Daily Prompt: Charlie and Natalia Part 3

More to read! There are six chapters total. They are rough drafts, by the way. There will most probably be errors.

Charlie and Natalia:

The cute guy came by two days later. Natalia was in the middle of writing a hard section of code when the doorbell rang. It was mid-morning and she was still in her fitted cotton pajamas. She wasn’t expecting anyone, so thinking it was the mailman, she saved her work and hurried to the door. She bit her lower lip when she looked out the peephole.

She opened the door for Charlie, who was standing on the top step holding Styrofoam food containers and a brown bag. “Hungry?”

She cracked. He was too cute. A smile spread across her face and she moved out of the way to let him in.

“Sorry I didn’t call, I didn’t know your number.” He was placing the food on her kitchen table, while she brought out plates, cups and utensils.

“We have to fix that. Something happened and I wanted to talk to you about it.” She was talking into the fridge, not letting him see her face. The rustling of containers stopped.

Charlie tried not to see too much into the statement, but he had been thinking about her nonstop the past three days. It was tough to wait, but he did not want to come off as a stalker. He was watching her as she continued to rummage in the fridge. “You wanted to talk to me?”

“Yeah.” No emotion came through.

He leaned against the table and crossed his arms. A smug tone crept into his voice. “Because you needed someone to talk to, or because you specifically wanted me?”

She pulled herself out of the fridge holding milk and orange juice. She looked in his eyes for a second before looking away. “We’ll go with the first.”

She missed the large grin, but heard it in his voice. He had seen the truth in her eyes. “Kay. You want bacon or sausage?”

“Bacon.” She sat at the table, letting him divide up the food. He had bought two pancake breakfasts with eggs benedict and American potatoes. There were two sides of bacon and sausage and even a little container of syrup. It was from The Silver Spoon.

He sat down across from her and looked at her expectantly. When she didn’t say anything, he picked up his fork and poked her with it. She woke from her daze and blushed. A grin broke across his face. “What were you thinking about?”

He watched as she visibly pulled herself together and hid her thoughts. “I won’t tell you.”

“So what will you tell me?” He started in on his pancakes.

“Can I tell you all of it?” She was picking at her food. It was good, but her stomach was turning with nervousness.

He paused with a forkful of food halfway to his mouth. “Yeah. I’d be honored to listen.”

His voice was kind again, and she suddenly wasn’t ready. She shook her head. “Not yet. Let’s eat first.”

“Whatever you like.” His voice was encouraging, even around the mouthful of food. She chuckled and began eating. It was good food and she didn’t want it to go to waste. Since Charlie ate all the leftovers, nothing was thrown out.

After breakfast, they sat in the living room sipping decaf. Natalia liked the taste of coffee, but had had enough of caffeine thanks to Zechariah. Charlie preferred to stay away from any form of stimulant, especially three days from the full moon. He had a hard enough time controlling himself normally and Natalia was enough of an emotional boost. They sat in the same spot as the first night he had come: he on the couch, her on the window seat.

“Shouldn’t you be laying on the couch?” He was trying to make light of the situation.

She snorted, hugged her knees to her chest and tried to figure out how to start. “The Slayer you wanted to snack on? I knew him. He drugged me and locked me in a closet in order to make me a Slayer.” The story snowballed after that.

At the end of her tale, they were both on the window seat, their coffee mugs on the table. Charlie was leaning against the wall; Natalia sat between his legs, leaning against him. She had finished a while ago, and they had been quiet for just as long. She had cried a little, but most of her pain had been released when he had been here the first time.

Natalia felt safe, and wondered why it bothered her. Charlie was resting his chin on her shoulder; their cheeks were touching.

“Nat, there’s something I need to ask you.” He pulled away, withdrew inside himself, tensed.

“What?” She tried not to clutch at him, not wanting to appear needy.

“Did you ever sleep with someone other than your boyfriend while you were high?”

“I…don’t know.”

He took a slow breath. “Did you end up with something I should know about?” He paused then stumbled on, unsure of how to proceed. “Because, see, if you let me, I’d like to sleep with you, and I’d like to know how careful I should be.”

            She started laughing softly. There was a hint of hysteria to the sound, though. His voice had been so sheepish, so hopeful. Her laugher turned to tears, as the absurdity of it all crashed in upon her. She had just been talking about vampires and Slayers and the craziness of the world to a werewolf, and he was worried about catching an STD. She felt his arms again, reassuring, caring, strong, human. She calmed down and answered.

            “I did, but penicillin took care of it. It’s been a while since I’ve slept with anyone, but I still get tested, Charlie. You don’t have anything to worry about.” She paused. “Do I?”

            “I can’t be near you around the full moon.”

            She pulled away enough to look in his face, wondering if there was something more than the obvious. “Because you’ll turn.”

            It was the first time she had seen him look ashamed. He shook his head. “Yeah, but that’s not all of it. I changed into a blitzkrieg once, while having sex. She died.”

            He looked away from the complete fear in her eyes. He expected her to pull away, but she didn’t.

            “What happened?” There was no fear in her voice, but he knew better. She wasn’t hiding the emotions on her face.

            “It was six months after my sixteenth birthday. I had been having these crazy dreams around the full moon. I had a girlfriend and she was trying to help me, but you know how it is. If someone isn’t involved, they just don’t understand.” He swallowed, and she saw the tears shining in his eyes. “She decided that I just needed some company on the night of the full moon, and came over as a surprise. We sat in my room and talked, but by the time it got really dark, I was pacing like a caged animal. She thought sex would help me, and I figured what the hell? Couldn’t hurt….”

His eyes were closed and his tears were streaming down his face. He pulled away from her roughly to get up and pace. Natalia watched him, her back against the cool glass. “In the morning, I woke up in my bed surrounded by blood and body parts. I don’t remember what happened.” He hung his head. “I lived alone at the time; I ran away from my foster parents a few months earlier. After I puked, I cleaned everything up, threw everything in the trash and left town.”

His eyes opened and he slowly lifted his head, unsure of how Natalia would react. He understood she had every reason to throw him out and never speak to him again. She wasn’t saying anything at the moment, but she was masking her emotions. He ran his hands through his hair then sat on the coffee table, waiting for her to say something.

All of Natalia’s fears and doubts had surged through her mind when he started his tale. It showed her all she had wondered and worried about, but kept hidden from herself. She had been willing to separate the wolf from the man in order to have someone around who understood. But realistically, she had to take all of him. If she was going to continue being around him, she knew she had to accept the risks. She had read enough about werewolves to know that they were always unpredictable, but even worse around the full moon.

She looked away from him, unable to confront the naked emotions. She was silent for a moment, then stood and walked to him. He stood as well and they looked each other in the eye. She placed a tender hand on his cheek, which surprised him.

“I…” But she didn’t know what to say.

Charlie saw the look in her eyes: there was no fear, only a hope of understanding. His mouth dropped open a touch and his eyes grew wide. When she did not pull away and stayed silent, he took her in his arms and kissed her gently. He tightened his hold on her then started kneading her shoulders, and her arms, slowly working his way down to her fingertips. She leaned her head to one side as he nuzzled her neck. He bit her ear lobe, then breathed into her ear. It sent shivers through her body. She gasped as his hands went under her shirt to caress her stomach and move his way up her torso.

Natalia moved away forcibly, stumbling a bit as she sat on the window seat.

“Sorry.” He was breathless, and looked worried. “Did I go too far?”

She was leaning with her arms crossed trying to catch her breath. “Charlie, how much control do you have this close to the full moon?”

 “Not much.”

Natalia sighed and looked at a spot on the wall. She had looked up the phases of the moon on a web site and knew how close the next full moon was. “We’re not going to do this today. Your s

tory proves we shouldn’t. Also, I’m still not too sure…”

Natalia paused, and Charlie took her hand, pulling her close. His hands went around her back as they stood up. He held on to her tightly and kissed her deeply. Her arms went around him and held him tight. They pulled away a moment later, breathless.

“You’re not sure you should get involved with a werewolf.”

“Yeah.” She was biting her lower lip and her eyes were closed. His hand went to the back of her neck and started massaging gently. The hand on her lower back pulled her tighter to him and she felt him through her thin cotton pants. Her eyes flew open and he saw her hunger as he ground into her.

“I should let you go, shouldn’t I?” It was a bare whisper.

“Yes!” It came out a breathless cry, full of need.

Charlie gritted his teeth, still wanting her, knowing he should let her go. His fingers curled into her back and she whimpered. Her eyes showed her naked need. He wanted to take the look away. He felt something familiar uncoiling within him and he growled. There was nothing human about the sound.

Charlie recoiled. His legs slammed against the window seat and he sat down hard. His breath was coming hard and fast. His left hand was gripping the edge of the seat, his right, the corner of the wall. His hands were white from the strain. Natalia backed up and watched as Charlie, eyes wide open, took a huge breath and let it out very slowly. His next breath was just as deep but not as violent. His hands relaxed slowly with his breathing and he closed his eyes. Soon, he was breathing normally. His eyes opened as he let go of the seat and wall and examined each for damage.

“Bad, bad idea.” He was whispering, but she heard him.

“Seems like.” She was breathless, but her voice was not as freaked out as it should be.

His eyes traveled up and down her body and he felt it again. A hunger so primal it was hard to withstand. He stood up, pushing his way past her. He needed out.

“Um, I really have to go. I’ll call you in about a week.” He started toward the front door with Natalia following him.

“Wait.” She was still breathless, this time from nervousness. His attitude reminded her of the creature he could become, and she wanted him out for the time being. But he was forgetting something. “I…still don’t have your number.”

He cracked a smile and started to laugh, making him look human. When he pulled out his phone, the entire animal demeanor was gone. He flipped open the cell and waited. She rattled off her number as he typed.

“Call me when the moon wanes.”

Charlie put the cell away then grabbed her and dipped her. She threw her arms around his neck for stability. He brought her close for one last kiss. It was deep, long, hungry. He brought her back up and released her. One hand groped behind him for the doorknob as the other caressed her back.

“Gotta go.”

“Call me.”

“Count on it.” He was out the door.

Natalia watched as he ran to the end of the walkway then carefully opened the gate and walked out. She closed the door and leaned her head against it, cursing herself for her desires. She wanted the werewolf, which could mean serious trouble.

                                                            *****

Natalia spent the next four days distracting herself with work. Charlie spent the next four nights thinking of Natalia. He kept away from her and asked Daniel, who knew Charlie’s nature, to hold on to his cell phone. If he didn’t have his cell, he couldn’t call Natalia. If he couldn’t call Natalia, he couldn’t convince her to let him come over. If he couldn’t see her, he couldn’t make a bad mistake. Charlie liked Natalia. He did not want to hurt her. Instead he concentrated on the full moon.

The werewolf discovered some time ago that the Golden Gate National Park across the bay in Marin was the perfect place to rage. No one visited late at night and there were many places that people never went. He ran the hills in human form, thinking of how she had felt and smelled and looked. Eventually, the thoughts a whirlwind in his mind, his primal form ripped through and he was no longer thought, no longer idea, but form and motion. All he knew was the feel of the wind, the smell of the salt, fresh flowers and other animals. The wolf came upon a herd of wild rabbits and took care of his bloody needs.

                                                            *****

Charlie woke up on a beach. It was early morning and no one was around. He stood up and realized he was naked. It was the usual drill. He spent an hour looking around the beach for lost clothing. Nothing fit, but at last he found something. All he needed was something that would get him to a pay phone, where he could call Daniel.

Two days before the full moon, Daniel would drive him out here and drop him off. Whenever Charlie came to, he would find a payphone, there were several in the area, and call Daniel for pick up. When Daniel hired Charlie, it took one cycle of the moon for Daniel to come to his new hire and tell him he knew his secret. Although his boss and friend was human, he had werewolf blood running through him. His whole family was werewolves. Daniel had been given a choice when he turned 18: get bitten and be a werewolf or not get bitten and live his life as a human. Charlie and Daniel both knew that even without the bite there was a possibility Daniel would change, but the possibility was slim. Daniel had opted to not being bitten; not wanting to deal with the problems werewolves encountered every month.

Charlie was curious about Daniel’s family, but the rest of the family lived in Montana and out east somewhere. Daniel was never clear on where. It was also hard to talk about what he was without revealing too much. Charlie liked having a boss who knew what he was, but he didn’t want to tell the man what he had done in his life. Werewolves rarely wanted to reveal that much of themselves to anyone who wouldn’t understand completely.

Charlie started off along the beach, trying to remember even the slightest detail about the previous night. Nothing was coming. Even his dreams of the female wolf, usually clear upon waking, were a blur. Charlie started running, feeling the salty air, listening to the pounding of the waves. His thoughts strayed to Natalia, and he nearly stumbled. She was a mistake, pure and simple. He nearly changed just making out with her. What would happen if she actually were to sleep with him? He shuddered, not wanting to contemplate the possibilities.

He could stay away from her, but the fact was, he didn’t want to. Charlie could feel her against him, even this far away. He took a deep breath and smelled her shampoo over the salt tang of the sea. He stumbled to his knees and gripped the sand, digging deep. He leaned forward, keeping his breath steady and his mind clear. Slowly, his brain started to function normally and he was able to get up.

Charlie took the next path he could find up to the hills and followed it until he hit concrete. Two miles away he found a payphone and called Daniel, who was having a work crisis. He apologized and told Charlie he couldn’t pick him up. Charlie hung up and cursed softly. He knew he’d have to walk back to the city. He didn’t keep his wallet on him on these monthly excursions, which meant that even if he could find a cab, he couldn’t pay for one. Public transportation was out for the same reason. The possibility of Slayers made hitchhiking a terrible idea, which left walking. It took him a good two hours to get home. He was exhausted when he reached his apartment. Not even bothering with taking off his found clothing, he fell on his bed and slept for twenty-four hours.

Upon waking every muscle hurt, and he felt dehydrated. Charlie rolled over onto his back and stared at the ceiling. He wanted to be with Natalia and wanted to know if she felt the same about him. He reached for his cell phone, and realized he didn’t have it. Daniel had it. He slapped his head, rolled over onto his side, and sat up. He got up slowly and headed for the shower. He was under the water for a solid hour letting the hot water sting his flesh and relax his muscles.  He dressed then used a pay phone at the corner pizzeria to warn Daniel he was coming over. At least Daniel didn’t have a work crisis today.

As soon as he had his phone, he called Natalia. She had to finish working on a program and didn’t want him to distract her. She turned breakfast down, but promised to call him when she was done.

“But I want to see you.” His voice was slightly pleading.

“Charlie, I have work to do. Don’t you work?” Natalia had to squash her feelings. She did want him to come over.

“Yeah, I have a security gig.”

“You’re a security guard?” She was a little surprised.

“Ye-ah.”

“How does that work with the full moon?” She was genuinely interested.

“My boss is a friend and the owner. He knows what I am and gives me time off when I’m at my worst. Are you sure I can’t come over?”

“I’ll call you when I’m done.” Her voice was firm.

“All right, if you insist. Bye.” He sounded dejected, but hung up.

Natalia went back to work, trying not to think of him. Charlie went home and thought mostly about her.

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