“I love you.”
He stared at me with a grin. His black hair falls to his back, almost a cape to his muscles, the gift of being a werewolf. His hands are grasping mine, the humidity soaking my skin with the moonshine before us. The waves sighed, enjoying a loving sight. He chuckled, a sound that rattled my heart.
“I love you too Tasha.”
I laughed along with him, then we both went silent. His hands pulled away from mine as I wrapped my arms around his neck. Our faces closed in, our lips close to touching, ready for the arrow to pierce both of our hearts. Every second felt like a year, an inch closer, closer, closer…
I pushed the journal aside, sending it flying and hitting to the wall. My face felt hot as I tightened my handle on the pencil. The pages burst out of the book, hand-made art pieces of Connor and I making out scattered through the ground. I collapsed to the ground and rapidly collected the papers before anyone sees what I am doing. Just as I was about to pick up the last one, a hand snatched it before I can. I looked up, finding Oceane, a mermaid/siren hybrid holding the paper. She is merely a Hawaiian woman in a belly dance dress.
“Oh my,” Oceane snickered. “What do we have here?”
“Oceane,” I said in an annoyed tone. “Give it back; I haven’t finished it.”
“You made this? My, you are quite a descriptive artist, that’s for sure.”?“Can the woman have her fantasy private?”?“Why, you draw porn about Connor?”?“NO! I-I don’t make that s-stuff. I can share my art if I want to. You have no right to look at it without my permission.”
She made a hmmm, and then she handed out the paper to me. I accepted it with a smile and put it back in my journal. As I organize all of my work, artwork to stories, each one about Connor individual or the both of us in a romantic moment. I flushed over the flexing shirtless Connor picture, the smirk I made was perfect, almost like a photo. Then the written stories, romantic moments or ways Connor could confess his love for me and how we make out.
“You do know that Connor wouldn’t love you right?”
I jerked toward Oceane, who is sitting on my bed working on her hair, maybe a French braid. “No, I mean, he is my best friend, it is a probability that he has feelings for me. I have some for him.”
She stared at me, not buying what I am saying, “Right, and the journal full of fanfic of Connor is surely showing you have some love for him.”
“Ok, I have a crazy crush on him,” I confessed, sighing and sitting beside her. “So what? I am sure he would have a crush on me because he had been protecting me for a long time. We also know each other a lot, so that is a plus.”
“Look, Tasha,” Oceane said, standing up. “I don’t want to be the reality to you, but there is no way he would like a girl like you. You are the Omega, at best.”
I got off of bed in a huff. She was taller than me, so I stand on my toes to meet her height. I asked, “What makes you think that?”
Oceane examined me and laughed, “I can give you two reasons. One- You’re a Normal, not of mythical creature blood nor a werewolf. Two- Connor is a big man, tall with massive muscles, so intimidating and leader-like, wouldn’t love a small skinny blond woman like you, having physical differences isn’t romance, trust me, I know. This isn’t the Beauty and the Beast, Tasha, this is real life.”
I shook my head, trying to get her logic out of the equation. Oceane shrugged and walked away from me, then she turned back to me, “Oh, and Connor sent me to tell you to go to the storage room, Connor need some help.”
I thanked her and went back to my journal. I couldn’t help by considering what she said, Connor not loving me? She is right for one thing, Connor hates Normals with passion, well, most Normals. I looked at myself: blue jeans, and I am a little skinny for a woman. Maybe she is right, Connor is perfection, he deserves a freak matching him, not a Normal girl that is the opposite of him, imperfection. He only protected me because I am his friend. I then hide away the journal in the top drawer, covered in drawing of clothes. I stepped out of my small room and gone through the halls to the end of the house. I thought of how we both met, at a small isolated bar. I was going to have my monthly drink till I met Connor, then he greeted me warmly and told me being part the circus that I watched several hours before I came to the bar.
He invited me to the next show on the next day, and I accepted it. As I came to the circus, I found Connor and the rest practicing and I gave them a bottle of water since the weather was in the hundreds. That soon marked the beginning of my friendship with the Freaks, I got to know them, and they knew me. We worked together on many adventures before finding a home. We do missions now and then, whether it is about a Normal invader or a call of help from a nearby Freak settlement.
The door to the storage room was metal-barreled, and I had to knock on the door for Connor to open it since the door is only reserved to Connor since he is the leader of the group. My hand tapped on the panel; two dull thumps echoed from the door. I stand without groaning unlike the others does since it take a while to open the door. Another thump and a click-clack went from the behind. The door opened, with enough space for me to go through. The floor covered with papers, boxes labeled with words that look foreign to me. Connor is working with cardboard that he is focused too intently that he almost tripped as he walks through the piles. He looked up from the board; a smile crept his face and strands of hair fuzzed with lines encrusted in his eyes.
“Hello Tasha,” Connor chirped, placing the cardboard down. “I am happy to see you. I needed you to help me move some boxes.”
“H-h-hi Connor,” I stammered, my legs shaking. “I, I am happy to help, but w-why didn’t choose Adriana or Mazzone at the least?”
“I could’ve,” Connor replied with a chuckle. “I choose you because you make good company and I need some positive company since I worked in this place for five hours. I was able to organize all the papers for all the people that used to live here. All I needed is someone with me to move some boxes around while I put where the boxes need to go. I mean, if you can’t I understand-.”
“No, no, no, I am happy to help, I’m just wondering because you know that I am the weakest one of the group, with Genesis not counting.”
“Strength is not always everything, Tasha. Now, if you could move the boxes over there at the corner to the place near the shelves, I appreciate it a lot.”
I nodded, going where he told me. The boxes looked like the ones that the postmen give during their deliveries. I picked one up, surprised that I can hold four of them stacked at the same time. I moved them one stack and another to the destination where Connor transformed into his werewolf form. His werewolf form had the height of a truck, his fur as white as cotton-made curtains waving in a breeze. His eyes looked like cobalt blue with spots of yellow around the iris. His muscles were ripped, looking as if it was going to squeeze out of the fur.
After a few more rounds of box moving, I sat down on the ground, panting with sweat on my forehead. I then watched Connor’s werewolf form pick up the boxes and move them to where he wanted it to be. I never got to see his werewolf form much, but from what the others said was that this werewolf killed about a hundred normals in one day. Did I believe? Yes, that Connor is quite sturdy and he can kill people if he wanted, and no because I’ve seen his soft side and murder normals isn’t one of them. He told me himself about how much he despised murdering innocent people and how much he wants to help bring equality. Without warning, Connor shapeshifter to his human self, seeing him shirtless since the shirt he wore got torn by his werewolf form.
I froze, with my heart racing and sweat creeping on my back. My face now felt hot, with a feeling of something liquidly near my nose. I touched my nose, founding it to be blood. I am bleeding? How is that even possible, I seen it in cartoons, but I didn’t it could happen in real life.
“Thanks for the help Tasha,” Connor said, taking a glance over the room. “We got them done quicker than I thought. Oh, you’re bleeding, are you ok, did you hurt self?”
“No, I’m fine,” I lied, shame filling me like water in a cup. “It’s just allergies. I think I better go.”
“Wait, why don’t you hang out with me? We haven’t been spending time for quite some time since I had work.”
“That’s a nice idea, but I don’t want to distract you from work.”
“Nonsense, the others can take care of them, it’s their turn to do the next mission. In the meantime, I thought maybe we could sit on the sofa and watch a movie together. If that’s alright with you.”
“Sure, there a movie that I wanted to see that is going to be shown on TV.”
Connor strides past me and was about to leave the room before I made the toughest decision I had to make. “Connor, I need to tell you something before we do anything.”
He paused in his tracks and turning his direction back to me. He went all the way back and then sat next to me. He gave a hand motion for me to start. I stared at him, then changing may glance to my hands. My heart was beating my rib cage, my hands also starting to sweat, but my mind knew what to do. “Connor,” I started, feeling more confident with each sentence. “You are one of the best friends I ever had or wanted. You were always there to protect me, and I try to always be there for you when you are at your lowest. I honestly enjoyed going through that adventure, from the circus to here, seeing some many things that I never imagined. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime chance. However, as I got to know you as time pass, I couldn’t help but feel a special connection to you. You’re the one that I feel safe to talk to, someone I can be myself where no-one judges me for who I am.”
Connor glared at me, “Tasha, what are you saying?”
I scooted closer to Connor and answered, “What I am trying to say is that Connor, I…I-I LOVE YOU!”
I laid both my hands on Connor’s cheeks and planted a kiss on his lips. The kiss was sweet, a unique way of reminding me my favorite ice cream, vanilla. I pulled back away, Connor froze, his face looking red rather than tan. He touched his lips as if it was a dream and stuttered,” T-Tasha, d-did you jus-st..?”
Realization hit my stomach, Connor doesn’t look in love or happy, rather shock and maybe angry by his tone. Oceane’s words came back from the corners of my brain, repeating and repeating, “There is no way he would like a girl like you. You are the Omega, at best.”
I sprang up and dashed away from him, not wanting to experience heartbreaking. Connor roared my name, but I ignored it because I am such an idiot to think he would love me. Oceane is right, what was I thinking? He wouldn’t like me; I am a normal and I am here because of trying to be “helpful” which is not possible since the others can do pretty much anything without me. Connor does deserve a woman that suits him, a woman who is a proud and robust werewolf, not a weak and shy woman who doesn’t belong with the freaks. I made it to my room, I slammed and locked the door, not wanting Connor to come inside. I fell upon the bed, ready to cry any tears that I was holding, but there was none. I slowly raised from my bed, looking around my room looking like a mini library by the wood and floor. My desk had my journal hidden and with a huff, and I dug out the hidden spot. I peer over the pages, the work as a result of my hand cramped, skin cuts, and hours spent on this masterpiece. In a fit of fire within me at my reflection, I grabbed the pages and ripped them, sending pages flying. Each photo, every imagined kiss, every moment, escaping from my grasp to get rid of my silly fantasy.
I panted after the last page torn from the seam. My eyes dilated, I turn to the ground, finding the papers crinkled and ripped, the mirror of my fleshy heart. “Well,” I whispered, slowly turning into a snicker. “At least I had been practicing my drawing.”
I dropped down on the ground, again picking them to the book. After a few pages brought up, a hand touched mine. I snatched my hand back, looking up and finding Connor looking at me with a frown on his face.
“C-Connor,” I yelped. “Wh-what are you doing here? How did you know I was here?”
Connor moved closer, causing me to walk farther from him. He sighed and motioned for the bed. I hesitated, then did so. I can feel his hand landing on my left leg. I brushed it off, not sure why he would do that.
“Oceane told me, and she explained what was going on with you,” Connor replied, a voice of the element between fire and ice. “Tasha, I don’t know why you ran away from me when you- uh- did that. You are not the person of person to shamed of what you do.”
I stayed silent, not wanting to answer him, a fear of causing him in a fire of rage. Connor added, “I am not going to be mad, I promise. Just open to me, you are my close friend, I just want to know.”
My hands clasped together, my eyes glued to the ground, but Connor placed his hand on my shoulder, another silent plea.
I sighed and whispered, “I had feelings for you for a long time, Connor. You are a hero and leader to the other Freaks. You stood up for me against my father and sister who bullied me constantly. You are such a good father-like figure to Genesis who’s father is nothing but a servant of the Devil. I have a fantasy of you and me together, but Oceane reminded me of being a normal and you would only be a friend to me. I denied her, and now I realized that she is right. What an idiot I am, my fantasy is nothing but a joke. You deserve a woman like Adriana or Oceane for you; you don’t deserve me.”
I looked up at him, finding him tilting his head, probably heard me what I said. He scooted closer than me; then he hugged me. I made a gasp, feeling his warmth from his skin seeping into my body. I smell pine and fur coming out of him, a weird yet pleasant sensation to my nose. Connor murmured into my ear, “Tasha, I’m sorry, for making you feel like you’re nothing. In all truth, I had feelings about you too, but I told myself that I didn’t want to have my heart broken again. But as I learn more about you, the stronger my feelings for you become. So, I confessed my feelings to you, but I didn’t expect you to kiss me out of nowhere. Now, I want to tell you that you may be a normal, but it won’t stop me loving you.”
“Connor,” I faltered, then gain back my confidence with a breath in. “I- I am sorry.”
“Don’t be,” He reassured, pulling back and having his left hand on my check. “I am the one to blame; I was being a coward to admit my feelings, you are quite a special one Tasha, if you weren’t a werewolf, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
We then both hugged, my heart outpoured by the sweet moment. A smile appeared on my face, but just as I was enjoying the moment, Connor pulled back. “What is it?” I inquired, seeing his eyes going wide.
“I found something shocking,” Connor responded, a grin slowly creeping. “Tasha, roll up your left sleeve.”
I did and gasped. It’s a faint tattoo; It was a red wolf, fur drawn with such detail that I could take notes from it. Its golden eyes peered at me, almost like a look of an old friend. I turned back to Connor; he was grinning from his ear to ear, showing his human and wolf-like teeth.
“Tasha,” Connor said, revealing a tattoo on his hand, a blue-furred wolf similar to my tattoo only with the eyes being cotton white. “You are a freak, a werewolf to be specific.”
I glared at him; I didn’t remember seeing this tattoo. If I had it for a long time, I would’ve seen it in the shower, or someone would notice it and ask me about it. How is it possible for Connor notifying it right now? He must’ve seen my arms for several times and should’ve seen it. Connor, as if answering my questions replied, “Your tattoo only appears if you experience strong emotions or when you are in battle. When you were confessing to me, you felt strong feelings of love, embarrassment, fear that it unleashed your animal side, or at least your werewolf side.I bet that when you lived with your family, no freak could help you with your tattoo that it started to fade away. Good thing I noticed it now, I can help you with that.”
“So,” I said, smiling with him. “Does that literally mean you love me?”
He smiled, then lean over to my face and pecked my lips. He pulled back while I made a heart- melting moan. “Freak or normal, I would still love you. The werewolf blood is just a plus.”
We both went side by side, and I rested on his shoulder. He cuddled me, and we both listened to the fan’s roar and Oceane who was shouting downstairs, probably Adriana since they both like night and day. But for us, we are the white and black wolf, two halves that finally become one.