I shifted into my massive wolf-form as soon as I could, which was about ten seconds into the shrubbery in all honesty. I felt a bit more relaxed as I trotted out at a perky pace, enjoying the feeling of a new place to explore, properly this time.
I took a shortcut across the park, remembering where the store was from the journey here. As soon as I got out into the open, a stream of mental curses shot off as a tall, pale blonde shot off the swing, blue eyes fixed right on me. He looked more like the kind of guy to attack-even a giant black wolf ( I would have been roughly to his shoulder in this form) so I slunk back into the brush, hoping he didn't take too good a look at my eyes. I shifted to an average black labrador until I got to the edge of the store car park, shifting back to human. Thankfully, my clothes somehow shifted back when I did, so I had no awkward moments. I strolled casually into the store. Boom. Blondie was there, getting a pack of smokes.
He looked up, catching my gaze. His eyes flashed confusion a moment, before he nodded in greeting.
"Hey, name's Liam." I figured I might as well be polite, since I had probably scared him shitless about twenty minutes ago.
He started at my hand for a couple of moments before taking it in a firm grip. "Emrys."
His tone was slightly on the hostile side of neutral but nothing to suggest he connected me with the giant wolf running round.
"Just moved onto The Street, house with the dark blue door. Drop by if you feel like going for a drink sometime." Okay, so I was overdoing it on the friendliness but something about this guy made me jumpy. I wanted Asha to check him out.
"Er...sure." He looked taken aback at my offer but apparently shrugged it off.
"Well.. see you round. Maybe." I flashed him the customary smile and headed deeper into the shop, putting as much distance between him and those damn blue eyes that seemed to see too much.
I'd almost forgotten about Emrys by the time I got to browsing magazines. I was flicking through one on rock, enjoying the sensation of doing something that was not 100% essential when I was joined by another guy, picking up the same magazine. He looked like a typical rocker guy; Messy, ear length black hair, kinda skinny, pale, jeans, a band t-shirt and Vans. He even sported a pair of striking grey eyes.
"You a fan then?" I asked, nodding at his shirt.
The rocker-guy looked up, nodding a little shyly. "Yeah." A little smile came to his face then.
"They're brilliant live if you get the chance to see them."
He laughed as though enjoying a private joke. "Yeah, so I've heard."
"Name's Liam," I said, offering my hand in a relaxed way. "Just moved onto The Street."
"Cody." He shook my hand like a friend. "Likewise."
"Dark blue door, come over for a drink whenever." I said, warming to the guy.
He smiled again. "Yeah, alright."
I gave him a grin. "Cool, well I have to run. My room mate can get a little jumpy."
Cody nodded again. Friendly man of few words. Odd combination.
I paid up and left, bag in each hand. I braced myself as I stepped through the door, preparing for a barrage of questions. Instead...girls laughing.
"Er...hi?" I poked my head round the door to be greeted by Asha's stunning smile and some other girl sitting with her, sharing a casual glass of blood.
"Talk of the devil."
"Hmm you were right about him, hon." The stranger ran her eyes over me in a way I felt highly uncomfortable about.
"Er.. I'll put this lot away." I said, making a sharp exit and drawing giggles from the girls. Asha followed me after a minute.
"Her name's Aria." She explained. "I knew her when I was at the Mansion."
"Yeah, the name's familiar." I grunted. Asha had filled me in on her past over the years we'd been together.
She gave me a quick hug. "Give me a shout if you need to, okay."
I sighed, nodding as she left.
"Damn girls." I muttered, cracking open a beer as I tried to find some space in the fridge that wasn't occupied by freaking blood.