Jerky – Flash Fiction – Sage & Leo: Recompense 5

Part 5 of Sage & Leo’s Story that starts with Recompense. Each can be read alone but they’re best read in order, it should take less than 3 minutes to read each piece. Find the full collection here.

*Another full moon and the irritation that comes with it. Leo is getting snappy, and his time with Sage is coming to an end.*

Leo had been snapping at Sage for five days when he stomped into the living room to find them sipping from a travel mug with dice decorations all over it, and setting up a backpack with items dotted over the kitchen island. A foam football, a tennis ball, a travel bowl designed for large dogs and a water bottle to pair with it, one of his pairs of trousers and an oversized sweatshirt that, from the design on the front, obviously belonged to Sage.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Preparing your full moon bag.”

“Full moon bag?”

“Yeah. I do it every month now. Your wolf likes to play games so its easier to take toys than to let you pick up sticks. And I can never find your clothes when you change back so I take some spares. And sometimes you get thirsty, so I bring water you can drink because I thought you’d rather not be drinking from puddles. I thought I had jerky left but I can’t find it so I need to go out and get some in case you get hungry too.”

Leo blinked.

“I know jerky’s kinda gross, and not your favourite, but I couldn’t figure out what else would work for a wolf that is also a person. I figured dog treats would be insulting.” They paused, expectantly. “That was a joke, but okay. Noted.”

A full mon bag. Care and concern and the active plan to go with Leo on his full moon excursions. Now that he thought about it, he always returned to full consciousness after a full moon with that same well-excerised feeling he used to have with the pack. He had thought it was just how one felt after a full moon run but now… Had Sage gone with him, spent a whole night playing with the most wolfy version of him? Risked the chance of running straight into the sunrise for him? “Why?”

“It’s funny because –”

“No.” This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. This wasn’t how he was supposed to feel about a vampire, how he was supposed to connect with a vampire. He wasn’t supposed to connect with a vampire at all! “Why are you making a full moon bag?”

“I just said, your wolf self likes to play and—”

“You’re not my pack. You’re a vampire!”

Sage stopped packing, letting their hands fall to the countertop as they focused their attention on Leo.

“Why don’t you just let me roam around in the wilderness and hope I come back on my own!?”

“Why would I?” Their voice was infuriatingly patient.

“You’re a vampire!”

“You said that already.”

“You’re supposed to be a monster. You’re supposed to want the end of all werewolves. You’re supposed to—”

“Is that what your alpha says?”

“Yes.”

“Is that what you want me to be?”

“Yes. No. I don’t know!”

“Do you want me to leave you alone this full moon? Leave you wandering the wilderness and just hope you make it back?”

“Yes.”

Sage pressed their mouth closed and gave Leo a sharp nod of acceptance. They pushed away from the kitchen island and disappeared into their bedroom, leaving all that evidence of care strewn across the countertop.

~

By the time Leo came back from his incredibly dissatisfactory full moon outing and to the house – glad to find the door unlocked for him since he’d lost his keys along with his trousers, he was exhausted and guilty. All he wanted to do was slump back to his room and hide until he felt better and until his moon hangover wore off.

It should be early enough in the morning that Sage wouldn’t be up and about yet, just past sunrise was always the time they were most likely to be hibernating in their own, blackout curtained room.

But there they were, lay on the sofa on the edge of the den they had built for Leo. Their chest rose and fell evenly with sleep.

Leo closed the door quietly and, whether it was his wolf or himself, crawled into the nest that Sage had built for him, tucking his nose into their side for comfort. Too tired to think about why it was he wasn’t supposed to find this comforting. Could it really already have been eleven moons?

More from Sage & Leo next week!

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