Nurse Brenda Previn did something she had never before done. She left work early, without a word to anyone. Seeing the young man who had attacked her just over two months ago had shaken her to her core. She needed to get away.
Head down, she pushed past a couple of orderlies and flew out the back door. Her car was toward the back of the parking lot. She liked to park there because it forced her to walk. She called it her exercise. Now she was cursing the long stretch. It only allowed more time to be seen.
Luck seemed to be on her side for a change. No one saw her as she darted across the parking lot and stumbled into her car. She sat there for a while, head against the steering wheel, tears rolling down her cheeks. That boy was just a painful reminder of what she’d become, and of what was coming.
She looked up at the sky. It was still daytime, and she couldn’t see the moon yet, but she knew it was there. She could feel it, pulling at her. She started feeling it last night. Last month, when she’d attacked that guy; she had always thought she had a temper, but until that night she had never known what real rage was. It scared the living shit out of her.
Now it was about to happen again. It hadn’t taken her long to figure it out. She was a werewolf. That kid, House’s patient, he was one too. He had turned her into one. She didn’t hate him for it, she couldn’t, now that she knew what he was going through. The hardest part was losing control like that. She would never be able to trust herself again.
She started the car and hurried home. She knew Douglas would be there, and it was time to tell him everything, even if he would never believe her. She just couldn’t do this alone anymore.
His car was in the driveway. Brenda heaved a sigh of relief and felt tense fear ripple through her body. She and Douglas had really had it pretty easy. Sure there were rough times, financially, when he went back to school, and they had their little fights like all couples do, but all in all, their marriage was pretty solid.
“Douglas?” She opened the door and called out for him. She had to see his face, had to look into his warm, loving eyes.
“In the kitchen,” he called back. When she entered the kitchen he turned to look at her. “What are you doing home so early?” He saw her red, watery eyes and her hunched, defeated posture. “What’s wrong?” He rushed toward her and pulled her into his arms.
“I...” she sniffled, “I have something I have to tell you.”
“Come, let’s sit down.” Douglas guided her to the couch, one arm tightly held around her shoulders. “Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it.” He was preparing himself for the worst, an affair, death in the family, oh no, had she found out she has cancer? His face became more and more grim and still he was not prepared for what she was about to say.
“Please, I know this is going to sound ludicrous, but please let me get it out before you tell me I’m crazy.” She nuzzled her head against his shoulder. She felt so safe there, but not safe enough.
“Tell me, I can take it.” He was half joking, trying to cheer her up, but he really did think he could handle anything. As long as his beloved Brenda was by his side, he could move mountains.
“I was attacked a couple months ago...”
“Attacked?” His hold on her tightened. “Why didn’t you...”
“You promised you wouldn’t interrupt.” She looked him in the eye, but only for a split second.
“Sorry,” he said sheepishly, kissing her lightly on the forehead.
“I didn’t tell you because, well, I didn’t want to worry you. I thought I was okay.”
“Th...” he shut his mouth quickly, remembering his promise.
“It wasn’t until later. A month later to be exact, that I realized I had received more than just some scrapes and bruises.” She could feel Douglas tensing up. This was breaking her heart, and his. “Douglas, I...I still can’t really believe it, only last month, at the fool moon...I did something that I know could only have happened if...if...” She broke out in tears.
“If what? What did you do?” He was trying to be gentile, not to push too hard, but he was dying inside. If something was wrong with his wife, he wanted to know, he wanted to help. Mostly, though, he was angry with himself. Why hadn’t he noticed she’d been attacked? Why hadn’t he noticed...but he did notice a change in her, he did worry that she was depressed, that she wasn’t herself, but he didn’t say anything. He just stood there and waited for her to come to him. Now that she had, he felt like shit for waiting so long.
“I killed a man.” She could barely get the words out.
“What?” Douglas knew he hadn’t heard right. Sure Brenda was a hothead at times, but she was never violent. Never. Not once had he seen her raise a hand to anyone. “Where you in an accident?” That had to be the reason. It must have been an accident of some sort.
“It was not an accident Douglas. I murdered a young man.”
“Why?” Screw his promise. Douglas had to know what the hell was going on.
“I’m a werewolf Douglas.” She cringed, waiting for the laughter, the verbal attack. There was nothing but stunned silence. “Did you hear me? I said...”
“I know what you said, and it’s too ridiculous to respond to.” His hold on her loosened. She could feel him slipping away. “There are no such things as werewolves.” He looked down at her and the warmth was gone from his eyes. “What really happened Brenda?”
“I told you.” She sniffled. She was losing him, and she couldn’t even fight for him. “I need your help Douglas.” She took his hand in hers. “Please. I know you don’t believe me, and I don’t blame you, and if, next week you want to walk out that door and never look back, I won’t blame you for that. I would if I could. But for the next few nights I need your help.” She waited, he said nothing. “I need to be restrained. Locked up, tied up, something. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’m afraid.” She started to cry on his shoulder again.
Douglas looked down at his wife, the woman he adored, his soul mate. He knew she wasn’t telling the truth, but he wasn’t so sure she didn’t believe it. She wouldn’t lie to him, not about something like this. “What do you need me to do?” He wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly.
The hours passed and she cried. She let out all the fear and horror she’d felt for two months. Douglas sat quietly, letting her purge everything she needed purge. He loved her, and whatever was really going on with her, he was going to stand by her and support her.
Questions raced through Douglas’s mind. So many questions. He bit his tongue to stop them from spewing forth in a barrage. She was clearly in pain. The best thing to do was let her speak when she was ready.
“Douglas,” she finally lifted her head and looked at him.
“I really don’t deserve you.” She let out a last burst of tears. It was all she had left.
Douglas smiled down at her. “That goes double for me.”
“You have to leave me.” Her voice was full of pleading. She had to say it quickly before she lost the nerve. “You have to go, save yourself. If I ever did anything to hurt you, I would never forgive myself.”
“I don’t think I’d forgive you either,” he joked. She didn’t laugh. “I’m not leaving you Brenda. Not like this. What do you need me to do? You talked about restraints. Do you want me to tie you up?” If only things hadn’t been so gravely serious at that moment he might have quite liked that idea.
“Yes. Um, the garage. Chains. Ropes won’t be strong enough. Get some chains and industrial locks. The strongest you can find. Hopefully that will be enough.” She looked into his eyes. “And whatever you do, don’t come in there at night. I’m begging you. If you ever loved me, don’t come into the garage after dark.”
“I will always love you.” He kissed her forehead again. The last remnant of tears slid down her cheeks.
“Then you promise?” She refused to let him off this hook. It might just save his life.
“I promise, but I know you could never hurt me.”
“Don’t.” She cringed. She knew he would say that, and she knew he had no idea what she was capable of anymore. “Just promise me that no matter what happens, you will not go in the garage after dark.”
“I promise.” Her sincerity unnerved him. She really seemed to think she could hurt him. That idea sent a chill down his spine.