“What is this?” Madison cut in. “Don’t you trust me or something?”
“It’s not you,” Drake said. “It’s him,” and he nodded over at me.
“That’s okay,” I smiled. “I understand that we haven’t exactly hit it off, but I just want to catch this wolf tonight so if you need some extra reassurance that I won’t be leaving my room, how about…let me see?” I said, rubbing my chin thoughtfully, although I knew exactly what I was about to suggest. “I’ll be back in just a second.”
I raced up the stairs, went to the bathroom, snatched the cracked mirror from off the wall above the sink, and hurried back downstairs. Standing in front of Drake, I said, “Right, who do you trust more, me or Madison, because I’ve only got the one mirror.”
Drake looked at me as if I’d lost the plot and said, “Madison of course.”
“Okay then,” I said. “Follow me.”
Drake and Madison followed me outside into the front garden. Digging around in the earth I found a large stone and propped the mirror against it on the ground beneath my window. “Take a look,” I said.
“Why?” Drake said, looking confused.
“Just take a look,” I insisted.
Drake came forward and peered down into the mirror.
“What can you see?” I asked him.
“Your bedroom window,” he said.
“Okay, now follow me back into the house,” I ordered.
They followed after me as I led them to the poky living room window. I peered through the glass and smiled to myself as I looked down into the mirror that lay propped against the stone beneath the living room window.
“Now tell me, what you can see?” I asked Drake, turning to face him.
Drake peered out of the window and down into the mirror. “I can see your window,” he breathed.
“Exactly,” I said. “Now I’m going to sit in that window all night long if that’s what it takes. I’m not gonna move an inch, too much is at stake. So at any time, all you have to do is look into that mirror and you’ll see me sitting up there. Come dark it might not be great, but we know there is going to be a full moon tonight, so you’ll at least be able to see my silhouette. Good enough for you?” I asked him.
“I guess,” he said, and I was sure I saw a sense of relief spread across his face.
“What about you, Madison?” I asked her.
“It’s not me with the trust issues around here,” she said looking at the both of us as if we were a couple of naughty school boys. “But I guess Drake will know exactly where you are.”
Rubbing my hands together, I said, “Well if everyone is happy, I’m going to lie down, we have a long, and I imagine, dangerous night ahead of us.”
I turned my back on them, and headed for the stairs. As I climbed them, I couldn’t stop a smile from crawling across my face. So far, so good.
I went to my room, but didn’t put the second part of my plan into place straight away. I figured that Madison might come to my room one last time, and I was right. So, lying on the camp bed, I laced my hands behind my head and crossed my feet at the ankles. I hadn’t been in my room for more than five minutes when the door creaked open and Madison came in.
She closed the door behind her and came and sat next to me on the bed. Her hair shone in the dying sunlight that spilled into my room and I fought the urge to reach out and touch it. Madison sat with her face cast down, a forlorn expression on her face.
“Are you okay?” I eventually asked her.
“I guess,” she said softly.
“Tell me what’s wrong,” and I genuinely wanted to know.
“What will happen after tonight?” she asked me.
I knew what she was talking about. “We move on and let go – isn’t that what you told me to do?” I said.
“When I said that, I wasn’t talking about us. I was talking about whoever it was that was haunting you.”
“I’ve let go of her too,” I told her.
“Really?” she said, looking up at me.
“You helped me do that.”
“By showing me that it is possible to have feelings for someone else,” I said.
“So you do have feelings for me then?” she whispered hopefully.
“Does it matter?” I asked her.
“It matters to me.”
Leaning nearer, I put my arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. “Madison, we can’t go on from here – not together. People like you and me aren’t meant to be.”
“What do you mean, ‘people like you and me’?”
“Vampyrus and Lycanthrope don’t make a good mix,” I told her.
“We did yesterday in the woods,” she reminded me, but I didn’t want to be reminded of that.
Looking away, I said, “Madison, that can never happen again – it was…”
Then taking my face in her hands, she turned my head so she could look into my eyes. I stared into them, and they almost seemed to burn yellow. “You are unlike any man that I’ve ever met before,” she whispered. “Your passion, your anger, your love…I’ve never met a man with such a dark side before. My desire for you has no end.”
“We can’t…” I said.
“We could run away,” she whispered. “Go where no one knows us – we could make a life together. Please, Potter, take me away from here. You could save me.”
I blinked and it was as if a spell had been broken. Gently easing her away, I asked, “Save you from what?”
“From myself,” she said.
“The only people I want to save, Madison, are my friends, Murphy and Luke,” I told her.
She kissed me gently on the mouth and stood up. “Then I truly am lost,” she said, and left my room.
I got up to go after her, but stopped myself. There was very little time left before nightfall and I had to have everything ready – if I didn’t catch the wolf tonight we would all need saving.
Making sure that the door to my room was shut fast, I turned to the wardrobe. I took the frayed-looking jacket, worn trousers, and scuffed shoes and placed them on the floor. Then with my claws, I cut the sleeping bag into strips and removed the pull-cord. Taking the strips, I stuffed them into the arms of the jacket and down the legs of the trousers. I padded out the arms and legs of the clothing until they were stuffed full. Then, with one long claw, I hacked away at the thin mattress until it lay in half on the floor. I wrapped the cord around the top third of one end of the mattress, until the end of it was bunched together and looked roughly the size and shape of a head. I tied what was left of the cord around the ends of the jacket sleeves and the bottoms of the trousers so that none of the stuffing fell out. Placing the jacket around the end of the mattress, I made it look as if a head was sticking out of the end. The other half of the mattress, I stuffed into the trousers. I stared down at the floor and it looked as if I had two halves of a body stretched out.
Lifting the bottom half of the body, I placed it against the wall beneath the window. Then, taking the other half, I balanced it on top. Stepping back from the window, I screwed up my eyes and peered at the dummy I had made. I smiled at my handiwork. I knew with the moonlight reflected back in the mirror, it would look even more realistic – it would look as if I were standing at the window.
Then from below, I heard footsteps on the stairs. They were too heavy to be Madison’s. It was Drake coming to lock me in for the night.
I grabbed hold of the two halves of the figure, and kicking the wardrobe door open with my boot, I placed the dummy inside. With the sound of footsteps just outside my bedroom door, I swung the wardrobe door closed and jumped onto the camp bed, spreading my coat over me so he couldn’t see that there was no longer a mattress or sleeping bag. Lacing my hands behind my head, I looked up as Drake pushed the door open.
“It’s time,” he said, looking in at me.
“Okay,” I said as casually as I could. “You know what to do?”
“I’m not stupid,” he said.
“Of course you’re not,” I smiled. “I’ll be at the window.”
“And I’ll be checking the mirror,” he said back.
“I’ll be here,” I assured him with a smile then added, “Good luck, Drake.”
Drake made a huffing sound, swinging the bedroom door shut. I listened to the sound of him locking it from outside. I waited for him to go to Madison’s room. I heard the deep rumble of his voice as he spoke to her. Then the door creaked shut and I heard the sound of the key rattling in the lock. I listened to the sound of his feet pass by my door and as soon as I heard the top stair creak, I was up. I knew that I had only seconds to get the dummy in place and for me to escape my room before he got downstairs and checked for my reflection in the mirror. And he would check – he wouldn’t be able to resist.
Jumping to my feet, I yanked open the wardrobe door and carried the dummy to the window. With my heart racing in my chest, I pushed open the window. Then looking down, I saw something on the floor. Whatever it was must have fallen from the dummy’s jacket. I snatched it up and stuck it into my trouser pocket. Climbing onto the window ledge, I leant back into the room and dragged the dummy into place. It wobbled backwards, and I grabbed hold of it. Once I had it in place, I threw my coat back into the room, pulled the window closed, and before my wings had even opened, I was leaping backwards through the air.
I rocketed upwards and away from the house as fast as I could. Once I was out of sight, I swooped through the night sky and skimmed over the treetops of the woods. Finding a branch that was well-hidden but gave me a good view of the front of the house, I perched on it. Peering through the leaves, I saw Drake come to the living room front window and peer out at the mirror that sat propped amongst the weeds in the front garden, just like I knew he would. But would he be fooled? I glanced up at the window and just as I hoped, in the light from the moon, the silhouette looked just like somebody standing at my bedroom window.