Well, of course she knew that. So long as he wasn’t armed, a human had no chance against her. But then, she had a feeling he didn’t know that, that she wasn’t exactly a normal wolf, with normal strength and speed. Well, it was certainly for the best… there was no reason for him to go out and blather on like a madman about her… unless he noticed her hands.
She glanced down at them herself, like she hadn’t realized they were still a factor in her shift. Yeah… he might have noticed them by this point. It would certainly explain the sudden change in demeanor.
Well, that definitely blew her cover. She couldn’t let him just scamper away without at least a reminder not to tell anyone. And those pictures… God, how could she be so stupid? She hadn’t intended it, but… she knew what she had to do now. It was the only way to make sure rumors didn’t start up. She would either ask him nicely… or kill him if he tried to run away. She definitely hoped the former would suffice.
She made sure to give him some distance, just so that he wouldn’t be overwhelmed and made to feel cornered - and then panic, like most humans would - before she began. Her eyes were almost apologetic in their brightness, then she took a breath and her body tensed.
The sound of bones snapping and muscles shifting resonated in the quiet of the forest, quite like a horror movie scene, except with a distinct lack of screaming and blood. Slim, bowed legs turned to more human limbs, and black fur shortened to reveal tanned skin and dark curls. Her hands grew to a proper human size, though the claws still remained, and sharp fangs flashed as her jaw instinctively snapped, mostly to adjust to the feeling of human bones again. Otherwise, she remained still, remained in her place on the forest floor as she finally looked up, eyes glowing a more natural blue.
She sat back on her heels slowly, holding up her hands in a sign of nonviolence and lack of aggression. “Neither will I,” she said in response to his earlier words. Her tone was patient and calm, and she hoped it would inflict the same attitude upon him. “But I do think we should talk a bit… now that I can.”
He was aware —painfully so, that he didn’t stand a chance should she opt to take him down. Still, so many times he’d been told ‘wolves won’t hurt you; thery’re afraid of you more than you are them,’ he’d come to be under the impression wolves were simply terrified of people. Over and over he was told the wolf that attacked him must have been sick; a healthy one would never have attacked him unprovoked.
Yet just ahead of them there was a wolf coming closer —unprovoked just as last time. He’d gotten a better look at this one. She seemed far from sick, unless he counted the bizarre situation with her having hands. While that had been a subject of shock and awe just moments ago, his eyes now lingered on her teeth as he pushed his shoulder blades into the tree behind him, heart pounding against his rib cage.
The camera was held in a vice grip in his hands as he repeated his mantra to her over and over, voice barely discernible above a whisper. “I don’t want to hurt you … I was only taking your picture … We can be friends.” Don’t kill me.
That was the last semblance of normality. He finished a sentence and paused as her musculature appeared to shift beneath her hair, expanding and cracking and snapping as her form grotesquely transmogrified into that of a human woman. His pupils shrank to specks in a sea of mahogany as one hand swung from the camera, nails biting into the trunk behind him.
She was sitting —as non-threatening in this posture as he could hope for. And, of course, her human shape was in and of itself less dangerous to him now that the teeth and claws were put away. Now that he might have fled more effectively (until she shifted back), there was no longer the urgency to do so. He could not have run if he’d needed to, anyway; the shock of seeing a wolf become a woman left him rooted in place, jaw slacked slightly.
He couldn’t put it together —he couldn’t wrap his head around it. His fingers drummed on the surface of the camera, which was inexplicably lofting higher as if he planned on simply continuing the photoshoot. It was a photographer’s disease to accidentally remove himself from the situation like a an omnipotent viewer.