The evening air was deliciously cool, thick with the heavy dampness of the rapidly setting sun, and felt wonderful as it weighed down on his feverish skin. The familiar heat slowly seeped into his blood, but experience whispered insistently in his ear, warning him how quickly that would change. Already he felt his veins begin to burn, limbs tingling with energy as his excited heart increased the flow of his smoldering blood. His flushed skin was slick with a light coat of sweat as his body began to brace itself for the strangeness of the transition.

Shaggy closed his eyes and breathed deeply to stifle the more primal urges that grew with the moon, though he knew there would be no controlling the actual change. Not tonight.

He realized his mistake when her scent slammed into him with the force of a hind kick from an elk. She smelled...spicy, like cinnamon and citrus underlying the subtle sour, bitter tang of smoke and chemicals that always seemed to cling to her clothes and skin. Tantalizingly familiar, seductively unique, it knocked the wind out him, leaving him fantastically dizzy and disoriented and gasping for air.

With no further warning all of his senses jerked into overdrive, making him suddenly all too aware of the steady drum of her heart beating softly in her chest, of the alluring pulse and whoosh of her blood whispering teasingly to him as it danced through her veins, and he knew that if he opened his mouth, he would be able to taste her skin on the air...

His eyes snapped open as the wolf stirred inside him, dominant and aggressive, a feral aspect of his personality he was still uncomfortable with. It would be easy, so easy to give in and take what he wanted. To release the heat, live in the moment, and let the consequences take care of themselves. He'd tasted that freedom; the sweet rush of complete abandonment to momentary satisfaction with no concept of the future.

That same raw, untamed need rattled his core, heightening his already elevated senses and encouraging his molten blood. Muscles rippled and hardened beneath flushed and fevered skin as instinct urged him forward demanding he close the short distance between them and take what he wanted, whispered seductively how easily it could be done. His mouth would smash against hers before she even registered the movement, any screams and protests swallowed before they existed. Crushed in his embrace as he forced promises from her lips and skin, so warm and sweet against his tongue, soft and smooth beneath his fingers. Nowhere to run, unable to fight him off, and she might not even try...

His jaw clenched so tightly his teeth hurt, and the slick, coppery taste of blood coated his tongue as his lengthening incisors tore open the inside of his lip. He brought his eyes to hers and saw himself reflected in the thick frames of her glasses. A soft red hue bled into the dark brown irises, dying them a muddy sherry until she shifted slightly dispelling the image.

She met his eyes with no hesitation, and her firm gaze did not bend beneath the weight of his critical one. His shoulders began to shake with the effort of his hesitation as he offered her this one last moment, one final chance to back out. But her eyes held certainty, she understood what this meant to him, and she was sure.

The lazy moon finally touched the lonely sky, embraced by the halo of clouds that rushed to greet her. Fat and full, the only witness as her youngest wolf leaned forward and kissed his bride.