Burning Moon Chapter 1

Burning Moon

by Yasamin E.

Approx 85,000 words.

Chapter 1
I walked into the packed club, coming in from the cold early December night, breathing in that stifling, smoky hot air. I turned my black peacoat in to the hatcheck girl, tucking the ticket she gave me into my bra strap, and began to carve a path to the bar. I had no idea why I was even there.

It had been just over a year since Ben and I broke up, or at least since I kicked his ass to the curb. I loved him; he just didn’t love me back. Sure, he told me he did, but it was all enough bullshit to fertilize a farm. That was two completely wasted years that I will never get back. He was a wolf, true to form. He tore my heart to pieces sleeping with a few so-called “friends”, but the straw that broke this camel’s back was the night he backhanded me.

We had argued over his temper and I told him “get therapy. By God, you need it!” I remember crying, telling him that I couldn’t take much more of this life anymore. Then SLAP! I was on my ass against the far wall, counting the stars in front of my eyes. He left me there, sitting in the corner, too scared to move. I had never been so frightened in all my life. That alone in and of itself forced me to face the reality I was denying.
That night he went to work, arrogant, thinking I was scared and stupid enough to hang around for more. It never crossed his conceited mind that his own abuse would finally wake me up. I wiped my tears away and packed the basic necessities of life. I told the one mane I had ever truly loved to kiss my ass (in a safe little note and from a good distance, of course) and I left my longest relationship to date, behind. Not that it was much of a relationship at that point. He was a bastard. So I had to move on. I left California, thinking if I left my home state, I would leave my problems too, and headed to Arizona. As for everything I left behind, well let’s just say I’m sure the next girl is enjoying them nicely.

I shivered from my nasty little flashback and wandered over to the bar. Jen had forced me out of the house and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Besides, she was right. I had started to blend in with the living room furniture. Jennifer Acosta is my best friend and the only person in the world I really trust anymore. Of course, she hated Ben from the beginning. She knew he was no good, but did I listen? Hell no. I was a fool to let the comfort of sex on a regular basis get in the way of real friendship. It’s still not the same but I’m not sure if that’s more from her or me. Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s me. She has forgiven me but I haven’t forgiven myself. I know! I have to let it go. I’m getting there. Slowly but surely…

I avoided the dancers on the crowded dance floor and pulled up a barstool next to her.

“Hey.” I said.

“Took you long enough. Thought I was gonna have to go get you.” She said. I waived the bartender down and ordered a drink.

“Mai Tai please! And could you toss in an extra shot of rum?” I yelled. I knew she could hear me, I could feel that she’s one of us, but I still yelled out of habit. The club was too packed to pick out her scent in the air without having to concentrate hard enough, so I let it go. I turned on my barstool and followed Jen’s wildcat eyes to the group of guys in a booth at the far end of the club.

There were at least six gorgeous guys sitting in a booth staring back at Jen, showing no fear. She liked that in a man. No fear, that is, not the staring. That’s just rude. But since she started it, I’m sure she thought it was alright. They all varied in skin tone and hair color but they all dressed pretty much the same as if they shopped at Abercrombie & Fitch together. I have to admit, a man in a fine tailored suit can make almost any girl swoon. One blonde in particular had the devil’s grin splashed across his face. He was definitely the one. He would be the one that Jen would play with tonight. It never failed for her.

Jen was what most men would call a cock tease. She still had her beliefs and morals, but that never stopped her from pretending and having a little fun. She was move of a user then anything else. Jen was the tallest, most beautiful half Japanese, half Cuban woman I had ever seen. Not that there are many out there. She is definitely a rare breed. Lengthy and sexy as hell at five feet eleven inches tall, she dressed to kill and always wore heels. Who knows where the height came from in her family.

Men seemed to be highly intimated by her but that never stopped them from being completely drawn to her. Her black pinstripe slacks her cut low on her hips with a thin silver chain hanging loose about her belly button. Her blouse was long sleeved and high necked. It was completely conservative except for the cropped length that barely hid her rib cage from the world. She was pure model material with her long straight black hair and soft olive skin. The only mark on her body was where she was attacked and bitten. Her black stiletto boots were silver tipped and heeled. They easily brought her over six feet tall.

“They look yummy.” Jen purred. She looked at me smiling and I knew she was just being a tease, ready to play her game. “Aren’t you glad you came out tonight? You’re such an old maid Alma.” That’s me, Alma Barragon the old maid; the book worm; the extrovert turned introvert. Does that make any sense? I can honestly blame Ben for that one. He successfully killed any drop of fun in me. Jen reclined on her barstool (she makes everything look so easy) and sipped her Manhattan.

“I’m sorry Jen. I’m so out of it. This whole scene just isn’t me anymore.” I looked down at the borrowed tight purple dress from Jen’s immense closet. It was super tight on my plump curves and sparkly with a hell of a corseted bodice, laced tightly to show off my full breasts, and just a little bit of black lace trimming the hem of the dress. My thick deep brown hair was pinned at the top of my head with a claw clip letting the curly tresses dangle and brush my neck. My hair was the brown of thick mud at night. In the day it shimmered with coppers and deep reds.

I felt like I looked ridiculous. I am most comfortable in my baby blue track pants and matching tank top. Not this frilly stuff that forces me to struggle just to sit down. I’m not technically a short girl. At five feet six inches tall, I’m as average as a third of the guys out there. Sure I was slightly taller then most other women, but my hourglass curves more then made up for it. At the moment I was trying to balance lounging on a barstool, crossing my plump legs  and keeping the crazy looking purple heels on my feet borrowed from Jen’s massive shoe collection, all without splitting a seam.

I sat there drinking my Mai Tai while watching couples and groups of women crowd the dance floor. The techno music was so loud that the bass shook the barstool under me. God I hate this lonely feeling. I thought. I should be enjoying this time out!  I am twenty three years old and I shouldn’t be this mentally scarred already. I should be enjoying clubs and hot guys and life in general. Instead, I was studying literature and working all the time at my horrible little customer service job. Every Monday through Friday, I sat in my very own little cubicle hell, listening to people complain about how much they hate their cell phones. It was mind numbing.

I realized right then and there, sitting at the bar, that I’m already old. I downed the last of my Mai Tai and turned to order another. I always order double rum for a nice kick into drunkenness. I smiled at the bartender as she brought me another drink then set a small shot glass down next to it.

“I didn’t order that. What’s it for?” I asked, eyeing the red liquid in the shot glass.

“It’s from the hot guy with long blonde hair at the end of the bar.” She winked at me. Yes, she actually winked at me and then walked away. I could practically taste her excitement as she giggled at with another bartender. She absently tugged at her light golden brown ponytail and snickered. I looked down at the shot glass, then across the bar. No blondes though, strange. The bartender walked back to me and whispered, knowing I would hear her.

“I smell you fox.” She smiled at the surprised look on my face. It was a common greeting among shape shifters but rarely used in human occupied public places. I eyed her long thin body for a moment, studying her, saving the image of her lack of curves and reedy thin limbs into memory. Finally, I returned her warm smile. I closed hazel eyes and lifted my new Mai Tai to my nose. I could smell the sweet overpowering rum as well as other liquors and sugary mixes, but under that, I could smell her scent. My senses tingled as I realized what she was. I had never seen her before, but it was good to acknowledge someone else like us.

“I smell you wolf.” I whispered back. Grinning, she stepped up to me as far as the bar would allow her, and handed me a little black business card. I picked it up and read the golden scrawled writing across the front.

Tessa Moran. Bartender. Hostess. Event Coordinator. Treasurer.

I flipped the card over but that was all it said. There was no phone number, no address, not even an email address or website. There was just that simple statement. I looked up confused, but by the time I did, she was gone. I slipped the card under my bra strap with my coat ticket to keep from losing it, and took another look around. No bartending wolf girl, no hot blonde.

Aw screw it! I thought as I took the shot. It burned like fire down my throat and tasted like no liquor I had ever had before. It reminded me of the juice from a jar of maraschino cherries mixed with the bitter burn of Tabasco sauce. It was spicy and sweet and made my tongue tingle severely. I turned around to find Jen still eyeing the blonde with the devil’s grin.

“Hey Jen, did you know that one of the bartenders here is a fellow shifter?” I asked nudging her for attention. I was trying to ignore the room while it slowly began to blur and spin.

“Huh? Oh yeah. That would sound about right seeing as the owner’s a wolf. Hey girl, I’m gonna go dance. You wanna join me?” she asked not even looking my way, obviously distracted.

“No that’s okay. I think I’m gonna get nice and toasty right here. I feel buzzed already. I can catch a cab home if I have too much fun.” She turned around, kissed my cheeks saying goodbye and walked onto the dance floor. She seductively started to sway to the music shaking her hips and holding her long hair up with her hands. She looked beautifully stunning, not trashy, not slutty but just… absolutely unattainable. I know just how great my best friend looks and complimenting other women has never bothered me in any way.

I watched for a bit knowing I wasn’t the only one enjoying her groove to the drum and bass that vibrated the entire club. I sipped my drink and lavished in the rhythm she exuded. I think living with her long enough has gotten me used to smelling her sweet mandarin orange and sweet chili scent in the air. I find her easy to spot that way.

Slowly the colors of the lights over the dance floor started to fade into each other. My vision made me feel like I was on a merry go round that wouldn’t stop. Everything moved slow. I rocked the leg that was crossed over the other at the knee back and forth with the beat of the song, just relaxing at the bar. I was starting to really feel the liquor take its course, the buzz softened me into a languid pose, when I downed the last of my drink. I sucked the rum from the cherry before setting the glass back on the bar.
I must be really drunk, I thought when I heard my shoe slip from my foot and hit the floor with a clatter. I knew no human could have heard it since the music was so loud in the club. I started to bend toward the floor, reaching for it, when I hit my head against his. We both gripped our heads in pain for moment. Brief shocks of pain lanced through me, making me dizzy.

I looked up and all I could see was amazing long wheat blonde hair. I couldn’t even see his face as he picked up my purple stiletto and slipped it back onto my foot. My vision spun as his hair swayed with his movement. He helped me stand, walked me toward the door and out of the club. Strangely, he had my coat in his hands when he pushed me through the crowd and hailed a cab in the street. Feeling woozy and suddenly tired, I stopped attempting to reach up and move his hair out of my way, intent on seeing his face. Wow, my head felt really heavy. He opened the cab door for me and I scooted in. He bent into the cab and whispered into my ear, the heat of his breath on my neck making me giggle.

“Catch you later… Alma love.” He whispered. He backed out, shut the door and tapped the hood of the cab to send it into motion. All I could think of was burying my face into this luscious hair. Naughty thoughts of the mystery man filled my head enough to make me burn with blush. Then, it hit me; his scent, or lack of, confused the hell out of me. He smelled like nothing at all.

4 Responses to “Burning Moon Chapter 1”

  1. HelloWorld April 20, 2007 at 10:25 am #

    Peace people

    We love you

  2. Zeus September 15, 2007 at 1:34 am #

    Nice

  3. Kicyfleerry March 20, 2009 at 6:24 am #

    very intresting

  4. jacob September 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    I really like where you seem to be going with this and cant wait to read more.

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