Mihai felt a cold shiver run own his spine, recalling the old witch’s pursuit of his mother. Had something similar happened to Viktor? No wonder his friend was distressed. Mihai grew distant, sensing Viktor had something to tell him that involved those repugnant legends.
“I’ve heard tales. The one that intrigued me the most was where a deadly plague ravished a village in Carpathia in the dark ages. Everyone died except the son of the count who oversaw the village. The son was changed somehow from the plague, and when he grew up, one offshoot of his children became vampires, the other werewolves. There’s more to the myth, but I’m being brief. Why do you ask?”
“I have been bitten by a werewolf, Mihai.”
Mihai got to his feet, stunned. Not his best friend! How could such foulness touch him? His eyes raked over Viktor, drinking in his friend’s features. Viktor was a man, but a werewolf was sly and cunning, a beast that, if left untamed, would ravish those he cared for.
Mihai lunged at Viktor, choking him. “Damn you. How could you let this happen?”
Viktor’s hands clamped around Mihai’s wrists, and with relative ease, he pushed Mihai backwards, causing him to crash into one of the posts of the gazebo.
“That wasn’t the reaction I expected from a friend.”
“How can you be a friend to me now? You don’t understand—!”
Mihai drew in a deep breath. “I didn’t tell you the entire truth about my mother’s death. Yes, there was a carriage accident, but she was being pursued by a witch. It was a witch that slew her, and I witnessed it.”
“Why was a witch after the Queen of Moldavia?” Viktor asked.
“My mother had been promised into servitude to the witch as a little girl,” Mihai said.
“I see. The witch took no pity on your mother, and the bastard who did this took no pity on me either. I have transformed. Sonia witnessed this. She’s so upset she won’t let me touch her, and I fear I might have tried to harm her in my unnatural state.” A tear escaped from Viktor’s eye.
Mihai stood there, rocked by his friend’s confession and his own painful memories of the night his mother died. How could he let such a beast into his home? How could he not? Viktor loved Sonia, yet even now his confession spoke of the werewolf’s inability to control his actions.
“I don’t know. But there’s more - Sonia is pregnant with my child.”