Worry buried itself deep within her stomach, almost making her sick. If that were possible. She didn't know what would happen if she didn't have that ring by Friday at midnight. It wasn't needed, though, until Sunday.

She should have known better than to trust this slick dog of a werewolf called Mike. Werewolves were the ones who weren't reliable. Vampires always held up their end of bargains, whether it was in a fashionable manner of time, or not, that didn't seem to matter. But Novella wasn't taking any chances now; she was dotting every "i" and crossing every "t". She needed this ring. Ambrogio wouldn't be very happy with her if she didn't have it.

Ambrogio! That stupid, lying, brute! If it hadn't been for him, she wouldn't need this damn ring in the first place. Her nostrils flared in anger. But Ambrogio was an Original. You didn't mess with an original, unless you wanted to be served with death. And if an Original took his own time and effort in seeking you out personally, you did exactly what they told you to do. In this case, it was getting a ring made by the hands of a werewolf.

Ambrogio hadn't told her why he wanted the ring, but it was very important to him. Everything he did was important to him. He was a self-obsessed and greedy man... if you could call a vampire like him a man. He was only human in looks; okay, maybe not even that much. He was inhumanly beautiful, like a fallen angel. Angels were supposed to be beautiful, weren't they? Of course they were, that's why they're called angels.

Novella's mind wandered off into another realm; she pondered the thought of Originals being fallen angels, or maybe something else all together. No one knew. And if you did, that meant you yourself were an Original.

God, that stupid ring! Novella couldn't understand why he needed her to get it, when he was more than capable of getting it himself. And if those werewolves had any brains at all, they wouldn't even ask something in return; not with Ambrogio. They could sense when they needed to just shut up and do what they were told with no questions asked.  Well, most of them, anyway.

She thought back to when she first met Mike. It was probably close to a hundred years ago, now. Novella had just arrived in America-- she was originally from Italy. Most vampires are originally from Italy. Her accent was very strong back then, but she soon adapted. Vampires had to be able to adapt quickly. It was the nature of the hunter.    ___________________________________________________________________________

She watched the man with bleak interest. His smell was very appealing, and she felt herself being drawn towards his delectable scent. But she held herself back, forcing her feet to be planted to their very spot. But... she couldn't help herself.

In a second, she was hovering over his shoulder as he walked down the empty road.

"You are a werewolf, aren't you?" she whispered in his ear. He jumped. He hadn't even known she was there; she concealed a laugh behind her pink lips, instead just smiling smugly.

The man whirled around, facing her with barely contained fear.

"There's no such thing as werewolves, miss," he said after he recovered quickly. He then smiled weakly, willing for her to believe this.

Instead she scoffed at him. "Don't lie to me. I can smell you."

"You can... smell me? How? People can't smell us," he said, racking his mind for an explanation. And then his eyes grew wide. He understood now.

"No. It isn't so. There's no such thing!" he told himself.

"But, you are real, are you not? So, why shouldn't a vampire like myself be real? After all, I am standing here, just as you are," she purred. "Well, not quite as you are. I am not frozen stiff with fear," she corrected to herself.

The man huffed up, broadening his shoulders. At this, Novella laughed. "You cannot fight me, and you cannot run, either. So don't try. I promise you, I will make your demise quick and painless. Unless, you decide to cross me; then it will just be merely slow and agonizing. You do not want that, do you?" Novella asked him dreamily. She was having fun playing with him. Maybe she could keep him around for a while.

No... that wouldn't work. Every werewolf was apart of a pack. Each member cared for each other as if they were siblings. They would look for him until they found him, and Novella could not afford that. She either had to let him go, or kill him now.

"No. I can offer you something. But, if you kill me, you can't take up that offer," he said hastily. He had peeked her interest with this, and he knew it. He exhaled in relief, as he knew his life would not be taken just yet. He had a chance.

"And what can you offer me? Except maybe your blood," Novella crooned. His eyes grew even wider, and he gulped audibly. She snickered under her breath, took a graceful step forward.

"I can offer you a place to stay, if you are not simply passing through. I can offer you our, the pack's, craftsmanship. You know, werewolves are very talented at making things. Anything you need, so long as I'm alive, is yours. Anything you want," the man said.

"What is your name?" Novella asked suddenly.

"Michelangelo," he spoke softly.

"Michelangelo," she repeated. "I am going to call you Mike. So, Mike... I guess you are lucky, because I have decided to spare you. But in any moment, I could decide to change my mind. So, I suggest being very careful. Do you agree with this compromise?" When Mike nodded, she went on. "Just to test your reliability, I want a silver ring with a Lapis lazuli stone, roughly the size of a corn. Can you do that for me? I know for a fact that werewolves are not affected by small amounts of silver, so long as it does not penetrate their body, so I better not hear that as an excuse. You have until Tuesday evening. That is in two days. I want you to meet me here at three in the morning. I will be waiting, Mike. Do not fail me." And with that, Novella was out of sight, not giving room for any negotiation.

From her hiding spot, Novella could clearly see the man, Mike-- as she recently discovered-- stifle a sob of relief. From behind him, a member of his pack emerged from the forest behind him.

"Mike, what has taken you so long. The meeting is only waiting upon your arrival," the new man said.

"Yes, yes, of course. Let us be gone of this place," Mike said. They left in a rush, and Mike looked over his should each time. Just to play with him, Novella decided to reappear once more as Mike looked back again. His eyes went wide, and he paused momentarily.

Novella flashed a deadly smile at him, and was gone once more. She had had fun this evening.

The End

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