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Full Moon Kisses:A Full Moon Novel(9)

By:Ellen Schreiber

"I do. He's a great guy-a great dad. I just know how he looked at me the last time he was here. With fear in his eyes. He's afraid of me-his only son."
"He's not afraid anymore," I said. "He is coming back."
"I'm not so sure. It's not natural to have a son who is a werewolf."
"Well, we are working on that, aren't we?"
"Yes, but mostly he is. And I'm the one who resisted his help."
"But there is another full moon coming soon. Don't beat yourself up. You can take it then."
"You are really something," he said. "Most girls I've met are only interested in shopping and partying. You are so understanding. Most girls would run from a werewolf, not date one."
"Well, how can I resist one as cute as you?" I asked coyly.
"I've been dying to do this all day." He sat at the table and pulled me onto his lap and we kissed.
Then we cleared our dishes and put them in the dishwasher.
I imagined for a moment that this was our home. Brandon and me living in the country. A house with character and dogs barking in the backyard, a flower garden, and a wooded area behind the house like Brandon had now. And what if he couldn't change back to normal and he was this way always? Wouldn't it be good for those times when it was a full moon to live in an out-of-the-way spot with a lot of land and a small forest behind the house to run alongside wolves without neighbors knowing? It might be possible to live our lives that way, if we had to. And if we had to, I was up for the challenge.
The doorbell rang, yanking me out of my fantasy and back into reality.
Brandon headed into the front room, and I followed. He opened the door, and Dr. Maddox stood there with a warm smile on his face. He embraced his son.
"Great to see you, Brandon," he said, patting him on the back as they hugged.
"You, too, Dad," Brandon replied.
"Hi, Celeste," Brandon's father said to me.
"Hi, Dr. Maddox," I said.
"Wow, something smells delicious," he remarked.
"Celeste just baked chocolate-chip cookies," Brandon said. "Would you like some?"
"I bet you are hungry from traveling," I said. "We have leftovers from dinner, too. We could heat them up for you."
"No, thank you-but those cookies-that will be great."
I went into the kitchen while the two Maddox men reunited.
I came back into the family room with a full plate of cookies and handed Dr. Maddox a small plate and a napkin.
"Thank you," he said, settling in on the sofa. He took a cookie and bit into it. He grinned, delighted. "These are delicious," he said between chewing. "You are quite the cook."
"It's just from a package," I admitted.
"Well, I'm still very impressed," he said.
Brandon scooted over, and I sat next to him on the love seat.
"So how have you been?" Brandon's father asked. "You sure look good."
"I feel okay," Brandon said.
"Celeste seems to be taking good care of you," he remarked.
"She is," Brandon said.
"But how is everything else? Do you still have the lycan symptoms under a full moon?"
"If you mean ‘turning into a werewolf' are lycan symptoms?" Brandon joked. "Then, yes."
Dr. Maddox didn't laugh.
"How are you feeling on a daily basis?"
"Hungry. I'm always hungry. I can see in the dark, and I feel compelled to sleep outside, even though I don't."
"So your daily symptoms are getting stronger?"
"I guess you could say that."
"He can communicate with wolves," I added proudly.
"Really?" Dr. Maddox asked.
"Yes," I said. "And other canines. He's very powerful. He saved a boy at the zoo the other day."
"Interesting," Dr. Maddox said. He put down his empty plate and pulled out his phone. He made a few notes on it. "What happened exactly, Brandon?"
"I don't know … I just heard a scream, and then I sensed something-wolves in the distance being threatened. I didn't have much time to think. Before I knew it, I was in an enclosure at the zoo staring at a pack of wolves. There was a boy lying on the grassy embankment-he was hurt and unconscious. I wasn't sure about his injuries, but I didn't want the wolves to attack him-nor did I want the boy to be afraid if he woke up. I let the wolves know that they weren't threatened."
"How did you do that?" he asked incredulously.
"Uh … I guess telepathically."
"So it is still happening," his father went on.
"I didn't take the serum. I told you."
"I know. But I thought your symptoms might wane. The restless nights and the like. But I didn't realize you had other abilities, like communicating with wolves. How do you do that?"
"I don't know. I can't explain it. I just make eye contact with them, like I would a human. Only I can sense how they feel and what they are thinking. And somehow they know what I'm thinking, too."
"And they listen," I chimed in. "He's the alpha male in the pack," I told Dr. Maddox proudly.
"This is so interesting. I can't believe it. If you weren't telling me-if you weren't my son, I wouldn't believe it."
"I wish it were all a prank," Brandon said.
"I think we'll have to run some tests. I have to see this and document it."
This made me think of Dr. Meadows and her request, which had alarmed me. She wanted to film Brandon's transformation. But Dr. Maddox was a scientist and Brandon's father. He didn't want to exploit his son for his own gain.
"I was hoping you would have taken the serum and have been back to normal. But since you haven't, I think we need to talk."
"Yes?" Brandon asked.
"I want to know why you haven't taken it," Dr. Maddox said, sitting up. "I thought you would have on the last full moon. That's why I'm here. I wanted to know why and make sure you were okay."
"We think there is another werewolf," Brandon confessed. "In fact, we know there is one."
"You have to be kidding," his father said.
"I'm not," Brandon replied.
"Who is this person?" his father wondered.
"Another guy at school. Nash, Celeste's old boyfriend."
"You seem to have quite a history with werewolves," his father remarked.
We all half chuckled, relieving some of the tension.
"So I wanted to wait," Brandon said. "To make sure he didn't harm Celeste."
"But don't you think you can be yourself and handle these situations?" Brandon's father asked.
"Of course … but it does help to be strong," Brandon replied. "And with my communication abilities, I thought I stood a better chance at controlling Nash's werewolf behavior."
"At some point, you have to be yourself and do what is best for you," Dr. Maddox said firmly.
"Maybe this is me," Brandon responded sullenly. "I can't be cured and then have Celeste in harm's way with another werewolf."
"Well, maybe you can," he tried to assure Brandon.
"Yes," he said. "I guess I could. I just was thinking I'd be stronger if I … Look, he was also bitten. I saw it happen. I tried to stop it, but I only got there in time for us to stop the wolf before Nash was killed."
"Brandon saved his life," I interjected proudly. "Just like he saved the boy at the zoo. And he saved me when I was lost in the woods. Brandon has been like a superhero in this town."
Brandon's father tapped him on the knee. "You are terrific," he said. "All the problems you are going through, and you have the wherewithal to use your condition to help others. I am truly proud of you."
Brandon's cheeks flushed red. I know he wouldn't admit that getting props from his father meant a lot to him, but he couldn't hide his proud expression.
"And there's something else, Dad," Brandon said. "Now Nash is looking to be cured as well. I want to know, can we give him some of the serum?"
"I made that serum for you. I want you to be normal. Then we can go about seeking cures for your friends. What you have is only enough for one dose. And that dose is for you to take. And if you take the serum, you can prove its effectiveness. Then I can go and make another dose. But for now-I can't give out medication to a minor without considering many legal issues. You understand that, right?"
"I understand. But can't you make more?" Brandon asked.
"I did the best I could in the short time I had to create a possible antidote. It's made from wolf DNA and human DNA. There was no one to test it on, I'm afraid. Just a few mice."
"Werewolf mice?" Brandon asked with a laugh.
"Creepy," I said, imagining their appearance.
"I injected five lab mice with wolf DNA and saliva from a rabid wolf. I used intense reflected light to simulate moonlight and manipulated the magnetic field around their cage to re-create the full moon's gravitational effects on the earth. Within a few minutes, the mice began to grow canine fur. Their muscles also grew stronger and they were much faster than normal. A few days later, I injected the serum, which contained particles of moondust I got from a scientist at NASA. Nothing happened. But when I injected it after their hair was turned under the moonlight, the antidote worked on four of them. They turned back into normal mice."
"But what about the fifth one?" Brandon asked.
"He still continued to grow canine fur."
"That's what I'm afraid of," Brandon said.
"It was only one in five. The odds are in your favor. It isn't likely that you'll stay a werewolf full-time."