Barbara followed/guided him towards the bed. Her arm never left his back.
It was a strange and unfamiliar experience. No woman had ever touched him in such a way before.
It unnerved him.
Does she not realize how vulnerable she is right now? If I were hungry…If I lacked self control, I could take her down so easily.
He inhaled and exhaled her semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla bean scent.
It would be so easy.
If I weren’t so tired.
Barbara obligingly stopped beside the bed and released Raven. She climbed on top of the king-sized bed and crawled over to the Ambrose shaped lump in the middle of the bed. She uncovered his head.
And there he was. Lying face down in the pillow.
She smiled and rumpled his unruly black hair. “Ambrose.”
He moaned softly in his sleep.
She kissed the back of his head.
He sighed and turned his head to face her.
She stroked his face.
He smiled and slowly opened his eyes.
“Good morning, sleepy.”
He blinked a couple of times. “Barbara. Am I dreaming?”
“Nope. I’m really here.”
“I had some help.”
“Nope. Good guess, but nope. Try…Kevin.”
Ambrose sat up too quickly. “What?” He wobbled a bit before lying back down. “What did he want in exchange?”
“Only a kiss and nothing more.”
He scoffed. “That’s surprisingly restrained for an animal.”
“That’s what he is. That’s what he’s slowly becoming and you know it.”
She sat back on her feet.
“You know it, Barbara.”
She glanced towards the doorway. Kevin was no longer there.
When did he leave?
“He has…” She remembered who he used to be.
She thought of who he was now.
Her heart ached for his loss.
“He has changed. His way of thinking. His way of talking. But he can still return to his human form. So, that’s good. Isn’t it?”
He carefully sat up.
Her heartache split and divided and multiplied by ten. “I know a day will come when he will lose that ability. He’ll stay a wolf and Kevin…He’ll be gone.”
He hugged her. “I’m sorry.”
Kevin closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the wall.
Gone. I’ll be gone. Be a wolf always.
Will I miss being me? Will I remember being me?
Will I remember Barbara?
He opened his eyes. Maybe not remember. Maybe mind will change. Maybe find joy in being wolf always.
Will be animal? Or monster?
Will live long life? Or killed by hunter?
Will be happy? Or always in grief?
Raven left the bedroom.
He looked at Kevin.
Kevin glanced at the doorway. She wasn’t there.
“How long? How many time before I full werewolf?”
Raven’s expression softened. “It’s hard to say, sir. It seems to vary with each person.”
Raven walked back to the doorway and looked into the room.
“Tell me, sir. Have you dreamed of the Night Folk?”
Raven sighed. “That is well.” He returned to Kevin’s side. “You still have time. I’m sorry I do not know for how long. I only know what I’ve heard from others. When you begin to dream of the Night Folk, your time as a human is coming to an end. By then, you will only have one more week and one more day left. Then, you will be a wolf to your dying day.”
Kevin fell into deeply dreary thoughts. “If you bite me—”
“No. A human who is undergoing one transformation cannot undergo a second one. If I bite you, you will die.”
“What should I do?”
Raven regarded him with a calm sort of sadness. “Live.”
“Will I stay me?”
“You will be a wolf, sir. I’m sorry, but I don’t know how many memories you will retain. If any at all.”
“You bite me.”
“You’re vampire. Bite me.”
“I am sorry, sir, but I do not bite people when I am not hungry. Some vampires might. I do not.” His expression hardened. “In your case, I will not. I am not a gun, sir.” He turned and returned to the bedroom, leaving Kevin alone.