Saturday, March 21, 2009

Taming the Wolf by Michelle Houston

“We’ve had another rogue incident.” The words slammed into his brain over the phone line as Ben leaned back in his chair, clamping his eyes shut. He could remember all too vividly his own transition and the events that led up to it.

“How many were hurt?” Mindful of the fact that anyone could be listening in on the conversation, he chose his words carefully, avoiding the phrase that roared the back of his mind—how many turned.

“Three,” came the long sigh on the other end of the line. The gritty voice deepened until Ben almost couldn’t hear him with normal human senses. “We need your help. One must be sent one to you. We don’t have enough safe places for them all to go right now. Since you live in the middle of nowhere, you’re his best bet.”

Groaning silently to himself, Bed knew it wasn’t a request. He was being politely ordered to put up the recently turned man, show him how to fight the urges to turn wolf, and how to exist with his world changed forever.

“When does he arrive?”

“He should be there about five. You must understand something, Ben. If he can’t handle it, you need to let us know. We can’t risk people finding out what we are, even if it means taking an innocent life.”

Without saying anything, Ben set the phone down in the cradle, knowing the conversation was over and didn’t require his response. He had heard the same words once before, several years ago. The same man had spoken them to him, but at the time it was his life that hung in the balance. It had been made very clear to him that if he didn’t control the beast beating at his insides every moment of the day, demanding its share of time, that he would be put down for the good of the race. Despite it being one of them going crazy that had turned him in the first place.

He wasn’t sure what to expect, but when a tentative knock sounded on his door promptly at five pm that evening, he opened the door and got a good look at the man standing before him. For a brief moment, he could feel something inside of him reaching out to the younger man.

There was something pushing the despair and fear aside in the younger man’s gaze, a brief flicker of appreciation for Ben’s toned body, his tanned skin, and crystal blue eyes. His nostrils flared with his every breath, the scent of pheromones pouring off him was unmistakable.

With shock, Ben acknowledged what his inner beast had understood, and embraced, almost instantaneously—the man standing before him was gay. Not in any stereotypical way, but there was no denying it. Nor was there any denying the arc of attraction flowing between them, as their gazes met.



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