First quarter wolves

by Michverdun

 Hunter, after moving thousands of miles from his hometown, is trying to adjust to his new life. The monster stalking him in the woods isn’t helping.

Added: Aug 2022 9,058 words 2,179 views 4.8 stars (18 votes)

H

Hunter had never heard howling like this before.

He had always heard coyotes where he was from, but they sounded yippy, almost frantic in their howling. This was different. There were less of them, but there was power behind them. He could distinctly hear one that was much closer than the other, it was so powerful that it shook the shitty shack he called home.

He had to go outside and see if he could see the source. He was over a thousand of miles north of his hometown, he’d never heard something like this before. He got out of bed, almost in a trance, and quickly slipped on some shoes, grabbed his flashlight, and went outside.

There was a chill in the air, which was concerning for Hunter. He was used to southern heat, and the coming winter was going to ruin him. For now, he used his flashlight to shine into the dark woods that surrounded his house. Nothing. He took a cautious step outside of his house, then another. It was then that he heard a rustling and finally saw the source of the howling.

The first thing he noticed were the eyes, they were a piercing yellow, shining from the light of the flashlight. The next thing was that they were too far off the ground. It was 8 feet tall, with the head of a wolf. It was covered in coarse, brown fur, but even that didn’t fully cover the rippling muscles underneath. It was massive, and each muscle bulged with an unnatural power. At the end of its limbs were sharp claws, already covered with blood. Whatever it was, it was primed to kill, and it was staring straight at him.

It let out a powerful howl, shaking Hunter right to his core. It then lunged, bounding straight towards Hunter. Hunter ran right back into his house and slammed the door shut, just as he heard the THUD of the beast slamming into his door. He grabbed the nearest chair and propped it underneath the doorknob, as the beast rammed against the door. The door held strong, as if it was the only thing in this house made well. After that, Hunter only heard snarling, but he wouldn’t risk it. He sat opposite the door for the rest of the night, only one thought on his mind:

Was that a fucking werewolf?


Hunter tried to keep last night’s encounter out of his mind. He was tired, running mostly on nerves after not sleeping, but after seeing his co-workers Matt and Amber, he knew he could ignore it. He just focused on how they bitched about the heat, even with it not being that hot, or how Matt described his workout routine in vivid detail. It was good background noise, easy to not think about anything. It almost calmed him down.

“Excuse me, are you the new kid that just moved here?” an old man said to Hunter.

“Uhh yes sir, do you need something?” Hunter replied, still trying to not focus on anything.

“You need to get a place in town. Those wolves will tear you to shreds,” the old man said and walked off.

Hunter didn’t say another word for hours. He couldn’t stop thinking about his encounter, not after what that old man said. It wasn’t like fixing potholes was the most stimulating work either, and his co-workers, Matt and Amber, weren’t distracting him anymore. He was stuck, thinking of that thing’s gleaming white teeth, or his bloody paws, or even his bulging muscles—


“Hunter, you don’t have to worry about him,” Amber said, her voice as confident as ever.

Hunter snapped out of his anxiety-ridden trance. He was back at the office, sitting at the table where all the new hires stayed. Matt and Amber were sitting across from him. They looked concerned.

“There’s only been one man killed by wolves in the past decade, and he was an idiot for going out that late alone,” Amber continued.

“Plus, he was an asshole. Like a fucking neo-Nazi. The wolves wouldn’t eat you, you’re too nice,” Matt said with a dumb grin on his face.

Hunter tried also not to think about the “neo-Nazi” thing. Just another man that he was glad to never actually meet. It helped that Matt was the one talking about it.

Matt never failed to cheer Hunter up, and this wasn’t an exception. It helped that he was a big dude, too. Hunter had spent way too long ogling his arms during work, but it wasn’t like Matt minded. He’d let anyone feel his biceps.

Hunter smiled. He was glad that he actually made friends here, even in just a few months. If a bloodthirsty werewolf wasn’t after him, he would have probably said that his life was looking better.

“So what’s this I hear about wolves?” a deep voice said. Hunter knew who it was immediately.

He looked up to see Atlas standing behind Amber and Matt. Fuck, if Matt was big, Atlas was huge. Hunter could barely work around him without risking a limb by not focusing. Even now, he could see Altas’ pecs straining against his vest, and his biceps threatened to tear his sleeves. Hunter had known some big guys throughout his life, but Altas seemed like a perfectly sculpted pillar of power.

If that weren’t enough, he was handsome too. He had short, chestnut brown hair, with a perfectly masculine face. It was like someone plucked an ancient warrior king from a battlefield and put him in charge of road maintenance. Hunter knew that falling in love with a co-worker was a terrible idea, but at some point he didn’t even feel like he was in control. Atlas was just too hot.

“I-it’s nothin’, really,” Hunter blurted out before the other two could embarrass him. He could already see the gears turning in both of their heads.

“Are you sure?” Atlas raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah, Yeah. Ain’t nothin’ to worry about,” Hunter said, trying not to make eye contact.

“Well, if you aren’t busy, could you come out to the garage with me? I have something I want you to look at.”

“Sure!” Hunter stood up, and the two went out to the garage. On the way, Hunter snuck a glance at Atlas’s perfect ass. God, never has a man filled out a pair of jeans so perfectly. Hunter felt like a creep for staring, but he just wanted to appreciate the god-given beauty that this man had.

When they got to the garage, Hunter figured out what needed so much attention: One of the work vehicles was busted.

“Okay, bad news first,” Atlas said. He looked like he was bracing for a punch.

Before he gave an answer, Hunter turned on the lift to get it off the ground. It looked bad. One of the front wheels was at a 90-degree angle from the rest of the car, but these things always needed a closer look first.

“What happened?” Hunter asked. He pulled out his phone and used the flashlight to look around.

“I hit a pillar on that old bridge east of town. It’s fucked, isn’t it?” Atlas sighed.

Hunter scoffed. “Not even close. That one wheel needs replacing, but other than that, there ain’t much. You lucked out. I could probably find some used parts from the junkyard too, so it won’t cost as much.”

“Huh,” Atlas said. “I thought I had ruined it.” Hunter noticed the tension leaving Atlas’s shoulders. A rare sight.

“It’s fixable. Most things are,” Hunter smiled.

It was then that Hunter realized he had to go home. So, he started to spin some awkward story about how he could actually get a good chunk of the work done tonight, and honestly, the guys at the junkyard might still be around to give him parts. Just as he went for his toolbox, Atlas grabbed his shoulder, turned him around, and looked him in the eyes.

“What’s wrong?” Atlas said.

Hunter sighed. If it was anyone else, he could’ve played the conversational game, tried to dodge the question, but Atlas was too direct and Hunter couldn’t think straight when he was around. Hunter cursed his infernal attractions before trying to explain what he saw, without giving too much away.

“I saw something, back at my house. I know it sound stupid because it was probably nothing, but I don’t know if I feel too safe at my house right now.”

It felt wrong to say it out loud. He was a grown man, not a 5-year-old afraid of the dark. There was no way that anyone would hear him say that and think he was anything other than a coward or crazy.

“Do you want me to stay at your place tonight?” Atlas said.

What? Hunter couldn’t believe it. No “Wow that sucks, I’m sorry,” or “What is wrong with you?” Atlas was literally saying, “Hey, let me derail my entire night just to make you feel better.” What was this man on?

Hunter tried his best to politely decline, but his heart wasn’t in it. Truth was, having someone else there would make him feel better, and he needed that. So he accepted Atlas’s offer.


It felt weird having someone else in his house. Hunter realized just how much he didn’t clean, or how much this place was actually falling apart. However, it still beat sitting in one corner of the living room terrified of the outside. Hunter kept apologizing for the mess or the broken parts of the house, but it didn’t really seem like Atlas minded.

“Sorry about the… Well, everything. This place was pretty cheap,” Hunter said.

“Better than being at my place,” Atlas replied.

For most of the night, Hunter started talking to Atlas, trying to keep his mind off the howling outside. He learned a lot of peculiar things about Atlas, like how apparently he just had no pop culture knowledge for decades. He said that his dad had barred most of that stuff off from him, only letting him watch old ass shows, and even that was a pretty sparse list. He just never got around to watching stuff after he was on his own. Hunter nodded, making note of another shitty person he didn’t want to meet.

Instead, the two bitched about work, an easy topic of conversation. There was always something breaking down, someone who was making things harder. It was something Hunter was experienced in with his days working as a mechanic. until Atlas had a proposition.

“I know you’re still worried, but do you wanna see something cool? We’ll have to walk in the woods for a minute, but I promise it’ll be fine,” Atlas said reassuringly.

The logic in Hunter’s brain was screaming for him to say no, that Atlas couldn’t promise that and the werewolf could rip both of them to shreds in seconds. However, Hunter was entirely too trusting and too horny to say no.

“All right, but if anything goes wrong, I’m blaming you,” Hunter said.

With that, the two left Hunter’s house and went right into the forest. Hunter stumbled behind Atlas, trying to keep up and not be scared. On one hand, he didn’t hear much howling, which calmed him down, but on the other hand, he couldn’t see shit. Apparently, Atlas could see perfectly fine, because he walked through the forest like it was his front yard. Had he been here before? How did he even know where he was going? Hunter didn’t have much time for questions as soon enough he reached the clearing.

The pair reached a cliff, overlooking the forest. There was a sea of trees as far as the eyes could see, with some other cliffs overlooking the area. He could even see a dark watered river running through the valley. However, the real wonder was when he looked up.

The sky was full of stars, filling his vision with pinpricks of light. He could even see the band of a galaxy. In the middle was the moon, taking up the spotlight. It was only half-full, not a phase that people usually say is pretty, but with this backdrop of stars, it was beautiful.

Hunter was broken out of his star-related trance with the sound of Atlas tapping the ground. He was sitting on the edge of the cliff, motioning for Hunter to sit beside him. Hunter did, hanging his legs off the edge of the cliff. He kicked his legs a little, but his grip on the grass behind him was as tight as possible.

“Pretty, right? I didn’t want you to just be scared of this place. There’s a lot to love,” Atlas said.

As he said that, he put his arm around Hunter’s shoulder. He wasn’t… no, no he wasn’t, Hunter thought. Atlas was just nice, and a little odd sometimes. There’s no way he would want that. This was just a friendly gesture, nothing more.

Hunter focused on the sounds of nature, trying to stay calm and hide his boner. He heard the wind rustling through the tree, the sound of bugs filling the air, and… ripping fabric?

Hunter turned to Atlas and saw a tear in his shirt right near the armpit. Atlas lifted his arm and tensed his bicep, sending a tear right down the arm.

“Shit, that’s the second time this week,” Atlas groaned. “I don’t know what’s wrong with my dryer, but my clothes are so tight now.”

Hunter didn’t say a word as Atlas slowly draped his arm back around Hunter’s shoulder. He didn’t believe the dryer was doing anything. Atlas was growing. It was small, but even in the night he could see that with every breath, Atlas’s pecs jutted out a bit more, and the shirt got a bit tighter. He could even feel the arm draped around him slowly thickening. Atlas’s heartbeat was so strong Hunter could feel it as it jackhammered more blood into his engorged muscles. He tried to only glance for moments, but that quickly became staring as he memorized every motion of Atlas’s body. It was too much.

Hunter’s cock throbbed, but he could also feel the weight of not sleeping finally hitting him. He didn’t want to fall asleep, not now, when he was watching this miraculous event in front of him. However, his shoulder looked so inviting, and after Hunter finally felt at peace for the first time in a while, he fell asleep.


Hunter woke up the next morning in his bed, surprisingly well rested. He got up and looked around, but Atlas was nowhere to be found. He must’ve left after carrying Hunter back. Hunter texted an apology to try and salvage his dignity and then got ready to go to work.

The next few months went as normally as they could for Hunter. He’d go to work like normal, and when he started to see the werewolf again, Atlas would come over and the werewolf would be gone for a few days. As summer turned to fall, and fall turned to winter, that cycle continued. Only one thing changed about Hunter’s life as the months passed by.

Atlas was growing. Hunter honestly thought that the late night growth he saw was just his imagination, but the tearing shirt issue still persisted. Hunter would just randomly hear the tearing of fabric, followed by a deep grunt. If he turned to look at Atlas, he’d see a shirt busting at its seams, with one part, usually the sleeves, having finally broken under the pressure. What size could he possibly be at this point? XXL?XXXL? Hell, one time Hunter accidentally got a button to the back of the head, only to turn around and see Atlas’s hairy, melon-sized chest staring back at him.

It was simultaneously the best and the worst thing that could happen. On one hand, there was no possible way that he could be mad about Atlas being even hotter than he already was. He’d seen Atlas’s growing body from almost every possible angle. However, spending time near Atlas was now a constant game of trying to hide his boner. Which was even harder because they spent so much time together. It was just another thing that made Hunter feel like a pervert.

That conflict stayed in his mind often, even as the two walked through the forest in the darkness. Mostly, the pair would just stay in the house when Atlas came over, as they slowly made their way through the movie list Hunter prepared, but tonight Atlas insisted on going outside once in a while. Hunter was still scared of the forest, but the walks were helping.

“Y’know, I’m startin’ to get used to this place. Even if it is too cold.” Hunter shivered. He was never getting used to the chill.

Atlas laughed before he leaned onto a nearby tree. He pulled back after feeling a certain spot and then started inspecting it carefully. Hunter walked up near him to see a deep claw mark in the wood. The mark was much larger than most animals around here could make.

“Guess that’s him,” Hunter said. Atlas gave him a confused look, so he explained more. “That’s what’s been stalking me these past few months. This’ll sound insane, but it kind of looks like a werewolf. I don’t know what it actually is though.”

“Huh. Good to know,” Atlas said, his expression unreadable. “I’ve actually been meaning to ask, why did you get a job here? This isn’t exactly a place that people are flocking to.”

Oh shit. A chill ran down Hunter’s spine, but this one wasn’t from the cold. He knew he’d have to talk about it eventually. He took a deep breath. If anyone was going to understand, it was Atlas. He’d be fine.

“When I worked as a mechanic in my hometown, I told one of my coworkers that I was gay. I assumed he’d be accepting enough.” Hunter gauged Atlas’s reaction. Hunter couldn’t make out his expression, but he didn’t seem mad. Even then, Hunter was ready to run at the first sign of trouble.

“He told everyone,” Hunter continued. “I lost my job the next day. My family wouldn’t talk to me. Hell, I couldn’t even go outside without some new threat.” Hunter’s voice shook as he started to tear up. He pressed those feelings down. He couldn’t cry, not in front of Atlas.

“So, I started applyin’ to jobs as far away as I could. I saw the listing here, and I didn’t think I’d get it, but I did. All the paperwork to move out here was real easy, too. It almost felt like… fate.”

It was more than that. Hunter knew it. It felt like salvation. Like a lifeguard had saved him while he was drowning. He didn’t know what god, spirit, or celestial body had decided to save him that night, but he wished he could thank them properly.

There was a long pause, in which Hunter felt like he could explode from the breath he held in his chest, but suddenly he felt a strong hand on his shoulder.

“I’m glad you’re here,” Atlas said. It was all Hunter needed to hear.


The rest of the night went normally and even the next day felt better than usual. Hunter had a spring in his step, and it seemed that everyone else did too. Everyone was excited about the Winter Solstice party that was held every year. It was a sendoff for all the work they did that year, and a nice reprieve before tons of snow would fall, making their jobs even harder. It was still a couple of weeks off, but it was exciting, so there was already buzz around it.

Hunter reveled in the excitement and the new feeling of comfort he had in his new situation. He finally felt like he fit in somewhat, and Atlas still felt okay around him after he came out. So, when he noticed the note on Atlas’s desk, he took a quick glance without thinking.

It was Atlas’s two week notice.

The realization hit him like a truck. Atlas was leaving. He couldn’t, that wasn’t because of him, right? That had to be because of something else. Even then, Hunter could feel a dark pit form in his stomach. Voices of all the people he left behind filled his mind, telling him that this was the only thing that could happen. He was the problem, he was tainted, and there was no way to fix it. That feeling only grew as the day went on, and he realized that Atlas wouldn’t even look him in the eyes anymore. Was he lying last night? Did Hunter just pull himself into the same situation?

His hands shook and he couldn’t focus on anything. It was only as the day started to wind down that he realized his next new problem: the werewolf was still around, and he had lost his only line of defense.

“Hey, are you okay?” Amber said as she reached over to Hunter.

They were the only two still around, as Hunter had apparently spaced out. He looked over at Amber. Her eyes were full of real genuine concern, and really, could he make this situation any worse by telling someone?

“No, I-I’ve been seein’ a werewolf or something. It’s been stalking my house for months now and I don’t know what to do,” Hunter said, his voice starting to crack.

“Okay,” Amber took Hunter’s hands in hers. If she thought he was crazy, she wasn’t showing it. “How about you ride around with me for a bit, just until Matt finishes up at the gym, and then we can all go check it out together. I’ve been meaning to talk to you two anyway.”

Hunter just nodded, and the two went over to Amber’s car. The drive was still tense. Every time Hunter felt like he could speak up again, someone else from his town clamped his mouth shut. He was fully haunted by them, to the point where it took everything he had to get out of the car and enter the gym with Amber.

The gym was pretty empty for the time. Hunter walked past people as he heard the sound of weights clanging and the grunts of people lifting. As he finally reached the back, he almost lost his goddamn mind.

Atlas was there, stripped down to nothing but his underwear, posing in the mirror. He was pumped to the gills, his muscles so bloated that it was hard to believe he still had a full range of motion. However, as he moved from pose to pose, it was clear that he still could flex, with each flex accentuated by a deep-powerful grunt. He looked like a fucking god.

Around him, Matt kept slightly tweaking and correcting Atlas’s posing, much to Atlas’s ire. It was only when he noticed Amber and Hunter that he said something quick to Atlas and ran to meet the pair. As the three walked out, Matt explained his situation.

“Sorry about keeping you waiting. I finally convinced Atlas to compete in a bodybuilding contest and I wanna help him place well,” Matt said.

“Well shit, he looks like a pro already!” Hunter blurted out.

“I know! And he tried to tell me that he’d never worked out before, but somehow he has perfect squatting form!” Matt rolled his eyes. “He’s such a shitty liar.”


The whole ride over was nerve-wracking for Hunter, as a constant worry in his mind was not being able to find any evidence of the werewolf that had been stalking him. So, when Amber practically dragged the two out of the car and led them to a claw mark, he was pretty relieved.

“Oh, shit,” Amber said before turning to face Hunter and Matt. “Okay, well, I didn’t expect you to get it this fast, Hunter, but you were pretty on the mark.”

After saying that, Hunter heard the sound of bones cracking and skin stretching as Amber’s arm shifted, changed into something not quite human. At the end, dark fur sprouted, until Amber had the arm of a werewolf.

“But not exactly like this,” Amber then let out a pained cry as her arm shifted back to its normal size. “I can tell that the one that’s out here doesn’t have much control over their transformation or their actions. Some werewolves call people like them ‘First Quarters’ because they’re not quite finished yet with their transformation, usually because of some mental block.”

Hunter felt some small sense of relief knowing that he wasn’t crazy, but that was vastly overshadowed by the mind-breaking realization of werewolves being real.

“This whole fucking time I’ve lived here and I didn’t notice!?” Matt yelled.

“I honestly don’t know how you did it. You two are the only guys that aren’t werewolves on the crew. Anyway, if they haven’t done anything so far, they probably won’t now. These situations don’t end in violence if you can find them and talk to them first.”

“But, the only reason it stayed away was because Atlas kept coming around. Now, he’s leaving so… Would this be why?” Hunter pointed at the claw marks in the tree. It was his last chance to absolve himself of guilt.

Hunter saw pure shock on both of their faces as he realized that there was no reason for them to know that Atlas was leaving. Shit.

“That wouldn’t be it. Atlas is one of the strongest werewolves in town. Have you seen him?” Amber said. “For now, I’ll try to find out who this is, and maybe try and figure out why Atlas would quit. Don’t worry.”

After that, both Amber and Matt left, and Hunter was left with the fact that he was the only reason as to why Atlas was leaving. There were no other options. He ruined it. He trudged around the forest looking at the claw marks that had so quickly fucked him over. He realized that they made a pattern. As he followed one mark to the next the realization hit him: The claw marks were surrounding his house.


The werewolf didn’t show up for the next two weeks. That should’ve felt like a good thing, but it honestly just made Hunter sick to his stomach. Why did the pattern change? Were they planning something? It didn’t help that Hunter had barely been able to sleep.

However, he couldn’t worry about that right now. Amber hadn’t found anything, and tonight was the winter solstice, so he had a party to go to. Also, if his math was right, this was one of the last times he’d get to see Atlas. He had to talk to him. Even if it didn’t change anything, he needed closure for this.

As he finally worked up the courage to go, he got in his truck and typed in that address he was given. For some reason Atlas’s house was where the party was regularly held, and it was a lot closer than Hunter had realized. They were basically neighbors, or as close as neighbors can be when living in the middle of nowhere. As he pulled in the driveway, he felt like someone was fucking with him.

There was no way Atlas wanted to spend time in Hunter’s run-down shack rather than stay in his own house. This cabin was almost mansion sized, and it looked like it had been kept in perfect condition. The only reason that Hunter didn’t immediately turn around was that he recognized the cars in the driveway, so he parked somewhere and entered the house.

The inside of the house was just as expensive as the outside, with a few odd design choices. Whoever furnished this place was obviously going for a rugged, outdoorsman type feel, but they were just slightly off the mark. It was all too polished, too clean. It looked like half of the stuff in this house hadn’t actually been used. There were also stuffed heads of exotic animals on the walls. Also, this wasn’t the work of Atlas. Nothing about it made sense with what Hunter knew. Atlas wasn’t the type of guy to go on trips to Africa just to shoot a lion.

Other than the off-putting decorations, the party was nice. There were only a couple of people Hunter didn’t know, and the rest were from work. Everyone was just sitting around, drinking, having a good time. Hunter wished he could enjoy it more, but he was on a mission. He found Amber and Matt sitting in a corner of the living room and headed over to them.

The pair were locked in a conversation, one which was clearly annoying Amber. Matt had been insatiable for werewolf knowledge ever since she told him, and he had been bothering her about it ever since.

“Do y’all know where Atlas is?” Hunter butted in. The relief coming from Amber was palpable.

“He was in the kitchen a while ago, and he hasn’t come out yet. Probably still in there,” Matt said.

“Thanks. Any updates?”

Amber shook her head. “I’ve talked to every werewolf in town. None of them have seen a new one around, and there’s nobody in town it could be. I’m sorry.”

Hunter sighed. “It’s fine. I’m sure it’ll work itself out. I’m gonna go talk to Atlas now.”

Hunter made his way towards the kitchen, turning around to see his two friends smiling at him. What did they think was going on?

Entering the kitchen, he saw Atlas downing a bottle of whiskey. Hunter cleared his throat, and Atlas put the bottle down and shook his head.

“H-hey Hunter,” Atlas said. He was wearing a tight dress shirt. Hunter watched as the dress shirt clung to his muscles. He looked bigger and bigger every day, so whatever Matt was doing was really working. Hunter could tell that he looked out of it, and more than that, he had that scared look in his eyes again. It hurt to see.

“Can we talk?” Hunter said. Atlas just nodded.

Hunter had a whole plan for this. He had the perfect thing to say, but actually getting to the point, when his chest ached and his hands were shaking, it wasn’t possible. He had to just let the words pour out of him like a waterfall.

“I-If you’re leaving because of me, I’m sorry. We don’t have to talk to each other again, you can just go about your life and I won’t even say a word. I know I’m just a fuckin creep but please,” The shaking in his voice elevated as the tears flowed out of his eyes. “I can’t move again. I barely made it through the last one.”

Hunter started to silently sob as he was bombarded by the thoughts of all the people he left behind. They were right. He was a terrible, disgusting man. This was all his fault. It was only when he heard a thud that he looked back at Atlas.

“No,” Atlas said as he sank to the floor. “No,no, nononononono.” He clutched his head as he doubled over on the floor. Hunter tried to get his attention, but Atlas just kept repeating the same words as Hunter heard noises that he couldn’t describe.

It was only when one of Atlas’s traps exploded out of his shirt, rising up to his ear, that Hunter figured out what it was: the sound of Atlas growing. It started on the left side, his arm slabbing on dozens of pounds in a second. Easily outgrowing a normal man’s torso. His left pec followed suit, swelling out of his shirt, leaving the left side in tatters. It wasn’t long before his right side evened out, as thick brown fur started to cover his body. His hands, now covered in fur and ending long dark claws, grabbed onto his pants and tore them off as his legs bulked up more and more, matching his insanely muscled body. Lastly, he looked up at the ceiling and let out a pained cry as the bones in his face reshaped, giving him a muzzle and covering it in fur.

He let out a loud howl as the transformation finally finished, leaving him a monstrous werewolf, one all too familiar to Hunter. Atlas was the werewolf outside his house, although now he was much bigger, being almost 8 feet tall and packed to the brim with muscle. Hunter just stared at his monster, too afraid to move, until Atlas then snarled at him, showing gleaming white teeth. It was all the motivation Hunter needed.

He bolted out of the kitchen and through the house, pushing past all the confused guests and out of the house. The frigid air and the snow only served to push him to go faster, as he heard snarling become closer and closer. Hunter screamed as he tried to make it to the trees, not knowing where to run, only that he had to. He glanced behind himself for just a second, only to see the werewolf lunging at him. It was too late.

He fell to the ground, Atlas right on top of him. Atlas pinned him to the ground, claws digging into Hunter’s wrists. Hunter tried to struggle, but he couldn’t move an inch. Atlas was too strong. Atlas tore Hunter’s shirt off with his teeth, leaving Hunter exposed to the cold. The only warmth Hunter could feel was the hot breath of Atlas pinning him down as he licked his lips.

“Atlas, p-please don’t hurt me,” Hunter pleaded. “I’m sorry!”

As he cried out, tears in his eyes, Hunter noticed something change almost immediately. He had that scared look again, the same one Atlas had when he saw Hunter at the gym. Atlas then got off of Hunter, standing to his full height and letting out a noise that Hunter thought could only be a scream of pain or a roar. He then bounded into the forest, leaving Hunter in the snow. However, it didn’t take long for another person to be on top of him.

“Fuck, god. He didn’t bite you, did he?” Amber said. Both her and Matt were checking him vigorously, making sure he wasn’t hurt. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know, Atlas didn’t—he seemed fine.”

Hunter just sat there, mostly in shock at being pinned to the ground and then being spared. Hunter that he had figured out what was going on, that he was stuck in the same situation he had always been in. However, he wasn’t so sure right now.

He looked over at the house. Everyone was outside, most of them shifted somewhere between wolf and man. Hell, even Amber’s teeth were sharper than normal, and it was clear she was trying to stay calm. The tension was suffocating even from over here. Hunter knew that if Atlas felt any of that, it wasn’t going to end well.

“I need to talk to him again, before they go after him. Do you think you can help me?” Hunter said.

“Are you out of your goddamn mind? He almost killed you—”

“Sure,” Amber said, cutting off Matt. She then turned to Matt. “Go tell the others that we got it. Try and distract them or something.”

Matt rolled his eyes, but he got up and walked back over to the party. Amber helped Hunter off of the ground, and silently, the two walked into the forest.

It didn’t take long to find where Atlas was hiding, which was good because it was starting to feel dangerously cold. Hunter felt like he could barely move his arms, but he stayed close to Amber as they came upon the mouth of a cave. The pair stopped there.

“He’s in there. If anything happens, just scream and I’ll try and hold him off,” Amber said. She was worried, no matter how much she tried to hide it. That didn’t matter now. Atlas was hurting, and if Hunter could help, then he was going to.

He took a deep breath to calm his nerves and walked into the cave. It was damp, dark, and cold. Hunter kept his hand on one side of the cave to steady himself as he heard the sound of sobbing deeper within. As his eyes adjusted, he could see small toys littered on the side of the room. They were similar toys to the ones he had when he was a kid, but these were completely ruined, either being shattered or burned. It was only when he ventured deeper and his eyes finally adjusted that he saw the source of the noise. Atlas was crying, clutching a blanket while sitting on an old bed.

He was more human now, his body being covered with a layer of hair instead of fur, but he was still positively hulking. His traps still threatened his ears, and his shoulders were like cannon balls. Hunter could see the muscles in his arms bulge as he clutched that blanket for dear life. His hands, while looking human, still had dark claws at the end. It was like he was stuck, not being able to stay in either form at all. Atlas then looked up, bright yellow eyes piercing right through Hunter’s heart.

“Don’t come any closer!” Atlas roared. Hunter could feel his outburst shake the walls of the cave.

“It’s okay, I just wanna know what’s goin’ on,” Hunter said, raising his hands to not be threatening. “I thought I knew, but now I’m not so sure. Could you help me out?”

“Help you out? I’m a fucking monster! I’m a disgusting freak who almost killed you, because that’s all I can do!” Atlas said.

He kept speaking like this, saying that he was wrong and worthless. It was when he said that he should be dead and that there was no fixing this that Hunter realized that they were dealing with the same thing.

“Who’s telling you this?” Hunter said. Atlas stopped talking and just looked at him, confused.

“For a while now I’ve been having thoughts like yours,” Hunter continued. “But they ain’t coming from me, they’re coming from all the assholes I used to live around. So who’s telling you all of this, and why do they keep tormenting you?”

Hunter could almost hear the dam breaking in Atlas’s mind, as Atlas started crying full force. Hunter just stayed there, waiting expectantly. It was slow, but eventually Atlas regained enough composure to tell a story.


Atlas didn’t know how his dad found out he was gay. Maybe it was through the archaic internet locks, or he saw the stack of fitness magazines, or maybe he just assumed and guessed right. Atlas was just a few weeks away from moving out, but it wasn’t enough. His father had crafted him, molded him into the essence of masculinity, and now this? It was unacceptable. So, the night he found out, it turned into a screaming match, in which Atlas was to blame for everything. The divorce, his loss of popularity with his fans, even his failed runs at public office, were all Atlas’s fault. Finally, when Atlas had enough and stood up for himself, he felt something slam into the back of his head, and everything went dark.

He woke up later, stripped naked and tied to a tree. He could see his dad’s shadow in the distance, but it faded quickly. There was a blizzard that night, and the temperature was dropping with every second. He could feel his hand stiffen, and he could even see his fingertips darkening from frostbite. HIs screamed, cried, and begged until he was hoarse for someone to come help him. He didn’t know how long it took, hours maybe, but something finally answered when he was on death’s door. The moon shined out from between the clouds on him, and he was filled with the most comforting warmth. It blanketed, filled him and asked him if he wanted more. It asked if he wanted to be strong, to be warm, to be free. He said yes, and the moon gave him a gift.

He felt as if he were on fire the first time he transformed. There was so much energy, so much power running through him that it felt like it would destroy him. However, it didn’t. His bones shifted and cracked as his muscles exploded with new size, filling him with an otherworldly strength. He immediately tore the ropes off of him and fell to the ground as his face started to restructure into the shape of a wolf. Last, dense fur covered him, keeping him warm against the frozen land.

It didn’t take long for him to find his father’s trail as he started his first hunt. He was running on pure instinct, a starving animal chasing easy prey. It didn’t take long to catch up, and when his father spotted him, it was too late. His father tried to run back to the house, but they were too far away and he was far too slow. Atlas lunged, and he felt his teeth connect and then tear through his own father’s throat.


“I ate him,” Atlas choked. “He was my father. I loved him, and I still ate him. And if you don’t leave, I’ll eat you too.”

Hunter heard the low growl in Atlas’s throat, but he also heard the fear in Atlas’s voice as he said that. It wasn’t a threat; it was a warning, one that Hunter didn’t want to listen to. Sure, hearing that he killed someone was terrifying, but Hunter couldn’t imagine faring much better in the same situation.

“I don’t believe you,” Hunter said as he inched toward the bed. “I think you were in a tough spot, and you made the only choice you had, but he ain’t gonna hurt you anymore.”

Atlas and he had too much in common. Both of them were haunted by people of their past, and in Atlas’s case, even death didn’t get rid of it. They were both weighed down by it, but Hunter wasn’t going to believe the people in his head when they said this wasn’t fixable. This was fixable. It had to be.

“What if this is what he wanted?” Atlas said. “He wanted me to be stronger, to be violent. The worst part is it feels so good. It feels so fucking good to work out, to grow, but I don’t wanna hurt anyone.”

“You don’t have to,” Hunter crawled onto the bed and faced Atlas directly. “He’s gone now, and it doesn’t matter what he wanted for you. It only matters what you want right now. So what is it?”

“I-I—” Atlas stuttered as his fists clenched. He had spent his whole life avoiding his dad’s goals, that actually getting what he wanted? It didn’t feel possible. However, in this case, it was right there. “I want you!”

Hunter jerked forward as Atlas pulled him into a deep hug. He heard Atlas’s breathing in his ear. It was shaky, as if he was still holding something back.

“That’s nice to hear, because I want you too,” Hunter said.

Hunter then was staring right up at the ceiling of the cave as Atlas pinned him again. Hunter could see something wild in his eyes before Atlas came to his senses and started to apologize.

“Shit man, If you’re down I wouldn’t mind having sex right now,” Hunter winked. “It’s been a rough night, could be fun.”

“You can’t—I mean this thing would really hu—” Atlas said as he grabbed his dick. He was cut off as a small bottle of lube hit his left pec. He looked down to see Hunter, having wriggled out of his grasp.

“I had that in my back pocket. I didn’t know what kind of party this was gonna be,” Hunter shrugged.

Hunter looked up expectantly. He was so tired of hiding his attraction, it would just be nice to have someone fully reciprocate, for once in his life, and he still wasn’t sure Atlas would. Just then, Atlas laughed. It was a clear, bright laugh. It fit him well.

“Let’s do it,” Atlas said. It only took seconds for Hunter to then get his pants off and be fully ready. Even then, he could tell that Atlas was still a little apprehensive.

“Don’t be shy now, I can take i—Jesus fuck—” Hunter cried out as he felt Atlas’s cockhead press into his asshole. He was bigger than Hunter expected, but as soon as he yelled, Atlas immediately pulled out.

“That was a good ‘Jesus fuck.’ Keep going,” Hunter said, trying to egg Atlas on. Atlas was exceedingly gentle, almost afraid to hurt him, but with Hunter begging for more, Atlas found a rhythm that suited them both.

Hunter moaned as he felt Atlas’s cock ram into his prostate. Atlas was way bigger than he was expecting, but he wasn’t complaining. Who knew being impaled could feel this good? Every thrust sent sparks of pleasure through his spine, flooding his mind. It felt incredible, especially when he heard the sounds Atlas made, the light panting and grunting as he thrusted.

Then it changed. It was almost imperceivable beneath all of the other sensations that Hunter couldn’t quite trace it, but then he felt it. It was an odd pressure he was feeling from inside himself, and it was only when he looked at Atlas’s arms to the side of him that he realized what was happening.

Atlas was growing inside of him. Hunter watched thick veins become more prominent as his muscles pumped larger and larger, thickening with cords of power. Hunter came right then, but Atlas continued with his fucking and growing. Hunter could tell that Atlas wanted the change this time, there was just something in the way he grunted, or how he moved. It wasn’t scary, it felt great. He swelled larger and larger, and then his claws dug right into the bed as dark fur sprouted once more. The fur crawled up his body and growing muscles, and Hunter’s eyes rolled in the back of his head as Atlas’s thrusting became more frantic until it suddenly stopped.

Hunter looked up to see Atlas’s face half-shifted, looking back down at him. He looked almost embarrassed, ashamed of his transformation. Hunter knew just what to do.

“You’re amazing, darlin’,” Hunter said.

Just then, the dam broke for Atlas. He let out a long, powerful howl as the transformation finished, and he shot load after load into Hunter. Hunter felt filled to the brim as Atlas pulled out and flopped onto the bed, cuddling Hunter to his chest. Hunter felt amazing, even though he knew that he’d probably be paying for this in the morning. As he pushed his head further into Atlas’s chest fluff, he heard someone from outside the cave.

“Hunter, are you good!?” Amber yelled from the mouth of the cave.

Oh shit, he forgot about that. “Yeah, we’re gonna stay in here tonight.”

“We’re you two fucking?!”

“Yeah, sorry…” Hunter yelled back. He then heard her grumbling as she stomped off into the forest. He’d have to make it up to her later.

“Thank you, for… everything,” Atlas said. His voice was a deep growl, like the rumbling of distant thunder. It sounded like it was tricky to talk, like the pieces didn’t quite work together in that way.

“No problem, big guy,” Hunter said, as he put his head right on Atlas’s chest again. It didn’t take long, and the two of them were asleep again.


It was early on that Hunter realized that he had never been to a bodybuilding contest before. Although compared to the rest of the new experiences he had since he moved, this one was pretty tame. It wasn’t like the bombshell that was 6 months ago at the winter solstice, or the aftermath of that night in starting a new relationship, but it was cool nonetheless.

However, he was pretty sure that he wasn’t getting the “expected” enjoyment out of it. Hunter looked over at his friends where Amber was disinterested but cordial, and Matt, who knew a little more about what was going on. Hunter was just glad to see sweaty dudes flexing.

However, once they got to the highest weight class, that’s when the real fun began. The second Atlas stepped out on stage, the trio started to make the loudest ruckus that the auditorium had ever seen. Hunter had two specific skills: Hootin’ and Hollerin’, and he intended on using them. As Atlas posed on stage, the rest of the crown only got louder, fueled by the noise the three were making.

Hunter couldn’t take his eyes off of Atlas. His muscles were magnificent, perfectly sculpted for the stage. He watched as Atlas’s lats flared out like wings, or his biceps peaked like mountains. Nobody could deny that he was the biggest person on stage, and he was so defined that Hunter knew he would place well.

However, Hunter couldn’t stop looking at his face. Atlas was smiling, and while most of the guys here had some cocky smirk, especially if they were confident, Atlas just seemed genuinely happy to be there. Hunter liked that his smile showed up more ever since that fateful night, and Hunter hoped that he would see it more in the coming months.

The rest of the competition consisted of the three almost getting kicked out for being too loud, but they almost didn’t need it when the placements were being announced. They waited as names were being called, until they heard Atlas’s name.

He won. He fucking won.

The three went ballistic. They cheered, screamed, Hunter even let out a long whistle to show their excitement. It was exhilarating, and almost worth it as they got forced out of the auditorium for being too rowdy. Thankfully, with some expert pleading and begging, they were at least able to go see Atlas backstage.

The first thing Hunter did when seeing Atlas was almost tackle him in a crushing hug. He had probably ruined this shirt with the spray tan Atlas had on, but he couldn’t even care, it was just so good to see his smiling face.

Hunter looked up to see his face now clearly, not blocked by the lights and the exhilaration of the stage. He kept some of his werewolf traits permanently now. His teeth were sharp, and his eyes had the slightest hint of yellow in them. He had also started to grow his hair out, and while it was kind of messy, it was clear that he didn’t know how to properly take care of it yet. Hunter still loved it all the same, because it was Atlas’s choice.

“Fuck, dude, you were amazing out there! You’ll get your pro card in no time, I’m sure of it,” Matt said.

“I don’t know…” Atlas said, already starting to feel insecure.

“Are you fucking kidding me?! Your posing was perfect out there! And like, your contest weight was like 312 pounds! I don’t even know how that’s possible.”

“Gotta love werewolf magic,” Amber said.

Matt shot her a look that could only mean, “how the fuck do I become a werewolf?” but he just nodded and left it at that.

“So, how do you wanna celebrate?” Hunter said.

Atlas laughed again. “I want to go to my hotel room and take a long shower and sleep. Maybe order some food. Care to join me?”

While Hunter was always the type to celebrate, being here, in the arms of someone who truly understood him, he really only had one choice. The party would have to wait.

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