WARNING: This chapter contains strong language and sexual content.
Three weeks later…
Graduation approached quickly. Linley returned to school so her parents didn’t get suspicious, because until she was 18, she couldn’t legally leave. Not that she cared about the human laws, but she did have enough dignity not to let her parents get in trouble for not sending their daughter to school.
When the big day arrived, Linley sat through the long ceremony and the boring speeches (all of which thankfully took place indoors so her parents and brothers were able to participate) until finally everyone threw their hats in the air and said their goodbyes. Linley didn’t feel like saying goodbye to Craig twice, but she did wish Chelcie and Sky the best of luck.
When her eighteenth birthday finally rolled around, Xavier and Allanna were surprised that Linley didn’t want to have a birthday party. But she kept insisting that she was over parties, as she was grown up now and parties were for kids.
But she had her own plan on how to celebrate turning 18.
Her parents had finally caved in and gotten her a car to celebrate her birthday and graduation. Linley christened it by driving it to Las Vegas. She wasn’t old enough to get into bars, but that didn’t stop her from using a fake ID. Showing a little flesh didn’t hurt with bribing the bouncer, either.
Music pounded from the loudspeakers and scantily clad girls sashayed their bodies to the beat. Guys with Mohawks and leather jackets congregated at the bar, and Linley sidled right up to them and took a seat.
“I’ll have a Bloody Mary,” she told the bartender. He set the drink down in front of her (after falling for her fake ID) and she took a long swig. The burly guy next to her stood dangerously close to her, conspicuously ogling her.
Linley saw the guy out of her peripheral vision. She lowered her glass and flashed him a seductive smile. He grinned back and she said, “Hey.”
Great. She was being hit on. Her plan was working. She moved a little bit to jiggle her breasts in her low-cut top that she’d changed into after she’d left the house. As she expected, the guy’s eyes darted down toward her ample cleavage.
“Like what you see?” she asked him as she wiggled her eyebrows.
“Damn right,” he replied as he got closer. “I ain’t seen you in here before. You got a name?”
“They call me Butch.”
“Butch, huh? That’s a unique name.”
“I didn’t say it was bad. I like unique. And I like butch guys.”
“Why don’t you just let me show you how butch I am?”
Linley set her glass down and pulled the guy’s mouth toward hers. She mashed her lips against his and got a taste of whiskey mixed with the pungent odor of cigarette smoke.
Their tongues collided and wrestled as they engaged in tonsil hockey before Linley shoved Butch back. “Let’s go somewhere more private,” she suggested. Butch happily agreed.
The two stepped out the back door of the bar so they were in an alley in between two buildings. The pulsating music from each could be heard through the walls, but Linley didn’t care about that. She had one purpose in this alley, and dancing wasn’t one of them.
Butch didn’t waste any time. He grabbed Linley by the waist and pressed her against the brick wall in a possessive manner. He continued kissing her and Linley felt his eager erection brushing against her exposed thigh.
But unfortunately for Butch, this wasn’t the kind of action she wanted.
“I better tell you something about me,” she whispered in Butch’s ear.
“What’s that, baby?”
“You’ve heard of vampires and werewolves, right?”
“Sure. Don’t tell me you’re one of those crazy chicks obsessed with that Twilight shit.”
“No, I’m telling you that I happen to be both a werewolf and a vampire.”
“Role-playing, huh? I dig that. That’s hot.”
“No, I’m not playing. It’s true. I’m a hybrid. I’ve got vampire and werewolf blood in me.”
“Okay, whatever you say, baby.”
“Yeah, and you know something else? I’m still thirsty. That Bloody Mary was hardly a drink.”
“I got something for you to drink.”
“Oh, I know you do. And I’m ready for it.”
Butch used the wall as leverage for Linley as he unzipped his fly. But the joke was on him. Linley wanted a different kind of fluid. She elongated her fangs behind his neck and stated, “Like I said, I’m a hybrid. And I’m thirsty.”
With that, she pulled her head back and plunged her incisors into Butch’s flesh. Blood filled her mouth as she indulged in every last drop that didn't spray onto her face in little droplets.
Butch’s eyes were wide as he tried to break free, but he wasn’t strong enough. He ended up on the ground, unable to hold onto Linley any longer, but she just hovered over him and continued to drink his sweet, succulent blood. His pulse eventually stilled and his breathing ceased. Only when she got the last droplet out of his neck did she raise her head from his corpse, hovering over him like a wolf claiming its prey.
Blood trickled down her chin and she eagerly lapped at it with her tongue. She was living her life as what she was – a deadly creature that hunted in the night. A vampire that lived on human blood, a werewolf that danced under the full moon. She was embracing the monster inside her heart, and though at one point she might have been hesitant to admit it, she was thoroughly enjoying it.
Still, she didn’t feel like her thirst was completely quenched. Her appetite had become insatiable and she was practically rabid. But she didn’t care. What was the point of holding back? This is what she was, so why not embrace it?
Linley’s thirst for blood didn’t cease. For weeks, she ravenously and mercilessly drained the blood of innocent people, though sometimes she didn’t quite feel satisfied.
Her parents never caught on to her activities. At least, not at first. But one night, she was sneaking in at three in the morning and they were waiting for her in the foyer. They gestured to the den, and Linley wordlessly entered it. She sat in one of the far chairs while her parents sat on the couch. She couldn't bear to even look at them, and instead faced the wall.
“I think it’s time we had a talk,” her father began. “Where do you go every time you sneak out of the house?”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t play dumb with us. We know something’s going on. You’re 18 now, so you’re capable of making your own decisions. But your mother and I are worried about you. You’ve been sneaking in and out, and we’ve detected the smell of blood on your clothes after you put them in the laundry room. And I can smell it now. What have you been up to?”
“Fine, you want to know the truth? I’ve been living as a hybrid. That’s what I am. I get blood cravings, and I always have but I was able to control them. But thanks to this fucked up life of mine, I lost Craig and all my friends. There’s no point in trying to live like a normal person anymore. I’m gonna live like the monster that I am.”
Allanna inhaled sharply and her father squinted his eyes. “You’ve been killing innocent people all this time? Drinking their blood as a means to work off frustration about a teenage boy who broke your heart? My God Linley, do you have any idea the danger you’re putting yourself and the rest of us in?”
“I don’t really care. I’m being careful, but I don’t give a shit if I get caught or not. I’m a hybrid and no one has any idea how to kill me. The only one that did know is Gloria, and she’s dead. I don’t care anymore.”
“That’s enough! If you have to work out your frustrations that’s fine, but you’re not going to do it by killing people!”
“What are you gonna do about it? You wouldn’t kill your own daughter, would you?”
“Linley,” her mother pleaded, “can’t you think of something else to do? Why not go for runs at night like you used to?”
“Because I can’t run fast enough to stop being pissed.”
“There isn’t enough blood in the world to keep you from being pissed either,” Xavier snapped. “Believe me, I know. You have no idea the kinds of things I’ve had to endure in my life, and I thought blood would heal that too. But it didn’t help. It only made things worse. And I guarantee the same thing is going to happen to you. You’re going to lose yourself and all touches of reality.”
“Reality? Dad, in reality, I wouldn’t exist, and neither would you. So fuck reality.”
Linley stood up and stormed upstairs, slamming the door to her bedroom. Her parents remained seated in the den until at last Allanna burst into a tirade of tears.
“She’s losing control,” she sobbed into her husband’s arms. “I can’t believe she’d do this, and over some stupid teenage boy. I’ve got half the mind to let her drink his blood. Maybe then she’d have some closure.”
“Allanna, you know that won’t solve anything. I’ll admit I’ve considered it too, but that won’t be helping Linley.”
“What could possibly help her? She’s lost, too far gone. I can’t believe she’s doing this.”
“Allanna, she isn’t too far gone. She still knows who she is, and she always comes back home. That should atone for something. We’ll figure something out.”
“I just wish she’d find some other way to take out her frustrations. Sometimes I wish…”
“I shouldn’t, but sometimes I wish I could just go back in time to before I even met you. When I was working a shitty dead-end job in Duskwood and living with Cynthia, supposed to be married to another werewolf. Mortius and Gloria took more from me than my pack’s territory. They took my state of mind. I don’t regret what happened with us, but things just seemed so much easier back then.”
Xavier grabbed Allanna’s hand and pulled it toward his lips where he planted a kiss on it. “I know,” he said softly. “Sometimes I imagine what it would have been like if I never would have gone along with Mortius’s plan. But then I realize, I’d probably still be alone fighting off Gloria’s slutty advances, swearing I’d never love anyone ever again.”
“Yeah, and I’d probably be stuck giving birth to a litter of puppies with Ace. Who’d still be alive, for that matter.”
“Allanna, the right path isn’t always the easiest one. But I think we chose correctly when we chose each other.”
Allanna stood up and walked over to the window, gazing out into the darkness. Xavier wrapped his arms around her and she placed her hands over his.
“I think we did too,” she replied. “I just wish we could help Linley find the right path.”
“We will if we try hard enough.”
Xavier edged his face around toward his wife’s and the two touched their lips together.
“I think we will, too,” Allanna said when their lips parted. “She’s our daughter, and she’s the only one of her kind in the world. She feels very alone. We can’t turn our backs on her.”
“No, we can’t. And we won’t.”