This is the unedited first draft which always crappy but I hope you enjoy it anyway. LOL.
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© 2012, Lexi Ander
Nico didn’t stop running when he hit Greensboro. He pulled up to his apartment, frantically grabbed everything he deemed important and that he could fit into the SUV, and then kept going. Right out of town. He pulled over at a CVS on the outskirts of town, threw on a jacket to cover his injured arm, and went in to grab first aid supplies.
Nico was beginning to feel really sick. He was burning up with fever but an internal chill shook his body even as sweat dripped down the back of his neck. He took a peek into the security mirror at the end of the isle. His skin was a pasty gray color and his hair, wet with sweat, was clinging to his scalp. He resembled every motion picture junkie that he’d ever seen. The freakiest shit was instead of his baby blues staring back at him, golden amber glared back at him accusingly.
His heart had kicked into fifth gear. He spun on his heal, he paid for his food and supplies. He hightailed it out of town, out of state, and across the country. He didn’t remember after crossing the North Carolina state line or about the drive that took him across multiple states. What he did remember was how terribly sick he was.
He vaguely remembered he’d stayed about three nights in a town outside Chicago. His arm had throbbed achingly as if it had been burned or was on fire. The thermometer in the first aid kit he bought indicated that he was running a temperature of one hundred and five degrees. His bones and joints ached and felt like they were grinding together every time he moved. His skin hurt and felt taught, stretched over a frame two or three times too large. If Nico hadn’t been so ill he could barely move he would’ve found a way to end his life when the muscles started to tipple and move freakishly under his skin. His fevered mind conjured images of being possessed, his body taken over while his conscious mind was caged. He regretted all of the horror movies he’d ever watched because they were fodder for the madness that took over his mind shelling out horrific possibilities for what was happening to him.
Delirious, sitting under the spray of cool water in the motel shower, all he could think about was his dad, the whispered words about soulless animals. Nico thought a person lost their soul when they became evil but then sinful people had a place to go when life here ended. They went to hell to be burned and tortured for all eternity. You’d think there would eventually be an end to the torture after the lesson was learned, but no, it was for eternity. Nico released a manic chuckle. He guessed that for some people who were into stuff like that, it might be a plus.
Animals, on the other hand, would just cease to exist. Poof. No more. Gone. Done. Nico didn’t have to be a genius to figure out that he was turning into an animal. In his fevered state, he wondered if this was what it felt like to have the soul torn from the body.
In his more lucid moments, he wondered if he should care, as he sat under a spray of cold water trying to bring his temperature down. Maybe he should crawl out and let the fever take him after all. He’d had a small hope of going to heaven even if he was gay. Not all churches preached fire and brimstone for gays and lesbians. So he’d held to a small belief he still had a shot at a celestial afterlife.
But this thing he was turning into, no, his chance was slowly slipping away with every hour that passed, if it wasn’t already gone. Yeah, it was circling down the drain of the bathtub that he sat in as the shower pelted cold water down on him. He could almost envision the rainbow colors swirled around him. There was a part of him that pointed out he might be delirious, and he needed help.
Nico was terrified. He didn’t know what was happening to him. Was he changing into a monster? Would he be some horrifying movie creature, ruled by a blood lust? Would he harm innocent people? He kept thinking back to his boyfriend, trying to remind himself Tyrell was a functioning human. There wasn’t a mean or malicious bone in Tyrell’s body. On the other hand, Nico was pretty sure the mountain lion was a monster.
He fought with his feelings of anger, despair, betrayal, and fear. His boyfriend wasn’t exactly human and Nico had no clue until Tyrell changed right before his eyes. How could Tyrell keep a secret like that from him? As pissed as he was with Tyrell for not trusting him, and keeping that part of himself separate, and hidden, he desperately wanted Tyrell there with him. He really needed Tyrell to hold him in strong arms and tell him that everything would be all right. Nico wouldn’t even care if it was a lie. He desperately needed something to believe in as he watched his skin rotate and slide over body, engulfing him in a type of pain he’d never experienced before.
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