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Magic Enough in Moonlight

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He runs in the cold-clean-dark with trees and moon, his favorite place to be with hisother beside him. Not home but almost, this safe-secret-pack-place far from the stink and noise and confusion. Here they can run and run and chase prey or each other and be free from fear. The others don’t join them, those other two that are his—theirs. Maybe some day, maybe soon, but for now this place is safe and he and hisother can leave them safe behind and just be free together.

Tonight their prey is some fast-clever tree thing. Not too clever—not clever enough to stay in its tree—and not fast enough to escape the snap of hisother’s flashing jaws. They lie beneath the trees and eat together and he licks the blood clean from hisother’s face and soon they are off again.

It is a good night and they do not waste the moon. Lust and sleep are for the daytime and for nights without the good moon to light their way, when they are half blind and too clumsy to hunt anything but the other blind-clumsy animals around them, and they have to open each other up to release the joy and abandon that simmer trapped beneath their skins.

When dawn finds them they sprawl on the grass together, loose-limbed with fatigue, lolling tongues breathing exhausted clouds of heat into the cool morning air. Cold bites sharply at skins left suddenly bare and unprotected from the air, and they curl up into each other, nestled closely with the heat trapped between them. Normally he falls asleep soon after the change, but this morning he lingers on the edge of waking, watching his drowsing mate, hisother. His mind is still caught halfway—human enough for names, but not yet for anything as complicated as definitions, distinctions or abstractions.

But the one thing Kevin understands no more or less in one shape than he does the other is that, so long as Javier is by his side, the form they take will never matter.