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Thread: [M] You Are Not Alone {1x1 AgroShadow, Larynx}

  1. #11
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    She could feel her mind spinning as she tried to process everything happening in this moment. A moment that felt like it was dragging on and on, never ending bursts of nerve blasting pain. She could feel herself hunching in on herself, making herself as small as possible. She could feel the cold tiles pressing against her knees as her back arched, the bones trying to snap into place to transform her body into...something. The thought trailed off as her sides heaved into something smaller then their previous shape. A crack sounded into the air as the formerly human jaw rapidly shrank into shorter and animalistic. Human cry turned into a yowl from those same new jaws. A pitifully desperate cry of pain and bewilderment.

    She sat, panting, hunched in on herself, trying to occupy as little space as possible. She was not...there was something new here, in her mind. It was not just herself, but another form of herself? But this felt distinctly different, yet the same. There was an almost familiar sense to this new...entity. It was distinctly other yet distinctly still her. She was somehow not so frightened of this new half of herself as much as how the incredibly blinding pain she thought would never end had suddenly stopped. Cautiously, she tried to explore herself and she noticed that.... The buzz of the air conditioning was louder than before, she could hear the traffic through the walls more clearly, the air touched her skin differently, it was...warmer? There was the scent of vanilla from the candle she had lit yesterday, an unpleasant ripeness drifting from the garbage. She could hear the breathing of another, smell the dirt and grime, the distinct scent that things that lived outside... With that her shot open and they landed on the....dog? human? she had seen what felt like ages ago.

    Claws scrabbled against the tile as she shied away from the person. Momentarily she was afraid for her life, but it flicked by quickly as she realized that she was looking at her own paws. Shocked yet again she stood staring at them. Inky black fur for as far as she could see, feline paws tipped by sharp hooked claws. It hit her. She was no longer human, the entity from before was now whispering at the forefront of her mind. It was soft at the moment, yet she knew beyond the soft facade there was an enormously strong and wild presence, like watching the beach brushed by the sea but beyond the waves churned and crashed end over end of each other. Like trying to take a wolf pup and raising it as a pet but the wold never forgot where it came from. It was a fantasy come to reality and she knew. She was transformed into an animal without the romance, the grand hidden meaning, the illusion of being bound by some curable hex or curse. A soft keen left her feline lips as she looked to the man before her, watching with what she could only call stunned shock.



  2. #12
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    ’Oh... You’re a cat shifter.’ His eyes looked her over as he spoke. There was no mistaking the whiskers, short nose and long tail. Her paws seemed almost barren like, but Mason knew just what sort of claws were tucked into the little toe beans. His hand slid across the wall as he took a few steps to the side, searching for a switch of some sort. Finally his fingers found a plastic plate, marking what he was looking for, giving a flick of his pointer finger. Suddenly the room was swathed in light, causing him to blink a couple time. ’Sorry... can’t see too well when I’m in this form.’ Mason didn’t know why he felt the need to explain to her, maybe it was just to fill the awkward silence that now sat between them. Not so much because she was now a feline, but because he knew just how awkward this sort of thing was. Now that everything was lit up and in proper color, he could tell this woman had quite a taste in things. Nothing that he would ever own, but to each their own.

    After glancing around the room, his blue gaze landed back on the cat. ’I knew what you were, when you caught me. You have this scent. Everyone of us does... well I can smell it at least. I’m not sure how you could tell..? But I’m assuming you don’t even know what you are?’ He tilted his head slightly as he regarded her. ’I really am sorry about..’ he motioned with his hands and arms to emphasize, ’All of this.’ He took a few steps toward the front door. Granted he did feel a slight remorse toward the now feline, he wasn’t sure how he could make this situation any better. Or worse for that matter. Reaching for the lock on the door, he figured maybe one piece of advice that could help. ’Normally if you picture yourself, you know, how you were before, that helps you get back to it.. it can take a few tries sometimes. But the more you do it, the easier it gets...’ When he was in shape, Mason was able to do it in just a few steps, and almost flawlessly. But he knew he was rusty and out of practice. It was gonna take him awhile to get back to that point.
    "A philosopher once asked, 'Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?' Pointless, really... 'Do the stars gaze back?' Now that's a question."

  3. #13
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    What was she going to do with this...this...new development? It was not like anything she had had to deal with before. Even her arm breaking had not held her back but this...this was entirely out of her wheelhouse, nothing could compare to having your body morph into an animal's. There was a pulse of annoyance at this whole thing pushing back her work. She had put quite a bit into that and was loathe to give it up after so much time and effort spent on it. She squashed that thought and that feeling quickly, if she were going to push through this it would probably be better to at least try and learn about how this nonsense worked. Would she even be able to be human again? Was she stuck like this forever? A very alarming idea and she could feel herself fighting a weird feline version of a panic attack. The male voice interrupted her thoughts. Oh. She watched him fiddle to find a light, blinking as the room flashed to life, swathed in light.

    Dark ears pricked forward as the man continued speaking, in soft tones. She realized he was moving away from her, edging slowly towards the door as he spoke, keeping his voice soft and even. What a little shit, trying to leave her here and act as if he hadn't born witness to one of the most terrifying things she'd ever experienced. He had had just as much shock on his features as she felt. She perked up in interest when he implied that all she had to do was think of herself in her normal way. Was this event something she had to start looking at as a new normal? Ears subconsciously flicking at all the emotions being juggled through her she watched, growing increasingly annoyed as he unlocked the door and with a last soft word begin to walk away from it all.

    Without a second thought she rushed to slip through the door as it was pulled to a close. Somehow she knew that she would make it, and as she slipped through, the door closing on her heels, the entity within suddenly swelled with excitement. Pulsing with new sensations in this dark form she took to hiding just within the shadow of the building. Well, he should not be so free to divulge his inability to see and let her use it to her advantage.Peering at the strange male before her, she wondered if she would even be able to keep up with him. What if he changed into a dog again and left her in his dust? She was not confident in these short legs to keep with those long ones. Maybe he was too exhausted, his transformation had not exactly happened quickly. Not like hers. It had felt like eons stretching into endless eons but some part of her knew it had not actually bee more than a minute. She could feel herself getting distracted by the entity within her that had sprung up on her transformation. Now that she was outside, there was a surge of wanting to explore. Not only to explore all the dark corners that were now alight for her, but to explore the lithe athleticism of this new body, to revel in more animalistic joys and thrills. Was this what it was like for other cats? No wonder they always padded about with such confidence and pride. They had it because they knew they had it, they knew the dark was not just the dark to them.

    No. She had focus and tried to brush the urging away. This was her mission. To get this man to at least give her actual information and explain what the hell this whole deal was. Although she really wished to stay within the shadows she allowed herself to pad forward, no longer hidden and just inside the sliver of light to be seen. She put on as best a determined face as she could, feeling her features harden. Such a strange thing to know that... A low growl left her jaws, directing it at the man.



  4. #14
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    The early morning air brushed his bare skin, causing it to pebble up in the sudden change as he exited the house. It wasn’t cold out, but it held that soft morning chill summer brought with it. The only time being outside was tolerable. A sigh escaped him as he noticed the slightly lighter blues in the east, signaling the start of a new day. Such a late start, and so far to go. His feet brought him down halfway of the block the females house was on. Guilt pooled in him, knowing just how confusing and scary that first transformation is. He pushed the thought to the back of his mind. He made it on his own just fine, something told him she would figure it out eventually as well. Running his hand through his hair, he found the dark strands longer than he remembered. It had been a long time since he used this form, and it showed in his unkept features. Slightly longer hair on his head and a small beard covered his face. Grimacing, he absently scratched at his facial hair. As soon as he could, it would be something he’d have to take care of. If he would have been thinking, he would have grabbed a pair of scissors or a knife from that lady.

    Rounding a corner, his early morning walk stopped short at the sight of a familiar female cat sitting in front of him, as if she appeared out of no where. The small growl that left her caused his mouth to pull up at both corners in a grin. ’Such a demanding sound for a thing so small.’ The canine part felt the need to tease, reminding the lesser species just who was better. ’I don’t speak cat, so unless you find a way to suddenly form human words with your lack of vocal cords or shift back, I don’t know what to tell you or what questions you have.’ He reached down and gave a small pat on her head before stepping around her to continue on his way. He glanced over his shoulder as he spoke back at her, ’I want to get somewhere remotely cool before the heat gets too bad, and I can’t do that with you stopping me every five feet. Now...’ He paused, realizing he had no idea what her name was. ’Little kitty, it was nice to meet you. Hope I don’t keep seeing you around.’

    Rolling his shoulders slightly, he could feel himself getting more accustomed to being back in this form. It meant slower travel, and more human needs to fill compared to his dog form, but he could manage until he had enough energy to shift back. And hopefully by then, the little kitty would have made up her mind and figure out that he wasn’t going to be much help for her. Mason figured he wouldn’t be that great of a teacher, he knew what to do but he couldn’t think that he’d be able to convey it very well to others. He took another glance back at the feline form, wondering just what her plan was with figuring out her new found self.
    "A philosopher once asked, 'Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?' Pointless, really... 'Do the stars gaze back?' Now that's a question."

  5. #15
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    Every five feet. So be it then. If that was what it took to get any information at all out of him she would. She knew that with four legs she would be faster than his two and should be able to keep up with his travels through the city. It was not a difficult conclusion to come to that this stranger had little money and so would be avoiding any form of transportation needing paid. Foolish of him then, when if he had taken any interest in learning anything about her, he'd have noticed that she was not desperate for income. She had no need to hide from the general public's gaze as she was somehow sure he did. Looking the man up and down with startlingly bright blue eyes, she realized that he was fairly tall. Just how much it was emphasized by her being so much smaller in this form her feline brain could not quite comprehend at the moment. And nor did it want to. The urge to explore had crept in among her more human thoughts. The scent of dew in the nearby grass, and the newly warmed air brushing through her shirt fur told of early morning creeping in. These early morning hours were ripe for reveling in all feline pursuits. To surrender.

    They were like whispers threading through her other thoughts. They curled to the front of her mind and she found herself taking a few quite steps back toward the nearest shadows before she could stop herself. A soft whisper of delight in prowling through slim shadows, exploring on soundless paws, and exciting views only she could see through her newly sharpened perspective poured through her. Becoming one with the shadows and one with all her newfound feline ability. Ah. No. She told herself firmly. This was not the time to give in when she knew absolutely nothing about it. With a forceful push she sent those away, to the furthest part of her and focused on the man before her. Except he was longer, and after a quick surge in panic found him turning a corner without a backwards glance. Quickly, she trotted after him, and followed.

    It was easy to keep up, as he was sticking to this battered sidewalk for now and with it being early morning, they were alone. Watching the houses pass by, she trotted up the back of his feet and with a soft growl hooked his shoe to stop him. She easily evaded his trip up to lower her haunches to sit before him, watching with an unblinking gaze. Every five feet. So be it. She could deal with everything else. This was something she knew without a doubt would get her sent to expensive doctors, best int he field they would claim. Extensive test after test and probably hour long therapy sessions. All to discover what the hell was going on the with the CEO's best heir to the company throne...and squash it into oblivion.


    Watching him now, she knew that somehow she had to figure out how to return to her human self. Unfamiliar with how exactly, a plaintive meow escaped her jaws. This had to work. She could not do this by herself. It terrified her, loathe as she was to admit it. But she needed help and there was at least one of them who could do something about it.


  6. #16
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    At least it was cooler in the morning hours, he breathed the soft air in through his mouth. What a night. He hadn’t expected things to take that turn, but it had been awhile since he had encountered another shifter. Most knew to stay out of the spotlight. But this one. She was different. How could she have not know what she was? His hand absently scratched at his scalp as he wondered about it. Rounding a corner, he was pleased he hadn’t heard the little pitter patter is paw following after him. Maybe she finally gave in to the animal side and started to explore. It took awhile to get that wild feeling under control, for him at least. His canine form was relentless when it came to hunting down scents and finding their origin. Still to this day he often found himself wandering around looking for something with his nose if he wasn’t paying attention. With his next step something stoped his foot from swinging forward and his knee compensated by bending and striking this hard pavement. ’What the actual fuck?’ Glancing up, his eyes met those of the feline he had thought left off to do what cats do.

    His hands and knee stung with freshly scraped flesh. The quiet copper smell of blood struck his nose as it broke to the surface of his body through the newly created scratches. It wasn’t much, but when he wiped his palms on his shorts it caused him to hiss slightly through his teeth. ’Really? You just had to resort to tripping?’ Grunting, he repositioned himself so he sat back on his rear to get a better look at his knee. It was the same as his hands, nothing serious and something that would disappear in the next week. Although at a slightly annoying slow rate. Looking at the female cat sitting in front of him, he could see the determination in her eyes. He could tell there was no way he’d get past the city limits without this creature constantly being there. A loud and slightly annoyed sigh left his lips. ’Fine. I’ll help you. But only for a little bit. I’m not going to stay long. So you best be a fast learner.’ He pulled himself back up onto his feet, glancing at the cat. ’I guess let’s just go back to your place till you figure yourself out.’

    He turned away from her, his eyes rolling ever so slightly. Leave it to the situation where he has to work with a cat. A freaking cat. Why couldn’t it have been anything else. Mason would have taken a fish shifter over a cat one. Looking back, he gave a sheepish grin as he spoke. ’Until you shift back into your human form though, I’m sitting on your couch.’ He emphasized by slapping on his shorts and sending out small clouds of dust and dirt with each smack. ’Might steal your shower too, seeing as it’s been well over a month since I’ve had one.’ Figuring he’d be here a little bit, he might as well milk it for a bit. Seeing as he doubt a small cat would be able to do much to stop him from using the stuff in the house.

    It didn’t take long to get back to the house, he let himself in, knowing it hadn’t been locked since they left. The cool air hit his face and he let out a sigh. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to be in a house as nice as this for a bit. He held open the door for the small shadow that had been following him back. Once she was in, he let the door shut. He made a straight line for the couch and plopped down into it with a smirk. ’Now if you wanna talk, I gotta hear some human words. Like I said before, picture yourself. Sometimes a human memory helps me. Something that would want to make me go back to being a human. Or maybe a feeling only humans can feel. Everyone is different. You have to find what works for you. And until you do, I’ll be sitting right here waiting.’
    "A philosopher once asked, 'Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?' Pointless, really... 'Do the stars gaze back?' Now that's a question."

  7. #17
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    Filth. Her couch cushion was being sat upon by a dusty, dirty man she had only just met. One she had formerly thought was an ordinary dog. Dirty and a stray, but still just a lost dog. She had never thought to suspect anything beyond the usual. Well. Perhaps she'd refrain from rescuing strays from now on until she was at least comfortable with even the idea that she'd wake up to a tall stranger in her room. That had morphed from a dog. She felt an exasperated huff leave her. What a day already this was going to be. She watched him relax into the cushion and could feel herself growing agitated at just how easily he seemed to take ownership of it. At the mention of taking over the shower, an internal shudder passed through her. With an annoyed flick of her tail, she tried to set her mind on the more pressing problem.

    It was much easier to keep her thoughts on what she should now that she was indoors. But what would bring her back? Something human... She was not sure where to go with his suggestions. Trying the human feelings, she tried to coax her half feline half human mind to turn over and remember whats he thought would be exclusively human ones. Joy, hope, happiness, regret....none of those seemed to tug at her in any way. But what was it supposed to feel like? The desire to be human once more? Not jut a feeling for her then?


    At the mention of memory, she tried to turn her mind to those. Oh. Maybe..that...? She felt her spine contract and snap along its vertebra. Fur covered dark legs seemed to turn into jelly beneath her...hot, burning fire jolted along them as they lengthened. Every hair receding felt like nails being driven savagely back into the skin. A rough yowl escaped her jaws even as fang and carnassial shrunk down into human molars once more, throat swelling with vocal chords more human like then before. Pain flashed across her eyes as slits returned to ovals and the early morning dimmed as she lost her superior night vision. The whole transformation was silent to onlookers,yet her ears were filled with the snaps and pops of bone and tendon sliding into human sockets and hinges. The rushing of blood pounding from her heart pounding hard. The ordeal was over in a few moments, but left the young woman that emerged from it curled in on herself, hugging her knees to her chin. She could feel human ribs rising and falling quickly with ragged breaths, dark and long human hair now falling forward to cover her sniffling face.

    Everything now felt...distinctly human. The feline entity so strong before was now quiet, present but reserved. If she concentrated on it, she would almost say it was murmuring softly, as if it had been reluctant to leave. Drawing in a deep breath that hitched repeatedly, she kept her eyes tightly closed. She could feel the air conditioning blow across her skin, pebbling the skin at the temperature difference between bare and furred. Somehow she realized that she was naked and for a moment was aghast and terrified. It lasted a mere second. If he had wanted to anything insidious he would have already, she realized. All he had to do was take advantage of her the moment she began shifting back into human form, or as soon as it had been completed. Even so, she curled more tightly in on herself. She had never felt so... at a loss, vulnerable, or ignorant of how to proceed.

    "Help me." It was a rough whisper from a strained body and mind. It escaped before she could hold it back. A small part of her was not ashamed of it. It was a small gesture, but the larger part of herself was furious at having done so, at having revealed it. Slowly opening her eyes, she peered over her knees and through her dark hair at the man before her.


  8. #18
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    He kept his eyes on the feline sitting in front of him, his canine counterpart not wanting to let the sneaky creature out of his gaze. Mason knew that he had nothing to worry about with her, seeing as this was her first time. There would be nothing coming from her until she figured it all out. The male was just glad she had shifted into such a small feline and not one of the larger cats. There would have been no way he would have stayed around for that one. His eyes glanced around the house as it seemed the female withdrew into herself, seemingly to take his advice. It was a nice place. Filled with more things than he would ever be able to afford in his life. For a split second he felt rather bad about sitting on this nice of a couch while he was still so filthy. However the sound in front of him caused his eyes to dart back forward. She was doing it. Not gracefully, but she was still doing it. A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth until the loud screech filled the room. The smile quickly faded as he watched the scene play out in front of him.

    The transition wasn’t quick, which made it that more painful to watch. His stomach rolled slightly as it seemed everything was played out in slow motion. Is this what all shifting looked like? Maybe that’s why she looked at him the way she did when she first saw. He was sure his shifts weren’t terrible, and he had seen others that never left him feeling this nauseating. When it was all said and done, a naked form curled in on themselves was laying in front of him. He felt the blood rushing to his face, feeling like this was something he hadn’t needed to see. She was in a vulnerable state, and it made him feel embarrassed and like he was intruding. The words that left her lips were almost missed, but he caught them. ’Right.’ He shot up from the couch, looking for something he could use to cover her. Spotting a throw in the corner of the room, he grabbed it and gently laid it over her. ’I’m sorry, this is gonna feel a little weird. Skin is always a little sensitive after a shift... I don’t know if yours is more so or not since that was the strangest one I’ve seen yet..’ Once the blanket was on her, he pulled back and made his way toward the kitchen.

    After rummaging through the cabinets, he pulled a glass down and filled it with water from the tap. He brought the glass with him back into the living room and gently placed it on a side table closest to her. ’I don’t know what else I can do to help you. First shifts are always hard and I’m rather impressed you were able to switch back so quickly. It took me two weeks before I shifted back to a human after my first shift. But I was also alone and didn’t have someone around to help.’ he lowered himself back onto the couch, keeping his gaze anywhere else besides the form on the floor. Acutely aware of the naked body beneath the throw blanket. Manson wasn’t too sure what all else he could do to help, so he just rambled on, hopefully to distract her from whatever she was going through.
    "A philosopher once asked, 'Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?' Pointless, really... 'Do the stars gaze back?' Now that's a question."

  9. #19
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    A fog rolled through the twists of her mind. Clouded everything from how she now felt the brush of cool air across now bare skin, to the emotions of fear, anxiety, and disbelief growing stronger as she sat there on the floor. At least now the more familiar nuances of a human body were back. Cautiously she looked over her arms and legs, her toes peeking out from beneath the throw he had placed over her. It had been strangely gentle, something she had not necessarily thought him capable of showing towards her from their brief meeting. At least everything looked their normal pale human skin color from what she could see and the blinding pain was ebbing away, no longer pulsing through every inch of her. At the sound of a male voice, she looked up and found herself relieved that he had given her the blanket.

    She drew the fabric in tighter to herself. "Is....Is it always painful though?"Brushing aside his other comments, she wondered what even was left to discuss. She had succeeded in getting him to help her back into human form and not she wondered if even asking him to come back was too much. She had not felt this vulnerable before in a long time. It was not enjoyable. Finally looking away from examining her fingers, she focused on the man before her. Oh. What the hell did he have to be embarrassed about? She was the one who had literally bore he naked body in front of him, discovered what she was, and been in debilitating pain. How was she handling this better than him? If he knew all about this alternative world, how was he not more composed and ready with information? "You can look at me, you know. I literally just snapped my spine into a cat's and back again...and am sitting here naked. How am I handling this better than you right now!?" She snapped, feeling her voice rise in a slight panic before she could rein it in. And holy shit her voice was so....hoarse, so gone. Rubbing her throat with on hand she held the blanket over her breasts with the other as best she could, knowing a slip was likely at any time. Well, if this grown man couldn't handle himself around a naked woman maybe his help wouldn't be the best after all.

    Cautiously, she rose to her feet. A slight tremor in the legs but she could hold herself upright well enough. "You don't know what's going on with me. Do you?" Those shoes were worn to their last week. The five o'clock shadow actually a substantial layer of dark hair, a full blow light beard. An unkempt one. The clothes that clung to him were a size too large. Faded and worn. He must not have seen the inside of a house or apartment for a long time, or had been spent so much time as a canine that everything had caught up to him. How long did it take for that to happen? Was this man really someone she could trust with teaching her all about this? What if he.... The eyes were bright and possessed an intelligent spark though. A pretty blue and he had come back. "Look. If we're going to do this, we need to work something out so it will work. I just..." She looked away and didn't finish.

    "You're the one with all the power here so if you want to leave do it now."


  10. #20
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    At her question, he shook his head slightly. 'No. It's never painful for most, uncomfortable maybe but not painful. You're the first one I've met where you actually feel something like that during the shift...' Mason had not encountered too many of his kind, but he met enough to know that it would never hurt like that. It sounded as her body was being ripped apart entirely during the whole process. Just the thought of going through that gave his stomach a turn for the worst. Shifting was never pleasant, how could it be? You were taking the anatomy of a human who's structure was so much different than an animals and forcing it to grow or shrink and then to go back again. But there was always a part of his mind or nerves, he wasn't sure, that blocked that sort of pain. Maybe she was lacking that? It was hard to tell, he had only known her for a short time. But he knew enough that he felt himself drawn to her. If it wasn't for that feeling, he wouldn't have come back when she had followed the first time.

    At the snap of her voice, Mason drew into himself a little bit. He stood up and turned away from her, walking a few steps toward the door they had come through earlier. When he spoke, his voice was quiet, but not lacking any strength to it. 'I haven't done much human interaction for the past four or five months, so my bad if I do human things.' In all honesty, he couldn't remember the last time he spoke more than five words to someone in the past year or so. Ever since he had left his home town, there was no reason to talk to people unless absolutely needed. It was just so much easier to go as a canine and do things that way. He could hear her shift around behind him, and he glanced back to see that she had rose into a standing position. She was a little wobbly on her legs, but they held firm beneath her. He felt her gaze drag over him when she spoke, and all of a sudden he was very self aware of just how horrible he must have looked. Suddenly his hair on top of his head and on his face felt too long and too dirty. His clothes must have been a sight as well. Holes peppered in random places, old and stained. Shoes that were slightly too big and looked like they would fall apart any moment. And he could physically smell himself. It wasn't something he would have payed much attention to in the past, but now he was all aware of it.

    Either way, he shook his head to answer her question. 'I don't know what's wrong with you. I don't even know if there is someone out there that would be able to tell you what's going on.' He rattled his mind for anything that could be of help. But nothing came to. The only thing he could think that would possibly help would be to visit some other shifters, maybe they would have some insight as to what she was going through. She couldn't be the only one. At the mention of him having all the power, he couldn't help as a laugh forced it's way out of his chest. His laugh was deep and hearty, so much so that his eyes started watering slightly. 'Oh, love. If you think I have all the power here, just wait till you can see what you can do when this is all figured out.'

    Grinning, he turned to her and wiped the moisture from his eyes. 'But what would you suggest we do so things work out?' He wasn't sure where they would go from here. After all, she was a feline shifter and he was canine, he couldn't imagine this would go further than this apartment. Running his hand through his hair, he first task was going to be at least cleaning himself up a bit though. 'By the way, I'm Mason.'
    "A philosopher once asked, 'Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?' Pointless, really... 'Do the stars gaze back?' Now that's a question."

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