Dylan kissed his mom on the cheek just before he opened the door to get out of the car. She dropped him off at school every morning after she dropped his younger brother Owen at the elementary school. He was glad, when he heard bus stories he was glad he wasn’t stuck on it every day. His mom, Catalina, even normally let him listen to what he wanted on the radio. His brother didn’t much care so he didn’t even have to worry about Owen wanting a turn. He paused when his fox ears picked up the shrill voice of Amanda Duren and a few of the other girls. He normally didn’t care what they did, they were a bunch of rich spoiled brats who were in the popular crowd with him but he liked to act as if they didn’t exist. Sometimes if only to bring Amanda down a few pegs.
Today though, he heard Eleanor. They could be bitches to anybody in the school if they wanted to but not her. He wasn’t even sure why they’d be bothering her. She wasn’t considered particularly cool by the other kids but she wasn’t in the outcast group either. She was one of those that were just sort of inbetween. She was anything but average to Dylan though. He had noticed her back in tenth grade when she was a Freshman at school. Instantly he felt butterflies and he had wanted to talk to her but when he tried for the first time in his life he actually felt shy. It had been such an out of place feeling for him he hadn’t recognized why he hadn’t been able to talk to her at first. Shy was something he was far from but she made him feel so much his mind could barely function when he approached her.
His father always talked about how you knew your mate the day you saw them. He couldn’t explain how but you knew and Dylan knew she was his but discovering that just made him even more nervous around her. When they came into view Amanda shoved Eleanor down “Don’t you ever pull that shit again bitch! Go get screwed by your boyfriend so you can lighten the fuck up!”
“She doesn’t even have a boyfriend Amanda” one of her little followers said with a higher than thou laugh. He was so pissed off his normal scatter brain around Eleanor cleared and he rushed over to her helping her up “did we break up? I sure as hell hope we didn’t. I just bought us tickets to that movie you wanted to see” Amanda stepped back, face white with shock “Dy Dylan.. you’re.. you’re dating that?”
“Do not call her that and don’t you ever talk to her that way again. She’s my girlfriend so back the hell off or I’ll tell all your boyfriends about what really happened last summer vacation. I didn’t want to get involved but I will if you ever disrespect Eleanor again. ” They coudl tell he was serious and Amanda scoffed “Fine Dylan, whatever, keep your mouth shut and we wont bother her again. We thought you were single, really” They walked off and he looked at Eleanor “Are you okay? He really couldn’t believe himself, he had managed to be somthing other than a bumbling idiot. HIs need to protect her finally got him talking to her. “Yeah, um, girlfriend?” she laughed nervously. Dylan blushed, wishful thinking had made him embarrass himself anyway while trying to find a sure fire way they’d leave her alone. He knew he was too popular even if they weren’t scared of what he knew to mess with Eleanor anymore.
“I just knew it would make them leave you alone for the rest of your time in this school…um” he scratched the back of his head “but..you know…we could go see a movie together if you wanted” Oh no! I’m reverting back to an idiot! He yelled in his head. He was pausing, stammering, this wasn’t him. His fox ears could hear her heart though, she was nervous too. “Yeah, I’d like that” She said and his fox danced with joy inside him.
“Really? I mean awesome, so Friday then?”
She nodded. “Okay.”
“Alright, good um…so I’ll take you to class then?”
“That’d be nice.”
He smiled and managed to take her hand, making her blush. “You know, they should see we’re dating.”
“Oh yeah, that’s a good idea.” They were both red and too shy to talk as he walked her to her locker and then to class. He refused to leave until he saw her sit down, not wanting anyone to mess with her. He was sure word would get around that they were dating and he knew it would make any bully back off. His friends would be sure to back him up if the need arose and they wouldn’t think twice about watching over Eleanor and reporting any problems to him.
As he walked away he thought about her smell. Something as they walked to class told him it was unique. His fox wanted him to know something but she just started talking to him so he wouldn’t do anything weird like get close and smell her or ask “Hey why do you smell so weird? I’m a fox and it’s picking up somthing, That would go over real well.” He said in his head. He’d tell her soon but that wasn;t first date material. After school his mom picked him up and he proudly told her that he was finally talking to Eleanor. “That’s wonderful, do you need any money for the movies?”
“I think I have enough”
“well when we get home let me give you some anyway. I want you two to have a lot of fun. I know how bad you’ve been wanting to take her out”
“Thank you” Dylan looked in the back seat to see why there was no comments from the peanut gallery. His little brother was sleeping soundly.
He excitedly took his things up to his room once they were home, thinking of what type of movie Eleanor would want to see. He was sure horror was a no go, but she seemed like she might like action and comedy. She was so sweet and gentle, he would think maybe she liked romance more, but he really didn’t want to presume just because she was kind of timid. His mother tapped on his door frame and he turned and took the extra money from her and quickly stuck it in his wallet. “You’re so nervous sweetie.”
“I know, it’s so weird.”
She stuck her head out to look down the hall then whispered. “Let me tell you a little secret, your father was just as nervous to talk to me. When I finally found out what he was, he was so worried I would toss him out.”
“I’m usually so calm and collected, but she just makes me so…so…”
“If you’re anything like your father, you’ll do just fine. You’re such a sweetheart and I’m sure she’ll see that even if you’re too nervous to speak.”
“Is there anything you want me to do extra around here?”
“No, you’re always good about doing your chores to earn your allowance. I don’t think I’ve had to remind you since middle school. You deserve a little extra money to take her out”
“I think she’s different like us. My fox picked up somthing in her scent.”
“That would be interesting, I wonder what she is.”
“You know I’ll dish to you as soon as I know. We’ll be sitting right by eachother at the movies so I’m bound to figure it out”
“if you end up not coming straight home after the movies just text me to let me know. Also, don’t forget your key. You’ll wake up your brother if you knock in the middle of the night”
“It’s always in my wallet mom”
“well I guess I’ll leave you to your homework then. We’re having baked drumsticks and greek salad tonight” His mother left the room and Dylan pulled out his homework.
Dinner was spent with him staring off into space as he thought about Eleanor, letting her scent play around in his head. It was his father clearing his throat that made him snap to attention. “So, your mother says you finally asked her out.”
“Huh? Oh, yeah I did.” Owen laughed and he blushed. “Hush. She was being bullied and I kind of lied about us dating and then it just kind of came out.”
“Oh so you’re like her white knight then?”
“Come on dad.”
His mother laughed. “Alright you two be nice to him. Shade love, you should be more sympathetic and Owen, some day he’ll be messing with you so be nice.”
“Alright, but just remember it’s okay to act like a complete idiot when you’re in love, it happens to the best of us.” Shade said as he patted his son’s back.
“Yeah and have her think I’m an illiterate moron.”
“When you’re in love, it really doesn’t matter. Just be yourself.”
Dylan wished Sirabi had dated so he could call and ask her advice. She was hyper focused on school just as his grandfather told him his mother Catalina had been. Boys were far from Sirabi’s mind. Dylan just really didn’t want to screw this up. Somthing in his felt he would always regret it if he made an idiot of himself and Eleanor didn’t end up wanting to be with him. After dinner he went straight to bed, he couldn’t wait for Friday.
When Friday finally came he borrowed his mothers car and once again assured her he had his house key and would text if they ended up doing somthing after the movie. When the car started to pull out of the driveway Shade teased his mate “You seem just as nervous as him”
“He had a few crush’s as a little boy but this is the first one that really matters. He’s so excited and happy.” Shade kissed her head “He’ll be fine Cat, come on, lets play somthing with Owen so you aren’t thinking about Dylans date.” When Dylan pulled up to Eleanors home he went up to the door and knocked, already second guessing himself “Oh god that was too loud” he said in his head. It took her a little bit to answer the door and she immidietly apologized “I’m sorry, I couldn’t get these boots tied”
He looked at her wardrobe. She was wearing a beautiful black and purple sundress with knee high lace boots. Her left one was still untied “Um, I could help you if you want” She blushed, one of the most popular boys at school had asked her out and she was already messing up the date. “Thank you” she said softly and he bent down to fix it “there ya go”
“Believe me, I’m glad men have a much simpler wardrobe than women. I don’t know how you guys do it somtimes” She smiled, Dylan was just as sweet as he seemed when she’d see him in school.
So, what time does the movie start?”
“Uh, eight, we should eat first. If you’re hungry I mean.” He was too nervous and tried to calm himself down as he walked with her to the car.
“Okay, sounds good.”
“Good.” He opened the passenger door for her and she thanked him as she got in and he closed the door. He was actually shaking he was so nervous. “So uh any food preference? Meat, no meat, allergies?”
“Um well I don’t really eat meat.”
“Okay so no burgers or steak.”
“Oh, no you should eat what you want. Meat doesn’t gross me out or anything, I just don’t eat it. So…um if you want steak or something you should get it.”
“well, is there anywhere you really like?”
“I really like Fiction Kitchen but I’ve never looked for meat on the menu so I don’t know if you’ll want anything”
“I’m always up for trying new things. You’ll just have to tell me how to get there” She began to direct him and they soon arrived. He got out quickly and opened her door for her again. She gave him another smile that made him feel weak in the knees. “You..You’re really sweet Dylan”
“I just have manners. Could I hold your hand as we go inside?” She was full on red again “yeah” She hated the way her voice sounded when she answered him. She seemed to be concentrating on the menu then sighed with relief. “they do have meat here” He smiled “you didn’t have to be so worried about it. I would have survived” She was red again and he did his best not to laugh. He didn’t want to chance hurting her feelings. She was just so cute. A waitress came and asked “what would you two like to drink?”
“water please” Eleanor said and Dylan had her make it two. “do you want your regular appetizer Ellie?” Eleanor asked Dylan “do you like Squash and zucchini by chance?”
“Okay then I want it” The waitress walked off and Dylan said “so you come here a lot then?”
“It’s one of my favorites.”
“Did you grow up here Eleanor?”
“Yep, we live far from town though”
“How long did it take you to get to me?”
“about an hour”
“Oh my gosh” He took a mental breath, he really wanted to sound like an intelligent human being when he spoke to her. “I would have driven further to have a date with you Eleanor..I know we havent really hungout but I’ve wanted to ask you out for awhile”
“why didn’t you?” She was in a dress and she still felt hot as she talked to him. “You make me nervous”
“I’m sorry” He smiled again “No, it’s because I’m attracted to you” He was kicking himself again, he hoped he wasn’t making her uncomfortable. “I can’t believe you even see a girl like me in school. I know I’m no out cast or anything but I’m sure you have your pick of the popular girls”
“Most of them are annoying or just absolute brats or just not really interesting to me”
“So I heard being really smart runs in your family”
“Yep, started with my mom and it seems to have been passed down to myself and my two siblings. I have and older sister and younger brother”
“Oh, cool, How old are they?”
“Sirabi is twenty three and Owen is seven. Do you have siblings Eleanor?” Their drinks came and the woman set them down “it’ll be out soon Ellie” The lady said then walked away. “Just me” Eleanor answered.
“Do you like it?”
She shrugged. “Yeah, I have my parents so I never felt alone or anything.”
“That’s good, I don’t think I’d be happy without my siblings. They like to tease me, but they really are the best.”
He wished he could cool off. “Well…it’s…it’s because of you.”
He sighed. “Yeah, I guess I kind of talk about you all the time.” Their food was brought to them and they both kind of sat there staring at their plates for a moment. He glanced up at her. “Sorry if that’s weird.”
“No, it’s actually sweet.”
They ate and talked awkwardly then Dylan paid and they left to see their movie. As they sat there eventually it hit him, what was special about her scent. She was a rabbit. It made him smile, that meant she was immortal like him. It made her even more perfect for him in his eyes. He knew his father and Sirabi were going to have a good laugh at him falling in love with a rabbit. After the movie when they were sitting in the car he said “so..um, You’re a rabbit aren’t you?” She looked surprised “what?”
“I’m a fox, I can show you if you want. I’m very intune with my animal and he’s telling me you’re a rabbit” She was blushing again “yeah, I am. Thats really amazing.”
“It is, because that means you’re immortal like me”
“Should I be afraid? You going to eat me fox?” She joked, she had become steadily more comfortable with him as their date progressed. Dylan laughed “Never, you’re too beautiful” He started his car “do you want to see me as a fox or should I take you home?”
“I should probably get home. My dad pretty much just passes if I’m doing anything with a boy. I don’t want him to stress himself because I come home super late. Maybe we could hangout tomorrow”
“Yeah, I could pick you up. It can be hard to find my home and I don’t want you getting lost”
“Okay, I’ll text you with a good time to get me after I talk to my parents” He happily drove her home. It was nice having someone outside the family to talk to about being a shifter. It honestly made him sad when he had to leave her. He just hoped her parents didn’t say she couldn’t go to his home tomorrow. He was so excited about it and he knew his parents were going to love her. He hadn’t even made it home yet when his cellphone went off “He says he wants to meet you first.I think the fact you live way out of town worries him. Can you and maybe your family come eat breakfast here with us? I’m so sorry, I understand if you don’t want to. I know you’d have to get up pretty early to make it here. We have breakfast at nine.”
He smiled at his phone, putting it away to respond when he wasn’t driving. As soon as the car was parked in front of his home Dylan pulled his phone back out to respond “It’s not a problem. You are worth waking up early for. I will at least come. I’m pretty sure my family will too. Hopefully they aren’t sleeping but if they are I’ll wake my mom to see if she and dad would like to come” He slid the phone back in his pocket and got out of the car. The lights were still on inside so his parents were probably up.
He unlocked the door and went in. “Mom?” he called gently so he wouldn’t wake Owen. She and Shade walked out of their room to him “how did it go baby?”
“Absolutely amazing, guess what’s different about her scent?”
“What is she?” Catalina asked eagerly and with a large smile he said “She’s a rabbit” Just as he predicted his father laughed. It was a little loud so Catalina reprimanded him “Shade, Owen”
“sorry” he said stiffling himself. “I just…she’s immortal like me”
“well I’m really happy for you son. Ignore your dad”
“Hey I’m happy for him. You have to admit that’s funny” Shade said then Dylan spoke again “I want her to come over here tomorrow but her dad isn’t comfortable unless he meets at least me first. They want us to come over for breakfast at nine am tomorrow. Will you guys come?”
“Of course, that’s understandable.” He hugged them “Im headed to bed then and to text her back” He said excitedly then ran off before they could say anything.
Morning couldn’t come fast enough and when he was finally showered and dressed, he did his best not to linger too long in front of the mirror. “Look at his face.” Owen said when his brother finally joined them.
“Be nice Owen, this is his first love, it can’t be helped.” Catalina said.
“I’m beginning to think my family’s a little nuts.” Dylan teased and Shade laughed. “Can we go now?”
They left and Dylan bounced his leg nervously in the back seat of the car. He wanted her father to like him so it would be easier to take her places. He was excited to see her waiting on her front porch when they pulled up and struggled with his seat belt for a moment before getting out and running to her. She came to her feet and he hugged her. She looked so cute in her pastel purple sun dress.
“Mom, Dylan’s going to break her.” Owen said and Dylan blushed, pulling back.
“Sorry I was just so happy to see you.”
“Oh, that’s okay, I’m happy too.”
He turned to introduce her to his parents and brother. “This is my family, well minus my sister, but hopefully you’ll get to meet her too when she’s not at school.”
“Its nice to meet you all. Thank you for coming so early in the morning. My dad just worries about me a lot” Her dad was coming out as she said it “she’s my only little girl” he said then approached the family. He offered his hand to Shade “You have a daughter, I’m sure you understand. I’m Gabel, my wife is cooking our breakfast.”
“we do” he accepted the handshake and Gabel welcomed them all in. He took over for his wife so she could meet them too “I’m Maven, thank you for coming. Eleanor is so excited to be spending time with you this weekend. When do you think she’ll be home?”
“is there a specific time you want her back?”
“Her father would say yes but she is sixteen and he’s going to start loosening his grip if he likes it or not. Just remind her to call us if she wont be home for dinner. ” Eleanor whispered “dads going to have a heart attack when he finds out you just said that”
“He’ll survive honey. Have fun and I’ll deal with over protective in there” Maven went back into the kitchen.
“Wow Eleanor, you’re really pretty.” Owen said.
“Dylan undersold you, you’re really, really pretty.”
Both she and Dylan blushed which had Shade stifling his laughter. “I didn’t undersell anything, I just described her as best as I could.”
“Do you have bunny ears?” Owen asked.
“Yeah, I…I guess I could show you.”
Dylan gently grabbed her hand. “Don’t feel obligated.”
“I want to.” She revealed her ears and Dylan’s heart nearly stopped. She was so cute.
“Wow.” Was all he could say and she looked at her feet. She was saved from her shyness by her mother calling them to come eat.
Breakfast was fun as they talked about their lives and children. Maven never brought up not giving her daughter a set time to go home but she was just planning on telling him after Eleanor left for the day. After breakfast Eleanor hugged her parents then left with Dylans family. He took her hand again as they sat beside eachother, keeping it the whole ride there. When they got there Dylan said “lets go ahead and shift, I really want to see you” Catalina and Shade shifted to make her more comfortable. “Okay but when you know I’m about to shift back don’t look until I’m dressed”
He covered his eyes, giving her enough to time to shift before looking down and smiling at the little rabbit. He loved her lop ears and he dropped down to stroke her soft fur. “Adorable.” He said softly, his eyes warm. “Okay, my turn then.” The rabbit closed her eyes and Dylan made quick work in shifting. When she finally looked at him she thought he was very beautiful and he got down on his belly and crawled closer to her, letting their noses touch. His tail wagged and she felt herself warm. She thought she was so plain next to him, but he seemed like he really liked her. It was so much easier in animal form to be confident and she allowed herself to get closer.
When they finally shifted back and were dressed, Dylan pulled her into a hug and kissed her forehead. “Did you really like me that much?”
“You were so cute and soft.”
She blushed and fidgeted a little. “Thank you, I really liked your fox too. I’ve never been so close to one.”
“Well I promise not to make a snack out of you, even though you were bite sized.” She smiled and it made his heart melt.
“well we’ll go in and let you two just hangout together for awhile” Dylans dad said then pushed Owen along so he wouldn’t linger with them. Catalina chuckled and followed her mate and son. “lets explore” Dylan said and she looked up at him. He couldn’t resist pressing another gentle kiss to her forehead. She blushed again and he said “it’s okay that I do that right?”
“I like it” He took her out in the woods and showed her around his parents land “so your mom really moved out here so young?”
“Yep, grandpa bought all this for her as a present for graduating High School so early. She wasn’t very social back then so giving her a place she could be secluded was the perfect gift for her. When I graduate grandpa is going to buy me whatever car I want. He said I could even customize one if I wanted”
“what did he do for Sirabi?”
“Car aswell” They started heading back around lunchtime then were off once again.
“I would love to have a place like this.”
“Well once I graduate and start working, I’ll buy a place like this. Then you can visit whenever you want.”
He felt his face warm as he nodded. “Yeah, well I mean if you want.” He sighed.
“I’m just so uncool when I’m around you.” She looked confused and he gave a small laugh. “You get me all mixed up and then I can’t think or talk or anything.”
“Oh, well me too, not that I was cool.”
He stopped and took her hands, pulling her close. “Don’t say that, you’re so cool. I mean you’re smart and sweet and even when people are bullying you, you manage not to lash out. If that had been me and some guys were messing with me I would have clocked them.”
“I’m just a rabbit, I’m not strong enough to fight.”
“Maybe not physically, but your compassion makes you strong.” Her beautiful brown eyes widened slightly as if she hadn’t thought of being strong through kindness.
“Th…thank you.” She blushed.
“So um since we’re alone do you…do you think I could kiss you, on the lips I mean?” He heard her heart skip a beat. “If you don’t want to then I won’t.”
“If..if theres no..you know..tongue. Last time I kissed a boy was him running up to me in kindergarten. It was a super fast peck so really I haven’t had my first kiss..” he smiled “I swear, no tongue” He pulled her closer and moved in to kiss her. HIs arms stayed on her waist as his lips pressed into hers. When he pulled back he rested his forehead on hers “just that felt so good. This is more than just a date right? You’ll be my girlfriend?”
“Yeah” Hearing that from him made her heart flutter again. Dylan loved being able to hear it. They spent the rest of their time out there going between just holding eachother and kissing. When evening came Dylan didn’t want to take her home but he knew he had to. He walked her to her front door and gave Eleanor a long hug goodbye. He’d ask to spend time with her Sunday aswell but he knew that might be a bit smothering. “I’ll call you tomorrow”
“Call my housephone. Do you have the number? Incoming calls are free and I want to save my phone minuets incase I end up not home and I want to talk to you” He pulled out his phone, ready for her to tell him. She did and he quickly put it in then repeated it to be sure. “How late or early can I call?”
“I’ll text you after breakfast and I’ll let you know when my parents go to bed. I’d hate for you to wake my dad. He can be a real grump tired.” Dylan caressed her cheek, feeling a sad tug at his heart but he kissed her and went back to his moms car. He didn’t pull away until she went inside. It sucked being young and unable to be with her all the time like his dad got to do with their mother. Now he had some motivation to finish school and get going with his life. He wanted to be ready for a life with her when she was out of school. He’d study hard so he could take the next step and go to college like his sister. One day he was going to have a little house of his own surrounded by nature and he hoped he’d have Eleanor with him.
~ The End