Alex tried to shake that train of thought as he warmed up another patty. He didn’t need to eat animals. He had plenty of food here, regardless of how they tasted now. Going for the snack bars he’d bought, it took two of them and a full glass of soda to stop his stomach from making him feel shaky and starved, the carbonation seeming to fill the voids the meat was unable to.
Looking over to the oven clock, it was a few minutes before three, leaving him just over two hours before his mother would be off work at the library. Thinking the recent meal would help him ease back into his human form, Alex returned to his room and curled up on his bed as if to take a nap.
What was supposed to be a relaxing gesture, his eyes closed and his breathing light, didn’t register with him. Despite feeling sore with a meal in his stomach, he felt wide awake and refreshed. As though he had only been up for an hour and was ready to spend a few more exploring or running around.
He couldn’t bring himself to be too worried however. He still had time, and maybe some of that had to pass before he would be in better shape to change back.
As he lay there, he soon heard Bailey walking into the room, his paws sounding against the carpet. Lifting his head, Alex saw his face and head were held high but he was clearly ready to back away if he needed to.
Sliding off his bed onto his paws again, his dog took a step back and dropped his head a bit, along with his ears. “It’s OK, boy.” Staying focused on his pet for a few seconds within the silence of the room, Alex could start to hear something. It was a light thumping sound with what sounded like a swushing noise. The sounds came one after another, and quite rapidly. After several listens, he recognized what they were: heartbeats.
Shaking his head, feeling amazed and worried at the same time, the sounds weakened but he could still hear them with enough concentration. Thinking his hearing was undergoing the same changes that his nose did before, Alex prepared himself for whatever would come next. Be it a migraine or something else.
What that was never came. He still felt the same, and as he listened, he could hear even more sounds around him. The buzzing of the electricity going to his XBOX, and an ambulance siren through his window. There were even more subtle sounds that he could begin to hear as he tried to listen, but Bailey’s heartbeat was the most prominent. It was higher than what it should have been, but his posture was obviously submissive.