Therianthropy: After Burdened

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The Fight In The Cat: Chase

“Interesting neighborhood at least” I muttered to myself, listening to a house party on the street over and half wishing I could be there rather than watching some random house like a stalker.

We’d spent the majority of the day canvassing the whole of the neighborhood, looking for any signs that Hunters were in the area doing the same, but we hadn’t run across any traces of, well anything out of the norm except for us. We went back about three in the morning, surly his owner was in bed by then, and just like last time we didn’t even make it to the edge of the property before he was back again, this time in his human form.

He was in a pair of borrowed sweets, made clear by the fact that they didn’t even reach his ankles and seemed too tight around the waist. His African skin was stretched tight over well-defined muscles and a thick broad chest, coupled all together with a brutish face that looked more like a Pitbull’s.

Al cleared his throat and began in a light tone of voice “um, sorry for the disturbance earlier, we didn’t realize who we were following. If we’d known it was you instead of the girl-”

“Just get to what you had to say, and be gone” he snapped. His voice was gravely, sounding fairly close to his growl from before, though weather that was from disuse or his natural tone I couldn’t tell.

Al delivered his message that I’d heard him reciting to himself all day, though in my opinion not starting out too well. “Yes, well, um-” he paused and cleared his throat before restarting “we are here on behalf of the Founders with the message that all prior transgressions of any Shifter is being forgiven by the High Alpha. Our kind have been openly attacked without repercussions for too long now, and have you been having any problems with Hunters?”

I think he meant to end that as a statement, but it came out more of a question. The whole time Al been talking, Thomas’ eyes had been narrowing all the farther with distrust. When Al had finished he snapped “duly noted, now get off of my property.”

I couldn’t help but release a little snort of mirth at that wording, and merely smirked when his scowl turned on me and he snapped “think that was funny do you kitty?”

My grin stretched even wider, turning feral as I purred “a bit yeah, considering the only thing you can claim around here is pissing on a gate.”

“I’m sorry” Al quickly cut in, shifting his weight around and taking a few hasty steps back, giving me a meaningful look to do the same “to disturb you, we’ll be heading off now.”

I’d watched with only mild interest as the dog let his arms fall and instead tense up into fists, mentally picturing the slight shock that would appear on his face when he realized that the cat he was sensing from me wasn’t exactly a house pet like himself. I could feel fur beginning to twitch just under the surface of my skin, teeth just aching to crop out of a snarling jaw, and a mirrored effect appearing on him when-“Hey!”

Caught off guard at the tone, I looked around expectantly for my girlfriend, and instead found the girl sprinting out the back door in her own night things, panick clear on her face.

My features instantly snapped back to human, but Thomas’ only grew in pace as he garbled out, “get back inside!” From an already unrecognizable throat. Then he was back on all fours, his muscles tensing. Maybe it would have been smarter of him to get over the gate before he launched an attack, but I knew if he really tried, it wouldn’t remain an obstacle.

“No,” she yelped, running forward and planting herself in front of him, meeting his eyes furiously but then turning to us.

I realized my mouth was hanging open, but had no way to shut it as the only thought running through my head was she knew!

“Please stop,” she insisted, putting her hands up in a genuine attempt at peace, her eyes keeping level with us even as her legs quivered. The deep baritone growling echoing from just behind her still managed to keep a menacing edge to her quivering voice, “he’s never hurt anyone, I swear, and he’s not going to. Please, don’t kill him.”

Did, did she think we were hunters? It was the only thing I could think of why she’d add the part about him not killing anyone, but Al got out the more pressing question, “you really know what he is?”

“Yes,” she promised, and there was absolutely no trace of shock left on her face even though she’d just witnessed a guy turning into her dog. “I’ve known for over a year okay, but I’ve had him for longer than that, and I promise, I know him. He’s never killed anyone, please don’t hurt him.”

“Chase!”

Al was still at my side, insistently pulling on my sleeve now with a determined look in place. “Drop it,” he hissed, meeting my eyes with far more energy then I’d yet seen from him.

I scoffed, the fight still pumping through me, but then I glanced over and saw that he’d already changed back into his pooch form and with his fur was all ruffled up and ready, I’d lost the advantage. If he lunged now, there was a good chance he’d make it over the fence and get his teeth into me before I could change form as well, so I turned away with a clear dismissal of the both of them and began walking back to the motel.

At first it was fairly easy to ignore Al as he half jogged to keep up, but not as much when he started yelling out of earshot of the other Shifter. “What the hell was that? We’re supposed to be encouraging them, not picking fights!”

I just rolled my eyes, not really thinking that I had to justify myself twice to him in one day and continued to keep silent on the walk back until Al actually reached out and grabbed my shoulder, spinning me on the spot and glaring at me now. I was slightly taller than him, and I knew I was faster, and still itching for a fight, so my first response was to growl and jerk away at the contact.

Al released me easily, taking a step back and putting his hands up in a surrender type motion, but his tone was still blistering as he snapped, “what the hell! Look, if you’ve got a problem with what we’re doing, I think I’ve a right to know-”

“I’ve got a problem alright, with you and him” I cut off. “What that guy’s doing is gross, and freaking weird! Acting like he’s some kind of special, and I don’t need you telling me when I can and can’t do something about it. Hell, I don’t need you here at all! Why the fuck she even had the lot of you tag along I can’t figure out, because I don’t need this. I came out here to get payback for what they did to my girlfriend, not pander to the masses.”

Al had actually relaxed during my tirade, leaning back on his heels and crossing his arms, but watching me with a calculating look as I blew up. If I had to guess he seemed almost used to people yelling at him, which only managed to piss me off all the more he was taking this so casually. I’d paused for a beat too long though, and he took his chance to say “if you had a problem with this, you should have brought it up when you had the chance. You didn’t, so please don’t make this any harder than it has to be. I’m more than happy to offer sanctuary to those who might not need it, if you’re not then all you had to do was say so. Next time Shara and I will go out and do this, and you can go gawk at some street girls or something.” His tone had been mild enough, but it felt condescending there at the end, so that I was only riled up all the more, ready to again snap I didn’t need him telling me what I could and couldn’t do and to mind his own damn business, when a new voice called out “Chase?”

This time I recognized the voice before the tone, and half turned to find said girls walking towards us with curious looks in place. Both looked mildly uneasy, but that may have been because they were picking up on the clear tension they were walking towards.

Without a word I walked towards them, grabbed hold of Fiona’s hand, and she followed me willingly away to leave the other two to fade into the background.

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