“Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute."
-Mark Twain, "What is Man?"
"What‘s wrong with ‘The Wolf Man‘?"
The apartment was quiet. The lights were turned down low. Sean sat on the couch, a respectable distance from Nia, sipping his wine slowly so that he wouldn't lose his head. "There's nothing wrong with it,” he said. “I just would have gone with something a little more highbrow."
"But it's a classic!"
"So is my father's Yugo, but I wouldn't want people seeing that on the first date."
Nia slid an inch closer to him on the couch.
"I like ‘The Wolf Man,‘” she said, refilling their glasses. "I think it’s sexy.”
"A grown man, covered in hair, panting like a German Shepherd is sexy?"
“A man who completely loses control. That can be sexy. If you do it right.“ She looked at him.
"But why a werewolf? It's so tacky."
"People think of themselves as civilized, but secretly we’re all afraid that we might just be animals after all. With the right pressure, any of us might…"
There was another pause. Sean looked into his glass. Nia looked at him. He leaned for an insant—but then he pulled away. "What kind of pressure?”
Her hand was on his knee. Sean saw a quick flash of pink as Nia licked her lips. “Maybe you want something but you’re afraid to have it. So your body takes over and you just…get it.”
He never finished. They nearly fell off of the couch as Nia threw herself onto him, her lips pressed against his in an open-mouthed kiss. Her mouth tasted hot and wet and the soft underside of her breasts pressed against his arm as she leaned over him. One strand of her hair tickled his cheek.
"Like that," she said when they came up for air.
"Oh," he said.
Nia straddled him, kissing his neck and then nibbling his earlobe. He squirmed She giggled and bit the ridge of his ear. "You've got me really curious honey," she said. "Can I see what's going on down here?" She put her hand on his crotch.
"Wait—" he said.
She unzipped his pants. "I hate waiting," she said, dropping to her knees. “I want to know: Are you out of control? Show me." And then she looked.
As it turned out, he wasn't.
"I'm sorry!" he said. "It's not you. I just, I mean, I had it, and then I kinda..."
Sean looked at the floor. Nia sat next to him and massaged his shoulders.
"It's okay," she said. "It happens."
"Yeah," said Sean.
She kissed the side of his neck again. "Probably my fault anyway. I moved too fast. I always do that."
He stood up. "I need to use your bathroom."
"Second on the right," she said. He felt her eyes on the back of his head as he left the room. Sean stared at himself in the mirror. Did this have to happen tonight of all nights? He couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong. One second everything had been go, and then the next...
Nia tapped on the door. "You okay in there?" she said.
"Yes." He tried the door but was surprised to find it wouldn't open. "I think the door is stuck."
"That’s because I’m leaning on it.”
Sean blinked. "You're what?"
"I've got my back to it," she said. She sounded like she was laughing.
"Because I'm naked out here, baby."
Sean froze. "Nia, I'm not—"
"You did hear me, right?”
Sean felt a tingle at the back of his neck. "Yes. Why don’t you put some clothes on and let me out?
“I gotta tell ya Sean, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.” Now she was definitely laughing. “Think about it: only thing between you and this body is this door. Must be frustrating."
"Nia, I don't think that tonight is the night for this."
"I've got my legs spread...” Nia was whispering in that throaty way that he had previously only dreamed about. "And I've got my tits cupped in my hands. You always liked my tits, didn't you? I've seen you staring at them at the office. Not in a weird way, but I know you look. I just licked the tip of a finger and I'm rubbing it around one of my nipples. Oh, look at that: They're getting so hard. I wish you were out here to give them some attention."
Sean felt something coil up tight in his stomach. It hurt. He tried to talks but his throat felt tight and strangely hot. He itched all over.
"I'm just squeezing and massaging them in a circle. Even before you asked me out tonight I used to imagine your hands doing this, when it was late and I was all alone in my bed."
Sean slid to the floor. The pain in his belly became more intense. His skin felt like it was on fire. He scratched his arms and winced. His nails were suddenly long and ragged, and his fingers and hands seemed to have grown larger. He blinked and rubbed them, expecting the strange sight to vanish, but it did not. Instead, coarse hair began to grown up and down his arms.
"I used to dream about you putting little kisses right here over one nipple, then right here over the other, then standing behind me and squeezing them with both hands. Did you ever dream about that? I think maybe you did. You've got a dream come true standing right out here. You just have to want it bad enough. Do you want it?"
Sean opened his mouth but all that came out was twisted growling. His legs snapped back and the muscles of his thighs rippled. His spine curved in an impossible way. He heard the fabric of his clothes tear. This can't really be happening, he thought.
"No answer, honey? I guess you need a little more encouragement? Do you know how wet I am right now? I'm surprised you can't smell it through the door."
Sean stumbled back to the mirror. Bright yellow eyes stared back at him and his jaw protruded like a muzzle, bristling with small, sharp teeth. A black tongue lolled in his mouth. Hair obscured his features. This is not real, he thought. This cannot be real.
"I'm touching myself down there Sean. I've got one finger rubbing my pussy and in a second I'm going to stick it in. It's so hot and wet already I don't know if I'm going to be able to stand it."
Sean’s body was burning up. His muscles ached and throbbed. It was hard to think. He flexed the claws at the end of his fingers and licked his new, sharp teeth. When he gripped the edge of the sink the porcelain cracked.
“Mmmph, now it’s in Sean.“ She moaned. “I’m pushing it up into myself and it feels sooo good. You'd better get out here right now because if you don’t then I’m just about to—”
There was a bang and a crash and the door split in half, then fell apart entirely. Nia (fully clothed) backed out of the way just in time. Sean stepped out, a snarl fixed on his long mizzle. His enormous yellow eyes looked down at Nia. He flexed his claws. She looked him up and down. “Oh my God…” she said, backing away. She went pale. Her eyes were wide. She trembled…
And then she grinned.
“Oh my God. You ARE an animal!”
With a howl, he grabbed her.
Everything hurt when Sean woke up, his head worst of all. Oh God, he thought, this is the worst hangover ever.
He looked around. The room (Nia’s bedroom?) was completely destroyed. All of the furniture was overturned and the mirrors shattered. The curtains were in disarray and a broken ceiling fan swung overhead. Underneath the mattress, the bed‘s frame was bent and uneven. Even the wallpaper was in tatters. What the fuck happened here, he thought? He couldn’t remember a thing.
“Good morning lover.”
Nia appeared in the doorway, sipping coffee. She climbed up onto the wrecked bed and kissed him. “Good morning,” he said, dumfounded.
“Don’t worry about the mess. We had a wild night.”
“I can see that.”
She had some marks on her. He did too, he noticed. In fact, he had a lot of them. Something had scratched and bit him all to hell. “You were a real animal,” Nia said.
“I must have been...”
She sat in his lap and then whispered in his ear, her hot breath tickling him: “In fact, I’ll tell you a secret: