As he waited for that time, he closely watched how his stomach was acting. At the first sign of wanting live meat, he would have to get the guys to leave. So far though, this was going no different than the last times they’d met, almost down to what kinds of drinks they all had. Something he didn’t mind too much.
A minute later, he heard an engine come close to the house. The deep rumbling and cut-off he recognized as his father’s truck. Stepping out of the kitchen and peering out the blinds, he just noticed them both getting out.
“Who’s truck is that? Who’s here?” his mother asked from outside.
“Looks like one of his friends.” His father replied.
A set of knocks came, but Alex was hesitant to open the door. Letting them come inside on their own, he thought to get their attention before his mother turned on the front entry light. The bright flash made him cover his eyes.
Hearing a gasp of shock come from his mother, his father spoke soon after. “What are you doing, son?”
“Nothing.” Alex replied. “This isn’t a prank.”
“Then, what happened?”
“That guy I told you about. He showed up where all of us were eating.” His father didn’t respond, and Alex continued. “All I could think about when I saw him was if he was stalking us. Then, this happened.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Because he’s shown up where Catherine and Nathan work.” Alex felt a bit hot as he said that, the expression on his father’s face showing a bit of unease at the same time.
“So, who’s here?” his mother asked.
“Them and Marcus. They gave me a lift back.” Taking a breath through his mouth, holding off any growling noises, his folks began heading towards their bedroom. Alex heard them share some words with his friends as he went back to the kitchen.
The portions he’d fixed had cooled enough by then to consume; he finished part of one off before leaving the storage room. Taking a seat at the last open chair with a glass of soda, things remained silent for a while.
“One odd way to spend a birthday.” Marcus finally said. His tone held some hints of jest, but it was hidden under what sounded like fear or anger.
“The end of one, you mean.” Catherine said.
Looking around while he ate, Alex noticed Nathan watching him. Figuring it was him having to open his mouth so wide, he swallowed quickly and tried to slow down. “Sorry. Can’t really close my lips.”
“You weren’t kidding about being hungry though.” Nathan said.
Alex nodded. “It caught me off guard the first time, but I’ve learned what works.”
“I’m more amazed that you can still talk.” Catherine said.
“Yeah. Kind of surprising with a muzzle like that.” Nathan said.
Letting a smile crawl onto his face, Alex took another huge bite of his food. “It feels like I’m opening my mouth too wide when I do. But at least I can.”