Elian was taking advantage of a long weekend. He had switched his schedule around to help out Victoria. She had needed the beginning of the week off so Jess had given him Friday and Saturday off. He had three days off and he wanted to get his yard under control. He had a lawn mower; it was the gardens that he needed to get working in. He had no clue what was flowers and what was weeds. He knew a little about gardening and had picked up a few books on it from the library. He’d read through them in his spare time. He even had bought some tools just to use for gardening. The gardens in the front yard he didn’t care much to do anything with. He only really cared about getting the back gardens taken care of first.
The backyard was nice. It had nearly ten foot high foot fences and it was set up like a veritable castle garden. Some of the flowers were starting to bloom and while he liked a lot of them. There were a few that were bothering him. Some of the scents were very overpowering. He had figured out which those were and had pulled up a few of them. Now that he knew exactly what they looked like at the roots, he could pull all of them out. There were hours and hours of work to be done to get the garden in a shape where he would be able to enjoy sitting in the back yard. There was a gazebo in the back corner that had irises all around it. He liked the irises. In the other corner were roses. He wasn’t ready to handle the roses yet. That would come on another weekend where he had the time to work. He didn’t want to be scratched up. He had a date with Marie on Sunday night and he didn’t want to look like he fell into a briar patch.
The sun was hiding behind the clouds and had been all day long. It was warm outside but at least it wasn’t hot. With the sun hiding behind the clouds so it made it a wonderful day to work in the gardens. He pulled all of his equipment from the storage box that he had them in that was underneath the upper deck. He’d already gotten the upper deck cleaned up and bought new furniture for it. He’d gotten into his money a little more than he wanted but that was okay because the manager he had for his accounts wasn’t that worried. Elian knew that at some point in his life he was going to have to put more money into the accounts than just his little paycheck from the library. He wanted to get settled in his life before he settled fully for a life of work.
Setting down all the tools except the shovel, Elian started to dig into the earth that lined the walkways around the backyard. He wanted to expand the walkway so that he could move around more. The current walkways were very narrow and he had trouble not stepping on the grass. After he dug the trenches and had worked until he was tired, he was going to go to Lowe’s and pick up new stones to lay along the walkways. He was going to rip up the old ones as soon as he had the new ones. He didn’t want just dirt there; even for a short period of time. He had a wheelbarrow he was putting the chucks of dirt and grass into. As he dropped the first clump in, the smell of the earth wafted up to his nose. He stopped because he had never smelled dirt that smelled like that before. He reached down and grabbed a little bit of the dirt and held it up to his nose. He inhaled the smell and nearly choked at the strongness of it. Dropping the dirt, Elian coughed a few times.
This was not normal. He shook his head to clear it and set the shovel aside. He thought that he could smell the worm shit inside the dirt. He knew that smells had been popping up to him more and more but this was just nuts. Elian went back to digging in the garden and didn’t let the smells bother him. It was either his mind playing tricks on him or his sense of smell was getting better. There was nothing to worry about.
Marie didn’t like to get picked up from where she was living in Parkersburg. She claimed that she didn’t like her roommates and the shape of the house that they were sharing. Elian didn’t really care. He didn’t like that he would wait for her at the restaurants for a while because she was always late. He hated sitting there alone. He would have to get used to it because that was the way that she was.
A beep from his phone had him checking the texts. It was Rae.
I think that by the time this college library is done, it is going to give me gray hairs.
Elian smiled as he started to type his message back to her.
At least you’ll be able to claim that it came from hard work and not just genetics.
Elian silenced his phone and put it in his pocket. Marie hated when he had his phone on the table during a date. He felt his phone vibrate but as he did he saw Marie walking towards him. It was just Rae’s return text so he wasn’t that worried. It was just as she sat down that his phone vibrated again. Elian gave Marie a large smile and took her hand to kiss it when she held it out.
“You look worn out,” Marie stated as she looked him over.
“I’ve spent my weekend working on my backyard garden. I laid a whole new pathway of stone to help me get around. Today I spent most of the day weeding out the weeds and most of the flowers I don’t like.”
“That sounds like a lot of hard work. Why don’t you just hire someone to do it?”
“I like doing work like that. I would never be able to do it for a living but I can at least take care of my own house. When I find a full time job down the road, I’ll probably hand some of it over but right now I can do it all. I’ve learned some interesting things about flowers and plants in general.”
Marie just sniffed and picked up the menu. She had wanted to eat at Applebee’s today so Elian had agreed to go. He really didn’t care where they ate as long as they were together. He found he was happiest when he was with her. His phone vibrating in his pocket again made him jerk. He reached his hand down to his pocket and found that it was a phone call. Calls were rare for him. The only person who really called him was Marie and she was here with him.
“I’m sorry. I need to take this.” Elian pulled his phone out and stared in shock at his caller ID. It was his father’s cell phone. “Dad?”
“Elian. Your mother and I would like to talk to you here at the house as soon as possible. We have some things that we need to talk about as a family.”
“I can come over tonight after I get done with my date.”
“Date? Elian, I’m happy you are on a date.” Noise started up on the other end and Elian could just make out his mother’s voice. “Your mother wants you to bring the lady by when you both get off the date.”
Elian thought about it for a few second as he looked up at Marie. She had closed her menu and was staring at him with a little bit of curiosity on her face. He had explained that he was a little distant from his parents at the moment but as soon as he patched things up he would take Marie by their house. It seemed that the time was now.
“Sure.” Elian hung up the phone and looked up at
“So who was that?” Marie asked.
“My father. He wants to talk to me and when my mother heard that I was on a date, she demanded that I bring my date back to meet the both of them. It’s fine if you don’t want to go.”
“I would love to meet them. You’ve talked about the issues you’ve had with them but I know that you love them. You’ve missed them since you’ve moved out. We can eat quickly so that you don’t have to worry about keeping them both up late since the work early.”
Elian waved the waiter down and he ordered his food and Marie followed after. It was half an hour later and they were walking out after paying for their food. Elian gave her directions to his parents’ house in case they got separated on the way. He pulled her close before she got into her car and gave her a kiss. He was going to keep is chaste but Marie pulled him even closer. She opened her mouth and exhaled onto his face. Elian took it as sign that he could take things farther. He moved his tongue to trace her lips and when she did nothing, Elian pushed his tongue farther in and let it trace her own tongue. After a few minutes of making out, Elian pulled back. Marie gave him a peck on the cheek and dropped down into her car. He shut the door and rapped on the top with his knuckles as she started her car and drove off.
It was just like all the times he came home while he lived there. He barely remembered the drive because he dreaded the actual going home. He pulled into the driveway and saw that Marie was on the porch along with both of his parents. He got out of the car and plastered a smile on his face. He would do anything to make Marie happy.
“Elian!” his mother practically ran to him and pulled him into a huge hug. She ruffled his hair and didn’t let go of him for several minutes. His father was right there to hug him as soon as she finally let go. His father only held on for a few seconds before he stepped back. “Miss Marie arrived before you did and we didn’t feel right letting her just sit inside her car while we were waiting on you.”
“I got caught in a few lights,” Elian lied as he moved up the stairs to pull Marie into his side. Marie tucked into his side and looped her arm around his back.
“It’s such a nice night, we thought we would all hang out here on the porch,” his father said as he pointed to the swing. Elian moved over and let Marie pick where she wanted to sit before he sat down. His parents took chairs on either side of swing so that there was still a walkway. Marie pulled her feet up and tucked them under so that she was leaning against Elian.
“How did the two of you meet?” his mother asked as she leaned back in her chair.
“We met at the mall.”
“He asked me out on a date that night.” Marie giggled and then pulled Elian’s arm around her back. “He was so cute. We were both in that kitchen store in the mall. He was looking at baking pans and I just had to talk to him. I followed him around the store for quite a while before he finally noticed me.”
“You are so pretty, how could he miss you?” his mother asked.
Marie blushed and Elian kissed the top of her forehead.
“He was too busy looking at kitchen things. It was all right. I knew that I would catch his eye at some point. I knew that to get something worth anything sometimes you have to wait.” Marie sat up as she finished speaking and turned to look at Elian. “I’m thirsty. Can you go get me a glass of ice water?”
“Sure.” Elian stood up and moved to enter his parents’ house. As soon as he entered the house the smell of rotten milk and crushed leaves entered his nose. He nearly gagged the smell of milk was so bad. As soon as he entered the kitchen he moved to the fridge and pulled out the jug of milk. She opened the cap and smelled it. It smelled perfectly fine. He wondered if maybe his mother had dumped a jug down the sink not long before he got there. Closing the fridge, Elian moved to get a glass so he could fill it with ice. His father had probably been doing yard work in the backyard and the smell of the trimming had entered through the backyard window.
The smell of burnt sugar was underneath the smell of milk and leaves. Elian figured that Marie had put on some lotion and the smell of it was wafting in from out front. He hoped that whatever was happening with his sense of smell would calm down. He found that many smells were so strong they would make him throw up or give him raging headaches.
Grabbing more glasses, Elian filled up three more glasses but didn’t put any ice in them. Both of his parents never drank ice in their water so Elian had grown up to drink water with no ice. He found his mother’s serving tray and loaded it up. There were cookies in a box on the island in the kitchen, he grabbed a few of them and put them on a smaller plate that he pulled from the cabinets. When he exited the door onto the front porch, his father jumped up and took the tray from him. Setting it down on a table that his mother pulled over to set the tray on, his father sat down quickly. Marie leaned forward and grabbed her glass of water and sat back quickly.
“Thank you,” his mother said as she took her own drink as well as a cookie. Elian grabbed two cookies but left his water on the tray. He would drink it when he was done eating his two cookies. He popped the first in his mouth whole and then looked up at his parents. His mother was glaring at him; Elian just shrugged but didn’t say he was sorry. He was a grown man and living in his own house, he didn’t need to jump when she said jump anymore. “Marie was telling us about your house.”
“I am sure that once your son gets his house to his liking he will invite you both over for dinner. I know that he doesn’t have the house fully furnished yet.”
Elian’s first reaction was to balk at the words that she was speaking but then he thought about it more and it made sense. He did need to invite them over. He wanted to show them that he could live on his own. He was a grown assed man. He knew that he could act childish but he needed to show that he was above that.
“Of course. I’ll do a big dinner and all three of you will be invited. I just need to get my kitchen all fixed up and get all the supplies I’ll need.” Elian felt a peace settle over him as he spoke the words. He relaxed back and Marie settled against his side again. He could reach his water and as he finished his second cookie in three bites, he grabbed the water and drained all of it.
His house would be ready in about three weeks for a small dinner party like that. The more he thought about the more he thought it would be wonderful. He could have Marie help him with the cooking and getting the house ready. He sat back and thought about his future with Marie while his parents got to know his date. He thought about if they knew each other well enough for him to ask her to be his girlfriend. It was something they were going to have to talk about an soon. They had a date planned for two days from then. He planned to ask her then.
Her saying yes would make him very happy. He hoped that asking her would make her happy, he didn’t want to do a thing that made her mad or unhappy.
Elian looked around his backyard. He knew that it was a dream based on the fact that it looked at it had when he had moved in. He was in this dream for the third time. He looked around waiting for the creature to appear at the edge of his vision. It always came. He was able to predict the dream now. If he moved into the garden proper the creature would attack him. If he stayed where he was the creature would stalk around him and it would seem he would stay in the dream indefinitely. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He knew that if he woke up, he wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep but the longer he stayed in the dream the more sleep he got.
A crack of thunder in the dream made Elian jump. That was new. He looked up into the sky and saw a bolt of lightning arc across the sky. It wasn’t raining, at least not where he was. The wind picked up and when Elian looked at the back fence where the door that led to the river was he saw a panther. He nearly ran except that the panther was staring right at him. If he moved, he was sure it would attack.
Thunder cracked again and the panther opened its mouth to roar. “RUN, ELIAN!”
Elian jerked awake in his bed. He looked around and tried to breath as normal as he could. He had no clue why the panther would speak and why it would tell him to run. It was the same voice as all of his waking dreams he’d been having. He shifted and something clattered to the floor. He looked down and saw that it was the journal. He leaned over and picked it up. It had opened up to the next part. He had planned on reading the next entry but he must have fallen asleep before he could read any of it. He turned on the light for ease of reading and started to read.
Time has caught up to my tales. It is actually the year I write about. My castle stands empty while I travel to Russia for a visit with some of the extended Shadow family. Denton Darkan is searching for a wife for Dmitry. It’s become the entire focus of the Darkan patriarch.
A fortnight before, Dmitry went to my father and asked for my hand in marriage and the right to court me. My father, knowing my mind on the subject, declined. Dmitry thinking that my father was keeping him from me. Struck my father and challenged him to a duel. Werewolf duels were held on the new moon. It was days away from then. My father had no way to get out of the duel. Denton arrived in time for the duel. Werewolf duels were to the death but Vampire duels were not. It was decided beforehand that there would be no killing. Only disgrace. Dmitry though was crazy. He tried to kill my father. Denton was not quick enough to get to my father’s side.
I stepped in and stopped the killing blow to save my father from the craziness of my friend. I thought that he would see me in time to not attack but I was wrong. I feel the pain of having my chest slashed open by wolf claws. I reacted out of instinct and backhanded the half wolf in front of me. Dmitry flies away and lands in a heap nearly twenty feet away. He stood nearly instantly but doesn’t move to attack.
Dmitry was horrified by what he had done. If I had been human or wolf, I would have been killed. Dmitry was taken to the Darkan house and I was ushered away when I was healed enough.
I think that time will be better for this situation. Dmitry is still my friend and I want to stay friends with him. I hope that he settles down and becomes happy with whoever his father chooses. He is not the one for me.
Elian sighed as he closed the journal. He wasn’t sure what kind of story this person was trying to write. It was all over the place like a real journal should be and yet what the woman wrote about couldn’t be the truth. There was no way that werewolves and vampires were truly walking the Earth.
Looking at the clock, he saw that it was nearly dawn. There was no way that he was going to be get back to sleep so he might as well take a run and get ready to face the day. He needed to get more garden work done before he went to work for the day. He had a long day ahead of him and he loved it.
I was on my way home after a hunt on Neal Island. The island was something that I had bought nearly a hundred years before. Teenagers liked to use boats to go to the island for secret night rendezvous. I always have to check the island for humans before I hunt. I am still in my animal form when the smell of the boy wolf enters my nose. It’s a strong scent and while I am pretty sure that this will lead to nothing, I still have to follow the trail.
The scent trail takes me around the town. It’s a trail that I have become accustom to. The boy wolf always seems to run in this path at least once a week. This time though, I can tell where the trail started and where it ended. The trail started at the library. It’s the weakest point. I follow it to a house right beside Hardee’s. I follow the scent around the house and catch a very strong scent of it in the backyard. He’s been doing some work in the backyard given the amount of smell that is in the area. I knew that the house had changed hands not too long before but I never paid attention to who bought it. I hadn’t cared at the time. Now I wish that I had. The house is dark and I leave. I’m in my animal form and I don’t want to get caught in this form. The town is full of hunters and I don’t want to get shot at.
As I run the distance to my house along the river bed, I think about what this means. The smell was so fresh from the library that he had to work there. I jump the three foot high stone edging to my back porch and land on the concrete pad. I think about the short distance he lives from me and what his job means.
I know that he’s in trouble and he just doesn’t know it yet but what can I do. I know his blood line and even if he were to believe me, he would take too much convincing to show him what he is. There are no wolves in this town and I would have to find a wolf and drag him or her to him.
Time. I need time to figure out what my next move is.