'None. The thing that happens to me now is my curse for as long as I live. I must bear those nights alone.'

'Let me stay with you,' Roy said.

'No. The change — I would rather die than have you see the thing I become. Now that my strength has returned, I can control it on most nights, but sometimes, when the moon is low and full, as it is tonight — ' Marcia left the sentence unfinished.

Roy stroked the smooth, naked curve of her waist where it flowed into the lean hip. 'I love you, Marcia. I would share anything with you.'

'Not this,' she snapped. Then her tone softened. 'But you can share with me the vengeance against the woman who has destroyed half of me.'

Roy nodded slowly. He would do whatever he must to keep this green-eyed woman.

Marcia looked over at the darkening curtain across the window. Outside, the daylight was falling. 'If it were possible, we would leave tonight,' she said, 'but I cannot travel when the moon is full.'

'Are you — can we be sure Karyn is still in Seattle?'

'She is still there,' Marcia said. 'The gypsies watch her for us. She can make no move that the gypsies do not see.'

'Why do the gypsies do this for us?' Roy asked.

'Because they fear us. They know the power we have, and what we could do to them and their children if we wished. We have, their help and their protection only because they fear the werewolf.'

'I don't like to talk about it,' Roy said.

Marcia's eyes were bright and mocking. 'Oh, don't you? Tell me you don't like it when the night comes and you feel your body change. Tell me you don't like the taste of living flesh and raw hot blood.'

Roy could not answer. The woman's words brought on an excitement that was almost sexual.

'Of course you like it,' Marcia went on. 'Out under the moon you glory in the power of the werewolf. You are unstoppable, invincible. No living thing can hurt you. Nothing can kill you. Nothing, save the fire…' In the dim light her teeth gleamed. 'And silver.'

It grew dark inside the trailer. Roy could barely make out the long, white shape of the woman lying among the cushions. Outside, the night had come. A pale glow beyond the green curtain signaled the rising moon. Roy felt its pull in the quickening of his senses and the uneasiness in his joints. His eyes were drawn toward the curtained window.

On the bed Marcia's body jerked in a sudden spasm. Her mouth twisted in pain.

'Leave me now,' she said.

'Marcia, I — '

'Leave me!' The green eyes blazed with pain and pent-up fury.

Roy rose awkwardly to his feet. He stumbled to the door at the rear of the trailer. He pushed it open and stepped out into the cool night. As he closed the door he heard the rusty bolt scrape into place on the inside.

He turned toward the edge of the clearing where the moon was coming into view over the tops of the trees. To his sharpened senses the night held no secrets. He heard the scuttling of small creatures through the brush, and saw them darting among the shadows. The scents of the trees and the grasses and the night flowers were sharp in his nostrils.

The change from man to wolf, Roy had learned, could come on any night. He could will himself to change or, sometimes, prevent it. But on a night like this, with the moon at its full power, the call was impossible to resist.

Roy pulled at the collar of his shirt, letting the cool night air flow in at his throat. He began to walk toward the forest that rimmed the clearing. He tore his shirt open, heedless of the flying buttons, and pulled it free of his belt. The muscles jumped beneath his skin, his limbs twitched against the growing ache in his joints. He stripped the shirt from his back and let it fall to the grass. His breath came in short, hot bursts. He began to run.


THE UPPER RIM OF the full moon edged above the tops of the Douglas firs on the hill to the east of Karyn Richter's home in Mountlake Terrace. Karyn stood at the French windows, watching it, her mind far away.

'How did it go with the doctor today?'

Startled, Karyn turned to see David standing in the room behind her.

'I didn't hear you come in,' she said.

David Richter had a strong, clean-shaven face. He kept his graying hair short and neatly combed. He was in good physical condition, except for a slight bulge around the middle, and looked younger than his forty-eight years.

'Were you watching something out there?' he asked, nodding toward the window.

'No, just daydreaming.' She gave a small, unconvincing laugh. 'Can you daydream after dark?'

David smiled briefly, but his eyes remained serious.

Karyn shrugged. 'Dr. Goetz said 'Come back next week.' Aside from that he didn't have much to say. No suggestions, no advice, just 'See you next week.''

'Well, you look good, so he must be helping.' Karyn smiled at her husband. Dear, stolid, loyal David. In his heart he was surely convinced that her fears were the delusions of a borderline hysteric, but he would spring to her defense if any other man suggested as much. It was for David's sake as much as her own that she had to rid her mind of the horrible memories of Drago. For David, she would go on seeing Dr. Goetz or any other doctor he wanted, as long as there was a chance of getting better.

They both turned at a commotion in the next room, and six-year-old Joey Richter dashed in and skidded to a stop in front of them.

'Can I stay up and watch television?' the boy said hopefully, switching his gaze between Karyn and David. 'It's Clint Eastwood,' he added, as though this would influence the decision in his favor.

David looked to Karyn, signaling with his eyes that this one was up to her.

'What did Mrs. Jensen say?' Karyn asked.

The boy looked down at the scuffed toes of his tennis shoes. 'She said no,' he reported.

'Then it's no,' Karyn said. 'It's time for bed, and anyway, you've seen Clint Eastwood.'

'I saw Dirty Harry,' he explained patiently. 'Tonight it's Magnum Force.'

'To bed,' Karyn said firmly.

'Oh, okay,' Joey said, with all the martyrdom a six-year-old could muster. In another moment, though, the defeat was forgotten as he kissed first his father, then Karyn, good-night.

'Will you come up and tuck me in?' he asked Karyn with his arms tight around her neck.

'I'll be up just as soon as Mrs. Jensen gets you ready,' she promised.

At the sound of her name, Mrs. Jensen appeared in the doorway. To Karyn and David, she said, 'He was trying to get you to let him stay up, I suppose.'

'There was some mention of a Clint Eastwood movie,' Karyn said.

Mrs. Jensen clucked her tongue in disapproval. 'Always he wants to watch the shoot-'em-ups. Such trash. You couldn't force him to watch a nice wholesome Walt Disney.'

'They're dumb,' Joey complained. 'Nobody ever shoots anybody.'

'That's enough, Joey,' David said, not unkindly. 'Go along up with Mrs. Jensen now.'

From a standing start the boy took off and dashed past the housekeeper and out the doorway. They could hear his small feet pounding up the stairs to his bedroom. Mrs. Jensen sighed and rolled her eyes in a long-suffering expression that did not hide her affection for the boy. She followed him out of the room.

David stretched and yawned. 'I think I'll turn in early myself tonight. How about you?'

Karyn felt the tightening of her skin that always came when she thought about sex. The years of therapy had helped her considerably, but she still had problems.

She could never completely forget those last weeks with Roy, when he was going through the terrible change. She had not known at first what was happening to him, but found his touch suddenly repellent. Then after

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