Wolf’s Bane is free until the 22nd, so I thought I’d try to tempt you to try it:
The story made headlines—a naked woman’s corpse found on 29th Street. There was no mention of an attack, no comment on anything Reece witnessed. If she witnessed it. If she wasn’t hallucinating. Or crazy. The reporter stated that the woman had not been herself lately. Friends and loved ones were worried about her. When police interviewed her husband, he admitted she’d been acting strangely. She left the house in a hurry that night, telling him if she didn’t come home in the morning, to be happy for her. Her curse was over.
Reece reread the short, concise article. Talk about a sanitized version of an event! She wasn’t about to correct anyone, though. She felt limp with relief. Her name wasn’t mentioned anywhere, and that was a blessing. Being part of a murder investigation wouldn’t be good for business. Parents might pull their kids from her martial arts studio. And telling people that werewolves existed would make her a laughing stock. The last thing she needed. She was thrilled for the tame version. It had to have something to do with the phone call the cop got. Everything changed after that.
Still, seeing is believing. And she’d seen the werewolf and the winged man. Hadn’t she? Her mind said yes. Her instincts said no. She hadn’t been drinking that night. Eugene had. But was she the one seeing pink elephants and flying men? She thought of buying silver bullets, but where did you find them? On the web? And how would that make her look? Deranged?
And what about the huge, winged man who killed the beast? He’d looked like a Michelangelo sculpture brought to life—an angel of retribution. Reece wasn’t one who indulged in flights of fancy. Her dad was an engineer, a nuts and bolts type of guy. A practical man. She’d taken after him—bought her own studio with her inheritance and invested wisely. Flying heroes were the stuff of novels. But which ones? What was he? He seemed more a savior than a threat.
She turned what happened over and over again in her mind. Should she warn people? Would anyone believe her? Her gut feeling was the cops already knew there were things that went bump in the night. They seemed ready to deal with that. She wasn’t. Better to shut up and move on. She still glanced at rooftops, though, looking for someone who might fly from one to another. And she still tensed when she drove past dark alleys. But one day rolled into the next. Her routine fell into place. She got up mornings, got ready for work, and taught classes. She had Joseph and Jenny over on weekends. And eventually, a month passed. There was another full moon, and she found herself at her mother’s brownstone again, dealing with Eugene.