“Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute."
-Mark Twain, "What is Man?"
"So you didn't like the movie?"
"There's nothing wrong with it. I just would have gone with something a little more highbrow."
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. Nia rolled her eyes and rung her hands.
"But it's a classic," she said.
"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.
"Well, I don't care, " she said, refilling her glass. "I like 'The Wolfman,' I think it's kind of sexy."
"A grown man, covered in hair, panting like a German Shepherd is sexy?"
"The idea of a man who..." She paused and licked her lips. "...completely loses control. That's sexy." She looked at him.
"It is?" Sean holding out his own glass for a refill.
"But why a werewolf? It's so tacky."
"It's a metaphor."
"You're losing me."
"It's about people's fear that under the surface we're all still animals, and that all of our business about being civilized is just posturing, and that one day we might—"
There was another pause. Sean looked into his glass. Nia looked at him. He stammered for a second and then said, "What do you think makes a man lose control?" he asked.
"Desire," she said. Her hand was on his knee.
Sean saw a quick flash of pink as Nia licked her lips.
“Maybe his body wants something so much that it just goes back to that primitive state, and then he...takes 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 stand 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, sliding her mouth up and lapping at his earlobe. He squirmed She giggled and bit the ridge of his ear.
"Now 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, and dropped down to her knees.
She slid his pants down. "Come on Sean. Are you out of control?." 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..."
"Lost it?" she said.
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 leaned over the sink and 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.
"I'm fine." Sean tried the door but was surprised to find it wouldn't open. "I think the door is stuck."
"I'm holding it," said Nia.
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 heard me just now, didn't you?"
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. “The only thing between you and me is this door. Must be frustrating."
"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. "Now I've got my tits cupped in my hands. You always liked my tits, didn't you? I've seen you staring at them. I just licked the tip of a finger and I'm rubbing it around and around one of my nipples, and 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 them and massaging them in a circle. You know even before you asked me out 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, and 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.
"I used to dream about you putting little kisses right here over one nipple, then right here over another, then standing behind me and squeezing them with both hands. Did you ever dream about that Sean? I know 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?"
Sean opened his mouth again but all that came out was a twisted growl from deep in his throat. He felt his body start to twist and contort. 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 tearing. 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? How wet you made me just a few minutes ago on the couch? 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, bristling with small, sharp teeth. A black tongue lolled in his mouth. This is not real, he thought, this cannot be real.
"I'm touching myself down there Sean. I've got one finger that's rubbing my pussy, and in a second I'm going to stick it in. It's so hot and wet down there already, I don't know if I'm going to be able to stand it."
Sean’s body was burning up, and his muscles ached and throbbed. It was hard to think now.
“I think this might be the wettest I‘ve ever been. I think I must be about to lose control...”
Sean saw the black fur sprout from his hands, traveling up his arms, over his shoulders and down his body. He gripped the edge of the sink and the porcelain cracked.
“Mmmph, now it’s in Sean, and I’m pushing it up into myself, and it feels sooo good, and my other fingers are rubbing my hot little clit. 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 Nia (fully clothed) backed out of the way just in time. Sean stepped over the splintered door, his long muzzle pulled back in a snarl over dripping fangs. His enormous yellow eyes looked down at her, and his long tongue lapped at his lips. He flexed his claws.
Nia looked him up and down. “Oh my God,” she said, backing into the wall. She went pale. Her eyes were wide. Her voice trembled.
And then she grinned.
“Oh my God. You ARE an animal!”
With a howl, he threw himself at her.
Sean woke to find he was sore all over. His muscles screamed when he sat up. Oh God, he thought, this is the worst hangover ever.
He realized there was a particular pain in his chest. Something had gouged his flesh from the shoulder down to his stomach. It looked like he’d been clawed by some animal. Holy shit, he thought, what happened last night?
He looked around. The room (Nia’s bedroom?) was completely destroyed. A broken ceiling fan swung overhead and the bed seemed to have split in half. Even the wallpaper was in tatters.
“Good morning lover.”
Nia appeared in the doorway, sipping coffee. She stepped over some of the mess and climbed up onto the wrecked bed to kiss.
“Good morning,” he said. “What the hell happened?”
“We had a wild night.”
“I can see that.” His head was throbbing.
“You were a real animal.” She grinned.
“I must have been...”
“In fact,” she said, sitting on his lap, “you wanna know the best part?”
She leaned in very close, hot breath whispering in his ear: