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Moon's Bane

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Her quaint little life in New Orleans isn't all it's propped up to be. Gigi Lawson thought she was the extreme opposite of special. That is, however, until she meets a boy named Bart in a shop full of dangerous weapons and hidden secrets. She thinks she has found love in the nineteen-year old Bart, until she finds out his father is a homicidial werewolf killer named Scarface. What happens when Gigi finds out that her parents had died at Scarface's hands, and he might be coming for her next?

PROLOGUE

The floor of the warehouse was freezing: too cold for a werewolf or any other living thing, anyway. Werewolves could stand any weather, but they loved warmer places.

She'd been putting on a thickly-lined jacket over a wool sweater when the men had found her inside a book store and pushed her into the back of a sleek black van. Her bright-red hair pooled like a sea of fire on the cold floor. Her hands, cozy in two knitted mittens, had been tied immediately she'd been brought in. Her right cheek was directly on the icy floor and had long since lost feeling. So had her hands, feet and every other joint in her body.

She couldn't even morph into her wolf form. She'd tried, but she wasn't in the right position to do so. Morphing was much harder when one was in a funny horizontal position.

She heard a door open from somewhere to her left and tried to raise her head up, but her cheek was glued to the ground. All she could do was follow the footsteps with her ears. The footsteps stopped directly in front of her and she got an impeccable view of black combat boots and leather pants.

She heard a short grunt, and the owner of the boots said. "Turn her over."

Someone pulled her from the back unceremoniously and she gasped in pain as her cheek parted with the freezing floor. She could almost imagine her skin peeling. Now she was on her back, but they didn't let her stay like that for long. She was roughly pushed against something hard and she heard a soft crack in her back.

Mr Combat Boots crouched in front of her, smiling. The smile didn't help with her anxiety. She felt like a helpless fish under the sinister eyes of a bird of prey.

"Hey, Little Red Wolf. We've got a gift for you." The man whispered into her face.

She could see the long white scar on one side of his face, which didn't help with her confidence. "What do you want from me?" She croaked, despising her voice for making her sound so childish.

The man chuckled. "Nothing much. I believe you know who you are?"

"What the fuck do you mean?" She raised her voice. "What the hell is going on here?" "

"hhh." The man placed a finger on his lips. "Make any loud noise and your death would be slower and much more painful." He threatened, then gestured to the other men behind him. The men walked forward, pulling a humanoid figure between them. They flung the person beside her and pulled off the sack on his head. The tied-up woman turned to the person and gaped.

"Frank..."

"Imogen..."

The man with the scarred face barked out a laughter and clapped his hands. "What a beautiful reunion! Two little werewolf lovers. Or mates. Isn't that what they call it?"

Imogen didn't look away from her husband, and neither did he. The last time they'd been together, they'd been opposite a bookstore with their two kids at the back of the car, after she'd begged him to stop so she could buy a book she'd seen on display. She'd walked into the bookstore, and in the dimness of the shop, someone had thrown a sack over her head, muffling her cries.

She'd been dragged to the back of the bookstore and stuffed into the back of a van. She guessed her husband had followed her into the bookstore after long minutes of waiting, and he'd suffered the same fate.

The couple stared at each other with a mixture of longing and fear of what was about to happen to them. The kids? Imogen asked him with her eyes, and he nodded once. They're safe.

But how safe could they be in a car, all alone?

They were only ten and fifteen. But she didn't show her fear on her face. Instead she turned back to the scarred man. "What do you want from us?" She asked.

The man smiled, a mere upturning of his lips, and stood up from his crouch. "Revenge, that's what." He said loudly and the men behind him laughed. "You all are vile creatures, and I'm your Bane sent to purge the world of you. I won't stop till every werewolf in New Orleans and beyond are dead."

Imogen shared a terrified look with her husband, then he spoke up. "Werewolves? How—"

"Don't play dumb with me, you filthy animal." The scarred man was suddenly in her husband's face. Imogen watched as Frank's jaw tightened and his hands squirmed. It was obvious he was trying to morph, but it seemed whatever they'd been tied up with was somehow preventing them from morphing. Even while sitting up, she couldn't attempt it. Her wolf seemed to be forced back in every time she tried.

"You're a werewolf, the both of you are." He turned to Imogen, then back to Frank. "And today will be your last days on this earth."

The man suddenly grabbed her husband and pulled him up to a standing position. Imogen watched as her husband wobbled on his feet, her heart gripped with fear. The scarred man pulled out a short shiny sword from a sheath in his belt, then slowly caressed her husband's face with it. He flinched with obvious pain. I

mogen knew what the blade was made of. Silver.

"No!" She yelled, filled with a sudden brazen courage. "Take me instead."

"Imogen, stand down." Frank commanded, but she didn't stop.

"If you hurt a hair on his head—"

"What will you do, Little Red Wolf? Change into a dog and attack me?" He said, his face close to hers, and the men standing around laughed again.

Imogen worked up a ball of spit from her throat and spat on his face, feeling satisfaction as he gasped in surprise. He wiped the slimy liquid from his face, then smacked her across the face. Her ears ringed.

He leaned away from her face and turned back to his men. "We've let them stay alive for too long. It's time."

One of the men walked over to a corner of the warehouse and came back with a jar of a silvery-green liquid, then handed it to their leader.

Liquified wolfsbane, Imogen thought. She'd seen it too many times to miss that deadly, silvery shimmer. What a way to die.

She scooched forward on her behind and yelled. "Wait! Why do you want to kill us anyway? We're not tied to your stupid revenge plan in anyway, are we?" She asked, trying to buy her husband some time. She could already see him gently unloosening the ropes with his fingers.

"Keep your mouth shut, woman, or I'll do it for you. You certainly don't know how to." He snarled, turning to her. "You should certainly be able to tell us why you're this hell bent on killing werewolves, especially innocent ones." "I owe you no words."

The scarred man growled, then turned back to Frank. The ropes that had held her husband was on the ground, empty, and instead of a man, a great big brown wolf stood, snarling. Imogen almost laughed with happiness.

The other men backed off, yelling in surprise, but the scarred man merely chuckled. "Not to fear, men." He said, smiling. "He is but a beast."

The man and the werewolf started to circle each other in the middle of the warehouse. There was a few seconds of strained silence, and then the werewolf leapt into the air in attack. Imogen hadn't noticed that the jar of wolfsbane in the man's hands was open, but before she could yell out a warning to her husband, the scarred man had flung the poisonous liquid into the wolf's face.

Frank gave a great horrifying howl and fell to the ground. He started to thrash around in pain, his form flickering between human and wolf. The smell of burning flesh and fur filled the warehouse.

"Frank! No!" Imogen screamed and the men around her began to laugh with mockery.

She began to work around the ropes on her wrist too but they refused to loosen. She tried to move herself to a standing position but that too, was impossible. Frank was supposed to heal fast, since he was in wolf form. Why wasn't he healing?

Tears began to stream down her face as her husband's movements became slower. She had to get to him, had to heal him somehow. "Let's finish him off, shall we?" The scarred man said and picked up the silver blade, then walked slowly to Frank.

His eyes were on her, the scar on his face even whiter. Then he slowly pushed the silver knife into Frank's body, and her husband gave one long last howl, then fell silent forever.

Imogen's screams must have been heard for miles around. It seemed to ricochet off the warehouse walls and bounce into the ears of the men inside. They all held their hands to their ears and cowered in fear. She felt another stinging slap on her face and the scream was knocked out of her lungs.

"Shut up!" She heard a snarl close to her face and opened her eyes. Her whole body shook with rage as she looked into his scarred face.

"You bastard!" She shrieked. "You're going to pay for this, I swear on—"

"Not if I kill you first." The man cut her off, then collected another jar of wolfsbane from one of the men. He opened the jar slowly, enjoying the sudden terrified look on her face.

"You're a feisty little red one, aren't you?" He said maliciously. "I really like your red hair. Too bad you'd have to die."

She began to crawl away from him, sobbing, using her hands to push herself backwards. Soon her back hit a wall, and she knew that it was over. She was never getting out of here alive.

"I want you to beg for your life." He ordered, holding the jar high over her head.

"No!" She said with a trembling voice. "I'd rather eat the flesh of my dead husband." He smiled, faint and deadly.

"If you say so, then. Goodnight, Little Red Wolf." He whispered, and she saw him tip the jar over her head.

Imogen was sure she was screaming. Perhaps her wailing was even louder than Frank's. The pain was so unbearable, so all-consuming, that she no longer knew where he was. She seemed to be floating away from the warehouse; her body became the pain, and in her head there was nothing but release. She no longer felt, only floated for a few seconds of bliss before the darkness claimed her.

CHAPTER ONE

GERALDINE

New Orleans is my own city of dreams.It's the best place to be nobody and somebody at the same time, the only place I can find my place without standing out. I'm free to be anything I feel like being without fear of rejection. It's why I would never leave this city. Very few places do that for me.

The buildings are old and stoic; they make me think of antique objects on window display. I can look at any random old structure and imagine they'd existed for hundreds of years. Well, that's because they have. This city is a place where i can give free rein to my unruly imaginations. I can be weird in peace.I push my glasses up and shake my head as that final thought crosses my mind. My brother Kal would call me a delusional romantic if he could see me right now.

I cross the street to the weapons shop on the other side. It's Halloween today, and a friend of my brother's is hosting a party. Strictly for 18-year olds and above, whi

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