Short stories and serials by Alexandra Herakai

Hound in the Coverts: Hound in Pursuit

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Jake clawed at his face, trying to get rid of whatever was causing that searing sensation in his skin, as though every hair was sending fire into his head. When it finally faded, doubtlessly no thanks to his reaction, as it lingered longer where his claws had scratched his skin, he shook his head, dazed and no little annoyed. Whatever it was Marina had shoved in his face, it had stung, even more than that time when Konah had spit garlic at him. That time, the pain had snapped him out of his rage, but this time, it only served to fuel it. The vixen was his. She had no right to attack him; he’d have to show her her place again. Then, once he’d dealt with her, he’d go deal with the cat as well, teach him a lesson about touching Jake’s things.

Nose close to the ground, he loped after the vixen, supporting himself on his knuckles. He’d get her. Her trail was easy to follow, fresh as it was, and if that stupid trinket she’d used had alerted Lore, well… He’d certainly not be found in her room, so who could prove he’d done anything wrong? Certainly not Ina, she’d not dare tattle on him.

That’s what you thought last time, too, a small voice of reason pointed out in his head, barely audible over his anger. What’re you going to do if she talks again?

He slowed down, ears twitching. What had he been thinking, running headfirst after that cunt? He’d be better served letting her run and getting back to his own place before she could tell anyone he’d been in her room. If he was found on campus after classes ended, it’d look a lot worse than if he was back home at his flat. He could claim he’d just wanted to talk to her. While it was still in violation of that silly restraining order, they couldn’t really fault him for wanting to talk to his girlfriend, now could they?

She’d get what was coming to her eventually. He could wait; she was still his girl, she’d always be his girl. She’d be out of school soon enough, away from Lore’s protection, and he could have his way with her then. Keep that cheating bitch in line by threatening the cubs she’d had with that freshman. He’d like to see her talk then, with her offspring’s lives on the line!

His head had cooled, and he changed back to human shape. While he doubted there was anyone on campus who didn’t recognize Jake Fang, they might not take quite so much notice of him if he wasn’t in wolf shape, and if Lore did get to him before he could leave school grounds, well… Maybe if he showed he had enough restraint to not be the wolf, that blasted gryphon wouldn’t knock him to the ground again. A shame Konah had sided with Ina; he could’ve used an alibi.

He could use a good roll, though. That was part of why he’d come to see Ina, after all. It was hard to find a lay with his reputation, much less one he could release his other self with. He’d have hoped the vixen would still fear him enough to comply, or that she, unlikely as that thought was, would even be glad to see him. Never had he imagined that she would’ve found someone willing to bed her and that she would, on top of that, have let herself get knocked up. It didn’t sound very like the careful, cautious, chubby raev he’d dated.

Then again, telling on you didn’t seem like her either, did it?

Sometimes he hated the voice of reason. It had an infuriating tendency to be right about the most frustrating things. But that didn’t make Marina any less of an ungrateful bitch. She should be happy he’d shown interest in her. After all, he’d told her that nobody else would want her, and she hadn’t protested then.

He stuck his hands in his pockets as he walked. He didn’t need to seem to be in any major hurry. A forgotten piece of paper piqued his curiosity, and he pulled it out: a napkin from the student cafeteria. A name and a number were scrawled on it, in the handwriting of one of the posers who’d tried to make friends with him in the hopes that it would get them respect. They amused him with their self-delusion.

It wasn’t the would-be-something’s name or phone number, however.

He’d seen their owner around the school on a few occassions, a skinny thing that kept getting into trouble with Rolan and his clique. Jake didn’t have an issue with Rolan per se; as long as the football player had the sense to leave Jake (and, in the unlikely case his friend would ever show romantic interest in anyone, Konah) alone, he wasn’t going to come in and save the day. Let Rolan do what he wanted. But the platinum blonde boy who seemed to be one of Rolan’s most frequent targets…

Jake hadn’t thought about it that way before, too absorbed by finding another one like Marina, but the more he considered it, the more likely did it seem that Roxeen Griffon’s promiscuity was a different kind of sign of the same sort of insecurity. Had he not heard Ina’s last roommate lecture the raev about boys liking girls who put out at one point?

No, he wouldn’t use the number to get himself a quick blow in a maintenance closet or bathroom. He’d observe, quietly, make sure the boy was receptive, and then he’d save him from Rolan. After that… Then he might call him.

For now… He’d just have to cash his next medication check and find himself a partner-for-hire on Dragonbird Lane.

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