Without thinking, his arms began to tremble. He almost couldn’t breathe. Not here. Anywhere but here. His thoughts became fractured, as did his breathing.
Watching the guy as he ordered, Alex could feel his lungs produce some slight growls. They were quiet, but he could feel his throat rumble with each one.
“Hey.” Feeling someone push his right shoulder, Alex snapped his head around to see Nathan. His breathing started to stabilize as he looked at his friend. Nathan in turn leaned back almost half a foot. “Dude, the hell?”
Alex didn’t answer. His friend was freaked out, sure, but this took precedence. Turning back to see his attacker hadn’t noticed them yet, at least he hoped, his heart kept beating against his ribs. Hard and strong. It was all he could do to not get up and confront this guy. Even though he wanted to.
As he continued to watch, he caught some scents of soap wafting nearby. “Alex?” It was Catherine this time.
“He’s here.” Alex replied. “The counter.” No one else said anything after that.
When his attacker again said he would pay in cash, a thought flashed through his head. Where was he getting this money? Did he have a job, or steal it?
Just then, the werewolf turned and once again locked eyes with him. Alex dropped his head half an inch and another growl sounded. Louder this time. For a second, he thought he was tasting blood from the iron-like taste in his mouth. Feeling his teeth had already shaped into fangs confirmed it.
More smells came to him then. Nathan’s fear scent, and two others new to him but similar to that one. Torn between running on feelings of preservation and fear, Alex tried to relax while not taking his eyes off the werewolf.
He watched as the guy made his way to a table nearby. He had no idea what this guy was thinking, but with every step, he stood up, straightening his neck and running his tongue near his fangs.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Marcus looking up at him, one hand reaching behind him. Either to run or to get up from his chair. Nathan and Catherine remained silent, although he thought he heard a gasp from her.
The realization that he was scaring his friends then smacked him in the face. He felt his head drain of blood out of horror. What had they seen? Gripping his hands, he heard scrapping against the wood of the tables. His claws.
Alex felt frozen to the spot. Had anyone else seen him showcase those? Or his fangs? Or something else he didn’t know about? “No. Don’t panic. Calm down.”