“Show me.”

He looked at me, doubt clear on his face as he unsuccessfully tried to suppress a grin.

“Show me, Andor. I won’t freak out this time.”

He sighed and rubbed his face. I looked at how large his hands appeared and wondered why I stood with a shifter I barely knew in my space. The feel of my Glock still in my hand reassured me.

“Would it be too much to ask for you to place your gun…somewhere else?”

I considered it, but not for long.

“Yes. I shower and sleep with my gun, Andor.”

He grinned and nodded in understanding. He took a step away from my sofa into a clearer area of the room, removed his coat and shirt and dropped them to the floor. His wings instantly unfurled from his body, spreading across the room.

I looked him over, and everything else about him remained human, or as human as usual. I took a step toward him before I realized what I was doing. Placing my cup on the counter, I stretched my hand toward the tip of his wing and Andor froze. I touched the feathers tentatively at first, amazed at the sheer size of each one. They were soft and beautiful. I had a deep desire to see them in full sunlight, wondering if they would shine like gold.

I heard Andor’s breathing speed up, as if he were panting from physical exertion. I still had my hand on his right wing when I turned to look at his face. He was watching me with completely male interest, and I became self-conscious.

“Can you feel this?” I asked, as I ran my fingers lightly over a feather.

“Y-yes.”

He swallowed loud enough for me to hear, and I noticed beads of sweat on his brow.

I pulled my fingers back and turned away from him. I walked back to my kitchen counter and picked up my mug. By the time I turned to face him his wings were gone, and he was pulling his T-shirt back over his head. To say I was embarrassed would be an understatement, but I wasn’t as humiliated I would’ve expected. Not only did I not tend to converse with shifters, I only touched them if I was fighting one off or moving the dead. For me the exchange we’d just had was weird.