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[personal profile] wonder_city
I Have Measured Out My Life in Coffee Spoons

Angelica peered at her phone for the time. On any other day before yesterday, she would have been late for one of her jobs. Alas, it was the day after yesterday, and she was down to one job.

She pried herself out of bed and took a leisurely hot shower, and she was just finishing putting her makeup on when she heard the scratching at the front door. She very nearly dumped her mascara into the sink in her hurry to put it away. The black silk robe slipped out of her fingers as she fumbled for it, so she ended up tugging on the silly terrycloth robe imitation of Jane Liberty's star-spangled costume as she sprinted for the door in her bare feet.

Angelica checked the identity panel recently installed beside the front door and sighed, throwing back the three deadbolts and two chains and opening the door. "Hey, there, fuzzy," she said.

The big golden wolf with the winsome yellow eyes padded silently into her apartment and sat politely, waiting for her to refasten her front door.

Angelica made sure all was secure and then crouched to put her arms around the wolf's neck. "I was getting awfully worried about you," she murmured into the neck ruff. "I was deciding whether to come looking for you or not."

She felt the wolf changing in her arms, losing fur and gaining muscle and bipedality. To her, it felt like the transformation did not happen as fast or easily as before. "Oh, god," Simon whimpered into her neck. "I wasn't sure I could get back here. She started locking the door, and the deadbolt's key only. I'm so grateful for Watson's still being sane. It's like Megan's completely forgotten who I am!"

She didn't ask him -- again -- why he stayed with Megan, but Angelica was distressed to feel tears dripping onto her neck. In all the months since Simon started coming to her, he hadn't been this miserable. He was confused and upset that he was finding day-to-day life so brutally difficult that retreating to the wolf form was his only escape. He was terrified, because he'd figured out that he felt it more or less in different parts of the city. And he was furious when he found that the feeling caught up with him when he spent more time somewhere he felt comfortable, like her apartment, and that the feeling somehow started to carry over to her too. But he'd never been just abjectly miserable.

She leaned back and looked at him. He scrubbed at the tears on his dark face with the heel of his hand, then scratched in annoyance at the uncontrolled growth of his beard. His hair hadn't been cut by a professional in months. She had no idea what she was doing with African-American hair, so all she could do was get an electric razor and a blade guard and try to cut it short without making it look too bad. But it looked bad, and a couple of weeks had made it worse.

"Look, why don't you put on your clothes and I'll take you down to the girls at Hair Today?" she said, as she had before. "They'll put you right. You know you always feel better when you look good."

He shook his head, like he had for several months now. "I can't," he said helplessly. "I just can't... I... the idea of someone else seeing me... please, let me clean up here."

As usual, Angelica took him into the bathroom and let him shower, because he always smelled doggy after a while in wolf form. He used the razor she'd bought him to take the scraggle off his cheeks, and after the shower, stood before the mirror with a towel around his hips to clean up the Van Dyke the way he liked it. She brought some newspapers and a stool for him, and shaved his head as short as she dared, leaving a thin layer of short, tight curls over his scalp. They didn't talk much, and she left the room after setting his syringe of black-market testosterone on the counter.

After he emerged in his sweatpants, scrubbed and shaved and freshly infused with hormones, he stood behind her at her desk and kissed her neck. And without any discussion, Angelica took him to bed, where he was silent and fierce and forceful and terribly, terribly needy.

She stroked his muscular back as he dozed amidst the fortunate abundance of her bosom and watched his face in something like repose. She liked to look at their bodies intertwined: their skin tones weren't that far apart -- she was relatively dark for Latina and he was relatively light for black. Her skin was softer and his smoother. She was glad he hadn't grown a lot of body hair on T, though she knew the hair he did grow -- chest and arms and legs -- was a point of pride for him.

She wondered if he'd ever smile again, like he did those years she'd known him back in college, when she'd fallen so head over heels for him, though nothing had ever happened between them -- or like he had over myriad lunches, telling her about Suzanne, when it was clear he was hopelessly in love.

And she knew he didn't love her now, not like he still loved Suzanne, but she'd take what she could get.

Angelica didn't know what was going on, but she knew that Simon was only the worst symptom of a terrifying wave of something happening.

---

Author's Note:

New POV character for you! More Simon! More annnnnngst!

Vote for Wonder City Stories at Top Webfiction! It's become the single biggest source of new traffic for Wonder City. :)








Date: 2012-06-13 11:46 am (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
Poor Simon! I'm glad he's got somebody to turn to. You're really building the suspense about what's going on.

Thanks for writing!

Date: 2012-06-14 01:19 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
I just hope it ends up being worth the suspense!

Date: 2012-06-13 01:11 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
SIIIIIMON //cries


Only happening in parts of the city? Hmm....

Date: 2012-06-14 01:19 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Yep. Hm.

Date: 2012-06-14 03:00 am (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
Argh, you're killing me here!

Poor Simon. T_T

But yay for new POV character! Looking forward to getting to know her better.

Date: 2012-06-14 01:20 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
I've been enjoying plotting her drama. I actually just wrote a key scene involving her near the end of the book, so it's going to be fun getting her there.

Whew

Date: 2013-02-27 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
At least whatever is going on didn't lock Simon in his wolf form.

JN

Re: Whew

Date: 2013-05-03 02:21 pm (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
Yeah, I had been worried about that.

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