The Nature of the Beast

By Insane Englishwoman

Physical descriptions look like them — they’re not them — they’re all mine *cackle*

It’s two women, if you know you shouldn’t — don’t.

Sex — yes please — erm — oh - right — yes a very small bit, but not that graphic. Nothing your mother would blush at.

Swearing — yes — infrequent use of the "f" word, (not as much as I do IRL).

Oh and I re-wrote the whole thing at the last minute — so it’s pretty much un-beta’d — any howlers are mine.

Comments, complaints, praise, phone numbers, photos etc. to




It called her. As it always did. The night, the darkness. It called to the wild beast in her.


Sasha stood by the open window, looking out into the night, listening to its sounds. Watching the garden; and beyond that, the fields leading to the forest’s edge. It was a mild night, almost warm, but not quite, though not quite cold either. There were small clouds scudding swiftly across the sky, occasionally passing before the face of the moon. It looked to be about a week or so short of full. She drew in a deep breath, the smell of damp leaves and warm earth and the sounds of the night filled her senses. So close - but so very, very far away.


Turning away from the window, she stepped back into the warmth of the dimly lit room. Walking towards the bed, she could see the tousled blonde head of the woman who lay sleeping there. As she approached, Sasha found herself smiling; shaking her head ruefully she thought, ‘How the fuck did that happen? How is it that this woman means so much? After all this time someone finally counts in my miserable life’.

She slid back into bed beside the blonde, who mumbled something in her sleep and rolled over, snuggling into Sasha and pinning her in place. Automatically Sasha’s arms encircled the smaller woman’s body. She knew she wouldn’t sleep yet. ‘Let’s face it, I’m nocturnal — still.’ The brunette’s thoughts drifted back to her first meeting with the blonde.




Chapter One


16 months earlier.



Natasha Khishnik was bored. And uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because she was wearing a suit and tie. Bored because the temporary security job she was currently engaged in, which had necessitated the suit, was at an art gallery, and she knew nothing about art and cared even less. The press preview of the special exhibition of Byzantine Icons which had required an extra two security personnel had so far been so quiet that the other guard had fallen asleep in a corner. Fortunately for his continued job prospects he was both out of sight and not given to snoring.


The only bright spot in the evening had been watching the cute little blonde. Sasha had first noticed her because of the book. Unlike the middle-aged and bespectacled men from the heavyweight art journals, who were all muttering intently into hand-held recorders, or the very scruffy looking representative of the local evening paper who seemed to be taking no notes at all, in fact not even looking at the exhibition, preferring to focus all his attention on the free wine and spirits provided by the gallery; the blonde was taking notes. In a spiral bound notebook no less, moreover she was using a pencil to do so. It was so delightfully old-fashioned that all Sasha could do was smile thinking how unbelievably cute the woman looked. It was regrettable that she was currently not in view, and so Sasha was extremely bored.


Deciding a short walk around the gallery might ease her feelings of frustration, Sasha strolled down the corridor which led to the offices. As she neared them she heard a woman’s voice loudly declare, "I said ‘No’, leave me alone".

It had come from the end office. Sasha closed the distance swiftly and quietly opened the door. The voice belonged to the cute blonde, who was currently backed against the far wall fending off the scruffy reporter.

Apparently unaware that he now had company the man slurred,"C’mon, jush one li’l kiss. I can show y’a good time. Teach y’ to be a woman."

The rage was so sudden and so intense that Sasha growled, causing the blonde to look up and momentarily cease her struggles. The drunken idiot, however, remained oblivious.

"Goo’ girl, knew y’ wanted it really."

He began to lean forward, just as Sasha gripped him by the scruff of his neck and raised him a couple of inches from the floor. The blond giggled at the look of foolish alarm which painted his face.

Sasha threw him backwards into the doorway, desperately trying to contain the urge to tear him to pieces with hands and teeth. As she fought for control the man scrambled to his feet. Proving himself to be the prat she’d mentally named him he lunged towards her. Only to be felled once more as the heel of one hand smacked upwards into his jaw while the clenched fist of the other found his solar plexus with unerring accuracy. It wasn’t enough, not nearly enough; the fire stilled burned and she needed to hurt... to maim... to do... more.

Then the blonde touched her arm gently. It was remarkable enough that she’d managed to do that with Sasha in this state, and not be thrown across the room. It completely astonished the brunette to realise that, not only had the smaller woman been able to touch her, but that she found herself calming under that touch.

"Are you OK?" Sasha managed to find her voice.

"Thank you, yes, I’m alright, thanks to you", she looked at the badge Sasha was wearing, "Ms Khishnik? Natasha? Is that Russian?"

"Doing my job, miss. Just Sasha is fine; yes, family originally from Russia."

The blonde smiled. "Well that was concise. You’re the strong silent type, I take it? I’m Barbara Surrey, my friends call me Barb, my enemies call me Barbie. If you do that I’ll be forced to hurt you in some way. I’m with the quarterly "Arts Review" and I’m definitely the nosey, chatty sort. " She held out her hand to be shaken. At that moment her assailant began to recover.

"Fuckin’ dyke, you need.."

That was a far as he got before Sasha’s fist returned him to his slumbers. She raised an eyebrow in the direction of the blonde.

"Well", Barbara began, "that wasn’t very polite. Did he mean me or you? If he meant you, well, the suit and tie and everything do add to the butch appearance, and you are quite tall, and strong, oh my, the arm I took hold of, yes, very muscular but appearances aren’t everything. And if he meant me just because I wouldn’t kiss him, well who would want to kiss someone like him, a girl doesn’t have to submit to every man in order to be straight, does she. I mean you have to have some standards."

The blonde carried on, it didn’t seem as if she’d paused for breath for a good five minutes. Sasha stopped listening. ‘Damn. My gaydar must be broken, I could have sworn.... oh well... another good fantasy down the tubes, pity, she really is cute Time to get back to work.’

"Miss. MISS! It’s ok. If you’d like to return to the exhibition I’ll get this sorted out."

"Oh. I was babbling, wasn’t I? Thank you".

Barbara left and the room suddenly seemed much colder. Sasha shook her head. ‘Start thinking moron, you’re not usually given to flights of fancy. Get practical. How the hell are you going to explain this — I can just see it "Erm boss — I kind of hit someone — again". You’ll be lucky to keep this job now.’

Sasha found there was no need to worry, Barbara had done what it seemed she did best — talked. She had persuaded the gallery that the publicity garnered by a story of how their freely available drinks and lack of supervision had led to her assault would be so much more damaging than simply settling things quietly. Sasha’s only regret was that Barbara had left before she could thank her.

Sasha walked home alone. The adrenaline rush which was the usual result, of a temper flare up, completely absent. She felt lonely; almost as if she’d lost a best friend. Which was ridiculous. She made it a point never to have friends of any description. For the first time in a very long while she felt bereft.





Chapter Two

Three weeks had passed since she’d first met Barbara. Three weeks of working sports events and rock concerts, places where her height and her strength and her temper were considered a benefit rather than a hindrance. Three weeks in which she’d not be able to get the blonde out of her mind. In fact Sasha had noticed a tendency in herself to select blondes when seeking a partner for a night. She’d never been that selective before. Sasha had even considered trying to track the woman down. That thought had scared her so much she’d gone out of her way to avoid blondes for three whole days.

Now, three weeks and one day after that first meeting Sasha found herself excited and terrified in equal parts.

She was chief of a small party of six security specialists hired for another arts event. A party of regional government officials from Saxony were visiting the town and they had expressed an interest in the Sutton Hoo hoard, a collection of funerary artefacts believed to belong to one of England’s earliest Anglo-Saxon kings. A private viewing had immediately been arranged for them, to be attended by representatives of one or two of the most up-market arts and history periodicals. All of which necessitated additional security.

Sasha couldn’t decide whether she desperately hoped the blonde would be there or was petrified that she would be. She’d been stalking up and down the hall for at least half an hour and, if the nervous expressions of her colleagues were anything to go by, she was doing so with a face like thunder.

A hand gripped her arm; the two men in front of her flinched and waited for the explosion. It never came. Sasha felt a warm calm spread through her and she smiled turning to face the owner of the arm.

"Hello Miss Surrey, nice to see you again". Sasha wanted to laugh out loud. She wasn’t sure if this feeling was due to the smacked-with-a-wet-kipper looks on the faces of her men or the presence of the woman who had been so often in her thoughts of late. Probably a combination of both.

The blonde was grinning back at her. "Oh my, a whole sentence. So you can talk in joined-up writing."

Sasha took pity on her men, who appeared to be about to burst from suppressing their emotions, and dismissed them to their allocated stations. Returning her attention to the blonde she was only faintly aware of the sounds of their hilarity as they disappeared around a corner.

Barbara continued speaking. "I’m so glad you’re here. I was afraid I’d never see you again. I tried to get your details but your boss wouldn’t tell me your number and you’re not in the book. I’ve been haunting all the arts exhibitions hoping to run into you."

Spotting an opening as the smaller woman paused to draw breath Sasha replied "no home phone, only a mobile, been working rock-concerts, not high-brow stuff."

Barb cocked her head. "Back to short comments?" She smiled, driving Sasha’s intended angry retort from the brunette’s mind.

Sasha laughed, she couldn’t help herself.

"Oh, you laugh?"

"Yes, Miss Surrey — and my staff will ring this date on the calendar to make certain they never forget the day I did. As for speaking. It’s hard to get a word in edgewise with you, let alone a whole sentence."

Barb grinned at the tall woman again. "Well I did warn you I was chatty."

"That you did, miss, that you did."

Barbara stopped smiling and took a very deep breath.

"Look, can I ask you something, a favour, well — not a favour as such. When we first met that man said...well, he called one of us...oh lord what I’m trying to say is, you’re butch, no I mean you look butch but obviously if you’re straight you wouldn’t be butch, and I know I’m not supposed to judge on appearances because you never can tell and all, and especially since that American programme where they all are but don’t look it and none of them seems to own a hairbrush even the cute one who does sort of look it, but you look it and.."

"Barbara — breathe!" Sasha commanded.

The blonde stopped and took a deep breath, then looked up at Sasha sheepishly. "I was babbling again, wasn’t I?"

Sasha nodded. "And if what you’re trying to ask — in that unbelievably confusing way is, ‘Am I gay?’, then the answer is yes."

"Oh thank God. No I didn’t mean thank God like that, I meant.."

"Barbara. One sentence at a time. Slowly and in order, ok?" Sasha removed her hand from where she had placed it — across Barb’s mouth.

"Ok, you’re gay. Good. Now I really do want to ask a favour. I wondered if, no, I was wondering, no — oh you’re the butch, you’re supposed to do the asking, I’ve never asked anybody before, I don’t know how to say... I need to.."

"Barbara — there’s a point around here desperately waving it’s arms to attract your attention so that you’ll get to it before one or both of us dies of old age!"

Barbara drew an ever deeper breath and closed her eyes. She began speaking slowly, like a child reciting a poem learned by rote but not understood.

"I am going to a party for a friend’s birthday. My ex-girlfriend will be there. I haven’t been out with anybody since she dumped me two years ago. I know she’ll be a bitch to me. I wanted to take someone really gorgeous with me to make her sit up and take notice, and you are. I don’t just want to make her jealous though and I’m not just asking just because you’re the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen, I really like you. I know I hardly know you but I’d like to get to know you."

She opened her eyes. Sasha was leaning against the wall looking serious. Barbara’s face fell slightly. "I knew someone as hot as you wasn’t going to be interested in someone like me, oh this was such a bad idea." She began to turn away, only to be stopped by a strong hand on her shoulder.

"I don’t know who made you think you were anything less than stunning, but they need their heads read — and you need to look in a mirror. I would be more than happy to escort you to your party, but you should know I’m not a very nice person and if you hang around with me you’ll hear some pretty nasty things about me."

"You will? Oh, that’s marvellous. And you’re wrong, you are a nice person, you just don’t know it yet."

Sasha reached for the blonde’s notebook which was jutting out from her handbag and quickly scrawled her name and a number. "That’s my mobile — it’s better to ring me in the evenings — call me with the details."

The blonde beamed from ear to ear. "I will."





Chapter Three


A week after their meeting at the Sutton Hoo exhibit found Sasha standing nervously on the doorstep of a very small maisonette in a not particularly savoury suburb. She mused that the estate agent had probably described is as ‘compact and bijoux’ — estate speak for cramped, tiny and too close to the railway line to be quiet.

She was carrying an orchid in a box. It wasn’t, she knew a very British thing to do, especially as, being imperfectly acquainted with the ‘language of flowers’, she had no idea what orchids meant, if anything. But she’d seen it in a film, the chap had brought his date a flower like that and it had seemed to her to be a nice thing to do. She just hoped the pale cream colour went with whatever Barbara was wearing. The blonde had said it was a semi-formal party as her university flat-mate was from a fairly wealthy family, with pretensions towards the upper class.

That had puzzled her. How could an upper-middle class family with delusions of grandeur throw a formal event for a gay daughter and 50 or so of her most intimate — but entirely lesbian — friends? She shook her head, screwed up her courage and pressed the doorbell push, wincing as instead of ringing or chiming it played a tune. Who on earth thought ‘God Save the Queen’ was a suitable melody for a door-chime?

The door opened and she was struck speechless.

Barbara was wearing a black dress. The thought hit her that saying that was akin to describing the Hiroshima bomb as ‘a bit of a bang’. Barbara was wearing a black dress that hung from the tiniest of shoulder straps, clung deliciously to her body and stopped just sort of her knees. Sasha had no idea what the fabric was, silk? satin? - She knew only that she wanted to run her hands slowly over every last centimetre of it

Holding out the orchid she croaked, "Flower — for you"

Barbara smiled, that was exactly the effect she’d been hoping for. Although she admitted, she herself did seem to be having similar problems with a mouth gone suddenly dry and every brain cell she possessed having apparently decided it was time for a holiday, together, somewhere very far away.

She cleared her throat twice and replied. "Thank you." Before stepping back to allow the leather clad goddess to enter her home.

Shaking herself Sasha eventually managed to re-discover the English language. "You look absolutely bloody fantastic".

The blonde blushed, ducking her head. "Thanks, so do you". She allowed her gaze to roam over the brunette’s body in appreciation. Sash was wearing tight leather trousers, with a black leather calf length coat and a silk shirt in royal blue. It suited her, emphasising the aura of dark, dangerous but oh so exciting sensuality the tall woman seemed to project.

"Are you ready my lady?" Sasha held out her arm whilst bowing slightly, "Your carriage awaits."





The party was in full swing by the time they arrived. As they stepped into the large room somewhat grandiosely referred to by her friend’s parents as ‘the ballroom’ — ‘maybe when it grows up a bit’ she thought, preferring to think of it as ‘the breakfast room’ — Barbara spotted her former girlfriend, Carrie, just as she’d expected, flirting with three women simultaneously. Barbara was unashamedly pleased to watch Carrie’s mouth hang open as she spotted Barbara — or more accurately the tall brunette who currently had an arm loosely draped over Barbara’s shoulder.

"Eat that, bitch." She muttered under her breath, uncharitably.

Sasha grinned ferally, her hearing was considerably better that the blonde had any reason to suspect and the words had been quite clear to her, even over the noise of the loud music. Following the direction of the smaller woman’s stare she noticed a too-thin blonde, a bottle blonde by the look of it, who was glaring ferociously at Barbara.

Bending slightly Sasha whispered, "That her?"

Barbara nodded, shivering as she did so, the brunette’s breath, warm against her ears, was doing incredible things to her libido.

"Want to put on a show?" Alex muttered.


"Want to put on a show? You’ll have to decide quickly, she’s heading our way. Do you want me to kiss you?"

"Oh, God, yes". Barbara at that precise moment had no idea why they were going to kiss, she only knew that if they didn’t she’d expire on the spot.

Warm lips covered hers and she lost herself in the kiss forgetting who she was and where she was; only becoming aware of her surroundings after Sasha pulled away. Barbara whimpered, why were they stopping? She hadn’t wanted to stop. But a voice cut across her nerves, like being doused in iced water, reminding her why they’d kissed and bringing a deep sense of loss because it had been for show, it wasn’t real.

"Well, well, dear little Barbie, it has been a long time. Finally playing with the big girls I see. And who is this gorgeous creature misguidedly accompanying you? She looks much too much for you to handle."

Carrie." Barbara greeted her ex-girlfriend, her manner several degrees below ‘cool’. "This is Sasha. Sasha, meet my ex."

"Madam." Sasha inclined slightly at the waist; it was far too slight a movement to be called a bow.

Barbara was inordinately pleased to note that Sasha barely looked at Carrie and the brief glance she did bestow carried with it a hint of boredom.

Carrie bristled, unused to being ignored, especially because of that little innocent. "My dear, what are you doing with a real woman. You can’t possibly be keeping her happy." Carrie turned to Sasha and oozed fake charm. "I’m sure you can do better than this frigid little near-virgin." She slid her hand up the brunette’s arm. "I was her first, you know, in fact I’m her only" she gave a brittle laugh and lowered her voice, "I could be so much better for you".

Sasha shook Carrie’s hand off and replied, loud enough to be heard by all those currently close enough to be gleefully watching the scene, "If you were twenty times the woman you are you’d still be only one tenth of the woman Barbara is. If you’ll excuse us..." She guided Barbara away.

As soon as Sasha judged they were out of range of the ex’s hearing, Sasha bent her head and enquired, "That ok, then?" Barbara nodded with glee. The brunette then exclaimed "Damn. I hoped this wouldn’t happen. There is at least one person here who knows me. You’re going to hear some not-so-good things about me in a minute. This is your show. We can play this two ways, you can admit your ignorance of my ....peccadilloes which will make you look innocent and possibly gullible, or you can pretend that you are completely aware of my rather sordid life and act as though you have ‘tamed the savage beast’. I’m not bothered about my reputation here, only yours. It’s most likely anything and everything you hear tonight will be true. However, if you want to state to your ex that I’m changed, that you tamed me and I’m totally yours I won’t do or say anything to counter that. I’ll take all my cues from you. Are you ok with that?"

"Thank you. I still think you’re a nice person underneath, whatever you usually act like. Why else would you be doing this for me?"

"Damned if I know" Sasha grinned. "I like you and I don’t like her type. That good enough for you?"

"For now, yes. But later...." The blonde left the statement hanging.

"You must come and meet Chris, and wish her a happy birthday." Barbara tugged the brunette gently into the body of the room, both she and Sasha paying no further attention to Carrie.




Sasha had been right, the blonde mused. As soon as she had gone to get drinks for herself and Barbara, a well-meaning ‘friend’ sidled over.

"I don’t mean to pry, and it really isn’t my affair, but I do feel I should warn you about your girlfriend. I assume you haven’t been seeing her long. No, I’ll correct myself; I know you haven’t because she never sees anybody for long. She’s a predator my dear, and you’re the prey. She has no heart, no morals; she is as cold as ice. She’ll sleep with anyone, and once she’s had you she loses interest. If she has to wait for more than two or three dates for sex she’ll stop seeing you anyway. She never, ever gets involved with anybody. You seem like a very nice young lady, and since she’s with you it’s obvious you haven’t slept with her yet. It’s not my business to tell you what to do or not do, but I do want to warn you to take care. Think before you sleep with her, and don’t expect her to still be there afterwards. She never stays until morning."

"Thank you for your concern, but I’m a big girl, I know what I’m letting myself in for. She’s different with me." Barbara turned away. ‘But do I really know what I’m doing?’ she thought. She decided to stop thinking, it wasn’t doing any good. She’d just enjoy the evening in Sasha’s company. In her arms if she was lucky. And with a few more kisses that she could keep as daydream material if she was very, very lucky.




Chapter Four


Since the night of the party Barbara had run into more than one person who wanted to warn her about the cold, heartless bastard she was seeing. She’d been dancing with Sasha and come across old partners, she’d been to the cinema and been stopped by someone pouring out their advice. Sasha had freely admitted to it all. She was promiscuous. Yes, she confessed, she was a complete slut. No, she couldn’t remember how many, or even most of the names. A large number of them she hadn’t ever known their names. And yet...

Sasha had calmly replied to one screamed accusation that it was correct. She had never been in love with anyone, but then she’d added the fact that she’d never claimed she was. She’d never lied to any of them, never promised more than she could offer.

Talking to Barbara about the incident she’d stated. "I have loved yes — I loved my family, but she was right, I’ve never been ‘in’ love. I’m not capable of it. I’m just what she called me, a rutting animal, you heard her — I fuck, I don’t love."

And yet....

Barbara considered a few facts. She’d been seeing Sasha for over a month. They’d gone out frequently, dinner, dancing, the cinema. They’d spoken every evening on the phone, except for the one evening Sasha had been unable to, Barbara didn’t know why but Sasha had sworn she hadn’t seen another woman that night. The kissing had, to Barbara’s joy, continued, in fact their make-out sessions had become hot and heavy enough to leave them both frustrated and longing for more. They still hadn’t slept together though. According to everything Barbara had heard Sasha should be long gone by now.

The blonde made up her mind. Sasha was becoming, no had already become necessary to her. She was falling for her. If Sasha was going to leave after they’d slept together then why wait, she would only fall deeper in love with the brunette and then it would hurt so much more. Why send Sasha home leaving them both worked up and unsatisfied, why not sleep with her now and get it over with. Tonight then. She would ask her to stay.


Sasha groaned, pulling away from the blonde reluctantly. "We need to stop, I have to go. If I don’t stop soon I won’t be able to."

Barbara didn’t let go but tightened her hold on the brunette instead.

"Don’t go. Stay."

"Are you sure about this, Barbara?"

"Absolutely. Kiss me again".

Sasha pulled back groaning again, she tugged at Barbara’s shirt "off — now". Within moments they were where they both wanted to be — naked and on a bed.

It was Barbara’s turn to moan now, as Sasha kissed, licked and nipped her way down the smaller woman’s body; teasing, sucking and biting nipples grown hard. Barbara moaned softly then begged. "Please .... need your hands...on me, in God." The exclamation wrung from her by the sensation of the brunette’s mouth on her clit as two fingers were slowly pressed inside her. "Oh yesss..."

Her orgasm was fierce and seemed to last for a lifetime. If she could have summoned the energy she would have worried about Sasha’s need. It was un-necessary, she felt the brunette nibble her way up her body, to claim her lips in another fierce kiss as Sasha straddled her thigh. It needed very little to send Sasha tumbling over the edge to join the blonde, a few thrusts and then. "Ohhh — fuck — Barbara". The brunette collapsed against her and they both drifted into sleep.




Barbara jerked into wakefulness. ‘Wha’? where? why?’ Why was she naked? Memory rushed back in — Sasha! Barbara reached towards the other side of the bed. She was alone. The bed was cold. She swore she could actually hear her heart breaking in the quiet of the night.

Feeling the tears start she sat up to look for a tissue, and almost leapt from her skin at the rumbled query.

"Hey, you ok, love?"

"Sasha? My God you scared me halfway to Christmas! I didn’t.... I mean I wasn’t..." She drew a slightly shaky breath. "You’re still here."

"Where did you think I’d......oh.......right..." Sasha got up from her perch by the window and walked to the bed. "You thought I’d be gone." A statement not a question. The brunette’s voice was very quiet, she sounded defeated. "Why should you think anything else, it’s what I do, right? It’s the way I’ve always been."


Barbara stretched out an arm and grasped Sasha’s hand. "I didn’t think you would be gone, I was afraid you had gone. I hoped you would still be here. I don’t know what...... I’m.....I care a great deal for you. I want to..."

Sasha settled on to the bed.

"I just couldn’t sleep. I’ve always been nocturnal and the fact that I usually work evenings rather than during the day has reinforced that. That was all. I sat up to think and look out of the window. I won’t run, I won’t leave in the night. Although I don’t understand why, it feels different with you. I don’t seem to want to be with anybody else at the moment. I don’t have the urge to run, not like I normally do. I want to keep seeing you, to see where this goes. I can’t make any promises but I want to try for an ‘us’ not just a ‘me’ and ‘whoever’. I want that ‘us’ to be me and you. I hope you can make some sense out of that because I can’t."

Barbara felt so light-hearted she wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d begun floating away. She beamed the biggest smile the brunette had ever seen, before flinging her arms around her partner’s neck.

"Scary I know, but it does make sense. Come back to bed, please?"



Chapter Five.


Six months. It had been six glorious months. In fact that night was their six month anniversary, if you counted it from the day they first slept together. Barbara sat alone, in the semi-dark and waited. She wasn’t sure what she was waiting for, wasn’t even sure she really wanted to find out, but somehow she knew she needed to know.

They weren’t yet living together, but they might as well have been. They had spent every night in each other’s arms since that first night of making love. Either at Barbara’s maisonette or here at Sasha’s house. Except for six nights. As regular as clockwork, every four weeks Sasha wasn’t able to see her. It was just for one night each time, and the brunette swore she was being faithful. Barbara had no reason to think otherwise. Although Sasha had never said she loved her, Barbara felt that she did. But she always bore in mind that first time, when Sasha had said she couldn’t love. Barbara did believe her lover when she said there was no-one else. She just needed to know. What exactly was the brunette doing for one night every four weeks?

And so Barbara drove to Sasha’s house and let herself in with the key the brunette had given her. There was no-one home. All the lights were off save one very small, low-powered table-lamp in the living room. The living room window was wide open, for a moment Barbara had considered closing it as the night was beginning to turn cool. Eventually she had decided not to, if it was open the Sasha must have left it open for a reason, so she left it. She sat down in the arm-chair and quietly studied the room; bathed in the light from the lamp and the full moon outside she could see clearly once her eyes had adjusted to the gloom.

She had been dozing but there must have been a noise as she had woken with a start. She remained still and quiet, listening. There was a shadow just outside the window and for one terrified moment Barbara thought of burglars and rapists. Then the shadow leapt gracefully through the window, landing softly on all four paws. It was a dog.

No’, thought Barbara with a chill of fear, ‘it’s a wolf. A very large wolf. But there aren’t any wolves in England anymore. There are some in Scotland. Would one come this far south? Maybe it’s escaped from a zoo’.


The wolf raised its hackles and growled, taking a step forward, then it sniffed the air. It whimpered softly and turned back towards the window. Barbara thought that if it was possible for a wolf to look scared then this one did. Before it could reach the open window the wolf’s body seemed to stiffen. It let out a mournful howl and collapsed twitching. The moon set in the sky leaving the garden pitch black.

Compassion overrode fear and Barbara hastened to its side, unwilling to see any creature suffering without at least trying to help. The wolf continued howling and twitching. Something was definitely wrong with the poor thing.

Barbara sat back on her heels and watched in horrified stupor as the wolf began to change. Its legs elongated, the fur receded and the howls became groans. The blonde remained frozen to the spot as the metamorphosis ended and she gazed down upon the naked body of her lover.

Sasha whispered "Please, don’t run, give me a chance."

The blonde felt she should do something, she should scream or run and never return. But she couldn’t leave. Realisation crashed in on her. She loved this woman, loved her deeply and passionately and, no matter what, she wanted to stay with her. "I won’t go," she said, it was all she could manage but it was enough. Sasha relaxed.


Half an hour later Sasha, now showered and clothed in boxers and a t-shirt, brought two cups of coffee into the living room and, placing them on a small table, sat beside her partner.

Running her hand nervously through her hair she said "well — I’m not sure what to say." She gave her lover a tentative smile.

Barbara managed a half smile back and said, "So — you’re a werewolf. My girlfriend is a werewolf." The giggle that followed that statement bordered on the hysterical.

"Actually I’m more a werehuman. I’m really a wolf. Oh god, this is complicated. I‘d better start from the very beginning. It was centuries ago. I don’t know how long exactly, wolves don’t number in human years and it was a long time before learned to speak and count."


The young wolf was angry. She had no desire to ever mate with the alpha male. She had been happy mated to the red furred female. It had never occurred to her that the alpha might decide he wanted HER mate. Or that her mate would consider it necessary to mate with him. Or even welcome it when she came into heat. Jealousy consumed the black wolf and she did the only thing she could think of. Against her dam’s advice and in the face of the fears of her pack-mates she challenged the alpha male for his status. She was big for a female. And strong beyond the norm. But she was young and he was in his prime. Had they been older she might have prevailed. But she did not and she was driven from the pack.

Injured, in pain and hungry she staggered through the forest. She was fevered and her usual sense, the wariness that kept her away from the haunts of man, was blunted. She strayed close to a village. It was there that she saw the man cub. She didn’t think of men with their arrows all she thought was that she hungered and here was prey, helpless and easy for an injured wolf to catch. And so she took the child. And in her haste and hunger she stopped to eat it where it fell.

The grown human came from his house and saw. His wails rent the air. And then he pointed at the wolf and she felt her limbs grow heavy and when she thought to run she could not. The man stood over her and chanted. Words that she did not understand; and then he put some words deep in her mind, words that she remembered until a time came when she did understand them and knew the curse he laid upon her. And as he spoke her body changed. Her howls of pain became the groans of a woman.

Barbara was spellbound; coffee long forgotten had grown cold in the cup.

Sasha kept speaking. "It took me many years to learn the speech of humans, to learn their ways and how to walk among them. The first language I learned I now know is called Russian. So I assume my family were Siberian timber wolves — in which case I was very dark furred for one of my kind. I never knew if he was a priest of god or the devil but he had a magic none believe in now. It was his son I killed and the curse he laid on me was that I would be a human female for eternity, never dying, until such time as I knew what it meant to be truly human. Every full moon, for one night only I become wolf again so that I will never forget what I am and why. And every Hallowe’en I become wolf, if I have learned what it means to be human when All Hallows Day dawns I will remain wolf and be mortal and live out my days, if I haven’t I become human again and I do not die, but inside I am still wolf.

I have been alive for longer than I care to count, I have lived in every country in Europe, I speak fifteen languages and I am still human every time that day dawns. I don’t know what it is I have to learn. I have seen so much of human kind and to be truthful I prefer the wolves. Your people butcher, steal, rape and maim each other — over trinkets, property and money. You slaughter each other in the name of your god. A god who is the same no matter which name you call him. A god who told you to love one another and not to kill." Contempt rang in her voice.

"Your kind befouls the seas and destroys the earth. They knife each other in back alleys for the price of a handful of sweets just so that they can fill their bodies with poison in a needle. They bomb women and let children starve. They buy great works of art for more money than those children need to be fed for the rest of their lives. And do they do it because they appreciate its beauty? No — they buy art because it’s valuable, what can these people teach me that I do not know?"

Sasha stopped speaking; she was weary beyond all believing. She sat quietly waiting for Barbara to regain her common sense and leave. The thought that the blonde would go was unbearable. She wanted to howl but could not in her current form. Humans cried when they felt this way, this she knew. She didn’t know how to cry.

To her shock Barbara didn’t run. Instead the blonde threw her arms around her lover and sobbed. Sasha cradled the smaller woman in her arms and rocked her gently.

"Hey, hey. What’s wrong? Shush, love. It’s ok. Why are you crying? Don’t you know I’d never hurt you"

Barbara wiped her eyes. "I’m not crying for me, I’m crying for you, because you can’t. God you must feel so alone."

The depth of the blonde’s empathy rocked Sasha to the core. She hadn’t expected any human to still care after that tale.

Barbara drew herself upright and looked her lover in the eyes. "I know it’s not the same as being part of a wolf pack, and I know I’m one of the despised humans, but you are never alone, not while you have me. I love you Natasha Khishnik, wolf or woman, I don’t care. I love you."

Sasha, left speechless, did the only thing she could think of and drew Barbara’s head towards her own, kissing her deeply.



Chapter Six.

The present.


Of course once her secret was out it had seemed silly to keep two houses, so Barbara had moved to hers. It was a much nicer house, detached and with an extensive garden backing onto Epping Forest. The only difference this arrangement had made to their lives was that Sasha now went to a small clearing a short distance from the house when it was time to ‘change’. She would not take the risk of the wolf not knowing the woman and injuring Barbara.

Sasha shook her head at the memories and looked down at the woman nestled in her arms. She still couldn’t wrap her mind around the concept, how much this woman loved her. Barbara knew her, knew all about her; knew what she did as wolf and still loved her. It was amazing. Sasha had never told the blonde but in her own mind she had promised to stay with Barbara for the remainder of Barbara’s life. The brunette was already dreading the day that Barbara’s time would end. She had been alone for so long, needing no-one but somehow in a few short months Barbara had wormed her way in so deep the wolf could not imagine her life as a human without her. For the first time in god only knew how many centuries she was not lonely.

Sasha glanced at the alarm clock, almost time. Barbara had an appointment at the doctor’s in two hours time; past experience had shown the brunette that it would take at least an hour to wake her lover. Barbara was not a morning person.



Sasha stood behind Barbara’s chair her hands on her partner’s shoulders, offering as much support as she could.

"No. I don’t believe it. It can’t be true. She’s just a bit run down, been a bit tired, drained"

The doctor shook her head regretfully, "I’m sorry Ms Surrey, Ms Khishnik but the tests are conclusive. Whilst we may have been able to do something about this had we discovered it earlier, unfortunately it is too late. The cancer has spread to the liver. Once it reaches the liver there really is nothing we can do. It’s merely a matter of time."

"How long does she have." Sasha’s voice was ragged.

"Six months, perhaps as much as a year but that is unlikely. I really am so sorry."



The journey home had been made in silence. Both of the women too numb to speak. Now they lay on the sofa together, arms wrapped tightly around one another.

"It’s not fair. I’ve only just found you. I knew your end would come some day and I would have to let you go; but not this soon."

Barbara’s voice, muffled due to the fact her face was buried in Sasha shoulder, fell softly into the room. "I don’t want to die this way. I watched my father die of liver cancer. It was awful seeing him, a strong vibrant man, wasting away. His mind went, he raved and rambled; and at the end he weighed 40 kilos. I don’t want you to see me like that. You need to think about leaving here soon, love. I’ve read the local paper recently, you’ve been seen. There are stories of a wolf in Epping Forest, taking the sheep; they’re sending hunters out every night to trap you."

"I’m not going anywhere and neither are you. We’re in this together, to the end." Sasha stopped speaking; needing to wipe away some unfamiliar moisture from her face.

Barbara raised her head. "Oh, my god."


"You’re crying. Sasha, you’re actually crying."

"Is that what this is? I can’t say I’m enjoying it. Does crying always bring this feeling to humans? The one as if your chest is being ripped apart."

"No, my love. But that is a feeling I can’t name for you; that one you have to work out for yourself".

They were quiet for a while. Then Barbara spoke again.

"I’ll wait for you. On the other side. I have a feeling you won’t be long. I don’t care where you go, heaven or hell; I’ll wait for you and go with you. I won’t let them send me anywhere with out you."

Sasha gently caressed the blonde’s face. "I don’t think they let wolves into heaven, love. Heaven is for humans, not animals."

"If there aren’t any animals in heaven then I don’t want to go there." he blonde was indignant now. "My cat should be there, the one I had as a little girl."

"Oh that should be good. You, your cat and your pet wolf chasing your cat all over heaven!"

Barbara burst out laughing and the brunette was pleased he’d managed to lighten the atmosphere.

"Right. Let’s live it up while we can then. Hallowe’en is in two days and I’ll change for the night but until then I want to spend as much time with you as possible. Do you think you have enough energy to go dancing?"

"Dancing with my best girl? You just try and stop me!"



Hallowe’en. The sun was going down, the moon would rise soon. Sasha sat naked in the clearing waiting to change. There was a rustling noise behind her and she span round.

"Barbara! What are you doing here; don’t you know how dangerous it is? I won’t know you at the moment of change."

"Hush love." Barbara placed a finger on the brunette’s lips. "I know. I’ve made my choice. I’ve taken some tablets, I won’t feel any pain. I don’t want to waste away. I want it to be quick. I want it to be you. Lie down beside me and kiss me until you change. I love you more than anyone else I have ever known. Please love, for me."

Tears streaming from her eyes, Sasha did as the blonde asked.

"I love you Barbara. Fuck it. I’m in love with you. Please don’t let me hurt you."

The moon rose and the change began. Barbara threw her arms around the wolf and held on as tightly as she could. The wolf panicked and did just as she had hoped it would. It was in the nature of the beast. It tore out her throat. There was little pain. And then she was gone.

The wolf broke free. It stood and looked down at the woman.

And howled.

It howled beside her body all night. When the moon set and morning dawned clear on All Hallows Day the wolf remained. Howling once more. Calling to the men it could smell nearby. Then it put its muzzle down on the arm of its mate and waited for the hunters with their guns.

The part that was still woman thought, ‘I hope they let her wait.’

The End