Chapter 25Mature

Letting his gaze divert for a second, Alex checked on Marcus and Gwen. He had seen the two of them talking the last time he looked up, but this time, Marcus was coming his way. It was then that the werewolf looked in the same direction. Gripping his hands, Alex tried to keep calm.

“He’s a friend of yours?”

“Yeah.” That was all Alex managed to say before Marcus made it over.

“Hey,” Marcus began. He looked between Alex and the werewolf, with no odd tweaks in his expression. “Gwen needs a hand with a customer order. Can you help her?”

“Sure.” Taking another look at the werewolf, Alex stepped away. A few customers nearby had looked to see what was going on, but he didn’t care. He hadn’t gotten into a shouting match with this guy, nor started to shift. He had however missed his chance to assert his position.

Gwen had finished checking out a customer when he walked up. “What’s up?”

“Not much. You need a hand with something?”

“No, I’m fine.”

Looking back to Marcus, Alex sighed. He’d distracted him. “OK. Just checking.” As he went back to walking the floor, looking over towards his friend, Alex couldn’t help feeling a bit defeated. If temporarily. The distraction hadn’t lasted long. Trevor was nowhere nearby either.

Heading towards the trades shelves, he pretended to organize the books there. Looking over to Marcus again, who was standing at the rear of the store, Alex made his move and closed the gap on the werewolf. This time, he felt much calmer about it.

“I know what you’re doing.” Alex stated. Before the werewolf could answer, he continued. “You’re stalking friends of mine.”

The werewolf looked at him again. “What gave you that idea?”

Alex tapped his nose, but didn’t say anything. His attacker looked confused, but he wasn’t buying it. Taking a sniff, he couldn’t smell any scents beyond the werewolf’s own on him.

“Why would I stalk pack members?”

Hearing that sentence, Alex’s flesh rippled and his throat tightened. Was he thinking of turning his friends? Or his family? Feeling a growl reach his mouth, he tried to keep his voice down. “Don’t test me.”

The werewolf returned the growl; Alex shook and nearly stepped back in response. His pulse still racing, his limbs trembled and he dropped his head again. When he saw the werewolf’s eyes turn from green to amber, he felt his heart drop from his chest in fear. He wouldn’t shift here. Everyone would see him. He kept telling himself that, if only to calm himself. “Don’t accuse me of things I haven’t done.”

Alex felt like someone wouldn’t let him speak, however much he wanted to. He couldn’t break eye contact either. He didn’t want this guy out of his sight. Not until he left the store. His eyes didn’t change back to green, however. In his head, Alex feared the same had happened to him.

Eventually, the stare was broken by the werewolf. Alex watched as he departed the store amidst a few customers staring at both of them, as if he was a dissatisfied customer. Swearing at himself, he tried to calm back down, opening the same pit behind his ribs. At least he had stayed composed enough to not shift.

The End

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