Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, except for Stephania and the grandchildren (except Aleksandr).

Chapter 10

Stephania's eyes couldn't widen more as a soft blush creeped from her cheeks.

This was one of the situations in which you would love to just disappear, for the ground to suddenly open and eat you.

Yet that wouldn't happen.

She glanced at Aleksandr with a worried expression. If she was like this, then she supposed Aleksandr would also be like her, yet when she took a hold of his expression, she wanted to just mangle him with her own nails -if possible- and throw them to the sharks.

But she didn't have either a scythe or some sharks, so she was literally stuck with him.

Aleksandr still had his poker face.

He was intently staring at Konstantine as the other turned his gaze from Stephania to land it upon him. The older man perked up a brow, as if waiting for an answer.

"I turned into a wolf." Aleksandr knew that the pact had been broken around twenty years ago, but as to why he could change right there and then last night was still a mystery to him.

And it seemed to be a mystery to Konstantine, as well.

His grandfather frowned, marking his features even more, and slowly leaned forward, as if Aleksandr was a storyteller and he was a little kid.

"I saw Stephania running to the barn." The younger man shrugged and told like if it wasn't something of a big deal. "I guess I couldn't control my desire. It had been building up for some time already." He glanced at the girl besides him with a smirk before turning back to Konstantine.

God, was she going to kill him.

One way or another.

Konstantine's eyes suddenly darkened as he heard his own grandson. "I have taught you to control yourself more than that." He paused for a cough, "We are not animals."

Stephania scoffed that sentence. Not animals? Then surely whatever she had seen was a Pokémon or hell, if she was lucky, a Digimon! She sighed audibly, making the two men look at her for a moment.

"But I don't get it." Aleksandr stated, his hands slowly illustrating his say, "If the pact has already been broken, then why can I transform into a wolf?"

Konstantine seemed to think over his answer. He placed a hand under his white chin and brought a calloused finger upon his white beard, softly scratching it. "The Other doesn't forgets. I believe that when you gave in to your desires and instincts before rational thinking, that happened. That's the only theory I can think of."

"The Varinskis were brutes, I guess." Aleksandr shrugged.

Stephania was more confused than she had ever been.

She knew about the Varinskis and their pact with the devil, yet she had dismissed it as completely stupid and irrational.

Yet she remembered the Tempes curse.

But... Still.

"How come..." She made a space for herself in the conversation and cleared her throat. "How come if you're Wilder, you have the Varinski pact?"

Konstantine seemed rather satisfied, like someone who didn't have to explain much anymore. "When Zorana and I married, neither both of our clans liked that. We fled to America and changed our last name so that they wouldn't track us down, though they did, twenty years ago."

"And if they knew the pact hasn't truly left..." Stephania thought aloud, furrowing her brows when she imagined the outcome of that.

"We'd get killed in the next few weeks." Aleksandr cleared it up for her with a monotonous voice, not even looking at her.

He glared a little at his grandfather -he knew what was about to be asked.

"Do you love each other?" Konstantine blurted out the question with a rise of his left eyebrow.

Stephania's eyes widened and she suddenly stood up, banging the broad desk with her clenched fists.

"Just because we had sex... Just because we did that doesn't means that we love each other!"

Aleksandr looked away before Konstantine could even search his gaze.

He did like her.

She turned towards the door and started stomping to it. "I'm out of here if there are no more questions!" And before Konstantine or Aleksandr could stop her, she left the room.

She was acting strange; very strange.

Aleksandr turned again to Konstantine and stared for a while before smirking. "You were the one to move me, weren't you?"

Konstantine just laughed.

That perverted old man.

Stephania's head hurt as she made her way back to her house.

She was paling, and her eyes were starting to get red. Those were the typical syntoms of the curse.

She cursed under her breath as one foot casually stepped in front of the other, hoping the Tempes daughter would just die.

Wait, she already had...

Anyhow, her eyes and chest hurt like hell, and they weren't getting any better since the morning.

She had woken up at dawn today, panting and sweating and throwing blood from her nose. While nursing her nose that hour, Stephania had looked over her shoulder to catch a glimpse of the log Aleksandr had become. He looked peaceful, his pale skin almost glowing with the dawning sunlight.

And he was snoring.

She had scoffed at him before silently standing up and walking back to the house.

He was a very, very bad predator if he had left his prey.

But now, almost seven hours later, Stephania's funny bone was hardly in place. Her glare could easily scare kids away crying for their mommies, and even make puppies pee. Couldn't really be a nice curse. At all.

She had been stupid enough as to let go of her abstinence -and with that, half her sanity- so quickly, so submissively, but she had.

It wouldn't have been half bad if Konstantine hadn't been watching them all the way.

Just by imagining him, watching them with those wide eyes, watching them have sex in the family barn, gave her the creeps. Her imaginary Konstantine had even given a soft smile to decorate the perverted scene, at the most.

She twirled a finger around a dark lock of her and sighed; she still needed to tell her mother.

And even if she didn't tell the crazy woman, she who sees it all would know.

The Virgin Mary.

The Madonna.

Stephania immediately caressed the small pendant she always wore, the one that once belonged to her sane mother before her mind left the sane world.

The Virgin was the only one that could save her from whatever catastrophe was about to happen, but as the Tempes daughter had once said...

"For we are beasts, and beasts we attract."

Her eyes suddenly widened as she realized something. Aleksandr and perhaps all his family were beasts all right, she knew. But they would never harm someone, not even a fly.

The Varinskis? No, they couldn't track or fly or do those awesome things they did before. But then... How could Aleksandr possibly change? Wasn't the curse broken already? So many questions flooded her mind as she came to a halt and averted her gaze to the somewhat distant Wilder Mansion.

He had been looking for her.

He desired her, like any other man.

He had gotten her, unlike any other man.

She was the one who had triggered the wolf, the demon inside him.

It was her fault, not his.

The Virgin hanging around her neck didn't feel quite right anymore; didn't feel like it could protect her from anything right now.

How could that be possible if the protection needed was from herself?

Why had she run away?

The question lingered in Aleksandr's mind as he packed up for family vacations. This time was Hawaii.

Quite cliché for his own taste, seeming somehow overused for almost everything, but his grandpa needed the tan.

His mind quickly wandered to Stephania. He didn't really feel like thinking about her at the moment -the rejection being too big to handle after some time- yet Cupid had decided to come up with the freakiest couple ever.

Damned be that dwarf with pink wings and a diaper.

Aleksandr knew that he had scared Stephania pale yesterday when he had turned into a wolf, yet he himself had also been scared. Dead scared, in fact.

Technically, of course.

The fact that he could change without the pact wasn't freaky enough as how Stephania's eyes had glittered under the moonlight the night before. They were bloody red.

He supposed she hadn't noticed, but something about her had seemed off for a half second. Her skin had considerably paled, and the way she had stared at him still made him doubt if she wanted to eat him technically or literally.

He knew nothing about her, he concluded. How could he? She was always so far away behind the four walls she had highly built around herself with massive blocks of iron. He didn't even know why he loved her...

But he did.

It wasn't the shape of her delicious body, or how her eyes sparkled whenever she laughed.

It was because they were the same.

He had watched her for sometime before he truly had come up to talk to her.

She hid secrets behind her smile, terrible secrets. Secrets that he didn't know of, but surely hoped to.

As he stepped out the huge mansion to take a break, he noticed his mother staring blankly at the horizon.

He raised a brow at this, yet nevertheless smiled and politely sat down next to her. "Hello mother, what are you doing?"

Firebird's eyes suddenly looked at him in utter horror. His own eyes widened in surprise at how blank they were, at how pale she was.

This wasn't his mother.

"My son... You have just committed a horrible mistake."

Aleksandr never noticed when he hit the ground, or when he heard Stephania's pained scream so close to his ear.