Kim Joon Sum was already late for work. A power outage in lower Manhattan had messed up his alarm clock. In the elevator he rummaged in his bag for the USB memory stick he had downloaded the Petrison file.  As he crossed the street outside his apartment building he was hurled into the air by a cab. Both of his legs were broken and one of his lungs had collapsed. When he hit the sidewalk a fatal bleed started in his brain stem. He was dead even before the first paramedics were called.

Sophie Denal was chatting to her Mother on her cell. She was sorry she had missed Grandpas’ Birthday but hoped to be home for Christmas and Fathers famous roasted Duck. Yes she was still seeing Jean-Claude and she to hoped that he would be able to make it to Gamiac for the holiday. She couldn’t promise anything, she said again, work was so demanding. With a quick look to the left she stepped off the kerb and was hit by a bus. By some miracle she held her cell in her hand which meant that her Mother heard her final gasps as she died. It was reported by the Parisian Police as a tragic accident.

Terry Arthur was waiting at the bus stop. He had a meeting with his parole officer at 11. He was tired and very hungover, his cousin Declan had been out last night and he had drunk way too much. He hated London and wished he could go somewhere else, even a holiday. The terms of his parole were inflexible and meant he had to stay where he was. He was thinking about calling Linda. She seemed to like him and didn’t care about the stupid choice he made. She was pretty and kind. Suddenly he felt like he had been punched in his back, as he turned there was an old man behind him. Terry reaches around to his back and his hands are covered in blood.. He falls and bleeds out before anyone finds his corpse.

I wake with Ben’s lips on mine. He has somehow managed to leave the flat and buy coffee and croissants without waking me. I can’t help but love him. He breaks pieces of croissant and feeds me. He kisses my cheek and I can feel that he has gotten hard through his trackie bottoms. As he pulls off his T shirt , I roll into him and we kiss and make love. Afterwards, while he is sleeping. I am showering as I hear the doorbell. I turn off the shower and grab my robe but Ben is ahead of me and is blinking through the eyeglass. There is an odd noise, like someone dropping a heavy book and Ben falls down. I can’t move. The back of my beautiful Ben’s head is gone. The peephole is a black circle. Blood is pooling around him. Then someone is clawing at the lock. It is making strange little clicking sounds. I try to move. To even put the chain across but I am too scared to move. As the door opens and two men enter I run to the bathroom, it’s the only room that has a lock. Though I only saw them for a second I could describe them in detail. The first was a white male about 50 ish the other was younger and had a slight limp in his left leg. They knock on the door.

“We have a message from Mr Petrison. Stay out of things that don’t concern you.”

I have never told Ben, any of my friends what I am. I have no other choice. I open the door. The younger one grabs me by hair, he pulls me into the living room. I fall over the stool we bought at an antique fair in Gloucester. There is blood coming from my scalp and my thigh where I hit the stool. The older one, the Alpha has a pistol. He is pointing it at me.

“Who the fuck are you?”

He sounds more surprised than angry. Ben and I had kept our relationship quite quiet. Working for the same legal firm, we thought it better that no one knew. I am about to do something I swore against doing a long time ago. These men smell of blood and sin. Not even the Elders would admonish me for defending myself against people like this.

“Are you fucking deaf or what?!”

I breath in and hold it to the count of five. As I exhale I let the change come. The bones in my legs break first as they lengthen, my nails splinter as my claws grow out. My jaw bone cracks in several place as it pushes out and my nose shatters as the rest of my face becomes its true form. His bullets hit my back, those that vaguely penetrate my skin will be easily removed, we always have medical staff that are open to bribes. When I stand they are trying to both run. The older one is more clumsy so I ignore him for the moment and disable the younger one by swiping my claws through his back. My jaws close over the old ones neck, as the blood pours into me I see the trace memories of his past sins. The people he has killed to protect a corrupt American Politician I have never heard of. I close my teeth and he is dead.

The younger one is flailing around on the floor. I put my paw through his chest and crush his heart. He stops moving.

It takes longer to change back into Human form and is a little more painful. I kiss Ben and take anything that could place me there as I leave.

The next morning I buy a one way ticket to Washington. I think a brief meeting with this Mr Petrison won’t take long and then I will be gone.

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