Trying again not to panic, Alex took a few deep breaths and tried to think. Where else could he get live prey?
Hearing a door open elsewhere in the house, he nearly jumped in terror. Which of his parents were up?
Listening to the light sounds coming from that direction, he soon heard something coming from the living room. “Alex?” The voice came from his mother.
At first, he didn’t want to reply, but soon got off a quick, “Yeah?”
“What are you…”
“Mom, don’t get near me.”
“Why? What’s wrong?”
Alex grasped his stomach. “I didn’t change back.” The house went silent again for a time. “I’ve tried everything I can think of.”
“Well, just…give it time.”
Alex hoped to end the conversation right then, just as his stomach once again rumbled under his paw. The muscles in his chest and face tightened in response, making his fear build even more. “I have.”
Standing where he was, he heard his mother starting to walk on the tile and looked over to her. Like the night before, she was quick to turn on a light nearby, revealing his werewolf form, half hidden by the wall. She took a step back in response to seeing him, albeit not as much as she had before, leaving him a route to get back to his room. Alex didn’t wait to take it.
As he passed his mother, he felt her hand grasp his arm. Turning to face her, he stopped from breaking away but didn’t make eye contact. Doing so however reminded him that his sense of smell wasn’t the only thing that was enhanced in this form.
In the silence of the room, focusing on his mother’s hand around his arm, he could hear the thumping and swooshing sounds making up her heartbeat. Although much deeper than Bailey’s, there was a faster rhythm to them. “Are you OK?”
Alex tried to put on a brave face. “I’m fine. Just need to think.”
Once back in his room, and without Bailey nearby, he shut the door behind him. His head swirled with anxiety as he tried to think positive. He was running out of options with his folks waking up, and he had no desire to tell them about this aspect of what he had.
Even though the hunger was more annoying than ravenous at this point, it had steadily been growing worse every minute, and by this point, over thirty of them had passed. His limbs weren’t shaking like they often would when he was hungry, but his nose kept picking up scents that stoked the fire of how much this hunger was affecting him.