Moon Island (Chapter Forty-two)

We found him in the back woods, dripping wet.

"Don't say it, Sam," said Kingsley.

"Say what?" I asked innocently enough.

"Anything about a wet dog."

"I would never say anything about you looking just like a wet dog caught out in the rain."

Kingsley shook his great, shaggy head and looked over at Allison. Only someone oblivious would miss the way his eyes reflected amber. Damn beautiful eyes.

Yes, I used to enjoy staring into those eyes, especially on nights when my sister had the kids. I had just been falling in love with the big oaf, when he decided to unzip his fly at the wrong time.

Bastard.

"Don't look at me that way, Sam," he said.

"What way?"

"Like you want to take a chainsaw to my balls."

Allison snorted. She was, I sensed, quite smitten with Kingsley Fulcrum. No surprise there. Hard to resist someone who stood six and a half feet tall, and had shoulders wide enough to see from outer space.

Down girl, I said to her telepathically.

I think I'm in love.

No, you're not.

To Kingsley, I said, "I'll add that to my to-do list. Might teach you a lesson."

"If it keeps you from hating me, then do it."

"You two are funny," said Allison.

"Who's the broad?" asked Kingsley, jabbing a thick thumb her direction.

"Broad?" she laughed. "Do people really talk that way?"

"They do when they're almost a hundred years old."

"Sam!" snapped Kingsley.

"She knows everything, you big ape."

"I've never met a werewolf before,"

said Allison, stepping around him.

Kingsley, I noted, lifted his upper lip in what might have been an irritated snarl.

"Are they always as big as you?" she asked.

"Sam…" growled Kingsley. His wet hair hung below the collar of his soaking- wet jacket and jeans. He was also – I could hardly believe it – barefoot.

"There are no secrets between Sam and I," said Allison. "At least not many.

We're blood sisters, so to speak."

Kingsley growled again and shook his head, just like a wet dog. Allison and I squealed and took cover.

"Oops, sorry," he said, and I caught his impish grin.

"You can trust her," I said, wiping my face. "It's you who I can't trust."

"Low blow, Sam. I came all the way out here to help you, not take abuse."

"You deserve some abuse," I said.

"Fine," he said. "Then are we done?"

"Maybe," I said. "And that reminds me…how did you get out here? No ferries or boats are out in this weather."

"I can still swim, Sam."

"Dog paddle?"

"Ha-ha."

"Okay, I'm done," I said, until his words hit me full force. "Jesus, did you really swim?"

"Not all of us can fly, Sam."

I recalled the churning waves, the white caps. The sea was angry. Kingsley, I knew, was no ordinary man. Or even an ordinary werewolf. Mortal or immortal, few could have made that swim, especially in these conditions.

"We need to get you dry," I said.

"No," he said. "We need to keep you safe. What's going on? Bring me up to speed."

And so we did, there in the forest, while the big hulk of a man occasionally wrung out his hair, all while the treetops swayed violently. Finally, when we were done, he said, "I agree with Allison."

She beamed.

I said, "What part?"

"All of it. The medallion must be here.

It's the only thing that makes sense. And I think we should beat the bastard to it."

"What do you mean?" I asked. I was pretty sure my eyes narrowed suspiciously.

"Let's find the medallion first."

"And then do what with it?" I asked.

"We'll cross the bridge when we get there."

I opened my mouth to protest. I wasn't as entirely convinced as my two friends – one of whom was, of course, an ex- boyfriend and just barely in the "friend"

category. Still, I couldn't think of a reason to protest. Hell, maybe they were right.

Maybe I was, somehow, attached to the medallions.

If it's even here on the island, I thought.

It's here, thought Allison. I'm sure of it. I'm psychic, too, remember?"

I sighed and nodded, and was about to suggest that we go back for shovels when Allison pointed out that there was probably equipment on the other side of the island. I nodded again, recalling my flight over the north end of the land mass.

Yes, I had seen what appeared to be sheds and outbuildings. All abandoned. No doubt, Edwin and Tara kept their equipment in there, or nearby.

As I worked through this, thinking, I caught Kingsley's amber stare. The brute wasn't even shivering, but his heart was hurting. I could see it in his anguished eyes. Yeah, he missed me. He also should have thought about that before breaking my heart.

Still, he had come all the way out here for me. So, I reached out and ran a hand over his beefy shoulder and said, "Thank you for coming."

"Anything for you, Samantha Moon,"

he said. "Anything."

I nodded sadly – perhaps for what could have been – and the three of us headed down the pine needle-covered dirt road that cut through the heart of the island, and headed north.

On a fool's run, no doubt.