Swish. Roar. Swish. Roar. The ocean was liquid obsidian. The moonlight danced on the currents, sending flecks of silver skimming along the surface. The everlasting tide pummeled the waves onto the sand. The blackness drew near me, revealing itself to be as clear as diamonds. Then it was swept away again, caught in the endless cycle. The sand was pale and soft under my fingers. The slight wind stroked my cheeks and hair. The air was warm and balmy, carrying with it the smell of salt. Water. Kelp. The smell of the sea.

While the water routinely pounded the shore, dark thoughts pummeled my mind. I was thinking of treasure. Not just the one we'd found, but the one I'd lost. Mom. In certain meditative moments like this, I would find myself reflecting upon my mother. What she smelled like. Long walks on the docks, below cloudy Martha's Vineyard skies. The way her smile made the room feel warmer, happier, cozier, safer. That one time we went for a day trip to Boston when I was small and rode the Swan Boats. The way she would scoop me up, even when I was older, and whisper comforting words in my ear after a particularly bad day. Her deep, soothing voice. The way she actually considered my opinions like I was an equal.

Why did this have to happen to me?

Tears welled up. Dammit, Tory, I thought angrily. Grown girls don't cry. I roughly brushed away the tears. Abruptly, I felt a surge of resentment. About everything. My mom. The chilliness between Kit and I. Whitney. Being sent to some prissy rich kids' school. Moving from my beloved Massachusetts to some hot, steamy island with only a handful of inhabitants. And most of all, the virus. The virus. Under its choking grasp, I had become as sick as a dog (no pun intended) and woken up with wolflike abilities. I may have had my pack, but I was even more of an outcast than before. No, not just and outcast. A mutant. A monster. I jumped up, my head spinning with anger. I hurled a fistful of sand into the waves and choked back a howl.

Without warning, pain exploded in my head. It raced down my spine, sending branches of white hot acid into every part of my body. I stifled a groan as I closed my eyes.

Snap.

Speak of the devil. My pulse increased tenfold. I started hyperventilating as my brain was overloaded with information. The world unfolded in perfect clarity, as if someone had taken an old photograph and retouched it to the point of perfection. I spied a piece of seaweed floating two hundred yards out. I felt the air ripple above me as the palm trees gently swayed, keeping watch over the beach. I heard someone's familiar boat engine stutter to a halt on the other side of the island, though I couldn't remember who's. I smelled the remnants of our dinner, soup, half a mile away. I also smelled emotions - happiness, like a refreshing summer breeze, frustration, similar to rust...

And my eyes glowed as golden as the setting sun.