So that’s it. NaNoWriMo is done. I started writing this post at two minutes to twelve. By the time I finish it, it’ll be well after midnight on December 1st.
I still have quite a way to go with this novel, but I think I’ve gotten past the really sucky bits. Everything after this should be a whole lot better and easier to write. I’m excited to get near the end and have all the twists and a particular new character who I’ve changed so much since I originally made plans to write this thing as a teenager (I’m 23 now). I really want this novel to work, even if it will require a lot of TLC to get to that point. But I’m used to that, given I have another novel I’ve been trying to make readable for seven years now.
Selene’s love interest, Mathias, has just witnessed her fighting off a feral werewolf so the cat’s out of the bag in that respect. I’m in the middle of writing the family interrogating him and deciding what to do about it, given they’ve had problems with humans finding out and running them out of town before.
I’m going to include some of the ordeal in the excerpt, which is longer than usual to accommodate it. The scene in question happens after their second date when they’ve gone to dinner somewhere nicer than the local pizza place. Selene’s just called her dad to pick them up.
The streets were well-lit and I could hear anyone coming from forever away, so I wasn’t too worried. Mathias held my hand tightly as we crossed the street, and didn’t let go.
“He’ll be here soon,” I said, hanging up.
“Are you okay being out here?”
“Nighttime doesn’t bother me.”
“Most girls get a little nervous.”
“I know how to defend myself.”
“Yeah, but even so…” Mathias led me to a park bench. We were right on the path, not far from the street, and street lights made the area almost bright as daytime.
I sat down, dragging him down with me. “You’re allowed to be nervous, you know. You don’t have to pass it off as being worried about me.”
“Psh. Nervous?” His palms were sweaty and I could smell the fear, just mild thus far, closer to anxiety than anything else.
“I am very good at reading people, Mat.”
“Yeah, okay. Not a big fan of being out in weird places at night.”
I rubbed his arm. “We can go back inside if you like.”
“No, it’s fine. I’ll live.”
Then came a distant rustle. A twig snap. Too heavy to be a small animal. Heavy enough to be a person. No guarantee they were a threat, but maybe we should get closer to civilization just in case. But I didn’t want to panic Mathias.
My hand clenched around my bag. Hey, I could always pretend I’d left something at the restaurant. I unzipped my bag and pretended to peek inside.
“Damn it,” I muttered.
“Can’t find my lipstick.” I made a show of rummaging through the bag. “Must’ve left it at the restaurant.”
“You sure? You didn’t take it out.”
“Could’ve fallen out.”
“Or maybe you didn’t take it.”
“No, I’m pretty sure I did.” I got up.
Mathias held his hand out. “Here, let me look. Maybe it’s just hiding.”
“No, I’m sure it’s not in there.”
“I promise I won’t judge anything weird I find in there. Girl handbags have all sorts of weird stuff in there, right?” He got up, unzipping it where it sat under my arm. I couldn’t really stop him. Hopefully it was wedged deep enough in there that he wouldn’t find it. “Aha!” No such luck. He pulled it out. “There it is.”
The sound was right upon us. I’d wasted all that time for nothing. Low breathing, not quite human but not quite animal. A soft breeze finally blew a scent my way. Distinct. Wolf and human.
He leaped from the tree cover. I shoved Mathias out of the way, catching the force with my own body. My teeth rattled, but I managed to stay upright.
The man crouched in front of me, teeth bared. I threw my handbag aside. Trust my luck to find one of the few feral werewolves that even dared come this close to civilisation.
He came at me again. Faster. I wasn’t big enough to keep my footing. Slammed into a tree. Ears ringing.
“AGH!” Mathias on the ground. Werewolf on him.
I shook off the daze. Threw myself at the man with all the force I had, body slamming him right off Mathias, who wasn’t moving. My size was a disadvantage, but I still had my strength and my speed. I just had to make sure physics didn’t betray me again.
Dad was on his way. Even if he didn’t like fighting, two against one were not the kind of odds even a non-feral werewolf would be willing to take on unless absolutely necessary.
The feral snarled at me. I snarled back and pressed in close. My wolf was close at hand. She had to be. I let her fill me, nails and teeth growing with tingles throughout my body. I got a good swipe in across the feral’s face. He swiped back, but I batted his claws away. He was either not a firstborn, or had absolutely no grasp on how to use his abilities. His only advantage had been surprise, and that was well and truly gone. I was the boss now.
I lowered my centre of gravity, arms out ready for his next attempt. He edged around me, but I was in his way in a heartbeat. Everywhere he moved. He wasn’t getting past me.
I swiped at his chest, forcing him back. Another. He yelped. Another. Driving him away, step by step. I didn’t need to win the battle. I just had to keep him off Mathias long enough for backup. His fight was that much harder than mine.
He tried to get me in the face. I ducked, swiped at his thigh, leaving a nice set of bleeding marks behind. He backed away a few more steps.
There was a car coming down the street. Dad? I couldn’t rely on that.
So I kept pushing the feral to the treeline, away from Mathias. I couldn’t hear any other werewolves around. Looked like this one was a loner. Not too uncommon for ferals.
The car stopped somewhere on the street nearby. Footsteps. Getting closer.
I bared my teeth at the feral, snarling like hell. He raced off into the cover of the trees.
“Selene?” Dad was already by Mathias’s side.
I closed my eyes. Breathed. Let the wolf go back to sleep, my teeth and nails to shrink back to normal. Then I walked over and retrieved my handbag, breathing slowly the whole way. By the time it was secured on my shoulder, I could think again.
“Feral attack,” I said. “We need to get him home.”