Urgings of the Wolf

The hunger lies just below the surface for Stephanie as she spends her days trying to distract herself with work. She can’t help thinking about the coming full moon that arrives a mere day after the city conference. Troubles arise and enemies are revealed before she faces the demon within herself.

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Publisher: Crescent Moon Studios, Inc.
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The first week or so away from her normal life was like a wonderful, hazy dream, and yet Stephanie felt clouded by the gloom of her coming divorce struggle. The young woman went through the motions of work, but her heart wasn’t into anything. Chuck tried his best to cheer her up, but it was tough going. Her world, any plans for her future that she’d made, they’d all been tossed aside by her husband’s betrayal. She’d been so gloomy her partner had insisted on her staying at his house rather than working from the office, but she knew she couldn’t do that.
“There are too many distractions around here,” Stephanie pointed out. It was several days into her self-exile from her home, and she gestured toward the bookshelves and movies. “If you let me stay here and use the internet I’d only end up wasting time reading some books or watching movies. Nothing’d get done and we’d end up losing business. Then I’d have to sell the whole thing and we

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d both be out of work.”
“Don’t you think that’s being a little overly dramatic?” Chuck asked.
“We’ve got a lot of competition,” she reminded him. Then she frowned and tapped her chin with her fingernail. “Like, um, like-”
“Like William Chism?” her partner teased. Neither of them thought the pudgy man was a suitable adversary. “I guess I could see him driving us out of business with his expertise in wooing the fair sex.”
“Bah, that pig doesn’t even know how to woo a cow. He’ll be lucky if his dog doesn’t run away from him,” she shot back.
“And speaking of dogs, how has your, um, condition been?” Chuck wondered. He looked over her body but didn’t see any noticeable change. She blushed beneath his intense gaze and waved her hands in front of his face to break his glance.
“I’m just fine, better than ever. You can probably stop all this worrying about me,” she informed him.
“You really think that whole ‘being fine’ thing is going to last?” he pointed out. He hated to be the bearer of bad news, but he was the only messenger she had. “It’s probably a calm before the full moon storm.” Stephanie sighed and shrugged.
“I figure I can’t really stop it from happening,” the young woman replied. “I mean, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. The worst I got last time the moon was up was a strange-looking arm and a lot of pain. Maybe I can even control the transformation like that one werewolf taught me.”
“So you think you’re just going to be able to change in and out of this wolf state?” Chuck asked her, and she frowned. She didn’t like that lack of faith in his voice.
“It’s possible.” She folded her arms across her chest. “I mean, it’s not like either of us is an expert on these things. Anything could happen. Hell, I could even die trying to fully change into this whole werewolf form.”
“Don’t say that,” Chuck snapped. Stephanie sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose.
“I know it’s not a great thing to happen, especially for me, but it’s something that might happen.” Then she frowned and glanced at him. “Why are you so worried about all of this, anyway? You could just lock me up in this bomb shelter of a house or chain me outside if I go berserk during the next full moon.”
“That’s what I’m worried about.” He pointed at the calendar, but she didn’t put the pieces together. “The next conference is going to be held the days leading up to the next full moon. We’ll be in the city at hotel rooms.”
Stephanie marched over to the calendar and looked at the schedule Chuck had meticulously penned on those days. He was right, the conference did fall on the days before the full moon. She saw a loop-hole in his worrying, though, and she jabbed her finger on the actual day of the full moon.
“It says here we’re suppose to come back here on the day of the full moon,” she pointed out. “So if we get our butts back here you can have me locked up before night.”
“I was thinking maybe you could miss the whole thing,” Chuck informed her.
In surprise she swirled around and raised an eyebrow in question. This was the first time he’d suggested she stay away from any conference they needed to attend, and this one was pretty important. It was where a lot of potential clients, and even their current clients, gathered to rub elbows with their advertising geniuses. For her not to be there would make things awkward for Chuck, especially since he wasn’t as savvy as she was with their capabilities. Besides, she’d promised herself a vacation after the conference. She couldn’t exactly reward herself if she hadn’t done the hard work.
“You really think I’ll be that much trouble?” she asked him, and he shrugged.
“Like you said, neither of us can be sure about any of this, but I just don’t want you changing into something you can’t control in the middle of a large city.”
“Then how about I promise not to do it?” she teased, but he didn’t find her joke that funny. She held up her hands and put on her most serious expression. “All right, all right, how about we make some sort of a compromise?”
“Like what?” He was definitely skeptical.
“Um, I’m not really sure,” she sheepishly admitted. “Maybe I’ll agree to have you tie me up in my room if I start misbehaving?”
“Actually, that’s not a bad idea,” he mused. She blinked.
“Really?”
“Well, the idea that came to my mind. Yours is terrible,” he further expanded his comment. Her shoulders slumped, but he ignored the unamused expression on her crest-fallen face. “We should share a room.” Stephanie’s mouth dropped to the floor.
“We should do what?” she questioned. Surely she’d just heard him wrong, or he was just kidding. She found it hard enough to avoid his sensuous body in the same house. Sleeping in the same room might cause complications to their relationship. “Are you nuts?”
“I’m perfectly fine, but I admit my idea is a little crazy. It could work, though,” he defended his plan. “If something does happen, I’ll be at the ready. Besides, I don’t mind sleeping on the floor if we can’t get a double bed room. It’s what I did at the inn on the mountain pass road, remember?”
“I don’t think it’s you getting a cramp from sleeping on the floor that I’m worried about,” she fumed with her cheeks a deep blush of red. “I mean, what if, er, what if something tries to happen between us?”
“We’re two adults, I’m sure we can control our urges,” he replied. He waved his hand as though he could brush aside all her concerns with that simple gesture. “Besides, I’ll always have the rope.”
“Yeah, but I might just think you’re being kinky.”
“I won’t make any inappropriate moves toward you,” he promised. Stephanie sighed and thought about it for a moment. It wouldn’t complicate their relationship too much. After all, they’d already shared a room before without any consequences. Hell, they were even sharing the same house for a little while and nothing exciting had happened. Well, at least not with them together. There was that incident with her and his bed.
“I guess we could do that, but don’t you think some people are going to see it in a bad light? I mean, what if somebody sees us sharing a room and they know I’m married to someone else?” Much as she hated to admit it, they had to look their best in front of the clients. He had a plan for that, too.
“We’ll take a room at one of the hotels across town. We can’t really afford to take anything close to the conference hall, anyway.” Stephanie smiled. There was the Chuck she knew, always practical and cheap on the business wallet.
“Then I suppose it could work,” she agreed. It would be more complicated than she wanted, but Chuck was right. If she wanted to attend the conference and get her work over with before her vacation, it would be for the best if they shared a room in case something happened to her.

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