My mind and heart were racing. Dr. Meadows's prediction haunted me like the other ones she had forecasted. Why did we have to go to Penny for Your Thoughts in the first place? Not only did I have to deal with Nash's behavior and Brandon's impending transformation but now another vague glimpse into my future? I wasn't sure what the prediction even meant. All I knew was someone was going to be bitten – by a wolf or werewolf – and somehow my love life would be complicated. Wasn't it complicated enough already?
Once I'd left the basketball game, I didn't know what to do. If I kept this a secret, I thought my mind would explode. Wasn't I holding too many secrets already? And if I was going to tell someone, there was only one person to tell. The only person I thought might understand was Brandon – but by telling him, I'd risk him withdrawing from me because I'd be causing him more stress than he already had. As I drove home, I contemplated this new dilemma and realized I had to tell Brandon. Not only was he a great friend, but he always seemed sensible and he might be able to figure out what Dr. Meadows meant. Besides, it might be important that he know what the psychic was saying about him. I dialed him on my cell, but he didn't pick up. When I pulled into my driveway, I texted him and waited. But still no response. Was he out in his backyard chopping wood? Or was he out grocery shopping for his grandparents and couldn't grab his ringing phone?
When I reached my bedroom, I heard "Fly Me to the Moon" playing. Finally!
"I need to see you," I blurted out.
"Are you okay?" he asked, his voice filled with concern.
"Yes. I just need to talk. Can I come to your house?"
"Uh . . . sure. I was just working out back, so I'll need to clean up."
"Well, that might have to wait. I saw Dr. Meadows again."
"Oh no," he said. Then he didn't speak.
"I'm on my way," I said, and hung up the phone.
I found Brandon outside his guesthouse, waiting for me and holding a bouquet of pink and yellow tulips. Not only wasn't he dirty from working, but his hair was slightly damp from showering, and he was wearing a different outfit from the one he'd worn to school.
When he saw me, he flashed a wide smile and handed me the lovely flowers.
"That's so sweet of you!" I said. "I love tulips!"
"I saw them at the market, and I thought they belonged with you," he said, watching me breathe them in. The fragrant aroma was as invigorating as he was. "I was planning on leaving them by your locker tomorrow, but when you called, I figured I'd give them to you in person."
"That was so thoughtful!" I leaned my head on his chest, but when I didn't come up for a kiss, he sensed something was wrong.
"What's up?" he asked.
"I don't want to tell you." I gazed down at my sneakers.
"Is everything all right?"
"What do you mean?"
"I got another warning from Dr. Meadows," I said, now looking up at him.
"I thought you weren't going to see her."
"I wasn't. But Ivy and Abby got it in their heads that they wanted a fortune told – mine – and they dragged me there."
"Did you tell her about my condition? Did she have an antidote for me?" he asked, hopeful. I could tell that even though he didn't trust Dr. Meadows, either, he longed for a solution to his lycan transformation.
"I didn't ask. I was afraid if I said anything to her, then she would somehow read my thoughts and figure out you were the werewolf. I didn't want her to show up at your house with a TV crew."
He sighed, disappointed, then pushed his dark locks away from his gorgeous face.
"I appreciate that," he said. "What did she say?"
"'Beware of a bite under a full moon. It will complicate your love life,'" I recited.
Brandon paused. At any moment he was going to confess he had dreams that he was going to bite me. But instead, he only laughed.
"You know it doesn't mean anything," he reassured me, resting his hand on my shoulder. "Why are you so worried?"
"But last time everything she said happened. 'Beware of the woods . . . of the sounds of howling.' Remember? 'There could be outsiders who will turn . . . underneath the glow of the full moon.' I was lost in the woods – and met that pack of wolves. And then you turned underneath the glow – "
"Of the full moon. I know. But just because she said it didn't mean it would happen. It could be coincidence," he tried to assure me.
"Yes. But when I left there, I got caught in a snowstorm, the full moon came out, you were bitten, and now you are a . . ."
He sighed. "It's okay."
"I don't know what it means." My hands shook and my voice quavered.
"What do you think it means?" he asked, entertaining my concern.
"That you will bite me and it will come between us."
"Now that is ridiculous! Have I bitten you before?"
"Then why would I now?"
"I don't know." I stared up at the most attractive guy I'd ever encountered, one who was not only handsome but kind. Then I realized I had just told him he might bite me and turn me into a wolfgirl. My love life was spinning out of control.
"Well, now you have me worried." He stepped away from me.
Getting it off my chest didn't relieve the burden of Dr. Meadows's warning like I thought it would; it only made things worse.
I bounced over to him – the guy who only a moment ago was sporting an infectious smile now was wearing a frown. "Like you told me," I began, "what she says can be baloney. And if it is true, well, who knows what it means? Maybe I'll bite you," I teased.
"I never figured moving here would be so complicated. So much has happened in such a short time. I figured the biggest thing I'd have to deal with was making friends. Now it seems like the last thing on my mind."
"And you should have friends. You should have me, Ivy, and Abby."
"I appreciate it – but like I said, that's the last thing I'm concerned with now. I want to fix this situation so we can be together."
"I do, too."
"But now, with a prediction that I might bite you? The last person I'd ever want to hurt?"
I hated that I put that thought in Brandon's mind. My need for him to reassure me only made him the one who needed to be reassured now.
"You're right," I pressed. "You haven't bitten me before. In fact, you've been so gentle, I long for those nights when there is a full moon. If you were harmful, I wouldn't be standing here right now." I put my hand on his shoulder. "I didn't mean to come over here and add more stress to the situation. I came here to be with you."
I leaned into him and slid my hands around his back, still gripping my flowers. I clung to him as if I'd never let go.
He laid his head on my shoulder. I could feel his smooth cheek against my own and knew that by the next full moon his face would be ripe with facial hair and a goatee. This threat of his lycan condition was once again spoiling our moments together.
"Why don't we forget about things for a bit?" he asked, raising his head and taking a deep breath.
"Sure." I held the flowers close to me.
It was still chilly, but we walked up to the hilltop and hiked through the woods. Brandon was so stunningly gorgeous I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I had to squeeze his hands extra hard just to believe that this hot guy was indeed standing beside me. In the woods, alone, there was nothing that could come between us and no one we had to hide from. We could truly be ourselves. And even though Brandon wasn't in werewolf form, he had a heightened sense of our surroundings. He pointed to a pack of deer before they came into view. They were beautiful, hopping over branches and following one another in the woods.
Finally we rested at the foot of a tree by the stream. The water was cold but not frozen. It babbled so calmly that it was like the soothing sounds Dr. Meadows had playing in her store. It was wonderful to experience the sight of the flowing water in addition to the relaxing sounds of the stream.
Brandon pulled me to him. "Everything is so peaceful here," he said.
"I know. I wish we could stay forever."
"Let's," he said dreamily. "We'll set up a tent back here."
"And we'll live in it together."
"We'll make our own food and walk together during the day."
"We'd never get bored," I said.
"I don't think so, either. There would be so much to do. You could write your stories."
"And in the winter we could find a frozen pond where you could play hockey."
"We could be nature-schooled," he joked.
"Doesn't that sound awesome?" I said, resting my head on his leg.
Brandon fingered my hair, and I cozied up against him. Soon we were lost in each other's lips.
"I am really happy I came here," he said.
"To this stream?" I asked, dizzy from his kisses.
"No, to Legend's Run."
"Even with all its complications?"
"Well, I could do without some," he teased, "but yes, even with those."
"So you don't miss Miller's Glen?" I asked. "Not even a little bit? I can't imagine leaving my home and my friends."
"Yeah, I miss my friends. I was planning on going back for a visit, but I don't think so now – not with the whole moon-changing events."
"So you can't go back?"
"Not with an impending full moon."
I was relieved that he wasn't planning on leaving town anytime soon. But I also felt lonely for him – I was his only friend in Legend's Run. It only made me hug and kiss him more.
"Besides," he said, staring at me. "Nothing would take me away from you now. Not ever."