So that was where I was at the moment. The pack was going to track me down and kill me because I didn’t have a pack and I peed in their territory and I was also pretty sure I brought the smell of their Alpha into my bedroom. Not sure what that would do, but “help” was not one of the verbs that came to mind.
Well, Grandpa, at least I got out of my teens.
The knock on my door startled me not only because of the direction of my thoughts but because it was loud and hard enough to rattle the dishes in my cupboard.
But it wasn’t the pack out to fuck and kill me.
It was the landlord. However, it might just as well have been the damn pack because I didn’t have the money for the rent which was now officially a week late. I had tiptoed to the door and looked out that little peep hole thing but the asshole knew I was there. He banged again and shouted out my name.
“Taland, you fucker! I know you’re eyeballing me right now! You’re late with the damn rent and I’ll have you out on your sorry little white ass if I don’t have it by tomorrow! You fucking see if I don’t!” He wandered on down the hall then, pounding on a few more doors saying pretty much the same thing. I don’t think any one of us came to the door. Luckily, the man would drink himself into a stupor when he got back to his apartment which, of course, was why he had said “tomorrow” rather than later. He wouldn’t be able to even climb the stairs much less find my door after he opened a bottle.
The hell of it was, he would be back tomorrow and my part time job just did not do the trick. I had been able to get into college with a scholarship and some money from a “friend” of my mom’s but that unfortunately did not last long. And now with having to find all the rent money myself, things were more than just tight. I knew I was looking at having to drop out or at the very least, cut way back on the college credits and put in far more hours at work. But I had this delusion I would have been able to at least finish out the school year. Looked like that was not going to happen.
Fuck, I needed to run again. It had only been a handful of hours and it was already driving me nuts.
First thing on my day off, I was going to find somewhere safe to shift and run.
The next day my Strategic Management and Planning class went long and, the only other class I had that day, Business Law, the professor was a half hour late. I had to leave half way through his lecture in order to get to work on time. Then the supervisor, Mitch, dumped all the stand-bys on me and still expected me to answer calls. By time I got home I was already exhausted and the need to run was stronger than ever.
Buses, my main mode of transportation, went just about everywhere. I had studied the schedule along with a map before going to bed and thought I found a fairly good place to try. It was north of the city in a suburb called North Valley which had an expanse of forest that belonged to the state. It didn’t mean there were no wolves but at least there might be an argument the place didn’t belong to anyone in particular. Yeah, a weak argument, I know, but I really just needed to let my small pathetic little wolf out for a while without concern of discovery. The only thing was, this time I wouldn’t go peeing up the place. Plus, the fact I would be taking a bus to and from the woods, there would be no way to track me.
Why I thought I was safe was beyond me. All I thought about was getting free again, on all fours, running like the wind. I didn’t see him. I didn’t even smell him, not at first, not until it was too late. I felt the wind rushing at me before the jolt to my flank knocked me off balance. Suddenly I was rolling being tangled up in legs that were not my own. When the world stopped spinning I found myself pinned under a heavy body, a muzzle with sharp teeth drawn tight on my exposed neck. I had crazy visions of the animal weighing me down simply ripping out my throat but precious long seconds ticked by as I felt hot breath wash over my turned muzzle and neither one of us moved. We merely breathed.
I shifted. It wasn’t a conscious action. I think I did it out of self-defense. I would be bigger than the animal, maybe be able to scare it away. But now I was just a naked skinny man underneath a heaving dark gray wolf who was drawing blood from his hold on my neck. Suddenly the teeth were gone. I felt a rough lick and the animal forcing me into the forest floor shifted too.
Well, fuck me silly. Another shifter.
Who would now probably kill me.