"Listen, I really do want to talk to you, but this is a really bad time." Jonah glanced at the clock on the wall. Seven-twenty. Jesus. He could all but feel the moon outside. Even with the windows closed and the blackout curtains drawn, it wouldn't be long before its influence became too much to resist.
"Oh." Lisa turned towards the apartment door, cup of sugar firmly in hand, then hesitated. "Listen, maybe we could..."
"Tomorrow... I swear, tomorrow, I'll call you and we can do anything you want to do." At any other time, Jonah would have been thrilled to have Lisa stop by. Her apartment was right across the way; she was bright and funny and undeniably attractive. Her timing, however, could not have been worse. He had to get her out of here.
"Okay," she said, brightening. She was obviously intrigued, and equally clearly didn't quite want to ask why he was so eager to get rid of her now. Good. She put her hand on the door, turned the knob, eased it open...
Too late. The first ripple of the change moved through him, doubling him over like a bad cramp. Lisa turned back, gasped, and hurried to his side.
He tried to wave her away. "No." She knelt beside him. "Get away. I don't want-" His jaw was already restructuring itself, and abruptly he could no longer speak. A moment later fur burst from his skin, a wave of dark brown grass growing impossibly fast.
Lisa backed away, gasping. Not like this, Jonah thought. Please, not like this. That was his last human thought.
Something touched Lisa's back, and she nearly screamed. Then she realized that she'd backed into the door. Jonah was gone, and she could only stand and stare at the beast that he had become: the long, powerful arms; the hooked claws; the animal snout; the cute little nose...
What, she thought, is that?
It took her a moment. The beast showed no interest in her at all. Instead, it turned away and lumbered across the carpet, raised itself up, and hooked one set of claws around the exercise bar that hung across the bedroom door. It raised itself up, slow and graceful. It was only once the creature was at rest, hanging easily from the bottom of the bar, that she was able to place it.
"Sloth," she said. "He's a weresloth." Her heart melted. As a man, Jonah was smart and kind. As a sloth, he was irresistibly cute as well. "Oh, I am totally keeping this one."
She slipped out the door and pulled it closed behind her, already plotting the details of their first date.