“No,” David said shrugging. “Plus I would have told you if I thought they were bad.”
Diesel didn’t believe David would ever cooperate with him but he couldn’t book him without a charge. Despite David’s claims that nothing nefarious was going on, Diesel felt an unease deep in his bones that wasn’t there before he’d parked outside David’s cabin.
Diesel returned to his car, David watched him closely as he backed out of his dirt drive and got on the concrete main road. David winced and limped back to his room. His leg was bruised badly and was swelling a little. He didn’t want to have to go to the hospital but he wasn’t going to have much of a choice soon.
He was stumped by the blue haired pixie in the woods. She’d obviously never seen a Shifter. Or knew what a Shifter was for that matter. He’d nearly killed her but she’d come down and set his leg to rights. David sucked in his lower lip and sunk his body in the ice bath he’d prepared for himself.
Life had been unfair to him. Son of a Shifter father and a non-Shifter mother; David looked like the pitting image of his abusive father. The father who had bashed his wife’s head in with the back of an axe.
The abuse had been long and well known in the community. David had gone to his neighbors to complain about his father, he’d even protested to the Sheriff back then to arrest him. But they always released him and his father would come back home, his head hanging in shame, promising he’d do better this time and his naïve mother would take him in again, and again, and again till he had slashed at his son’s face in a Shift rage and bashed her head in.
David had been glad when they found him one day with his throat ripped out by some other Shifter. David hated his father with a passion; he hated the community more for turning a blind eye to his brutality towards his family.
No one had cared much for him either. The community treated him as something feral, a wild dog that should be kept at a distance and he had sneered at them in turn; all until a blue haired girl, who knew nothing of Shifter’s, had touched him tenderly, been concerned about him.
Blue, he thought as he sunk deeper in to the water flecked with ice.
I wake up around nightfall. I must have dozed off under my covers waiting for someone to show up. I figure Sonya must want to come check up on my wellbeing. She should, really, after she failed to mention there were tigers in the woods. She had tried to persuade me against moving here but I was too thick to take a hint.
I venture to the kitchen for a bite of cold Pop Tarts; they taste divine after my starved morning sprint through the woods. I whisk at the crumbs and contemplate leaving the house again in the morning when my door is knocked and I nearly cry in relief.
I open the door, a large smile on my face, only to find Stranger Danger standing there. His beat up truck is parked on my drive. He’s staring at me intently and I seriously considered slamming the door on his face but he doesn’t seem threatening in the least; in fact he looks vulnerable.
“Sup?” I ask, trying to act all casual, leaning on the doorframe. He’s so tall I have to crane my neck.
“Thanks,” he says. His throat is dry and it comes out like a wheeze. He clears his throat and huffs. “Thank you, for the morning.”
“Oh,” I shrug, “it was nothing.”
He doesn’t seem pleased with my reply.
“Can I come in?” he asks, his shoes shuffling on the ground.
“Why?” I’m a bit more hostile to people here in Shifter Grove than I would have been if I hadn’t been attacked this morning.
“I just want to explain,” he says.
“Can I do it inside?” he looks like a boy who’s been caught being naughty and he’s looking for a break from a strict parent.
“I don’t even know your name,” I protest.
“David. David Meyer,” he says. He looks earnest to please.
“Oh, alright, if you must. I’m Lucy, by the way,” I leave the door open and he follows me into my sparse living room. “Well?”
“I attacked you this morning,” he says. His face is beet red and his eyes don’t meet mine.