I watched Bryan as he shifted and ran into the woods, a distressing howl reaching the moon above. At the clearing I could sense Riley. Tarvis and the others had already set up their tents, but they hadn't come down here to say hi. Whether that was because of me, or because the blue moon hadn't officially started I didn't care. I remembered Bryan describing the bond to Diane and how true it was. Except for Bryan he did want Diane. I wanted nothing to do with Riley. I wish I'd never met him, back when I was naïve and hurting. I figured the soulmate bond was all that mattered, but Riley never wanted a soulmate.
I grabbed my overnight bag, It had been getting a lot of use lately. Penny was downstairs, her face torn and watching Bryan. I walked outside in time to see Penny meet Diane part-way. There was some whispering and Penny was giving her a lift home. I moved my eyes away and head into the forests. It took some work, but I could shift with my bag on without ripping it. I headed straight to Will's without stopping, knowing the back streets to take by heart now. I wasn't going to let myself think about Riley anymore. He was my past, so what if my present was a vampire? He'd never hurt me.
3 years ago
I glanced at the forest passing by in the car. Bryan and Penny had been arguing most of the trip until Karl stepped in. Now they were just glaring at each other. I tried to remember my last blue moon three years ago when I was twelve. It had been in Oakland, near Peterborough. I remembered the lake mainly, it had been fun to dive into it with the friends I had made. We hadn't done much to keep in contact though. I could only vaguely recall one face but I'd forgotten the name. I hoped he was going to be at this blue moon. It had to be better than the last. We were headed to Thetford this time round. I don't know how they do it, but they make sure no humans go near the places we spend our blue moons – And Thetford was bound to be amazing. It would be the biggest forest I went near. Maybe I'd actually have my first shift and be able to enjoy it like the others would.
“Hey, we should totally go to Great Yarmouth one day. I want to spend time on the beach,” Penny exclaimed, jumping in her seat.
“Sounds good to me, but chances are they've got that stuff already planned out. Stewart's a really good alpha like that,” Karl said.
“Yeah, Penny, duh,” Bryan muttered. Penny whacked him lightly on the arm, but they were both smiling. I could see Dad smiling at us in the rearview mirror before his gaze returned to the road. He took another side-road that led to a large dirt parking area. I could see there were already dozens of vehicles. Minivans, seven-people carrier cars like ours and some had caravans. I left the car, feeling excitement buzz under my skin. The blue moon was the one time we could be around so many others of our kind. We got out of the car, each of us carrying some piece of equipment or luggage. I was going to be in the larger tent with Byran, Peter and Karl. Then eventually Mark, Keiran and Kevin. Penny would share with Naomi. I didn't know why, but it seemed like our species produced more guys than girls. Then again, more human girls seemed to be soulmates. I tried not to think too much about the soulmate thing. I didn't know how it would ever work for me. I had yet to meet a girl I felt anything more than friendship for.
“Penny!” Naomi yelled, running down a wide dirt track, ducking between others trawling their way in the opposite direction. Closely followed behind her I could see a young boy with a mass of blond curls that flopped with each step.
“Looks like Peter's lot are already here,” Mum said, a wide grin on her face as she watched Penny race to hug Naomi, her bright red shoulder bag bouncing as she ran.
“Wait up!” Lewis yelled before muttering curses about his impatient twins sister. He strides were longer than hers and he caught up quickly. I glanced back at mum and dad, Bryan was as well.
“Go on, before you lose site of them. We'll handle the rest of the stuff,” Karl said, making a shooing motion with both his hands. Bryan and I shared a grin before following. Karl was only a year older than Bryan but he always acted way more mature than the rest of us, maybe because he was the oldest. We caught up easily and saw that Uncle Peter and Kieran were sat on the grass, having already set up most of their tents and equipment.