You couldn't believe what you were seeing. There was no way that they were sitting there with a needle in their arm. After all the time they'd spent helping you get clean… Now they were using? Their face blurred in front of you as you slammed the door on them. They called your name desperately through the door, but you were already running down the hallway, down the stairs, down the street. Away.
The marks on their arm were perfectly placed to be a vampire bite. They had told you they were helping a feed a friend. You had believed them. You had been jealous. You laughed bitterly at the thought as the tears continued to run down your face and your feet continued to pound against the sidewalk. You wanted to put distance between you and Taylor. Taylor had lied to you.
By the time you stopped to collect your bearings, you were outside of his apartment. You were clean and you were going to stay clean. As much as you loved Taylor, they were no longer good for you. But he had told you that you could come back to him when you were clean. You loved him, too. With a trembling hand, you knocked on the door.
Michael opened the door and was surprised to see you.
"Taylor's using," you said between sniffles.
"But you're still clean?"
You nodded and were admitted into the house.
Taylor picked up the broken syringe from where they had dropped it when you walked in. They took a deep breath before dropping to their knees before the wet spot on the carpet that had been their wolfsbane mixture for the full moon. This is my punishment, they thought sourly. I should have been honest.
Your name escaped Taylor's lips in their transformation. They had been afraid that you would leave if you knew the truth. So Taylor lied, said they were an addict, too. Said they were helping feed a friend. The idea that anyone would actually take werewolf blood was comical.
You were the first person to smile at Taylor, and they had fallen in love with you for it. They had nursed you through all of the cold sweats, and shakes, and nights bent over the toilet as your body went through withdrawals. And when you were finally clean, Taylor said they were clean, too. It had taken six months of sobriety for you to even question the carefully placed needle marks that kept them human.
The wolf took over, and Taylor didn't even try to fight her. It took all of their strength to stave her off, and Taylor was heartbroken this time. They embraced the wolf and gave her full control, before turning inward to try and push away the pain. How long before you called or texted and said it was over? How much longer could they call you their world? Maybe drugs were the answer. Drugs would dull this pain they felt, because they knew you'd run back to him. They always knew you would eventually.
You craved normal more than you craved drugs, and Taylor didn't fit normal. Taylor loved you unconditionally, and knew that you loved them, too. But Michael was normal. He was human. He fit the stereotypes your parents had raised you in. Taylor never had.
"Taylor loves you. Why would he use?" Michael asked.
"They," you corrected automatically. You stared into the steaming cup of tea that Michael had poured for you.
Michael huffed to signal his irritation. "Why would they use?" He emphasized the pronoun with an exaggerated eye roll.
"I don't know." Fresh tears welled up in your eyes.
"Have you talked with any of their friends?"
You shook your head. Taylor didn't have friends. They were a solitary person.
A howl outside the window caused you both to jump.
"Just a werewolf," Michael said casually as he looked out at the street below.
You looked out at the sky to the full moon. "You would think it would have gone into the woods before changing if it didn't have any wolfsbane," you replied conversationally.
Michael's attention returned to you. He shrugged and sat down next to you on the couch. "If it's a junkie, it probably didn't even know there was a full moon tonight."
The howling intensified, as if it were getting closer. You looked past Michael at the window. He tried to get your attention by putting a hand on your thigh. He said your name in a low voice and slid his hand up your leg. When you met his eyes, you realized coming had been a mistake.
"I know you're upset about Taylor, but I can take you mind off of him if you want." His hand continued to inch up your leg slowly, as if he didn't want to spook you by moving too fast.
"Them," you said firmly before standing. You walked over to the window to look out of the window at the street below. The werewolf was gone.
Michael followed you to the window and put his hands on your shoulders. "Forget about them. Don't go back to being a junkie. I can fix all of your problems." He gave your shoulders a reassuring squeeze that made your gut clench. Michael had said that before: "I can fix all of your problems." It had not ended well for you the last time. You remembered the bruises and the insults that he promised were because you were using. Things would get better once you were clean.
You shook off his hands and took a step towards the door. "I'm gonna get going."
"You should stay here."
"I should go check on Taylor."
Michael said your name. A couple of years ago, it would have made you pause. You would have melted into his arms and done whatever he wanted.
You shook your head to keep your body from doing just that.
Michael's brows pulled together and he pursed his lips as he looked at you. "What did you come here for?"
"I…" Why had you come? You were the worst partner in the world. You should be with Taylor, trying to stop them from using, not standing in your ex-boyfriend's living room. You had been scared of using again. You hadn't been strong enough to resist alone.
"You…?" Michael asked, crossing his arms.
"I have to go."
You ran back to Taylor as fast as you could. Your heart beat furiously in your chest as you cursed yourself. They could have overdosed because you ran out. They could be out buying more as you ran to their apartment. The door hung wide, scratches gouged deep into the wood and the door handle crunched between a pair of strong jaws. You ran into the apartment, screaming their name, but Taylor was nowhere to be found. You didn't know what to do; Taylor's phone was charging by their bed and their wallet and keys were in the bowl by the front door.
They were a werewolf. You were so stupid. They hadn't been using, they had been taking their wolfsbane. They were out running around the city because you'd been jumped to conclusions.
Helpless, you crawled into their bed and clutched a pillow to your chest. It smelled like Taylor. You cried yourself to sleep, hoping beyond a hope that they would come home. You would apologize for running away. You would help them through the full moons. And you would beg forgiveness that they had to hide this from you. You just hoped that they would accept you apologies and take you back.