Innocent Devil's Harem (Book 1)
Or begin with Chapter 1 for free:
I got home from school,
parking my silver used car in its usual spot, and went inside to begin making
dinner for my older sister, Serenity. The two of us had been living together by
ourselves for five years now, ever since our parents passed away in a car accident.
My sis had been eighteen at
the time, still in her Senior year of high school, causing me to be sent to a
foster home for almost a month while she attempted to gain custody of her
thirteen-year-old little brother. In hindsight, I was surprised it had only
taken a month for her to legally adopt me, since I wasn’t actually her brother
biologically and there was no adoption paperwork on file.
It helped that we had been
left with five million dollars in insurance money, split equally between us, in
addition to the fact that there was plenty of evidence that I’d lived with my
family basically my entire life.
Plus, my Delayed Birth
Certificate on file was detailed enough to include adoptive parents’ names,
even though the actual adoption paperwork didn’t seem to exist. Granted, my
sister and I both knew that the dates of my actual birth were only estimates.
Eventually, the court
decided that a clerical error must have been made somewhere along the line, and
allowed the adoption to proceed, with the judge seeing no reason to put a kid
who’d just lost his parents through hell over a technicality.
Now, my older sister was
legally my guardian, though I wasn’t sure how me turning eighteen a few days
ago affected that status. I had no idea if emancipation was automatic or if I
had to file for it. Not that it really mattered, since I still had to finish my
last year of high school either way, and would probably still continue living
at home while I worked on some college credits.
Initially, after the
adoption went through, we tried living in our old house for a while, but it was
too painful. Thus, within the first six months, we’d moved into a much smaller
house, hidden away in the trees on the edge of the city, with her having purchased
it with a portion of her half of the insurance money.
Even though Serenity’s
parents weren’t mine biologically, that didn’t matter to me.
It was just as agonizing to
lose them. They were the only family I knew, and they had raised me as their
own since I could remember. I was well aware that the official story was our
mom found me on the doorstep, but honestly not even Serenity knew for sure
where I actually came from.
She just remembered me
showing up one night when she was about to turn seven.
Her childish mind had
thought God answered her prayer for a younger brother as a birthday present,
and to this day she occasionally teased me about being ‘her gift from God.’
But I doubted it was God, or
a god, that had been the one to answer her prayer, given what I knew about
myself. Granted, I would never dare tell my older sister why. She was the only
person I truly loved, and I could never betray her by revealing that I’d
discovered at a young age that I wasn’t like her…
That I wasn’t human.
Our new house, which we’d
lived in for over four years now, had a large spacious kitchen that also served
as a dining room. Despite the fact that it was only the two of us, we’d kept a
lot of the furniture from our old house, unable to part with everything. Thus,
the dining room table could seat six people comfortably – two on each side and
one person at each end, with plenty of room in between. Really, the table was
large enough that eight people could probably be squished together if an extra
chair was added to each side.
However, as it was, only two
chairs were used with any frequency.
Sighing, I glanced at the
clock and then sat down at the table, leaving the hot ‘cheddar, potato, and
bacon soup’ I’d made on low heat on the stove to prevent it from getting cold.
On a good day, Serenity would arrive home a little after 5 PM from her job as a
However, as it neared 5:45
PM, I began to suspect this might not be a good day. She had been working on a
case recently that was causing her a lot of stress, but she hadn’t brought home
any of the files yet, so I didn’t know what it was about.
Yes, I sometimes snooped
through her casework files. I snooped through a lot of her things, if I was
being honest, though I’d never share that with her. She’d probably be mortified
if she knew I’d been through her underwear on numerous occasions.
Sometimes, although very
rarely, if the work situation was bad enough, I would intervene myself to stop
the criminals. However, I also knew that it might raise suspicion if someone
made the connection that all the incidents where I’d helped happened to be my
sister’s cases. Thus, to avoid that outcome, I only got involved in the
situations that were exceptionally upsetting for my older sister, usually
involving abuse against women.
And by abuse, I mean serial
killer cases where the victims wouldn’t survive without intervention.
Serenity didn’t technically
have to work, since we had enough money to last us for an extremely long time,
possibly all our lives, but she’d initially wanted to make sure no one doubted
she was responsible enough to raise her little brother.
Still, I didn’t know why
she’d chosen to pursue a career as a detective. Prior to getting the position,
she’d held another job almost full-time while attending the police academy, and
yet soon found herself with some of the best scores in the state. I’d asked her
‘why’ once, but she only gave the allusive answer that she enjoyed solving
mysteries – allusive, because I didn’t feel like her answer explained her
Glancing at the clock again,
I got up to grab my backpack, deciding to get to work on my homework while I
waited for her to get home. It was near the end of the spring semester, my
graduation only a couple months away, so it was already warm outside on most days.
I really enjoyed the warmer weather, mainly because I liked it when there were
leaves on the trees. But I was also glad school was almost over in general,
eager to get that part of my life behind me.
I was an adult now and
wanted to feel like an adult, instead of a kid or dependent.
Honestly, I didn’t mind
school itself, so much as I was tired of dealing with my shallow human peers.
As I’d gotten older, my body became lean and muscular, sparking a lot of
interest among my female classmates, as well as attempts made by the guys to
win my friendship. However, my memory was a lot better than theirs, and I
wasn’t one to forgive easily.
I could still remember all
the jokes and teasing they’d done just after everything happened, coming from
both the boys and girls. It hadn’t taken long for the whole school to find out
I’d lost my parents, and I quickly discovered just how hateful middle school
kids could be, with them beginning to harass me about living alone with my
‘hot’ older sister.
Apparently, one of the kids
had overheard a couple of teachers discussing the problem with the adoption,
finding out that we weren’t related biologically, and I didn’t hear the end of
it after that for a solid semester.
Honestly, in hindsight, it
was only about four months of torment, but it felt like an eternity to my
crushed thirteen-year-old self. At the very least, it slowly taught me to not
let words bother me – otherwise, I might not have survived the regular
onslaught of bullying.
Nevertheless, I still hated
them all. Or maybe ‘hate’ wasn’t the right word. It was more like I couldn’t
consider trusting them again, even though I’d never had much trust to begin
When I finally heard my
older sister’s car pull up, I glanced at the clock to see that it was almost
6:45 PM, indicating that it might have just been a really busy day. However, my
powerful senses told me differently.
Even over the noise of the
car engine, with its familiar clanking sound from a loose bolt, I could hear
her fast heartbeat. And even despite the smell of bacon, I could smell her
salty tears, as well as the scent humans gave off when they were grieved –
something that shouldn’t even be possible for a wild animal.
The only predators who had a
comparable sense of smell were the shark, which could detect a drop of blood
from about a quarter of a mile away, as well as the bear, which could smell a
food source almost twenty miles away. However, my supernatural nose could home
in on a scent from much further if I concentrated hard enough.
When Serenity didn’t come
inside after turning off the engine, I realized she must not want me to see her
crying. Granted, it’s not like she would be able to hide the fact that she had been crying. I knew her face would
be red and puffy, even if she managed to get ahold of herself anytime soon.
Sighing again, I got up to
go bring her inside.
The kitchen was connected to
the rest of the house by the foyer area, where the door, stairs, and hallway to
the living room all met. The wide entrance to the living room was only about
halfway down the hall – someone coming down the stairs could easily see into it
– but the hallway continued on to the laundry room and backdoor.
Underneath the stairs was a
small bathroom with only a toilet and sink. Upstairs, above the kitchen, was
Serenity’s room, along with a spacious closet, whereas on the other side of the
house was my room and the bathroom we both shared. It was only a two-bedroom
house, but all the rooms were extremely spacious, providing more than enough
living space for just the two of us.
Opening the front door, I
saw my sister resting her head against the steering wheel, her dark brown hair
disheveled, trying to control her breathing like she was on the verge of having
a panic attack. Her blue car was parked at the edge of the long gravel
driveway, in its usual spot next to my silver one.
Tall trees lined each side
of the drive, including all around the house, giving us a sense of privacy
since we were about a tenth of a mile off the road. Even though we lived on
three acres of land, I only had to mow roughly half an acre in total, including
the two strips of grass along the driveway.
Not wanting to startle her,
I tried to be noisy as I walked over and then gently tapped on the window,
rather than just opening it. However, despite her not looking up at me, I knew
she’d heard me. Keeping her forehead on the steering wheel, she moved her hand
to unlock the door, only to open it up herself. The moment I was able to, I
knelt down and reached out to pull her into a hug.
accepted the offered gesture, returning my embrace as she began to sob.
“Can you tell me about it?”
I whispered after about a minute of her crying on my shoulder.
She immediately shook her
head no, before answering. “Not officially…” She then told me anyway. “It’s a
s-serial killer case, Kai. And it looks like h-he targets only women.” She
sighed heavily, trying to speak clearly despite her sobbing. “And what he
d-does to them is…horrible.”
“How many?” I wondered,
already considering intervening, since this predator had made my older sister
so upset. This was by far the worst I’d seen her.
She tried sucking in a deep
breath. “T-Technically, he’s only killed two so far. But a new girl was just
kidnapped…” Her voice trailed off as a whine escaped her throat, a sob then
erupting from her chest as she began falling apart again. Her face was twisted
in anguish. “And if w-we don’t find her soon…”
“What’s the timeline?” I
asked, speaking in a way I knew would help her mind shift into detective-mode.
It worked – not perfectly,
but it worked.
My sister took a shaky
breath and began speaking more clearly, as if a switch had flipped in her
brain. “If his two victims are indication of a pattern, then she’ll be dead by
midnight. He leaves a spray paint symbol, along with a token from his previous
victim – that’s how we know who kidnapped her. Previous evidence suggests that
the first two were tortured in the most inhumane ways possible, before he
killed them while sexually assaulting them in the woods.”
“The woods?” I repeated in
surprise, feeling that was odd if it was really the pattern.
“Yes…” She pulled away to
look at me then, her deep brown eyes hesitant, knowing she shouldn’t be sharing
information about this, but deciding to do it anyway. “We think he enjoys the
chase. He wants them to run, probably so they have a sense of hope – that they
might find freedom after being tormented.” She paused. “Only for him to catch
them and finish it off horribly.” A pained expression crossed her face again as
she barely managed to maintain her composure.
Suddenly, I realized I’d
missed a fundamental question – something to explain why my sister was upset to
this extreme. Because her reaction
was far beyond what I’d ever seen before.
“Serenity…do you know her?
The girl he took?”
Her composure broke, and she
lost it again.
I waited patiently for her to
gather herself, not wanting to seem too pushy. After all, I could never let my
older sister find out I might get involved in this situation. She could never
know my secret.
While I waited, my mind
began going through the people she knew, wondering who it might be. Honestly,
my sister didn’t have very many friends – the only close friend she had was a
girl named Gabriella who she met only a few months ago. Serenity also had a few
coworkers who she was friendly with, including Jessica and Abby, but otherwise
the list was pretty short.
Granted, it could also just
be a random acquaintance from high school or the police academy. Simply knowing
the person could make a case feel a lot more personal. All it would take was
just seeing a familiar face, coupled with knowing what might happen to the girl
if they didn’t catch the guy in time.
After a few minutes of
holding onto my sister, I was about to prompt her again, but then she finally
responded to my question on her own.
“Kai,” she said in a
strained voice. “It’s my friend. It’s Gabriella.” She sobbed again, her words
coming out in a whine. “And they removed me from the case when they realized my
Suddenly, I found myself
holding my breath. Because it wasn’t just someone she knew more
casually. It was the worst person it could possibly be. And not just for her.
For me, too.
Gabriella was twenty, only
three years younger than my sister, and when they’d both noticed they
frequented the same coffee shop regularly, they struck up a conversation over a
book that quickly turned into a friendship. It also helped that Serenity
occasionally had lunch at the Chinese restaurant next to the nail salon where
Gabriella worked, giving them an easy way to hang out almost daily.
Even when my sister wasn’t
in the mood for Chinese, she went anyway to socialize, and before long they
were having lunch together every day at one of the many restaurants in the
From what I understood about
Gabriella, she was extremely kind, although somewhat shy. She didn’t have many
friends of her own, largely because she wasn’t interested in the stuff most of
her peers liked to do, like partying. Instead, Gabriella loved to read, with
the book she’d been carrying being what prompted Serenity to talk to her.
I’d only met her once
briefly when she visited the house a few weeks ago, but I quickly excused
myself after being around her for only a minute, because I’d never reacted to anyone
like I was reacting to her. And it threatened to expose my secret.
Gabriella had red hair,
green eyes, and was exceptionally attractive. However, unlike other redheads
I’d known, her hair was so red that it almost looked dyed, and she kept it
fairly short at just a couple of inches above her shoulders. She was about four
inches shorter than me, two inches shorter than my sister, and had a massive
wrack large enough to make any guy’s head turn and most girls jealous.
But the biggest attraction
was actually her scent. Everything about her aroused me, but her natural smell
was nearly overwhelming. I had no idea what caused it, wondering if the fact
she was vegetarian, which I’d learned by eavesdropping, was the reason.
Technically, it wasn’t
dangerous for me to be fully aroused, and it was actually something I allowed
to happen on a regular basis when I was alone in my room…sometimes in my
sister’s room, when she wasn’t home. But the problem was I couldn’t avoid
revealing the fact that I wasn’t human.
I’d learned at a very young
age that strong emotions and desires caused my body to begin uncontrollably
transforming into my more devilish form, my hair turning white, my skin turning
dark gray, my irises transitioning to a glowing gold while my sclera turned
pitch-black. At the very least, if I hadn’t run upstairs when I did, then I
doubted Gabriella would have ever returned, never mind my sister’s reaction.
I was sincerely afraid of
Serenity’s rejection, in particular. She was the only family I had, and honestly
my only friend. I couldn’t afford to lose her. I couldn’t take that risk.
However, the attraction I
felt toward Gabriella was so strong that just thinking about her was making me
aroused now. And pissed, when combined with the knowledge that she was probably
being tortured at that very moment. Between the two emotions, I could feel my
body threatening to turn gray underneath my clothing, my chest definitely
darker now, as well as the back of my neck and the skin along my spine.
I took a deep breath in an
effort to clear my mind, knowing there was nothing I could do right away,
without Serenity suspecting something was wrong.
Yet, I didn’t want Gabriella
to suffer either. While I’d never been tortured myself, I knew that even
minutes of something unpleasant could feel like hours, depending on the
severity of the situation.
Taking another deep breath,
I sighed heavily and spoke up again. “Let’s go inside, sis.”
She nodded in agreement, her
hands and legs trembling as she grabbed her purse and attempted to stand up. I
offered my support, since it was obvious she was struggling on her own, helping
her walk up to the house.
The front porch was only
about five feet wide and two feet deep, from door to stairs, the overhanging
roof just big enough to allow someone to be comfortably out of the rain if they
were waiting outside. The window on the right side of the door peeked into the
kitchen, whereas the left one looked into the living room.
Granted, the front windows
had sheer white curtains hanging over them, preventing anyone from seeing
inside during the day, and allowing them to only see shadows at night. The only
other way to see into the house from the front was through the door, which had
a decorative half-circle window near the top.
I carefully escorted my sister
into the house, keeping my thoughts controlled, and helped her sit down at the
kitchen table. Realizing from the scent that the soup was beginning to burn
slightly, I went ahead and turned off the stove entirely, glancing at the clock
as I did so.
It was just after 7 PM,
which meant it would be dark soon, given the time of the year.
In a way, I was almost glad
the victim was Gabriella…Or rather, I was thankful I’d been given the
opportunity to meet her at least once. It could be difficult for me to help in
a situation when I didn’t have much to go on, but coming into close proximity
to her allowed me to nail down the most important thing that would help me find
Just thinking about it was
enough to almost expose me again. I could feel the base of my hairs rise
slightly, being well familiar with the sensation, knowing my hair would begin
rapidly turning white if I wasn’t careful with my thoughts.
“Do you feel like eating?” I
asked gently, trying to distract myself.
I began preparing a bowl
even if she said no, since I hadn’t eaten yet myself. When she mumbled that she
wasn’t hungry, I added a few extra scoops, considering I ate a ton more than
her. I then sat down at the table and began working on my dinner while Serenity
stared into space.
I suspected she was
beginning to feel numb as it settled in that there wasn’t any hope for her
friend – her best friend. It was actually kind of amazing how close two
people could become in such a short amount of time, but they really hit it off.
If it wasn’t for the fact that they looked so different, someone might even
think they were sisters by how comfortable they were with each other. As it
was, most people would probably be shocked to discover they weren’t childhood
friends or something similar.
bolted from her seat, almost knocking over her chair. “I’m going to try to find
her,” she announced, not waiting for a reply. “I know I probably won’t be able
to, but I have to try. I can’t just sit here and do nothing.”
I nodded to indicate I
understood, not about to suggest she do anything different. This case wasn’t at
all like the others. Plus, this was good for me too. It meant I could go
searching for her sooner without having to worry about my sister wondering
where I’d disappeared to.
“Okay,” I said in agreement.
“Just be careful…” My voice trailed off. I hoped she wouldn’t be upset that I
wasn’t offering to go. On the one hand, I was still in high school, but on the
other hand, I was legally an adult now, so it wasn’t like she’d be bringing a
Serenity seemed surprised by
my response though, looking like she didn’t expect me to agree so easily. She
then dashed around the edge of the table and nearly tackled me in my chair with
a hug. “I will, I promise. I’ll have my gun and mace. I love you.”
“I love you too,” I
whispered simply, holding her thin athletic form in my arms, knowing there was
a small part of me that meant that more deeply than I probably should.
She gave me a quick kiss on
the temple, and then grabbed her things to head out the door.
I ate more quickly when I
heard her car engine start and the tires began kicking up gravel in her rush to
get on the road.
“Now,” I said to myself,
taking my last bite and standing up. “Time to hunt.”
Heading to the backdoor, I
allowed myself to fully transform as I stepped outside, my softly glowing
yellow irises allowing me to see as clearly in the twilight as if it was the
middle of the day. I then took off my shirt in preparation for what would soon
come from my rapidly restructuring back muscles.
A second later, and a pair
of lightweight bat-like wings burst from my upper back and I instantly leapt
into the air to take flight. I had no idea where to even begin looking, beyond
the forest, so I just focused on my senses of smell and hearing while flying as
fast as I could around the edge of the city where there were still a lot of
trees. I was glad my ability to home in on a scent was so powerful, because
within a matter of minutes I’d captured Gabriella’s aroma, even despite the
plethora of other odors vying for my attention.
She was at least ten miles
away, and I could smell that the chase was already on. Her sweet scent was
stronger than usual from her sweating, ironically making it easier for me to
pick up on it, and it was also tainted with terror.
Just like other emotions,
fear had a distinct scent.
“I’m coming for you,” I
whispered, quickly changing my trajectory in the air.
While flying was much faster than running, it
still took me a few minutes to find the general location of her whereabouts.
However, once I was close enough, I could hear her too. She was running as fast
as she could, although oddly, as if she didn’t have arms.
I doubted she was sincerely
lacking them though, because I didn’t smell any blood. But her breathing was
panicked, and I knew her mind was probably escalated beyond words as she
literally ran for her life. There was someone chasing her too, running smoothly
like they were holding themselves back. I suspected the predator had great
endurance, significantly more than his prey.
Quickly dropping into the
trees below, I slammed into the ground, dropping onto one knee from the impact
before rising again to continue the chase on foot. However, I didn’t have to go
far before I was already almost on her location.
Just as she was about to
come into sight, I heard her trip and fall hard on her front, coughing and
gasping from having the wind knocked out of her. She then abruptly screamed as
her assailant caught up to her, crouching down and flipping her over while
laughing, like he was having the time of his life.
Enraged, I silently burst
through the foliage just in time to see that the serial killer had the tip of a
knife just beginning to draw blood on her partially exposed breast. I realized
the reason why she couldn’t defend herself was because she had her arms bound
behind her back with a series of leather straps, like some kind of weird
However, between the
panicked look in her eyes, the terror as she screamed, the vulnerability of her
body – I caught a glimpse of why this bastard was aroused by torturing his
victims. It was everything that excited a predator, and I felt ashamed that her
vulnerability even excited me a little…minus the panic and terror.
It was time to end this. Now.
Rapidly, in one swift
motion, I closed the distance between me and my prey, grabbing him by the
throat and yanking him off his feet into the air. In his shock, he reflexively
tried to stab me with his blade, but I instead snagged the back of his hand
like lightning and shoved the knife straight into his heart with my inhuman
He didn’t even have time to
scream before the life was rapidly fading from his panicked eyes, not that he
would have been able to make much noise anyway with my grip around his neck. A
few seconds later, and I tossed him to the side, his body strewn awkwardly on
I then focused on the
vulnerable girl lying before me, her short red hair strewn against the dirt in
chaotic strands. My attack happened fast enough that I watched as her emerald
eyes visibly registered that the monster who had been torturing her had
unexpectedly been replaced with another. However, instead of screaming, she
began crying in devastation.
I could smell it.
I could smell the brief hope
she experienced leave her body as she accepted that she was going to die one
way or another. She closed her eyes and turned her head away, her beautiful
face twisted in grief as she sobbed.
Moved by her tears, I slowly
knelt down, positioning myself so that my legs were straddling her thighs,
though I wasn’t actually touching her. I then reached out with a clawed hand,
my black fingernails dangerously sharp, and gently touched the top of her torn
She flinched from the
contact, sensing my fingers. “Please,” she whimpered. “Please don’t.”
Realizing what she must
think my intentions were, I gently grabbed her shirt at the chest and pulled it
up to prevent her from being exposed any more than she already was. Her bra was
missing, likely removed by the perp, but her torn shirt still mostly covered
her up. The next biggest exposure was around her waist. She had white jeans on,
but they were unbuttoned, revealing her pale pink underwear, held up only by
their tightness around her butt and thighs.
The visible skin I could see
on her arms and torso was already heavily bruised in most spots, except for her
face surprisingly, yet I still didn’t smell any blood on her other than the
small cut on her chest.
Deciding to respond, I spoke
“I’m not going to hurt you,”
I whispered. However, despite my words, she began crying even harder, and I
could smell that there was just a hint of hope lingering around her again –
just a hint, since she knew I might be lying.
To emphasize my point, I
concentrated hard in order to force my black fingernails to return to a normal
shape. I then slowly reached down and buttoned her pants back up, carefully
pulling the zipper to the top. I could smell the hope strengthen, although her
fierce sobbing didn’t let up.
I then carefully moved to
her side, sitting beside her and cautiously placing my hand beneath her neck,
gently pulling her up into a sitting position. Gabriella was still a complete
mess emotionally, unable to see through her tear-filled eyes, so I lifted her
into my lap and rested her head against my bare chest while I began working on
freeing her arms from their bonds.
As the last strap fell to
the ground, she slowly pulled her arms in front of herself and let them lay
limp in her lap. I wasn’t sure why I was staying at this point. I really
couldn’t afford for her to find out who I was, but something about her
vulnerability did more than just entice me.
I was beginning to feel an
emotion I had only previously felt for my sister, although it was obviously a
little different since there wasn’t a complicated set of emotions hidden behind
it. But as I held her, I slowly began to realize that I wasn’t going to be able
to leave her side unless she asked me to.
Because I wanted to
feel that emotion, without the extra shameful stuff associated with feeling it
for the wrong person.
‘No,’ I silently chastised myself. ‘She can’t know my secret. No one can.’
Without warning, I slipped
my hand underneath her knees and abruptly stood, causing her to gasp. Her
entire body was trembling as I began moving, but I ignored it, instead focusing
on walking back the way she and her attacker had come. I could smell gasoline
in the air, and after walking almost half a mile I found a white box-van parked
at the edge of an abandoned street.
Identifying a more feminine
smell amongst the others, my nose picked out the scent of lip gloss in the van –
I suspected it might mean her purse was there too. With my wing, which was very
much like a large bony hand with webbed fingers, I reached out and opened the
side door, before reaching inside and hooking the purse’s strap with the tip of
my wing’s finger.
I then held it open with
both wings in front of us, carefully sticking my hand inside while continuing
to support her legs in the crook of my arm. She was still trembling, her eyes
closed with her arms wrapped tightly around herself now. Finding her phone,
which had been turned off, I powered it on and waited for it to load. The
sudden bright screen caused my pupils to shift their shape slightly, and I
noticed from the corner of my eye that the light prompted her to open hers as
well, to see what I was doing.
I quickly dialed the number
to call the police the moment I could. However, I then hesitated just as I was
about to start the call, deciding to speak to Gabriella for the second time. I
glanced at her as I began, seeing that she had been eyeing me, before abruptly
looking away when I made eye contact.
“Just to get our story
straight. Obviously, someone rescued you, killing your would-be murderer, but
you didn’t see who it was…” I paused. “Or what
it was. Understood?” She nodded quickly, still looking away. Satisfied, I
gestured with my hand. “Take the phone,” I instructed.
She slowly complied, and
then upon seeing the number on the screen, she hit the appropriate button and
held it up to her ear, still averting her gaze. The call barely rang once.
“What’s your emergency?” a
female voice asked abruptly.
Gabriella hesitated as she
tried to speak clearly. “Umm…I need help. I’m…I was…kidnapped.”
“Do you know where you are?”
the woman asked in a quieter tone.
Gabriella shook her head, as
if forgetting that the person on the other line couldn’t actually see her. “No.
“Can I use your phone’s GPS
to find you?” she requested.
Gabriella looked up at me
then, as if she wasn’t sure if she needed my permission, so I nodded in
response. She replied slowly. “Umm, yes.”
After a few seconds, the dispatcher
spoke again. “Okay, sweetie. The police are on their way.” She then lowered her
voice. “Is your kidnapper near you?”
Gabriella shook her head a
second time, prompting me to smirk at her for gesturing again as if the woman
could actually see her nonverbal responses. Her face flushed when she realized
why I was suddenly grinning.
Sounding embarrassed, she
tried to focus on answering the dispatcher. “N-No. He’s dead.”
There was a brief pause on
the phone, before the woman finally responded. “How did he die?” she asked
Gabriella glanced at me
again as she replied. “Umm, someone saved me.”
The woman’s voice sounded
urgent again. “Is that person with you now?”
I quickly shook my head,
even though she should know the right answer, not wanting to even chance
Gabriella giving them any indication that she’d spent any time with me.
Nevertheless, she hesitated
in her response. “N-No…I’m by myself.”
“Okay, sweetie. The police
should be there soon. I’m going to stay on the phone with you until they arrive,
Gabriella glanced at me
again, as if wondering what she should say, but I had turned my head away from
her. In the distance, I could hear a rapidly approaching vehicle speeding down
the road. I doubted it was a police car, because it didn’t have any sirens
running. However, I could hear a scanner in the vehicle spouting out police
There was also something
familiar about the sound of the engine – a clanking sound, as if one of the
bolts holding the engine was loose.
Snapping my head to look at
Gabriella, I held out my hand for her to give me the phone, her knees still in
the crook of my arm. She complied immediately, and I hung up on the dispatcher.
I then slowly lowered her to her feet, but when her knees buckled underneath
her, I lowered her to the ground instead.
I quickly replied to her
confused expression. “Like I said. No one.
Don’t even tell your friend. Understand?”
She nodded slowly, just as
confused as before, but then she heard the car approaching too. As she looked
away, I used the opportunity to silently disappear into the trees. The sudden
headlights on Gabriella’s face caused her to shield her eyes, and she then
looked back toward where I had been standing. When she realized I was gone, she
quickly looked all around, seeming to search for me urgently as the car slammed
on its breaks.
I watched as my sister
jumped out of the vehicle, gun in hand, and began running up to Gabriella with
it pointed at the ground to the side. “Where is he?” she demanded.
“W-Who?” Gabriella asked,
Serenity looked at her in
confusion for a second, before clarifying. “The serial killer.”
“He’s dead,” she replied
It took Serenity a second to
register her words, visibly relaxing a little. “Are you sure?”
Gabriella nodded in
response, and my sister hesitantly holstered her gun, glancing around one last
time before kneeling down and wrapping her arms around her friend. They both
began crying again.
“Oh Gabriella! I was so
worried! I’m so glad you’re safe!”
I could finally hear sirens
in the distance and decided to get ready to leave before a ton of police showed
up. I waited a few more minutes while my sister and Gabriella sobbed together,
before finally dashing further into the forest.
Finding a good spot where
the canopy above was thinner, I quickly climbed to the top of a tree, as far as
the branches would support me, and then leapt high into the air to take flight.
Once I was high above the
forest below, I continued to scan the area for a while longer for any signs of
danger, before finally heading home. On my way, I felt my phone vibrate in my
pocket, only to pull it out and see that my sister was calling. Of course, I
couldn’t exactly answer it while flying, so I let it ring until the call
Later on, I would just tell
her I was in the shower or something.
Speaking of which, I
sincerely did need to take a shower. Something about killing people always made
me feel really dirty, even when no blood got on me. Certainly, slaughtering
this serial killer hadn’t been my first time, although I had never taken the
life of someone innocent. Thus far, I’d only killed people who had committed
murder at least once, viewing it as an eye for an eye.
And I never felt remorse for
slaughtering a murderer, although I did always feel filthy afterward.
Dropping into our secluded
backyard, I allowed my body to quickly deconstruct my wings and turn back into
my human form. I was glad our house was surrounded by trees without any close
neighbors. Otherwise, it would be difficult for me to come and go in this
I then dashed inside and
quickly got in the shower to begin rinsing off, in order to get rid of the
sensation that was beginning to plague my mind. Unexpectedly, it was washing my
hands thoroughly and roughly that seemed to help.
Satisfied that they were
clean – and that my conscience felt clean – I let the water cascade down the
back of my neck and along my spine. After a moment, a deep sigh escaped my
chest and I felt my muscles finally relax. I was glad Gabriella was safe, and
that she would probably recover without any physical scarring. However, I knew
she might be mentally scarred for life, depending on what she had endured prior
to me rescuing her.
Sighing again, I sat down in
the shower and tried to clear my thoughts of her, because thinking about the
hot redhead was both arousing me and making me pissed again. For one, part of
me just felt wrong about jerking off right now, but then I was sincerely pissed
at the dead man who might have taken advantage of her, beyond just touching
I wanted to stab him in the
heart again. I almost wished I had killed him more slowly. Made him suffer more
before he died.
‘Stop,’ I chastised myself. ‘She’s
not yours. And she never will be. Just stop it. She’s alive. You did a good
thing. Now move on.’
I cleared my mind again, and
remained like that for a long time, letting the sensation of the water running
over me be my only thought. This was the fourth time I had killed someone, with
the last three times all happening within the last three and a half years –
because that’s about how long Serenity had been a detective. Prior to that, the
first and only other time that I’d killed someone, it had been truly an
accident when I stumbled upon the scene. At least, an accident in the sense
that I hadn’t gone looking for it, knowing what I would find.
Although, me killing the
murderer certainly wasn’t an accident. It was also the only time I’d been too
late to save the victim, and thus the only time I’d killed out of revenge
instead of defense.
At the time, I’d only been
nine years old, with the incident happening nine years ago. There had been a
full moon that night, which meant I was struggling to sleep, as usual – that
always seemed to happen once a month, as if the moon wanted me to come out to
play. Or, at least, that’s what my nine-year-old self thought.
I snuck out of the house at
about 2 AM, only to have my nose catch the trail of some weird smells that
confused me. Within thirty minutes of running on foot, I’d discovered the
source, shocked by the scene I stumbled upon.
I’d never been a fan of
scary movies, since being afraid or startled could make me transform, so it had
been especially traumatizing to discover a horror scene in real life.
Except that was the
difference – it was real life. It
wasn’t a movie, it wasn’t pretend, and I wasn’t helpless to change the plot
unfolding before me. Nevertheless, even though I prevented the monster from
dealing the finishing blow, the pregnant woman still died in my small arms just
before the paramedics arrived.
Traumatizing indeed, for a
nine-year-old, human or not. I didn’t return home that night for almost three
hours, and even then, I didn’t act normal for months. Everyone knew something
was wrong, but I wasn’t willing to share with any of them what I’d experienced.
Nevertheless, the extra affection I got from my mom and sister were what helped
me eventually recover.
Unexpectedly, I heard my
sister’s car pull up to the house, which snapped me out of my trance, prompting
me to realize the water had long since gotten cold. Extreme temperatures didn’t
bother me as much as it seemed to bother normal people, so it wasn’t unusual
for me to not notice the cold water. I certainly could tell that there was a
temperature difference when I was paying attention, so I preferred hot showers
like anyone else. But, whether scalding hot or freezing cold, the extremes were
I quickly turned the water
off and jumped out.
After drying off, I glanced
at my phone to see that I’d showered for over an hour and a half. I grimaced,
as I mumbled to myself. “Well, hopefully she won’t be too pissed I used up all
the hot water.” Although, I knew it should be warm again within an hour, so it
wasn’t like it was the end of the world.
Quickly brushing my short
hair, I then got dressed in black gym shorts and a dark gray t-shirt, before
exiting the bathroom to head downstairs when I heard the front door crack open.
However, just as I took the
first step, I realized there was a second heartbeat with my sister – a
heartbeat that was pounding rather quickly. Serenity appeared in the doorway,
catching sight of me frozen at the top of the stairs.
“Oh, hey! I tried calling
you. They found her!” she announced.
I only nodded, trying to
smile as Gabriella stepped into sight, looking straight down, her face actively
turning red. Serenity noticed my odd reaction, but continued with her statement
“She’s been through a lot,
so she’s going to stay with us tonight.”
embarrassed reaction, I honestly wasn’t sure if she knew who saved her. After
all, she’d only met me once, although my face still looked the same when I was
transformed – the only difference was the coloring. I was glad it was dark when
I found her, because that meant it was possible she might not realize it was
me. However, I still didn’t want to hang around too long and give her the
chance to figure it out.
After all, I’d spoken to her
too, so even just talking too much might tip her off.
“Right…” I said hesitantly,
looking away. “She can sleep in my bed.”
“Kai!” Serenity exclaimed.
Suddenly confused, I looked
back at her, noticing that Gabriella’s face was now even more flushed too,
almost matching her red hair. Which was so red that I would have thought was
dyed were it not for the fact that I could detect the difference in smell
between natural hair, extensions, and dyed hair.
And then it finally dawned
on me what it sounded like I was saying.
I quickly held up my hands
in shock. “No, no, no! I didn’t mean it like that. I’ll sleep on the couch, obviously. Jeez sis, way to make things
But I knew it wasn’t just my
sister. Gabriella had misinterpreted what I meant too – that much was obvious
just from the color of her face. Was it because of how I’d said it? Maybe my
tone was off?
Sighing, I ignored my
sister’s apology and headed back up the one step to grab myself a blanket and
make sure my room was presentable enough. I could hear Serenity now apologizing
on my behalf, since I’d left so abruptly.
“Sorry, Gabriella. I’m not
sure why he’s so rude around you. He’s normally not like that.”
“It’s alright,” she replied
quietly. “I don’t think he’s trying to be rude.”
“Disappearing whenever you’re around seems pretty intentional to me. I’m sure
he will warm up to you though. He was bullied pretty bad after our parents
passed away. I think he developed trust issues from it, because he still
doesn’t really have any friends.”
“What did they bully him
about?” Gabriella asked softly, her voice a little more distant now that they’d
moved into the kitchen. It sounded like Serenity was heating up some of the
potato and bacon soup I’d made.
Had my sister forgotten she
was a vegetarian?
“Well, he’s adopted,”
Serenity explained. “Some of the kids found out we weren’t actually related and
teased him because we were living alone together.”
“He’s adopted?” Gabriella
repeated, sounding surprised. “At what age?”
“My parents adopted him when
he was about two years old,” she replied, before returning to the bullying
topic. “But you know what’s interesting? Even though he doesn’t really talk to
anyone, I think he still cares about them. For example, there was a fight at
school a couple of years back – both of the guys involved were kids who had
bullied him in middle school – yet he stopped the fight without hurting anyone,
defending the kid who was getting beat up.” She paused. “He’s also always doing
nice things for strangers, just little stuff even, like opening the door for
people when we go out. I’m really proud of the man he’s becoming.”
Honestly, I had conflicting
feelings about my sister’s statement, especially the last part. Because a big
reason why I did stuff like that was because I wanted to make her proud.
I needed her approval, probably more than she’d ever know, and in a way she’d
likely never be able to give me, since I had no intention on ever telling her
The risk of rejection and
losing her forever wasn’t worth it to me. However, I didn’t linger on those
thoughts long, since I heard her place a bowl down on the table in front of
Sighing again, I quietly
dashed to the stairs and called out to her. “Sis, that has bacon in it!”
apologized. “Oh, I’m sorry Gabriella! I forgot!”
“No, it’s fine!” she
exclaimed. “I’m not religious about it. I’ve just grown up as a vegetarian
because both my parents are. Although, I have to admit I’ve never eaten bacon.
Only chicken a few times.”
“Are you sure?” Serenity
asked. “I can get you something else.”
I heard Gabriella take a big
bite in response, causing my sister to chuckle. I then heard her shift in her
chair in surprise. “Wow, this is really good! You’re a really good cook!” she
Serenity laughed again,
sitting down at the table with her own bowl. “I’m horrible at cooking. Kai made
It was quiet then, which
only made me wish I could see Gabriella’s face, desperately wondering what her
expression was like.
“He…he did?” she finally
“Yep,” Serenity confirmed.
“He does basically all the cooking around here. One day when he was fourteen,
he officially banned me from using the stove for anything other than boiling
water.” She laughed again. “He was kidding of course, but I think I’ve only
cooked a handful of meals since then.”
“Oh…” Gabriella said
quietly. “So…he eats potatoes?”
I could tell my sister was
confused by the question. “Well, yeah. Why?”
“No reason,” she said
quickly, shoving another spoonful in her mouth.
Of course, that only
confirmed my worst fears. Gabriella must have recognized me after all, because
her heart rate picked up significantly. Not to mention the weird question about
my diet. What did she think I ate? People?
I wondered if I could still
somehow convince her that it wasn’t me, in the event she asked about it, or if
that was a lost cause. ‘I can just play
dumb,’ I thought to myself. ‘Act like
I don’t know anything.’ I wasn’t
sure if it would work, but it was my last chance at this point.
Serenity was still talking
about me, whispering now. “I don’t know how he does that.”
“Does what?” Gabriella
“Know I was about to give
you this soup.”
Gabriella paused for a
moment before responding. “Well, it does
have bacon in it, which is a pretty strong scent. Maybe he smelled it when you
were heating it up and just assumed?”
“Yeah, maybe,” she agreed.
“But he’s always done things like that. Like when I came home earlier, I was
crying. And somehow, he seemed to know. Normally, he just waits for me to come
inside, but as soon as I pulled up, he came out to get me.”
“Maybe he saw you from the
window?” Gabriella offered.
I groaned internally,
suddenly realizing what she was doing. She was covering for me. She did know it was me, and now that she
realized my sister didn’t know my secret, she was helping me hide it.
Dammit! I already liked her
a lot, at least physically. Why did she have to start covering for me? I mean,
it was what I both wanted and needed, but now it was like we had our own little
secret. I groaned again at the thought.
‘Dammit, dammit, dammit. You can’t be with her,’ I
chastised myself. ‘She’ll make you
transform every two seconds for the rest of your life!’
I’d already long since
realized that being with someone wouldn’t be an option for me, but it wasn’t
like I was lonely. I had my sister after all, and as far as I was concerned
that was all I needed. Granted, there were a lot of complications that came
with that arrangement. For one, what was I supposed to do if my sister ever
finally got a boyfriend?
I’d been lucky that she’d
put it off for so long, despite the fact that she was twenty-three and objectively
hot, with her instead focusing on making sure that life was stable for us by
not having random men in the house. But I knew it might happen eventually.
Just the idea made me feel
conflicted in so many ways.
Being completely honest, I
would probably end up feeling jealous if she dated, though I knew I had no
right to. However, it was much more complicated than that, with a strange
desire in me almost wishing she would date for a variety of reasons
But I knew I shouldn’t even think about it. And with Gabriella? I couldn’t have her
either, even if she somehow decided she was okay with the fact that I wasn’t
human. I shouldn’t even hope for such a thing, because the devastation that
would come, when things didn’t work out, would be unbearable.
Feeling annoyed and defeated
now from my own dejecting thoughts, I ran back to my room to grab my earbuds,
so that I could try to ignore their conversation. Technically, I could still
hear what they were saying if I concentrated, but I had gotten fairly decent at
ignoring all the external stimuli bombarding my mind every day. I then gathered
the large blanket I planned on using and headed down the stairs.
Both my sister and Gabriella
stopped talking when they heard me, and Serenity called out my name, but I
Turning on the lamp sitting
on the small table on one side of the couch, I plopped down on the soft
cushions and got comfortable. Getting my earbuds in, I then turned up the
volume as loud as I could tolerate with my sensitive ears and tried to settle
in for the night. I was able to successfully ignore them for about ten or
fifteen minutes, but then I heard someone walk up to me from behind the couch.
Quickly sniffing the air, I
relaxed when I caught my sister’s comforting scent.
“Kai,” she said. “I’m going
to take a shower, and then head to bed. Can you please be nice to Gabriella? She’s
been through a lot.”
Without turning down the
volume, I waved my hand to acknowledge her. “I used up all the hot water.
Sorry,” I said sincerely. “It might be warm enough now for a few minutes of
heat, but you may have to wait another half hour.”
“Oh.” She paused, not
seeming upset. “Then, I’ll just make sure Gabriella can rinse off first. I can
take one in the morning.”
‘No, no, no! Don’t tell me that, sis!’ Suddenly,
all I could see in my mind’s eye was Gabriella naked in the shower, imagining
her heavy unsupported breasts as water ran across her large nipples, her
otherwise thin body exposed, vulnerable, wet…
I was a virgin if I’d ever known one!
quickly covered my head with the blanket as I felt my hair begin to turn white.
“Sure,” I replied quickly, wanting to get rid of her now. “I really am sorry
about the hot water. I put plenty of blankets and pillows on my bed for her.
Please make sure she feels at home.”
I could tell Serenity was
surprised by my sudden hospitality, but I already regretted my own words. My
hair was definitely white now, since I finally registered that Gabriella was
going to be spending the night in my
blankets, cuddling with my pillow. I
knew the scent she left behind wouldn’t leave my bed for at least a
Dammit! I was cutting it way too close!
My sister was right there, and I was actively transforming!
I pulled the blanket more
tightly against my head. I knew she probably wanted to ask about my odd
behavior, feeling like her deep brown eyes were watching me carefully, but she
finally sighed and then wished me goodnight.
I then heard two sets of
footsteps walk up the stairs and found myself unable to ignore them any longer.
My sister took Gabriella to her bedroom and let her pick out a set of pajamas
to wear – I realized they must not have stopped by Gabriella’s apartment,
instead coming straight here after being questioned by the police.
I wondered what Serenity’s
boss thought when they found out she had been the first one at the scene.
Granted, who could blame her? Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if she got
reprimanded for it, which was likely a small price to pay in my sister’s eyes.
She’d lose her job entirely
if it meant saving someone she cared about.
Gabriella picked out a set
of pajamas and then was led to the bathroom, so she could take a shower.
Serenity warned her about the hot water, to which Gabriella offered to let my
sister shower instead. But she politely declined, lying by saying that she
normally took showers in the morning anyway. Gabriella thanked her, closed the
door, and then quickly undressed while the water warmed up.
I tried to focus on the
music again, attempting to pick out all the subtle differences in the beat,
only to sit up abruptly when I realized Gabriella was crying. I pulled out my
earbuds entirely to listen to her carefully over the sound of the running
water. She was sobbing quietly, although she didn’t seem to be out of control
like she had been in the woods. I wondered if the warm water was just helping
her relieve some of her stress…
I hoped it wasn’t because of
me. Had I been too rude after all?
Carefully homing in on her
scent, I sifted through the smell of bacon, potatoes, wood, carpet, paint,
cotton, water, shampoo…happy. She was happy, or least significantly relaxed.
Similar to fear, I’d looked it up once, wanting to understand why people had a
certain scent when they were happy. It was most likely due to a hormone called
oxytocin, as well as another few creating the right combination. The higher the
level, the stronger the scent, and it was exceptionally strong from her right
now. I realized she was likely getting a rush of it in her blood, now that she
was safe behind a locked door away from anything dangerous.
Deciding I couldn't resist
listening anymore, I pulled the blanket over the top of my head to hide my
re-whitening hair and remained sitting up on the couch. I then pulled my knees
up to my chest, resting my chin on them, and wrapped the blanket around so that
only my face and bare toes were showing.
I’d been right about the hot
water. After a few minutes, I could smell that the moisture in the air had
cooled slightly – oddly enough, water smelt a little different depending on the
temperature – and then I could hear Gabriella pick up the pace. Barely a minute
later, and she turned the water off and got out, quickly drying off. I then
heard her stand still for a few minutes, and began wondering what she was
Thinking about it from her
point of view, I suspected she might be examining her bruised body in the
I heard her make a few odd
noises, sounding pained, and wondered if she was touching her darkening skin to
see how sensitive it was in various spots. She then began getting dressed, and
I was unexpectedly shocked by the sound the fabric made as it slid over her
Suddenly, I was very
concerned about what she had picked out from my sister's selection. Most of
Serenity's pajamas were made of cotton or something else soft – she liked to be
comfortable. And since she hadn't ever really gotten serious with anyone, I
knew she didn't have anything to impress a boyfriend…especially since I’d
snooped plenty of times.
Yet, I was confident
Gabriella was putting on something made of silk or satin. Had it been pajamas
my sister only bought recently? And if so, why? I couldn’t imagine that
she’d had them for a while.
Either way, the skin down my
neck and spine had already turned dark gray, and I felt myself blushing as I
listened to Gabriella make her way to my room above me – the unmistakable soft swishing
sound accompanying her every move. I was so conflicted again, partially
because I wanted to see my sister in those pajamas.
Dammit, when did she get
I sighed heavily as
Gabriella began readjusting the blankets and pillows on my bed. I was glad at
least the shower part was over. I kind of felt like a creep listening in on
her, but it was extremely difficult to help it when my senses were so
sensitive. I would have to go out of my way to avoid it, and even then it could
Trying not to think again
about her being wrapped up in my blankets, in my bed, clothed in silky pajamas,
I focused on the other noises outside of the house, listening to an owl far off
in the distance. Slowly my graying skin turned back to normal.
However, just as my hair was
beginning to return to its normal color, I noticed footsteps at the top of the
stairs. They hesitated, before quietly making their way down, step-by-step, the
unmistakable swooshing accompanying them.
I wondered if Gabriella was
still hungry, coming down to raid the kitchen, although that thought didn't
stop my hair from shifting back to snow white. I rested my forehead on my knees
to hide my flushed face as I listened to the footsteps reach the last step.
She hesitated again, and I
listened carefully to see what direction she went.
Her heart was racing.