Chapter 14Mature

When Alex heard that, the part of him that wanted to walk off without any further dialogue started to diminish. Nathan wasn’t lying about this worrying him; he could tell by his tone. That note of suspicion in his words.

“Granted, it’s not my place to pry, but you’ve seemed a bit off as of the last few weeks.”

Alex took a second to try and compose a response. As he did so, within the scent of his friend, which had almost melded into the scents of the atmosphere around them, he started to detect some traces of something he had never smelled before. It was raw yet it tickled his nose as he smelled it.

It made him feel more relaxed. Less tense overall as he tried to process the scent. As though it was a depressant or he was seeing it as a signal of some kind.

With little idea of what it meant, Alex took a breath and let it out. All he was doing by acting like this was raising more suspicion. The last thing he needed to be doing. Even so, he saw nothing but bad news with the idea of telling his friend of so many years the truth. He might be willing to believe him, or he might not. And if he did, then what?

Would he start drilling him for answers? Let Marcus or Catherine know what was going on? Possibly distance himself from him for fear of being turned?

Feeling his heart beat faster within his chest, but with his head starting to clear, Alex finally spoke. “Yeah, you’re right. Something is going on but I can’t really detail it.”

“If you want to try, go ahead.” Nathan’s tone was cheerful yet still holding a twinge of suspicion and worry. “I’ve got all day. Maybe we can figure something out?”

Alex sighed, but before he said another word, he froze again. Could he really trust his friend with something like this? A one on one conversation that would likely end with some variation on, “I’m a werewolf now.” What if he didn’t believe him and thought he was bullshitting him?

With his head swirling with anxiety again over the idea of losing one, if not more, of his longtime friends, he no longer felt like talking.

“You need a second?” Nathan asked.

“Yeah.” Alex said, trying not to sound like he was getting upset again. Nathan then crouched down and locked eyes with him. “What?”

His friend smiled. “Need a hug to make you feel better?”

Alex recoiled a bit, but that question got him to crack a smile. “No, thank you.”

“Just saying. I won’t push you if you don’t want to talk, though.”

Flexing his hands, Alex began to question his stance as he calmed back down. He could tell his friend was sincere about that offer, and Nathan had been there for him a number of times in the past; the time he broke his leg being one. He didn’t like having to hide his lycanthropy from him, but something this unreal wasn’t a light problem to approach.

The last few times he had lied about the changes his friends spotted, he had some plausibility to fall back on. He could explain away any oddities as something other than what they truly were. But those times were all when he didn’t know what was coming or what to expect. When he didn’t want them nearby in case something happened.

Now that he had some perspective on things, Alex reminded himself that he wasn’t a reckless killer. He had remained sentient those entire 36 hours. He had been able to fight his hunger to some extent and find an animal instead of a person. He was still human by most accounts even as a werewolf.

The End

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