I took the paracetamol before my shower and when I got out and into my pyjamas I was feeling better. I did my homework, happy for something to do even if it was maths. After that, I curled up on the sofa and watched TV for an hour. I told my mum I had already eaten when she got home because in truth I wasn’t hungry. I left her pottering around the kitchen and went up to my room. It was dark out and I couldn’t see much past my garden. I waved into the blackness, feeling slightly foolish. But she had promised she’d be there.
I closed the curtains and sat on my bed. It was time to think about things I had been putting off since I got home. Thinking about someone - an evil half-breed of werewolf and vampire, no less - who might come and try to change me into a monster didn’t scare me as much as it should. In fact, it felt harsh to think of it that way, because a vampire was one of the five forms of immortals., and that was what Meena and Willow were. They were my friends, not monsters. Or were they both? Could they be monsters and my friend? Monsters on my side? I dismissed it almost at once, because to me they were just people. People who could change into animals, it was true, but still.
Instead I pondered over Tenebrus’s story. I wondered if it would have hurt, and decided it most definitely would have to be bitten savagely by two creatures. And the venom from each must have caused him pain, tearing through his body and obliterating his human self, replacing the DNA with that of his attackers. What would he have felt like when it was over, and he knew what he was? I imagined he would have been bitter, angry for revenge. For a moment I understood his need for weapons, why he would bite me to have one more person to aid his revenge. Then I thought more about that. Biting people, to turn them like him - half werewolf, half vampire, with strength and magic powerful enough to take down his opponents. But his opponents were trying to protect me from him, so I figured they weren’t the bad people in this situation. The bad person was Tenebrus, trying to create an army of creatures like him, mercilessly savaging endless humans. So why did I suddenly feel a strange connection because I could see from his perspective and I understood?
I thought about the agents sent to kill him. Deployed by Lycan and the vampire Eternal to destroy Tenebrus for his anti-Eternal plans. He hadn’t been a monster then, and that was their mistake. He had been only human - had potential but nothing else, like me. Until they bit him and turned him into a mix of one of them. All they had done was make him stronger, although in a horrible way. Why hadn’t they at least finished the job they set out to do? As much as murder, no matter the reason, was adverse to me, I still thought they should have made sure Tenebrus was dead before they left. Although he was the first person to be bitten by two immortals at once - well, werewolf and vampire, because I didn’t know if that applied to the other three forms - and perhaps they had thought it would be enough to kill him and they left him to die. They didn’t expect him to survive and go on to formulate a plan of revenge. Since this was their mess, they owed me the protection anyway.
Somewhere close to the end of my silent tirade my mind had begun to lose focus. I got up sleepily and changed out of my uniform. I couldn’t help myself - I took another peek through the window and this time I could see a small dark mass on the other side of the fence, exactly like a dog curled up. Of course she was tired - I suddenly felt very guilty. She was sacrificing comfort, warmth and rest to guard me.
I took a fleece blanket out of the airing cupboard on the way downstairs, and put some easily-chewable food on a plate. There was canned laughter and upbeat game show music coming from the direction of the living room. Quietly, I opened the back door and stepped out, shutting the door carefully. It was cold out, the air biting at me through my thin pyjamas. How must Willow have felt, out all night?