In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Chapter Thirty Eight
BY AL BRUNO III
Saturday November 16th 1996
Once they were alone in her room they abandoned all pretense of chaste conversation. The door slammed to a close and Isobel’s lips were on his lips, his chin, his neck. His hands found their place on her hips moving in gentle circles. She practically tore the shirt from his back and kissed her way down to his chest where she nibbled and teased until she was rewarded with a groan.
A trail of kisses led her back to his mouth. His hands cupped the curves of her ass and pulled her close. They embraced for a while, Galen naked from the waist down and Isobel dressed in oversized jeans and a flannel shirt. He took her hand and led her to the bed. They hadn’t bothered with candles, there hadn’t been time, but he found her bed easily. He laid her down and began to undress her, pausing to kiss each part of her that was revealed. Isobel’s closed her eyes feeling as though she was losing herself, tumbling end over end. His hands roamed everywhere- her face, the curve of her belly, and lower still. His touch stayed there a while, his caresses gentle and insistent until she was shuddering.
He stood then, his hands moving to the clasp of his jeans.
“No.” she pushed them away, “Let me.”
Now it was her turn, she pulled him down onto the soft bed and slipped his pants down his legs and over his feet. Her eyes were used enough to the dark now that she could see his cock standing at attention; she stoked the length of it with her free hand as she kissed her way along his thighs. Soon enough her lips found where her hand had been.
She had done this for Nick but always more out of a sense of resignation or obligation. Not this time, this time she was lost to the thought of pleasuring him, of making him forget every woman in his past, to make him utterly hers.
What she lacked in expertise she made up for with enthusiasm and she was grinning like a lunatic when he begged her to stop.
Not that there was any stopping her now. He was flat on his back and she was determined to keep him there. She straddled him, letting his hands find her breasts as she poised herself above him. When the very tip of him was nudging against her she paused staring down at his expectant eyes.
He’s a mystery. Isobel thought, He isn’t even human.
Then she lowered herself down the length of him, shivering at the sensation of it. She paused again, trying to catch her breath, feeling him start to slowly move beneath her. She arched her back, letting him see her, letting his hands and lips trace circles across her breasts.
Time stopped having any meaning. Thought was impossible. He clutched at her hips, urging her to move faster and faster until she was crying his name and he was gasping.
When other women told her it was possible to feel this way she had laughed into the back of her hand, Isobel had only known sexual pleasure as a furtive and conditional thing.
Not now. Not here. Oh no.
There was a final flurry of motion and Galen grunted fiercely with pleasure. Their pace slowed. Isobel slumped forward covering her skin with his. They were both trying to catch their breath. Isobel could feel him growing soft in her but she wasn’t quite ready to let him go yet.
“I love you,” she said.
There was a smile in his voice, “You do don’t you?”
“Yes.” ”Aren’t you afraid?”
“Yes but I still love you.”
“It couldn’t have been at first sight.”
“Well, you cleaned up nice.”
They both laughed remembering that morning in the bathroom. For her it almost seemed like that was someone else’s life now. She was in a different world now; didn’t that mean she was becoming a different Isobel?
Galen shifted so they were lying side to side and he propped his head up on one arm. “I can’t promise you much of a life. I can’t even promise to keep you safe. I’m no hero.”
“I don’t need you to be a hero,” she said, “I just need you. We can take care of each other.”
“There is so much you don’t know yet…”
Isobel nodded in agreement then got out of the bed. She rummaged around in the night stand knowing he was staring at her backside and glorying in it. Matches found, she lit a candle and let its light fill the room. She stood across the room from him, careless in her nudity.
“Stand up,” she said.
Galen did as he was ordered, grinning all the while.
“Now...” Isobel fought to keep her voice even, “... show me.”
“Show me what you are. Hao said it was called the Metamorphosis…”
“The Metastasis,” he said quietly, “we call it the Metastasis.”
“I want to see it, I want to see you.”
“Are you sure?”
“Ok but don’t be afraid,” he said.
A shudder went through Galen’s body. It was so sudden that it was almost a blur. Was it the muscles shifting beneath his skin or just an illusion of the candlelight? Isobel couldn’t be sure. His features seemed to thicken, his face becoming brutish and unrecognizable. Dark, rust-colored hair bled across his body, spreading until she couldn’t see the skin she had been kissing just a short while ago.
The final transformation from two legged man to four legged beast was as simple as a change in posture. As he knelt his legs contracted while arms lengthened. Where there had once been a yet wiry physique there was now a predatory shape. The changes came faster as though a beast had been sketched over the man and now all that was left were the small details. His neck bulged and widened- all the better to support the broad skull and blunted snout it had to support. Cruel-looking teeth filled the gaps that had been created in the gum line. The fingers of each hand melded into a trio of thick, clawed digits.
Isobel couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t move. Her bravery was gone and she felt very vulnerable and very naked.
The beast that Galen had become-
-or perhaps it was the beast Galen had always been-
gazed expectantly at her with eyes the color of the moon.
“Don’t be afraid,” He moved towards her, his voice was a rumble. “It’s still me.”
He had no tail, the realization made her feel queasy. Was there supposed to be one? If there had been a tail would it be wagging? Isobel reached out, running her fingers through his smooth pelt, “What are you?”
“I am Vlodek born of the Great She-Wolf and Phelan the Hunter, born of blade and tooth.”
Isobel was sure that any moment she would wake up from the madness of this dream, but it was all real.
Was this what she had pledged her heart to?
If he was some kind of a monster what did that make her?
Galen moved closer to her, “Don’t be afraid. Please don’t.”
“This doesn’t change anything,” Isobel said and in the span of a few breaths the man had transposed the beast, “I said I love you.”
Hand in hand they returned to the bed, Galen only pausing long enough to blow out the candle.