Creature of Unknown Origin


“I am technically human, I just… I’m a shifter, something completely natural in the world

you brought me from. M y world,” I explained calmly, almost passively.

Dr. Richards sniffled and wiped at the tears streaming down her cheeks. “That’s normal?

You’re normal? ”

“Well…” I bit my lip, not sure how to respond to that. I knew honesty was key, and it was

probably the only way to get Dr. Richards to at least tolerate my presence for the time being, even

if she couldn’t find it in herself to forgive me. I took a deep breath. Nothing in this world or in

mine could prepare me for the words I needed to say. “What I am, what I’m able to do, isn’t exactly

normal where I’m from either. I’m a freak, and no matter what world I’m in, it will always be that

way, but I’ve accepted who I am, and maybe as a woman of science you’d appreciate the history

and circumstances that created me and the handful of others like me.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” She eyed me. A mixture of curiosity and hesitation

washed over her tear-studded eyes.

“It’s a long story,” I sighed, “and I’d be happy to tell you one day… if you want.”

I didn’t wait for her to r eply. I wanted her to come to me when she was ready to hear what

I had to say rather than treat me like the monster she saw me as. The ball was in her court, and

now I’d given her something to think about other than her fear or hatred.

Besides, I needed a shower and something more to eat, and Howie probably needed Dr.

Richards back on the machine with him, too.

I was beginning to wonder if he was human or not. In all my life, I’d never met anyone

who could function on as little to no sleep as I’d seen Howie get these last couple of days. Delia

said he ran on two things: science and caffeine, a combination she didn’t recommend for the faint

of heart. If Delia was willing to put a warning label on something, I knew she was serious. I’m

pretty sure she’d juggle flaming chainsaws if given the chance — or if she wanted to prove a point.

I shook my head and headed toward the bathroom, straight into a wall bearing the name of


“Sorry!” I squeaked.

“Are you okay?” Spencer let his hands drop from my arms, appare ntly confident in the fact

that running into him hadn’t upset my balance in the slightest.

“Yeah, are you?” I ignored the heated blood bustling about my cheeks, or the tingly spice

of embarrassment rolling off of Spencer.

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