Have you ever had an idea take form in your head? Something that shouted for your attention while you are working on other things? I did, and this story is it. It invaded my work, sleep and even some of my relationships. I have no idea if it is going to be a good or bad story...I just know I have to write it to get it out of my head so I can go back to writing what I prefer to write. My old editor once asked me if I was able to write on more than one project at a time, this case here proves I can't. I have to choose one or the other. Hopefully getting this out of the way will then clear up my thought space.
I wasn't sure what Category to put this tale in. After having some test readers look at it, they said it might be fun to put it in Loving Wives. I shrugged and thought, "Why Not?"
I want to say thank you to my fans, and thank you to the ones who hate my writing. For the compliments and kind words are a balm to my heart. The harsh words and non-constructive criticisms make me chuckle.
I have always loved this place...the Winston. I don't know if it qualifies as a bar or a pub or a club. Never bothered to look up the differences and it has been called all three things by its customers. I just know they got a wide selection of beer and liquor. Also, they make the best burgers and fries I have ever tasted in my life, and whenever they get a live band the place is packed! No, the Winston is not the subject of this story; it's my wife who is dancing with me right now in this sea of people.
Standing at 5 foot 8 with wide hips and a full chest and an easy grin and soft wavy brown hair she always reminded me of a small pixie you see in those fantasy movies. Except she decided to get human sized and ditch those wings of hers. Though that one Halloween she wore those wings she got from the costume shop with that Tinkerbell green dress...
...We never made it to the party!
The music was slowing down a little, and several people moved off of the dance floor as a slower number came on. I put my hands on her waist, my thumbs finding that little groove on her hips where they fit perfectly, she put her arms around my neck and she gently swayed to the soft music. I matched her movements and we stayed for the next number. I love the way my wife smells! The sweat from dancing mixing with her perfume and body spray all makes a very subtle aroma that causes my heart to beat a little more quickly. It is incredible to me that I even got her in the first place!
It was on one of our turns while dancing that I noticed a difference in the crowd. Obviously while dancing there will be an audience watching everyone on the dance floor. The people who don't know how to dance, the ones who are looking to dance with someone, and those who are just tired and staring off into space and you happen to come into their field of vision.
This was definitely none of those!
The man was tall, and wearing a very tight T-shirt. He had slicked back hair and his face was clean-shaven. His eyes were a startling bright blue. I say startling because I noticed his eye color even at that distance, and I couldn't tell you what his shirt color was! I wondered if he was staring at me, or...I slowed my dance a little and saw he was staring directly at my wife's back. I stopped dancing, and held still for a moment, his eyes moved up from where they were staring and met mine. I held his gaze for a moment without expression, then continued dancing, letting a natural turn break the eye contact.
"Jim? Something wrong?" My wife said looking up at me.
"Not really Beth, let's finish up here..." She nodded and kissed the bottom of my throat before continuing to dance.
The song came to its natural conclusion and we clapped for the band and walked back to the bar. I always preferred eating at the bar as opposed to eating at a table. I like being close to where my food is being prepared, and having direct contact with my server. Not to mention I am close to where all the good beer is!
Speaking of beer, "What do you wanna drink Beth?" I asked. She got mint lemonade with vodka, and I got an India pale.
As we waited for our drinks she looked slightly up at me since we were sitting side by side and tapped my arm. "You noticed those guys looking at me?" She asked. I glanced down at her in surprise!
"Guys?" I asked, "I only noticed one..."
She turned her head to look past my shoulder and I saw her light brown eyes widen then narrow a little.
"Well, I could be wrong...but one of them is really checking me out hard. He's got some people with him, but they only glance every now and then. Hmmmm... should we go over and say hi? Maybe I look like someone he knows from somewhere and he is too shy to come over to find out?"
I love Beth a lot, one of the reasons is because she usually looks for the good in people and expects that to be their motivations. Heaven help them when she realizes that their intentions are less than best!
"Nah, it's alright Sweets. Let me go over and see if he wants to join us?" She nodded and took another sip of her drink as I stood up.
I took another swig of beer as Beth began to order food. I always let her do that. She had an uncanny ability to take one look at a hungry person and know exactly what they needed to eat. I know it sounds silly but she always got it right. I heard her ordering a brisket sandwich and smiled. I would have just gotten a burger, but brisket sounded really good...love that woman!
I made my way over to where I last saw that guy with the slicked back hair and saw him almost immediately. Actually I saw him watching me as I scanned the crowd. Normally I do not do this, Beth has gotten checked out before, but she didn't see the way this guy was looking at her while we danced. Or maybe she did? Remember? She always believes the best about people. Which is kind of amazing since she works retail so one would think that she'd have a better idea about human nature.
I am getting off topic though, the way this guy looked at her...it wasn't checking her out. It wasn't leering either. It was like he...hard to explain.
It was like he OWNED her!
Which set off all kinds of caveman alarms in my head and chest. However, I am a modern man. I went to college, sort of...became a diesel mechanic. I have had just about every type of job you can think of growing up. I do not squabble in the dirt and swing clubs at people. I can be polite and conscientious...
"You...jerk!" I said as I came up in front of Slick Hair. He had seen me getting closer and his head snapped up as I spoke.
Those weird blue eyes of his glared at me as he growled out, "What did you say?" I saw his nostrils flare a little, as if he was breathing more through his nose than his mouth. I also noticed he had four men with him, and they all were very different, yet the same? It was like they all came from the same mold, but had different little traits.
Muscular bodies? Check. Good looking? Check. Piercing eyes? Check. Overly confident? Mmmmm....check!
But one had blonde hair, different eye colors, stuff like that. Anyway, Slick had asked me a question. I pasted a smile on my face and responded.
"I saw you noticed my wife..." I saw Slick's face flinch a little as his eyes darted past me to where Beth was sitting at the bar. "...Normally you should compliment someone instead of just stare at them. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I am glad you think my wife is attractive."
His face flinched a little harder when I said the word "wife" again. That was odd! I noticed a waitress walking by and stopped her. I asked her to buy another round of drinks for the group, and put it on my tab. The men heard me and watched me curiously as I stood there. When the waitress left I looked back at Slick, and kept my eyes on his. Normally I don't do this since it's never wise to challenge a man in front of his friends, but I had a point to make.
"Now, have another round on me, keep your stares to yourself. I don't appreciate someone eye humping my wife!"
I'll be damned if he didn't blink first! Seemed to surprise him and the rest of the group. I chalked it up to I knew I was on the moral high ground, more or less, and he knew he wasn't. I gave him and the rest of the group a nod and walked back to Beth.
"Did he know me?" She asked as she took a bite of her fries. I looked at what she was eating. A grilled cheese tomato and bacon sandwich with fries and fruit salad. I looked at my brisket sandwich with coleslaw and pickle.
"No, he didn't and good choice on food!" I said. She smiled and leaned in for a kiss, which I avoided by touching the pickle slice to her lips. She blinked and then I kissed her. She rubbed her mouth and giggled before turning back to her food.
I glanced back over at where Slick was, and noticed he was chatting with the rest of the group. There was some finger poking going on, and finally they got up and left. I sighed, and then went back to enjoying the meal.
We had been talking about my chances at getting promoted at work and she had some ideas about trying to sell more of her products for men. Which didn't make much sense to me. Beth does retail work. I don't have a good head for it, but she sells Mary Kay products. She has over a dozen women she works with and gets together with. I don't know how it works but I guess she knows her stuff. One year she got this crazy looking pink Cadillac! I almost thought I was at the wrong house...she said she got it through sales and it was paid for her to use because she got to a certain level or something. I'd asked if she could get a good pink truck to haul all of her beauty products around...she thought about it, then said she preferred the big trunk, since it was easier for her to use than a truck bed.
The fact that she seriously considered my point is one of the many reasons I love her. One of the other reasons is about to be made apparent very quickly!
Beth had gotten up to use the ladies room. I scanned the room to see if Slick and his boys had left. Apparently they had so I went back to my beer and was looking at the dessert menu. A piece of apple cobbler with some ice cream we could share sounded good. I knew she wanted to come back quick because, well, I know she wanted a say in the dessert so after a few minutes went by I looked up to see if she was coming, and noticed Slick was there. No, not next to me, he had his back turned talking to someone smaller than him. I caught a flash of hair to the side of his chest as he was leaning down, same color hair as Beth's!
I wasn't having any of that!
I stood and began walking quickly through the groups of people, some sitting at tables, others standing. Out of the corner of my eyes I could see his buddy's were around, flanking me. Felt almost like I was being hunted. What's the matter with these guys? I buy them a drink and now this? Sure I told them off, at least one of them...but...really? Seems a little extreme doesn't it?
"It was nice meeting you, but you are in my way Fred..." I could hear Beth saying. Her voice was trembling a little. Not sure if it was nervousness or what, but I didn't like hearing her sound like that!
"Are you telling me you don't feel it? The connection between us?" I heard Fred say.
His voice sounded nice, ordinarily I would have taken note of it and compared it to the voiceover used on manly car commercials. Right now though...made me want to punch his white teeth down his throat! I was a few steps behind him when I saw him suddenly lunge down and I heard a startled "Oh...oomph!" from Beth as the frickin' moron kissed her!
I froze in place for a moment as I saw her hands grab his shoulders, then I heard a ferocious squeal as her hands turned to fists and one began to draw back! I knew exactly what was going to happen then...better head her off at the pass.
I gripped Fred's shoulder and pulled, firmly but lightly away from my wife.
I did my best to keep my voice even as I reached past him to grab a hold of Beth's hand. Her face was furious, and her eyes looked shocked, but mixed with something else that caught me off guard. For just a moment I thought I saw a thread of passion hidden in the outrage. I turned my gaze to Fred who stared down at me with angry eyes for interrupting his moment and his eyes changed from that startling blue to a rich golden amber color and I heard a low growl come from his throat!
My mouth fell open and that primal sound made something react in my belly. My "Fight or Flight" response kicked in and I chose the Flight option. I gripped Beth's hand harder, and she gripped mine just as hard as I pulled her back behind me. Fred, seeing me pull Beth away from him, intensified his growl and his hand shot out faster than my eyes could follow. He grabbed a hold of my wrist so tight I thought I could feel my wrist bones grinding together!
Which is when the Fight option kicked off in my reflexes.
I have lost more fights than I have won in my lifetime. Oh I freely admit it. My Dad always told me that was a good thing since it meant I knew how to lose. Generally speaking, anyone I fought, even though I lost never wanted to fight me again. Some of them I even came to be friends with. In fact I work closely at the shop with an old bully of mine, who finally grew up! The point I am making is that I have lost most of my fights...
...but I have definitely won some too!
His grip was insanely strong, much stronger than I anticipated. Maybe it was an intimidation technique? I do know that I felt massively threatened and quickly twisted my forearm toward his thumb and popped my wrist out of his grip. Still with a strong dose of fear in me, my fingers grabbed a hold of his thumb and I gave a strong twisting jerk. There was a wrenching sensation and I both saw and heard him gasp in pain.
"Beta!" I heard someone shout from beside me, and stars exploded across my vision, I hit the ground and noticed several pairs of shoes pulling back and then shooting forward! I curled up as kicks rained down on me. I heard growling and muttered cussing, "Fucking human...Teach you too...Take it!"
Which is when I heard a female yell of outrage and a dull THUNK of wood hitting something. It reminded me of how I first met my wife. She had picked up a pool cue and used it to beat the ever-loving daylights out of some drunk bikers and chased them out of a bar. She had been a bouncer at a local roadhouse. She had been the nice one, used to go in and sweetly tell patrons they had been cut off and then offered coffee to sober up. Strangely enough the technique worked very well! Most drunk guys took no exception to a pretty woman smiling at them and offering them a free cup of coffee and a glass of water to help them clear their heads.
However she also knew how to hold her own, and had to on occasion when the regular bouncers couldn't get there quickly enough.
I saw the seat of a chair smash into the side of the head of one of the men, coldly dropping him on his ass. With another yell the chair came whistling towards the chest of another who grabbed the chair tightly in his hands. He had started to smirk when Beth stepped to the side and her lead foot stomped on his instep, snapped to the side of his knee, then flicked up to kick him in the groin! He gave a small howling groan before she took the chair from his limp fingers and then turned to jam the legs into the chest of a third man! I grinned through a split lip as the fourth man stepped back, his hands raised. I noticed that his eyes looked a golden amber color as well, before changing to a regular piercing brown. Beth was breathing hard as she held a hand down to me. I patted her shoe to let her know I got it. The unspoken answer to her question that I could get up on my own but she needed to be on guard. She resumed standing, watching everyone around us.
I saw Winston, the owner and namesake of the place was heading towards us, and Fred could see him too.
"Hey! Fred!" Beth said. I was standing beside her now, my hand on her shoulder. Fred looked at her and I could see pain on his face.
"When a woman tells you, be she married or not, that she doesn't know you and you kiss her...? That makes you an asshole! When her husband shows up and tries to intervene and you have your boys jump him? That makes you one of the lowest forms of life on the planet! I wish I knew what to call you, I wish I had words for what I really think of you! You lowlife!" Beth was shaking hard, and my hand seemed to soothe her, but for some reason it felt like I could feel her pulling away from me.
Winston had come up and surveyed the scene, he was about to speak when Beth gave another body shudder and wiped her hand over her lips and then spat hard onto Fred's shoe.
"You kissed me you animal! I didn't say you could! You grabbed me and forced me to kiss you!" I had never seen her so mad! I had seen guys try to, and sometimes steal a kiss from Beth before. Usually they had gotten a hard slap that set them straight, but she had always shrugged it off.
Winston finally spoke, "I got one of the boys to call the cops. You all better stay to get this sorted out..." He was pointing at the group of men who reluctantly nodded.
I knew I was staying with Beth, and we walked over to be away from them. She looked like she was going to be ill, and her eyes hardly left where Fred was standing. Only when I interposed myself between them did she look at me, and when she did she began crying and then wouldn't let me go! I had never seen her this shaken over a bar fight before! For some reason this one had affected her personally. I glared over my shoulder at Fred who was talking to the police. He looked over only once, but when he did...I thought I detected a small smile of satisfaction.
It ended up to where Fred and his boy band of misfits paid for damages. Surprisingly enough, given how much of a donkey's ass he acted he actually appeared contrite when Beth demanded a restraining order, and was granted it! Seems there had been talk about pressing charges of sex abuse of some kind. Never knew it but forcibly kissing someone after they say they aren't interested is sexual assault if you want to make a big enough stink about it.
My wife was really pushing hard for everything and anything she could get on this guy! Not that I minded, but I wanted to know why. It had been about two weeks into this, and my bruises had faded, and guys at worked stopped calling me a raccoon. I walked into the living room after work where Beth was reading one of her paranormal romance novels. I got nothing against those books but if I have to hear one more tale about a sparkly vampire or a werewolf finding his/her mate and bonding for life I will puke! She seemed to be reading it much more closely and was worrying her lower lip with her teeth.
"Hey Beth?" I called out as I walked inside. I'd had an idea to get her out of her funk. She didn't respond, in fact she seemed to not have heard me as she scribbled furiously on a notepad next to her. There was a stack of several more books next to her, some looking like they had been checked out of the library.
"Beth? Want to clear your head for a while?" I asked as I came up behind her and put my hands on her shoulders. She tensed up under my fingers and then forced herself to relax as she laid her head back against my stomach.
"Yeah...what do you have in mind?" She asked, looking up at me by tipping her head back. I for just a moment considered asking if she wanted a full body massage followed by a furious round of "Who Cums First!" But for the past few weeks she had been kind of well, awkward in bed. She would jump me and we would wrestle each other down and I would kiss and caress any part of her body in reach. We would go through the motions, I would feel her body responding...Then...
Sometimes she would freeze, then keep going with her eyes tightly shut. Other times she would look almost angry, glaring into my eyes as if daring me to say something. Other times, it was like she wanted to cry. I wanted to ask her about it, probably should have in retrospect. However, I had a feeling she wanted to work through this on her own. Always...ALWAYS she would come to me if she needed help. And I would always be there for her. So no, sex, that isn't what she needed, and maybe not even what she wanted
I smiled down into my wife's face and kissed her forehead.
"Haven't been to the range in a while, need some target practice before I get too rusty. Wanna come with?" I asked. She thought for a moment, and for a second I thought she would say no, until she bounced to her feet and said, "That actually sounds perfect! Wait for me to get changed and get my guns."
We were no marksmen, but we did enjoy shooting. Beth's old man, my Father-in-Law, had been cleaning his guns the first time I took her out on a date. I had sat down and rolled up my sleeves and helped him. Much to her Mom's amusement, and I assume her Dad's too. I had told him about what I had planned for our date, and told him I was sorry I wasn't going to be able to show her a better time but I'd had to help Dad the next day at work and had to get home early. Beth had shrugged when I'd said that and sat down at the table and picked up a cleaning swab and we ended up sitting and talking at the kitchen table with her folks. Not exactly how I had envisioned my first date to go, but all in all it hadn't been bad. Her Mom's cooking was excellent!
My parent's about laughed themselves silly when I told them how my first date had gone.
Next week when I came to pick her up her Dad hadn't even come out to give me the "Be good...or be DEAD!" glare. I guess I made an impression and I had no idea what I had done until much later.
I finished changing and Beth came out with her smaller gun case. I noticed, and she gave me a sad little smile.
"Yeah, Dad's gun...I kinda need him right now." She told me. I paused, considering what to say, then just went for it.
"You know Beth, I am here too. If anything is on your mind..." I let my voice trail off and waited. She fidgeted.
"I know Jim. I really do. This is something I think I need to fix on my own." She said firmly, but not unkindly.
I gritted my teeth, I need to have patience...my wife is strong willed, sweet, and so incredibly stubborn! But she is loving and loyal and....
I want her back to normal so much!
I focused my eyes down the barrel of my Dad's old revolver. I saw the face of Frederick D'Angelo flash for a moment on the target. I pulled the trigger and the .22 magnum cracked loudly in my hands with hardly any recoil. Three times I pulled the trigger and three holes appeared around where his nose would have been. I was feeling better already!
I still couldn't get rid of his smell, the feel of his lips on mine. On one level I was sickened and disgusted by that asshole! On the other...the forceful way he took me in his arms and kissed me? I loved it so much! The feel of him wanting me so badly he didn't care about the consequences was, strangely arousing. How can I feel this conflicted? Why can't I get him out of my head!?
Even when I had sex with my husband, several times I had complained of a headache with him because I could not get the visions of that jerk off out of my mind. Other times I would just fuck my husband, forcing myself to look in his eyes and daring the image of that bastard to come back! Other times I just felt like crying, and had sex with my husband, just going through the motions. Sometimes my mind would wander to that other man and it would be him touching me and not Jim, and I would want to cry my eyes out!
I can't keep going like this! I don't know what's wrong with me, and I can't tell Jim because he...what would he think? Knowing my mind was bringing another man into our bed, even when I didn't want it to? How do I tell him that!? He would be hurt, think something was wrong with him when I love him so much.
Tell me of another man who would quietly support his wife on building her business? Who would make his own meals and do his laundry while I was out running around trying to make sales? Who would remember, mostly, important birthdays and anniversaries? Who when I was running six days a week and feeling like I am going nowhere would hug me and say, "Your doing great Bright Eyes, go get'em!" He has never wanted to push me down or fit in a mold. I never wanted to be the stay at home wife, and he wanted me to dream and push myself. He has never once held me back and now...
...why am I betraying him!?
I took a deep breath and Frederick's face faded from the target and I squeezed three more rounds off the moment I exhaled half of my air. That one moment when everything is rock steady and your aim is true is when I fired. "The Cupid" moment my Dad always told me. When the lover's arrow strikes the heart. Where the perfect shot is always to be found. I felt my thoughts clearing, as it always does when I am target shooting. The concentration clearing the fluff out of my head, Jim always knows what's best for me. Maybe I should tell him how I am feeling, what's going on, because I can't make any sense of it myself.
That man who had been staring at me had walked up as I was coming out of the restroom. I didn't feel threatened at all, even though his eyes had been so intense. He looked like he did know me, but I was sure I had never seen him before. He looked sad too in a way, almost desperate. Without him even introducing himself he had said,
"I have waited my entire life to find you my love! My Mate!"
It sounded like those romance novels I read! Like one of the many where the one person claims the other person is their soulmate and now they will live the rest of their lives going on crazy adventures and all of that other nonsense! I wanted to laugh but then his smell hit me, that masculine scent that all men carry beneath the aftershave and their cologne. Frederick smelled like fine bourbon, the good stuff hidden behind the bar that cost $75 a shot. He smelled of warmth and cinnamon, and fresh mint. It made my mouth water and I got flustered and lost my voice.
"What is your name?" I asked faintly. He smiled and I saw beautiful white teeth, in a handsome smile.
"My name is Frederick D'Angelo, but please...call me Fred!"
My head felt like it was spinning and I said the first words that came to me, "It was nice meeting you, but you are in my way Fred..." I wanted to get back to Jim, something felt off here, and I was starting to get scared. Fred said something else to me, but I was ignoring him. Trying to find a way around him without causing a scene. Then his hands went around my waist, very large hands and I was pressed against a chest of thick muscle and warm skin that I felt under his shirt. His smell was overpowering, and I felt something inside of me pulling to reach this man! This wonderful, handsome, loving...!
Then I woke up to what he was doing and all of those good feelings squashed in an instant! This jackass was manhandling and kissing me in front of everyone! My husband included. I felt my fists ball up and I was about to see what good old Fred here would think with a knuckle to the temple when I felt Jim's hands. He was pulling me off, and away from Fred, and I felt so happy! Yet sad, like a part of me didn't want to move away.
Then Fred turned and I saw his eyes change color, not like he had switched to different color contacts either. It was sudden and so foreign to me that my mind shut down. Then Jim was on the ground and men were kicking him and shouting. I reacted the only way I knew how and attacked! After the fight I told Frederick what I really thought of him and a part of me felt terrible that I was speaking to him that way which only made me angrier. Afterwards I couldn't help but watch him, and wonder what the hell was wrong with me.
The courts happened, restraining orders served, charges being filed with another court date set. Obviously this guy had some connections, either that or he had a tremendous amount of confidence. He kept trying to catch my eye, but I kept Jim between myself and his looks the entire time.
Which brings me to now, how do I go about fixing myself? What's wrong with me? The eye change and everything else got me to thinking...but it's impossible isn't it? I need to talk to Jim, need to ask him...even if it hurts. I know it's crazy, maybe I am crazy...
"Jim?" I asked quietly while cleaning out my cylinders. "Do you believe that werewolves are real?"
This whole evening is...just...I...unexpected? Not sure how else to put it. I had an old black powder revolver I was shooting. One of those ones where you pop the whole cylinder out of the frame and then pack each charge into it. Then place a primer on the back for the hammer to strike. Fun little gun, pretty darn accurate too. Had another, an air pistol that shot little pellets. Used it to shoot birds that poop all over the back patio...
Don't judge me...the pressure washer has a hard time getting rid of the stains!
Anyway, Beth's question had caught me off guard, and we quietly talked about it as we packed up and drove home. We had a habit of asking each other strange questions, "What If" questions. Like, what if reincarnation was real and I came back as a dog, would you keep me? Or what if I won the lottery, would you stash the money or blow it? This was like that, but the tone in her voice, and the sick feeling in my stomach made it much more serious.
Funny thing is that, I didn't have too much trouble believing in the supernatural, or paranormal. Whatever you want to call it. "There's more things in heaven and earth..." and all of that nonsense. Also, it would explain a little of why Fred acted the way he did, and it explained the eyes, but there were a couple of things it didn't explain. That is why I was so silent as we walked back into the house. Beth grabbed my gun case and hers and put them back in the bedroom as I took the air pistol and the small box of lead pellets and set them in the front coat closet. I turned around and saw she was already back and was waiting for me to turn before pressing herself into me with a tight hug!
"I love you Jim, so much!" she said quietly, and with a strange ferocity. Not so strange though, if half of what she said was true about how she was feeling.
"Not enough obviously..." I muttered, and then coughed, "...sorry, that isn't fair." She shrugged, but didn't let go of me.
"No, it isn't fair! Not fair to you, not fair to me! Not fair to...to...him!" She spat. Then she let go of me and stomped off into the kitchen and stood on tip toe to reach above the stove and pulled down a bottle of Sailor Jerry's Rum, the one we saved for Christmas to put in our eggnog. She selected two tumblers from the cupboard and walked back to the table.
I poured as she got the ice and we tapped our glasses together and took a drink. I coughed for a moment, not used to taking this stuff straight.
"So, let me recap Sweets...see if I got this right?" I said. Beth nodded and took another longer drink of rum. She reached for the bottle to top off her glass and I reached for it first and pulled it away closer to where I was sitting.
"You met this guy once, for a couple of seconds. You were swept off your feet and your heart goes pitter pat for him. In your head you hate the guy, but in your heart you want to crawl all over him. Even though you tell me you're happily married to me, you want to be with this dickhead...that about right?" I was being as tactful and delicate as a surgeon using a sledgehammer for a heart transplant! Which should have bothered me, since this was my wife I was speaking to. However...until the love of your life tells you she is falling for another man? Reserve judgment on me and how "sensitive" I should be!
Her mouth opened and all she said was "Guh!" and motioned for the bottle. I handed it to her slowly, she snatched it and filled her glass and slammed it down her throat. I heard the ice click against her teeth as she drained it, pretty sure she would have swallowed the ice too if she could have gotten her mouth wide enough!
She set her glass down, cheeks flushed and unshed tears at the corners of her eyes. "Yes and NO Jim! It's what I feel but it's not what I want!" She dragged her notes in front of me. I stared down at them. Then Beth started speaking, her voice desperate.
"What if he is a werewolf? Or something like that? What if these fucking romance stories are real? What if...What if I was supposed to be HIS wife and because I am human I made the choice to marry you? It's the only thing that makes sense! Why else would I feel attraction for someone I would never normally be attracted to? It's...I feel like I am going insane Jim! I don't want this!" I saw her hands rise up to either side of her head, she placed her palms against her temples and started rocking in her chair.
"Saying it out loud, it feels like I am admitting my feelings for him when I don't want them in the first place! Jim...I'm scared!" She said in a small broken voice.
My heart was beating so hard in my chest, I was hurting too, so badly. MY wife was falling in love with another man...er...wolf...um...thing! Her telling me this must have hurt, and I wanted to be mad, I wanted to be angry...furious! I set that aside though as I stared at her slowly rocking, and now the tears were escaping her eyes, and trickling down her cheeks. Some women look beautiful when they cry. Each tear like a diamond, and every sigh like a sad zephyr.
Beth always turned blotchy and red! She didn't ever do things by halves, weeping was one that when she finally let loose her self-control it would be a full out release of misery. I realized then that she must have been holding onto this for a few weeks and didn't want to tell me. That this buildup has wanted to escape her for a while.
I also realized I was being a terrible husband just sitting there and watching her cry!
I came forward out of my chair, it scooted back as I went to my knees in front of her. She must have heard the chair scrape, because even before my fingers touched her she reached out blindly for me. The moment I felt her hands touch she grabbed my head and pulled it to her chest! She toppled over on top of me and it felt like she was trying to worm her way inside of my shirt!
"Need you! Jim! Please...need my husband!" She gasped. Her strong fingers began pulling at my shirt, dragging it up and out of my pants and over my head. Not completely over though, she stopped and let me carry on pulling it off so she could immediately start kissing and touching my chest. I felt her breath and tears on my pecs as she sucked at my nipples and buried her face to rub her wet cheek against me. I dragged my shirt off the rest of the way, listening to her crying and feeling her touches. My arms wrapped around her and I pulled her body along mine so I could kiss her, and see her face. It was blotchy and the little bit of mascara she was wearing was running. I could see she needed to blow her nose since she was still crying so hard...
She was the most beautiful and wonderful woman in the world to me!
I grabbed the edge of my shirt and held the corner of it up to my lady and she rubbed her face on it, drying her eyes and blowing her nose. When she pulled the shirt away she sniffed once and through red rimmed eyes not hidden by the mascara she began to speak,
"Oh, Jim...I'm sorry about your shir...MmmmHmm!" I kissed her, hard, not wanting to hear her speak right then. I needed to taste her lips, the saltiness of her tears dissolving under the touch of my tongue and the murmur of her satisfaction. I groaned into her mouth as I began undoing the front of her jeans. She tried to pull away to help me get her undressed, but I put my hand on the back of her head, not wanting to let her get away.
Through some creative finagling we got both of our pants down around our ankles, Beth still on top of me. With a twitch to the side here, and a small roll of the hips there, the tip of my cock touched something warm and moist. My wife's eyes went wide as she gazed down into mine.
"For you...I see only you." She whispered. Her back arched as she pushed down, and I was home!
I read the paperwork of the Restraining Order again. Same as I had done every morning. My attorney said it was best to stay away for the time being. "Let sleeping bears lay Frederick, if she is the one your wolf has chosen. If she is your soul mate...she will come to you. Give her time."
Time? TIME!? I have waited for so long to find the other half of my soul! My attorney's mate is at home waiting for him to return! He can afford to think about time! My own is out there, waiting. To know that she feels the pull, feels the need for me as I do for her? And she is married to another, probably lying in his arms...my MATE in another man's ARMS!
I felt the change starting to push, my eyes feeling hot in my skull, my fingernails hardening as they started to grow! With a low growl I pushed my wolf down and told it to chase its tail! I had enough grievances without adding to more it.
I am Beta to my Alpha, I am not some run of the mill Were, I have responsibilities, people who work for me and with me. My obligations to the Pack are a tether to my sanity in this trying time.
"My Mate..." I whispered, as I pulled the photograph from the file in front of me. Her hair, body, and eyes. That smile with a hint of her mischievous spirit. Framed in the photo as if she was looking at me. Though I know when the picture was taken she had been looking at her "husband!" Just the thought of that man caused my wolf to growl deep in my chest. I want to say there was nothing special about him. He was simply a human. Nothing extraordinary, had some of the pack look into his background. Vocational school, raised as an only child by parents who are still alive. Diesel mechanic, was raised in an automotive repair shop. Caught shoplifting in his teens, other than that no criminal record.
My Mate has a mother, father died when she was in her early twenties. No criminal record, sells beauty products.
Yet there was so much more there! I wanted to know everything about her. I wanted to see her again, smell her. I wanted to taste her again! Her scent was of honey and milk and a sweet salt like the sea. I had wanted to bury my face in her hair when I had kissed her.
That...man of her's...how dare he get in our way! He tried to take my Mate from me and I had reacted without thinking. Taking hold of him, then he had broken from my grip, dislocated my thumb, which was a simple matter to fix. The harder part was having my friends attack him, that made the situation all the more delicate. My heart was so heavy from having her defend that man. What to do about him though?
I sat back in my chair, considering options. I could kill him easy enough. She would be free then after she had gone through her time of mourning. However I would then be living with his ghost, a shade over my Mate's happiness. No, besides, I remembered his eyes.
Normal men have quailed from looking too long at my eyes. I am a Beta wolf, none but the Alpha can make me look away. This human, Jim, had made me look down first. He had challenged me and I had folded! My wolf snarled at that, and mentally I smacked it in the nose with a rolled up newspaper.
"Don't let pride make any snap decisions." I told myself. It occurred to me as I read through the restraining order again this morning that there was a small but technical loophole. I could not approach my Mate, Beth. But what if I happened to go to Jim's shop for some repairs for my vehicle? Would give me a chance to talk with him, to get to know my "competition" as it were. Who knows...might even find a way to explain things in a fashion?
Either way, it was only a matter of time. Beth, my Mate, would be mine!
Things have been back to normal, mostly. I leave for work in the morning, Beth is usually up as well. I leave a half hour before she goes to have breakfast with her ladies or to a sales call or meeting. I usually help open the shop and get things warmed up, do a last minute check on our schedule and possibly place some phone calls for last minute reminders for people who were supposed to come in. You would not believe how often people forget to come in for an appointment that they themselves scheduled.
As for the "mostly" part about things going back to normal? Beth talks to me about it. It seems that talking about her feelings has freed her up a lot. That's not to say she never has before about other things. There are times I feel she could talk me to death about them! I listen anyway, because we are a team. But this, if there are any ladies reading this? Let me put some knowledge in your laps. I had a BIG...ummm...discussion with Beth about this, so listen up or the significant other in your life might have to have a similar "discussion" with you as well.
Don't be scared to tell us what's going on, actually...go ahead and feel scared if you must, but tell us ANYWAY! Let your partner/spouse know what's going on with you, if your having troubles. If you have doubts or fears or if you think you're going insane tell us! If you are afraid to hurt us, that's fine...tell us anyway. True, we may be hurt. But we will be hurt more if you don't talk to us. Maybe it's different for other people.
But for me, that's what I would want. Beth understands that now. She is her own woman, but I am her man! We go through life together. I may not like what she has to say, but by God she will tell me! Like last night. I didn't want to hear her say she had feelings for another man, I didn't like hearing any of it! But through listening and really hearing what she was saying...I was able to come to grips with it. Though if I ever saw the Frederick D'Angelo I would do a lot more than just walk away. I would...!
Wait a minute? Is that him...?
I had sat down out back to have lunch. Employee parking is behind the shop. There is a small pond fed by a creek back there and a good sized patch of grass on a small incline leading down to the pond. I saw a very nice Cadillac Escalade, for those of you don't know it's a useless SUV, that is very expensive to buy and very expensive to work on. Normally the people who own one, go to a Cadillac dealership to get serviced. We can do it, for less. Not me though, I generally work on larger truck engines. I had taken a couple of bites of my sandwich when I saw that asshole walk around the corner of the shop. He put his hand up to block the glare of the noon day sun and glanced around. I figured he was looking for me, and thought maybe I should roll back behind the edge of the little hill I was sitting on.
Decided against it!
If he was looking for me, he had found me! I had all sorts of things to say to him!
He saw me, and he seemed to stiffen, then walked forward in what could almost be called a "stalk." Conversations I'd had with Beth about werewolves came to mind as I watched him come closer. I took another bite of my sandwich and put my hand in my lunch box. He kept walking up to me and called out, "Hello Jim."
I nodded back while chewing. I thought about what to say next. Decided I could play off this next phrase as me just being a smart ass to him. Maybe I could make a Twilight pop culture reference and appear witty?
"Hello to you Mr. Werewolf!" I said after I swallowed a mouthful of ham sandwich.
He froze in place, his eyes widened and I saw them change from that startling bright blue to a golden amber! A small sound like a growl came out of the corner of his mouth which made me want to engage the old "Fight or Flight" reflex. Can you guess which one I chose this time?
I quickly pulled my hand out of my lunch box and pointed my air pistol at him. I saw his eyes flick down to the pistol just as I pulled the trigger several times.
Pfft! Pfft! Pfft! Pfft!
He gasped and dropped to his knees, clutching his leg. He groaned and looked up at me as I leveled it at his head.
"Hey Freddy...lets you and me have a little talk now huh?"
"Kill him! Kill HIM!" My wolf raged at me. It seemed to come at a distance and was growing fainter. I felt myself separating from that part of me as the wolf grew silent. I could still feel him, but it was as if he were muted on television screen. I moved my hands and saw the small pinpricks in my leg. They burned...badly, and I groaned as I sat down on the grass. Jim placed his hand inside of a box that I could smell food from. His face was white, and I watched him gulp once, then shake his head and a hard look came to his eyes.
"Son of a bitch...you really are one..." I squeezed my leg and slowly one of the pellets worked their way out and fell to the grass. I carefully picked it up then dropped it as a burning sensation spread on my finger tips.
"Silver?" I asked quietly. Jim nodded mutely. "Are you a Hunter?" I said just as quietly, my eyes fixed on his. I knew the answer. A real hunter would have disposed of me much differently than this!
"No man...never believed in...nope...." He said just as quietly. He blinked and then I saw his wrist muscles tighten and knew he was gripping that damn little pistol again.
"I don't want to kill you. But I got a few more shots ready for you in here, I am pretty sure one of them in your eye ball is not going to feel good. I made them out of silver I got from some old silver dollars my dad gave me when I was a boy. Pretty easy to make pellets for my air gun out of them when you know what your doing. I assume you came here to talk...well...talk!"
Another pellet was squeezed out of my leg and I let it fall in the grass. I could feel that barrier between my wolf and I fading as more silver left my body. Soon I would be able to tear this man to pieces and...what? Everyone here would be a witness? Someone could see and then, would my Mate come to me? Maybe one day but not...
"I don't have all day." Jim said suddenly. "I am just on my lunch break, and I got a Cummins to rebuild. Tell me what you want."
"I want my Mate!" I said harshly. Jim's eyes narrowed at me and I saw him start to draw his pistol again, pause and then his arm relaxed.
"Marriage doesn't mean much to you...werewolves then?" he asked, a slight hitch in his voice. I ignored the pain from the silver pellets and looked more closely at him.
"It means everything. It is a lifelong commitment, and that life is a long long time." I told him. He nodded and glanced away, then back at the shop.
"Sit down, or people are going to take notice. And quit moaning about your leg! I have been hurt worse than that when my Dad beat me for taking apples from our neighbor's orchard." He told me. I hobbled over and sat next to him, just out of reach for both him and I. He glanced at me again then asked. "Silver hurts you guys huh?"
"Yes..." I said through gritted teeth. He nodded. Then broke off part of his sandwich and set it next to us. I glanced down at it then back up at him.
"I read somewhere that eating helps you guys heal or something like that. It true?" I nodded and he indicated the food. "Well, dig in. You may be trying to seduce my wife but if the other crap I have read is true...you can't help yourself can you?"
I didn't say anything and picked up the half sandwich and wolfed it down. I was smelling him, the man underneath the scent of rust and oil and grease. Also seeing his posture I saw a man who was secure in himself and very troubled. It was obvious that he was troubled by me, but not by the fact I was different than him. That fact was made plain in how he handled himself. The last two pellets worked themselves out of my leg and my wolf jumped to the forefront of my mind, and I almost let it out to see if I could...
No, it would serve no purpose. I would kill him, probably very messily and it would be public.
He looked at me as he took a drink of his soda, his eyes running over my features and build, he smirked and said, "Well, even I can tell you're a good looking guy and I am straight. It's no wonder you can have the effect you do on women."
I shook my head, "No, I do, but I am generally not interested. You were right in your guess. When we find our Mates we can't help ourselves." I saw Jim's jaw muscles work for a moment. "Explain it to me." He said harshly.
And so I did. I told him how in our society, there will always be just one, one out there for us that our wolf will recognize. They are the missing piece of our soul that will make us whole. Without it, we are adrift, constantly searching for our Mate, be it a man or woman. We will wait centuries if need be to find them! His ears twitched at the word "centuries" and he looked back at me.
"So how old are you?" He asked quietly.
"282 years old. I was born in the year of our Lord, 1733 in Spain. Named after my great grandfather." I told him
"You have money then, I would guess?" He asked.
Ah! Here it is! I knew it was good to come and talk with him! Every human has a price. A werewolf would accept no price or relief of pain to give up his Mate for they are priceless! I had found the human's weak spot.
"I have a great deal of money and lands both in America and overseas. What would you wish then?" I said quietly, hiding my smile. He raised an eyebrow at me.
"I wish you never came into our lives...honestly. It's just, you could take care of her. You're not some poor schmuck who will be leeching off of her..." His voice trailed off as he stared out at the garage. He looked down at my hands, then slowly looked at his own fingers. I had come from the city on Pack business, and had gotten a manicure. It made me feel a little like a domesticated dog to have that done, but appearances were important. Jim had grease under his fingernails, and his fingerprints stuck out sharply against the dark back drop of ingrained motor fluids.
He stared down at the parking lot and was silent. He was obviously having some deep thoughts, and I let him. His responses were different than I thought. He didn't want money for his wife, his questions had been about my ability to be an effective Mate for her. My respect for this human went up a notch. Even if he had shot me with silver, it was to be expected of him to protect her. I found myself starting to like this human...Jim. He thought more like a Were than some wolves I know.
A few more minutes passed as he stared at the parking lot before he spoke again.
"The decision I make, it isn't...I mean it is, but I need...Damn it I hate you!" He grunted. I saw his arm tightening on the pistol in his lunchbox, I got ready to move, if need be. He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. I saw his body go still as he closed his eyes. After a few moments he let the rest of the air out of his lungs and looked at me with a steady and calm expression.
"This is not a decision I can make for her, Beth my wife. This is February, on Valentines Day...the 14th. Come to our house, alone. You can state your case for her there. She will hear you out and make her decision when she has all the facts." His eyes narrowed.
"You will abide by what she decides, or you will deal with me. It won't be a little air gun next time that happens either...understand?" He said softly, though his eyes were anything but soft. I nodded my head in understanding.
"Good, now leave please...and Freddy? Don't come back here again." I told him I wouldn't and then walked back to my Escalade. I put the keys in the ignition and pulled out on to the road and started driving back home. The whole meeting had been surprising, shocking, infuriating...and left me feeling incredibly hopeful. I was going to be able to see my Mate! To see Beth and smell her and hear her voice! This was my chance to make my presence known and show her how much we needed each other. As I pulled out onto the road, I looked out of my driver's side window and saw Jim sitting on the little hill, his arms loose around his knees. With my keen eyesight, I could see tear tracks down the sides of his face. I felt bad for him, but then, he should know to step aside for True Love.
I was so angry I didn't know which way to turn or say or if I would scream or yell or...or...
So I settled for glaring at him!
"You didn't think to ask me? To call? To let me know he came by your work!?" I wasn't making sense, but I didn't think I had to right then. Werewolves are real and my husband shot one with a pellet gun, and I am supposed to be his Mate and now he is going to come to visit me to state his case for why he wants me to...to what? Bare his little werewolf children and we go off and do...what?
I slumped down onto the couch, I don't even remember standing up. Jim had come home and said he needed to shower and wanted to talk to me. He sat me down on the couch and sat across from me and took my hands in his. Then told me all that had happened between Fred and him today and I just about lost it!
Why did I just about lose it? Because I had been getting better! I had been pushing that jerk off out of my head and now, I thought for a second I could smell Frederick D'Angelo on my husband's clothes as he walked past me to take a shower. I had pushed him from my mind and then realized I actually HAD smelled him on Jim's clothes! I am just a normal woman and I do not have the nose of a bloodhound. But I had smelled his scent on Jim!
I guess it was fear of the unknown, what would happen if I decided to go with this Frederick? What...? No, don't think of that right now. Right now, Jim. Next...everything else.
I looked my husband, my best friend in the eyes, "Why would you do this to me? To us?" I asked. He swallowed and almost didn't meet my eyes, then his shoulder's firmed with resolve and he finally looked me straight on.
"Because we need to know, you and I need to know if this Soul Mate thing is real. I can't go the rest of my life with you wondering if someday Freddy is going to come back and take you away. He lives a long time sweetheart. If you are old and gray and so am I, we give the best parts of our lives to live together and then you leave me...?" He choked for a moment and then I saw his lips tighten.
"You need to know what he can offer you and make a decision. Just having his shadow over us, his presence in your head and heart...it's killing me Bright Eyes. I know you are doing your best, but it will slowly drive us apart. We talked, you opened up to me and we are dealing with it. I know all of that. But in the end I see your hesitation when I hold your hand every now and then. I feel you stiffen before you relax into a hug."
I squeezed his hands tighter in mine. I knew exactly what he was talking about, and deep down I knew he was right.
"So, I made this decision, should I have asked you first...yes. But sometimes a man has to be a little stupid. I also knew that once you thought about it, you would agree with me. If not, well...what's done is done. You need to face your fears as well Beth."
I nodded slowly. It made sense, all of it. I was still curious though, at how he had thought up this crazy plan. He just shrugged.
"I was sitting next to asshole and was staring off at the cars in the parking lot, at my Frankenstang. Remember how I got her? I was fourteen and wanted a car for when I got my driver's license. Dad's garage was full and so he set up a lean-to beside it and he found that rusted out '65 mustang. Told me to fix it up and use what I could find in the garage to do it. He got me that complete parts manual and I started rebuilding that car on a budget."
I saw Jim look out the front window at his car parked outside, his face breaking into a grin. "Dad always was trying to teach me to think, to use what I had. Since this was my first car and he figured I would wreck it in a year or so, didn't matter if the parts were stock or not. Found an engine for cheap, Inline six-cylinder for a 280z. Got a drive train from a Mazda pick up trick. Heck, there are more Toyota and Nissan parts on that thing than Ford!" He laughed at the memories, and I remembered helping him reupholster the inside of that car when we were 18.
"Dad must have taught me the lesson to make do with what I have well." Jim said softly, his fingers gently stroking over my knuckles. "I thought about scrapping my Frankenstang over the years, getting a real car. But every morning she starts, she takes me to work, gets groceries and took us on many dates. Shot a bunch of old paint on her for base coat, finished up with a ton of primer and a couple of layers of pearl white before we put on the clear coat. By then I knew that car inside and out, I knew what made her tick. I knew she was always a little sticky coming out of second into third so I usually skipped it for fourth gear."
He turned his head to look directly into my eyes, "I made do with what I have and I have a car that still runs great and has for 13 years. I am not going to replace her anytime soon. I plan to keep that car until the wheels fall off, and even then I will try to put them back on..."
I was starting to get where he was going with this story, and I blinked suddenly at the stinging tears working their way into my eyes.
"We are a team, partners...I need to know that you are staying with me because you love me. Not out of a sense of obligation, not because you made a promise to me in front of others. I need to know that you want me because of me. I don't want this decision influenced by me in any way so I will not be here when Freddy comes over. It's between you and him. You have to decide what is right for you."
His voice broke and he bowed his head, forehead touching my hands, "I love you so much, but I want what's best for you. I want you to have the best things in life, to travel...see the world and all it has to offer you. If that's with him and not me, take it. I will move on if need be." He raised his head and I could see he was on the verge of crying. He sniffed once, coughed and then looked at me with a dark grin.
"Course it would be great if when I move on, the next woman I meet isn't someone's Soul Mate!" I laughed at the terribly inappropriate joke. Inappropriate because as sad, and hurting as I was for my husband, I knew the truth. Deep down inside of me, a part of me was dancing for joy that Frederick was coming over to see me on Valentines Day.
Then a thought occurred to me. I looked at Jim and asked, "Do you have anymore of those silver dollars left?"
The day had come, four days after Jim had told me to let Frederick come over and plead his case. I had gone target shooting the day before, using Jim's black powder revolver. It came easily and naturally to me, a lot like my Dad's old .22 magnum, but with a slight delay and a bigger recoil. I made sure it was loaded with the .44 cal silver bullets, with a spare cylinder at my belt ready for loading. That small part of me knew that Frederick would never harm so much as a hair on my head. I knew it as sure as I knew that the sun would be out at noon. However, the other side of me knew, that occasionally...eclipses happened!
Jim, over the last few days acted...normal. Which surprised me since I figured if this was a showdown between him and Frederick, he might try to do something special to sway my decision. I was going to ask him about it, but I realized that he wanted me to have normalcy. In our marriage we were just, normal. Oh every now and then we would go do something crazy and spontaneous!
We would each go to work, whoever got home first would get dinner started. Or the crock pot would be perking along with a roast that would be ready when we got home. Which made me think of the lasagna disaster with the foil and somehow we shorted the dang thing out and lost power to the house! Our evenings we would see what was on Netflix, or go bowling. Sometimes we would go out for a drive and see what the next towns had to offer. Others we would have dinner on top of the flat roof garage under the stars. One time Jim even took the theme music from that Disney movie Lady and the Tramp. I loved that song as a girl! He played it while serving spaghetti and meatballs to me on a little table with a couple of candles. We shared the same plate, and both fought over the meatballs playfully. Then it began to rain and we moved indoors!
I myself knew in my heart I wanted to choose Jim, but even as I would think that the other side of me began speaking to me. That pull I would feel in the pit of my stomach beckoning me to reconsider. I knew then Jim was right. I needed to see this Frederick D'Angelo once more and get things straightened out in my head, my heart, and in my soul!
I am a coward! I have to be! My sweetheart, my Bright Eyes is inside of our house waiting for that asshole and I am sitting in my car three houses down! I look down at my laptop and see the wireless camera's I set up in the living room and bedroom are working. I am streaming and recording live audio and visual. I may be letting my wife make her own decisions, but I will be damned if I let her be alone in my house with a mostly unknown male! I had my over-under shotgun next to me, two loads of 12-guage silver buckshot already in place. I thanked my Dad quietly for giving me those silver dollars all those years ago.
I watched as the Escalade pulled up in our driveway. I gritted my teeth and watched as Freddy got out. He had a gift box, a few dozen red rose and a smile so wide he looked like a school kid on his first date! I hated him so much, at the same time I felt sorry for him. I know right? Feeling sorry for someone you hate sounds pretty contradictory. In the end though, this whole Soul Mate thing is a kick in the nuts for us both. He finds the woman of his dreams and she is already married. I find the woman of my dreams and she already belongs to someone else.
The Universe is one royally screwed up mess isn't it?
I saw her greet him at the door and beckon him inside. At that point I put on my headset, double checked all of my connections, and paid attention to what was going on inside of my home.
She is here! In front of me! The restraining order had been dropped and now here I am in front of my Mate! My wolf is wagging his tail and howling for her! I step inside and let my presents fall on the table, I reach for her, and hear the telltale double click that I hadn't heard in years. I feel a pressure on my chest and look down to see an old style revolver. By smell I can tell it is loaded with black powder and a faint scent of silver. I look up into my Mate's eyes and she is gazing back into mine. I know she could feel the pull, just as I am now, but her voice was steady as she said, "Slow down Frederick. This is all new to me. If we are actually meant to be together, I would prefer not to start our relationship by putting a silver ball in your heart." Her lips quirked into a grin.
"However, maybe you werewolves consider that a form of foreplay?"
I grinned back, then gave her a bit of room. She slapped the weapon back into her holster. I was surprised to see she liked to use the cross draw style of holster. Each to their own I guess, and now I could take my time and look her over, letting my eyes feast on her curves, the color of her eyes, how her bangs hung along the side of her face. To some human's she may seem plain, but to me...she was extraordinary!
I held out my hand, "It is good to see you again, I am sorry for how I acted in the beginning. I don't think I was in my right mind." She glanced at my hand, then firmly took it in her own and gave it a couple of shakes as well.
"That's what Jim told me, so...ready to answer some questions?" I nodded, pleased at feeling her fingers linger on my skin as she held my hand. I sat down on the couch and she sat on the other side. There were two cups of coffee on the low table next to us, I put a little cream and sugar in mine while she picked up hers and sipped it.
I explained to her the full meaning of the term Soul Mate, and how werewolves and others of the community would either see, hear, or smell someone and just knew...KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that this person was to be their Mate. Once the meeting took place between them it was a sure thing, they HAD to be together. She was nodding her head and looking thoughtful, her eyes drifting away then coming back to mine again. I could feel the tension in side of her building as we spoke. The conflict. If we were joined I would most likely be able to even feel her emotions, almost able to read her thoughts! It was maddening to sit this close to her and not be able to touch her!
It was maddening sitting this close to this man and not be able to touch him. Oh a part of me wanted to, but I didn't let it have a say in what was going on. I needed to be clear headed to deal with this situation. That handshake had been enough to get my panties damp. I wonder if he can smell...? No, don't think about that. You have a decision coming up here! I know that I could make him leave when I was done, no need to make the decision now before he goes. Yet I wanted to, I wanted this over and done with.
I thought back on what he told me, about how the werewolves reacted. I thought about my own reactions to him as well. It all fit, but something was holding me back...not sure what it was. I kept puzzling over it as he spoke. It was right on the tip of my tongue, right at the front of my mind...
I need to focus, to concentrate and took a slow, long, deep breath through my nose. The scent of Frederick filled my nostrils and threatened to overwhelm me! I held it for a moment as I closed my eyes and then slowly breathed out of my mouth. My lungs were halfway deflated when I paused and for just a few precious moments the world paused. I was rock steady, everything was still in "The Cupid" moment. Fitting since this was Valentine's Day. If there was a target in front of me I would have hit the bull's eye with all three rounds!
In that moment of clarity, I knew the direction I wanted to take, the questions I wanted to ask.
"Frederick?" I asked. "If I am to become your Mate, would I have to move in with you on the Pack lands?"
He nodded, "Generally it is expected that Pack stay close to each other, as Beta to the Alpha I have responsibilities and my job is there."
"What about my work? My career? Would I still be able to meet with my friends and continue my sales?" I asked. He paused, thinking about it.
"You could if you want to Beth, you won't need to. As my Mate you wouldn't need to work at all. Through the beauty of compound interest I have more money than you could make in an entire lifetime."
I nodded, thinking some more and taking another sip of coffee, "If I were to continue working, does the money I make all go to you then? Since you are the leader in the house?"
"Not really, it would be your own, though a percentage is given to the Pack Treasurer, who saves it for the general use of the Pack."
"So it is like a form of taxes, or membership dues?" I asked, and he nodded.
"Does this mean I would have to become a werewolf?" I asked quietly. He seemed a little taken a back by my tone of voice. He probably was surprised by my lack of enthusiasm.
"Yes. You would be stronger than you are now. You would live for a very long time, never grow old the way human's do. You would show some signs of age but you would grow in inner strength as well. You should see my parents, both of whom still are alive and well after a Millienia!" He smiled at me and I could feel the pride off of him as he spoke about family.
"Hmmm, so I would outlive my friends, and anyone else I know." I said thoughtfully. He nodded and set his cup down to turn to face me fully. One knee coming up so he could rest his bent leg on the couch between us.
"Think of the history we could see, together. I was around when America first came into being, saw both of the World Wars, and will probably be alive for the next. There is so much we could experience you and I...together!"
He carefully reached out and took my hand in his. I was still thinking, but the next words out of my mouth came from somewhere I was very familiar with and it almost made me smile.
"Do you like me?"
"I love you my Mate!" He responded.
"Yes, I heard you say that before...but do you LIKE me?" I asked again. He looked confused. I wasn't sure how to explain it better, but I think I knew how to give it a shot.
"What's my favorite color?" I asked him. He blinked and looked me over.
"Blue?" he asked.
"No, I like Pink best. I dress in blues and earth tones, because it compliments my hair and my complexion. Pink is the color of success for me, I liked it ever since I got my Cadillac from Mary Kay." I squeezed his hand a little harder.
"I love R&B, and Rap music. The beats drive me, and I get lost in the rythm. I don't like waffles but I love pancakes. Snakes don't scare me, but grasshoppers are creepy as hell. I like brownies better than cookies. I prefer coffee to tea. Modern Country music doesn't hold a candle to the real thing, but I can't stand cowboy boots because people who wear them are generally posers."
I leaned forward a little, looking at him intently.
"The thing is, Frederick...I don't think I would like you at all..." He opened his mouth suddenly and then snapped it shut.
"But...I love you!" he said roughly, "I feel it in here, in my heart. You are my Mate! I have seen this happen hundreds of times in my lifetime!"
I nodded my head as well, "I feel it too. But there is something you haven't taken into account..."
I brought up my other hand to cover his in both of mine.
"I am human, humans are prone to change. When I was younger, green was my favorite color and I liked waffles more than pancakes and cookies more than brownies. The only real constant in life is that we change. Everything you have told me about yourself tells me that you don't change much. Through the years you all stay mostly the same."
I gathered myself to speak again, but he cut me off, "That's right, we don't change, my love for you will always stay the same until the moon falls out of the sky and beyond!" He looked scared, and I guess I could understand that.
"Exactly Frederick. Since I am your Soul Mate you will always love me forever right?" He nodded. I took a deep breath and took the plunge.
"Then I feel so sorry that you are trapped! Even if you hated me you are trapped. We humans can choose to love who we wish, we can fall in love with anyone we choose if we are willing to work through our problems and wants and desires. We can choose to make it work. We can put in the time and effort to know some one well enough, that we become Soul Mates."
He looked as if I had slapped him, but I kept on speaking.
"Our souls are changeable, and we can match them to whoever we choose. Jim and I? We chose to love each other. We chose to get to know each other. We chose to work together to make something more than what we were alone. I usually know what he is thinking before he tells me, and while I was sitting here talking to you, he kept coming into my head because we are a part of each other. One of the things he told me once was this.
"There were two men. One was naturally inclined to do things that were evil, while the other was naturally inclined to do things that were good. The one who was evil decided to do things that were right, and he had much farther to go than the one who naturally chose to do this...Do you follow what I am saying?"
Frederick slowly nodded and I could feel his hand tightening on mine.
"So, look at the situation I am in now. Marriages are a coin toss now-a-days on if they stay together or not. Yet Jim and I have sweated blood, and wept bitter tears together to come as far as we have, by choice! Then you come along and tell me that because you are my Mate and we belong together. We will stay together no matter what..."
I trailed off watching Frederick's face, it was blank now, and he looked pale. He cleared his throat and said softly, "What is your point, my love?"
I blinked tears away, but not of sadness. It was of frustration because I wanted him, needed him to understand this.
"My point is that you are trapped, while I am free. I have paid, and will continue to pay and work and strive for the Love that I have. Because it is a True Love. It is true because I make it so. It has more meaning for me because I choose to make it have more meaning. I know my husband feels the same way, he trusted me enough to make my own decision, to not coerce me. He and I are one, and I will never let him go, because through us being together and being partners, and a team...he is my Soul Mate."
The years have passed since That Valentines Day 52 years ago. 3 kids, 8 grandchildren, two moves and one world cruise later we are in a wonderful assisted living care facility. I can feel myself waning, and Jim had an odd look on his face as we were helped into bed that night by the nurses. We hadn't made love in over 9 years, but he held my hand as we went to sleep each night. It was early in the morning, the sun not even peeking through the windows when I felt something shift in me. I blinked my eyes open, wondering what woke me up. Jim was usually up first before me, and would lean over to whisper, "Good morning Bright Eyes." I squeezed his hand which was still in mine. It felt cold, and stiff.
"Oh...no..." I croaked softly. I slowly turned my head to see Jim, laying on his belly, his head turned towards me, one unseeing eye staring at me. I didn't have to check his pulse to know he was gone! Something broke in me and I whimpered as I moved closer to kiss his cold cheek and run my gnarled fingers over his wispy bald head.
"I...will be right behind you Jim. Save a place for me, will be right behind you..." I whispered into his ear. I let myself relax as I lay next to him. That little bit of stubbornness that let me hold onto life was slowly ebbing. I knew my time was close.
"You don't have to go..." A rich voice from long ago said quietly.
I blinked and squinted my old eyes to see a dark form step closer. As it grew near I could see the face of Frederick D'Angelo once more. I smiled and held my hand out to him. He grinned and gently held it. It looked as delicate as a bird's wing in his thick fingers.
"There is still time. Join me my Mate. Let me make you like me and we can continue to live on. Your Jim has passed ...stay. Stay and live with me."
I smiled and slowly shook my head, then considered. "What's...my...favorite color?"
He rumbled a small chuckle. "Red, because it's the color you chose for your car, and you use it to highlight your clothing and features as you aged. Beautifully too I might add."
I gave a small dry laugh and coughed a little. "No Freddy. It's green again, it makes me feel peaceful, like when Jim and I saw the mountains and hills of New Zealand."
I shook my head softly. "I am so sorry for you Frederick, I have tried not to feel pity for you, for all werewolves. You are all trapped in a situation not of your own making."
I smiled up at him, "I am human, I have choices, and I choose to go follow my husband. Wherever he goes, I will go too."
I felt my strength faltering, and I tried to roll over to be closer to Jim. My arms weren't working right. Then I felt strong, warm hands gently rolling me onto my side and raise my arm to put it around Jim's back under the blankets. With a little bit of my remaining strength I hugged Jim tighter to my old body.
"Thank you Frederick. I hope you find what you are looking for one day." I said quietly. I heard a small sigh, and a sniff. Then I heard that big werewolf clear his throat before he replied.
"I have a good example of what to look for. Thank you, and Goodbye."
I heard the door close and the room was dark again, I saw the hints over orange light from the sun finally peeking through the windows.
"Sun's coming up Jim...I will be with you soon. Wait for me...wait...for..."
Thank you for reading. I am interested in any and all comments people wish to leave.
Feb 1, 2018 in romance