I woke up in the immaculately white room in my spotlessly white clothes. I felt like I was in a weird dream. Everything monochromatic. It was a little difficult to look at. Sharp. It hurt my eyes. The only relief was the colours of photographs of all the supermodels in their vibrant makeup and clothing. I sighed.
I believed it was my third day of being kidnapped but i had become unsure. I felt that Dante or Maurice or “Boss” was putting something in my food. Something to make my senses and perception dull. There was no reason why I should not be able to connect with my three alpha mates if I was still on their territory.
Suddenly, I felt my neck throb, Owl i felt the marks. The three silvery marks were burning. I rushed to the bathroom to look in the mirror. The marks were angry and red. There was something sticky on them like a salve. I gasped. I grabbed a piece of tissue and wiped off the cream. Someone had put something on my marksl I washed my neck with cool water. That soothed the burning. I kept treating the area and the searing pain slowly subsided. The skin was still irritated but it was just a bit pink.
My golden skin was back to looking sallow after it had begun to healthy. It wasn‘t gleaming anymore like it did on my trip with the triplets. I was back to shitty eating habits and stress, that‘s why. And now, I couldn‘t afford to be unhealthy! I gingerly touched my lower belly. I wondered how far along I was.
Dante came into my room just then and quickly rushed into the bathroom, his eyes wild. He must‘ve thought for a moment that I’d escaped. I stared at him blankly. I was seething but I didn‘t want to start an argument.
“I‘m right here,” I said plainly.
“I can see that,” he snarled.
“Did you put something on my marks?” I asked softly.
Dante fidgeted uncomfortably. It was a very quick almost imperceptible movement but I spotted it. He did put something on
“Why would you do that?” I asked.
Dante just glared at me.
“You‘re a werewolf, you know just as well as anyone else those marks cannot be removed. They‘re permanent,” I said, trying to stop my brown eyes from turning black with rage. How dare he try to remove my mates‘ marks. That was beyond heinous. I‘d never even heard of such a thing.
Dante shrugged. “It was magic. I thought it would work,” he said.
I must have lost my mind for a second. Temporary insanity. I lunged at him and tackled him to the ground, canines bared. I wanted to rip him to shreds.
“Doppelgängers,” said Chance, from where he sat at the booth in the cafe.
The triplets and Danny just stared at him. The triplets were sitting across from Danny and everyone‘s coffee remained mostly untouched besides the P.I. who was on his third cup.
“Doppelgängers!” Chance said. “Lookalikes!”
“Celebrity doppelgängers?” Said Chance.
“You‘re not making any sense. Explain what you‘re talking about,” said Alex sternly, knitting his thick naturally arched brows together.
“A doppelgänger is a lookalike, a double of a person…” began Chance,
“Look who you‘re talking to!” Snapped Felix. “We
know what doppelgängers are. We get what you mean by lookalikes but so
Felix widened his eyes and gestured to his identical triplet brothers
Calix tried to be helpful. “Ok, so the retired supermodel who may or may not be dead has a doppelgänger!”
“Almost.” said Danny. “Deidre is dead! Chance saw her body and I trust him. The first doppelgänger of Deidre, the first lookalike would be the one who went on to become a famous supermodel after the real Deidre died or rather was murdered.”
“Good, ok,” said Alex, nodding, complimenting Danny‘s deductive reasoning not the murder.
“So there‘s a third one then, since you have a pic showing one Deidre at the party we all went to with…Chasity,” said Felix, sighing deeply. He had dark circles under his baby blue eyes and his skin was a bit paler than usual. Being apart from their mate had hit the middle triplet particularly hard.
“And you also have a pic showing Deidre at some bar, the Serpent‘s Tongue, around the same time,” Felix surmised.
“So like us, there‘s at least three identical people,” said Calix. “But, one of them is dead and they‘re all claiming to be the same person. Correct me if I‘m wrong but the doppelgängers were probably made after Deidre‘s death. Her death was probably a requirement, a prerequisite to be able to go ahead and make other Deidre‘s to take her spot. You can‘t replace a position that‘s filled.”
“Look at Baby Boy Calix, figuring s**t out,” said Felix clapping his younger sibling on the back.
“Someone killed Deidre and took over her life, continued on living as her. Realised all her potential, became a supermodel. The
person even took her life‘s dream,” said Alex.
“That‘s sad,” said Felix softly. “The Deidre doppelgänger is better at her life than she was.”
“Well, that might be because the doppelgänger is obviously superhuman in some way,” said Calix.
“Deidre was already a she–wolf,” said Alex. “The doppelgänger has to be using either incredible technology or magic. My bet is on magic. I wouldn’t put anything past a witch!”
“Don‘t hate on witches,” said Felix. “Our cousin, Jessie, married one. She made a great Luna. She‘s kinda hot too.”
“I like Jamie. She gave me a snow globe that changes season so when I shake it up, it‘s snowflakes for winter, flowers for spring and leaves for fall,” explained Calix.
“You‘re missing one,” smirked Felix. “In summer, there‘s nothing, it‘s just empty,” said Calix.
“Now, that is sad!” Said Felix.
“Focus!” Said Alex. Calix and Felix straightened.
“Sorry, Alex, I haven‘t slept properly in days. It‘s impossible without Chasity,” mumbled Calix, the youngest Alpha.
“The sooner we figure this out, the sooner we can save Chasity and all take a nap,” said Alex, ruffling Calix‘s hair,
“When I get my hands on Chasity, there‘ll be no napping,” said Felix slyly.
Alex nudged Felix sharply in the ribs.
“Hey!” Felix protested. Alex nodded towards Chance, Chasity‘s grandfather who was glaring at Felix.
Felix smiled at him sheepishly. “Uh, that‘s because we‘ll stay up talking. We have really long deep chats together. Our relationship is very spiritual, intellectual as well,” explained Felix.
Chance‘s glare remain unchanged.
“All signs are pointing to Deidre. No more stalling. Let‘s find her and get the truth somehow,” said Alex redirecting the conversation.
“First, before we go skipping off to LA, we need to check out the bar, The Serpent‘s Tongue. Your parents also frequented there in their youth,” said Danny.
“You mean Chasity‘s parents,” corrected Alex.
“And yours,” said Danny, frowning.
“What?” Asked Felix sharply.
“They double dated there from time to time seeing as your mom and Chasity‘s dad were step siblings who actually got along,” said Danny, reaching into his briefcase.
? He took out a photo and showed it to the triplets. Two girls in embroidered bellbottom jeans and crops tops with billowing fishtail sleeves were standing with two men in pale jeans and plain white tees under jean jackets. The triplets easily recognised the younger
versions of their parents as one of the couples. The other couple comprised of a blond man with wavy long hair and a mocha skinned aid with curly dark hair. Chasity‘s parents. All four youngsters were smiling for the camera and huddled together.
“But, they hated each other? My parents all but admitted it. My mom said she had a problem with Chalicel” Said Alex.
“Not right away,” said Danny. “They grew apart after Chasity‘s parents became more heavily involved in the Furina Ornata.”
“The group wasn‘t supposed to be about partying an drugs,” said Chance, defending the group. “But the parties the younger members threw became like that. There were a lot of wild young members. They felt invincible. Maybe it was the snake venom.”
Felix sighed. So his parents had even liked Chasity‘s parents once upon a time including Chasity‘s mother. That made his parents‘ mistreatment of Chasity even worse. He wished she were sitting right here, between him and Alex, pondering over her menu, taking forever to order. Her smell would be heavenly as always and she would snap at him for trying to order for her. Then she would feel guilty and be sweet to him. He missed her sassiness.
“Felix!” Said Alex.
“We‘re going!” Said Calix.
“Where?” Asked Felix.
“To the Serpent‘s Tongue!” Said Danny,
The serpent‘s tongue was a hole in the wall of a bar. It was on the outskirts of the parklands, not the ideal location for a business establishment. The indoor heating there was not working well so it was exceptionally cold inside the bar. It was snowing outside. The triplets‘ pack lands had a six month winter, usually spanning from October to March. During the other six months, it was still quite cold but the snow was gone, the flowers bloomed and the ice melted so the rivers ran and fish swam upstream to spawn.
The triplets were shocked to see a graffiti painting on the side of the bar depicting the full moon with the snake curled around it. There was a latin phrase painted in red letters on the moon: Iterum vivere.
“What does that mean?” Asked Danny, snapping a picture of it. “Live again,” said Chance. “It‘s latin for live again!
The five walked into the cold bar. There were shabby wooden barstools at the bar and surrounding all the high tables. The countertops were all a dark green. The walls were plastered with autographed framed photographs of celebrities. Many of the celebrities had also written lines praising the bar.
How did the people who own this place get all these high profile people to come here and lie on their autographed photos? This place is a dump, said Felix in the minds of the five.
Calix and Alex nodded. It was suspicious. They all sat at the bar. The bartender was human to their surprise. She introduced herself as Destiny. She was a petite, pale, freckled young woman with vibrant red hair. She encouraged them to all get some beers.
The temperature of the place kept all the bottles chilled. There was no need for a freezer really but there was one. Destiny did not seem the slightest bit afraid surrounded by all these werewolves. To the contrary, she seemed one of the most relaxed people there as if she were quite at home in the freezing cold werewolf bar.
She was not even dressed warmly. She wore a knee length checkered pink and white uniform with a white apron and pink loafers. Her legs were bare.
“How are you not an icicle by now?” Asked Calix, sipping his beer.
She laughed and put her hand to cover her mouth. Calix glimpsed the snake around the moon tattoo near her elbow. Calix frowned.
Had moon snake venom made this human powerful enough to handle the same weather as werewolves. Suddenly, the placid smile shid from Destiny‘s face.
“Dante!” Said Destiny. “What happened to you?