The Predators

By Kameron Ponce

Chapter 1 - Ebony
The forest was beautiful this time of the year. The grass is green and moist, the trees are swaying in the light breeze and the sky is the clearest blue after the storm we had


yesterday. Running through the forest I’ve known since I was five, could walk through with my eyes closed, is like a second home to me. The trees, the plants, the animals, they know me as well, maybe better, than I know myself. I come to these parts whenever I need to get away; when I’m not here I’m thinking about or looking at it through the many windows of my home. My home, thanks to Pavel Lev I have been given this wonderful life. He’s given me everything I could possibly want and more. He has taught me everything I know, I don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for him. Thanks to Pavel I got to leave the horrible life I had before he took me in at five. You probably want to know who I am, well my name is Ebony Lev. I’m 22 years old, probably a little to old to still be living with my papa but you don’t have the full story, yet. And most of all, really, really different than every 22 year old women you might know. Lets see, oh right, I can turn into a panther. You read right, a panther. Some would think it’s scary or weird, but to me and Pavel, it’s normal. See, if you really want to get into the whole history of man turning into animal I’m the girl with the facts. Trust me when I say that it is nothing like the movies, where man gets bitten by a wolf and than on a full moon turns into one himself. Fiction all the way baby. And it all starts with a curse between Satan and a really stupid guy. Now I haven’t actually met the guy, seeing as it happened way before my time like a century ahead, so I really wouldn’t know if he was stupid. But, hello, he made a bargain will the devil ergo, stupid. David Nikolin was the guy behind the whole thing. I’m going to give you the quick version of it all. Apparently David was going through a hard time, seeing how there were battles going on and he was barley winning any. So wanting to be in greater power he summoned the devil himself, the evil one said he would grant David’s wish but, yes there’s a but, his curse would go to his son’s son and so forth. And if you guessed that it had to deal with the whole man into animal thing, give yourself a pat on the back because you’re right. It was said that David would live out his life as a predator, and not while he was in animal form, he would go around killing people, mostly women. Because this man was said to be so evil he never got married, but sadly that did not stop him from having heirs. He would rape these poor defenseless women, than they would give birth to “span of Satan,” they’re words not mine, and finally give the child to the father and walk away, hoping that they could recover and have a normal life. Rarely did they have what they want, how do I know that, lets just say I’ll get to that later. Now you’re probably wondering about the children. First of all along with the animal thing, all descendents of the Nikolin blood line are males, there fathers would take them into a family, which has about 10 to 20 children, and teach them how to survive their way. The evil way. Than these men grow up and become just like their fathers and so on. And I know you want to know about me, a female, being a panther. Well to bad for you because as you might not know Pavel, my papa, was away for a week and I want to welcome him home. He always has to go away for work. Pavel is a big business man here in Maine and he’s always telling me that I could use the money to buy the finer things in life and I do. I mean I’m not one of those spoiled rich girls; I have to earn my money. I had to go through school, home school. Pavel thought it would be safer for me if I did and I trust him. Like our house, I could sit outside and stare at it for hours. Pavel designed, keeping in mind what he thought I would need. Its right I the middle of a forest not many people hike through, it has a gothic look with dark wood and stone, and lots, and lots of windows. Over half of the house is made of glass to look at the forest from all 2

different angles. My favorite is the south wing, which has my bedroom, which faces the creek. We like to swim in the summer and skate in the winter. Another part of the house is the garage with the best automobile collection ever, Pavel and I love fast sleek cars, and I mean who doesn’t. Wait, I hear Pavel’s car, better head home to see him. ** ** ** ** ** ** ** I had just reached the house when Pavel’s car came to a stop. He stepped out of his two door clack Bentley. Pavel was about an inch over six feet, with dark brown hair with some white, he had bronze eyes, and a strong face that held secrets. He was a very handsome man in his late thirties and always well groomed. Whenever I see him I remember the hell hole that he got me out of and am thankful of the life he has given me. “Pavel, I’m so glad to see you,” I said when I ran over to him. “How was your trip, I’ve missed you.” When I reached him his face was a mask of calm, but there was fear in his eyes. I’ve never seen anything like fear from Pavel. He was the strong, powerful man that I had look up to ever since I was little. “Oh Ebony,” he said with sorrow in his voice. “Papa, what is it. Did something happen when you were on your trip?” I always called Pavel papa when I was scared. “They found you. I’m so sorry but they found, he found you. My sweet Ebony.” “Who found me, papa, who is this he your talking about. Papa you’re scaring me.” “It’s your father, sweetheart.” “What do you mean?” “They’ve been looking for you ever since the day I got you. I’ve know and been trying to prevent them from finding you. I’m sorry I let you down.” I actually saw tears in his eyes. “Papa, it’s not your fault. I’ve kinda know that this day would come, but now that it has I don’t know what to do.” “Ebony you know your not alone. I know what to do.” “And that is what?” “I’m sending you to a man that I’ve know for a long time. He doesn’t know about you but he owes me one and I know he would take care about you.” “But what about you, why don’t you take care of me. I don’t even know this guy. How do I know if I could trust him?” “You don’t have to worry. If you knew him like me you won’t have to worry. He’s like me and you, and he has a wife and some children. You have nothing to worry, trust me.” “Alright, what do I have to do?” Pavel made me go fill two bags with the essentials while he got me a plan ticket to I have no clue. It better not be Alaska or some where really weird, but I trust him and I would do anything he says. A few minutes I have everything in my two Louis Vittion luggage bags. I headed down stairs where Pavel was waiting for me with a plain ticket. God, I was so scared, I mean I knew my real dad would find me but once it happens, all reasons and plains go out the window and your left hopeless and vulnerable. But thanks to Pavel, and whoever he is 3

sending me to, I can find out how to fix things and why, after all this time, he’s looking for me. “Are you sure I can’t stay with you?” I said when I reached Pavel. “I’m sure. Ebony, I want you to be safe and being where they know you are is the exact opposite. Please do as I say and this will be over in no time.” I looked at my papa, thought about all that he taught me and I knew that he was right. All I had to do was go away and than I can come back to my real home. And hey, I might even like the people I am going to live with. “So, where am I going to?” “You’ll find out when you get to the airport.” Uhh, Pavel is really into the whole surprise thing, he did it because he said I had to adjust. “Fine.” I took the tickets and we started to walk to the garage. When we reached navy blue Bentley with suicide doors. Pavel said, “Alright, I bought you a car, so when you get to your destination go to the desk and give your name.” “Got it. So, what car did you get me?” I said with one of my best persuasive smile, but apparently it didn’t work today because all his did was nod and smile. No fair. “Oh, and Ebony, I have to worn you that the Daniel Night won’t know that your coming, so be safe.” “Anything that you say papa,” with that we gave each other a huge, said I love you, good-bye, and I was on my way. ** ** ** ** ** ** **

I finally reached the airport a couple hours later because our house was out in the middle of a forest. When I got there I put my car in the parking, and than went to check myself in. It was late at night so there weren’t many people there and I went through the line really quickly. The whole time I was thinking, which for me is sometimes a really bad pass time. I mean I didn’t know where I was going or who I was staying with; I didn’t even know what kind of people they were. All I knew was a name, Daniel Night, never heard of him. And how the hell did my real dad find me, Pavel has done everything to keep me safe. I sometimes feel bad about what I did to him. When he took me he had to go away into hiding, the only time he left for a business trip and they were never a week long, and I don’t even remember if there was a girl that was close to his heart besides me. Great now I’m freaking out and sad. Nice going Ebony, where’s all that training Pavel gave you? Be strong, if not for yourself do it for your papa. Good pep talk. I finally got to the desk where I told my name and found out that I was going to Washington State, cool I always secretly wanted to go but I never told Pavel because of all that he’s given me. I also learned that I was put in first class, I could have gone couch but Pavel always said he wanted the best for me. And I might as well be comfortable on an 8 hour flight. Thank you Pavel and here I come Washington.


Chapter 2 – Ebony
The flight was ridiculously long and thankfully I wasn’t sitting next to a really annoying person who wants to know if the trip is for business, pleasure, or both. I mean, why do people even want to know, and know, because the want to be nice. Please, like I’m going to tell them what I’m doing and I certainly don’t want to know why they’re traveling. I’m not trying to mean or anything but at that moment I don’t think I could have handle it. I had so much on my plate; my concentration would definitely not be on them. And the biggest topic in my mind was the kind of car Pavel got me and if I would be able 5

to take it home. I had my eyes set on this car and I knew that he noticed, but I don’t want to wish too much that it would hurt not to get it. I would be happy with whatever he got me. The other topic was how Mr. Night and his family was, yes I know that they are like us and that he owes Pavel for doing something, which I don’t know but I plan to. But the more I’ve been thinking I realize that Daniel Night is married, which if he was one of us he must have upset a lot of people, and that Night must not be their real last names. I have come to the conclusion that they must have been running from people like my dad, or my dad, and that they went into hiding. I also have to guess that Pavel must have helped them escape because how else would Pavel know where they live. Wow. That whole scenario just makes me respect and love Pavel even more, and trust me that’s a lot. The plain finally landed and taxied and we were led out to the terminal. The few glances that I got of Washington through the windows of the plain were beautiful, everything was green and lush. I had to get out of this airport to see everything at eye level, so I had to go fast. A few minutes later, after I went though security and grab my bags, I went to the front desk to get my car. After I went through all the paper work the lady at the desk told me to go to the entrance where I would receive my car. By than I still didn’t know what car it was and knowing Pavel he probably had a say in that. When I went through the sliding doors in the front of the airport I gasped in joy and I swear I almost cried. Because right there was a Bugatti Veyron in midnight blue, it’s the second fastest car in the world and it was all mine. So Pavel had noticed me checking out the sleek car. While I was admiring the car I noticed a lot of other admirers and decided that I better get out of there so I don’t draw to much attention. The only thing I hadn’t thought of was how to get to the Night house, great. ** ** ** ** ** ** ** After getting into Baby, I named her myself; I drove a few miles from the airport and stopped in a secluded area to look for something that Pavel could have left me to find the house. Thankfully a few minutes later I found a map and a few credit cards under my seat; there was also a note from Pavel. In the letter he told me to use the cards if I needed anything because we didn’t know if they knew my other cards, the map was to the house, and that I was to burn the map as soon as I studied the map. Thankfully I have a photographic memory that Pavel told me to control. The rest of the letter told me to be safe and that he loved me, but sadly he gave no more information about the Night family. After study the map until I knew it back words and forwards, read the letter a few more times I got out of the car to burn the map and letter safely because I didn’t want to be the reason for the forest to be burned down. And than how could I run through it than? After looking to see if anyone saw me with most my human and animal senses, another thing Pavel helped with, I got back in the car and headed to the Night house. An hour later, I didn’t take me that long hello I had the second fastest car, I got about a few miles from the house because I didn’t want to draw to much attention to where I was going even though I hadn’t seen a car since I burned the map and letter. When I parked the car in a hidden spot, I got out and covered it so nobody would see the light the sun could reflect off of it. After that I left my shoes and jacket in the car. See, when you go through the transformation into animal your clothes don’t change with you, so you end up with shredded non usable clothes. When I was little and 6

still getting used to the change I could do, Pavel and I were able to find out that we could tie our clothes with a string around our ankle and the clothes would stay unharmed. I went farther into the forest, listened to know if something was close, took of my close, and tied me keys, pants, and shirt to my leg. I didn’t take my panties so I wouldn’t have to worrying about going to close. Changed and ran the rest of the way to the house, leaving my car that I would come back later for. Washington’s forest was just how I thought it would be a lot better. I still loved the forest in Maine but this was unknown territory and I loved it. I’m one of those people who look at the unknown as a great adventure, all I wanted to do was to know and do what I haven’t done before. Pavel always taught me that you only live once and you might as well have fun and I’ve kept that through my life. Looking at the lush green ground, the deep brown bark of the trees, to hear the sounds of birds, and the scampering of other animal that call this place home makes me open my eyes and mind to the possibilities that I have yet too see. And nothing and nobody is going to stop me, I will find a way to stop this and have the adventure I always wanted. I knew I was getting closer to the house because I could smell the others, the Night family, but what gave me prickles on the back of my neck was a scent that I somehow knew. Not very well because I couldn’t pinpoint the scent and also because the person was trying really hard to hide it. I had to get closer but I knew I had to go slowly. When I was a few feet away from the house, which had a beautiful woodiness to it, I saw a man crouching behind a bush that was, like me, a few feet away. The man was probably near six feet, I couldn’t really tell because he wasn’t standing, and he was observing the house. He looked alone but I checked the air for anybody else while keeping an eye on the man. And the more I looked at the guy something clicked in my mind and I instantly knew who the man was and that he was a major threat. I had to have a low profile while trying to get the man from behind. Slowing I retraced my steps until I was a few feet behind him and starred to get closer. When I was a few inches from him he heard me and turned around. At first he had a look of shock than confusion and finally recognitions. “Ebony, we have been looking for you.” He said with a grace as if we’ve know each other for years. With that I gave a growl and leaped at him, while I was in the air he turned into a wolf and the fight was on. You see when Satan gave David Nikolin the power he wished for the curse he was given also had a few more details and one of them had to deal with death. The only way to be killed was that another human-animal had the ability to kill while in animal form, out of the form you would be really healthy. I mean no flu, sickness, poison, cancer, or anything else. So when you are fighting with another in animal form it’s to the death and you really want to win. While I was fighting the Night family must have heard because I could hear them inside moving around, but at the moment I really didn’t care I had other matters to deal with. ** **


** **

My father was the first to hear something outside and the rest of us followed along. We had just been seated down for dinner and my older brother and his new wife we over. I was really happy for Jason and Claire but a part of me, a part that I didn’t even 7

understand, was kind of jealous that they had each other and I was alone. I never thought that I was the marrying tip, I liked to be in the company of many beautiful women, and I didn’t want to be tied down with commitment and all that. I was only 25 and I thought I still had a way to go. And my other brother, who couldn’t make it, wasn’t even in a relationship but I had a feeling that would change. The last time I talked to Alex he was talking about this girl he meet and that’s it. There was also my sister, Redfire, who was only 21 and was already pregnant with a child of a man that she didn’t even love, and trust me that did not go over with my father very well, he was old fashioned all the way. It got annoying at some time but I loved him and my mom was always trying to help when she wasn’t agreeing with him. Thinking about love and all that I knew my mom and dad were the best example that there really was true love. Anybody who first saw them wouldn’t believe that they were married, my dad was a big burly strong man that was well over six feet and even though his hair had touches of white in them he always had a strong presences and was kind behind the tough exterior and than there was my mom who looked fragile, sweet, kind, she was barley five feet five and everything that my dad wasn’t but she also had a secret temper that was as harsh a earthquake. They completed each other and raise four wonderful children, one of them being me of course. Well you probably want to know who I am. Hello my name is Conlan Night, third child to Daniel and Lucy Night, and I can turn into a panther. I would tell you more but we have to get back to what we all heard outside. By than we had all reached the door where my father told the women to stand near the back and than he opened the door to something I would never have guess. Right in our front door was a panther and a wolf that were fighting, definitely to the death too. At first glance you would think they were normal animals but when you looked closer there were hints that they were not normal. For example the wolf had a wicked tattoo to his right forearm and the panther had a colorful line of fur to it, which was odd because I have seen nothing like and the looks on my dad and brothers said they were the same. Looking back onto the animal the panther was clearly winning with its fast clean strikes at the wolf that was under him. We all stayed back and quite because we knew I wouldn’t be safe if we interfered, so we waited it out. While I was waiting I noticed another odd detail of the panther, I seemed that there was something attached to its ankle, probably a thorn when it leaped through the bush to get the wolf. A few short minutes later and the wolf was died and the panther prowled around it to check. The body of the wolf change into its human form, because when the defeated animal died the mind lost control of its hold on the animal and changed back. “Wow, the panther put that guy into shreds.” My brother Jason said before my dad could stop him. At the sound of his voice the panther looked up and I was looked with eyes as green as a forest after a storm. Something in the contact of our eyes my heart started into over drive and I didn’t know why. How could this be when I knew that all humans that turned into animals were men. Oh my god, I had the hots for a guy, I think I’m going to be sick. Why, why did it have to turn out like this, why did it have to be like this. Thankfully that panther broke the spell by looking over the rest of the family. After the panther looked us over it started to move back, as if it was going to run even though we had done nothing to frighten it. Before I could say anything my father makes the first move.


“Wait, don’t go, you have nothing to fear. I am Daniel Night and this is my family.” The whole time he was talking he was taking a step forward. “Why don’t you change and introduce yourself.” The panther only got farther as my dad got closer, but when I looked into its eyes I knew that it wasn’t fear but understanding. Something inside me told me to let the panther go and change behind a bush. My father took another step and I knew what I had to do. “Dad,” I said when I went to go stand near me and ignoring my brothers warning face. “I think it would be best to let it change behind a bush, it doesn’t know us and should gain its bearings.” My dad looked at me while keeping an eye on the panther that hadn’t moved since I joined him. I pleaded with my eyes that he could trust me and know that I knew this was the right thing to do. After a few seconds, that felt more like years, he nodded and turned back to the animal. “I see my son has put in an offer, I respect him enough to follow him, but if you run know that it will be your end. You can you to the nearest bush.” With that the panther nodded at us and went to the bush. After it was out of sight we all looked at each other in question but turned our gaze back when the was a rustling sound. Finally someone stood up and walked forward, at first I could only see a dark shadow because of the darkness the trees give but when the person walked into the light I couldn’t believe what I saw. I wasn’t alone because behind me I heard gasps of air and my father went still next to me. Because right in front of us was non other than a women, a very hot women. The first thing I thought was, thank the Lord above that I was not attracted to a man, after that I took her all in. She was about 5 feet 8, all legs, smooth olive skin, and slightly crooked nose, full lips, and strong bone structure, black hair with a streak of rainbow, and forest green eyes that captivated me when she was a panther. She was dressed in tight pants, black top, and obliviously no bra. All in all, she was exactly everything I was attracted to without knowing, and scared to hell. I wasn’t supposed to feel this way, yeah just a few minutes ago I said I was jealous, but I was not expecting it to happen the minute after I thought it. Well you haven’t even talked to her, she could be a bubble head or boring. Yeah, just keep thinking that. “Who are you?” My father was the first to talk, I could tell he was trying to be strong and fearless but I could hear the fear in his voice. Because out of all of us, he would be the most frightened. He was the one who knew the most history and we all knew I was impossible that there is a women animal. At least we thought. “I am sorry for what I have done in front of your house.” She said and I swear it was like a warm caress against my spine like silk. “My name is Ebony Lev and I am here to see you, Daniel Night.” “Lev, that sound familiar?” “It should. My father is Pavel Lev. He told me you owned him one, he didn’t tell me why, and that I should go to you.” “Did you say Pavel?” My mother had somehow gotten past Jason and stood next to my father, who was trying to hold her back. “Lucy, you should be back with Jason.” He said forcefully. “Daniel she is just a women and I am right next to you. Why don’t you let her answer.” She said with the same force my dad had and turned to Ebony before my dad could protest. 9

Turning to look at her I saw that she was looking at my mother with a smile of appreciation, not wonder like most people who saw them together arguing. “Yes, I said Pavel. I am sorry that I have come at a time like this and Pavel would like me to say hello.” “What do you mean, like this?” I asked because I couldn’t wait for long for why she was here. She turned her big beautiful eyes on me and after a moment said, “I would gladly tell you but I don’t feel comfortable saying it out in the open, if you know what I mean.” Well if it wasn’t for the sarcastic comment at the end it would have been the twitch of her life and the sparkle in her eyes. There goes the hope of her being a bubble head and/or boring. Damn. “I’m sorry, you’re probably right,” my mother said going into hostess mood. “If you say your Pavel daughter I believe you. You must be hungry and tiered after that fight, come in. Jason and Conlan can deal with the body.” And with that my mom took Ebony’s arm and led her into the house followed by my sister and Claire, which left me, dad, and Jason. We were quite for a moment, trying to adjust to the news and wonder what to do next, besides deal with the body. And of course dad was the first to talk. “I am in as much shock as you are, maybe more, but we must not make a bad assumption. We will deal with this after we get all the facts, than we will handle it as I see fit.” “Who is this guy, Pavel Lev. And how does mom know about him?” Jason asked. Dad looked wary for a moment, than it was gone and he said. “He was an old friend and that’s all I’m saying for now. You two should get ride of the body than you should come in. Than we’ll have a long talk with Ebony Lev.” Than our father left to go into the house with the women and Jason and I were left with a body. Yah us. We didn’t go to motion for awhile because we both stared at each other with probably the exact same expression. Wonder, amazement, puzzlement, and fear, even though we would never admit we were scared. A moment later Jason broke the silence by asking, “So what do you think about all this?” “I don’t really know. Dad always told us that men are the only ones to change. And we thought Redfire was a miracle, apparently she’s not the only girl to be born of a Nikolin.” “Yah, I have a feeling we won’t like the explanation Ebony gives.” “I feel that too. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.” Because I wanted to know what’s going on before I get to head strong in the feelings I felt for her. “So little brother, what do you think of Ebony?” “What do you mean? It is weird that she can change, but I thought we went over this.” “I saw the way you looked at, you have the hots, don’t you?” “I have no clue what you’re talking about. Come on let’s get rid of this body and get inside.” At that we went over to the body and started to carry it away, “Hey Conlan, have you ever seen this guy?” “No, but apparently Ebony does.” I said, Jason and I looked at each other with question in our eyes. But that can be dealt with later, right now we have bigger problems and it called Ebony. 10

Chapter 3 – Conlan
After Jason and I got rid of the body, that we still have no clue who it was, we went back into the house. When we reached the dinning room everybody was at the table and it so quite I was afraid to breathe too loudly. I mean everybody was either staring at Ebony openly or trying to sneak little peeks, more former than later. Jason and I looked at each other and than took our seats at the table. Our kitchen and dinning room, like the rest of the house, was a room full of dark wood with a gentle touch to it. My dad had built the house and my mom designed it. The kitchen had an old look to it with modern appliances, it was the place my mom spent most of her time when we had people over, and that was mostly once a week. Everybody loves the Night family, my dad liked to make friends and he is always trying to set Alex, me, and Firebird with the people in our town. The dinning room was usually used as much, maybe more, than the kitchen. It had a long wooden table with two chairs on the ends and bench seats on the sides. We usually had meetings, breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and when we were little we did our homework. The seating was usually the same : my dad at the


head, than my mom on his left, Redfire, Claire, and Jason on that side and than on the other the guest on dad’s right, Alex, and than me. I could tell that mom didn’t like the silence because she was the first to talk, “So Ebony where do Pavel and you live these days?” I looked over at her and saw that she was looking around the table before answering the question, almost like she was contemplating if she should answer. Why. “Pavel raised me in a forest area in Maine.” “I hear the seasons are beautiful up there.” “Yes, are house was surrounded by the forest and we had a lake near by. Pavel always wanted me to everything.” “How old are you, Ebony?” my father asked while my mom sent him a look that she probably thought was discreet. But Ebony didn’t mind because she answered, “I’m 22, sir.” “I didn’t know Pavel had a daughter.” “Well all things fair, sir, but I didn’t know he knew anybody in Washington.” “What are you doing here and why didn’t Pavel tell me?” “Daniel.” My dad was getting into a mood and apparently she wasn’t the only one to notice. All of us were glancing at each other, except Ebony of course, she was still looking at dad. “I’m sorry for coming unnoticed but Pavel made me come here to be safe. I could always go back to Maine but I don’t think that would be smart.” “Well, I want answers right now. Pavel doesn’t have a daughter, how the hell can you change, and who the hell are you trying to run away from?” “Daniel you don’t have to shot.” “I will shot if I want to. This girl could easily put my family in danger and I won’t allow it. Either she tells me the whole story or she will have to leave.” My mom looked from my dad to Ebony and back again. At the moment all attention was drawn to her and if she would tell us the truth. “I’m sorry dear, but my husband is right. You must tell us everything so we can help you. Please?” There was a momentary pause and than Ebony took a breath and told her story. “My mother was a normal woman who wanted a husband, kids, and a white picket fence. One night when she was on her way back home she was attacked and raped by a man. Later she realized she was pregnant and like every other woman, she did what was best for her. She gave birth to me, I always used to think that maybe I would be different, that she would take me because I was a baby girl, but she didn’t. She gave me to my real father and left for the life she wanted, trying to forget the horror she went through.” While she was telling the story her eyes were trained on something over my mothers head and there was a longing look in her eyes. It made me wanted to grab onto her and tell her that I would never let her go. I couldn’t do either and that made it even worse. “When my dad saw me, he told her to keep me but my mother didn’t and she ran. He saw me useless and wanted to kill me, but there were these men he knew that wanted to take and experiment on me. He gave me to them and that was the last I heard of him. After that I was put into a dark cell and the men did what they said they would. Each day the men would either inject me with something or test me or just leave me there. I realized while I was growing up what they wanted to do with me.” 12

“What were they doing?” Ebony stopped and looked over at Claire, who had asked the question. At first she didn’t answer but just stared at her, finally she said, “They were trying to see if they could make me into what my dad was and they didn’t care if I would die.” My mother, sister, and Claire all gasped and I could see dad stiffen in his seat. Ebony continued, “Further through the procedures they realized that nothing was working and they stopped planning on doing tests on me but how I would die. I could hear them, at the time I didn’t know why or how, but later I found a way to get out. Once they found I had escaped there was a search party looking for me. I was found behind a dumpster by Pavel. At first I was so scared to move but he told me that he would take care of me, something in me told me that I could trust him and that he would keep me safe. I ran to him, he took me in his arms and told me nothing bad was going to get me, he took me away. Later when I was growing up I found out that Pavel had heard of a child being tested on and had come to save me.” “How old were you?” This time is was Redfire who asked the question. She was pregnant and I bet she was thinking she would never do that to her baby. There was sorrow in her eyes but when I looked at Ebony, there was no expression on her face. “I was five when I got out.” “You were held for five years?” Ebony nodded and again the room went silent. “Pavel took me to Maine and everything was going fine. He put me in school, I was healthy and dong what a normal child should do. But one day, when I was 13, I changed. I was scared, it hurt so much, and he was scared for a moment but than he took control and helped me along. A few days later we relieved that the man had done something right and the fact that it didn’t happen for all those years was because my body wasn’t mature enough. After that, I was taught everything I know, how to survive and control the animal in me. I was scared the most that Pavel wouldn’t love me, I was a freak of nature, the only girl like me. I ran away into the forest and a few hours later he found me and told me his feelings hadn’t change. I was still his little girl and that we would deal with all this it time.” “Than why are you here and who are you running from?” I asked, I shouldn’t have because she turned to me and I was hit with those powerful green eyes. Damn. “Yesterday Pavel came home and told me that he found me.” “Who is he and why should you be afraid?” “Ever since I was little I knew my father would come looking for me, Pavel never talked about but I think he knew I would find out. I did, a few years later somebody said that they say a panther and a wolf in the forests of Maine, everybody thought the person was crazy and that was the end of that, Pavel and I were more careful. But I had a feeling that my father found out and that his people have been looking for me this whole time.” “Why didn’t Pavel move you to somewhere else?” “I don’t know and I didn’t ask because I knew he would do the right thing. Just like he did the right thing for you, Mr. Night.” She turned to my dad and for a moment I was as shocked as he looked, but than I was gone. “Did Pavel tell you about that?” he asked and I saw that mom’s hand had moved to be on his arm. What was going on? “What does she mean, daddy?” Firebird asked. “I’m sorry, sir, but I found that out on my own.” 13

“Pavel has always been a good friend and I always thought he would be a good father. I’m proud to find out I was right.” “Thank you, sir.” “Please call me Daniel, and you are welcome in my house Ebony.” I could still tell the Firebird was worried about something that Ebony said and I was going to find out. “Dad, I think I would be best if you told us who Pavel Lev and how you know him.” Jason said. He was the oldest and I knew he felt that he should be the one to talk for all of us, like now. But sometimes I wasn’t in the mood, did he ever think that I could take control, I mean I wasn’t even the youngest, I was a few years young for Pete’s sake. Mmm, I wonder who came up with that saying and why the heck do they have to pick on Pete, poor guy. Conlan focus deal with Pete another time. Getting back to matters at the time, I got out of my day dream and noticed everybody was trained onto dad. What was he not telling us and was that bad the he didn’t just say something, and finally how the hell has Ebony found out. I don’t even know, now I really want to get to know her. Damn, I know I’m going to get in trouble.



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