Part 3 of 4. Heather begins to change as night approaches.
“Heather,” Teri whispered. “Are you awake?”
Bright morning light peeked around the edge of the thick, red curtains of their east-facing window. Heather groaned as her eyes fluttered open. Her body felt heavily and useless, as if she were buried under the thick, old quilt. Her freckles stood out in harsh contrast against her pale skin.
“It’s almost noon, Heather,” Teri continued to whisper. “I’ve already had breakfast and explored the town a bit. Do you still not want to get up?”
Still? Heather thought wearily. Speaking seemed to take too much effort. But I’m just now waking up.
“I think we should just stay here today. And maybe I should have the doctor come over and take a look. Just to make sure you’re okay. You look a little off.”
“No,” Heather said softly. The young woman willed strength into her body and she slowly sat up. It took an enormous effort to move and she found herself breathing heavily while she lay against the wall with her eyes closed. “Just. Just give me. A second.”
“I dunno, Heather. You look like death warmed over. Look, I’ll just talk to Elena and she’ll call the doctor. He’ll just-”
“No,” Heather said firmly. Her eyes opened and Teri slumped in front of her.
“Okay. Heather,” Teri replied. Her voice and expression were far away.
“I said we’ll go to the castle and I meant it. I’m fine,” the young woman growled. Her head throbbed as she forced herself awake.
“Yes. We’ll go,” Teri answered. “You’re fine.”
“Just go ahead and get your stuff ready and I’ll finish wake up.”
Without a word, Teri went to her bed and began packing. Her movements and mannerisms were mechanical. Heather closed her eyes briefly and then forced her legs out from under the blanket to stand. Everything seemed too bright and the air itself felt heavy against her body. She turned from the window to pack her things, barely holding back yawns while she did. When was the last time I slept so late? And still felt so tired? the young woman wondered. She felt slow and dumb and wanted to crawl back into bed. The only thing keeping her going was the thought of how sad Teri would be if she missed going to the castle.
Heather turned and found Teri sitting quietly on her bed. Her bag was packed and the young woman stared at a small spot a few inches from Heather’s head. Slowly, the small woman blinked and her personality seemed to flood back into her. Teri shook her head and then stretched.
“Oh!” Teri said. “You’re almost packed. Wow, I’m out of it; I didn’t even notice you getting up.”
Heather stared curiously at her friend. “Yeah. I’m tired but hungry and I’d like to get going. I know how excited you are.”
Teri smiled. “Lunch is some fancy sandwiches. And potatoes with gravy. And steamed carrots, I think?”
“That sounds really good,” Heather said. Her stomach grumbled in agreement. “We’ll come back up for our bags afterwards. I’m starving.”
When Heather stepped onto the landing at the bottom of the stairs, every single person turned to stare at her briefly. Heather shivered. They’d all turned as if they were one person and their eyes seemed dead. One by one, they blinked and turned back to their conversations. Heather picked a spot far away from everyone else, unnerved by their stares.
“I’ll get some food for us,” Teri told her friend. “Just wait here.”
Heather nodded. She caught herself glancing around the room. As more people came downstairs, she noticed they chose seats far away from her. It seemed subconscious and possibly meant nothing at all but families sat directly next to other families and single women chose to willingly sit next to other men. A bubble of empty seats fanned out in front of her. Heather chastised herself for her paranoia as Teri walked back from the kitchen with two large plates of food.
“Oh, thank god,” Heather said. The young woman ate quickly, tearing into her sandwich before touching her vegetables. Some of her strength returned but, despite the late wake-up and food, she still felt tired.
“I wish I could’ve afforded to come in the summer,” Teri said. “You’re positively glowing with paleness. I think your red hair is slowly leeching all the color out of your body is what’s happening. When you’re all old…. well, older, you’re going to have translucent skin and really, really red hair.”
“Meh,” Heather said, waving her fork. “It’s a curse. Red hair, pale skin. Something something milkshake, something something yard. Also, thank you for not wearing your Team Edward shirt.”
Teri blushed. “I left it at home. I almost brought it but I thought I’d look stupid wearing it.”
“Well, not stupid,” Heather said. “Overly enthusiastic fangirl with a hard-on for vampires, maybe. Still, I totally thought I’d have to find it and hide it from you. So, thank you.”
“Yeah,” Teri grinned. “You owe me.”
“I’ll go pay if you’ll get our stuff. Deal?”
“Deal,” Teri said brightly.
Heather stood from the table. Every single conversation ended as she stood. The young woman looked at the other end of the room but everyone seemed focus on their food. She rolled her shoulders and made her way to Elena.
“Hello again,” Heather said. “I’m here to- are you all right?”
Elena’s smiled faded as Heather approached and something like fear hid behind her eyes. “What? Oh, yes. Yes, I’m fine. Just a bit under the weather at the moment. I’ll take your card.”
The older woman’s hand trembled as she held it out. Heather gave her the Visa card and watched as the older woman fumbled trying to run it. It took four times until Elena was able to slide the card through the reader next to her outdated computer. She laughed nervously at herself and handed the card back.
“Are you both well this morning?” the older woman asked. Her eyes darted around the room. “You slept in late this morning, I noticed.”
“Yes,” Heather said slowly. “Just tired. Still tired. Are you sure everything is okay?” She could hear and feel her heart thrumming through her forehead. Slowly and surely it beat. The sound was almost distracting.
“Hmm?” The old woman had taken two steps back while they talked. “I’m fine, dear. I hope you both enjoyed your stay. Please don’t forget to leave a good review for us when you make it back to the States.”
“Sure,” Heather said. She heard a thump behind her and turned to see Teri struggling with their suitcases.
“I’ll call Mikhail for you. Your friend spoke to him earlier and he’s agreed to give you both a ride. He’s a very nice man and you’ll be safe with him.”
“Thank you again,” Heather said. “For everything. Take care, Elena.”
The older woman smiled absently and quickly stepped away. She held her right hand tightly in her left but both shook noticeably. Heather frowned before turning to help Teri. Beneath her coat and between her shoulder blades, fine red hairs sprouted in a faint line up to her neck and grew even more faintly across her shoulders. Her ears twitched and swiveled minutely.
“… who … that…” someone whispered directly in her ear. Heather turned quickly, sure that someone was standing at her side. Her heart leaped in her chest. The thrumming increased and, mixed in with the sound were fragments of whispered words, too low to make out.
“Ready?” Teri asked loudly.
“Y- yeah,” Heather answered. “Let’s go.”
Heather bit back a curse as she stepped outside. The air was cool but the sun was bright and it knifed through her head. “Jesus, that’s bright. Fuck.”
The air grew heavy around Heather, pulling her down. The young woman sagged against the front of the inn while she covered her eyes. The dull thudding of her heartbeat was lessened, replaced by icepicks stabbing through her forehead.
“Hey,” Teri said, her voice full of concern. “You sure you’re okay? Isn’t light sensitivity a sign of a concussion?”
“I’m fine,” Heather hissed. “Just inside too long or something. I’ll be fine once my eyes adjust.” Beads of sweat broke out along her hairline as a wave of faint nausea rolled through her body.
“Well, our ride’s here. If you’re not feeling better before the castle, we’re going to stop and find a doctor.” Teri opened the door for Heather and the young woman quickly stepped into the car. The side windows were tinted and Heather’s relief was immediate. Teri loaded their bags into the trunk of the car while her friend huddled against the car’s door, eyes closed against the light coming through the windshield.
Heather slept fitfully in the back of the car. She found it difficult to rest as she alternated between being feverish and too cold. The line of red hairs continued growing down her back, small red hairs lifting along her spine until they reached the small of her back. Her tailbone reshaped deep within her body and a single new bone formed, pushing against the skin about her ass. The skin moved slightly, back and forth before settling. The young woman’s hips swelled almost imperceptibly against her jeans, adapting to the changes happening within her body.
Teri gently touched Heather’s shoulder. Heather groaned and opened her eyes. Teri sucked in her breath and drew back.
Heather’s normally pale blue eyes were fully black.
“Teri?” Heather asked sleepily. She blinked twice rapidly and the blackness faded, drawn to the center of her eyes. “Are we there?”
“Y- yeah,” Teri answered, shaken from what she’d seen. Impossible, she told herself. Your eyes are just playing tricks on you is all. “How are you feeling?”
Heather stretched with a high pitched squeak. “Better, actually. Still tired and a little out of it but better than this morning.”
“All right. Mikhail is going to wait here for us so we can leave our bags. He’s our ride over to our room after this. I got us booked at, oh my gosh, ready? Transilvanian Inn! How awesome is that?”
“Hah,” Heather said weakly. “Of course you did.” The young woman hissed as she stepped out of the car. The sun hung full and heavy and impossibly hard to look at. Just before she’d turned away, Heather was almost certain that it’d been a dark reddish; an open wound in the sky. She quickly stepped into a shadow provided by the imposing castle. Teri chattered around her, squealing in delight at various parts of the landscape and the castle itself.
A crowd gathered as the next tour time grew close. Heather found herself again glancing around. She felt sure that everyone was watching her. Staring at her. Slowly, she found herself drawing away from the crowd. The slow thud of her heartbeat had begun again and she hadn’t noticed it’d stopped back at the inn. Heather swallowed. Did I drink anything at the inn? I can’t remember. Why am I so thirsty?
“Heather!” Teri called out. “There you are. I got us tickets and they’re starting. Let’s go.”
Heather nodded, following her friend at the back of the crowd of tourists. Heather swallowed again as a dull ache formed behind her eyes. The thrum of the heartbeat increased in response.
“Do we have any water?” Heather asked. Her voice seemed to catch in her throat. She felt as if she’d gone weeks without drinking anything.
“No. But, we’re stopping near the gift shop first.”
“Can you-” Heather stopped. As she crossed the threshold into the castle, the air changed around her. She felt like she’d walked into the middle of a summer thunderstorm. The small hairs of her arms and the line of red fur along her back and shoulders lifted in response. She expected to feel sparks of lightning but nothing happened and nobody else seemed to notice. Gravity seemed to warp around her, pulling her towards the middle of the castle. And down. Briefly, unnoticed by anyone else, blackness flooded Heather’s eyes before vanishing again.
“Heather?” Teri said quietly. “Is everything okay? Heather?”
“Yeah,” Heather answered. She stared around her and her voice was faint. “Yeah. Everything’s fine. Can you grab me a bottle of water?”
Teri vanished into the small gift shop at the entrance. The tour guide spoke to the crowd of people but Heather paid little attention. The thrum of the heartbeat was impossible to ignore. It came from everywhere. She’d realized it wasn’t her own heartbeat. Hers beat in time but paled in comparison to the heavy beat surrounding her. The young woman licked her lips and swallowed again.
Slowly, the rounded tops of her ears pushed into points, sliding through her hair. The edges of her ears curved forward and then stopped. General sounds – the sounds of footsteps and coughing and quiet voices grew louder. As she turned to face the tour guide, the woman’s voice was as clear as if she was standing directly in front of Heather. The young woman turned to a child at the front of the crowd. The little boy was shuffling his feet and pulling at his father’s shirt. As with the tour guide, the child’s whisper became clear and loud.
“Here’s your water,” Teri said.
Heather jumped, startled at her friend’s sudden appearance. She realized now that she’d heard Teri’s footsteps but they’d been lost in all the other new sounds begging for attention.
“Thank you,” Heather whispered. “I’m- I’m going to stay in the back. Why don’t you go to the front so you can listen?”
“Are you sure?” Teri asked. The young woman desperately wanted to be closer but obviously didn’t want to make Heather feel bad.
“Yeah, go, go.”
The tour began but Heather still paid no attention. Between the invisible, intangible live wires strung through the air, the cacophony of sounds and the overwhelming thrumming noise of a gigantic heart, she lost herself in the moment. The young woman floated from exhibit to exhibit. The bump at the small of her back pushed further until a vestigial tail lay nestled against her now rounded ass cheeks. The fur along her spine thickened slowly.
Heather drank from the water bottle but found her thirst only partially slaked. However, as the tour went on and the sun sank lower, she found herself growing in strength. Where she’d been weak and tired before, she now grew restless and energetic. Red fur grew up from the collar of her jacket, hidden behind her hair. Heather sniffed at the air. A faint, cloying smell had begun to permeate the area. She found her mouth watering in response to it but couldn’t figure out what it was.
The sun touched the horizon as the group made its way up the stairs to the third floor. Heather felt a sudden pressure against her body. Something touched and pushed at her. Pulled and tugged at her. She turned to her right but whatever it was stayed in place, far in the distance and yet somehow connected directly to her. It filled her and she felt a small bit warmth from it. A strength of mind and body as if she was drawing on it. Four smaller, but similar touches brushed against her body.
When Heather turned back to the group, she froze. Everyone was turned to face her. Teri was at the front of her group and her normally cheerful smile was gone, replaced by a slack nothingness. Heather stepped to her left and the group followed her. Goosebumps broke out along her arms and back. Beneath her coat, her nipples tightened as the outside force and the electricity in the castle clashed inside of her.
The eyes followed her. Watching her. Their gaze bothered her. They crept under her skin until she felt like they were hunting her. She lashed out and her eyes blackened to midnight.
“Stop looking at me!” Heather howled. Her small, nearly blunt canine teeth cracked and reshaped, growing to tiny points. The entire crowd of people turned around as one. Heat and rage boiled along Heather’s veins. Her lips pulled back as she snarled at the people in front of her. Invisible lightning coursed along her body. Light, red fur crept around the back of her neck and up to her jawline. She was so thirsty. Heather’s eyes focused on Teri and, slowly, she pushed the anger away. The castle. The castle is doing this to me. I can feel it in the air.
“Teri, we’re leaving,” Heather said. She turned and walked, sure that her friend was following without even needing to hear her footsteps. Stairways and hallways and passages faded behind Heather as she gnashed her teeth. She reached the entrance and crossed without hesitation.
The electricity and feeling and pull of the castle barely faded. Heather roared and spun, facing the sprawling building. Teri stood at the entrance, her eyes and expression still blank. The young woman could also still feel that external force pushing and pulling at her like the ebb and flow of water on a lake’s shore. As it had in the castle, other light touches of power brushed against her skin.
“Let’s go,” Heather rasped. The young woman grabbed the car door’s handle and it crumpled beneath her fingers. The door whined alarmingly as she pulled it open. Heather lay back against the seat, breathing slowly to calm herself. Mikhail sat still in the driver’s seat, as frozen as Teri was now that she sat beside her friend.
“Go,” Heather told the driver. “The… Transilvanian Inn. Where Teri told you to go.” The driver started the car, shifted and left without a word.
Heather breathed deeply. She hated the anger she felt. When she was younger, she’d often found herself in fights with boys and other girls. She’d been a tomboy and the other kid’s had made fun of her constantly. Over time, she’d found herself snapping too easily, getting angry over unreasonable things. Eventually, it became bad enough that she nearly took her own life. It was a wake-up call for her to turn her life around. It’d taken time but, slowly, she’d worked on her responses. She’d hated losing control and she’d been proud of herself when she’d first noticed a difference. Teri had been invaluable in helping her. She was always cheerful, ridiculously optimistic and had a bad joke ready at any moment.
Now here she was again. Snapping. Letting the emotions get to her. Feeling the loss of her control. The young woman breathed and calmed herself incrementally. She noticed that as they drove further from the castle, the rage faded. Yet, she could still feel it at the back of her mind. The other things called out to her, pulled at her, filled her with unreasonable confidence. But, no anger.
“Wha-” Teri said next to her. “Wait, wow. Umm, am I really out of it or what? I don’t’ remember getting in the car.”
“Yeah,” Heather said. She turned her head to the window and grimaced. She hated lying to her friend. “You looked a bit rough. Too many people and too much excitement, I think. We left a little bit ago. I think maybe I’m not the only one worn out by the trip.”
Teri yawned wide, hiding her mouth behind her hand. “And tired. Sheesh.”
The sun curved above the horizon. Deep red and black lines raced across the sky as the sun set. Mikhail drove quietly, whether by compulsion or out of indifference to his passengers Heather was unable to tell.
It was dark by the time they arrived at the inn. Teri yawned and tried to work up enthusiasm over the new building but finally ended up simply following Heather up to their rooms.
“Jet lag, I think,” Teri said. “Finally caught up to me. And all the excitement, right? I’m just- I’m just going to go to sleep. Wake up early and make up for the early bedtime.”
“Me, too,” Heather lied. She felt incredibly awake and distracted by the world around her. “Goodnight, Teri.”
“Goodnight, Heather. Thanks for going with me today. I owe you one.”
Heather nodded quietly. Her long, curved ears eventually caught her friend’s light, even snores. Heather closed her eyes. She could point directly to the castle if she wanted. She could also point to the strange, large force that pulled at her. And all (nine, she counted automatically) smaller touches far in the distance. Black coloring flooded her eyes until no other color was left. She swallowed and her throat caught.
THRUM THRUM THRUM THRUM
Heather opened the window and unlatched the shutters. The dark, outside world was full of colors and smells and sounds. Crickets chirped, frogs croaked and birds sang their goodnights.
The bright, hot smell of blood called to her.
Heat flooded her body and she moaned, licking her dark lips. Her small canines grew, pushing at the surrounding teeth until they jutted from beneath her lips. Fur raced from her jawline up to cover the side of her head and then down her throat and between her breasts. Heather ripped at her nightshirt, leaving her small chest bare in the cool night air. Red fur raced down her hard stomach, disappearing beneath the waistband of her pants.
Leaning from the window at the third floor of the hotel, Heather jumped, spreading her arms wide. Thick, leathery skin grew from her armpits, racing along the bottom of her arms and the side of her body. The young woman’s biceps bulged as her black wings grew out to her wrists. Her fingers cracked, growing wider and longer as thick, black claws burst from her fingertips. Bone-like structures lined her new wings. Wind rippled along the thick skin. She could feel it against her wings. Her wings.
Heather flexed her arms and the wings billowed like sails. The young woman soared along the ground until she angled beat her powerful arms.
She was airborne, screaming through the sky.
Thick red fur crept around to cover her expanding chest. Her previously small, pert breasts grew heavy and full until they hung beneath her, covered with fur. Her small tail lengthened, pushing at her cotton sleeping pants until it was free. As with her wings, thick, black leathery skin grew from the base of her tail, down to her thighs. She spread her legs and turned, pulling her wings into an S-shape. Heather spiraled in the air, screaming in pleasure.
Claw marks appeared at the tips of her wool socks. Slowly, the holes grew wider until the black claws completely pushed through. The socks strained as her feet widened, muscles thickening to push at the bones. Thick padding grew from the bottom of her feet and the socks finally tore, leaving her new flexible paws exposed to the night. The air rustled past the mane of fur along her back.
Heather’s lips pulled back into a snarl. Her jaw popped and cracked, pushing away from her face as a short muzzle formed. Her nose pulled flat and wide against the tip of her snout and she screeched out a shrill cry of pain. Her ears grew longer, tufts of fur sprouting along the tips as they curved and expanded. Deep within her throat, her vocal chords split and reformed, new muscles attaching. Her screech went beyond human hearing. Animals in the forest nearby scattered out of pure, raw fear. She tracked them as they moved, pure black eyes and large, curved ears spotting every movement.
With powerful beats of rippling muscle along her back, shoulders and arms, she pulled higher into the sky. The village shrank beneath her and she hovered briefly, upright. Her furred breasts weighed heavily against her. She kicked her clawed feet once, twice until she was free of the pants she’d worn as a human. A long, wide grin formed on her muzzle. She dove, utterly silent. Mist formed tiny drops of water on her fur before flicking away against her speed. She felt her excitement in her bare, furred sex and in arcs of lighting from her chest. Her tail and wings shifted, bringing her again parallel to the ground. With a deft, natural flick of her arms, she twisted her body and landed, sliding against the rough stones on her paws. Sparks flew where her claws scraped the ground.
Voices called out in the night as a young man stumbled against a well-lit building. The man called back to his friends and then walked in a crooked line down the street. Heather’s ears twitched but caught no other people nearby. Her arms were at her sides, heavy wings folded against her body and legs. She followed the man silently, powerfully muscled legs completely silent as she moved on padded paws.
The man left the center of town, heading towards the farms that surrounded the area. Heather crouched, body against the ground, heavy breasts with nipples brushing against the dirt road. Suddenly, she kicked off. Huge plumes of dirt and rocks lifted into the air as her black wings beat the air. She flew low and silent until she crashed into the oblivious young man. He cried out as they tumbled against the wet grass and ground.
Heather’s fangs found their marks and the man fell silent. Euphoria flooded his system as Heather drank from him. The young man’s blood fairly steamed in the cold night air. Heather’s spit kept the wound from closing and she drank at her leisure. The man twisted under her, listing his hips while his fingers roamed ceaselessly against the thick red fur covering her powerful body. He gasped and moaned as a lover would. Even as his heartbeat grew faint, he never once cried out in pain. The man died in her arms, eyes open and mouth slack with pleasure.
She’d thought she’d felt power earlier at the castle but, now, drinking the man’s lifeblood, she realized how wrong she’d been. It was impossible to quantify. She felt as if she could do anything she wanted. That nothing could stop her. The world was small and pitiful and, she alone sat at the top.
Along with the rush of power, she realized what the forces were earlier. A massive colony of bats was the large force pulling at her outside of the castle. She saw them through their own eyes. Flashes of shapes as their cries echoed in the air. Beyond that, several smaller colonies of bats and packs of rats tugged at her. Heather exerted the smallest part of her will and the colonies surged forth in a frenzy, feeding off of her blood thirst. Hunt, she told them.
Heather lifted her bloody muzzle, deep black eyes surveying the nearby forest. She grabbed the corpse, easily lifting him one-handed. A few minutes later, animals crashed through the forest, wild with fear.
Soft gray light cast a haze across the edge of the world. Heather stumbled between buildings, her strength draining from her. Her ears, shorter now but still pointed, twitched as she caught people preparing for the day. Long, sharp fangs protruded from beneath pale lips. She couldn’t stop running her tongue along them. So out of place in her mouth. Her small tail, shrunken back to little more than a nub twitched fitfully beneath a long, thick line of red fur running from the small of her back to her shoulders. She was larger now and she spared a pained smile at Teri’s comment from the previous day. I filled out after all, I guess.
Too tired emotionally and physically to even cry, Heather stood naked beneath the window to her room. Curtains fluttered through the open window. The young woman sighed and kneeled. Looking up at her window, she grit her teeth and leaped. Muscles like steel cable flexed, pushing her easily through the air even in her weakened state. She landed impossibly light against the window frame. Crouching, stealing a quick glance at Teri’s sleeping form, Heather stepped into the room. She closed the window, tossed her torn shirt under her bed and made her way into the small bathroom.
Steam filled the bathroom. Heather lay in the bathtub while the showerhead cast a stream of hot water over her. The faint smell of blood and wet fur surrounded her and she couldn’t help the sudden intense craving that coursed through her.
The young woman explored herself slowly. Her breasts were larger but not quite as big as Teri’s. They lay heavy and flat against her wider frame. She was as lean as she’d been before but, beneath her skin her muscles felt like rocks. Her finger traced down her stomach to her mound and the soft pink flesh between her thighs. She touched herself carefully and sighed. The memory of taking the man played through her mind, brought forth by the simple pleasure of a touch between her legs. Pleasure from killing that man, she thought sourly. Her stomach twisted at the thought just as her mind lit with cravings for more.
Her thighs seemed normal until she flexed them. Corded muscles stood out and her calves flared. A loud, nearly metallic scratching caught her attention. Looking down further she noticed thick black claws still tipped each of her toes. As the morning wore on, she found her body growing heavy. She knew it wasn’t from exhaustion. The sun was rising and it stole her strength as it stole the darkness.
Heather could remember every single moment of the night before. She’d felt a total loss of control, as if she’d been riding along in someone else’s body. But, it was still her and she remembered every sight and sound and smell. She was terrified. Not because of what she’d done but because she’d enjoyed it.
She’d felt like a god.
Not enjoyed, a small voice told her. Enjoy. You enjoy it. You still want it. Heather bowed her head.
“Yes,” she whispered. Despite checking for bites, she must’ve been infected in the cave. She’d knew that now. Something called forth by the moon or something else. And, still now, she could feel the colonies of bats teeming in the darkness. Calling for her guidance. Rats covered the entire city and only her will kept them from coming to her to pay homage.
She touched her chest and felt the reassuring strong beat of her heart. She’d worried briefly whether she’d died, as vampires were supposed to do but her heart still beat. Not all the myths are true, perhaps, Heather thought.
The water had turned cold but Heather barely noticed; she’d only realized when the steam had stopped. Her body protected her as it had during the night. Keeping her warm and healthy and strong. With a sigh, the young woman pushed herself up. Her legs shook to hold her weight and so she sat while she toweled herself off. She caught her reflection in the mirror. Her fangs still protruded from her mouth, sharp and perfectly white. The young woman tried to push her lower jaw out to hide the fangs but they threatened to cut into her flesh and grinded against her lower teeth. She sighed and relented and instead found herself fascinated with how she looked.
She looked alive. Predatory. She exuded an easy sensuality that hadn’t been there before. A self-confidence born of the gifts given to her. And, another myth gone. I have a reflection.
Heather collapsed against the wall and the room spun around her. “Fu- fuck,” she gasped. Reaching a shaky hand up, she opened the bathroom door. When she realized she could no longer stand, the young woman crawled to her bed. Pulling herself up and into the small but comfortable bed, she breathed a sigh of relief. Sleep took her just as she’d covered herself.