“Is it true?”
Every ounce of Louis' being wanted to scream in protest, to have his Mate know he would never do anything to cause him harm, to have his Mate hold him in what would now be his final days. But the need to keep his mate safe was stronger. A need that took priority over everything, even Louis' life. So he stayed silent. He knew he couldn't outright lie to Harry so this would have to be good enough.
“Answer me!” Harry roared, sweeping across the room in the blink of an eye to wrap a hand around Louis' throat.
The smaller wolf kept his eyes downcast.
If he looked at his Mate, his Alpha, he would break. He couldn't afford that, though it didn't stop tears from spilling down his cheeks. Harry snarled, tossing him backwards; he had taken the silence as an admission of guilt. Louis shook, but knew he had to be strong now, his Mate's life was at stake.
A dark laugh filled the room then, one Louis hadn't heard in four years. “They were right. I almost lost everything so I could Mate you because I LOVE... I LOVED you! I didn't listen to them and made you mine. And they were right. You are worthless!”
Every word tore at his very soul and he wanted to crawl to Harry and tell him it wasn't true, that he loved him more than life and would never hurt him. When he saw Harry wince and lean over to support himself on a chair, Louis knew Harry was picking up on his pain through their bond; he prayed he wouldn't sense the lie even though it was never spoken.
Louis felt a rush of pure anger surge through the bond at the same time Harry snarled and swallowed down his fear. Harry had never hurt him before but then, that kind of rage had never been directed at him before either. The Omega watched in terror as his Mate stalked over to the fireplace and pulled the hot poker from the fire. Harry winced again, gripping the mantle so tightly a crack echoed through the room. His back straightened then and he turned to Louis, the poker in his hand, his face grim and determined. Another wave of fear crashed over Louis causing Harry to stumble back a step, though all it did was make him angrier.
“Lift your shirt.” The sharp demand felt like a whip as Louis realized what Harry intended. Despite his fear and need to tell Harry he was innocent, Louis lifted his shirt. This time it was his turn to flinch as pain flowed to him in waves.
“So eager to be rid of me?” Harry snapped, walking closer.
Louis still kept quiet, knowing if he opened his mouth the truth would spill out.
He would rather have Harry hate him and live, than love him and die.
“Little traitor,” Harry hissed, yanking him up by the arm and holding him in place. A last wave crashed through their bond: hesitance, regret, hate, love, pain, acceptance, then suddenly the poker was making contact with the skin in the dip of his waist, right over the Mating bite Harry had given him on their first night together and burning through it. Louis couldn't keep quiet then and released an ear-splitting scream while Harry hissed. As much as the pain of the burn hurt, it was nothing compared to the agony of their bond severing; even as it did, his love for Harry didn't diminish.
A moment later Harry pulled the poker from his skin and released him. Louis dropped to the ground, biting almost right through his bottom lip to keep from crying out. Harry tossed the poker down with disgust and turned back to him.
“I should kill you for your treachery.” He spat, but didn't make to move forward. “Leave. Leave our lands and don't come back. If you do, I won't think twice about ripping your throat out myself.”
Despite the agony radiating through his abdomen, his heart, his very soul, Louis wiped away his tears and got to his feet, his head held high as he turned and walked from the room.
'I love you' he sent the wave to Harry even though he knew he couldn't feel it any longer. 'I'm sorry.'
Harry twitched as he felt something tug at his heart; a small pulse of love and regret. He shook it off as he watched his – no, the Omega leave the room with grudging respect. Louis hadn't caused a scene or begged to be forgiven or even plead for his life; he was a proud creature of dignity and it had been one of the reason's Harry had wanted him in the first place. Harry turned away as the door closed behind his ex-Mate and headed for the bar. Werewolves couldn't get drunk, but he sure as hell could try.
As the frigid winter air swirled around him, Louis pulled his shirt from his body and tugged off his trousers before letting himself change to his wolf form and run toward the treeline, the heavy snowflakes welcome on his fur. He paused as he reached the forest and allowed himself to howl in agony. 'I love you, always.'
Louis licked his snout and paws after a meagre dinner of rabbit, he had been too tired and in too much pain to hunt for anything else and had almost retched it back up multiple times; he hoped his luck got better. After cleaning himself up, the white wolf curled up with a pained whine. He had come across the cave after hours of wandering and it hadn't been scent marked so Louis knew he could make it his own. If he hadn't of been so exhausted he would have switched back to human form and started a fire to warm himself. There was really no point in comfort, he knew; he was going to die either way.
Shivering on the cold ground, Louis allowed himself to grieve his Mate; he still considered Harry his Mate and would until his last breath. He knew he had done the right thing, no matter how painful it was.
He had met Harry four years ago when he was still a pup and Harry was still being trained to take over for his father. It hadn't been the most pleasant experience.
Harry had been spoiled and rebellious, caring for no one and nothing except himself and what he could get from others, while his father had been at the end of his tether. After years of his son's wildness the older Alpha had been ready to rename his successor if Harry kept refusing to take his duty seriously.
Louis, at fifteen had still been living with his mother and sisters and was constantly harassed for his Omega status. Male Omega's were extremely rare, though they certainly weren't treated as anything special. Instead they endured ridicule for having the ability to bear children. No she-wolf wanted a 'weak' Mate, and no male wanted a generic bitch. Louis hated it. He had learned to stand up for himself at an early age and he refused to allow others to trample him. He had also learned to fight from his friend Zayn, an Alpha, due to unwanted and forced sexual advances. It angered Louis that Omega's weren't allowed to learn these skills because they were considered weaker than Beta's and Alpha's; a slave to their own bodies. Even female Alpha's and Beta's were against them learning and Louis wanted to slap them all. He had expected them to be at least compassionate about the Omega plight given what the entire female race had had to endure over the years of being considered weaker.
The day Louis had met Harry, the young Alpha had been in the village looking to cause trouble with a few of his friends while Louis had been carrying a basket to his friend Eleanor, a young Beta two years his senior who had just given birth to triplets. He had felt sorry for her at first, as she had been forced into a Mating so young, but it turned out his worry had been for nothing when she fell madly in love with her Mate, Daniel, and he for her in return. Louis had been rather excited that day because he was finally going to meet the babies, Lucy, Marian and Joseph.
Nick had spotted him first, straying from Harry's side to harass him. Louis had smelled him before he saw him, the cloying Alpha scent he had grown to hate making him want to gag.
“Well, Well, aren't you a pretty little thing.” Nick had goaded, walking closer and inhaling deeply through his nose. “And no wonder, you Omega's are always such delicious little whores.”
Another deeper voice had joined in from behind Louis a second later, “What’d you find, Nicky?”
Nick hadn't expected Louis to lash out, the Omega's small hand making four long and bloody gashes along his cheek. Louis hadn't been afraid of him, he'd dealt with all manner of jackasses in his fifteen years, sadly.
He had still flinched as Nick's eyes had flashed an ugly yellow colour causing him to back up a couple of steps until he collided with something solid. Louis had inhaled, scenting the air; another Alpha. Though, instead of making him ill, the scent had made his mouth water. It had smelled of green apples and warmed spice, a hint of smoke, and home. He'd had to bite the inside of his cheek almost bloody to keep from whining and pressing back into whoever was behind him. Unable to stop himself, Louis had turned his head and looked up into the face of the one responsible for that wonderful smell and had frozen.
Blue eyes had connected with green as Louis had looked at the Alpha through his bangs and he'd felt his breath hitch. The hands that had settled on his hips when he backed up tightened possessively and Louis couldn't stop the tiny noise that spilled from his lips then. The moment was broken when Nick laughed. “I think he likes you Harry! We can share him, I doubt he'll put up much of a fight given the way he smells.”
Louis had began shaking and cursed himself. Of course. Only he would respond so strongly to someone who wanted to harm him. What happened next shocked him.
The hands moved from his hips to wrap around his middle. “If you value your life, Nicholas, I suggest you get the fuck out of here.”
Louis had relaxed against the Alpha holding him -Harry?- in relief. “I found him first,” Nick growled, taking a step forward, his beady eyes fixed on Louis. Nick's growl was suddenly drowned out by a louder deeper one that was powerful enough to rattle the jars on the window sill a few paces away. Louis felt it against his back, but instead of feeling scared, a wave of security had washed over him.
“You could at least share,” Nicked had snapped.
Before Louis knew what was happening the warmth against his back had disappeared and Harry was on Nick. “I don't share,” Harry had said in a deceptively silky voice before the sound of bone breaking echoed through the air. When Nick landed at Harry's feet like a sack of potatoes, Louis had realized his collar-bone was broken.
With Harry a suitable distance away, Louis' head had cleared enough for him to realize what had just happened and he had attempted to run, dropping the basket and bolting down the alley on his left. He hadn't made it far before Harry had crashed into his back, sending him chest first into the wall.
"Don't run away from me." Harry had growled.
The second Harry had touched him again he was putty in the Alpha's hands. A part of his brain, albeit a tiny tiny part, was aggravated and wondering why he was reacting this way because it had never happened before.
Harry had ground his pelvis against Louis' ass making the Omega whine high in his throat at the feeling. Then Harry's mouth was sucking at the sensitive skin of his throat and Louis was panting against the wall and squirming at the wetness pooling between his ass cheeks. Another thing that hadn't happened to him outside of dreams yet.
“Tell me I can have you,” Harry had rasped in his ear, still grinding against him. “Let me have you,” He'd begged and Louis couldn't form words, his arousal too intense for him to do more than nod frantically and moan as his hole began to ache with the need to be filled.
Harry had made quick work of pushing Louis' pants down and unbuttoning his own before lining himself up and slamming inside causing them both to cry out. “I can't go slow,” he'd panted as he set a deep, hard pace.
Louis had tossed his head back against the Alpha's shoulder and turned to nuzzle at Harry's neck until the bigger wolf locked their lips together, his hips moving faster as the Omega mewled into his mouth. “please,”
With a ragged moan Harry had slid one hand down Louis' abdomen to grip where thigh met pelvis, while his other hand pressed down hard on the Omega's lower belly. Louis sobbed in pleasure as his eyes rolled back and his back curved, his body clenching rhythmically on Harry's cock. Harry had cursed, fucking the Omega through his orgasm and right into another until the pressure at the base of his cock became unbearable and he held Louis in place as his knot inflated. Louis had squirmed, the pressure too good. Knots didn't really hurt for Omega's the way it did for some male Beta's and some Alpha's as their body's were engineered to bear children, so he got to enjoy the pressure against his prostate instead of writhing in agony.
The next ten minutes had been a tad awkward, what with Louis literally stuck to Harry and all. “Um... I'm sorry if I wasn't... good. I've never, um.. done this, before.”
Harry had let out a pleased little growl and nuzzled the side of his neck. “You were perfect,” his voice had trailed off then and Louis found himself turning red. Harry didn't even know his name. God, he was as bad as everyone said Omega's were. Shame filled him and his eyes began to prick until Harry had tightened his arms around him, one across his shoulders the other around his waist. “What's your name sweetheart?” He'd asked gently while nuzzling Louis' cheek.
“Louis Tomlinson. You must think I'm-”
“I think you're perfect.” Harry had interrupted, “I think you're beautiful and I think... no, I know, you're my mate.”
Louis whined and curled further into himself as he came out his memories. Harry's family had been against their Mating from day one, until his father saw how Harry acted around Louis and realized he was exactly what his son needed to calm down.
They had been together for four years, until a war began brewing between the wolves and hunters who decided they wanted to rid the lands of werewolves. At first the Pack and Harry, the Alpha for the last two years hadn't taken the threat seriously until the hunters showed themselves to be merciless. Louis had watched people close to him lose their lives at the hands of those monsters.
Then one day while Harry had been patrolling the borders with Liam and Niall, Louis had snuck out and taken a run; after the hunters made their appearance Harry had refused to allow him in the woods alone and Louis had understood but he also made Harry promise to never go in there alone either. He had. But for some reason, on this day, Louis was restless, the need to shift and run greater than it had ever been. Later, he came to be thankful, even if he'd found out something that would change everything.
Louis had been trotting down a familiar path when his ears caught voices on the wind. He had been about to run when he heard Harry's name pass between them and the need to keep his Mate safe had won out over the need to flee.
“There's no way we'll get him, he's too clever.”
“You're right, we won't, not directly anyway.”
Louis' heart lodged itself in his throat when they began discussing their plan of going after Louis himself in order to kill Harry. It wasn't a known fact among human's that if one half of a Mated pair died, the other would soon follow. After hearing the hunters' plans, he had taken off running.
He'd spent most of that night throwing up or pacing their bedroom. Louis had decided he couldn't go to Harry and tell him because he wouldn't think twice before attacking them, and Louis couldn't bear Harry getting himself killed over him; not that he would live much longer.
After days of agonizing, Louis had finally come to the soul crushing conclusion, that the only way to save Harry was to break their bond. If there had been another way he would have found it, but the hunters were too good; too determined. They would find Louis one way or another and he wouldn't make Harry choose between him and his duty as an Alpha by telling him and having Harry try to take him away, if he didn't attack the clan first, that was.
Only the Alpha was capable of breaking a bond, whether to separate from their Mate before one of them was about to die, which was rare and only done if the Mating was forced, or due to a Mate's betrayal. A purposefully broken bond was rare in itself, but it did occur every now and then. Louis had known he would have to do something awful to make Harry angry enough to sever their bond, yet he couldn't bring himself to. He had also contemplated tricking Harry, and that had been the plan for a while. Then a golden opportunity had presented itself in the form of Nick.
Louis hated Nick's guts to this day and never understood why Harry kept him around and his disdain had been proven right once again when he had discovered Nick had been selling information and suddenly the hunters knowing about killing two wolves with one stone made sense. At first Louis had been enraged and had come close to confronting the traitor, then a dark voice in the back of his mind had whispered 'this is it, this is your chance to save Harry.
At first, the mere thought of hurting Harry by having him think Louis had betrayed him and the pack made him sick to his very core. Then he realized Harry's survival was more important than his guilt and if he was going to die, he might as well go with a clean conscience, knowing he hadn't done what he'd been accused.
In the end, all it had taken was some planted information and a bribed Beta from the village. Louis had watched Harry rage, and Nick's terror, until the Beta being questioned had pointed to Louis. Harry's initial reaction had been to scoff, but when he had turned to Louis for a denial, as much as it had killed him inside, Louis had kept quiet, and fought to keep his emotions reigned in so Harry couldn't read him.
Harry needed to think he was guilty.
The memory of the following events had Louis whining softly and licking at the still healing burn on his side.
A week later Louis awoke to a silver collar being snapped around his neck. He snarled, his weakened state had dulled his senses but when the instinct to fight back kicked in, he leapt at the man closest to him. A harsh yank had spikes digging into his throat causing him to collapse on the ground in agony. Even so, he continued to bare his teeth and growl at the men, earning him a few kicks to the side.
“Little bitch, I know you can understand me.” The hunter said in disgust, giving the chain another rough yank. “You thought you could save your Mate by running? Bad move. The hunters will attack this morning, at first we had planned to take you when Styles was distracted, but you've made it so much easier, plan's the same though. Now that we have you as leverage, Styles can watch as we gut you and feel his own life slip away as yours does.”
Louis snarled again, but if he were in his human form, he'd be smirking. He wasn't leverage anymore, and when they killed him, Harry would still be standing, and he would finish this war before it truly began.
Allowing himself to be led out of the cave, Louis knew his time was up but took comfort in thoughts of these men being ripped to shreds and the fact that he was no longer Harry's weak spot.
As they got closer to the border, Louis could smell smoke and hear the sounds of fighting, howling, and pained whines mixed with screaming men and women and gunshots. Louis was almost overpowered by the need to get to Harry. He knew that wasn't the wisest of moves given that the Alpha thought all of this was Louis' fault.
The morning fog began to lift and Louis stopped, the collar digging into his throat as he saw a black wolf standing over two dead hunters and finishing off a third; jaw dripping with blood. Harry.
A kick to the ribs didn't register as his eyes fell on a hunter ten yards away, advancing on Harry through the fog with a crossbow. Suddenly his hunger induced weakness didn't matter and Louis turned on the hunter holding his leash, his jaws closing around the man's throat, blood spilling over his tongue. Pulling away, Louis set his sights on the man as he got close enough to take a shot through the fog and charged.
As Louis collided with the hunter the crossbow went off but the aim was skewed, causing him to miss has he fell to the ground with Louis' canines buried in his artery. A sharp pain was shooting through Louis' right side but he refused to let go until the man had bled out.
A loud growl to his left had Louis pulling away from the dead hunter before he was suddenly on the ground, the pain in his side growing to agony as Harry snarled in his face. It was clear the Alpha thought Louis was responsible for the attack as he bared his teeth, leaning closer. Louis moved to flip himself over and bare his underbelly to show Harry he wasn't a threat, but the second he moved, Harry lunged forward, his teeth aiming for Louis' throat.
Louis had never considered the fact that it might Harry himself to end his life.
Then Harry was yelping and pulling away, shaking his head and rubbing his snout in the snow. The collar, Louis realized. The burns healed in seconds and Harry was back, sniffing at the silver collar, scenting the blood underneath and whining as he pawed at the chain on the ground beside Louis.
Suddenly Harry's body blurred as he changed to his human form, his hands brushing Louis' side as the small wolf labored for breath. “Jesus... Lou-” the horror in his voice growing as he saw blood spreading into the snow and Louis realized the pain in his side came from a knife.
Feeling safe with Harry, Louis allowed himself to switch forms; he gasped, the pain intensifying as he watched Harry's face pale. “Lou...”
“It's okay.” Louis gasped; he was dying, he could feel it and he was grateful he had made sure Harry wouldn't follow as his vision began to dim. He smiled up at Harry. “You won this war, just like I knew you would; and you'll survive now. I love you, always. Never doubt that.”
Harry stared at him, eyes wild. “What did you do?”
“What I had to.” Louis confessed. “I couldn't let you die-”
“Oh God,” Harry sounded sick, “Why?”
“I'm so, so fucking sorry baby,” Harry gasped, leaning forward to press a kiss to Louis' forehead. “I let you down.”
When Louis didn't answer Harry pulled back, a cry of anguish leaving his mouth as he saw his Mate's eyes were closed... his Mate. Louis was still his. A loud howl pierced the air and the Alpha's eyes sparked silver as his canines dropped.
“You're not getting away from me that easily,” he growled before surging forward and burying his teeth into the Omega's side, piercing the burn; his stomach rolling with the knowledge that he had caused this.
Louis eyelids felt like they were made of lead as he attempted to open his eyes; his body heavy and tired but painless as he wriggled into the warmth pressed against back. Before Louis was fully aware, the weight behind him was suddenly engolphing him, warm breath drifting over his ear. “Don't ever do that again.”
The Omega whined, tilting his head back to bare his neck for the Alpha; his Mate. “I needed to keep you safe, I-” his soft words were cut off where Harry's large hand gripped his throat, pulling him back even further into the Alpha's body.
“I love you, Louis. With or without the bond, you're mine. I looked everywhere for you.”
Shock radiated through Louis' small frame as he rolled over to face his Mate, Harry's hand still enclosed around his neck. “You told me to leave-”
The hand tightened causing him to whine until Harry began brushing his thumb back and forth over his pulse point. “I was wrong.” Harry admitted quickly, “I came after you before night fell... I lost your scent at the river. I searched for days.”
“I left your territory,” Louis began, squeaking when he was pulled underneath the larger wolf.
“You've never listened to me before,” Harry snorted, pressing a warm kiss against his jaw.
“You've never come after me with a hot poker before... well, that's not entirely true, is it?”
Harry sunk his teeth into Louis' shoulder playfully causing the Omega to squeal out a laugh and try to roll away. The laugh trailed off when Harry pulled back, guilt flickering over his face and crashing through their bond in waves, "On the field, when I saw you again... I let my anger get the better of me-" before he could say anything else, Louis cupped his Mate's jaw and tugged him down for a tender kiss.
“Don't, I did what I did to make you angry enough; there's nothing to forgive.” he whispered.
“Yes there is,” Harry sounded almost pained, “I'm your Mate, your Alpha, I'm supposed to make you feel safe and I failed you. Not only that, I hurt you. How the Hell can you even stand to look at me?”
“Why did you come after me when I left?”
“Because you're mine and I love you, and the thought of living my life without you felt like I had just been handed a death sentence.” Harry answered quickly, resting their foreheads together.
“Even when you still thought I had betrayed you?”
"I know it was Nick."
Taking a deep breath Louis sighed, "What... where is he?"
"Dead." Harry growled.
Deciding to change the subject before Harry flew off his handle, Louis side-eyed him. “I can forgive a lot, but I'm telling you right now buster, if you ever cheated on me I'll be gone before you can take your next breath.”
“Lou,” Harry sounded disapproving, “I don't think it's possible to be honest, not with us. Most wolves choose their Mates the way humans choose spouses, our wolves recognized their Mates the moment we laid eyes on each other. It's why our bond never truly went away. Though, to be fair if anyone ever laid a hand on you I'd rip their guts out with glee.” he finished happily, a wide dimpled smile spreading across his face.
“I'm all yours.” Louis said quietly, “always.”
Harry leaned forward, smile still in place. “As I am yours.” he agreed before his eyes drifted downwards, “Are you feeling well?”
Biting his lip, Louis glanced up at his Mate through long lashes; the atmosphere around them changing in seconds. “I'll feel a lot better when you've made me yours again,” he whispered.
Harry's eyes flashed silver before they darkened, pupils dilating until only a sliver of green was visible; the Omega responded with a keen, his own eyes flashing blue.
Louis screamed again, sweat pouring down his body as he panted and bared down once more.
“That's it!” Jay encouraged, even as she looked ready to burst into tears at any moment. Louis made a mental note to never let his mother act as his midwife again; though he wasn't sure he ever wanted to go through this agony again. Ever. “Almost there, Louis, come on, once more, give it everything you've got honey.”
“You can do it,” Harry whispered as he braced his arm around Louis' shoulders, holding him up and comforting him at the same time.
“You fucking bastard,” Louis growled even as he turned his face into his Mate's neck, the scent calming him. Eyes flashing, he took a deep breath and pushed as hard as he could while simultaneously worrying about the baby and thanking the God's he would heal within minutes of giving birth because it would not be pretty otherwise.
Suddenly the room was filled with cries and Louis found himself bursting into tears at the same time. “You have a son,” Jay announced, her voice sounding suspiciously wobbly as she made quick work of cleaning the baby up before placing him on Louis' stomach. Cradling their son in his arms, Louis let the tears flow freely as he kissed the babes tiny head -didn't feel so tiny a moment ago- he snorted to himself and smiled, looking up at Harry who was staring back, his green eyes wide with wonder, looking all of a child himself. “You have a son, daddy.”
Harry froze, his attention directed at his mate once more, Louis blushed.
Jay cleared her throat, “I think it's a bit soon to make another one.”
“I think you mean Grand-mum.”