Every year the lacrosse team camped out at the lake, right before school started, to celebrate our last weekend of freedom. But this year was different. I was actually looking forward to school.
"A toast to our senior year!" crows Jackson and Derek lifts is red plastic cup in the air for the collective cheer.
"Hey Captain, we need a refill!" says Danny.
"I'll get the beer," laughs Derek, getting up from his sprawl on the ground. The blood rushing to his head as he stumbles back to where the cars were parked.
I was captain of the lacrosse team. My dad was finally letting me drive the Camaro. Things were looking good. It seemed like nothing could go wrong.
A wolf howls in the distance as Derek swings his keys idly between his fingers.
"Huh, there aren't any wolves in California," he muses out loud before laughing to himself at the absurdity of his statement. "Wolves."
Derek frowns at the sound of a wolf baying again in the distance. It sounds close. But, there aren't any wolves in California. He shines his flashlight from side to side and shrugs it off, and follows the path towards where the cars are parked. Derek hears a sharp snap of a tree branch and whirls around to see just the darkened trail leading back to the lake.
"Very funny guys," he scowls. "Greenberg, I know it's you. Not scary at all."
He sees a flash of red in the looming darkness and a dark growl. Derek stumbles back and breaks out into a run when there is a rumbling roar. Derek hears something give chase. He veers off the beaten path an into the underbrush to narrowly avoid whatever is chasing him. He turns to look back and stumbles on an exposed tree root when he sees a giant wolf with red eyes. He stumbles to the ground, skinning his hands. He ignores the flash of pain in favor of shielding his face from the sharp teeth that come at him.
The beast bites into his arm.
Ice fills his veins and his arm feels on fire. It's only when the pain disappears that he notices he's alone in the woods and if there wasn't blood on his shirt he would have never believed that he was bitten since his arm looks fine.
I didn't know it then but from that night on. My life would never be the same.
I live in Beacon Hills, my hometown. And this is 1867 Maple Street also known as the Hale House. Eight generations of Hale's have lived here.
Derek grabs his leather jacket as he lumbers down the stairs, making a grab for the Camaro's keys.
"Hey Dad," he greets and bypasses his sister eating cereal in front of the TV.
"You're up early, Laura."
"Can it lil' brother, I got called in for a double shift on my day off," she scowls. And Derek pulls a face at her.
Laura's in college. But she hates her roommates so she can usually be found doing laundry at home and stealing my shampoo.
Derek pulls into the parking lot of Beacon Hills' High. He walks into the school with his sunglasses on and a grin. He glad hands a couple of lacrosse teammates before making his way to his locker. Only noticing the lanky guy trying to cram his books into his own without causing an avalanche.
"You new here?" Derek frowns, taking off his sunglasses. He thinks he knows all the guys at the school. Most are on the lacrosse team.
The teen laughs before sobering at Derek's look. He doesn't look familiar at all. He's wearing a glaring plaid shirt and a red hoodie. Kind of hard not to miss.
"Uh, no. Derek. I'm Stiles Stilinski. We've had lockers next to each other since kindergarten."
Derek scowls at him.
"You know, chem club president?" The guy offers, pulling out a chemistry textbook from his locker to illustrate his point. Half a dozen books fall to the ground. "Crap." He gets on his knees to start picking up the mess.
"Co-founder of the science-fiction club? Well, there are only two of us. So really, it's not a club. Just me and Scott being scarlet nerded and watching b rated horror movies," he continues to say, with a self-deprecating grin. "The school cut our funding but we're still going strong. Hey, you interested?"
Derek pauses and looks at the guy for a moment. Something itches at his skin. His senses are reeling. He shakes his head, trying to clear it. He smells like rain water and sugar.
"No, I have to go," he bites out. He feels something changing inside of him. His pulse is quickening.
"But your books," Stiles trails off with bewilderment.
"Never mind," Derek growls out and Stiles mouth drops open but suddenly everything is too loud and his head is pounding with new smells.
"Your eyes," gapes the guy. "They just flashed blue."
But Derek is already heading out the door.
It usually takes me a solid fifteen minutes to get home. Twenty if you count the detour I take to avoid Mr. O'Brien's guard dog. Today, it took twenty-three seconds. An even thirty.
"What is happening to me?" asks Derek, staring at his clawed hands in horror and feeling sharp fangs bite into his bottom lip.
Things were never the same again.