Moon River - Book cover

Moon River

September Moon

Chapter 2


Dinner was more than eventful. I forgot how large Tylor’s family was.

His twin sisters, Caroline and Christine, were a handful. Then add his younger brother Nathan to the mix, and it was a wonder Mary and Nick were able to handle everything.

I was glad that everyone was there because I could barely get a word in edgewise with all the commotion at the table. The kids were loud, but it was nice how easy they were making this dinner for me.

“What are you going to be doing while you’re here, Maeve? Are you going to get a job for the summer?” Mary asked.

“Yeah. I thought I’d start looking tomorrow. I’m just looking for something pretty easy.”

“I’m sure Tylor could help you find something,” Nick said.

Tylor clearly rarely spoke, because there was a momentary pause in the conversation and a few looks were thrown in Tylor’s direction.

“Well, working so closely in the castle, I’m sure you’d be able to find something for her. I know they’re always looking for servers for the big events.”

“Dad! I’m sure she’d rather go to the party, right, Maeve?” Caroline offered.

“You know what, I think you’re right,” I said to Nick. “I’ll look into whether or not they’d be willing to hire me.”

“They would for sure hire you,” Nick replied, “especially with a good word from Tylor.”

“Are you sure you’d rather work instead of going to the ball?” Tylor asked.

“It’s not like I have anything to wear, and I don’t think I’d really enjoy something like this.” I heard a snicker from Nathan and gasps from Caroline and Christine.

“Are you serious?” Caroline and Christine said in unison. Then Caroline took over. “If it’s just about a dress, I’m sure we could lend you a dress.”

“I’ll put in a word for you,” Tylor said before I could respond. I’m sure the wash of relief that sweptover me was visible because Taylor offered me a sweet smile in response.

The girls tried to say something, but I could’ve sworn I heard Tylor growl. Their reply was cut off before either could utter a single sound.

It didn’t take long for the girls to get back to gossiping about everything happening at their school and who they thought was going to the ball this weekend.

They talked about shifts and many other things that I didn’t quite understand ... but then again, I was never popular or understood what was cool.

I thanked Mary for a beautiful dinner and said goodbye to everyone. I started to close the door but found it caught behind me.

I looked over my shoulder and saw piercing blue eyes looking back at me. My breath caught in my throat, and I looked away.

“I’ll walk you back,” Tylor said.

“You realize I just live across the street, right?” I retorted.

“Well, there was a recent Rogue alert,” he replied, “so I just don’t know how safe it is out here.”

I looked up at him and huffed under my breath. I had been trying desperately not to notice how handsome he was. There was just something about him that made you want to hold his hand.

I grabbed my own in response. Everything about Tylor was comforting, and he just made me feel safe. Tylor walked me to my porch, plopped down on the steps, and motioned to me.

“Look, I meant what I said in there. If you want a job, I can help you get something this weekend, but I think you should consider going to the Ball,” he said flatly.

“I’ve never been one for dances and I don’t know anyone there… plus, dressing like a pirate doesn’t sound appealing to me—I’ve just never been a theme dance party person,” I said as I waved my hands in the air.

“What do you mean, pirates?”

“That theme? Right? Pirates? Like yo-ho matey… ARRRRG!” I swung my arm, and he caught my elbow.

“Wait, what!?” He stood up suddenly and brought me up with him. “What do you mean? Have you never been to a Mate Ball?”

“No. I just said I’m not really into themes.”

“May. This isn’t funny,” he snarled. “Do you understand what mates are?”

“Good friends?” I suggested.

“May,” he breathed heavily, “have you ever shifted?”

“I mean … I have moved from place to place, but I’m still the same person. I don’t think I’ve shifted personalities. I’m just good ol’ Maeve.”

“WHAT?” He looked utterly flabbergasted. “Have you ever noticed anything odd about yourself?”

“Ummm… what do you mean?” I looked at him quizzically because he was still holding my arm and, for some odd reason, just wouldn’t let go. “I think you need to be a little more specific.”

“Have you ever gotten sick? Have you ever cut yourself and realized that you heal really quickly? Have you ever broken out in fur?” His voice was shaking with anger.

“I-I d-don’t know w-what you’re talking about,” I said, trying to wrench my arm away. I dared myself to look up at him, and his eyes looked consumed by darkness.

“Please, Tylor… if I said something to upset you, I’m sorry. I don’t understand.” Jeez, I thought to myself, ~parties are apparently really important here~.

“No, I’m sorry,” he said as he let go of my arm. He was still oddly close to me, and I could’ve sworn he smelled me. I looked up at him again, and he blinked at me. His eyes somehow were back to blue.

I rubbed my eyes and looked around.

“Look, it’s getting dark,” I said, “and I had a long trip. So I think it’s time for me to go to sleep.”

“Hey, May,” he said as he grabbed my arm again. I looked back at him, and he stepped close to me again, “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

I felt dizzy for some odd reason every time he got close to me.

He smelled like chocolate and… I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I’ve never been a fan of chocolate, but there was another smell underneath that I couldn’t quite place.

“Has anyone ever told you that you smell like ch—"

“Chocolate and oak?” he whispered. He got really close again, “How? How have you…”

He trailed off. I pulled my arm back, walked in, and closed the door behind me. Something within me made me lock the deadbolt.

I could’ve sworn he heard me while he was walking away. He didn’t look back, but he had paused. It was almost like he could feel me watching him go.

The next few days seemed to flash before my eyes. I was able to clean everything but still needed to get necessities. I was living out of pizza boxes.

After this Ball thing, I can go get groceries and start living like a somewhat normal person.

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