The bed creaked as Antonio lifted himself up on his lower arms. “You need to go, don’t you?” You asked, sadness making your voice lower than usual. “Si.” He murmured, pressing his lips against your own. “But don’t think about going anywhere, I’ll be back soon okay?”
Looking away from him, you bit your lip even though you knew he had to go. Threading your fingers through his soft chocolate brown hair, you tugged on it gently as you thought. You should’ve gotten used to it by now, it happened every month after all. Or well, every lunar month.
“I promise to come back. Do.... you promise to be here for me?” You laughed lightly at his antics, he always asked this question and you always answered it the same way. “Of course I will be, I swear Antonio.” As you smiled up at him sweetly Antonio saw you as an angel.
Roughly kissing you again, he rolled onto his side, slipping off your shared bed and standing up.
He sent you a longing look as you lay there on the crumpled bed sheets, reining his desire to return to you and ravishing you until morning broke. Both you and he knew however that such a thing wasn’t possible on a night like that.
“Go Antonio, you know the hunters in the village are getting friskier by the day. Don’t let anyone see you my love.” You wrapped your hands around his waist and kissed his bare skin. His hands fisted the fabric of his loose trousers and with a frustrated sigh, he tightened his grip on your hands and then let go.
You watched as he made his way to the door, his back straight and unyielding and after he closed the door you sped to the little window that looked out to the great field that surrounded your cottage.
Making it in the nick of time, you gazed as the great, dark brown wolf rearing up and howling desperately to the pale luminescent moon. Smiling you watched as he sprinted off, his back legs kicking powerfully and making him disappear into the forest that lay in the distance.
Grand snow-covered pinnacles of mountains stuck out of the crown of the forest, barely visible against the horizon.
The small cottage the two of you lived in was located in the fields, the sleepy village quite a fair distance away from you. You’d moved from place to place quite a bit, whenever this got too heated between the hunters and Antonio you’d leave your home once again. Not that either of you minded, you were content just being in each other’s arms.
It was just at the very beginning of your relationship that Antonio had hurt you. He felt guilty to this day and always made sure he did the utmost for you. His unquenchable love for you was dizzying and passionate, making it hard for you to believe you returned it with equal vigour. His affectionate gestures and loving gazes gave you the feeling you were something treasured. Something almost as precious to him as his own life (or his tomato-crops).
After that incident, he made himself go on runs whenever he transformed. That way he’d be able to lure the hunters away from your residence and work off his overdose of testosterone. Two birds with one stone.
He’d return to you when morning broke, the first streams of sunlight stripping his wolf-form from him. With that thought you turned back to your now empty bed, lying down on it on your side. Facing his side of the bed, you lay your hand where he would be, longingly caressing the spot. When you closed your eyes, all you could see was him.
Working cheerfully on the field, cooking together, difficult dancing that always left you in fits of giggles and generally laughter. It was wonderful to be around the Spaniard, it was almost as if his smile bought the sun. Kind of ironic since he was bound to the moon with both body and soul.
Pulling his fluffy pillow from the head of the bed, you squished it between your arms as you buried your face in it. It still smelt of him, you pondered as you once again closed your eyes, the scent granting you happy dreams of being with him.
Instead of the padding of bare feet on the wooden floor, something else managed to rouse you from your slumber. The door was slammed open, hitting the hinges with a loud squeak and rattle. “I thought you said this place was empty? Obviously someone’s been living here-“
“Shut up then! Or do you want this person of yours finding out that we’re here?”
Wow, for thieves they were pretty loud and stupid. They were men however, which meant that they could be hard to take out, much more so since there were at least two of them. The gruff voices of the men sent a chill down your spine and the lilt in their voices suggested that they weren’t from around the village.
Due to a glance out of the window, you could see that it wasn’t yet daybreak, however the deep red hue on the sky hinted at it. In no time Antonio would be back at the house, turned back to his normal state.
It wouldn’t take long for the thieves to see the bed, the house wasn’t very big what with only two main rooms. “Hey, there’s a girl!”
There it was, now you had two choices. Fight or flight? That was the question. Oh, then again there was another option; scream for Antonio. With his heightened hearing, hopefully he’d be able to pick it up and he’d come charging for you. In a way you kind of felt bad for the men, they’d never know what hit them.
Still feigning sleep, you breathed out slowly albeit shakily. Sneaking a glance at the men, you paled. They were quite large and no doubt would put up a fight. As you looked past them, you felt your lips tug upward. The door had been left open. Thank God.
“She looks like top quality too.” The bed sunk to the side, not used to the weight of the burly robber. “I think I’ll take her.” His tone darkened and you chose that moment to smash your foot into his neck, hopefully catching his windpipe.
You screamed loudly, a high-pitched screech resonating around the house and out into the open air as you screamed at the top of your lungs. Your cry for help ended abruptly though, the man’s companion clamping his large hand over your mouth tightly.
His dirt-crusted fingernails dug into your cheeks and your eyes watered before you bit down hard on it. Yelping loudly, he cussed and bought his other hand to strike you straight across the face. With a whimper, you tried to regain your breath having been winded when you fell on your side.
“How dare you-!!” The first man crawled on top of you, pressing his weight on your chest to restrict the gulps of air you were taking. “I’ll make you pay for that!!” With another blow to the face, you started crying, not caring anymore to keep your dignity.
A loud growl erupted from the doorway and the three of you glanced up in unison to see the wolf. His haunches were raised, his long canines bared as he made a beeline for the man that was sitting on you. With a bestial cry of rage, he swiped at the man’s head, pulling him off you with the force of an enraged bull.
All the men would do was weakly wail as Antonio clawed at them, biting close to their necks.
“Stop!” You didn’t want the brutes to go unpunished, but you didn’t want them to die either. “Antonio!” The men stared at you in the manner as though you’d gone mad; calling to this beast from hell as though it was your lover, what on earth-?!
The wolf slinked around the trembling men, his vivid green eyes trained on their every scared move. He reached your side, standing next to you with a snarl. When the men did nothing but stare, he made a sudden darting move at them and they squealed like piglets, scrambling to their feet and running with their non-existent tails between their legs.
Antonio snorted derisively, turning his large, furry head towards you. With a small smile, you hugged him around the neck tightly. He lay his head on your shoulder, sniffing you to see if he could smell the metallic tang of blood on you. Having done so, he wrinkled his nose as he gently eased his head from your arms.
He started to lick your wounds, the scratches and cuts you’d obtained from the men on your cheeks and face. With a growl, he turned back to the door as if to leave and you grabbed hold of him again, tightly wrapping your arms around his ribcage. His body was hot and he was still panting from when he’d bolted to get to you as quickly as possible.
With a short sigh, he flopped onto the ground, nudging your head with his own for comfort. You sniffled slightly, scooting closer until you could hear his quickened pace under your ear.
Leaning on you in appreciation, he straightened up. As you looked up you saw the sunlight streaming in through the still open door which now hung limply on one broken hinge.
Antonio licked his lips as he stood up, his spine shortening with a horrific crunch that was surprisingly painless, his fluffy tail disappearing into the base of his skin. His hide shortened until it was restricted to his skull and he smiled down at you, his white teeth sharper than normal as they gleamed in the morning sun.
Softly returning the hug, he bought you over to the bed and laid you down on it, kissing your forehead and then the stinging tracks the tears had left in their wake down your cheeks. “It seems like we’re going to have to move again.” He murmured, playing with a strand of your hair absentmindedly.
“I don’t mind. Anything to keep you safe from those kind of guys.” Grinning at your answer, he stood up to close the door to the best of his possibility. “Well, I’ll only go as long as you stay by my side of course.”
“Must you ask that every time?” You teased, hugging him tightly. “I’m a freak you know, isn’t it normal for me to be insecure about people around me....?” With a hard stare you pulled back from him. “You are not a freak. Don’t you dare call yourself that ever again.” He blushed, you’d kissed him brusquely on the lips, moving your lips against his with fervour.
“You’re you. You’re Antonio Fernandes Carriedo, the man I love. The man who changes into a wolf. The man who laughs when he tends to tomatoes.” With a smile, you nuzzled his neck. “You’re the only one for me, you’re the only one to make my heart race like this. I love you Antonio.”
You pulled him down so his ear lay against your chest. “I’m never going to let go of you.” You murmured, tracing his cheekbone with your thumb. “Te amo!” He exclaimed, kissing along your neck and jaw to get to your lips.
“Te amo, te amo, te amo!” He carried on his hurried whispers each time he kissed you, a tear of happiness escaping his closed eyes. It looked as though he was in prayer, the devotion with which he murmured the same phrase over and over again.
“Te amo hasta el fin del mundo!”