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Coming in Control

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They'd met in a coffee shop.

No. To be honest, they'd met in the alley next to the coffee shop. Monroe had Oz shoved against the brick wall. "What the hell are you doing here, werewolf?"

Oz blinked up at him. "I'm getting tea. Or, I was." He glanced down at his spilled cup, the liquid now all over the ground. He took a deep breath. "You're a wolf... guy."

"Blutbad," Monroe growled. "Get out of my city, werewolf. You're a sick bastardization of my species."

"Okay," Oz replied, though it seemed like a dry agreement, and not a response to being threatened.

It was over.

Except it wasn't over.

It was a year later when they saw each other again, and things were different this time. This time, they found themselves at a table in the corner, Monroe with coffee, and Oz with his herbal tea.

"You don't have to be like this," Oz said. "You can control it."

"That's easy for you to say," Monroe replied. "You're a human who had this done to him. You treat the wolf like it's a disease. Like it's not part of you. Being a Blutbad is who I am. You're a wolf one night out of the month."

"Three nights, actually. I got the concentrated werewolf."

"Oh, you're that breed," Monroe said, furrowing his brow. "That actually does kind of suck. Do you even remember the wolf time?"

Oz shook his head. "Wake up the next morning and if I haven't been caged, there's bits of deer stuck in my teeth. I don't know how it got there. Well, I do, but I try not to think about it."

Monroe nodded. "Yeah, when I wake up with deer in my teeth I know exactly how it got there. Though I stick to rabbits. Small game. I did. I do. I don't know, Oz. It's not so black and white for me. You can separate yourself from the wolf. You're a human. It's different."

"I'm not saying it's the same thing." Oz took a drink of his tea and shrugged. "But there has to be a middle ground between out of control and... human."

"Can you do it?" Monroe asked. He wrapped his hands around his paper cup, but didn't take a drink. "Suppress the wolf in you? Not transform?"

"Yeah, but it has some nasty side-effects if you let it get out of hand."

Oz's words hung between them for a moment, and finally, Monroe asked, "Is it worth it?"

"It is," Oz replied without hesitation. "I can give you some numbers if you want."

Monroe took a deep breath. "Yeah. That's probably a good idea."