The wolf gave one more whimper before he jumped up and took off running.
Mr. Dawson squatted in front of me. “Don’t be scared. I won’t hurt you.”
“Bullshit. Tell that to Dr. Needle-Happy over there.”
The doctor took a single step closer, and held out her blessedly empty hands. “I did what I had to do to keep you safe and ease your pain. I know it’s hard for you to understand, but you’ve been very sick for the past week. A hurt and confused wolf is a dangerous thing.”
Did she just say what I think she said? “I’m a human of the female variety, not a wolf.”
“No, you’re not a wolf, but you’re not just a girl anymore either,” she said.
“If you ever were just a girl,” Mr. Dawson said.
I didn’t like where this was going.
“You’re a werewolf,” Mr. Dawson said.
That’s what I was forgetting. He was out of his mind. Certifiable. I stepped toward him. “There are no such things as werewolves.”
“Then there are no such things as brujas.”
I laughed. “With you on that one. My cousins are a bunch of crazy hippies. Thinking they can talk to spirits and cast spells and do magic. Whatever their little religion is, it’s fake.”
“Fake? So you don’t get visions when you touch things? Because that’s so very, very normal.”
He had a point, but I didn’t have to like it.
“I won’t lie to you. St. Ailbe’s is a school for werewolves. Dastien is a werewolf. When he bit you and scratched your shoulder, he turned you.” Mr. Dawson put his hand on my knee as I tried to get up. “No more running, Teresa Elizabeth McCaide.” The way he said my name, like it held some sort of power, made me pause. “You have to face what’s happened.”
This was a nightmare. My parents had left me with some lunatic. “I’d be happy to face something, if you were speaking the language of a sane person.”
“What do you think you just saw?”
I thought I saw a guy turn into a wolf. But that was impossible.
“Christopher Matthews changed into a wolf in front of you.” Mr. Dawson spelled it out for me like it was totally possible. “A man who can also be a wolf. Human, but more. A werewolf.”
I flinched as the needle-loving doctor squatted down next to Mr. Dawson. “I’m Dr. Gonzales. I apologize if I scared you, but I only want to help.”
They were completely batshit. What were they trying to pull? Annoyance became anger, and my skin started to crawl.
“Take a look at your hands,” Mr. Dawson said.
As I watched, my fingers lengthened, ripping my gloves along the seams again. Memories from the hospital came rushing back to me. “This is not happening. This is so not happening.” I was yelling, but I didn’t really care.
“I can stop it for now. But you’ll need to face it soon. You don’t want the wolf to gain control again.”
Pain rippled down my body. My knees cracked. “Why does it hurt so much?”
“It only hurts when you fight it,” Dr. Gonzales said.
I couldn’t help but fight it. I would not be a wolf. Ever. “What about my parents? They let you take me?”
“They had no choice,” Mr. Dawson said.
I groaned as the pain spread to my stomach. My organs moved and mushed inside of me. I didn’t need this. I didn’t want it. “Stop it. Help me. Please. I’ll do any—”
Mr. Dawson’s eyes started glowing as he leaned in close. “Shhhh,” he said. Power rolled through my body, taking my pain with it.
I stayed on the ground, panting. My muscles ached but everything was back where it was supposed to be. I was too grateful to question how he’d done it. “Thank you.”
“I’ve settled the wolf within you for now, but you must learn to walk your new path soon.” Mr. Dawson stood and reached a hand down to me. “I’d take it back if I could, but I can’t change what Dastien did. So we’re going to have to go from here.”
I blinked back tears, unwilling to let them fall in front of either of them. “How do you know it was him?”
“You smell like him.” He crossed his arms. “And he told me. Now that you’re better, Dastien’s got some answering to do.”
He gave me a distraction and I snatched it up. “What do you mean?”
“He broke our Law.”
“We don’t bite. Not ever.”
I almost laughed at that. “If you don’t bite, then how come I’m here?”