“Doesn’t this remind you of something?” Kyle asked as we skirted a spotty hedge.
I grinned. “What, because that guy at the pub told us to stick to the road?”
“Well, yeah. American Werewolf in London. That movie was cool. Scared the crap out of me when I was ten. I had the biggest crush on Jenny Agutter until I realized I was gay.”
“And here we are, leaving the road and going cross-country. Oooh, we’d better keep an eye open for wolves. Full moon tonight, too.”
He gave me a playful punch. “I bet you had a thing for David, right?”
“I was fourteen, and I liked boys, not girls, so yeah.”
For our vacation this year, we’d decided on a walking trip in England. Who knew, in an island country so small, there’d be so much open land?
“Sheep!” Kyle said and pointed.
“We agreed not to make any more jokes about sheep and farm boys.”
“You take all the fun out of life, you know that?”
We trudged up the hill and around to the front of the house, which was much bigger than those we’d passed earlier. The setting sun touched the stone walls with rose gold. “Whoever lives here has money,” I noted as we approached the lavish front door.
“Good. I’m hungry, and maybe they’ll invite us in. Werewolves or not, I’d just as soon be indoors tonight. I can smell the rain, can’t you?” He banged the decorative knocker twice.
A tall, thin man with dark hair and piercing eyes opened the door. “Yes?”
“Hi. I’m Kyle, and this is Ben. We’re lost and hoping you can direct us to the nearest village.”
He looked us over. “You are at least ten miles from the nearest town. What are you doing out here?”
“We’re on a walking trip and misjudged the distance between hubs of humanity. There are so many tracks across these fields, we lost the main road.”
A woman appeared at the man’s shoulder. She had dark hair too, and brightly painted red lips in a pale face. “What is it, Edward?” She had an American accent.
Darkness seemed to fall all at once, the sunset sky turning violet along the horizon. I stepped back. “Look, we’ll just be on our way. Sorry to have disturbed you.” Kyle gave me a surprised look, but I ignored it and pulled him away from the house. “If you can just point us in the right direction, we’ll be off.”
The woman said, “You won’t be able to see a thing. Stay the night and start off again in the morning. We’ve plenty of room, and I have a fondness for Americans.”
“We accept,” Kyle said happily. “Any place will do, even a barn. We’re not fussy.”
“We can do better than that, surely.” She laughed, and it sounded like music. “Besides, the barn’s already taken. Our shepherd lives there.”
Kyle was enjoying this conversation. He was all lit up and enthusiastic. “Not in the hay with the sheep, I hope. We saw some of them outside.”
“In private quarters attached to the barn. All quite modern, I assure you.”
I didn’t feel comfortable about the situation—these were nice people—but Kyle was already going inside, chattering away about where we were from and our adventures so far.
Our hosts, Edward and Celia, asked if they could get us anything. “You must be starving,” she said, “after all that walking.”
“We’re fine,” I insisted and glanced around. “You live in this big place all by yourself?”
“House staff comes in during the day, but they leave after dinner. My husband and I value our privacy. We’ll show you to your room.”
“They’re werewolves,” Kyle whispered to me behind his hand as we followed them down a hall on the main floor.
I poked him hard in the side, and he stifled laughter.
It was a nice room, if a little on the small side. I figured it was originally meant to be used by live-in help but was now an out-of-the-way guest room.
“You should be comfortable here,” Edward said, somewhat stiffly.
Celia might have welcomed us weary American travelers with open arms, but he exhibited the usual English wariness of strangers. I could almost see him wondering if we would rob them in the middle of the night and be gone before sunup with their silver.
He’d have his answer soon enough.
“I hope you don’t mind sharing a room,” Celia said, straightening one of the pillows on the double bed.
Kyle bounced on the mattress. “Oh, we share everything—our lives, our bodies, even our meals.” He smiled, eyes bright, and lamplight bounced off his extended canines.
I saw the moment they realized they’d made a mistake inviting us in, then Kyle leaped on Celia and sank his teeth into her creamy throat, and I was all over tall Edward, who fought valiantly but was easily overcome.
After we’d drunk our fill, we sat side by side on the bed, gazing at the bodies. Kyle took my hand in his. “I guess they weren’t werewolves after all.”
“I don’t enjoy it, you know.” He’d turned me two years ago, and I still disliked the necessity of eating.
He stroked my cheek. “I know, dear heart, but it’s a monster-eat-monster world, and we have as much right to live as anyone.” He straddled my lap and kissed me. “Let’s fuck, while fresh blood is pumping through our veins. That always makes you feel better.”
He was right. It did.
In the distance a wolf howled under the full moon.
Genre: Supernatural, M/M