036. Veneer

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The last time anyone saw Silena, she was wearing heels and her father's engraved, silver cross, texting on her phone and minding her business, walking across the campus parking lot.

That had been hours ago.

"She's probably daydreaming about her newest fanfiction chapter at Starbucks or something," one of their roommates announces, snickering.

Clarisse grits her teeth, lurching out of her chair but restrains herself. Fighting won't solve this.

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Around midnight, she hears the apartment key jiggling inside their lock. "Finally," Clarisse mutters, getting up her from sprawled out position on the loveseat. Oh boy, does she have words—

—but they're all lost, vanishing on Clarisse's lips.

What steps inside the ground-floor entrance appears to be a hellish ghoul, the blue of Silena's eyes darkened away to nothingness.

She moves abnormally sluggish and jerky, dropping her purse at her bare, dirt-covered feet.

Bloody-dark saliva pushes between her teeth and lips, running down her chin. "My neck hurts," Silena murmurs, whining high-pitched when Clarisse grabs the shredded, rhinestone edge of her denim-jacket, yanking it away and paling.

"Who the hell BIT you—?!"

"Get it off, it hurts," Silena pleads, whining again.

That's when Clarisse notices the blistering red welts where the silver cross touches her neck.

"It hurts."

"Hold still for a second, I got you," Clarisse tells her quietly, twisting to unclasp the item. The necklace crumples to the floor with the purse.

That's when the other woman collapses into a half-faint, Silena's legs visibly wobbling.

Clarisse hooks an arm underneath them, huffing and cradling Silena's body towards her front before they both land awkwardly against a wall.

This isn't good.

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"I think you need to see a doctor."

Silena blinks, glancing up from her handwritten essay. Clarisse knows that look. It's the 'maybe in hell' ominous look she very rarely uses.

"Alright… but how am I going to explain this," she says, pulling aside her orange tee-shirt's collar, revealing the huge, jagged teeth-marks embedded deep in her shoulder-joint, "or that I'm eating red meat straight out of the refrigerator…"

"You were sleepwalking," Clarisse insists. To be fair, it was one weirdass night. Silena in her duckie pajamas, face smeared with ground beef, looking just as confused as their roommates.

"Or that putting on my father's cross now feels like I'm literally touching molten hot lava…"

Clarisse shrugs, frowning and crossing her arms.

"Bad allergy?"

Silena's mouth grimaces. "Or that I might have fleas…" she breathes out, itching her underarm.

"You might have WHAT?"

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On a Thursday evening, the moon rises full.

Clarisse swears, discovering Silena's bed empty and her window wide-open, her curtains flapping.

She circles around the university and inner town, listening to the scanner for any police. There's no code for werewolves in the area, unfortunately.

It's only a few minutes, but Clarisse notices she's being followed — by a rather large, black dog. The animal follows Clarisse's bike, wagging its tail enthusiastically and whining softly, attentively.

"No, no freakin' way," Clarisse mumbles, getting off her bike in a hurry, nearly toppling over.

She tries a two-finger whistle, gobsmacked as the black, silky wolf-dog approaches tentatively, nuzzling Clarisse's knuckles and licking her.

"Oh my god, I'm gonna mcfreakin' lose it…"

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During all of the panicking and dragging the extremely well-behaved animal back to their apartment, Clarisse forgets to watch the clock.

White-glow sunbeams leak in, hitting the carpet, spreading across the quilts and pillows.

Silena yawns noisily, basking in the low wave of heat, arching her arms over her head and sitting up. "Why am I in your bed, 'Risse…?" she asks drowsily, as the other woman pauses in the conjoined bathroom doorway, turning an ugly, mortified shade of red. "And… naked…?"

"You were a dog! What was I supposed to do!"

A slow blink. "Mhm, yeah, I'm going back to bed," Silena declares, throwing a quilt over her head, as Clarisse groans, smacking her own face.

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PJO isn't mine. I totally know what I'm doing. Yep. Okay but who doesn't love a good werewolf story? XD Exactly! I'll be glad to hear any comments on this one!