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There came a point where you just had to either accept certain facts, like you were batshit crazy, or reality wasnâ€™t what youâ€™d always believed it to be. Harley Johansen was still trying to figure out which of those truths applied to his situation. He was leaning unwillingly towards the latter and, honestly, he thought heâ€™d have preferred to just be insane. Somehow it wouldnâ€™t be as scary as having to accept the existence of supernatural things.
Like werewolves. Freakish things, they changed from people, contorting and twisting around until they were beasts. Harley had seen it happen numerous times since heâ€™d been abducted from his crappy little apartment in Sedona weeks ago. Granted, itâ€™d been men who had grabbed him then. His own fault there, for being a total slut. Heâ€™d been lonely and, as he often did in such a case, heâ€™d gone out and brought home someone heâ€™d hoped would help chase off the sense of isolation, of being nothing in the world.
What a fucking idiot! Harley smacked his hand against his forehead. Again. There ought to be a dent in his skull from him doing that. Maybe if he did it often enough, heâ€™d jar something loose in there, like some previously hidden stash of common sense. Heâ€™d been warned before that bringing strangers home was a stupid, dangerous thing to do. Well, duh! Hadnâ€™t one of the people who warned him of that been a fucking werewolf himself?
Not that Harley had known his trick a month or so ago was a freak. Alex had seemed really hot. Lost, too, like Harley often felt. And the guy had fucked Harley like a dream. Then heâ€™d left the next morning and Harley had gone on with his life. He hadnâ€™t mooned over Alex, but had remembered the sex pretty fondly. Alex had done nothing to get him involved in the mess he was now in, nothing to be exposed to an altering of his reality that had nearly cost him his sanity. Maybe still would, because sometimes he just wanted to curl up in a ball and rock and cry, likeâ€”
â€œNo!â€ Harley wrapped his arms around himself and huddled bent in the chair. He wouldnâ€™t give up and let the monsters that had him win. Granted, they wanted him to believe they were the good monsters, as opposed to the ones that had taken him in the first place. But as far as Harley was concerned, they were all fucking psychotic monsters, unnatural creatures that werenâ€™t man or beast exactly, but a frightening blend of both.
As if thinking about them brought them to himâ€”and it might have, Harley had no idea what powers the damnable things might possessâ€”there was a sharp rap on his door. The fear Harley lived with every day spiked higher, right on up to slap his temper awake. Being scared often made him angry, and now was no exception.
Harley uncrossed his arms and pushed up from the chair with enough force that the chair tipped over. He almost felt badâ€”it was a very nice chair and he hoped he hadnâ€™t broken it. Then again, the rooms he was kept in were nice, period. Warm, homey, tastefully decoratedâ€”if his apartment in Sedona had looked like this heâ€™d have never left, or at least not often.
Unfortunately the beauty and comfort of his current dwelling had nothing to do with why he didnâ€™t leave it. That reason was because of the jackass still banging on the damned door. Whichever jackass it was. Harley didnâ€™t want to discriminateâ€”all of the werewolves were scary. They were even scarier when they acted so...so fucking human.
Harley gripped the doorknob and leaned a shoulder against the wall. â€œWho is it?â€ It wasnâ€™t time for lunch, as breakfast had been less than an hour ago, so Harley knew it wouldnâ€™t be Anya standing on the other side of the door. And it wasnâ€™t laundry day, so not Craig, either.
Harley closed his eyes and sagged against the wall. Of course itâ€™d be Marcus, and probably his boyfriend or whatever Nathan was called. Heâ€™d yet to have one visit without the other, and Marcus in particular never failed to make Harley nervous. He detested being nervous almost as much as he hated being scared, so he generally ended up being either extremely bitchy or utterly silent when Marcus and Nathan showed up. He didnâ€™t know how else to deal with his emotions or the waves of power he could feel coming off Marcus. Even if Harley hadnâ€™t heard Marcus described as the Alpha Anaxâ€”or the Alpha of all Alphas in North Americaâ€”heâ€™d have known Marcus was The Boss. The man exuded a dynamic authority that Harley had never seen in anyone else before.
Which was why Marcus was so intimidating, and why Harley was even angrier around him.
â€œWhat do you want?â€ Harley grumbled, hoping his unwanted visitors would go the fuck away. He just knew one day heâ€™d let one of the beasts in and end up torn into pieces for it. After all, what need did they have of him? He was just a stupid, puny human who had a head full of fucked up.
â€œHarley, open the door, please.â€
Yeah, Marcus said please, but he growled the entire sentence out and Harley had turned into one big frickinâ€™ goose bump. Did he really want a pissed-off werewolfâ€”make that two pissed-off werewolves, because he could hear Nathan muttering on the other side of the doorâ€”anywhere near him?
â€œWe need to discuss your return to Sedona.â€
Harley straightened up and frowned at the door, as if it, and not Nathan, had spoken those words. They were going to let him go home? Back to Sedona? After keeping him here for weeks, in their weird wolf compound, he could finally, maybe, if he believed them and they werenâ€™t fucking with him, he could go home?