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Tangled in Moonlight: Unshifted – Ava: Danger

Ava: Danger

[WARNING: Sensitive content ahead.]<

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Days pass with little regard for the anxiety building in my belly every time I crawl into bed at night, watching the phases of the moon, wondering what this next chapter of life will look like.

Aside from a brief shopping excursion with Jessa—who ignores me almost the entire time and scoffs at every dress I try on—I don't leave the house except for school and work, trying to avoid trouble.

I spend any spare moment I can manage picking up extra shifts at Beaniverse to help pay for the atrocious bill at the mall. Who spends three hundred dollars on a dress? But Jessa insisted that it was the only one that didn't make me look like I was wearing a silk potato sack.

Lisa's busy, too, so our texts are few and far between, mostly complaining about work and school.

My family's indifference weighs on me like a thick blanket, but beneath it, a tiny bud of hope sprouts—maybe, just maybe, I'll make it to the gala without incident. A week remains before the event that could change my life, or just as likely, confirm my place as the outcast.

Today, like the rest of the past two weeks, appears to be yet another day of unsettling peace as I head home after class with groceries in my passenger seat.

Phoenix is stopping by for dinner, so I have his favorites on the menu—a creamy garlic and parmesan roasted chicken, paired with bacon-wrapped brussels sprouts tossed in maple syrup and balsamic vinaigrette.

It sounds fancier than it is, but it really is delicious, thanks to the internet recipes I'd found years ago.

As the appointed alpha heir to the Blackwood Pack, Mom always fawns on Phoenix. Dad was thrilled enough that he had a son with alpha potential, but when Alpha Renard's last son was killed in a small skirmish with renegade wolves and Phoenix was named heir, he strutted more like a peacock than a wolf for at least a month afterward.

One day he will be Alpha Phoenix Blackwood, but for now, he's still a Grey.

I juggle the flimsy plastic grocery bags with the grace of a dying fawn as I make my way into the empty house.

The peace of these past few weeks must have rotted the self preservation sphere of my brain, because I don't pay any attention to my surroundings as I unlock the front door and walk in.

As I step further inside, a breeze tickles my neck and the door slams with a force that can only mean trouble, bringing a familiar and unwelcome scent to my nose.

Todd Mason, my childhood bully and ever-present tormentor, is here. Inside. With me. Right now.

Ready to finish what he'd started a couple weeks ago.

He stands right in the entrance of my home, his face twisted into a sneer that chills my spine. I can't even step away as my brain struggles to catch up to the situation, watching as he reaches behind him to lock the door.

Chapter end

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