One eye snapped open when a noise from the kitchen made my ears want to close up on their own. Simon was singing, but that’s not what made me jump out of bed. I threw on some clean shorts and ran to the counter.
“Where the hell did you get all this?” I asked, gawking at the plates of fried eggs, bacon, biscuits, sausage, pancakes and… was that rib eye steak?
“I found some money in yer pocket, so I got some groceries.”
My mouth dropped open. “You what?”
“You had like three hundred dollars in there.” He held up an open jar of mayonnaise. “Yer welcome.”
“Where the fuck is my money, Simon?” I asked, stepping up to him, balling my fists.
“Relax. I didn’t spend too much.” He pointed to a wad of cash on the counter, and I ran over to count it.
“You spent one hundred and fifty dollars!”
“Yeah, and look.” He opened the fridge, now full of food—and, of course, a few cases of beer. “You can thank me later with that ass.” He gave me a good slap from behind, and I reached for his neck.
“I’m going to kill you, you worthless piece of—”
“What? You didn’t have any food!” Simon interrupted, holding me back with one arm.
“I eat at work,” I shouted, pointing to the banquet on the counter. “I have rent due in a week, and I’m barely scraping by as it is.”
“Don’t worry about it. I get paid on Thursday, and I’ll help with the rent.” He winked at me, which infuriated me even more. “Gotta get to work at six today, so I’ll be home late.”
I paused and cocked my head, a bit speechless by what he just said. “Home? Simon, this was a one-night thing. You can’t stay here.”
He turned off the stove and moved the skillet to the side before strutting over to me. “I know the way to yer heart.” He pulled me into him, squeezing my rear end with both hands as he laid into me with a deep-tongue kiss.
The building resentment allowed me to push him away and resist whatever fucked up part of my brain made my knees weak to his touch. “Aren’t you more into women?”
“Psh, hell no. Can’t get a man pregnant, but I get my dick wet with the ladies—well, until they kick me out.”
“I cannot have a werewolf living with me.” I looked at the food on the counter again. “Did anyone see you this morning? Fuck, you’re going to get me evicted.”
“No one saw me, plus I’m good with disguises. No one would even know.”
“Everyone on this end of the complex probably knows after last night.”
His tail swayed from side-to-side. “Did you enjoy yerself?”
“Don’t change the subject.”
He grinned at me, baring those dangerous canines before handing me a plate of food. “I made you breakfast. Don’t normally do that with hookups, you know.”
“How romantic. I bet you say that to all the people you steal money from,” I muttered, grabbing the plate. “I have to get ready for an interview in two hours.” I took a forkful of grits and eggs into my mouth, and my eyes rolled back. A home-cooked meal hadn’t passed these lips in years.
“So?” he asked, stabbing a steak with a fork before fitting the entire slab into his maw.
“Can I shack up with you?”
I stopped chewing to contemplate the question. If he was true to his word and had a job, having someone else help with the rent and utilities could take some of the burden off of me. Could I even trust the guy after this morning?
“I don’t know if you’re worth the frustration.”
He sat his fork on the counter, and with a cocky stride, got behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist while playfully biting my neck. “Living with me has its benefits.”
His damp, stiffening cock slid against my lower back, and my throat went dry as I swallowed the remaining food in my mouth. I hated being so turned on by a werewolf, but no amount of denial would change what happened last night. The regret came rushing back as I went rigid against him.
“Good sex isn’t going to pay the bills,” I muttered before facing him. His massive dick throbbed, ropes of precum leaking from the tip. “This was a one-time thing.”
“I mean it,” I said, pushing him away, but he caught my arm and pushed my back up against the counter. My breathing grew heavy as I inhaled the puzzling scent I remembered from last night. Our mouths connected, his longer tongue prodding mine into a wild tarantella. That was all it took before my body fell naked onto the bed with Simon on top.
“Shit,” I muttered under my breath, still glaring at the werewolf snoring loudly beside me. His tongue hung off to the side as he drooled all over my pillow. Even in his sleep he looked smug. It happened again; only this time I didn’t have the wine to blame.
My muscles ached from the waist down, and the apartment smelled like an intoxicating combination of spunk and sweat. I wasn’t even sure how long we’d been going at it until I noticed the time glowing blue on the digital alarm clock next to me. There was less than an hour to get ready and catch a bus for my interview. As I stood and limped across the room, thick semen trailed along my inner thigh. My abdomen was a tad swollen; it was amazing how much there was. Were all werewolves this potent? I wasn’t even sure how he’d managed to get something that large all the way inside of me without causing internal damage, but he did, and he made it feel incredible.
There was still food all over the place, and I wanted to eat as much as I could before leaving. Though I was furious at Simon for spending my money without asking, I would have probably spent half that on takeout, and none of it would have lasted. Still, his rifling through my pockets for money didn’t help his case.
After finishing the plate of breakfast, I hobbled my way to the shower before donning fresh clothes. Dishes clattered from the kitchen, and closing cabinet doors rattled the thin walls. I brushed my hair and stepped out into the room.
“Make sure you get all the grease off that stove,” I said, sitting on my beanbag chair.
He turned the water off and faced me. “Did you make up yer mind?”
I didn’t respond; instead, I groaned and leaned further into the uncomfortable ‘chair’ while staring at the ceiling.
“C’mon. I made you cum like three times, and I’m doing the dishes. What’s a guy gotta do?”
“Dishes you messed up,” I added. “And just because you’re a good lay doesn’t mean you’re a good person to live with. The fact that you keep getting kicked out by your girlfriends doesn’t exactly instill confidence.”
“That’s different. Women want commitment and love and all that shit. I just want a place to live, a hole to fuck, and a buddy to play video games with—no strings attached.”
“Why don’t you just get your own apartment?”
Simon opened his mouth, but didn’t say anything as his eyes shifted to the side.
“You do have a job, right?”
“Of course I do,” he said, a little quieter. “I just, uh, can’t seem to hold on to ’em for long.”
“And there it is,” I said. “I can barely afford to feed myself, let alone a four-hundred-pound monster.”
“Three hundred and forty pounds!” He looked down and patted his gut. Though he had some added weight around the midsection, there was still a lot of muscle peeking from underneath. “Maybe. Damn, how’d I get so fat?”
“Beats me,” I said sarcastically before scooting off the chair to a stand. “Couldn’t possibly be the fried steaks, pancakes, sausage and eggs you horked down earlier.” I walked by him and opened the fridge. “Where are the leftovers?”
Simon answered that question with a gurgled belch. “Well…”
“Damn it,” I said, slamming the fridge door shut.
“I had to refuel.”
I grabbed my backpack off the floor, making certain I had my money with me this time. “I’ll have to finish cleaning the kitchen later.”
His ears fell, and his now watery eyes went wide. “So, I take it you’re not gonna let me stay?”
“I’m sure as hell not leaving you here unsupervised, and that face is not going to work this time. When I get through this interview, I’ll meet up with you later, and we’ll discuss it.” His tail wagged. “That wasn’t a yes, Simon.” The energetic appendage slowed before hanging limp between his legs.
The woman conducting the interview left me alone in the windowless office for about five minutes, but that was long enough to make me sweat bullets. Something was different this time, and despite my fumbling through the questions, she made the process surprisingly pleasant.
The office door crept open, and I took in a deep breath, waiting for the impending rejection.
“Arthur Black?” Another woman entered the room. The woman was older, dark-skinned, and dressed in more casual attire. She extended her hand, and I shot up from my chair to shake it.
“Yes,” said, trying to keep my voice calm.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Shanice Williams, the manager of the marketing department. I see from your resume that you have a strong interest in advertising and writing, but you also have no prior experience.”
My heart sank.
“Well, no. But I’m quite sure I’d be up to the task, and I’m not going into this completely green.”
She smiled and held up her hand. “While experience would be nice, it’s not what matters to us. We’ve hired people fresh out of college who ended up being some of the best editors we’ve had. I’d like to hire you temporarily as a social media specialist. You’d also be responsible for editing and proofreading articles before they go up on our blog.”
I stared at her, speechless.
“Do you want the job?”
“Yeah!” I caught myself and lowered my voice. “Yes, that sounds like it would line up nicely with my skillset.”
“They pay’s not a lot to start with. Fifty grand a year, but with benefits.”
That was twenty thousand more than I was making now.
“That sounds fair,” I said, still trying to remain composed.
“Will you be able to start next Monday?”
“I should give my manager at least a week’s notice. He’s a friend of mine, and I don’t want to leave him hanging.”
“Deal,” she said, shaking my hand again. “I look forward to working with you Mr. Black. Let us know when your schedule opens, and we’ll start you off with small introductory projects.”
“You bet!” I caught myself again. “I’ll keep in touch.”
It was hard to suppress the desire to dance out of that office, but I did whisper an excited ‘yes’ when I hurried out the front door. Persistence, it seemed, finally paid off, and it couldn’t have happened at a more crucial time.
“You sure look happy.” Simon’s voice boomed from behind, causing me to jump.
“I thought you were going to work.”
“I don’t work till six, remember? And you locked me out of your house.”
He quickened his pace until he was walking alongside me. That was when people started staring, so I moved away from him.
“Don’t walk so close. I don’t want people getting the wrong idea.”
Simon laughed and turned to a man in a suit who walked past us on the right. “Hey dude, I’m fucking this guy.”
“Simon, shut the fuck up,” I hissed, walking faster away from him, but his longer strides made it hard to put a reasonable distance between us.
“No one cares, Arthur,” he belted out as I made a sharp right turn into an alleyway. “You gonna tell me how your job interview went?”
“I got it.”
His flirty grin faded. “Ah, that’s, uh—good.”
“Why did you say it like that?”
He patted me on the back and turned away. “I’m gonna head to work early today. You want to meet up later at the apartment?”
“Whatever,” I said, a little more annoyed by the reaction than I should have been.
“Alright,” he grunted, not bothering to look back.
The way he left didn’t sit right, but I wasn’t going to let it bother me. Things were starting to look up, and I was going to celebrate tonight.
“I’m really happy for you,” Rob said over the loud music while mixing another cocktail, “but it’s not going to be the same without you.”
“You know I love working here, but this isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life.” I grabbed a tray of deep-fried pickles, onion rings and two pitchers of beer. “Plus, being a server in a dive bar isn’t exactly paying the bills.”
“I’d pay you more, but I’m struggling to keep my head above water myself.”
I carried the tray to one of the tables in the corner of the bar, illuminated by orange, green and purple neon letters on the wall. Seated were five partially drunk college guys, each one obnoxiously talking over the other.
“Here’s your order,” I said, placing the food and drinks in the center of the table. “Do you guys need anything else?”
“I’ll have an order of you back at my place,” the taller guy on the far end of the table said with a ridiculous grin. It was kind of cringy, but I didn’t mind the extra attention I was getting—especially the tips.
“Tempting offer,” I said, turning to the entrance as another group filed into the bar. “But it’s a busy night.”
He pulled out a pen and scribbled his number on the back of a beer-stained napkin. “Well, if you’re in the mood for a hookup, call me.”
I grabbed the napkin and slid it into my pocket, still pretending to show interest. “I might take you up on that some time,” I said, turning away with a lot more confidence than usual—until I overheard his friend say something that confused me.
“What is it with you and hairy guys?”
When I got to the bar, I set the serving tray down and started to examine myself when another man called my name, pulling my attention to a table with three older men in their mid-thirties who came here just about every week. I never could remember their names. The bar was getting harder to handle, and the music was louder… much louder. The strobe lights in the dark, stuffy room were also starting to hurt my eyes.
“What can I get for you guys?” I asked, trying to push away the sudden discomfort of being here.
“Could we get a pitcher of whatever’s on tap tonight?”
“Sure, anything else?”
“Got a boyfriend?” one of the other men asked. This was starting to get a little weird. Sure, people got drunk and would sometimes hit on me, but never like this. And none of these guys ever showed interest before.
“Yeah, sorry,” I shouted over the deafening music. Perhaps I shouldn’t have lied and just played along, but I also wasn’t feeling very well.
“You smell amazing,” another man said, and I backed away, trying to maintain a smile.
“Thanks. I uh, always try to smell my best,” I said awkwardly as I back stepped toward the bar.
“Art, are you okay?” Rob asked.
“Not really,” I said, pointing to a pitcher. “Could I get one of those filled?”
“Why don’t you go home. I’ll call in Zack. He’s been pestering me for more hours.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, we’ll be fine.” He handed a drink to one of the guys sitting at the bar before staring at me again. “You look different tonight. Did you get a haircut?”
“No,” I replied, as I stepped behind the bar and grabbed my bag. “I’m just dressed in your clothes. Thanks, by the way.”
“No problem,” he called back.
I stepped out the front door, slipping by groups of people crowding along the sidewalks of downtown. Everyone was so loud, and there were so many strong smells which only further exacerbated my pounding headache. As I stood at the bus stop, a pair of glowing eyes leered at me from a blackened alley across the street.
The clock on my phone read a quarter to ten, and I’d have at least twenty minutes to kill until the next bus arrived. It was unbearable. Every car driving by left a trail of noxious exhaust that had me coughing, and the drunk people stumbling along the walkways seemed to get even more unpleasant to hear.
Sitting on the bench, I slumped over, resting my head in my hands. A large body sat next to me, and I got a whiff of a familiar dog-like odor. I looked up and saw another werewolf, brown this time, wearing a pair of ragged, frayed jeans and nothing more.
“I remember my first night,” he said, pointing up at the full moon peeking between the sky scrapers. “I didn’t know what was happening, and I wanted to rip everyone’s heads off just to make the world shut up.”
“I don’t think like that anymore since hitting full-turn, but my emotions were a little harder to control back then.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
The werewolf paused and narrowed his eyes on me as if puzzled by the question. “Are you looking for a roommate?”
I cocked my head. What an odd question to ask a stranger. “Not really, no.”
“You sure? It’s hard for us to live alone. I—don’t have a job right now, but I can pay you in other ways.”
I stood and slipped into the straps of my backpack. What was happening? Was there something about me that attracted werewolves all of a sudden? “I swear, you’re all the same.”
“Did another one beat me to it already?” He clicked his tongue and sighed before standing and walking away with his tail tucked.
“What the fuck was that?” I whispered under my breath.
I awoke to the sound of loud knocking, having fallen asleep immediately after arriving at the apartment. My body ached, and I was running a slight fever. Of all the weeks I could have gotten the flu, this was possibly the worst time.
Dragging myself from the bed, I made my way across the room before peeking through the peephole. I couldn’t see much other than what looked like a sheet over a huge standing lamp.
“Who’s out there?”
“Simon,” he grunted. “Hurry up and let me in before someone gets suspicious.”
I opened the door, revealing the ridiculous disguise. The grimy sheet he wore barely covered anything, just his head most of his upper body, but his tail and legs were still showing. This was how he planned on not drawing attention to himself?
“What the hell?” I asked as Simon pushed his way past me. “Did you walk all the way here like that? How can you see anything?”
He removed the sheet and held up a plastic freezer bag full of what I suspected was weed. “Of course I didn’t. That would have been stupid,” he said, pointing to his snout. “Plus I don’t need to see nothin’ when all my other senses work just fine.”
“When you said you were good with disguises, I thought you’d actually put some effort into it.” I pulled him inside and shut the front door before locking the deadbolt. “The last thing I need right now is the police showing up at my door.”
“You know what you need?” he asked, tossing me the small plastic bag he carried.
“I don’t smoke,” I said, handing the bag back to him, but he crossed his arms.
“C’mon. It’s good shit, and there’s a prize at the bottom.”
I narrowed my eyes while staring down at the now open bag. After feeling around, I pulled out a roll of cash secured with a rubber band.
“The deed to my beach house,” Simon replied sarcastically before making his way to the fridge.
I began counting the money. “This is fifty dollars more than you took. I thought you didn’t get paid until Thursday?”
“I forgot about the OnlyFans payout this month.”
“Seriously? You have an OnlyFans account?”
“Sure do, just don’t make much money off of it.”
Simon continued rifling through the fridge. “Saturated market. Every werewolf’s got a big dick, so it ain’t like I’m anything special.”
“What… exactly do you do on it?”
“Sometimes I jack off.”
I waited for more explanation as he turned and leaned against the countertop, popping open a can of beer.
Simon took a few gulps before responding. “And what? That’s all I do.”
“Sometimes I wonder how you get up the motivation to keep breathing,” I muttered, stuffing the money into my pocket, but not before setting the extra fifty dollars on the counter. “It’s not even like you have to put in that much effort. It’s fucking OnlyFans. Get some mood lighting, wear a harness, and shove a huge dildo up your ass.”
“Sounds like you know what you’re doing,” he said, eying the money. “That’s yours, by the way.”
“No, it’s not. You need to find your own place to live.”
“Arthur…” The werewolf trailed off and took another sip of beer.
“I gave it some thought, and the whole thing doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t know you, and you’re being a little too pushy about this. It’s like you’re hiding something.”
“I ain’t hiding anything,” Simon snapped, his ears lowering against his head. “And you knew me well enough to let me fuck you… twice.”
“That’s different, and you know it.”
Simon crinkled the empty can before tossing it into the garbage. “I’ll pay half the rent, and I’ll even buy the groceries. Come on, that’s a good deal. Think of all the money you’ll save.”
“I’ll be making enough money with my new job—oh.” The events from earlier made more sense. “Now I know why you had a shitty attitude after I got the job.”
“I didn’t have a shitty attitude. I was happy for you.”
“Yeah,” I muttered. “Simon, it’s nothing against you. I just don’t want a roommate.”
“You mean, you don’t want a werewolf roommate,” he corrected, grabbing another beer from the fridge.
I looked away from him feeling kind of shitty. He was right. Living with a werewolf was a lot more trouble than it was worth, and I didn’t want to have to move again.
“Listen, I get it. It ain’t the first time I’ve heard that,” he said walking over to me before setting the open can on the counter. Simon was so close, he was practically pushing against me as my back hit the wall. “Look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t feel anything for me.”
There it was again—that almost irresistible urge to kiss him. Simon was a lot more dangerous than I ever suspected, and not because he had sharp teeth, claws, and monstrous strength. He knew how to manipulate me, and it got harder to resist him each time.
I stared at the floor and remained silent.
“Arthur,” he said, his tone uncharacteristically soft.
“Call me Art. Arthur pisses me off.”
“Art.” He stood over me a little longer before letting out a sigh and backing away. “Can I at least stay until next week?”
“If you promise not to get me kicked out, then yes.” I walked over to the bed and sat on the mattress. “God, I feel like shit.”
“Wanna hear a story?” Simon asked, picking up the bag of weed before walking over to the other side of the bed. The covers already smelled like him, so I didn’t object this time.
“You’re gonna smoke that in here?”
“We are,” he said, leaning back against the wall while pulling the lighter and a small pack of cigarette paper from the bag.
“I told you, I don’t smoke.”
He ignored me and began rolling a joint.
“I grew up in bumfuck nowhere Arkansas, and my parents were useless. When I was about seventeen, I never stayed at home. At night I’d sleep in barns, and during the day, I’d dig ditches or whatever else people wanted me to do to make a little money. It was hell, but when I hit half-turn, shit really went south.” He took a drag of the joint before passing it to me.
“What happened?” I put the joint to my lips and took in a deeper drag than I intended. Simon slapped my back as I went into coughing fits.
“Take it easy, buddy,” he said as I passed it back to him. “When you go half-turn you get really horny; I mean, so horny it starts to hurt unless you fuck something. When the town found out what I was, they nearly ran me out with shotguns thinkin’ I was gonna start knocking up their daughters with werewolf babies.”
“Well, it is genetic,” I said, feeling a little light-headed, but calmer. “When did you live down there?”
Simon took another puff before scratching his head. “Hell if I remember. Forties? Fifties? Somewhere in that time.”
My eyes widened. “How fucking old are you?”
“Dude, I did a lot of heavy drugs back then. I couldn’t remember if I tried.”
“You’re old enough to be my grandfather,” I said, sounding a little more disgusted than I was. “So was your dad a werewolf?”
“Nah. Right before they told me not to come back, my momma said I must have gotten it from her grandpappy. Apparently he was a huge Sicilian alpha. He ran the mafia before mafias were a thing, but I don’t know how much is true. My momma was always drunk off her ass.”
“Wait, I thought it was passed from father to son.”
“Nope. If it were, there’d be a lot more werewolves. It’s a rare condition, but it ain’t that rare to have a werewolf ancestor. Most people who go half-turn have no idea they got the unlucky gene until it happens in their teens and twenties.” He passed me the joint again. “How old are you?”
“Twenty-two,” I said, taking another lighter drag. “Did they run you out of town?”
“They didn’t need to. No one would hire me to do anymore work, so I needed to find some place a little more progressive. You know, it’s funny. They were so worried about me fucking their daughters, they had no idea what I was doing to their sons. That was kinda how I survived for a little while. In exchange for not telling anyone they were sucking half-turned werewolf dick, they gave me food and hush-money until I had enough to hop a train and head up north. The rest is just a mess of psychedelics and lots and lots of great sex.”
“Doesn’t sound like you really minded being a werewolf.”
“I wouldn’t have if society didn’t completely fuck me over after the shift. It’s a lot harder being this than you think. You call me lazy, but I wasn’t always this way. I just stopped giving a fuck because anything I’d do never mattered. No one wants to hire a werewolf for good jobs; they make us do all the shit humans don’t want to.” He took one long drag until the joint almost disappeared. “To which I say, fuck that.”
Even though his mood shifted, he was being a lot more sincere with his words, and I appreciated that.
“Simon, I know why you’re telling me this.”
The werewolf let out a sigh of relief and grinned. “Good. You sure are taking it better than I thought you would.”
“I don’t know. Maybe having you living with me isn’t such a terrible idea.”
“Now that you know what you are, we should stick together. No one’s gonna look out for us, so we gotta make our own way.”
I squinted and looked over at him. “What?”
“Wait, I thought…” He stopped himself and cleared his throat.
“I was talking about letting you live with me. What the fuck are you talking about?”
Simon picked the bag of weed up off the nightstand and began rolling another joint.
“How about another one of these?”
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