The problem with being in love with a space alien is that if it goes sour, the only people who can truly sympathize are usually locked up in the loony bin.
Ain't that the goddamned truth, Parker thought.
The alpha of Seattle's werewolf pack sprawled on the outdoor chaise he'd dragged from his house's rear patio into the backyard. A full tumbler and a half-bottle of Jack Daniels rested on a small stand bolted to the right side of the chaise's sturdy metal frame. Fingers laced over his stomach and face pointed towards the stars, Parker's dreamy expression made him look like any other stargazer lost in contemplation of heaven's mysteries.
Unlacing his fingers, Parker sat up a little and reached for his drink. Picking it up, he stared into the tumbler's night-blackened depths for a moment, then lifted it and tossed back a healthy slug of whisky. Lowering the glass, he slowly traced his index finger along its rim. "Melera's been gone for three months, two weeks and five days," he said as if speaking to someone close by.
He felt his beast stir inside his mind. Been counting, have you? it growled softly inside his head. You counting the hours and minutes too?
Parker set the now half-empty tumbler on the stand and settled back into his earlier position. "Like you haven't been doing the same thing, fuzzbutt?"
By now this exchange between Parker and his were, a gargantuan man-wolf nearly eight feet tall, had become familiar. Since the day Melera had left them for Maqu, her home galaxy, they'd camped here in the backyard on as many clear nights as they could, their shared eyes scanning the heavens for a sign of her return with the same desperate fervor of shipwreck survivors scanning the horizon for signs of rescue. Unlike shipwreck survivors, Parker and his wolf had no idea what they were looking for. But they'd know it when they saw it. At least that's what they kept telling each other.
I'm sure she's okay, Parker's were snarled softly. Think of it this way. She's just on the mother of all road trips. She's probably been doing it since she was a kid.
"Except the road out there goes on forever and there aren't any gas stations along the way."
Man and wolf watched the sky in silence. Despite the ambient glare from the city's lights, with his wolf-sight Parker could see well enough to spot anything that moved in the sky. So far they'd seen a bunch of birds heading for wherever, a few jetliners heading for wherever else, and a slew of satellites heading for nowhere. But they'd seen nothing that looked like it might be a spaceship heading for base in the South Pacific.
"What happened?" Parker finally whispered. "Us and Melera...we were so good together. Garm, we loved her enough to leave Earth and follow her to her galaxy, even if it meant dying in that crazy war she's fighting over there. And then...I don't know. It's like some kind of switch got flipped, and then we were fighting all the time about what I can't even remember, and then she was gone. Why?"
Uhrrm. Maybe us being assholes had something to do with it?