|The Accomplice: Revision
Author: Wherever Girl PM
The gang is in California, where they believe their troubles with Vincent are over. Problems begin all over when they meet a girl who's hiding too many secrets, and trouble happens to be following her...Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Romance - Words: 10,132 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 09-09-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8510340
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Alright, guys. FIRST of all, I've decided to take a short break from my other stories to begin rewriting some of my other stories that need a bit tweaking…. And this story was at the top of the list for a complete overhaul. The plot was a bit too fast, and the romance was WAY too rushed, so I'm just going to start from scratch, all the while throw in more backstory. The original is still on the website , if any of you would like to make a comparison, for the original on this site will be deleted by the time I post this one.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy The Accomplice: Revised.
*I only own Brielle*
It was a beautiful summer day on the coast of California, as hundreds of people crowded the beach, seagulls flew here and there, and the salty waves slipped in and out on the white sand. The sky was clear blue, with only a couple white puffy clouds floating near the sun, the air warm and only a tad windy. The view was spectacular from the top of the hotel rooftop a young girl stood on top of, looking down at all the families unloading their vehicles to have some fun in the sun.
While most would smile upon such a lovely sight, the girl only gazed solemnly, wincing as she looked at a picture in her hands of another family, standing in front of a beautiful white house, smiling. Said little family always dreamed of taking a trip to the ocean side together, and enjoy the beaches and scenery and tourist spots any other family would want to. But they could not.
Because that family did not exist any longer.
Sighing, the girl tucked the picture into her wallet and stuck it tightly in her pocket, continuing to look out at the scenery, unaware of a shadowy figure that stood behind her…
Inside the same hotel, five teenagers sat in a room, one of them looking over a picture of a silver crest. The one with the picture was a girl named Kasandra Bickerson, though that was only half of her identity. At first glance, not many people would believe that she was also a she-wolf named Hunter, who had recently joined up with a group of daring teenagers, after being orphaned from her parents due to a murderous hunter, who supposedly was still in pursuit.
Despite the threat, her new friends never left her side… especially Sherman Fangsworth, (alias Fangs), who soon became her boyfriend two years back, along with his alternate werewolf identity, Fangface. In the past, neither of the two identities knew the other existed for some time, but one day their friends finally told him the truth. The shock didn't fade for Fangs too quick, and Fangface still denied he could turn into such a wimp, but they eventually accepted the facts… especially since they were both in love with the same girl/shewolf. Though after each transformation, Fangs still needed to be filled in, often pushing the most fearful parts of their adventures into Fangface's subconscious in order to block them out and keep from being scarred for life. Fangface, however, just lived for the moment, and paid no attention when his human-half begged for him to resist any daring stunts.
And boy, had things been frightening for the group, though their last adventure left Kassy baffled.
"I know I've seen this somewhere before, when I was a little kid." she said to them as they lounged around. "I know it had to do with something important, but I just can't remember what or why."
"Maybe it belonged to one of your family members?" Kim, the only other girl in the gang, guessed.
Kassy shrugged. "I don't know. I've never seen it hanging on the wall in any of my relative's houses, and my parents sure never brought something like it up when we had to move in the past."
"Does Hunter know anything about it?" Biff, the leader of the gang, asked.
"She's been searching all over our subconscious, but is as clueless as I am."
"That's a surprise," Puggsy, Fangs' best friend and the 'tough guy' of the gang, scoffed.
A growl, meant from Hunter, erupted in Kassy's throat, making the teenager jump. "Ah, don't worry about it, Kassy. He's just jealous because he's not going out with a gorgeous girl," Fangs remarked, glaring at his friend.
Puggsy jokingly looked over at Biff and Kim. "I didn't know you guys were going out,"
Kassy rolled her eyes. "Very funny, Pugs." She sneered. "Making a crack about Biff and Kim, the only guy and girl who hang around each other…"
"To tell the truth, he's not the first one." Kim muttered.
"C'mon, lets head down to the beach." Biff suggested. "We've only got a couple days left of our vacation, and we shouldn't spend it inside,"
"Yeah, if we hang around inside any longer, we'll all be looking more pale than Snow White," Puggsy agreed.
The gang left the room, heading over to the elevator, when a hand grabbed Kassy's shoulder. "Whoa!" She cried out, whipping around in shock.
"Kasandra! I figured it was you," a boy who appeared to be 17, looking a bit like Kasandra, exclaimed.
Kassy froze, her eyes widening as she recognized who the boy was. "M-Martin? Oh my gosh, MARTIN!" she hugged him tightly. "Where have you been?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing. I was waiting back at Uncle Travis' place for you, but you never came back and I was worried that you…" he began to wince, taking in a deep breath. "…ended up like Mom and Dad. I thought you were gone,"
Kassy winced, realizing she hadn't contacted her brother since she met the gang. "Oh, Martin… I'm sorry."
"Hey, uh, Kass? Not to be rude, but, could you introduce us?" Biff asked.
"Oh! Right! Martin, I'd like you to meet-"
"Kim, Biff, Puggsy, and Fangs." Martin finished. "I read about you guys in the paper all the time… that's actually why I'm here. I read about what had happened at the museum a couple months ago, and decided to see if my big sister was still okay."
"But how did you find us?" Kim asked.
Martin smirked. "Tracking runs deep in our family, Kim. Our grandfather used to be a detective, and taught my dad how to get a trace on someone, and then my dad taught my sis and I. Figured we'd be good sleuths someday,"
"I just have one question," Puggsy said, stepping up. "Are you, or are you not, a werewolf?"
'I figured he was going to ask that,' Hunter said, mentally. Kassy had to giggle.
Martin chuckled. "No. You see, it's rare for a human to be born in the Bickerson family, a few of our aunts and uncles carried the trait… I was one of the few who never inherited it." He replied.
"Ah, I see. One moment," Puggsy said, then turned around and took off his hat, looking up. "Thank you, God!"
"So, you're Kassy's brother?" Fangs asked, stepping up and rapidly shaking Martin's hand. "Gosh, it's so nice to finally meet you! Kass told us everything, and I was wondering if I would ever get to meet you, and now here I am finally meeting you, and ooh ooh-"
"N-Nice to-o m-meet y-you t-too, F-Fangs," Martin replied, getting his hand released and seeing it was still shaking. "Some h-handshake…"
"We were just about to head down to the beach. Why don't you join us, and tell us what you've been up to?" Kim suggested.
"That sounds like a real-"
"WHOOAAAA!" came a shout from outside.
The gang looked out the window, looking up at where the scream at come from, seeing a girl was dangling over the edge. "Oh, my gosh! That girl's about to fall!" Biff gasped.
"Well, don't just stand around! We gotta help her!" Kassy cried, and took out a picture of the moon. "C'mon, Fangs,"
"Oh, I hate this part…" Fangs whined, but looked at the picture with his girlfriend, both of them transforming into Fangface and Hunter.
"(grr) Where's Pugs?! Where is he?!" Fangface growled, looking around.
"I hate this part, too…" Puggsy muttered, as Fangface picked him up and started shaking him wildly.
"C'mon, babe, you can play with your chew-toy later. We've got a girl to rescue!" Hunter told him, making him release Puggsy.
"Ooh, ooh, right!"
The two werewolves climbed out the window and up the building, climbing over the edge just in time to see a shadowed figure making a getway. "You go get them, I'll help the girl,"
"(grr) Stop right there, you!" Fangface growled, running after the figure, but they disappeared down the stairs. "Ooh, ooh, he got away… (grr) Coward probably couldn't handle being beaten by a werewolf," he then ran back to help Hunter.
Hunter, in the meantime, was trying to help the girl. "Here, give me your hand!"
The girl only stared at her, horrified. "But you're… you're a…" she stammered, and yelped as Hunter grabbed her wrist. "Augh!"
"Hey! Take it easy! You're going to make me-" The way the girl started to thrash, Hunter toppled over. "Whoa!"
"Gotcha!" Fangface cried, catching Hunter just in time. He then pulled her and the girl back onto the roof. "Sheesh, Hunter, don't scare me like that! (grr) If you're going to do stunts like that, at least wear a helmet."
"There's t-two of you…?" the girl gasped, backing clear away.
"Whoa, watch yourself, missy, or you'll go over the edge again," Hunter said, grabbing her shoulder.
The girl shook her head. "No way. Not possible…" she stood up and ran to the elevators, where the others were just now getting out.
"Fangface! Hunter! Is everything- OOF!" Puggsy began to call, right before the girl slammed into him, both of them toppling back from the collision.
"Ow… watch where you're going, you…!" the girl began to snap, until she looked at Puggsy, her eyes widening. "You… look familiar…"
Puggsy arched an eyebrow. "Have we met?"
The girl shook her head, standing up. "Never mind. I'm getting out of here," She tried to run, but Kim grabbed her shoulder.
"Wait! Are you alright? What happened?" Kim asked her.
"I-I was just standing up here, when somebody pushed me over the ledge, and a minute later those two werewolves showed up, and now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make a break for it-" She tried to run again, but Biff and Martin stepped in front of her.
"Whoa, take it easy. What's the matter?" Biff asked.
"We're on a rooftop with werewolves, and you're asking what's the matter?!"
"Hey, those werewolves happen to be our friends," Puggsy told her.
"…and one of them's my sister…" Martin added, sneering.
Brielle looked at the werewolves, then back at Martin. "Are… are you one, too?" she asked.
Martin rolled his eyes. "Everyone's asking that today, aren't they? No, I'm not."
"Don't worry, they won't hurt you." Kim assured her. "They just rescued you,"
"…Which I'm starting to regret, now." Hunter muttered, not liking the girl so far.
"C'mon back downstairs with us, and tell us all that happened," Biff said, and they started leading the girl downstairs. "Who pushed you over the edge?"
The girl shook her head. "I don't know, it was some creep dressed in black, wearing a mask. When I clung onto the edge, he said in a raspy voice, 'Your bloodline ends here', and took out a knife. He was about to stab me when he probably saw the werewolves coming up, and he just took off."
"So, either someone's after you, or Batman's got an evil twin, (grr)" Fangface commented.
"What did he mean by, 'your bloodline ends here'?" Martin asked.
The girl slowed down a bit. "I… I don't know." She replied quietly. "I've never met him before… maybe he's just some crazy stalker."
"Lets get to the police and tell them about this," Biff said.
"By the way, what's your name?" Kim asked the girl.
"Brielle Shereba. …Who are you guys?" she replied.
"These are Biff, Kim, Martin, Fangface, and Hunter, and I'm Puggsy." Puggsy said, introducing everyone. "Haven't you've heard of us on the news, before?"
Brielle shook her head. "I don't pay attention to the news that much. Most of everything the media dishes out is either some depressing story or some goofy situation, and they never tell the world what's really going on."
"Maybe you ought to pay attention and embrighten yourself, and maybe you'd know what kind of creep's after you,"
"I know what kind of creep is after me- a psychotic creep, that's all I need to know."
"If that's all, then you probably don't know all that much- OOF!"
Brielle had elbowed Puggsy in the ribs. "And you, apparently, can't shut your mouth."
Hunter and Fangface exchanged glances. "You know… I kinda like her." Fangface commented.
The gang took Brielle to their room. "You can hang around here and call the police, just in case that creep shows up again." Kim told her. "We're going to head down to the front desk and tell them what's happened,"
"Go ahead," Brielle said, then walked over to the phone.
Martin, Puggsy, Hunter, and Fangface, in the meantime, stood in the adjoining room. "So, what do you make of her?" Martin asked in a hushed tone.
"So far, smart-mouthed with a bad attitude, and she has issues with werewolves apparently," Hunter commented, then turned to Puggsy. "Relative of yours?"
Puggsy gave a sneer in response. "Ha ha, I forgot how to laugh," he retorted, then began to pace. "She said I looked familiarized… but I have no memorization of ever seeing her before."
"Her last name sounds familiar, though…" Martin said, rubbing his chin. "Shereba… I know I've heard it somewhere,"
"Looks like I wasn't the only one having memory lapses today," Hunter commented. "First that crest, now this girl… If we don't get this puzzle solved, my brain's gonna up and explode,"
"Ooh, ooh, same here. This is all pretty confusing (grr) confusing." Fangface agreed, rubbing his head.
"Lets try talking to her, again. Maybe she'll remember something about that creep." Martin suggested.
"Fat chance. That girl's pretty stuck up, if you ask me, and probably won't say a word without any quid pro quotation." Puggsy sneered. "She wouldn't say anything upstairs… she might as well have just fell and hit the pavement, since she'd tell us as much as she did now if she were dead-" Fangface, Hunter, and Martin were frantically signaling him to shut up. "…She's right behind me, isn't she?"
"Yep," Hunter put bluntly.
Puggsy turned around.
…seeing a fist fly at his face before anything else. "I might as well have done this on my own, considering YOU'RE not much help," Brielle snapped, fiercely. She then looked at the others. "The cops are sending someone over, they'll be here in fifteen minutes."
"Alright. Uh, Hunt, I'm going to run to my room real quick and grab some stuff, let me know if anything else happens," Martin said, then walked out.
'A girl nearly fell off the roof and punched Puggsy's lights out… what ELSE could happen?!' Fangs questioned in Fangface's mind.
I don't know, but if it's the start of it, I'd like to find out! Fangface thought, kneeling beside Puggsy and lifting his head up. "Hey, Pugs, are you alright? (grr)" he asked.
"I just saved fifteen percent on my car insurance…" Puggsy replied, a bit dazed.
Fangface looked up at Hunter, smiling reassuringly. "Yep, he's alright."
"I'm going to watch television. Let me know when the cops get here," Brielle said, walking over (stepping on Puggsy's stomach in the meantime) and sitting in front of the TV, flicking through the channels.
"Yeah… but for how long?" Hunter joked quietly to Fangface.
The police arrived within minutes, a couple officers searching the rooftop for any traces the creep had left behind, but found nothing. Another officer spoke with Brielle, who told them the same thing she told the gang. "He was wearing a mask and I couldn't recognize his voice. He took off as soon as the werewolves showed up," she said.
"I see. Miss Shereba, I recommend you find your parents and stay with them until this vandal is caught. A girl as young as you shouldn't risk staying at a hotel alone, and your parents have a right to know," the officer told her.
Brielle slumped. "My parents are dead,"
The gang all turned their heads upon hearing that. "Beg pardon?"
"They… passed away a few years ago."
"Oh, I'm sorry. Are you with another relative?"
"I'm traveling alone, sir."
"How old are you?"
"Eighteen, as of last November." She handed him her ID. "Here's the proof."
The officer nodded. "I see… Well, in that case, I suggest you stay with these young teenagers. If someone is after you, it would be foolish to be on your own."
"My men and I will search the area. We'll let you know if we find anything," With that, the police left the room.
"Looks like you're bunking with us, tonight." Biff said kindly to Brielle.
"Yippee," Brielle sneered.
"You know, it would be nice of you to show a LITTLE appreciation for all we've done for you so far," Hunter remarked, crossing her arms. "You're acting pretty sour for a girl who just got her butt saved from instant death,"
"Ever think that maybe I could probably handle myself?"
"No… but if you want, I can push you back over that ledge and see just how well you could handle yourself—"
"Hunter, calm down." Kim said, then turned to Brielle. "Why don't you and Martin go get your bags, and you can stay in the next room. We'll try to figure out where that creep could have gone,"
Brielle left the room with Martin, not saying another word.
"Why don't we go see if the staff had noticed anything peculiar?" Biff suggested.
"Good idea, we can sneak around the hotel and see if anyone's looking for Brielle," Kim agreed.
Biff and Kim had decided to start in the lobby, while Puggsy, Hunter, and Fangface stepped outside in the alley to find anything. The sun was reflecting on a window, and caused the werewolves to change back to human. "Ooh, ooh, what happened?" Fangs asked, having a slight memory lapse.
"We rescued Brielle and are looking for any sign of the guy who tried to kill her," Kassy said, filling him in.
"Oh yeah… I think I'll go check our room, say, under the bed." Fangs tried to walk off, but Kassy linked her arm with his.
"Oh, c'mon hon, you don't really want to leave me alone, do you?" Kasandra gave him a peck on the cheek, helping him change his mind.
"Heh heh, I guess I could stay for a few minutes…"
"I think I'm gonna be sick," Puggsy remarked. "Enough with the mush, you two. We're on a case, not a romantic getaway."
Kassy sneered, then smirked, holding Fangs closer. "Well, it depends how you look at it… We're staying at a hotel by the ocean, with beautiful scenery… I'm with Fangs, Biff is with Kim… if you think about it, this COULD be a romantic getaway for all of us,"
"Aside from some creep running around," Fangs noted, then chuckled. "Along with the fact that Puggsy's the only one who came here without a girl,"
Puggsy glared at them. "I came here to relax and have a good time, not to get all romantified with some girl. I don't have time for any of that, anyhow." He sneered.
"You never know, Pugs…" Kassy said, slyly. "You might find time, if you find the right girl. Anyone can fall in love,"
"Except Puggsy," Fangs replied. "Romance makes him sick to the stomach. He's too tough for it,"
"For once, you're actually talking some sense." Puggsy said.
"Even tough guys fall in love, Puggsy." Kassy told him. "Just wait. Someday you'll meet the perfect girl who you have something in common with…"
Fangs gave a quiet snort.
"And you'll both probably start to like each other more and more…"
Fangs began to snicker, trying to stifle it.
"…and eventually you'll be in a relationship-"
"AH HA HA HA HA HA!" Fangs laughed out loud, falling to the ground, holding his stomach. "HEE HEE HA HA HAAA! (snort) TEE HEE HA! HA HA! HA! (wheeze) HA Ha ha… (ahem) I don't think so, Kass." He looked up…
Seeing Puggsy was giving him the mother of all death-glares.
"Why don't we head back inside, and see if the others found anything?" Kassy suggested, leading Fangs back inside before Puggsy could pound him into next week.
Unbeknownst to them, a dark figure had noticed them, then slipped through the alley.
Biff and Kim were walking down the hall, keeping an eye out for anything suspicious. "None of the staff seemed to know anything," Biff was saying. "You think we could get any answers out of Brielle?"
"I doubt it. She doesn't seem to trust us, much." Kim replied. "We could try, though…"
Down the hall, Martin was sitting on the floor, rubbing his head. "Willackers! Martin, what happened?!"
"I was walking with Brielle back from our rooms, and suddenly she hit me in the head with a suitcase and just took off." Martin told them.
"So much for trying," Biff sighed, bitterly.
"C'mon, we'd better find her, before she gets into any MORE trouble," Kim said, and they ran down the hall in search of Brielle.
Fangs, Kassy, and Puggsy walked through the lobby. "You two go search around the dining area," Puggsy ordered. "I'll check out front,"
"Good idea," Kassy agreed, and walked with Fangs toward the dining room. Once they were out of earshot, she gripped him by the shoulder, tightly. "That wasn't very nice, Sherman."
"What wasn't very nice?" Fangs asked, confused.
"The way you were laughing at Puggsy back in the alley! Laughing and saying it was ridiculous for him to find love."
"I didn't say it was ridiculous for him to find love… I just thought it was ridiculous that he could fall in love."
"Same thing, basically. You probably hurt his feelings,"
"Me? Hurt HIS feelings? Sounds kind of flip-flopped to me,"
"I'm serious, Fangs. There's always someone out there for somebody, and I think Puggsy can find someone… just like how I found you."
"Ooh, ooh, you're right, Kassy… maybe I'll apologize to him later,"
"Good. Now, lets get back to searching. The sooner we find that creep, the sooner we can get back to our 'romantic getaway'…"
"Yeah… and making Puggsy sick," Kassy gave him a look. "Oh, don't act like you haven't seen the faces he makes when we get close!"
Kassy rolled her eyes. "Alright, I'll give you that one,"
"Kassy! Fangs!" they heard Kim call, and turned to see her, Biff, and Martin coming toward them. "Have you've seen Brielle?"
"She took off," Martin replied, rubbing his head. "…and she wasn't going to let anyone stop her (ow),"
"Ooh, ooh, where could she have gone?" Fangs asked.
"No idea, but we have to get searching and fast," Biff replied, then looked around. "Wait… where's Puggsy?"
"He stepped outside to look around," Kassy replied.
"Go get him, and keep an eye out while you're at it,"
"And keep your guard up," Martin added. "As bad as that girl wanted to get away, I doubt anyone can stop her so easily,"
Puggsy was walking out of the lobby and around the corner, taking a shortcut down another alley to the other side, seeing if the psycho had slipped by-
"OOF!" he grunted, when Brielle (once again) collided with him. "Ow… Hey, where do you think you're going?"
"None of your business," Brielle snapped. "Huh. I should have told you guys that before," she then took off. "So long!"
"Hold it! Come back here!" Puggsy stood up and ran after her.
They ran down the block until Brielle raced across the street, nearly getting hit by several cars had they not screeched to a stop, and cut across the beach. Puggsy still pursued, dodging around people and leaping over coolers and running through sandcastles, until he finally caught up to her under a boardwalk, grabbing her by the arm. She swung a punch-
But he caught her fist this time, fighting her strength as she struggled against him. Damn, this girl is stronger than she looks! He thought.
"Let me go! Let me GO!" Brielle shouted, kicking at him and trying to twist out of his grip.
"Not until I get some answers!" Puggsy snarled, keeping a grip on her. "Why are you trying to run away from us?! Why was that man trying to kill you?! Tell me the truth!"
"I told you it's none of your- ack!"
He twisted her around, keeping a firm grip on her arms and shoving her onto her knees. "Tell me what's going on, before I busterate your arms,"
She grunted, giving him a death-glare. "I thought… you were trying to help me…!"
"Yeah, but YOU won't LET us help… so I'll have to get a little rough in order to help you. Now tell me everything, or you'll have more than that creepo to worry about."
Brielle clenched her jaw, and stared down at the sand. "I've got ENOUGH to worry about already… I don't need some jerk like you on my trail, next!"
"What do you mean by that? Is someone after you? Tell me!"
"Just let me go… you shouldn't get involved."
"In what? Give me some damn answers!"
"I CAN'T, ALRIGHT?! If I tell you anything… he might get you, too…"
"Who might? Shereba, if you don't tell me, I swear to God-"
"That psycho who's after me! I don't know him… but I do recognize him. He was the same man who murdered my family. I know because he wore the same outfit and mask… he's out to kill my whole family, and he won't stop until they're all dead… until I'm dead…" she looked at him, and to his shock there were tears in her eyes. "You guys shouldn't have helped me… you should have left me to die."
Puggsy only stared at her, loosening his grip but still holding on to her. "Why would he be out to kill your family?"
"I don't want to talk about it anymore… please… just let me go. I want to get as far away as I can…" she stood up, and he stood up with her.
"I'm afraid I can't just let you go. Sorry to break it to you, Brie, but when someone's in trouble, I'm not one to just walk away and go about my own business. My friends and I have dealt with a lot of psychos in the past- there's still one out there we're trying to catch- and no matter what kind of saturation we got ourselves into, we never gave up until they ended up behind bars. We can help you… if you let us."
Brielle stood still, and she sighed. "I just don't want anyone to get hurt because of me…"
"The only one who'll get hurt is that psycho after you, and that's only if he comes across us." He let go of her arms, and put a hand on her shoulder, picking up her suitcase. "C'mon, lets get back to the hotel."
Without resistance, Brielle walked with him, keeping her eyes to the ground. The sun was starting to go down and the beach was nearly empty, and every minute or so she'd give him a glance out of the corner of her eye. He looks like someone I've met before… she thought. I don't quite recall who, though…maybe if he didn't scowl so much…
"So… anything you want to talk about?" Puggsy asked, casually. "Something off the psycho-subject?"
"Like what?" Brielle replied, arching an eyebrow.
"Maybe… why you're traveling by yourself. You're only 18, and I doubt you can afford to stay so long-"
She sighed. "Yes I can… My family was pretty wealthy. My father owned an oil refinery and my mother grew up on a flourishing plantation. They made millions in their lifetime, and we moved out to the country when I was two… a couple years later, our relatives ended up getting killed, and my family was next on the list. (sigh) Skipping ahead, I ended up having to live in an orphanage for some time. Being the only living family member left, that the court could figure out at least, I was granted to inherit their fortune when I became 18… since then, I've been spending it on traveling, trying to see how much I could spend with each stay, often staying as long as I could, until it would run out."
Puggsy gave her a look. "Pardon my disregardation for the tragedy, but… Why would you want to spend all that money at once?"
"Because inheriting it only reminded me that I had no family left. As long as I have all that money, I have to live with that thought. I'd rather live as a bum, rather than have a wealth that connects to the slaughter of my family."
"Why didn't you just use it to hire a detective to hunt down the psycho who killed them all?"
"I tried, but no one could find a trace. There was one man I met who was an expert at tracking things, but… he wouldn't help me."
"I just knew he wouldn't help. He was just… he wasn't what I expected. Look, can we drop the subject, please?"
"Sure, lets talk about something else… so, when did you start to believe the news hid things from everyone?"
Brielle gave him a look. "Seriously? They've been hiding secrets since the first anchorman appeared on television. There's always something they find out that they don't want anyone else to know, and show us something else to distract us. I noticed this when they started showing more news reports on celebrities, than some massacre. They want to show us stuff they believe we WANT to know, rather than what we HAVE to know- oh, for the love of crud."
"What is it?"
Brielle nodded over at a couple on a blanket, kissing. "Those yuts, making out on the beach, like they're on some romantic getaway or something."
Puggsy grimaced. "Yech. Excusify me while I throw up. You'll never catch ME in a position like that,"
"Same here. The last guy I met tried to get me close, but I only ended up slugging him hard enough to wake up his dentist… and it wasn't even our second date."
"You've dated before?"
"Yeah, but never got far. Heck, I never even kissed a guy- didn't want to get involved in all that mush. I don't have time for any of that, anyhow."
Puggsy slowed down, remembering he had said something similar, but shook away the thought. "Yeah, romance is overrated anyway. Lately all people do is go out for a few nights, then end up either cheating on each other or saying it's not working out and stuff like that."
"Right. Plus, no one gets married anymore—no one wants to commit to anything these days. I'd be surprised if there'd be one modern couple who could last a year with no problems,"
Puggsy scoffed. "I could grant you that. Fangs and Kassy- aka Fangface and Hunter- have been in a relationship for two years, not a single problem."
Brielle looked at him. "No kidding? Huh, never thought I'd hear about werewolves falling in love. …I didn't even know any existed,"
"Was that why you were so creepified out about them, earlier?"
"Well, yeah… wouldn't anyone be?"
"Eh, not too many people are, to tell the truth. Probably because they've heard about how Fangface helped us take out so many crooks."
They reached the hotel, going in the side door in the ally and up the stairs to the gang's floor, heading to their room. "You said you guys were still going after some psycho… who?"
"Just some crazy creep who has it out for Hunter, but he hasn't shown his ugly mug for a while… kind of makes me suspicious, to tell the truth."
Brielle sat down at a table, seeing the picture of the silver crest. "Where'd you guys get this?"
"That? Just a picture Kassy cut out of the newspaper. That creep I was telling you about had stolen some artifact from a museum, trying to lure us into a trap, but we beat him at his own game… It was actually around the time Hunter and Fangface fell in love, and I have to admit, it was the first time I nearly lost my lu-" he paused, seeing Brielle kept starting at the picture. "Brielle? What's wrong?"
Brielle bit her bottom lip and stood up fast. "I gotta go." She ran to the door, but he grabbed her arm.
"Oh, no, we are NOT going through this again. What's the matter?"
She gulped, wincing a bit. "That crest… it belonged to my family. My parents had a collection of valuable artifacts, which were sold to the museum after they were killed." She held the picture in her hand, which was shaking uncontrollably. "This man I knew… he said he'd always find me… and he called me once- I don't know how he found the number of the hotel I stayed at, but he did… and he said he had something that belonged to my family, but someone took it away, and he said if he didn't find me first, he'd find them…" She took in a deep breath. "Puggsy, I think he's-"
Brielle froze, her blood running cold when she felt Puggsy's grip weaken, and she turned around, eyes widening when she noticed him fall to the ground, a figure holding a cloth soaked in a concoction that made him pass out, and she wanted to scream. No… no, please, God, no… she thought, frantically.
"Hello, Brielle. Long time no see," the figure said, then swung his leg upward, knocking her in the head, making everything go black.
Biff, Kim, Kassy, Fangs, and Martin met back up by their room after an hour of searching. "No sign of them anywhere." Kim sighed, worriedly. "You don't think that psycho…?"
"Maybe Pugs caught up to her and brought her back up to the room," Biff guessed. "Lets check."
"As tough as Puggsy is, that girl probably got hauled back up here bound and gagged," Fangs commented.
"As tough as that girl is, Puggsy's probably in the hospital," Martin retorted.
They walked into the room, turning on the lights…
Seeing the place had been trashed, a note pinned to the wall in plain sight. Biff ran over and grabbed it, while the others looked over the mess. "Either Pugs and Brielle got into one heck of a brawl… or we ought to call the police," Kassy commented.
"What's the note say, Biff?" Kim asked, walking over to him, slowing when she saw the angered look on his face. "Oh, no… Biff, what's going on?"
"Who did all this?" Martin demanded.
"Take a guess," Biff showed them the note…
I have your friend. Bring me the werewolves in room 312 by midnight, or he dies with the girl. Call the police, and they die sooner, slowly, and painfully. No tricks, or you'll all suffer. Do not try my patience this time.
Signed, Vincent Fondane.
Biff crumpled the note, Kim gasped, and Kassy stepped back in shock. "No… how can he be here?" she whispered. "How did he find us?!"
"What are we going to do?" Fangs stammered, worriedly. "He's got Pugs! We gotta rescue him somehow!"
"And we will, but first…" Biff said, sighing heavily. "We need Hunter and Fangface,"
She ran down the hallway, her older sister dragging her by the hand, both of them sobbing at the loss of their parents. Now, they were both trying to escape the same man who had shot them. "Brie, you hide here," her sister told her, pushing her into a closet in the hall. "Stay quiet, I'm going to find help,"
"I'm scared, Emily," she sobbed. "Please don't leave…"
"Shh, I'll be back. Just stay hidden,"
She peeked through the door, watching her sister run down the hall, only to hear her scream and run in the other direction, a dark figure running up and grabbing her by the hair, forcing her head back and raising a knife to her neck...
Brielle gasped, her eyes opening, and she realized that she was crying in her sleep… and her hands and feet were tied. What startled her more was how there was another set of hands holding hers tightly. She closed her eyes tight, then whispered as quietly as she could, "P-Puggsy…?"
There was a moment of silence, and for a minute she thought he was still out, or even dead, but after a minute he finally replied, "Yeah?"
She breathed a sigh of relief. He was still alive. "Are you alright?"
"We're tied up in a dark room, and I still smell that knock-out liquid burning in my nostrils, not to mention Vincent Fondane might kill us any second. …Not really one of my better nights, so no."
Dammit… it WAS him… Brielle thought, trying to hold back tears. "Where is he, now?"
"I don't know, it's too dark to tell."
Brielle looked around, her eyes slowly adjusting to the darkness. She shifted her arms a bit, feeling how tight her bonds were. My wrists are small enough that I can get them loose, she figured out. "Hold on, I'm going to try to get us loose…"
"I wouldn't recommend it, dear girl." Came a chilling voice, and a dim light came on, showing the malicious, grinning face of Vincent Fondane, who had a shotgun aimed at them. "One false move, and your little friend gets a bullet in the head."
"I figured you'd show your ugly mug sooner or later," Puggsy growled. "What are you planning THIS time, Fondane?"
"Same thing I've been planning since me met, you runt- hunting those werewolves and pinning their pelts to my wall."
"What is with you and wanting to pin their pelts to your wall?! Why can't you hunt regular animals?!"
"Hunting is a sport, boy, and when it comes to sports, the one with the most points wins. Have you've ever seen anyone have a werewolf's head mounted on their wall? Their hides made into rugs? Their bones put on display on a mantelpiece? Of course not, and no one wonders why. Back in the old days, they were ferocious monsters who were hunted all the time… but these days, no one dares to touch them, mostly out of fear of being hunted instead. Some of us, however, are bold enough to take that chance, and turn the hunter into the hunted. Werewolves are, after all, killers who deserve to be killed…"
"Then why don't you go after the evil werewolves? Fangface and Hunter are good, they'd never kill anyone!"
"The only good kind of werewolf is a dead werewolf. You may not see them as killers… until you're at their mercy."
Vincent scoffed, smirking. "That's what my accomplice said…" he turned to Brielle. "Isn't that right, Brielle?"
Puggsy paused, looking over his shoulder. What…? You mean she's… He thought, stunned.
"Let him go Vincent, leave him and his friends alone!" Brielle snapped. "This is between you and I- leave them out of it!"
"Oh, you have it wrong, my dear girl. This is between me and them… You're the one who got involved." He looked at his watch. "And your friends have only two hours left to hand those werewolves over, otherwise…" he raised his gun. "You'll be joining the rest of your family, Brielle, along with this runt."
"You're a sick bastard, Vincent." Puggsy spat. "Once my friends get here, you're going on a one-way trip to he-llph!"
Vincent stuck a gag in Puggsy's mouth. "You know, out of all you meddlers, you're the only one who really annoyed me, with that big mouth of yours." He stood up, walking into the bathroom. "I'll be waiting for your friends to come in. And remember- one move, and you both die."
Silence fell across the room after that, and Brielle hung her head low. "I should have stayed away," she said quietly. "Now you know why I wanted to leave…"
His hands loosened their hold on hers, and she could feel him glaring.
"I'm not his accomplice… he says I am, but I'm not. After my family was killed, he took me in, trained me, telling me he'd teach me how to protect myself, and that he'd look out for me… but he lied. He told me he was a werewolf-hunter, and was trying to raise me to be like him. I ran away, using the money my parents left for me to get as far away as I possibly could… but he's always had a trace on me. No matter what I try, he always tries to get me back, trying to get me to become his little pupil again." She looked over at Vincent, standing in the doorway, still waiting. "I'm never going back with you, Vincent! I'd rather you shoot me instead, you hear me?! I'd rather DIE than-"
Vincent cocked the gun, aiming it right at her. "I'd be happy to grant that wish if you don't shut up."
She glowered. "Then pull the trigger."
He glared, then pulled the gun away. "And cause a ruckus that would force the management and police up here, and risk the law getting on my back again? Clever trick, Brielle, but you really ought to think up your tactics better," he turned away.
Brielle turned away, teeth clenched. "I wish… I wish I had just let myself fall over that edge… then you wouldn't be in a position like this. I never wanted anyone to get close to me because of this sort of thing… I didn't want them to get hurt… I didn't want to get hurt."
Her hands brushed against his, and he could feel them trembling.
"I don't know why… why I let you talk me into coming back with you, to the hotel. If it were anyone else, I'd just knock them senseless and take off again… but with you- I don't know why, I… I just trusted you. I've never trusted anyone, because I knew I'd probably be deceived… the way the news media tends to deceive. But you… you held me down, but you didn't do anything rough… you could have, but you didn't. You just held on to me and- despite you were a jerk- just spoke to me. You didn't try to drag me back, you just wanted to know the truth. When I only told you a little, you didn't pressure me into telling anymore… you just asked to help me."
Stillness, and she hung her head low.
"You're the first one to ask. Everyone else tried to force help upon me, except you. You had to run me down and catch me in a death-grip, but you didn't give up. You offered your help, despite I could have turned you down and ran off the moment you released me, but… I couldn't. Something about you reminds me of someone I trusted once, and… I suppose, I wanted to trust you-"
"Enough." Vincent snapped. "If you don't stay quiet, Brielle, I'll throw you over the balcony!"
She only glared at him. "…it's because of him I could never trust again," she whispered. "I'm sorry for bringing this upon you,"
She felt him grip her hands, caressing her palm with his thumb, as if assuring her everything was going to be alright, and she started to wince.
I'm not letting Vincent harm him… she thought, then began pulling at the knots around his wrists, loosening them so he could get away.
"I told you not to try anything…" Vincent snarled, walking over with the gun aimed at her. He lowered it, taking out a knife instead. "I can't let the gun go off, but there's more than one way to teach your brats a lesson…"
*Knock! Knock! Knock!*
"Room service!" came a feminine voice at the door.
Vincent stood up, keeping his gun at his side. "I didn't order room-service…" he grabbed a blanket, draping it over Brielle and Puggsy. "One sound, and I'll kill you both with one shot."
As soon as he did, a dining cart slid inside and slammed into him, knocking the gun out of his hands. Brielle twisted out of the blanket, seeing the gun on the floor and grabbing it with her legs, watching as the others ran in. "Hey, it actually worked!" Martin exclaimed.
Vincent snarled and took out a pair of knives, throwing them and nearly slicing Hunter and Fangface at the shoulders. "(grr) Oh, now you're going to get it!" Fangface snarled.
"Biff! Here!" Brielle shouted, kicking the gun over to Biff, but Vincent stopped it halfway, then grabbed her by the hair, pulling her to her feet and holding a knife at her throat, keeping his foot on the gun. "Let me go- ack!"
"Shut up!" Vincent snapped, then turned to the others. "I may not get the werewolves, but I'm taking you with me… And if any of you meddling kids try to stop me, she dies!" he bent down, keeping Brielle in a choke-hold, and grabbed the gun, backing toward the balcony door. "We're going over the balcony. One move, and she's dead… got it?"
"No, I got you!" came a shout, and a blanket was thrown over Vincent, and Puggsy tackled him from behind. They fell onto the floor and the others ran over, pulling the blanket off of them.
Puggsy kept Vincent in a choke-hold, while Brielle knelt in front of them, her hands still bound… and blood trickling down her neck. He froze and shoved the hunter away, allowing Hunter to slam a vase over his head and knock him out, before turning her attention back to Brielle. "Brie! Are you alright?" he gasped.
"Well… blood's running down my neck… my vision is growing dark… not exactly my best night… so no…" Brielle replied, and fell sideways.
"Somebody call for help!" she heard Kim shouting, before her vision faded, and then darkness.
She stifled her cries, watching as her sister lay motionless on the ground, the dark figure creeping toward her.
A silhouette raced by, tackling the figure, both of them going out the window, and she stumbled out of the closet, hearing police sirens in the distance. She knelt beside her sister, sobbing, until the police found her and took her downstairs, where she saw her parents bodies being placed in dark bags, and all she could do was cry. She couldn't even tell them about the one who had attacked the killer, how they were possibly out back somewhere.
They took her to the orphanage the next day, and she sat there, looking out the window, wondering where that hero was… and wishing he were with her now, as she looked up at the dark sky that stretched on.
Her vision faded in and out of darkness, blurred images around her…
"They're on their way, don't worry…"
"She's still breathing! But… how?"
"That cut is so deep…"
The voices sounded muffled, and she felt a pressure on her neck.
"You sure that's gonna work? What if…?"
"Shut up and get that killer out of my sight!" snapped a voice clearer than the rest.
Her vision grew dark again, and then more blurred images came into the room, and she felt herself being lifted… carried… lying down on a flat surface, the pressure keeping on her neck.
"Son, you'll have to-"
"I'm not leaving her side. Hurry up and get us to the hospital!"
"Alright, just keep applying pressure. Everyone, keep an eye on her, she's lost a lot of blood!"
"It's a miracle she's still alive…"
She heard the sound of an engine, and her vision grew dark again.
The gang stood in the waiting room of the hospital, anxious. Biff had an arm around Kim to keep her comforted, while Hunter and Fangface held each other's hands tightly. Martin leaned against the wall, watching Puggsy pace. I figured my sister could be in danger… Martin thought, looking at the rest of the gang. I knew it would be drastic… but now that I've actually been there, I can't believe it.
Hunter then stood up, leading Fangface into another hallway. "Fangsy, I'm worried," she said, quietly. "I know Brielle wasn't the nicest, but… I didn't help her out just so she could die… you think she'll be alright?"
"(grr) I hope so… I'm more worried about Pugs, though," Fangface answered, looking around the corner at his friend, who kept pacing silently. "He's never been quiet for this long before, and he hasn't said anything, and the doctors said they had trouble getting him to leave the operating room… he's been pacing for almost an hour now, too (grr). I've never seen him like this before, Hunter. You think something's wrong with him?"
Hunter looked at Puggsy, studying the look on his face. "I don't know, Fangface, but… I think he might care more about that girl more than we do. I think he might even like her,"
Fangface stared, then placed a paw on her forehead. "Hunter… are YOU feeling alright? (grr) You're starting to worry me, too."
"I'm serious, Fangface. I don't know what happened, but something about that girl has really got him worried about her,"
"I just want to make sure she'll be okay," Puggsy's voice came, and they saw him standing next to them.
"Whoa! Pugs! (grr) How did you hear us?" Fangface gasped.
"It's 3 AM and we're in a hospital, things are normally quiet around places like this." He turned to Hunter. "I can't explainify it either, Hunter. All I know is that girl admitted she trusted me… and I didn't want to make her regret it." With that, he walked back around the corner.
Hunter and Fangface walked back into the waiting room, sitting down. A couple hours later, the sun began to come up, and they changed back into Fangs and Kasandra, being the only ones still awake, save for Puggsy, who was still anxiously awake.
Fangs gave Kasandra's hand a tight squeeze, and he walked over to his best friend. "Pugs," he said, quietly. "I'm… um, sorry, for laughing at you earlier."
"Forget about it," Puggsy replied, hardly looking at him.
Fangs nodded, sitting back down by Kassy, who gave him a look. "That's his way of saying 'I forgive you', don't worry."
At last, the doctor came in. "Your friend is alright," he told them. "Quite miraculous, really… that cut in her neck could have killed her. It's amazing that she managed to live,"
"She's okay?" Kassy gasped, relieved, and she shook Martin awake. "Martin, wake up. Brielle's okay!"
"Biff! Kim! Wake up!" Fangs said, shaking Biff and Kim awake as well.
"We gave her some stitches to close the wound, and she may have a permanent scar, but she's fine." The doctor assured.
"Can we see her?" Puggsy asked.
"Yes, but only one at a time. She's just now waking up in room 802-" The doctor had to step back as Puggsy raced by. "…down the… hall."
The others looked at each other, then stood up and followed their friend.
Puggsy couldn't explain it. He had dated a few girls in the past, but his feelings were never strong- namely he would take a girl out to save face in high school, or just take a girl out to show off, or just flirt around to make them think he was smooth. The only girl he ever let close to him was Kim- but that was more of a friendship basis. Long story short, he never really felt any strong feelings towards many girls, let alone wanting to have a relationship.
But with Brielle, he saw something different about her. She kept trying to keep the others shut out, yet she gave in for him- sure, he had a rough hold on her, but as strong as she was, he didn't think she'd tell him anything no matter what he did (which was a good thing, considering he wasn't planning on inflicting any extra pain on her). And how when he came to, finding out Vincent had caught them and would no doubt show little mercy- he had gripped onto her hands automatically when he felt them against his own, and didn't want to let go. He had been tied up before and worse… but in that situation, he wanted to hold her hand, to make sure she was near.
And how she said she trusted him…
He just knew that, the moment he saw blood running down Brielle's neck, something within him snapped, and instinct kicked in, and he wanted to make sure she would stay alive, worry running through his mind as he held her close, using the blanket to cover her cut and applying pressure to keep any more blood from leaking out, hoping, praying, she would make it.
As he ran down the hallway now, his thoughts raced through his mind. Why am I feeling like this? I just met this girl, for crying out loud! He told himself. I know she trusts me… but she just met me- didn't she? She did say I reminded her of someone… but who, and how? Ugh, I wish this feeling would go away so I could think clearly!
Finally he reached her room, seeing her sitting up in bed, a bandage around her neck. "Hey, look who's still alive…" she said, smirking. "Don't just stand there, come on in. Tell me what happened while I blacked out- did you have the werewolves eat Vincent?"
Puggsy sat down on the edge. "No… but I told the cops to make sure he does hard time, and face the electric chair for all he's done." He replied, solemnly. "Brielle… why didn't you tell us about Vincent earlier? He's been after us for a while, we could have helped each other out,"
"Like I said before, I didn't think it was any of your business… until later. I didn't know he was after you guys, too… I guess I should start listening to the news more often, huh?"
"Eh, just give us the truth when we ask for it from now on, and save us the traumatization,"
She rolled her eyes. "Whatever you say, Pugs." She turned on the TV, seeing a news report on. "What do you know? It's the news."
"Yesterday afternoon, a strange figure was seen pushing a girl off the roof of the building, and running through the hotel. A different stranger dressed entirely in black captured the attacker and, after a brutal beating, turned him into the police, but chose not to have his name mentioned or face shown." The news anchor was saying.
"Huh, looks like two problems got solved for you, today," Puggsy said. "I wonder who that stranger was?"
"Whoever it was, I hope I meet him." Brielle answered, then turned to him. "By the way, there's something I want to say to you,"
Brielle leaned over, and hugged him tight, catching him completely off-guard. "Thank you… for your help."
He remained still, a bit stunned. Don't just sit there, you ignorpotomas! Hug her back! He told himself, and slowly wrapped his arms around her, holding her close and relaxing, taking in the moment.
"(ahem) Um… we're not interrupting something, are we?" came Kassy's voice.
Puggsy and Brielle looked over, seeing the others looking in. "Actually yes. And thank you SO MUCH for killing the moment," Brielle commented as they pulled away.
"Why do I get the feeling you want to STAY in the hospital?"
Brielle rolled her eyes. "Why do I get the feeling Vincent should pick better hunting targets? …Thanks, anyway, guys, and I'm really sorry for all the trouble-"
"Don't worry, we get into trouble like this all the time," Puggsy told her.
"Though we appreciate the gratitude," Fangs said.
"You know, Brielle, we were talking on the way down here, and we were wondering if you'd like to travel with us," Kim spoke up, shyly. "If you want to, I mean. If you want to go out on your own, still, you can- it's safe since Vincent and that psycho are gone."
Brielle considered it. "You know… I might stick around with you guys for a while." She replied. "If I'm going to keep running into trouble, it would be nice to hang around others who know how to handle it,"
"I hope you'll pay us for it," Puggsy joked, and Brielle nudged him in the arm.
"The doctor said you'll be able to leave this afternoon, Brielle." Biff said. "We can head out then,"
"Sounds good," Brielle said, shrugging.
"We're going to head back to the hotel and get our things," Martin told her. "Oh… and when we're moving our bags, DON'T hit me with your suitcase again,"
Kassy gave Brielle a look. "You and I have a few things to settle as soon as you get out of that bed, girl." She said, sternly.
"Kassy, easy… I don't want you going to jail next," Fangs said, putting an arm around her and walking out with the others.
"You guys go ahead, I'm going to stick around," Puggsy called.
Fangs snickered a bit. "Puggsy's got a girlfriend, Puggsy's got a girlfriend…" he sang, whispering.
"I CAN HEAR YOU, FANGS!"
He covered his mouth, picking up the pace.
Puggsy shook his head, sitting down by Brielle. "Pinhead… you'll learn to get used to him,"
"I'm more worried about his girlfriend," Brielle commented, and began flicking through the channels.
"So, you've never been in a relationship before, huh?"
"Nope. Like I said, never found the time."
"Eh, same here. According to Kassy, it's not about the timing, but the person you find. She was saying something else, but I couldn't hear it over Fangs' snickering,"
"What, does he find romance funny? …Though, if you look at his girlfriend, that IS a possibility,"
Puggsy chuckled. "You may be right on that one. Nah, he just thought it would be ridiculous if I ever fell in love,"
An awkward silence fell upon them.
"So… have you've ever fallen in love?" Brielle asked.
"Not really. Never felt the feeling before," Puggsy replied. "What about you?"
"Meh, couldn't say either. Doubt I'll find it anytime soon,"
"Yeah, same here."
Another awkward silence.
"Then again… I also doubted I'd ever trust someone again," Brielle said, looking at Puggsy. "Who knows? Maybe some sort of miracle will happen,"
Puggsy looked at the bandage around her neck, lost in thought for a moment. "Yeah. A lot of miracles have been happening, lately," he replied, quietly. He caught himself leaning close to her, then pulled back, clearing his throat and rubbing the back of his neck. "Maybe… you'll find a guy… soon… um…"
Alright… my heart his beginning to race, the temperature in the room feels like it shot up 200 degrees, and I'm having trouble speaking. If this means what I think it means… dammit, I'm in trouble. He thought, trying to snap out of it. Stay strong, Puggsy. You can fight this, you can fight this, you can…
Brielle gave him a kiss on the lips, and his face turned red and his mind went blank. "Maybe," she whispered, then lied her head on her shoulder.
Puggsy sat there a moment, trying to comprehend what just happened. "Ah, what the heck," he finally said, and put his arm around her, holding her close. Besides, tough guys can fall in love, too. He told himself, though he wouldn't bring himself to admit it.
A/N: So, there you have it. 24 pages long, more action, more romantic build up… it's almost 3 AM, I'm tired, review, don't flame, goodnight.