Chapter 22Mature

Seconds later, Catherine and Nathan joined them. Seeing them, even though trying not to look like he would hurt them, they both showed clear signs of fear. Not helped by the sounds of crunching while his hands turned into paws.

“Marcus. Your keys.” Nathan demanded.

Marcus’ tone was rife with fear as he spoke. “What for?”

“Your truck bed’s covered.” Nathan looked in Alex’s direction and he wasted no time nodding before swallowing. With the keys in hand, they made haste over to Marcus’ truck, he and Catherine hanging back. When Alex shot a glance at them, they were embraced.

The top cover of the Ford wasn’t very thick; too much screaming would sound from under it. Still smelling fear on his friend, Alex watched his hands fumble getting the key into the lock once, then finding the spot the second. The rear came done quickly, revealing a pitch black cage; Alex took a subconscious step back.

The feeling of his muscles starting to grow and tighten got him to panic. It was either that, or risk being in the open for the shift. Nodding to Nathan, his friend stepped aside, letting him climb inside. Part of him wanted the three of them to leave him alone as this happened; the rest wanted them around in case this guy didn’t leave.

Once the rear latch closed, Alex was in pitch blackness. Smells of his sweat and the steak on his breath were small comfort as he started to pull his clothing off. His T-shirt had tightened around his chest and arms from the muscles bulging, making it hard to remove. The rest of his clothing slipped off easily.

Now lying on the ice cold bed-liner, he grabbed his discarded shirt to cover his mouth in case he had to scream. At the same time wishing his fur would grow in to heat him up.

His first time to need it came swiftly. The bones in his feet crunched and snapped, starting their changes into digitigrade. Covering his face, tears welling in his eyes, the cotton let some of his screams and moans through, his own scents helping to relax him a bit. The same set of snaps then occurred inside his skull while his ears moved up the side of his head, now more wolf-like.

Aside from the pain of everything, the images of his friends looking so afraid of him made his heart feel punched, if not stomped on. They understood, sure, but seeing him starting to shift right in front of them? Now what would they see in him?

The crunching sounds reached his spine next, with his tail growing out as his pelt began to emerge. His chest and legs curled up as the itching took over for the cold on his skin, his stomach almost doing a flip in response. It was almost over, but he still felt like someone was watching him.

With his shirt still covering his face, he felt his skull and jaws push out to form his muzzle, the last of his pelt growing around it. He felt warmed and relaxed with his transformation now over, but kept his eyes shut as he took some breaths and tried to relax.

The End

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