“Alex! Wake up!” I awoke to hearing my name being shouted from beside my bed. I groaned and turned over in my bed, snuggling my face in my pillow before opening my eyes a little and I glared at who woke me up, my already sour mood worsening even more when I saw who it was.
Dakota Lynn Hemming… my roommate and my worst enemy. He had black hair and dark blue eyes; he was also part dog, a black retriever with a temper to match a bull’s and a very mischievous personality that could rival a monkey’s own. He was also the school’s resident bad boy and every girl loved him, well, almost every girl; there were a few exceptions, after all.
I sighed and sat up, my blanket dropping from my shoulders to pool at my waist. “Why did you wake me up? It’s a Saturday,” I mumbled bitterly, moving a hand up to rub the sleep from my eyes.
“Hailey and Jake wanted you and me to go with them to the zoo.” He answered and I detected a hint of annoyance in his voice. Well, no wonder...
“The zoo, if we go they might put us in there…” I huffed, in a way of reminding him that I hated zoos. I got up from my bed and stretched out, hearing a satisfying pop, before going into the bathroom to get ready. I looked at myself in the mirror and scowled a little. They might actually just try to put us in a cage.
To anyone at first glance, I looked like a normal teen but then they’d do a double take when they noticed one very specific detail that casts me and my kind out from other humans: I was part wolf. My fur color was a silver-ish color, and my ears and tail were tipped black. Instead of the typical white hair to match my fur color, my hair was a blonde color and it was extremely messy, though it was almost always soft to the touch. I also had blue eyes, much like Dakota’s own but a lighter color, almost like an angel blue color.
After inspecting myself in the mirror, shaking my head, I turned on the water in the shower before washing my hair, dreading the upcoming day. I then shed my pajamas and got dressed in my normal clothing, before going back out into the room and I rolled my eyes when I found, to no surprise, Dakota already gone.
With one last glance to my bed, I headed for the door and to where Dakota and the other two were waiting.
“About time Alex, you’re such a slow poke.” I heard Hailey say and I looked at her with a frown, my ears twitching, and for a moment I just stared. Something was very different about her... and then it hit me: it was her hair color. It used to be a reddish color, almost like the color of rust, but now it was completely pink! Shaking my head, getting rid of the look of confusion, I huffed and turned away from the calico and then turned to my other friend, Jake.
“Now let’s go.” He said, and I couldn’t help but smile a little, trying to hold in a laugh as I always did when I saw him. He was a black and white haired cow that was actually very tall and really handsome, but his expressions were always bordering on blank and it was always strange. I thought it was funny, though, that he was a cow; and he knew I thought it was, but he never said anything about knowing.
“They’re going to put us in cages...” I complained almost immediately after hearing him speak, trying to get out of going with them, as I always did. But before anyone could even reply back, let alone Hailey, Dakota hit me on the head. “Ow!!” I growled at him, rubbing at my head; though it had really hurt, I was actually really surprised to find that he’d managed to even get close enough to me to hit me. The two of us usually always stayed a few feet away from each other because of how much we disliked one another.
“Quit complaining.” He puffed out, smirking at me and I glared at him while continuing to rub at the now very sore spot on my head. Stupid arrogant bastard... one of these days I’ll find a way to wipe that smug smirk off of his face.
I walked quietly behind the group, trying to keep as much distance as I could from the dog that was chatting animatedly with the cat. We had done this enough that I knew the route we take by heart: from the school we would take the path through the town; and then we would go past the town pond, which had the famous Dekkan fountain with some famous, but completely unimportant to me, person who had helped create or found the town or something; and soon enough after that, we would reach the Dekkan Zoo.
However, I decided this time it would be different, as I stopped walking the second we reached the pond. “This is as far as I’m going!” I shouted, my eyes narrowed and my arms crossed. They had stopped, a little ways ahead, when they heard me and my ears lowered with anxiety and fear when Dakota started to walk toward me. That fear turned to immediate relief when he was stopped by Hailey; thank goodness for her being around, because if she hadn’t been around, Dakota would’ve pushed me into the pond. I just know it.
I stuck my tongue out at Dakota, and watched Jake walk towards me instead; I always had to be careful when the cow was around me. He was usually always apart of the pathetic plans that Dakota came up with to torment me. I saw a hint of a smirk and my ears lowered fully to my head before I backed away slowly.
“Don’t you even think-” that’s about as much as I got to say before I slipped on the edge of the pond and fell over, letting out a sharp yelp in shock and fright. I hit the water before anyone could even register what had happened and I submerged completely before coming up, sputtering and coughing up the water I swallowed. I began swimming towards the edge of the pond again and came up to it before pulling myself out and as I did, my whole body became visible.
I always hated water, but there was one reason that stood out among others: when a half-blood became submerged in water, they shift into their animal form. And so, going in as myself, I came out instead, as a full blooded white wolf; my ears, tail, and paws tipped black.
I looked down, eyes narrowed when I saw my soaked fur and I whined sharply as I shook my fur, trying to rid it of the water. After I was mostly done, I looked up and I growled darkly at Dakota, who was laughing loudly at my misfortune, and at Jake and Hailey, who were trying not to laugh as well.
“Now look what you’ve done!” I growled even more at Jake as I said it and looked down at my self again, dreading the fact that because I’d changed in water, I wouldn’t be able to change back for at least a few hours.
“Technically,” Jake started and I snapped my head up at him, “I didn’t do anything; you fell into the pond on your own.” I was about to say something back, a blush barely visible over the color of my fur, but then Hailey butt in.
“Aw! Alex you’re so cute when you’re a wolf!” She exclaimed and I blushed even more before sighing as I sat down, a little glum. It’s not that I haven’t been a wolf before, because I have, several times... but the only times I usually ever shifted was when I was bathing, napping, or whenever Dakota used one of his stupid tricks on me. Which is why I hated it so much, being a wolf, anyway...
My fur stood on end and I stood up, glaring at Dakota when I heard his laughter once more and I crouched down low before tackling him. I smirked when he slipped and fell, though it disappeared when we both ended up falling into the water. When we both submerged, he’d changed from a half-blood to a full-blooded black retriever.
We both climbed out of the water and I couldn’t help but smirk again, though a little out of breath, because I finally managed to wipe off the smirk that had been on the dog’s face just moments before. Once more my smirk and victorious pride was short lived when I saw him look back up at me, eyes narrowed dangerously, and I heard him growl low in his throat; I couldn’t help but lower my ears and I gulped, backing away slowly. I barely managed to move away a foot before he crouched low, just like I had done before, and he pounced, tackling me.
“You’re going to pay for that you little weasel!” I let out a loud yelp of fright when he pounced and I barely managed to dodge him, rolling away before getting up and I growled back at him once more and jumped at him. He wasn’t as fast in recovering from his previous attack attempt as I was able to jump on his back, nipping at the flesh on his neck. Since I was a smaller canine, I’d been able to manage my hold easily, but it got harder when he started to shake his body and I yelped when he threw me off. I had landed, hard, on the ground and I whimpered when I felt the ground scratch at my pelt; with a wince I got up, though slow and unsteady on my paws.
“Jake, I think it’s time to get the rope.” I barely heard Hailey say this, too fixated on Dakota to notice her coming toward me. With another growl, I charged at him but before I could get far, I was pulled back by Hailey, who had grabbed my tail to stop me.I growled and barked at her, turning to glare at her, but my eyes only widened when I saw what she had. I tried to get away, but before I could, she was able to tie a rope, expertly, around my neck. I turned my head, my ears lowered once more, when I heard a loud bark and I saw that Dakota was trying to snap at Jake, as the cow did the same thing, tying a rope to his neck.
And for the third time this month, I was on a make-shift leash that Hailey had made, alongside Dakota, who was just as displeased as I was.
“Now, shall we go to the zoo?” Hailey asked Jake, and the cow nodded with a very small smirk. The calico only grinned brightly, purring with delight, as she led me along on the leash and I scowled when she did, glaring only lightly at Dakota.
Damn him for always getting us into trouble like this...
I hated when the two got like this, making me and Dakota as their ‘pet’s’ as we went to the zoo. It was demeaning and it made me feel like I was one of though pedigree mutts that human’s showed off everywhere they went. I was pretty sure it was annoying for the other two, as well, but they dealt with it. I think it was only because both the calico and the cow loved to visit the zoo every Saturday, and it was a well known fact that nothing would get in the way of ruining their weekly trip; not even mine and Dakota’s fights.
We finally got to the zoo and like every other week, where they dragged me along, I got the same reactions I always did: ‘Oh! What a cute wolf!’ or, ‘It looks like that Alex kid went and fell into the pond again.’ But no one was scared, and no matter how much it annoyed me that they weren’t, I was actually rather glad for it. Other people went up to pet me, but while I would normally let them, this time I didn’t feel up to it and I snapped at them, making them leave me alone. It was no surprise to me, however, that Dakota was loving all the attention he got whenever we came here.
Sighing, I shook my head before perking up as I caught two familiar scents. They belonged to my best friends, Skylar and Danny, and it always delighted me whenever I found their scents around.
I barked and circled around Hailey, eyes wide, and she giggled at me before nodding and she untied the rope around my neck, allowing me to go on my own. And I did just that, happy to be free, as I ran to where Danny and Skylar were. When I saw them, I grinned, and ran up to them, barking loudly to catch their attention.
Skylar was a very pretty girl with long brown hair that was always tied in a ponytail and bright honey brown eyes. She was also a very pretty fox, with red ears and a long red, white-tipped tail. And while Skylar was a very fun, adventurous, and very dangerous person, Danny was the complete opposite: though still fun, he was very easily frightened, and usually quite shy around strangers. Danny was a rabbit with dark brown hair and pale green eyes; he had long brown and white rabbit ears protruding from his head and behind him was a dual colored puffball for a tail.
While I would’ve tried to scare them, or at least bunny-boy Danny, I had learned the hard way it was never a very good thing to frighten or startle Skylar. And the last time I did that, I regretted it the second I did; she had kicked me away and I had landed on the ground hard.
“Alex!” Skylar grinned wide and waved at me, while Danny merely smiled before frowning in confusion, looking at me weirdly.
“Why are you a wolf?” He asked and I frowned, looking at myself again before huffing, shaking my head.
“Dakota did this to-”before I could even finish my sentence, I was interrupted by the sudden rush of someone pouncing onto me and I gave a sharp whine of pain when I felt very sharp teeth and claws digging into me. I barely heard Danny squeal in fright, the bunny no doubt jumping behind the now startled fox.
“How do you like it now, huh weasel?”Dakota growled at me in a muffled voice and for a brief moment, all I could think about was the pain. And then I couldn’t think at all, as his weight upon me was eventually too much and I collapsed.
“I give up!!”I barked, whining in a high pitched tone. “You’re squishing me!”
For a moment I thought he wouldn’t get off of me, but then he did and I sighed in relief when I felt the enormous pressure being lifted away. I slowly stood up and shook his head before turning to Dakota and I whimpered, shrinking back and backing away when I saw his predatory grin and the dangerous glint in his eyes. Neither of us bothered to speak, as we both were thinking the same thing: though very different versions, no doubt. And I let out a shaky breath when he started to growl and I stepped back once more before turning when he barked.
I ran as fast as I could to try and get back to the safety of the academy; Dakota at my heels. After more than a few heartbeats, I saw the academy and someone I wasn’t too happy about seeing: the head of the academy… Mr. Toklo. I immediately skidded to a halt and yelped, falling forward, when Dakota bumped into me from behind, incidentally stepping on my tail in the process.
I whimpered and looked up, gulping, ears lowered when I saw Mr. Toklo’s face and he definitely didn’t look too happy to find me and Dakota chasing each other again. I glanced behind me for a moment to see the frightened look on Dakota’s face and knew then that we were in deep trouble. Even more so when I heard Mr. Toklo speak: “You boys are in a lot of trouble,” he said, low and deep, “again.” I flinched at that and whimpered again, lowering my head.
While I hated the punishments that he gave out, there was one thing I hated more: the cages. And I really hoped that wouldn’t be our punishment this time, even though I knew it was fruitless to hope for this; especially since the last time we got in trouble, he promised us the next time we would get the cages.
And of course Mr. Toklo always kept his promises...
I sighed, sitting down with a heavy heart, closing my eyes as I tried not to think of the cold metal around me. It was no surprise that we landed in the cages... like I said: Mr. Toklo always keeps his promises. Now it was just a matter of how long we had to stay in here. Sometimes we only had to stay for a half an hour, but normally it was almost as long as three hours; though usually we just stayed until we shifted back into our ‘human’ forms.
I lied down in the corner, hoping that my cage mate would just stay over where he was, ignoring my presence. It wasn’t long until I felt myself drifting off, as I hoped for a miracle, becoming bored, and for one brief moment, I thought I was in the clear...
But then I heard movement and then the sound of claws against metal as Dakota padded over to where I was. Tensing up, I kept my eyes closed tight and prayed that Dakota would think me asleep and leave me alone. My eyes snapped wide open, however, when I felt a rough tongue against my pelt and I flinched away, gasping. “W-what are you...?” I started to ask, but I let my own sentence trail off as he growled low in his throat and continued to lick the scratches found along my back. I whimpered when my scratches started to sting and I tried to pull away, but Dakota kept me where I was with his own paw. “L-let me go...!” I barked at him and he pulled back, clearly very annoyed, and he huffed out a harsh sigh.
“Stay still,” he demanded and I lowered my ears as I glared meekly at him. “Fine, be a wimp.” He puffed out and turned away, though he didn’t move away, like I thought he would, and instead sat down and ducked his own head to lick at the dirt on his paws. I frowned, my ears raising a little and they twitched as I stared at Dakota in confusion. I didn’t understand why he was acting this way, and I was about to ask him, but unfortunately, I’d heard footsteps that were getting closer and closer to our cage.
When the footsteps stopped, I looked up with wide eyes as I saw Skylar, Jake, Clara, Henry, and George.
Clara is a fox, much like Skylar, though her fur was a pure snow white color. Her eyes were a sharp violet that was tinted with pink and her hair is white, like her fur color, and it’s always in a braid; she usually always had a pink headband in her hair, as well. Henry is an energetic coyote with dark grey fur and matching, short, messy hair; his eyes are a very dark green color. Don’t be fooled by his sharp fangs, and the glint in his eyes, though: he’s actually a vegetarian. George was a heavy-looking warthog with a stoic personality and light reddish-brown fur and very short brown hair; his eyes are a pale yellow color that always glows in the dark. It’s actually kind of creepy at times.
I was extremely surprised to see Clara with them, though, since she hated Dakota and me because we fought so much. I stared at her with narrowed eyes, still confused, but then I saw her smile and I growled a little. Oh, I see... she only liked us in our animal-
“You two look so cute sitting next to each other!” She exclaimed and that was when I realized what she was smiling at: she thought we were… being nice to each other. I scowled and growled a little, blushing darkly, and shrank away from Dakota as the dog shot me a strange look. I watched as Skylar walked to the cage door and she opened it up, much to my immediate relief and I got up, padding out of the cage when she did.
“There you go.” She chuckled, smirking at me and I stuck my tongue out before yawning and I stretched out, feeling suddenly a lot more tired than I had just a few moments ago. Considering the strain and so-called excitement of today, I’m not surprised...
I heard Dakota walk out behind me and I didn’t even bother looking when he started padding away from the group. I figured he was going back to the dorms, dispelling my thoughts of going there myself, now. I huffed and collapsed on the ground, instead of even trying to move anywhere. I doubted I would be able to find a comfy place around the school to sleep without getting in someone’s way.
“Dakota, wait,” I closed my eyes and puffed out a breath, when I heard Henry speak up, “take Alex with you, if you’re going to the dorms.” The coyote barked and my eyes cracked open, as I frowned, and I turned my head to see Dakota stopping.
Dakota puffed out a breath of his own and he shook his head before turning and he walked back over to me, picking me up by the scruff of my neck and he threw me over his back, much to my displeasure and I growled low, though I didn’t bother to move. His back is actually rather comfy... I thought lightly, though still a little peeved. I sighed anyway and closed my eyes again as I got comfortable, and no sooner did I feel like I was going to fall asleep, we were already back at the dorms.
Dakota pushed open the door to our room and he walked quietly over to my bed, putting me on it, gently, and I gave a small soft whine of disappointment. I cracked open an eye and stared at Dakota, feeling too tired to do anything else, even as he shook his head with a quiet chuckle. My eyes slipped close, as I watched Dakota walk over to his own bed, jumping onto it and curling up, and I curled up into my own blankets, nuzzling them with a small contented smile.
It didn’t take much longer until I was asleep, dead to the world around me.
The next morning, I found myself waking up to a loud noise; jerking out of my bed, I fell onto the floor, tangled up in my blanket. I winced and reached a hand up to rub at my head, pleased to find I was human again; though it didn’t take me long to blush when I realized I was very much naked.
Getting up and getting dressed in some jeans and a shirt, I smiled before frowning and I looked around when I heard the noise again. I had thought it was Dakota, being his annoying self to piss me off, but I was surprised to find that I was wrong... oh so very wrong.
I crept closer to the door, when I realized the noise came from outside in the hallway, and my eyes widened when I saw a very big, very pissed off bull and I knew exactly who it was: Travis, a brown furred bull with onyx colored eyes and a usually docile personality. But he had a very mean temper when someone aimed to anger him.
I saw for a brief moment, when he looked around wildly, that he was all wet and my only guess was that he’d fallen in the pond, much like I had the day before. I had no idea why he was so mad, but I figured it out as soon as I saw a huge bat flying out from the middle of nowhere, flitting in panic around the bull.
“Cody! You’ve crossed the line now!” Travis roared at the bat and Cody flew for cover as the bull charged at him.
“I-I’m sorry T-Travis! I-I didn’t mean t-to!” The bat squeaked out and I whimpered in sympathy for him. Cody was normally a very shy kid, and very smart, with long black hair and bright golden eyes; though everyone knew he always became outspoken and clumsy around Travis. It was no secret to anyone that Cody had a crush on Travis, except to the bull himself.
I watched the scene from a very safe distance and flinched back when Travis crashed into the wall. Lucky for the bat, and lucky for me as well, the Headmaster’s voice came upon the school speakers.
“It’s Bath time,” he said and I couldn’t be happier with the timing; apparently neither could Cody as the bat let out a loud trill of relief before falling to the ground, wings stretched out.
I usually hated Bath time, since it was mandatory that we shift into our animal forms for them; we can’t really take a bath unless we do, because we’ll end up just changing when we get into the water, anyway. And so, when we take our baths, we have to be given them by people who specialize in giving baths to animals; it’s usually because some of us don’t like baths, and so then, those who don’t, including me, will eventually learn to like them.
It was a few minutes later when I found myself out in the yard, as a wolf, and I sighed before jumping into one of the plastic tubs. Surprisingly, I actually liked the bath this time: it was just the right temperature, and it helped soothe my aching pelt. I managed to get a little rest, as well, before the people had to show up to help clean us.
I hummed and opened my eyes, looking around and I found a couple of others that were in the baths right now including Dakota, Cody, Travis, Sophia, Ryan, Kyle, Hailey, and Faith.
Sophia was a green and red snake with sharp brown eyes that had short green, red-tipped hair as a human; she was really nice, too. Faith was a silver ferret with blue eyes and really long grey hair; she was kind of shy and usually quiet, though she was really fun to play with. Ryan was a red and brown hawk with red eyes and he had short, dark red hair; he was a real hot-head though he was actually really nice when he tried to be. And Kyle was a golden lynx with bright green eyes and dirty blonde hair; he was super clumsy and a major class-clown.
A couple more joined later, including Jaycie, Skylar, Danny, Jake, Clara, Heather, and Amie.
Jaycie is a reddish-pink flamingo with sharp lilac colored eyes and long, curly hair that matched the color of her feathers; she was also really proper and always used her manners, even when she is mad. Heather is an ostrich with silver eyes and short black and white hair; she also had a monotone-like personality that usually only broke when she got really truly excited over something. And Amie is a pretty brown horse with a black mane and tail and bright chocolate brown eyes, her hair is long and black and is always worn down, with a red headband in her hair; she’s also really kind and loving and never says anything bad about anyone.
I watched with wide eyes as Cody flew over to Travis and perched on the side of the tub, almost falling in, and I tensed when I saw Travis huff as he turned to the bat. But then I smiled when I noticed the shy smile on the bat’s muzzle and the soft look in the bull’s eyes. Those two are so cute.
Amie, Jaycie, and Sophia were talking with one another and I saw Faith lingering on the edge of her own tub, looking longingly at the other girls. I laughed a little and smiled fondly when Sophia looked over at Faith and ‘purred’ something to her, causing the ferret’s eyes to go wide before she bounced over to them and joined in their conversation.
Skylar, Clara, Danny, and Hailey were laughing with one another while Jake rolled his eyes at what they were saying and I snickered a little at them before turning my attention to the few others who were sitting in their own baths. Henry was smiling to his self, relaxing in his tub, and George was sleeping peacefully in his own. Heather was preening her feathers, waiting patiently for the caretakers to come.
Ryan and Kyle were also in their tubs, though they were talking to one another; they had that luxury since their tubs were next to each other.
And last but not least Dakota was... not in his tub. Where is-
“What are you doing, weasel?” I let out a small yelp, jumping up and splashing water about, as I turned to look at Dakota with wide eyes. I hadn’t even realized he’d been walking up to me, I was so lost in thought watching the others.
“N-none of your business,” I huffed out and glared, “and stop calling me a weasel. I am not a weasel, I’m a wolf.” I growled out and he smirked, before shaking his head and he turned and walked away.
“Whatever,” he barked, and I frowned, deflating a little as I watched him walk away. I am so... confused...
I smiled as I lied down on the grass, still wet, but feeling much cleaner and a lot better than I had been in a while. I looked around, watching the others, as they ran around and played with one another. After baths we always played one of three games: Hide and Seek, Scavengers, or Tag. And this time, we, well they are playing tag.
All the people that were playing the game were the people that had been in the baths before, along with three new students: Alice, Nathan, and Tom. Alice and Tom were brother and sister, and they were komodo dragons; Alice was a paler green than her brother, though, and they had identical blue eyes. She had long green hair, though, and Tom had short green hair; and though Alice was very playful, Tom had a calmer personality. Nathan was a red squirrel with brown eyes and brown hair; he also had a very hyper personality.
The two taggers that were picked out for this round were Amie and Faith. The two stayed in the middle until the caller said it was ok to start chasing the others about. The caller was Mrs. Larder, the school’s gym instructor, and she was actually was my favorite teachers.
“Ready, Set, Tag!” She called out, and they all started to run from the taggers. Amie was pretty fast so a lot of them had to run fast. Faith was ok at speed, but she still needed practice.
I saw Amie try to go after Nathan and Dakota; she liked competition, and always liked the challenge, and it was obvious those two were a lot faster than everyone else. I watched the game with a light smirk on my muzzle and rested my head on my paws.
The only reason I was sitting out of the game was because tag wasn’t my favorite; I hated the game actually. Usually because when Dakota was the tagger, he always chased after me, and when I was the tagger, I could never decide on who to go after and Dakota usually always teased me when I ended up as the end tagger for the game.
Skylar and Clara were laughing as they ran from Faith, clearly having fun and Nathan, Cody, Travis, and Heather were running from Amie, well Cody was flying away, but that didn’t usually matter.
I watched with another smirk as Amie tagged Nathan and then with ease, he had tagged Dakota. I snickered a little, but then stopped when I realized Dakota was running towards me. Even though he knew I didn’t like the game, he usually made me play it whenever he was the tagger. Damn dog, I don’t want to play! I scowled in thought, bristling a little.
I slowly started to edge away, growling a little at the dog, making way towards the fence that bordered the yard. As always, I prayed for a miracle and hoped he would stop, realize I really didn’t want to play, and go chase after someone else; someone that was actually worth the so-called fun. He didn’t... and that only made me shrink away further, pressing myself against the fence.
“Come on, little weasel! Play!” He crouched down low, acting as if he was going to pounce, playing up the act like he was just a playful pup who wanted to play with me. I huffed and shook my head fiercely, adamant in my decision.
“No! And you’re not going to make me either!” I barked at him, and yelped when Dakota truly did pounce. I jumped out of the way as quick as I could and barked out a laugh when I heard a loud thump.
“Gah! Hey, don’t laugh!” Dakota scowled and shook his head before taking off after me and I couldn’t help but grin, eyes wide and sparkling with hidden laughter. “Get back here stupid wolf! You’ll pay for that!” Dakota was soon at my tail, caught up with me, trying to tag me. Though I still hated the game, admittedly it was a little better after having watched Dakota jump into the fence. Like always, we were matched for speed; and no matter how fast I ran, Dakota was always at my tail. And sometimes, when he got lucky, Dakota always managed to be that little bit faster than I am.
When the game was over, and Mr. Toklo called us in, since we were dry enough, the end results were usually always the same: with Skylar and Clara as the taggers.
“Man! That was fun!” I smiled as I heard Amie say to a few of the others, as we came inside.
“Tch, it was boring.” Travis said, rolling his eyes and Faith bounced up onto his head, looking down at him, eyes wide and bright.
“Whatever! That was the best game of tag we’ve ever played!” She cried out.
“Yeah!” Cody agreed with a small little smile, flying over their heads and they all laughed before disappearing inside.
After going inside myself, I made my way to the dorms before going into my own room and I went ahead and jumped onto my bed. Laying down, curling into my blankets, I hummed as I got comfortable.
It wasn’t long, about an hour or so, until I shifted back into a human and after so long of staying in my room, I decided to take a walk around the town. It was nice being able to do so without anyone else hovering around me or annoying me. And it was also nice because it meant I didn’t have to deal with a certain dog that has been acting so strange lately.
I walked around for a bit until I came upon the pond and I sighed, sitting along the edge and I stared down at my reflection, a frown marring my face. I watched as my hears twitched and I then scowled, unable to help it: the only thing I could think about was what Dakota had done earlier... the whole being nice to me thing. Not to mention at the bath... and then in the game. We were actually having... fun...! What was he thinking? We are enemies for crying out loud! I couldn’t help but seethe to myself, though there was no actual heat behind the words in my head. I was so confused and I didn’t know what to think of the thing between us.
I stood up and put hands over my face, huffing out a harsh breath before removing my hands, my ears twitching my ears nervously as I heard a couple kids running around. “Watch out!” I turned my head sharply and saw, with wide eyes, as one of them pushed me into the pond and I let out a sharp yelp before I went under, swallowing a bunch of water, unable to help the reaction, in the process.
A few seconds later, I came up, sputtering and coughing, and just plain pissed. I’m so sick of this! I paddled up to the edge and climbed up, noting with annoyance that those kids were nowhere to be found, shaking my fur afterwards. I regretted the action immediately as I slipped on the wet edge and I fell back into the water, hitting my head against the edge with a sharp whine of pain.
Eventually, I lost consciousness, and everything around me went dark.
I woke up in my bed, much later, and noted, my eyes still closed, that I was human again. When I tried opening my eyes, I winced and groaned, closing them again before trying once more to open my eyes. My vision was blurry though, and it hurt because my head hurt and it felt heavy when I tried to move it... I felt sore and sick and I hated it. I tried to sit up but fell back immediately, groaning again though it ended in a small whimper. I hadn’t even realized someone else was in the room, much less at my bedside, until I saw from the corner of my eye, as a person sat up quickly.
“Alex! You’re a- er,” Dakota sat back and looked away, “finally, you’re awake.” He mumbled, leaving me as confused as I’d felt earlier. I whimpered in answer, and closed my eyes again. “You did another stupid thing and fell into the pond. I had to save your hide once again.” He added in a huff, though any moron could tell he’d been worried, as he stood up. I didn’t focus on that and instead paid attention to the hidden insults.
“I didn’t fall in, some stupid kids pushed me...” I growled out, cracking one eye open before moving a hand over my eyes to shield them from the light. “Shut the damn light off... my head is killing me...” I whined and for a moment Dakota said nothing, and I almost thought he left the room.
“Right, sure, whatever.” He mumbled again and I sniffed, moving my arm and I looked up at him before puffing out a sigh and I moved to sit up.
“I-I’ll do it myself...” I let out a shaky breath before wincing in pain and he stopped me from getting up fully, only then making me realize that I was actually fully clothed, and laid me back down on my bed, covering me up with my blanket once more.
“Don’t get up,” he ordered, sharp and with a deep frown, “I’ll be back with some hot soup for you.” He added in a whisper, and for once I actually listened, nodding my head and wincing after I did. I didn’t know why he was doing this, but at the moment, it didn’t matter... However, I knew that once I was feeling better, and much more like myself, I would be yelling at him and demanding answers to the many questions I had been asking myself since day one.
He stood up once more and I watched as he left the room, leaving me to try and sleep. I tried not to, but eventually sleep won out and I fell into darkness once more.
When I awoke again, it was night time, and I was feeling a little better, though admittedly a little hungry. I tried to sit up but couldn’t and found a heavy weight upon my waist, and for a few seconds, I frowned as I wondered what it could be. When I finally decided to open my eyes, I turn my head and looked to my side; that was when I realized I could feel a warm puff of air against my cheek and saying I was shocked to see who it was, was an understatement. In fact, it was so much more, that I yelped and struggled out of Dakota’s grasp, only managing to fall on the floor in my panic and dismay.
Dakota had woken up almost immediately after and I watched as he looked around in alarm. He then saw me on the floor, his eyes a little wide, and I gulped, my ears lowered to my head; my own eyes were wide with fear, confusion, and embarrassment. He smirked then, though I could see a bit of apprehension in his eyes, and he yawned as a cover up.
“Hey, what’s tied your tail in a knot, huh pup?” He asked and sat up, looking at me now with a smile I had never ever seen directed at me before.
“Y-you... you’re in my.... b-bed...!” I squeaked out, still very shocked and very confused.
“And?” He looked at me like it was a normal thing and I shook my head wildly. I’m dreaming, I just know I am... “You looked like you were cold.” He added like it was such a simple thing.
But... it really wasn’t. “B-but...” I looked down, unsure how to even react, so I did the only thing I was really good at in situations like these: I growled, looking up and glaring at the dog. “Y-you ass!!” I snarled at him and stood up, but I regretted it and stumbled, nearly falling. Dakota caught me, though and when I looked at him, I could only see worry and sadness upon his face.
“Hey! Don’t, you’ll only hurt yourself more.” He said and put me back on the bed. I opened my mouth to protest but he put his hand over it and I couldn’t help the blush that spread across my cheeks.
“I-I don’t do good, cooped up inside the room all day.” I mumbled, finally, after he removed his hand.
“Well then we can go take a walk if you would rather not be in here.” He suggested and I looked at him, still oh so very confused.
Why is he acting like this!? What in the hell is going on here? I nodded very slowly and he helped me up, holding me tightly against him and my blush darkened a little more at this as I looked away from him, unknowing what to think at this point.
He took my hand in his own and we walked out of the room, walking to the school doors. I kept my gaze down at my feet as I walked, Dakota still holding my hand, despite my attempts at pulling it back from him.
“You know, I’ve been meaning to talk with you... Alex,” Dakota started to say and my head snapped up and I saw him looking at the sky, with a distant look in his eyes.
“W-what...?” I whispered, hesitant.
“To be honest, I wasn’t sure exactly how to, though. So uh, I got some help from Hailey and uh, well she kind of told me what to do.” I watched as his ears lowered a little and he glanced away from the sky, though he looked at the ground this time and I felt my stomach do a little flip.
“What exactly is it you want to say...?” I asked him, fearful and cautious. Am I finally going to get an answer to all of my questions? Maybe... maybe this is it? Maybe the reason he’s been nice lately is because he was trying to lessen the blow of leaving. Wait... why... why would I care if Dakota leaves?That had me feeling sick and I couldn’t bare the thought, so I ignored it, no matter how confused it left me feeling, and I instead turned back towards Dakota.
“Well for one, I’m sorry about earlier and uh two... I was wondering if... you know... you would uh, go on a date with me.” Almost immediately my eyes widened when I heard this and I stopped walking, frozen where I stood, staring at him like he had grown another head.
“Are you on some sort of drugs!?” I questioned, suddenly feeling even more sick, not sure if I heard right.
“Well no, but I sure feel like it...” he mumbled, glaring lightly at me as if he was disappointed by my reaction and well... he should be. I may be slightly gay, but he’s supposed to be my enemy, my rival. He’s supposed to hate me! Not want to go out on a... a date... with me! Me of all creatures!
“What the hell is wrong with you...?! First you’re being all nice to me in the cages... then you’re acting weird at the baths! A-and then you’re being nice when we’re playing tag... then you save me from the pond and I wake up to you acting all nice to me and helping me. You’re in my bed then, acting like nothing is wrong, you ask me out on a walk... and the... and now... you’re asking me out!?” I ripped my hand away from his own and I backed away from him, lowering my ears to my head and wrapping my tail around my leg. I felt tears coming to my eyes and I don’t know why I’m acting like this, but my chest suddenly hurts and my head hurts again too... and I don’t know what to think or do.
He opened his mouth to say something but before even I knew what I was doing, I ran away... away from him. And then he began to chase me, like what we would do when we were animals and for one moment, everything was like how it used to be, only this time I was crying and he was shouting at me to come back, worried and scared... and not like he should be.
I sniffled and wiped furiously at my tears... I don’t get it, he’s tortured me so much and now... he asks me out!?I tripped on a tree root and fell into a large puddle, changing into my wolf form; my silver fur now wet and slick with water and mud. I didn’t even try to get up, worn and exhausted and my heart feeling too heavy for my own body... so I just laid there, not sure what to do anymore.
One... two... three heartbeats later, I heard Dakota’s footsteps and I watched as he knelt beside me. I just turned my muzzle away, closing my eyes tightly, not saying anything. “Alex I’m sorry... but... I didn’t mean for this... any of this... to happen...” he sighed and petted the fur atop my head and I growled, low and dangerous, and I tried to stand up, but I fell with a sharp whine when I felt a tight pain in my back paw.
Dakota sighed, sounding so defeated, and he picked me up, despite my growling and struggling to get out of his grasp and away from him.
“Deal with it little weasel.” He mumbled and carried me back to the dorm room, but instead of dumping me atop my bed and leaving me for all the trouble I’ve given him, he got a bath ready for me and set me inside the tub. I sucked in a sharp breath at all of this and shrank away. This wasn’t supposed to be happening... he isn’t supposed to be nice to me... Why does my heart hurt so much...?
He gently washed my fur and made sure to have extra bubbles, something I always liked with my baths... and with really warm water too. How did he know that...? I wondered, a soft voice even inside my head. He smiled loving at me and washed behind my ears and I couldn’t help but smile back, already relaxing a little. I felt my tail wag in the water and he puffed out a breath when he realized I was getting bubbles on his clothes because of the action.
“I really am sorry Alex. I’ve always wanted to tell you, since the day that I met you actually. But I just didn’t know how to.” He said, sighing and gently rubbed mud away from my muzzle and I looked at him in awe; his touch was so gentle... I looked away slightly at what he said and then turned my head back and licked his soapy hand, as an act of forgiveness, though I regretted it immediately after.
“I-its ok,” I coughed as I tried to get rid of the soapy taste and Dakota laughed at me. I growled at him playfully and splashed water on him, huffing out my own little laugh.
“Hey!” He narrowed his eyes at me and I stuck my tongue out in return. He smirked at me then, “You better watch out, sticking your tongue out at me, I might just have to bite it.” He grinned at me and I laughed nervously.
“N-now that I think about it... you always have been a pervert... whether or not you were trying to act like you hate me.” I mumbled, jumping out and shaking the water from my fur. I got so much water on Dakota that he ended up changing into his dog form. He barked in surprise before growling a little and he smirked again, a little predatory glint in his eyes, before pouncing on me. My eyes widened at this as I was pinned down under his weight. I gulped and lowered my ears as he grinned again; finally I managed to push him off. “Pervert!” I puffed out and ran from the baths to the dorm room, trailing water after me. Dakota chased me into the room and I crawled under my bed before he got the chance to see me.
I ruffled my fur to get dry as quick as possible and closed my eyes tightly, hoping Dakota wouldn’t find me. After a while, no one came and I sighed in relief as I changed into my human form. I crawled out from under the bed and stood up, turning towards my bed. My eyes widened again as Dakota jumped from on top of my bed and held me against the wall.
Dakota smirked at me. “Well now, it looks like I got you pinned again.” He chuckled and licked his lips. I bit my lower lip and gulped, whimpering slightly; I blushed a bright red when I realized then that we didn’t have any clothes on... having only just changed back from our canine forms.
“W-what are you.... p-planning to do?” I asked, admittedly a bit scared and I really couldn’t get my mind off the fact that we didn’t have any clothes on... Come on, get your mind out of the gutter, Alex...!
“Do you really want to know?” He asked me and I nodded, hesitantly, unsure if I was going to regret it or not. But as soon as I did, he immediately leaned forward and kissed me, capturing my lips with his own. My eyes widened and my blush became an impossibly brighter shade of red. It was barely two heartbeats later when I felt myself recovering from the shock and I melted into the kiss, pushing back against him and kissing back. I wrapped my arms around him neck and deepened the kiss, adding my own little twist of fierce passion and heartfelt love. If I’d know that kissing him was this good, I would’ve done it months ago, consequences be damned. I thought weakly, dazed even in my thoughts.
Dakota pulled back, shortly after, and once again he smiled at me. I was smiling back, still dazed, and still blushing brightly. “Well, it seems someone enjoyed the kiss.” He chuckled and I slowly nodded, for a moment not sure what exactly was going on.
As soon as realization hit me, though, I glared at him, weak as it was, and pushed him back. “Now wait a second! You can’t just kiss me like that! We aren’t even dating and even if we were-!” I was then cut off by another kiss, pleased when Dakota’s lips claimed mine once more and I lost all sense of thought. When I recovered enough to kiss him back again, he pulled back, leaving me a whimpering, blushing mess.
“Are you done yet?” He asked and I couldn’t help but chuckle myself, looking down at the ground before looking back up at him.
“I... I think so...” I whispered and looked down again, frowning now. “Dakota... where... where does this leave us?” I asked, unable to help it as I looked back up into his eyes and I saw him frown. It almost made me think that was all a really big mistake, but then he smiled and leaned down to kiss my forehead.
“It depends,” he whispered back, and I gulped, my ears lowered.
“What you want, Alex,” Dakota cooed, kissing my cheek and I offered a shy smile, before my ears twitched and my eyes closed when he kissed my nose. “What... what do you want?” The dog then asked, unsure and I opened my eyes again, my smile now just a little wider.
“I... I want you...” I answered and looked down once more. “Will you... will you ask me again...?” I questioned, glancing up at him through my eyelashes and he looked surprised. I would be too, but... truth is, I felt so bad for how I had reacted earlier... I want... I want a second chance. And this time, I’ll do it right.
And I thought for sure, after a few moments of silence, he wouldn’t, but then he spoke, though his voice was soft and hesitant. “Alex... will you... go out with me?” He asked and I smiled up at him, my ears perked up with my mood and my smile only got a little bit wider when I saw the anxiety and worry in his pretty ocean blue eyes.
But I quelled them immediately, leaning up and I kissed him, before pulling back and giving him a verbal answer. “Yes...” I whispered and he only grinned, breathing out a sigh of relief, relaxing, when I did, and he wrapped his arms around me tightly, kissing me again.
For a moment, everything was perfect... I was in the arms of my lover and the happiness I felt couldn’t have been enough for what I felt then. I was elated... I truly was.
“I love you Alex.” Dakota whispered to me, kissing the top of my head and my ears twitched in embarrassment as I blushed again.
“I love you too...” I whispered back, “but, uh, Koda...?”
“Yes?” He blinked in confusion, looking down at me and I fidgeted, nervous and embarrassed.
“Can we get dressed now?” I squeaked out and for a moment, Dakota was silent, as he looked down, and then he wasn’t, letting out a loud laugh filled with amusement and so much love, that I eventually couldn’t help but join in with my own chuckle, still blushing.
And I decided just then, maybe this wasn’t going to be such a bad thing after all... whether as enemies or lovers, we’ll always be together.
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