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Finding Your Home

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FINDING YOUR HOME

 

ONE

 

As soon as he stepped into the bleak room in his Alpha’s cellar, Castiel knew that he would die tonight. But it was not so much an inevitable truth as it was a conscious decision.

Castiel had not expected that the thought of his imminent death would bother him so much – after all, he should have died three years ago, and he had never really managed to come to terms with this version of an after-life – so he was surprised by the shiver of fear than ran down his back.

He felt the urge to just turn around and run, but of course that would not help him in the slightest; it might even make things worse. So instead, he slowly walked up towards his Alpha, even though all his instincts were screaming at him to flee.

His rising fear must have shown on his face, or in his scent, because the man in front of him suddenly smiled even wider than before.

Lucifer emanated a wave of strength and dominance, like every Pack Alpha Castiel had ever met, and as he searched his gaze, Castiel had to fight the urge to look down to the ground. It was almost painful to keep his eyes up, but he was not willing to budge. Not this time. Not when this simple act of rebellion was all he had left in this life.

As the blue-eyed man kept staring at him directly, Lucifer did not seem surprised by Castiel’s open defiance, but he still looked furious that one of his wolves – and an omega at that! – would even try to challenge him.

Castiel noticed movement around him, and cold sweat started to break out of his skin. There were at least five other wolves in the cellar with him and Lucifer, hiding in the shadows, almost unnoticeable if not for their low growling and that strong repulsive scent in the air.

Castiel tried to focus on Lucifer and on his own fury. He was not scared of his Alpha, he realised, nor was he of dying. It were the men in the shadows that alarmed him. He could smell their arousal and their eagerness of what was to come. They were excited, like wolves just before a rewarding hunt on a Full Moon. Everyone but one. Castiel’s nose twitched as he noticed the subtler scent of fear and desperation. He closed his eyes in disgust.

Lucifer had even brought the boy.

For a second, Castiel was nearly overwhelmed with the urge to run. The door behind him was still open, and maybe, if his stars meant well for him, he would be able to flee. But Castiel’s wolf knew better. Never run from an aroused alpha – they would probably even welcome this kind of response. A chase would just make it more interesting for them, more exciting. So instead of running, Castiel tried to breath calmly, and kept looking at Lucifer, awaiting his Alpha’s next move.

When he finally talked, Lucifer’s tone was almost gentle, like they were having a harmless conversation about the weather.

“Castiel, do you know why I called you here?”

“To punish me.” Castiel’s voice was not gentle at all. It was gruff, and, to his dismay, it trembled a little. And for the first time since he had arrived, Castiel broke eye contact and looked towards the cold stone floor. “Because I didn’t obey your orders.”

“That’s absolutely right, Castiel. Smart boy.” Lucifer’s voice was overly sweet, like he was talking to a puppy, but it was still easy enough to hear the menace between the words. “You told me you’d rather be had by a dog than submit to me. Now, I don’t have any dogs with me I’m afraid, but I can help you with some wolves.”

The growling from the back of the room was getting louder, more eager, and Castiel noticed with raising hackles that one of the men around him had changed his form already. His wolf must have overpowered him in his anticipation, and Lucifer, whose job it was to keep his pack in check, had done nothing to stop it. The Alpha only smirked. He leaned forwards and smiled down at Castiel.

“Don’t forget I’m only doing what you asked me for. And who knows? Once my friends are done with you, you might even be a little bit more forthcoming when I call you to my bed in the future.” Lucifer looked at his hands like he was polishing his nails. “That is, assuming there will be something left of you.”

Castiel forced himself to look at Lucifer again. He was not scared of death; he was scared of what might come before. But he would not just submit and act like easy prey. Knowing he would not give up and simply roll over to be raped by a group of alphas, knowing he would die tonight, Castiel was focused to get at least one satisfaction before his life would end.

He jumped forwards in a sudden move and punched Lucifer right into his smiling face.

 

>>>>><<<<< 

 

Three years ago

 

Of course, Castiel had always known about werewolves. Everyone knew about werewolves. But while most people in his life had seemed to be scared of them and tried to keep out of their way as much as possible, Castiel had always been fascinated.

Yes, they were dangerous – anyone should know better than to provoke a Wolf much less start a fight with one – but that was because they were strong and wilful. And Castiel had always envied those attributes. He had been bullied in school, and even occasionally in his adult life, just because of his sexual orientation, and he liked to imagine that things would be different if only he could change into a massive beast at will.

And werewolves lived in packs.

They hardly let the outside world know how those packs worked precisely, but Castiel had always imagined it would be very much like those of actual wild wolves. Everyone would look out for each other; the young ones would be cared for and the leaders of the pack would make sure everyone felt safe and no one suffered any hardship. Castiel had never had a big family himself; eventually even his religiously devout mother had turned against her gay son, so the idea of a big group of people looking out for each other had always seemed appealing to Castiel.

He had never been obsessed with werewolves though, like so many other humans, who either believed in the porn industry’s hype of insatiable lovers or just envied their long and healthy lives. Even though most people tended to fear them, there was still a fair number of groupies who basically stalked whole packs in the hopes to be part of it one day. But Castiel would have never asked them to turn him – not only because the probability of surviving the Change was less than three percent, nor because shifters very obviously did not appreciate when someone tried to persuade them. But Castiel had also heard stories of wolves who had lost their temper and killed innocent humans – and he did not want to turn into a mindless beast.

But there was just something about werewolves that sparked his interest.

Considering his long-time fascination, it was not surprising that Castiel was willing to make friends with a shifter once he finally met one.

When he first saw Meg Masters, Castiel had instantly known she was a werewolf. Partly by the bite mark on her neck, partly by the way she held herself. She belonged to the pack that lived a few towns over, and her leader had forced all his wolves into public – which was not at all unusual. Werewolves did not have to register anywhere officially – theoretically, they could live undetected for centuries if they just moved to a different place every now and then. Even though, in present days, people usually realised after a few years if someone didn’t age. Some Alphas let their pack members decide for themselves if they wanted to come out to the public or not, but most forced them to do so. They did not even have to say anything – the Alpha’s mark on the neck of a pack member was difficult enough to hide, unless one lived in eternal winter.

When Meg approached him for the first time, Castiel had been instantly intrigued. Her Alpha, the owner of a big grain company, had needed the services of a freelance interpreter like him, and Castiel had agreed to translate some annual reports of his company into Russian and German. Meg had been his contact whenever he had had a question, and they met a few times in a café. Soon, their conversations were not only about his work, but more and more often they talked about trivial matters about their lives, like books, TV shows or their favourite food. Sometimes Meg had even tried to get him to talk about past relationships.

Castiel, on the other hand, had always wanted to know more about werewolves. But he soon realised that even when you had shifter friend – though that might have been a strong term to describe his relationship with Meg at that point – it didn’t mean she would give you any details about pack life. Castiel read between the lines that her Alpha had forbidden his whole pack to associate with humans altogether, unless it was for the sake of his company. Meg still met up with Castiel in their favourite café, even after he had finished his translations. In the beginning, he had feared she might have been interested in him, romantically, so Castiel had told her he was gay. Meg had only shrugged her shoulders and kept meeting with him. Later, Castiel would find out that werewolves did not think in those categories exactly, especially the older ones did not really seem to care much about gender or labelling their sexual orientation. But at the time, he had thought that he explained in no uncertain terms that he was only interested in a friendship. To the present day, Castiel did not know whether she had been interested in a romantic relationship despite his words. But he had liked her, and he had been glad she sneaked out to meet him behind her Alpha’s back every other week. Castiel had never really thought about how dangerous it might have been for her.

Until everything changed.

It had been a warm summer day when Meg had told him they could not meet anymore. He had waited for her on the terrace of their favourite café, eager to tell her about the new job he got to translate a book about the sexual revolution – half looking forward and half dreading what she would have to say about the subject. Meg had never really stopped flirting, and she had often told him he needed to get laid more often, so Castiel could almost hear her joking about how he should rather ramp up his own sexual revolution. It had always been a subject they handled very differently: Meg seemed to enjoy sex with anyone, anytime – maybe the rumours about werewolves were not completely wrong in that department – while Castiel had never been sexually attracted to someone he had not some sort of emotional relationship with. And Meg had never stopped teasing him about being prude – in her eyes. She even seemed to enjoy comparing him to an innocent angel.

When Meg had finally arrived at their meeting point that sunny day, she had limped slightly and her face looked bruised beneath her make-up; and even though she had not mentioned him specifically, Castiel was sure her Alpha had punished her and persuaded her to stop seeing her human friend. Quite forcefully.

After Meg had told him they could not meet anymore, the scene resembling some bad romance movie, she walked out of the café with only a sad Goodbye, Clarence on her lips. Castiel had hurried after her, trying to change her mind, or at least to get her to explain what had happened to her. But Meg had just run over the street, and Castiel had followed her, without looking left nor right. And thus, he had not seen the car that crashed into him.

Castiel should have died that day.

But instead, he woke up a week later, in an impersonal guestroom in the home of Zachariah Adler. Meg was sitting by his side like a nurse; the first face he saw in his new life.

When he opened his eyes, she let out a joyful giggle that seemed all too girly for her.

“You made it, Clarence.”

“Made… what?”

“You’re one of us now.”

He frowned, unable to process her words. His head hurt, his body felt too tired to move, and there suddenly seemed something inside of him that rivalled for his attention.

“Oh, don’t worry. Zachariah was angry that I Changed you before I had the time to ask his permission but … you were dying. And I could make him see that it would be helpful to have an interpreter in his company.” Her smile widened, like everything had turned out brilliantly, and she leaned down to hug him or kiss him – he never found out. Because Meg’s face suddenly fell, and she looked down on Castiel with a silent Oh on her lips. That moment, Castiel had smelled the sharp spice of fear for the first time in his life. It had helped him to finally concentrate on his friend and ignore the strange presence inside of him.

“Oh no, no, no.”

“What is it? What’s wrong?” Castiel looked down on himself, noticing he was naked and checking for injuries, because he thought Meg had realised he was hurt, or bleeding. He hazily remembered the last time he saw her – a car, yelling, and then there was the siren of an ambulance – and he realised he should look a lot worse than he did. And then he finally understood what had happened; understood the strange feeling like he was sharing his body with someone else. He had become a werewolf. But that was obviously not the thing Meg was worried about.

“You’re an omega, Castiel.” Meg mumbled the words almost to herself, and even though he didn’t understand, could not possibly understand, panic settled into Castiel’s bones. Whatever it meant to be an omega, it couldn’t be anything good. Castiel thought about old, outdated studies that had worked with the concept of omega wolves which were at the bottom of a pack. Could that be true for shifters? It would certainly explain Meg’s horrified, almost pitiful, look.

A moment later, the door was opened, and a huge man walked in. Until this day, Castiel could not say how tall Zachariah actually was – a Pack Alpha always looked a little bit more overwhelming than just their physical appearance. They had their whole pack to back them up. And Castiel’s new wolf had trouble processing the dominance in front of him. He involuntarily ducked his head, but he was still able to see the Alpha’s reaction. Contraire to Meg, the man had looked angry when he had stepped in, but then he took in a deep breath, and he suddenly started smiling.

“Omega,” he said with a joy, that sent a cold shiver down Castiel’s back.

 

>>><<< 

 

In the following weeks, Castiel had to learn what it meant to be a werewolf, quickly. And without asking too many questions. He had found that questions were not encouraged, at least not by alphas, or most betas – fortunately, he had at least Meg by his side, who tried to help him as much as possible, even though she was an alpha and seldom allowed in his presence.

Being turned into a werewolf came with some obvious benefits: Like his new-found strength or the fact that he could turn into an actual wolf. When he changed form, Castiel’s fur was mostly white, with black ears and black paws, like he was wearing socks. He thought he looked a bit odd – there were no other wolves in his pack so white – and the colouring seemed unfortunate, if only because it could be easily detected in the dark. But he probably had to get used to it since a wolf would never change his appearance. In human form, Castiel looked into the mirror differently now, knowing that he would never age. His hair might still grow, but the colour would remain the same, just like the soft wrinkles around his eyes would not vanish nor deepen. He assumed he should be glad that he had been Changed in his late thirties instead of as a young boy or an old man. And even though he had to get used to the strange look of his wolf, he still loved changing form and running around in the wild. His inner wolf yipped out happily anytime he was allowed to come out. Even though that didn’t happen very often.

From day one, Castiel had lived in peace with his wolf and changing form had come easily to him – a typical trait on an omega, as he had learned.

Omegas, Uriel had explained to him, were different from other shifters. They were weaker and smaller than the other wolves, submissive by nature – which meant they could be easily controlled by the human side. Omegas hardly ever changed on impulse, even when they got emotional, but they easily changed at will. Because omega wolves were mild-tempered, Uriel had said, and easily controlled. Uriel was the Second in Zachariah’s pack, another alpha, who always looked like his wolf was on the verge of breaking out.

Castiel had to admit that he had no problems holding his wolf back, even when he was angry – and in the years that followed his Change, he had been angry more often than not –; he did not even think of him as a second entity in his body. He had learned that, for most werewolves, it felt like sharing a body with a whole different spirit, and the human had to constantly fight this other for control. Sometimes, most often in the years after the Change, a human would be lost to the wolf. Whenever that happened, they had to be put down, to not endanger the rest of the pack or any innocent bystanders. But Castiel had never felt the necessity to fight his animal half. Yes, his wolf was always there, inside him, but it was like they shared mind, spirit and heart. They were one.

And no matter what Uriel said, to Castiel, his wolf did not feel submissive at all. He did not control him either; they usually picked the best option for them both. The best option to not get hurt. As life in a pack had turned out to be very different from what Castiel had always imagined.

On the day he had woken up in Zachariah’s house, the Alpha had made Castiel kneel in front of him and claimed him as one of his pack with a bite to his neck. It had been painful and sudden, while Castiel still struggled with the fact that he was no longer completely human – and whenever he thought back about the first time he had been acknowledged as a pack member, he felt the same wave of fear and rage and confusion that had nearly overwhelmed both him and his wolf that day.

After the claiming, Castiel had felt the bond of a pack inside him for the first time. But it did not make him feel safe or welcome like he had imagined; it made him feel observed.

One could feel every member of a pack like a fine thread inside one’s mind; at least to Castiel it had always felt that way. If someone died, the whole pack would know. The Alpha could also pull his whole Pack or single members to him, no matter where he was – it could be a gentle tug, or a forceful order that was impossible to deny. That special connection could be quite helpful when it came to wolves who lost their control or other dangerous situations; but Castiel had always hated it. When someone was about to snap, an Alpha could call on the whole pack to help him. In the years that followed his claiming, Castiel received the impression that Zachariah was calling on him for help, for strength, more often than anyone else, and it had always confused him a bit. If omegas were seen as fragile, why would he try to weaken Castiel even more. However, he had to admit he usually did not feel any different after his Alpha had called on him for help. He knew that he could theoretically tug on the string that belonged to Zachariah, the most prominent one in his mind, to get his Alpha’s attention when he was in need. But Castiel had never wanted to even try. When he sometimes lay in bed and felt the bond in his mind more clearly than throughout a busy day, he did not even want to think about Zachariah’s string, convinced that his Alpha would not appreciate it if he accidentally called him, or even only brushed over the link.

That bond between pack and Alpha could not be broken, unless the Alpha allowed a shifter to leave – or died –, or you were strong enough to form a challenge for leadership.

After the Change, Castiel’s whole life had turned around completely. He had been ordered to move into Zachariah’s big mansion and give up his work, his apartment and few friends. He had to find his way around in this pack, mostly by observing others since questions were often seen as an act of defiance.

It had not come easy to Castiel to differentiate other wolves’ status, but after a while, he had learned to spot an alpha, beta, or the few other omegas. Most shifters were alphas – Uriel claimed that their wolves were strongest and thus more likely to survive the Change. But they also had the biggest problems to control their wolves and sometimes they couldn’t shift back and forth easily. After some time, Castiel had even learned to smell the different dominance levels of the wolves – not every alpha was strong enough to become an Alpha with a capital A. It took a lot of strength to control a whole pack – and that was the Alpha’s most important job. When someone was close to losing control of their wolves, an Alpha could often help to keep them in check. The wolf acknowledged the Alpha as their leader, sometimes they respected him more than the human they shared their body with. Despite them being dangerous, pack Leaders usually liked to be surrounded by a high number of strong alphas – to strengthen the whole pack, and with it their own power. But of course, there was always the possibility that one of your wolves would turn out to be a little bit too strong, or ambitious, and challenge the Alpha for the whole pack.

Betas seemed to feel their wolves as a different personality as well, but they usually had them better under control than alphas. And just like omegas, they were not quite as strong. Castiel sometimes thought that betas were the ones with submissive, or at least the most compliant wolves – not that he would ever dare to say it out loud.

Because omegas should never speak up. Their sole purpose seemed to be to serve their Alpha. As an omega, Castiel was not considered as a possible asset to Zachariah’s company because of his knowledge of foreign languages anymore. He was supposed to clean the house and cook with the two other omegas in the pack, Ambriel and Alfie. Sometimes other high-ranking alphas even gave them their dirty shoes or yelled at them if they found something amiss.  

Given how he had been treated, it was not surprising that Castiel had never liked his Alpha. It was only after Zachariah had died that Castiel realised how lucky he had been to come back to life under his rule.

After months in his new home, Castiel noticed that even though he lived in Zachariah’s home and cooked and cleaned and otherwise was supposed to stay invisible – he was the only omega the Alpha had never called to his bed. He did not think that was because of Zachariah’s good heart – or because he realised that Castiel would rather die than be used that way – but because the other two omegas in his pack, young and pretty in appearance, were more to his liking. But he had never tried to offer Castiel to someone else as a gesture of gratitude either, and he had insinuated that as long as Castiel would not share his body with anyone else, he would be satisfied. And Castiel had no problem to abstain from any sexual contacts. He had never been easily attracted by strangers, and that much hadn’t changed after he had been turned into a werewolf.

The only thing that Castiel hungered for was touch. He had been a loner for nearly all his life, and it surprised him that he sometimes almost hurt, because he was longing for a gentle touch so much. Castiel had slowly learned that it was part of being a werewolf. Most of them hugged quite often, all of them were hungry for even the briefest physical contact with their Alpha – yes, even Castiel – who usually only touched someone as a form of praise, or when a wolf was about to snap. Castiel had always thought Zachariah could have prevented a lot of dangerous situations if he only allowed his wolves in his company more often, and not only right before they were about to break. But most of the time, only his highest-ranking shifters were supposed to visit him at home or in his office; the others being hardly more than underpaid workers. Because it was their only option, sometimes wolves even slept on Zachariah’s porch; the closest they were allowed to get to their Alpha without a direct invitation.

A werewolf’s longing for touch might explain all the myths of insatiable sex partners. Even in Zachariah’s pack, where wolves were mostly prohibited to interact with humans, they were allowed to seek them out for intercourse. It might be healthier for pack order than when everyone constantly slept with each other. And werewolves seldom got attached to the humans. The wolves were rarely interested in a relationship other than the physical aspect, and the human side would soon get restless, too. Even if a werewolf was allowed to interact with humans, it was bad advice to fall in love with one. They would leave you eventually.

Because the wolf would only settle down with their True Mate.

That had been one of the hardest things to believe when Castiel had finally learned more about werewolves. There seemed to be a perfect counterpart for everyone, even though it was rare for them to meet. In Zachariah’s pack there was only one pair of Mates, two betas. Castiel had always envied them; they were certainly the happiest wolves he had ever met. But he still did not know if he ever wanted to meet his own Mate. Meg had explained to him that omegas only fitted with alphas – and Castiel did not want to belong to someone else. It was bad enough that his pack leader expected him to submit to his every wish. His wolf growled a little bit at him every time he thought something like that. He seemed to believe their life would be a lot better if only they found their Mate.

Castiel had slowly learned that there were certain rules all werewolves had to live by. For example, it was only allowed to Change someone if they were on the brink of death, and only with the permission of a Pack Alpha. Otherwise, one would be killed – the usual punishment to any disobedience in the world of werewolves. Alphas often took the lives of pack members if they didn’t obey a direct order, or if their wolf could not be controlled because of rage or a fight. Castiel had thought it was barbaric at first, but after a few weeks, he had seen how dangerous it could get if an alpha lost control of his wolf. The fear of instant death probably helped to keep them in line. It was even more perilous when humans were involved – no Alpha wanted his pack to walk around and kill innocents. Not so much because they cared for the deceased, but because humankind could pose a major threat to the werewolves, since they were only few in numbers compared to all of humanity.   

No killing, no rogue wolves, no Changing without necessity – those ground rules were given by the head of all werewolves – a man who went by the name of Chuck and was supposed to be the first of all shifters. Born, instead of Changed, they said. Of course, Castiel had never seen this Father of Wolves, but he supposedly possessed some overwhelming dominance level, so he could order around even the strongest Alphas.

However, as long as no one broke his rules, the Father never got involved in pack politics.

In the two years Castiel had spent with Zachariah, he had learned that there were some similarities to the way most packs were led, but also differences. For example, most Alphas did not react well to disobedience. Castiel had also found out that omegas usually lived with their Alphas and were often considered their personal property. Liberties that applied to other wolves did not account for omegas. Alphas often wanted to keep their pack away from humans, they all lived in houses and bins near the Alpha and worked all in the same company. Of course, that company – and its profits – would also belong to the Alpha. Castiel had found out a little about some other packs, because their leaders would stay in loose contact with each other, even though they were not overly friendly. But they all knew about the possible threat of humankind, should they ever choose to attack unitedly, and wanted to have at least the possibility of alliances. Zachariah occasionally got visited by Richard Roman, or Rafael, one of the First who supposedly got Changed by Chuck personally.

But Alphas of different packs did not usually behave peaceful with each other – there were often feuds between packs, some of them going on for centuries. Some Alphas just wanted to get bigger, and more powerful. Castiel had heard about the Winchesters – a Pack that was strong and fierce, but also had often gotten attacked in the past, because other Alphas coveted their big territory. But so far, no one had managed to throw the Winchester leader from the throne. Zachariah and Rafael both seemed to think it was foolish to even try – and even though Castiel had never met one of the Winchesters, he was automatically wary by someone even one of the First seemed to fear.

But more often than from an outside threat, the order of a pack changed from within – when another dominant alpha became restless and hungry for power. Like Uriel. And an Alpha was always more vulnerable when the attacker came from his own pack, because in that situation, they could not draw on the power of the bond.

Castiel had been in the house when Zachariah died.

Castiel – and probably every other wolf in his pack – suddenly bled from the mark on his neck. His whole body hurt as someone was pulling forcefully at the strings inside him, and without really wanting to, Castiel ran into Zachariah’s bedroom where his Alpha and Ambriel lay bleeding on the floor.

Uriel was next to them, a majestic grey wolf, blood dropping from his muzzle. He saw Castiel, the first to arrive at the scene, and he let out a victorious howl. The omega felt the moment his Alpha died, and there was a sudden emptiness inside him. The bond did not completely disappear all at once, it was slowly fading, a painful experience. But Castiel had no time to sort his feelings since Uriel charged at him. He smelled the arousal on the big wolf and Castiel changed form as well. Uriel tried to mount him, tried to mark him as his; Castiel as the first member of his new pack. His own pack.

Meg suddenly barged in from out of nowhere and jumped onto Uriel. Together, Meg and Castiel managed to fight him off. Castiel got hopeful. With joyful naivety he had even hoped that Meg would kill Uriel, that Meg, his only friend and an alpha, would become the next pack leader. But before Castiel could even finish his thoughts, while his teeth were still clasped in Uriel’s shin, he felt Meg’s string burst in the remaining echo of his pack bonds. Castiel looked to the side and saw her lifeless body on the floor.

He had wanted to help her. Had wanted to kill Uriel. But in a rare moment of struggling minds, his wolf took control and sprinted out of the house as long as Uriel was still howling on the floor.

The death of an Alpha usually followed weeks and months, if not years, of chaos and in-fighting. Alphas were battling each other for leadership, and often other packs ruled in as well. In the end, Zachariah’s pack got overwhelmed by Rafael, and Uriel was now his Third. Not exactly a step up. But Castiel only heard about that many months later.

On the night of Zachariah’s death, he had only one thought: He was an unclaimed wolf. No pack to submit to and treat him as a servant.

But he should soon experience that life as a lone wolf was not easy, and in the end, not very successful for him.

Castiel hid for months, sleeping in dingy motel rooms and working in various Gas-N-Sips under different names. It was a hard life; he had no friends and the absence of touch made him even more desperate than when he had been with a pack. He had tried to fight against it with some less than satisfactory one-night-stands. He had sometimes even run out in the middle of it, being not even remotely turned on by those complete strangers. Wolf or no, he needed a connection with someone before he wanted to end up in bed with them.

When he thought like that, he imagined what Meg would have said about his prudish nature – and he cried every time he was remembered of his friend who had given her life to save his.

But no matter how miserable and lonely he was as a lone wolf, at least he was alive. And he certainly welcomed that he finally could make his own decisions again – even though that usually only meant to choose between a selection of bad motels and underpaid jobs. He slowly learned to trust his instincts and only settled in cities where they would be no packs for miles and miles. He might not have been happy, but he had grown used to his new life, and someday, he had even stopped looking over his shoulder in fear constantly.

Until he had smiled at a customer of the current gas station he worked in – and his nostrils flared at the strong scent of Werewolf. Meg had told him horrible stories of lone wolves, who abducted unclaimed omegas, so Castiel was relieved when he saw the mark on the man’s neck. Maybe he could reason with him, tell him he was not interested in joining a pack.

But Azazel had seemed overjoyed at finding an unclaimed omega in the middle of nowhere – and threw Castiel into the trunk of his car to bring a nice surprise gift to his Alpha, Lucifer.

 

>>>>><<<<< 

 

Present Day

 

Castiel had only lived in Lucifer’s pack for a few weeks, but it had been enough to realise that it was worse than sharing a bond with Zachariah.

When Lucifer had forced him to kneel so he could get claimed, Castiel had hurt for days; his mark still bled occasionally. Lucifer was not only a tough Alpha, who expected all his orders to be followed, he was vicious and sadistic. He knew from the start that Castiel was scared of him, was scared of what he might ask of him; and he had played with his fears for weeks. Like a cat with a mouse. Castiel had understood within a few days that it would not be enough for this Alpha if he kept his house clean or prepared meals for his wolves.

But Lucifer had not made a direct move instantly; he had obviously enjoyed toying with him too much. He had indicated more than once he might give Castiel to a wolf that had pleased him, or would just use Castiel himself when he had had a bad day – and Lucifer’s eyes sparked every time the omega smelled of fear after his words. In addition to feeling like a trapped mouse, Castiel was even lonelier in this pack than he had been with Zachariah. He would not say he had had any friends there, besides Meg, but at least he had an amiable relationship with the other omegas, and outside from Uriel, most alphas had hardly even acknowledged his presence. Lucifer, however, liked to encourage his pack members to start a fight with almost everyone, and to subdue anyone weaker to position themselves higher in the pack hierarchy.

There was only one alpha who seemed to be unaffected by Lucifer’s challenges – a young boy who had been Changed just weeks before Castiel had arrived. The Alpha seemed to be especially interested in this young man and his potential. Castiel had heard some disturbing rumours – but those couldn’t be true. If Lucifer truly believed them, his age might have finally affected his sanity. Sometimes very old wolves simply lost their minds, unable to keep up with all the changes in the world. But no matter why Lucifer liked to push the boy into challenging and fighting other alphas, Castiel had started to like the young man, who had often sought him out when no one else was around. They had started an odd friendship, both new in the pack, but they had to be careful no one noticed how close they had become. Castiel was scared Lucifer would not only punish him but the boy as well – for interacting with someone so below his status.

He had been scared from the moment Azazel put him into his trunk, but when Lucifer had finally ordered him to his bed, Castiel had still refused. He himself had been surprised at his open defiance. But he did not want to be ordered around anymore – and the months he had spent on his own had somehow hardened him. He had finally had the occasion to get a feeling for his wolf outside of other’s expectations. And he was not submissive. If anything, his wolf felt grouchy and impatient. But not so much that he would be a threat to other people.

Lucifer, like most Alphas, did not tolerate disobedience. And Castiel now had to pay the price for his refusal. The growling shadows got louder, a band of alphas who were ordered to rape him for negating their Leader. But he would fight and clutch and claw until there was nothing left of him.

He was just sad the boy had to witness it.

Castiel tried to turn all the fear and the nervousness of his last three years into rage – as he smashed his fist into Lucifer’s face.

The Alpha cried out in pain, and Castiel’s wolf roared. But his victory was short-lived – he felt hard hands turning him around, then a fist to his own face. He was slammed to the ground, but still trying to hit as many of his attackers as often as he could. He turned into a wolf to gain an advantage, but the others followed quickly. Castiel kept clawing and biting, and he got someone pretty good; Asmodeus, he thought. But his powers were draining and with another punch, he flew to the side. Suddenly, he saw blue eyes right in front of his face – the young wolf had not engaged in the fight and looked like he was undecided of what to do. Castiel desperately hoped he would not try to help him. He didn’t want to have another death on his conscience, especially when he would die anyway.

Suddenly, Lucifer gave out a loud snarl. Everyone, including Castiel, turned towards the Alpha, who was not the only one in human form. Next to him stood a small man with ruffled hair and a gentle smile on his face. The man held a hand up, and all the growling stopped. Everyone let go of Castiel, and the omega wondered why they all listened to the meek looking man.

Then he kneeled down on one leg and held his hand out to Castiel. Wounded as he was, the omega lumped over to him, dragging one foot behind him, until the man touched his muzzle.

Castiel’s wolf felt safe, felt like he belonged – but after what had just happened, Castiel was still suspicious. He sat down on his hindlegs, just out of reach of the man’s arm.

But the Father of Wolves did not seem to be offended. He smiled.

“I believe I know just what to do with you, Castiel.”