Toronto is a lot different than Peace River. For one thing, most of the werewolves were lone, or they formed pseudo packs like the Calgary wolves that moved down to rural Alberta. The rogues picked up ranks and regularly fought each other for them. They weren’t very stable, and people in command changed all the time because wandering wolfs did just that—they wandered and traveled without staying put.
It made sense. Toronto was a city, and it was hard to keep yourselves away from humans when they were everywhere. It wasn’t uncommon for wolves to opt-out to live with humans and repress themselves. So, it wasn’t a surprise that there were many hybrids and recessives.
And I think Adyen is recessive.
“Pheromones? My wolf? What the fuck are you talking about?” The darker boy stepped as he pulled his hand away from me. His other hand was grasping no to the box that held his drawing board and tools. Some people paused to give us a brief look before they continued on their way. No one seemed too interested in two random dudes arguing in the middle of the main quad. It happened all the time.
Ah, the University of Toronto.
I’ve only been here for six months for a degree in architecture, but I’ve bumped up to all sorts of werewolves. Grey wolves like myself, eastern wolves, and many foreign wolves who seemed to be immigrants or international students.
“You’re mute now when you were screaming shit at me just seconds ago!” The boy continued, and I just stared, not knowing what to say or where to start. Yes, I had chased him on a whim when I couldn’t take the almost magnetic feeling of being drawn to him anymore. I had to meet him and get the process over with before my wolf carved me from the inside out.
The sound of students walking past us filled what would have been drawn out silence. I let out short breaths, watching their form in the snow as I adjusted my weight from foot to foot, crunching the snow under my boots as I tried to think of where to start. How did you start explaining werewolves to a human?
I swallowed the spit that had built up in my mouth before tucking my hands in my pockets. I stared at Adyen who was still frowning at me. My chest was squeezing in happiness even though he was mad at me. I finally got to see him up close, and my wolf paced in excitement as I took the time to look at him. He was Afro-Canadian and just shy of my 5′11. He was in think trousers and an even thicker jacket, so I couldn’t tell how big he was right now.
“You chase me saying shit, and now you’re just going to stare at me like a creep?” he said, making me blink before taking a step back. My eyes went wide, and my face warmed up when I realized what I was doing. My dumb brain had to remember that Adyen was probably not a wolf, and everything that I was doing that was driven by instinct just looked creepy.
“Sorry,” I sighed, running a hand through my hair before licking my lips. The winter air was dry, and I was starting to feel the gloveless hands I had buried in the pocket of my jacket go numb. “I just need some time to collect my words.” I made up the excuse on the spot, but he seemed to buy it because his expression softened.
He’s so cute. Almost puppy like with his short curly hair and big doe eyes. I had first seen him in my lecture last Tuesday. It had been strange, but in the class of over a hundred, my eyes kept wandering to one spot at the far right. Since then, I haven’t been able to exist in the same place as him without feeling a pull towards him, and after a while, I learned his name from people calling out to him. I wonder if he had just transferred to the main campus because it was weird that I was just noticing him now.
“How do you know who your mate is?”
“You just know.”
I nibbled my bottom lip, remembering my mother’s words before she hugged me and sent me off on the bus to Edmonton so that I could take a plane to Calgary before hopping into one that headed for Toronto.
“I think we should head somewhere private to talk,” I muttered, staring at the boy who was still frowning at me. “It’s important,” I insisted.
When I had started feeling a pull towards him I wondered why he never looked like he noticed it too. Both wolves were supposed to. I had started to think that maybe he was pretending to ignore me, and I had followed him out of the library today, calling out to him and mentioning our bond and wolves, and I had only realized there was nothing to sense from him when I got closer and managed to grab his hand.
He had to be recessive. There was no other explanation.
“I’m not going anywhere with you. You’ve been staring at me since last week. Fucking weirdo,” he cursed, adjusting the strap of his bag before taking a few steps back. No matter what he was saying he didn’t seem to be in a hurry to leave. He just kept looking at me with his deep brown eyes, and I did the same matching his gaze. I took the time to take in more of his features. He had full lips with a cute cupid’s bow.
I looked away, deciding to put my gaze somewhere else before I did something I would regret. God, I want to touch him. My chest felt warm and I needed to take deep breaths to calm down as an itching sensation built up in my body.
“Are you okay?” The voice was soft, but it was Adyen’s, and the concern he felt for me was making my face warm up.
“I’m alright.” I looked up to find Adyen’s frown gone. He looked concerned, and my out of breath tone probably didn’t convince him I was fine. If he was a wolf, he would understand it was just a pheromone overload I was experiencing and nothing serious, but he clearly wasn’t and kept pressing to see if I was okay.
“Let’s go sit somewhere private,” he offered after a while, taking a hold of my hand before pulling me in the opposite direction.
His hands are soft, and he has long fingers, just like Ahote’s. I felt a prick of guilt at my thoughts. No matter what I felt, my mind kept trying to compare him to Ahote. Ahote was my first love, I couldn’t help it.
When Ahote had gotten bonded to Alek and had a child with him, I knew I didn’t have a chance anymore. It was painful to watch him and Alek, so I studied hard because I wanted to leave Peace River. When I turned eighteen, I had felt that slight tug every wolf felt so that they knew their mate was out there. It had made me panic a little, even feel a bit sick at the prospect that I might ever like someone other than Ahote.
I used to wish I’d never meet them, and that if I did, I felt we wouldn’t along, but after seeing Adyen all those feelings had melted away almost immediately. I wanted to be with him. I wanted to know who he was, and it seemed like a prank the goddesses were playing on me by making him recessive. This was what I had wanted, right? A partner I could ignore. Adyen didn’t seem to know he had werewolf genes at all. I think whatever parent was the werewolf hid it from him.
“Do you feel better now?” Adyen asked after pulling me into a small ally. I frowned, pursing my lips before shaking my head.
I heard him sigh. He seemed frustrated. “Come on, don’t do this. Why are you acting weird?” he asked. My head kept pounding as my wolf felt overwhelmed by Adyen’s presence. Especially now that he was holding on to my hand and just inches away. My body was pumping out pheromones to try and communicate my feelings to him, but Adyen couldn’t sense those either. He truly seemed to be human except for his genes.
This was going to be hard.
“Why did you have to be recessive?” I said out loud, looking up. Adyen was frowning at me now. He didn’t understand those words and it frustrated it.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, darting his eyes from me to the open area outside the alley. He looked like he was trying to figure out an exit route for the worst-case scenario with me. It pricked that he was trying to get away, but I didn’t blame him. I had gone about all this in the worst possible way.
“Of course you don’t,” I chuckled, shaking my head.
“Why do you keep saying weird stuff?” he asked.
“It’s going to take a while to explain. I don’t even think I can explain all of it here. You won’t believe me,” I said, taking my hand away from him before giving him space. I didn’t want to do anything weird. He looked confused and tried to follow, but I shook my head, pulling up the hood of my jacket as I rested my back on the brick wall.
“Please don’t touch me now,” I said. The cold had me shiver a bit, so I shut my eyes for a bit. Canadian winters were a pain in the ass. “I think we should talk about this later. Could you give me your number?” I asked him. Adyen frowned, but after some hesitation, he took out his phone from his jacket and handed it to me.
“Give me your number instead. I’ll message you if I want to,” he said, and I nodded, taking the phone from him before typing in my number and handing it back. I had typed up my name as well so that he knew it. I watched Adyen stare at his phone screen for a while before tucking it away in his jacket and walking out of the alley. He paused at a point to look back at me, and I smiled to myself, feeling my chest warm-up at the fact that he seemed to care about how I was doing.
“I’m fine!” I yelled, and after a while, Adyen turned and continued walking away.
Why do you have to be recessive? I whined in my head, sighing as I leaned off the wall, my pheromones calming down significantly since Adyen had left. I had to sort them out in case of the next time when we met—if we met. There was no guarantee Adyen would reach out to me, but he seemed curious enough, so I stayed hopeful.