After some time by the campfire and a bite to eat, Jenassa and I are ready to resume our seaside journey. Fortunately the wind has calmed down considerably, and the sun has risen high in the sky, shining down with a warmth that allows us to douse the fire without feeling the earlier chill in the air. Packing our bags with anything we can find that’s worth taking, we mount up and continue on our way.
The wild north sea batters itself ceaselessly against multiple small rocky islands and craggy outcroppings that stand just offshore. The weathered refuse of driftwood is scattered all along the beach, like old bones left behind after the meal of an ancient and voracious predator. Tufts of ragged grass sprout up from the bare rocks, clinging to whatever sheltered nook they can find, and the warmth of the sun belies the icy blue of the glaciers, silently drifting away on their inexorable odyssey.
Outside, I’m still in the middle of devouring my breakfast — and enjoying it quite a lot — when the door to the cabin opens. Glancing around, I watch as Jenassa steps out to join me on the weather-beaten porch, wincing as the frigid wind hits her in the face. Fortunately, it’s not quite as cold as it was yesterday evening, but I’m also not about to plan a beach vacation out here anytime soon.
Shutting the door behind her, my wife puts a hand on the porch railing and looks me in the eye. It’s clear from the expression on her face that she has something to say, so I decide not to speak in case I interrupt her train of thought.
And also because my mouth happens to be really, really full.
“You didn’t have to leave the room when you started eating breakfast, my love,” Jenassa says. “I know you were just trying to be polite, but you need to trust me when I say that I accept you as a werewolf. And that means you mustn’t retreat like this whenever you think your behaviour might bother me. It’s important that we adapt to anything that happens during the course of our lives, regardless of what those changes might be. And above all, we must never find ourselves keeping secrets from each other.”
During this short speech, I’ve been nodding my head between sentences, trying to chew and swallow as inconspicuously as possible. But when she finishes speaking, I have a moment of panic. There’s no way I can reply just yet, so I settle for making an intelligent-sounding non-verbal response to show her that I understand. I furrow my brow to show her how seriously I’m taking all this, but the only sound I can manage is an unintelligible grunt, which, if it were spelled out, might resemble something like, “Mrrwlfm.”