I walk indolently towards my new temporary workplace. I do not *have* to work, but I am good at what I do and so I take on the occasional placement; this one in a large software company. I will be one of their internal IT specialists. The company has Sales, Finance, Customer Service, HR; a full complement of areas where a faulty PC could cause big problems. I have been told there will be just the two of us to look after HR and Customer Service, which is a large call centre arrangement.
I get a mixture of looks, from male and female alike. I am an obvious Chimera, embracing my inner wolf. My hair is thick and dark, with flecks of silver and reaches to my shoulders. In reluctant deference to my new job, I have restrained it with a leather tie. My sideburns curl inwards at my cheekbones to just the perfect angle, my eyebrows slant to enhance a saturnine appearance and my eyes are a silver-blue. There are many Chimeras that look perfectly human, but I like to stand out from the crowd.
I am welcomed by the Department Manager who hired me for the job. I did not like him at the interview and I do not like him now. There is a faint scent of deceit about him and he has a smile that is cruel rather than amused. I feel I am being set up in some way, but am certain I can deal with it.
I let him drone on about the company's amenities: a gym, a restaurant, a small enclosed garden at the side of the vast building, but none of it impresses me. I will be here for as short a time as I deem necessary and move on. I am then stopped outside a door marked 'IT2'.
"This is your office and you'll share it with Daniel."
The voice has a sly quality and I turn to look at Matheson as he opens the door. Then I am struck dumb.
I am looking at the most luscious haunch of venison as a slender man is bent over his desk. Chimeras instinctively recognise each other and he spins rapidly to face me, a look of shock and fright on his perfect face.
"Daniel, let me introduce you to your new work colleague. Misha, this is Daniel."
Now I know why Matheson was so smug. He knew the young man I would work with would be discomforted by my presence. A deer and a wolf are not an obvious pairing. At the very least, we should have been introduced much sooner for Daniel to become accustomed to my scent. One development of Chimera Law was that we could not be prosecuted for acting according to our nature. Right now I could see Daniel acting according to his. He was shy and frightened.
I barely register Matheson leave.
Daniel is *gorgeous* and I have seen many beautiful young men and women. His hair is a glossy chestnut and his eyes are like liquid chocolate. I want to eat him from top to toe in the best of ways and can feel my sex thickening even as I look at him.
I register a large dose of fear and realise he can probably scent my growing arousal. I do not want him scared of me. That was what others had clearly wanted, however, and I can feel anger replacing lust.
"Daniel, my name is Misha and I give you my word that I have no intention of harming you in any way."
My voice is a husky baritone and I watch as Daniel's head cocks to one side as he listens to me. He is so adorable and have I said gorgeous? I walk over slowly, to ensure I do not spook him. I opted to wear a tie today and I slowly unfasten it and unbutton my shirt, displaying the dark hair of my chest, but more importantly, baring my throat. I tilt my head back a little.
"Please, Daniel," I ask.
I watch from half-mast eyes as he takes a hesitant step forward and his nose twitches as adorably as his head had cocked. This is a step beyond the norm even for Chimeras, but I want him to know how much he can trust me and the primal gesture of offering my throat as though he is an Alpha seems to have helped. His distress is lessening. I can tell he is still uncertain, but I will be pleased if he stops being afraid.
I have to confess to confusing myself a little. I am not usually quite so concerned for another. I have been labelled 'insensitive' and other, harsher words, many times in the past. But something about this beautiful, gentle man seems to be bringing out my more protective instincts.
"I guess they didn't tell you I was...was Chimera."
Daniel's voice compliments him perfectly. Soft, melodic tones that I could happily sit and listen to for hours. I give him a smile as I refasten shirt and tie.
"No more than they told you," I reply. I glance at the desks. Mine is situated behind Daniel's. I give a soft growl, which has his eyebrows rising. "That isn't going to work," I rumble.
"I...I'll get used to it," Daniel assures.
Yeah right! I think. A Chimera like Daniel would take a very long time to be settled with a predator like me sitting behind him.
A beep from his computer has him bending over his desk to check his message and I have to will my cock to remain quiescent. It disobeys, settling for half-hard which is fortunately hidden by my jacket.
"I have a call," Daniel says. He jots down a number. "This is the number to ring to get your ID and access for the computer. I'll be back as quickly as possible to take you through the kinds of calls we get and where you have to go."
"I'll be waiting," I hear myself say and wonder what possesses me. Daniel blushes scarlet and damn even that has my errant erection trying to drill through my pants. I watch him leave and get my access, but my concern is not getting started. The job can wait. I have a pretty little fawn to ensure feels comfortable in my company and every intention of ensuring he does.
Daniel blinks and I smile smugly when he returns. I have moved the desks to face each other; the monitors set to either side of the desks so that Daniel and I can look at each other. I feel ridiculously pleased by his shy smile.
"Mr Matheson won't be pleased, but so long as everything is working I don't think he'll make you put it back," he says, clearly touched by my concern for his comfort.
My thoughts on Matheson are so 'X' rated I shove them aside. No one is going to use me to keep this beautiful fawn frightened.
The rest of the day passes in a flurry of IT activity. I find I am sorry to be leaving Daniel, but he seems intent on ensuring he is ready to leave.
"Can I walk you to your car?" I ask feeling like a clumsy schoolboy. My cock throbs once more as Daniel's cheeks pinken.
"My Dad collects me," he said. "But...um...yes?"
He looks at me with those luminous eyes and I could drown in them. We walk to the rear of the building and there is a vast car park. I notice some eyes surprised by our companionship and some with more disconcerting emotions. Daniel's eyes are flitting back and forth until he spots a large blue estate car.
"Thanks...for everything, Misha," Daniel's voice caresses my ears and then he is hopping into the car. I catch a glimpse of the large man behind the wheel, whose stern features soften as his son joins him, and then they are gone.
I get some distance between myself and the building and flag down a taxi. I have an apartment within walking distance, but have no desire to walk. I need to get home and think about just what is going on.
And not just at my new workplace.
As soon as I enter I throw open the French windows. This is only a temporary home, but it has the space I want and the apartment is not overlooked. The room possesses a cream leather settee and chairs and a large fireplace with a gas fire that imitates a real log one admirably. The walls are a dark shade of cream and unadorned. I will only be here a short time and brought just a few of my possessions.
I pull off my clothes, throwing them casually to fall dotted around the room. I stretch luxuriously in front of the window. I am still half-hard and know I will need to work Daniel out of my system. I check my messages and give a disgruntled growl. I am supposed to be going out for dinner with my latest 'date'. Whilst she is attractive and intelligent, when I call up her face, it is instantly superseded by Daniel's and, quite frankly, there is no contest. If I could have had eaten with him, I would be a happy man. Instead I leave a message to cancel dinner and am deliberately vague about calling or seeing Lara again and then call my favourite take-away.
I leave my take-away keeping warm and take a shower. As I do, my hand wanders to my cock that instantly fills as I bring Daniel's face to mind. I pump vigorously, no teasing. I have waited all day for this release. My shaft is well-proportioned in length and girth and is cut. I watch the head darken to a rich plum-hue as I work myself to completion. Copious amounts of pre-come are flowing from the twists and pulls of my hand. There is a riot of thick pubic fur that compliments the rest of my hirsute body and normally I would play and tug on it, but not today. I see Daniel in my mind, bending naked over his desk and come with a howl that rattles the shower stall. However, I realise that as much as I might fuel my fantasies with him, I wanted something...more...from him. Something I could not define. I dry myself, as puzzled with my behaviour regarding Daniel now as I had been earlier in the day.
With a snarl of impatience, I stomp into the living room and set out my meal. I am usually content with my own company, but not this evening. I leave half my meal, make the necessary entries in my journal and take myself to bed with a large glass of brandy. For the first time in many years I actually feel lonely. I sip my brandy and listen to soft music on my CD player. The bed is spacious, just as I like it, and yet tonight it feels cold and empty. Frustrated, I finish my drink and curl up to sleep. Perhaps things might become clearer in the morning.
I feel a strange thrill as Daniel favours me with a shy smile. He is still nervous, but at least there is no fear. We work amicably until time for a break. Daniel moves to make coffee and, unthinkingly, I move closer behind him.
Daniel turns to speak, but his words freeze as we come face-to-face just inches apart. I almost howl in distress. Fear is coming off Daniel in thick waves and all directed at me. I have never felt so helpless in my life. Instinctively I tear open my shirt, baring my throat.
"I won't hurt you, Daniel. Never hurt you, I swear." I mean it, too, like I have never meant anything in my life. "Please, please, trust me, Daniel."
Centimetre by painful centimetre I edge closer to him, until he finally snuffles daintily at me. I am praying that my libido does not let me down now of all times. I need Daniel to trust me. I never want to scent fear like that directed at me from him again. Ever.
"You must be regretting coming to work here," Daniel husks, his voice thick with emotion.
"Not at all," I whisper back. I whisper because he is so close now that I can feel his warm, moist breath on my neck. "If I hadn't come here I would never have met you and that would have been a great loss in my life."
"Even though I struggle to behave normally?" Daniel asks, a tinge of disbelief colouring his tone.
I move to look him in the eyes and almost lose myself in the deep, limpid pools.
"You are beautiful and intelligent and I am a lucky man to work alongside you. I don't lie, Daniel."
His nose crinkles and I want to kiss its tip and I can see in his wide eyes he can tell I am speaking the truth. I manoeuvre him gently to sit in his chair and finish the drinks he was about to make. I kneel between his thighs, not too close, but close enough so we can see each other's eyes and scent each other without difficulty.
"It seems to me, pretty fawn, that you are the one getting the harder end of this arrangement. I don't want to work with anyone else, but I don't want to cause you distress."
His hand catches mine and I can see he feels the same frisson as me. He stares at me and I can tell his mind is whirling, wondering just what is happening between us. I hope he does not ask me, because I have no answers either. All I know is that I would chew off my own hand before deliberately hurting Daniel.
The single word hangs between us. I feel elation and a primal triumph I cannot understand. I smile like a village idiot and nod vigorously.
"I'll be more careful," I promise. "But you can trust me."
"I think I know," Daniel says shyly, his head tilting to regard me from behind a veil of hair. "I'll try and do better as well."
I pull him up into a hug, earning a gasp, but he does not pull away.
"To us, Daniel," I say handing him his coffee and chinking the mug with mine. His soft laughter is more precious than any material possession I have and I swell with pride to think I was responsible for the sweet sound. I hope things continue to improve between us.
By the end of the second week, I have brought food to share on our break each day. At the start of the week, they were shop-bought delicacies, but for the last two, I make scones and then muffins and then it finally hits me. Right between the eyes.
I am courting Daniel. I am bringing him food to show I can provide for him and because a mated couple would share their meal. I can scarcely believe it. I would never have thought of Daniel as a mate, but it seems my heart does not need my head working at the same speed. It knew the one would eventually catch up with the other.
"Daniel," I say and I almost gasp at the sight of his warm eyes on mine. "Would you have lunch with me?"
"In the garden?" he asks hesitantly and I know it is not just because we are taking another step forward.
"I need to buy something," I start to say and instantly pick up on his increase in heartbeat. It strikes me that he has never left the office except when on a call. "I won't let any harm come to you, Daniel," I growl. Something is worrying him and it trips my protective trigger instantly.
"I...I'll stay by the door, is that ok?" he asks.
I move to stand beside him and urge him to stand. That there is only puzzlement to scent makes me want to roar with pride. Instead I pull him into the gentlest of hugs and I am rewarded with the tiniest of pleasured sounds.
"I'll take care of you," I vow.
"We're such opposites..." he begins, but I daringly touch a finger to the lips I have had wet dreams over imagining kissing and other, more intimate, uses.
"And opposites attract," I murmur. I do not push it further. It is enough he lets me so close, that he is not running from me. For the first time in my life I have something...someone...worth taking things slowly over, worth fighting for. I have every intention of showing my worth in return and can only pray I measure up.
I can feel Daniel's tenseness as we approach the staff restaurant and I reluctantly leave him just inside the door. As I select and pay for the food, I realise that there are no predators like me in the room. There are humans, of course, but the Chimeras are sheep, goat, cow and deer. All are docile, hard-working and non-confrontational. I imagine how easy it will be to control such a workforce. I am an anomaly and more than a few eyes surreptitiously follow my progress.
Then I tense. Instincts to protect my mate screaming in every cell. I cannot see Daniel, but where he stood are two humans with malicious looks on their faces. I can see a dark haired woman at a close-by table stand up, she is sheep and the two women turn on her, but she stands her ground.
"I'll take care of it," I growl, almost sub vocally, as I pass her.
There is a stench of lust, arousal, malice and sheer terror as I push past the two blond bimbos trying to bar my way. A bottled blond and a large, shaven-skulled male are invading Daniel's space and his eyes show such relief at the sight of me that I can feel the burn of tears that my anger incinerates instantly.
Man-mountain is just human and, to my delight, tries to push me away. I catch his wrist, twist it hard and shove. He staggers with a squawk of pain into the twin bimbos who squeal and then my attention focuses on queen-bitch. I can scent her arousal as she looks at me, her hard, green eyes blatantly undressing me.
"Not enough money in the world to persuade me, bitch," I growl.
"Mind your own business, wolf," she hisses back.
"It is my business," I retaliate. I reach for Daniel who burrows into my arms. He is shaking and I want to tear out the throats of all who have just frightened him. Instead, I move us a few steps to where we can be seen and heard clearly.
"Daniel is mine," I say loudly. "I have claimed him. Anyone hurting him will have me to deal with." I turn blazing eyes on queen-bitch. "Understand?"
"Congratulations, Daniel," Ms Sheep is standing and starts to clap. A few braver girls take it up and quickly the restaurant is full of clapping men and women.
I feel Daniel take a shy peek from the sanctuary of my shoulder. Keeping him close to my body I take him into the garden and find a secluded niche in an untidy corner. I balance him on my thighs and simply rock and croon, dropping kisses into his hair, until I feel his shakes abate.
"You claimed me," he says, looking up at me with wonder and awe in those expressive eyes.
"If it's not what you want...if I'm not what you want...they can all continue to think you're claimed. I'll not force you into anything with me, although my heart would be broken if you reject me, but I won't see you hurt either."
I find myself being more honest, more exposed and vulnerable, before this beautiful man than I have ever been before. His eyes seem to be looking into my soul and his nose twitches, as if scenting for my sincerity. His fingers reach to my shirt and I realise I am the one now trembling. Buttons flick shakily open to reveal the start of my chest fur and I groan in delight as Daniel buries his face in the junction of my neck and shoulder. I feel his tongue give the lightest of caresses as he takes his first, true, tactile touch of my body.
"I don't know if I can give you everything you need, Misha," I hear him say softly.
"This," I reply. "This is what I need. You, trusting me, willing to be in my arms. Anything else can wait."
"Come home with me tonight?" he asks. "My Dad will talk to you. I...I don't know if I can. You need to know...to decide..."
I tilt his head and press our lips together in the gentlest of kisses I have ever bestowed. I try and infuse it with every ounce of the...love...I have for this fragile fawn. I feel him melt that little bit more, but I will never take advantage of him.
We sit there together, eventually eating the sandwiches I bought. They are somewhat crushed after being stuffed in my pocket, but the sight of the battered pack makes Daniel laugh softly and I adore that melodic sound. I do not care what his father might have to tell me. I know in every pore, in every cell and synapse that Daniel is my mate. Nothing is going to change that.
To say that Daniel's father is surprised to be taking a wolf home with him would be an understatement. I offer to sit in the front, but Daniel shakes his head.
"I trust you, Misha," he says simply, honestly and I want to howl for joy.
At their house, Daniel introduces me formally to his family.
"Misha, this is my Dad, George and my Mum, Helen. Mum, Dad, this is Misha. He claimed me today."
I think I am about to face a furious stag, but Daniel steps between us, his hand raised to press against his father's chest and I feel elated that he is protecting me. He quickly explains what happened in the restaurant and I see George's face darken.
"Please, Dad," he says and I can hear his suppressed emotion. I can scent anger from George, shock from Helen and mounting distress from Daniel that his father obvious notices. I watch the big man sag a little. "You and Misha need to talk. Please. I don't...I can't..."