Damian's Wolf - 14. Lysander
The three stared at each other in an awkward silence. Jordan couldn’t believe this. Their roommate was also his mate? What about Damian? He couldn’t leave the neko.
Just then, the neko cleared his throat quietly.
“Uh, hello. I’m Damian,” he said quietly. “I’m Jordan’s… mate, I guess…”
“Lysander,” the elf said, blinking rapidly. “But most people call me Sander. I’m sorry, I just… Wow… Um, why don’t you come in?”
“Did something happen?” Damian asked.
“Yeah,” Jordan said, placing a comforting arm around the neko. “It’s a little hard to explain.”
They entered the apartment, Jordan glancing around quickly. There was a full kitchen and a small hall that led to three different rooms beside the kitchen. A couch bisected the room they were in, a tv sitting on a low table with a gaming system below it. A bookshelf sat next to the tv, filled with books. Light streamed through a window in the kitchen, filling the apartment with a warm glow. The place looked and smelled freshly cleaned, the smell surprisingly free of harsh scents.
“Sorry, the place was a bit of a mess, so I spent the last two hours cleaning,” Lysander said apologetically. “Do you two need help getting your things?”
“Uh, we don’t have anything to bring in,” Jordan said.
“Oh. Ryan just told me someone needed a place to stay. Do you need anything?”
His voice still tugged at Jordan, the lyrical sound of an accent that was not from Astara.
“No, Damian and I can get some things together as soon as we look around a bit,” Jordan said, shaking his head a bit to clear it.
“Why don’t we go together?” Sander suggested. “We can get to know each other better.”
“Sure, but I think we need to let Damian know what’s going on.”
The neko stared between the wolves like a trapped cat.
“Relax Damian, it’s nothing bad… I think...:” Jordan said. “Uh, so you know how I claimed you as my mate this morning?”
Damian frowned, his ears turning down.
“He’s your real mate then,” the neko said quietly, looking at the ground.
“You are too,” Jordan said, tilting Damian’s chin back up.
The wolf leaned forward, pressing a gentle kiss to the cat’s lips. When they pulled away, Damian had a tiny smile on his face.
“I claimed you, and I do not back down from my promises. You are mine for as long as you will have me,” Jordan whispered.
Damian looked back at the elf who was watching them.
“I honestly don’t know.”
Jordan looked at the elf apologetically.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can just up and love you at the say so of my wolf.”
“That is perfectly understandable,” Sander smiled, almost in relief. “I hope someday the three of us can trust each other enough to consider ourselves mates.”
Jordan nodded slowly. They knew where they stood.
They bounced over a bump in the road, Jordan stuck between Damian and Sander. They had taken Sander’s truck, Jordan bringing his money inside the apartment before they left.
A list sat on Jordan’s phone, filled with things they needed for the apartment. Sander had already told them he could cover food for a month, but there were other things they needed to buy, and they had only six gold to buy them with.
“So what’s your story?” Sander asked suddenly, breaking the silence in the truck.
Jordan glanced at Damian, who seemed reluctant to talk. The werewolf shrugged. He wasn’t keen to share his story with a stranger either, but someone had to break the ice.
“There really isn't much to tell. I was turned about a year ago, tried to hide the disease. A friend took me in and gave me a place to stay. She knows about me and always pressured me to find other wolves. I tried to start a career in medicine, but never really got past the basics, so I tried to get a mage to teach me some healing spells. She found out I was a wolf after four months, and decided not to teach me any more. I found Damian about a week ago and took him in, but when our apartment burned down, I figured staying with a pack was better than freezing on the streets.”
“So, bad experiences all around,” Sander summarised.
“Well, except for finding Damian.”
“Do you know who changed you?”
“Eric Conner,” Jordan spat.
“What, do you know him?”
Sander frowned, turning down a side street.
“I knew him. He pissed off a couple wolves about a month ago and they tore him to shreds.”
“Good,” Jordan muttered. “What about you?”
“Nothing as sordid. I’m a born wolf. When I turned eighteen, my parents got all excited about me finding my mate, so they sent me out here. Apparently Astara is supposed to have one of the largest wolf populations in the south. I moved in with the North Pack two years ago, and here we are.”
“Where did you live before?” Damian spoke up.
“Mydara. My family likes to claim they are descended from King Paelius. I’m pretty sure they’re lying.”
“They have to be. King Paelius and his consort adopted a human daughter to carry their line. It’s where the royal tradition came from,” Damian said.
“Oh, you like history?” Sander smiled.
“I did my share of reading when I was younger,” Damian shrugged.
“And where do your people fit into the tradition? If I recall, one of the biggest points of the Rebellion was underrepresentation.”
“Queen Erin adopted a young neko in 1117, to foster a sense of unity after the war. If I remember correctly, most people at the time saw it for what it was, a desperate attempt to save Astara from the war that had devastated the agriculture of the north.”
Jordan listened silently to his companions banter back and forth, discussing the finer points of history. He was happy to see Damian coming out of his shell, even if it had been rather awkward at first. But what was he going to do with Sander? Jordan wasn’t sure he could handle two mates. He could barely take care of Damian.
The truck bumped again as they pulled into a car park, Sander stopping near the entrance of a small store.
“So this place is one of the wolf owned stores that I like to shop at. They have really good blankets, and their clothes aren’t that bad either,” the elf said, shutting off the car.
Damian slid out of the truck, dropping from the high seat with a thump. Jordan fell out next to him, looking around the car park warily. He wasn’t familiar with this part of town.
Damian’s hand clasped Jordan’s and the wolf looked at the neko.
“Stop worrying so much,” the cat whispered.
Jordan smiled thinly.
“Is it that obvious?”
Damian nodded, pulling up his hood with his free hand. His tail was tucked safely into his pants, hidden from sight. Damian was back in human mode.
Sander came around the truck, a click locking the doors.
“Are we ready to go in?” he asked.
Jordan looked at Damian, who nodded. Smiling, Sander led his mates into the store.
“How long do you two have off?” Sander asked, following Jordan as the wolf pushed a cart through the store.
“Our boss said until we get back on our feet. I’m hoping I can be back at work tomorrow, though Damian should probably take an extra day off.”
“Why?” Damian asked, walking beside Jordan. “I’m just as capable of working as you are.”
“I just thought you might want an extra day off, considering we were almost roasted last night.”
“Forgive me for pointing this out, but shouldn’t the same apply to you Jordan?” Sander said.
Jordan scowled, though he dared not look at the elf. He wanted to be angry, and if he looked at Lysander he would forget his anger.
“Perhaps you could both take one more day off and explore the complex? I will be gone in the morning, but maybe you can find a friend to show you around.”
“Maybe,” Jordan shrugged, his anger fading slowly.
They stopped in front of a shelf of blankets, Jordan and Damian both running their hands through the felts.
“We need to keep it cheap,” Jordan reminded the neko quietly.
“I know,” Damian said, pulling away from a large fluffy blanket.
The werewolf pulled out a medium sized blanket with an image of Quarius the Wolf-Mage on it. For fifteen copper, it was not bad. Catching Lysander’s grin, the man huffed.
“So I like a cartoon. Bite me.”
“If you want me to, mei aerael,” the elf’s grin widened.
Sander approached the man and whispered in his ear.
“I’m not yours yet, even if we are fated.”
He was cocky, like many elves Jordan had met. And the wolf tried not to hold it against him. He hadn’t minded much with Arisa; it was just a facet of their relationship. Maybe he just needed to look at this the same way.
Damian touched the wolf’s shoulder.
“Do you think we could share a blanket?” he whispered.
“Why not?” Jordan said, smiling at the idea. “This one is okay with you, right?”
Damian felt the soft fabric and smiled under his hood. Jordan placed the blanket into the cart as Damian nodded, and they continued through the store.
Jordan sat beside Sander, waiting for Damian to come out of the dressing room. The neko had been fearful about trying on new clothes, especially the clothes Sander had picked out, that would show off his fur, but Jordan had convinced him that he needed clothes, good clothes.
“Where do you two work, anyway?” Sander asked.
“Lucky…” the elf breathed. “You get to be around books all day?”
“Why, what do you do?”
“I’m a paramedic. I get to ride in ambulances.”
“Sounds… rather scary,” Jordan said.
“You learn to make split second decisions. Second guessing can lose lives. It’s great when it works, horrible when it doesn’t,” Sander shrugged.
The door to the dressing room opened, and Damian stepped out in a pair of blue pants and his shirt. His ears were hidden in his hair, but there was no hiding the calico tail that stood straight out behind him. He turned quickly, showing off the clothes.
Jordan took a deep breath at the sight of the neko. The pants were tight around the butt, and with them laced up over Damian’s tail, there was nothing Jordan couldn’t imagine back there.
“I don’t think those are the right ones,” Sander said. “Too… flashy. We don’t need people thinking you’re on the menu.”
Why had they invited Lysander again? Oh yeah, he had invited himself. Still, Jordan had to admit the elf had a point.
Damian vanished back into the dressing room, leaving the two alone again.
“He seems insecure about his fur,” Lysander said quietly.
“We both are,” Jordan admitted.
“You have a reason. Him… well he probably does too, but he shouldn’t be insecure. His colours are beautiful.”
“I told him he doesn’t have to hide himself around me.”
“No offense, but if my wolf wasn’t wanting to be all over you, I’d be hiding from you,” Lysander said. “You have this… menace about you. It’s frightening, yet soothing at the same time. Like, I know that if I was on your good side, no harm would ever come to me.”
“What do you mean if? You are on my good side. I’m just not that good with elves.”
“Oh. And here I thought I had pissed you off. I didn’’t realise you were racist.”
Lysander shook his head.
“It’s okay, Aerael. We’ll break you of that in time.”
Damian stepped out again, this time in a pair of black pants, looser than the last, yes still close fitting. They looked great on the neko, yet not revealing, and Jordan instantly liked them.
“I think those are the ones,” he smiled.
“Awesome. And now it’s your turn,” Lysander grinned, shoving several sets of clothes at the werewolf.
Jordan sighed, but took Damian’s place in the dressing room.
A werewolf as the voice of reason. Who would have thought it? Perhaps Lysander will be a good addition to this new relationship.
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