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metajinx

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1,009 I'm Unstoppable

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About metajinx

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  • Age in Years
    32
  • Gender
    Female
  • Sexuality
    Straight
  • Favorite Genres
    Fantasy
    Horror
    Paranormal
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    Austria
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    LARP, roleplaying, DIY, gardening, sewing

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  1. Happy Birthday!

    1. Puppilull

      Puppilull

      Yes! Happy birthday!

  2. So this ramshackle apartment was my home for the forseeable future. Wonderful. Urine stench, peeling paint, and creaking floorboards. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine my tidy, clean room as I dropped my designer dufflebag on the floor and listened to the non-silence reigning in this crap-heap of a housing code violation. It didn't help. Everything about the third story flat disgusted me, but the windows pointed towards the little house across the street, and it was empty. Actually, most of the flats were empty, with very few exceptions. I didn't have much of a choice but to set up here, not if I wanted to do Siccu's bidding. Which I really wanted to do. God, how I wanted to please him! I still hated it. Hated Siccu for making me do this, for forcing me to keep an eye on the one person I wanted to stab with a silver fork. Right in the eye. It couldn't be helped. I muttered curses under my breath as I laid out a big plastic tarp and set up my cot and sleeping bag. It wasn't perfect, but it would have to do. I wasn't perfect like this, but if this was what Siccu wanted from me in exchange for eternity, for his affection, I would comply. Since I had no way of knowing how long I would be in this dump, I had brought five sets of fresh clothes appropriate for spy work, binoculars, and a camera to record the goings-on when I was sleeping. I was set, and wished I wasn't. Better get it over with. I disinfected the single creaky chair with spray and wipes and dragged it close to the window of my choice. Just to make sure my pants would stay clean, I padded it with a plastic wrapped cushion and sat down, twisting and turning until I liked my pose. If this was how I would spend my time, I'd at least make it look good. # Every day, I watched them. Every day, Siccu called to check in and forced me to recount what I had seen. When they ate (twice a day for Noom, an impressive seven times a day for the little twink), how long Noom left the house on any given day (one hour, couldn't be conductive to his merc job, but hey, newly turned vampire), how much they fucked (five times a day, god knew how they did it), anything curious (like the boytoy's overly enthusiastic fitness regimen) and if I'd noticed anyone lurking around the house. I hadn't, but the question caught my interest. How come Siccu thought someone besides me had a reason to lurk? I could hardly ask him directly, but it made me wonder. The worst thing about my assignment was the fucking though. So, so much fucking. They went at it like ravenous wolves, the twink often screaming with need and Noom manhandling him to the point where furniture broke and things shattered. The noise reached such incredible levels, I wondered how the neighbors could sleep. I certainly couldn't, and not just because of the lusty groans and the hard slaps of flesh against flesh. I couldn't sleep because I got hard every time. Because my hands itched every time. And when they were done and I finally sank into oblivion, my mind spun images of me under Noom, of me screaming and twitching and scraping nails over tables, holding on to desks, bed posts, gushing precome and coming in violent bursts. Bombarded me with images of his muscles glistening with a layer of musky sweat, bulging and undulating as he grabbed my neck, forced my head down with that damned confident smirk on his damned chiseled face, that darkness in his eyes that betrayed thoughts, ideas, I hadn't even dreamed of... I stopped watching them when I caught myself drowsing in the chair from lack of sleep, but the echo of their groans still haunted me, kept me awake out of fear of dreaming. Dreaming of Noom, my arch-nemesis. A hot poker to the gut couldn't have pained me more than waking up with a wet, Noom-caused mess in my pants. I managed to hide my reactions from Siccu for a while, which was no small feat. When he started to ask again and again if I had seen his child feed, though, I stumbled over my tongue. I came clean then. Not about my reaction to their copulations, but about my looking away. "Envy," he chided when I was done making a complete fool of myself. His voice made satin out of my name, soft and shiny and slick. My throat constricted. "I will do better." "I know you will." Such a blank statement, so little feeling behind so few words. His displeasure tore at my guts, and suddenly I was that sixteen-year-old kid again, begging for his attention. "I have recorded everything, though," I started, and hesitated at hearing my pleading voice. The scent of burnt skin and feces welled up and dissipated, and a distant, shrill voice in my head hissed, 'you stink of it!' Siccu breathed a soft sound of amusement. I could picture his serene smile easily. "Then you'd better watch the tapes and find out when and where he feeds, no?" Bile tickled my throat. "Yes, sir." Then I hung up, stumbled off my tarp-marked sanctum of cleanliness, and vomited into a broken, grime-stained washing basin, groaning and heaving until nothing but spittle dribbled from my chin. Fucking bitch-ass punk piece of crap Noom. # The tapes gave me nothing. More fucking, more cooking, more fights and hissy-fits, but no hint as to where Noom sated his newly awoken bloodlust. I alternated between watching them in real life and watching them on tape, but neither view gave me any indication of what was really going on. The thought of telling Siccu 'I don't know' made my empty stomach queasy, but what was I supposed to do? Something rash, of course. I had never dressed for subterfuge or stealth missions before, and black was not my color. It made me look pale, ghoulish, but black clothes sure would have come in handy this night. In the end, I went with a charcoal gray sweater and blue jeans, and I made even that sloppy mess work somehow. Perks of being a model. It was all in the gait, the arrogance, the je ne sais quoi. I mastered both and had the latter. See? Arrogance. I ended up lurking in front of the house, tucked into shadows as I waited for a good moment to peek into the ground level window. The skulking around made me unduly nervous and I shifted way too much, unaccustomed to the necessary pose, mien, moves, but I was nothing if not a fast learner. The persistent spring breeze had tampered down somewhat, more a whistle than a howl now. It assaulted me with the stench of gutters, car exhaust and unwashed bodies, as if the weaker gusts somehow had a greater capacity for collecting and carrying the most vile of scents. And through the stink of the streets, the breeze also carried the chatter coming from the house towards me. Their laughter, Noom's rough voice, his boytoy's nightingale chirp, the scratchy recording of 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' scuttling along on off-tune guitar riffs and off-beat drums,... Their happiness made me want to rip my ears off. 'No, stay away! You stink of it!' I gnashed my teeth against the jabbing pain in my chest and corrected my pose, the tilt of my hips, the line of my neck, angle of my shoulders, making sure I slouched artfully against the dirty wall by the kitchen window. Maybe I couldn't fight the turmoil in my head, but I could damn well make sure I kept it hidden from prying eyes. And I could make it look good. If I moved my leg just a little, shifted my weight so I could-- The house suddenly fell quiet. I tensed and looked around for a hiding spot to slither into, but it was too late. The window above me creaked, the music got louder, and a black haired head poked out into the night air to look down at me. I pushed off the wall and scrambled back two steps, hoping against hope I hadn't been noticed. That I'd pass for a well-dressed bum just taking a breather. That he'd find me too charming to go after me. The twink's eyes followed me. His nostrils flared. I froze like a deer caught in headlights. His pupils twitched and he snarled through a tiny gap between his lips, sharp and rattling and catlike, moving forward until his hands rested on the outer edge of the windowsill, ready to slither through like a snake. Somewhere behind him, I heard a magazine snap into a gun. Heavy, booted steps towards the front door. I whirled around and ran. # Houses flitted by as I darted down the street leading away from both Noom's dump and the apartment complex that held my spying equipment, wind pulling at my carefully styled hair. I didn't worry about me pooping out halfway through or going too slow, I was trim and fit like a race horse. But I had seen the merc's muscles. I had heard the treadmill whirring beneath the boytoy's feet. He was a sprinter, and he didn't tire easily. The odds were even in the athletics department, but I had no deeper knowledge about the streets, the corners, shortcuts, the district in general. Running was a good way to keep a body in shape and I did a fair share of it every day. But running on a treadmill couldn't compare to sprinting through dirty streets and around sharp-edged corners, trying not to slip on puddles, wet newspapers or worse things. And my treadmill regimen hadn't prepared me for the way my heart tried to leap out of my throat, or the cramping of my bladder as it considered releasing some of its freight at the thought of getting caught. I took every chance I got to look back and see if they were still following me. Stupid, but I had to know. I couldn't stand not knowing, couldn't bear the thought of running away like a headless chicken when nobody was actually chasing me. But they were, of course they were. Noom was a good twenty feet behind me, lumbering along like a plow cart horse, slow but steady, hand weighed down by the Beretta in his white-knuckled fist. His bright blond mohawk stood up proudly and unimpressed by his heavy steps, his rugged face a mask of sadistic glee. The twink was nowhere to be seen, but he had been right there when I'd last looked. Not that it mattered; the twink was unarmed, whereas the madman stubbornly trailing me was, very much so. My sensibly chosen, pale mocha and dust beige Maison Margielas were soaked through and splattered with street dirt; I had chosen them for style reasons, and expensive as they were, they hadn't been designed with parkour in mind. I finally stepped into a pile of dog shit and lost my grip. Instead of flitting around that last corner, I careened sideways and slammed into a smog-brown cinder block wall. I bounced off it with a sharp thud, fell backwards, and tumbled through a small, flattened heap of leaves and crumpled coffee-to-go mugs. My head spun with throbbing pain and I felt warm liquid trickle down my forehead, but for once in my life, I spared no thought towards my appearance. My mind was solidly on the gunslinger jogging around the corner. He tried to point his gun at me, but I didn't let him finish the move. I jumped and darted off again, dirty water--please let it be just water--dripping off my sleeve as I built up speed again-- The twink jumped off a ten-foot wall next to me like it was nothing. My scream was cut off as he slammed into me and sent me tumbling across the street, over curbstones and manhole covers and against a car. The impact with the unforgiving tire drove all the air out of my lungs and sent a piercing, sharp pain through my chest. God, that hurt. The pain was all-encompassing, zig-zagging through my body like a bush fire. I would have screamed if I could have, but breathing was out of the question. As was running. Not that I would have gotten far. "What have we got here, then?" I wanted to look up at Noom, but the pain was too much. He didn't help things either. His boot connected solidly with my stomach, right between my hands already clutching that body part. I coughed, then I vomited. And then I squirmed through the mess because my body told me I'd die if I stopped moving. "He's too pretty for a thief. Or an assassin. You sure he was spying?" That from the twink, god bless his simple little mind. "He's too stupid for an assassin, but yes, absolutely sure." His next kick grazed my cheek and hit my shoulder. The steel-toed boot sent another shock wave of searing heat through my already over-sensitized body, but I just grunted and flopped over to hide against the car side, or maybe crawl beneath it. I had no air left to scream. Noom wouldn't have it. "Oh no, you don't--" He grabbed my collar and pulled me up like I weighed nothing, then threw me against the side of the car. My clammy, bloody hands scrambled for grip over the old, dented metal, but I stilled when I felt something cold, hard, and decidedly too muzzle-like push against the back of my head. "Freeze," he ordered. His voice was void of humor. I froze. Hands tapped across my waist, then my ass, and I sucked in air to protest. The muzzle disappeared, then the butt of a gun met my head with a sharp cracking sound and I saw stars. Only Noom's grip on my collar kept me upright as I tried not to faint, fingernails screeching across the car roof. The stubborn, grabby hands kept going until they found my wallet like nothing had happened. "Othello LaBrocha," the twink read out loud in that sultry, toffee-thick voice of his. Laughed. Threw my license away. It clicked against the car window on its way down. "Obviously fake. You weren't even trying with that one." True. The leathery rustling and card-clicking continued. "Now this looks more promising," he muttered. "What does a street walker like you do with a bunch of Aurora Records business cards?" I closed my eyes and swallowed bile. At least the world stopped spinning so much. Noom shook me and shoved his gun against my head again. Hard. "Speak." "How would I know?" I muttered. A stalling tactic, nothing more, and not the brightest one. My mind was wrapped in cotton and razorblades. Noom huffed. "Because they're in your wallet, moron." The twink shuffled to my side and looked me up and down. He clicked his tongue. "Now that is interesting. What is a streetwalker doing with thousand dollar shoes and four-hundred dollar pants?" He hesitated, leaned closer. "Is that a Versace sweater?" Rich boy obviously knew his brands. We could have been such good friends in another reality. Goddamnit. I nodded faintly. "How much do they go for nowadays?" Noom sounded intrigued. And a little appalled at the amount of money his boyfriend rattled off so casually. "About one, one point five k." Now that, I couldn't tolerate. "One point eight," I ground out. Noom slapped the back of my head. "No mouthing off, I haven't decided if you're gonna live yet." A short pause, then he tightened his grip. "Now, we finished with the dress talk? Good. Tell me who sent you to spy on us." "Fuck you," I coughed. I regretted the words the moment I spoke them, but I could hardly take them back now. Noom snarled against my neck. "Fine," he spit, and the pressure against my head disappeared. Then he grabbed my arm, turned it, and twisted. The crack of breaking bones was nothing against my scream, but he shut me up with a hand across my drool-flecked mouth. I felt his calm breath tickle my neck as tears leaked out of my eyes. And he froze. Sniffed. Leaned forward, closer to my neck, and sniffed again. An inhuman growl trickled out of his throat, utterly enraged. "I know that scent!" I tried to get a word in, I really tried, but there was nothing but his fists, and his boots, and his inhuman, hissing growls, until the street reverberated with the sounds of flesh hitting flesh and blood spilling against concrete and stone in arcs and globs. He was killing me, right here, in this dirty alley, and there was nothing I could do. When he stopped, I was actually surprised. Why was I still breathing? Why hadn't he ended me already? It took me a moment to realize he hadn't stopped attacking, but that he was now fighting against his boyfriend in his quest to finish the job on me. His little twink boytoy was clinging to his back like a monkey, hands twisting his head to the side as he threw himself this way and that, ruining his balance until he staggered back. Everything hurt. Each breath a stab through my chest, each pulse of my heart a line of fire through mangled arteries and veins, each movement a twitch of searing agony through muscles, bones, mind. I couldn't move my right leg. My left arm was broken, as were most of my ribs. Blood drooled out of my split lips and the dozens of cuts across my body. Both of my eyes worked hard on swelling shut. But still, I had to look. I had to look at them. At their fight. Boytoy didn't stand a chance against him. Nobody but another vampire could have. But then, Kel didn't try to, once Noom's attention moved away from me. As soon as that happened, his grip changed from aggression to lust, and he rubbed himself all over his fledgling vampire boyfriend. That stupid little twat. It was almost like he wanted to get bitten. I groaned, twisting and turning despite the pain raging through my body. It wasn't my first time getting beaten up, but it was the first time it escalated to the point where I couldn't run away afterward. Noom's fangs extended with a soft, wet 'snick' sound, pierced skin, made the twink moan with ecstasy. He'd be dead soon and that I'd be next. They tumbled, entwined as they were, clipping the car that was my shelter, rattling a merely decorative fence, impacting into the wall off to the side. Noom sucked, Kel groaned, and I prayed to god that some miracle would happen and see me rescued before he sucked the love of his life dry. It always happened with the young ones. It always happened with the blood rage. Noom had both, youth and rage, and nothing to keep him from getting unhinged. I crawled away slower than a snail, whimpering with every inch I gained. Left bloody smears behind me. And my wallet with the business cards that carried my name. From up close, the street looked even dirtier, strewn with pebbles and bottle caps and cigarette buds and shit. It wasn't what I had imagined my last impression of the world to be. I hadn't imagined I'd ever have a last impression of this world at all, since I planned on never dying in the first place. Even beauty and perfection seemed trivial next to looming death. Who'd have thought. Kel screamed his orgasm, and I knew my time was up. Knew I wouldn't get away, but I still had to try. I made it a whole two feet before a booted foot stomped down on my back and pinned me where I was. I whimpered wetly and scrunched my eyes shut. This was it. "I'm sorry, but he doesn't look like an almighty beast," the twink said, his cheap pants rustling as he picked up my wallet. I gasped and hurt myself doing it. He was still alive? "He doesn't. But he smells exactly like the creature that attacked me," Noom growled, still sounding angry, if calmer than before. How the fuck had they not killed each other? The twink shuffled at the sound of police sirens closing in on our position. "Time's up. Either kill him or don't, but we have to run," he said. He sounded cold and practical and not very twinky. Why wasn't he lying dead in a ditch, drained and used up like the other poor sods who ran into a hungry young vampire? Why did he stink of sex and euphoria and all the violent happiness in the world? Noom growled and crouched down on me. His knee bore into my bruised back as he lowered himself to whisper against the back of my head. "We've got your info now. We've got your sc--We know what you look like. You tell that son of a bitch that I'm coming for him." Then they were gone. I still fought to breathe, but I had a reason to live now. I had to solve the mystery of the immortal twink. I wanted to kill Noom, and now I knew what angle I'd have to use. Both against him, and against Siccu. Only one type of creature was able to survive the onslaught of a raging young vampire, and Kel didn't look like another vampire to me. Which meant that he was something else. Something entirely different. Something I'd unravel until I could stab it in Siccu's heart. Make him hurt. Make him only see me. It would be glorious. I held on to that thought until the police arrived, collected me off the street and pumped me full of morphine. Then I didn't think much of anything.
  3. Pose, composure, aloofness. Envy breathes perfection. He spends every second in a quest for this single, unattainable goal. But perfection never lasts for a mortal. Time swallows all and turns beauty to dust. His way out of the abyss is Siccu, who encompasses all Envy craves. If he could just convince him that he is ready, perfect, good enough, everything he ever wanted would come true. Siccu would become his. If it were not for Siccu's obsession with a mercenary and his pet boytoy, he would already have what he craves. He sees only one way out: To destroy what has taken his master's eyes off of him. Noom has to die.
  4. metajinx

    The Rival

    The night wind was brutal. Summer was almost here and the weather changed constantly, warm on one day, wet on the next. I had chosen my attire well, especially considering I hadn't known Siccu would lead me up on a rooftop right after the meeting with the newest artists we'd taken under contract. Given, the white dress slacks didn't offer much resistance to the lukewarm storm howling over the roofs of Babylon city, but they at least were unimpressed by the tugs and pulls of the breeze, falling back into position at the first chance they got. I bared my teeth at Siccu's back, trying to will the platinum blond strands of my hair back into shape by sheer force of mind. The vampire had been way too fascinated with the little house on the other side of the street. We had returned to stare at it every day for about a week, and I was starting to feel annoyed. He knew that, of course, and didn't care. For Siccu, I was an open book with very few pages left unturned. He also knew it wouldn't take much longer for me to start asking questions, even though I wasn't supposed to do such a bourgeois thing. And what was it that kept Siccu's mind so preoccupied, anyway? The small home looked out of place, wedged between the higher buildings to its sides, had peeling paint, ramshackle plaster work and a barely watertight roof. Even the two people living in it were nothing to write home about. I had to know, he'd had me check them out through our usual contacts. Some mercenary and his rich boyfriend, past drug habits, drama and deaths, but that was it. So what if that boy, Kelaste, was one of the richest people in Babylon city? Rumor had it that he had given away all the CEO positions to managers to be with his sweetie, that he wasn't touching his vast funds. This at least even Siccu found profoundly dumb, that much I had gathered from his mutterings. Granted, the little boyfriend was a looker. A little emo-ish for my taste, but still. Brush him, style him, put him in designer clothes, and he could have joined me on the runway. A dirty, luscious shade next to my perfect, pale light. I shifted my weight, trying to decide how to speak up. Siccu didn't take his eyes off the building, but he still smiled serenely at my fidgeting, tilting his head. "You have gotten better at being patient, pet," he declared, easily drowning out the winds. His praise stung. He knew that, of course, it was his way to chastise me, to point out my failing struggle against impatience. I had been his personal assistant for almost five years, his little project, meant to amuse him until he deemed me ready to be changed, to be made immortal. I was so close to convincing him, I could almost taste his blood on my tongue. But he also knew me better than anyone else, better than my mother ever had, better even than my twin brother. Had seen through me and straight into the core of my existence since the day he had stolen me from the local kiss of vampires. "Shall I feed the parking meter again?" I retorted, trying my hardest to remember how to hold my head in a storm if I wanted to look patiently exasperated. The limousine was parked a block away, out of sight and on a busier street where nobody would dare to jack it. I had made the meter run three times already, a fourth time would be both welcome and annoying. I didn't have a lot of ways to communicate my displeasure with the situation, though. The vampire wouldn't be rushed or strong-armed and he didn't take kindly to whining, which left me with veiled stabs and a whole lot of nothing in terms of pressure. Underhandedness didn't come easy to me, but I'd had a good teacher in Siccu. He made all the things I wanted to become look so easy. "No." Siccu shuddered, crouching lower at the edge of the roof and staring down intently. His calm posture was suddenly gone, wiped away by whatever he saw down there. I couldn't stop myself from stepping closer and having a look myself. I was almost next to him when he stepped onto the ledge. "Wait for me at the car," he said and jumped off, silently landing five stories below. He was gone a second later, a graceful, pale white streak between dumpsters and cars, disappearing into a side street. I fought a frown and looked down at the house. What was all that about? The lights were still on, the black-haired twink was still rummaging through the ground level kitchen, and even my human ears picked up the faint howling of a bad punk rock record playing on loop inside. Fucking hipster vinyl record junkie could at least have tried to get a hold of unscratched disks, but no! And now that he had come up, where was the blond, mohawked pile of trash, anyway? I walked along the ledge, pushing my hands into the coat pockets to warm them, eying the street in front of the building, keeping my gaze fixed on the direction Siccu had disappeared to. Only when I reached the corner of the roof where I could actually look into the side street, I finally caught sight of him again. Of both of them. Embracing. Well, not really embracing, the mercenary was actually struggling and trying to fight the vampire off, but Siccu was too old to be moved by human strength. The moment the venom overwhelmed him, the mercenary stopped struggling and held on to Siccu for dear life. The sight made me smile at first. Siccu was feeding from the unlucky punk, drawing the charade to a satisfying end. I had hoped it would end like this, clean, tidy, and sating Siccu's unhealthy obsession with a last, explosive high for his victim. I knew Siccu's bite, although he only drank sparingly from me. It was orgasmic and utterly addictive, a high unlike any other, soul-shattering and bone-deep. The merc would die with a smile on his face. I was ready to turn around and head for the stairs when Siccu dropped the human, just like that punk had dropped his cigarette when he had been attacked. He bit his own wrist. My heart jumped against my ribs. No. No, no! Siccu crouched next to the lifeless body, pressing his bloody wrist against his mouth. My fingers curled around the concrete edge of the roof, biting into the stone as I swooned. No, you promised! At first, nothing happened, but Siccu was a patient creature. I couldn't turn my eyes away, transfixed by the horror unraveling before my eyes. The muscled merc twitched once, twice, then contorted in seizures. My breath hitched and I fought not to fall. My head spun as my chest cramped. For a moment I forgot pose, perfection, impression, myself, in this flood of envious rage and pain. Then I stumbed back from the ledge and shambled towards the door leading down, sweating like a pig. You promised I would be next! My body moved on its own, patiently leading me down the stairs and out of the back door, guiding me towards the car as my mind raced and my heart ached. What had I done wrong? Where had I lost my way? Why was Siccu punishing me? Or maybe he was playing a game. Maybe all of this was another test, a ways to test my loyalty, my patience. Yes, that had to be it! Siccu loved his games, the more drawn-out, the better. The more convoluted, the better. This had to be about me in some way, or he would have hidden his doing from my eyes, knowing full well how, well, envious I was, how jealous of anyone who caught Siccu's interest. He was already waiting when I reached the limousine, unabashedly ignoring the drops of blood on his white dress shirt and licking the corners of his mouth like a sated cat. His eyes bore into me, flickering and cold, taking in my carefully constructed mask and the chinks in it. "I left him there," he purred, enjoying the twitch of my cheeks, his ability to dishevel me with a handful of words. "Don't be sad, pet." I smiled and unlocked the car, opening the back door for him. He got in with a lazy, self-satisfied smirk, silent and heavy with blood. The need to grimace prickled through my face, tugging at my mouth in that ugly, utterly human way I despised. Yes, this was a test, I was sure of that now. I could do this. I wouldn't fail, not this close to winning everything. # The drive back home was horror in its purest form. My hands started slipping off the sweaty leather steering wheel about halfway through, so I grabbed it tight and tighter until my knuckles turned an ugly shade of white. The sight made Siccu snicker and look away as if bored, and everything went downhill from there. I was drenched in sweat by the time I parked the car in our tower's parking deck. My timing was so badly off, I almost got Siccu's coat caught in the door when I closed it behind him. I even messed up the fingerprint scan to Siccu's penthouse quarters, and because I hadn't shamed myself enough, I frowned at the two young men waiting there like a jealous, second-class housewife before I got a hold of myself. It was so disastrous, Siccu didn't even bother to insult me with praise. He simply quirked an eyebrow at my fumbling, let the two twinks pass him through the door to his bedroom, and closed it without so much as a peep towards me. I was left standing in the anteroom, framed by the most luscious gold carpets, cast-iron chandeliers and half a dozen paintings rare enough to make any historian weep, looking stupid and pouty like a little kid. My hands did their involuntary, nervous checking routine, fumbling over my clothes, tugging lapels and buttons to where they were supposed to be, but my eyes never left Siccu's bedroom door. Two men, alone with him. In there. A rush of warmth went through my taut body and settled in my crotch, reminding me of body parts I kept hidden most of my life. I wanted to be in there with them so bad, I could taste the need on the back of my tongue like the salty drops of precum they'd be sampling. God, how I wanted to take their place, finally be allowed to touch my master, to have him in my grasp, in my mouth, anywhere really. My hands wanted to open those doors, to have me storm inside and take my rightful place between their limbs, but I knew the unwritten rules. Knew how fine a line I was treading with my master. Not that my hands cared much about that. They itched. I turned away and kept walking, carefully shucked my cashmere coat and made my way towards the living room and its many doors. I didn't bother carrying my coat back to my room just yet, but instead slipped into the security room in the center of the penthouse, closing the door like a thief at midnight. I hung the garment on one of the hooks, then switched on the monitors and frantically tapped through the different cameras until I found the one offering a view of Siccu's bedroom. My model years had left me with enough of a taste in clothing, manners and showmanship to speak to Siccu's aesthetic preferences, but I wasn't meant for more than pleasing the eye. My vampiric master didn't have much of a soul left, not much ethics, morale or humanity I--or anyone else--could plea to. Sure, my tragic perfection was what had initially made him notice me, but back then, I had been nothing but a distraction, a light snack, a curious new gadget he'd wanted to try out, just like he was trying out those two angelic boys right now. I had worked hard, tirelessly, to become more than a light snack, to gain access to his work desk, to live in his penthouse, to watch his every move, to study him, to become like him. To consume him until there was nothing left except for me. My perfection. His locking me out of his bedroom, this one last room I didn't have access to-- Rage prickled along the back of my neck and settled in my ribs. I wouldn't let it crawl any higher, but it sat there like a metal tourniquet and refused to disappear. The screen didn't offer much of a view, small and grainy as it was, but I had sound to go with the bad feed. One of the young men, the black-haired one, was undressing near the foot of the bed, dropping his garments on a heap containing the other one's clothing. His disregard for the items, his blasé attitude towards his possessions, cheap as they were, irked me. The other one, the redhead, was entwined with my master and kissing him like it was his last night on earth. Which it could very well be if he kept going like that. Sloppy and bourgeois. Blech. I scooted closer to the screen, frowning at the bite wounds on the redhead's neck and arms. The teethmarks were swollen and dark, no more than a day old and probably painful, but the way that twink acted, he felt no pain. The other twink crept closer as soon as the last sock had fallen, pressing his lithe body against Siccu's back and whispering nonsensical pleasantries into the vampire's ear. His hand drifted downward to tug at Siccu's pantsbutton. His body was dimpled with bite marks, too, the bruises tucked away between his legs, seaming the insides of his thighs like strings of pearls. Venom junkies. I sneered at the screen, grinding my teeth to keep myself from losing pose or composure. Those poor creatures probably had been handed around like mediocre wine bottles for months, bitten and used so often, their bodies had acclimated to the devastating impacts of the vampires' saliva and the venom it contained. The high was like nothing else, enough to submit to death willingly, happily, and then ask for more. I knew. I had been there. But this was not a generic vampire. Siccu wouldn't simply give them what they wanted, drink his fill and throw them out. Sustenance had lost its flair a long time ago, and now all he wanted was to play with his food until nothing but empty shells were left. The microphones didn't pick up their whispering, but words didn't matter. Siccu arranged them with careful touches, herded them to the bed like a pair of eager puppies and tucked them together in the center of the mattress, turning them towards each other and placing their hands where he wanted them. Their movements fell in line with his touches without so much as a stumble or hesitation. It would have looked awkward had I done that, but he made it look effortless, true artist that he was. I swallowed, shuffling to find a position that would accommodate my thickening cock. They were a masterpiece of limbs and lines and lust, thought out in but a second and done with an elegance I envied more than anything else. The boys knelt, kissing as they lazily touched each other, throwing short, nervous glances at the vampire standing before them. So close, yet so far... I understood their trepidation all too well, knew their thoughts like my own. Was Siccu too young to make sex with him morally bearable? Did his mind understand real sex? What would he want from them in exchange for his bite? I had asked myself those questions at first. He was small, yes, and he liked to dress and act teen-young when he was in one of his moods, but it was just a facade, another game. Siccu's body had been almost twenty when he had been changed, stumped by lack of nutrition, sunlight and space to forever look like a tiny version of a beautiful courtesan. Not that he had told me about his past, but a bit of web search and a few well-placed questions had helped me find out what I had needed to know. His body was small and lithe. His mind, his presence, dwarfed a giant. Like a shark in dark, dark waters. Siccu leaned forward, grabbing their arms and guiding their hands to stroke each other's cocks. The red haired one couldn't seem to get hard, his cock flagging ever so often and matching his strained face. The black haired boy didn't mind the touch as much, but he also didn't seem to have interest in his companion. His eyes were all for my master, asking, pleading, beckoning. His need to be bitten was an almost physical thing, and I wasn't even in the same room. To Siccu, the scent of his silent pleas was probably all-encompassing. The limpness was a problem, though, a misplaced tone in a masterful sonata, a hinky brush stroke in a painting. Another vampire would have let it slide and resumed his games, but Siccu had never ignored the little things, always strove for perfection, thrived on it. He turned all of his attention to the flagging cock and its owner. "You don't like men," he stated, combing cold, long fingers through the redhead's hair. The tiny microphones didn't do his mellow, unique voice justice, stealing some of the purring contralto and replacing it with scratchy unpleasantness. The boy's lithe frame shook with a small tremor, but his eyes never wavered from Siccu's face. I didn't like the tension in his shoulders, but if I could see it on the cameras, Siccu was already all too aware of it. "I do like men, I'm just nervous," he replied, licking his lips in what he probably assumed was appropriately lecherous. But still, his eyes shifted towards the side, to the door, the pictures, away from Siccu's face. I felt for the intercom button on the keyboard, but my eyes stayed glued to the scene as I called the in-house security team. I made sure my coat was where it had been and my suit jacket was crinkle-free, then turned my eyes back to the screen. It would take security about two minutes to get up here, which meant I had one minute and fifty seconds left to watch. My master kept petting the rigid creature, relaxed and calm as ever, but I knew the twitch in his lips all too well. My eyes drifted back to the redhead, hoping against hope that I'd be wrong this time,-- The boy landed a solid, well placed punch against Siccu's sternum, hard enough to catapult him backwards and against a wall. Wow. Talk about ghoul strength. It was very impressive, if stupid, but he wasn't done. The dark-haired one rolled off the bed with a frightened scream, worming his way beneath its frame. The redhead dove for the heap of clothing, rummaging around with panicked, hiccuping gasps. Some wannabe-assassin he was. Behind him, Siccu got back to his feet like a puppet on strings, brushing off crumbs of plaster as he drifted closer. "My, my, I would have thought you'd wait for a better moment," he sighed, jumping back as the assassin whirled around on his knees and slashed at him. The blade sliced thin air. He had a small flip knife, probably porcelain or plastic instead of metal to get it through the security gate downstairs. At least he wasn't a total idiot. The blade tip trembled and wavered as his owner pointed it at Siccu. My master stood just out of reach, tilting his head with a curious expression. "Who sent you?" The redhead's face wasn't pretty anymore. "Doesn't matter. I have to do this." Siccu patiently waited for his murderer to sort his limbs and get up, flicking his fingertips against the dust stains on his side and shoulder as he spoke on. "I wonder who went through this much trouble to frame the Kiss of Orchids, but still neglected to choose a more talented murderer. Or rather, an even remotely competent one." A shower of different expressions tore at the young man's face, twisting and warping his features until I couldn't remember why I ever had thought of him as even remotely pretty. At last, his face settled on something close to animalistic panic. He set off, his little knife stabbing and slicing as he jumped Siccu. Oh, how I wanted to stay and watch them dance, gorge myself on the fluid movements of the undead, the pretty, carefree twists and turns my master applied to dodge the little weapon! Alas, my time was up. I got up and strode out of the monitoring room, trotting to make up for lost seconds, twisting my hips and angling myself to show off my tailored suit even in my half-jog. It was all about posture, and it didn't matter if anyone was there to see or not. The penthouse doors crashed open just as I reached my position, vomiting armored men in bullet-proof vests. I smiled a Mona Lisa smile and pointed the seven security guards towards the bedroom. They rushed the door, trying to push it open like puppies waiting to be let outside. Something in the bedroom broke with a loud thump, then a throaty, monotonous growl reverberated through the penthouse. I took a half-step back and licked my teeth. Should have kept watching, damn it. One of the guards wrested the door open a few inches when a fleshy cannonball slammed into it. It ripped the door out of its hinges. Then the door smashed the guard into the security glass at the other side of the golden hallway, a good fifteen feet of horizontal travel. And of course the glass broke, taking the guard, the door, and what was left of the redhead into the wild outdoors, and into a very deep, very long fall to the death. Served that little twink wannabe-murderer right. # The security team flooded the bedroom, flowing around Siccu like a river around a rock. Despite the healthy breeze--or storm--howling through the broken window, I kept my vigil, doing my best to stand straight, motionless, with an unperturbed expression. I had rehearsed it in the mirror, but it still slipped on special occasions. Like seeing Siccu shirtless, for example. Shirtless and on his way over to me. Don't swallow, don't swallow, don't-- I swallowed. Siccu stopped just out of arm's reach, cocked his head and smiled softly. "I lost my temper," he said. Shifted. Watched me track his lips as he swayed from one side to the other. Fragments of an inch, but mocking nonetheless. I turned my eyes away by sheer force of will, swallowed again--damn it!--and forced myself to freeze as I was. "The cleaning crew will be here momentarily." He nodded gracefully and moved past me. A little flick of his wrist called me to his heel like an overgrown lap dog. He led the way into the living room and I followed, staring murderously at the scrapes on his back, the remains of plaster dust, the tiny flecks of paint adorning his spine. My hands itched harder, so I shoved them into my pants pockets. Siccu dropped onto the sofa with a sigh, stretching his half naked body until his abs shivered. Like this, nobody would ever mistake him for a teenager. A few clumps of plaster trickled out of his disheveled hair and onto the couch cushions, and I shoved my hands forward as if to catch them. Froze mid-step. Felt my cheek twitch. He flopped over, slid down the cushions to offer me a view of the red streaks of blood he left on the backrest, and laughed softly. "Don't be sad, I will buy you a new one." "I would never presume--" I stopped myself at the precipice of ruining everything. White noise filled my head as I realized how far off my path he had driven me with nothing but a slight shift and a few words. Cold sweat trickled down my back as I feverishly thought of a way to fix my slip-up. Back to the basics. Pose. Composure. Aloofness. I sucked air through my teeth and forced my hands back into the pants pockets, righted myself and breathed out. No use in trying to hide my distraction now, it would just offend him. And since the blood stains on the perfect, white Italian designer couch offended me, I switched topics. And pace. "Shall I backtrack the jun-- the donors to find out who put them up to this stupidity?" I asked, licking the corner of my mouth lazily, blatantly. Siccu tracked my tongue like a cat would track a toy, left and right, left and right. "You shall, but I have an additional task of much greater importance for you." He flicked a clump of plaster off the couch onto the charcoal gray carpet and I tensed. What had I done to deserve this punishment? When I stayed silent, if tense, he blinked at me and I allowed myself a breath of relief. Just to see if I really had gotten a grip on myself, he wiggled around a bit, smeared more blood and dust onto the sofa, and huffed contentedly. "This task is for you, and you only. You will not speak of it to anyone, you will not discuss it or argue with me, you will simply say 'yes sir' and do as I ordered." Velvety steel, cold, empty eyes. "Now, are you ready to hear it, or do you need a moment to yourself?" Composure. Composure. Composure. I let my lips curl upward in a slight arc I had perfected years ago, but my eyes wouldn't listen. I glowered, faintly smiling at the world, and nodded. "I am at your disposal." Siccu switched on a horrifying, saintly, sunny smile that showed his fangs to the root. "I want you to observe my new child. Every move. Every hiccup. Every moment. They fuck, you watch. They eat, you watch. They go out to hunt, you watch. You will do nothing else, take on nothing else, but this. And you will report to me daily and in detail." He paused, tilted his brow up. "You will not scamper off to change every hour, and you will not, I repeat, you will not dance around in front of their noses like a wannabe-FBI agent on a rampage." My expression held against the storm breaking loose in my head, but only just. Every last drop of blood left my face and pooled somewhere around my stomach. A spinning head got company in form of the urge to vomit. Was this a test? Couldn't be. A punishment? Too harsh. Did he know what he asked of me? I scanned his relaxed pose, his angelic smile, his shimmering eyes, and swallowed. He was waiting for an answer, counting the seconds it took me to get a grip on myself. This whole evening was a clusterfuck and I was only making it worse. No use in berating myself any longer. I said the only thing I could say. "Understood. I will be on my way, then."
  5. metajinx

    Prologue

    I died, then I was born. They brought me back to life with so much electricity, the room stank of burnt flesh and feces. Such a tiny little body next to my bigger twin, such tiny little paddles to shock me. The stench still sticks to me, to my hair, my breath, it's unbearable. This is how my mother tells the story of my first moments on earth. She always kept two feet of distance to me, had a nursing help, a nanny, then another, then a chauffeur. So close, still so far away. I always thought if I just got clean enough, prim enough, showed my good manners, my good blood, that she would one day take a liking to me and come closer. She didn't. The hard school of earning her love primed me for another path, though. My looks are out of this world. I make perfection look easy, I give new meaning to "tailored to the body". Where I walk, jaws drop. It's my parents' blood, their mixture of pale skin, a well proportioned nose, long fingers, tapered hips, full lips, and those light green eyes, all infused into one slim package, that made me the star of all the glamorous runways. I was fourteen. Glamour ended when they started to paw at me. They complimented me, said I looked older, that 'the business' worked this way and that I would have to get used to people wanting to be close to me, wanting to feel me against them. I didn't like being touched, didn't like being mussed up and crinkled, so I left. I think my brother looked for me for a while, but I shook him by leaving the country. I was lost without my credit cards, my drivers, my managers and assistants, but I was free. And I hadn't a clue what to do with my freedom, where to go, what to conquer next. I was sixteen. I met him a few weeks later, on the verge of breaking my vow not to debase myself for some rich fucker, already on my knees and despising the thick, champagne carpet that ruined the perfect flow of my last good pair of Armani pants. He saved me. He threw the fat lecher sitting before me through the bar and against the bulletproof glass windows, cracking them to the point of breaking. At first I thought it would create more of a ruckus. After all, there stood this short, fragile teen, smiling after he'd just thrown a man thrice his weight a good fifteen feet and almost out of a window on the fourteenth floor. Then I saw his fangs, that flickering violet tint in his eyes. In all their eyes. I was frozen in fear, astonishment, wonder, unable to move when he turned his attention towards me. Siccu and his blue, blue eyes. "You look lost, little lamb," he said over the renewed clatter and chatter of the other guests. "Will you be mine?" His fingers were like mine. Perfect, elegant, manicured, tidy, held out towards me in a perfect arch, ready to grab if I wanted to. His eyes were testy, flickering and unpredictable. Something cold and aloof lurked behind them, behind his boyish smile, a trap he was setting up for me, ready to stumble into like the lamb I was. I didn't take his hand, I got up on my own, righting my pants and snarling over the crinkles on my knees until I had them straightened out. Siccu smiled up at me, almost half a foot beneath my five foot ten, but still so much bigger than me by sheer presence. Something about my choice had made him even happier, gleeful enough that he didn't bother to repeat his question. We both knew the answer, it would have been silly to ask again. He still grabbed my wrist, shuddering lustfully at the tension his touch sent through my body, tugging me after him like an unruly child. To him, I probably was nothing but a child, would never be anything but. I followed him, not just because I didn't have much of a choice, but also because I wanted to. I was lost. I wanted to be his. He had something I hadn't known I wanted, but lusted after now: immortality. Eternal beauty. Eternal perfection. He was a finger digging into my inner pain, and I wanted more. I wanted everything. When we reached the elevator, he turned and took stock of my less-than-perfect presence. "What is your name?" he asked, and again that shivering, lurking frost flickered through his eyes. A test, another test in his game. I thought about the question, about what I had seen. About what he probably wanted me to unsee, never mention again. About what kind of person I would have to be to please Siccu LaBrocha, so he'd never let me go. I put everything I got in my voice, every ounce of training, every ounce of greed my little heart had to offer. "Envy," I said. Siccu smiled, nodded his approval, and pressed the penthouse button. A rite of passage, an aced test, a step back from the teetering edge. I've been with him ever since. I love him. I hate him.
  6. Busy is always good. Congrats and good luck with your website.

    Fortunately we are six hours behind you, so it is still the 23rd here. So here is wishing you a very Happy Birthday(my time). Hope you had a wonderful day(your time).

     

    Gute Nach

    sandrewn

  7. Happy birthday!

  8. Happy Birthday!

  9. Quick update: I've been horribly busy with getting myself out there and running around like a headless chicken, but I'm happy to report that I've finally finished getting a "real" (read: semi-professional) website up and running. I'll try to publish something new here soon!

    1. Puppilull

      Puppilull

      Sounds great! I look forward to it!

  10. metajinx

    Family Issues

    1) We will see 2) I'm unsure. My brain is filled with Sci-Fi right now, but that doesn't mean I won't go back to Banes and see what the men have been up to. Thanks for commenting! I'm glad you liked it!
  11. Noom has apparently decided on a career change... ;)

     

    https://www.noom.com

  12. "Unwilling" is officially finished - Happy New Year!

    1. Puppilull

      Puppilull

      Yay! I was just checking on your story and here it is! A great end of year surprise!

    2. metajinx

      metajinx

      Thanks! I'm in the middle of a last vigorous edit and a bit of freshening up, then it'll be available as a free e-book :joe:

  13. metajinx

    Family Issues

    Darwin A sea of blood filled the small room, splashing first against the trim seaming the edges of the wooden floor, then up against the wall sockets and licking against the frame of the bed and in a glimpse swallowing even that. Then suddenly the room fell away, unveiling an ink-black, endless sky. Gasping for air, Darwin treaded the thick, luke-warm liquid to keep himself afloat, retching at the sticky, satiny feel of liquid life against his body. Black sky, black, bloody sea, nothing as far as the eye could see. He was drowning, he knew it, but that didn't make giving up any easier. Giving up was never easy. "... no, he isn't. And you standing in my way doesn't-" Darwin knew that voice, but he hadn't expected to hear it ever again. Something brushed against his leg, a wet, slippery touch that made him squeak and swim harder, towards that voice, towards that faint knowledge of safety. Each breath through his mouth brought another sickly wave of that rich taste of meat with it, making him spit and retch. "Last warning. He is mine!" A thunderclap echoed over the vast sea, followed by a sharp, painfully bright lightning flash. A tiny rowboat suddenly bobbed on the thick waves, looking forlorn and foreboding and dry as old driftwood. Darwin grabbed the rim and pulled himself inside with a groan and shivering muscles, swallowing against the rocking motion. Waves lapped softly against the wooden sides, low, dry, drum beats in the pitch black. The boat was warm, so warm,-- too warm. Darwin awoke with a jolt and a scream, instinctively slapping the arms holding him. His wolf snarled through his head, hovering just below his skin, ready to burst out at the blink of an eye. His attacker grunted, tightened his grip to the point of pain and buried Darwin's face in a soft shirt and against a taut chest. Darwin took one deep breath, initially to scream again, but the scent filling his nose stopped him mid-gasp. Then he threw his arms around that muscular, hard chest and sobbed. Jared's scent. It wafted though Darwin's brain like a lifeline, driving away the last, dark tendrils of whatever nightmare he had been stuck in. The wolf retreated but hovered in the background, as wary as Darwin felt disjointed. "Shh. I'm here, I'm alive. Calm down." Jared's throat sounded sore. It was the most beautiful sound Darwin had ever heard. He tried to say something but whatever words he tried to utter came out as a jumbled, snot-riddled mess, soaking Jared's shirt and rubbing his throat raw. Jared just hugged him tighter and crawled onto the bed with him, pulling him against his body and bathing him in the scent of home. And pain. Jared stunk of it, and of blood. And death. His wolf didn't like it, but trying to melt into Jared met his approval. Darwin dug his hands into that soft shirt, just to be sure he was really there, really alive, and even then he kept his head pressed against Jared's chest to listen to his heartbeat. Images of Jared's gored neck, the blood on Darwin's grasping fingers, those wet, raspy gasps for air, tried to come back, but Darwin drove them away by clutching tighter and tighter to that shirt. Only Jared's pained grunt made him let up. "Am I hurting you?" Darwin croaked, sniveling through snot and swollen eyes. A huff of hot breath rustled through his hair but Jared didn't answer, just jerked his head to the sides. Not a denial, but a clear enough invitation to keep hugging him like this, no matter the pain it caused. His fingers left hot little dents on Darwin's back, digging in and then easing up again, dancing to the tune of whatever emotions had struck him silent. Whatever drugs had taken Darwin down and into that scary blood-sea still cursed through his body, slowing down the world and leaving a faintly metallic taste on his dry tongue. Still, that scent and Jared's body heat, his oh so low sniffling, felt like a soothing blanket for his mind. The rush of love coursing through Darwin was almost too much, almost too strong, just this side from torture. Remnants of fear bristled every hair on his body, made him want to run. But he couldn't, didn't want to leave again, risk losing Jared again. So many questions danced through his head, so many truths he wanted to ask about and didn't want answered at the same time, it was choking him. What could he say? What should he say? No confession, no profession of deep, profound realizations could ever measure up to that turmoil inside him. The tension was killing them both and it had to go. With that realization, Darwin knew exactly what to say. "You're crying, aren't you. How un-manly." "No I'm not. And fuck you for scaring me," Jared mumbled, congested and teary as he fought back a laugh and held Darwin tighter. Darwin's wolf forced a happy grunt out of his lips and finally relaxed a little. Someone was thumping against the door, muttering curses at Jared for locking it, demanding to be let in, proclaiming the danger of being alone in there, alone with 'him'. The words didn't make much sense to Darwin's spinning mind. It was such an easy thing not to pay attention to that beating and hollering, to wrap himself in Jared's scent and voice and warmth instead, to listen to his heartbeat and to the soft, woolen creak of the bandages tensing against their own layers whenever Jared readjusted himself. His mate was here, his Alpha, he would take care of everything. No need for vigilance. "Go away," Jared barked hoarsely towards the door, then buried his face in Darwin's hair, huffing warm air against his scalp. "They've been keeping me at bay for three days, saying you'd gone feral. That you'd attack me because I smell like prey, with the wounds and all. That you wouldn't know it was me you attacked if I went in here," he grumbled and giggled softly. "At first I let them, mostly because I was too weak to come here on my own, but then I decided that this was stupid and they don't know you as well as I do. And that I'd rather be mauled by you than stay away any longer." Darwin kept quiet as he examined the words in his mind. His wolf didn't pay much attention to them, happy to stay in the now, in that cloud of happiness in Jared's proximity. His wolf. Wait, my wolf? Darwin tensed and shuddered, closed his eyes more tightly and tried to remember how to breathe. His wolf was there, right there, aware and connected but way too close, too big. How hadn't he become aware of its proximity sooner? Jared rubbed his back, sending tingles through his tense flesh. "Shh, breathe. Everything is alright. Think calm, breathe calm, or you'll shift again. Like that, yes." Each breath burned through his throat, ballooning his lung too forcefully and hissing out in a huff. Listening and acting accordingly felt like a monumental task, tiring and useless, but the longer he did it, the less his skin tingled. Even the sharp pains in his gums receded and the blood pounding in his ears lessened. When all he could hear was his own pitiful breathing, Darwin closed his eyes and ground his teeth. "Guess they're right about the feral thing," he said with a voice that still wasn't quite his own. Jared relaxed his hold on Darwin and rubbed his back, shrugging awkwardly. "I don't care. If you go all feral, I'll buy a dog bed big enough for both of us. We could move deep into the mountains, just you and me. Be done with all this drama and just live our lives. I won't let you down again, I simply won't." Something dark and fearful bubbled up from the depths of Darwin's memory and he tensed. He spoke before he was sure he wanted to know the answer. "Even though I deserted you?" "Even though." Something broke inside Darwin's chest and suddenly he was crying again, clutching and clawing at Jared's shirt as he sobbed loudly through the void the fear left in his chest. The last tendrils of darkness fled his body with those sounds, hurting his head just as his heart stopped aching. And all through his breakdown, Jared held him, soothed him and kept his mouth shut. Even the hammering on the door stopped, finally leaving them to themselves. After a while, the urge to shift disappeared completely and Darwin realized how wet Jared's shirt had gotten. He slowly pulled away, patting the dark patches awkwardly as he blinked his swollen eyes. "Sorry about that," he muttered, sniffling. "Don't worry about it," Jared murmured, rubbing endless circles on his back. "How much do you remember?" Darwin winced and his heartbeat sped up. "You dying. Me shooting Carl." Strangely, the thought of Carl did nothing to him, now that he was dead. The memory of Jared's pale-blue face and the gushing wound still threatened to make him sick, though. Jared nodded. "That was three days ago. They tranqed you like a rabid dog and pulled you off me because you wouldn't let their medic take over and kept screaming at everyone. Then you shifted and went a little berserk, but luckily that was when the tranq kicked in. At least that's what they told me when I asked them why the hell I couldn't see you. I still think they overreacted, but what can you do? It's done now. Margo had us all taken to her pack house- much more impressive than the roadhouse, by the way- and put you in lockdown. Then they patched me up and--" A knock on the door interrupted Jared's tale. It was a much more polite knock than before and it stopped both of them in their tracks. "Who is it?" Jared called, narrowing his eyes at the offending door. "George and Mary. Can we come in?" Darwin was off the bed and at the door in a blink. "Dad!" He ripped open the door and all but fell into George's lap, ignoring Mary's shocked squeak. "You're here!" George gasped, then patted Darwin's back awkwardly. "Of course. Where else would I be? My son is hurt, they'd have to use a forklift to keep me away." "I threatened to do just that yesterday," Mary snarked and proceeded to roll them into the tiny room. "Good to see you're somewhat sane again, boyo." A short pause, then she offered Jared a curt nod, followed by an icy, "Jared." Darwin frowned and carefully slipped off his father's lap. Jared was staring at all three of them, his eyes hooded and his face carefully blank. George didn't spare him a single glance and Mary was glowering daggers, if only out of the corner of her eye. Something was off, and in a bad, bad way. Darwin's wolf stiffened at the sheer tension in the room, hackles rising. "Guys? What happened while I was out?" Jared got up and patted Darwin's shoulder. "Leave it be for now, they just got you back. I'll be upstairs." Darwin stared at Jared's retreating back until the door fell shut, then he knitted his brows at his family. "Okay, what's going on?" George didn't hesitate. "When you told me that you found a boyfriend, I pictured someone nice and responsible and trustworthy. And what did I find instead? A self-centered, glib little frat-boy with no respect for anyone or anything! Did he tell you that he fought with Margo and almost got kicked out? Or that he punched Graham when he asked if Margo would be willing to do a burial ceremony for Carl?" "Please George, calm down," Mary implored, kneading his shoulders as he started to gasp for air. Her eyes found Darwin, silently blaming him as she tried to loosen his tense muscles. "I'm sure Darwin had no idea Jared could be like that. You know he's a good boy, he would never fall for someone's looks alone." Darwin swallowed and sat down. The tightness in his chest was back, as was the vertigo. His cells thrummed beneath the low growl of his wolf, that universal warning to back off or else. This was not going like he had imagined it would. Rather, it was almost opposite of what he had hoped for and nowhere close to what he needed right now, unstable as he felt. After all, George and Mary were the most important people in his life after Jared. But were they still? As things were going, chances were high that his father would tell him to leave Jared, but could he? He tried to imagine his life without Jared. Without his scent, or his rumbling voice. Without that feeling of utter security and bliss. The growling in his head changed to a high, anxious whining. Unthinkable. But could he live without his family? Could he really hurt his father like that, dismiss him and risk never seeing him again? No more Friday dinners, no more phone calls, no more hot cocoa in front of the fireplace,... It was just as unthinkable. George had gotten his breath back under control, but he wouldn't let up. "Seriously, boy! What were you thinking?" Shivering, Darwin looked down at his white-knuckled fists. The skin was boiling, moving, about to sprout a pelt that had no place on a human body. This felt so unreal, so utterly contrary to his expectations, it was almost physical pain. "I was thinking that he's my mate and I love him," he whispered. George snapped. "He killed Carl!" he yelled, surging forward. His broken body tumbled to the ground and Mary shrieked, jumping to his aid and shoving Darwin out of the way. "Look what you did! You know what the doctors said! How could you upset him like that!" she screamed and grabbed George to pull him off the ground. "George? George! Are you okay?" It was too much. With a torn snarl, Darwin turned and fled. # Darwin stumbled out of the room and into a darkened, deserted hallway. His whole body was itching, tingling, caught between shifting shape and exhaustion. He had no idea where he was or where he should go, but the steps to his right seemed like a better choice than the even darker left side of corridor. As long as he got away from that room and the terror it held, anywhere else was fine with him. The stairs blurred before his eyes and not just because of the soft crackling of changing bone in his eye sockets. He hadn't thought there were any tears left after his breakdown, but here he was, stumbling up the staircase and barely swallowing the sobs threatening to pour out of him. His mind kept going in circles, taunting him with the demand to choose; father or mate, father or mate, it whispered cruelly. There was no way to run from his own thoughts, but Darwin did his damnedest to try, at least try. He burst through the door at the top of the stairs, trying to blink away the tears as he ran forward blindly, smacked against a table and spun off to one side, fumbling for something to catch himself on. His fingers found a chair and he leaned onto it, scraping its legs across the floor as he fought for balance, coughing out a half-snarled sob. "Whoa, Darwin," a familiar, female voice called, then a hand caught his arm and pulled him upright. "What happened? What's wrong?" Darla, of all people. It didn't matter. Nothing she did could ever hurt as much as the impossibility his father had imposed on him. And if she hit him, it was still better than facing all of... this. Darwin grabbed her, hugged her like a drowning man, and bawled against her neck with a voice that wasn't quite his own. If she was surprised by his sudden clingyness or alarmed by the signs of him losing control and shifting, she didn't let it on. Instead, she hugged him back and more or less dragged him until he felt something pushing against his calves and sank onto a still warm couch. When had be become such a crybaby? Why couldn't he stop, pull himself together? Voices talked in the background, too low for him to understand what they were saying over the sound of his own bawling, but someone moved away and a little while later, another pair of hands pulled him away from Darla. It was only then that Darwin realized that the crackling and tingling had stopped, that his skin had stopped boiling, and that all the noises in the room were those of him crying and nothing else. Somewhere along his breakdown, the change had stopped in its tracks. "Jesus, Darwin, what's wrong?" Harry asked and pulled him closer until Darwin's head landed on his lap. That felt better, good enough to slow down the tears into whimpering hiccups. He still didn't have a clue why he couldn't stop crying, how he had actually stopped himself from shifting, or what to say. What wasn't wrong with his life? Still, he tried to answer. There was a lot of sobbing and clutching Harry's shirt, misunderstandings and confused inquiries, but after a while, they got it. And them understanding why Darwin was this distraught helped him finally calm down all the way. The couch moved a little as someone readjusted themselves. Darla was the first to break the silence, if only to talk over Darwin's head. "I get it." "I don't," Harry growled. "That's the cruelest thing I ever heard, telling your son he has to leave his mate. Who does that!" Combing his fingers through Darwin's hair, he looked down at him. "Are you sure you understood him right? That doesn't sound like your father at all." A hand touched Darwin's shin and petted it. Darla kept talking, ignoring Harry. "He's responsible for what happened to Darwin, you know? At least he feels like it. In his eyes, he let it happen. In his eyes, nothing is as it was supposed to be. The person he trusted- an Alpha- used his power for evil and he didn't do anything against it. And now another Alpha is after Darwin. What is he supposed to think when he couldn't even trust his own with his son?" "That's stupid," Darwin mumbled, burying his face into Harry's shirt. His his throat felt raw, but at least he sounded more like himself again. "He's in a wheelchair. He would have been no match for Carl. That's why I didn't tell him in the first place, he would have gotten himself killed!" Darla's hand kneaded his leg as if to take the sting out of her words. As unusual as her sensitive behavior was, Darwin appreciated it. "That's the point. You are a submissive. He's a dominant. You patronized him and risked your life in the process and you're not supposed to do that. He is supposed to protect you, not the other way around, no matter his physical condition. It's instinct and you know that. Shielding him from everything was okay as long as your family thought you were dominant, but a submissive protecting a dominant? That must be a horrible position to find yourself in. It had to hurt when he found out what happened. And then you were saved by a stranger who is now in the process of taking you away from him and there's nothing he can do against it, except scream at you and forbid it. You took his balls, just like you took my freedom." Darwin flinched. As calm as Darla sounded, her words burned him more surely than a physical punch. He tried to say something, deny her allegations, he even opened his mouth to tell her to fuck off, but no sound passed his lips. What if she was right? No, she probably was right, at least a little. Didn't matter. "I had no other choice!" he whined, still buried against Harry. "He couldn't have helped. He has to know that!" The sound of blood rushing through his veins filled the following silence. The rubbing on his back and the massage on his leg went on, pulling the last shreds of energy out of him until he felt more like an empty shell than a person. Maybe Darla was right. Maybe his father would never accept Jared, because Darwin had fucked up. But there had to be some way out of this, some way around losing everything he had. He just couldn't think of it. Not yet. "What am I supposed to do now?" "Well," Darla huffed and shoved his legs from her lap as she stood up. "Give the man back his balls." Jared Jared found Margo in the spacious kitchen, fiddling around with the coffeemaker, her face scrunched up in concentration. She glanced at him, huffed and pushed a few buttons. "I hate these modern things. They never work like they're supposed to and those horrible little tabs cost a fortune," she muttered. Scratching her head, she straightened and abandoned the machine to look at Jared. "Why the long face? I thought your boy found his sanity again. At least that's what I surmised from Rich whining about you forcing your way into Darwin's cell." The exit on the other side of the kitchen suddenly looked very tempting. "He did. His father's with him right now," Jared said and slumped against the fridge. He felt positively pouty, now that Darwin was alright. Margo smirked. "Ah." Jared clenched his teeth, trying his best to keep his voice calm. "What? I didn't do anything to George, except exist. He hated me from the moment he met me, how is that my fault?" "I didn't say anything," Margo retorted, turned around and smacked the coffeemaker. It clicked, hissed and started up. "Ha, gotcha!" She grinned and shoved a cup beneath the spigot. The scent of fresh coffee flooded the kitchen as the machine gurgled and worked its magic. Jared settled on watching the dark drops dribble into the cup. "Then do say something, because I'm on my last rope here." Margo snorted, poking him out of the way as she got milk out of the fridge. "Nope. I'm not your Yoda and I'm too much of a redneck to play fairy godmother. Deal with your own shit." Jared tensed. White-hot rage shot through him. The emotion came on so suddenly, he instinctively reined it in and gnashed his teeth, more out of surprise than out of respect for her. Still, he couldn't hold back the words. "Oh, so it was okay to deal with my shit before, but not anymore? You had no qualms taking over at the cabins and you've been ordering me around for the last three days, but suddenly it's my problem?" At the Alpha's searing glance he clicked his mouth shut halfway through the rant. It had been simmering in his mind ever since he had woken up on a bed in the medical room, half dead and helpless. In the following silence, Margo added some milk to her coffee, put the carton away and took a sip. Then she sighed, leaned her butt against the kitchen counter and inspected Jared's face. "This is what you don't seem to get, Jared. It's always been your problem, I just tried to keep Darwin safe like I'm supposed to. I ordered you around because you're in my home and I won't let you put doubts into the minds of my people about who's in charge around here. That doesn't mean I'm willing to play nanny for you any more than I have to. I'm willing to take care of Darwin since he's a submissive, but you are stretching your welcome thin." Take care of Darwin? Give Darwin up, leave him here? The thought alone drove a shudder through Jared's body and sent his heart racing. Jared balled his fists, snarling at Margo as he paced up and down the kitchen. The need to hurt her was almost overwhelming, breathtaking, painful. "You'd better watch what you're saying, Margo. I will not leave him with you!" Margo lifted a brow. "You must have had the shittiest of all upbringings if you actually believe I'd take your mate from you just because I could." Jared stopped pacing. He took a deep, forceful breath and examined Margo, trying to still his twitching arms. He wanted to believe her, he really did, but all his experiences contradicted her words and her expression. After all, his brother would have done exactly that. Hell, even his uncle would have, just to prove his superiority. To prove who was in control. His lips twitched into something resembling a faint smile. "Not shitty, just... crowded. Very crowded. Both my brother and uncle are Alphas too." Okay, so it wasn't a real apology for bitching at her like that, but it was close enough. Eyes widening, Margo guffawed. "Holy smokes, that must have been fun. No wonder you're so skittish." She paused, then frowned. "Actually, that explains a lot of things." "Like what?" "Like why you have no idea what a real Alpha can do, for example. Every normal wolf experiences the powers of a true Alpha all through his life. Even, well, normal Alphas are taught by their pack's leader, we don't live forever after all. But with you it's different. Your Alpha brother is older than you I assume?" Jared nodded and Margo continued. "Now I get why you don't seem to know anything at all. If I had a rival in my own house, sitting at my table, eating my food and constantly threatening my own reign, I probably wouldn't teach him how to become even more powerful either. I'd try to get rid of you as quickly as possible." Which was exactly what had happened to Jared. Awkward. How was he supposed to react to something like that? Sure, he had kind of sensed that something wasn't right with him, noticed Hector's pondering glances or the way Margo strict-mothered him, but to believe and to know were two different things. And to think that all this time, Tobias had concealed knowledge from him, that his own brother had known that Jared had found a new pack and wouldn't come back and still he hadn't confessed to leaving him high and dry? The familiar rage came and went and left nothing but a faint, bitter taste on Jared's tongue. Just one more indignity in a sea of indignities. He shuffled, stepped back and crossed his arms. "Fine, now that we've established that I'm a whelp, could you pretty please help me out and tell me what I'm supposed to do about Darwin's family?" Margo sipped her coffee, licked foam from her lips and grinned. "Nope. Still not Yoda. Deal with your family on your own." Huffing, Jared left the kitchen. # Jared surprisingly found Darwin in the living room instead of the cellar. The scene couldn't have been any more peculiar or unsettling; amidst the stench of despair and tears, Darwin lay on the couch, all puffy-eyed, propped up by both Harry and Darla. Even Graham was there, leaning against the dinner table. He turned his attention away from Darla as Jared stepped in, watching him with a slightly worried expression. Harry taking care of Darwin wasn't out of the ordinary, but seeing Darla lay her hands on Darwin in a friendly manner felt eerily like Freaky Friday. "What the hell happened? I was gone no more than ten minutes!" he asked exasperatedly, moved in and picked Darwin off of Harry's lap. He cradled him in his arms and glowered at the room. "Where's George?" Holding his mate brought a wave of relief over him and he clutched Darwin closer. Darwin wrapped his arms around Jared's neck and huffed hot breath against the skin above his pulse. Even exhausted and torn like this, nothing, nobody else, smelled this good to Jared. Safe, like home. "Well," Harry began, squirming on the couch. Darla beat him to it. "His father decided to forbid him to be with you. He thinks you're not worthy of him." "Darla-," Graham interjected, stepping forward to lay a hand on her shoulder in a way too intimate gesture. She shrugged him off. "What? It's the truth. And we all know how this will end, too." A pause, then, "Badly. It will end badly." Not worthy. The words could have come directly from his brother. Not worthy of being called an Alpha. Not worthy of learning the ropes. Not worthy of becoming something more than a flighty jock. Too dangerous, a bad influence, good-for-nothing. The words breathed through Jared, tightened around his heart and then faded. The weight in his arms was real, as was the breath against his neck. Someone thought he was worthy of this. Someone had bet their life on him becoming something more. Darwin's scent wafted up and even the stench of heartbreak couldn't keep Jared's body from reacting, from pumping blood into his cock. He smiled. "I see. Excuse us, I have to have a talk with my mate. And thank you for taking care of him." He turned away from their surprised faces and started walking, swiftly carrying Darwin up the stairs and past a few of Margo's pack members. The door to his guest bedroom slammed shut behind him as he shouldered his way through. The loud bang reverberated through the building and Margo called out in protest somewhere in the house. Jared didn't care. He carefully draped Darwin on the bed and crawled in next to him, sidling against his back and drawing him into his arms. Darwin wiggled until every last inch of his body was pressed against Jared, then sighed. He sounded congested and shivery, but his body relaxed in Jared's embrace. Silence built until the sounds of their beating hearts and their soft breaths was all that was left. "My father hates you," Darwin finally mumbled, breaking the quiet. Jared sighed and buried his face in Darwin's hair, sucking in lungfuls of that enticing, hypnotizing scent. "I know. But I can't bring myself to care right now." "But you should, you know? He's my father, my family, and I want you two to get along." The pliant body in his arms wiggled a little, brushing a pert ass against Jared's already confused crotch. His cock followed the call and plumped up further, straining against his jeans. Jared gnashed his teeth and hid his grin in Darwin's tresses. "That's what everyone keeps telling me, but I sure as shit don't get what I did wrong or why George despises me so much." Jared found the hem of Darwin's shirt and flipped it out of the way, sneaking his fingers under the warm cotton. Darwin's skin felt like hot satin, tightening beneath the small touches. The idea of forgetting everything and getting lost in the utter joy of touching him fought for purchase in Jared's mind. And why not? They didn't have to run anymore, their enemy was dead, and all that was left to do was plan how to best return home to Banes. If they wanted to. Darwin sighed, stretching restlessly beneath the small circles Jared drew on his belly. "Darla says it's because you don't treat him like a dominant. I'm not sure I trust her, though. She may just be trying to stir up more conflict, get you to rough up a wheelchair-bound senior and all that." Jared stopped his caresses, pulling up his brows in surprise. Beat up George, the renitent, snarky dominant who provoked him constantly? Now there was an idea. But beating up George, the quadriplegic father of his mate? Not so much. Jared made a face and buried his nose in Darwin's hair. His fingers took up their movement again. "Yeah, no, I don't think I could lay a finger on your dad. He's... fragile." "That's the problem, if you believe Darla," Darwin said and snorted sarcastically. "She says, since nobody treats him like the dominant he is, legs or no legs, he acts up. And that you have to treat him like a man to make him see reason. Stupid, right?" Actually, no. Jared blinked and pulled Darwin closer, shoving his hand deeper into his shirt and petting his sternum. Come to think of it, if Jared ever ended up in a wheelchair, he would be furious if someone treated him like a dainty flower. Sure, he couldn't ask George to take a hike up a mountain and beating him up was still a very bad idea, but was it right to decide that for him? Shouldn't he treat George like any other dominant and give him the choice to back down? Now there was an idea. "I think I know how to fix this and not break your heart. But right now, you are more important to me than your father and we didn't have a chance to reunite properly before," he whispered, tracing his fingers down Darwin's front. The soft hisses and the way Darwin squirmed and wiggled made him hot with anticipation. Slowly, ever so slowly, he worked his way down to Darwin's crotch, humming when he found hardness there to rival his own. The feel of Darwin's hot bulge beneath his hand sped up Jared's own pulse and he grabbed the waistband of Darwin's pants hard, gasping as he rubbed himself against his ass. He strained to find his voice and when he did, he couldn't do more than rasp. "Talk later, sex now?" Darwin's hand joined his and he pried open the button of his pants, opening an easier path down to his cock. Jared groaned, tearing one-handed at Darwin's pants as he forced the zipper down, then switched to the small of his back to pull at the denim and bare that wiggling ass. The soft skin beneath his fingers, the hot friction of naked skin against the bulge in his pants, was sweet, utter, torture. Jared tugged at his own pants, ripping them open and pushing them down until his cock sprang free and slapped against that warm ass pushing back against him. The warmth and the soft hairs tickling against his sensitive length tore a deep groan out of him and tightened his fingers around Darwin's length, which in turn added another rumbling moan to the echo in the small room. Skin against skin, Jared felt the soft, nervous twitch of that tight, wrinkled muscle against the underside of his cock. The thought of how soon he would be buried inside that tight orifice drew drops of pre-come out of his tip and the sensation of his corona rubbing against the wetness he left on Darwin's ass drew up his balls. "There's lube in the nightstand. You better get it before I go all over your ass," Jared hissed, kneading Darwin's thigh as he fought for control. Mine, his wolf whispered, gleefully spurring him on to claim the body of his mate. His instinct didn't understand the finer points of gay sex. Darwin wiggled and huffed as he half-rolled, stretched and fumbled the drawer open. The soft 'snick' of the lube tube cut through the heavy atmosphere, then he dangled the opened bottle over his shoulder, offering it to Jared nonchalantly, if slightly breathless with anticipation. Too much. "I don't think I can stop myself from biting you this time," Jared warned breathlessly, grabbing the lube and squirting it haphazardly somewhere in between his crotch and Darwin's ass, soiling the bed as much as hitting his target. The shudder running through Darwin's body shook the mattress. He raised one leg and tilted his ass, all but offering himself to the hard rod rubbing against his slick ass as he made breathless little sounds. "Then don't," he mumbled and sounded almost annoyed with the necessity of talking at all. "Bite me!" Jared's eyes rolled into the back of his head. He grabbed Darwin's hip hard enough to bruise and slammed in, tearing a pained, ecstatic scream out of him. Little jolts of pure elation twinged through his back as he pulled Darwin's twitching body closer, angled his face forward and closed his teeth around the warm, soft skin at his neck, groaning harshly. The vise grip around his cock was utter torture, muscles twitching, contracting, pulling him deeper in sync with the stream of sharp little groans and moans, gasps and whimpers coming from Darwin. This had to hurt, at least a little, but Darwin still let him do it, still submitted, writhed in his embrace, thrust his ass back to bury him deeper. Bliss. The taste of blood, just a little, no more than a hint, spurred him on and he started to move, slowly at first, luxuriating in the roll of hips, the hot tightness, the scent of sweat and pre-come drifting up from the wrecked body in his arms. But soon it wasn't enough anymore. Jared bit deeper, groaning sharply against the bruised skin between his jaws, and sped up, each thrust a harsh slap that stung against his thighs as much as it bit against Darwin's tense ass. Darwin shifted his leg, straining back to change the path Jared's cock took into his tight channel, and shouted when he plunged deeper, rubbed against that spot inside of him that made his own length dribble and throb. His channel tightened around Jared, squeezing him until he saw stars and sputtered to arrhythmic jerks, and suddenly there was no ways left to go and he came. The intensity robbed him of sight, voice, control. Belatedly, he felt Darwin come, shudder, and squirm between his cock still pulsing inside his ass and the teeth Jared still dug into his neck. It cut his invisible threads and he sagged back onto the bad, gasping for air and drenched in the sweetest of sweats. Darwin murmured breathless endearments, drunk on endorphins and exhausted, and Jared pulled him closer and wrapped his body around his sweat-slick mate. Give this up? Never. He'd rather die. # Leftover anger more than choice led Jared back the way he had come, out of the bedroom and down the stairs to the living room. He almost stumbled over his feet when George and Mary suddenly appeared in the hallway leading outside. They stared at him with a mixture of surprise and the same brooding anger that had ruled their interactions since the day Carl had died. Jared bristled before he could get a hold of himself, rolling his shoulders against the tension creeping up his back. He so wasn't ready for another exchange of snide remarks, but this would have to happen sooner rather than later. Still, his lips went numb at the thought of what he was about to do. "George, a word," he asked as curtly as possible. George just huffed. His face twitched as he tried to decide on an answer, his gaze flitting from Jared to the living room door behind him. This was it. After all the worrying and the talks, after turning the situation over and over in his head, he had finally decided to do something and this was the answer he got? No. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. A snarl hijacked his face and he stepped closer before his mind could catch up to his mood and stop him. The growl trickling out of his throat was deep and warning, a sound fit for bloodshed and death and definitely enough to catch George's attention. The old man's eyes snapped back to Jared's face. "This is not a request. I offer you privacy, but if you don't take it, and I mean now, we can do this in front of everyone. Your choice." He should have felt silly talking like this to a man more than twice his age, but that feeling didn't come. Instead, a tight knot in his stomach loosened and a wave of force, for lack of a better word, rushed through his chest and right into his head. The room suddenly was smaller, the air fresher, colors brighter, like he had shrugged off a layer of too-tight skin. George felt it too. Even wheelchair-bound as he was, he sat up straighter, winced a little and gulped, his eyes widening as he lowered his gaze. "Lead the way," he said and nodded once. At what, Jared had no idea. "Good choice." Jared turned on his heels and stalked off, setting a healthy pace down the hallway and towards the terrace. Not the most curteous move, but Jared needed the few moments of Vorsprung to think, to decide what to do next. He went outside and left the terrace door open and leaned onto the banister, staring blankly at the mountainous woods. What would Tobias do in his place? What would his uncle have done? They wouldn't have let things go on for this long, that much Jared knew, but how would they have solved it? Jared snorted. His uncle would have killed George. His brother would have thrown him out. None of those options were acceptable, which meant he had nothing to go on but his own intuition and no way out but through. "Being the Alpha really sucks," he mumbled and tugged at his hair. "I wouldn't know." Rubber wheels clacked softly as George maneuvered his chair through the door and onto the wooden planks, nimbly coming to a halt next to Jared. He looked much more composed than before, calmer than Jared had ever seen him. Not that he knew much of George besides Darwin's stories. "Sorry, I didn't mean for you to hear that," he admitted and grinned lopsidedly. "But it's true, you know? It sucks. Especially for me. I have no idea how to be an Alpha, but I guess you already noticed that." George snorted and frowned at the mountain peaks along the vista. "Hard not to notice. Which is why I don't want you anywhere near my son. He doesn't need another dysfunctional Alpha in his life." "But he wants me there and frankly, nobody asked you. Yet." "Yet?" "Did you know your son was a submissive?" Admittedly, Jared had hoped for a little more than the silence George bestowed on him, but the quiet spoke its own words. He'd had no idea, just like the rest of his pack. Even Darwin's father had been blind to the truth sitting right in front of him. Jared shook his head and huffed. "And you call me dysfunctional." The banister cracked beneath George's fist. Black, web-like fissures appeared along the carved wood, a stark reminder of the power still left in the broken body. He couldn't do much more than that, but the force spoke volumes, as did the tear in the corner of his eye. He wiped at it angrily, stopping its path halfway down. "Is this what you wanted to talk to me about? My failures as a father?" he asked, his voice tight and rough. Jared shifted, straightened and turned to George, keeping his face pleasantly blank. "No. I wanted to talk about your behavior towards me and Darwin. I have no idea how I'm supposed to act because you're his father and I really want you to like me, but I think I've gone about this all wrong. I'm not just your son's boyfriend, I'm his mate and on my way to become your Alpha, and as the pack Alpha I've let you trample all over me. I've given you the impression of weakness for all the wrong reasons and now we're here and it's almost too late to patch up things. For that I'm sorry. But I'm not sorry I found Darwin or that he loves me and I won't stop seeing him just because you don't approve. I know that you're out of your depth. A few days ago you thought he was a dominant and now he isn't. You're worried for his safety, any good dominant would be, but you're forgetting something. I always knew what he was and he knew it too, which means that you're the only one still confused about how to treat him, how to see him. He didn't change, your opinion of him did." Fresh winter wind carried off the last words and swallowed the echo. George kneaded the armrest of his wheelchair, chewed his lips and grunted noncommittally, but whatever force had fired his rage was suddenly gone. He looked old, cold and brittle, his jaws clenched as if to keep quiet by force. Jared turned his head and took in the view, at a loss for words now that he had said his piece. What else could he do to make George understand he wouldn't leave Darwin? George snorted and shook his head. "Why are you telling me what I already know? Or did you really think that little heart-to-heart would make me see things your way?" He turned his chair, leaned back and threw Jared a loathing look. "I don't care what you want, I won't let you ruin him. I forbid it." Familiar ground at last. Jared smirked and nodded. "As you wish. You leave me no other choice then: I challenge you, George." 'Dumbfounded' was too mild a description for the look on George's face. His jaw dropped and he sputtered, gasped and fumbled for words. At last he got his tongue back, eyes wild as he said, "You can't be serious!" Now that the impasse loomed over him, Jared doubted how serious he was himself. If George didn't back down, now that the gauntlet had been thrown, a fight would be inevitable and Jared would be forced to hurt or even kill George. The choice between fucked and utterly fucked. Cold wind howled by, rattling the banister and tugging at Jared's collar as the gust raced around the house. Seconds stretched and stretched, torturous time spent with staring, hoping, trying to keep his expression blank as George searched his face for hints of a bluff. A slight vertigo nudged at him, trying to steal the balance he had so easily held all his life. Then the moment was over. George's face hardened, his lips nothing more but a whitened line as he turned his chair towards the balcony door. "I forfeit," he said, cleared his throat and repeated in a steadier voice, "I forfeit the duel." "Then you accept my dominion over you?" Teeth creaked as George tightened his jaws, his words a slithering thing, barely thick enough to crawl out of his mouth. "I do." Something hard, tight and cold around Jared's chest loosened and he took a deep breath, closing his eyes. A trickle of laughter clogged his throat, barely held back by his will for fear of ruining the unsteady truce he had just forged. It took a while to cram down his elation deep enough to be sure it would stay hidden and only then did he open his eyes again. Nothing was more frightening than a quadriplegic, disgruntled father-in-law. George was staring at him, his face intent and sharp. It made Jared cringe a little. "What? Do I have something on my face?" The old man hesitated, hissed, and shrugged. "No. Just wanted to make sure you weren't having a laugh on my account." "And?" A small smile tugged at the mobile part of George's mouth and he nodded slightly. "And you weren't. Thank you." Then George wheeled himself back inside, leaving Jared to stare after him with bemused surprise and a little bit of anxiety on his face. Now that it was done, what the hell was he supposed to do next? Darwin The feet on his lap stank. Two days of constant travel did that to anyone's feet, but having the source of the odor sitting right there and right below his nose made it worse. No amount of turning his head or cracking the window open to catch the cold winter breeze helped for long, and the constant movement of the car did its part to twist Darwin's stomach in a tight, sick, knot. "Could we please pull over at the next rest stop?" he begged, head held high and turned to escape the fumes. The owner of those feet, no other than Harry, snored peacefully, his head burrowed into Rayne's sweater to keep out the daylight. Darla huffed, swerving around another unsuspecting motorist dumb enough to stick to the speed limit. Somewhere, miles behind them for all Darwin knew, Mary was probably having a coronary event. Or she had given up on keeping up. "Again? What is it this time, Darwin?" Torn between truth and lie, Darwin sucked in a hesitant breath. Sock sweat immediately coated his tongue and crept into his gullet as he swallowed convulsively. "I'm gonna be sick if you don't!" Swearing, Darla cut off a truck and almost sheared against the picketing as she pulled off the highway, sending everyone into a confused uproar and waking Harry. Not that Darwin cared; as soon as the car stopped, he popped out the back, stumbled to the side, and plastered the lawn with what little coffee and pancakes he had managed to force down at breakfast. It wasn't the first time this had happened, too. Ever since the group had decided to leave Renton and go back to Banes, his whole body felt tight, tense, and off. Sure, Darwin was giddy with elation that Jared had made peace with his father, however unstable it was, and he was out of his mind with joy to know they would all stay together, both his new pack and what was left of his old one. He even agreed with Jared's reasoning, having their own territory and a chance to re-build the Banes pack like it was supposed to be was a giant step up from squatting and being run off every few days. But.... He spit a few times, coughing at the bitter taste in the back of his throat, and got up on wobbly knees. If the trip went on like this, they would never reach Banes. On the other hand, would that be such a bad thing? The others stayed with the car, chatting in low voices, but a hand grabbed Darwin's arm to help him up and a set of lips kissed the scarred bite on his neck. "I feel exactly the same," whispered Jared, a tight smile on his lips. "Too bad we can't simply elope and run off to Hawaii." Darwin turned and hugged him, burying his face against his sweater. He stank of sweat and too much deodorant, just like everyone else, but Jared's unique scent never made him sick. If only it had been his feet on his lap, instead of Harry's. "I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm not usually so weak," Darwin mumbled and swallowed remnants of bile. "Maybe I've caught a stomach bug or something." Jared chuckled softly and hugged him tighter. "Yeah, right. I think it's called 'nerves'." "What!" "Don't be so tense, nobody's blaming you for it. You've got every right to be freaked out." "I am not freaked out!" Darwin wiggled and shoved against Jared's chest, but he wouldn't let go. It only made him feel more trapped. There was nothing to be freaked out about, nothing at all! They were just going home to Banes, his home, the place he had lived in his whole life, a familiar place, nothing more. Granted, he didn't have fond memories about Banes-- or his pack, for that matter-- but Carl was dead, so what could go wrong? His stomach did a backflip and he twisted, dry-heaving to the side while Jared held him upright. His abs hurt from the sheer violence of the contractions and he groaned exhaustedly when the fit finally passed. Well, so much for a stomach bug. "Okay, so I'm a little freaked out, so what?" "So nothing. I just came over here to tell you that we understand and that you don't have to worry about appearances. You're not the only one worried about going back, you know? Rayne has been pacing all night before we took off and Darla was almost at the point of proposing to stay with Margo. Graham had to talk her down for hours. The only ones not feeling the pressure are Harry and Graham, but, you know, they are Prince and King Valium compared to everyone else." "Really?" It shouldn't have made him feel better, but it did. The impulse to play dominant, to try and control everything and everyone, still haunted him at times, but those moments weren't as bad as the ones where that tiny, inner voice whispered strings and strings of self-deprecations to him. Weak, it said, weak and fragile, useless, unworthy. The thought of anyone thinking those things about him was too much, but what if they weren't? "I promise you, we're all shaken. I didn't tell anyone about what Carl did to you, but they seem to sense that it's harder for you. Nobody said a word and that's how it will stay." Jared hugged him again, squeezing his cramped insides between his powerful arms, and grinned broadly. "Don't worry about the puking. We'll get you mouthwash if it starts to bother us." "Har har." Darwin rolled his eyes and straightened carefully. His tummy stayed quiet, cramping but too empty to be a risk any longer. A group of deer stalked through the nearby field, eying first them, then the highway and the flitting cars warily. Even nervous like this, they still looked calm and happy. Fear didn't stop them from enjoying the winter sun, so why should Darwin let it stop him? "Okay, fine, I'm freaked. And I'll probably puke again, but I can do this. I will do this. Carl can suck my--" "--oh no, he can't, that's my job," Jared interrupted him, picked him up and all but dragged him back to the car, ignoring Darwin's protests and breathless cackling. "Let's go home." * The End *
  14. Working on "Unwilling" - About time I did that, the early chapters are horrible :DStatus: Chapters 1-3 have been edited and resubmitted, more to come!

  15. metajinx

    Black haired devil

    Chapter one has gotten a slight touch-up! No more non-con or dub-con impressions (I hope)!
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