Hyacinth - By Abigail Owen

Chapter 1

Selene jerked awake and clutched the sweat-soaked bed sheets in her hands. Her breath came in panting bursts, and her heart refused to slow its furious pounding. A low, animalistic groan sounded from deep within. Moonlight slanted across her bed in pale streamers, illuminating the darkness around her. But Selene could only see the images that filled her mind in terror-filled flashes.

The nightmare had started the same as all the others….

She was in her wolf form. It always felt different to be wolf rather than human. Her eyesight was enhanced. Her hearing was more sensitive, attuned to the sounds of the night. And her point of view was lower to the ground.

In this dream she’d been watching a house from the deep shadows of the woods. It was nighttime, and with the lights on inside the house, she had easy views of the inhabitant – a middle-aged woman who appeared to be alone. The urge to hurt that woman had overwhelmed her, and she barely contained a snarl of aggression.

What is happening to me? Confusion swept through Selene. Her urge made absolutely no sense. She’d never deliberately harmed another being in her life.

And then she’d started to move, as though her body had a will of its own. She wasn’t in control. The need to kill was dictating her actions now. Selene prowled over to a small patio that extended from the back of the house. She stopped within feet of the structure and crouched low in a pool of moonlight. Her white form blended in perfectly, rendering her almost invisible.

And there she waited. But Selene had no idea what she was waiting for exactly. It was as though her dream-self had been here before… stalked this woman… and knew something was about to happen….

Selene didn’t recognize where she was. She was sure she’d never been to this place when she was awake. What was she doing here? Panic was starting to set in. She could feel it in the thumping of her heart. The adrenaline kicked in hard. Or maybe it wasn’t panic. Maybe it was anticipation for the kill. Her thoughts were all tangled up. What was wrong with her?

The fur on her back bristled, and Selene realized that a moment of no return was fast approaching. Her keen hearing picked up the soft tread of the woman inside the house, and then she heard the click of the door handle. Her muscles coiled more tightly, ready to pounce. The door opened, a ray of light from inside just missing the spot where Selene was hidden, and the woman stepped out onto the patio.

Selene felt her body spring into the air.

No! No! No! She tried to hold herself back, make herself stop. But it was no use.

Screams pierced this night air, hurting Selene’s ears, as she slammed into the woman. Then Selene sank her sharp teeth right into the back of the woman’s neck. Bones crunched under the pressure of her jaws and the sharp, metallic taste of blood surged into her mouth. The woman continued her screeching, thrashing around hysterically under Selene’s deadly grasp. With a guttural growl, Selene clamped down harder and then shook the woman like a rag doll. She felt the satisfying crack when the woman’s neck snapped.

And then, just as suddenly as the nightmare had started, darkness consumed her and she woke up in her bedroom.

Selene let out a small whimper as the sound of screams rang in her head. She clamped her hands over her ears to try to silence the echoes of the nameless woman’s high-pitched and terror-filled shrieks, and the terrible sound of her neck as it cracked in her jaws. But it was useless.

With a gasp, Selene lifted a trembling hand to her mouth. No blood. Thank goodness. It was just another nightmare… although knowing that didn’t help much in the dead of the night.

Usually it was Selene who determined what dreams she entered. She could walk in and out of the minds of any person she chose while they slept. But somehow she wasn’t in control of entering this one. Or of her actions while she was in it. It felt more as if she’d been physically yanked into the dream. That alone was cause for alarm. What if someone was controlling her? Or, even worse, what if she were actually killing people while she dreamt?

But what terrified her most was the fact that this wasn’t the first time she’d had these nightmares. They’d started coming more frequently

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