weed, what else would your average apathetic teen want? In theory, it sounded perfect, a great way to blow off steam before trudging into the humiliating ordeal of working at ToyZone the next morning.

To Lex, it just sounded like a fucking chore that would leave her with a throbbing headache and a tiredness that would follow her around for the rest of the fucking week no matter how much she slept. 

 

Lex was not your average apathetic teen. In multiple ways.

 

Blowing a cloud of wispy smoke at the sinking sun, Lex sighed deeply and slouched against the wide garage door. The shadow from the roof covered Lex in shade like a protective blanket, though it was already dark enough that she didn’t need it. Hatchetfield looked different at night. It felt different, too. For some, it might’ve been intimidating in a way to look at the deserted streets and the last rays of sunlight disappearing behind the trees. 

To her, it felt almost comforting. Familiar. 

Safe

From where she stood, the sun was barely visible over the horizon, glowing orange like a dying ember in a fireplace swathed in varying shades of purple and pink. The trees it fell behind looked as though they were fringed in gold, and as her gaze tracked to the near clear sky, she could make out the faintly illuminated shapes of clouds drifting across the sky. 

It was almost pretty. 

Emphasis on almost

 

Lex scowled and ran her tongue over her canines. She wished she could snuff out that ember for good. It’d make her life a hell of a lot easier, that’s for damn sure. She much preferred the light of a newly lit cigarette to the ugly sun. 

 

A loud crash came from inside the house accompanied by a plethora of loud voices. Lex took that as her cue to leave for good. Taking one last drag of her cigarette before crushing it under her worn sneakers, Lex fished around her back pockets for her keys when–

 

It hit her full force.

 

Lex’s head jerked up. Her nose twitched.

 

The scent was unmistakable. 

 

Blood.

And a fuck ton of it.

 

“The hell…?” Lex scanned the streets, desperate to find the source of the smell. 

 

“Oh God.” She covered her mouth with one hand.

 

She found the source alright.

 

In the distance she could make out a figure- a man- dragging his feet and clutching what appeared to be his shoulder. Blood dripped down his front and onto the street, leaving a red trail behind him as he trudged forward.

 

“Shit!” Lex shoved her keys back in her pocket and ran across the street to get a closer look. 

 

Two forces clashed inside her:

 

Worry, first and foremost. 

And Hunger

 

As she neared the man, she was able to see his face clearer. It was clenched in pain- understandable- but it also looked damn familiar. Eh, she’d figure it out later. That wasn’t the most pressing issue, though. 

 

The most pressing issue was the giant ass bite mark gushing blood like a goddamn fountain where his shoulder met his neck. Whatever the fuck bit him must have been strong, considering it seemed to have ripped through his fucking leather jacket. 

 

“Wha– who–” Lex wasn’t even able to get a full sentence out before the boy’s knees buckled. 

 

On instinct Lex rushed forward to catch him. 

 

Good news- she stopped the poor kid’s head from kissing the pavement.

Bad news- her head was right next to his shoulder. 

 

His gory, fucked up shoulder. 

Blood dribbled from the wound in a thick, heavy stream that stained the sleeve of her hoodie as she tried to push the brunt of his weight off of her, trying to pull her gaze away from the fact that he he was bleeding out–

 

Nobody would notice if I just finished the job–

 

The young man groaned lowly, interrupting her thoughts with the sound. His body shuddered violently as he tried to get to his feet, though his legs didn’t look as though they’d be able to properly support his weight. His movements were slow and shaky, and even when he did so much as breathe, his chest rattled with the sound before he tapered into wet sounding coughs. 

 

–no, stop that. 

Now is not the fucking time. 

Get ahold of yourself. 

 

Blinking, shaking her head in an attempt to clear it, Lex tried to keep his head from sagging too much as she righted him, earning a low whine of protest from him. “What the fuck happened?” She asked, shifting her gaze to the boy’s face. It was obvious he had recently gotten into a fight. Fresh bruises decorated his right cheekbone and jaw. His head wobbled with every movement, and if his half-lidded eyes and unfocused gaze didn’t make it obvious that he was dazed, the fact that he kept trying to doggedly stand sure as hell did. 

 

“Hey.” Lex snapped her fingers in front of his face. His eyes flicked up to her fingers, and he groaned softly.

Good. At least he’s able to move his eyes and responds to noise. He’s not dead yet.

 

Her head pulsed. 

 

Yet.

 

Her breath caught in her throat as the thought skittered across the back of her mind in a rush, the coppery smell of fresh blood in the air not helping in the least

 

Focus on helping him. 

Not making it worse.

 

It was easier said than done. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal if he wasn’t bleeding all over the place– blood wetting her hoodie more and more by the second– hell, if it had been a smaller wound, she probably would’ve been okay, but this? This was making her pupils thin out and her breathing turn rougher no matter how hard she tried to hold her breath. 

 

“Um, ok… fuck ,” she hissed under her breath, ignoring a pair of jagged points that had started to prod the inside of her mouth– damn it, shit, shit– “I’m not a medic. The fuck do I do?” 

There weren’t many options. 

I’d drive him to the hospital, but I can’t get blood in my car… and I can’t just drag this fucking bleeding teenager into Danny’s house… 

 

Lex worried at her lip, throwing another glance at the boy in her arms (pointedly avoiding the river of blood traveling down his arm). She knew him from somewhere. A classmate, maybe? It’s not like she paid attention to class or the people around her. 

 

“Green.”

“Huh?” 

He lifted his head up. 

“Ethan, Ethan Green. You’re in my shop class. Mr. Houston kicked you out once cuz you set a saw on fire, somehow.” Lex realised out loud.

“Thatzme.” Ethan’s words were slurred, but he still shot her a half smile. 

 

“Ok, Ethan.” Lex took a deep breath- bad idea. Her throat tightened. She ran her tongue over her canines. Ouch. Fuck

No deep breaths. Noted. 

 

“I know you’re like, bleeding out, and it’s probably hard to walk, but we’re gonna have to cross the street. You see that house?” She nodded towards Danny’s house. “There should be supplies in there. Got that?” Ethan just stared at her. “Nod if you understand.” He nodded. “Good. Right, up we go.”

Wrapping Ethan’s arm around her shoulder for balance, Lex heaved Ethan upright with huff. “Damn, you’re heavy.” She half dragged, half walked him across the street, and sat him down in the same spot she was at moments before. She could still smell the leftover cigarette smoke, though it was muted in comparison to the scent of blood drifting through the air, the coppery smell impossible to ignore. 

 

Not that she wasn’t trying to ignore it. 

 

“Do you want me to call an ambulance, Ethan?” Lex spoke slowly, knowing he most likely wouldn’t be able to process anything too quickly.

Ethan shook his head. “No. Can’t afford it.” He mumbled.

Lex pursed her lips. Same, buddy. I couldn’t afford a hospital trip either. 

 

“Fair enough. I know where Danny keeps his first aid kit. I’ll go get it. In the meantime… um, here.” Lex quickly unzipped her now bloodied hoodie, and after a moment’s consideration draped it over his wound like a blanket. “You can have this.” It’s not like I can use that jacket anymore. The stains will never come out, dammit. “Be back in a minute.”

 

“Lex.” Ethan’s hand shot out to grab her wrist.

Lex blinked. “What?”

“That’cher…” With a small attempt to adjust her jacket over his torn flesh, Ethan gave a low groan and a shaking, shuddering inhale before trying again. “That’s... yer name, yeah?”

“Uh, yes.”

“Thanks Lex.” He squeezed her wrist briefly before letting go. 

“No problem. Stay put, k?” Making a mental note to wipe the blood off her wrist ASAP, Lex started towards the house, but paused and looked back. “Ethan?”

Ethan looked up. “Hmm?”

“If you bleed to death on my jacket, I’ll be really pissed at you.” She added. “So… don’t fucking do that.”

He huffed out a laugh. “Wouldnn’t wanna do that.” Though he still was unable to speak clearly, he at least looked a little more awake.

 

Lex pointed two fingers at her eyes then Ethan’s, drawing a weak chuckle from him. Satisfied that Ethan was at least partially lucid, Lex opened Danny’s door and stepped indoors. 

Inside, the party was exactly how she left it- overcrowded and stinking of booze and pot. How did Danny ever get that awful stench out of his house? 

Now is not the time to ask that sort of question, Lex. Save it for later, when a classmate is not currently bleeding out in the driveway. 

 

The closest bathroom was connected to a bedroom which was thankfully empty of any horny teenagers. 

Lex grabbed the first aid kit under the sink, then paused.

Don’t they have like, 4 bathrooms or some shit? And they can buy new towels if needed. She stacked 3 towels into her arms, then plodded over to the bedroom dresser. She grabbed the first black shirt she saw, added it to her pile, then slipped out before anyone could notice.

 

“Ethan, you still alive there?” Lex sat down next to him. “I got you some shit.”

Ethan tilted his head. “Thatz a lotta shit.”

Lex shrugged. “Better too much than not enough.” 

“You said yer not a medic. How do you knoww this?” Ethan mumbled.

Refusing to meet his eyes, Lex tried to look anywhere but at his face or the gaping wound still steadily oozing blood out onto the floor. “Um, I… I had training.”

 

Bullshit. I watched a shit ton of survivalist shows as a kid.

She’d learned a lot from them– useful skills that she’d employed when she and Hannah were still living at home more times than she cared to admit– but this… was a little out of her league. Even though the driveway wasn’t well lit, Lex could easily make out the deep, jagged row of punctures decorating Ethan’s shoulder as he shifted his weight and attempted to sit upright. 

 

“Ethan– stop moving and let me help, you–”

“S’not… s’not that bad… jussa… jussa scratch…” He slurred out, blearily tracking Lex’s movements as she reached for his jacket. “It ain’t… hey… wha… woah woah woah whaaat?” He slurred out, eyebrows raising in surprise. He glanced at Lex’s hands gripping his jacket, then up to her confused expression. “At leas’ buy me dinner firs’.” He managed to joke, despite being woozy from losing like, ten percent of the blood in his body.

Lex’s eyebrows furrowed, before realisation dawned upon her. “Oh! N-no, not like that! I need to get a good look at your wound, and I can’t with your jacket on. That’s all.” She explained, her cheeks pink.

 

“Oh.”

It was quiet for a moment.

“My b.”

“It’s ok, I should have warned you–”

“No no, I ashoomed… asshumed... ash…aaaah.” Ethan frowned, unable to get the word out. “Y’know.” 

 

Lex bit back a grin. “I gotcha. Can I take off the rest of your jacket?”

Ethan nodded, and let Lex slip it off and discard it to the side. 

 

“Don’t worry, I won’t take off your shirt too. I can’t imagine you’d want to take that off in front of some random girl.” Lex attempted to joke back. 

Their eyes met.

Ethan just raised one eyebrow, but didn’t say anything. Lex was filled with the urge to look away.

Anyways ,” She coughed into her fist to break the silence. “let’s see how it looks.” 

 

His white shirt underneath wasn’t in much better shape; the fabric around his right shoulder had also been horribly ripped and fully displayed how gory and deep his bite wound really was. She winced. It didn’t look like any human could have made such a terrible bite, but it was also too large to be from an average dog. Lex sure as hell wasn’t a veterinarian, so she figured she’d let him tell his story. 

 

“So. Ethan. I’ll say it again: What the fuck happened?” Lex cracked open the first aid kit and looked for something to clean the wound with. 

Ethan gave a dry laugh. “Ya wouldn’ believe me.”

“Oh yeah?” She countered, looking up from where she’d managed to find a couple of antiseptic wipes– that’d help with a dog bite, right? The bandages in the pack were laughably sized compared to the gaping wound. 

 

Gauze packs maybe?

Or was that too thin?

Fuck , why couldn’t Danny have had a package marked “in case of rabid dog bite”?

 

Concern flickering across her face, Lex gingerly pressed her hand next to the wound, forcing herself to look at it. 

Shit, could it be infected? Probably, but if it was, it wasn’t like she’d be able to do anything about it at this point. The best she could do was clean it, dress it, and stop him from losing any more blood than he already had, and if those attempts failed, she could always–

No. 

 

Pulling away as Ethan’s head bobbed in a weak nod, Lex returned his weary gaze. 

“Yeah. Ish’s wild .”

“Try me. I’ve heard some real crazy shit before.” Lex rolled up her sleeves as far as they could go, and for good measure tied her hair up in a ponytail. The less blood potentially getting on her, the better. 

 

She missed the way Ethan’s eyes shone, biting his lip as he scanned her up and down, particularly fixated on her hair. 

 

What did those survival shows say? Put pressure on the wound, I think. Hopefully this doesn’t need a turna-whatever, because I sure as hell have no idea how to do those. 

“I’m gonna put this bandage on you now. And I have to put pressure on it, or the bleeding won’t stop. This’ll hurt like a fucking bitch, k?” Lex warned him. 

 

“I can han’le– FUCK!!” Ethan cut himself off with a yelp of pain that turned into a growl that sounded… not human. More animalistic. Lex didn’t even know humans could make that noise. 

It didn’t scare Lex.

But she did suppress the sudden urge to back away.

 

“So what bit you?” Lex said, applying a bit more pressure. Though Ethan was in pain, the blood flow had already started to lessen. “I’m assuming not a human.” 

Ethan’s shoulders slumped. “Yeah, it wasn’t human.”

 

Strange.

 

“So a dog or a wolf or some shit?” Lex prodded further. “Lift your arm a little, Ethan. I’m gonna secure the gauze with… whatever this is.” She held up a roll of medical tape. “It’s sticky so it’ll have to do.”

He refused to meet her eyes. “...Some shit like that.” He murmured finally. 

 

“Who punched you? Don’t try to blame it on a dog.” Lex tried to give him a comforting smile. He didn’t return it.

“That fuckinnn... douchenozzle cop asshole.” Ethan glowered. “He totally fuckin overreacted. Shade wearin’ sonuvaBITCH.” It was almost funny how heated Ethan was getting, despite his injury. 

“Sam?” 

Ethan’s eyebrows shot up. “Ya know ‘im?” 

Lex clucked her tongue. “He busted me for weed. Missed a year of school ‘cuz of goddamn juvie. I think everyone but the goody-two shoes in town fucking hates him.” 

 

“No kiddin’.” Ethan sucked in through his teeth as Lex finished tightly wrapping the tape around the gauze. “Ha. You were fuckin’ righ’, Lex.” He leaned his head on her shoulder. “This really does hurt like a bitch.” 

“Would you prefer to be bleeding out on the street?”

“Fuck no.”

“Exactly.”

 

“Do you have someone you can call or text to pick you up and drive you to…. wherever you live?” Lex brushed a strand of hair out of her face with her (mostly) clean hand. “I’d drive you but.. I uh…” she trailed off, realising that she already sounded like an asshole.

 

“Do you like… hate blood or somethin’? You look sorta, sorta skwee… suh… squeamish. Yeah, there we go. You squeamish, Lex?” Ethan teased.

 

Lex bristled.

Now it was her turn to avoid his gaze. 

 

“I’m not a huge fan of gore. Seeing people all fucked up and hurt doesn’t sit right with me, ya know? And blood’s fucking annoying to get out of clothes or fabric or what the fuck ever.” She replied after an uncomfortable silence.

 

Do I hate blood?

The exact opposite, actually. 

 

Her hands shook.

 

She’d fucking kill for a cigarette. Or a joint. Anything to keep her distracted from the (admittedly sorta cute) boy soaked in fucking blood sitting next to her, trying his best to be nice to her despite still being in a metric fuck ton of pain.

 

Ethan was nearly fully leaning on Lex by now, and if it wasn’t for the whole blood thing, Lex might not mind that much.

 

“You’re pretty.” Ethan murmured out of the fucking blue.

“And you’re woozy and don’t know what you’re saying.” Lex returned, not trusting herself to look at him.

“No no, itz true!” Ethan sat up slightly, only to sag back down. “Ok, may not be able to stan’ righ’ now. But ‘m serious.” 

“Ethan, I’ve had drunk men tell me I look like Celene Dion before, and even they sounded more convincing than you.” Lex quipped.

 

Ethan laughed.

It was a nice sound.

 

“‘m not drunk though.”

“If it wasn’t for the wound on your shoulder, I’d think you were.”

 

“I’ll fuckin’ say it again, Miss…” Ethan faltered, “lookin’ for a last name.”

“Foster.”

“I’ll fuckin’ say it again, Miss Foster.” He tried again. “I’ll say it when I don’t have an art-terty or whatever open. Tal’ to me, at school, tomorrow.” He raised his finger. “You’re fuckin’ pretty. And! You saved my life. Super duper ‘ppreciate that one.” 

Lex snorted. “You better.” 

“If anyone asks, I’ll tell ‘em too.” Ethan tried to nod, but his head dropped. “Oof. Brain too heavy.”

 

“You know what they’ll say?” Lex lifted Ethan’s head back up.

“What?”

“How much did she pay you to say that?” Lex smiled, but it was closer to a grimace.

 

Ethan frowned. “That’s rude.”

“Welcome to Hatchetfield High.” Deadpanned Lex. “Home of the stoners, preps, basketcases, nerds, and overall assholes. An IRL Breakfast Club.” 

 

“‘N lotta monsters. Non-humans. Whatever the term is.” Ethan added. “Never was friends with ‘em. Don’t have anythin’ ‘gainst em but…” He glanced at his bite mark. “Think it’d be scary to be one. ‘specially if you’re alone.” He nudged Lex. “What ‘bout you? What’dya think of em?”

 

Lex stared straight ahead, keeping her voice flat. “I don’t think I’d ever want to be a non-human.” She scratched at her cuticles mindlessly. 

 

“Humans have it way better. No rules, or restrictions, or any of that shit.”

 

Scratch scratch. 

 

“Humans are so… so fuckin’ free, and they don’t even know it.” 

 

Scratch scratch. 

 

“Imagine turning from a human into… whatever freak flavour of the week it is.” She waved her hand. “All alone. A downgrade, really.” 

 

“...’m guessing you don’t like non-humans then.” Ethan said quietly. 

 

Lex bit her lip and looked down, feeling a fang press against and threaten to break the delicate pink skin. “...Sorry. Upbringing.” 

 

“You feelin’ alright? You’re real sweaty.” Before Lex could say anything, Ethan gently put his hand to her forehead, only to immediately retract it with a small gasp.

Jeez , you’re colder than ice, Lex!” He looked at his slightly wet palm in concern. “Ya sure you don’ wanna come with to the hospital? God, gives new meanin’ to ‘cold sweat’.” 

 

Without thinking, he grabbed her hand, only to find her hand also freezing cold. “Are ya’ always this cold?” 

Ethan, on the other hand, was incredibly warm against Lex’s skin, almost uncomfortably so– like when you stick your hand in front of a hairdryer. Even so, for the briefest moment, Lex quite enjoyed the warmth that no matter how hard she tried, she could never replicate.

 

Then she realised she was holding hands with someone she barely even knew. 

 

Quickly she dropped his hand and held her own to her chest. Shit. What the fuck was that? That was… weird. 

 

“Um!” Lex swallowed her confused feelings and forced herself to look Ethan in the eyes. “I uh, here.” After some frantic scrambling to find it, Lex threw the black shirt at Ethan, almost hitting him in the face. 

“The hell?” Ethan held out the shirt to inspect it. “Is this, er, yours?”

Lex rolled her eyes. “Yes, I just carry around an extra shirt that’s two sizes too big for me wherever I go.” 

Ethan blinked.

Lex sighed.

Right. He’s fucked.

“No that’s not mine, I… borrowed it from the party’s host. He can afford another shirt. Since your shirt is… pretty much fucking destroyed, I thought it’d be better if you got a less fucked up one.” 

 

Ethan grinned, and even in the dark Lex could see a tiny flush to his cheeks. “Thanks, Lex.” He compared to his own torso. “Think it fits?”

“Dunno. I just grabbed the first shirt I saw.” It was easy to tell even in the dark that it would be a snug fit, if not maybe even a size too small. 

“Either way, it’s too big for me. We’re definitely different sizes.” She rested her chin on her palm, watching him as he took the dark fabric in his still somewhat shaky hands before sighing and straightening herself out. “Get that on, call me back over when you’re done, ‘kay?” 

 

A woozy nod was all she earned in response, and as much as it probably wasn’t the best idea to leave him alone, she wasn’t about to stick around while he hauled a bloodied shirt off himself and put on another one. No thanks. Turning on her heel, she rounded the corner before leaning awkwardly against the side of the house and beginning to gnaw lightly on her lip despite the fact that her fangs were starting to grow more and more prominent. 

Shit. 

She had to get him patched up ASAP, before she made things worse. 

 

Sighing, she raised a hand and pinched the bridge of her nose, closing her eyes momentarily. From around the corner, she could still hear Ethan’s choppy breathing, along with the rustling of his shirt, though every now and again his breath would stop– turning to a short, sharp series of whines before resuming. 

 

“Lex… kenyou… c’mere?” 

 

Is he… flirting?

 

“Ha ha, very funny Ethan.” Lex scoffed. “I’m not gonna go there to do… whatever.” 

“No, I acshually can’t put my arm over my hea’.” Ethan’s voice was muffled, like it was covered in fabric. “Lex. Lex helf me.” 

“...Wait, are you serious? You’re actually stuck?”

Yesh!”

 

Lex clicked her tongue. “Fine, but if this is a prank, I swear to God…” 

Cautiously, she walked around the corner, hoping she wasn’t going to be victim to some weird prank or trick.

 

Oh my God. 

 

“Jesus fucking Christ, Ethan.”

 

Lex couldn’t see his expression, but she would bet money he was shooting her a hell of a dirty look. 

She covered her mouth to stifle a laugh. “How did you even–”

 

“Arm. Too smuhl. Bluh laws. Helf me.” Ethan stated, as if that explained fucking anything.

A tiny snicker escaped Lex’s lips. One of the hands stuck over Ethan’s head flipped her off, which only made her laugh again. 

 

“Alright, alright, I’ll help you, damn.” Lex sighed overdramatically like it was some sort of burden- when actually, it was really fucking amusing. The way he writhed in the borrowed shirt reminded her of a helpless worm, or maybe a snake. In fact–

 

Even as Ethan struggled, Lex saw his toned stomach heave and flex, and at the right angle she noticed the faint outlines of some abs. She didn’t know what Ethan did in his free time, but clearly he hit the gym fairly regularly if he looked like that. As for the top half–

 

Wait.

No.

Nope nope nope nope! 

The fuck are you doing, Lex?! 

Don’t stare like a creep, fucking help him. 

 

Looking away abruptly, Lex swallowed hard before forcing herself to just focus on the shirt and the pair of arms pathetically protruding out of it. “Uh, ok, just hold still,” she instructed. Carefully she grabbed the edge of the shirt- making sure to look there and nowhere else, thank you- and pulled it down in smooth motion, freeing both Ethan and his poor stuck arms. 

 

Ethan stumbled forward, nearly collapsing into Lex’s arms. But there was something… different about him now. 

His bottom lip trembled, and he clutched his head in his hands like he had a head-splitting migraine. 

 

“Ethan? What’s wrong?” Lex was immediately at his side, hand on his back in case he stumbled again. 

 

“Everythin’s so loud and bright , an’” He turned to Lex, and his distressed expression softened. “You have really pretty eyes, Lex.” 

 

“Ethan, the fuck are you talking about?” Lex was losing patience. “It’s dark out. You shouldn’t be able to see anything.”

Well.

Lex could see just fine, but that was different.

 

“No no, but I can!” He protested, his voice bordering on frantic. His eyes were brighter than they’d been moments ago, pupils a little smaller than she’d remembered them being. 

 

Is he fucking high?

She hadn’t sold to him before, but from the way he was acting, the thought of him being cracked out wasn’t too much of a stretch to make, though it would’ve been easier if he seemed a little less lucid.

 

“Ethan,” she started, trying to keep her voice steady despite the fact that she was dealing with somebody who was possibly whacked out of his mind on LSD, “you shouldn’t be able to—“

 

“Your eyes’re brown,” he interrupted, “b-but not super dark they’re… they’re… like the brown of that hot chocolate from that shitty coffee shop that Ollie loves so damn much… no, no, warmer than that… warm like the sun, and they crinkle when you laugh- don’t they?” 

 

She froze.

Okay, creepy.

When they met it was already sundown, and Ethan was barely coherent. By the time he was more awake, it was already night. So how did he know her eye colour so well? 

 

Unless…

No. 

 

When she met his gaze, that cold feeling running down her spine began to spread as she registered his eyes— eyes that shone dimly in the dark that were full of raw, cold fear as they locked onto her own. His body shivering, quaking wildly despite the warmth of the night air. “I can… I see, it– it’s so bright , a-an’ loud, I don’t– fuck–” Breaking into another whine– God, what fucking human whines like that–, he shot her a desperate look and dug his fingers further into his hair. “—it fuckin’ hurts–”

“Hey, hey,  easy, Jesus, you’re gonna make it worse if you don’t let go of your fucking head, what, are you trying to squeeze it out?” Cautiously staying where she was, Lex tried not to focus on the feeling of him trembling as she awkwardly patted his back in what she hoped was reassurance. 

 

“Jus’ want it t’ stop ,” he choked out, voice cracking–  turning to yet another sharp whine.

 

He’s really fucked up. 

 

Dragging her fangs across her lip, she gave a small sigh. “I– I know, it… it’ll probably stop soon.”

Hopefully it would, anyway.

 

Jesus, was he fighting off a rabid dog or something? He wasn’t foaming at the mouth, which was probably a good sign, but as far as Lex knew, dog bites didn’t do… whatever the fuck this one was doing to him. 

Maybe calling 911 was the best choice– she’d barely managed to deal with the bite mark, but if whatever had bitten him had given him some sort of infection, what the help could she do? She wasn’t a paramedic.

 

...I’m the best he can afford.

 

Out of the corner of her eye, she shot him a glance.

He was looking worse by the second. Sweat was clinging to his forehead in a slick sheen. His breathing hadn’t calmed in the slightest , only turning more and more ragged with each second that passed, and when he opened his eyes from where they’d been screwed shut in pain, Lex swore they looked different.

 

...god I really wish he could afford better.

 

Attempting to pull away only to have him sling one arm around her shoulders and keep her pinned up against his side, Lex inhaled through her teeth. “Did you text your ride?”

“Y-Yeah,” he confirmed, taking a shaky breath in. “I… fuckin’ awhile ago… before I got my arms stuck inna fuckin’ shirt…” 

 

“Do you think they’ll be here soon?” Lex cycled through several different situations that would explain his wack ass behaviour, but none of them truly fit. LSD? Probably would have kicked in earlier. Rabies? Well, no foaming at the mouth, at least not yet. Maybe an infection from that dog that bit him; though she still wasn’t fully convinced that it was just a simple dog– wouldn’t an infection take longer to set in?– but she didn’t have any other explanation, either. 

 

“Ow!” She winced, and looked to see the nails of the hand Ethan had tangled in her shirt slice through her sleeve like knives and poke at her skin.

Ok, I noticed he painted his nails black beforehand, but they were not this sharp originally. 

 

Lex’s usually eerily slow heartbeat sped up, faster and faster, until it matched that of a regular running human- very much not a good sign. 

Is he having a heart attack?

Fuck, no, that was stupid— heart attacks didn’t sharpen nails for fuck’s sake.

 Am I having a heart attack? 

Can vampires even have heart attacks?

 

Mind racing, Lex was pulled out of her spiral by the sound of Ethan giving another sharp whine. The arm wrapped around her shoulders slumped to his side.

 

Lex refused to look at his hand.

 

Fuck that. Her gaze stayed firmly fixed on his head as he attempted to take a step forward, stumbling slightly under his own weight before seeming to catch himself. 

“Hey, where the hell are you going?” She called after him, following, albeit, reluctantly behind him. His gait was turning to more and more of a shuffle, and although she knew she could easily match his pace, Lex… kept her distance. 

 

“Can’t’cha hear it?” Ethan’s voice came out in a husky sort of whisper– why the fuck is he whispering? – that made it sound like he’d just woken up dehydrated. “Ollie’s stupid car always sounds like that. S’gotta get th’ muffler… muffler cleaned… keep tellin’ him that, but he don’t list’n…”

Again, his voice died out, though the silence that followed it was somehow more unnerving than the whines he’d been letting out moments ago.

 

Silence.

 

No sound of a faulty engine rang through the deserted streets. Stepping closer, nearly at the sidewalk, Lex frowned somewhat concernedly. “Ethan, I don’t–”

Listen!” He prompted, raising his voice only to claw at his head at the new volume. 

Lex sighed, but obliged.

 

...nothing.

 

If she really strained, she could hear the muffled bass of some shitty pop tune blaring through the thin walls of Danny’s place, but other than that, the night was surprisingly peaceful. 

 

Not that Lex was feeling any of that fucking peace in the slightest. 

 

Biting down on her cheek and exhaling through her nose, Lex struggled not to shoot Ethan her best glare as she moved to stand next to him on the sidewalk. “Ethan, there’s nobody…”

 

This time, it wasn’t Ethan that caused her to stop talking.

 

Instead, the noise of a sputtering, rattling engine faded into her ears from down the street, and when she looked in the direction it came from, a twin pair of yellow lights confirmed that there was a car approaching.

 

Beside her, Ethan huffed. “Took him long… ngh… ‘nough…” 

“That’s your guy?”

The nod she earned was sluggish, but there all the same. “Yesh,” he agreed, furrowing his brow at the sound of his own voice, “little cuz’ comin’ through… fuckin’ finally…”

 

His cousin.

Even though it probably wasn’t the nicest thing to do, Lex breathed a small sigh of relief as those headlights drew closer.

Good. He can be his family’s problem.

Not hers. As much as she felt bad for the fact that he looked damn near close to death, it wasn’t like she could do much else for him– and to be honest, between her torn shirt and the noises he’d been making, sticking around seemed like a fucking terrible idea.

 

“Well,” she started, backing up slightly from the curb, “I should probably get home, I…”

Fuck, think of an excuse.

“Little sister,” she settled with, fumbling slightly with the words, “a-and a morning shift, I should… try to get some sleep, and you seem like you’re fine, so…”

Fine was a complete fucking lie, but she wasn’t about to tell him that. Not when he was twitching like he was and walking in a hunched-over fashion that made it look like his top half was too heavy for him to hold up or some shit. 

 

The bandage on his shoulder was starting to turn an ugly shade of crimson that more than contrasted his sickly pale skin.

A shade of crimson that Lex could practically smell

 

Yeah, she needed to go. Now. Like, right the fuck now.

 

“See you around, Ethan, I guess.”

 

Hopefully not, but probably.

 

Backing up, keeping her eyes trained on him– is he okay? – Lex forced herself to slow down in an attempt to give him a chance to respond before she took off.

 

His smile looked wrong.

Not fake, just… wrong in a way she couldn’t put her finger on. Sharp.

 

“S-See ya ‘round,” he responded, “an’ thanks.”

 

That was all she needed to hear. 

 

“Don’t mention it.”

 

Before the words had left her mouth entirely, she’d turned her back and started jogging, just a step up from her usual walking pace. She didn’t look back.

A small part of her was scared of what she might see looking back at her under the muted light of the streetlights.

Was it stupid?

 

In any other town, it might’ve been, but in Hatchetfield?

 

She’d learned it was a smart choice. 

 


 

The second Oliver opened his mouth, Ethan wanted nothing more than for him to close it again. 

 

His tone was too sharp, too nasally, and more importantly– too loud – at just the right pitch to rise above the sound of the car’s engine rumbling away.

 

“Holy shit, what happened to you?”

 

“Shuddup,” Ethan hissed, stumbling slightly, barely managing to catch himself on the side of the car even as Oliver scuttled around to his side in an attempt to help, like his fucking matchstick arms would be able to hold him up.

 

Maybe I should’ve walked.

 

If Oliver heard the slight growl in his words, he didn’t show it. Instead, Ethan was treated to the feeling of one of his cousin’s sweaty hands brushing up against his arm.

God. The little beanpole was always so sweaty.

 

“Ethan,” came his tinny voice again, this time close enough to make his lips curl back in a wince, “are you– are you okay?”

“Peachy.”

Oliver’s nose wrinkled. His grip on Ethan’s arm tightened, though his light tug didn’t do anything to move Ethan away from the car door. “Uh, no,” he corrected, “or else you wouldn’t have called me– I need to know if I’m driving you to the hospital or the bunker. What– what the hell even–”

 

“Questions needa stohp,” Ethan slurred in response, tugging his arm clumsily out of Oliver’s grasp only to halfway fall onto the side of the car. 

Was it bad that a small part of him wanted to stay there?

The glass was cold on his skin, and although it meant that the grating, awful thunder of the engine was louder, it made the pain shooting up through his skull decrease just enough to make it worth it. 

 

Oliver looked at him like he’d grown a second head. “Okay, I’m gonna pull away from the curb– if you’re not in the car by then, I… I’ll come back with help, okay?”

Ethan grunted in response. 

I don’t know how you’re going to pull away from the curb while I’m still on the fucking car. 

 

Despite the fact that his limbs felt like they were full of wet sand, Ethan managed to push himself away from the vehicle when he heard Oliver jump into the driver’s seat and click his seatbelt. 

Is his window open?

It must’ve been. The sounds were clear and sharp, rattling through the air in a way that made Ethan press a hand against the side of his head and dig his nails into his hair. His lips curled. His eyes finally seemed to have adjusted to the cutting beams of Oliver’s headlights, which was something , but it didn’t make up for the fact that the rest of him was aching all over. He felt like he’d been hit by a bus.

 

Sam may have been an asshole, but he was an asshole with a mean right hook, he’d give him that. 

 

With a soft groan and the help of a fucking miracle, Ethan managed to get the car door open without eating pavement and awkwardly slid his way into the passenger seat, the smell of whatever shitty car freshener Oliver was using this week hitting him upside the head like a baseball bat. A cough caught in his throat. 

“Jesus,” he hissed, “easy on th’ body spray, Ollie… your mans doesn’t… doesn’t need’a get pepper sprayed every time he gehtz close t’ya.” 

Behind his glasses, Oliver’s eyebrows raised. “I don’t– the only thing that smells in here is you , and the car freshener!” He sputtered before reaching over Ethan to slam the door shut, the noise enough to make Ethan’s ears ring. He almost didn’t want to breathe in, not with Oliver so close– since when did he start using fucking cologne? – but when he inevitably did inhale, the smell… wasn’t actually any stronger. 

Huh. 

Maybe his car did have some gross car-smell. A new one. Not the normal clean one, or that febreeze bullshit he sometimes sprayed around. 

 

“Now,” Oliver huffed out, returning to his own seat only after the sound of Ethan’s seatbelt clicking into place caused the older teen to groan, “do you mind explaining why your shoulder is all bandaged up and bleeding? You looked like you got stabbed–”

“Bitten,” Ethan corrected, wincing. 

Fuck. Just saying it made his skin crawl. In his head, he could see the whole damn thing playing out, right from when he’d dropped the can of spray paint and attempted to book it to the sensation of being slammed up against a dingy wall by the collar of his jacket. 

“Bitten?” Oliver echoed, at which Ethan gave a sharp growl through his teeth.

”Did I fuckin’ stutter ?” 

“Bitten by what?” Oliver turned around in his seat to stare at Ethan in concern. “God, you look awful.” 

“Does it mattah’?” Ethan placed a hand on his forehead and drew it back to see it covered with glistening beads of sweat and–

 

Wait.

Have my nails always been this long? 

And why is my heartbeat so loud?

Why is everything so fucking loud?

 

An intense pressure was building in Ethan’s head, as if something inside his skull was attempting to gouge out his eyes with some dull tool that was being ground into his fucking brain. It damn near felt like his eyes were about to pop out. 

He closed them just in case. Better safe than sorry.

 

“I’m not really into the party scene or anything, and I don’t know what you’re tweaked out on but–”

“‘m not tweaked on anythin’.” Ethan insisted, opening his eyes to shoot Oliver a squinty glare. It would’ve been worse, but the street lamps seemed to be countering the fucking icepick in his head, the bright light feeling like someone poking his eyes back in their sockets.

...maybe I am tweaked on something.

Fuck.

 

His memories felt like they were blurring, and as he turned his attention from the window back to Oliver, the rest of the world seemed to blur alongside them before everything sharpened.

It was still too bright, but as Ethan blinked rapidly, attempting to sit upright a little too fast, he was made aware of the fact that his surroundings were different . Crisper. Cleaner.

 

When Oliver inhaled, Ethan winced.

“You look like it,” he huffed out, “and I’m not going to tell anyone if you are, but your eyes–” 

Ethan narrowed them threateningly.

Oliver stopped mid-sentence.

Despite the pain, Ethan smirked.

Works like a fucking charm. Every time.

 

“Ok,” Oliver snapped, raising his hands defensively, “fine, you’re not tweaked out. Got it. Still, we should probably get you to the ER.” He lowered his voice, though Ethan could hear him easily, as if he hadn’t quieted at all. “In case you start convulsing or dying or some shit.” 

“No.” Ethan could barely hear himself over the blood roaring in his ears. His voice sounded raw. Desperate. “Jus’– Henry’s. Please.

For a moment, he thought Oliver was going to say no.

It looked like he was going to. The way he drew his shoulders up almost to his ears was a dead giveaway, but when he spoke… 

“...Ok.” From his expression alone, it was clear he still thought it was a terrible idea, but Ethan didn’t give a shit.

Some of the tension he felt drained.

 

“Thank–”

That was all he managed to get out before his world exploded into noise.

The rumbling of the engine was so much worse in the car– bad enough to cause him to double over and let out a noise between a yelp and an animalistic growl that he couldn’t even attempt to force back as he curled up as well as he could manage, driving his newly sharpened nails into the sides of his head in an attempt to get it to just stop.

 

His shaking worsened.

Everything hurt– his head, his hands– his whole body was pulsing in time to his too-quick, too loud heartbeat.

 

He knew that they’d pulled away from the curb.

He heard it.

 

His eyes stayed firmly screwed shut against the sounds of tires crunching on uneven pavement. 

They stayed screwed shut when Oliver said his name.

When the blinker clicked and clacked.

When another car passed with a noise that made him think his head was going to fucking explode and rain gore all across the upholstery of Oliver’s cheap ride. 

It didn’t.

He almost wished it would. 

He couldn’t breathe right. His breaths were whistling pathetically in his throat, and when he dragged his hands down the sides of his head, he swore he could feel his nails threatening to break his skin.

 

Which wasn’t right.

None of this was right.

 

It was all wrong, wrong in a way he couldn’t even properly describe, not around the pounding in his head and with the effort it took to remember to breathe occupying his mind. 

 

The ride seemed to last an agonizing eternity. 

 

Sweat was absolutely pouring off him by the time that the squealing of the brakes sounded off like gunfire in Ethan’s ears, just adding to the harsh, ever-present drone of the engine, god, that fucking engine that he had half a mind to just–

 

“Ethan?”

 

With a turn of the key, everything stopped.

The absence of the noise felt like a presence, though when Ethan forced his eyes open, it only confirmed what the sound of blood rushing in his ears had already told him.

 

The world was still too clear.

The car, the familiar street outside– everything – and when Oliver turned, could see the minute cracks running through the lenses of his glasses.

 

“Alright.” Oliver took a shaky breath. “You’re… not yourself right now. You need to go straight to bed, and hopefully you’ll feel better in the morning. We have school tomorrow, remember?” He smiled weakly at his pitiful attempt at a joke. 

Ethan didn’t bother acknowledging it.

 

His gaze stayed disinterred as Oliver wiped his sweaty palms across his shirt and fidgeted with his suspenders before popping open the backseat door.

“I should have gone to the hospital.” He muttered to himself. “I can’t carry him to bed.” 

 

“Um, sling your arm around me, and I’ll help you walk. Won’t be too far, promise.” Oliver placed one of Ethan’s arms– good god , his skin was hotter than a space heater on high- and attempted to heave him up. No such luck. Though Ethan was clearly breathing, other than small twitches he was completely still, and his breaths were still raspy– rattling around dryly in his chest in a way that made Oliver’s brows draw together.

 

“That’s not good. That’s reeeally not good. Please don’t faint.” He whispered. 

You couldn’t do anything if I did.

He couldn’t get the words out. Instead, he tried to shake his head, though the action only made his world spin. 

 

“C’ mon . I’ll let you sleep on the couch. It doesn’t have to be in your room. Just get up.” Oliver tugged on Ethan. He didn’t budge. “Ethan, you’re seriously worrying me.” His voice cracked, the panic he felt spilling over into his words. 

A grumble sounded from Ethan in response.

Ethan finally moved. He struggled to his feet, nearly bowling Oliver over in the process, and forced himself to look at his Uncle’s house. Like everything else, it was too sharp.

 

Oliver gingerly helped Ethan out of the car. “Oh, I didn’t notice.” He murmured, clearly trying to distract himself, “It’s the full moon tonight. Pretty.”

On a normal night, Ethan would’ve laughed at that. He would’ve rolled his eyes, elbowed Oliver in the ribs, and trudged up the front steps to Henry’s, but tonight?

For some reason, hearing those words made him look up.

 

That was where the trouble started.

 

“Ethan? You ok?”

 

Oliver’s words didn’t register in Ethan’s ears.

 

Nothing did anymore. 

 

The only thing that did was the moon and the light that made his damp skin gleam in the darkness. 

For a moment, he just stared up at it. Frozen. Oliver was saying something, and from the tone of his voice, it was important– the words buzzed in the air frantically and about an octave too high– but Ethan barely heard him.

Oliver had never seemed farther away, and from where he stood, the moon had never felt so close. 

 

He inhaled.

 

He could feel his heart beating, the unsteady rhythm turning calmer as the night air filled his lungs and cleared some of the fog that had fallen over his mind. Hell, compared to the glittering moon above him and the sea of pinprick stars, the throbbing bite mark on his shoulder seemed so small– why had Oliver been so concerned, anyway? He was clearly just–

 

A dull crack sounded.

 

Something in his back popped. 

 

Not that it mattered. To him, there was nothing. Nothing but the sound of his heartbeat and breathing. Nothing but the moonlight streaming down like a spotlight, beckoning him to just let go.

 

His insides twisted.

 

A thought flickered across the back of his mind. It was slow. Hazy. 

Okay.

Looking up at the moon… felt right. Almost. It felt more right than how he’d felt bleeding out in the driveway of some kid he didn’t know, and more right than how he’d felt when he’d called Oliver for help–

 

“Ethan, h-hey, can you stop fucking around and–”

He turned when he heard Oliver’s voice– clearer, or maybe just louder than it had been before. 

 

Like that, there was nothing but pain. 

 

His exhale turned to a scream the second it passed his lips. 

 

It didn’t sound human.

 

It sounded like an animal , something that needed to be caged without a second thought as it tore up from him and left his throat raw and ragged, ragged enough to bring the taste of blood to his mouth, not that it made him stop.

Not that he could stop.

God, he wanted to stop. 

 

The sound poured from him without pause as his muscles spasmed– spasmed and twitched and pulled taut enough that he swore he could feel them breaking– under his skin, slithering and sliding across his bones, changing, changing–

 

No, stop it, stop it, STOP IT–

 

A snap sounded from his legs. It felt like needles were tearing through the ligaments there, and as he fell forward on his hands and knees, his back hunched under a new weight of muscle mass, vertebrae clicking and popping against each other in a mess of sharp cracks. Bones elongated and shifted, threatening to pop through the skin and back into place. 

The knees of his jeans tore out with a sharp rip, his legs stretching out abnormally like those of some cheap doll being twisted too far, and when he tried to look and see what the fuck had happened, all he could make out before the pain caused him to squeeze his eyes shut were the toes of his sneakers blowing out to reveal thin, jagged claws.

 

The taste of blood in his mouth was getting worse by the second, though the fact that he could smell it only seemed to make the coppery tang heavier. Thicker. Stronger.

His teeth were the wrong shape. Their points sharpened, his canines lengthened and curved to the point where they shouldn't have fit in his mouth. 

But he didn’t have a normal mouth anymore. 

His face met the pavement, though when it did, it felt wrong, skin stretched taut over a steadily elongating muzzle, the shape looking like a living thing trying to break free from his flesh. Pointy teeth rose up from gooey gums in his new, massive maw. His tongue shifted, lolling out past his– are they mine? I don’t want them to be mine, please, please no– jagged teeth as he panted, struggling to catch his breath despite the fact that his throat felt like it was on fucking fire.

 

The air left in his lungs was stolen in a howl.

 

Even if he tried to say anything– beg for help, call out to Oliver, scream every cuss word he knew, anything– intelligible human words could no longer pass from his lips. Hell, he could barely even think intelligible human words.

 

His eyes were still open as he writhed in the driveway– what were the fucking odds of almost dying in two driveways anyway?– leaving him acutely aware of the fact that his hands looked wrong. They were turning bulky, the joints changing to stubby, squarish pads that scraped against the pavement with his every move, though that wasn’t what caught his attention. 

 

His slit pupils focused on the dark specks starting to force their way through his skin.

Hair.

Hair began to sprout rapidly on every inch of his skin at a hyper-fast speed, like a plant growing in an instant from a sped-up Planet Earth clip. But there was nothing beautiful about this; no, it was simply horrifying, seeing his usually pale skin suddenly enveloped in dark hair– no, not hair, fur, fucking fur– the colour of his natural hair.  It started on the backs of his hands– paws? – in thick patches, but from the searing, prickling sensation rising along his sides, he knew that wasn’t where it was going to stop.

 

On his back, the shirt he’d “borrowed” ripped along the seam.

Deep brown fur spilled up from where it had split, curling slightly at the ends, and as more and more of the shirt was pulled past its breaking point, the fact that his body was no longer his was growing harder to ignore– not that he could just ignore whatever the hell this was, no matter how hard he tried to.

 

This is a dream.

You’re dreaming, Ethan.

This can’t be real, it can’t be, it can’t be–

 

Another wave of pain crashed over him, hard enough to buckle his newly formed legs and pry a whine from his throat, this time, coming from the end of his nose, which was feeling considerably damper.

 

...you don’t feel pain in dreams.

 

No.

 

No, that wasn’t– it was a fucking dream , or a nightmare, some consequence for drinking or staying up too late– that was all, his mind was just fucked, conjuring up some–

 

Blood dribbled down from his shoulder, sticking to his fur.

 

...this was real.

 

His mouth wasn’t the only thing to morph on his face. His ears grew pointed, then started gradually shifting further and further up upon his head. A fine layer of soft dark fur covered them as well, though his original left earring remained, a tiny reminder of the boy this beast once was. 

 

His lower back ached, and suddenly the seat of his worn jeans burst open as a tail unfurled itself from his tailbone. It stuck straight up in the air aggressively for a moment, then tucked between his hind legs in defeat as his whole body throbbed. 

Hind legs.

Not regular two legs. 

He had fucking four of them now. 

 

Was there even any human part of him left? 

Perhaps his mind, but even then it was hazy and panicked at best. 

 

Ethan glanced up at Oliver, whose current emotional state could be summed up in one word.

 

Fear. 

He could smell it on him. 

 

Something in his mind changed.

 

His body moved on autopilot. The paws he’d found frightening felt good, right , even, as they braced beneath him, his body lowering toward the concrete. His stomach brushed lightly against the ground, though his haunches were tense– ready to spring.

Unbeknownst to him, his tail was sticking up again.

Keeping his icy eyes trained upward from where he was crouching, Ethan stamped his paws almost impatiently when Oliver’s gaze shot to his own.

 

The sound of his voice made Ethan’s ears pin back and a menacing, low snarl rumble up from his core. 

 

Shit , I– n-no…”

As he spoke, he took a step backward. 

 

Ethan tensed. 

 

Again, their eyes locked, allowing the crouching beast to see every fleck of blue in his cousin’s eyes, magnified behind those too-thick glasses to a point where they seemed almost zoomed in. He could hear Oliver breathing, hear the frantic, whistling breaths of someone on the verge of an asthma attack. 

 

Along his back, his fur began to stand on end. His muscles were bunching up. 

 

Another growl bubbled up from his throat, and in that instant, Oliver bolted. 

 

He made it three steps before Ethan pounced, his new body hurtling forward, earning a shrill, panicky scream as he slammed to the pavement inches behind Oliver– his cousin’s keyring clattering. 

 

“C’mon, n-no, Ethan STOP–”

 

The pleas blurred together in his ears. The name Oliver was crying out sounded unfamiliar, and his voice was far too sharp, sharp enough to make him toss his head and growl in an attempt to make it stop , though of course, that only made it seem even fucking louder

 

“–ETHAN, ST-STAY WHERE YOU ARE, I– IN THE MORNING, I’LL LET YOU IN–”

 

Fuck that. 

He was getting in now .

 

With another guttural noise– this one closer to a proper howl– Ethan sprang after Oliver the second he jammed his key into the door and flung it open, vaguely aware of the scrawny boy shouting something, some jumbled word–

 

The door began to close.

It happened fast. 

But he was faster. 

 

Ethan–

No.

The monster darted forwards, making it inside just before the door shut, leaving him facing his trembling, wheezing prey with malice shining in his eyes. 

 

Oliver backed up slowly, trying his goddamn best not to hyperventilate, until he tripped on a rug and fell flat on his ass with a thud. His voice was shaking more than he was, lips forming words that buzzed in the air like hornets and made the monster pin its ears back further, lips pulling back to show off its jagged teeth. 

Sprawled out on the carpet, Oliver trembled. 

 

The situation was folding out in a way that seemed to spell out certain doom for him– between the snapping, snarling beast standing in front of the door and the fact that he was shaking too bad to move, three things were becoming obvious. 

 

Ethan was gone .

 

He’d locked himself inside with a monster

 

And he was fucking dead