"Is she really?" Thomas asked...his tone more worrisome with every word.

"Yes. She's been keeping him in that house."

"For how long now? How do you know? Are you spying on her?"

"Not on her. On him, and to be honest...I'm not quite sure. But she's in my way, and I don't want to have to hurt her."

"I don't even know who you are. Nor do I care. I'll kill you if you even think about hurting her; I'll kill you and the creature."

"Relax, relax. The reason for this call is that so we can work together. You want one thing, I want another...and working together, we can both get what we want. You get the girl, and I get the monster."

"What's your name? Your trade?"

"You can call me Captain Lucas...my steamer is Rita."

"When you said you lost half your crew...You weren't kidding. You've dealt with the monster before, haven't you?"

"Oh, I've dealt with him alright, but he slipped out of our grasp. Not going to let that happen again."

"I don't blame you, and I don't want to lose my girl to this monster. So what are we going to do?"

"Isn't that the million dollar question?" Lucas replied.

"You know where the house is right? Should we just show up...You can bring your harpoon or whatever?"

"That would have worked a few weeks ago, but not now. As each day passes, this sucker becomes more and more human. To the point that I'd almost be committing murder should the police see me kill this monster."

"I see."

"So we need to work quick; before he finishes his human transformation. But we also need to work quietly."

"Just so as long as you think it can be done."

"Well, seeing both of our current situations...we really don't have much of a choice."

x-x-x

"Go to the bedroom," she said as she motioned for the creature to hide. "You know we can't take any chances."

He nodded as best he could and made his way to the bedroom.

"Everything will be alright."

"Knock, knock, knock," the door demanded.

"I'm coming, I'm coming," Marcia said as she made her way towards the front door. She took a deep breath and slowly grabbed the handle. Here goes nothing...Knowing Thomas, he probably found me...and is coming to put and end to this creature. And I love Thomas, but I can't. This thing saved my life, and I owe it mine. He's come so far in the last few weeks...I can't just give up.

She opened the door slowly and peeked through the crack. Whew, it isn't Thomas. "What can I do for you, sir?" She asked as she realized it was the landlord.

"For starters, you can pay me the money you owe me," he said as he stepped into the doorway.

"Excuse me," Marcia said as she stood her ground, not letting him enter.

"Excuse me is right. I own this house, and I expect you to pay per our agreement."

"I did pay. I left the check in an envelope in your mailbox...Just as you asked."

"Oh, did you?" He asked as he raised his voice and forced his way by her into the house. "Then why wasn't it in my mailbox when I checked it?"

"I'm not sure," she replied.

"Why aren't you sure, woman?" He asked as he shoved her out of his way, knocking her to her knees.

She began to tear up, "Why are you doing this? I paid you!"

"Then where is it?" He screamed.

A loud crash from the bedroom.

"I'm...I'm...I'm not sure," She stuttered.

"What the hell was that noise?" He asked as he glared at her. "Never mind, I'll find out for myself." He walked past her as she shook her head in tears.

"Don't go back there," she pleaded.

He ignored her and stepped into the bedroom. "WHAT THE..."

Silence. A blur in the doorway as a the creature slung him across the room.

By the time she made it, he was already dead. His body lay on the floor by the bed...Several broken bones.

"At least you still have your strength, but we're going to have to leave," She said to him. "And we're going to have to leave soon. You can't keep killing like this."

He glared at her, and she knew what he meant. I had no other choice...he hurt you. You're taking care of me, and I'm going to take care of you...Even if it means more killing.

"I know, I know. It isn't your fault. I just want to know what happened to the rent? I dropped it in his mailbox. Just as he had asked me to. Who could have taken it? A common thief? It just doesn't make any sense."

The creature let out a groan.

"What if someone knows we are here?"

He shook his head no. Besides, it was almost impossible for someone to have found them...They'd covered every track.

"What are we going to do with this body!? Do we just leave?"

A nod.

"You're right. We've got to get out of here; I'm going to pack my things."

He reached his hand out to the dresser and grabbed his cowboy hat.

"Not a bad idea, wear it low...try to cover as much of your face as possible."

An even louder groan.

"I didn't mean it like that," she said as she playfully punched his arm and smiled. "You've come so far...Except for your head, you're human. It shouldn't even take much longer for you to change. I'm just hoping we will actually be able to communicate soon. Like, I want to hear your voice," she said and looked up at him. Don't kid yourself, she thought. I mean, I do owe him my life...but there's no way I'll be ever to give it to this thing. Not after what it's done...It can't even talk. I'm being silly.

She wants to hear my voice. One day...One day I'll be able to tell her how I really feel. How we were meant for each other.

He watched Marcia close the lid on her suitcase and zip it shut. She went to lift it, but he beat her to it.

"Oh, why thank you," she said in return as she looked up at him and took his free hand in hers. "You don't have to," She said as looked deep into his eyes. She took a step back to look at his face, and didn't let go of his hand. It fit perfectly into hers.

Despite most of his face still being green, some of the scales had shed leaving various patches of perfect skin underneath. His nose still jutted out a little farther than any humans...A little deformed and wrinkly; almost as wrinkly as his forehead. She looked at his lips...The upper lip naturally turned up...Both lips were still red, but not quite as dark as they once were.

"If only," he said aloud.