Seeping from his skin and mouth was a dark cloud of pheromones, starting as smoke but quickly becoming a thick fog that billowed out around him and helped obscure him from nearby light. His bright red eyes were the only thing that pierced the cloud’s darkness.
As the final transformation was complete, he relaxed as the pain left him. He stretched out his cramped feeling wings, a yawn overcoming him that pulled his mouth out to four times than his previous form. This was exactly what he needed, a hunt to distract his mind.
A short high-pitched sound called him to his left and he was suddenly soaring through the trees in the direction of the sound. A few seconds later, he touched down soundlessly in a tree at the edge of a clearing. It took him a second to find his brother, spotting him on the opposite side of the clearing shrouded in his own smoke cloud.
A herd of deer were grazing peacefully and Connelly gave his own high-pitched call to Ivan, the deer giving no sign they had heard. It was too high a sound for their ears. Ivan called back that he’d heard and that he’d found his target. Usually they would leave such a weak prey and hunt the predators instead, but he was in the mood for something light.
Spotting his own target, a large buck at least twelve points, Connelly carefully made his way to the ground. The buck was already on the edge of the herd, and Connelly waited patiently for the opportune moment. After a few minutes, the buck took a few steps toward him, but stopped when the gas reached him. His head flew up and he stood alert for a few minutes, his ears and eyes searching for threats, seeing none though Connelly was not but five feet away.
Sometimes he wondered what the prey smelled when they breathed the gas, as it took on whatever scent that appealed most. Fresh berries, dew soaked grass? He didn’t ponder it too much, because all that was important was they were enticed. After a few minutes of nothing jumping out at him, the buck lowered his head back down to smell the scent once again.
This time, he was definitely interested, though still wary. Ears out and alert, he slowly made his way unknowingly toward Connelly. He remained relaxed, his emotions calm so as not to make him aware of his presence. A few more steps, he thought, C’mon just a little more. That’s it…
It never made a sound or felt a thing. The herd was never disturbed, and the twins happily met up several hundred feet away. Ivan was holding a doe in his hands. “You have the biggest sweet tooth of us all,” Connelly said as he dropped the buck at his feet.
Ivan just smiled and shrugged, “Other than Amelia maybe.”
They consumed the animals in silence. He knew this was supposed to be helping him, as it so often did when he was stressed about something or when he and Alister got too into it. This time though, there was a different feel about it. Something wasn’t right, and not just about Kota. Something about the way the shock hit him, the feeling he got from the new guy he saw with Kota, and about this place in general… something was off, but he couldn’t quite put a finger on it. He didn’t want to say anything, and was careful not to really think about it because Ivan would hear through the connection, but he knew deep down in his gut that something was going to happen here. It was unwise not to tell anyone about the threatened instinct he got, but he excused it as hope that it was just him overreacting.
After they had finished, Ivan asked, “So, did this help?”
He had to look away from him. “Yes.” Well, at least he’d have the weekend to figure out how he was going to go about ‘fixing it’.