FriendsMature

Had I deserved that comment? Did I not know when to shut up? Though it seemed that some alien force had been controlling half my words this evening as if I weren't a person of free will who could control their actions but, rather, a puppet, held by a ventriloquist who said my words for me or controlled by the movement of strings up and down.

I collapsed on my bed and buried my face in my pillow. Poor, poor Alex. I vowed to really think before I talked to him next. I hoped he was okay. I shouldn't have driven off like that with him clutching his stomach like he was suffering great amounts of pain.

That night, the dreams were extremely vivid. It was almost like he was in my room, actually holding me, actually kissing me and actually biting me when it came to that part of the nightmare.

I woke up feeling I might drown in emotional and remembered agony.

Slowly, I stood and wandered over to my window. The sky was dark, but not completely black. It was odd to be alone. Silence reigned. I felt incredibly serene.

‘Is ‘tranquil' your middle name, Flora?'

I shut my eyes tightly. The memory of his voice and the gentle squeeze of my hand threatened to throw me to the ground in pain.

‘I'll go and see Alex,' I thought.

And so, after quickly digesting a slice of toast and leaving a note on the fridge for Dad, I walked out of the house and climbed into the Porsche. It was a wonder I could drive to the garage so early in the morning but I managed: the empty streets a great aid at a time when my reaction times were surely slower than usual.

At the garage, I was surprised to see the metal shutter up. I parked the car and walked in.

A beautiful sight met my eyes. A wolf, with gorgeous caramel-coloured fur, was asleep on the floor.

"Alex?" I asked, hearing the awe in my tone.

He opened one eye then stretched, the muscles under his fur rippling as he yawned.

I watched, captivated by the movement.

"Did you have a good night's sleep?" I asked.

He shrugged and resigned to licking a paw absently.

I walked over and crouched by him.

"May I pet you?" I whispered.

His lips pulled back over his jaws and he growled slightly, leaping back before furiously shaking his great head.

I backed away so quickly that I fell into a sitting position.

"Sorry," I told him. "I ... It's just you're really beautiful, you know that? Such a ... phenomenal creature." I looked at the floor, sitting up straight and moving my hands to rest them in my lap. "I came to apologise for last night."

He shook his head again and moved into a back room. When he came out again he was human and wearing a pair of trousers. I tried not to stare at his muscly chest.

"Yeah, well, I'm sorry too," he said.

"Yeah, I was just hungry is all, I was itching to change," he shrugged, scratching his stomach casually before stretching. "Eugh, that floor is not comfortable at all."

I regarded him sympathetically.

"Aw, you poor thing." I walked up to him and hugged him. "I'm sure the discomfort will fade soon." I stepped back and grinned. "Now, am I going to receive some conceited comments about staring and the amount of hugs I've given you?"

He shrugged. "Your life, though, it is rather strange..."

I nodded. "Yup. Werewolves never really interested me in that way before. But get used to the hugs: I'm a huggy person."

"I didn't like you kissing me if I remember rightly. I was very snuggly last night."

"No, in the car."

"I was thinking about him," I replied softly, a small area of my heart icing over slightly like a pond in winter as pain struck at it. "And I reckon you'd be a hypocrite to say you never had mood swings."

"Yeah."

"I did lean on your shoulder after the encounter with that vampire," I pointed out, "so my hugs are probably more heavily influenced by my mood. I'm quite content at the moment so feel free to hug me as much as you like."

"I'm fine thank you, if I hug you, you can't stare at my chest," he laughed. "You want me to get a shirt?"

I smiled mischievously. "No. Let me explore this new experience."

He raised his brow and nodded, stretching upwards with a grin.

"See anything you like?"

I sighed. "Yeah. But ... I shouldn't go for you because of this." I turned away, flushing. "I don't know what's come over me. Guess Nature's to blame."

"That and I'm so goddamn handsome." He winked. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he was turning to an old dodge and began to polish it with a cloth he produced from his trouser pocket.

"Is there anything I can help you with?" I asked, still not facing him directly.

"Not really, just gotta polish her up. I rarely get business nowadays."

"I thought you were the best mechanic in Miami," I said, amused, finally turning to look at him but fighting hard to control my urge to run over and touch his skin.

"I am. People just don't see it yet."

I chuckled. "All right. I'll look out for you in the papers."

"Hey!" He laughed, looking up from the other side of the car. "I'll be famous one day!"

"Yeah, okay. But don't expect me to ask for your autograph."

"You wouldn't need to," he winked.

I shook my head in amused wonder.

"You're so full of yourself. I don't know why I'm not indignant like I was before. Guess I don't take you seriously. Silly 'wolf."

"Pig," he murmured, going back to the car

I sighed. "Well, it was nice knowing you. I did warn you." I turned and made as if to leave the garage.

"See you later."

"I won't. See, if you call me pig, I don't want to see you again," I said, with mock gravity.

"You're lying," he stated

I turned on the spot. "Yeah, you got me." I walked back up to him. "I'm not really insulted." I prodded his arm. "But that's for saying it anyway. And for being arrogant. To think I was really concerned about you last night."

"Yeah, I didn't, I was just kinda worried that you seemed so upset," he murmured, standing up and tucking the cloth back into his jeans.

"Well, I was concerned. But you don't need to worry. I'm fine." I found a table and went to sit on top of it. "So... are we friends now?"

"We weren't before?" He laughed

I shook my head. "I was testing you. You failed but oh well."

"I fail a lot, I'm used to it," he shrugged

"Aw, I'm not serious, Alex. Of course we were friends. I thought you didn't make friends."

"Usually, I don't. I said you were an exception."

"Yeah. That's just odd. Nothing special about me. I'm not even as beautiful as you seem to think I am. Silly wolf."

"Yep, I guess I must be." He smiled.

A thought struck me, out of the blue: something I must have been pondering subconsciously.

"Do you ever think about your ex?"

"Never."

I frowned. "Oh. Well, ... may I ask ... how did you break up? I know it's personal .... but this morning I had a terrifying experience. It was like he was in my room."

"She died."

"Oh, Alex, I'm so sorry," I said, sympathy rushing over me. I slid down from the table and walked over to him. I hugged him tightly. "I'm so, /so/ sorry."

"Let go," he snarled suddenly, his smile instantly dropping.

"Whoa!" I said, jumping back, startled. "I .. I" I turned away, hiding the tears that had sprung to my eyes. "I'm sorry," I said, my voice hushed.

"It's fine," he murmured, and I heard him move across the floor. I turned in time to see him disappearing into a small side-office.

"It's not, though," I mumbled, though he didn't hear me. I waited for him to reappear.

I looked through the small dirty window in the wall and saw that he was doing paperwork.

I entered the office and whispered "I'm sorry. Truly. I ... I might go now. Same time tonight as before?"

"Sure,"

"Thanks, Alex. Bye."

"See you."

I walked out. I climbed into the Porsche and started to drive away. Suddenly, I felt the inexplicable desire to stop. Curiously, I braked at the edge of the kerb. Unexpectedly I fell asleep. When I woke up, the blonde vampire from last night was sitting in the passenger seat.

"Hello, you," he said. I just about had time to scream before I blacked out.

The End

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