Encountering a werewolf forces a young woman to question who she is and how she acts. She re-evaluates herself, challenges herself, and soon finds a new level of happiness one very hot and steamy night. And, in the process, falls in love.
“Come on... Pick up.” Amber muttered into the phone. But the only response was more ringing. Frustrated, she slipped the device back into her jacket pocket.
She paused at the top of the subway exit’s stairs, straightening the skirt of her suit in the glow of fluorescent white lights. It was late night and the street stretching in either direction was dead quiet. In front of her, Emerson Park was a black hole of impenetrable darkness. And because her boyfriend wasn’t answering his phone, she was going to have to walk out there all alone. 


The subway gate clanged closed behind her and the white lights flicked off. The station was closed. Her apartment was just down the street a couple of blocks, past the end of the park. During the day, from her dining room window, she had a brilliant view of the trees and gardens from the sixth floor. And she walked the park often. But at night, on her way home from a late night at the office, with no-one else in sight, the park seemed to hide all her worst fears. Who knew what its shadows were hiding? Who knew what might reach out from under one of those bushes and grab her? Just imagining something unseen coiling around her ankles and pulling at her made Amber squirm.

She couldn’t ask for more light. The moon was full and bright, a perfect orb in the night sky, chasing away the stars and basking the street in silvery light. Unfortunately, the big, old trees that provided such welcome shade in the day as they overhung the sidewalk, now cast mottled shadows. 

Amber understood rationally that she was just being afraid of the dark. It was silly. There was nothing out there, no monsters under the bed, or bush, as it were. No boogeyman. With a deep breath, she took hold of her fear, forced it under control, and strode forward, towards home.

“It’s just dark. There’s nothing to fear. There’s nothing to fear.” she chanted out loud, though quietly lest someone hear and she become embarrassed.

After a dozen meters she began to relax. It was silly to be so afraid all the time. It was a perfectly nice night for a stroll; the edge of the park was pretty in its own way. Evening glories were opening, their huge, showy white flowers like velvety moons on the foliage their vines trailed up. 

Then the bushes rustled.
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