Once in a Full Moon Online Page 0,1

girls in Legend's Run, I'd had a crush on Nash since I could remember. He had handsome good looks and eyes that twinkled, and he possessed an air of confidence that made him stand out among our schoolmates. But behind his charming ways was a hint of insecurity. For me, I was almost as attracted to the possibility that he was not as confident as he appeared as I was to his appearance and his playfulness.

Nash leaned in for a kiss and I melted against his lips. For a moment I lost track of where we were, until I heard my friends snickering. I lowered my chin and reached up to fix my hair and he reluctantly backed off.

It was wonderful having my friends around me, and the attention from Nash was flattering. We were finally away from the cheering crowds, girls vying for him, or winning-obsessed coaches who normally surrounded Nash, the star athlete at our school. It was unusual for Nash to be focused on life beyond sports, so I cherished our perfect night together. Feeling like a lone wolf who prefers the companionship of the wolf pack, I felt safe in our clique. I'd never been as happy in our group as I was tonight. I took pride knowing my friends were having fun hanging outside their comfort zone, and I enjoyed knowing Nash wanted to hold me more than a stitched leather ball.

"This is how it should always be," Ivy said. "The six of us together." She raised her latte for a toast. "Forever."

We all grabbed our hot coffees and raised them toward the moon.

"Forever?" Nash groaned. "That's a long time."

I wasn't shaken by his remark. Rather, it stirred something I'd been feeling, too. Was Nash the kind of guy I wanted to be together with forever? Could I really see myself with someone who was usually more devoted to himself and to sports than others, when this is what caused us to be part-time now?

I gazed at my friends, who seemed so enamored with their dates. I couldn't imagine anything breaking their bonds. I envied them.

"Wow - that full moon," Abby said. "It's haunting, isn't it?"

"Speaking of full moons," Nash said, hopping to his feet. "It's my turn to tell a scary story, and this one is real."

Nash, handsome with his boyishly beautiful features and muscular build, took center stage behind the fire as if the small flames were footlights. He began telling a story of a werewolf in Legend's Run in the early 1900s.

I scooted next to Ivy, who linked her bony arm with mine as if it were a designer purse.

"Many years ago, as the full moon shown bright," Nash said with an eerie tone, "the inhabitants of Legend's Run heard a horrible howling. The cry of the beast wailed throughout the town. As the howling grew closer, children woke up from their sleep, travelers had to control their horses, and homeowners locked their doors. The few brave souls who did venture out to investigate say they witnessed a creature never seen before - a monster standing on two legs, thin as a man, hairy as a dog, with the fangs of a wolf and the eyes of a beast."

"Ooh!" Ivy whimpered, hugging my arm.

Tall tales of werewolves ran rampant for generations in Legend's Run. It might have been because occasionally a wolf was spotted in the outlying wooded areas and in the early days there wasn't much else to do but create outlandish stories of their origin. I was a skeptic on rumors; I had the mind-set that I'd have to see it to believe it. To me, there was a big line between fact and fantasy. However, hanging out here in the darkness, anything seemed possible.

"The creature appeared tormented," he continued. "It was ready to attack at any moment." Nash raised his hands as if he were the monster.

Now I clutched Ivy.

"This monstrous creature could rip a giant into tiny pieces. His bite was deadly and he could kill without warning. The townspeople tried in vain to capture and kill the monster, but he returned, full moon after full moon. The creature couldn't be taken down with a gunshot or the threat of fire but instead vanished into the woods."

Nash paused. "The townspeople often awoke to find their cattle missing, or in some cases dismembered."

"Gross!" Ivy exclaimed.

Abby let out an audible gasp. "Tell us more!"

"It was only a matter of time, they feared, before the monster would