The same bright red mark that's on the back of Drake's neck is also on Wren's forearm.
"How long have you had that mark?" I ask softly as I gently brush my fingers across it.
Wren shrugs. "Basically as long as I can remember."
I turn to Mason. "Do you have one too?"
He lifts up his shirt and reveals the same mark pressed into his well-muscled torso.
I force myself to look away and turn back to Drake. "It doesn't go away. So we're staying with them. And besides, there's safety in numbers."
Drake shoots another glare toward Mason and Wren. "Okay. But I'm doing this for you."
"Well, it looks like we'll be stuck with a walking corpse, Wren," Mason says with a grin.
Wren laughs and Drake steps back.
"I'm staying as far away from you dogs as I can get," Drake says with a sneer. He turns and stalks a few feet away to another tree and jumps into the branches.
I turn apologetically toward Wren. "I'm sorry, he's usually not like this."
"I don't get an apology?" asks Mason.
I turn and stare at him. "No, you do not. You're acting just as bad as Drake is."
Wren links her arm with mine and walks with me to the stream that quietly burbles happily.
"So why don't Mason and Drake like each other?"
Wren sighs and dips her hand in the crystal water. "Werwolves and vampires have never gotten along."
"But you said you and your brother weren't werewolves."
Wren smiles. "Technically we're not, but we fall into that category."
Wren sits down on the bank and leans back against an old log. "So how did you die? Or if it's too soon, don't worry about it, just curious."
I smile and sit next to Wren. "A few weeks ago, I was in a really bad accident. A car drove through the office where I worked and crushed my body between the hood and a wall. I was life-flighted to the hospital, and when I finally woke up, I was paralyzed from the neck down. Drake said that he could turn me into a vampire and we could be together forever and I could move again. But. Then something went wrong and I didn't turn into a vampire, I died."
Wren turns and looks at me. "You must love him a lot to stay with him even though he killed you."
I shrug. "I loved him when I was alive, and he set me free. But now I'm not so sure if I really do still love him, or if I ever did."
Wren nods. "I understand. Death has a way of making one realize what and who they really value."
"Exactly," I agree. "But you're not dead, how would you know?"
Wren grins. "I understand to a lesser extent. I've been at death's door more times than I can count, and that's really reshuffled my priorities."
The sound of something dragging through the leaves makes me turn around quickly and start to vanish.
Wren laughs. "Calm down, it's just Mason with food."
Wren smiles and stands up. "Unlike you and your boyfriend, Mason and I have to eat."
Oh. Right. How long is it going to take for me to get used to the fact that I'm dead?

The End

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