Tempting the Moon

By: Susan Illene

Chapter 1

“Hey, Mel?”

I didn’t look up from doing sit-ups. Just a hundred more to go. “Yeah?”

“I sort of have a problem.”

Emily was almost sixteen. She seemed to always have some kind of crisis going on—and those were just the ones I found out about. “What’s the problem?”

“I, uh, seduced a werewolf and got him caught in a bear trap,” she rushed out.

Fifty sit-ups would have to do. I sat up and ran my gaze over her. She had scratches on her face and hands as if she’d been running through the woods. Her brown hair had snarls in it as well.

“Maybe you should repeat that.” I rubbed at my ears. “Because I could have sworn you said you seduced a werewolf.”

She shifted from foot to foot. “It was payback. Hunter broke into my locker at school and did something really embarrassing.”

“What did he do?” I hoped it wasn’t something where I’d have to kill him. He wasn’t eighteen yet. I really needed to wait until after he’d reached adulthood to do something that drastic.

“He rigged my locker so that when it opened a song played loud enough for everyone to hear.”

Well, it could have been worse. He could have filled it with snakes or spiders or something even more horrifying. With a werewolf, the possibilities were endless.

“Which song?” I asked.

Her lips thinned. “Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner.”

I winced. He must have still been upset with her for breaking his nose and kneeing him in the balls on Valentine’s Day when he’d tried to crash her party. The song he’d chosen for his prank was romantic in a weird kind of way, though.

“How did he manage that?”

She shrugged. “Not sure. He had his iPod in there with some speakers and I think he had a remote in his hand. That must’ve been how he turned it on.”

“What did you do?”

“Everyone was looking at me and laughing.” Emily’s face turned red. “It was right after my last class so I shoved everything into my bag and took off. He’s been calling me ever since wanting his iPod back.”

I wanted to be angry with the guy, but nothing he’d done so far had really hurt her. Just minor pranks like this and sending her badly written poems. Oh, and the time he showed up outside our house on a full moon with a bloody rabbit between his teeth. He’d left that for her as a gift, though Emily hadn’t found it very amusing.

“Is that why you’ve been turning your cell phone off every time it rings lately?” I lifted my brows.

Outwardly, Emily appeared as a cheerful and bright person, but if you tried to dig too deep she’d put up defensive walls. Life had damaged her pretty badly by the time I found her and it was taking a while for her to open up. I tried not to push too hard, hoping she’d learn to trust me and talk things out when she was ready.

“Yeah.” She glanced back at the front door. “No idea how he got my number.”

We’d have to worry about that later. From the sounds of it we had bigger concerns. I tightened my loose ponytail and stood up.

“Is Hunter okay?”

Emily looked down and stared at her boots. “That’s sort of the problem. He’s still caught in the trap and now he’s turned into a wolf so I can’t get him free.”

It was the night before a full moon. If he bit us, it could turn us into werewolves. Emily and I might be from a rare race of sensors, but we could be changed into something else. There weren’t enough of our kind left to risk that. Not to mention we enjoyed our immunity to magic and being able to sense any supernaturals near us. We’d lose those abilities if we were transformed into another race.

“Okay.” I stood up and walked over to my cell phone. “We need to call Derrick. He’s the Alpha and he can deal with it.”

Emily rushed over to my side. “Do we have to? I don’t want anyone knowing about this.”

“I think it’s a little too late for that.” I pressed the phone to my ear.

It didn’t even ring before going straight to voicemail. I thumbed through my contact list looking for the next highest werewolf in the pack. How sad my life had become that most of the names I skimmed past were supernaturals of some variety, including vampires, nephilim, witches, and even a few fae. There was a time when I’d avoided sups at all costs. A little over a year ago that had all changed and now I was living openly in a town full of them.

“Damn. None of the werewolves are answering.” I glared at the phone. I’d tried five members of the pack, including Hunter’s father, before giving up.

Emily’s face relaxed. “They’re probably out on a run. It’s been dark for a couple of hours.”

This was Alaska in late December. It was dark most of the time, which made it ideal for werewolves who could only shift at night. Emily should have known better than to pull a prank so close to dark—and near a full moon.

I ran through my mental list of people who could help. “We can’t get Nik or Kariann either since they’re down in New Orleans until tomorrow night.”