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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Re-United - 8. Chapter 8

p style="text-align:center;"> ********** TRIGGER WARNING **********

This chapter contains references to and memories of domestic abuse. I will highlight those segments with lines of ***

If reading these might cause you emotional harm, skip past these highlighted segments.

As I stared at one of my best friends as he begged me to change him, my beast was saying discipline over and over in my mind. It took me a second to understand; then I asked him what I should do. His reply scared the shit out of me, but he was right. In less than a second, I let him out as we grew to stand over both of them, looking down through our glowing emerald-green eyes. We reached out and grabbed the female by the throat, lifting them off the ground and snarling at them.

“Give our son to our mate. NOW!” we roared.

They lowered their red eyes and timidly offered our son to our mate, the Scott one. Once we were certain he was safe, we turned to find the human punching our body, screaming at us to “Leave her alone! Don’t hurt her!”

He couldn’t hurt us, but we didn’t want him to hurt either. We spoke to our companion mate, mind-to-mind, “Restrain the human. Do not harm.”

Our companion mate embraced his beast and picked the human up by his neck, wisely using his skull to support the weight without choking him. We approved and gave them a grunt.

Turning back to the out-of-control female, we tossed them into the pool and snarled at them, sending them a mind-to-mind message that left no doubt. “If you come out as anything but human, we will discipline you. You will not like that. Submit!”

They struggled for a moment but wisely kept their eyes lowered. We continued to glare at them as we snarled our disapproval of their continued rebellion. Finally, they shifted and slowly climbed out of the water. Without looking up, she crawled to our feet, where she belongs; where they all belong. We are satisfied.

We turned to face our companion mate and the human they held. With order restored, we let our human take over and swiftly shifted to our half-form, the one he called our vampire form.

Once in vampire form, I told Billy to release Brian. When he did, Brian charged me. Without conscious thought, I gripped his body with my mind, and everyone stared as I held him, immobilized, three feet in front of me. I was as stunned as everyone, but I knew better than to show it. I glanced back to see Jenny still kneeling at my feet; I sniffed.

“Jenny, get back in the pool and wash his seed off of you; you still stink of him.”

Without hesitation, she said, “Yes, My Lord,” and crawled over to slide into the pool. After rubbing her hands over her legs in the water, she came back and knelt at my feet. I checked; she was clean.

I turned to face Brian. “I’m going to release you, Bri, and we’re going to talk. If you try to fight me, I’ll have to hold you like this all night while we all discuss this, do you understand?”

I could sense his anger receding as he struggled to speak. He managed a few grunts that sounded enough like “Yes, My Lord,” that I released my hold on him. When he was free, he immediately knelt and lowered his eyes.

I turned to survey my friends. They were intrigued, they were concerned for Brian and Jenny, but they were not afraid, nor were they angry. I figured this was as good as I was going to get. Shifting to fully human, I turned and told Scott to grab Charlie’s carrier so he could stay with us, then realized our human friends might be cold and changed that instruction.

“Take Charlie into the family room, Scott,” I amended. “Jake and Billy will get beer, wine, or blood for everyone so we can have a talk. This is not how I wanted this talk to happen, but this is the hand we’re dealt.”

I turned to Jenny. “Escort your mate to the family room and comfort him. He’s had a shock. So have you, so make sure you take advantage of the blood that Billy offers.”

“Yes, My Lord,” she said timidly before rushing to Brian’s side and helping him inside.

Our other friends had taken the initiative to move toward the family room, and I found myself alone on the pool deck for a brief moment. I looked around and remembered how quickly things had gone from good to tense to dangerous back to semi-controlled. For a moment, I doubted if I could handle things on a larger scale, considering how badly I’d fucked this simple situation up. I knew that Scott and Billy hated me for risking our son’s life like I did. My thoughts were interrupted by a surprising source: my beast. ‘They all live, our son lives, you live. We did not fail. We protected; now you talk and fix.’ I walked toward the family room with the slightest of grins on my face. He was right.

The room was deathly silent when I walked in and took a seat on the empty sofa. Billy and Scott quickly moved to sit on either side of me, and Scott set Charlie’s carrier at our feet. I don’t know if it was a conscious thought on their part, but Jenny and Brian were sitting on the floor directly in front of me, leaning against the sofa rather than sitting on it. Chris sat on Brian’s other side, with Jake and Josh sitting beside Jenny; all of them were also on the floor. In case I didn’t describe it properly, Scott, Billy, and I were sitting above all of them, looking down, as a ruler of old would do. All of them keeping their eyes down.

If we were going to have a trial, this was ideal; if we were going to have a conversation, this was a disaster in the making. I nudged Scott and Billy, then slid forward on the seat and lowered myself to the floor; they followed my example. Now that we were on the same level, we could talk.

“Are you injured?” I asked Brian.

Since they were looking down, they couldn’t tell who I had asked, so both Jenny and Brian replied, “No, My Lord.”

I reached out with my foot and kicked Brian’s toe. “Hey bro, this is us. We need to talk. That means you talk too. Can we do that?”

After a pause, he glanced up, and I could see the pain in his eyes. “Why, dude?”

“Why did I go all monster on you and Jenny?” I asked.

He gave a slight nod, so I said, “Jenny if I say something you disagree with, I need you to speak up. I’m almost ordering you to speak up. These humans don’t understand, and we need to help them. Can you do that?”

She gave a nod only slightly bigger than the one Brian had given, but I took that as a good sign. I took a long drink of the whitetail blood Billy had given me and tried to explain.

“Jenny’s beast… Wait, have we explained our beast to you guys yet?”

There was a long silence, and I was about to explain when Josh said, “That’s like your Mr. Jekyll that is all your negative emotions? He’s the brute and the physical strength? And when you’re in the vampire form, you’re blended, but in beast, it’s pure Jekyll, right?”

I shrugged and said, “That’s not as bad as the first time I tried to explain it, so yeah, you’ve got the idea, but there’s one key part where you’re wrong.” Finally, all the humans looked at me, curious. “Even in beast, it’s never pure Jekyll. The human side, the man you know and love, is always in control.”

I hit a nerve. Brian almost shouted, “Then why did you try to kill Jenny?”

She grabbed his arm to restrain him, and then before I could speak, she said, “He wasn’t trying to kill me, honey; he was keeping you safe.”

Brian looked at her, confused. His awakening mate bond refused to let him consider fearing her, so it did the only thing it knew; it clouded the issues. She could do no wrong, so of course, I had to be wrong. Gray area implied that she had a role in his danger, and that was simply not an option. His budding love for her was warring with his longer-term love for me, and for a moment, I won. He looked at me, and his expression begged me to explain.

“Our beast is a combination of what humans consider our baser emotions: anger, hate, greed, sloth, jealousy, self-loathing. You name it; if it’s negative, it’s our beast. As a human, all of these are part of you; an integrated part that you use on a daily basis, when appropriate. Follow me so far?” I got mostly nods; the most important was Brian’s, so I went on. “I failed to mention one of the stronger ones: lust.”

I saw a light come on in Brian’s eyes. Granted, it was still dim, but it was there.

“Do you remember your body’s reaction to seeing Jenny in her vampire form?” He blushed, so I saved him and continued. “In that form, our sense of smell is roughly ten times that of a dog. What happens when a male dog smells a female dog in heat?”

Jake was nodding as he said, “He gives chase, ignoring everything else.”

“Exactly. Now, I made the mistake of pushing the limit and forcing Jenny to shift to full beast. When she did—”

“I blew my load like a fucking kid,” Brian mumbled.

“Your inner beast saw his fated mate in her beast form and was overwhelmed and reacted appropriately, Brian. Don’t be ashamed that your mate excites you.” I glanced at Scott and smirked. “Ask Billy how Scott and I tried to hump like two rabid dogs the first time we were together in beast form,” I laughed.

They all glanced at Billy. Like I hoped, he was grinning and nodding; damn I’m lucky to have him.

“When you lost control, you marked her with your scent, a very sexual scent. That drove her beast to the edge. Fortunately, she was holding Charlie, and as you all heard me say, she refused to allow her beast to harm my son; all else be damned, she wouldn’t allow harm to come to him. Right, Jenny?”

For the first time since I sat down, Jenny looked me in the eyes. “You trusted me. I couldn’t let you down.”

I shook my head. “Believe that if you like, but I know the truth. Anyway, I had to get control; I had to get Jenny to get control. Our beasts respect our, um…”

“Chain of command?” Jake offered helpfully.

“Exactly, our chain of command. Jenny’s beast recognized me as her superior. I needed to assert that authority in a very clear manner and force her beast to retreat. To you, it looked violent, evil even. To us, it was discipline, nothing more. Just like a mama dog will nip at a pup that’s misbehaving. I would never hurt Jenny, except to protect someone else. If you notice, she’s perfectly fine.”

Brian turned to her to see her reassuring nod. He turned back to me and asked, “What about Billy grabbing me by the throat?”

Billy quickly asked, “Did I hurt you, Bri? Or did I use just enough force to get your attention and pull you away from Greg and Jenny’s physical confrontation that could have led to either one of them accidentally hurting you?”

Brian was considering Billy’s words when I asked, “You know I can talk to Billy and the others with my mind, right?” He nodded. “Billy? Do you remember my exact command?”

“Restrain the human. Do no harm.” Billy stated, exactly matching my message.

“Billy was doing what I told him to do. Removing you so I could use the force necessary to help Jenny regain control,” I explained.

As I looked at my friends and sensed their emotions, I could feel the lights coming on. They were understanding and, more importantly, accepting that the vampire world was far different than the human one they lived in. As I realized this, I also realized that I, too, was understanding the world I was accepting more and more as my own.

I let my words soak in; let them search for the fertile ground I knew was there. If there ever was a time for me to remain silent and let the other guy make the next move, this was it. My future, the future of each of my lifelong friends, depended on one of them, specifically Brian, making the next move. I waited.

It felt like an hour, but it was probably more like ten minutes when I saw Jake fidget. I saw Chris take a breath, only to let it out as a sigh. Brian looked me in the eyes and said, “You’re not going to change me.”

I saw the hopelessness in his eyes, but I had to do this. I shook my head and replied, “No, Brian, I’m not.” I paused long enough to see his shoulders sag, then added, “Not tonight. I’ll be happy to explain why not, but do you want everyone to hear?”

He gave me a confused look, then seemed to understand. “She needs to know, Greg. And all of you already know, so go ahead.”

********************************************

I got to my knees and moved to his side. Jake moved out of my way and allowed me to take Brian’s hand so I could support him as I laid his soul bare to his mate.

“We know he drinks, Brian, and we’ve known he’s been beating you for several months now. We also believe, just like you, that he still loves you on some level. But you need to accept that he’s the one with the problem, not you. It’s not your fault; no matter what he says, it’s not your fault.”

Tears were falling from everyone’s eyes as I tried to lift my friend up and remove his shame over something well beyond his control. “I can’t change you until you’re out of that house, Bri. I just can’t risk that one night, he’ll push you, and you’ll fight back. You saw Jenny’s beast; yours will be as big, if not bigger. How long would any human last against that?”

“But I can’t do anything about it, Greg. The one time I stood up to him, he took it out on Mom. He beat her, and it was my fault. MY FUCKING FAULT!!” he screamed.

I grabbed him and held him tight as his fists pounded on my chest, expressing the rage and helplessness he’d felt for almost a year. I felt all my friends moving in to reach for him, to caress him, to reassure him. I held him until his fists stopped, and his screams turned to sobs. I didn’t let go then, either. I held him as his sobs slowed and his breathing became slower and deeper. I held him until he found the peace that can only come when you know you’re safe enough to sleep.

**********************************************

I continued to hold Brian as he slept. I wasn’t sure of my next move, but I knew his human body would hate me in the morning if I let him sleep very long in this twisted position. I turned to Scott and Billy.

“Carry him to our bed and hold him until you’re sure he’s sound asleep.” I turned to Jenny. “Go with them and take over holding him. I won’t tell you how to handle your personal life, but, in my opinion, he’s too fragile for anything—”

“Nothing like that will happen, Greg. Nothing’s changed between us.” She paused. “That’s a lie; I’m almost certain he’s my fated mate, but until he’s one of us, we won’t know. And I agree with you; he’s not ready, so I wait and support him.”

Billy deftly picked Brian up and carried him like an infant, with Scott and Jenny following, up the stairs. Once they were gone, I turned to my friends.

“All of Brian’s issues aside, are you still in a rush for me to change you, Jake? After seeing what happened between Jenny and me?”

For the first time I could remember, Jake was silent. It was Chris who broke the silence. “I can’t speak for everyone, but I think my dad was right. We’re all going to end up vampires eventually, Greg. The sooner we all accept that fact, the better off we all are.”

Jake and Josh were nodding as Chris went on, “I want to be very clear on this, Greg. You and I will decide when my time is right, but if something happens to me, don’t you dare hesitate. Don’t wonder if I want it; just do it. Do I have to put that in writing?”

I smiled and took his hand. “No, Chris, you don’t need a living will. You and Jakey saw me sworn as a baron, so you’ll understand this: I swear on my sword and my oath as a Baron of Dracul; your lives will not end if I have any say in the matter.”

Jake was still unusually silent when Josh said, “I’m not ready, Greg. I know that more now, after seeing Jenny’s meltdown—”

“Don’t think ill of her, Josh. Trust me; you have no idea how strong a mate’s pull can be. It’s on me to judge her, and I find her innocent of all wrong.”

Josh nodded. “Well, it still made me stop and think. And the stuff you said made me look at myself more than I have in my life if I’m being honest. I’d be afraid to meet my beast right now, Greg, I really would.”

I looked at Jake, and he was still silent. I could sense his confusion, his fear, his loneliness, and his pain. I thought I knew the cause. I reached out and stroked his cheek. “You ok, Jakey?”

He shrugged. “I’m ok, Greg.” We both knew it was a lie, and we both knew we both knew.

I grabbed him and effortlessly lifted him over his brother. “Fuckin’ show-off,” he muttered.

I ignored his words as I pulled his naked body to mine. I ignored his damp eyes as he searched my face. I ignored his growing member as I pressed our bodies together. And I ignored our friends as I passionately kissed my closest friend. When we separated, his eyes were still closed.

“You know I love you, Jakey?” I asked in a whisper.

“I know,” he sighed. “Just not like you love Scott.”

“No, not like I love Scott,” I replied.

“And now, not like you love Billy,” he softly said with his voice cracking.

“No, not like I love Billy,” I admitted.

“But you’ve loved me longer?” he asked with a hint of joy.

“Have you seen Billy naked?” I asked in a neutral voice.

I felt him start to giggle as he said, “Yeah, that thing would kill me.”

I shrugged. “I’ve already died. It’s overrated.”

“You’re an asshole, Greg Fowler,” he said, trying to scowl.

“Yeah, but you’ll always love me, and I’ll always love you. Is that enough for you?” I asked, sincerely concerned.

A tear ran down his cheek as he asked, “No, but it has to be, doesn’t it?”

“Can I tell you a secret?” I asked.

He looked up at his brother, then over to Chris, and rolled his eyes. “Sure. No one will know.”

“Scott loves you too, Jacob Jackson.”

He shook his head and sighed. “Someday, my prince will come.”

Josh giggled and said, “Yeah, all over your face. And you’ll love it.”

Jake giggled, but I could tell Josh was right. I leaned in close and whispered into his ear, “Scotty says you’re welcome in our bed until your prince shows up, Jakey.”

He quickly pulled away so he could examine my face, searching for any hint of a lie. I gave a slight nod, and he smiled. His eyes moved to linger on his brother for a moment. When they returned to mine, he gave a slight shake of his head.

“Anytime, Jakey,” I said before kissing him again. This time, he relished the kiss, and it was more loving than passionate. When we separated, I could sense his peace. He could stop pining for me and move on.

I wriggled around and stood, pulling Jake to his feet, then grabbed the other two and pulled them up. I grabbed Jake’s hand again and started walking.

“Where we going, Greg?” Jake asked nervously.

“Brian needs us. We’re all heading to my bed for the night.” I felt a slight squeeze of my hand in reply.

We found Brian on his back, in a deep sleep, with Jenny curled up at his side, her head resting in the crook of his right shoulder. Scott was cuddled up behind her with his arm draped across them both, his hand resting on Billy’s hip as he lay cuddled up on Brian’s other side. Without hesitating, I spooned up behind Scott and pulled Jake in behind me, pulling his arm over my mate and me. Josh and Chris snuggled in behind Billy, and though tight, we all fell into a peaceful sleep.

I woke when Jenny tried to extract herself from our pile of bodies. I tapped her shoulder and shook my head, then gently extracted myself and stood to stretch. I grinned as Jake instinctively moved forward, seeking to fill the empty space, and wrapped his arms around my mate. Once he was settled in his new space, I went and picked up my son.

After making quick work of his diaper, I opened my thumb and began to feed him as I walked to the balcony and reclined in one of the chairs overlooking the lake. Once again, I felt him seeking our connection, so I helped him find it. When it was secured, I saw a series of images; the faces of our family. As each image appeared, I quietly said their names.

“That’s me, I’m Dad,” I said when he locked onto my face. He paused, and then the image changed to Scott. “That’s Daddy,” I said. This continued through his entire feeding, with me naming ‘Uncle Jake’, ‘Uncle Josh’, ‘Uncle Brian’ and on through Chris, James, Donna, and Mary. When I saw Billy’s face, I said, “Uncle Billy.” I could immediately sense that he disagreed with me. He refused to change the image until I realized how wise the boy was. We settled on “Papa” for Billy, and he smiled and moved on to ‘Jenny.’

Charlie’s game reminded me of something. I was so lost in the game, and my thoughts, that I jumped when a hand touched my shoulder. I looked up, then glared at the face I saw.

“What’s wrong, Greg?” Brian asked.

“I let a human sneak up on me,” I grumbled with a grin.

I was shocked when he leaned down and gently kissed my lips. Reading the confusion on my face, he explained, “That’s for last night.”

I grinned and said, “I’ll have to abuse your mate more often.” That earned me a punch to the shoulder.

He sat in the other chair and sighed. I could tell he wanted to talk, but he didn’t want to talk. I simply enjoyed the game with my son and waited. Eventually, he asked, “How long have you known?”

I shrugged. “You’ve never worn long sleeves, Bri. You started keeping your hoodie on back in February, so has it been longer than that?”

“No. After New Years’, Mom noticed the money missing from my college fund and confronted him. At first, he just yelled and blamed the bank, saying it was a mistake. After she checked with the bank, he blew up and put his foot through the TV.”

“Bri?”

“Yeah?”

“You don’t have to go through all the details, bro,” I said.

“I want you to know it all, Greg.”

I nodded. “I appreciate that, Bri, but you don’t have to go through it, if you’re up for something, um… vampirey.” I flinched at the word, but it fit.

He thought for a moment, then asked, “Will it hurt?”

I shrugged. “No idea, bro. I was almost dead when James bit me.”

Shocked, he asked, “You’re not gonna—”

“No, Bri, just a sip. To be honest, I’m not sure if you’ll see the memories too or not, so it might be as bad as talking about it, but it might not be,” I explained, as honestly as I could.

He sat silently considering it. I gave him his space. Finally, he asked, “Where?”

I shrugged. “Right here? In the bed? A chair in the family room? You pick.”

“No. I mean, like… my arm? My neck?”

“Oh. Wherever you want, bro.” I immediately regretted it.

“My dick?”

“We’ll talk about a blow job another time, you pervert.”

He laughed. It was like music to my ears.

Suddenly, his wrist was in front of my face. I turned to carry Charlie to his bed when Jenny reached down and took him from me, giving me a smile and a nod. I stood and explained that he should sit in case he got dizzy.

With him settled into the chair, I knelt and took his wrist, and after adjusting the angle, I dropped my fangs and watched his face as I pierced his skin.

I paced my feeding as slowly as I could. I wanted time in his thoughts, not his blood. As I searched, I tried to keep an eye on his face, hoping to judge if he was seeing what I was. After what felt like only seconds, I found one. As I watched Brian’s father getting angrier, Brian’s face remained at peace; he wasn’t suffering through this again. I focused on the memories.

*******************************************

I watched as he put his foot through the TV. I moved to another, where I watched as an old-fashioned walking stick came down toward my, Brian’s, head. We put our arms up to protect our heads and felt the impact: once, twice, three, then a fourth time, cracking against the bones in our forearms. The memory changed, and we were in bed. The door flew open, and our father came storming in, screaming that the grass wasn’t going to mow itself. Without warning, he raised his foot and kicked us in our exposed ribs. The next blow hit our arms as we curled up, trying to protect our aching ribs.

*************************************

I could feel my tears falling from my cheeks onto Brian’s wrist as I watched fourteen more scenes. Some were less physical but very verbal, and some were so physically violent that I actually flinched. I’d seen enough, so I pulled off and gently licked his wrist, then kissed it before placing it in his lap as he dozed in the chair. I stood, and before I turned to go, I leaned down and gently kissed his forehead, whispering, “Never again.”

Copyright © 2023 Justin4Fun; All Rights Reserved.
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If you'd like to buy me a cup of coffee, a donut, or a bottle of blood, visit Justin's Ranch
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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What a powerful chapter sad and filled with hope! I have a bad feeling for Bri's dad run while you can you total loser! :devil:

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