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There was a storm coming their way, Louis' pretty sure of it. The tiny piece of land called the Caprivi Lands has
been victim to the most horrid storms that could ever come their way.

Louis' lived here with his family for nineteen years and today would be his last year of school. It would also be
the day of Den Nærmer - The Approaching.
Louis always thought it sounded haunted and when he was ten he absolutely refused to partake in it. Of
course, nine years ago he needn't have to. Today though, he had no choice.

Today's grand occasion was what Louis' grandmama liked to call 'The Meeting of the Mates' and the title
summed it all up. Louis' school was a kind of prep/finishing school where he was taught the best manners just
so that today would be perfect.

A Dominus was a male of the superior kind. They were bred to lead, fight and one day - when they're twentytwo - select a mate. Most were frightening, Louis wasn't very fond of his dad until he learnt the history, but as
he grew Louis dreamt of having his mate find him in such a romantic way.

He knew their relation would take long to nurture and it would not include what happens in those movies he
borrows from a fellow down at the beach. He just took to the idea of a person loving him enough to protect
and care for him.

"Louis!" He was planning on sleeping until ten today since the mistress would fetch him at twelve.

"Mother?" He mumbled into his pillow.

"Where's your sister's skirt?" She asked through his closed bedroom door.

He sighed. "Which one?"

"The brown one." Her voice was getting louder, signalling her approach to his room door.

"It didn't come back from the line yet."

"And the others?"

It was always his job to know where things were at all times, not for the sake of oppression but because he
just liked having answers. "What does she need them for?"

"I don't know but she won't leave me alone unless I find them." Everyone knew how persistent his sisters were.

"Try the second drawer in her closet."


When she's gone, Louis burrows himself into his covers and falls asleep again.

He woke himself up forty minutes later when the dream he had was the worst he could have. In his dream, it
was twenty minutes before everyone had to settle down for the first Dominus to arrive. They had chosen their
offerings and Louis got a seat closest to the television.

At this point, each person was given a sweet wrapped in black paper. If it was white, you would be chosen by a
mate today. If it was red - there was only one red sweet each year - you were offered to the final Dominus, a
different horror each year.

Louis was sweating and clutching his sheets, the weather already looking gloomy outside his window. He
swallowed and let the sweat run down his body before moving at all.

He showered and dressed in the clothes laid out for him the night before. His mother set the outfit of black
jeans and matching turtle-neck on his study table.

"Mom?" He padded through the house, flashes of lightning occasionally illuminating the place.

"In here, darling!"

He followed her voice to the laundry room and giggled when he saw she was still looking for her sister's skirt.

"Oh, Lou." She hugged him and he blushed. "You look radiant already. Your hair could do with some help."
"That's why I came to you." He wrung his fingers together and bit his lip.
She was all too eager to fix his hair and pick out his shoes. She reprimanded him when he slipped them on
without socks but he decided he liked them that way.
"Moonpie." His grandmama walked in from the kitchen in her navy nightgown and fuzzy slippers that matched
a pair Louis had stashed in his closet.

"Morning, grandmama." He smiles and hugs her the same way he did when he was ten and younger, arms
crossed over her shoulders and breathing in her sweet lavender scent.
The door rattled at five to twelve and Louis' heart lurched in his throat, nerves firing up and anxiety flaring.
"Calm down, sweetheart." She kissed his forehead. "You're still coming home to us tonight."
The tradition entitled Louis to one last night with his parents tonight, before he must leave with the Dominus
that arrives for him in the earliest hour of tomorrow. He nodded and waited for her to open the door, chewing
his lip as his anxiety made the air thick in his lungs.

In walked his headmistress with a foul glare and strict demeanour. Madam was always strict and uptight but
she treated her students fairly, all except for him. When Louis presented as part of the improperly termed
'weaker' gender she set her sights on making him miserable.
She gazed at Louis' attire now, huffed and dragged him out the door without a word of greeting.
"Do you know how this works, young man?" She got Louis into the car and he fought to not stare anywhere but
at her.
He shook his head. He wasn't entirely sure of anything when she was there with him.
"You sit with the rest of the students in a house out of this town. In the woods." She cleared her throat. "You
have an offering?"
Again, he shook his head. An offering was not compulsory, and Louis thought giving this man his heart would
"You were always the laziest." She scorned, making his tiny ego deflate. "Just stay still until your name's called.
If it gets called, that is."
He wanted to cry because how can she say that to him? He's already worked up on pent up agitation about his
nightmare and not being loved for the rest of his life. The insecurity that arose from the slight possibility that
he doesn't get a partner today stayed warm and harsh in his veins, scathing to the papery walls.
Taking a deep breath, Louis curls his dainty fingers around his sweater and folds in on himself. They watch
civilisation roll by and the woods appear to overtake them.

"Out." She opens his door and he tumbles out, landing in dirt. "Tidy yourself and go wait inside."
He nods and turns away without a scowl or glare in her direction.
"What do you say?" She roars, using the infamous thin cane to whack his lower back.
It stung and tears sprung to his eyes instantly, knowing that the skin must have been cut by such cruelty.
"Y-Yes, headmistress." He choked on the rising sob and inhaled deeply.
The house was wooden and three floors high. Snow stuck to the ground in a thick white blanket, coating the
sharp pine needles with light dustings. Trees were tall and blocking out the dull sunlight from behind the
clouds, seeming to peer down at him like he is the tiniest creature to walk among them.
Louis gingerly hopped up the front steps and entered the front living room without a care for the sand on his
knees and blood on the back of his sweater.

"Lou!" A feminine, friendly voice caught his attention.
"Hey, Habid." He smiled weakly.
She grabbed him in a tight hug before he can push her away to keep the sudden sting from the base of his
crusty sweater from erupting.
"Woah. What happened?" She lifts the back of his shirt to study the broken skin, pale and smooth but clearly
not worthy.

"Headmistress." Is all he had to say.
She rolled her eyes and led him to a sofa. "Lie down on your front. I'll get you something to take care of that."
He does as told and smashes his face into a cushion, groaning from the burn of his newest injury. No Dominus
would want a broken mate and that wounded Louis' vulnerable heart.
Everyone in here was beautiful and kind, genuine in their humility and polite mannerisms. Louis wasn't so
timid and enjoyed playing in the rain, getting dirty by playing outside with his little siblings. His family was
well to do because of his father but there was nothing extravagant about how they lived.
Maybe he was getting the red sweet today.
"Hey Lou." A second friend of his - his entire class was basically a big family - sat on the back of his knees.

"Headmistress?" She poked the side of his cut.
"You poor baby."
"Get off him, Wally." Habid was back, bearing a first aid kit.
"Sorry." She dismounted and sat on the arm rest of the adjacent couch.
"Who else is here?" Louis asks the girls.
"Hang on. Pops!" Wally shouted across the room.
"Yeah?" Came the faint reply from somewhere by the fireplace.
"Who's here already?"
"All present."
"They're all here, Lou."

He laughs into the soft pillow and turns on his side after Habid's done nursing his back.
When two in the evening comes, everybody's settled down in front of the large television screen watching a
movie Louis can't pay attention to. It's a cartoon and Louis probably should be watching it but he's just gotten
his sweet wrapped in black paper and can't bring himself to open it.
He didn't hear screams or protests so everyone else had white. He knew he had red that way and held back
tears, cries to God about what he had done to deserve this. He kept on a brave face for everyone else because
he was not going to ruin their special day.

The door creaked opened and a little boy came in. All eyes snapped to him, and behind his back they could
see the silhouette of a new arrival. He wore a red coat and had his back to them.
The atmosphere was thick with anticipation. The excitement and fear were tangible, making everything more
surreal. Not for Louis though. He knew this wasn't never going to be a happy ending for him.
Habid gripped Louis' hand tightly as the boy looked around the room, seeking out the face he was told to

"Samantha Grey." The boy finally said.
Samantha was seated at the back of the room, doodling on some paper, and when she heard her name she
froze. Louis knew she'd go first. Being the only male in a class of forty other females, he had a find of sixth


When Samantha left, lead by the little boy holding her hand, everyone bolted for the windows. Louis lifted the
corner of a lace curtain to observe them outside, and he'd be lying if he said it wasn't the sweetest thing he's

Sam was a shy girl and nor did she have an offering, but her Dominus had a rose for her. Everyone cooed on
the inside as Samantha's cheeks turned red and it started to snow.
"Is it snowing?" Someone asked.
"Shh!" Wally hissed.
Her shushing made more noise than the actual question and the Dominus' head snapped in their direction.
Louis panicked and dropped the curtain, closing his eyes on top of that.
"Are they gone?" Wally tried to see past the curtain. "Are they?"
"Looks like it." Habid sighed.

From there, a girl's name was called every ten minutes. They never came back in and that was understood.
Habid squealed when her name was called and Wally had to be waken up from a nap to have her moment.
Louis watched all of his friends go and refused to let himself feel inferior or stupid.
He was finally left with the girl he spoke least with, Rose. She was kind and very quiet. They sat watching
another cartoon until the door opened for the last time.

Louis didn't even look because he knew it wasn't for him. Rose's name was called and his heart finally gave up
the hope that hung on by a thread.
He wished her luck, smiled and watched her go. After that, he switched off the television and just to prolong
the time spent before he begged someone to end his life so he didn't have to be with a man ugly at heart and
body, cleaned up the girls' mess.


It wasn't as if his hopes were at a hundred percent because he was a boy and almost every Dominus didn't
want a partner like him. Maybe he could use that and beg for his life.
He even took the trash out, enjoying the bitter cold and how it made his skin flush from the frost. He exhaled
white puffs of air and dumped the bag beside the bins. It was dark out, crickets were singing and owls were

There was no rustling, no hope of being killed by a stray beast. A completely silent night.
As Louis dusted his hands, something collided with his back and when he was about to crash into a stone wall,
it caught his waist to haul him away from it. It felt human so maybe the last Dominus didn't arrive as yet.
"Why would hey leave you for last?" The voice belonging to this stranger speaks up from behind Louis' back.
Louis wriggles free of this person's grasp and turns on his heel to face them, slightly irritated by their forward

"Excuse me?" He says to a man whose face he cannot see through the shadow of a hoodie.
"I saw you watching us through the window." He lifts his head. "I came with my brother because he didn't want
to make the trip alone."
Louis didn't know why he was being told this and crossed his arms over his chest when the wild wind whipped
around him. This stranger dropped their hoodie and revealed what Louis believes to be the most beautiful man

He has creases by his cheeks, definitive proof of dimples; shoulder-length dark brown hair and skin that's
slightly tanned. The tips were a little curly and very unruly by the way they framed his long face, punctuating
his grace. Louis assumes he comes from somewhere near the midlands.
Deeming this conversation over, Louis smiles politely. "I'm sorry. I have to go now."
The stranger won't let him budge. "Are you alone here now, haud mirum?"
Louis feels slightly uneasy and steps back, only to have his acquaintance shuffle forward. This stranger spoke

"I-I am."
"You are breathtakingly beautiful." This man says, offering up a small smile as well. "Forgive me, haud mirum.
My name is Harry."
"I'm Louis."
"I didn't come with the intention of mating but it seems I've become prey to your eyes. They are very blue,
haud mirum. The bluest I've ever seen."

Louis looks at the snow hanging onto his shoe, cheeks having more reason to redden. Maybe this could be it
for him, a way out. He's looking at this enchanting individual who was a foot taller than him with a far more
impressive muscle structure that could cage him in and hold him close forever. His eyes sparkly like little stars
and Harry's darker emeralds reflect that phenomenon, enthralled and captivated by it.
He becomes deeply saddened when he remembers what is already promised to him.
"I w-wish it could be." Louis shrugs tiredly. "But I've already gotten my fate sealed in candy."
Harry's eyebrows fly up to meet his hairline. "Pardon?"
"'s tradition."

"Oh." Harry chuckled in recollection. "The tale of the red sweet, yes?"
Louis nods solemnly. It weight heavy on his heart.
"Do not be saddened." Harry stepped closer, itching to reach out and caress this magnificent creature. "I have
the power to take you away."
"I can't ask that of you." Louis looks up with wide, deep blue eyes. "You aren't my Dominus and we don't know
each other."
"I am your Dominus now." Harry strips off his coat and drapes it over Louis' shoulders. "I'd like to ask for your

Louis felt his heart flutter and tummy tighten as the coat that wrapped around him infiltrated his senses. Spice
and vanilla with musk. Harry's scent was both strong and comfy. Louis grinned, pleased to his core knowing
that he wasn't going to end up thrown to a miserly death. He hugged Harry around his middle, not caring for
the rules that stated he wasn't allowed to initiate anything.
"My brother told me that there is an evening masquerade later." Harry settled into the embrace like they've
been doing it for years. "Will you be by my side for the evening, Louis?"
Louis nodded and pulled away from Harry, not wanting the man to feel too uncomfortable or that Louis was
too forward. He felt the urge to sneeze but held it in until Harry had escorted him back into the warmth of the

"Your jacket?" Louis made to remove it but Harry stopped him.
"Keep it safe for me, haud mirum." Harry kissed Louis' forehead for an extended moment. "I'm sorry I'm ill
"I am too despite having months to get ready." Louis giggles and the hairs on Harry's body stand to attention.
"How will you leave here?"
Louis' smile falls and his slight joy fades. "My headmistress will fetch me since I am the last one."
"You are not the last one anymore." Harry secures the side of his face with a large hand. "You are my only

Louis' smile picks up again when Harry makes him laugh by constantly nudging the side of his face with his
cheek. It elicits a soft giggle from the boy and Harry kisses Louis' lips for the first time.
Louis gasps suddenly, turning bright pink and touching his lips with his fingers. "You're not supposed to do
Harry's lips tasted like the crashing of waves against smooth shoreline rocks and the peaceful chirping of the
finest bird perched on the tallest trees. He tasted like tranquillity and the home Louis' soul has been searching
to harbour itself in, as Harry's makes preparations to burrow into the boy's warmth.
"I'm not supposed to kiss the one I love?" Harry chuckles, not withdrawing as he cupped Louis' blushing cheek
and pressed their foreheads together.

"You don't love me, Harry." Louis admonishes, playful yet hopeful. "It's too early."
"Louis." Harry disapproves. "Our mates are chosen unlike people who pick their spouses. We have
predetermined partners, something that we have in common. That same thing made me accompany my
brother. Can you imagine if I hadn't?"
The revelation makes Louis look at Harry like he isn't of this earth, carved by the Gods and made into a
hologram to mock him. Then something clicked. Creatures don't have predetermined partners unless they
were what his grandmama called creatures that had been taken by the night.

They weren't legend nor were they myth. A specimen of Dominus status came from every species and this kind
was scariest. They were the only kind that could have two forms, shed blood as wolf and man. They had
mates, not marriages.
"Wh-What are you?" Louis had his hand captured by Harry's, his smaller palm is prisoner to Harry's that can
completely envelope it.

His eyes nervously met Harry's like he knew they were meant to be but terribly afraid of that not being true.
Louis closes his eyes when Harry leans all the way in, not for a kiss but to nuzzle his neck like a wolf does. He
answered the question without a word and Louis gasped at his arms being thrown over Harry's shoulders.
"That question never fails to offend me, haud mirum." Harry had his body curled around Louis' in his most
defensive, protective stance. "I am who I am and that is all I can offer you to love."

Louis' flattened hand was compressed between them, eyelids falling open when Harry presses them close
enough to be aligned. He stares into green at his Dominus and accept what he says as the holy truth, nothing
else having any meaning.
He had to take this man home to his father. So what if he had half a wolf for a lover?
"Without you-"Louis casts his gaze downwards, upset with himself. "-"I'd belong to someone with red skin and
a black heart."

Harry isn't having any of his shame and tilts Louis' head back, their noses brushing. "I may not have come with
the intention of taking you but I'm not leaving without you to call mine."
"I wish I was enough for you." Louis brushes Harry's well-defined jaw with his unsure fingertips and blushes
when his hip gets a squeeze. "That I was enough to bring you here just for me."
"I'm still in my last year of training. I'd only have been asked next year." Harry revealed not so hesitantly,
wanting to be honest with the boy he's seeing his future in the eyes of.
"They won't allow us to be together, Harry!" Louis whisper-shouts, already drawing away in panic.
Harry doesn't allow it, won't allow his intended to part with him. He circles his hands around Louis' forearms,
fingers overlapping around the thin bone and rubbing soothingly over the soft, cold skin. "Stop being so eager
to pull away from me because I've known you all of six minutes, and already don't think I could ever let you

Harry drops and tightens his arm around Louis' back. The smaller male cries out from the pressure on his cut.
"What is it?" Harry questions, concerned by the alarming noise from Louis' cracked lips.
"It's nothing." Louis takes Harry's arm away from his back.
"Haud mirum, you owe me nothing but the truth." Harry's inner dominance begins to shine through when
there's a threat to his request.
"It's my fault." Louis instead sputters worriedly, troubled that the injury might cause Harry to reject him.
"What is? Louis, let me see."
Louis had never heard such a demanding voice and he immediately released Harry's hand so the man can
investigate. Harry sees the cut after asking Louis to turn around and lift his shirt. The skin of his lower back is
torn apart across a narrow, short cut that's a slit instead of a burn.
"Oh, my darling boy." Harry cooes, standing up from his knees and taking Louis in his arms once again. "Was it
your headmistress?"

Louis nods against Harry's shoulder, tickling his cheek against the soft fabric of Harry's shirt.
"I'll take you home now, you need not spend anymore time with her." Harry promises, gaining Louis' trust as
he slips his hand into the boy's.
Harry led Louis down the hill on foot and lifted him up off the ground when they had to pass a stream. Even
afterwards when they'd reached the road and the snow thinned to tiny snowflakes falling around them, getting
lodged in Harry's hair, the Dominus did not set him down.
"Harry." Louis swallowed, eyes never moving from Harry's artful side profile. He had the ideal Dominus
physical structure, strong body and firm muscle. Deep-set eyes with a tough grip on everything he held. "How
will we be together if you're not old enough yet?"
Instead of a disgruntled response, Harry's lips are dampened by his tongue darting out to lick over them then
his mouth twisting into a smirk at the corner. "You will come to my home and be by my side."
"You have your own home?" Louis twisted his finger into the collar of Harry's shirt, intrigued by such a silky

"Yes." Harry hops down from a log and continues walking alongside the snowy road, Louis in his arms and the
sky darkening above their heads. "A Dominus must run their own home from their youngest year."
Louis frowns, picking out snowflakes from Harry's hair. "How young is that, Dominus?"
Harry's eyes briefly slid across to side then back ahead. "Fourteen."
Gasping without commanding himself to, Louis' eyes widen at the new knowledge. Adolescents are made to
keep themselves standing with houses when they are pronounced Dominus. "What about your family?"
"Having a Dominus child is not easy. My family was not allowed to help me, nor my brother."
Louis feels sympathetic and wraps his arms around Harry's neck to affectionately nuzzle the side of his face,
warming up what was vacant and love what was abandoned. "You have me now."
"Yes." Harry growls and his arms get more restricting around Louis, keeping him pinned. "I won't have to
endure another day alone."

Louis' house came into sight and he pointed it out, heart hammering with the thought of his grandmama
meeting big and scary Harry. The Dominus was neutral and even a little anticipatory because the sooner he
met Louis' family, the sooner he could whisk his other half away to their own world.
He knew he was meant for someone out there, but he never expected such a deep connection with another
soul that it knitted his broken pieces together. Such completion and admiration, his adoration should not be
possible yet it is with this blue-eyed beauty.


"This is my home." Louis gets freed of Harry's hold just as he notices movement at his living room window.
Harry's gaze falls on him in scrutiny, eyebrow quirked so that he corrects that statement. Louis belongs to him
now, with him. There is no place on this planet for him except the roof Harry puts over his head. Nobody
blamed him for these aggressive thoughts. A Dominus is bred and taught to lead, to provide for his own
family when he earns one. He is given a difficult life from day one, made hard and cold.
"It's where I grew up." Louis takes Harry's hand, slotting their fingers together easily, and pulling him forward
with him towards the porch.

Harry grunts, something more authoritative and misting over his calm exposure takes over him as he senses
another dominant figure. That always made a Dominus feel challenged, and his chest rumbled with vibrations
of upset as Louis guided him through the front door into an environment that smelt of toast and wine.
When Louis' done kicking off his shoes and about to walk further into his house, bare feet on a coarse carpet,
Harry takes affirmative action to prove himself the most important to the boy. His hands settle with merciless
strength on Louis' hips, mouth attacking the boy's neck as he partially sinks his teeth into the supple skin.
Louis is obviously pained by the experience and whines in a high pitch, the prickle of Harry's teeth too great
and uncomfortable for him. A wolf mates this way but in a more intimate way with a deeper mark, except right
now Harry's wolf is not willing to risk another Dominus influencing Louis. He will have this boy under his arm
and nowhere else.

When Harry lifts off his throat there is a bright red bruise covered in a fine glisten of saliva from Harry's bite.
Two tiny puncture marks heal over but the bruise doesn't, throbbing beneath Louis' fingertips when he makes
contact with them.
"Your father is here." Harry's arm comes to rest around Louis' middle, holding the smaller male against him.
"He will not take you from me."
"Of course he won't." Louis tries to convince him, huffing when Harry kisses the mark and his tongue licks over

"Well good evening." A frail female voice greets them from the foyer, wrinkled and bemused smile playing on
Louis' grandmama's lips.
Harry looked mighty big in their humble abode. He was tall and intimidating and never spoke unless he felt
the absolute need to. It was an innate trait for a Dominus to exude confidence and arrogance rather than good
manners to win over a heart. They never won a war being softies.
"Relax, moonpie." She said to Louis when the latter tried to bring Harry to meet the other members of his
family. "Your Dominus is not going to let us have a piece of you now that he's gotten one."

Louis looked at Harry in mild exasperation but the Dominus is occupied with nosing along the mark he made.
He was going to let Louis speak to his loved ones now as long as it was from the confines of his arms. A
Dominus lives a lonely, unfulfilled life from a very young age until they can claim a partner. Harry being a wolf
meant an even greater, longer struggle. He will never allow Louis to part with him for others.

He does meet Louis' entire family and looks at them all as if they were threats, pressing his body a little closer
to Louis as each one introduced themselves. When Louis' father arrived, Harry had full-blown black eyes and
an irremovable snarl from his plump lips. They were sinful but guarding deadly canines beneath them.
It began to unsettle the calm at the base of Louis' spine, making him desperate for a sense of security. Harry's
fingers only formed more bruises on his hips where they held on with stealth and strength, both unforgiving
on his tender flesh.
"Harry." He hoped his cracking voice would convince the Dominus to lessen his tension, but Harry thought it to
be a sign that his mate was feeling unsafe and needed his further protection.

Looking into the eyes of the man who guarded Louis his entire life, shielded him and his family from any form
of harm, made Harry split open at the seams. Every meeting went like this, from one Dominus to another.
Passing of a hand from father to suitor was not an extensive process, and was rated in meaning by how the
suitor handled it.
Their world is stereotypical and harsh. A new Dominus fated to have their life connected with another young
soul, must prove themself worthy by outshining the older Dominus who parented that young soul. A healthier,
youthful Dominus ought to take what is theirs.

"None of this tonight." Grandmama spoke up first, obscuring both Louis' father's and Harry's staring contest.
"We may not have a feast prepared but we certainly have food. We must welcome Louis' wolf consort."
Harry's vision diverts to her, surprised by her ability to tell what he is without a question posed in his
direction. Louis is proud to call her his grandmama and giggles when Harry's throat makes a curious grumble.
"Grandmama was once part of the council that handles my school." Louis explains softly, his sweet voice
soothing the inner rumble of Harry's chest as the boy's small hand settles over Harry's heart and his lips reach
his ear. "No one here is a threat, my love."

Even whilst saying it Louis knew it would do nothing, if at most calm Harry's anxiety for a short while before
his instincts flare and he's forced to put himself on top again.
At dinner, Harry spared no inkling of time thinking of Louis being seated anywhere besides his lap. Louis'
father regarded him with interest. He may not have been actively involved with the nurturing of Louis'
character as he grew, but he still concerned himself with the choice of soulmate for his son.
Harry is broad-shouldered and overbearing even at this extremely early stage, but he respected that because
he had been the same. Louis was delicate and Harry would easily become the warrior meant to protect him
forever, father their children and be a delightful mate.

Harry being a wolf is not what he had expected, as wolves are rare and very impulsive. Even considering this,
Louis' father sees his son being very happy with this man.
"Are you no longer hungry, haud mirum?" Harry asked Louis, rubbing the boy's hip where he sat on his closed

Louis' grandmama watched them interact from the behind the rim of her glass, smirking at how comfortable
they were with each other. Louis was turned to have his side fitted under Harry's chin, the Dominus holding
him close and possessively with both arms wound around his form.
When Louis spoke, he had Harry's utmost focus. The boy was smiling and Harry was in easily interpreted
adoration of his sweet partner, thumbing at Louis' cheekbones and jaw slowly.
"Not hungry." Louis replied slowly, softly. He's only eaten a branch of broccoli, some bites of chicken and a
spoonful of sauce.

Harry brought his lips to the skin below Louis' ear, dragging them against the surface as he spoke so that the
boy shivered with the assault. "When you are my responsibility, haud mirum, you will eat far more than this or
have me force-feed you."

Something in Louis' abdomen tightened. Harry bringing himself forth to accepting his responsibility towards
Louis, makes him shudder in delight. "You haven't eaten either, Harry."
Something flashed across Harry's eyes, too quick to be read.
"A Dominus never eats for the first week that he is training." Louis' father knew better than to interrupt a wolf
while he was speaking, and so raised his voice to answer his child's unheard question beforehand. "They single
out the strong ones in that way."

When Louis looked back towards Harry, the Dominus was stiff with tension that laced his every blink and
breath. "They starved you?"
Louis' father's eyes shimmer with the prospect of this discussion. A Dominus had to discuss with their
partners, more so with wolves, the process and experiences of their training to ensure they weren't marred
physically or mentally.

The Dominus gender was not perfect. They were made superior by the trauma they're made to experience so
that nothing affected them negatively in the real world. No Dominus came out of their training healthy. There
was always a scar, a damaged trait that spoke of their past.
"Eat everything on this plate, haud mirum." Harry clears his throat and even that, such a harmless sound,
thunders across the ceiling of their dining room like a threat.

Louis looked at the abundance of food and his stomach did an unsavoury flip. Today has not been the best of
days for him because so much has happened when he's used to a boring routine each time he wakes up,
eliciting a mild headache above his lost appetite.

Harry whispered lowly in Louis' ear when the boy didn't move an inch. "I'm not asking, haud mirum."
Louis shyly raises his hand in perfect tandem with Harry's palm sliding across his tummy, locking down on his
other hip. The boy finds himself blushing when Harry shifts his legs that results in him falling back abruptly.
His hand lands on Harry's chest and he's slightly tilted, righting himself by wrapping an arm around Harry's

All the while Harry's eyes stayed glued to his, emotions hooded beneath the green outline of his pupil. The
Dominus was just as nervous as he was, no doubt. Harry kept glancing at Louis' neck and back up to the boy's
lips or eyes, a muted strangled noise almost breaking free.
"Will you eat with me?" Louis asked, soft as a kitten in appearance and vaguely shaky voice. His duty to the
Dominus was to keep him happy and healthy.
Harry met his gaze and it was filled with a strength so alight with sparks of empowerment from his wolf, that
Louis was shocked and awed by watching it slowly dim into loyalty. "I am your Dominus, haud mirum. I do
what you ask of me when you ask it."

Louis smiles, looking down at his lap and curling his fingers into Harry's collar. The heat escaping to his
cheeks becomes unbearable when Harry's face is blocked in his neck, nuzzling affectionately and hoping for a
return exchange. Louis can only turn his head a little and frame Harry's neck with both his hands, his eyes
slipping shut as Harry breathes raggedly into his pulse.
They were alone at the table but they didn't notice. Louis gasped at a squeeze to his lower back. "You are my
Dominus and you will be my love."

Harry is pleased immensely with his confession and hugs his future mate around his middle. Any secrets can
remain hidden for a while longer until they were really alone.
Louis' plate of food was polished off soon enough with Harry's aid. He shared the bread rolls and salad with
Harry, still too nervous to feed him like experienced couples would. Being in Harry's lap with Harry's arms
around him, he feels safe and shy.

* * * * *

"Forgive me, haud mirum. I have lied to you through omission." Harry came forth while they were outside on
Louis' back porch, relaxing amongst the snowy landscape together.
Everyone was inside and watching every odd moment through a hallway window, making Louis giggle and turn
his head away. Like always he was in Harry's company with a mug of something warm in his hands, seated
across from the Dominus in his own chair.

"Sorry?" Louis thinks he didn't hear correctly, and his heart begins to crack the inside of his ribcage.
Could his fairytale be over so soon? He panics at the thought and sets the mug down with a violently shaking
hand, quickly pressing both arms against his chest afterwards.
Harry observes everything that he does and a sad look bleeds over his beguiling emeralds. "You do not know
everything about me."

Louis watches Harry stand up and the swollen wooden floorboards creak with his movement. "I've known you
for half a day, Harry."
Looking at this beautiful creature that could be his, Harry wants to lay himself bare for Louis. His only secret is
one he's kept from everyone, which is exceptionally easy because he knew no one besides his brother. There
were no friends or family besides his one sibling, which led to minute reservations about finally sharing his life
with someone else.
"Harry- What are you doing?" Louis sounds deeply alarmed when Harry's both hands reach for his own belt

He tries not to raise his voice so as not to alert the attention of his family that lay impatiently awaiting his
return indoors, forced to slap his hands over his eyes when Harry doesn't stop shedding his bottom layer of
clothing. He knew Harry didn't plan to try anything forward with him as there was none of that charge in the
air, no promise of arousal or being forced to give up what he's guarded his entire life.
"Haud mirum, look at me." Harry desperately encouraged, sounding so very much like a broken man with
unbreakable strength.

Louis shook his head and vehemently refused, pressing his fingertips into his eyes further hoping it would
shut out what he isn't meant to see. Harry grows tired of it, insecure in his own way and being shred to pieces
because Louis is rejecting the truth about the flaw he has about him.
"Louis." Harry uses his dominant nature to add a lethal edge to his voice, driving a steady shiver down Louis'

Obeying the Dominus' command, Louis tentatively uncovers his eyes and peeks through his fingers at what
he's supposed to see. It takes a breath and a half for his hands to fall away completely, his lips parted as cold
air gushes in to emphasise his surprise.

"Harry....-" He trails off, scrambling to his feet whilst staring evidently at Harry, eyes wide and mind blank.
As outrageous as Louis thought it to be that Harry simply dropped an item of his garb so publicly, he could
see now that it was for a reason. One of what was supposed to be pale, lean and muscular legs has been
replaced by the cold inanimation of a wooden substitute.
Harry had a prosthetic leg.
The quilt from around Louis' shoulders falls into his grip as he curls his fingers around the edges. He knows
that this is his turn to accept and can easily do so without judging, for this Dominus is willing to have him.
Cautiously he steps around the coffee table that separates them and connecting their gazes to never part

Harry was afraid again and it wasn't so difficult to pick up on. When Louis got to him, Harry's eyes were
guarded and he went stiff all over at seeing his future mate drape the quilt around him instead. The shock was
apparent in how his eyes grew to be so much greener, accepting it and holding onto Louis when the boy
hugged him tightly.

"How?" Louis asked in a quiet tone, hushed to keep the secret between them.
The Dominus need not redo the button or zip of his own trousers as Louis did it for him, all the while
something else becoming tangible in the air above their heads. Harry felt satisfied like he never thought
possible when he tucks Louis in under his chin, arms crossing over the smaller male's back to keep him

"A hunt." Harry replies stoically. "We are told to always go out as wolves when we hunt, but the day was long
and I thought I could bring home the first herbivore I saw."
Louis flinched at the story and gripped Harry's shirt so tightly in his tiny fists that the Dominus made himself
more protective instantly, responding to the boy's insecurity. Louis couldn't let this Dominus go. He could see
himself loving no other person besides Harry.

"I will be your mate." Louis says, sure of himself. He buries his face in Harry's chest and finds solace in the
steady beat of Harry's heart. "I will be by your side always."

"Yes, haud mirum." Harry kissed Louis' forehead and wrapped the quilt around them both, binding them
together. "I can think of no greater gift than you, from the Gods to me."