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Rated: 18+ · Sample · LGBTQ+ · #2316529
Haze the fox meets someone in the library that causes a stir
New place, same problems. Haze Foxstone half listened to the little bird girl giving him the tour of the small shifter campus. Relief came in getting out on his own at long last from under the worry nitpicking of his mother and the few siblings left in the kitsune village. However, having to meet new people didn't come natural to him, even as an alpha, which meant he didn't look forward to the awkward weeks that would follow.

The tour went as he expected with random sightings of different students along with a teacher or two. Some scary looking woman stomped by them with little attention as they stayed off the side of the pathway to stay out of her way.

"That is one disciplinarians. Even though most of the staff are female, some joke they act like enforcers like in packs because they often break up any fights or problems." The girl giving him the tour whispered, acting like a proper goldfinch gossip.

After a nod and a deep breath, she powered forward, using her hands to wave at the small buildings they walked by while giving the names with the assumption he would remember everything when he needed the information. After another set of turns they came upon another set of buildings that were clustered together as if they might hold different purposed at one point until someone had forced them to join into one main structure, or that is how it looked. The side sections didn't match the middle set of clay bricks in color nor in style. Yet, it had become one.

"This is the library."

That perked his attention. He missed the books that his mother had lined up on the different, random shelves throughout their home. So many options existed with a building that size to what options might exist to the point he almost gave a bark of excitement over the news. He managed to control himself enough to ask in an almost calm tone, "May we go in?"

"Go for it. I need to check with my friend, Sasha over there. I can grab you in a few minutes. This is a perfect time for a break." With another flourish of her hair, she flitted over to a small group of girls that were gathered at a round, stone topped table.

Relief swept over him like a cool breeze the second he stepped into the room building created for books and knowledge. The room not only had strange angles to the walls but the bookshelves were interspersed in a random way that acted much like a pattern without actually being one. And oh the books. So many books everywhere. Even the top space below the wooden rafters of the ceiling had books crammed in any available space. They were of all different materials and quality that varied from pristine hard surfaces to tattered paper. Even some leather bound copies were found interspersed. If he had been a dog, his tale would have wagged or thumped on the hard packed ground with the pleasure of the sight.

And the smell was second to none.

Though, as he stepped further into the room, he noticed some of the typical smell had a strange note that echoed across his senses in a way that made his whole body react. It reminded him of hay. The whole situation felt strange.

Then he turned past another set of shelves and something solid bumped into his chest, which was followed by a small squeak sound.

Once he caught his balance, Haze saw the cause of the disturbance. A small boy stared back at him through wide brown eyes behind thin wire framed. He had a slight frame completely covered in a mix of browns and black clothes with an oversized shirt that hung on his shoulders. Inches shorter, the tufts of brown hair had waves that fluttered behind his ears in interesting variances that went from almost tan to dark brown in different spots. The scent of hay and books wafted from him in a swirl that created a strong urge to hold him or hide him away to keep the boy safe from all others. Haze had to blink to put his self control back in place.

In those seconds, the boy disappeared.

Haze searched the small halls created by the shelves of books, surprised and concerned in how someone could vanish in thin air. Then, he saw a small brown and tan hamster as it climbed onto a table near where he stood. It was cute.

Not sure what to do since it seemed odd to have that kind of small creature show up in a place where it might be tempted to eat the books, he considered his options. He didn't know if anyone was in charge of the library. However, he did have a packed lunch with him still. From the small box that had been tucked away in a parcel bag, he pulled out a couple mini carrots and offered them to the creature.

It inched forward, sniffing the carrots in a way that made the tiny nose twitch. Then it inched even closer before a strange touch registered on Haze's wrist followed by a sharp twitch of pain. Stunned, he stared down to see a tiny bite mark on his wrist and no carrots left in his hand.

The hamster gave him a look like a smile as it nibbled on the vegetables, in a way that made it seem proud of what it had just done.

word count = 925
prompt = love at first sight
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