Sweat dripped down his forehead, into his eyes, and he lifted a hand to dash it away, only to pause when his own trembling fingers caught his attention. He stared at them in a fascinated yet horrified silence, wondering how he had reached this point. And then the ants began to march again, and his attention was diverted back to the way his skin felt.
“We’re going for a run after the game, are you in? Shaun?... Shaun?”
Shaun’s head snapped up, his troubled gaze landing on his twin brother. “A run?” he repeated, voice hoarse. “No fucking way. Too much risk of being seen.”
“It’s a full moon. Can’t you feel it?” Deacon persisted. “We haven’t run together in months.”
Feel it? Shaun almost laughed out loud. Of course, he could fucking feel it. That was the problem. Shifting with so many people around, with the possibility of a Hunter watching and waiting – ready to take him when he was at his most vulnerable? That wasn’t a chance he was willing to take any more. Not since…
Shaun lurched to his feet, bile rising in his throat, and pushed past his brother.
“I’ll be back in five minutes,” he threw over his shoulder, and shouldered his way through the crowd to one of the public restrooms.
He lost track of how long he sat in the tiny cubicle, staring at the vial of purple liquid gripped tightly in his hand.
Don’t take it, he told himself. Shift and go for a run with the pack.
He shook his head. If he didn’t take it, he would shift. And he wasn’t sure he would be able to control his wolf. It had been three months since the last time he’d let his wolf run free, three months since he’d been caught by the Hunter, three months since he’d watched his pack-mate and closest friend tortured and forced to…
No, he couldn’t take that risk. What if his wolf took control? What if there was another Hunter out there, waiting?
He unscrewed the lid, tipped back his head and drained the liquid, immediately feeling the itch under his skin ease. His eyes closed, and he let loose a shuddering sigh.
This would be the last time. He just needed to get through this full moon. Tomorrow would be a fresh start. He would go to his Alpha, confess his sins and face the consequences of staying silent for so long.
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