Shades of Gray

By, BROXA

Summary: They were taught that werewolves were evil, despicable creatures. But what if there were shades of gray?

Authors Note: I'm going to try to make this different from the abundance of werewolves story—hopefully, you won't be thinking "Dear God, not another werewolf story!" Also—I haven't written since the conclusion of Ragdoll. I'm not making excuses, but…dunno.

.xxx.

Chapter One: Questionable Hookups

For a complete animal, Jack Delaney had a nice bathroom: mod décor, and a well stocked arsenal of personal hygiene products. Pity he didn't use them, she thought; she'd had to resist the urge to plug her nose as they had sex. She smiled. He was good in bed, if nothing else.

Surveying herself in the mirror, she scrunched her fingers through her hair, trying to force volume into her pillow-flattened hair. It was a hopeless cause; she'd have to shower at home and then fix herself up. Giving up, she bared her teeth at herself in the mirror. Still bloody. She rummaged through his medicine closet until she found a tube of peppermint Crest toothpaste and an unused toothbrush.

Teeth brushed and hair decent, Maria Vasquez was almost presentable to society. She just needed clothes. She'd have to borrow some of Jack's; hers had been irreparably damaged.

Tiptoeing past Jack, she smiled fondly at him, lying quiet and unmoving on the rumpled bed sheets—watching her with wide, unblinking eyes. She rifled through his drawers—she didn't have much time; having studied his family's affairs well, she knew that his wife would be returning soon, and she did not want to be in the house when Emily Delaney found him.

She pulled on a long flannel shirt, blue with checks, and a pair of white boxers, and a pair of his wife's flip-flops. Time to say goodbye to Jack; it wouldn't do to love him and leave him. She didn't work like that, but some of the others did…

Being careful not to slip in any of the large pools of blood—my God, she had been messy this month!—she walked up to the bed and knelt next to him.

Jack Delaney had not been quiet and unmoving because he was sleeping. Jack Delaney was dead.

He had four long, deep scratches, running from his left shoulder to the center of his chest—fatal wounds, especially when accompanied by the four equally unpleasant lacerations on his back. Maria surveyed him silently. He had died a painful death at her hands, one of her bloodiest yet.

Lowering her mouth to his ear, she whispered: "I wish it could be different—but I'm not sorry."

Closing his eyes gently with her fingertips, she got up and left.

.xxx.

Emily Delaney would return little than twenty minutes after Maria's departure. Unwittingly, she fell to her knees in the very spot that Jack's murderer had knelt, and ran her shaking hands along the wounds on his chest.

No tears fell from her eyes, although she felt as if she were breaking inside. Despite everything that he had done to her, she still loved him with dogged determination.

With a strength that she didn't think she had, Emily hauled herself to her feet and tottered over to the phone, feeling her feet squish through a pool of blood—Jack's blood, she thought in disgust.

She called the police, but just like the ten murders before Jack's, it was unsolved. No suspects, no motive, boatloads of foreign female DNA…and what seemed to be some sort of unidentified animal hair.

The L.K.L Killer had struck again.

.xxx.

L.K.L stands for 'love-kill-leave', and it was the only nickname I could think of!

Also—I hope the summary helped you figure this out!—Maria is not a psychotic murderer; she is a supernatural creature. A werewolf…duh. True to my format, you'll be seeing the boys next update, which I hope will be up before Thanksgiving.

Please review; they make me pathetically, unbelievably happy. No flames, but I welcome constructive criticism, which this chapter probably needs.

And…I'm baaaaad at summaries. Anyone have improvement ideas?

Broxa