I wasn’t really hungry. With everything that had just occurred, I really didn’t have the appetite. But food was a distraction, so I sat there stuffing my face with a burger and fries while Char sat across from me and watched.
I took a long sip of diet coke before I began my line of questioning again. “I couldn’t help but notice that in the car you changed the subject when I asked about the ‘we’ you spoke of. Who are you and who do you work for?”
“I’m Agent Charlize Moon and I work for the Silver Order.”
“Okay, what is this, the X-Files?” I scoffed. “You’re an Agent and you work for some mysterious Order? Give me a break, Char.”
“Nixie, I’m telling you the truth,” she said, looking more than a little bit hurt. “I was never supposed to interact with you directly, only to watch and to keep you safe if Wolffe got too close. Everything changed when you hijacked my car and I had to get crafty on the spot. Trust me; I wouldn’t willingly lie to you. “
The look in her eyes told me that however strange the current situation was, she was being sincere. I still wasn’t going to let her off so easy. “Why not? No one else seems to have any problem lying to me.”
Char sighed heavily. “As creepy as this is going to sound, I’ve grown to care about you. Everything that you’ve been through, I’ve been right there with you. I’ve almost broken code several times for you, but it’s my duty to remain an unseen guardian to you unless absolutely necessary.”
“So when I was working for Wiseacre…” I said slowly. “…and the stunt man broke my ribs, that wasn’t considered absolutely necessary?”
“I’m still not 100% on what was going on with that situation, but it didn’t have anything to do with Wolffe so if I would have interfered I would have been dishonorably discharged,” said Char, clenching her fists at the memory. “I’ve never wanted to punch somebody’s lights out so badly.”
I hid a smile behind my napkin. It was strange to have somebody I barely knew so concerned with my wellbeing. It was also flattering. This was so unbelievably weird.
“Moving on,” I said, stirring the remaining ice in my cup with my straw. “What exactly does the Silver Order do? It’s kind of strange, albeit appreciated on my end, to have an entire order dedicated to settling domestic rows.”
Char looked at me strangely. “Domestic rows? Nixie, don’t you know what Wolffe is?”
“He’s a monster,” I shrugged. “There’s something wrong with him mentally. He has these inhuman bouts of rage and violence. He, and the people he surrounds himself with, have this crazy ability to blend into the world and then strike viciously without warning or compassion. They really freak me out, especially since I’ve made it onto their naughty list.”
“He’s a monster alright, and certainly his actions are inhuman, but I don’t think you’re grasping the full picture here.” Char pulled an old, worn-looking book from her coat pocket and pushed it towards me. “Take a good look, and then tell me what you think.”
I flipped through a couple of the yellowing pages and I could feel my anger bubbling back up to the surface. The book wasn’t written in English, and it held page after page of men with expressions of pain on their faces and then transforming into wolves. I closed the book and pushed it back towards Char.
“Either you’re crazy or you’re having a laugh at my expense and if this is your idea of a joke, I think I’m going to have to kill you,” I said seriously.
Char smirked. “You’re the feistiest charge I’ve ever had. I’m not crazy and this isn’t a joke. I want you to completely clear your mind, and think back on all the time you’ve spent with him. Particularly focus on everything he’s done that scared you.”
I fought the temptation to roll my eyes and did what she asked. At first I couldn’t remember anything before the night I left, but slowly it came back to me in flashes. Abe’s whimpering in his sleep slowly giving way to growls. The bruises he left on my arm when he tried to stop me from walking out on an argument. The way his eyes flashed brightly in the light of the moon. Then there was the blood, so much blood, always blood.
How could I not remember so much blood?
My eyes grew wide in shock. “I forgot so much…how could I forget all that?” I placed my palms flat on the table to brace myself against the flashing memories that kept hitting me.
Char reached out and grabbed one of my hands. “It’s called Lycanthodesis. It’s an illness of sorts that keeps a human bound to their Lupus partner. Once you break free of the bond, you forget anything that might incriminate them.”
“Are you trying to tell me that Abe is a werewolf?” I asked, shutting my eyes to try to block out the waves of memories that were slowly turning into waves of nausea.
“Werewolves aren’t real. You were put in my care to protect you from something else—something a lot worse. They aren’t bound by the laws of the moon, and silver barely tickles these guys, let alone kills them. The Wolffe family, and countless other families, are of an extremely old and strong race of creatures known as Hell Hounds.”
Abraham Wolffe was a Hell Hound. Just like that, I remembered everything.
The night I shot Abe through the heart, he laughed. Then his laugh came out deeper and deeper until it became a low, guttural growl. He doubled up, seemingly in pain, and then his body began to change. That was when I ran. Seeing his mouth stretching so wide and hearing his bones break as they reformed terrified me out of my mind.
I came out of the memory gasping for air. Char had pulled me out of the restaurant to get some fresh air, and was now standing over me, cupping my face. “Nix, are you okay? Stay with me.”
I clutched to the sleeves of her jacket helplessly, all the panic I should have been feeling having Abe hot on my heels hitting me all at once. How could I become so complacent?
“No, I’m not okay, my god…” I sobbed. “He’s going to catch me, and he’s going to eat me, Char. How could I be so stupid thinking I could get away from him?”
“Nixie, I’m doing everything in my power to keep him away from you,” Char said soothingly. “Now that you know about us and what we do, I can do even more for you. I’m taking you to Order headquarters where no one unsavory, especially Abraham Wolffe can get you.”
It’s funny how whenever you think that life can’t get any more horrifying, the universe turns around and proves you wrong.