Title: Stay. Part 6/6
Artist: michira_70 Thank you dear, for this wonderful art! You’re so loved.
Wordcount: 16.930 This chapter: 2829
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.
Obviously my plans to seduce Tommy and make him fall in love were put on hold. Tommy needed time to find himself again and no matter how much I wanted us to be something else, Tommy was nowhere ready for that. Knowing that, didn’t stop me from daydreaming and there were times when we’d lie on our backs under a rooftop of rustling leaves and talk about everything and nothing where I had a hard time separating dreams from reality. He felt like mine.
Hours ticked away and became days, weeks and somehow the pack went back to what had become a new normal. Dia got the council’s accept to let Tommy wait until he turned twenty-five before becoming alpha. She ruled the pack with a softer tone than Ron but there was still steel in it when it was needed.
Tommy changed, he lost some of his childlike innocence. I’m not even sure most of the pack members noticed it but Ron’s death left wounds that over the next six months became scars. He had good days and bad days where he pretended to be fine with everyone else but me. And then he had days where he needed to escape from everything.
Despite all that, he was actually dealing pretty well and I kept my promise and stayed by his side, no matter how good or terrible his mood was. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The only bad thing that came out of him depending so much on me was it made it so much worse the night my little fantasy world collapsed and reality came crashing down on me.
We went out with a bunch of friends that night. I had to persuade Tommy to go. Once he got there though, he decided to just let go and have fun. He laughed, really laughed that night. We were all affected by his mood and our table was without a doubt the loudest one. At some point Mike looked at me and mouthed ‘he’s gonna be okay. You can stop worrying’ I smiled in return.
And I did. The night was perfect, right until it wasn’t.
She was beautiful, small, curvy, with long brown hair falling around her face. She put her tiny hand on Tommy’s shoulder and when he looked up to see who it was she asked with a flirty smile, “Dance with me?”
Tommy sent her a look of pure male appreciation and pushed his beer across the table at me. Without even looking at me he smiled at her and said okay.
She didn’t want just one dance. She kept him on the dance floor longer than any other woman had before.
They looked good together, too good together and jealousy twisted in my chest, making me queasy and my wolf fought to come out and claim what was his.
The beat was heavy and sexy and when she turned her back to him, his hands ran over her belly settling on her hips. His strong fingers guided her movements, grinding her hips with his and I literally wanted her to drop dead. She laced their fingers on one of her hips and slung the other arm around his neck and tilted her head offering him free access to her neck.
I tried to look away. To focus on the conversation that flowed between my friends but I couldn’t take my eyes off them. The way they moved, touched and looked at each other, it hurt, so much I was sure I could feel my heart shattering into tiny fragments. The worst part though, was that I was so fucking turned on watching him in like this. He was so fucking sexy and so fucking alpha it made me ache with need.
I silently begged him not to go there but of course he did. She closed her eyes and turned her head just enough to get the kiss she wanted.
It was too much and I pushed my chair back with enough force that it toppled over and shocked our friends into silence. I left them without offering any explanations. I pushed through the crowded room and greedily swallowed the fresh air when I got outside.
I didn’t get far before Tommy’s voice reached me. “Trent.” When I didn’t stop he demanded it. “Wait up!”
He picked up his pace to catch up with me. A hand on my upper arm spun me around. “What’s wrong?”
The confused look in his eyes and the glittery trace of lipstick on his mouth pissed me off. I wasn’t about to show him that though so I shrugged dismissively. “Nothing, maybe I just didn’t feel like watching you have sex with your clothes on.”
He looked like I had slapped him across the face and he blinked a couple of times before he narrowed his eyes. “Sorry, but it beats the alternative doesn’t it? At least I got to pretend. Unlike you, it’s been months since I got laid.”
The fact that he had noticed I was getting laid immediately helped brighten my mood and it sparked the eternal hope that maybe… “You’re sure this is about sex, and not just you not knowing what to do with your life right now?”
“Oh, that’s rich.” He backed a step and let go of my arm. I instantly missed the connection. “I just wanted not to think tonight okay?! To pretend I could get laid for real without taking Mia into consideration.”
Mia, always Mia. I sighed. “I get you think your life is a mess right now-”
“You mean it isn’t?” he interjected with an astonished look.
All the remaining anger went out me and left a heavy sadness settling in the pit of my stomach. “Tommy, the only one thinking you can’t handle whatever life throws at you is you. You were born to do it. Even the day your dad died you showed it.”
“Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps I’m not and that’s why I don’t want to be an alpha in the old sense of it?”
“Being open and considerate doesn’t mean you’re not strong. Quite the opposite.”
“I fucking know that. Gods, I don’t want to talk about this shit with you tonight. I came to check up on you not to get the third degree or a pep-talk. I just wanted to look after you for a change.”
And just like that the anger flared again. “I’m fine and on my way home.” I started walking again and he threw his hands in the air.
His sarcasm made me turn around and take the two steps back towards him to be right up in his personal space. “It hurts okay? That it isn’t me you want to do that with. And I couldn’t watch.”
Pain immediately filled his eyes. “Sorry. What changed? This was fairly innocent considering you’ve seen me leave with girls before and know what- you promised to tell me so I wouldn’t hurt you like this.”
I shrugged. “You haven’t done that in a really long time, not since Mia became alpha. And because of Ron and everything else we’ve been spending so much time together.”
“But I thought it was friendship. I thought you'd moved on.”
“It was! I wanted to be there for you. I expected nothing more than that but it doesn't mean I've stopped wanting you to be mine in one last way. I guess I fooled myself enough to believe that eventually…”
He ran a hand through his hair. “Shit. Oh God I’m so sorry.”
I nodded and whispered. “Me too.”
I didn’t know what to do with myself so I just kind of opened my arms and Tommy didn’t hesitate to step into my embrace. For a long time we just stood there and I swear my next move was pure instinct. It certainly wasn’t a conscious decision. But I leaned down and kissed him, soft and lingering. I don’t know if it was the lipstick clinging to his lips or if it was the small comfortable sound Tommy made but I kissed him with more intent, slotting our mouths together and tracing the seam of his lips with my tongue.
“This is – we can’t –“ Tommy faintly protested and put his hands on my shoulders. But I didn’t want to hear it. Instead I licked into his mouth when he opened it to speak. He froze, went completely still at first but then he started to kiss back. Slow and hesitant. My heart was working overtime and my cock was throbbing in my pants so much it was making me dizzy. I pulled him closer to deepen the kiss, overly excited that he at least wanted to try it for my sake, but his palms moved from my shoulders to my chest and kept me from my goal.
“Trent this isn’t gonna work.” Tommy said but ignoring his first protest had given me the kiss I’d been wanting for too long. So when he drew back I tried to follow.
That’s the first and only time he went all alpha mode on me since our early childhood. It was painfully clear to me he was devastated about that and, you know, everything else. I stepped back, knowing I was the one who put that look on his beautiful face. I had forced him to do something he never ever wanted to do and on top of that I had pushed my desire down his throat too. “You really don’t feel anything for me, do you?”
The sadness in his voice nearly ended me. “I feel tons but not that. Maybe we should… I don’t know. Not spend so much time together if this is what it’s doing to us.”
“Are you asking me to leave?” I asked in shock.
“Never! But you need to stop torturing yourself with hopes that won’t come true. You shouldn’t settle for this. You’re too good for that.”
“You’re telling me not to settle? Isn’t that what you’re doing with Mia?”
“Not the same and you know it.” he said with conviction and then he breathed out a pained sigh. “Maybe we should spend some time apart and later put up some boundaries. Less displays of affection might be a good thing.”
I did know our situations weren’t the same; he had accepted his fate and chosen to make it about the packs instead of himself. We had been down that road before and I had to acknowledge the strength and love in him to do that. That didn’t make his words any less painful. “Would you cut any of the other wolves off of your wolfish display of affections?
“No… but they don’t feel-”
He couldn’t even look at me, that’s how upset he was.
“Fine if that’s what you want.” I said in defeat. I knew I had dug my own grave with that kiss; I had pushed once too hard. I knew it was my own doing, that I couldn’t blame him. Knowing that just made me feel worse.
Slowly, Tommy raised his gaze to meet mine. He had this look in his eyes, a strange mix of heartbreak and determination. “I want you to have the best life possible and right now I’m the one ruining it. Don’t let me.”
“Do you think I have a choice? Do you think I haven’t tried to get over you?”
“No, I don’t think you chose this but had it been the other way around I would probably have left the pack and you.”
I couldn’t believe my ears but the way he looked at me made it clear that he would have tried that. He might not have succeeded but he would have tried. That hurt more than I can ever explain. “Now there’s an idea. Maybe I should just get lost; it’s obvious I’m causing you pain and embarrassing myself.”
“I did not mean it like that! I want you to stay but to stop hurting. I’m… I don’t want to lose you. All I’m saying is we need to figure out a solution because this isn’t working.”
I hated that he was right, but he was. My feelings hadn’t cooled off at all, if anything they'd just become deeper and more desperate over time. That stupid kiss was a perfect example.
“I know and you shouldn’t censor yourself around me and your mating ceremony is coming up. That will probably kill me. I want you to choose me.” I said pitifully.
In lieu of any response that could possibly take away my pain he just looked at me. My anguish mirrored in his eyes.
“Maybe I should leave. Maybe that’s a really good idea.” I said, letting the idea grow on me.
He shook his head slowly, but I could already feel his wolf’s sadness. He knew how this would play out. Still I said, “Then tell me to stay. Say it like you mean it. Choose me.”
A lonely tear ran down his cheek, he wiped it off with the back of his hand. “I can’t choose you. You know all the reasons why. I’m sorry.”
That was the moment I realized that if I wanted to keep him then I had to go. We would destroy each other if we stayed in this torturous place with all these raw emotions tearing us apart. He was the rock I kept hitting myself against and I was the tide trying to pull him out to the sea.
I hated the thought. It scared me senseless but I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I ever forced him to use that hard voice of authority again and chances were I would. Tommy being Tommy he would try to make me feel better until I pushed too far again. The way he had let the kiss evolve and tried to kiss me back showed that with brutal clarity.
I had become so used to dealing with the longing that I didn’t really notice when it became this self-destructive. I’ll admit that I would have kept doing it to myself, in many ways I still am, but the moment where I realized that I wasn’t the only one I hurt, I made the decision.
“I can’t be here right now. I’m going home.” I said brokenly.
I’ve never done anything so difficult and hard as I did that night when I turned my back on him and started my way home. Knowing that there was a chance it could be the last time I saw him.
“We’ll talk more tomorrow okay?”
“Yeah.” I lied.
“We’ll figure this out.” Tommy said from behind me, letting me go.
That was the last time I saw him.
Feeling exhausted and numb I went home and packed the most important stuff I needed to survive a few days on my own. Then I told my mom everything. She wasn’t happy about it but understood my reasons for leaving and promised never to tell the rest of the pack why I left.
I stopped by the Ratliff house and climbed the tree outside Tommy’s room and as quiet as possible I let myself in. For a minute I stood frozen, overwhelmed by sadness and bittersweet memories before putting a note on his dresser. I looked around, my eyes finding the white Fender and hoping he would think of me when he played it in the future. Then I spotted his favorite scarf lying on his bed. On a quick impulse I lifted it up and buried my nose in it, inhaling his scent. Tears were welling up in my eyes so I put the scarf in my backpack and whispered a goodbye to the room. To Tommy.
I had to leave and I‘m not coming back. I love you too much to stay. We’ll destroy each other if I do. You don’t want me the way I need you to and my wolf won’t settle for anything less. I’ll push, you’ll give but never enough and we’ll hurt each other endlessly.
This isn’t me running away with my tail between my legs but I wasn’t lying when I said I wanted you to pick me over Mia or the pack. I still do. Pick me and I’ll come back in a heartbeat.
I’ll always be yours,
I knew things changed a week ago. I could feel it in my bones. My wolf’s heart was breaking all over again and now it seems I’m going home. Not to be with Tommy but to welcome his destined mate. The human he imprinted on. A man.
I don’t know how to do that, but he needs me to so I will. What I do know is that I’m too excited to see him again.This might be the end of me. Wish me luck?
If you want to read on you can find A Primal Right on LJ here or on AO3 here
And please go tell michira_70 what you think of her wonderful art. You can do so here :DDD