Van Helsing – Moonlit Nights

Gabriel Van Helsing gritted his teeth as he felt the transformation hit. The moon was clear and full tonight, without a cloud in the sky, meaning no reprieves from his wolfen form tonight.

His eyes closed and he snarled in pain as the wolf ripped it’s way out of his body, a feeling like a red hot poker being drawn up his spine as the skin split and fell away, revealing the black fur of his werewolf form. His bones made sickening cracking and crunching noises as they stretched into a muzzle and his feet elongated to form paws.

The retractable claws burst from his fingertips, then went back in, as paw pads formed from the flesh of the soles of his feet. His teeth lengthened, viciously long, the fangs protruding from his half formed snout. And his ears slid up the sides of his head, lengthening and coming to a high point, then flattening back against his skull as he grimaced in pain, feeling his internal organs changing shape to suit his new body. All of this taking place within a few short seconds.

Then it was over.

Growling, he lifted his head and howled at the moon, before turning his glowing yellow eyes to the woman standing in the shadows next to the doorway to the small cabin (the only building for miles around). She was clapping wryly, unimpressed. His lip curled back, exposing his fangs in a snarl… or a grin.

“Good boy, Gabriel,” she said, teasingly, then opened the door and motioned him inside. “Now, let’s go back inside… It’s always so cold out here.”

Van Helsing nodded his furry head, loping easily back to the cabin and ducking so he would fit through the door.

The only werewolf in history to retain human thought processes… The only werewolf strong enough to defeat Dracula.

And the only BLACK furred werewolf that Anna had ever seen.

Even in this body, he is handsome, she thought to herself, smiling, as she backed into the cabin and settled down on the large half bed, half nest of blankets they always put down for this time of the month. Gabriel had remembered to stoke the fire before his transformation this time, and the one room cabin was pleasantly warm against the cold outside.

Van Helsing stretched almost lazily. Months had passed now, and he had become more and more used to the transformation and the feelings that went with it. The wolf’s violent nature stirred just beneath the surface of his control, but he easily kept it at bay. However, because of how close it was to the surface, he dared not hunt for Rome on these three nights a month. All he needed was to be caught up in the heat of battle, defeat his foe, and then turn on an innocent bystander.

The way he’d almost done with Anna, the night he killed Dracula.

He’d come close… Dangerously close… to attacking her when his nemesis was dead. He’d turned, seen her, and the wolf had howled within him for her blood. She had been unarmed, and would later tell him that she and Carl broke the vial of antidote on the way in to the castle, thanks to that imbecile Igor. They’d entered the castle prepared to kill him… But he’d stopped.

He hadn’t leaped at Anna, and instead had turned back to look at the skeleton of Dracula, his head tilting in a very canine manner. It was over. All of them knew it.

And Van Helsing was in total control of the wolf.

They’d been forced to report to Rome of Van Helsing’s transformation, but also of what it meant that he could control the wolf. The debate had lasted exactly one month from the night he’d first become a werewolf. On that night, he’d chosen to show them exactly what he could do. He transformed before the pope, and maintained full control. Enough even to bow.

Van Helsing was free to go about his business after that night, and able to make his own decisions as to what he did on the three nights out of the month that he was a wolf. He’d chosen to spend them with Anna.

Not that they were apart for the rest of the month, hunting together. Her family’s good name and her association with him had somehow cleared up a bit of the controversy surrounding his ‘murders’. More or less, throughout most of Europe, he was no longer a wanted man. And the hunter continued his life in peace, with the woman he loved.

Anna raised an eyebrow, and trailed her fingers through the long fur over the back of Gabriel’s head, scratching lightly behind one wolfen ear to get his attention from wherever his mind had wandered away to. “Hey… I wish I could ask you what you’re thinking when you do that.”

His eyes closed at the gentle scratching, but his unoccupied ear swiveled to listen to her. A low rumbling sound that could almost be described as a purr issued from his chest.

She laughed quietly. “I don’t know why I always feel like asking you questions when you’re like this and can’t answer me.” She cuddled against his warm fur and rested her cheek against the back of his neck, one hand lazily petting down the length of his back to the base of his tailbone.

Gabriel grunted contentedly. She never remembered to ask the questions again when he changed back, either. His ear continued to face her, listening to everything she had to say, or even just her soft breathing. When they laid like this, her warmth and presence was always hypnotizing… Not to mention the way both of her hands constantly petted and played with his fur.

If he had a tail, it would’ve been wagging. These moonlit nights were fast becoming his favorite time of the month.