Hello again! Here’s more of Charlie and Natalia. There are a total of six chapters. Yes, I’m sharing them all!
From Charlie and Natalia:
Natalia had just taken off her shoes when she heard the doorbell. Thinking that Zechariah somehow eluded the police again, she grabbed the sharpened samurai sword off the wall and went to the door. Looking out the peephole, she saw the back of a man with shaggy brown hair. He was wearing a white t-shirt. She ripped the door open and gave him a nasty look as he turned around. She didn’t bother hiding the sword. He gave her a huge grin.
“What do you want, Charlie?” She was using the sword as a cane.
He sobered and ran his hand through his hair. “You owe me an explanation.” She blinked twice and started to close the door. His hand stopped it. “Can’t we just talk?”
She stopped trying to close the door. “Why?”
“Ten years ago, when I turned sixteen, I found out I was a werewolf. I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it for the first five years. Do you have anyone to talk to Natalie?” His voice was calm, and soothing with a tinge of pain.
Natalia sagged as her free hand went to her face. “No.” It was a whisper. “But what would a werewolf know about my pain?”
He placed a hand on her arm and pulled the hand away from her face. His eyes and voice were kind. “Why don’t we find out?”
She invited him inside and brought him to the living room, where he sat on the couch and she sat at the window seat. She placed the sword on the seat next to her, within reach. Natalia sat staring at him, arms crossed. He lounged on the couch, getting as comfortable as if he were at home. She gave him a dirty look as he slouched and laid one arm across the back of the couch. He was really cute. She scowled, and he grinned.
“This is ridiculous. There’s no point to you being here.”
He shrugged. “Why don’t you talk to me? Let’s find out if there’s a point.”
“Fine. Where should I start?”
“Why didn’t you try and forget what happened?”
She started visibly shaking. “Forget? And how was I supposed to do that? How exactly am I supposed to erase the memory of a Blitzkreig shaped werewolf with his snout buried in a man’s stomach? How about alcohol? Does that work? And what about when you’re so messed up you don’t notice a vampire has fed on you and all your friends, what then? More alcohol?” She had gotten up and walked over to Charlie. She was now leaning over him, one hand on the armrest and one on the back of the sofa. Her face was inches from his.
“And what about when he killed my mom and tried to rape me? How I am supposed to erase the memory of his teeth sinking into her neck and taking her life. Huh Charlie? Got any good ways to erase THAT day from my memory? Because if you do, I’D LIKE TO KNOW!”
Tears were streaming down her face. Her teeth were clenched and her lips were pulled back in a snarl. Charlie, floored beyond words, reached up and wiped her tears away. She threw herself back from the couch, as if his touch hurt her. Her legs bumped the coffee table and she fell to the ground. He was by her side instantly, holding her. She screamed into his shoulder, frustration, rage and pain flooding her mind and body. Charlie held onto her for a long time, rocking her back and forth, whispering soothing words into her hair.
It reminded Natalia of when Matt had held her trying to comfort her. She preferred Charlie’s touch. It was sincere; it was real. She melted into him and let her pain show. She cried for a long time, mourning her mother; mourning herself, wishing she didn’t know the truth, glad to finally have someone who understood.
Charlie took it all in. He knew where she was coming from. The first time he had told anyone who understood, he cried for three hours straight. Natalia cried for an hour. She shuddered a few times, but didn’t let him go. By the time the tears subsided, Charlie was leaning against the couch, and she had her head on his chest. He rubbed his lips on her hair and tried not to think about how wonderful she smelled, and how wonderful she felt against him. He held her closer and kissed the top of her head.
Natalia could hear his heart pounding in his chest. It had been a long time since she had been with a man, and Charlie was definitely a man. He had strong muscular arms and a wonderful musky odor. Her breath caught when she felt his kiss, and she pulled away. He almost didn’t let her. She persisted. “We can’t do this Charlie.”
“Why not?” His hand was on her cheek caressing her skin softly with his thumb. He swallowed hard, trying to stop his feelings. Her hand was high on his thigh; it was exceedingly hard to concentrate.
“Not today.” She hung her head. “This is a bad day.”
He grinned mischievously, letting his hand trail down to her shoulder. “I could help release whatever other feelings you’ve been holding in, make this a better day.”
Natalia did not want to have sex with this man tonight. It was still the anniversary of her mother’s death. Not a good day to sleep with a near stranger who was also a werewolf. She gently extracted herself from him and the floor and stood up. He followed suit. “Please leave now, Charlie.”
He stood and went to her, placing his hands on her cheeks. “Did I help?”
She leaned into the gentle touch and her eyes closed. She answered almost reluctantly. “Yes.”
He pulled her to him. “Will you let me come back?”
She almost said no, but it had felt wonderful to talk to someone and not have to change the story or pretend it didn’t hurt. “All right.”
He continued caressing her cheek, fighting the temptation to kiss her. “I’ll see you in a couple days.”
He pulled away, this time taking two steps back. She led him to the front door and let him out. Natalia locked the door and leaned against it. She heard him walk away then turned from the door and went to bed.
Natalia’s landline woke her, but for an instant she just laid in bed with a smile on her face. She wasn’t sure why the smile was there and couldn’t remember the last time that had happened. The answering machine kicked in before she moved, but the familiar voice on the machine grabbed her attention.
Needing to talk to the person on the other end, Natalia grabbed the phone on the bedside table, and sat up. “Detective Langley? It’s Natalia, what’s going on?”
She first met Detective Langley when the lady officer questioned her about Zechariah and why he locked her in his closet. The detective gave Natalia her card, asking her to call if she saw Zechariah again, promising to contact her if they found him without her help. This morning she was calling to tell Natalia that last night an anonymous tip led to Zechariah’s capture. There were some things they needed to talk to her about, so she agreed to go to the station house later in the day. Natalia got up slowly almost surprised he hadn’t gotten away. She felt the worry float away and sagged with relief. She took a long shower, letting the water slowly wash away her stress.
It wasn’t until she was eating a quick breakfast that she realized why she had been smiling when she woke up. It wasn’t because of Zechariah being caught. Last night’s simple dream slowly drifted back to her, making Natalia smile. Charlie had been waiting for her at her door when she came home one day. He was leaning against the door, one knee bent with the foot resting on the door. He had his hands in his jeans pockets and he was looking at her, giving her a huge grin. His brown eyes were reflecting kindness and something else she hadn’t been able to identify.
The dream ended before anything had actually happened, but the small glimpse of him made her feel good. She closed her eyes and shook her head, trying not to grind her teeth. The last thing she needed was to get involved with a werewolf. She had learned through her research that werewolves were unpredictable and often mean, especially around the full moon. Werewolves were prone to killing sprees at their worst and had short, quick tempers at their best. She didn’t need that kind of impulsiveness around her. Natalia finished her breakfast and got going. She wanted to get the Zechariah problem over and done with.
Three hours later Natalia was sitting on the beach in Aquatic Park listening to the steel drums behind her, staring out at the bay, watching the ships slowly coming and going. Zechariah Haynes had been turned over to another law enforcement agency. Detective Langley hadn’t been clear on which one. Zachariah was wanted for a myriad of crimes, but was also wanted as a witness. Drugging her, locking her in a closet and killing a cop meant nothing next to whatever it was he had seen. She was pissed beyond words. Her good mood from this morning was gone. She wanted a drink badly, and didn’t want to talk about it with Vanessa. She wanted to talk to Charlie.
Natalia had never told Vanessa anything close to the truth about anything that had occurred in her life. She kept everything rather normal; stress from work and family and friends. She didn’t want to lie anymore. She needed to talk to someone who would understand, but he left without exchanging numbers. She had no idea how to get a hold of him.
“Crap.” It was barely a whisper. In a way, she wished she had never told Charlie anything. Facing the world on her own was easier then wanting to depend on someone she couldn’t even get a hold of.
“Screw this!” Her voice was louder. She grabbed a small piece of driftwood and threw it as the ocean. She stood up, brushed the sand off her jeans, grabbed her sandals and left the beach. She had code to write for the new game TechnoArt was putting out. They expected her to have her part done in less than two weeks. She had barely started it. If she worked every day, she would get it done in time. She wouldn’t get her work done sitting around wishing she could talk to a cute guy.