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Part 32: To Err is Human (and Tomorrow is Another Day)

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I stood in front of my closet and wondered what one wore to “run with the werewolves.” 

Mac, meanwhile, continued to lean on my windowsill, his arms pressed up against the screen.  He was, of course, completely naked, and like so many of the men in my life, completely relaxed about it.  His long auburn hair hung in front of his face.  Usually, he wore a bit of it tied back, and I had to say that the whole ‘muss in front’ look was very alluring.  Somehow, having the straggly locks falling in front of his face made him seem that much more… animalistic. 

I could see more of the tribal tattoos, too.  Though the stripes along his biceps reminded me of tiger stripes, I was fairly sure now that they replicated darker swirls in his wolf-form fur.

As I debated which shoes to wear, Mac seemed to be looking around my mess of a room.  “Nice place,” he said casually.

I shook my head at him as I sat down on the bed to lace up my tennis shoes.  I’d turned off the lamp in order to see outside better, so I called bullshit.  “You can’t see anything.”

Hell, I could barely see the shape of his face in the shadows.  His ink was only so visible because the moonlight fell across his naked shoulders.  Its silver light highlighted the contours of muscle and sinew.

“Actually, I can,” he said. “When it’s a full moon, I can see in the dark even when I’m not a wolf.”

A howl echoed in the night.

The sound made me jump, and Mac turn his head. “They’re wondering where I am,” Mac said.  

“You should go,” I told him.  “You know I won’t be able to keep up with you anyway.”  And, I still wasn’t entirely sure this wasn’t some kind of trap.  As strange as it might sound, I found myself far more wary of a pack of werewolves than I’d ever been with a dragon.

He sighed, laying his head down on his arms.  It was a very dog-like move, and guilt briefly stabbed at my gut, like I’d let down a puppy that wanted to play.  “It’s such a nice night out.  You should come with us.”

“I’m a dragon, not a wolf,” I pointed out.

He sighed.  “Dragons are boring.”

I left my other shoe sitting on the bed and made no move to put it on.  “I guess so.”

Without another word, Mac turned from the window.  He took off at a run.  I stood up to see if I could catch sight of his transformation.  In one moment, there was a beautiful, wildly tattooed naked man streaking across Robert’s backyard and in the next, after he turned around the side of the garage, a red Mexican wolf with a white patch of fur just over his eye.

Standing by the window, I could feel the cool breeze.  The air smelled fresh and like something farm-ish, the tang of manure, maybe, or skunk musk?  Crickets sang.  Above, the stars spread out in their glittering blanket.

Somewhere, in that sky, Valentine flew.

Without me.

Despite what I’d said to Mac, the truth was I was human.  I might have this dragon-kin blood somewhere in my veins, but that wasn’t who I was—not in my heart, anyway.  In my heart I was a small town coroner.  Although I kind of sucked at that, too—albeit in a very human way.

I sat back down on the bed and took off my shoe.

Tomorrow I would start afresh.  Tomorrow I would solve a crime and figure out who was dropping people from the sky and… why.

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