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Chapter Sample

THE SILVER KISS

A DARK AND THRILLING TALE OF THE SUPERNATURAL, HORROR , AND LOVE.
“Strangely persuasive . . . a sweet and compelling story of love.”—Entertainment Weekly
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Cover art © by Shutterstock (silhouette of couple) and © by Yasuhide Fumoto/Getty Images (tree)

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The Silver Kiss copyright © 1990 by Annette Curtis Klause “The Summer of Love” copyright © 2001 by Annette Curtis Klause “The Christmas Cat” copyright © 2009 by Annette Curtis Klause All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. The Silver Kiss was originally published in hardcover in the United States by Delacorte Press in 1990. Published here with two short stories, “The Summer of Love” and “The Christmas Cat.” Delacorte Press is a registered trademark and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc. “The Summer of Love” was originally published in The Color of Absence, edited by James Howe, published by Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, in 2001. Visit us on the Web! www.randomhouse.com/teens Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at www.randomhouse.com/teachers Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available upon request. ISBN 978-0-375-85782-9 Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 First Expanded Edition Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.

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ALSO BY ANNETTE CURTIS KLAUSE

Blood Chocolate
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The morning was tentatively warm, and the smell g warm, of early roses drifted over from a neighbor’s yard. from ne eighbor’s The day wou be hot later; she w glad she’d would uld was decided to wea shorts. Not much school left now, Vivian wear shorts. ar now, Vivian w i thought as sh walked down the tre she he tree-lined street. ee-lined What will I do in the summer? Move, she h n hoped. Get out of this place. “Hey “H y, Viv.” “Hey, Viv.” ” A lean, muscular figure peeled out f mus scular from behind a stone gatepost, and her eyes widened b , briefly. “Rafe,” briefly. she said in cas casual greeting, and kept o walking. If sual on she hadn’t been daydreaming she woul have sniffed hadn’t been would ld him out. Rafe fell in b beside her. She noticed th he was now her. that hat goatee and mustache. H ran a hand He cultivating a g th through his thi k long brown hair and shift d his grip h hi thick, l ick, i b h i d shifted hi i wrapped in newspaper he carried under e on a package w “Goin ng one arm. “Going to school?” “Some of us do.” were more likely to be f found hanging The Five w
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out by the diner around the corner from school, or diner from o ver down by the riv . river. “Yaaaaahhhh “Yaaaaahhhhhh!” Ya hhh!” “Whooooooo oooooooooo!” “Whoooooooooooooooo!” Tw boys dropped from a roadside tre in a jingling wo dro opped ee Two tree of chains, hair flying. This time she did start slightly, d slightly, y self. own and cursed hers herself. She should have kno known the others were near. The twins, Wi near. Willem and Finn, looked pleased illem l s. illem slipped with themselves Round-faced Wi themselves. Willem slipped an arm wa aist endly around her waist and gave her a frie friendly squeeze. “Didn’t “Didn’t scare you, did we?” he asked, obviously asked, hoping he had. “You are such a puppy,” Vivian said, removing his Yo suc ch puppy, Vi y,” ivian “You n s arm. He’d been her favorite of the twins as they were He re growing up. H was sweeter and mor predictable more stures than his brother, but his affectionate ges brother, gestures had lost their innocence in the last year or so. a great deal of t Finn, the gau unter ically. gaunter twin, smiled sardoni sardonically. She Sh was expe i the others now, so i came as no ecting h now, o it w expecting h y ky surprise when Gregory, the twins’ lanky, fair-haired Gregory, lanky, fair-haired d d cousin, stepped silently out from behind another tree with d and folded in w them, and Ulf hopped over a white o picket fence to dance his jittery way backward up aughing wildly, y e the sidewalk, la laughing wildly, until Rafe cuffed him to the rear. rear. They wore their usual uniform of boot black jeans, th heir ts, boots, T-shirts, - hi t d a t d t tt R f had his l T-shirts, and assorted tattoos. Rafe had hi sleeves had ow yguards, Vivian ivian rolled up to sho off his biceps. My body show bodyguards, Vi thought. “Saw your m mother go into Tooley’s bar with Gabriel o Tooley’s r
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last night,” Fin said. “She was all over him.” His lips Finn nn r spi iteful r eyes narrowed sketched a spiteful thin leer, and his e leer, expectantly. expectantly. Vivian bristled, i ed, o Vivian bristle but she wasn’t going to say anything. wasn’t “Yeah, Astrid wasn’t Ye id aid “Yeah, Astri wasn’t far behind,” sa Rafe. “And said she looked piss pissed.” He laughed. sed.” “Hey, y my ped “Hey, leave m mom out of it,” Ulf pip up. piped So that’s who they were fighting over, Vivian thought. that’s o ’ over, Vi r ivian w Gabriel. That was disgusting. He was only twenty-four. only twenty-four. mself, d And full of him himself, from what she could tell. he om Rafe took th parcel he carried out fro beneath his the from Vi an ivia e arm, and Vivian heard Ulf giggle. Rafe pulled at the were more red knotted string to loosen it. His eyes w hen r than brown wh he glanced up at her, a wicked grin when her, his ivian w playing about h lips, and Vi Vivian knew he was up to mischief. “Vi Vivian, hea art,” “Vivian, I’d like to give you my heart,” Rafe said, ous, grinning again. suddenly serio serious, then immediately g “B i hat i t, h “But since tha might be inconvenient I’ brought that i h b i inconvenient, I’ve b lse’ you someone el s.” else’s.” newspa aper apped The newspaper unrolled, and he sla slapped a brown n slimy gob down on the sidewalk. y oping “Rafe!” She looked around wildly, ho wildly, hoping no neighght. ou bors were in sig “What the hell are yo up to?” sight. you ere The Five we helpless with laughter. were laughter. Vi ivian grabb bed Rafe’ Vivian grabbed the newspaper from R s hand and Rafe’s d the scooped up the mess. my “Give you m heart . . . ,” he gasped, and bent over laughing again. again. d was Where could she put this? Where w the body?
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She started to rewrap the disgusting t trophy. Then, trophy. ,” eep’ “Rafe, you jerk, she cried. “This is a she s heart.” jerk,” sheep’s More howls o laughter exploded from the Five. of m She didn’t kn now ry didn’t know whether to be angr or relieved. angry “You Yo r “You were over at Uncle Rudy’s store, weren’t you?” Rudy’s weren’t Rudy was a m meat cutter at Safeway. W Safeway. When no one r ng answered her, she growled and flun the whole her, flung package in Rafe’s face. That set the others off even Raf s fe’ ot thers worse. Ulf had tears in his eyes. She turned an left them, but they foll nd lowed and followed at a disanyway, y sts tance anyway, and she heard their burs of laughter bursts chool. all the way to sc school. Mom thinks t Five have learned their lesson, Vi the ivian Vivian thought. “Hah!” she said out loud. “Hah!” When Axel h come home from jail, h father had had her nt ent passed judgmen swiftly. The punishme for endanjudgment swiftly. punishment k gering the pack was death. Vi ivian couldn t n’ eaded Vivian couldn’t save Axel, but she ple pleaded with her f h for h Fi They were just kids lik her. Th Five. Th j kid like h They father f the F her. ng had only killed to prove the witness wron and protect wrong he the secret of th pack. They wouldn’t d it again. So the wouldn’t do n veness Ivan Gandillon made them beg forgiv forgiveness of the rial own Moon and run the Tr of the Fang do Trial down a narrow r path lined with the pack in their fur, and all could take fur, d Som me their bites. Some said that he let the Five off too lightly, y h nds lightly, although they licked their woun for weeks. wounds M b th people i ht Vivian hadn’ ivian hadn’t it Maybe those p l were right. Vi i n h d ’t quite e trusted the Five ever since. It wasn’t unti almost lunchtime that Vi il ivian wasn’t until Vivian rememAiden Teague. e bered that she wanted to track down A Teague.
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Ye Yeah, why don’t I have a look at this poet, she told hereah, here e self. See if I like him writing about things he shouldn’t know about. That was better than sitting arou being miswa as around und erable. Where should she look? She dec cided decided to ask her teacher. e to rumpet. art teacher. He was one of the advisers t The Tr Trumpet. “Oh, yeah. H s a junior,” Mr. Antony said, shaking He’ junior,” Mr. He’s r, y out k. some brushes o over the art-room sink sink. “How would I find him?” Vi d Vivian aske ivian asked. ed. “We Well, u er “Well, if you hang around for anothe half an hour another nch, is until second lun all you’ll have to do i look out that lunch, window. ds window. He hangs out with his friend in the quadhangs friends e.” rangle, under those arches over there He pointed there.” hes vered with the brush to a section of the cov brushes covered walkway d uare that ran around the perimeter of the squ square courtyard. he “What does h look like?” o. “Oh, I dunno He’s tall, bohemian.” dunno. He’s t Whatever that means, she thought. Mr. ank You Mr. Antony must have noticed her bla look. “Yo blank “You know, throwback k h wback h i i jeans and b d an d beads, know, a throwb k to the sixties, j MTV hippie.” e su uspect The way he said that made her suspect that he een time. thought he’d be the real thing at one t been w He “Oh, I know,” the teacher added. “H was wearing know,” “He sh hirt this flowery shirt this morning—lots of yellow and m to blue. It made me smile. Listen, I’ve got t grab a sande wich. Close the door when you leave.” “S ” “Sure.” e’d with her. She Luckily she brought her lunch w she’d her. e relaxed on the warm windowsill and chewed on a ps piece of steak while she waited. Group of kids were Groups
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scattered acros the quad, eating, talk across ss talking, and sunking, hirts bathing. Some of the boys had their sh shirts off, their flesh golden an slick as if they’d swallo and nd swallowed the sun. owed swe eet es They were sweet to look upon. Her eye lingered on eyes as them tenderly a she bit into her meat. At the next bell, the shift changed. Ki reluctantly b Kids ids hirts, ks, scooped up T-sh T-shirts, soda cans, and book and hurried books, to class, while others hardly distinguisha from them o distinguishable able es. took their place places. I’ll be late to French, Vi F ivian r Vivian thought. It didn’t matter, didn’t matter, ed i the teacher love her. She had a perfect accent. Vivian loved her. Vivian d r sat upright, and her hands kneaded her empty lunch her bag. She kept h eye on the arches. Tw young men walked into view. One had dark, wo m Two view. O shoulder-length h red shoulder-length hair and wore a flower shirt. That flowered Another boy joined them then a girl. m, must be him. A them, ughing y They stood lau laughing under the canopy, the shadows canopy, es. hiding their face faces. So that’s you P S that’s you, Poet Boy, Vi i h ’ u, B y, Vivian thou h b Boy ivian thought, but she h ught, h couldn’t m clearly. couldn’t see him clearly. She wanted a closer look. closer Why am I bot thering? lf bothering? she asked hersel as she went herself e door. through the side door. Because I’m a pirate of the night and who’s ’ territory, y I want to see who’s trespassing in my territory, she h answered. But maybe he was one of her kind from ck. s some other pac Or maybe he just knows too much, she pack. thought. She laughed aloud at her melodramatic th ht he d th d tt t th thoughts as she crossed the grass, and a spotty tenther as grader eyed he curiously. The sun wa hot, so she her curiously. was hirt p peeled off her sh to reveal the tank top underneath. shirt have a look, or will I say s something? she Shall I only h ooh wondered. “Ooo I loved your poem.” Instantly she felt “Ooooh Instantly
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like playing wic wicked games. She put a sway in her walk. cked sway w Maybe I’ll make him look. The boy to Aiden’s left noticed her first. He was a Aiden’s A fi with a good-natured face and eyes that burly blond w ightly i glazed over sli slightly at her approach. Vivian couldn’t Vivian couldn’t resist, she winked, and his cheeks turne pink. It was wink ked, turned ed other kid, wearing some kind of funny so easy. The o easy. lopsided haircu kept on yakking away, but the girl haircut, ut, away, ay nd She looked over an wrinkled her nose. S was small, and pped with close-crop close-cropped dark hair—the sort of girl that sort wore black stockings even on days like these. I’ll put a stockings y ok few more runs in those tights, honey, if you loo at me like that honey, look Vi ivian pr romised silently. again, Vivian promised silently. o Then Aiden Teague turned around to see what had Teague riends’ captured his fr friends’ attention. The crystal stud in his crystal ed ainbow, left ear reflecte the sun in a burst of ra reflected rainbow, and his e r slow easy smile sent a shock through her. her. aring, She was sta staring, she knew, but his face was deliknew, i Hi eyes were amused and d yes d d dreamy, as if y cious. His ey dreamy, observing life f from the outside and find ding finding it vaguely funny. med like the Five— funny. He seem languid, not intense l seemed jangly, nervy, y y ming, those jangly, nervy, twitching, squirm squirming, fighting, rp-edged snapping, shar sharp-edged creatures who demanded so r cer’ much from her. She noticed his tall danc s frame and her. dancer’s long-fingered ght his long-fingered hands, and the thoug crossed her thought would enjoy him touching her. g her. mind that she w “D k ?” h k d He waited expectantly, ited t tly “Do I know you?” he asked. H waited expectantly, k a bemused look on his face.

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Vi Vivian said the first thing that came i ivian the into her head. “Um. I liked yo poem in The Tr your Trumpet.” I don’t believe our rumpet.” that stupid senten came out of my mouth, sh thought. sentence she nce he “Hey, thanks,” “Hey, thanks Aiden said. He still look puzzled. y s,” looked ked He’s He’s not a were ’ werewolf, she thought in dism . How can I rewolf, dismay. may react this way wh he’s not one of us? His smell of sweet when he’s hen ’ s perspiration and soap was purely human. Get a grip, an nd human. girl, Vivian told herself. She didn’t like th off-balance i l Vi i ivian ld h lf Sh didn’t lik this ff b l did ’ his hi h feeling. She put a hand on her hip and dared his dark t d eyes to try and drown her now. “Your po was facing d now. “Your poem Yo oem a print of mine. I was glad I wasn’t next t some trash.” wasn’t to The blond kid brayed with laughter. d laughter. “Shut up, Qu Quince,” Aiden said, but he grinned. uince,” “That was lik some forest scene, wasn t it?” the kid like ke wasn’t n’ haircut said. “Spooky, ma y an.” with the funny h “Spooky, man.” The dark-hai d girl put a hand on Aid ’s arm. Th dark-haired i l d k haired t h d Aiden’ Aiden’s “Bingo’s g “Bingo’s waiting for us.” Ke .” elly gaged “Hold on, Kelly.” Aiden gently diseng disengaged his arm, frow wned sulkily. ure,” and the girl frowned sulkily. “Cool pictu picture,” he said to Vi ivian. “It’s e Vivian. “It’s like you read my mind.”
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“That’s “That’s what I thought about your poem,” Vivian t Vivian i r turbing answered. Her response to him was dist disturbing but she wanted to explore it. She took his hand and turned it expl lore d her up, then ran her nails down the length of his fingers. t. He didn’t resist didn’t resist. “What are you going to do, tell my fo you fortune?” Aiden ortune?” asked. “Yes,” “Yes,” she answered. She slid a felt pen from her Ye a while he watched mesmeri ized, purse. Then, w mesmerized, she wrote num mber w her phone number in his palm. On a whim she outfive-pointed star. lined it with a fi star. “What’s that?” Quince said. “You Jewish or at?” “Yo You “What’s tha something?” Aiden softly. “That’s a pen ntagram.” “Nah,” said A softly. “That’s pentagram.” “So she’s a w she’s witch,” Kelly snapped. dear, Vi r ivian Yo don ou n’t No, my dear, Vivian thought. You don’t watch enough late-night movies The person who sees a pe s. entagram movies. pentagram in his palm becomes a w werewolf’s victim. werewolf’s “Are “A you a witch?” Aiden asked, his e wi h?” Aid k d hi eyes twinkling. i kli Her voice w husky. “Why don’t y find out?” was husky. don’t you s that made him She folded his hand around the sign t hers. Inside, her heart was thumpi ing thumping crazily in response to he charade, but she refus to lose her er sed her refused nerve. As she walke away she heard Kelly r ed raise her voice, walked but she didn’t b as at didn’t bother listening. Wa tha his girlfriend Was that then? H th ? He could do better. M h better. ld d b tt Much b tt d better. better. All afternoon her thoughts returned to him like a n song she could t get out of her head. A dn’ After a while it couldn’t became annoyi ing. annoying. What am I, a pervert? she asked heruman, half self. He was hu human, for Moon’s sake—h a person. Moon’s sake—half
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It’s It’s only a game, she told herself, to see if I can snare ’ gam me, e w as him. But she wanted to know what wa in a human was head to make h write that poem, and she wanted to him er know why he’d stolen the breath from he lips. her ched As she reac reached home the front door opened. Gabriel, the inspiration for her mother s latest fight, inspiration mother’s r’ He was leaving. H filled the door frame, blocking her way. His T-shir clung to his wide chest. way. T-shirt - rt iv, “Hi, Viv,” he said. “Lookin’ good.” His voice rumbled Viv,” rumbled er like lazy thunde . thunder. in r The teasing i his blue eyes made her want to spit. Esmé.” “Save that for E bed d. Gabriel rubb his chin and grinned She noticed rubbed grinned. white scar tissue on the ba of his right ack the puckered w back hand. The tip of another scar showed at his throat. “We don’t W you o “We don’t see y down at Tooley’s,” he said, ignoring Tooley’s,” her anger. anger. p to She glared up at him. “I’m too young t drink.” H l k d her over, ki r hi time. Before she i h He looked h over, taking his time. B f he could help it sh tugged at the hemline of her shorts. she oo of Her shirt felt to tight. She was aware o a droplet of too led en sweat that tickl its way down betwee her breasts. tickled between oled “Could have foo me,” he finally said. fooled im g She stared hi in the eye, challenging him; she was him th, y out of her dept but defiant anyway, w depth, anyway, willing her lip not to tremble. There was silence for a moment and h couldn’t read hi t ld ’ ad hi l d fac He h d she couldn’t read his strong, chiseled f ce. H reached face. jerk ked for her. She jerked back. Then he laughed like a giant her. laughed de. nto and moved asid She slid past him in the house, aside. into ’d g angry that she’ flinched, but showing him that she she’d he arrogant face. dared go by. Sh closed the door on his a by. She
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“Mom!” she yelled shrilly. shrilly. ning Esmé poked her head out from the din dining room. “How long’s he been here?” Vi long’s Vivian de ivian demanded. emanded. w ed. “Only a few minutes,” Esmé answere She looked answered. opped or smug. “He dro dropped by to invite me fo a late-night for drink.” Mom. He’s twenty-four.” “Dammit, M He’s twenty-four.” “So?” “You’re almost forty.” Yo ost “You’re almo forty.” “We Well, t iping “Well, rub it in.” But nothing was wi wiping the smile e. off Esmé’s face Esmé’s face. “Don’t think it’s a little bit disgust ting?” “Don’t you t it’s disgusting?” her Well Esmé flung h hands in the air. “We l, for goodness’ air. “Well, erious sake, I’m not se serious about him.” Now he’s “Oh great. N he’s your boy toy.” toy.” smirk ked. danced up the Esmé smirked. “Some boy.” She d boy.” i stairs, her rear end wagging like a tail. Vivian followed Vivian lammed oom. Esmé up and sl slammed the door of her ro room. R d h d gone To l ’s b one ooley’ f k h Rudy had go to Tooley’s bar after work, so there i an er i were just Vivia and Esmé at the dinne table. Vivian Vivian dinner Vivian broodi ing was still brooding about Gabriel’s visit. She thought of Gabriel’s at her father and the aching emptiness tha still gnawed that arents appy together. at her. Her pa her. parents had seemed so ha happy together. She’d thought her mother shared that ache, but now actin ng year Esmé was acting like a stupid fourteen-y -old. fourteen-year-old. “Didn’t id. “Didn’t you love Dad?” she finally sai said. E é looked t tl d t thi ti out f the blue. Esmé l k d startled at this question o t of th bl “Yes, Ye im.” “Yes, I loved hi him.” are nd?” “Then why a you out running aroun around?” year’s lo ong Vi ivian. d “A year’s a long time, Vivian. I’m tired of crying. I’m lonely. Sometimes mes lonely. Sometim I want a man in my bed.” bed.”
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Vi Vivian grabbed her plate abruptly an headed for ivian grabb bed and nd ouldn’t o the kitchen. Co Couldn’t her mother talk to her as if she was a daughter? She scraped her lefto daughter r? leftovers into the overs ueal elain. trash with a squ of knife against porce squeal porcelain. “Wa Watch e “Watch those dishes!” her mother yelled. yelled. That’s That’s more lik it, Vi ’ like Vivian thought. ke ivian late Vivian er i An hour later Vivian was on her bed doing some bed halfhearted studying for Chemistry, wh the phone studying Chemistry, when y hen ked e rang. She pick up the phone on the second-floor picked hallway, expecting to hear one of the pa y ting ack, hallway, expect pack, but it was Aiden. “There’s “There’s a free concert at the university this university aid. o weekend,” he sa “Sunday afternoon. You wanna go said. You . . . maybe?” half ked Her eyes half closed and she lick licked her lips. “Maybe. Who’s playing?” Who’s ed eard He mentione a band she’d never he mentioned heard of in revt nown erent tones that suggested it was well kn known and one f hi f i s. h i cial ih of his favorites H was sharing a speci l treat with favorites. He special her. her. “I’ll have to see if my family has anything ow planned,” she told him. “I’ll let you kno tomorrow.” told know tomorrow.” ting ger No sense in lett letting him think her too eag . “No. Don’t eager. Don’t worry. you.” worry. I’ll find y Vi ivian u s Vivian hung up and stretched her arms to the ceiling contentedly, arching her back. Should s go, or was y ching she contentedly, arc ? having him rise to the bait good enough? B t h d w lid h l t d th But a shadow slid across her pleasant mood. If they went on a date h would want to kiss her. Wo he r ould her. Would he be no ostrils safe if he came close enough to fill her nostrils with his scent? d e Esmé walked out of her bedroom. She was wearing
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the tight black dress she used for wait k waitressing. “Who tressing. t was that?” she asked casually as she put in an earring. “A boy from school.” d. Esmé paused “Oh?” paused. me “He asked m to a concert.” “One of them asked you out?” Her m m mother’s expresmother’s repulsion and surprise. “I won’t allow it.” sion combined r won’t Vi Vivian bristled. “Yo can’t tell me who to date.” ivian bristled. “You can’t You o er on’ Esmé put he hands on her hips. “ ‘Do t date if you her ‘Don’t can’t he can’t mate,’ th saying goes.” Human and wolf-kind the lly were biological incapable of breeding. biologically o s baby,” Vivian y, i “I’m going to a concert, not having his baby,” Vivian d don’t only start relasnapped. “And don’t tell me wolf-kind o n tionships when they want children. I know better.” know better.” “You’ve Yo mé “You’ve got a smart mouth, girl,” Esm called as she Esmé walked off. i Now Vivian was sure she was going. Vivian oned, He had pho phoned, and she wasn’t an outsider anywasn’t more—untouch bl hable h d h haps i i ibl more—untouchable and strange, perh perhaps invisible. ld e But why shoul she care so much? He was a human should eat-boy after all: a me meat-boy scantily furred, an incomplete h creature who had only one form. e she How sad, she thought, and suddenly s craved the change. r on Like all her people, at the full moo she had to moon er he change whethe she wanted to or not, th urge was too whether the t t refuse. Other ti f h ld h t ill strong to refuse. Oth times she could change at will, y either partway or fully. Right now the moon swelled fully. month belly, y nted like a seven-m seven-month belly, and she wan wanted to change because it was possible. She wanted to run for the joy of it.
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She stalked t through the backyard du dusk, across the usk, ring n bat-grazed clear clearing in the narrow ribbon of woods out back, over the s stream, up the embankment, and down embankme ent, rassy river. into the wide gr grassy valley that held the r river. wa as nd The grass was already high. Here an there might and be nests made b kids making out or get by getting high, but tting air n she sniffed the a and smelled no human flesh. Down by the river was a giant tumble of rocks that e e iverbank. screened the ri riverbank. Behind the rocks, amid the rocks, shoulder-high weeds, she slowly slid of her clothes. ff shoulder-high w off kin outing Already her sk prickled with the spro skin sprouting pelt. A ze tocks, trickle of breez curled around her butt breeze buttocks, and her ned the river. nipples tighten in the cool air off t river. She tightened rew laughed and thr her panties down. threw firs st Her laugh turned to a moan at the first ripple in her turned sed men bones. She tens her thighs and abdom to will the tensed abdomen d like a lover as change on, and clutched the night air l ngthened sprouted. Her her fingers len lengthened and her nails s bl d h d ih h lik d i Th i h h blood churned with heat like desire. The night, she swe eet mells thought, the sweet night. The exciting sm smells of rabbit, d damp earth, and urine drenched the air. air. her The flesh of h arms bubbled and her legs buckled her muscles of her to a new shape. She doubled over as the m into a brief spasm, then gr rimaced abdomen went i grimaced as her d d. teeth sharpened and her jaw extended She felt the extended. in spine’s momentary pai of the spine’s crunch and then the pain t l sweet release. cr reature She was a creature much larger and stronger than lf. any natural wol Her toes and legs were too long, her wolf. were d Wo w olf ears too big, and her eyes held fire. Wolf was only a conth hey who venient term they had adopted. Those w preferred
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science to myth said they descended fr myt th from something rom ea arly abs sorbed protean older—some early mammal that had absorbed protean matter brought to Earth by a meteorite. t Vi ivian stret tched e Vivian stretched and pawed at the ground, she orious air. sniffed the glo glorious air. She felt as if her tail could sweep the stars from the sky. s sky. r boy, y ught. I will howl for you, human boy, she thou thought. I will hunt you in my girl sk but I’ll celebrate as wolf. skin kin And she ran the length of the river to the edge of n the city slums and back, under the hopeful earlys summer moon.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ANNETTE CURTIS KLAUSE
was born in Bristol, England, and moved to the United States when she was a teenager. She daydreamed constantly while growing up, and she turned some of those fantasies into stories and poems. Her first novel was inspired by vampire poems she wrote when she was fifteen years old. Annette currently lives in the Maryland suburbs with her husband and cats and works full-time as a children’s librarian—but in her imagination, she’s a werewolf girl. Sometimes she forgets herself and howls out loud.

Published by Delacorte Press an imprint of Random House Children’s Books a division of Random House, Inc. New York This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the productof the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Text copyright © 1997 by Annette Curtis Klause Part title decorations copyright © 1997 by Cliff Nielsen Cover illustration copyright © 2007 by Shane Rebenschied All rights reserved. Delacorte Press and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. www.randomhouse.com/teens Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at www.randomhouse.com/teachers The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition of this work as follows: Klause, Annette Curtis. Blood and Chocolate/by Annette Curtis Klause. p. cm. Summary: Having fallen for a human boy, a beautiful teenage werewolf must battle both her packmates and the fear of the townspeople to decide where she belongs and with whom. ISBN 978-0-385-32305-5 (alk. paper) [1. Werewolves—Fiction.] I. Title PZ7.K67815B1 1997 [Fic]— dc20 96-35247 CIP AC ISBN 978-0-385-73421-9 (trade pbk) ISBN 978-0-385-90434-6 (GLB) Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 First Trade Paperback Edition

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