Just as the dog launches itself at me, Roxy leaps out and knees the thing in the stomach, making it drop to the ground yelping. She bent over it and forced it onto its back, then proceeded to explain what she was doing. I wasn’t interested in what she was trying to do. Whatever it was that would work on dogs, would not work on this one. I mean, it’s not even a dog. It’s the presence from earlier. Except I didn’t notice it getting closer, because it’s much calmer now. Irritated, certainly, but not erratic or frantic.
Considering what the creature is, I'm surprised it’s just going along with Roxy’s attempt to control it. She looks down at the dog and sternly tells it ‘no biting’ and names it Freebie. Because it’s free. It’s also not a dog, but there you go. The creature howls and tries to wriggle free, but Roxy just strengthens her grip and it goes limp. At this point, I'm confused. I don’t show it. On the outside, I look bored and only mildly interested. But on the inside, I'm curious as to how this thing is controlling its hunger. Smiling, I kneel down beside them and whisper in the dog’s ear ‘Well now he knows who his master is’ and I pat it on the head.
I get up, sensing its anger towards the girl as much as me. I turn my head for a second to look inside the building – I can just see the departures board from here – and while I'm looking to see if my plane is still delayed, the thing beneath Roxy transforms. I missed the change, but it’s a black panther, and Roxy shrieks. I smile, tasting her fear. It transforms back and latches onto her arm, leaving a bite mark, before running off.
Her fear is gorgeous, but I have to pretend I'm concerned. I don’t want any awkward questions; I can’t be bothered with them. I rush over to her and force a worried frown onto my face.
‘Are you okay? Did it hurt you? We should call the security!’ I say hurriedly, steering her back inside to sit down. I go and get her a drink and hand it to her. We’re sitting near to Maria, but Cade has disappeared. He left his little electric thing behind.
‘I'm just going to find my shirt, I think I dropped it somewhere,’ I tell Roxy as I hand her the drink. I notice now that the top two buttons of her shirt are undone. I don’t know if she did it to try and impress me – I said I'm vain – or if they came undone earlier with the dog thing, but I lean down and mutter close to her ear:
‘You might wanna do those buttons up, kid,’ She nods quietly, flushing a little and watches as I leave.