I'd like to make a small note that I've added "liked it" and "didn't like it" reaction buttons to the posts on this website type place as yet another of my continual efforts to feed my desire to see feedback both positive and negative from anyone reading my stuff.
“Mmm...yeah, okay,” she said with a nod. I led her into the living room. “Soo, what about?”
“I'm not exactly sure which question to ask,” I said. “Uhhh, do you...are you aware of anything, different, happening yesterday?”
“Hmn.” She put a finger to her lip like she was thinking. “I didn't eat breakfast yesterday, I think it was maybe a little cloudier than usual...also Brian turned you into a girl, right?” she added the last part with a wide grin.
“That's good, 'cause I'm not gonna stop any time soon. In fact...” She gave a toothy smile, showing off some long, sharp canines, and her ears stretched out into wolf ears, along with a tail pushing its way out of her back, all of the fur the same light brown as her hair. “Can we sit down for a minute? I have a proposal for you.”
“You want me to join your pack,” I said, my ears drooping a bit. To my new set of memories, the notion of joining someone's pack means having to fight them. The would-be pack joiner fights the would-be alpha so each can decide whether the other is strong enough to be worthy of the new relationship, and the alpha uses the results to decide what position to give them.
“But werewolves are animals deep down, you know. Our instincts are strong, and our minds tell them an awful lot about our own opinions.” Her face was less than an inch from mine. “So if you can access someone's instincts, they can be so much more honest about who we really trust.”
“Y-yeah, I guess so,” I said, feeling relieved. The whole lead-in to that hug had seemed like she was going to do something more extreme somehow.
“So,” she said, pulling herself back enough to put her face in front of mine but not releasing the hug, “my test for joining my pack is simple. We pet each other.”
“Um..we what?” Whatever relief I'd felt slunk back.
I blinked a couple of times, surprised. Here I'd been expecting her to start the 'petting' with or without my permission or say or do something to bully me into it. Well, sure, she'd probably pout or cry or something if I told her no, but it felt...an awful lot like she was really asking me if I wanted to. And she wasn't being impatient about getting an answer, allowing me time to process that surprise without saying anything or getting any closer. I thought, well, she's my friend after all, and this isn't exactly going to hurt. If she was able to show restraint in asking she'd probably keep this 'test' as short as possible, too. And...I wouldn't really mind being in Lue's pack. It probably doesn't mean a whole lot more than just staying friends as usual and she could feel good about 'having a pack' or whatever.
“Wh—you mean that whole—that—was pointless?!”
“Shh, no complaining. If you wanna be in my pack I've gotta know you know you can trust me, too.” She leaned closer to me again. “Anyway, you'll set a really bad example as the first person to join the pack if you don't do the first thing the alpha asks of afterward, right?”
“Just 'till you get a meaningful reaction out of my animal side, yeah?”
Lue's arms loosened; I'd stopped petting her ears for a second. “S-sorry..ag—again,” she said. I started rubbing my hands along her ears again and her grip tightened. Then I gently lay my tail across hers. She shivered slightly but only made a soft “Mmm” this time. So I let it run gently up and down hers for a bit. It was a similar feeling to her tail running across mine, and strangely addictive. I could feel my tail starting to wrap around hers instinctively to touch more of it as they both moved, and when Lue barked again even that didn't shake me out of it.
“I get it, I get it.” Once my face was clean, I looked at her. “Just don't do it again, okay?”
“Nope, nope.” I shook my head violently. “I'm pretty sure I'm in love with someone else at this point.”
“Sure. You're one of my best friends, I wouldn't even have a new gig like this if it weren't for you...aaand, more importantly, you've got a nice, sane perspective on things. I have all kinds of crazy ideas and it'd be nice to have someone around to say which ones are too crazy. I think you're the only person I can trust to handle recruiting on your own, too.”
“Our pack. If you're serious about joining you gotta own it. Anyway, I'm not saying to go out of your way to find people, buuuut if there's a werewolf you know and think would make a good addition then you have the right to test them yourself instead of having to bring them to me.” She bared her teeth in a grin again. “All last week I was tempted to pitch this idea to Brie, you know, but I thought something like this might happen and then maybe you'd like the opportunity to invite her—or him, whichever.”
“Hmm.” Lue leaned back a bit and stared through the doorway to the living room. “Actually, this is a pretty nice place you have here. Maybe we could just hang out here for a while instead?” I hesitated to answer for a second and she added, “No unsolicited petting, I promise.”
“Oh. Okay, sure then.”