#Chapter 23 Monster
#Chapter 23: Monster
Nina’s eyes widened when I finally told her the truth.
“No,” she said, pacing back and forth and rubbing her head. “This isn’t real. Werewolves aren’t real. Talking
skeletons are not real!”
I sighed and stood, walking over to her.
“Look,” I said, pulling aside the torn fabric of my jeans to show her my wound. It was already healing. The torn flesh from the skeleton’s attack was rejoining without leaving so much as a scar. Even the blood disappeared.
When Nina saw my leg heal, she stumbled backwards into the wall, her chest heaving as she breathed heavily.
“I have to be dreaming,” she said. I watched quietly as she pinched her arm to try and wake herself up.
#Chapter 23 Monster
“This is real, Nina,” I said. “You’re awake.”
“Well then, I must be going insane,” she said as a tear rolled down her cheek.
I walked toward Nina and took her by
the shoulders, stooping to look her in
“You’re not crazy. Everything you saw is real. Don’t I feel real?” I took her hand and placed it on my chest, right over my heart so she could feel my heartbeat. She let her hand linger there for a few moments, then shuddered and pulled away.
“If you think I’m a monster, so be it,” I said. “But I won’t stop watching you, because someone — or something — has sinister plans for you, and no human can protect you.”
I could practically see the gears turning in her head. She shuddered again, but didn’t say anything Before I had the #Chapter 23 Monster
chance to stop her, she ran out of the
“She’s afraid of us,” Fio said.
“I know,” I replied out loud. “She is a
human, after all.”
I sighed and turned back to face the skeleton. The incantation I used on him would only last for so long before he reanimated again. Some witch must have put a spell on this skeleton, but for what purpose, I didn’t know. I crossed the room toward the skeleton.
Something crunched under my foot. 1 looked down and cringed when I saw Nina’s phone on the floor, its screen cracked now. “Shit…” I whispered, stooping to pick it up. I’d have to replace that.
When I looked up from the broken phone, the skeleton was starting to twitch again. I stormed over to it and grabbed it off the stand, pinning it, #Chapter 21 Monster
down to one of the tables by its neck.
“Who sent you, and why?” I growled,
to which the bewitched skeleton only
“No one sent me,” the skeleton said.
“Bullshit,” I replied, tightening my grip around the skeleton’s throat.” What would an undead like yourself want with an ordinary human girl?”
The skeleton didn’t respond, but I had to know the truth. My only option was to force an answer out of it. With my hand still on its neck, I reached over to a table next to me and grabbed the first instrument I could think of: a bone saw.
I brandished the bone saw so the skeleton could see it, then began to lower it.
“Which one should I start with?” I said, gliding it along the skeleton’s ribs. ” Your arm? Or maybe I should go big and #Chapter 23 Monster
start with a leg.”
The skeleton squirmed beneath me, but I was far stronger. Skeletons were the lowest form of the undead; without muscle or flesh, they were incredibly weak compared to most other supernatural beings. Becoming an undead skeleton was a punishment brought about by angering a witch, not a blessing of eternal life like a vampire –
– although, some would argue that vampires were more cursed than blessed.
“I think I’ll start with a leg,” I said, lowering the bone saw to the skeleton’s femur. I let the blade graze the bone.
“No! Wait!” the skeleton cried out. “I swear no one sent me. I was attracted to the girl’s scent.”
I lifted the blade away from the skeleton’s leg and furrowed my brows. “What scent?” I said.
#Chopter 23 Monster
“She has a scent,” the skeleton replied. “And a strong one at that. Strong enough to make me go a little… crazy.”
“But she’s only a human,” I replied.
The skeleton shook its head. “She’s not human,” it said. “I don’t know what she is, but she’s definitely not human.”
I frowned, but the skeleton might actually have been onto something. The way that Fio latched onto her from the beginning made me think that she was a bit out of the ordinary, but I hadn’t thought that she was supernatural in any way. She didn’t show any signs of magical abilities.
“He’s telling the truth,” Fio said. “I can’t sense any binding spells on him or Nina that would make him attack her.”
I sighed and tossed the bone saw down on the table, but kept my grip on the skeleton’s neck. I wasn’t entirely done Chapter 22 Monster
with him yet.
“You realize you have to be punished for attacking her,” I growled.
“I never meant to hurt her,” the skeleton whimpered. “I just wanted to touch her. I can’t explain why, but my intuition told me that she could save me from this undead curse.”
“I don’t care,” I said. “You frightened her, and I won’t let you go without repercussions.”
I thought for a moment, pondering my options. I could continue to torture the skeleton, or turn him in to my father’s pack to become their servant… Or, I could use him for more personal matters. Nina clearly needed protecting, especially with the influx of shifters on campus, but I couldn’t watch her all of the time. Between hockey, school, and keeping my relationship with Nina private from my
Chapter 23 Monster
father, I just didn’t have the time to keep an eye on her 24/7.
“From now on, you answer to me,” I said, tightening my grip on the skeleton’s neck and yanking him up to a’sitting position. “You’re to be her bodyguard until I say you’re done. If you don’t do exactly as I say, I’ll make sure that your lowly existence is full of pain.”
The skeleton nodded fervently. “I’ll do anything,” he said.
“Good.” I released the skeleton’s neck. “From now on, your name is… Luke.”
After my conversation with Luke, I teleported him to my dorm and locked him inside while I went to talk to the dean. I explained the situation to her, and while she was skeptical at first, the stack of cash I handed her changed her mind. She enrolled Luke as a student and promised not to tell a soul.
I returned to my room and gave Luke baggy clothes to hide the fact that he was… well, a skeleton. He wore baggy sweatpants, a hoodie, a scarf to hide his neck, and gloves. I made sure he hid his face with a surgical mask, sunglasses, and a hat until I could find a witch to put a charm on him that would make him appear human. So long as no one looked closely at him for too long, it worked for now.
Now, I only had to convince Nina to trust me enough to let an undead skeleton be her bodyguard.
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