Tsuki was absolutely miserable. His lungs were hurting and his feet were freezing as he trudged through ankle deep snow. His leather boots were soaked through as well as the tips of his pants legs. His knees and the side of his left thigh was also wet from when he fell in the snow earlier. His hands were beat red, his ears ached from the cold, his nose was burning, and his eyes were constantly leaking from the stinging breeze. His red scarf wasn’t near big enough to keep his orifices warm. The most he could do was pull it over his nose but it would periodically fall down to around his mouth. The shirt he wore was thin, making the biting wind stab into his flesh. The only thing close enough to a coat he had was the black cloak that was tied around his neck. The hood wouldn’t stay on his head as the wind kept picking it up and tossing it off his cranium and the cloak didn’t have buttons so there was no way to keep it wrapped around himself.
And to top it all off, Tsuki was miles away from home, being forced to keep walking by the man in front of him. The person was trudging the path for him, making the snow lower than it was. His shoes were taller than Tsuki’s and seemed to be more padded as well. The parka he wore was thick and long so that it covered his legs no problem. Even if this man fell, he wasn’t suffering from the cold like Tsuki was. The raven seemed to know where he was going without fault as he walked with purpose, holding Tsukishima’s wrist to keep the blond going.
Tsukishima glared at the hand but was too scared to say anything against this man.
Five days ago, a werewolf demanded Tsuki to become his sacrifice. Tsukishima’s home town had been plagued by a wolf for years, since before Tsuki was born. The werewolf had slaughtered his people ruthlessly. It relished in the chaos it brought until a church was erected. With the church as a sanctuary, the child of the devil couldn’t cross onto the hollow ground. It then began to destroy their homes and their livestock in a temper tantrum. The mayor of the town ended up coming to an agreement with the wolf, in which they would offer their best livestock to the wolf and the wolf would agree to leave them alone.
Tsuki’s village lived like that for generation. Then five days ago, the wolf stated it wanted Tsukishima as it’s sacrifice. If the village didn’t comply, he would go on a crusade of chaos and death. Tsuki was willing to give his life to keep his family, his people safe. The town disagreed, especially his brothers, but their hands were tied. The life of one was not worth the life of everyone. So many people in the village disagreed with these demands. Everyone loved Tsuki and he was friends with all. But it had to be done.
It had to be done. It was what Tsuki told himself. He had assumed that he was going to die that night. He made his peace with God, with his family, and with his town and had waited for the wolf to arrive to kill him.
However, the wolf didn’t kill him. Instead, it took him away from his village, back to its lair in the mountains where it showed Tsuki that it was, in truth, a man who could transform into the giant werewolf they all feared. In the form of a human, this man violated Tsukishima. He forced Tsuki to partake in sexual acts, where he showed him the sin of sodomizing and the pleasure of laying with a man. Tsuki couldn’t have been more miserable. He had been okay dying for his village but being raped was something he never thought he’d have to do. That night, Tsuki could do nothing but cry.
One would think it couldn’t get worse but it did. The next morning, the man, who introduced himself as Hachimenroppi, had proclaimed his love for Tsuki. Then stated that they had to leave the valley Tsuki had spent his entire life in. A holy order had surfaced. By the grace of God, these men went around and exterminated monsters like Roppi. Because of that, Roppi decided that he had to leave. He said there was an island called Taiwan where he would be safe. And Roppi refused to leave Tsukishima behind.
The blond had no choice but to leave everything he had ever known to go with this beast on a journey that would make him nothing but miserable.
There was no joy for Tsukishima as they made their way down the mountain. A trip like that would usually only take three days but Tsuki’s asthma was constantly being triggered. He had an asthma attack three times in the course of one day. Because of that, Roppi had no choice but to stop and make camp before night in order to keep Tsuki warm and alive. Because of that, it took them five full days in order to get down the mountain.
Now they were treading through a forest on the other side. There was no sign of civilization for miles. As far as Tsuki knew, he was the only human in this entire area.
Tsuki stumbled. He fought to catch himself, his free arm flailing to try and keep his balance. Roppi gave his wrist a tug to help him, as well. But all that did was make Tsuki twist and fall on his back. He felt into a soft powder of snow. Tsuki squealed from the cold that prickled his spine and went to sit up quickly. Roppi tugged his wrist again, getting the blond to his feet with one strong jerk.
Tsuki coughed hard, his body beginning to shake.
“Oi, oi, oi.” Roppi said. “Don’t freak out. You’re okay.”
“I-I-I’m no-no-not, I’m not o-okay.”
A violent cough thrashed his throat.
“Breath. Deep breathes, Tsuki.”
Tsuki shook his head. “Th-the cold is hu-hurting…”
Roppi grumbled. He then let Tsuki’s wrist go and pulled the duffle bag on his back forward. He unbound the flap and pulled out a pelt.
“Take off your wet clothes.”
Tsuki’s eyes widened. He took a step back and shook his head, holding his clothes protectively.
“Take them off. I’ll wrap you in this. It should warm you up.”
“N-n-no. I-I can’t walk n-naked. Wh-wh-what if—what if someone s-sees me?”
“There’s no one to see you. We’re in the middle of nowhere.”
“Take them off, Tsuki. You’re going to trigger your asthma and I don’t want to waste more time on you.”
Tsuki felt tears weld in his eyes as he clenched his teeth.
“Tsuki, either you take them off or I’ll take them off for you. And if I have to take them off, I have no fucking reason not to tear them off you.”
Tsuki jolted. “N-n-no!”
“Then do as I say.”
“Why are you crying? Just fucking do it.”
Tsuki couldn’t tell if his hands were shaking because of the cold or because of how upset he was. To strip naked in the wide open in front of a man who had devoured him the first day they met made Tsuki feel like he was being violated without needing to be touched. He swallowed hard as he started to unbutton his waistcoat.
His lungs hurt even more from his tears. He tried to regulate his breathing but that was easier said than done. His black waistcoat came undone. Despite his shaking hands, he managed to unfasten the buttons on his white long sleeve and finally exposed his torso. He shrugged them off his shoulders and down his arms. The icy cold touched his bare flesh and made his whole body break out in goosebumps.
Roppi held his hands out for the shirts. Tsuki tentively handed them over. The raven tied the sleeves of his button down around the straps of his duffle bag, the waistcoat wrapped around it.
Tsuki then went about unfastening his pants.
“Take off your shoes too.”
“Are they soaked through?”
“Then take them off. I have some tabi’s you can wear.”
Tsuki didn’t respond. But he did as he was told. He knelt down and untied his shoes, pulling them off along with his socks. He stuffed his wet socks in his shoes and handed them over to Roppi. The snow bit into his feet, making his squeal and step from foot to foot rapidly. Roppi quickly dug out a pair of boots that separated the big toe from the rest of the toes. They were as flimsy as socks, the only hard part of them being the soles that were made of wood. He handed them over, along with a wash cloth. Tsuki made quick work of wiping one foot down and slipping the tabi on, then doing the same with the other. Tsuki let out a breath of relief as his feet quickly began to warm within the depth of his new dry footwear.
Tsuki finally grabbed his pants and pulled them down. He didn’t want to take time to think on it else he won’t be able to do it. They fell down to around his knees with no problem. The cold wind touched his sensitive unmentionables and made him squeal. He closed his legs and stepped out of his pants quickly, wrapping his arms around himself.
“Scarf and cloak too. They’re wet, as well.”
“N-n-no! I’ll f-f-freeze.”
“It’s not that cold.”
“Y-y-y-yes—” Tsuki’s words devolved into violent coughs that quickly turned into hacks. He felt bile rise in his throat. He quickly tilted his head down and vomited, holding his cloak out of the way.
Tsuki could barely breath as agony tore through his entire body. He fell to his bare knees, the cold of the snow no longer bothering him as he was more focused on his lungs.
‘Someone, please help me.’ Tsuki thought, unable to say the words he wanted to. ‘I don’t want to be here…’
Roppi knelt down quickly and tugged on Tsuki’s cloak. The blond couldn’t protest as he couldn’t speak and was quickly losing strength in his limps. The raven pulled the cloak off, followed by the scarf. He then wrapped Tsuki in a thick wolf’s pelt. Hachimenroppi picked Tsuki up with a strength that didn’t belong to a man and wrapped him from head to shin in this pelt, even making a make-shift hood to cover Tsuki’s head and face.
Roppi then lied Tsuki down. Tsuki couldn’t feel the cold as the pelt was extremely thick. The man then tilted Tsuki’s head back. The blonde’s mouth was open in order to gasp for air, his vision blurry and his cheeks flushed. Roppi put his mouth over Tsuki’s. But it wasn’t a kiss. It was merely CPR. It was the only thing Roppi and his complete lack of any form of medicine and tools could do to help Tsukishima breath.
Roppi breathed deeply into the blonde’s mouth. He filled Tsuki’s closing windpipes with warm air. Continuously, over and over without pause, Roppi gave Tsuki CPR. What felt like hours to Tsuki was mere minutes to the rest of the world before the blond could feel himself recover. His lungs still burnt but his throat didn’t feel as tight and the weight was lifting from his chest. However, the blond was nowhere near close to being saved.
Tsuki turned his head away, nonetheless.
“I’m f-f-f-fine n-now…” Tsuki said between gasps.
“Bull.” Roppi leaned down to administer more.
Tsuki buried his face into the pelt and spoke between gasps. “Un-unless we…ge-ge-get some…where w-w-warm…C-CPR w-won’t…help.”
“We can’t make camp now. The day has only just started. Let me keep doing CPR for a bit longer.”
“Bullshit it ain’t.”
Roppi growled. “Will you be okay?”
Tsuki nodded. He could already feel his attack coming down. He’d live.
Roppi latched his duffle shut. He tied Tsuki’s pants, cloak, scarf, and shoes to the strap then tossed the sack over his shoulder so it was once again on his back. He then pulled the pelt over Tsuki’s face. The blond was buffeted by his own warm breath. He felt Roppi put his arms underneath his shoulders and legs and in the next moment, he was lifted into the air. His body was pressed against Roppi’s chest. Both arms were acting as a seat for Tsuki as his head rested on Roppi’s shoulder. The blond arms were trapped under the pelt, pinned between his body and Roppi’s so if he were to fall, Tsuki wouldn’t be able to catch himself. The raven was leaning back slightly so Tsuki wouldn’t have to worry about that.
Hachimenroppi continued their journey. Tsuki couldn’t see where they were going, but it was not like it mattered as he didn’t know where they were heading anyway. Exhaustion was quickly creeping into Tsuki’s vision. He let his head rest against Roppi completely and was unconscious in moments.
Tsuki woke to the sound of a crackling fire and the smell of something cooking. His vision was obscured by the pelt but he could see the color of fire edge the fur-line. Tsuki reached up and pushed the pelt up.
Roppi was sitting by a small fire. There were strips of meat on sticks around the edge of the stones that circled the flames. Tsuki saw his clothes and shoes were hanging on the branch above Roppi’s head. They looked mostly dry and would surely smell like smoke when Tsuki next put them on.
The blond sat up. Roppi looked over his shoulder at him. “Hey. How you feeling?”
“M-my throat hurts.”
Roppi chuckled. He turned, stood, and walked over to Tsuki. The blond stiffened but tried his best not to show it. Roppi knelt down in front of him and reached into his duffle bag that Tsuki had been using as a pillow. He pulled out what looked like a bladder with a wooden grip and cork shoved into one end.
“Here.” Roppi held the thing out to Tsuki.
“Wh-what is that?”
“It’s just water.”
“N-no, wh-what’s it in?”
“…It’s a deer’s bladder. They’re very useful for holding liquids.”
“Don’t worry, I cleaned it properly.” Roppi glowered. “People have been using deer’s bladders as water sacks for years.”
“M-my father ha-has a metal canteen.”
“I’m not your father now drink.” Roppi shoved it in Tsuki’s face.
Tsuki did not like the idea of drinking out of such a thing. He had been content drinking from the streams that trickled down the mountain. Thanks to the filter of the rocks, it was safe to drink without fear of animal contaminations. But Tsuki could probably guess that there were no nearby streams so if he wanted to drink, he would have to use this.
The blond wanted to refuse. He wanted to be stubborn and just wait till they made it to a town. But his throat wouldn’t last that long. It burnt with dehydration and the after effects of his asthma. He needed to drink.
Tsuki sighed and pulled his arms out of the pelt to reach for the bladder. He grabbed it around the wood grip. That was the only part of the thing that was firm. The rest was flaccid and floppy, the sound of water sloshing about inside.
“Hold it like that,” Roppi said then grabbed Tsuki’s other hand. “Put this hand here,” he put Tsuki’s hand around the base of the neck. “Then put it to your lips and tilt. You’re going to have to lift the rest of it up to get the water to go but keep your hand around the neck like that so you don’t get more than you can swallow.”
Tsuki didn’t answer. Roppi pulled the cork out. The water didn’t smell bad, surprisingly, which made his less tentative to drink it. He put the opening to his lips and did as Roppi instructed. Tilting did nothing until he lifted the sack. Water pressed against his lips. He swallowed greedily until he couldn’t handle anymore and tilted his head back down with the bladder.
“Not so bad, right?” Roppi had a smug smile on his lips.
Tsuki wiped his mouth as he held it out for the raven to take back. “Thank you.”
Roppi glowered at Tsuki as a blush crossed his cheeks. Tsuki cocked a brow in confusion. Roppi took the sack without saying anything and put the cork back in.
“You’re cute, you know that?” Roppi said before turning away.
Tsuki didn’t say anything. ‘I don’t get him.’
Roppi went back to the fire, where he sat down on a pelt he had lain out. Tsuki thought it was stupid to have something so flammable next to an open flame but he wasn’t going to say anything. He didn’t understand the first thing about primitive survival so who was he to tell this wild-man what to do?
Roppi turned the sticks so that the other side of the meat was next to the flame.
“You like rabbit, yeah?’ Roppi asked.
“…Mm-hm.” Tsuki nodded.
“Good. We ate through all of the pork yesterday.”
“Yeah, but it’s fine.” Roppi looked back at him. “I can catch some more later.”
“Are…Are you not scared of wild boar? I…I heard they’re re-really vi-vicious.”
Roppi chuckled. “Come on, Tsukishima. I’m the scariest thing in this forest.”
“…O-only when th-the full moon is o-out.”
“Nope, that’s wrong.”
“I can transform every night if I wanted to. But the full moon is the day I have to transform.”
“It’s kinda like a period. The chick can spot throughout the month but they eventually have to go through an actual period, with the cramps and unending blood and hormonal disbalance.”
That analogy was lost on Tsuki, as he didn’t know what a period was. And that must have shown on his face as Roppi cocked a brow with obvious judgement.
“You don’t know what a period is?”
“N-no.” Tsuki adverted his eyes.
“Please tell me you know how babies are born.”
“…Nii—Tsugaru-Nii sa-said that it’s something-thing that happens wh-when you ge-get married.”
“Are you fucking…”
Tsuki cocked a brow.
Roppi let out a heavy sigh. “You’re seventeen-years-old. Shouldn’t you have be promised to a girl by now?”
Tsuki jolted. “Um, w-w-w-well…”
Tsuki fell quiet. He had been betrothed to a girl named Shizuko. She was a natural blond like Tsuki, but that was due to her grandfather being a foreigner, and his mother thought she was a sweet girl that would make a man out of Tsukishima, even if it wasn’t to the extent as the rest of the men in the town. Shizuko and him had been friendly but they weren’t all that close. His mother used to say things such as, “You’ll come to love her once you’re married.” “You’ll be happy later but for now you should be content.”
Regardless of Tsuki’s view on his marriage-to-be, he didn’t want to answer that question in case Roppi became jealous and decided to turn around solely to remove competition.
“Have you?” Roppi asked.
“…No.” Tsuki kept his eyes on the ground.
“The fuck? No one wanted you?”
Tsuki just shrugged. “I-It’s not like I wa-was able to be th-the supportive hus-husband.”
“…Guess that’s true. As far as genetics go, you’re a pretty weak link.” Roppi chucked. “If you were born a wolf, the pack would have abandoned you.”
“G-guess it’s a good th-thing I was b-b-b-born—I was born a hu-man.”
Roppi turned and casted him a glare. Tsuki stiffened and his eyes widened. He felt fear creep up his spine.
“First off, racist.” Roppi growled. “I am a human. I have the same biology as a human, same bodily functions, and am able to breed with humans. So, don’t sit here and call me otherwise.”
“…Humans can’t turn into wolves…” Tsuki muttered.
“What?” Roppi’s glare deepened.
“Nothing…” Tsuki turned his head away.
Roppi pulled his lip back in a snarl. “Listen here, Tsuki. Your akita can get impregnated by a timber wolf without any complication. Why is that? Because they’re both fucking canines. It’s the same fucking thing with me. I’m human, I’m just a different kind of human. Nothing more.”
Tsuki didn’t answer. ‘You’re not a human. You’re a devil. A demon of hell that walks on this earth.’
Roppi rolled his eyes. “Whatever, you’ll get it eventually.” He then grinned at the blond. “I’ll be your main form of company for the rest of your life.”
Tsuki immediately felt like crying. His chest tightened and his hands clenched against his knees. Tsuki turned his head away because he didn’t want Roppi to see him cry. Tsuki hugged his knees to his chest and rested his cheek against his knee.
“Anyway, your clothes are dry.” Roppi said in a much softer tone. “You should put them on.”
Tsuki didn’t answer. He rubbed his eyes against his knees to get rid of the tears.
Tsuki looked up. Roppi was holding out his clothes to Tsuki.
‘That was fast…’ Tsuki thought.
The blond reached up and grabbed his clothes. Tsuki criss-crossed his legs to put his clothes in his lap. The pelt fell off the blonde’s shoulders, exposing his upper torso. He shivered and his body broke out in goosebumps. He grabbed his long sleeve and tugged it on. A pungent smell hit Tsuki’s nose. He cringed then reached down and pulled his shirt up to his face.
He pulled away with an expression of disgust.
Roppi held back a laugh. “Does it stink?”
“S-smells like, like sweat, d-dirt, snow, a-and sm-smoke. It does-doesn’t smell good—good.”
Roppi chuckled. “Wanna wear something else? We can wash your clothes when we meet up with my packmates.”
Tsuki looked up at Roppi wide-eyed. “Packmates?”
“Yeah. I told you, me and my pack decided to go to Taiwan to get away from the holy order. They should be showing sometime tonight or tomorrow.”
“…W-when you say pack…are—do you me-mean there are m-more w-werewolves?”
Tsuki felt his stomach clench. ‘There are more of them…’
Roppi rolled his eyes. He turned and grabbed his duffle. “Here, you can wear some of Rubi’s clothes. You two are about the same size.”
“Yeah. He’s someone you don’t want to piss off. He has a no-bullshit policy so he’ll call you out on it and depending on what it was, he may beat the shit out of you.”
“He has his own form of justice since the justice system has failed him a lot in the past.”
“…H-how d-did that…”
Roppi looked at him. Then glanced back to the duffle. “I guess you have a right to know. You’ll be a member of the pack soon so you’re going to need to know the pasts of your new family.”
Tsuki stiffened at the calm notion of Roppi’s statement. As if Tsuki had been married off and had to move to his husbands’ home town to live with his family.
“Well,” Roppi started, “when Rubi was a kid, he lived in a village with the rest of society. He didn’t know he was any different than the other kids. Well, the villagers found out he was a wolf so they came and burnt their house down while they were inside it. His mother was the wolf, his dad was a man. His mother transformed and managed to get Rubi out but she couldn’t save her husband. It was no longer safe for them to live in any town, his mother didn’t trust man anymore. So, Rubi went from sleeping in a warm house on a soft bed to a cold, hard cave.”
Tsuki felt his heart ache for this Rubi he never met. A child was an innocent, in Tsuki’s opinion. That was why a child was supposed to be baptized when they are born, because they are protected by God until they can make their own choices. It wasn’t fair to blacken their hearts before they understand the difference between sin and saints.
“You know, if you stop to look at it.” Roppi continued as he pulled out a pair of brown jeans. “Man tends to create their own demons, don’t they?”
“…W-what do you mean?”
“I mean, if they were to accept us instead of fear us, they would have a powerful ally instead of a dangerous enemy. I mean, if any other creature, if a real child of the devil were to show up and attack the village, then us wolves could be the first line of defense. Not much can beat us in a fight, even in human-form.” Roppi chuckled. “If your ancestors had accepted my great great grandfather instead of drowning his daughter, we could have had a very different kind of agreement.”
“Drown?” Tsuki jolted.
“Yeah. Your little town found out my great grandmother was a wolf. Instead of killing her, they put her in the river in the middle of winter. They tied her arms down so she couldn’t swim. They wanted her to confess to her sins—which she hadn’t committed any—and reveal the location of where the rest of her kind was at. Basically saying, ‘You’re going to die either or way but if you give up your family, we won’t torture you’.”
“…She, she had to ha-have co-committed sin if-if she was—”
“The only sin she committed was being born.” Roppi glowered at him. “Is that really something you can count as a fucking sin when a child never asks to be born?”
Tsuki didn’t answer.
“That’s why my great great grandfather went and massacred the village then began destroying the town when they went to the church.”
Tsuki again didn’t answer. Confliction resonated in his chest from that story. If Roppi was telling the truth, then he was right. If no sin was committed other than being born, which isn’t the child’s fault, it shouldn’t give rise to a person’s demise.
But the church couldn’t be wrong. These people…weren’t people. They were monster’s that were birthed by the devil. They didn’t deserve the mercy of God. They deserved to be wiped from the soil that belonged to God.
Tsuki absentmindedly began fiddling with the clothes in his lap so he didn’t have to think on what was right or wrong. His fiddling led him to realizing something.
“Um…w-where’s my-my waist coat?”
Roppi cocked a brow at him. “Isn’t it there?”
Roppi leaned forward and grabbed Tsuki’s cloak. He lifted it up and shook it out, but no black waist coat fell into the blonde’s lap. Roppi scowled for a moment.
“I must have dropped it somewhere in the forest.”
Tsuki jolted. “Wh—we have to go find it!”
“In the middle of the night? There’s no way we’ll find it.”
“Besides I covered a lot of ground today while you were passed out. We’d have to do a whole day’s travel backwards when we’re less than a day away from our destination.”
“It’s just a waist coat, anyway.”
“It-It-It-It’s not just a waist coat! The-the-the gold buttons on it, the-they’re from my gr-grandmother’s rosary!”
Tsuki felt tears weld. “W-when-when my Gr-Grandmother passed, my-my mom decided to use her rosary as the buttons for-for Tsugaru-Nii’s waist coat, so-so that we’ll never forget about her by-by storing her stuff—her stuff in a random dr-drawer. It was-was passed down to m-me when Tsugaru-Nii and D-D-Delic-Nii outgrew it.”
Roppi’s eyes widened. “Seriously?”
Tsuki felt the tears streak his cheeks. The flesh on his face immediately burned from the icy wind.
“Hey, hey, hey, don’t cry, don’t cry.” Roppi reached forward and grabbed Tsuki’s biceps. He looked at Tsuki with a remorseful expression as the blond wiped his eyes on his dirty sleeves. “Look, it’ll be okay. I’ll get you a new waistcoat, alright? To make up for it.”
“I don’t wan—”
Roppi pulled Tsuki in for a hug. “It’ll be okay. Come on, it’ll be something important to you, okay? I’ll make it just as important as the one you lost.”
Tsuki clenched his teeth. He snuffled before rubbing his eyes into Roppi’s shoulder to dry them.
‘I wanna go home…’
The smell of something burning tore through the air. Roppi quickly pushed Tsuki away and looked over his shoulder. One of the meat sticks had caught fire. Roppi cursed loudly before turning and diving for the food.
“Dammit!” Roppi cursed again as he pulled the rest of the meat away from the fire, letting that one burn to a crisp in the licks of orange and yellow. “Dammit!”
Tsuki didn’t give any reaction as he let out a stuttered sigh and took off his shirt.
‘There’s nothing I can do about it now.’ Tsuki closed his eyes tight shut to keep the tears from falling. ‘I can’t get upset. I have to stay strong. If I cry, I’ll just trigger my asthma again. Be strong, be strong.’
Tsuki grabbed the clothes Roppi had tossed on the duffle. He lifted a black button up. Tsuki cocked a brow.
‘Why do they all wear black?’
The blond scrutinized the dark color before letting out a sigh and putting it on.
‘It doesn’t matter, not like I’m one to talk with a pure black cloak. I just need to stay warm.’
He stripped off his shirt and quickly put the black one on. He buttoned up the long sleeve. Once it was on, he pulled the pelt back up and wrapped it over his shoulder.
“Burr!” Tsuki shivered.
Tsuki grabbed the brown jeans off the duffle. He pushed them down into the pelt so he didn’t have to expose his legs to the cold. He lied back on the ground and brought his legs up. He quickly pulled the jeans up over his tabi’s and up his limbs. He tugged them to around his waist. He buttoned and zipped the pants close then sat back up.
“We should get you a thicker coat.” Roppi said, pulling the meat off the sticks and putting them on his makeshift, wooden plate. “The cloak isn’t thick enough to keep you warm.”
“Um, it…it’s fine.” Tsuki said.
“No, it’s not fine. You keep having asthma attacks because you’re wearing flimsy clothes.”
“But, but, I don’t—ple-please don’t get rid of it. That was—It was a gi-gift. T-to help with my skin con-condition.”
Roppi looked at him. “Skin condition?”
“Um…y-yes. Th-the sun hurts my-my skin. Its v-very sensitive.”
“We’ve been traveling for five days th—oh! The suns been covered in clouds.”
“An-and I also have l-layers on and m-my hood.”
“Is that why your cheeks are red all the time?”
Tsuki nodded. “Th-they’re s-sunburnt a bit.”
“Do you want some aloe leaves?”
“Yeah, it’ll help relieve the pain of sunburns. I just need to crush it into a poultice and put on your burns.”
Roppi nodded. “It doesn’t grow naturally here so I’ll have to get some when we get to our destination.”
Roppi walked over. He sat down on the pelt next to Tsuki and held the plate out to the blond. The wolf let out a chuckle. “You should be happy I took you away before the holy order got to your rath. They’d burn you at the stake with all your problems.”
Roppi took a strip of meat and pulled a bite off. “You’ve probably never heard of the things this order does. But anyone who looks or acts out of the norm is a target for the ‘holy order’. I heard from one of my packmates that they burnt a kid at the stake. He was younger than you but he was a bit slow. He was born with a mental disorder, I’m sure you’ve heard of things like that, right?”
“Um…y-yeah. There…there’s a boy in our town who is a little slow. The-the father said he has au-autism.”
“Yup. This kid I’m talking about had down syndrome. You know what that is?”
“Um, I’ve heard of it.”
“Well, down syndrome is basically where you can’t learn at the same level as normal people. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of attention from their teachers to get them to learn anything. What’s more, they have a physical deformity with their face. The eyes are really far apart and really small. Their nose is kind of flat. It’s obvious when you look at them that they have down syndrome. I heard it can be caused when the mother drinks alcohol while pregnant but I don’t know if that’s true. But anyway, you get the jist, yeah?”
“Okay, so from what I heard what happened was the holy order came to this town, yeah? They saw this kid with down syndrome and they dictated that this kid was a child of sin, quote on quote. That apparently, the reason his mother died birthing him was cuz she had fornicated with a devil to birth him. The kids’ father put up a lot of resistance about this but they ended up ‘silencing him’.”
“How’d they d-do that?”
“I heard that they pressed him to death.”
“You don’t know what that is?”
Tsuki shook his head.
“Well, basically it’s where they tie your arms down and put stones on your stomach and chest. Every time the person refuses to answer or lies, basically if they say something the holy order doesn’t want to hear, they put another stone on them until they crush their organs and die.”
“I know. I heard that’s what they did to the father. They then put the kid to the stake and burnt him.”
“W-was he really a hell spawn?”
“No. The kid was just born different, Tsuki. No different than you. And that’s the point of what I’m saying.”
Tsuki just stared at him.
“If the holy order made it to your town, you would more than likely get burnt at the stake too. In their opinion, you look like a hell spawn.”
“Wh—how would you know that?”
“Red is the color of the devil.” Roppi looked at him. “Your eyes aren’t normal. Along with the fact that your skin is sensitive to sunlight, you’d be dubbed as a ‘child of the night’—aka, a vampire. The holy order is a bunch of ignorant fucks that have decided that if you’re different it’s because the devil had something to do with it. So, it’s a good thing I grabbed you when I did else you’d probably be dead in the next few months.”
“You—that’s—you’re wrong!” Tsuki glared at Roppi. “You-you can’t say that the church is ignorant!”
“It is, though.”
“It is not! Th-that is like saying God is ignorant!”
“And he isn’t?” Roppi looked at him. “If he was so smart then why did one third of the angels fall from grace?”
“After all, the angels were designed to be perfect. Obedient and the most faithful to God and his mission. God makes man and one third of the most obedient fall with Luci.” Roppi looks at him and a thick grin crossed his lips. “Obviously they weren’t so perfect, now were they?”
Tsuki glared at him. Roppi’s smile immediately vanished as he adverted his eyes.
“Let’s drop the subject.” Roppi said, holding the plate up to Tsuki. “Here, eat. They’ll start to get cold soon.”
“Don’t be stubborn. You need to keep your strength up. Unless you want me to carry you like a damsel from now on.”
Tsuki glowered. He then sighed heavily. “O…okay.”
Tsuki grabbed a few pieces of rabbit. He noticed some of them were charred but he wasn’t going to complain. He put the meat under the pelt to keep his arms warm and brought one up to his lips to start chewing on it.
Roppi took another strip of meat and popped it in his mouth.
“On the subject of your cloak, though, Tsuki.” Roppi started, speaking around a mouthful of food.
Tsuki looked at him.
Roppi swallowed. “We don’t need to get rid of it but I don’t think you should wear it. It’s too flimsy.”
“It-It actually is-isn’t flimsy. The-the fabric is v-very thick.”
Tsuki nodded. “I…I’ve used it as-as a blanket on-on a few occa-occasions.”
“Huh. Well, then we should modify it a bit.”
“I think we could put some buttons on the front of it so that it can close around your torso. Less wind will get in that way.”
Tsuki looked at him. “O…okay. But I…do-do you have any-any buttons or s-sowing gear?”
“No, I don’t know how to sow.”
Tsuki didn’t answer.
“One of my packmates, Sakuraya, he can sow like the best of them. He can make it when they get here.”
“I…I can s-sow it myself.”
“You can sow?”
Roppi smiled. “Impressive.”
Tsuki blushed. “No-Not really. I-I-I could-couldn’t go-go out with the me-men to hun-hunt or cut wood or any-anything like th-that. So, I started-started um, started helping the wo-women to pu-pull my weight.”
Roppi smiled at Tsuki. The blonde’s blush intensified and he looked elsewhere.
“That’s still impressive, in my opinion.” Roppi said, “Most would have just stayed home and done their own thing. You showed some initiative, that’s a great quality.”
Tsuki’s cheeks hurt, he was blushing so hard. “T…thank you.”
The wolf then leaned over and kissed Tsuki’s cheek. The blond jolted. He turned and looked at Roppi wide-eyed, his cheeks still flushed red. Roppi smiled at him.
“Do you want more rabbit?” Roppi asked, “I can make some more if you want.”
“Um...” Tsuki looked down at the snow, embarrassment and a sense of dread flooding his chest. “How…How much is um, is left?”
“I can cook the entire rabbit if you want. I only cooked enough for a small meal.”
“Um…le-let me f-finish eating what I ha-have and I’ll-I’ll decide then.”
Roppi put more rabbit meat in his mouth as he turned and stared at the fire.
Tsuki also turned to face the fire. He didn’t want to look at the black-haired man. This man who kidnapped him and was forcing him to partake in this horrible journey. The thought that this man could make Tsuki happy for even a miniscule of a second upset Tsuki more than he was willing to show. He shouldn’t be happy to be here. He shouldn’t be trying to get along with this monster, And the fact that for a moment he was getting along and he was content made hot shame fill his chest.
Tsuki ate his food in silence. He finished the strips he had brought into his pelt and reached out to the plate to grab more, as he was still very hungry. There wasn’t much meat left and Tsuki felt like the amount he consumed and would consume would not be enough to satisfy his appetite. After all, he slept all day. He had only eaten a small portion of meat that morning, which he had puked up due to his asthma attack.
Tsuki finished off his strips of meat. He reached out again and grabbed another strip. There was only three left so he only grabbed one as Roppi reached for one too.
“You can have the last one.” Roppi stated as he put the strip in his mouth.
“Um…how-how many did you have?”
“I can make more if I get hungry. Don’t worry about me.”
Tsuki reached forward and grabbed the last chunk of meat. He finished the strips of rabbit off.
“Are you still hungry?”
“Um…” Tsuki paused, trying to feel if he was the case. “I’m not-not sure. L-let me sit on it for a min-minute.”
A gust of wind cascaded over them. Tsuki shivered and pulled the pelt closer.
‘The pelt’s not enough.’ Tsuki thought.
The blond quickly shrugged off the pelt and grabbed his cloak. He swung the cloak over himself and let it flutter over his back. He tied the cloak around his neck and shoved the black fabric down into the pelt. He then pulled the pelt back up to wrap around his shoulder. He pulled his hood up over his head to keep his ears warm.
Roppi turned and looked at the blond. He then scooted closer to Tsuki and wrapped his arms around him. Tsuki immediately stiffened. His heart beat quickened as a small prickle of fear went along his spine.
‘He…He wouldn’t want…He wouldn’t want to…do what he’s done before. Not in the middle of the woods.’
Tsuki was fully aware that Roppi hadn’t tried to violate him since their first night together. They had been on the move since then so there hadn’t been time for Roppi to try anything. Tsuki had counted his blessings but every day he feared Roppi wouldn’t hold himself back.
Roppi rubbed his hand up and down Tsuki’s arm. A typical way to try and warm someone up. Tsuki’s gut told him not to trust it.
‘He…he’s not a full animal so…he’s only warming me. Only warming me up. Nothing…’
Roppi leaned over. Tsuki heard the wolf sniff at Tsuki’s neck.
Tsuki felt his blood turn cold when Roppi proved the blonde’s fear right. The wolf tilted his head to nuzzle his face into Tsuki’s hood. He pushed the black fabric out of the way with his nose and pressed his lips to Tsuki’s neck. The werewolf’s hand slipped into the pelt to caress Tsuki’s chest.
“W-w-wait, wait…” Tsuki tried to pull himself away.
“I don’t want to wait.”
Roppi pulled the pelt a bit to expose the clothes underneath. The raven sat up on his knees in order to loom over Tsuki. Tsuki could hear his heart beat in his ears.
“N-no!” Tsuki reached up and pushed against Roppi’s shoulders.
“Hey, come on, don’t do that.” Roppi grabbed Tsuki’s wrists.
“No, I-I don’t want to! Do-do-don’t touch me!”
Roppi let Tsuki’s wrists go and grabbed under Tsuki’s knees. He pulled them up, causing Tsuki to let out a call of surprise as he fell on his back. The blond swung his arms out to catch himself, which made the pelt open. His body was exposed to the cold air. He squealed to the cold.
“Le-l-let me go!” Tsuki reached up and pushed on Roppi’s hands. “Let me-me go!”
“I won’t do anything you don’t like. I’ll make you cum first.”
“I don’t want-want—I don’t like this at-at all!” Tsuki tried to roll on his side while he pushed against Roppi’s chest with his hands. “I don’t want to! Please!”
“Come on, Tsuki, don’t be like that.” Roppi forced Tsuki’s legs apart and lied down in between them. Tsuki was thoroughly pinned. All he could do was grab Roppi’s shoulders. “It’s been five days since we did it last. I want you to get used to it as soon as possible.”
“I don-don’t want to get used to it!”
“Don’t be like that.” Roppi leaned down and kissed Tsuki’s neck. “I’m not a saint. I can’t wait on you forever. Do you know how hard it is to hold back when the person you love is next to you every day?”
“Yo-you you have no self-control!” Tsuki yelled, pushing as hard as he could against Roppi’s shoulders and kicking his legs wildly. “That’s not a reason to do-do this!”
Tsuki felt teeth on his neck.
“Ow! Ow, stop!”
“Tsuki, this’ll be the last day you and I have any form of privacy.” Roppi glared up at the blond. “After tonight, we’ll have to do it within ear shot of my packmates and I know you’ll hate that even more. So, let me get you comfortable with the thought of sex with me first.”
Tsuki didn’t answer. He wasn’t sure if the liquid on his neck was saliva or blood. He was too scared to look. His breathing became heavy and his body was shaking. He could feel tears sting his eyes.
The helplessness that filled Tsuki’s body was soul-crushing. He knew he wasn’t strong enough to stop this beast from doing what he wanted and words seemed to be as useful as a wooden ax. There was nothing Tsukishima could do. He didn’t want to give up and let Roppi have his way. That was the last thing he desired. He wanted to remain strong and refuse Roppi at every turn. But what would that accomplish? Roppi already proved that he’s willing to use violence to make Tsuki complacent. And as much as he hated to admit it, Tsuki wasn’t strong. He was weak and there was nothing he could do to change that right now.
Tsuki broke down into tears. He crossed his arms over his face and turned his head away as sobs racked his body.
“Wha—why are you crying? Come on, Tsuki, don’t do that.” Roppi tried to pull Tsuki’s arms away.
Tsuki refused, tugging against Roppi’s grip. He knew it would do little good as Roppi could easily force his limbs down. But the raven seemed to have developed mercy in the last few seconds and stopped his actions. Tsuki heard him let out a heavy sigh. He peeked through his arms to see Roppi rubbing his hand through his hair in irritancy.
“This is going to take some time, isn’t it?”
Tsuki didn’t answer.
Roppi grabbed Tsuki’s pants and began unbuttoning them. The blond stiffened.
“Well,” Roppi said, “at the very least, I can get your body used to it. Your heart can come later.”
Tsuki clenched his teeth, grabbing a handful of the pelt that was underneath his head.
Tsuki’s pants were pulled up to around his thighs. Cold wind touched the blonde’s rump and genitals.
“I won’t strip you all the way.” Roppi said. “I don’t want you to have an asthma attack.”
Tsuki didn’t answer.
Tsuki jolted as something wet touched his entrance. He squealed to the addition of cold on his body. The blond moved his arms to see what was happening. He instantly regretted that decision as he saw Roppi’s hand in between his legs then immediately felt his index finger into the entrance.
“Ow…” Tsuki clenched his teeth and grabbed the pelt by his hips. “Ow, it hurts.”
“Let me get you used to it.” Roppi twisted his finger.
“Nn!” Tsuki turned his head away, burying his face into his hood. “It’s-it’s dirty. I-I haven’t ba-bathed…”
“That’s why I’m not licking it. But I can assume you wipe properly. And since you puked this morning, I know there’s nothing in here right now.”
Tsuki didn’t answer.
Roppi twisted his finger again, this time rubbing it against a cluster of nerves within Tsuki’s body. The blonde’s eyes widened as his body arched.
‘It’s that spot again!’
Tsuki was bombarded with foreign sensations of pleasure as his manhood gave a significant twitch. He stifled him moans while his hips shifted in an attempt to get Roppi to touch that spot again. It was a subconscious reaction. He didn’t want to enjoy it but his body did. He could only fight it for so long.
“You know, I’m glad you’re not frigid.” Roppi chuckled. “Not many guys can feel it as good as you can their first few times.”
Tsuki’s eyes widened. “Eh?”
Roppi pushed in a second finger.
“Ow! No, it’s stretching! It hu-hurts!”
Tsuki’s outer ring was burning around Roppi’s digits. It was being forced to stretch and Tsuki felt like he was going to tear if Roppi tried to force anything bigger in.
“I know. You’ll get used to it.”
Tsuki couldn’t choke down the sob that bubbled up his throat. Tears were leaking freely from his eyes now. He hid his face in his hood again, turning his body so he was lying on his side. Roppi agreed with Tsuki’s shift and grabbed the blond legs to lie them down. The werewolf then scooted closer to the blond so he had to spread his legs around Tsuki. His thighs were warm and pressed against the exposed flesh of Tsuki’s rump and lower back. The blond wasn’t sure if that was intentional or not.
Roppi twisted his fingers once again and pressed them against Tsukishima’s soft spot.
“Mm~!” Tsuki stiffened to fight the urge to moan aloud.
“Don’t do that.” Roppi leaned forward slightly, propping his feet under his rump to do such. “Let your voice out, Tsukishima.”
Tsuki didn’t answer, biting his inner lip to keep the noises in.
Roppi reached over the blonde’s legs and buried his hand into Tsuki’s crotch. Tsuki jolted and his eyes widened. The werewolf gripped Tsuki’s penis. He rubbed his thumb over the tip while giving it a stroke.
“N-no, don—” Tsuki reached down and pushed on Roppi’s hand.
His efforts were pointless. Roppi didn’t budge at all and he was scarily good at what he was doing. While probing Tsuki’s soft spot inside him, he rubbed his hand up and down the blonde’s member. Tsuki clenched his teeth. His nails dug into the pelt. Tsuki closed his eyes tight shut and buried his face into the fur.
‘Why does it feel so good?’
‘I don’t want this. Why can’t my body be the same? It’s horrible…’
“Hah!” Tsuki arched his back. “Ple-please, stop…”
“You’re so hard, though.” Roppi said. Tsuki looked up to see Roppi was grinning. “Look, you’re leaking so much.”
Roppi gave a decisive rub to the mushroom tip of Tsuki’s penis.
“Uh…!” Tsuki tilted his head down. He shoved the pelt over his mouth to keep his voice muffled.
Tsuki felt like a coil was forming under his stomach. The tension felt good and he recognized it from his first night with Roppi—When the werewolf had first lain with Tsuki. Tsuki wanted the coil to be released. He remembered the euphoria that sensation had caused and his whole body was craving it.
The blond put his hands over his mouth to keep his voice from leaking out. It was hard to do so but he didn’t want Roppi to know he was feeling good. His breath berated his hand from his nose. He was breathing hard and quick as tears streaked the side of his face to trickle over the bridge of his nose. His toes curled, his thighs tightened.
“Don’t hold your voice back.” Roppi said.
“Nm!” Tsuki shook his head.
“It’ll feel better if you do.”
“Nm!” Tsuki shook his head again.
A third finger was pushed into Tsuki’s body. The blonde’s eyes widened. His outer ring burned even more but now Roppi was rubbing that sweet spot with three digits. Roppi’s hand on his cock was moving even faster, jacking Tsuki with abandon. The blond curled his legs around Roppi’s. His heels dug into the raven’s thigh.
‘It’s going to come out! It’s coming!’
Tsuki’s hips shifted. The coil under his stomach tightened more and more.
“You’re twitching so much right now.”
“Mm!” Tsuki tilted his head back, his hands coming off his mouth. “AAhh—Aaaaaah!”
The coil released. Tsuki was blinded by pure white euphoria. Every muscle tightened. His mind went numb. Roppi didn’t stop his movements. He still jerked and probed the blond as splurts of white sprayed the pelts. Tsuki’s hands clenched against his chest to grab onto his shirt, to grab onto anything.
His orgasm didn’t last nearly as long as the first night had. Once he was finished making a mess of the pelts, the euphoria was gone. Tsuki was left in an afterglow. He panted heavily as he stared into the forest without focusing on anything. His whole body went limp, his hands resting against the pelt. His breathing was coming out in hard pants—he could feel his lungs aching and his throat was tightening. A thin layer of sweat was sticking his clothes to his body just enough to give him chills.
Tsuki could feel the start of an asthma attack coming on.
But he couldn’t be concerned by that as hot, burning shame took over his body.
‘This shouldn’t feel so good. Not by the hands of a hell spawn. Not by the hands of a man.’
Fresh tears were starting to sting his eyes.
‘I hate this. I hate this so much. I just want to go home. I don’t want to feel like this…’
Roppi leaned down and kissed Tsuki’s cheek. Tsuki jolted before looking up at his kidnapper. Roppi was smiling down at him.
“Neh, I think it’s my turn now.” Roppi looked down at Tsuki with a loving gaze.
Tsuki felt his insides clench and his blood turn to ice. “N-no…”
Roppi cocked a brow as Tsuki pushed himself onto his elbows. He then put himself on his hands and tried to back away, keeping his legs closed to keep his pants around his thighs.
“What do you mean ‘no’?” Roppi casted him a glare. “I got you off. You can’t leave me hanging.”
Roppi grabbed Tsuki under his knees and pulled him back.
“W-wa-wait—wait!” Tsuki put his hands against Roppi’s chest.
“The fuck, Tsuki? Don’t be selfish.”
Roppi pulled Tsuki close and put the blonde’s knees over his shoulder. He wrapped one arm around Tsuki’s thighs to hold him while his other went about unbuckling his own pants.
“Wa-wait, please! I don’t want—I don’t want to—” Tsuki pulled on Roppi’s hand that held him in place, trying to pry his fingers off. “P-please, don-don’t so-sodomize me. I don’t want th-that!”
Roppi openly glared at him. “Then what? You want me to jerk myself off? When the person I fucking love is right in front of me? The fuck do you expect from me?”
Tsuki felt his hands beginning to shake as fear coursed through him. Tears leaked from his eyes.
“Pl…please…” Tsuki’s voice cracked, despite him trying not to let it. “Please don’t…”
Tsuki felt something hot and hard touch his entrance. He stiffened as he clenched his teeth.
“If you’re scared about it hurting,” Roppi said, “It shouldn’t be as bad as your first time. I spent way more time prepping you than last time. Last time I only licked you and my tongue isn’t nearly as big as three fingers. You’ve also never done it before so that’s what it is. It’ll feel better now.”
“N-n-no, I don’t want—”
“The only way we can get it to not hurt is to keep doing it. Eventually, you’ll start liking it.”
Tsuki felt something much larger than three fingers push into him. He arched his back and clawed at Roppi’s hand more desperately. “Aaahh—n-no! No! No! No!”
“Hah~, fuck.” Roppi tilted his head back in an exhale of pleasure. He put his other hand on Tsuki’s thigh to keep the blond in place as he thrust his hips, slowly. “You’re so tight. Feels fucking amazing.”
“It-it hurts. It hurts!”
Roppi chuckled. “It’ll feel better. After all, you were feeling it pretty well your first time too.”
“I don’t want to…”
Tsuki devolved into sobs. He stopped clawing at Roppi’s hands and was now just holding them while Roppi rocked his hips against Tsuki’s body. It felt like Roppi was stabbing his stomach. The outer ring of his anus was pulsing in pain. It felt like he was tearing and defecating at the same time.
‘I hate this…’
Tsuki folded his arms over his eyes as he coughed and hiccupped.
“Oi, oi, stop that.” Roppi said. “You need to breath properly. You’ve been having too many asthma attacks.”
“I don’t want to…”
“What, you don’t want to breath? Didn’t take you for suicidal since you’re Christian and all. Don’t you know wrath against yourself is a sin?”
“I don’t want to do this!” Tsuki screamed. “It hurts! It feels disgusting! I hate it!”
Roppi stopped moving. Tsuki realized what he said and immediately his stomach clenched with fear. Roppi would not take that happily. Tsuki was terrified to look and see the rage-filled expression on the wolf’s face. What if he hit him? Roppi hit him in the past because Tsuki was being difficult. He’d have no reason not to do it again.
Roppi grabbed Tsuki’s wrist. The blond tried to struggle against him, but it was obviously useless. Roppi pinned Tsuki’s wrists down against the pelts. Tsuki pulled. He knew it was in vain, but he couldn’t just lay there and take it. He didn’t want to give up.
Roppi leaned down close. Tsuki’s eyes widened before he closed his eyes tight shut in fear. He turned his head away and began to tremble. He felt Roppi’s breath against his cheek.
“You’ll learn to like it.”
Tsuki’s eyes widened. ‘What? How can he say that?’
‘No, I won’t allow myself to ‘learn to like it’. I can’t let it get to that point. I have to get away from him before then.’
Tsuki clenched his teeth as he stared up at the sky. The night stars were hidden behind thick clouds.
‘I have to get home. If I can get away from him, he won’t follow me because of the holy order. He has to leave, with or without me unless he wants to get exorcised.’
“Hah, fuck. So good. Tsukishima.”
‘He said his pack mates will be here tomorrow. With multiple werewolves around, I won’t be able to get away. Tonight may be the only chance I have.’
“AH, it hurts!” Tsuki screamed.
‘I have to try. When he falls asleep, if I don’t do it…’
“Haha, you’ve kept me pent up. I’m already coming.” Roppi smiled down at Tsuki was adore.
‘If I don’t do it tonight, I might as well kill myself.’
“Nn!” Tsuki twitched at the sensation of liquids splattering his insides.
‘God, please, forgive me if it comes to that…’