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Having told her everything about the bond and the claiming, I half expected her to turn and run. I wouldn’t have blamed her, but I also would have had to chase after her. Mate! No way we’d be able to let her go now without a fight. Luv. Harou is already in for the long haul with her and is now just waiting to sink his teeth into her shoulder. Claim! Yes, I know. I heard you before. He either doesn’t understand or care that he is the reason I’m holding back, the stupid fleabag. Hate you. Yeah, I love you too you asshole. Harou is Alpha for a reason; strong, large and fearless – gentle does not belong in his vocabulary. But he needs to learn it if we want to keep Emery in our lives because strong, large and fearless aren’t going to work with her – tender, loving and gentle will. Luv. Yeah, me too.

Yeah. I love her. Luv.

“Take me home, Nathaniel.” Four simple words, and Harou is dancing in circles inside my head. She isn’t running away, or outrightly rejecting us. Mate! Claim! So far, this is looking good. Her face isn’t giving anything away, beyond a beautiful soft smile. Christ she’s beautiful. Maaate. Harou doesn’t have any other words to express his admiration for her beauty, but I understand his meaning all the same. Yes, Harou, I agree. How did we get so fucking lucky?

“Do you want to walk Emery? Or would you like a ride?” I ask her with a wicked smile. Harou is anxiously awaiting her answer, hoping she’ll choose the latter. With a big smile of her own, she chooses the ride. For me to shift into Harou’s form I normally do it in the blink of an eye, so quickly the pain of the transformation is nothing more than a moment in time. And there is pain – a lot of it. Every bone in my body breaks as I go from two feet to four, hands become paws, my nose a snout just to name a few. When I first started shifting, the transition was slow and awkward – painful. But as I matured and Harou and I became more acquainted with one another, the faster I got at it. Now we go back and forth with nothing more than a thought, thanks to the closeness of our relationship. But if she wants, we’ll do it slowly to show her – something few humans are privileged enough to witness. Or, witness and live to tell about it.

Harou is losing his shit to meet you Emery,” her smile gets bigger with her own excitement. “I won’t be able to talk to you, obviously, when he’s here,” she blinks for a few seconds and then nods when she understands what I’m saying. “Crawl onto his back and wrap your hands tight into the scruff of his neck. Don’t worry, you’re not going to pull hair or hurt him, okay?” She nods again, now looking nervous. I place both of my hands on her face and gently turn her head so she’s focussing on me. “When Harou is here, I’m still here too, always watching just like he is now with us.” I see her eyes moving around in mine as she follows the black swirling in the blue. “He’s just going to give you a ride – nothing more is going to happen. There will be no claiming or mating. I promise.” Are you listening to me Harou? That message is more for you than her! Fuck you he pouts, but at least he seems to get the message. You’re going to meet our mate, be happy for that. Mate! Good, here comes the happy dance.

“I can shift fast, Emery, or slow so you can watch. Harou and I are happy to accommodate your every desire,” I smile, eager to please. She pouts, her hands on my chest.

“Does it hurt for you to shift, Nathaniel? Please don’t make it worst on yourself for my entertainment. That’ll kill me.” Holy shit. Is she for real? Or did she fall from the heavens? Thank you, Moon Goddess for this amazing gift in human form. Luuuuv. Love. Holy shit Harou, never thought I’d hear that word from you once let alone so often. Luuuuv. Mate. Claim! Ah, ya. There you are.

“It hurts either way, my love – fast or slow. I don’t want to hide anything from you, but at the same time I don’t want to overwhelm you or scare you so I can shift over in the trees if you’d rather not watch at all. You’ve had a lot thrown at you in the last little while my love – you won’t hurt our feelings Sad if we need to put off show and tell for another day,” I whisper as I wipe the tear from her cheek. Harou wants to shift in front of her – to show off everything about himself. Truthfully, so do I. But there is only so much one person can handle in a few day period – and Emery has been through a lot already. Sad!

She blushes, and her eyes flit away for a second before coming back to meet mine. Jesus, she’s so beautiful. I don’t want to ever stop looking into those green eyes. Mate.

“I-I, I want to watch please,” she stammers. She is having a difficult time holding my gaze, as it embarrassed making a request of me. Us! Yes, us. Jesus you’re a nag.

“Emery?” She looks at me. “If it is in my power to give, there is nothing I won’t grant you. Never hesitate to ask me for anything my love,” I hold her gaze and wait for her to respond. She struggles and I wonder what happened to her to make her this way. Harou’s protectiveness is kicking in, and I know we’re going to have to learn more very soon.

I’m completely in love with someone I know nothing about.

That thought is quite ball-shrivelling Fuck you! Mate! but my inner-self has another point of view on the matter, and his argument is also quite compelling. Of course, she knows nothing about us and is standing in the middle of buttfuck nowhere with a stranger. Got to love the Moon Goddess.

I take a few steps back from her and undo my pants. Her eyes open wide, silently asking me what the hell I’m doing. I chuckle, realizing what it must look like from her point of view. Dumb. Helpful as always, Harou.

“Sorry – let me explain. I usually undress first – otherwise my clothes will get destroyed in the shift.” She nods, understanding that I’m not just some pervert about to flash her in the woods. “Now Emery, when the shift happens – it is going to look and sound… violent.” I don’t know how else to describe it – every bone in a human’s body breaking at one time is fucking awful to witness, regardless of the circumstance. She needs to be prepared as much as possible. “But keep in mind that the pain is brief, and not unbearable for either Harou or I.” She starts to protest again but I hold my hand up to show her the conversation is over. I don’t want her to feel guilty about me feeling pain – it is part of the shift and part of being a werewolf. I happily accept it as part of this amazing gift I’ve been given, and I don’t begrudge it for one second.

She keeps her eyes on mine and deliberately not below my waist as I undress, and hand her my clothes, silently asking her if she’ll carry them for me. Stepping back again, I close my eyes and mentally step back, surrendering to Harou.

When my eyes open again, they’re pure black.

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