He'd known that this would happen, known it as surely as the sky was blue, but he'd never thought it would be this soon.
Jensen was adept at calling forth the unknown, always had been, but unfortunately for him, extracting visions from a divining pool was an inexact science. He'd seen flames interspersed with the face of his enemy, he'd seen bloodshed, and he'd felt his emotions pulled through the extremes from fury to desire. It was strange as far as his premonitions went, but not indecipherable. He knew, for one, that his former acquaintance Pellegrino was out for revenge, and that he was going to try very hard to kill Jensen for the pain he'd caused, but there was nothing – not even the slightest indication – of when the attack would occur. Jensen had prepared what he could, setting up charms and protection spells all over the house, but he'd decided long ago that he would never live his life in fear.
It had been barely two weeks since the vision. Jared was the first to pick up that anything was wrong. The wolf had found him in his 'office', pawing at his knee as he sniffed the air.
/Blonde devil comes. Smells like violence./
The words floated through Jensen's mind, smooth and practiced and coloured by images of Pellegrino and stabbing knives.
Jensen wound an arm around the wolf's neck in thanks, fingers threading through thick, mottled-grey fur. Jared had been his only companion for many years, what his peers called a 'familiar'. As a young wizard Jensen had been on the hunt for a rare plant in the forest when he'd slipped and fallen, nearly sending himself over the edge of a small cliff, but Jared (still just a run-of-the-mill wolf then) had appeared out of nowhere and dragged him to safety. As a user of magic he believed in certain signs, whether from dreams, from the spirits, or from nature. Jensen had been nearly delirious from the pain of his injuries, but he'd managed to weave the appropriate spell all the same, binding their souls in a special way. The spell had only worked because Jared had (thankfully) been willing, and then suddenly there had been a second presence in Jensen's mind and a new kind of strength infusing his body – some of Jensen's humanness passing to Jared, while the wolf's strength and instincts had been shared with him in turn.
"This is sooner than I thought. And I doubt he's come alone," Jensen said aloud, rising from his chair and moving to a wooden cabinet beside his desk. He pulled a dried sprig of marigold from inside and crushed it in his fist, inhaling the scent deeply. Then he reached out with his mind, awareness emanating outward from where his house stood, isolated amongst the surrounding hills and forest. He sensed Pellegrino quickly enough, on foot, moving quickly along the one road that led to the house, and he was flanked by two others. Their faces weren't unfamiliar.
"The bastard. He's got Alona and Stephen with him."
Jared whined and his ears drooped.
/Nasty wizard and crafty female attack house. Blonde devil attack you./
"You're probably right about that. Alona may be an apothecary but she's sharp like a knife. She's never forgiven me for having a better garden than her. And Stephen's always been loyal to the Pellegrino family, no doubt because they have money."
/Humans so petty./
"Unfortunately very true. I just wish Mark would believe how sorry I am about his son."
/Not your fault./
"Yeah, tell him that. I mean, I can chant and burn herbs and appeal to the spirits until the cows come home, but sometimes, once Death's got his clutches deep enough into someone, there's just no pulling them back. Too often the non-magic folk just don't grasp the rules. Or, in Mark's case, they just refuse to. If only I'd been more explicit about how that stuff worked then maybe—"
Jared growled and nipped at his leg.
"I know, I know. No amount of beatin' myself up is gonna fix it. Anyway, we've got bigger things to worry about right now."
Getting to work, Jensen looped an amulet around Jared's neck, which should protect his companion from a majority of offensive magics, and then he grabbed an old leather-wrapped grimoire from the bookshelf and headed outside. He figured he had about twenty minutes before the trio reached him, so Jensen spent the best part of it laying down shields both to dampen any magical attacks from outside, and also to retard any kind of live fire – magical or otherwise. He took his divinations seriously, so he knew there would likely be flames, but at the same time the visions did not have to mean destiny either – unless it was the true will of the spirits, the outcome could be changed.
Jared interrupted him when time was nearly up, carrying something between his teeth. Jensen gave him a hearty scratch under the chin when he found it to be his pot of powdered ash of Toadflax and Thistle. Pulling back his sleeves he used the ash to inscribe runes of protection and power on his skin, which immediately dissipated once the spell was in place, then he hid the bottle in his garden and stood back to wait.
/Stink of impurity, even at distance./
Only moments passed before the first warning shot came – a burning arrow fired into the wall of his house. The flame flickered a few seconds before the spell took hold and extinguished it, only to the followed by a second and third arrow piercing into the wooden wall beside it. He turned to see Alona heading the other two down the road, a bow in her hands with another arrow nocked. Jensen figured his spells should hold for the time being, at least until Stephen ripped into his shields. Jensen's most precious things were kept in his office, which had walls lined with steel and would thus be safe from any harm, but Jensen really hoped he could save his house from burning down altogether.
The three attackers finally came to a stop. He vaguely heard Mark say something to the others about watching out for the 'mutt', but there was no further warning before the fight was on. Spells went flying, more burning arrows were fired, and Jensen quickly ended up with Pellegrino in his face, fists swinging. He focused on fighting the man best he could, landing a few punches of his own, but mainly thankful that his own protection spells were muting the damage of the larger man's punches. The sound of Jared's growling and snapping jaws had him worried, but he could sense Jared's disapproval through their bond and so tried to let the wolf do his thing.
Finally Jensen landed a decent punch and watched with relief as Mark tumbled to the ground holding his jaw. Alona was in the background, making a run for it, leaving Jared in her wake with a torn fragment of her skirt between his teeth, but Stephen was still attacking his protection spells. He threw a stunning spell at the guy, his body immediately freezing in place, before kneeling at Mark's side and drawing a very particular sigil on his crinkled-up forehead. He immediately went lax and passed out.
/Not kill him?/
"No, I'm not that desperate. But what I've done should completely dull his emotions for the foreseeable future. Basically he'll forget how to be angry. And happy. And everything else."
Jensen had been just about to get back on his feet when he felt something hit his side and send him sprawling. His whole left side began to burn, his mind clouding as the pain set in. He could see the web-like pattern on the back of his hand, distantly recognising the 'stinging' curse that had caused it, but he couldn't quite remember the right words needed to dissolve it, couldn't quite get his brain to cooperate…
That is, until he felt Jared's own flash of pain through the bond. The frightened yelp reached his ears, and suddenly Jensen was acting on pure impulse. Adrenaline kicked in and he was back on his (albeit unsteady) feet, throwing some of the most hateful curses he could think of right back at Stephen. The man screamed but he kept going. He could see Jared limping out the corner of his eye, but even still the wolf leapt at the other wizard and took a chunk out of his thigh, interrupting Stephen's incantation and disengaging whatever spell he'd been building up to. Jensen quickly took the opportunity for what it was, and set about opening a 'wind tunnel'. The cyclone-like portal opened at Stephen's back, sucking up leaves and grass and whatever else was loose on the ground. The other wizard began being drawn backwards, back into the magical tunnel that would dump him wherever in the world it pleased, and he stumbled and hissed in pain as he tried to escape it, only to eventually fail.
Stephen turned just as his feet lifted from the ground, his arm shooting out in one last ditch effort. A whole handful of errant spells went flying, and Jensen's heart lurched as one headed straight for Jared. He'd intended to deflect it with his own magic, but barely a sound had left his mouth when he was swiftly overtaken by blackness and knew no more.
Jensen came awake with a groan. His head throbbed, but he was pleased to find it wasn't as bad as he would have expected, not to mention that the stinging curse on his arm was also dissipating now that Stephen (and his magic) was out of reach. Also, he couldn't smell smoke, which meant his house hadn't burned down. All-in-all, it was a pretty good outcome.
He sat up and froze, more than surprised to find himself in his own bed. He was fairly sure he hadn't 'sleepwalked' himself there, and while Jared could have managed to drag him inside, his paws hadn't the dexterity to have put Jensen in his pyjamas and pulled the blankets over him, nor to have stoked the fire in the hearth. He was just contemplating who might have come by to help when he heard footsteps out in the hallway.
The man who came into the bedroom was one he hadn't seen before. He was huge – certainly taller and broader than Jensen – and he seemed to be naked but for one of Jensen's robes, which somehow looked almost small on him. Jensen tensed up as the man came toward him, his body language oddly tentative, but then he caught sight of the medallion half-tucked beneath the collar of the robe and something clicked into place.
"Yes, me," he said, lips working hard to form the right shape, obviously not used to having to speak. Jared knelt on the side of the bed and put a hand down on Jensen's thigh, the movements so very reminiscent of the wolf he had been not so long ago.
Even without consciously doing it, Jensen's mind was already running through the possibilities of what incantation could have caused the change. There were more than a few that realistically could have accomplished it, unfortunately many of them were virtually impossible to undo without knowing the exact words the caster had used, and only some of them would wear off on their own.
"Jared, I… I'm glad you're not injured but I'm sorry this has happened to you. It must all be very strange."
Jared's other hand moved to Jensen's bicep causing the robe to fall down his shoulder slightly, and Jensen couldn't stop his eyes from wandering. Jared's body was no less than stunning. He was strong, muscular, and expertly-shaped in a way that any man would wish to be, and his skin glowed golden in the firelight – the only light illuminating the room. Burnt caramel hair hung down past his ears, and his eyes watched Jensen intensely, still somehow wolf-like in their shape and colouring.
"Not sorry," he replied deliberately, squeezing at Jensen's arm.
Jared shook his head, firm in his decision. "Always want talk to you. And touch."
Their bond was still intact in some fashion, if still changed, and Jensen could feel Jared's frustration that the words weren't coming out right.
"Want… do human things."
He wasn't sure how to react to that, but Jensen wished Jared might have said something before. They'd been together for nearly twenty years already and Jensen was a powerful wizard after all – he could have done something to help Jared out if only he'd asked. But now that it was done for them, if accidentally, Jensen wanted to make sure that Jared got whatever it was he desired.
"Jared, if it's easier… you can just show me? Whatever it is you want to say or do, I'm here to help you, alright? Anything you want, I promise."
When Jared leaned in to press their lips together… Jensen felt like he maybe should have seen it coming. He blamed getting knocked out with a spell and having a mild head injury. But then Jared pulled away again, re-situating himself between Jensen's legs, and pecked him on the lips a second time. Large hands framed Jensen's face, and he could feel the intensity of emotion coming from Jared, both through the bond and through the desperate look in his eyes.
"Beautiful Jensen. And lonely. Always lonely. Lone wolf."
Jared tugged him further down the bed so that their bodies lined up more evenly, then he set about pulling Jensen's pyjamas back off, even though he must have put them on him not long ago. Jensen felt strangely vulnerable once he was lying there naked, Jared hovering over him. The robe still had Jared partly covered, but the waist tie had worked itself loose somewhat, and Jensen could see the shadow of Jared's half-hard and abnormally large cock hanging between his legs. He sucked his bottom lip between his teeth and tried to hold it all together.
"I see Jensen and them. On bed. Rutting. I feel… anger. Jealous."
During most of his twenties Jensen had fucked around with anyone and everyone that looked at him with even the slightest amount of interest. He'd been trying to fill that imaginary hole inside himself, trying to find the one that he thought he might be able to love. He'd failed in that, as was probably inevitable. But he'd never realised that Jared had been watching. Or perhaps he had, but with Jared being a wolf and already a constant presence, he just hadn't really been concerned about it. That Jared had been jealous came as a complete surprise.
"Then years. Rut with no one. I feel sad. Wish I give human touch."
Again, Jared was far too aware of his sex life, but Jensen found himself regretting that Jared had wanted to give him something that Jensen had wanted in turn. He felt like they'd lost time somehow, lost opportunities, despite that he'd never even considered Jared as anything other than a wolf before. He'd always been like a companionable spirit that 'haunted' Jensen and helped him out sometimes and provided occasional not-quite-conversation. He regretted that he'd never considered anything bigger than that, or that Jared had never pushed for it.
"You can now… You can touch me any way you want, Jared. I won't stop you."
Jared, still uncannily wolf-like in his mannerisms, growled low in his throat.
When teeth pressed down into the meat of where his neck met his body, Jensen wondered if he should have been more explicit with the dos and do nots. But Jared wasn't violent about it. He bit down as deep as he could without breaking the skin, and then retreated. He bit Jensen's shoulder several times in the same spot, enough that Jensen could feel a bruise coming on, enough that he'd have evidence of Jared's mouth on him in the days to come regardless of what happened with Jared's own body.
"Mm. Bite you. Everywhere."
Jared's mouth moved along, and he bit down wherever he pleased. Jensen's arms and chest and stomach and everything in between. He spent time alternating between biting and sucking Jensen's nipples, until they were swollen and red-raw, until Jensen's blood was buzzing in a way it hadn't for many years. His cock was hard between his legs – he didn't have to see it to know it was true – but Jared paid it no mind. Instead he licked and nipped every square inch of Jensen's stomach, and then bit his way down the inner flesh of his thighs. Jared was ruthless about it, determined, and Jensen knew he'd be feeling it for days.
"Mark you. Make mine."
Nodding was Jensen's only response. He couldn't get his mouth to work beyond the moaning and whimpering that seemed to come out whenever Jared's teeth dug into his flesh. He didn’t even remember the last time someone had paid this much attention to him. But he liked that it was Jared. It felt like it meant something more. Like maybe it should have always been that way.
Long fingers curled around his knees and pushed his legs up toward his chest. Jared looked up at him from between them, his gaze predatory, like he wanted to eat Jensen alive. And Jensen felt a shudder run through him, like maybe he'd want that. Jared's warm breath caught the underside of his cock and the tender skin of his balls, but kept going. He should have known, really, or perhaps his head still wasn't working right, yet it still came as a shock when Jensen felt the hot wetness of a tongue on his asshole. It was just short licks at first, just little tastes, but once Jared had decided that that was where he wanted to be, those little licks became hard pulls of Jared's lips and barely there nips of his teeth. His tongue began to move deeper as Jensen's body gave way and opened up to him, Jensen gasping when thumbs were pulling him apart and Jared's tongue was forcing its way inside.
"Spirits take you, Jared. Fuck."
In response, Jared only went harder, his tongue fucking into Jensen in earnest. Jensen tried to squirm as his cock pulsed between his legs, demanding some kind of attention, wanting to come but not getting the stimulation he needed. It was almost torturous how Jared held him down, made him take it, and Jensen couldn't help but love it, bashfully enjoying Jared's tongue inside him and how wet it made his hole feel.
It must have been ages, but it felt all too soon when Jared pulled away, pointedly smacking his lips.
"Rut with you now. Need you open."
Jensen couldn't speak as Jared sat back on his knees and finally removed the robe, revealing himself. He was perfect. And huge. And he quickly retrieved the lubricant oil from the cupboard where he (perhaps not so surprisingly) knew that Jensen kept it. Saliva welled in Jensen's mouth as he watched Jared slick himself up, long slick fingers smoothing over the length of his cock, and it slipped out the corner of his mouth as Jared finally pushed himself inside, rendering his brain activity to null.
"Always mine Jensen."
There was pain as his body stretched and adjusted, but Jensen was already too far gone to pay it much notice. Jared's hips between his thighs, Jared's balls slapping against his cheeks – that was all he could think about. And Jared's eyes staring down at him… How could he look away?
Jensen came without a single touch to his cock, pearly white painting his stomach while his whole being reeled from the pleasure without the usual helping hand. Jared growled from somewhere deep in his chest, never looking away, even as his hips stuttered and he spent himself deep inside Jensen's body. There was a moment of pause as they both heaved for breath, contented but collecting themselves, and then Jared was withdrawing. Jensen whined at the emptiness he felt, wondering why Jared would pull away. But he got his answer as that tongue found his skin again, licking up Jensen's come, before Jared moved all the way down to find his own…
He tried and failed to catch his spinning thoughts as Jared sucked him dry, losing all sense of time and place as his familiar took him wherever he willed.
His body ached, inside and out – that was the first thing that came to mind. As he came fully awake, Jensen felt the warring emotions when he found a recognisable wolfy body curled up beside him on the mattress. He was glad that whatever spell had changed Jared hadn't caused any damage and had fixed itself, but he had still hoped to wake up next to that long, glorious body that had ruined him into the wee hours.
Jared stirred next to him only moments later, blinking up from his furry face with a mix of apprehension and hope.
"Happy you're still with me, and happy that last night wasn't just a dream."
Jared pressed against him and licked at Jensen's face. But Jensen could sense the disappointment through the bond.
"Don't worry, love, no indecipherable text or ancient rune will get in the way of me finding a way. I'm cleverer than that, remember? You'll stand taller than me again soon."
With a gravelly huff - as if 'soon' wasn't soon enough - Jared put his jaw on his paws and settled in to wait.