“Not everything can be returned to its original form,” Norm said after a long pause.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Lee asked. He didn’t want to alienate Norm. Something about the way Norm watched him eased his stress. Worries faded before Norm’s compassionate gaze.
“I can’t tell you.” Norm said. “I’m sorry.”
Lee sighed. He would’ve thrown a fit and demanded the stranger leave his property except he didn’t want him to go. He felt a pull toward him he hadn’t experienced since Antonio’s death. “Where are you from?”
“I have a cabin in the forest.”
Lee dug his foot into the dirt. “I heard there are werewolves there.” He rested his head on his knees then tilted his head to regard Norm.
“There are.” Norm didn’t add to his statement but his eyes glowed gold for a moment.
Lee’s heart skipped a beat. “Are you one of them?”
“Oh.” Lee thought about running but Norm showed no sign of aggression. In fact Norm didn’t do anything but wait for Lee’s reaction. Lee relaxed his tense muscles. “Are you going to hurt me?”
“Never,” the quiet vowed settled Lee’s fears.
“I don’t know why I believe you.” Lee scooted closer.
Norm reached a hand out. After a brief hesitation Lee slid his hand across Norm’s large palm. “You will always be safe from me no matter what my form.”
Lee curled his fingers in Norm’s warm hand and allowed the large werewolf to pull him closer. “I don’t know you.”
“You know me,” Norm insisted. With his free hand he cupped Lee’s cheek, sliding his thumb across Lee’s skin.
“I…I don’t know.” Norm had a seductive appeal, a strange combination of strength and softness.
“I do. Trust me.” Norm leaned forward.
Lee closed his eyes, unsure but eager for contact with this total stranger. The warmth of Norm’s mouth barely brushed his when suddenly it was gone.
“What?” Norm wasn’t there. He had completely vanished.
Lee stood up and spun around. No sign of him. A lone feather fell from the sky and landed beside him.
Lee picked it up. The long white feather couldn’t have belonged to any bird. It could belong to a certain angel. If the angel took Norm, then Norm…
“Antonio!” Lee whispered. Joy filled him. The stranger’s familiar compassionate gaze made sense now. Somehow his beloved had returned but that damn interfering angel had taken him. “Michael, you bring him back!” Lee screamed.