I don’t really like people, except Rolly. He’s been my best friend forever. And okay, maybe his jackass brothers.
They’re all right.
And Tom and Meaghan are okay.
But, yeah, I don’t like people. If I’m around people too much I start getting this itchy feeling between my shoulder blades. I know I’m about to do something to piss everyone off and I don’t necessarily want to, but …there it is.
I guess I don’t try too hard to stop it.
Like this one time, when Rolly and I were in high school? There we were, sitting at the back of class at our black tables with the Bunsen burners in the middle and I’m thinkin’ about maybe lighting one, because god, chemistry is just fucking boring, and I’m trying to be good because I’m this close…like…a whisker… from getting expelled and my leg starts shaking up and down while Mr. Pratt drones on and on and on about covalent bonds. I start thinking about mating because Greg told us last night he diddled this girl and I’m not sure if I believe him or not, and then I just sort of find myself lighting up the burner anyway, lighting a piece of paper on fire for shits and giggles. Mr. Pratt’s writing shit on the board and I drop it on my notebook when I burn my fingers—then there’s just fire. The sprinklers go off. We all run out, of course, and everything is great for about twenty minutes. Wet fun times. Then I’m getting yelled at by the principle and the vice principle and the fucking secretary (why she cared I don’t know) and Mr. Pratt… and Rolly’s all: “Oh, no. I did it,” because he’s my best friend, after all, and he knows how close I am to getting into so much trouble my mother locks me in the basement to never see the light of day again.
I watched him walk into in school suspension for an entire week after that, my gut clenched.
I mean, I already knew, but after that I really knew that we’re for life friends. Till the end of times friends.
He would die for me.
Problem is, stuff like that just never stopped happening. I would get shit ideas and Rolly would come with me, help me, until finally, one day it landed him in so much trouble even his brothers and I couldn’t’ do shit about it.
He got kicked out of the pack; I didn’t.
I’m sure no one would believe me, but I cried real tears over that shit.
That’s the problem: I’ve been acting this way for so long everyone just thinks that’s me. Shit stirrer. Trouble maker. But I don’t want that to be me forever, and Rolls always saw that. He’s a fucking friend.
And Yulian, his mate, isn’t half bad either.
And for some reason Valeska, my sort of boyfriend, maybe, sees that same thing in me. Treats me like a lady. Maybe someday I’ll be with him, maybe I won’t, but it’s nice that someone out there, other than my best friend, doesn’t think I’m a total lost cause.
If you’re curious about how I got here, living in Ripley, New York sharing an apartment with some of my pack that relocated from Erie, Pennsylvania, rather than rotting in the ground somewhere, you should check out The Shape of Honey.
I’ll spoil it a little for you though. I’m okay thanks to Rolly and Yulian, and I guess maybe Tom and the Witten Brothers, but mostly Rolly.
He’s the best wolf I know.
The Shape of Honey by Ki Brightly
Yulian Volkov is an entrepreneur and lone werewolf who hates the city. At a pack meeting, he learns the only member he’s attracted to is being expelled for crimes unspecified. Yulian strikes a deal with the pack leader to allow Rolly Witten to live on his farm and work in his Meadery. Although enjoying handsome Rolly’s company, Yulian must tread carefully, since Rolly doesn’t trust him and the pack doesn’t acknowledge homosexuality exists. Meanwhile, Yulian stealthily courts Rolly by teaching him the value of his wolf side.
Rolly, who’s known he was gay since he was a teen, has accepted a life of solitude—and a life of crime. He has no desire to relocate. Yet Yulian’s trust in his ability to do honest work builds his confidence. As life is settling well for them, Rolly learns a friend from his old pack had a crush on him, and he’s torn between returning his friend’s feelings or pursuing the budding relationship with Yulian. But that’s not their worst problem. Assassins are trying to take out both wolves, and they need to figure out who wants them dead or all the trust and happiness they’re building together won’t matter.
Ki Brightly is an author of short and lengthy erotic and romantic (and sometimes both) fiction.
Ki’s hobbies include painting, cooking, eating, and exercising (because of the cooking and eating). Ki is also an established beach bum during the late spring and summer months, which tends to cut into writing time. Occasionally, breaks are taken from the writing process to go to a day job and have snuggles with the husband and kiddos.
Endlessly curious, Ki enjoys reading a variety of books in every genre imaginable, but has been devouring urban fantasy and science fiction of late.