"Come on, babe, let's go," said the guy whose arm was wrapped around my waist. I laid a hand against his chest, a flare of anger rising rapidly but which I quickly managed to stifle. My fingers dug into him a little more roughly than what was usually considered a lover's caress but I just pretended that I didn't notice and instead settled with sending him a dazzling smile. His patronizing ease irked me, I wasn't used to taking orders and being strung along like some puppet but I wanted this.
His name was Robert. Or Rob. Or maybe that was his nickname. I admit that I had drank a bit too freely that night, after finishing Pack business in which I decided to head over to the nearest restaurant and treat myself to some quality food and wine. Robert (or Rob) had been feasting on lasagna from across the room and had been giving me interested looks all night. I ignored him at first but then I started wolf down my food and began to enjoy the Cabernet Sauvignon a bit too much.
By the time I had finished my salmon, I was shooting back looks and next thing I knew, he had plopped himself into the empty seat at my table. Whenever I made these trips to ensure no word or evidence of werewolf existence would come to light, I made sure to keep human contact to a minimum. I usually pretended to be the serious journalist, too occupied by her work to pay attention to silly things like love, friends and family. Usually, it worked. But every now and then, I fell into temptation to fall in between the sheets with whichever stranger showed interest. It had been a rather long time.
Maybe if Clay was around...
But he wasn't. And neither did I want him to be. So, playing the flirtatious young thing, I urged my companion for the night into the nearest hotel.
I arrived at Stonehaven the following noon. Luckily, Jeremy's latest assignment hadn't been too far and a quick plane ride bore me home. The lead I had been following turned out to be a fluke, just like all the countless leads I had followed ever since I had been turned. Sometimes I suspected Jeremy ordered me away just to give me a few days of total peace. As the cab driver drove down the long road leading to the house, an uneasy feeling began to twist in my stomach. I quickly scanned the woods, searching for any sign of movement. Nothing.
I quickly unloaded all my stuff from the trunk, paid the driver and hurried to the porch. With some luck, I'd make it to my bedroom and lock myself in. He wouldn't dare break the lock. I dumped my stuff onto my bed and glanced around at the room distastefully. It was plainly the room of someone female. More than that, it was a little girl's room. Shaking my head, I proceeded to put away my belongings and maybe salvage some alone time for myself before Jeremy showed up.
A loud thump sounded in the hallway. The plain white bra I had been holding in my hand fell to the floor as I scrambled to my bedroom door but it was too late. It flung open with a loud bang and there he stood, the bane of my existence.
"When did you get back?"
I rolled my eyes and sauntered back to my bed. Clearly, Clay did not make use of his good eyesight seeing as he failed to acknowledge the heap of clothes strewn on the floor and bed and my own worn appearance. Sometimes I suspected he made an ass of himself because he knew it annoyed me.
"Please kindly remove yourself from my room," I said as I shoved past him and dumped underwear into my dresser. He remained staunchly by the door, looking at me intensely.
"How'd it go?" he asked.
I gave him a noncommittal shrug, making it clear I wasn't in the mood for idle chatter and that I wanted him to leave.
Instead he came up behind me and I tensed. His fingers softly came to rest on my elbow as his face began to nuzzle the back of my neck. Then he suddenly dropped my arm and stepped back. I looked back at him, a curious expression on my face since he never seemed to back off once he initiated more intimate contact.
I looked into his eyes and knew what was wrong. He had smelled Robert on me. This wasn't the first time I had slept with another man and it wouldn't be the first. I wasn't Clay's fiancee anymore, I wasn't even his girlfriend; I wasn't his in any way anymore, I wasn't his in any way. That had ended five years ago. The hurt in his eyes quickly disappeared and was replaced with an angry expression as he stood silent, as if waiting for an explanation. I felt my face begin to get hot and the shame began to burn.
I wished I had something in my hands, something to clutch at. Clay had never reacted this way before because he was aware of what else I did while I went to investigate leads. But then again, this was the first time I had come back with the scent of another man impregnated into my skin. All the other times he had simply known, most likely by the mental bond we seemed to share since he was the one who had bit me. It pained me to admit that there was still one thing that bound us together. I wanted to be out of his dominion.
I lashed out. "What?"
He looked back at me, his eyes momentarily cold but he quickly swallowed down his hurt and pride and plastered on a fake cheery smile. "Nothing, darlin'." This was what exasperated me the most, that no matter what I did to anger him, no matter how much I tried to twist the knife inside him, he always forgave me or ignored my attempts to debilitate him. This was his way of saying he was sorry, that this was his punishment for biting me and turning my life into a living hell and it was also his way of saying that he was willing to wait years until I would concede and forgive him. But I wouldn't. The betrayal and hurt was still very much alive and burning in my veins, a feeling so strong and violent that at times I felt I would choke from the rage I felt. Before I knew it, I had grabbed the lamp beside my bed and hurled it at him. It shattered on the floor as he quickly dodged it.
"Fuck! Are you going to start acting like a child again?"
"Acting like a child? Last time I checked, the one going around biting innocent people because he can't keep them was you," I replied, resorting to my favourite topic whenever Clay and I fought.
He growled softly but remained immobile. I knew already how this would end. I would flail, scream, kick and throw objects through the air and he would just stay there and endure my abuse. He never did anything, never retaliated, nothing. With a snarl of my own, I brushed past him and walked out of the bedroom and rushed down the stairs. I wasn't a particularly violent person by nature, only when I was provoked could I possibly fly into a rage. But this was due also because I could not fully control my Changes, I still waited till last moment to give into it and Change and meanwhile, everyone had to put up with my aggressiveness and bad humor.
I slammed the front door and ran off into the forest, kicking off my jeans and top as I went, leaving my discarded clothes strewn across the grass.
Maybe I'd be in a better mood afterward. Probably not.
Clay found me, as he usually did. By this time, I was fully convinced that Jeremy had failed to incorporate into him that leaving someone alone was usually a good method to deal with problems. I ran around in my wolf form for around an hour and a half, enjoying the hum of nature and the rustling of the trees and then decided to head back, hoping Jeremy had returned. I managed the painful Change back into my human body and stood up, my hand holding onto a nearby tree for support. I saw the blonde head of a wolf poke out from a bush and then the rustling of leaves.
He came back into the small clearing in which I stood, this time human and fully naked. Without warning we both slammed into each other, kissing and biting, grasping and fondling as we fell to the hard ground. Had I subconsciously come here on purpose, just because I knew this too would happen? I couldn't bring myself to have sex with Clay when I was in full control of myself but the remains of my Change still clung to me, the adrenaline of hunting still pumping through my blood and the freedom of running through the forest made me momentarily ignore my bitterness towards him. I wasn't in control here, the feral wolf in me was.
He pushed me onto my back and I dug in my nails into his shoulders and took him into me.
It was evening when I woke up, my limbs still entangled with Clay's, who was fast asleep beside me. Silently, I disengaged myself and left the clearing, heading back to the house. I needed to book a ticket to Toronto as soon as possible. I couldn't stay here.
I was aware I was running away yet again but I didn't care. I hated this place and hated that I suppressed the happiness it brought me, only because I couldn't forgive and forget.
Jeremy greeted me at the threshold, only nodding his head at me and then going back in. I felt my face flush in embarrassment. He knew what Clay and I had been up to in the forest. I made a quick dash to the telephone, booked the ticket and went back again to pack my stuff. Clay didn't come see me again when he finally returned.
I cast a quick glance around my room and wondered when I'd be back. Jeremy wouldn't say anything, he never did. And Clay would only rebuke me if I came back.
By the next morning, I was gone.