Johnny could hear Tommaso’s howls. He grinned; his mate never said it but Johnny knew how much Tommaso loved running in wolf form, especially on warm dark evenings like this. He could feel it through their bond, the exhilaration. Tommaso only got like that when he ran alone; a lone wolf to his core. It was an amazing sensation, that enjoyment, how often Johnny could tell the wolf was thinking of him, darting back so that he could see Johnny was fine though Johnny couldn’t see him – wolf sight was insane. Johnny’s grin felt way wider now, now that he and Tommaso were bonded. It always would.
Johnny went back to his DS game and only paused it a while later when someone sat down beside him on the bench. It wasn’t anyone he knew, definitely a wolf though – there was something about the way people moved that revealed how many skins they carried. Ember said that not everyone found it so easy to see that but it was easy for Johnny. Maybe because of wrestling; Johnny had met a lot of different skins.
The guy had light gray eyes and a friendly-enough expression. Johnny just smiled easily, politely, and dropped his gaze back to his DS, until the guy spoke.
“Are you wearing a Power Ranger communicator?”
Johnny grinned, twisting his wrist to glance down at what was strapped there. It’d been worth all the money he’d paid for it.
“Been wanting one since I was eight.”
“Don’t they go for hundreds on eBay?”
“Yeah, but they did a new range recently. Like a rerelease? I bought one of everything.”
He really had. The guy moved a little closer; Johnny kept a sharp eye on him, wariness rising. It wasn’t anywhere close to a full moon but the guy’s behavior was already near the line. Johnny could speed-dial Ember without glancing at his phone if he needed to.
Suddenly, the guy reached for Johnny's wrist, no warning at all. Woah. Johnny deftly avoided the stranger's touch - there was protocol when talking to someone from another pack and someone so obviously bonded and this guy was way past it. Maybe he was a wolf without a pack. Johnny hadn't met many but he'd heard stories of that could mean.
Johnny got to his feet, his heart running a little fast because the guy had to smell Tommaso in the area and he'd still made a move like he was going to scent-mark Johnny and he hadn't apologized. In fact, he was ready to pounce again, trying to enter Johnny's personal space. Johnny managed to swing away, suffering only a glancing touch. The guy's expression had lost all friendliness and just looked mean and predatory now. Johnny was lucky he was a wrestler; used to using his body to win. But he wasn't going to stay lucky much longer. Human versus wolf only ever ended one way. His heartbeat ran faster and his hands curled into fists.
When the guy reached for him with more speed and wildness this time, Tommaso rocketed into view, having apparently run from wherever he'd been, and launched himself so that he was stood between the stranger and Johnny. Something in the mating bond had alerted him. Gratitude and relief flooded through Johnny. He stepped back and pulled out his phone to send a message to Ember. If this guy wasn’t absolutely lone, there’d be a pack for Ember to parlay with.
The wolf growled but Tommaso’s growl was louder. Johnny’s hands didn’t shake; Tommaso was powerful and motivated and he wasn’t going to back down. Johnny had to watch only; those were the rules. He wasn't going to go anywhere, no way. Tommaso changed back to human-form, naked and still growling. The other guy didn’t look like he wanted to start a fight.
“Fuck off,” were Tommaso’s only words, in a deep tone thick with sharp teeth.
He’d have gone for the guy’s throat if Johnny hadn’t been there. Ember’s message back to Johnny was to send her a report after and to say the moment back-up was needed. Johnny’s thumb hovered over the call button.
The other wolf took a last look at Johnny; who looked back without a hint of anything happy. The guy sneered and spat, muttering about packs and bitches before leaving. Johnny waited until the guy was out of sight and then pocketed his phone, his heart still thumping hard. Tommaso turned and touched Johnny’s shoulders, his face, scent-marking and reassurance. It was good for Johnny too; he closed his eyes a moment to drink in Tommaso’s presence and the fact that Tommaso was fine. Fighting beside him in the ring was one thing; a wolf fight was totally different. There was no way it’d be the last either.
“He didn’t touch me much,” Johnny stated, opening his eyes again. “He was gonna keep trying and-.”
Tommaso growled deep in his throat and then tugged Johnny in for a long embrace, nuzzling against Johnny’s throat and worrying his mouth over the mating mark. Johnny leaned instantly into his mate's touch. He had to contact Ember and they really should get home but he knew Tommaso needed this, right now. He wasn’t the only one. Johnny’s heartbeat was still fast as he ran his hands over Tommaso’s back and kissed his shoulder. They were both fine.
They stayed locked together, Tommaso naked and Johnny fully clothed, until Johnny’s phone went off. He answered quickly, knowing it was probably Ember.
“What’s happening?” was her intent first question.
“He’s fine, we’re fine,” Johnny told her quickly, squeezing a hand at Tommaso’s hip. “There wasn’t anyone with the wolf that I could see. I think he's without a pack? He left after Tommaso showed up.”
“No pack smells,” Tommaso volunteered, loud enough for Ember to hear him. “Nothing.”
He growled around the last syllable and Johnny kissed his shoulder. There were rustling noises from Ember’s end and low voices before she spoke clearly to Johnny.
“We’ll catch up tomorrow. Stay safe.”
She hung up and Johnny pocketed the phone, Tommaso still plastered against him. Ember was going to investigate; Johnny had registered the careful fury in her tone. Any move against her pack was taken seriously. Johnny had been approached by other wolves before, especially before he and Tommaso bonded, but never like that, like what he wanted didn't matter, like he could just be ripped away from Tommaso.
Johnny sighed reluctantly because they couldn’t do this here, not without getting noticed by every wolf in the area and then arrested for a very public act. He needed to be as close as possible to Tommaso though, like right now.
“Let’s go home.”
Johnny was pretty prepared for what happened once they got in the door. Tommaso shucked his own clothes off – put on back at the park with growling impatience for the journey home – and pounced. Johnny didn’t resist as Tommaso pushed past his clothing, honing in on the skin underneath.
Tommaso needed to reclaim, to dominate. Johnny was more than happy about it. It didn’t mean Tommaso was stomping over his choices; Johnny wanted and needed this too. It was miles away from what had happened at the park. It was part of a wolf’s nature to be possessive of their mate. Johnny’s cock was already hard and his heart was running fast for a different reason now. He didn't feel like he could wait another moment himself.
Ember had said that was part of being in a pack too, even for a human. A human like Johnny became part of the wolf cycle of behavior but valued and protected for his human nature. Johnny had always felt at home in his pack position, especially once he and Tommaso had mated. This, now, was part of it, part of a bond, part of being in a pack, part of being with Tommaso. Even when it meant situations like tonight, Johnny would choose to mate with Tommaso again, every time. He needed to now.
Tommaso sniffed the air, growled and tried to tear at Johnny’s clothes but Johnny managed to shed them quickly instead and then they were skin to skin, Tommaso half-dragging him to what was their room now. Johnny let himself be arranged on the bed – on all fours. There was a bottle tucked around the side of Johnny's pillow and Tommaso slopped some of its contents over Johnny's back in his relentless hurry. Johnny shivered and pushed back as Tommaso's fingers pressed between his thighs, closing his eyes, his mouth open. In moments like this, it was like there was a fire under his skin and Tommaso only made it hotter, better. Ember had said that was part of the bond too.
Tommaso was panting and growling, withdrawing his fingers and not wasting any time in lining himself up and pushing in. There was enough of a burn to make Johnny whimper, not because it hurt too much but because it was exactly what he needed. It was Tommaso; claiming him. He was still with Tommaso; that hadn't changed. It wasn't going to. Tommaso didn't move slowly; Johnny could feel how clawed his fingers were and there were Tommaso's teeth at his neck. Johnny rolled with the movement, going off-balance more than once and then trying to brace himself properly because he didn't want to stop.
Tommaso's thrusts were getting harder and Johnny kept his eyes closed, lost in the sensation that meant they were together , choosing each other all over again.
Afterward, Tommaso spooned up against Johnny, arms folded around him as they lay out together, his mouth firmly revisiting the bonding mark. Johnny let out a soft sigh; smiling even though he could feel Tommaso’s teeth bruising his skin. The mark was going to be a lot bigger for a few days. That was totally fine with Johnny.
But then Tommaso surprisingly moved, tipping Johnny over onto his back and moving down his body to begin sucking a mark onto Johnny’s chest. No explanation and Johnny just watched because it felt really good, little kindles of heat through the bone-deep happiness that he was full of right now. Tommaso wasn't done there though. In total, he left two marks across Johnny's chest, then a couple on Johnny's thighs and one on his left hip. Johnny patted helplessly at Tommaso’s shoulder.
It was pretty much all he could say, overwhelmed by sensation and Tommaso’s clear intent to mark him up as much as possible. Yes. God, Johnny really loved that idea. Tommaso made a noise in his throat but crawled up Johnny’s body to nose at his neck again. Every part of Johnny felt warm and just on the edge of buzzing. It was incredible. Did Tommaso feel this too? Even without the marks? Johnny wished there was a way he could mark his mate as well.
Tommaso was running as hot as always and his eyes glowed as he gazed at Johnny, desire still bright in his eyes. The buzzing inside of Johnny got stronger. He ran a hand down Tommaso's face, marvelling and grateful and not wanting to let go. Not tonight, not ever.
“Mate,” Tommaso hissed out past his sharpened teeth.
“Mate,” Johnny repeated, his other hand running over the marks Tommaso had just made, hit by the really strong hope and need for more.
Tommaso bit his fingers.