Chapter Nineteen (Part One)

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“Jimmy’s a werewolf? Yeah sure,” said Beth, ten minutes later in the library. “It’s Christmas Eve not April fool’s. You’re shitting me right?”

“Nope. Afraid not. Legends are sometimes true, you know. I’ve wanted to confide in you for ages, but I knew you wouldn’t believe me, and it’s taken a while for me to adjust to it all myself.”

“And how long would ages be exactly? Eh? Just how long have you been keeping this secret from me?”

“Don’t be mad at me Beth. I don’t know really. I think I knew of Sebastian’s existence before I’d even met him, but it was after Simone’s funeral that he revealed his true self…so to speak.”

“What…he just came out and said, ‘I’m a werewolf’?”

“Not quite that blatant but near enough.”

“And the whole family is?”

“Not all, but most of them, yes.” I knew she didn’t really believe me. Her face looked exactly like Mum’s always did when I tried to spin some tale about actually having a social life.

“So, I guess they change on the night of the full moon and go off on murderous rampages, do they?” She laughed nervously.

“Erm…yes. And eeww…no.” I hoped it wasn’t a lie, but I hadn’t really known the Lovells long enough to know whether what Sebastian had told me was true.

Beth studied my face and comprehension dawned that I was serious. “But in the movies werewolves are killers, sacrificing innocent victims, and spreading their disease on to others.” She leaned away from me. “He hasn’t bitten you has he?”

“What? No. They’re the good guys…and they’re everywhere, living amongst us.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“I did say you wouldn’t, remember? But I’m telling the truth. They hide their true identities.”

Beth thought for a moment. “It’s not a full moon tonight, Soph.”

“I know that.”

“Have any of the others ever acted the way Jimmy’s acting now…before?”

“Never. At least not while I’ve known them. That’s why it doesn’t feel right. I think he may have the disease.”

“Disease? Okay, I’ll rise. What disease?”

I gave Beth a quick rundown of the situation, and once I’d started, I found that I couldn’t stop. I wanted to tell her everything, the Reith family, other fantastical creatures, our trips to the other realms. I needed to unload some of the burden of secrets that had been weighing me down those past months. It felt great to finally be able to confide in an impartial party, but I could see that she was struggling with the information.

“Okay stop. I can’t handle this. I can’t take it all in. It doesn’t fit in my brain.” Beth shook her head incredulously.

Pity…because I don’t think you could fit anything else into those tight trousers…though I’d like to watch you try.” The voice came from behind Beth, making her jump, and it was quickly followed by a translucent head appearing over her shoulder, blatantly eying her bottom.

“Grandpa Jo, behave!” I scolded, as he flew around to face us.

Me behave? Have you seen the rumpus in the hallway? Parties were so much more civilised in my day, you know.”

Beth’s face was a picture. Her eyes flew open and her mouth seemed to be stuck in a permanent gape, as she stared at the apparition.

“Erm, I think you’ve got a bit of drool dripping down your chin there, Beth.” I pointed out.

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