Chapter 19Mature

Out of the corner of his eye, Alex then saw Catherine remove her hands from the table. The gesture felt, to him at least, like she was trying to hide herself from him. His eyes darted to Nathan and Marcus respectfully after seeing that; neither of them seemed to be sharing the same behaviors.

Whether Catherine’s reaction was intentional or not, he felt the urge to say something in response. Something to reassure them that he wasn’t doing anything weird. Nothing came to him. Wrapping his right index finger and thumb around his mouth but trying to look relaxed, he watched Catherine and Marcus get up to get more food. Nathan’s plate was empty as well but he didn’t get up.

“You finished, man?” Alex asked. His friend replied with a yes, giving him an excuse to get up and stretch a bit.

Walking into the kitchen, which felt a bit smaller with three bodies close by each other, Alex shuffled by Marcus and Catherine to deposit the plates. As he did so, like with Bailey, he could hear a series of thumping and swushing sounds nearby. One set was beating noticeably faster than his own, the other slightly less so. It took a few seconds, but he found the faster set of beats coming from Marcus, something that caught him as odd. He hadn’t been acting nervous before. At least openly so.

At the same time, Alex wondered why he was only hearing the heartbeats now. Remembering that he was a werewolf when it happened with Bailey helped make some sense of the event. His human ears, like his nose, likely weren’t as sensitive to soft long distance sounds as his wolf ones.

“You all need to be anywhere soon?” Alex asked as he dropped the plates in the sink.

“Not me.” Marcus said.

“Nope. My day’s free.” Catherine chimed in. Nathan echoed a similar statement.

“Want to stick around for a bit? Watch a movie or something?”

“Sure. Why not?” Marcus said.

“I’ve got a few werewolf films with me.” Nathan said, smirking again.

Alex’s reaction was a quick smile but with averted eyes. Even if they were just films, he didn’t want to potentially be reminded of what he was capable of amidst his friends. “Let’s save those for Halloween, man.”

As the rest of that Saturday went by, Alex tried not to act like he was watching his friends. As difficult as it was. Whether it was by scent or by sight, every so often he would catch something that told him things hadn’t gone as smoothly as he’d thought.

The most standout was the shuffling of limbs away from him; mostly from Catherine, although Nathan seemed to be doing it as well. Alex couldn’t bring himself to blame them. Had the roles been reversed, with one of them in his situation, he would be just as worried. At the same time, he was willing to trust that this wouldn’t last too long. They hadn’t caught him in his were form like his folks had.

The End

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