Once Upon a Wolf by Rhys Ford

Once Upon a Wolf by Rhys Ford

Author:Rhys Ford [Ford, Rhys]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: gay romance
ISBN: 978-1-64080-514-9
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Published: 2018-02-16T05:00:00+00:00

Six

THERE WAS nothing more terrifying than watching a man turn into something else.

As frightened as Zach had been when Ellis’s hot breath ghosted over his back, driving his flight response and stealing the reason from his brain, watching the black wolf peel apart, fall off in long sloughs from the human within, then revert back to a shaggy beast, was the scariest thing Zach had ever seen.

Or least it had been before Gibson shed his humanity, leaving a colossal stygian creature in his place. Even without Ellis nearby, Zach could see Gibson was healthier than his older brother. His fur was thick and glossy, catching the sunlight streaming through the open front door. The skin at the wolf’s feet was more molt than flesh, a tangle of dry parchment-thin ribbons, and they turned to dust when Gibson’s paws flattened them against the cabin’s floor.

The change—Gibson’s shift—had been agonizing to watch. It affected Zach deeply, casting a net of mystification and apprehension over him. Gripping the couch, he forced himself to remain standing, to remain fixed in place when Gibson’s body began to twist and bulge. He’d stripped quickly, then dropped onto all fours nearly immediately afterward, and his spine bent in a way that no human could have withstood. Unlike Ellis’s transformation, Gibson moved quicker through the shedding of his mundane form, but that didn’t make it any less viscerally horrific.

The pop of bones and then the jut of shoulder blades stretched the skin on Gibson’s back, thinning it out so it was nearly translucent. Then before Zach could take another breath—another staggered, sympathetic gasp—Gibson changed.

His pelt was a frosty shimmer for a few seconds, maybe even less, because time shifted alongside Gibson’s transformation. Eternities seemed to fold into a single blink of an eye, stretching out impossibly, then snapping back into a normal pace. It was both awe-inspiring and awful to watch Gibson curl in on himself, his legs stretching out behind him, thighs shortening and calves forming bends where no bend should be. His tail was a quick sprout of bone and skin from his spinal cord. Then with a shake of his body and the shedding of nearly transparent curls, a magnificent black wolf stood silhouetted against the afternoon sun.

Gibson was out the door before Zach could recover, trusting him to keep pace. Hefting a shotgun he had little to no chance of firing anywhere remotely near what he was aiming for, Zach followed the shadowy wolf over the uneven ground. They went uphill, toward where Ellis’s howl echoed not moments before. He didn’t know what they would find, he didn’t know what he could do to help, but he was going to be damned if he didn’t at least try.

If his physical therapist had been a sadist, then trudging at a fast jog behind the nimble black wolf while holding several pounds of metal and wood was a punishment found in one of Dante’s circles of hell. He lost track of how many times he twisted



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