Title: Stay. Part 3/6
Artist: michira_70 Thank you dear, for this wonderful art! You’re so loved.
Wordcount: 16.930 This chapter: 2416
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.
When Tommy turned seventeen we were closer than ever, it was always, and I do mean always, me that he came to when he needed space to be just Tommy. We had so many conversations and shared so many big thoughts, we'd done a lot of growing up the previous year, especially Tommy. It was very clear his dad was preparing him for his role as alpha. He spent even more time with Mia and Mike talking about hopes and dreams for the future. Politics became something big to him, something that could change lives.
My heart swelled with pride when he told me about his ideas, his dreams for the new pack. But his seeming acceptance of his eventual mating with Mia was a constant thorn in my side, he never even thought about fighting it and it always hung over his dreams of the future like a black cloud.
I finally had to admit to myself that I didn’t just want to fool around with Tommy. Nope, I realized I was in love with my best friend. The ‘he’s the only one and no one else is ever going to be a perfect as him’ kind of love. It hurt like nothing else because it was painfully clear that Tommy was clueless and utterly disinterested.
When we got a visit from one of the other packs it took me all of about five minutes to see where his eyes went and the curious want anyone could see in them. She was a little older than us and even I could see Kimberly was gorgeous. Of course Tommy would be interested. She was from another pack and was supposed to stay with our pack for a few weeks. She actually lived with the Ratliff’s during that time.
I spent a lot of time alone in the woods that month. The down side to trying to hide without being honest about why is your best friend will, knowing all your favorite hideouts, eventually crash your private pity party. And he’ll do so without ever feeling bad about it.
I heard the rustle of leaves before I saw him. Soft paws crept silently over the ground trying not to disturb too much. I’d know the sound of those paws anywhere.
“In here.” I called out to him, puzzled that he came as wolf.
He crawled under the branches and joined me in the cave. He dropped the tightly wrapped bundle of clothes he was carrying in his mouth to the ground and shifted.
Being a wolf, nudity is something you never really think about. We all shift in front of each other, we have to. So the comfortable ease Tommy showed was natural, expected, but none the less, he left me breathless, wanting and battling to control not only the very visible reaction I had to him but my obvious scent of arousal, too.
“Kill me now?” he whined when he pulled up his pants, zipping them and leaving the jut of his hipbones visible. I swear his words were an echo of my thoughts.
I knew I really shouldn’t be staring at him, while he was covering up his torso with well-worn clingy cotton. I knew he’d look back at me eventually and disguising your scent has nothing on hiding the hunger in your eyes when you really, really desire something. I suppose I was lucky. He stayed focused on getting dressed and I had just the right amount of time to get my emotions under enough control to sound amused. “Why would I do that? I’d miss you.”
And that’s when he looked up, his eyes darting over me and then around the edges of the cave. “I love you dude.” I added truthfully.
His gaze found mine and his features softened. “I love you too,” he replied fondly and walked over to nuzzle his head against mine before pressing a kiss to my lips. “Making a home here? And if so, why not tell me where to find you? Had to change to avoid searching the entire forest.”
I shook my head and put on a fake smile. “No, just needed some space.” I situated myself on the floor and patted my thighs. Tommy took the bait and a few seconds later he was on his back with his head resting against my legs.
“The death wish. Explain.” I demanded.
He huffed out a dramatic sigh, letting me know he wasn’t all that serious just frustrated. “Oh. Kimberly, Mia. The whole ‘not supposed to want something that can’t ever be mine’ thing. The usual, except with the unusual twist of the way Kimberly made it perfectly clear she was up for whatever, whenever and-”
“How did Mia react to that?” my brain was happily ignoring the idea of Tommy getting some action in favor of finding out how Mia reacted to someone making a pass at her mate. I mean, there’s not really anything that will piss off an alpha more than that and besides it would have been a helpful detail to know, just in case Tommy ever opened his eyes and saw me.
“Wasn’t really there.” He snorted loudly. “She was powdering her nose and what is up with that? Why can’t girls just say they need to piss? Powdering her nose?” He rolled his eyes, making me laugh. “I do my fucking makeup better than her anyway.”
“You know what would be so awesome?” he asked and pressed his head down so he could look at me. I had to force myself to look back at him and forget all about his head, his mouth so close to my crotch.
“If girls were more like you. I fucking love what we have. Man, I bet it’s gonna be rad when you find a dude. Though I’m sure I’ll be all kinds of jealous.” Tommy laughed melodically, the sound bouncing of the walls, making my heart sing.
“Yes.” He grinned and pinched my side. “You haven’t noticed that I’m a possessive bastard and I totally love that you’re mine? For now at least.”
Sweet music to my ears. I couldn’t really afford to let it sink in, though. So I took it for what it was. A completely platonic declaration of love. My words back to him sounded the same but carried another truth too. “I’ll always be yours. Forever, right?!”
I still don’t know if Tommy had any idea how I truly felt back then, mostly I don't think so but he got this serious look on his face.
“Yeah, until some handsome wolf comes along and whisks you away to another pack.”
I swallowed and wanted to deny it with everything in me, to tell him everything. But then his eyes sparkled, covering up most of the sadness I saw in them. “I’ll be forced to be happy for you and your man while looking after my alpha duties. It’s gonna be fun times, I tell you.” he said sardonically.
“I’ll have you know I have a beautiful one here,” I laughed and ruffled his hair. “Why would I leave for someone handsome?? But you should know the role as martyr doesn’t suit you.”
He just looked at me, for a freakishly long time before shrugging dismissively.
His searching gaze made me uneasy so I deflected. “Are you gonna… with Kimberly?”
His brows darted up and he chuckled. “Wouldn’t you? I mean I’m not tied to Mia before I’m twenty-five.”
“So you have feelings for her?” I swear to you my inner voice kept shouting at me to shut up but little good it did me.
“Dude! She’s hot! I’m seventeen! What do you think I feel?”
“So you do?”
“Correct answer would be; you’re horny. Which I totally am and I want a hand that isn’t mine on my dick for once.” He wiggled his fucking eyebrows and lifted his hips.
Without hesitation I reached out and cupped him, gently squeezing his dick through his jeans. Scared to even look at what my hand was doing I looked him straight in the eye, hiding behind a smirk. Tommy’s eyes were huge and surprised, laughter bubbling in his chest. I moved my hand away and cockily asked, “Now that’s done can we change the subject? You could let me in on your plans for world domination.”
Because really, I needed to think of something else.
Laughing so much he was shaking with it, he hiccupped through an answer. ”Oh, the thing named democracy?! Sure. And Dude! No touching the family jewels unless you’re very seriously thinking about jerking me off.”
I raised a daring eyebrow. “Anytime Ratliff. Anytime.”
His laughter died down and another speculative look got shot my way before he shook his head lightly. “So you wanna know what Mike and I talked about yesterday?”
I nodded and enthusiastic words started to flow from Tommy.
Kimberly and Tommy had two weeks of… time together. But Tommy went out of his way not to show it at all. I found out for sure that they fucked around when I stumbled across a sated, boneless Tommy when I wasn’t supposed to.
Being in my grey and white wolf form I should have seen or heard him long before I did, and I probably would have if he had been in the shape of his wolf too. It’s hard to miss that pearly white fur, but because I was caught in my own dark thoughts and because sleep made him really quiet I didn’t see him until I was a few steps away. I stopped abruptly and looked at him, beyond surprised to find him out here, napping in a warm ray of sun.
Even in his sleep he smiled. He looked so content, satisfied. Curious I stepped closer, driven by the scent of him and someone else, Kimberly. But there was another unknown smell mingling with theirs, an earthier one. Intrigued, I went over to him, curiously following that scent. Before I really wrapped my head around what the hell I was doing, I nuzzled and pushed at his t-shirt enough to get it to ride up and I’m sure my whiskers must have been tickling his soft skin as I was figuring out what the fuck it was he smelled like.
Caught deep in my own world, I startled when strong fingers sank into my fur and started scratching. “Hey.” Tommy whispered drowsily sounding perfectly happy to find me there.
Slightly unfocused eyes met mine. Without letting go of me he sat up and wrapped his arms around my neck and buried his face in the thick fur there. “I’ve been missing you stranger. I’m glad you found me.”
The smell of Kimberly on him made me want to protest, to tell him it seemed like he’d been doing just fine without me. I didn’t want to sound like a petulant child, though, and that one scent still demanded my attention. You smell like…
I sniffed him again and let me tell you ignorance was a blessing. Sex, he smelled like sex and not just like him jerking off. It was her I could smell. Ooh.
I stepped back forcing him to let go of me. Unwilling to let him see my pain, I couldn’t meet his eyes, so I flopped down next to him with my back to him.
I should have known he wouldn’t let me get away with that. He rolled onto his side, threw an arm around my shoulders and back. His voice was muffled from speaking into my fur but his tone was gentle and pleading. “Don’t be like that.”
“Like you’re disappointed in me. I can’t deal with you being judgmental, too. Let me have this, please. I make sure Mia doesn’t know so she won’t get hurt, in case she gives a damn. Nobody is getting hurt so, yeah. Please don’t turn your back on me Trent. I need you.”
You think no one is getting hurt? I’m not disappointed in you. I… our lives are changing so much now. I’ll never be the center of your world again. I just—sometimes I wish we could be frozen at age seven. Life was simpler.
It took him quite some time to answer and I began to fear my big mouth had gone too far. That he was starting to put things together. As much as I wanted him to know and love me back, I knew that wasn’t a possibility at all and I never wanted pity from him.
“Look at me!” He demanded and suddenly I had no fucking choice. I turned to meet his gaze and he immediately took a hold of my face. “Things change but you’ll always be one of the most important people in my life, nothing is ever going to change that. That love doesn’t die because we’re growing up, if anything it turns into something more precious, deeper.”
I know you love me but…
He held my gaze and something in the way he was studying me made me think something like ‘but not the way you want me to?” was skittering through his mind but then he shook his head.
“There’s no ‘but’, I love you, period. Sometimes I catch myself thinking how easy, how awesome it’d be if you were the one my parents promised me to. Mia understands what I want for our pack, wants the same and she knows me pretty damn well, too. But you? You get me in ways no one else ever did. Don’t ever doubt the strength of my feelings for you. I won’t tolerate it.”
Really? You think that?
He leaned in to rest his head against my forehead. “Yup, she’s cool but she’s not you.”
She’s a girl, though.
“And?” he chuckled, drawing back enough to look at me expectantly. Feeling a bit light headed and playful because of his small confession I dropped my gaze to the bulge in his jeans.
“Perv.” Tommy laughed and pushed at me. “I don’t wanna fuck her anymore than I wanna fuck you. Besides like you, she knows just about everything about me, no fucking mystery there.”
And just like that I was back in my melancholic mood.
That was the day I decided enough was enough. I needed to at least try to get over him. I spent the next couple of years doing that. It didn’t work all that well.
part 2 part 4