Title: Stay. Part 2/6
Artist: michira_70 Thank you dear, for this wonderful art! You’re so loved.
Wordcount: 16.930 This chapter: 2365
Pairing: Tommy Ratliff/OMC Trent
Type: AU, werewolf. Friendship with a twist.
Disclaimer: it’s a werewolf fic so I’m not even gonna bother. Trent is however mine ;)
Warnings: Minor character death. Angst.
Beta: My wonderful friend thrace_adams who makes my writing so much better. Love you, you wonderful woman! All remaining mistakes are mine.
A/N: This story is a timestamp to my werewolf fic A Primal Right which can be found here on LJ and here on AO3. It takes place before A Primal Right and if you’re the happily ever after kinda person I recommend you read or re-read it after reading this fic ;)
Summary: When Trent receives a phone call from his alpha Dia, asking him to come home to accept and welcome the mate Tommy imprinted with, he’s forced to face the painful truth that Tommy is never going to love him back the way he wants him to. Before going home he reflects back on his history with Tommy and the events that led to this point.
The fall we turned fourteen was when things changed. More often than not Mia seemed to be included in our time together. It didn’t matter that I was older and had a better understanding of the appeal of having girls around. To me, it was still gross to think about Tommy and Mia mating. It didn’t make things one inch better that Mia only seemed to notice Tommy when they were together. It made me feel like a third wheel and Tommy was supposed to be my best friend. That fall I learned what jealousy was. Not the ‘I want what you’re playing with’ kind but the real green eyed monster that sucks out your happiness and makes you a miserable brat.
One day when I rolled my eyes and stood up to leave at the sight of Mia approaching, Tommy immediately picked up on my discontent. "What's up with you?" His tone of voice and the look in his eyes were both telling me he was on to me and his patience was about to run out. I sniffed the air and his scent told me it was indeed time to fess up. He practically reeked of Alpha mode and I still sincerely doubt he knew it.
My wolf knew and wanted nothing more than to please him but I had problems finding the words. “Nothing. It’s just…” I toed the ground before me with my sneakers. “It’s never just you and me anymore. She’s always here.”
Tommy frowned and I could smell his confusion. “She’s cool, though. Right?! I love the way her mind works and she’s fierce when she lets her wolf out.”
I nodded, what else was there to do. He was right, it was just so hard to see her through his eyes when all I wanted was to be alone with him, to have all of his attention. “Yeah. But I miss us just being guys… or wolves.” I muttered under my breath.
Tommy’s eyes shone and his laughter couldn’t have been further form mocking. “Yeah? Wanna take me on for a wolf-wrestle, roll around in the dirt with me and blow off some steam later? Like old times?”
“Yes.” I nodded my head vigorously and I had no chance of holding back the huge grin on my face, even if I had wanted to.
Later that day Tommy sought me out in his wolf form. With a daring look in his eyes and playful growl he took off towards the woods. I changed immediately and ended up chasing Tommy’s wolf though the forest. I didn’t stand a chance of catching Tommy, not when he's in Alpha mode. He’s small, much smaller than me and he turns freakishly fast. And he’s smart, cunning and so much stronger than anyone ever gives him credit for.
That day I knew without a doubt that Tommy let me catch him. It didn’t matter though. I jumped at the chance and tackled Tommy to the ground, using every little advantage my weight gave me. Tommy huffed out a groan when he went into the dirt. He spun around and immediately the air was filled with the sound of our gasping breaths, our teeth clacking against each other and biting and holding onto everything within reach, and our claws sinking into the forest floor tearing up the ground. Damn it felt good to be doing that.
Our playtime ended in a sunbeam where we collapsed into a small heap. Curled around each other, his white fur mixed with my grey and white. Tommy licked my ear and with his muzzle he nuzzled the thick scruff of fur on my neck. Then, right before he went to sleep and for the very first time, he said the words that changed my world. I love you, his copper colored eyes found mine when I my breath caught in my throat, too stunned to remember that whole breathing thing. Trent? You know that, right?!
Yeah, I know. I love you too.
A content sigh was huffed out against my fur and he buried his face into it. Best friends forever!
Forever! I promised, so fucking confused I had trouble knowing up from down.
Two years passed just like that. Our wolfish play changed after that afternoon. I became so much more focused on him and I was constantly watching my reactions to him, disguising my scents, whenever I felt off balance. But I wasn’t the only one changing.
During those years Tommy grew more serious. Quieter. At first I couldn’t put my finger on it but then I realized Tommy seemed to back off, be more careful, too. Not just around me, but all of us, even Mia. After a while it occurred to me that Tommy may have finally understood the raw power his wolf possessed because he took on a softer approach when he wanted something, always asking me if it was alright with me. If I were completely honest, it weirded the shit out of me.
An alpha was supposed to just take charge and Tommy wanted to discuss and debate everything. He wanted to see and hear every possible angle on a topic before making up his mind. It took me quite some time to adjust to this change in him but I loved it once I did. The awesome side to it was he was never shy with his feelings. We weres tend to let our body language do the talking. We’re affectionate and we touch, a lot. Touching means belonging and caring but Tommy never stopped there. It wasn’t like he said it constantly, it never felt obligatory or automatic. It felt right whenever you were the one hearing a ‘love you’ and you felt fucking special. Maybe that’s why I fell so hard. That and the way he saw the world.
There was one lazy afternoon in particular, we were lying in the sun in the middle of a clearing and gazing at the clouds together. His head was on my thighs and his fingers were laced together on his stomach. He looked comfortable and thoughtful.
He whispered, so quiet I thought it was his voice in my head at first. “I wish this wasn’t my life. I wish I wasn’t born like this.”
I pushed up onto my elbows and looked at him, trying to get that to make sense. “What? What are you talking about?”
“I don’t want to hold the power over anyone else. I just want everybody to be able to think for themselves and I want to be free to meet the love of my life. I want to imprint on some cute girl and have a real family within the pack. I want us, you, me and the pack to be equal.”
“But you’re born to be-”
“I know. I don’t have to love it though. Do I?”
When he returned my surprised stare he shrugged indifferently. His scent gave him away though and I could tell he was trying to play it off and hide his real emotions. Somehow that upset me more than his words. “You’re an ass, you know that right?! You are gonna be the leader of this pack one day. You’ll be the one everyone looks up to, admires and the one we all wanna be loved by. And you’re saying you don’t want that?”
With a sigh and sad eyes he stood and started to pace. “Basically, yeah. I believe that too much power corrupts. I believe we would be stronger if we all had a say. Our council is still stuck on old traditions and laws so ancient age alone should make them invalid. And that’s what’s in my future.” He stopped and pinned me to the forest floor with an hauntingly open look. “I might be an ass but I’d choose happiness over forcing laws I don’t believe in down the throat of a friend or family member any day.”
In an effort to let him know I understood his frustrations, I nodded. “Then don’t be the kind of alpha Darren is. Be like your dad, he asks the pack’s opinion on many things.”
Tommy sucked his lower lip into his mouth, caught it between his teeth and started chewing. It was a nervous tic, a tell that he was upset or feeling insecure. My wolf hated that even more than I did, so I stood to pull him into my arms. Tommy pressed his head into my shoulder and started talking. “He does. And he’s a great leader but he still makes decisions that have huge consequences for other people without taking into account how that person might feel. Like today, when he told me that he was done hearing me complain about my life being planned right down to who I’m gonna mate. 'Take it like a man, Tommy. Mia is a good, beautiful and clever girl, you could do worse'.” Tommy said bitterly in a mock imitation of Ron’s voice.
“You don’t wanna mate with Mia? But I thought…” I don’t know what I thought, we'd never touched this ground before and for some stupid reason I had figured that Tommy was okay with all of it. That somehow being born into it had to make it all okay. Obviously, I was wrong and I tightened my arms around him.
“I love her, she’s awesome. You know she is and she's a wonderful friend but I want the chance to find my own mate. I don’t know if I’ll fall in love with Mia but I want to be able to choose for myself if nature doesn’t do it for me. Yanno?”
“Yeah, I guess I thought Mia was spending so much time with us because… well, because you… does she know you feel like this?”
Tommy actually chuckled. “Who says she doesn’t feel the same way about me.”
He had a good point and I hummed in agreement. That caused him to look up.
“We’re sixteen. I don’t want to think of Mia, maybe if we weren’t promised to each other she’d be who I thought of when-” he shrugged and a cute blush heated his cheeks.
Slowly it dawned on me he was talking about jerking off. We shared a knowing look and I’m pretty sure I blushed just as hard as him when the image slammed through me and my body reacted. I let go of him slowly, trying not to be too obvious and just push him off me. Not being as stealthy as I wanted to I managed to get him to send me a curious gaze while he kept on elaborating. “And I wanna know what it feels like to kiss somebody, like for real, with you know… intent and I don’t wanna end up only ever getting to kiss her.”
“Oh. Who do you want to kiss?” I closed my eyes, how fucking stupid is one allowed to be, asking questions you do not want to know the answer to?
When I opened them again Tommy had his back to me. “Dunno…” he turned around and looked me right in the eyes. “Actually, that's not true. You know Lucy?”
It’s possible my jaw dropped open. “Yeah, but she’s human.”
I shrugged and he relaxed, a dreamy smile caressed his lips. “She’s so pretty and when she smiles.”
I rolled my eyes. “Human. Not pack or wolf. Human.”
That rubbed him the wrong way. I got a pointed glare.
“Don’t be an ass. I know she doesn’t matter in regards to the pack, but humans aren't any less worthy than we are!”
I threw my hands up in surrender. “That wasn’t what meant-”
His snort cut me short. “Not like it’s ever gonna happen though.”
He sounded like he was giving up on everything, like it was all too much for him.
“Why?” I asked softly and reached out for him, wanting to be close, to make him feel better. It helped because he sent me a coy smile and laughed.
“Because I haven’t ever kissed anyone and it’s not like I wanna make a fool out of myself.”
Laughing, I smacked a loud kiss to his mouth. “You kiss Mia and me all the time. I think Mike is perhaps the only one you don’t kiss? On the mouth anyway.”
Our wolves were never far from the surface and it always showed in the way we touched. Tommy rubbed his nose against mine before resting our foreheads together. “True. But I don’t kiss you like that.”
“It can’t be that different. Maybe you should just- go for it.” I drew back and winked at him, hiding my feelings behind a bit of humor.
He shrugged. “Yeah, maybe. It’s just… hard, you know?”
“Really?” I dragged the word out until the innuendo dripped from it.
That made him laugh, really laugh, all colorful and sparkly. “Oh my God, you know what I mean.”
“Yeah. I do.” I confessed.
“What about you? Have you met anyone you’d like-” he trailed off, looking at me expectantly.
“To kiss? Sure.” I admitted dancing dangerously close to the edge of a truth that could drive a wedge between us forever.
He practically lit up. “You have?! Tell me. Who is she?”
I didn’t even think before correcting him. “He. And he’s into girls so…” I didn’t try to mask my disappointment over that fact.
His eyes mirrored my feelings immediately and he brought his hands up to cradle my face gently. “That sucks. Sorry dude, that’s gotta hurt.”
He nodded, and I knew he was using every trick in the wolf book to read me. “Obviously. And it’s not like he’s the only guy out there, right? At least you get to find that special someone on your own.”
“I know.” I said, knowing he had a good point and that I had to let go of the idea of the two of us together.