– Are we there yet?
– Almost. I should have known you’d act like a child.
As Theo expected, Ms Rosencrantz had located a werewolf, but it was far. Theo would have gone alone, but that would mean Yu wasn’t involved in something she had committed herself to. And he just wouldn’t bring her a solution without letting her doing some dirty work as well.
He finally stopped in front of a small wooden cabin. There was no road beyond it.
But nobody answered as Theo knocked.
– What now? Do we sit down and cry?
– Be my guest.
A man got of the woods suddenly: “You won’t find him here at this time.”
“Mr. Ralph Connery? Where can we find him then?”
“He is at the local pub. Careful though: when he’s drunk, he’s never in a good mood.”
On this reassuring note, Theo and Yu set out for the pub.
It seemed as if they were not too fond of strangers in the area as the barman eyed them suspiciously.
“Ralph Connery? That would be the wreck on the left.” If he had heard his name, the man didn’t move.
“Mr. Connery, we have a proposal for you.”
“And who are ‘we’? What do you want?”
“We will introduce ourselves, but not here. Can we go to your place to discuss? Our matter requires some… privacy.”
“Looks serious. Fine, we’ll go to my place. But your story’d rather be worth it.”
Yu sat down in disgust on a corner of the sofa. The whole place was dirty and it stank of tobacco. Ralph lit up a cigarette: “You wanted privacy, you got it. Now, who are you and what is this proposal you were telling me about?”
“Who we are is of little importance in the matter at hand. You are a werewolf and we need your help.” Yu gasped: “Golzine…! You’re already going too far…”
Ralph’s hand twitched.
– A werewolf? Where did ya hear that?
– People talk.
– Are you from the police?
– Certainly not.
“You are insane. Get out of my house.”
– You know very well I won’t leave. I told you I needed your help, so you’d better listen to me first.
– You’re insulting me. Get out, I said.
“You don’t offer me a lot of options.” Theo pulled out his gun and pointed it at the man. “If you value your life, turn into your werewolf form right now.”
– Again! Why do you always resort to weapons?
– If you know another way to make a man talk, I’m all ears.
“Golzine, please… put that gun down, I’m sure there’s no need.”
– You’re going to regret this.
– Make me.
“Get behind me, Miss Wong.”
“Dear lord… Golzine, what did you do…?”
“I don’t know how you discovered my existence, but you’re gonna leave me alone!”
The werewolf threw himself on Theo who shoved Yu out of the way without ceremony.
“We’re not leaving until you’ve heard what we have to say.”
The werewolf’s strength was brutal and Yu screamed as Theo was thrown on the sofa. “Don’t kill him!!” she yelled. “He can help you become human again!”
He stopped short. “B… Become human again?”
Theo clicked his tongue. “Miss Wong might get a bit ahead of herself here. However, my information sources are numerous as you know by now. There is maybe a solution for you somewhere.”
“We want you to be at our side as we can potentially engage into a fight with vampires. Will you now calm down and listen to us?”
Ralph turned back into a human form. From the look of surprise on his face, it wasn’t something he could control.
– I… I’m back.
– Yes, you are. You don’t seem to have a short supply of strong alcohol, so you could consider offering a glass to Miss Wong, I think she needs it.
– You’re sure you’re not from the police?
– I’m from the mafia. Better confidentiality and gunmanship.
– I’ve never met any vampires. I’ve always lived retired in those woods since… I was cursed.
– By a fairy. But I first want you to explain why you’re here.
– Well, the city I manage (I’m a mayor you see) is the first one of its kind. We welcome any kind of supernatural and…
– In short, Miss Wong unfortunately discovered the existence of vampires and had the very stupid initiative of inviting them and their wealth in that city, which is my territory. Now she’s in trouble because one of them went missing with his daughter.
– Golzine! You make it sound terrible!
– We need someone to subdue vampires. And werewolves have just precisely that power.
– And can you really help me in return?
– We’ll see what we can do. Since how long have you been in this state? Are you an immortal as well?
– I think I’ve stopped aging. I should have aged up years ago.
– I don’t know about all this…
– One thing is sure: you have nothing to lose. The only other option is rotting here until you run short of alcohol.
“We have found you. We could locate your fairies as well.”
“Alright. I’m in.”