Jeff wasn't sure what his expectations had been, but the reality had proven so very different to anything he could've imagined.
The last time he and Jensen had been under one roof, Jensen had been just shy of ten years old and he himself had been twenty-two. Jensen's mother had just lost the battle with her long-term illness, their mutual father was nowhere to be found, and a maternal aunt had materialised to whisk Jensen off to somewhere far away. It happened so quickly that Jeff had barely been able to wrap his head around it, so he could only imagine how crazy it all must have been for Jensen, as young as he was back then. And he'd never stopped thinking about his half-brother in all the time since. Wondering if he was okay, if his aunt was taking care of him, what his life was like. It prayed on his thoughts more often than was probably healthy.
But now Jensen was back. He was newly nineteen, fresh out of high school and readying himself for college. When the aunt had called Jeff to inform him of Jensen's intentions to go to a college nearby, he'd offered his help all too eagerly. And then suddenly Jensen was injected back in his life again, living in his house, sleeping in his spare room, eating food from his refrigerator.
Many times Jeff had tried to visualise what Jensen would look like all grown up all these years later, but his imagination proved a failure in comparison to the vision that had turned up on his doorstep. Because Jensen was perfect. Jeff could smell clearly the hesitation, the fear, the closed-offishness. But still – perfect. It had taken him a good long moment to collect himself enough to invite the boy inside.
The fact that two of Jeff's other brothers also lived in the house didn't really help with the initial strain, but they were pack. It was normal for them to be there. Expected. Except, not for Jensen. Like his mother, Jensen's aunt was entirely human, and therefore Jensen had been raised as if he were too. Several years back it had struck Jeff to wonder how she'd coped with the teenage emergence of Jensen's non-human biology, but now it only further intrigued Jeff to learn that Jensen had never once turned, had never really shown any wolf traits whatsoever. Though halfbreeds were rare, the lore proposed that they should still be able to turn to some degree (if not as completely as their pureblood pack members), and they should still have the expected enhanced senses and hunting instincts. After much questioning, all Jeff could discern was that Jensen had some accelerated healing and his saliva also had some healing properties, but that was about it. Jensen had reeked of discomfort the whole way through the process, but Jeff couldn't figure why. He didn't know if he'd ever been so completely stumped by anyone or anything.
"Seriously, Jeff, just give it up."
His brother Chris kept telling him off for 'brooding'.
"You need to stop treating him like a wolf – he's obviously not, and you can't make him be otherwise. And you need to stop pretending he's still the same little brother from before. You'll only push him away at this rate."
While Jeff agreed with the first part – even if it was hard to get past it when Jensen still smelled like a wolf – he wasn't sure he could agree with the second. It had been obvious from that first moment that Jensen was no longer the little boy he remembered. Instead, something in his mind had shifted and 'college kid Jensen' was taking root in a very different section of his brain. He wasn't yet sure how to deal with it. Only that he was going to have to tread very carefully.
Weeks passed and things settled into some sort of routine. Jeff had inserted himself into enough of Jensen's time that they'd developed a minor level of comfort between each other, and he'd tried to include Jensen in as many pack-related things as possible for the sake of brotherly bonding, but still there was a cloud of melancholy that continued to hang around him like an oversized raincoat. Was he homesick for his aunt's place? Was college too stressful? Was it some sort of disconnect from the pack? Or maybe the opposite – was living with three weres too much? Short of asking Jensen outright (which Jeff had no intention of doing) he just couldn't figure it out.
Until suddenly the cloud seemed to lift.
The change to Jensen's smell when he arrived home one day was so unexpected that Jeff did a double take, if only to make sure it really was Jensen that had entered into the house. Jensen coolly denied that anything was different, but to Jeff (and Chris and Tom) it was obvious. Chris gave him many a warning glare, but Jeff's curiosity still got the better of him.
He should've known better, should've known that nothing good would come of it, but he started to follow Jensen. To the college campus, to classes, and anywhere he went in between or afterwards. He'd had an unhealthy thought process toward his half-brother for as long as he could remember, but Jeff had always acknowledged it (if only to himself) and tried to box it away and carry on as if everything was 'normal'. He attempted to do the same now, to keep himself at a certain distance (for his own sake) but once he realised what was going on…
Jared was his name. With his enhanced hearing, Jeff had picked that up easily enough. He was a handsome kid. Pretty in some ways, but not in the same way that Jensen was pretty. He was taller than Jensen, too, and broader, more athletic looking. There was also something vaguely fox-like about his face, but there was no doubt in Jeff's mind that Jared was utterly and completely human.
Listening to them talk was painful. Not because he had pretty much no idea what they were on about most of the time, but because of the way they talked. Like they'd known each other forever and knew everything that there was to know about each other. That was what had first tipped him off. Followed by the way they liked to sit together, just the two of them, ignoring everything around them and just drifting off into their own little world. And then when they had finally started holding hands… Even a casual observer would've clued in by then. It didn't take a genius.
Jeff tried to decide how he felt about the whole thing. It was clear now why Jensen's smell had changed – he was falling in love and had almost entirely shed the depressive funk he'd been soaking in since he'd moved there (and possibly even before that.) Being around pack had done nothing for him – hadn't comforted him or improved his mood even the slightest – and Jeff tried not to be upset about that fact. Just as he tried to let go of the idea that it had been essentially a stranger and not himself that brought Jensen out of his shell. And a human stranger at that. His brain automatically ran through the options of who was to blame for such an outcome, but the lack of viable responses was perhaps answer enough in itself.
Despite whatever logic he had left, Jeff continued to tail them, digging himself into a deeper hole of regret the longer he listened to them talk and laugh and eventually kiss. Jensen's scent kept on evolving, flourishing and growing more complex, but it only had Jeff all the more addicted. There was no way back from this, he was sure.
For the sake of his own sanity, Jeff started limiting his trespasses to audio only.
He listened to them in the college bathrooms, pushing one another against the stall dividers, trading sloppy kisses and frotting their hips together – the scritch scritch of denim on denim and the clacking of belt buckles creating some kind of offbeat rhythm. They worked up to more, fingers sliding into underwear, skin to skin. He'd never forget the sound of Jensen coming the first time Jared wrapped his hand around Jensen's dick, nor Jensen's genuine exclamation of just how big Jared was. He wondered if it was almost worse to not see anything, leaving his (traitorous) imagination to fill in the (terrifying) blanks.
He nearly stumbled into their line of sight one time in the library. Only hearing the tell-tale sounds at the last minute, pulling him up short just one aisle away. He couldn't see much between the gaps in the books, only that one of them stood with his back against the shelf, but all became clear soon enough. Jared's whispered 'fuck yeahs' and 'fuck, Jensen, your mouth' gave it all away. He didn't have to strain too much to pick up the sucking sounds, the brief choke of Jensen's gag reflex, a wet cough as he swallowed. Jared dropped to his knees immediately after, offering quiet but enthusiastic praises of Jensen's efforts, and leaving Jeff to conjure up his own image of just how swollen Jensen's lips must be, the small splash of come dripping down his chin… It was as much a punishment as a reward.
The cycle of intimate chatter, handholding, and hushed sex acts around the campus continued. That they never went to Jensen's (Jeff's) home was hardly a surprise, but they never seemed to go to Jared's home either, always hiding themselves in the open instead. So Jeff could only figure he'd missed something subtle along the way when their relationship suddenly ramped up another level. Sure, there were things he'd been expecting to happen at some point or another, but this?
"So what else is there? That makes you… different, I mean."
That was Jared's voice. And Jeff was more than a bit puzzled by the question.
"Apart from what I told you, not much. Apparently I'm defective."
"Don't say that about yourself! And who the fuck told you that anyway? Was it that overbearing brother of yours?"
"You mean my half-brother, Jeff. And no, he was trying to help me, even if I didn't want it or need it. I came up with the word 'defective' all on my own. Jeff's a pureblood, same as his other brothers, so they don't understand. I'm stuck in this limbo between being human and being were and being what I actually am. I don't tick any of the boxes I'm supposed to tick, but I don't know if it's my mind holding me back or my body or something else entirely."
Jeff clenched his fists and tried to keep his anger at bay. Talking so casually about their kind to a human… Even a (seemingly) sympathetic one like Jared. It was dangerous.
"Jen… Maybe you're just not meant for that kind of life and this is just your mind-body-something else's way of telling you that. I'm perfectly happy with whatever amount of human and non-human you are at any one time."
Jensen's answering laugh sounded choked up.
"You're too good for me, Jay."
The breeze caught Jeff's nose and yet again Jensen's scent seemed to change – he was falling deeper. And (despite that Jensen still had no idea) Jeff was tumbling in after him. It was possible for weres to take humans as sexual partners – his father had done it, after all – but mates were on a different level. Yet still Jensen had a particular smell about him… For a long time Jeff had wondered whether his longing for his half-brother could be explained away by some kind of cross-wired call for his mate, but then Jensen should have felt something for him in return. Except that he clearly didn't. Except that Jensen didn’t seem to have any were senses to begin with.
Of course, none of the above stopped him from tuning in as the whisper of a moan and the sound of soda-sticky lips meeting in a kiss floated over to where he was hiding. He took a seat, leaning back against a tree trunk, and settled in. His conscience be damned.
He'd had to deal with work nonsense for a couple of days, hindering his eavesdropping schedule, so it was obvious that things had changed yet again when Jeff found himself following the young lovebirds further out of town than they'd ever gone together before. It was just on sundown when they entered into an ordinary looking house, and Jeff picked up the slightly stale scents of several others around the property – Jared's family, he supposed, who did not seem to be presently at home. He hovered around the doors and windows, watching the boys meander from the kitchen to the lounge room, and then eventually to the bedroom. He could smell the nervousness coming off Jensen in waves. Jared was nervous too, except… more excited than anything.
Jeff took a deep breath. So this was finally it… This was going to be the moment when…
He watched them make-out where they stood, lips stretching wide and tongue pressing deep. They were lit only by a small nightlight plugged into the wall, but Jeff's eyes needed no help in seeing every detail with superhuman sharpness. The two stumbled over to the bed and began to pull off their clothes, fingers missing the mark more often than not as they hurried to unbutton or unzip. This should have been the point (was far past the point) where he should have looked away, made himself scarce for his own sake. But that first peek of pale stomach as Jensen pulled his shirt over his head, and the slim but toned expanse of chest that followed, it had him hooked. He was the poor fucking fish who'd gone after the bait, had fallen for the trap, and now he was being reeled in towards his impending doom.
They stood there in the near-dark, only one pair each of boxer briefs left between them. Jared's body was impressive, even Jeff had to grudgingly admit it. He was still a bit gangly, but he had the makings of muscle and the frame to carry it. He was still a teen after all, but Jeff could tell he was going to be big. The considerable bulge straining beneath his underwear only backed up his theory.
Pressing his ear closer to the window, Jeff was able to pick up the sounds of their heavy breathing. The boxers were peeled away and Jensen gasped as Jared's hand wrapped around his cock, eyelashes fluttering and his knees going slightly limp. Jared urged him back onto the bed, and the two stretched out over the sheets, Jensen easily falling onto his back and letting Jared crawl up between his parted legs. Jeff had to squeeze his cock hard through his jeans to stave off an impending orgasm – just the thought of Jensen on his back like that, pink dick lying hard on his belly, exposing himself… It was so easy for Jeff to put himself in Jared's place, imagining Jensen under him and spread wide and inviting. That tiny little hole winking at him, like a challenge. Jeff was not exactly small, not by any stretch. How long would it take for Jensen's ass to swallow him down to the root? How long would he have to spend with his fingers in there, just trying to open him up enough to get the head inside? Would Jensen be squirming by then? Pleading for Jeff to hurry up and shove his dick in?
"Fuck, fuck, Jared."
Jeff blinked and had to haul himself back out of his imagination. He'd definitely missed something. Because somehow Jensen's legs were now up in the air while Jared was buried somewhere down between his thighs. Below his dick and below his balls… Christ. He strained to hear the wet sounds of Jared's tongue, but they were drowned out amongst the groaning rumbling up through Jared's chest. The kid was eating Jensen out like nobody's business, and Jeff swallowed down the flood of saliva that had immediately pooled in his mouth.
"Jay, please. I'm gonna… feel like I'm gonna come."
"Think I could make you?"
"Hmm? Wha-…? I—"
"Think I could make you come with just my tongue in your ass? Think you could get there?"
"Yeah… Yeah, maybe. Rather have your dick, though."
Fuck, Jeff was going to die out there. They'd find his rotting body under the window and wonder how he'd gotten there.
He watched the boys shift around, grabbing a bottle of lube and sticking a pillow under Jensen's back. He finally got a glimpse of Jared's hard cock as he lined himself up, and Jesus, the kid was packing. His eyes fled to Jensen's face, and he watched in awe as the emotions flit across those flushed cheeks and swollen lips. Jeff could smell the arousal and desperation flowing out of the house like thick smoke, the flicker of pain joining it as Jared pushed inside. Jensen's eyes screwed shut, his jaw falling open, but when Jared asked he insisted he was okay.
"Remember how fast I heal? I'll be fine in no time."
"Like I could forget. It's so amazing. Maybe we could, like, play with that sometime…"
Jensen's eyes blinked open again, and his irises were aglow in the darkness – like a wolf's.
"You wanna mark me up? Get rough with me?"
"Jensen, your eyes… They're glowing."
Jensen's hands jumped to his face. "Yeah? That's new…"
"You like it then, huh? The idea of me getting rough with you."
"You got no idea, Jay."
Jared laughed. "Pretty sure I do."
They went slow, Jared taking his time to push his way inside. But then things seemed to speed up suddenly. Jared planted himself into the mattress and started to thrust, hard and fast. Jeff wanted to smack the kid, tell him to slow it back down and draw things out until Jensen was begging for it, but then it clicked. They were teenagers. Fucking was almost guaranteed to be quick and unsatisfying, right? That they'd both gotten this far without losing it was vaguely impressive.
Jensen's hands were fisted into the sheets, his cock hard and leaking and untouched on his stomach. Jeff watched in fascination as it twitched and bobbed about from the force of Jared's thrusts, leaving a sticky trail below Jensen's navel.
"Gonna come, Jen. Touch yourself. Hurry."
Doing as asked, Jensen let go of the sheets and took hold of his cock instead, stripping it like he was running out of time. He started to spill just as Jared gave one last punch of his hips and froze, the two of them shaking and making a mess of themselves and clogging Jeff's nose up with the scent of come and satisfaction. Jensen's limbs went limp, Jared pulling out and tumbling onto his side, his hand sliding into the mess on Jensen's stomach and his dick lying wet and shiny against his thigh. Jeff wasn't at the right angle for it, but he could imagine how Jensen's tight little hole would be all stretched out and ruined now, trying earnestly to close back up, sticky white leaking down onto the mattress below. He decided that maybe he didn't need to see it for real, that his mind was just showing him a reflection of what was and that would be enough for now. He could be content with what he'd already seen.
Next time though…
Grasping at his crotch, Jeff found himself to be tender and… very damp. He swore under his breath, wondering how he was going to get home without his brothers scenting him. He was too old and too much of a loner these days for such a thing to go unnoticed. If he was going to keep up his little spy game (and after tonight, he had little intention of stopping) he was going to have to start getting a little more creative.
Jeff sat under a tree on the college campus, watching the students pass by. Only minutes ago Jared and Jensen had been lying on the grass on the opposite side of the tree, half studying, half making out, until they'd had to get up and leave. Sometimes he would go back home to his office and do some work in-between, but other times he just sat or prowled around, just for the heck of it. Jeff kept to himself and no one ever really approached him, so he almost didn't realise when there was suddenly someone standing over him, their shadow cutting into his sunlight.
His gaze followed a path from sneakers to jeans to shirt and then… Jared.
They'd never met. But he didn't look happy.
"I've seen photos of you, but now I get to see you in the flesh. I don't know if I thought I'd feel different or not, looking at you for real, but the answer's no."
Jeff swallowed. "Uh…"
"I may not be a were, a wolf, but I can still be territorial. And you've been spending far too much time encroaching on my space." Jared's arms crossed over his chest. "I've spoken to Chris and Tom, so they're going to keep an eye on you. Jensen's still in the dark, and if I have anything to say about it it's going to stay that way. You're going to stay away from us, or I'm going to take Jensen away from the pack, from you, do you understand?"
And what could he say to that? Being outsmarted by a human… He was getting sloppy.
Nodding, Jeff watched as Jared nodded in turn and then left.
With Jared and Chris and Tom all keeping watch it would be tricky, but there was only one thing to do: He was going to have to change his methods. He'd already been looking into hidden cameras and such, he'd just have to put his plan into play sooner rather than later. There were plenty of alternative plans, he was just going to have to figure out what they were.
Jared could try and take Jensen away if he really wanted to, but Jared did not get to have him all to himself. Jeff had already dug his claws in too deep. He wasn't letting go so easily. Not for the pack, not even for Jensen.
Jeff had come to terms with his fate. They could run, but he was already resigned to the eternal chase.