Did I ever tell you about the one and only time I've ever been caught? A few years back when I was staying in Michigan, a couple of hunters caught on to me and actually managed to capture me.
* * *
"He hasn't hurt anyone," a familiar female voice was saying as I came to.
"Yet." a man tacked on to the end of her sentence, I didn't know his voice.
"Maybe we were wrong, there could be more in the area." she said, trying to persuade him of something.
"Why are you defending him?" the man asked. I heard footsteps coming to the old oak door in front of me, one of the few things in the room I could make out in the dark. The windows were curtained off but I could see a small patch of daylight across the floor.
"I just don't think he's the guy. He's too nice." she said, exasperated. I wasn't that nice, but she didn't need to know that.
"Nice guy does not mean nice wolf." the man said before opening the door, flooding the room with light. I strained against the ropes tying my arms and legs to the chair beneath me, there was no give. I squirmed in the chair, but it was solid, I wasn't going to be breaking it for my escape.
In the light, I recognized the woman as the fiery redhead I'd been chatting up at the bar last night. She had a worried look on her young face. The man was barely older than her, around my age, with tan skin and short brown hair, he looked quite ordinary, a little handsome, but very ordinary, not the type of guy to be involved with hunting werewolves. I was naked, as usual after a transformation, but that didn't bother me as much as it had when I'd first started out. I glanced up at them through my hair, which I'd let grow to just past my ears.
"You new around here?" the man asked me. An odd thing to start with, in my opinion.
"Just passing through." I lifted my chin up proudly, showing them I wasn't intimidated.
"Us too." He nodded. The red head hung back a little. The air was tense. He didn't know what his next move would be. "Where are you from?"
"Seattle." I answered, meeting his gaze. He chewed his lip a little. I could read him like a book, he wanted to stop me and the only way to do that was to kill me. We both knew it, but I could tell he wouldn't-couldn't- kill me as another human. I could work with that. "I'm Lucius." Step one: personalize.
"I'm Alice, this is Ben." The woman spoke up, I remembered a little about her from the night before. Ben pinched his nose, 'as if this isn't hard enough' was written all over his face.
"We know you're responsible for killing those people, and those livestock mutilations too." Ben said. Standing straight he loomed over me, but if I'd been standing too, I would have been taller. Alice shot him a look as if to say she disagreed.
"I didn't kill anyone." That was a lie, but I'd only killed one of the locals, I wasn't aware there was a "those people" and livestock wasn't my thing, I hunted wild. But some alarm bell in my head went off at that, like there was something I was forgetting. I paused for a moment before asking, "Tell me, how's the weather been?"
"..." Ben looked taken aback. "Stormy...windy. Why?"
I nodded, frowning. I was missing something, and that annoyed me. I'd have to work on that later.
"I haven't been here long, just curious." He probably thought I was a little deranged, I'm not going to confirm or deny that one. "I didn't kill anyone." I repeated firmly.
"See. I told you." Alice said quietly, she seemed unfazed by my comments on the weather.
"Alice, we are not taking his word for it!" Ben snapped.
"I didn't kill them. I can control myself better than that!" I added just a tinge of panic to my voice, so as to add a bit of innocence to my image. I certainly could control myself better than that; I wouldn't be killing humans if I didn't want to. Ben scowled at me. There was a moment of silence.
"How long have you been a werewolf?" Ben asked. It was no use denying the werewolf part, I'd literally been caught in the act, but I wasn't going to tell them everything.
"Four years." I lied again, four was long enough to have gained control, which they'd know if they had any experience, but nowhere near how long I'd actually been a werewolf. "How long have you been hunting werewolves?" I countered.
"A year." Newbie. Clearly he knew enough to get by, but there were many finer points he had yet to learn, he seemed to have more experience with younger wolves, judging by his assumption and the fact that my 'four year' alibi seemed to go right over his head. "Since my brother was turned." He added this on as though I would be impressed or moved.
"I'm sorry." I really wasn't.
"You're a monster." He said suddenly. He was trying to justify what he was about to do, de-humanize me to make it easier for himself, he really was new at this.
"You have to realize that after this long I can control myself. I only hunt animals." Mostly true.
"Then you're a killer." He said finally. I had to admire his conviction, he was stronger than I'd thought. He walked to the door, glancing back over his shoulder, first at me, then at Alice, she looked away from him. He left the room without another word, probably to get some kind of weapon. Now was my chance, Alice was my best bet for freedom, she was clearly against this.
"Where's he going?" I asked her, concern playing on my proud features.
"He just wants to stop you. He means well..." Alice avoided eye contact.
"I didn't hurt them." I assured her, sounding sympathetic.
"I know." She sighed. Her trust, though endearing, was her downfall. I could see the confident woman she'd been last night had been more of a front than anything.
"Then don't let him kill me. That's murder." I insisted. She bit her lip, furrowing her brows, an expression I thought was rather cute. She didn't want to betray Ben, (we both knew he'd see it as a betrayal), but she didn't want the guilt of murder weighing her down either. I could see her mind working away, morals or love, she just needed one more push. "I won't hurt you, I promise. Please. I need your help."
She looked up and I caught her gaze. I had her, she couldn't ignore a plea for help. She bent down, tugging at her boot and came up with a tough-looking knife- no guy would mess with her, it seemed. She knelt beside me, averting her eyes from my nudity, and began cutting at the ropes that bound me tightly to the chair.
"So if you're not doing the killing around here, then what is?" She asked, freeing one hand and moving around to work on the other.
"I'm not sure." I hadn't even been aware of anything else in the area, I'd been there maybe 2 nights. There were very few things with that M.O, demons and shifters were the only ones I could think of, and I was more inclined to think the former rather than the latter. "A shifter maybe, or a demon." I dropped her a hint.
"A demon?" Her hazel eyes went wide.
"More likely a shifter, but you never know." This is what I call a white lie, for someone's own good. She helped me, so I helped her, she didn't need to go chasing after a demon and getting herself killed. I wiggled my toes, signalling for her to finish freeing my feet. She bent back down, cutting away the rest of the rope. Whatever was taking Ben so long, I was grateful for it. I stood up slowly, my muscles were tense and I guessed I'd been sitting there for a long time. I shook myself loose, cracking my neck left then right and rolling my head, shrugging my shoulders. She watched me from the corner of her eye, still gripping her knife tightly, she didn't trust me completely. That was okay, I was done here. I pulled the door open the rest of the way, and glanced back at Alice. I cleared my mind, feeling my skin prickle all over.
"Thanks." I grinned wolfishly, and allowed the transformation to take over completely, falling forward for my front paws to hit the floor. I heard her gasp almost comically and there was a thud, I looked back over my shoulder to see her against the far wall, her mouth open and the knife held out in front of her. With a swish of my tail I headed out the door through a hall into another room, a kitchen. The windows here were wide open and sunlight spilled in, it was so bright; it had to be about midday. But when you got to be my age you could change when you wanted though you always changed on the full moon. I may have looked their age, but I was old enough to have been Ben's grandfather at the time.
Turning out of the kitchen I almost ran head first into Ben, who was entering with a shotgun in hand. His eyes went wide at the sight of me, and he raised the gun quickly, squeezing the trigger as he did. Clearly he didn't care about the kitchen, an oddly trivial thought at the wrong moment. I lunged sideways, I was by no means small and the shot grazed my right front leg. It hurt but I didn't falter, knowing I didn't have the time to spare. I was a big target and he was getting ready to shoot again. I had one chance; surging forward I ducked my large head under his arms barely in time and forced his arms and the gun up, the shot went up too, breaking through the ceiling and showered us with dust. I used the momentum of pushing up to plant my massive paws on his chest and knock him backwards.
He grunted as he hit the floor, I was undoubtedly heavy for him, and I bent down close to his neck, growling deep in my chest, the shot gun clattered away next to us. I could easily have killed him, my teeth were inches from his throat and he was paralyzed beneath me , but I didn't because at that moment Alice ran to the door of the kitchen behind us, likely spurred to movement at the sudden silence following the shots, she stopped when she saw me.
"Ben!" She cried. I huffed, I could have killed him but I didn't, although I did leave him with something to remember me by. A long but fairly shallow cut from his shoulder to his ribs, it would scar and probably need stitches, but he would live, when I could have killed him. I wouldn't want to break my promise to Alice, although technically I only promised not to hurt her, but killing Ben would have hurt her. I'm a man of my word.
I left the house quickly after that, only stopping to watch Alice run to Ben's side, she really was beautiful. The house had been fairly isolated, no one had heard the shots, and no one would have found my body for weeks. It was past the outskirts of town, but I was leaving anyway, I had competition in the area, and it's no good messing with a demon. I'll thank them for that, it would've taken me a while to put the signs together myself back then.
That was the only time I've ever been captured, and it was luck, pure dumb luck that two rookies managed to track me. I suppose they're much better at it now that they've learned a thing or two about werewolves. I do wonder how Alice is though, I may not have admitted it back then, but I did quite like her. I hope we meet again...