Friday, August 24, 2012

Werewolf Love

I would never have thought when I began my first novel that I would be writing about werewolves. I was attempting to write a character study (more or less) dealing with the dichotomous problem faced by a woman wanting a normal relationship but unable to sustain one.
Of course, what I came up with was a demon succubus. Hey, why not? Using a character such as this allowed me to explore the problems many face of wanting a lasting relationship, but somehow sabotaging themselves.
But, given the nature I invented for my succubus, how would she ever find a lasting relationship if she kills all her lovers? Who could possibly survive her love? That's when werewolves made their entrance into the story. I would just have my main character fall in love with a werewolf. In my mind anyway, a werewolf can survive a succubus. Oddly enough, I later found the very concept I dreamed up, was used in a television show called Lost Girl.
Of course, my werewolves were different. In fact, my werewolves were created eons ago by demons such as Azra and Tarmin. More about that later. The werewolves in my world are just like other humans, living among the rest of the population. They do tend to keep to themselves, and they have a definite hierarchy within their group. My werewolves also (for the most part) mate for life. Now there may be a rogue out there having relationships with more than one partner, but that will be another story. Also, my werewolves communicate just like married humans, oftentimes arguing or engaging in banter. Here's an example of this using Alexis and Joseph from the novel Lovestruck Succubus.
Joe Johnson sat in a darkened car next to his wife and mate, Lexi. The car was a rental and they had been sitting inside of it for nearly four hours watching Raif Lungren's apartment building. The air outside had cooled some but there was no breeze and now the day's heat radiated off the buildings and the concrete. Hot moist air filled the car making their skin stick uncomfortably to the seats. The windows were cracked open but they could not run the air conditioner for fear of attracting attention, even on the deserted street in the dead of night. The inside of the car stank of coffee, french-fries, and body odor.

They had watched Raif walk home from work. They had watched a woman follow behind him. They had watched her hide beside a tree for more than two hours. Now, they watched as she moved to the apartment entrance door, and they would wait until morning if they had to, just to see if the woman stayed in his apartment for the night. They had been watching Raif for more than two weeks. All of his activities had been noted and relayed back to their pack leader and alpha in Northern Georgia. But the woman was new, and why she was hiding outside his apartment building they had no idea, although the arrival of this new woman did bring some excitement to their normally dull observations. Lexi wrote notes on a small notepad. She listed the general characteristics of the woman approaching the apartment building, approximate height, hair color and length, and clothing worn. She noted the time, 1:43 AM, and wrote it down.

"Did you see that?" Joe poked at Alexis, and then pointed at the apartment entrance.

"See what? She just went into the apartment building." Alexis gave him a stern look through the darkness, peeved about his habit of poking her when he wanted her attention.

"No, Lexi, I didn't see her open the door." Joe always called her Lexi, and she called him Joe, unless they were mad at each other, and then it was Alexis and Joseph.

"What do you mean? I'm sure she opened the door and then went inside, you just missed it."

"I don't know. It looked to me like she went through the door."

"Maybe you need more coffee." Lexi held the thermos up for him. "I think all this stakeout stuff just makes you loopy."

Joe resigned the argument, thinking she was right and he was probably just seeing things that were not there. He lifted his Styrofoam cup out to her and smiled in acceptance of her terms. Lexi filled his cup, smiled back at him and settled back in her seat. They fell into silence, Joe slowly slurping coffee, Lexi huffing and shifting abruptly in her seat in annoyance at his loud, sloppy drinking.

They had sat in the car another forty minutes when the apartment building door flew open and a kind of half-human half-wolf creature came through at a full run.
This scene from Lexi's Run served as part of the introduction of Joseph and Alexis (Joe and Lexi) in the first Novel. It is told from Joe's point of view. It may seem strange to some readers that the second novel went backwards, but I thought this was a great way to highlight the relationship of Joe and Lexi. I thought it would show how they became so familiar with each other. They weren't always so informal. In fact, this next scene shows how they almost never got together.

Joseph walked across the old crumbling asphalt parking lot, and over patches of loose gravel in front of the abandoned auto parts store toward the bar. As he crossed the alley, he heard a voice and, looking into the darkness, he saw a man and a woman in the shadows by a garbage dumpster. The man said something, and the woman jerked her hand away from him. Joseph's body reacted before his mind even realized the two were not standing in the dark for romance. The woman was backing up, and the man was advancing toward her.

"You alright Ma'am," he heard himself say as he closed the distance between him and the assailant grabbing at the woman.

He made it to the man in five easy steps. The man was preoccupied with the woman, allowing Joseph the opportunity to wrap his arm around the man's neck and drag him away from the woman, making sure to jerk his knee into the man's back at every step backwards. Joseph kept dragging the man backwards until he was brought off balance and went to the ground. He rolled the man over as forcefully as he could and then knelt down with his knee in the man's back, yanking the man’s arms around his back to meet his knee. Joe grabbed his zip straps out from the left side of his waistband, and tightened them around the man's wrists before bringing his attention back to the woman.

"Are you okay? Did he hurt you?" Joe looked up at the woman, standing among the dark shadows of the alley.

He could only make out her general shape in the dark, but he was certain he saw her eyes, just for a brief moment, nearly glowing, something primal reflecting in them through the darkness. His eyes adjusted to the darkness of the alley, and the two standing in front of him came into better view. He recognized the man as Lefty, the local sleaze ball, and the very skip Jake contracted him to bring in. His luck was certainly changing from earlier in the day. The thug wannabee down and secure, Joe turned his attention back to the woman again.

"It's alright, I got him under control," He said to the woman, as he jerked Lefty up by his cuffed wrists.

Standing closer to the woman, he got a better look at her. She was looking not too pleased that he stopped Lefty from doing to her ... whatever it was he was thinking of doing. In fact, the smug look on her face made her seem completely ungrateful that he just saved her life, or, at the very least, her honor. Her pale skin reflected the dim light from the crescent moon overhead, and contrasted sharply with her dark hair. Joseph didn't usually think much of women one way or the other since his mother died, but even in the dark, he saw something special in her, a kind of confidence, a deep, animalistic skill for survival. He was beginning to wonder if he hadn't shown up, if she would've taken care of Lefty herself. Then she spoke, and removed any doubt about her confidence.

"I'm alright," the woman said. "I didn't need any help." She crossed her arms, and moved into a stance that, even in the darkness, came off as arrogant.

"Yeah, I could tell, you had everything under control," he said, with as much sarcasm as he could muster.

She glared at him; a cold hurt showing in her eyes, even through the dark, and he regretted the words as soon as he said them. Truth was, the woman looked like she could take care of herself. She was taller than most women, with a solid build. She was more voluptuous and toned than stick-thin, and her eyes showed strength. Even in the dark alley, her eyes conveyed volumes. Joseph liked beautiful eyes, and he liked a strong woman. He decided to take on a different approach in talking to her.

"I didn't get your name."

"I didn't give it." She turned, and began to walk away. "Like I told you already, I had everything under control until you showed up."

"Sorry if I interrupted your ass-kicking, but I've been looking for this guy." Joseph left out the fact that he had just started looking for him.

"Well, you got him," she said, not even looking back as she walked toward the street. "Can I get back to work, now?"

"You work here?"

"No, asshole, I don't work here.” She turned and looked back at him, planting her feet at shoulder-width. “Not on the street. I'm a waitress at the Pink Pony." She huffed and turned again, walking toward the alley entrance.

"Oh, I didn't mean ...” But it was too late. She'd already rounded the corner and disappeared.

"Wait," Joseph yelled after her as he moved as quickly as he could toward the street, pushing Lefty in front of him.

He reached the crumbling parking lot just as the woman stepped into the building, the door closing behind her.

"My name's Joseph," he yelled as the door closed.

"Damn you, Lefty," Joseph yelled in his ear as he jerked him toward his truck and pushed him along, making him stumble across loose gravel. "You just cost me a date."

"More like, I just put the two of you together," Lefty countered. "Who are you, anyway?"

"Nobody really, Lefty.” Joseph told him as he opened the passenger door of his truck and threw lefty inside. “I'm just the guy that gets paid for collecting trash like you and bringing them to jail."

It seems these were just two normal people meeting for the first time but soon, it is revealed that Lexi, and her relationship with Joseph is nothing close to normal. I write all this because I am attempting to warn my readers and possible future readers that the direction of this ongoing story is going to change even more with the third novel. What started as a story about a lonely demon succubus is becoming a story of the relationship between demons of old and the shape-shifting werewolves they created in an attempt to rid the Earth of humans.
My werewolves are not demons but they are definitely paranormal. They have special healing abilities, advanced hearing and smell but they are not completely immortal. They do grow old, and eventually die, as shown in Lexi's Run. Nonetheless, they do have the ability to shift to any form between human and wolf.
When it comes to love, there is only one kind for my werewolves—everlasting. With few exceptions, they stay with their mate (chosen or selected) for life. I hope this article provides some insight into my personal world of demons and werewolves. I hope that you would make it your world as well. And, I hope you stay with me because, in the next installment of this ongoing saga, things are going to get a little bumpy.

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