Tommy bit back a hiss when first his claws then his fingertips made contact with the silver bullet. Luckily it got caught by Adam’s clavicle – breaking the bone from the feel of it. If it hit him a bit lower, it’d have gone right through him, making this much easier for them, but luck wasn’t on their side, it seemed. Tommy’s wolf was whining quietly in his head because their Alpha was hurt and in pain, and was pissed at the same time, wanting to go after the attacker to tear them apart. But now Adam needed him more.
“I nearly have it, hang on,” he said hoarsely, his wolf’s voice mixing into his tone. In other circumstances he’d have found the smell of Adam’s blood arousing, but now it just made his wolf want to go and hunt that more. Instead he concentrated on his burning fingertips holding the bullet securely as he started pulling it out without causing more damage to Adam’s shoulder. “Motherfucker,” he growled once it was out and he quickly put it in a tissue and zipped it up into one of his leather-jacket’s pockets for later inspection. Tommy threw his jacket back into the car through one of the open doors and ignoring the chilly air he took off his black T-shirt to press it against the wound. “Can you shift to heal faster?”
“I could if I wanted to. But I’m fine. It wasn’t in for that long,” Adam panted in pain, but he tried to hide it. “Sutan, go help Terrance,” he told to the sleek black wolf still guarding them. He just huffed and took off.
“Don’t play the hero, Adam,” Tommy said, his senses tuning on the noises of his surroundings while he pushed his shoulder under Adam’s healthy left shoulder to drape one heavy arm across his shoulders and help him back to the car. Obviously he made Adam sit into the passenger’s seat and kept the pressure on the bleeding shoulder.
“I’m fine. I lived through worse,” he snorted.
“The fuck are you fine. It’ll need stitches before you shift and a good few days rest. Plus you totally ruined one of my favorite tees…” he said while fishing out his cell from his jeans’ pocket to alert Amy, one of the healers of their pack.
“I’ll buy you a new one,” Adam chuckled weakly and tried to stay motionless while Tommy was on the phone. It was a short conversation and when he put his phone away, Adam looked at his blonde Beta. “They should be back by now,” he muttered meaning Sutan and Terrance.
“I’m sure they’re fine, don’t worry about them. Just concentrate on the healing,” he said trying to sound calm, but he too was worried about the other two wolves. He wanted to go after them, but he pushed that idea out of his head because he didn’t want to leave the injured Adam here all alone. Maybe their attacker was waiting exactly for that. The fine hairs on the back of his neck were standing on end, half-expecting a bullet in his head or other body parts in any second.
When a twig broke nearby, Tommy’s eyes flashed in the golden color of his wolf and he growled warningly, ready to jump over the car and throw himself between the shooter and his Mate. But the second the wind shifted, he knew it was Sutan followed by Terrance. They shifted next to the car, not caring about their nakedness and quickly slid into the backseat.
“Well?” Tommy asked and felt all of Adam’s attention on them too.
“By the time I’ve got to the place between the trees where the shot was fired, they were gone,” Terrance said while pulling some sweatpants and a T-shirt from under the seat. Most wolves had a few set of clothes in their cars which could come handy after such sudden shifts.
“Yes. There was definitely more than one attacker.”
“What kind?” Adam asked watching Tommy go around the car and sit behind the wheel.
“We couldn’t tell,” Sutan chimed in staying naked, his eyes still scanning their surroundings.
“How come?” Tommy frowned starting the car and quickly drove away from the scene.
“They used wolfsbane and some other herbs that disguised their scent,” the slim man said.
Tommy exchanged a look with Adam who was still holding the bloody T-shirt to his wound with his healthy hand. It wasn’t unknown that there were certain scents that could mislead even their wolves.
“But it’s a bit suspicious that we were still on vampire territory…” Terrance noted staring out of the car ready for another attack.
“Or maybe someone wants to make us believe it was the vamps. Kinda suspicious, don’t you think that we were still in their territory when the attack happened. I don’t think they’d be so foolish,” Tommy suggested and for a long moment no-one said anything and he could feel the other two Betas tense up behind him. Maybe they were afraid Tommy and Adam would start another fight over it.
“That’s a possibility too,” Adam finally said and flinched a bit when the car hit a bump on the road.
“Sorry. We’ll be back at your place soon. Amy’ll be ready for us,” Tommy murmured and concentrated on the road.
“Or maybe that’s how the vamps want to mislead us,” Terrance huffed under his nose, which earned a sigh from Tommy. He had to admit that it was another possibility. But he refused to believe that Ashley’s hand was in the attacks. He thought he knew her too well for that.
Back in the house the curly brunette healer was quick to take care of Adam’s injury who was straddling a chair half-naked by the kitchen island. He didn’t even flinch as Amy stitched him up. Tommy always hated how little meds and anesthetics worked on them thanks to their fast metabolism or whatever the fuck. Looking at Adam’s calm face and hearing his deep breaths, the blonde Beta guessed that Adam was kinda meditating to get through the pain easier and to stop himself from pulling away from the gentle but steady hands.
Leaning against the kitchen counter with his arms folded in front of a new Depeche Mode T-shirt, Tommy marveled Adam’s strength and self-control which he found somewhere on the side of that road where they’ve got attacked. Again. “We have to alert Ashley about this,” Tommy declared once Amy was done closing the wound and wiped off the blood. She didn’t bother bandaging him up since Adam was soon to shift in his wolf-form to heal faster.
The Alpha looked at him with calm bluish-grey eyes. It was only the three of them in the kitchen. Sutan took the silver bullet with him to analyze it and Terrance was sent off to alert the pack – especially the rest of the Betas – to be careful, although they were pretty sure that the attackers were aiming higher than the Deltas or Gammas of the pack. “Yes,” he agreed and reached for his phone on the counter while Amy cleaned and disinfected her tools by the sink. This phone conversation was short too after Adam made Julien put the Queen on the line.
Tommy was waiting patiently while he made some sandwiches with fried chicken for Adam, knowing that he’ll need the extra protein to heal faster. He looked up at the other man when he felt him tense up for a moment, hearing him tell Ashley that he, Tommy was fine too. The blonde sighed from the possessive undertone, but he let it slide this time. After all, Adam was injured and he already apologized for his jealousy. And to be frank, Tommy felt himself a bit more possessive over him too after the attack. Now he remembered how ready he was to protect his Mate. The realization that without a second thought he’d have thrown himself in front of Adam to keep him alive and safe shocked Tommy a bit. He only felt like this with his previous Alpha, his father and looking back he saw how much his relationship with Adam has changed during the months he became part of this pack. The blonde looked back down on the tray and finished preparing the sandwiches in silence as he got lost in his own thoughts. It took Adam three tries to bring him back to the present.
“You okay, Tommy?” Adam looked at him a bit worried.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine. I was just thinking,” he shrugged and walked around the kitchen island to Adam’s side to put the tray in front of him. “Eat. You’re gonna need your strength,” he nodded towards his injured right shoulder. “What did Ashley say?”
“Thanks,” the dark-haired man pulled the tray closer. He didn’t even try to protest. He had the strong suspicion that if he refused to eat, Tommy’d force the food down his throat. “She sounded genuinely surprised and shared your opinion about the attackers trying to incriminate the vampires,” he answered and lifted one of the sandwiches to take a bite. His eyes followed Tommy as he slid up on one of the bar stools opposite him.
“She’s a clever woman,” Tommy nodded and watched Adam eat in silence for a few minutes. “You will shift in your room, right?” he frowned lightly, not trying to hide his worry. Having a wound caused by silver was a bitch and he hated seeing Adam in pain.
“I will. Are you really this worried about me? Even after my outburst?” Adam asked with a small smile then finished the first sandwich.
Tommy rolled his eyes and sighed. “Apparently.”
“Look, I’m sorry about earlier,” he said softly once his bite was gone and Amy finished packing her stuff away.
“I know,” Tommy nodded and turned to the healer, who was about to leave. “Thanks, Amy.”
“You’re welcome,” she smiled at them then glimpsed at Adam before looking back at Tommy. “Make sure he does shift. It’s important for the bone to heal correctly. We don’t want our Alpha’s movements hindered,” she added and sent a stern look at Adam, who suddenly looked intimidated by her. She had a strong presence for sure.
“I promise, Amy,” Tommy grinned seeing their big bad Alpha like this because of her. The healer just nodded and waved goodbye before leaving them alone.
“Gosh, as small as she is, she can be scary sometimes,” Adam mumbled starting to eat his second sandwich.
“She just takes her job seriously. I like that in her.”
Adam only growled low and focused on his food. They didn’t say anything else until he finished and got up to get a bottle of water from the fridge. Meanwhile Tommy put everything away and looked expectantly at Adam.
“To your room. Now,” he nodded towards the door.
“You really will make sure I shift, huh?” he sighed but when Tommy didn’t say anything he sighed in resignation. “Alright, alright,” he rolled his eyes and headed out of the kitchen with Tommy at his heel. This way the shorter man couldn’t see the warm little smile on Adam’s freckled lips.
Once standing next to his bed Adam glimpsed at Tommy only once before he started undressing. He didn’t try to do it sensually – and given the fact that his shoulder was still injured he was careful and hissed a few times – but the blonde still found it hard not to stare at the fine built and all those damned freckles. Not to be so obvious he walked to the window and looked out on the tastefully lit garden with all the plants and ferns. He knew it was silly to have such thoughts at a time like this. Adam was injured, for god’s sake. But it didn’t stop the hot pictures from the last time he saw Adam bare like this. He chewed on the inside of his mouth to keep his hormones at bay. He knew the other man would be able to smell his arousal.
Still he couldn’t deny his attraction when he caught the reflection of Adam’s naked body through the window’s glass. He looked just so damn fine as he walked to the bedside table and took a long drink from his water. Tommy had to bite the inside of his cheek harder to stay in control. It wasn’t uncommon in wolf packs that the members wore little or no clothes. They were partly wolves after all and as such they ran warmer than humans and had no problem with being naked around each other. It gave nice opportunities for piling up like dogs and sleep together in the scent and safety of the pack. Tommy sometimes did that in his old pack, but more often with his sister and niece – in that case in clothes. Since he was part of the LA pack, he noticed that small clicks of the pack liked to do that too, but he didn’t do it yet. He was still just warming up to them, although they seemed to accept him and his old pack’s members just fine.
The sounds of Adam moving around behind him dragged him back from his thoughts and he watched his the reflection go on all fours next to the bed. Tommy couldn’t see him well in that position, but he knew exactly when he turned because his back was hit by that certain Alpha power that was pure Adam, mixed with the summer forest scent. Tommy’s skin started to crawl. He took a wobbly breath and turned around watching the big black wolf with amazing blue eyes climbing on top of the bed. He whined shortly when he put his huge right paw on the bed and the pain shot down on his leg. Tommy instinctively wanted to move forward to help, but he stopped himself when he saw Adam climb on the mattress anyway.
‘Happy?’ he heard Adam’s voice in his mind as the wolf curled up on the bed and turned his big head towards him. He sniffed into the air and licked his muzzle, clearly smelling the pheromones in the air.
“We can say,” Tommy let his eyes drink in the sight of the majestic animal. His scent and leaking power was doing things to Tommy, he couldn’t lie to himself about that. Suddenly he felt a bit lost. Now that his task was done, he should go, right? But still he was standing there staring at his Alpha like an idiot. Waiting. Anticipating. Or whatever. Adam took a long hard look at him and it felt as if those glowing eyes were looking right into his soul. Tommy felt a bit uncomfortable and started fidgeting. “I should get g…”
‘Would you stay with me?’ Adam’s soft voice in his head cut him off and he had to lick his suddenly dry lips. Now he felt a little happier. He slowly nodded, keeping his cool, but judging by Adam’s small wolf-grin he had a strong suspicion that he knew exactly how Tommy truly felt.
He toed off his shoes and climbed on the bed next to Adam. He lay on his back and stared at the ceiling. When he felt the mattress dip beside him he glimpsed down and watched Adam snuggle closer, carefully putting his big head on Tommy’s stomach.
‘Is it okay like this? I know for a fact that Mates heal faster when they’re close’.
“It’s okay. Is that why you stayed with me when I was out of it after the explosion?”
‘Yes. You were in an alarmingly bad shape. Amy suggested it. I think she was surprised too that you healed up this quickly.’
“That’s pretty cool,” Tommy hummed and he couldn’t stop his hand from reaching out and touch the thick black fur. It was softer than he thought it’d be and it seemed Adam didn’t mind at all. He even rubbed his muzzle against Tommy’s T-shirt with a satisfied huff before settling back down. The blonde had to smile on that. The territorial bastard. But he couldn’t get mad at Adam when it felt so good having his scent on him. He sighed and closed his eyes, letting his hand pet the back of Adam’s neck and back. Even if he wasn’t the one with the injury, he felt warm and safe in that moment. It relaxed him more after such an intense day.
“Yes?” he murmured lazily.
‘Would you tell me about Queen Ashley and you?’ Adam’s voice felt unsure and curious at the same time. No sign of the earlier anger or possessiveness. How could he deny Adam the answers he was clearly so curious about?
“I’ve met her back when she wasn’t a queen yet. I had a period when… well, I left my pack behind to see the world and get away from all my responsibilities. I was still young and so fucking proud I couldn’t deal with losing my Beta position because of a new comer in our pack. I just took off and travelled for a little while. One night I was at a smaller rock club in Miami. It was an open mic night. I played my guitar for a few bands I already knew there. We were having fun after the gigs. I was on my way back from the bar with a new beer when I smelled a vampire close by. It was Ashley watching me from a nearby table. It was obvious that she knew what I was. When she smiled at me and gestured to sit with her, I did. I was curious. She turned out to be a charming girl. I sensed nothing funny about her motifs. She just wanted to talk about music and guitars. She saw me playing and asked if I could teach her some tricks. I was suspicious at first but then agreed. I thought she was just kidding and we said goodbye for the night. She had some stuff to take care of but said she’d find me in that club next time,” Tommy said lost in his memories while scratching behind Adam’s ear. The satisfied huff it pulled from Adam made him smile. “She did find me a few days later and invited me to her place. My wolf seemed to be at ease around her so I stayed relaxed and we went up to her. She turned out to be a quite talented guitarist at the end, but she preferred to play the bass. She said some sounds of it reminded her of heartbeats and blood coursing through veins.”
‘Did you two…?’
“Eventually yes. But not right away. We slept together after a few guitar lessons,” he shrugged, refusing to feel ashamed about that. He’s never regretted sleeping with women and men. At those times he needed that and why be a monk if you had the opportunity right in front of you? Sex was just sex, having fun. And none of his partners complained afterwards.
‘It’s usually frowned upon getting involved with vampires. Does anyone else know about this?’ Adam asked and because he didn’t sound judgmental, Tommy answered him. Somehow it would’ve hurt him if Adam started judging him based on whom he took in his bed.
“I’m aware of that, yeah. And only my sister knows about it from my side, but I doubt Ashley told many. I don’t really give a fuck anyways. I won’t feel ashamed about it,” he stated firmly.
‘I wasn’t judging you. I was just curious. Did you love her?’
“I know. Did I love her? To some extent, maybe. But we were mainly just playing music, talking about music and having sex. Then she had to move on and I did the same. I soon got back to my pack and took back my position.”
Adam stayed suspiciously silent and Tommy picked up on that. “Spill it.”
The big wolf-head lifted off his stomach as Adam wanted to meet his eyes. ‘If you had the chance, would you try with her again?’
Tommy chuckled shortly and shook his head, noticing the relief in Adam’s glowing blue eyes. “Not likely.”
“First, because if it came to light, both the Vampire and Werewolf Council would breathe down on our necks about it. A few centuries ago they executed vamps and wolves for this. Today they’d give us hell while trying to break us up. Second, there are our positions. Mostly hers. As Vampire fucking Queen she’ll have to find a King from her own kind. And thirdly… there’s you…”
‘Me?’ Adam tilted his head to the side with interest and maybe a little hopefully. Tommy found it damn cute.
“You. Obviously you’re my Mate. It’d totally fuck us up if I wanted to be with someone else. I see that now.”
‘What do you mean?’ Adam perked his ears up.
“I mean that I belong to you, dummy,” he rolled his eyes and caressed Adam’s muzzle. He wished they had this conversation when he was in human form too so he could’ve seen Adam’s reactions, but the confused look and Adam’s tail bumping against Tommy’s leg were quite telltale too. “It means my answer is yes, I want to try this Mate thing. But!” Tommy raised a hand when the bushy tail bumped into his leg rhythmically as Adam got all excited.
‘Why does it always have to have a but with you?’ Adam moaned in his head which made Tommy grin.
“Because I’m complicated and you love it… Anyways, my condition is that we try to be together until the next full moon, which is in nearly three weeks, and see how it goes. I don’t want to jump head first into such an important commitment. Is it okay for you like this?” he asked and now he looked a bit unsure too.
‘Yes. Of course. To be honest, I was afraid that after tonight you wouldn’t want me anymore.’
“I realized I want you exactly after tonight. We could’ve lost you. I could’ve lost you…” he trailed off, sinking his hand into Adam’s warm fur again. “I don’t want to feel that way again. I don’t want to waste more time with trying to keep myself from you. You’re a good person, a good Alpha and I want to believe you’d be a good Mate to me too.”
‘Tommy… you know I’d try with everything I’ve got to be that for you. I accept your condition. Let me show you how serious I am about this,’ Adam frowned and looked as serious as his wolf-features let him. His wolf huffed in agreement and gently licked Tommy’s chin which made the blonde chuckle shortly.
“Alright. We’ll talk more tomorrow, but now you have to rest.”
‘Will you shift and stay?’
“Yeah, move over a bit,” Tommy answered and when Adam did, he slid out of the bed to take off his clothes. He faced Adam as he did so, that blue gaze burning him all over. A small smile played on the blonde’s face feeling how much Adam and his wolf appreciated the sight of their naked Tommy. They even growled a bit excited when the nearly white wolf appeared next to the bed. Although they have already seen each other in their wolf-form, this felt different. Special even. They were much closer now and as Tommy climbed on the bed, he could clearly feel the pull towards Adam. He carefully got closer and lay down next to the bigger wolf, most of their bodies touching. This time he didn’t fight the urge of his wolf to lower his head and lick the underside of the black wolf’s chin then the side of his cheek. It meant that he acknowledged the Alpha’s dominance and position and at the same time it was a greeting too.
In return Adam rubbed his muzzle back against Tommy’s and scooted a bit closer. ‘You’re beautiful,’ he stated simply.
‘You aren’t bad yourself either,’ he got a cocky wolf-grin, but on the inside Tommy felt pleased by the praise.
Adam snorted but let it go and sniffed Tommy’s scent deeply into his lungs. The mixed smell of the summer and winter forest surrounded them too now and Tommy welcomed the feeling of home which he was already expecting.
‘So we’re together now?’ Adam wanted to make things clear.
‘Jesus, for an Alpha you can be really slow sometimes…’ Tommy huffed and nudged Adam’s side with his nose.
‘I can never know with you, can I?’ he chuckled in Tommy’s head as he playfully nipped at a white ear.
Tommy shook his head grinning again. ‘I thought you like me keeping you on your toes.’
‘You know I do. And you know I’m right.’
‘Yes, we’re together, Adam.’
‘Awesome. After all, this day turned out better than I first thought. I just had to get shot to get together with you,’ he wagged his tail and even in wolf-form he was clearly beaming.
‘Oh just shut up and go to sleep!’ Tommy growled and put his head down on his front paws.
Adam giggled through their mind-link one more time then he followed Tommy’s example and curled his tail around the smaller wolf before he closed his eyes. He felt happier than in a very long time.