"I don't understand," he said. "What do you mean?"
Warrenna just shook her head and covered her eyes with her hand.
"Listen," Thomas said, "all I know is that something's wrong, something's really bothering you, I can, well, I can just feel it. I'm worried about you."
Warrenna lowered her hand and glared at him. "I'm not the one you need to be worried about."
"Then who is?"
"You are, you numbskull!" She winced and glanced back toward the house, then lowered her voice and pointed to the road behind him. "Just get the hell out of here while you still can."
"Tell me why!" Thomas didn't care that he was yelling now. "Just tell me that and I'll leave you right now and never speak to you again. Just tell me why."
Warrenna grinned, her eyes wild. "Fine. I'll do you one better, Thomas. I'll show you why."
She stepped away from him and tilted her head back. Her shoulders twitched, her sides convulsed and her eyes rolled about in circles. A choking gasp escaped her throat, as though she were trying to vomit up a live cat.
The shaking continued for a couple of achingly slow seconds. Warrenna's grunts were swallowed into the silent forest around them. When the tremors finally stopped, Warrenna hunched her shoulders and dropped her chin to her chest. Her breathing became a deep, regular wheeze, and she slowly lifted her eyes to Thomas.
Her gray irises were gone, replaced by pulsing crimson. Her pupils were narrow, vertical slits of black. She barred her teeth, revealing two sets of inch-long canine fangs, and slowly fanned her hooked talons mere inches from his face.
"You see?" she grunted. Her voice was a low, raw rasp. "This is why you should be afraid of me."