Feral by Anne Berkeley

Book: Feral by Anne Berkeley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anne Berkeley
you like him.”
    “God no!  I never met anybody so domineering in my life!”
    Bennie smiled knowingly.  “You think he’s hot.”
    “Bennie,” I said, disregarding his accusation.  I sat up, looking him in the eye, willing him to take me seriously.  “If I told you something so far off the wall, so ludicrous sounding that you might laugh or think I’m insane, would you still believe me?”
    Bennie lifted his shoulders.  “Try me.”
    “Promise to hear me out.”
    “Geez Thale, just tell me already.”
    “I was bitten by a werewolf.”
    Bennie laughed.  “You’re right—you are insane.”
    “Hear me out, Bennie!  Marcus and I went to Jack Medley’s house for the party.  I caught him cheating on me with Peyton—”
    “Well that explains it all,” Bennie said, returning to his current work of art.  “You were drunk and you caught Marcus and Peyton together.  It’s post traumatic stress.”
    “Listen, Bennie!  I was buzzed, but I wasn’t trashed!  I know what happened!  I ran out of the house, but Marcus followed me into the woods.  It was him!  He attacked me!”
    “Marcus Pera.  A werewolf,” Bennie said skeptically.  “Seriously, Thale, you expect me to believe this?  It sounds to me like someone slipped a hit of acid into your drink.”
    Frustrated, I stood and paced the room, trying to find some way to make him believe me.  How did I do that when I could hardly believe it myself?
    “It’s true.  I swear it.  Yesterday, I woke up my neck was in shreds.  Marcus mauled me for God’s sake!  I’m telling you, Bennie, I looked like Jack freakin’ Goodman!  When I saw it, I passed out, and when I woke again only a few hours later, I had healed completely.”
    “Just saying, Thale.  It sounds like a bad trip.”
    Grabbing Bennie’s pallet knife from his easel, I pinched my eyes shut and counted to three.  Opening them again, I took a deep breath and thrust the blade into my forearm.  I wasn’t a masochist by any means, so at the first stab of pain, I faltered.  The blade skimmed over the surface of my skin, slicing a deep gash about three inches long.  Blood welled and spilled in rivulets onto Bennie bedroom floor.  Fat drops splattered down, staining the area rug with large red circles.   Staring , in chock, the palette knife slipped from my hand and onto the floor.
    “Jesus Christ!” Bennie exclaimed.  Grabbing one of his tees, he wrapped it around my arm, clamping his hand over it to stop the bleeding.  “What the hell is wrong with you, Thale?  You really are crazy!”
    “I am not crazy!  Look!”  Prying his hand away, I lifted the tee away and showed him my arm.  The bleeding already slowed, and the laceration began closing itself up.  Bennie released my arm, stumbling away from me, his blue eyes wide with astonishment.
    “Do you believe me now?” I snapped, thrusting my arm in his direction.
    “Well, it’s not like I can argue with that, can I?  Jesus,” Bennie said, pushing a hand through his dirty blond hair.  That was Bennie for ya.  Already rationalizing.  “What are you going to tell mom and dad?  They’re going to freak when they find out.”
    “You think?” I said acerbically.
    “I wouldn’t suggest you break it to them the same way.  You almost gave me a heart attack—you could kill them if you go stabbing yourself in front of ‘em.”
    I rolled my eyes.  “Thanks for the support.  Was that meant to bolster me?”
    “Geez, sorry.  It’s a lot to absorb.”
    “You’re telling me.”
    Returning to his comfort zone, Bennie took my hand again and raised my arm to get a better look.  He twisted and turned it, watching as what was left of the gash seal into a nearly flawless stretch of skin.  “Have you done it yet—changed, I mean—like into a wolf?”
    “No, Icarus says I have another week and a half, but I don’t know if that’s before I can change or before I don’t have a choice anymore.”
    “Are you

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