Chapter 24Mature

When he did, Marcus was working the front register and Trevor was nowhere to be seen. “Hey, man.” His greeting was more neutral than usual.

“Hey.” Alex responded, going for the PC racks nearby. “Trevor here?”

“No. He’s on his lunch break.”

Alex nodded once. “You have a minute?”

“Sure.”

As his friend headed his way, Alex thought about how best he could say what he was thinking. He could picture it well enough; it took him some time to actually say it. “I don’t mean to pry but, you still sound a bit angry or something.”

“In a way.” Marcus said, looking over to check the door as he spoke. “Frustrated as well.”

That was the signal Alex needed. “I’m sorry about last night if that’s the case. Seeing that guy just set me off.”

“I could tell with the way you were growling, and your eyes turning yellow.”

“My eyes changed color?” The news didn’t feel new for some reason. “I’ll try not to let it happen again. Not sure how though.”

“On that, mind if I ask you something?”

“Sure. What?”

“If you see this guy again…” Marcus stalled, and then restarted his sentence. “You said you were concerned about us before, so what happens if you find him again?”

Alex averted his eyes for a second. If he was asking about how he would confront his attacker again, why would he add something to the thought? “I’m confused.”

“When you confronted that guy, you almost stepped back when he got up.”

“It caught me by surprise, if that’s what you mean.”

“Not just that. I saw you duck a bit as well.” Marcus waited, as if for an answer. Or to see if Alex would add something he was missing. “That didn’t seem like surprise to me.”

Alex thought for a second. Backing away; ducking his head, or lowering it when confronted. “That’s a sign of submission.” He felt his pulse pick up a bit.

“I’m not trying to say you’re weak or anything, but that stood out to me when I saw it.”

Alex rubbed his forehead. “I didn’t realize I did that. Thanks for telling me.”

“No problem.”

“To answer your question though,” Alex looked around to be sure no one was there. “if I do run into him again…I don’t know.”

“Isn’t submission something wolves do?” Marcus asked matter-of-factually.

“Yeah. They’ll act that way to show they know their standing...” When Alex said that, something clicked. That was what his friend was trying to say. Running a hand through his hair, he felt a shiver run over his skin. “Why didn’t I realize that before?”

The End

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