||[Dec. 27th, 2006|10:17 pm]
Erotic Writers Anonymous
Section the fourth. Splitting it into two to make it less bulky. Missing section at the beginning again.
Suspension of disbelief: werewolves that don't have inbetween morph stages, Up State New York (yes, it does exist, namely, a village is where two roads intersect and houses were build around the bar and gas station that was put at the intersection)
Lookin for general guidance. I'm gonna buckle down and write the gory stuff one of these days. Am probably going to write one scene for if it goes to a romance publisher, another if it goes to horror (since there are more and more books that sit on that line and do it well)
Pages: About 6ish at 12p Times New Roman.
[Crime scene shit. Hunting lodge halfway up a mountainside; the owner called a local to open it up and air it out for hunting season. When the local did, she found that there was already a body in the meat locker, where the deer carcasses are normally stored. The body is that of a woman, gutted and skinned like a deer. Without skin, her face had no distinguishing features, no finger prints, no hair. They could find no evidence of the site of death, or her skin. The body had been found frozen, so dating it looked as though it would be difficult. The body eventually got sent to the nearest morgue, four hours away. Nalani and her partner spend the better part of the day examining the parameter, trying to find anything, and not succeeding.]
Nalani closed the door as soon as the werewolf’s tail was out of the way.
Doing her best not to think, she dumped her clothing as she headed up the stairs. She didn’t have a problem with killing for meat, but seeing a woman turned into nothing more than a skinned carcass….
Her stomach rolled. The smell had been like any other meat; the fact that some part of her brain could recognize that repulsed her. Part of her accepted the scent, part of her wanted.
She physically shook herself out and tried to blank her mind again. Allowing it to run in circles would do nothing more than give her more stress than she could deal with.
She threw the discarded clothes into the hamper, keeping her gun and radio in hand, along with a towel from the linen closet. She set all three on top of the toilet, turned the hot water on full blast, and dumped about half a bottle of lavender suds into the tub.
The door opened a crack and a dark nose poked through.
“Come on in. You’ve seen me in less.”
He pushed the door open enough to sit in the opening. Nalani faced her reflection in the mirror. Dark splotches under her eyes made her face look thinner and unattractive. She splashed cold water from the sink onto her face and started washing all the skin that had been exposed while she stood the scene.
That done, she turned back to the tub. Over half full of bubbles already.
“Back out the door for a sec,” she said. She heard him move, so she removed her bra and underwear and tucked them under the towel.
With a deep sigh, she slipped into the too-hot water.
“You can come back in.” She slipped down until the bubbles covered everything. The hot water continued to rise, engulfing her body in healing heat. She hooked her ankles up on the edge of the tub and wiggled the sudsy digits.
The werewolf appeared completely. He moved until his side pressed against the outside of the tub, his jaw resting on the curved rim, facing her exposed feet. Idly, her foam-covered fingertips rubbed at the back of his head. Obviously she wasn’t the only one needing comfort.
The water rose until it caused her body to gain a bit of buoyancy. Just as it covered the tips of her breasts, she spun the knob closed with her toes. The water stopped with a trickle.
“If you want, you’re welcome to draw a bath once I’m finished.”
He did nothing more than shift his body, so that he pressed harder against the tub and her hand. Nalani relaxed and let her bones soak in the heat.
She closed her eyes and let the lavender envelope her. Who had done that to the woman? Was she a local? A relative visiting for the upcoming holidays? By the time she got into the office, the night shift would probably have begun tracking her identity. Without fingerprints, they’d have to go on dental records. Much harder to do in such a rural area… and with the body in a morgue several towns over, everything would take just that much longer.
The water grew tepid while she thought. A shiver started in her exposed feet and worked its way up her body. Time to get out.
Her fingers tightened in the ruff of the werewolf’s fur. One more thing to deal with tonight… today. She groaned. What time was it?
The tiny bathroom didn’t have a window, or a clock, but it had to be eleven or twelve. Just realizing how much time had passed made the exhaustion become more pointed. Maybe she could let it rest until tomorrow.
And what? Have a strange man in a wolf pelt wandering around the house?
He’s been well behaved until now, another part of her mind whispered. And could you really throw him out where there’s a killer out there?
She chuckled inwardly. Trust me to think about protecting his hide before considering my own.
“Alright, out again. Go on downstairs. I need to dress and we need to talk.”
He turned his head slightly, looking away from the tub with its dispersed screen of bubbles, and gave a nod. He stood and stretched out his hind legs before trotting down the stairs.
Nalani let the tub drain, then rinsed off the clinging bubbles. Her hair would need a good wash the next day, but the lavender soak left the mop smelling nice, at least. She toweled it dry, then wrapped the fuzzy blue fabric around her middle, grabbed her muted radio and gun, and headed for her room. All she wanted was a t-shirt to sleep in, but the idea of facing the were without underwear and pants seemed a tad too intimate.
She still felt overly warm from the bath, so she settled on a silk t-shirt and shorts combo, and slipped on her oh-so-fuzzy slippers.
She combed her fingers through her hair to get out the worse tangles, then started putting it into a loose braid as she wandered to the living room. Not for the first time, she was glad she’d gone against tradition and begun cutting her hair a few years ago. If it fell to mid-back now, where would it be if she didn’t take of her usual two inches every six months?
She found the downstairs cozy and warm. Had she laid a fire when she came home? She wracked her mind, but didn’t think she had. She opened up the door and chucked. The wood was stacked neatly, the fire burning in a hearty manner that usually meant it’d been started recently. She closed the door.
The were was no where in sight. She pushed through the door into the kitchen.
The man stood in front of the refrigerator, putting the carton of milk away. The blanket she’d tossed at him earlier tucked back in place. His fur draped lazily over the back of one of the breakfast chairs.
“I hope you don’t mind my getting a glass of milk, Mistress.”
Nalani felt her eyes crossing.
“First of all, what’s up with the mistress crap?”
“That’s simply how I think of you. You never introduced yourself, so I didn’t know what your name was until someone called out your name at the station, Officer Tahe. Mistress seemed a more appropriate title.”
His skin pinkened and he looked into his glass of milk as if all the answered resided in it. “I owe you my life; I am in your command. What else would you have me call you?”
Nalani felt expressly uncomfortable about this little revelation.
“Just call me Nalani. No title is really necessary. What’s your name, by the way?”
He grinned at that. “Other than Cheveyo? What does that mean, anyway?”
Now it was Nalani’s turn to blush. “It means Spirit Warrior. Its from some Native American tribe. I found it online.”
“Hm. I’d hardly think of myself as a warrior of any type really. Anyway, my name is Sasha.”
“Pop’s Russian. It’s a nickname for Alexander. Not quite sure how it works out that way, though.” He shrugged.
“Guess I can’t complain.” They smiled at each other for a moment, bonded by odd names if nothing else.
“Well, I hope you don’t mind my being blunt, but why were you in my territory?”
He blushed again. “So it was your scent all over the place?”
“Yeah. Charlie thought it was important to set up my boundaries, and I kept them up once he passed on. It’s a direct challenge to the were in charge if you enter their territory without asking permission first.”
“Oh. I’m sorry,” he said quickly. “I didn’t know, I mean, I was looking for the person I could smell, and I guess that’s you, but its obvious that… I mean…”
“So, you weren’t born a werewolf, eh?”
“Oh, no. I found the pelt a little less than a month ago. I didn’t know I was breaking any rules, I’m sorry.”
Nalani sighed in relief. Truth to tell, she was pleased he didn’t come in to challenge her. She didn’t know anymore about pack etiquette than what Charlie had taught her, and that certainly wasn’t anything more than the very most basic stuff so she wouldn’t be offended by anything he did inadvertently. Like nip her hand or shoulder when asking for forgiveness for doing something bad. When he wandered without his fur, it was the oddest thing to have a grown man groveling by chewing, even if he did it more to be silly than as actual appeasement.
Charlie knew human social habits, at least enough to wander through her little village without raising suspicions, but he stayed in his wolf form more often than not. He simply felt more comfortable that way.
Sasha’s jabbering was a complete contrast to Charlie’s quiet ways. Once the boundaries between the two of them had been set, Charlie would do whatever he wanted or needed to, and would apologize later if Nalani disapproved. Sasha and Charlie seemed to agree that Nalani stood the head of the house, which she approved of. Charlie didn’t press the issue; he lived happily as her shadow for several years. The thought, however, of either wolf trying to vie for dominance with her wasn’t comforting. She could pull on Charlie’s fur and change her shape, but protecting herself in that form would never be natural.
Then again, Sasha had only had the fur for a month. How comfortable was he in it?
“You said you were looking for me, well ya found me. How come you didn’t just tell me as soon as the drugs wore off?”
“I… I wasn’t quite sure, actually.” He looked into his milk again. “You smell different then the marks smelled like.”
“That would be what happens when you turn. The fur masks the human smell. So, why were you looking for me? And where’d you get your fur?”
He leaned against the counter next to the fridge and mumbles, “Two questions, one answer.”
He looked up into Nalani’s eyes. For the first time in their conversation, conviction and strength shimmered over the dark brown depths.
“Do you have any children, Nalani?”
“Have you seen any piles of toys and miniature clothing around here? No, Sasha, I don’t have any kids.”
“Do you know of any other werewolves who’ve lost some?”
“I don’t interact with any other packs.” If I did, and I wasn’t careful, I could end up very dead, she thought to herself. “Why?”
He sighed, downed the last of the milk, and rinsed out the glass. “I think I need to show you, rather than tell you.”
He picked up his fur from the empty chair and held it against his chest.
Nalani lifted her eyebrows. “Is this an indoor ‘I think I need to show you’ or an outdoor one?”
He smiled. “Outdoor. You’re going to have to get your fur, Nalani. It’s a bit of a run.”
She narrowed her eyes at him, but retrieved her fur from her cache. She ran upstairs. Excitement trilled through her, as it always did just before she put on the fur. She’d never run with another were before. Charlie would loan her his fur, and call out advice when she needed it, and even run beside her sometimes, but she had to stay slow for him to keep up. Even inexperienced as she was, four legs could always outrun two.
She shook her head. She needed to keep alert. Sasha hadn’t proved threatening yet, but one never knew. And the determination she’d seen seemed rather out of character.
She pulled off her sleep wear once she was in her room, and toed off her slippers.
She took a deep breath in and held it carefully. For whatever reason, whenever she put on the fur, she couldn’t breathe during the change. The first time it caused her to panic and rip off the fur before it was finished. “Not pleasant” would be the mildest pay to describe the feeling.
She settled the head of the pelt on top of her own to begin settling it about her. There weren’t any magic words to be spoken, or special herbs to be burned. Silence and speed were of utmost important in the wild, apparently. All she had to smooth down the fur with her hands, touching shoulder to shoulder, tucking it against her back, pulling the stomach against her own, and kneeling down so that she could press the fur to her legs. Next she pulled the fur down over her face, momentarily blinding her, and she smoothed the flapping forelegs of the hide against her arms.
As she did this, the fur began to tingle as it conformed to her skin, attaching itself where it needed to, becoming her own skin, pressing her body in, shortening and lengthening wherever it was needed so that she fit the fur, not the other way around. She closed her eyes somewhere in the process, the molding to her eyelids being the most sensitive part in the process. When she could open them again, she took a deep breath and stood upon her four legs.
She always had to chuckle over the pain that the movies seemed to impart on the change, the werewolf growling and snarling as one form overtook the other and the sight of a the moon brought the change.
If that were truly the case, then weres would be too noticeable in the woods, could never sneak up on prey, to easily caught by man as clouds could swiftly pass over the moon and be cleared again. How men mess things up.
She took a deep breath and tested the scents of her room on her tongue. The musk of the other wolf was quite distinctive now. Young, inexperienced, fearful, the scents said. If she’d thought to change and scent him with a werewolf’s sensitive nose, his identity would have been immediately clear. Oh well. Hindsight is always twenty-tweny.
Better to get this over with, she thought, and tip tapped back down the stairs. Her nails forever needed trimming.
The other werewolf stood in the kitchen, practically in the footprints of the man she’d left. He stood taller than she, by perhaps four or five inches. A great deal longer too, maybe eight or ten. She puffed up and held her tail erect without thought, staring him down as she came closer.
He lowered himself, so that his belly nearly touched the floor, looking up at her. She stopped directly above him, still meeting his eyes. The hair along her shoulders rose. He rolled onto his side and reached his face up, licking against her jaw like a puppy.
The action reassured her. He wouldn’t challenge her in this form, even if he had the physical ability to.
She put a paw against his throat, telling him to quit it and extending her friendship, before giving him her back and heading out the dog door. She chuckled inwardly as he scuttled to his feet in an attempt to catch up.
Nalani made a b-line for the door in the fence. She jumped, putting her forefeet against the latch, and carefully worked at it with teeth and claw.
If she’d been willing to do the change in front of another, she would have opened the latch beforehand. So far, that had only been something to do in private. She didn’t see that changing any time soon.
The door swung open, eventually. She scooted through and stood to the side while her larger companion followed.
She nodded towards the forest and bowed her head a mite. From now on, he would have to lead.
He nodded and trotted to the tree-line. She followed.
At first he kept the pace slow, making slightly wide circles around the trees. If this location was as far away as he’d implied, its going to take forever, she thought.
She dodged around a tree as he continued as his sedate jog. She dashed through the trees, rounding them, and stopping in front of him. He jerked back in surprise.
If either of them knew the language one used with a wolf tongue, Nalani would have told him to stop beating around the bush and simply run.
As it was, he seemed to take the hint.
He began to run through the woods, snaking around trees and through gaps in the underbrush.
Nalani quickened her pace to follow. She scented at the trail he followed. He’d taken this path many times, recently.
The run exhilarated her. How could she have felt tired only a few minutes ago?
They stopped at a stream that crossed their path. Paw prints marked where he had broken through the ice to get to the water underneath. She broke some of the ice away herself and lapped up some of the cold water. He did the same a few feet away, then broke off and continued up the trail.
Nalani wouldn’t be able to say how long they ran, or whether she’d ever be able to find the trail again, unless she walked on all four paws.
They passed another stream, and Nalani began to wonder if they were even on her property anymore.
Sasha stopped abruptly at the side of one hill. He looked back at her a moment, then nosed his way into a thickly thorned bush. No wonder he always has fresh cuts on his paws, Nalani thought grimly as she started to push through the same thorns.
At the back of the bush was a hole in the ground. She ducked her head into it, and tightened her body up to fit inside. She crawled on all fours and wondered how the larger werewolf had shimmied through so quickly.
The tunnel dipped down, then up again, and opened into a dark, warm cave of sorts.
She closed her eyes, since they were utterly useless, and concentrated on her nose and ears. She could smell Sasha’s familiar musk easily, but other things mingled in the small space. Bile, meat, excrement, and the smell of other werewolves.
Her eyes opened, automatically, her body backing up to the hole. No, stand. She commanded herself. She closed her eyes again and focused.
She could hear the breath of Sasha, deep and still excited from the run, along with softer, quicker pants. Sounds that were like sloppy little kisses surrounded where she knew Sasha was. She stepped forward, slowly, until her shoulder touched his side.
His cold nose touched her own, then led her forward, and down. She sniffed, and suddenly three small tongues were making her face wet. She backed off again, shaking her nose. What the…