Challenged by a group of writer friends, I am embarking on a fanfic journey of the paranormal and dark fantasy realm. Today’s challenge issued by another friend is ‘the den of wolves’:
Like any good romance trope, you wake up in an unknown place and find yourself in the presence of several good looking men, women, or both. A feeling of trepidation creeps into you as you realize there is something odd about everyone, you soon realize that escaping would mean facing either your death or reincarnation…
Who is in your harem of wolves?
Are you ready to face death or make a pact with the devil?
“The delicate flower has finally started to unfold her petals.”
Was I dreaming? I asked myself as I heard a voice speak, the sound of their voice echoed familiarity and yet… I couldn’t place it as I felt myself turn towards the sunlight. My eyelids felt heavy, and my body was definitely hurting from all that running I had done to try and catch Mitsuhide.
“MITSUHIDE!” The sudden realization that I was following the bastard woke me up instantaneously, I sat upright looked at my surroundings remembering that I had followed the fiend into an alley. To my disconcertion, I wasn’t in my room nor was I laying in a ditch somewhere in Paris… I was… Where the hell was I?
I heard a faint chuckle from my right, my eyes seeking the owner, the hairs at the back of my neck stood up as I recognized the visitor.
“Hirose..?” I watched him tilt his head in amusement at my perplexed expression, I knew the famed author from previous events with our publishing house. While Ryoichi Hirose and I did not share the same circle of editors or friends, due to the fact he writes seductive romances versus I, who writes mysteries and thrillers. It wasn’t odd to be acquaintances… However, it was fairly unnerving being in his presence in an unknown room in Paris.
“I’m hurt that you’d be uncertain with who I am,” he closed the novel he was reading and laid it on the table, “we’ve met enough times for you to remember my body.” I watched him flit his gaze over me, the way he let his eyes slid across my form sent a shiver up my spine as I pulled the blanket harder against my body and began to move towards the opposite side of the bed.
Edging myself off to put even more distance between us, “I’m sorry to be intruding… but how did I end up here?” Another laugh left his lips as he kept his eyes on me, yet again that gaze of his felt like he hands on the blanket I was holding and was gently tugging it away from my grasp.
“Did little Koro finally wake up? I’ve got treats made especially for you,” a man I recognized as Ota Kisaki, the talented artist appeared beside me, causing me to stumble back onto the bed, my eyes staring at his extended hand as I noticed he was holding what looked to be a heart-shaped cookie towards my lips. “Don’t be scared Koro, take a bite, say ‘ah’…”
I pulled away and found myself scooching towards the side where Ryoichi was, “I’m not hungry…” I managed as I felt both of their gazes on me. Just what in the hell was going on? Why are these two here, and why am I–!
I jumped as I felt a gentle caress grace the back of my head, the sensation provoking my defensive senses as I swatted the hand away and pressed my back against the headboard. Looking to the owner of that unfamiliar touch, I found myself looking into a pair of concerned eyes from a boy that I knew I had met before… His name eluded me as I struggled to grasp how all these men were suddenly popping up like daisies around me.
“Aww… Don’t be scared,” he drew his hand back to his side, “don’t you remember we met at the casino recently?”
Why would I remember anything about a casino, especially right now when I’m surrounded by people I don’t personally know?! I found myself screaming this question in my head rather than voicing it as I looked at the boy and suddenly it dawned on me as I remembered.
“Tonight, I will change your fate!”
“What the hell?” I managed to speak as I remembered him. Mirai Kageyama was at the new casino that Satsuki Kitaoji had opened in Paris that I had gone to following that lead about Mitsuhide… I had won something, a ticket to go around the world but had declined the win at the time as I was eager to find that bastard werewolf. I started to push myself up against the headboard, my eyes flicked back and forth from the two men near me.
All the while, Hirose seemed to be enjoying my confusion all the more, casually sipping from a teacup and observing my reactions to what was transpiring.
“Is someone going to tell me what the hell is going on, or do I need to start screaming bloody murder?” I snarled as I heard the edge of the wolf inside me come forward, baring my teeth in an animalistic way I froze as I realized what I had done.
I could feel the top incisors protruding out from my gums and my nose crinkled in disdain from feeling cornered, but the men looked at me with curiosity rather than fear. Smiles starting to creep onto their faces as I realized something was terribly amiss with this group of men, as the sensation of fight or flight began to move within me.
“Honey, I’m home! I– What are you all doing in here?”
The door swung open to reveal another man, his face showing surprise at how we all looked as he stood there in confusion. At that moment, I leapt off the bed with a force that I knew was coming from my transformation, landing in front of the bed and rushing towards the window I made a mad dash for the door. Shoving Takamasa aside I sent him sprawling backwards as I bolted into the long hallway, a cacophony of laughter erupting from behind me.
“Oh my, little Koro. Don’t be such a naughty girl and run away,” the man who had the heart-shaped cookies suddenly grabbed my wrist and pulled me towards him with a strength that riled up the beast in me even more. “It wouldn’t do for you to disobey me, now would it?”
Adrenaline howling in my veins I sent an open palm jab into Ota’s chin and watched his head snap back from the jab, his grip loosening on me I pulled away. Trying to regain speed, I ran around a corner and found a window, immediately I tried to open it only to see the Mirai appear out of thin air.
“Oh, you’re feisty. I like that,” he placed a hand against the windowsill, a look of mischief upon his face as he leaned close, “Is this how all werewolves act?”
I shoved him back and didn’t look back as the sound of my footsteps resonated in the corridor; in my peripherals, I could see paintings, sculptures, and other oddities as I fled. My memories of the night before were being recovered at a snail’s pace as I kept running, blood rushing to my head as I felt the devil in me howl as I came to a grand set of doors.
Forcing the doors open and I sent them slamming against the walls and was greeted with a grand staircase that lowered to the bottom floor in a regal flourish. My heart was pounding as I looked at the entranceway in awe, but the sounds of footsteps behind me kicked me out of my wonder. Practically stumbling down the steps my knee hitting the floor with a nasty slap and scraped against the tile.
I held in my yelp of pain as I felt blood begin to pour down my knee as I threw myself against the door and began pulling at the doorknobs and twisting it to open. But the locks refused to turn, and the foreboding feeling of eyes on me tickled the back of my neck as I relentlessly tried to pry open the posterns.
“Honey, bleeding in a place like this is not good for my heart.”
“Hmm…? It seems things are about to get interesting with the smell of fear and blood in the air.”
“Running from us would do you no good, come, let us tend to that wound of yours…”
“Koro, now you must be disciplined for causing such unpleasantries.”
Sweat trickled down my back as I cautiously turned around and looked behind me, my eyes slowly gazing upwards to see the men revealing smiles that turned my blood into ice. Snake-like fangs slid out from under their lips, and their eyes glowed like rubies under the dim lighting of the foyer. I pressed my back against the doors, the aura emanating from them was nothing like Mitsuhide’s…
“… Vampires…” I whispered under my breath as I felt my chest tighten with anxiety and the beast within me bellowing to be released.
“What have we here?”
I turned to the new voice and began to inch away from the door as the man came closer. His look of curiosity slowly turning to that of something lascivious, his smile revealing a similar stance as the men above.
“How intriguing, to find a blossoming werewolf in the company of vampires.”