The Wild from Whispers Collection #1

“People.” I shook my head in disgust. “They talk about how they want to test themselves, but then they freak when they find out they can’t go back afterward. Change is permanent, people. Once you cook the egg, you can't go back.”

Excerpt From The Wild

One and a quarter miles. As the crow flies. That’s how far away the clearing was. It’s three and a half miles walking. We were in my cabin, surrounded by walls with wires in them and appliances that hummed and things that had to be made by machines. All these fucking possessions everywhere. We were waiting, the two of us, but not for anything in common. Sometimes words don’t solve anything.

I was waiting for the moon to rise; any minute. It’d be any minute, and it was about killing me, I swear. She didn’t know what she was waiting for, not really, but we were both okay with that. In the distance, the howl of wolves shivered in the air. You just don’t hear sounds like that in the city.

“Won’t be long now,” I said.

She pretended not to hear me and continued to sit with her arms tight around her drawn up knees. At this exact moment, she wasn’t happy with me. Like I cared. Black hair spilled over her shoulders, which I knew because I see pretty good in the dark. With her forehead resting on the tops of her knees it wasn’t possible to tell she was attractive, unless you happened to know that already. Which I did. The curve of her back touched the side of a chair, and the first rays of moonlight through the windows made patterns on the floor and on her dusky, olive skin. A gust of wind stirred the trees at the edge of the clearing around the cabin.

At that, she lifted her head. We ended up here, out in the middle of nowhere, because she wanted to find out how rough she could take it, and we agreed that would work only if we were someplace where the noise wouldn’t prompt a neighbor to call the cops. Lucky us, I knew just the place. She was curious about herself that way.

She knew there was something different about me, and, what’s more, that deep in the guts of her she responded to what made me more than a little bit off. Hey, I was and am, totally on the level with her. Straight as an arrow. I never tell lies.

While I was waiting for the sun to get the hell out of the way, we’d played a little, had a little to drink, and talked about wolves. They’re a passion of mine, which stands to reason. I gave her the usual lecture about pack social structures again, but she needed to know. The information had to be in her head if we were going have any success out here.

Wolves aren’t like what people think if they’ve been reading horror novels where werewolves run around biting people. I told her how they like their meat still shivering on the bone and how they’re smart and fast and cunning. There are human cultures that worship wolves. Fetishes. Totems. Avatars. Gods, even.

We had a few ground rules out here, different from what we set in the city. The first being that I wouldn’t break any bones unless she asked me to. She didn’t think that was likely, her asking for that, but it’s nice to set parameters, and it gave her an idea of how far I was willing to go, which was pretty freaking far, and it gave her the impression, mistaken, I think, that she would be okay no matter what.

“People.” I shook my head in disgust. “They talk about how they want to test themselves, but then they freak when they find out everything’s different. Unfamiliar. Thinking how things aren’t what they expected instead of the way things are. Change is permanent. Once you cook the egg, you can't go back.”

“I have hard limits. We’ve talked about that.”

I crouched down. “I’m not going anywhere near those limits. Promise. This is different. I told you. I can cross you over, and we won’t ever go back, either of us.”

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