Categories > Celebrities > Def Leppard > Moonlight #1: Moonlight

Chapter Two

by Brambleshadow 0 reviews

Category: Def Leppard - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2013-04-14 - 4601 words

Chapter Two

When he finally untangled himself from Sav's embrace, Joe closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, hoping the smells of the night and his bassist's familiar scent would help calm down his wolf. He could still feel the moonlight on his skin, and the itch, while it had faded, was still maddening. There were times he loved being a werewolf, but full moon nights were definitely not one of them.

"You calm enough now?" Sav asked.

"I think so. C'mon, let's find the others."

"You have a lot of explaining to do," Sav warned as he fell into step with Joe.

The alpha chuckled dryly. "Or at least three words: I'm a werewolf."

"Oh, yeah, that'll go over real well," the bassist said sarcastically.

"Hey, you're totally cool with it." As they walked along, Joe saw Sav smile a little, and he found he kept leaning into his friend, almost as if he needed the contact . . . needed Sav. Startled by the thought, Joe slowed his pace and let the bassist take the lead to the dressing rooms. Soon after, he realized that was a mistake, since it gave him a full view of Sav's leggy figure, the way those lean muscles knotted and rolled to create that loose-hipped stride. Again, Joe could feel his wolf rising, and his tongue swept across his chops before he could stop himself. Why was he thinking about Sav like this? Yes, the bassist helped calm down his wolf, so there was the possibility Sav was his anchor—something that kept him human when the moon was full and he was in his wolf form—but did he actually have feelings for Rick Savage? No, definitely not . . . but he couldn't deny that some part of him had enjoyed the feel of Sav's body nestling against his own.

Stupid wolf, Joe thought irritably. Can't it decide what it wants? Unless it had already decided . . . but the lead vocalist refused to let his thoughts travel down that road.

He suddenly plowed into a mass of leather and hair as Sav stopped abruptly. The scent of Sav's hairspray filled his nose, and Joe took a step back, gagging. He knew the man liked spray, but did he seriously have to use that much?

"You first," Sav said, stepping aside to reveal that they were at the dressing room.

Joe shook his head. "No way."

"It's your problem," Sav pointed out. "Besides, you're the alpha, remember?"

Joe grumbled, "Why do I even put up with you?"

Sav grinned. "Easy. You all love me. Maybe it's my charming personality."

"It's your charming something," Joe muttered. Suddenly irritated with his best friend, he took a step forward—and found himself inside the dressing room looking at the apprehensive faces of the Terror Twins and the Thunder God.

Bloody hell was the first thought that came to mind, and he turned back to face Sav, who was leaning against the door with that very familiar smirk dancing on his lips. Joe's eyes flared turquoise and he curled his upper lip in a snarl, showing off sharp fangs. His bass guitar player gulped and fidgeted, but didn't move. Joe had to give him credit for that, at least. That didn't stop him from snarling irritably: "You planned that, didn't you?"

"Yep," Sav replied, moving away from the dressing room door so he was closer to the werewolf.

"So," Phil said at last, tearing Joe's attention away from the bass player, "what exactly was all that about earlier?" The blonde's eyes were moving from Sav to Joe. "I've never seen a wolf backstage before."

"And since when are you a wolf whisperer?" Steve asked Sav. The bushy-haired brunette bass player just looked down at his feet, suddenly very interested in his shoes.

"Since I turn on nights of the full moon," Joe answered for Sav, holding Steve's gaze steadily.

Rick actually took a step back. "Wait, what?"

"Well, I'm not exactly human," Joe admitted.

"Then what are you?" Phil asked, eyes narrowed.

"Why don't you see if you can figure it out?" Sav grumbled, lifting his head to glare at his bandmates. He moved even closer to Joe, and the werewolf leaned back against his friend's chest. Sav's familiar scent of hairspray, warm leather, and autumn bonfires filled his nose and it took all his control not to turn and sink his fangs into the skin on that delicious-looking throat. Joe thought, What's wrong with me? I've never thought about Sav like this before—unless it's just the wolf. Yes, that must be it. But just thinking about the bass guitarist anchored his human self when the full moon's influence was too much and his wolf threatened to take full control. I really don't have time to figure this out right now. And suddenly Joe didn't want the others to know his secret. Everything had been perfectly fine with just Sav knowing about his lycanthropy, and he'd kicked Pete out because the rhythm guitarist had threatened to tell in the first place.

So, with his eyes trained on Phil the way they were, there was no way he could miss the lightbulb-going-off moment. Collen paled a little and ducked behind Steve, who looked at him with a puzzled expression, like, WTF. Phil just met his fellow Terror Twin's gaze and said, "I think Joe was the wolf."

Rick let out a strained laugh. "You're joking, right? There's no way anyone can turn into a wolf. Have you guys been taking something?"

"No," Phil and Joe said in unison.

Steve was slowly nodding, though. "It makes sense, the way you've been acting lately. And from what you said earlier . . ." He turned his attention from Joe to Sav. "How long have you known?"

Joe, as close as they were physically right now, felt Sav stiffen before the bassist said quietly, "Five years. I found out by accident."

"And you never said anything?"

Sav opened his mouth, but Joe's warning growl rumbled through the room. "Leave him out of this. If he hadn't stopped me, the three of you might not be here. I was ready to tear your throats out and howl in victory at your slaughter. Besides, would you have believed either of us?"

Steve averted his gaze, and Joe noticed that neither Phil or Rick were meeting his eyes now. Clark muttered, "I guess not. Sorry, mate."

A corner of Joe's mouth hitched up in a weak attempt at a smile. "Yeah, well, blame the 'wolf that bit me. Now, are you all ready to leave? I want to get out of here already."

His bandmates murmured agreement, and roughly thirty to forty-five minutes later, they were on the bus driving through the crowded streets of Colorado Springs. One of the guys, Joe couldn't remember who, had suggested that they all go clubbing after dropping everything off at the hotel and they showered (there were no showers backstage). Naturally, the others agreed—all except the singer. He was aware of the full moon creeping higher and higher in the night sky. Once it reached its zenith . . . he'd transform again. His earlier metamorphosis had partly been of his own will and partly because he just let the wolf go. If the moon-madness took over and forced a shift while they were out in the clubs, he wasn't sure if even Sav's calming influence would work. Drugs didn't help either: they spun his already-heightened senses out of control; besides, the wild animal that lurked beneath his skin loathed anything that did not leave it with utter confidence in itself and its abilities—challenged its authority. As for his position as leader, it was only natural considering he was among weak prey humans and that they looked to him because he was their dominant, their superior, in every way. Maybe that was the wolf talking, but that was okay, because Joe liked the feeling.

The next thing he knew, Sav was shaking his shoulder, not unroughly. It jarred Joe out of his thoughts, and he looked at Sav quizzically. Sav just said, "We're at the hotel, Joe."

"'Kay," he mumbled.

Sav shifted his weight like he was going to leave, then stopped and looked at Joe more closely. "Hey, are you okay? You look all pale and sweaty."

"I'm fine," Joe replied, rising from his seat on the bus.

Sav frowned. "You're sure? You don't have to come with us, you know."

"I am coming," Joe growled. And that settled the matter.


An hour later, the guys were out on the streets in fresh clothes: torn-up jeans, nicer T-shirts than what they'd worn during the concert, and leather jackets, of course. It was warm for late October, but even so, there was a slight chill in the air.

Joe's ears pricked up as he heard a thumping bass beat coming from a nearby building. He asked, "You guys hear that?"

"Yeah," Sav replied, exchanging an excited look with Rick. Phil and Steve just gave each other mischievous winks. It was so obviously an inside gesture that Joe instantly found himself dreading what those two might end up getting into. Their infamous nickname of the "Terror Twins" sure suited them whether they were onstage or not. As they approached the club, Joe warned, "Be careful, you two. If I hear anything about you being arrested—"

"Relax, Joe," Phil assured him. "We're not going to do anything too crazy. Right, Steve?"

"Right," Steve affirmed, dipping his head toward the singer. His fingers, Joe noticed absently, were tapping out a rhythm on his jean-clad thigh, maybe the intro to "Women" or "Armageddon It." No, definitely "Women." The lycanthrope rolled his eyes and joined the crowd of teenagers and young adults waiting to enter the club. His mates followed, and of course, several of the girls were staring and whispering to their companions. With his heightened hearing, it was easy to hear what they were saying—some of it definitely X-rated. Joe snuck a quick glance at his watch and saw it was eleven o'clock. Just one more hour and . . . His stomach clenched painfully at the thought.

Then he realized the bouncer was looking at him expectantly. Joe forced a smile and said, "I don't suppose you'd let us in, would you?"

The well-muscled, black-clad man rolled his eyes and waved them on in. Quite a few teenage girls tried to follow but the bouncer moved in front of the door, cutting them off from the band. Joe could hear several voices raised in complaining tones, and he smiled a little. The smile quickly turned into a scowl when he realized the DJ was playing "Pour Some Sugar on Me" over the speakers at an ear-shattering volume. Well, maybe not to the humans, but what with the full moon's influence . . . He shook off the thought and muttered, "You've got to be kidding me."

"Huh?" Phil asked.

"They're playing 'Sugar'," Joe informed him.

"Oh." Phil shrugged and tugged at Steve's jacket. "C'mon, Steve, let's go!"

Joe was pretty sure he caught sight of a grin on Steve's face before the Terror Twins were lost in the crowd. Rick ambled off as well; then it was just Joe and Sav—again.

Sav looked over at Joe, a smile dancing on his lips. He said, "Well, what did you expect when we recorded this song?"

Joe just shrugged. He didn't have an answer, and he suspected Sav wasn't looking for one. Hoping to distract himself from the rising fever, Joe said, "I hope Steve and Phil aren't in too much trouble."

"Relax, would you? They'll be fine," Sav assured him. "Now, come on. We look miserable just standing here." The bassist began to make his way through the sea of dancing bodies, and Joe, not wanting Sav to leave his sight, followed. He needed the calming effect of the anchor. As much as he hated to admit it, the bass player was his anchor . . . and maybe something more than a friend. Besides, the area on his side where he'd been bitten long ago, even though it had healed, itched like someone had sewn a live moth underneath his skin. His whole body felt like that, actually.

Sav tensed as he felt Joe's presence behind him: the singer was way closer than he should be. Then he relaxed when the 'wolf dropped his hand from his shoulder. "Sorry," Joe said, leaning in close, his warm breath caressing the skin on Sav's neck. "The moon, my 'wolf . . ."

"Just try to relax and loosen up a bit," Sav suggested, turning around so he was facing Joe. "We're at a club, after all."

Joe's voice dropped to a low, edgy growl, and Sav saw budding canines. "I can't."

"Relax or have fun?"


"Phil and Steve don't have any problems."

"They're Phil and Steve. What do you expect? Besides, they're not werewolves."

"True. Y'know, I think those girls over there are eyeing you."

Joe followed Sav's index finger with his eyes. His gaze landed on two pretty brunettes wearing clothes that exposed their midriffs and maybe a little too much thigh—leaving something to the imagination, he supposed. The lupine said in Sav's ear: "I hope they don't recognize us."

Sav just rolled his eyes and headed over, dragging Joe behind him. (The singer was too taken by surprise to protest.) Def Leppard's bass player said smoothly, "Mind if we dance?"

"Pour Some Sugar on Me" changed to Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" as one of the brunettes flashed a flirtatious smile at Sav and took the extended hand. The two were soon in what looked to Joe like a dance-off a few feet away from Joe and the other girl.

After a few songs had gone by, Joe's dancing partner asked, "Do I know you? You and your friend look familiar."

"We're in a band; just finished a gig." Joe tried to sound nonchalant, but the itch under his skin was intensifying and he was growing restless. His wolf's predator instincts were emerging as well.

Where's Sav? The werewolf cast his eyes around him, searching for the bass player. He also breathed in discreetly, tasting the air for Sav's scent. Once he located his bandmate, he moved away from the girl—who didn't seem to notice that he was on the move—and headed toward Sav. When he was right behind his friend, he tapped the bassist on the shoulder with a fingernail that was already longer than normal. Sav glanced over his shoulder, saw it was just Joe, and excused himself. The brunette looked disappointed, but her expression soon faded as another good-looking guy came up from behind, his hands already exploring. Both Sav and Joe curled their upper lip in disgust before turning away.

They managed to make it into a dark corner, one of Sav's hands resting on Joe's back between his shoulder blades. Fingers calloused from years of guitar playing were surprisingly gentle as they grazed the back of Joe's neck underneath his long, thick blonde hair. The singer's head was bent forward, mouth open, breathing labored, and Sav could see the glint of dagger-sharp fangs when Joe looked at him over his shoulder. Sav hissed, "Hold it together until we're outside, Joe. If you shift in here . . ."

"I know." Joe's voice was little more than a feral growl ripping from deep in his throat. He started making his way to the back doors of the club, Sav right beside him. As they hurried along, Joe felt as if his bones were filled with lava instead of marrow. His green eyes had turned a searing turquoise blue, glowing like beacons in the darkness. Claws were already spouting from his fingertips; his ears reshaped, growing pointed, slowly traveling up the sides of his head.

"Joe, no!" he heard Sav hiss. The bassist's fingers dug into his shoulder. "We're almost there. Just a few more feet, mate. Oh, where are the others?"

"Does it matter? Besides, I think they're scared of me."

By now, they had made it through the back door and were standing in an alley—one that was bathed in moonlight. The full moon was directly overhead, and with a quick glance at his wristwatch, Joe saw it was almost midnight. Had they been inside for an hour already? It sure didn't feel like it.

He doubled over, groaning, as molten fire poured through his whole body. Sav crouched beside him, his hands uncertain as they moved over Joe's back, as if he wasn't sure where to rest them. He asked, "What can I do to help?"

"Nothing," Joe rasped. "Sav, if I bite you when I'm a 'wolf . . ."

"I don't want it." Did all werewolves think they were hot stuff?

"If the bite doesn't turn you, it'll kill you," Joe warned, wincing as the transformation slowly progressed. "Sav, clothes. Off. Now." Joe was already shucking off his jacket, but his misshapen hands fumbled with his shirt. His hands and feet were morphing into paws, making it impossible to remove any other layers of clothing. And there was no way he could stop the transformation even if he wanted to do so. The moon called all the shots this time.

He could sense Sav's hesitation; then cool hands were pulling his shirt up over his head. The cool touch was a welcome relief for his burning body.

"Blimey, Joe," Sav muttered. "Are you always this hot?"

For some reason the question made Joe want to laugh; however, he was now incapable of making any human sounds, as his mouth and nose began to push out into a muzzle. Coarse fur wormed its way out of the pores in his skin, covering his body; his jeans ripped as his muscles acquired lupine strength; bones cracked as they reshaped to form the skeleton of a wolf. All that was left was the tail, which soon made its appearance.

Metamorphosis complete, Joe twisted around and snapped at the tattered remains of his jeans. They fell away like his human form had, and his gaze landed on Sav. Before he could stop himself, his tongue swept across his muzzle and, crouching low, he stalked toward his friend. A nervous, almost frightened look flitted over Sav's face and he backed up until he hit the brick wall of the club.

"Joe, please." Sav's voice was little more than a whisper. "Don't." He drew in a shaky breath as the werewolf eyed him coolly, hunger—and something else—in those glowing not-quite-human blue eyes.

Somewhere within the wolf's body, Joe's human self recognized the pleading tone. The subtle fear-scent was taunting his wolf, and somehow, that made Sav all the more appealing. He could tell Sav just wanted to submit—as he very well should—but was his friend scared for himself or for Joe, caught up as he was in the werewolf's instincts and moon-madness?

Saliva pooled in Joe's mouth as his eyes took in Sav's trembling form, the rapid throbbing of his pulse at his throat. That human heartbeat would taste so bittersweet . . .

"Joe, come on, mate. You know you don't want to hurt me." The bass guitarist's voice was still a whisper, but now it had a pleading, almost desperate tone. There was terror there too, and it was that more than anything else that snapped Joe's wolf instincts and brought his human mind out from under the moon-fever.

Sav tensed when the lupine before him suddenly halted, a shudder running through its body. Then a very familiar voice said, Sav? That was Joe's voice . . . but Sav was hearing it inside his head. Not wanting to believe it, he breathed, "Joe? Please tell me I'm not off my rocker."

No, you're not. There was a hint of dry humor in the werewolf's thought-speak voice. And before you ask, yes, I've always been able to use thought-speak, but it only works when I'm morphed. And I can choose who to send it to. There are limits just like normal speaking too. Besides, considering I'm a mythological monster . . . The lycanthrope shrugged, a gesture that looked very weird on a wolf. What did you expect?

"Something that's not out of an episode of The Twilight Zone," Sav snapped. Fear was slowly being overtaken by anger. "You were about to eat me!"

The anger in Sav's voice was aggravating Joe's wolf aggression.

The lupine growled, his teeth suddenly looking deadly sharp. How many times have I told you it's difficult to fight the full moon? And in case you hadn't noticed, Sav—his mental voice had turned sarcastic and bitter—my life is something out of a Twilight Zone episode.

"Just change back." Neither of them had counted on the break in Sav's voice. For the first time, both Joe and his 'wolf sensed something vulnerable in the bass player. The animal in the singer, being an alpha, seemed almost amused. Of course, it seemed to say. He should be scared of us. It's only right. When Joe protested, saying that this was Sav, their packmate, it only gave a low growl, almost as if it was amused. This is what an alpha can do, it told Joe's human side as it reached out toward Sav, imposing its will on the bassist, forcing him to slide down the wall. The next thing Joe knew, he was shifting back into human form: lupine strength melted away from marrow and muscle; fur shriveled back into his pores; his spine and pelvis cracked as they adjusted to an upright position; his vision—which was ten times better and had a slight reddish tint in lupine form—returned to normal, or as normal as it was in his human form. When he finished, his jeans were little more than cutoff shorts and his shoes and socks had been shredded. Sav wordlessly handed him his shirt and jacket, clearly uncomfortable.

Without quite knowing what he was doing, Joe crouched beside Sav, his right hand brushing the mass of brown curls back over Sav's shoulder, exposing the man's neck.

"What are you doing?"

Sav heard the words leave his mouth, but all he could think about was how close Joe was—how close he'd come to either killing him or turning him—and the heat of the singer's body. His pulse sped up and his breath hitched in his throat when the werewolf leaned in even closer, inhaled his scent. It took all he had not to . . .

To . . . submit.

Joe had always had that effect on him, he suspected. Def Leppard (then called Atomic Mass) had originally been Sav's band, but when Joe was let into the group, he'd taken control almost effortlessly—because of his more bestial nature, probably. The thing was, though, that Sav actually kind of liked the feeling. He was perfectly content just to let Joe take over, because he was the alpha of their little pack and it was his job.

That was another problem. Since when did "Joe's the alpha and, apparently, the rest of us are submissive" turn into "Joe's my dominant and I'm submissive and that's good"? It did at some point; Sav wasn't exactly sure when, but right now, none of that mattered. He tilted his head to the side, offering a little more of his throat. Briefly Sav thought, What in Hades am I doing? Then the thought was swept aside, because, really, he felt . . . comfortable in this current position.

"Just trust me," Joe whispered, a hint of a growl in his voice. It was clear to Sav that the moon was affecting the vocalist—and yeah, maybe it was affecting him, too. And Sav was so screwed, because he didn't want it any other way. Not the bite, but just the feeling that this was so right, being so close to Joe, his warm breath wafting across his neck. Then he felt icy coldness as the werewolf pressed his fangs to the skin on Sav's throat. They just rested there, not breaking the skin, not even trying to go deeper.

"Joe, what—"

The low growl cut him off. "Do you have any idea what you do to us?" One of Joe's hands fisted tightly in Sav's hair, and the bassist gasped. "Because when you're like this, you're one of the most beautiful things we've ever seen." His fangs traced the outline of Sav's pulse, and he tensed.

"Relax. I'm not going to turn you."

"Then what are you doing?"

"If another 'wolf or alpha tries to take you, they won't be able to make you part of their pack. You're mine, Sav." With that, Joe's fangs sank into Sav's neck, deep enough to draw blood, deep enough to mark.

Sav gasped with pain, wanting to throw Joe off, but not doing anything, all the while fighting the urge to encourage the bite to go deeper, to lean into his alpha. That just wasn't something he was comfortable with. The whole scene felt surreal, actually, like something out of a werewolf movie or Twilight Zone episode. Then again, Joe was a lycanthrope and they had been making comparisons to the Rod Sterling television series only a couple minutes ago.

Joe's head lifted from Sav's neck, and he watched as the skin knit itself back together. A very-confused Sav wiped at his neck, catching any lingering traces of red. "What—?"

"Werewolves have miraculous healing properties. That's not the point. The point is you belong to me. My friend, my beta, my pack."

Before Sav could say anything to that, Joe caught a familiar scent and whipped his head toward the door of the club, a warning growl rumbling in his chest. The door opened anyway and out spilled Phil and Steve, laughing about something that made sense only to them. Both of them froze when they heard the low growl and glanced down at Joe and Sav, noticing just how close the two were.

"We didn't interrupt anything, did we?" Phil asked, mouth twitching as he fought back a grin.

"You're one to talk," Joe snarled, flashing fangs red with Sav's blood. Both Terror Twins gulped at the sight of bloodstained teeth and promptly turned back to the door. It wasn't long before they were back in the club, and this time, the music was Pat Benatar's "Shadows of the Night."

Sav looked over at Joe. "I don't suppose you want to explain this to them, do you?"


"That's what I thought. Now help me up, let's find the others, and try to enjoy what's left of the night. And please, no more 'wolf stuff."

Def Leppard's lead singer grinned roguishly. "I thought you handled that pretty well."

"Whatever you say . . . alpha." Sav pulled open the door, and once again they were part of the club's party atmosphere. Before they went their separate ways, Joe leaned over and warned, "If you start singing 'Can't Fight This Feeling', I just might be tempted to tear out your throat."

"So noted. Now shut up and dance." Sav smirked. It wavered, then faded at the odd, predatory gleam in Joe's eyes. "Uh, Joe?"

The werewolf smiled—with no fangs in sight; Sav found himself wishing there were, so that infamous dimpled smile would give people something to fear—and quoted a line from a 1984 movie: "You gotta cut loose, footloose—"

"I get it. Just don't start singing Poison anytime soon."

Joe pulled a face. "Why would I? Bloody copycats."

Sav laughed at that. Joe felt his entire body relax. He closed his eyes, listening to the sounds around him, and just let the music—and Sav's closeness—take him away.
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