Magic of the Moonlight

SEVENTEEN - aftermath


Beware of a bite under a full moon. It will complicate your love life. I recalled Dr. Meadows's prediction when Ivy and I had visited her shop. I thought perhaps she'd been talking about me or Dr. Maddox, but it was in fact Nash whom the psychic was channeling. Dr. Meadows's prediction had been accurate again. And now that Nash had been bitten and become a werewolf, I feared for him, and it was sure to complicate matters for Brandon and me.
At school the next morning, we girls met Dylan and Jake outside the front steps of school.
"The baseball storage shed was trashed last night!" Jake said, having just come from the field.
"We don't know who got into it - or what," Dylan said.
"Well, maybe you won't be able to play, and then you can spend more time with us," Ivy said.
"I'm not kidding. Thousands of dollars in damages," Dylan said. "The coach was really upset."
"Perhaps you are being paid back for trashing Brandon's locker," Abby said.
"What?" Ivy asked, dumbfounded.
Abby went stone-cold silent.
"Jake didn't do that," Ivy shot back.
"Uh . . . maybe you should ask Jake," Abby said.
"You vandalized Brandon's stuff?" Ivy asked like a disappointed parent.
"Just the once . . ." he confessed. "I mean twice . . . if you include the Jeep."
"How could you?" Ivy asked. "You aren't a juvie! What were you thinking?"
"That maybe he could use a lesson to back off of you girls," Jake said.
"Well, that is just totally ignorant," Ivy scolded. "And you knew?" She glared at Abby.
"I saw some paint cans in Dylan's truck and he told me."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Ivy asked.
"He swore me to secrecy."
"So you are the friend who kept a secret from me that Dr. Meadows warned me about," Ivy said. "Wait, both of my best friends did that to me?"
"Do you think Brandon did this?" she asked gently. "To get back at you guys?"
"Maybe it was Dylan and Jake - " Abby said.
"Hey - we wouldn't trash our own stuff," Dylan said.
"It looks like an animal did it," Jake offered.
"We're going to have to replace a lot of this equipment," Dylan added. "Maybe someone was very angry he didn't make the team."
"I still think it was an animal," Jake said.
Just then Nash came down the steps and joined us.
"Wow - you look ragged out, man," Dylan said. "Late night?"
"You guys went out?" Abby asked.
I remained silent.
"You have a scratch on your arm," Dylan said to me. "What gives?"
"Were you out with Nash?" Abby whispered.
"No, I didn't go out with him," I finally said.
"Did you hear about the storage shed being trashed?" Dylan asked Nash.
"Yes," Nash said. "Animals, real animals."
"Well, the Moonlight Dance is tonight," Abby said.
"I can't wait," Ivy added. "It's going to be a blast."
"Yes, I can't, either," Nash said.
The gang was heading for their lockers when Nash stopped me at the top of the stairs.
"I need to talk to you, Celeste, in private."
"I'll catch up with you," I called to Ivy and Abby, who were still at odds because of Abby's secrecy.
"Something happened last night," Nash said. "I have to tell someone - and I know you won't tell anyone, right?"
"If you don't want me to."
"I dreamed all night," he said. "It was horrible. But the worst of it was that when I woke up, I was in the woods behind the baseball field."
He looked to me for my reaction. When I wasn't totally shocked, he was surprised.
"What?" he asked.
"Oh . . . nothing. Go on."
"I don't know what's happened."
I didn't have the heart to tell my first crush - my first boyfriend - that last night I'd seen him turn into a werewolf.
"How did I get there - and why?" he asked. "And if I was there - I must have seen who trashed the storage shed - but I don't remember who I saw."
"It's okay - " I said, even though I knew it wasn't. If Brandon had a cure, then maybe it could be used for Nash as well. I'd just need time to find out.
"What happened to your arm?" he asked. "Did Brandon . . . ?"
No, it was you, I wanted to say. I wanted to tell him that he was the one who'd attacked me. But with the bell ringing and other students hanging around, now wasn't the time to confess what I'd witnessed and experienced the night before.
"Nash doesn't remember anything," I told Brandon as soon as I was able to catch him between classes. "The baseball storage shed was trashed and he doesn't think he did it. But I do."
"Why do you think so?"
"Because he said he woke up in the woods behind the school. He told me not to tell anyone - but I figured you'd understand. I'm really worried about him, Brandon. He doesn't know about last night. Or why he woke up in the woods. He doesn't even know that he chased me in Willow Park. I couldn't bear to tell him he did - or what he became. The dance is tonight," I said, my heart racing. "He doesn't know he's going to turn."
"Who is he going with?" Brandon asked.
"I don't know. Maybe Heidi Rosen? I know I'm going with you."
"I don't think he'll be going with anyone," he said. "He's going to turn, and then he's going to inhabit the woods all night."
"You think?"
"I know," he said. "But I'm not. I'm going to be just like every other guy there - taking his girlfriend to the dance."
"So we don't need to do anything about Nash?"
"There's nothing to do," he said reassuringly. "At least not tonight. Let's cure me first. Then we'll be able to cure Nash."