Jared drifts blissfully in the muzzy space between sleep and wakefulness. His eyes closed and his brain slowly coming on-line. He had the most incredible dream during the night, one of those bright and lucid dreams that stays with you, lingers like a familiar memory when you wake up. Even now the perfect scent of mate, the taste of ecstasy, the feel of the softest creamiest skin below his fingers, drifts on the edge of his senses, vivid and fresh. The dream was so real, so detailed, so overwhelming, Jared almost feels as though he could reach out and touch the imaginary perfect man he dreamt that he mated with.
With a yawn, and a crack of his shoulders, he stretches out across the width of his bed - and almost screams in the most embarrassing way when his arm collides with a warm body. Eyes flying open, he jack-knifes upright, the last embers of sleep snuffed out in one pulse-racing second.
Apparently it wasn't a dream. There's a gorgeous man sleeping in his bed. A gorgeous man that smells of mate. Like a gallon of ice cold water crashing over his head, Jared's memories of the night before come rushing back.
They saved Jensen. He fucked Jensen. He mated Jensen.
Well, holy shit.
His mate is a human. Holy shit! His family is gonna freak the fuck out. Which is something Jared is not doing right now. No siree.
Last night, with Jensen's scent in his nose, and with Jared's wolf so lively, so near the surface, so excited to have found his mate, he never thought twice. Once Jensen made it clear he was fully on-board with the mating plan, Jared rushed straight to the main event, without pause for thought of the consequences. And it's not that he regrets that decision. Jensen, real-life Jensen, lying beside him, snuffling softly in his sleep, is beautiful. From the powdering of freckles across his nose, to the generous bow of his lips, from the thick sweep of his eyelashes to the sharp cut of his jaw, he is picture-pretty perfection. But...now what?
This isn't the awkward morning-after of a one-night stand; clothes flung on without making eye contact, phone numbers exchanged out of politeness and promptly tossed in the trash, maybe stilted conversation over a rushed cup of coffee. No this morning after is going to bring a whole new level to the meaning of the word awkward. How does that conversation even go - 'so hey, you remember last night, when you were almost ritually sacrificed and then discovered that werewolves were real; good times huh? Oh yeah and then we fucked, and now we're mated for life! And what was your last name again?'
Yeah, that's going to go well, Jared can just tell.
Next to him, sound asleep, and thankfully oblivious to Jared's internal melt-down, Jensen grumbles something indistinguishable, rolls over onto his side, snuggles his face into Jared's pillow and burrows under the sheets. Jared lets out an unsteady breath, and slowly and very carefully slides out of bed. It's probably best he calm down before Jensen wakes up. One of them freaking out at a time is more than enough.
Jared picks his way through the abandoned clothes littering the floor, grabs a pair of clean-ish jeans from the back of his chair and tip toes out of his bedroom, wincing as the door clicks shut behind him, the noise remarkably loud in the otherwise silent apartment. Frozen on the spot, he listens through the door, just to make sure that he hasn't woken up Jensen. After a moment, happy that there are no signs of life, Jared wriggles into his jeans and heads straight for his coffee-machine, and almost immediately tramples on his cell-phone lying in the middle of the floor. Thankfully it’s unscathed when he picks it up, the tough case protecting it from Jared’s clumsy feet and the fall to the floor it took last night, presumably when he and Jensen were making their way to the bedroom.
Suddenly with his cell-phone in his hand, the thought of coffee goes straight out of Jared's head. There's only one thing he can think of doing. One thing that might help. He calls his mom.
"Hey, baby," His mom answers the phone, slightly out of breath like he's caught her on the hop.
"Hi, mom," Jared feels better already just hearing her voice.
"Is everything okay? It's not like you to call before noon, especially not after a full moon."
"Something happened." Jared says, struggling to figure out a way to subtly tell her exactly what. "I, well, last night, we..it's kinda awkward, but we-"
"Sweetie, I don't want to rush you, but I'm just on my way out the door."
"Oh," Jared says, a little deflated. "Sorry, I can...y'know...call back later...when you're not-"
"Don't be silly, Jared." His mom says, warmness soothing over her distracted impatience. "I've always got time for my baby. Just take a deep breath and start at the beginning."
Jared takes her advice, inhales deeply, and starts at the beginning. "I met my mate." Not the beginning then, more like skipping to the main point.
"You what? You...wow! That's...that's wonderful sweetie." Jared gets the impression his mother just sat down.
"Yeah, it was pretty sudden."
"Well, these things can be. So, who is she? Do we know her family? How did you meet her?"
Jared swallows hard. His mom knows he's bi, so this shouldn't be so awkward, but...she always did hope he'd settle down with a nice were-girl. "He, mom. My mate is a he."
"Oh, honey that's okay. You didn't think I'd mind did you. You know your father and I don't care about that."
"And he's human."
"Oh-" His mother definitely sounds taken aback this time, but she does her best to cover it. "Well, that's fine too, Jared. I mean I always thought....but no, that's fine. You can't help who you fall in love with can you? So, does he know? Did you explain about the whole were-thing? How did he take it?"
Jared answers all her questions by telling the story from the start. Without going into explicit detail. Neither he nor his mother, he doubts, wants a blow by blow description of the actual mating.
"So, you actually - literally - mated?"
"Yes," Jared admits. "That was...yes...he wanted...and I.." he trails off, there is no way to make last night sound like a great idea.
"Oh, Jared, I know it can be hard once you scent your mate, but it might have been a better idea to wait a while."
"I know, mom," Jared tries not to whine like a twelve year old, but doesn't quite succeed.
"Did you mark him?"
"No!" Jared says, thankful that at least he was able to control his wolf enough to prevent that final and rather brutal mating ritual. "I didn't think he'd...no...not our first time."
"Hmmm," his mother doesn't sound impressed. "You know you're going to have to soon. An unbitten wolf-mate is too much of a target. At too big of a risk. If a wolf from another pack scents him, scents you all over him, he could be in very real danger."
Jared groans. He really can’t do anything right."Shit, mom. I didn't think. I'll talk to him."
"Don't leave it too long, Jared."
"I won't, I promise." Jared sighs, anxiously combs his fingers through his hair, pushing his bangs away from his face. "I really messed up, didn't I?"
"Well, sometimes these things happen. And it's done now," Jared's mom says, as practical as always. "There's no point in blaming yourself. It could have been a lot worse. I mean you did use protection didn't you?"
"You did use protection?"
"Oh, Jared!" The disapproval is undisguised this time.
"I know mom, I know, but it was just all so....so sudden and overwhelming, and there was no time...and anyway, it's not like STD’s affect us, and-" Jared chuckles a touch hysterically, remembering his wolf getting a bit over-excited at the thought of breeding his pretty mate, "It's not like he's going to get pregnant, is it?"
"I suppose it's unlikely. Not the first time. Not a human. Unless of course.."
"Unless what?" Jared asks, his belly squirming uneasily.
"As long as it wasn't a full moon?"
"You know it was mom."
"And as long as you didn't knot him?"
Jared pales. "Well, yeah, I mean-" He thought that was obvious with the whole mating thing.
"And as long as he wasn't a virgin? He wasn't really a virgin was he, Jared?"
"So you found your mate, a virgin, on a full moon and knotted him?"
"Oh god!" Jared repeats, voice jumping a full octave. "That's a myth though, right? An old wives tale?"
"Is your cousin Marie a myth?"
"Oh holy mother of god!" Jared squeals. Calling his mother, it turns out, isn't giving him the reassurance he was looking for. Maybe he should have called Chad instead. Or maybe not."What am I gonna do, Mom?"
"Well, you're going to do what you didn't do last night and talk to the boy, calmly and rationally."
Calmly and rationally? Jared makes a strangled noise in his throat. He couldn't manage calm and rational right now if his life depended on it.
"Is it too late to...y'know...do anything about it?" Jared asks. Maybe if there was a way out of this mess, it would be easier to explain to Jensen about the whole maybe-baby thing.
"It's a were-baby, Jared, human medicines don't work the same way. The results of taking morning after contraception can be terrible, you know that."
Yep, he did. He was hoping for some kind of miracle repreive.
"And really, Jared." His mom is unhappy, and not hiding it; the idea of terminating a were-pregnancy doesn't sit easily when their pack is one of the smallest. And it’s her hypothetical grand-child they're discussing. "Would you want that? This is your baby you're talking about?"
"Mom, it's not just mine and it's not even a baby yet. It's barely a cluster of cells. And I'm only twenty-two and Jensen is...hell, I don't even know how old Jensen is, but he's younger than me. And God....I don't know anything about him." The fact hits Jared over the head like an anvil. He knows nothing about the beautiful boy in his bed. They're mated, destined to be together for life, Jensen might even be pregnant and Jared doesn't know the first thing about him. Not his last name, where he’s from, what he’s studying. He doesn’t know anything about Jensen’s family or friends, doesn’t know if he’s a night owl, or a morning person, how he takes his coffee, Jared doesn't even know how Jensen likes his eggs. If he likes eggs. He might be allergic to eggs. Jared might inadvertently kill him because he doesn't know-
"Jared? Jared. Jared!"
"Uh, sorry mom," Jared's says, a tremble in his voice and an uncontrollable twitch in his knees; he only just manages to make it to his sofa before they give way altogether.
"It's okay, sweetie, just put your head between your legs for a minute and take some deep breaths."
Jared's mom waits surprisingly patiently for him to get his shit together. It takes more than a minute until he regains the power of speech. "Sorry, mom, it just hit me how big this all is."
"Of course it's big, sweetie. You just met the love of your life. It's the biggest thing ever. And the most exciting."
Jared hums thoughtfully at that. He is excited, he supposes, underneath the pant-wetting terror and mind-numbing panic.
"Now," His mom continues briskly, and Jared can quite clearly picture her looking at her wristwatch, "I really do need to get going honey, but I want you to call me later, after you talk to your mate. And of course you need to bring him home to meet us, and the pack. Soon."
"The pack?" Jared chuckles nervously. "Maybe that could wait." At least until Jared finds out a bit more about his mate. Small things like his age. And his last name. And if he's going to kill Jared for dragging him into this whole were-mess.
"Well, we'll talk about that later," his mom says, meaning I'll talk and you'll do what you're told. "This is good news, Jared, honey. I know it's a bit of a shock - sudden matings always are - but they do have a way of working out, you'll see."
They say their goodbyes, and Jared's left sitting staring at his cellphone pondering his mother's words. It's true that matings are nearly always successful. Even the ones that happen out of the blue; two strangers, eyes meeting across a crowded room, or in the case of his aunt and uncle, two strangers crashing into each other in a Walmart parking lot. The relationships may start with an explosion of fireworks; dizzying pheromones and intense attraction, but inevitably a bond develops, deep and binding, that only grows stronger in time, twining the pair together.
A nervous cough alerts Jared that he is not alone. And it's a sign of how distracted he is that he didn't notice Jensen's approach sooner. His senses are sharp enough that Jensen shouldn't haven't been able to creep up on him. Jared snaps his head towards the doorway and his mate is right there, standing shyly, wearing Jared's robe, untied, and a pair of boxers, Jared's boxers, that hang loose on him, balancing temptingly low on his narrow hips. Above them his belly - and it might be Jared's imagination, but he doesn't think so - his belly curves in a way that it didn't last night, the pale skin plump and soft. But then Jared remembers knotting Jensen, remembers pumping load after load of come into him, filling him, his knot locking them together for hours, sealing all that spunk deep inside of Jensen as he shivered and gasped in Jared's arms.
Jensen's eyes go dark, his scent sweeter, headier, and Jared knows that he's remembering too. Or he's picking up on the waves of possessive hunger seeping from Jared.
"Jensen," Jared says, his voice a hoarse plea, rather than calm greeting he intended. He wants to drag Jensen back through to the bedroom right now. Wants to taste all that skin again, wants to make Jensen gasp and moan and beg, wants to fill him up and smell himself all over his pretty little mate.
"Jared?" Jensen takes a tentative step forward, then stops, looks confused, his fingers tracing over one of the angry marks Jared's teeth scraped across his skin, not the bite of a mating mark, but not far away from it. "Last night, I...we...you said...you said we should talk-" His words are at odds with the raw lust that Jared can scent. And that's what shakes him free from the urge, instinctual, visceral, to charge across the room and take what's his. To mate. If Jensen can fight his basest of desires, then so can Jared. He has to. Has a responsibility here, to his mate.
Dropping his cellphone, Jared shakes his head, forces himself to focus, clears his throat with a cough. "Jensen, hey." His words are strained, but at least they’re less hungry wolf and more normal, if slightly awkward, guy. "I hope I didn't wake you."
Jensen shrugs, then shakes his head. "No..no, you didn't. It's fine. I...just....fuck...last night...I think....I'm a little confused. I mean, I remember what happened, with the guys in the woods and your friends, and then after...here....but it's insane right? It's totally freaking insane. So I think you need to tell me what really happened. I was drunk right? Or drugged out of my head?"
Jared licks his lips nervously. "You weren't drugged, or drunk. It's true, what you remember - real. Everything. Those idiots last night trying to sacrifice you, and us rescuing you, and uh...us being werewolves...that's really real, and you and me, being mates, that's...I mean that happened."
Jensen stares at him across the room, green eyes wide and unblinking.
"Are you...are you okay?" Jared asks.
Jensen grabs the edges of the robe and pulls it around himself, hunching his shoulders. Jared's heart sinks. "Mates?" Jensen asks, his eyes flittering around the room anxiously, unable to meet Jared's gaze. "What exactly does that mean?"
"It means what you think it does," Jared explains softly. "Wolves, werewolves mate for life. Once we find our mate...it's like...it's like-" Jared scrambles for a way to explain. "It's like two halves of one soul coming together. Completing each other. The bond between the two is sacred, unbreakable."
"And I don't get any choice in this?"
Jensen's voice is strung tight. Jared tries to keep his soft and level. Tries to exude a calm assurance he doesn't feel.
"It's not a question of choice, Jensen. It's fate."
"I don't believe in fate," Jensen frowns. "Fate, destiny; it's all a load of horse shit. There's no great plan, just free-will and choices, good and bad, that lead to limitless possibilities, not an inevitable destination."
"You made the choice last night," Jared points out. "You made the decision to come home with me. You wanted to sleep with me. I tried to slow things down, Jensen. I told you to back off, remember? You said you wanted me to be your first, your only."
Jensen's face flames at the memory, but his words are more angry than embarrassed. "That wasn't a fucking marriage proposal, Jared."
"Are you saying you don't want me?" Jared asks, standing up and taking a step towards Jensen.
"Yes...no!" Jensen takes an equal step back, keeping the distance between them. "I'm saying I don't know. This is all moving really goddamn fast. We had sex, and it was, well, it was fucking amazing. And yeah, maybe I wouldn't mind doing that again, and yeah, maybe I'd like to get to know you, see you again, date, you know - normal shit. It doesn't mean I'm ready to settle down and adopt babies or anything."
Jared blanches. Jensen is not oblivious.
"What? What the hell was that look for?"
"Jensen, last night...look...this is as big a shock to me as it is to you, I swear." Jared pushes his hair back from his face, tugging on it in frustration. "But last night, we...okay, so there's this thing, and I thought it was like a myth or something, but apparently...well..."
"Jesus, Jared spit it out already; you're freaking me out here."
Jared does just that, spits it out. "So, you might be pregnant."
"What?" Jensen squeaks. "Say that again."
"It's a thing, when you mate for the first time, on a full moon, when you knot...with a virgin."
"You're joking, right?" Jensen gapes at him.
Jared shakes his head, takes another step towards Jensen, thinks maybe, somehow, if he could just touch him he could settle the frantic beating of Jensen's heart, of his own heart.
Jensen storms away before Jared even gets near him, back through to the bedroom. Jared follows close behind listening to him rant the whole way. "This is not fucking funny. It's fucking insane. You're a lunatic. An absolute fucking lunatic. I'm a guy," he stops dead and spins on his heel, pointing his finger right in Jared's face. "I'm a goddam guy. I can't get pregnant! It's impossible. I don't have a..a-" Jensen drops his finger and points at his crotch, his complexion paling at a worrying speed to a sickly shade of green. "I don't have a...a...any of the right equipment."
Jared swallows hard. "It's a were’ thing?" he says, really not sure why it comes out as a question rather than a statement of fact. "My mom could explain the whole baby thing better than me." It's a cop-out, but Jared is a little off-balance, and a lot freaked out.
"Your mom?" Jensen snarls, then takes off again, barging into the bedroom and rummaging through the clothes on the floor until he finds a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans, hauling them on quickly, ignoring the fact they drown him. "I don't want to talk to your mom. I don't want to talk to you."
"Jensen," Jared tries to catch Jensen's hand as he careers by on the way out of the room, but Jensen shoves past him with a fierce glare. "Just slow down, please. I know this sounds insane, but just give me a chance to-"
"Am I free to leave?" Jensen spits at him, marching through the hall towards the door. "Or are you going to keep me locked up here?"
"What," Jared's nose crinkles up in confusion. "Of course you're free to leave, but Jensen-"
Jensen turns his attention to the locks on Jared's door, and after only a little difficulty with the stiffest one, manages to open it. Then, shooting one last withering glare at Jared closes it firmly behind himself with a defiant and definite slam.
"You don't have any shoes on," Jared hears himself say faintly. "And I didn't ask you about the eggs."
Jensen panicked. He'll admit that much. But he'd like to think that most people would in his position. Fucking werewolves. How ridiculous is that.
He storms moodily through the streets, freezing cold and miserable, glaring at anyone that dares look at him, which is pretty much everyone he passes. He does, he suppose, look a strange sight; the clothes - dripping off his body - obviously aren't his; he hasn't so much as washed his face or brushed his hair, and he has no shoes. He looks down at his naked toes just visible below the hem of Jared's ridiculously baggy jeans and pouts.
How does he manage to end up in these bizarre situations. He's not blameless this time, far from it, Jensen will put his hands up to that. Last night, he was perfectly aware of what Jared was, had seen his wolf-form with his own eyes, and that hadn't stopped him from enthusiastically tackling Jared into bed. And it definitely hadn't dampened his enjoyment any when Jared was making his body come alive like never before. And this morning when he woke up, sticky and aching in the most wonderful way, the only thing troubling Jensen was that he was alone. But, lying on his own in a strange bedroom, doubts had gradually started to niggle, bubbling up like acid, eating away at the memories of the night before. The more he thought about everything that had happened, the more ridiculous it had all seemed. And then when he had set eyes on Jared again, the burst of want that had slammed into him, almost stolen the oxygen from his lungs, had sent him reeling. Even breathing in the air near Jared had been intoxicating. And terrifying. It wasn't normal. It definitely wasn't sane.
So yes, he'd panicked, but in retrospect, considering the whole pre...preg..., the whole b..ba...ba...ba-b, shit, Jensen can't even think the word without hyperventilating. Okay, deep breath, rephrase; considering the whole sexually transmitted complication, he was absolutely right to lose his shit. He stares down at his belly in disgust. He can't be. He just can't be. But he remembers the expression on Jared's face, and he wasn't joking. He wasn't exactly jumping for joy either. He looked like he'd been whacked in the belly with a two-by-four. Which is kind of how Jensen feels. Huh.
Ten minutes later, Jensen’s face hurts with scowling, his fingers are blue with the cold and his feet might be bleeding, but on the plus side they're completely numb so he can't tell for sure. There’s also a sticky slick mess sliding between his thighs, and he knows that Jared’s come is leaking from his hole. That thought shouldn’t be hot, it should be repulsive. But there’s a little part of Jensen that’s secretly pleased Jared’s seed is still buried deep inside him, proof of their mating.
There's a distinct possibility that he's starting to regret running away like a petulant kid. It isn't going to solve anything. And honestly, the further away from Jared he walks, the worse he feels. Like there's a crack in his heart, a fault-line that weakens with every step he takes.
Maybe he should go back, see if there's a way to sort this mess out. Ignoring the whole possible impossible complication for a moment, if this mating thing is true, then Jared has as much or as little say in the matter as Jensen. And he never forced himself on Jensen. He was protective, sure, and possessive, but fuck that had been hot as sin.
Jensen stops dead on the sidewalk, dithering on the spot. Instinctually, he wants to turn right around and go back to Jared's. Intellectually, he knows he should continue straight on to his dorm, take some time to think, to figure out how he feels. Maybe research into this whole werewolf thing a little bit. He's not the kind of guy that relies on his instincts, he's more about reason than gut reaction, but then last night...last night he'd thrown common sense out the window and that had turned out....well, pretty damn good in terms of orgasms.
The longer he stands still, the colder he grows. And the lonelier and more uncomfortable he feels. People are openly staring at him, avoiding him as though his weirdness is contagious. He turns around, faces in the opposite direction, towards Jared, hops from foot to foot indecisively then spins back around towards his dorm and takes a step, then stops. It must look as though he's doing some kind of strange dance in the middle of the sidewalk. When he sees a mother grabbing her kid and hauling him away from Jensen's vicinity, he knows he has to make a decision before someone calls the cops about the man standing barefoot and half-crazed scaring small children in the street.
Jared, he decides, with a sudden concrete certainty that makes him wonder why it took him so long to figure it out. He wants to see Jared. Sort this mess out together instead of trying to deal with the madness of the situation on his own.
Turning around for the final time, he braces himself for the walk back to Jared's apartment.
As it turns out he needn't have bothered. The decision about what he should do, where he should go is taken abruptly out of his hands. In a surreal blur the ground disappears from under his feet, the air punched from his lungs as he's propelled bodily into a nearby alley. His head slams against a wall, and the world goes dark before lights spark in front of his eyes. He's still dizzy when his vision clears, and in danger of puking.
His first thought, other than ow, is that he's being attacked by the world's thickest mugger. If he's not wearing shoes, or a jacket, or his own clothes, it's a pretty safe assumption that he's not going to have a wallet or cellphone.
"Jenny! Fancy meeting you here." The voice, dripping with spite, is horribly familiar.
Jensen blinks and waits for the world to stop wobbling around him. When it does, the two faces he sees, spitting distance from his own, sends his stomach plummeting down to his missing boots. They are, clearly recognizably, buddies of his very-ex boyfriend Michael. Jensen might be able to recall their names if his head hadn't just collided with a brick wall. They aren't quite as scary without their masks on, or any better looking, but they are, without a shadow of a doubt, two of the guys that kidnapped Jensen and tried to sacrifice him the previous night. One of them has a slightly squint and swollen nose along with two black eyes and the other has a scrape across his cheek, like a major case of rug burn. Or like he'd been dragged across the ground by a giant wolf.
"I thought you'd be wolf chow by now," Rug-burn says, looking Jensen up and down, his eyes lingering on the bruises sucked into his neck. "Well, look at that," he digs his thumb into the teeth-marked bruise. "Something’s been chewing on you all right! What happened Jenny, you been used as a dog toy all night? You look pretty damn rough."
"You don't exactly look your best either, asshat," Jensen spits, knocking the guys hand away from his neck, rubbing his fingers across the tender imprint of Jared's mouth on his skin.
"Yeah, well, my night didn't go quite according to plan - thanks to you," Rug-burn says, his eyes narrowing. Behind him, bust-nose dude is cracking his knuckles in what Jensen presumes is supposed to be a menacing fashion.
Jensen should doubtless be more scared, and don't get him wrong he's not not scared, but he's far more pissed, and tired, and goddamn cold, and his feet are starting to burn, and really he has bigger things to worry about than whiny frat boys.
"Your diabolical plan of world domination, or whatever the hell that stupid stunt was all about, bombed because it was a dumb fucking idea in the first place." Jensen pushes himself off the wall, relieved to find that the world's stopped spinning around him, leaving only a dull ache at the back of his eyes. "I didn't ask you to kidnap me, and I definitely didn't ask you to sacrifice me to a...a...wolf goddess. And it's not like I was the one that performed a summoning ritual that alerted a pack of fucking werewolves to my utter stupidity, is it?"
Rug-burn...Blaine....that's his damn name....Blaine looks confused by Jensen's outburst, taking a step back and almost knocking into bust-nose dude.
"Now, if you don't mind," Jensen says, straightening his shoulders. "I need to go and sort out this fucking shit-fest that you caused."
Rug-burn guy - Blaine - actually stands aside, gawking at Jensen as though he's suddenly grown five inches and developed a six pack. Unfortunately bust-nose dude, Jensen still can't remember that fucker's name, isn't as easily awed. And holds more of a grudge.
"I don't think so, Jenny," he says, striding forward, shoving Jensen hard and catching him in the solar-plexus, a lucky blow - not for Jensen – that strikes him right in the middle of a boot shaped bruise. Jensen grunts in pain, almost doubling over. "You're going nowhere. We've got a pack of crazy wolves on our asses and you...well, you seem to be pretty friendly with them. So I think we'll just keep a hold of you for now. See if you'll actually come in useful for something."
Jensen glares at bust-nose. "You're not the sharpest tool in the box are you panda-boy? Although you are a pretty big tool."
Jensen's quick enough to dodge the punch that time. He was prepared - he did practically ask for it. Sometimes his smart mouth works quicker than his self-preservation instinct can kick in.
"Look numb-nuts," Jensen says going on the attack rather than backing off. "All you're going to do by kidnapping me again is piss off the werewolves even more." Jensen hopes that true. He's not one hundred percent sure that he's in the wolves good books at the moment seeing as how he just stormed out on one of their pack. "If you just let me go and fuck off back to whatever lame-ass frat house you crawled out of, they'll leave you alone."
"Yeah," bust-nose scoffs. "I don't think so. You must think we're stupid."
The answer to that is obvious, but for once Jensen keeps his mouth shut, making do with an eye-roll instead.
"If we let you go now, you'll run back to wolfy and tell him all about this, either that or the cops will be after us for kidnapping."
And assault, attempted rape, as well as animal cruelty, and maybe attempted murder; Jensen's not clear on the exact details of the ritual but it sure didn't look like it was going to end well for him. The beheaded chicken was a big freaking indicator there. Again he keeps his mouth shut. He's quite proud of his sudden bout of common sense.
"Plus there's the fact that you broke my nose you little piece-of-shit."
Jensen tries not to grin smugly, he really does. But there are limits to his new found restraint. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Walter - aha, that's bust-nose's name, Walter; nice of Jensen's brain to finally supply the name of the guy that's about to beat him to a bloody pulp - Walter doesn't appreciate it.
Walter punches harder than his name suggests. Jensen ducks and dodges as much as he can, he even gets in a few swings of his own, but with Blaine backing him up Walter has the advantage. It's a scrappy fight, more elbows and knees that on-aim jabs, but Jensen's only real hope is to make a run for it. He grabs his chance when Blaine stumbles over a trash can lid and Walter is distracted by the clatter.
He dashes toward the exit on to Main Street, not moving as fast as he'd like, not with his bare feet stinging with every step he takes. He can sense the two guys close behind him, can almost feel their rank breath on the back of his neck when he finally bursts from the relative privacy of the narrow alleyway onto the busy sidewalk - and barrels straight into the arms of Jared. Who goes from looking stunned to murderous in the blink of an eye.
His hands curl around Jensen's biceps, holding him steady as Jensen sways and almost falls on to his butt with the sudden stop in his momentum. "You okay?" Jared asks.
Jensen nods, chest heaving and thighs shaking like jello.
"Stay here," Jared growls, and Jensen nods again; frankly it's not like his legs are going to give him any other option.
Jared takes off at a sprint as Blaine and Walter turn tail and bolt. Jensen wishes more than anything he could have seen the looks on their faces when they spotted Jared standing there, all heaving muscle and snarly teeth. Without Jared holding him up, Jensen stumbles back a few steps, leaning against the nearest wall, bends over, hands on his knees and catches his breath, half hoping that Jared rips them apart and half praying that he doesn't. He doesn't want Jared to end up in trouble because of him. Feels sick at the thought of that.
It's not long until Jared reappears, but Jensen has still had enough time to work himself up into a bit of a panic. "Are you okay?" He returns Jared's earlier question, no less frantically, examining him for signs of injury or brutal murder.
"I'm fine," Jared says, and he looks fine - sane - unbloody and unfurry.
"What did you do," Jensen asks, looking over Jared's shoulder just to ensure Walter and Blaine aren't about to spring back up like a pair of movie-baddies, silver-bullet loaded guns in hand. Actually, he doesn't know if the silver bullet thing is real, does it even need to be silver bullets? Jared looks flesh and blood human enough that a normal bullet would do the trick.
"Warned them off for good," Jared says, snapping Jensen out of his rambling thoughts.
"Is that code for brutally slaughtered them and ate their lifeless bodies?" Jensen asks, simply curious.
Jared snorts and shakes his head. "You really do think I'm some kind of monster, don't you. No, I didn't kill them." Jensen feels like a monster himself for even thinking that, until Jared says, quite distinctly even if it is under his breath, "Not yet at least."
There's an awkward silence as they look at each other, neither knowing what the other is thinking, where exactly they go from here. It's Jensen that cracks first. "Where were you going....earlier...when you appeared....were you looking for me?"
"Yeah, I...was worried...and I thought....well, I.." Jared shuffles nervously, looks almost embarrassed. "I tracked your scent."
"Oh," Jensen says. "That's...cool?" Weird would be a better word, but cool seems less judgmental.
"So," Jared says, staring down at the ground, mouth pinching when he notices the bloody state of Jensen's feet. "What now? I mean, do you want me to take you back to your dorm? Or maybe to a friend’s?" His nose scrunches up at the word friend which is all kinds of cute.
"Actually, I was on my way back to you when those two brainiacs jumped me." Jensen's stomach swoops, rollercoaster wild, when he admits that; terrified that Jared's done with him after all the drama he's caused.
"You were?" Jared's head snaps up, hope lighting up his hazel eyes so obviously that Jensen can only grin inanely back at him.
"Yeah, I thought...I hoped we could talk; discuss things. Without all the panicking and the shouting and storming out."
Jared smiles wide, white teeth bared and dimples popping in his cheeks. "Yeah?"
Jensen nods, absolutely sure. "Yeah."
"Good...great," Jared almost bounces on his feet, and Jensen's heart jumps, stutters in his chest. He's going to have a heart-attack if everything Jared does is so adorable. "But-" Jared hesitates looking back down at Jensen's poor naked toes peeking out from the raggedy edges of his jeans. "Your feet, you can't walk back with your feet like that."
Jensen doesn't see what choice they have. Jared's feet are as massive as everything else about him so there's no way Jensen can borrow his shoes, and wearing his socks is a definite no go; the material would stick to the bloody mess and glue themselves to his feet and eugh...just no. Then Jensen sees the speculative look in Jared's eyes, a look that he has seen before. "Oh, no - no way," he says, shaking his finger sternly.
Jared grins. "Yes, way."
Jensen slaps his hands over his eyes, his cheeks flashing absolutely scarlet. Jared laughs as he sweeps him up in his arms again, carrying him home bridal style.
"This isn't gonna be a thing is it?" Jensen groans, peering through his fingers to see the bemused glances from passersby.
"Oh it's totally a thing," Jared snickers, enjoying Jensen's embarrassment far too much. Jensen scowls, not that Jared, or anyone else, can see his expression, or even his face. He has to admit though, if only to himself, that Jared's arms are not the worst place in the world he could be.
The relief that Jared feels at finding his mate in one piece is tinged by uncertainty. Well, now it's tinged by uncertainty. When he first saw Jensen hurtling out of that alleyway, disheveled, bloodied, and reeking of fear, it was tinged with sharp-toothed snarling fury. It had taken all his willpower not to rip those stupid fuckers apart. They're lucky Jared had the restraint - and a frozen mate in desperate need of warmth - to give them one final warning; if they aren't out of the city within three hours then they're going to have a pack of pissed off werewolves hunting them down. Jared's not sure if he wants them to have the sense to leave or not.
Now though, with Jensen safe in his home once again, swooping nerves have almost entirely replaced Jared's anger.
He's filled with a fairly even mix of dread and impatience as well as a serious case of deja-vu as he waits for his mate to come out of the bathroom. The shower has been running for over twenty five minutes, which unless he's chosen the most inappropriate time in the world to jerk off, seems slightly excessive.
Unless something's happened. Jared stands up, tells himself not to be an idiot, sits back down again, knee bouncing anxiously. Looks at the clock - twenty seven minutes. So Jensen's having a long shower, so what? He was freezing cold and his feet were a mess. He's just taking time to warm up and clean off the dirt and blood. Blood. Jared springs back up again. Maybe there was more blood than just the scratches on Jensen's feet. Maybe underneath his clothes was a wound that Jared hadn't noticed. Maybe one of those asshole frat-boys had done some real damage. No, Jared shakes his head, sits back down on the edge of his chair. No, he would have noticed; he's a were' for god's sake, he would have smelt it a mile away if his mate was bleeding badly. Unless it was internal bleeding! Jared leaps to his feet, blood rushing in his ears, panic pounding through his veins, and strides towards the bathroom.
He's so frantic, so convinced he's going to find his mate sprawled unconscious in the bottom of the shower stall that he doesn't notice the shower is no longer running. Doesn't stop to knock. Doesn't notice the bathroom door swinging open a microsecond before he reaches for the handle. He sure as hell does notice when the heavy wooden door smacks into his face though.
"You thought I had internal bleeding?" Jensen says, handing Jared a lump of frozen steak. Jared pouts at the waste of good steak but presses it against the egg shaped swelling in the middle of his forehead without protest.
"You were taking forever," he grumbles.
Jensen shoves his hands in the pockets of the bathrobe, Jared's bathrobe, that he's wearing and chews on his lip, obviously battling not to laugh. Jared rolls his eyes. "Yeah, yeah laugh it up. If you'd been lying dead in that shower-stall, you'd be kissing my ass right now."
Jensen laughs outright this time. "Pretty sure I wouldn't."
Jared huffs a put-upon sigh, and glares balefully at him. "Your bedside manner sucks dude."
"Yeah, it does," Jensen grins, unabashed. "If you wanted sympathy you picked the wrong guy to mate with."
Jared almost drops the steak in his lap. Jensen's bright grin fades to a smaller, almost shy smile, and he takes a seat opposite him at the little kitchen table. "I'm sorry for exploding earlier. It wasn't fair to blame you for everything. I was willing, more than willing last night."
"You didn't know, though," Jared says. "About the mating thing."
"No," Jensen says. "But I did say that I wanted you to be my first. My only. And I think...I think I meant that."
Jared stares, scared to believe what he's hearing. That it's too good to be true. "You...you mean that? Really?"
Jensen's shoulders hitch in a little shrug. "Yeah, I...you..the situation's pretty fucked up, Jared, not gonna lie. But you...it was like...last night I knew I wanted you. And when I woke up this morning I only started to have doubts because you weren't there. When I'm with you it...it feels right. And when I'm not...well, when I'm not with you I want to be."
"It's the bond," Jared says. "I know you don't believe in it, but it's because we're mates. I knew the second I saw you. Knew that you were the one. I'm not...it's not like....I'm not trying to trap you, take away your choices. It's just…it's like humans falling in love at first sight. When you just know you've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with."
"I...yeah...I guess. I just never thought - I'm only nineteen, I never thought I'd find the love of my life at nineteen."
Jared can't help the burst of joy that blooms in his chest at hearing Jensen calling him the love of his life. Dropping the thawing steak onto the table, he wipes his palm on his pants before slowly reaching across the table and taking Jensen's hand. "It's a shock, I know, but a good one, I promise. It won't stop you doing whatever you want to do. It just means that I'll be by your side, supporting you, loving you, through it all."
When Jensen's fingers curl around his, the last strand of fear in Jared's gut dissolves. "Jensen, the pregnancy-" He doesn't want to bring it up, not so soon, not when Jensen has so much to deal with, but it would be unfair not to broach the subject.
Jensen's fingers tighten around Jared's in response, and Jared senses a bitter spark of fear from his mate. "Jared, I don't want to talk about this, not now. Not unless...is there anything I can do...can I take something...the morning after pill?"
"Not for a were-pregnany, Jensen. I'm sorry. It doesn't work the same, the complications can be awful." Jared shudders when he recalls the horror stories of werewolves born with all the humanity stripped from them, the remaining Canis left feral and deformed, because of the side effects of the morning after pill.
"Okay," Jensen breathes in deep through his nose, puffs the breath out through his mouth. "Okay, so can we not talk about it right now? Let me wrap my head around the wolf thing, the mate thing, first."
Jared looks at him doubtfully. Denial doesn't seem like the healthiest method of coping with a likely pregnancy.
"Just for a day or two," Jensen says. And really, it's not like Jared is going to argue with him. Not when Jensen looks at him like that with those big green eyes, and his pretty pink lips forming the tiniest of pouts.
"Fine," Jared says, "Just for a day or two."
"So," Jensen says, his shoulders losing their tense angles, and his thumb tickling the palm of Jared's hand. "What now?"
Now? Jared stares at Jensen, at the long line of his pale throat bared beneath the low V of the bathrobe collar. At the pearl of water dripping down his neck from his damp hair. At the bruises and scrapes etched into his skin, souvenirs of the last turbulent twenty four hours. Now, he wants to carry his mate to bed, wants to kiss every inch of his skin, warm him with his body, rub his scent back into his shower-fresh skin.
"Do you like eggs?" He says instead.
Jensen does like eggs, and waffles, and coffee, strong, black and hot enough to scald the outer layer of skin off a normal person's tongue. He also likes wearing Jared's softest sweatpants and oldest sweatshirt, he loves his squishy sofa and the 'Say Yes to the Dress' marathon he finds on TLC, which Jared tries not to judge him for. And, after he finds himself yelling at the television 'Don't listen to your bitch mother-in-law, your ass looks awesome in that mermaid gown,' realizes he's in no position to judge at all.
Jared does insist on examining Jensen's poor feet. He checks and double checks but other than a few scratches which Jensen obviously cleaned out in the shower, they're fine, which Jared declares happily, along with his opinion that Jensen has very pretty feet; something which earns him a kick that falls just short of his balls.
Jared keeps hold of Jensen's feet, despite the wary look that Jensen gives him. He doesn't have a foot fetish, he assures Jensen, he just wants to keep Jensen's freezing cold toes warm. And even that slightest contact is enough to calm the last of Jared's nervous energy, and Jensen's too, going by the way he relaxes back boneless into the sofa cushions, Jared's thumbs massaging deep circles in the arches of his feet.
That’s where they spend most of the afternoon; on opposite sides of the sofa with Jensen's feet in Jared's lap and a thick wool throw draped over both of them. At some point, they gravitate towards each other, seeking more contact. Jensen twists across the cushions, Jared sidles towards him, fingers tangle through fingers, arms side by side, elbows nudge, thighs press together. And as the afternoon lazes by, long shadows slipping across the room, Jensen's head finds a home on Jared's chest, and Jared's arms wrap protectively around Jensen's shoulders. They don't talk much. Not about anything important. They should, but the emotional see-saw they're on is too delicately balanced for either of them to want to risk the upset.
The kiss happens naturally; no tension, no drama leading up to it. Just a slow progression, a tilt of heads, and their lips meet. Slow, tender and sweet, everything their kisses the previous night were not.
It's not long before Jared's hands wander below Jensen's loose clothes, fingers trailing over his soft belly, feathering over his ribs, tickling and teasing, making Jensen wriggle and moan complaints into Jared's mouth. Jensen isn't idle himself, his hands exploring Jared's skin, mapping out the contours of his body, the dips and rises and firm plains of his muscles. Warm below the woolen blanket, they slip into their own world. Forget about the complexities of the situation they've found themselves in, their problems and uncertainties, focus on just each other, just the moment.
It's Jensen that crawls into Jared's lap; Jared too aware of the bruises that litter Jensen's body, too afraid to hurt him even for a second, to manhandle him. Jensen doesn't share his worries. All his hurts fading away to nothing beneath the heady arousal swirling through the air.
Jared's hands span Jensen's waist, wary, careful, as Jensen straddles him, knees either side of his thighs, fingers tangled in his hair, holding him right where he wants him. Their kisses grow deeper, even more heated, intense, until Jared's lips feel raw and Jensen's look no better; lipstick red and bee-stung puffy. Jared growls deep in his chest, his dick trapped, hard and aching inside his jeans. Jensen's fingers screwing tight in his hair, his hips thrusting forward, grinding against him.
Again it's Jensen that pushes for more, frustrated at the barrier of denim and cotton separating them. They shed clothes like a dance, in sync together. Jensen lifting his arms as Jared slides the sweatshirt up his torso, revealing skin that should be a pale canvas only dusted with cinnamon-sugar freckles instead of the mottled dark clouds of bruises. Jensen doesn't even acknowledge the injuries, doesn't as much as wince when Jared skims his fingers over the ugly imprint of a boot mark. Instead he strips away Jared's clothes; Jared pliable and eager to please as Jensen peels the layers from his body.
Removing their pants is trickier, or it should be. But somehow without gymnastics and with an ease that belies his lack of experience, Jensen manages to get them both naked without climbing out of Jared's lap. Jared licks a path up Jensen's throat, scrapes his teeth across his jaw, inhales the sweet scent of his mate. Jensen's arousal is clear both in the enticing honey notes of his scent, and the way he's writhing on Jared's lap, his dick blood-red and beading precome as he grinds against Jared's belly.
Jared can't do much from his position, pinned to the sofa below Jensen. He's not complaining, not at all; there's something deeply erotic about watching his mate take control. And the friction again his cock as Jensen's ass wriggles and squirms on top of him is delicious.
Jensen's fingers twist and tug Jared's hair, yanking his head back, then his mouth is on Jared's throat, a harsh kiss that dissolves into sucking designed to bruise. To mark Jared as his. Jared nearly comes on the spot at that realization. His mate - young, human and inexperienced - feeling the need, the desire, to leave his brand on Jared. To claim him for everyone to see.
Jared's fingers clamp around Jensen's waist, his hips bucking up and an inhuman moan spilling from his lips. His reaction spurs Jensen on. His mouth latches on to another spot on Jared's neck as he writhes and thrusts against him, his skin hot to touch and slick with sweat.
The urge to mate Jensen again is hard to fight. But Jared does fight it. Even engulfed in Jensen's intoxicating scent, Jared knows it would be a mistake, a huge mistake, to fuck Jensen right now. Not so soon after taking his virginity, and not without protection. But the wolf in him can't resist the urge to reclaim his dominance.
Jensen yelps and clings to Jared, as Jared suddenly rears up from the sofa and takes them both to the floor; Jensen on his back, legs still wrapped around Jared's thighs, his fingers falling from Jared's hair, clawing instead at his shoulders. Jared doesn't move for a second, content to feel Jensen hot and needy below him, to inhale his honey sweet scent, spiked with pheromones and more seductive and alluring than any artificial perfume could ever be. He gazes down into Jensen's eyes, that brilliant green almost eaten up by the black of his dilated pupils. And still, despite everything, Jensen stares back at him with a mix of hunger and awe, and absolute trust.
Jared's mouth falls to Jensen's throat, tongue tracing the bruises he sucked in Jensen's skin the previous night, before licking a meandering path down over his chest, scraping his teeth over Jensen's nipples, dark brown and pebbled. Feeling Jensen shiver and gasp below him, Jared stays there, fingers plucking and caressing one sensitive nub while his mouth laves attention on the other. They are both swollen and puckered, Jensen squirming and whimpering in pleasure below him, before Jared moves on. As he mouths lower over Jensen's adorably soft belly, down the spread of his hips, he discovers the musky hints of his own scent still lingering. Despite the time passed, and the unearthly long shower, Jared's seed still drips from Jensen's hole.
With a growl, feral and possesive, Jared shoves his mate's knees apart, buries his nose under Jensen's balls and sucks at his dusky pink hole. Jensen yowls in response, his thighs almost clamping round Jared's head like a vice. Jared laughs hot and breathy against Jensen's ass, grips Jensen's thighs firmly and holds them in the air as he fucks Jensen's hole with his tongue, swirling, and stabbing into the musky heat, sucking the drips of come clinging inside him, tasting himself and Jensen in one heady mix. Jensen's cock jumps and twitches, desperate for attention. Jared ignores it in favor of Jensen's balls, heavy and tight; cupping them in his palm and licking and lapping at them until they're soaked with spit and Jensen's fingers are twisting knots into Jared's hair again, and Jared's thick dick is slapping against his belly, the pressure in his knot building.
In a cruel tease, Jared barely brushes his mouth over Jensen's dick. It’s not that he doesn’t want to suck him off, swallow his cock down and feel his come burst into his mouth, but Jared has a different plan, something else he wants to do.
Jensen bucks and whines in disappointment as Jared drops his legs, crawls back up his body, his lips latching on to Jensen's once more. He works his hand between their bodies, slipping easily across sweat-slick skin, captures both of their erections in his palm. Jensen shudders at the hot drag of skin against skin, as Jared jacks them both off, torturously slow, intense and intimate, breathing in each other's jittery gasps and whimpers.
Jared knows he won't last much longer; his balls tight and throbbing and a spiraling tingle unraveling in his belly. The steady droplets of come leaking from Jensen's cock, his fingernails gouging bloody scratches into Jared's back suggests he's close too.
"Can I..." Jared's asks, before he's too far gone to speak, to think..."Can I bite you? Claim you as mine?"
Jensen meets his gaze, his eyes close enough to Jared's to see into his soul. The tilt back of his head, the bearing of his throat, as much of an answer as the shaky 'yes' that tumbles from his lips.
Jared's teeth tear into the fragile skin of Jensen's throat. Blood spilling into Jared's mouth as Jensen's muscles spasm below him, spine snapping rigid as his dick jerks and comes, spurting thick and creamy into Jared's hand. It's Jared's turn a second later, his orgasm sweeping through him, his own come pulsing in thick waves, joining the mess coating his hand, slip sliding over both their dicks, dripping across their bellies.
Jared's licking the last smears of blood away from the raw mark he's carved into Jensen's throat by the time the final shudders ease from Jensen's muscles; his racing heart slowing to beat in time with Jared's. The metallic tang of Jensen's blood clings to Jared's teeth, coats his tongue as it drips down his throat. Jared's wolf wants to howl in ecstasy as it revels in the scent and consumes the blood of his mate. Instead he hums contentedly, lapping across the wound, soothing the pain. Eventually, he rolls off the smaller body of his mate, his wolf belatedly acknowledging it might not be a good idea to squeeze the air from his lungs.
Jensen doesn't roll away, just curls into him, arms wrapping around his waist, head pillowed on his chest; relaxed and close to sleep, despite their uncomfortable location. His fingers creep up to his throat, trace over the stark shape of Jared's bite. "You couldn't haven't bitten me somewhere less visible?" he grumbles, breath tickling Jared's skin.
Jared's fingers join Jensen's, a burst of possessive pride exploding in his chest as he feels the rough claiming mark, at knowing what it means. At knowing it will keep Jensen safe and protected. "It'll heal soon," he tells Jensen.
Jensen mumbles incoherently against Jared's chest in response. And rather than move him, Jared finds the warm woolen blanket and throws it over them, dipping down and brushing a kiss against Jensen's mussed hair. "And the first time you change," he says quietly, unsure how awake Jensen is, "It'll fade away to almost nothing." Jared's wolf rumbles its annoyance at the thought.
Jensen hums sleepily. And then in the snap of a second goes utterly rigid. "The first time I turn? I'm going to turn into....into a wolf?"
"Of course," Jared smiles. "You didn't think you could have a pup in human form, did you?"
When Jensen flops over on to his back, a litany of curses bursting from his lips, Jared suspects that they might have a few things to discuss.