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When Teodor told Steopa that they would have a new place in a few weeks, Steopa's expression did not change. "If that's what you need to do."
Over the next few weeks they got their new apartment ready. Bilge paid for all the fixtures, but they still had to pay for the paint and carpets. Teodor and Amanda were having fun. At night, they would go to the work farm. Nothing happened for weeks. The kids enjoyed having them around. Teodor and Amanda did the loyal dog routine for them.
The kids would play with them, and rough up their hair. But Teodor didn't mind and he could tell Amanda loved it. Gunner always had food for them. That was the only thing Teodor didn't like, the kids would give up some of their food to feed the “Wolfy-dogs”.
Their new place wasn't quite livable, yet. so they would still have to sleep at the base. They walked back to Steopa's, taking the back alleys.
"Do you think we will have the place ready by Thanksgiving?" Amanda asked.
"I would love to cook a real Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, stuffing, and potatoes, and everything."
Teodor chuckled. "That sounds like too much for us."
"Well, for us and Bilge, and Trucker."
Teodor shrugged. He tried to listen for any dogs. But he wasn't hearing the normal communications about who bested who, what new dogs there were, and other such nonsense. He wasn't hearing anything.
The wind picked up, blowing hard as they crossed a street to an alley on the other side. An old woman walked down the road. She held on to her hat with one hand. The other grasped around the collar of her jacket. She swayed with the wind.
Teodor and Amanda ducked into the alleyway. The old woman continued down the street.
“Was she drunk?” Amanda asked.
Teodor shook his head. “I didn't smell any on her,” he said. "I didn't smell anything."
“You guys got any change.” Said a shivering voice, behind them.
Teodor turned. One of the boys from the work farm sat by the garbage cans. The one called Jazz. He hadn't even lifted his head when he asked for the money.
Amanda dug in her purse. She pulled out a dollar and bent down to hand it to Jazz. Jazz looked up for a moment. Both of his eyes were black and blue.
“What happened?” Amanda asked.
Jazz's bottom lip bled from the cut.
“I fell down,” He said.
Amanda shook her head, “It looks like someone beat you up, Ja..”
Teodor hit her foot with his.
“Ja...junior,” she said. “We could take you to the hospital.”
Jazz chuckled. “No, thank you. This aint the worst.”
He stood up, pocketing the dollar. “Thanks lady, but I can take care of myself.”
He zipped up his jacket. Teodor smelled blood on him. There was a dark, moist, patch along his side. Jazz began to walk to the mouth of the alley.
“Hey wait up” Teodor called after Jazz. “Who stabbed you?”
Jazz glanced back, but ran a way with a limp. He held onto the side of his body with the wound with his hand. Teodor ran after him.
The old woman walked toward Jazz. Teodor picked up speed. Jazz zigged around the old woman, she reached out.
Her hand stretched, her fingers curling over Jazz's shoulder. Her fingernails dug into his flesh. She threw Jazz to the ground. Teodor skidded to stop. He felt it, every part of him that was a wolf wanted to attack. She grinned. Her teeth looked like multiple daggers. She jumped on Jazz, growling. Her skin turned dark blue as her eyes turned white.
Amanda ran past Teodor. She ripped her clothes off, throwing her shirt to the ground. She howled. The old woman turned. She raised her hand. Her black and pointed fingernails elongated. The woman struck Amanda as she jumped. The blow sent Amanda backwards. She yelped in pain.
Teodor got between Amanda and the woman. She brought her hand back and struck Teodor. The blow felt as if he had been struck by a truck. He hit a set of concrete steps. He yelped in pain and landed over on his back. He rolled and crawled until he could stand.
The old women picked up Jazz. She ran her long black fingernails down his chest. Jazz screamed. She sliced his skin open, then flipped him over.
Amanda turned into the hybrid form and jumped over a car, howling. The old woman de-gloved Jazz in one pull. She picked up his corpse with one hand and threw it over her back. Then she smiled at Teodor and disappeared. Teodor ran over to the spot were Jazz had been killed. Blood covered the ground. No smell, except for Jazz's blood. He heard Amanda cry. He padded over to her.
“Why?” Amanda asked.
Teodor changed back, stretching as he did. “She's hunting those children.”
“What was it?”
“I am not sure,” He said. When I was young, there was a name, a name I havn't heard since I was a child. “It can't be.”
“I have to speak to Steopa.”
She threw on her shirt. “Why?”
“Just trust me.”
“She looked like a normal old lady.”
“We look like normal humans, too.” Teodor said.
Amanda shook her head. “But we don't hunt humans.”
Teodor sighed. “We could. It's only because we have decided not to, that we don't hunt humans. But meat is meat.”
“That is horrid,” she said.
“But it's the truth.” He put his arm around Amanda.
She sighed and put her head on his shoulder. “Alright, lets talk to Steopa.”