Kathryn

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The night is cold. I'm in Central Park. The moon in the sky is bright and brilliant, undisturbed by the clouds embracing it. I feel the chill of the wind as it brushes against my bare skin. Gooseflesh jumps out on my naked body, but I don't shiver. I am preparing for something. I stand on the hill, looking over the vast, lush landscape, which is a bold, beautiful green. The moon blankets the park, teasing the colour between dark green and black. The animals in the zoo are restless. The wolves howl in their enclosure, pacing back and forth as they watch me with their bright, yellow eyes.

I crouch onto the grass, which parts under my fists. My skin, once cold, is now burning, like I have hives covering me from head to toe. I concentrate on my breathing as my skin starts to itch, irritated and red. I feel my body shake and tremble as I hear my bones crack and my joints pop, causing me to whimper. I cry out as they jolt back together, sending shockwaves through my reassembled limbs. The worst is over. Or so I thought.

My skin starts to stretch as my hands and feet change, my ears start to elongate and my face lengthens. I can't hold back the scream bubbling in my throat. It sounds alien in the night as my voice disappears, replaced by a canine howl. The burning intensifies as fur sprouts all over my newly formed body, covering me from head to foot. Whiskers cover my newly lengthened face. It is done. I fall to the ground, panting.

I lift my head as I become aware of the acuteness of my hearing. I can hear birds in the trees, ready to hibernate, and squirrels chattering as they collect the last of their supplies before the harsh winter. I hear a swishing behind me, I turn my upper body to see my tail brushing against the grass, disturbing the golden leaves. My happiness at the sight is made apparent by the new sound that my tail makes as it thuds against the ground as I move it with glee.

I stand on all fours, stretching from my head to my tail, checking all my limbs have successfully Changed. When I am satisfied I pad towards the river. My movements resemble that of a new-born deer learning to walk for the first time. I stagger to the bank, catching my reflection. My emerald green eyes captivate my attention, as I drink in the beauty of the beast I have become. My dark fur makes me almost invisible in the water; only my eyes give me away.

The animals in the zoo have ceased their restless behaviour. My growling stomach disturbs the tranquil calm of the park, so I lap at the river, drinking the fresh water to sate me before I hunt for my meal. A crack of a dead branch makes me stand to attention. I lift my head to the air, sniffing, while I twitch my ears to catch any other sound. I hear none, but I pick up a familiar scent. I feel myself smile as I round back to the path, knowing that I will be exposed. I am ready for a fight. I stand my ground as I lift my head again to check the air. I smell nothing now. I turn my head as I hear a padding of feet charge behind me.

I catch a glimpse of a light brown fur as I am knocked to the ground, flat on my face. I hear a light growl as I feel him chuckle against me. I quickly turn and nip at his neck, growling, a sore loser. He backs up onto his haunches and cocks his head at me. His tongue is lolled to the side as he sits back, magnificent. His steel blue eyes soften as he watches me. I rest back on my stomach, facing him as he lowers his head to nudge me. He proceeds to nip and lick my fur as he grooms me, from one mate to another.

As I feel my eyes droop, I feel a nudge on my shoulder and the warmth of his protective frame is replaced by the cold New York night. I am suddenly on my feet, sniffing and searching. Before long I am in the dense woodlands, surrounded by trees and undergrowth. I daren't call out for fear of being found by the humans. The undergrowth is moving and I inch closer to it, sniffing. He suddenly appears from under the growth and carries a dead rabbit in his jaws. I rub against him and he drops beside me as he offers me the first bite, my stomach growls its appreciation as my teeth rip in to the warm flesh, blood pouring into my mouth, sweet as it trickles down my throat. I have my fill and he has the rest. He cleans my face and I repay the favour, nuzzling his neck as we lie together in the dense woodlands.

We are both suddenly human as he shifts his weight on top of me, so I move my legs to accommodate his mass. With licks, kisses and nibbles, we roll around in the undergrowth. A bell rings in the distance as he takes my nipple into his mouth, biting and sucking. My hips rock with the sensation, lifting to meet him. His eyes are even more magnificent as he looks down at me. The bell gets louder as he fills me with a growl deep in his throat. I feel myself clamp around him as I cry out, the bell even louder now. As we rock together, I feel the ripples of climax building. His eyes penetrate me, edging me closer. The bell is unbearable as I let go, calling out as I rear up.

I sit bolt upright, the bell shrill in my ears. I feel disoriented as I look around the room. I realise I am in my bed, in my apartment, in Chicago, a thousand miles away from New York City. I turn to the bell sound that has rudely invaded my dreams and grab my phone. I turn off my four a.m. alarm and sigh. Another day of making coffee as a single woman. I plop back against the pillows, willing some motivation to get me out of bed today.

I swing my legs around and place my feet on the cold, oak floor. It was November so everything in the apartment was freezing. I shivered as I shuffled to the bathroom, hoping that my nighttime escapades didn't wake my roommate and best friend, Isabelle. We became inseparable since we met during fresher's week at college. Where I was earning a Business degree, she was working on her Biology major.

We first met at college during fresher's week and we had become inseparable. She was my first girlfriend and we experimented most nights instead of doing our assignments, making college into somewhat of a whirlwind. I wouldn't have changed the experience. Our relationship may have ended at graduation, but the sex certainly didn't. We still sometimes hook up when we're bored, horny or just feel like it. This became a regular occurrence until Brent came along.

Brent. Brent is a man who I fell for a long time ago. I thought I was resistant to his charms, but I was very wrong. He left me for a twenty-year-old blonde bimbo. I can't say I was honestly surprised. He was bored with me way before that. Brent and I met at my work's night out. I had worked for Star's Coffee since graduation, waiting for my big break in the business world. At Star's the management were eager for the employees to bond, it "makes the workforce stronger" apparently. I didn't really want to go, and I almost called to cancel, but Isabelle wasn't free to hook up because she was with her personal trainer. I pushed the thought of her sweating body from my mind and sighed, deciding that I really did need to get out more. I couldn't keep spending my nights entangled in her sheets. So I had bitten the bullet, wore my favourite green dress and red shoes (apparently clashing was in that year) and hit the town.

The nice thing about Chicago is that it wasn't too big a city. Well, not for me, anyway. I knew the best spots and I made sure to end up there if the evening did, in fact, suck. Luckily enough, though, it didn't. We started at a local favourite The Whiskey Barrel, where we sampled different whiskey shots and cocktails.

When I walked in to the bar, I couldn't keep the glee from my face. I felt like a kid in a candy store with all the choices. I was onto my third shooter when Cody, my work friend, walked into the bar. My heart leaped into my throat, he was perfect that night. His chocolate hair and bright eyes did not pass my notice. His facial hair was interesting to say the least, being November meant that moustaches were coming in thick and fast. His moustache and goatee resembled that of a classic villain and the corners of my lips twitched at the thought. He sauntered over and eased himself onto the stool next to me. The bar was crowded so his black cotton clad thigh brushed against mine. His crisp, blue shirt complimented his smart pants, especially when they exposed the warm, light skin of his arms. He greeted me with a kiss on the side of the mouth that sent me a bit too giddy as he squeezed my waist in a half-hug. He casually left his hand there as he engrossed me in conversation about pot, binary code and porn.

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