A Trip To Love - 8. Chapter 7
Waking early I just watched Tim as he slept peacefully without a care in the world. I wanted to show him that I was not going to let Mom cause a rift between us. I know that her inability to accept him as my mate hurts him even though he won’t admit it.
I just can’t understand how she can be so rude and ugly to him. I’ll have to ask Dad and see if he knows what’s going on with her. This isn’t the same mom that we had while growing up. She was loving and compassionate to everyone, not just the family.
I felt Tim start to stir and when I looked at his face, I saw his blue eyes looking into mine.
“Good morning, babe,” I said as I leaned in to give him a good morning kiss.
“Good morning, love. How long have you been awake?” he asked after returning the kiss.
“Only for a little while, I’ve enjoyed just watching you sleep. You look so peaceful and I didn’t want to wake you up.”
“I’ve been thinking about what your mom said about Jackie not knowing that we’re mates,” Tim ran his fingers along the side of my face and gazed into my eyes.
“Don’t think about what Mom or Jackie said, and don’t let it pressure you to do something that you’re not ready for,” I stated as I pulled him closer to me before leaning in to give him a quick peck on the lips.
“I’m not letting them pressure me into something but it did give me food for thought. What if we mark each other but hold off on completing the mating just a little while longer?”
“Are you sure? Because I don’t know if I would be able to stop at just marking you,” I started really thinking about what he was suggesting. I don’t really know about wolves mating but for us bears, once the process is started the urge to complete the mating gets stronger with each and every day.
“Yes, I’m very sure of this, more than anything else, you are my other half.” He rolled us until he was laying on top of me and I could feel his morning erection pressing into my hip.
I lifted my head and gently kissed him. The kiss soon turned deep and passionate. Tim started to grind his hips against mine as the kiss continued and deepened. I started to run my hands down his sides with a feather-like touch, from his shoulders down to his hips.
He pulled his lips away as he started to moan and gasp for breath. When he looked into my eyes I saw that they had darkened with passion and could see that his wolf was just under the surface. I could see his teeth start to elongate and knew that he would be marking me at any moment. I have been trying to hold back on marking him because I knew that he wasn’t ready, so it made my heart soar when he said that we could do the marking and finish the mating later.
Tim leaned in to nuzzle my neck and I knew that was where he was going to put his mark. I could smell his intoxicating scent and lifted my nose to the area between his neck and shoulder inhaling deeply.
Tim started to lick my shoulder, nipping it lightly causing me to moan, “Babe, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
He was still grinding against me bringing both of us closer to orgasm. As the orgasm rolled through us, we simultaneously clamped down on each other’s shoulders while riding out the immense pleasure that came from claiming our mate. Boy, was I glad that Dad had the rooms soundproofed when each of us reached puberty.
When we separated, Tim went into the en-suite, getting a warm, damp washcloth before coming out. He cleaning both of us before placing the washcloth in the hamper and climbing back into bed.
We laid there cuddling for several minutes before he rolled over to look at me and said, “That was amazing, I can only imagine how intense it will be when we finally finish the mating process.”
“Just so you know waiting is going to be difficult now, plus I’m going to be even more protective and possessive of you until the mating is complete.” I climbed out of bed, grabbed his hand to help him up, and headed for the bathroom so that we could take a shower and get ready to go. I glanced in the mirror while waiting for the water to warm up and saw the outline of a howling wolf. This was the mark that would show others that I am mated, to humans it just looks like a tattoo.
Tim took his time and washed me from head to toe before I returned the favor, paying close attention to the mating mark on each other’s shoulder. Right now it was just the imprint of the teeth marks and a faint outline like a tattoo that needs to be colored in, while Tim’s looked a bear paw print.
We got out of the shower, drying each other off which had a mutually satisfying result before we got dressed and finished packing our bags. While we were tidying up there was a knock on the door and I could smell that it was my dad.
“Come in Dad,” I called out as I zipped my suitcase shut.
“Son, can I talk to you guys for a minute?”
“Sure Dad, have a seat because I have a feeling that this is going to be a long talk.” Tim and I took a seat next to each other on the side of the bed, while Dad sat in my desk chair facing us.
“Well, I wanted to do some explaining but we need to wait for your brothers because they need to hear this too.” Just as he said that the boys were knocking on the door.
“Come on in guys and pull up some floor to sit on,” I chuckled.
“Shut the door behind you, Tyler,” suggested Dad.
Once the door was closed, Dad closed his eyes before he started to speak. “I think that it’s fair to let you guys understand why your mom is so against mates. You see, she and I are not fated mates. My mate died in a car accident just after we met when we were about seventeen. Your mom never met her fated mate, not even to this day has she met him. We met when we were in college and fell in love. I never expected to fall in love again since my mate had died, but then here was this beautiful woman that was showing an interest in me. As you know bears, unlike wolves, do not have a second-chance mate but we are able to fall in love with someone else after our mates have died or never met.”
“Dad, are you sure that she never met her mate?” asked Alex.
“Yeah, I’m sure. Either that or she met him after we were married and didn’t want a divorce, because we had already had Jon. I do remember a time where she got sullen and depressed just after Jon was born, but I just assumed it was postpartum depression and got her into counseling. After a while she was fine and things went back to normal.”
“So she doesn’t believe in the pull of mates and that we can easily go on and fall in love with someone who is not our mates?” asked Kyle.
“No she doesn’t. I don’t know what her issue about Jon being gay is, but that is why she isn’t concerned about you mating with someone who isn’t your fated mate.” Dad looked at me with sorrow in his eyes.
“Dad, it’s not your fault. You didn’t know that she would do this. It does make sense as to why she has been acting like she has but it doesn’t explain everything. But I’m willing to sit down with her and talk about why she is so against me being gay.”
“I will talk to her Son and let you know what she says.” Dad got up and headed towards the bedroom door before saying, “I want to have a family cookout before you guys leave and that will give you time to speak to your mom.”
The room was silent after Dad left as we were all digesting what he told us. “This means that unless she changes her mindset she will do this to us as well when that time comes.” Tyler shook his head as everyone stood up and headed towards the door.
As we exited the room we could hear Mom and Dad arguing downstairs.
“I will not let you chase away our oldest son! You need to decide what is more important, a relationship with your children or your misconceptions,” Dad bellowed.
We all looked at each other with stunned expressions on our faces. We had never heard Dad so mad. I started to head downstairs when Tim grabbed my arm and shook his head.
“I smell Jackie,” was all Tim had to say before I looked back down the stairs.
“I can’t believe you are going to make me choose,” cried Mom.
“I’m not making you choose, you’re doing that all on your own. But know this, you continue to push this and I will leave and take the boys with me if they want to come,” Dad responded somewhat calmer.
I could not believe what I was hearing. Even though they are not fated mates, I know that they love each other. I motioned for us to go back to my room just before I heard, “Tom you really shouldn’t be making these demands of Jennie. It’s not fair.”
“Jackie, you really need to stay out of something that is none of your business. This is a family matter and you are not family. In fact, why don’t you go ahead and leave?” suggested Dad with a slight growl.
“Now Thomas, I invited her for the cookout and it would be rude to make her go now,” Mom said desperately.
“Jennie, the cookout is a family event before Jon and Tim leave for Virginia. Like I just said, she is not family. If you want to spend time with her then she either needs to come back this evening or tomorrow but she is not welcome at the cookout.”
We got into our room before Tyler almost exploded with frustration. “What the HELL was she thinking inviting Jackie to a family event? Can you believe what Dad said to her and to Jackie?”
“Tyler calm down.” I pulled him into hug and whispered, “It will all be ok, don’t worry. Trust Dad, he knows what he’s doing.”
“I do trust Dad, but I don’t want my family to be split apart. You and Tim are leaving for Virginia, the twins won’t be at home for much longer either.” Tyler cried into my shoulder.
“Shhh. Tyler it will be ok. I honestly don’t think Mom would let that happen, you know how she is about ‘family’.” I rubbed circles on his back hoping to calm him down.
Tyler started to hiccup and I looked at Tim. I was at a complete loss at what to do, I had never seen Tyler break down like this. I knew that he had a gentle spirit but didn’t realize just how gentle until now.
Alex and Kyle came over joining in the hug to help our youngest brother feel better. When I looked at Tim I saw pride on his face and tears in his eyes. I waved him over to join the hug but he shook his head no and mouthed, “Its family time.”
I looked at him in shock. I could not believe that he didn’t feel that he was family and that hurt. He must have seen the hurt in my eyes because he came over and whispered in my ear, “We are family but he needs you guys right now.”
Tyler heard him and said, “You’re my brother too, now get in here.” He reached over and pulled Tim into the family hug between the two of us. I leaned over and kissed Tim on the side of his head to let him know that he is loved.
“Ok guys, enough with the mushy stuff,” Alex chuckled. There was a knock on the door.
“Come in, Dad,” I called out as we stepped apart.
After Dad had come in and shut the door he said, “I know that you heard part of my conversation with your mother and she has agreed to talk to you about her problem with you being gay, Jon. She won’t tell me what it is but is hoping that you will understand after she tells you.”
“I will listen Dad, but I can’t guarantee anything, she has done a lot of damage to our relationship and I still feel that some space is warranted.”
“Listening is all I can ask of you. Just know that I love all of you boys, and yes Tim that includes you, with all my heart and that no matter what, I’m behind all of you one hundred percent.”
“Thanks Dad. Is Jackie still down there, because I will not try to talk to Mom while Jackie is here? It’s none of her business what Mom and I talk about. Now if Mom wants to tell her that’s her decision.”
“No, Jon, Jackie has left. I told her that while you are here she is not welcome here, your mom can go visit her but she is not to come here because of her attitude."
Tim and I left my dad and brothers in the room to head downstairs to try and talk to Mom. I had my doubts that she would be completely honest with us but I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. As we turned the corner into the living room I saw Mom standing in front of the picture window looking outside. By the slump in her shoulders she just seemed as if she was defeated.
“Mom, are you ready to talk to us?” I asked as we took a seat on the loveseat and waited for her to turn and face us.
Without turning around she said, “Yeah I’m ready to talk to you, but I only want to talk to you, not Tim.”
“Too bad Mom. He is my mate and this affects him too, so he will be a part of this discussion no matter what.”
“Fine,” she grumbled. “As I’m sure your father has already told you, we are not fated mates. When we met and fell in love I had not met mine. I never really thought that I would find him. After a year we were married and had you by our second anniversary. I went into town to do some grocery shopping and felt this tingling at the back of my neck just before I smelled the most tantalizing scent.”
“You met you fated mate didn’t you?” Tim asked before looking at me.
“Yes, I met my fated mate. His name is Trevor and he was visiting the area with his husband. When we came face to face he looked absolutely shocked to find me. He asked me if we could talk, so the three of us went to the park. He told me that since I had mated with someone else and had a child that he would not mate with me, also that he was gay, therefore he would not leave his husband for a woman.”
“So because your mate rejected you for another man, you refuse to accept that my fated mate is male. That you are insisting that I mate with a woman. Just because you didn’t wait for your fated mate, doesn’t mean that I will give up my fated mate for your own satisfaction.”
“I just want you to be happy and I don’t see you being happy with a male.” Mom finally turned around to look at us and I could see tears running down her face. I looked at Tim before standing up to go and give her a hug.
“Mom, don’t cry. I know in your own way that you want me to be happy but what you need to understand is that I won’t be happy without my fated mate. I’m glad that you stayed with Dad but just because you were rejected by your mate does not mean that I should reject mine to make up for your past.” I walked back over to Tim, taking his hand in mine before sitting back down next to him.
Mom walked over to the couch and sat down looking at her clasped hands in her lap before looking up and saying, “Son, I can’t say that I understand you wanting to be with a man and I don’t really think that he is your fated mate but if that is what you want I will support you and will not continue to bring women around for you to possibly mate with.”
“Thank you for that Mom but you need to understand that me being gay is not a choice. Yes, your fated mate choose to be with someone that was not his mate but it was not a choice for him to be gay. I appreciate everything you have done for me throughout the years and we are willing to give you a chance. To put your mind at ease about us being fated mates I want you to look at Tim’s shoulder and see his claim mark.” Tim pulled his shirt collar to the side so that Mom could see his mark of the paw print. I pulled my shirt collar to the side so that she could see the outline of the howling wolf on my shoulder.
Mom looked at both shoulders and gasped, “I never thought that two men could be fated mates.”
“So in other words you didn’t believe me.” I was disgusted that she would let her opinions and issues to color her judgment and her to doubt her own flesh and blood. Tim grabbed my hand, rubbing small circles across the top of it to calm me down.
I looked over at Mom and shook my head. “Tim let’s go find Dad to see when this cookout is happening so that we can determine when we want to leave.”
“Are you still wanting to leave today, Babe?”
“Even after talking with me, you’re still going to leave early?” Mom was incredulous. Tim and I got up to head upstairs to talk to Dad.
Dad and the boys were still in our room when we got upstairs. After closing the door I asked Dad, “Did you hear what she said?”
“Yeah, I did and I can’t believe that she never told me that she had met her fated mate. Ok, well that’s in the past let’s move forward from here. You’re still planning to leave today?”
“Yeah, I think that would be for the best. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she will change her attitude towards Tim but I think that we need some space so that we can think this through.” I pulled Tim into my arms because I just needed to smell his scent to calm my nerves.
“It’ll be ok, Babe.” Tim wrapped his arms around me, leaned in on tiptoes, and placed a swift kiss on my lips just letting me know that he’s there for me and that he loves me.
“Well, I’m gonna head to the store and pick up the meat and other items for the cookout. Why don’t you guys go ahead and wash up your dirty laundry so that you can pack it and then pack your SUV so that we can just focus on being a family and spending time together.”
“Sure thing, Dad. Tim, can you grab the bag with the dirty laundry in it and I will meet you downstairs?”
“Sure thing, Hun.” Tim grabbed the bag and followed Tyler out of the room.
“Dad, do you think this change of heart that Mom has had will last?” I asked as I sat on the edge of the bed.
“Yeah, I do think it will last. I think she has realized just what she almost lost.” Dad clasped my shoulder before leaving me alone in the room to think. When I didn’t come downstairs Tim came up and found me sitting on the bed looking out the window.
“Babe, you ok?” Tim sat on the bed next to me, wrapped his arm around my waist and leaned his head on my shoulder. I could feel the love he has for me just radiating from him through our partial mate bond.
“Yeah, I’m fine, just stunned is all. Tyler get you squared away on the laundry?” I rested the side of my head against his.
“Yeah it’s in the washer as we speak. I’m gonna check my e-mail if you’re ok,” he hesitated before I nodded my head and he walked over to the desk where his laptop was sitting.
“Hey Jon, come look at this. I got an e-mail from my best friend Jeremy.” I went over to the desk and looked over Tim’s shoulder to read the e-mail.
Guess I should let you know that I may not be here when you get here. It seems that my mate is visiting with Alpha Jefferson to build pack relations with a pack out of Texas.
You know that I have no problem with you being gay but I never thought that my mate would be a guy. He’s the Theta to Alpha Jamie Hannah.
I don’t know what to do. I need your advice.
“I never saw that coming. Now I’m really glad that he broke up with Sally.” Tim sat back in the chair and rubbed his forehead.
“What ya thinking, Babe?” I asked as I rubbed his shoulders to relieve some of the tension from the last couple of days.
“I’m thinking that I’m glad he found his mate but I’m just sad that he may be moving away. I mean his mate is a Theta in another pack, he’s gonna need to go home eventually and he’s gonna take Jeremy with him.”
“Well, you had better e-mail him back and let him know that it’s ok for him to go and to treasure his mate always.”
“You’re right. I’m positive that he’s freaking out over his mate being a guy but I think he will be ok with it after he has time to really think about it.” He clicked the reply button and began to type.
It’s awesome that you have found your mate. I wish I was there to help you out a little better.
Here’s my advice: stop overthinking and treasure your mate. He was made specifically for you. He’s not gonna hurt you but will love and protect you. If he has to go back to Texas, go with him and build a life with him. Your family will understand.
Call me tonight and we can talk more about it.
Jon says hi and I will see you in about a week.
“There, e-mail sent, I just hope that he calls tonight. I know that he will make the right decision for him. I just hope that Sally leaves them alone. I heard your dad get back and can smell the charcoal already. Let’s go see if he needs any help and check on the laundry.” Tim stood up from the desk and wrapped his arms around my waist, laying his head against my shoulder.
I hugged him back before we broke apart and headed downstairs to see what all Dad had bought. Turns out he almost bought out the butcher with steaks, burgers, chicken, and pork chops. Well we are bears, it takes quite a bit of food to fill us up. Mom had been in the kitchen making potato salad, macaroni salad, and preparing corn to go out on the grill.
Our clothes were ready to go in the dryer so Tim transferred everything over so that we could spend time with my family and just hanging out. Alex brought out the Frisbee and we spread out to toss it back and forth while Dad manned the grill.
When it was time to eat Dad called us over to the picnic tables that we have in the backyard. I helped Mom carry the salads out of the kitchen and out to the tables so that we could all sit down and eat.
It was as if the last couple of years had never happened and we were the happy family again. It seemed as if a switch had been flipped in Mom, there was no mention of mating with a female to produce cubs, no snide or ugly comments about my mate being male.
“So how long are you planning to be gone for?” Dad asked as he quickly glanced at Mom.
“Not sure, we were kind of thinking of living in Charlottesville and coming back for visits.” I grimaced as I saw the disappointed look on Mom’s face.
Tyler reached over and grabbed some of the potato chips off of my plate before I could stop him.
All too soon we were done eating and were cleaning up the tables taking everything inside. Tim left to go get the clothes out of the dryer and take them up to our room to finish packing.
Tyler pulled me aside and asked, “You are coming back right?” My leaving was always the hardest on him and he always felt like I was abandoning him.
I pulled him into a hug before replying, “I will never abandon you, I will always be your brother, and even if I move to Virginia you will always be welcome there.”
“Ok.” I could tell that he was still emotional because I could hear the sniffles as he was trying to not cry so that I wouldn’t feel guilty about leaving with Tim. I could hear Tim coming down the stairs as Tyler pulled out of my arms and wiped his eyes. “Damn allergies.”
“It’s ok to cry, it doesn’t make you any less of a man.” Tyler and I headed to the front door where Tim was standing next to the bags that he, Alex, and Kyle had brought down. When Alex and Kyle saw us they grabbed the bags and started taking them out to the SUV so that we could get on the road. I looked in the living room and saw Mom and Dad standing there looking out the window but I could see that Mom was crying by her reflection in the glass.
I looked at Tim before heading into the living room to say good-bye to my parents.
“Mom, we will be back but I think that for now we need to just take baby steps in rebuilding our relationship. Ok?” I pulled her into a hug, rubbing my hand up and down her back in a soothing manner
“Son, give us a call to let us know that you made it to Iowa safely, ok?” Dad clasped me on the shoulder and I saw him wave Tim into the room with his other hand. “Tim get in here and say good-bye to us too.”
Tim came in and gave Dad a hug and glanced at Mom trying to get a read on what she might be thinking.
“Come give me a hug, Tim. I’m sorry I have been so rude to you while you’ve been here. Be safe on your trip and let us know that you have arrived safely. Take good care of my son, and welcome to the family.” Mom stepped out of my arms only to hold her arms out to Tim waiting for him to give her a hug.
Once everyone had hugged us good-bye we loaded up in the SUV to head out for our first stop which was going to be Billings, Montana. As I pulled away from the curb I saw Mom crying into Dad’s chest, along with Kyle and Alex on either side of Tyler. I glanced at Tim as he reached over, took my hand, and gave me a smile before turning and looking out the windshield.
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