Atop the crest of a hill in the university park, a bonfire crackles lively in the night. Dark figures, some on two legs, some on four, move around it, throwing their shadows against the grass like ancient guardians of shadow. Two figures break away: a giant wolf, strong and noble in stride, and a young man, more leaping than running as he keeps pace beside the creature. They run down the hill, through the flower field and up onto the wooden terraces in which the university’s botanical garden is kept. There, they halt to look up at the full moon rising above the clouds.
With a sigh of relief James collapsed against Steve’s warm side. The golden-tipped hairs of his fur tickled the side of the vampire’s face as he pressed his it into the hollow right below the werewolf’s ribs. The heart inside was beating away like a powerful drum, reminding James that although his boyfriend had amazing stamina for a supernatural being, he was still bound to the rules of the warm-blooded. Intense exercise made him short of breath, and he sweated in buckets while in human form. As a wolf, however, he only had to pant and flop out his long tongue to cool down. It was perhaps the most adorable sight the vampire had ever seen.
Under the moonlight, Steve-wolf’s big, blue eyes turned luminescent, casting an eerie glow upon his snout. As James understood it, the intense, reflective light functioned as a warning to humans and other predators that the werewolf was far from your National Geographic variety. Not that there could be any mistaking by the humongous size of him. When they were both standing upright, the top of James’s head barely reached withers height. A grown man could be called positively diminutive next to the majesty of such a big beast.
In all probability, the size difference should be terrifying him but instead, James always felt strangely at ease when Steve happened to shift. These were the only moments the vampire could really let his guard down, safe in the knowledge that his wolf would sense any danger far before he ever could. Also, Steve-wolf had a very nice set of teeth, ready to rip into any threat to either himself or his beloved boyfriend. For James, there was no better place on earth to let his hair down.
The vampire patted the side of his werewolf’s neck with a soft smile. ‘Good run, sweetheart.’
Steve-wolf turned his massive head and looked at him with twinkling eyes. His long tongue unfurled to lick his future mate’s face.
Bucky groaned as he tried to wipe the drool of his face. ‘Yeah, love you too, you big sap.’
High above them, a burst of magic clears the sky of smog and a thousand stars burst to life, accompanying the moon on her journey. The young man cuddles closer to the wolf and watches how the warlocks and witches atop of the hill turn the night sky into a panorama of glittering jewels. This time next year, he’ll make sure they spell out a question for Steve to see, but for now, he is perfectly content.