“I'll keep that in mind.” Alex said as he handed the customer his receipt. “Enjoy, man.” Their customer departed with a nod of thanks. “So, that's it?”
“Yeah. There's more to it, but when anything else comes up I'll show you what to do.” As it turned out, for the rest of the shift the only things Alex picked up were how to figure out the prices of certain items and accepting a high value check from a customer.
Heading for the mall as soon as he was off shift for a new deck and griptape, he was once again confronted with the fears from earlier in the day. With the food court so full of people, even with all the sweet smelling food around him, he didn't want to stick around longer than he had to and left as soon as he had what he needed.
“And done.” Alex said as he finished applying the griptape to his new deck. Trimming the excess and reattaching the trucks and risers, he gave it a test run in the driveway. Despite thinking the new deck felt a bit lighter than his last one, it didn't take long for him to get the feel of it.
Popping an Ollie out of the garage, Alex felt some stings in his shoulder as he landed. With how much the bites had healed over since Friday, it wouldn’t be much longer before there was only scar tissue left. As it happened, when he awoke on Tuesday, the healing was done, with no redness or signs of bruising.
Despite that fact, as his classes went by, the same feelings of unease surfaced. The smaller rooms with large student numbers seemed to be the worst trigger for it, but even in a place that was mostly devoid of any students, they remained. The sole times Alex felt comfort were in the company of his friends, his coworkers, Bailey, or his folks.
Wondering if the feelings were just something related to how worried he was about what would happen to him, he checked the lunar dates once classes were over. The full moon was set to come within the same block of days that his folks would be out of town, two days before they would return. Greatly relieved to know they would be gone on the day he would likely transform for the first time, the weight on his chest lifted a bit.
“At least if something happens, they'll be safe.” Alex thought as he handled his necklace. He'd dealt with going to the hospital with an exposed bone and only one of his friends at his side. He could handle this without his folks around, even if deep down he wanted them around.
However, his relief took a hit when he realized that the date of the full moon, the 12th of the month, was a Monday. The idea of being stuck in class all day, with so many other students around and this waiting to emerge, wasn't an uplifting thought. “Maybe I should just skip that day. No one but me will know anyway, and it's early in the semester.” Looking ahead on the calendar, that plan was sketchy at best. The full moon dates on every month but December fell on weekdays. “Well, crap. That won't work.” Knowing that he could at least request the respective days off work partially made up for his disappointment.
Stopping to buy some fast food on his way back home, Alex noticed an increase in the number of police cars driving around town versus the week before. Even more so once he actually entered his neighborhood. Being careful not to go over the speed limits around them, he returned home wondering what was going on. He hadn't heard any news of high profile crimes and his dad hadn't called him to inform him of anything either. Checking for news updates on his phone's browser yielded no results either.
When Bailey didn't come to the door, Alex called for him and he soon came running, his tail wagging as he jumped up to greet him. “Hey, boy. Miss me?” His dog attempted to lick his face in response and he crouched down to let him do so. In his attempts to stop laughing so hard from feeling Bailey's tongue lapping his face, he didn't immediately notice his pet trying to sniff at his arm again.
This time he had no reason to hold him back and let him check the scars. He felt countless nostril breaths over his skin before Bailey made a few whines. “Bailey, what is it?” Alex got no vocal responses, but Bailey's head dropped a bit before shooting back up to look him straight in the eyes. He knew that look with his pet.
“Yeah. I got mauled by a werewolf.” Alex said out loud, shielding his arm like he was trying to hide the scars from an actual person. His dog remained expressionless yet focused which he expected, despite a small cock of his head to the side. “I don't know what's going to happen to me, but you don't need to be afraid of me.” Alex reached over to scratch his dog's ears, getting him to lay his head down over his legs. Even if he was just talking to himself with Bailey as his silent observer, he felt a little better after speaking the truth.