include_once("common_lab_header.php");
Excerpt for Werewolves and Mysteries by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

This page may contain adult content. If you are under age 18, or you arrived by accident, please do not read further.

Werewolves and Mysteries



by

Julie Law

This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.



WEREWOLVES AND MYSTERIES



Web Edition

Copyright ©2019 Julie Law

All Rights Reserved

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Epilogue

Chapter 1

Emily sighed and rubbed her forehead, trying to gather enough strength to continue. As every time she did this, she only needed to look towards her sister’s photo to gain the focus to continue, at least for a little while longer.

It had been a decade since Emma disappeared, and she knew that her sister was probably dead, but hope still lingered. Unfortunately, over her years as an investigative reporter, she had learned more often than not there were no happy endings. Deep down, she feared this case wouldn’t be any different, but she had to try.

And even if her sister was dead, if at least Emily could confirm it, then she could finally grieve in peace.

She grabbed the police report from Emma’s disappearance, started reading it one more time. It wasn’t anything she hadn’t done before, many times, but as always, she hoped to find a clue in it, something that could help her. Ten minutes later, she was putting it down once again. “Useless.” She muttered under her breath, taking a glance around the inn’s room, almost sneering at the mess inside.

It wasn’t the first time she returned to Wellspring, the small town where she had grown up, but she had never lingered for long. Every time she came back, she tried to find more clues, anything that could give her a hint of what truly happened to Emma, and in the end, she left after a few days, exhausted and weary and feeling hopeless. The memories were too strong here, she would walk through streets that she knew like the back of her hand and remember the times where she travelled them with Emma at her side.

She could remember her mother’s smile more easily when she was close to what had been their family home, and even easier was to remember finding her father’s dead body, his weapon beside him.

He had never been the same after her mother died, when she and Emma were children, but he tried, for them. Sometimes he drank a little too much, and wept for their mother, but he always tried to do his best for them. Emily had known even then he was depressed, though she didn’t understand what that meant as she did now, and she tried to help him as well as she could.

Everything became worse the day Emma disappeared. Over the following weeks, her father became hollow inside, as each day that passed only seemed to confirm the fears of everyone in town, that Emma was dead and not lost. Two months after her sister vanished, Emily woke to the sound of a shot in the middle of the night, and she knew what she would find even before walking down the stairs, but she still did it, taking step after step, her heart beating in her chest.

In the end, there was no denying her father was laying out in the middle of their living room, a smoking weapon beside him. She stayed like that, looking at him, for what felt like an eternity, before she screamed as loudly as she could. The sounds of her screams coupled with the weapon’s fire brought the neighbors to her help, and things became a blur after that.

Fortunately for her, she had been nearly eighteen, and Wellspring’s authorities figured she could take care of herself. She sold her house as quickly as she could, gathered the money and ran away, and only returned years later, though she didn’t remain in town for long.

This was the third time she returned home, and this time she wouldn’t let anything get in the way of finding out what happened to Emma. Her sister deserved it, the ghost of her father deserved it, and she would give them that at least.

Still, she couldn’t deny the effect being back on Wellspring was having on her. Almost absently, her eyes moved to the corkboard against one of the walls, to the photos pressed against it. The one in the center specifically. In that photo, three girls were hugging one another and looking towards the camera: she, her sister Emma, and Isabella.

Emily almost sneered when her eyes fell on the redhead. Once upon a time, Isabella had been her best friend, her constant companion, and almost closer to her than her sister. Things changed, even though she couldn’t understand exactly why or how, even now, years later. The other girl started drifting away, barely talked to her, and then started mocking her at times.

It didn’t take them long to go from best friends to rivals. Emily still hadn’t dealt with that betrayal, even after all this time, and maybe she never would. She knew she should be able to just forget and move on, but she couldn’t, not when that played a part in Emma’s disappearance.

Her sister had wanted to meet with Isabella that day, to figure out why the other girl had turned her back on the two of them. Emily had been so angry with the redhead that she hadn’t bothered to go with her little sister, if she had…

In the end, Emma didn’t even get to talk to Isabella, she disappeared before she could reach the other girl.

Maybe it was foolish of her, but that made her hate Isabella just a little bit more.

She shook her head, tried to focus, and started moving over articles of the disappearance, but it didn’t take her long until she was putting those aside as well. Her focus was shattered, and she knew so soon she wouldn’t get it back. Thinking about Isabella always had a way of unbalancing her, even though she hated it.

She hated the woman as well, but sometimes…

No, their friendship was dead; it had been more than a decade since she saw the other girl, well, certainly a woman now, and in none of the occasions she had been in Wellspring had she dared to seek her out and talk to her. Or had Isabella tried to seek her out in turn. Maybe she should try, she would have gathered the courage before if it was needed, but the redhead hadn’t talked to her sister that day, there was no need to bother her and open wounds that, while not completely closed yet, weren’t bleeding as much as they once were.

Emily got to her feet, started walking over the room, trying to gather herself. She moved closer to the window of Maggie’s Inn and Dinner, looked outside at the once upon a time charming town, and her eyes narrowed. She would discover what happened to her sister, and if someone hurt Emma, if someone killed her, she would make sure they paid for it, even if she had to do it with her own hands.

Chapter 2

The next couple of days were spent roaming through town, talking to people she once knew and who might be able to help her with her objective. It wasn’t hard to find people who wanted to talk to her; despite being away for so long, Wellspring was a small town where everyone knew one another. Everyone knew what happened to her family, most of those people felt pity for her.

For the most part, she wanted to tell them to put that pity where the sun didn’t shine, but she knew she could use that sentiment to her advantage. And she did so, but despite talking with three dozen different persons in days, she wasn’t any closer to her objective.

Some hadn’t seen Emma that day, others had seen her but early in the morning when she walked to school. Nothing that they told her helped her in any way, even if some of them tried. It wasn’t too surprising, after all, it wasn’t the first time she had asked some of those questions, last time she had been in town she had done the same, but maybe she had hoped that time had jogged some memories, maybe this time someone would remember a detail that could help.

Emily was older now, and she had a few years of investigative work under her belt. She knew how to ask the right questions, how to prod people, but no one had anything for her.

Oh, she wouldn’t give up that easily, and later that day she would have another meeting with the sheriff, though she could almost say word-for-word what he would tell her. The same thing he told her when she called him on the phone, and she tended to do that at least once a month. There was no new evidence in her sister’s disappearance, and there were no indications there would be any.

Still, she had to try.

She was eating breakfast in Maggie’s when someone entered and made her still. Isabella hadn’t changed enough that Emily would be unable to recognize her, she doubted the other woman would ever be unrecognizable. She did have to admit that Isabella had become gorgeous.

Her red hair was kept relatively short, barely reaching her shoulders in a somewhat wavy mess that made her seem very young. Her features were sharp, with well defined lines, except for her nose that almost seemed like a small button, and just slightly above that nose rested Isabella’s eyes. Those were a light green that almost seemed to glow at times, and Emily had always loved to look into them.

She looked away from the redhead’s face, and ended up looking at her body. Isabella moved with a strut that made her chest move just slightly more than it could be called respectable, making her doubt the redhead was using a bra for a few moments, though she supposed that with orbs that big…

Emily shook her head, trying to gather herself, trying to look away from the redhead and her attractive curves. Almost certainly, Isabella was there to talk to someone, or eat, she shouldn’t worry about her former friend.

She was proven completely wrong just instants later, when Isabella took a glance around, saw her, then started moving her way. Emily’s breath caught, though she tried not to show it, and she did nothing to stop the redhead from grabbing one of the chairs and pulling it back, seating herself in it without a word.

Emily was so startled by the act she didn’t even glare.

“It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” Isabella said with a smile, her eyes becoming sharper.

At first, Emily didn’t quite know how to answer, so she used her time to lean back against her chair, crossing her arms in front of her chest while she gathered her thoughts. “A decade,” She answered eventually, giving the other woman something like a shrug. “I haven’t been back that many times, and when I did, I never got to see you, I don’t think…”

She let her words trail off, almost as if she was doubting them, though she knew perfectly well the last time she had seen Isabella was at her father’s funeral.

“I think I was out of town in the occasions you visited.” Isabella replied, using a tone much like the one Emily used to answer her.

The brunette knew that wasn’t right; in at least one of the visits she made to Wellspring over the years Isabella had been around, the redhead just hadn’t come to her. And Emily hadn’t visited her in turn, but if that was how Isabella wanted to play it out then so be it. She could ignore that.

She shrugged again. “Bad luck, then.”

“Yes, I suppose.” The girl working as a waitress moved closer to them, asked what Isabella wanted for breakfast, and Emily used the chance to put her thoughts in order.

She hadn’t expected this, not even in her wildest dreams. Oh, more than once, she thought it would have been good to reconnect with her old friend, some part of her still cared for the other woman, but she had grown bitter over the whole matter. She never understood why Isabella turned her back on her, and in a way, she wanted to pay her back in kind, to have the redhead come to her and ignore her. And yet…

Isabella chose her food then turned to her, and Emily had to focus, had to breathe in and out and try to remain in control. “How has life treated you?” The curiousness in that voice was real, Emily had learned how to read voices well enough to know it, but this wasn’t why Isabella had come to her. She was certain of it.


Purchase this book or download sample versions for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-6 show above.)