"I got some donuts for free. They were just going to throw them out."
Some people might have turned their noses up at free donuts that were probably pretty old and stale, but Kyle definitely wouldn't. He finished pulling on his gloves as he came out of the bedroom. "Thanks." Ryan had the box open on the counter. There were six of them, two chocolate, and four regular. Kyle took one of the regular donuts with vanilla frosting and orange sprinkles.
He started eating as Ryan came over and took the two chocolate ones for himself. He hesitated though before he started eating. "You okay if I eat these?"
Kyle shrugged. "I can't eat chocolate so go for it."
"If you ate it, would you die like a dog might from eating chocolate?"
He might, if he had enough, but he'd never heard of a werewolf dying from chocolate overdose. Most of them were smart enough to avoid it altogether. "I'd probably just get really sick." He'd never tried chocolate and had no interest in doing so either. There were plenty of other sweets available if he had a craving.
The donuts actually weren't half bad and Ryan poured a glass of milk for each of them. Then he seemed to fumble. "Uh. Is milk okay?"
"Yeah. It's great actually." Kyle couldn't have coffee so he gladly dunked his donut into the milk after each bite. "Do you eat like this all the time? The burritos and the donuts?"
Ryan nodded. "I guess I do."
"Your metabolism must be pretty great." Either that or he ran constantly. One of the two.
Ryan blushed and turned away from him. "Something like that."
Kyle wanted his secret to staying that fit then. Being a wolf kept him in shape, for the most part at least. Shifting did take a lot of energy. But he still had to be careful when he decided to indulge in a ton of sweets or fried foods. He had it bad for mozzarella sticks.
When he was done eating, he followed Ryan back to the couch. He couldn't really call the space a living room since the whole apartment was so small and he'd grown up with the living room being a completely separate space, which this wasn't. At the same time though, it was nice to be with only one other person. He liked not having to share his space, his things, and his money with the rest of the pack. He was on his own for the first time in his life and while he'd been scared when he'd first left the pack, he was feeling much better now. Much more at peace with his decision to strike out on his own and do his own thing for once.
"Did you like living with your pack?" Ryan asked him. Kyle couldn't believe a human was this casual, this comfortable, when talking about werewolf matters. It was unnatural, but it didn't feel necessarily wrong anymore. People in this town, at least the few he'd talked to, really seemed to be okay with sharing their world with werewolves, and actually knowing about it too. When Ryan talked about it, he didn't sound afraid at all. He just seemed curious, or like he was just making conversation. Talking to be talking. That sort of thing. Kyle didn't think of him as being nosy at all, and part of him was glad to have someone to talk to about this after so long of not being able to share any of it.
"It was okay," Kyle replied. It was still hard for him to say anything negative about his life with the people who had raised him. Two months away from them and he was still looking over his shoulder, waiting for someone to come find him and drag him back to there. The distance was helping though. Like maybe they were starting to lose interest in him and give up entirely. He was starting to get some breathing room for once and that felt really good.
"The whole not touching thing, does that apply to all touching?"
Kyle wasn't sure where Ryan was going with this. "Yeah. Any touching. I can't do it."
Ryan scrunched up his face. "So kissing? Sex?"
Kyle nodded. That was part of touching.
For some reason Ryan looked stunned. "Wait, so you've never had sex?"
Kyle didn't understand why Ryan suddenly cared about his sex life. He finished off his donut in a hurry, then he downed his milk as well. "I said I don't like touching people, not that I've never had sex."
Ryan frowned. "They seem like they'd be mutually exclusive."
"Some guys can be persuasive." Kyle shrugged. He really didn't want to talk about this, but he figured Ryan probably liked sex. Most people did. And people who enjoyed sex often didn't seem to understand those people who didn't have any interest in it at all. He didn't care about it. Sex meant nothing to him. It meant even less than the donut he had eaten. At least the donut was something he enjoyed eating, even if it was stale. Sex had always been this miserable thing for him where he just lay there wishing it was over as fast as possible so he could go back to pretending that it had never happened to begin with.
"I like sex and I'll make sure it never happens out here. Okay?"
Kyle didn't much care either way. "You can do whatever you want. Seeing people have sex doesn't bother me. I don't care where you have it or how loud you are. As long as you never ask me to be involved it won't matter to me. Maybe I am asexual. I've never really given it much thought. Sex is just one of those things I don't enjoy being a part of." Kyle didn't really care about being physical with anyone really. He had no overwhelming urge to hug or kiss anyone. He did want to be close to people, but on an emotional level without any pressure to be physical with them. If there was a word for that, then that was probably what he was. Even if he could touch people without being intrusive into their lives, he really wasn't sure if he would or not. He wanted friends, not lovers, but so many people seemed to only value the physical side of relationships. It seemed to him that Ryan was the same way, which didn't bother him at all. After all, Ryan was his roommate, not a friend and definitely not a boyfriend.
It was getting late so Kyle got up from the couch. "I think I'll go to bed. Thanks for giving me a chance."
"Yeah. Night." Ryan gave him a wave and Kyle disappeared into his bedroom where he locked the door behind himself and then quietly stripped off his clothes and shifted so that he would be comfortable. The room was cool enough and Ryan was staying quiet in the living room. For once Kyle wasn't in a loud house with a dozen other werewolves. He had his own space and he was able to relax. Within half an hour of going to bed, he was able to fall asleep.
Ryan had to leave for work early the next day and since Kyle wasn't up when he left, he figured he wouldn't be seeing his new roommate again until sometime that night. He couldn't stop thinking about him though, or rather, how he couldn't touch anybody. It made him conscious about each and every time he casually touched another person. When they handed him money, when someone randomly brushed up against him. These were normal occurrences in his daily life. He expected to have physical contact with strangers. It was part of life.
But for Kyle it must have been hell. What he could do, what he had to go through everyday--Ryan didn't question any of it at all. There was no reason to. Not with how Kyle dressed, always keeping himself covered like that. Ryan kept his place hot but under all those layers Kyle must have been burning up.
As soon as he got home that afternoon he upped the air conditioning. Now that he had a roommate, he didn't need to skimp so much on stuff like getting warmer and colder when he wanted to be. He was fine right then, but he doubted that Kyle was.
"Hey, Kyle, you here?" Ryan called out after a bit. He hadn't heard him when he came in and he didn't hear him after nearly half an hour later. Kyle's bedroom door was closed but that didn't mean anything. Sometimes Ryan closed his bedroom door too, even when he was at home. It was easier than cleaning up all the time. Out of sight, out of mind. That sort of thing.
But it didn't seem like Kyle was there. Ryan ran the air conditioner until he was too cold to go around without wearing a hoodie for much longer. Maybe Kyle would be more comfortable though. Ryan put on a few more layers as he made some popcorn for dinner. He really needed to figure out how to make some real meals. If he was close to anyone they would probably have given him hell for how he ate sometimes.
But since there was no one there to tell him otherwise Ryan happily ate his popcorn. He was halfway through the bag when Kyle came back.
He paused inside the doorway, then looked right at Ryan. "You have the air on."
Ryan nodded. "I do. It feels nice. Right?"
"It does. You aren't too cold?"
"Nope." It wasn't a lie either. Once he'd put on some more clothes he'd gotten pretty comfortable in the tiny apartment. "Were you out having fun?" He didn't want to pry, but he was sure that Kyle didn't know anyone in town either.