Stanley didn’t expect his life to change when he went jogging one night. Barely surviving a dog attack he woke in a strange bed with odd urges. He didn’t mind the sexy man hovering over him. In fact if Fen wished to join him in bed he’d have no objections.
Fenris wanted the alpha at his first growl. The sexy man’s commanding air and sweet smile were a combination out of Fen’s hottest dreams. Unfortunately family issues and outside forces tried to push the lovers apart and keep them from their happily ever after.
Faced with opposition Stanley did the only thing he could. He let everyone know that the new alpha on the block wouldn’t accept anyone getting between him and his man.
If Stanley Brown had known what kind of day it would turn out to be, he would’ve stayed in bed. No two ways about it. In bed with the door locked, the curtains drawn, and maybe a giant boulder in front of the entrance to his apartment building, like the ones in cartoons.
He definitely wouldn’t have gone running in the park.
But how was he to know something he did on an almost nightly basis would turn disastrous?
Not a lot of people visited the park at night. Technically, it closed at dusk, but Stanley considered the opening times posted as more of a guideline rather than a hard fast rule, and had discovered many fellow joggers with the same opinion. Except tonight none of his other running rebel friends were around to keep him company. Shrugging off the slight shiver tickling down his spine, Stanley continued on his routine path. He had no reason to find that night any scarier than other nights. In fact, the full moon brightened up the park far better than the pathetic glow from the dim streetlights a block away.
Hitting his stride, Stanley followed the familiar curved gravel path. The apartment key he kept on a chain around his neck and under his shirt. The small bit of metal tapped a calming rhythm against his chest with each step. A dog growled behind him. Damn, some moron had let his pet off leash again. He hated dog owners who thought the idea of a good time was to take their barely tamed animal to the park and let them run free. Those kinds of people tended to be mindless idiots who never worried about their beasts mauling some poor kid playing in the grassy field as long as Fido didn’t have to be oppressed by the leash laws.
Still running, Stanley reached into his jacket pocket and wrapped his fingers around the container of pepper spray he kept tucked inside. He might like to run amongst the trees, but this city boy never traveled without some sort of protection. He blamed the owners, not the mutts for their misbehavior, sadly it was the animals that got sprayed. Dousing the owners would’ve been much more satisfying.
The growling became louder. Maybe running away from the snarling dog had unleashed the animal’s hunting instinct. Well fuck, he wasn’t going to stop now.
Fumbling to pull the canister out, it caught on the inside mesh of his jacket pocket. A loud howl filled the air, closer this time. Before he could react, thick claws stabbed into Stanley’s back like sharp razors easily slicing through his thin nylon clothing.
Screaming, he fell face first onto the ground. Fear accelerated his heartbeat, hammering a staccato rhythm against his chest. He rolled over, still trying to pull the pepper spray out of his pocket. Stanley kicked at the creature, then pushed off with his feet and rolled away from his attacker. The dog, wolf, thing turned toward him, saliva dripping from its long snout.
What the hell is that? A feral dog? A runaway lab animal?
If he believed in monster movies, this would’ve been the perfect set up. His thoughts jabbering away in his mind, Stanley continued to yank at the pepper spray. Finally, the canister pulled free. With shaking hands, he lined up the nozzle and pointed it at the shaggy, snarling creature.
“Take that, you fucker!” Stanley stumbled to his feet and sprayed the large animal. If he found the beast’s owner, he’d sue the bastard for terrifying the crap out of him. Before he could douse the beast a second time, it jumped at Stanley and scratched the hell out of his arm. Unprepared for a second attack, Stanley tumbled to the ground. He let out a gurgling cry as the beast lunged and clamped onto Stanley’s throat with its massive teeth. Like a set of Ginsu knives, the beast’s sharp canines ripped through Stanley’s flesh. His vision dimmed from lack of blood as it splashed a warm river across his throat. He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists, not daring to buck off the beast gnawing at his throat. Thoughts of his parents’ sorrow when they heard of his death renewed Stanley’s fading determination.
Flinging out his hand, Stanley scrabbled to grab hold of anything. A piece of branch filled his palm, the wood scraping his flesh. Desperate for any bit of help, Stanley clutched the small branch. With his last surge of strength, he brought the stake up between them and stabbed the beast through its chest. Blood coated Stanley’s arm, its sticky essence soaking his shirt in a hot, crimson river. He turned his head when the first flow tried to get into his mouth. Spitting out the acrid taste spilling across his tongue, he still couldn’t quite clear his mouth of the flavor.