“So you just didn’t tell him you were coming out here?” Uri asked as he and Lucius walked down the old cobblestone path to the abandoned house. There had been reports of strange noises coming from inside, screams and the sound of chanting.
“Why would I, it’s just work.” Lucius replied.
“Did he do something wrong? Did he hurt you?”
Lucius sighed. “No, he’s just been very clingy and his sarcasm makes me want to pop him.”
Uri laughed. “He is a werewolf you know, they tend to be clingy with their mates and his sarcasm is just his personality. You chose him brother, you should learn to adapt.”
“That’s what I said, but he never listens.” Julian’s voice startled them and he dropped out of a tree just in front of the house.
“How in the hell did you do that?” Uri asked.
“Tears, I used them to stay under your radar.”
“What in the hell are you doing here?” Lucius asked, sounding and looking irritated.
Julian smiled lovingly at him as he moved closer. When Lucius tried to back away, he grabbed him by his collar and pulled him back. “You’ve been acting strange and you hardly said a word to me this morning so I thought I’d find out why. Heading to a haunted house without me, how mean.”
“You know I want to help so let me.” He leaned in closer, so their noses were nearly touching. “And if you really hate me wanting to always be close to you, then I’ll stop.” He let him go and stepped back.
“Get a room guys, after we’re done here.” Uri chastised.
Lucius was a little flustered when Julian didn’t even take his hand and he quickly reprimanded himself. They all walked up to the porch and Uri tried the door, finding it locked. He went to kick it in when Julian stopped him. “Whoa there, no reason to give up the element of surprise over a locked door.” He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his lock picks. “These will do nicely.”
“You still have those?” Lucius asked.
“I don’t use them for illegal things anymore, but they come in handy. What if I’m ever captured and need to escape cuffs?” He squatted down. “The house is quiet, but still, kicking in a door.”
Lucius just waited, crossing his arms in annoyance. He wasn’t sure why his brother was on the wolfs side. Why did he need to adapt instead of Julian needing to respect his feelings more. He had chosen Julian but he hadn’t known he’d be so smothering or the sarcasm would have no ending. When Julian had the door open and the picks in his pocket they went inside. It hurt Julian to feel how much more frustrated Lucius was now that he had come on the job uninvited. The waves coming off him last night had been nothing compared to what he sensed in him now.
“Well this is certainly weird.” Julian said when they entered the living room. There were symbols painted on all the walls in what they all knew was blood.
“It’s not just this room, it’s the kitchen too and look, they’re etched into the stair railing.” Uri said.
“Cult activity?” Lucius asked.
“Looks that way. You two deal with some freaky shit.” He sniffed. “Do you smell that?”
“We might be vampires, but our noses aren’t as refined as yours.” Uri replied.
Julian dropped down on all fours, getting his nose really close to the floor. “What are you doing?” Lucius asked.
“Smells like death and sulfur?” He crawled across the floor, inhaling deeply despite the dust. “It’s downstairs, blood, dark magic.” He shot to his feet and took off into the kitchen.
“Uri, check upstairs, I’ll be back.”
Lucius followed Julian, seeing the back door was wide open and knew he had exited the house. “Julian.” He called out then heard the sound of chains shaking. He rounded the house and saw Julian looking down at a wooden door in irritation. “What are you doing? It could be dangerous down there.”
“There’s no one down there anymore, just the smells.”
“You don’t know that.”
Julian turned to face him. “You know, I get you don’t have any faith in me and probably don’t trust me as much as I’d like you to, but don’t demean my senses. They’re sharp, the basement is empty, there’s no one alive down there, I can smell, hear, and feel it. Something bad happened down there and I’m going in with or without you.” He opened a tear. “Coming?”
“Someone has to watch your ass.”
“It is a nice one.”
Lucius grabbed on to Julian and he pulled him in. Lucius was opening his mouth to apologize for not trusting his wolf when the view around them snapped it back shot “Oh my god” He was a vampire and he doubted he had seen this much blood in his lifetime. Everything had dry blood on it, absolutely everything and Julian was right, nobody was alive down here. “see?” Julian said in irritation. It brought Lucius back “I was going to apologize. I’m sorry”
“Just about not trusting my senses?”
“fuck yeah just about that but we’re on a job. We can’t argue about our relationship right now”
Julian shrugged as he let him go and moved further into the room and over to the altar. It had so much coagulated blood on it, it looked like a big piece of gelatin. Julian breathed in, taking in every scent and analyzing them. “Sulfur, a demon was raised here and a powerful one.” He looked closer at the altar. “Does it look like someone was laying here?”
“Not just laying, but restrained.” He held up a broken leather strap.
“So a sacrifice, damn.” He put his nose close to the altar. “Female, probably a virgin.”
“Shit, this isn’t good. This other blood though isn’t hers.”
“I’m guess it was the cultists. The demon probably tore itself out of the girl and ripped them to shreds.”
“How do you know so much about this stuff?”
“I’ve manipulated my way into a few, none of them were this extreme though, just lots of sex, you know orgies and stuff and blood offerings from themselves.”
“Did you participate?”
He glanced at Lucius. “Why? Would you be jealous because I might have rolled around with a bunch of naked people or are you fantasizing?”
“Neither, you pervert.”
“Anyway, the entity that escaped was not contained by all those symbols so it must be powerful and dangerous. I can feel that tingle of darkness, my wolf says it needs to hunt and kill this thing.”
“We should go tell Uri and see if he found anything.”
“Don’t you dare think I’ll be letting you go after this thing with just your brother, I know you’re strong and fast, but this thing, it’ll gut you before you can blink and maybe even violate you in the process. Whatever came out of here, it’s not normal.”
“I know you’re coming.” Lucius said in annoyance “excuse me for worrying about my mate and everyone else around here” Lucius rolled his eyes and Julian grabbed him “stop being such a dick”
“You stop, look, you knew I wouldn’t be happy you came but I’m going to suck it up and deal with it. I’m not good at hiding emotions and you know that also. Lets just stop this thing together then we can yell our heads off at eachother”
“I love you damn it”
“I love you too, you know that. I just don’t like you somtimes”
Well get used to it because this is who you’re stuck with.” He took a deep breath. “Whatever, do what you want, let’s just hunt.” He opened a tear and stepped through, not bothering to wait for Lucius who hurried after him. When they stepped out they were upstairs and they startled Uri who was coming out of one of the rooms reading a book.
“Don’t do that.” He snapped.
“Sorry, I’ll yell next time.”
Uri looked between them then back at the book. “So I found this, some rituals, but one is bookmarked. They tried to raise a demon named Kroni, ironic name, particularly evil and incredibly nasty. I mean eat your babies nasty. The symbols etched all over the inside of the house were to contain him.”
“It failed, there’s what’s left of a sacrifice and cult members in the basement, it’s not pretty.” Lucius replied.
“Damn, so what’s the plan?”
“I have his scent, I can track him, but it’s not going to be easy to kill him, he’s evil incarnate.” Julian answered.
“Understood, I’ll bring this and keep reading, maybe there’s something that can help us in here.”
“We should also alert the populace and have some people come and clean this place up.” Lucius added.
“Sure, let’s go.” Julian walked back down the hall and headed downstairs and Uri grabbed his brother’s arm.
“What in the hell is going on between you two, if feels like hell freezed over.”
“It’s nothing, just him being a stupid hound.”
Uri sighed. “Look, I’m just going to come out and say it. You’re not being understanding at all, you’re just butting heads with him. He’s a wolf, you understand that right? Look, I’m going to give you a book when we get done with all this and you’re going to read it even if it bores you to death, it’s about wolves and pack dynamics, it has a lot of stuff on mate interaction.”
“He followed you because that’s what wolves do, they don’t like being separated from their mates, I’ve read it’s distressing to them. You also push when you should be pulling, he’s just him.”
“What happened to you being on my side?”
“I’m almost always on your side, just not this time, next time I’ll be on your side. I mean he’s visibly upset. I know how you can be and this is overwhelming to you, so you’re going to read and you two are going to make up because I hate choosing sides, it’s stressful.”
“It’s just ridiculous I have to cater to his needs and screw mine”
“Theres just certain things you’re going to have to deal with if you want to be with him”
“whatever, I’ll read the damn book and hopefully we can work this out. I just…I just don’t know if I should even be dating him then. I wont decide anything now though, I’m too pissed. It’s just if what you say is true and its his way and screw me I don’t know if this is the relationship for me. He obviously might need a wolf”
“You wont leave him, you love him. You’re just angry I’m not on your side.”
“I’m angry that you don’t see mine at all and before you say hes a wolf I know but everybody has fucking control of themselves. He cant just pull I’m a wolf and do whatever he wants and not care about how I feel” Uri sighed, his brother obviously needed to cool down. At least he said he would read the book. He hoped they wouldn’t break up but even Uri was beginning to question if his brother could take what being with Julian meant.
Julian was a bit frustrated as he stepped outside and inhaled the air. He was glad he had something else to focus on for the time being. He caught the demon’s scent, the smell of blood and sulfur wafted through the air at him and he tugged his clothes off, folding them up for Lucius to grab. He shifted as Lucius and Uri stepped out onto the porch and Lucius picked up his clothes before Julian bounded off after his prey. He forced the wolf to focus only on the task at hand, Lucius could wait until later. For now he would leave him alone. He didn’t bother to look back and see if the vampires were keeping up, he knew they could and even if they managed to lose him, he knew they’d just keep following his scent until they were back together. His wolf didn’t like the demon, not his scent or his aura. It was wrong, everything about it was wrong.
“Man, he’s worked up.” Uri said as they followed Julian.
“Yeah, the wolf has control now.”
“It’s probably partially your fault, but if it gets the job done faster then I guess your disposition helped.”
Lucius shot his brother a glare. “Really?”
“Yeah, I mean it’s not like he’s going to rub it in, he’s too sweet for that, but I’m your brother and not always so kind.”
“I noticed.” Uri smiled at him and he forced himself not to reach over and deck him. Even if he was right, it still pissed him off.
Since all Lucius had to do was keep up with his wolf his mind was left to think about Julian. He frustrated the hell out of him but he did love him. There were plenty of good times to their bad and the sex wasn’t something to complain about. He knew he wasn’t a perfect mate, he knew he was stubborn and could be a bit bossy and tend to want things his own way but he didn’t understand why needing his own space and for maybe Julian to be even a little less sarcastic was so bad. Especially considering Julian was a loner before they were together. His brother had said it was because they were mates but even if he understood it better once he read whatever book it would take awhile to get used to somebody that a crowbar couldn’t pry from his side unless they were fighting and it sucked that was the only way he could have two seconds because he didn’t want to hurt Julian or make him angry.
Julian veered off into the woods, picking up his pace. He could feel they were getting close, could smell the sulfur getting stronger. A growl rumbled in his chest, moving up his throat and past bared teeth. His fur stood on end as the wolf zeroed in on its prey.
“We’re close.” Lucius said. “Julian has found his prey.”
An aura of pure evil washed over Julian, making his skin prickle. He pushed through thick underbrush and skidded to a halt when he saw it. Skin like coal, eyes glowing like fire. It grinned, showing a mouthful of sharp teeth. The wolf had him moving forward, teeth snapping as he neared the thing.
“You help him, Lucius, this book must have something that can weaken it.” Uri said and Lucius nodded as he followed his mate.
Uri read as quickly as he could while retaining the information. The people who had brought this here were idiots and their idiocy was putting everyone in this world at risk. More importantly to him, it was putting his brother at risk fighting it. This was a truly disturbed demon, the demons they depict in horror movies and human tell their children about to warn them to stay away. It was manic, seeming to almost get off on fighting with the two of them. It had been trying to slash into Julian but he had doged every attempt until this one. Julian went flying with a yelp, Lucius saw red, it only increasing his strength against this beast. They were arguing right now but that didn’t dampen how much he loved Julian.
Julian knew he was injured, he could feel the blood matting his fur as he pushed himself back up. His ribs hurt and he was sure a couple of them had been broken, but pain meant nothing at the moment. Lucius was fighting the demon alone, dodging the monsters attacks as best as he could. The demon was fast, Julian would give it that. “Julian.” Uri came running over. “Holy shit are you okay?” Julian shot him a glare. “Right, sorry, we have to get it back to the house. The cultists didn’t activate the symbols, they thought drawing them was enough.”
Julian let out a long howl as he ran at the demon. Uri must have seen his intent because he followed the wolf as it slammed into the demon, teeth grabbing the monster around the throat and propelling it backwards as he opened a tear. Lucius was surprised for a moment, freezing in his shocked state, but Uri grabbed his arm and pulled him through the tear after demon and wolf. The two were rolling across the living room floor when they came through, Julian sounding every bit the monster as he growled and snapped at the demon. Lucius had never seen him so angry, so ready to kill. He had let the wolf have full control. He started to help, but Uri pulled him back.
“I need your help, it’s a big spell.”
“Is doing what he needs to do.” He pulled Lucius away from the two beasts crashing around the living room. “Read this with me, it’ll lock him in here and then we can banish him.”
Julian and Lucius both read clearly and loudly, practically yelling the words. It took a lot out of both of them but they got the symbols to glow and activate. The beast was trapped and they didn’t need a book to banish it now that it couldn’t leave. They sent it back from where it came and Lucius ran to Julian who was shifting back into a man. “Julian” Lucius said as he pulled him into his arms. Julian was still coming down from being the beast he had needed to be in that situation but Lucius didn’t care, he had to pull him close and check on his wounds.
Julian was shaking as his body regulated itself, his muscles relaxing, his heart slowing to normal. It was almost like coming down from being high, at least that’s how it had been described to him. “I’m alright.” He managed to say.
“You’re covered in blood.” Lucius replied and Julian gave him a smile.
“Just a couple of scratches, nothing too serious.”
“Liar, your ribs are all bruised.”
“Probably broken.” Uri added.
Julian waved a dismissive hand through the air as he got slowly to his feet, swaying a little as a wave of dizziness hit him. Lucius pulled one of his arms over his shoulders and wrapped an arm around his waist to steady him. “I’m fine, it’s not as bad as it looks, I can already feel myself healing.”
“We should get you home so you can take it easy for a bit.”
“Alright, alright if you insist.” He opened a tear and chuckled when Lucius glared at him for using more energy. “What, it hardly takes any effort.”
They walked through and Lucius took Julian up to their room, helping him wash the blood from his body before getting him into bed. Julian grabbed his hand as he went to leave and Lucius felt his heart jump, a tingle moving up his arm at the feel of Julian’s fingers. “Don’t worry about me okay or us, it’s not the first time I’ve been upset at someone I love. My dad pissed me off really bad, we don’t talk much, but he’s still my dad, just like you’re still my mate. So don’t go getting weird ideas in your head like we don’t match or something.”
“Relax okay, you’ll heal faster if you don’t exert yourself.”
“Damn and I was really hoping for a reward after that beating I took.”
Julian was still Julian even injured and Lucius bent down a kissed his lips, keeping it brief so the wolf wouldn’t pull him onto the bed. “Heal first, I have a book to read and Uri needs to go out and alert the authorities to cult activity in the area. Some of them might still be alive and the last thing we want is another young victim and another powerful demon.”
“I really do love you Lucius” he said and for the briefest second he looked heartbroke. Julien was hurting and Lucius hated it. “I love you too’ Lucius walked out, told his brother to warn people about the cult activity and asked for the book. Uri happily obliged and Lucius went to his room.
He sighed as he sat down but read diligently. When he was done he groaned. He understood his annoying but lovable wolf better and he saw he’d either have to adjust or they’d have to break up and he really didn’t want that. If he could make it work he would.
He was startled by Julian as he went to take the book back to the library and just stood there staring at him in confusion. “What’s that face for?” Julian asked.
“What are you doing out of bed?” Lucius managed to say.
Julian held up a glass of water. “Thirsty.”
“You should have yelled for me.”
“I told you I’m fine.”
“You broke your ribs, you could make it worse.”
Julian chuckled as he made his way past Lucius and into his room. “You’re welcome to come and inspect me. Besides I’m sure that book you’re holding told you wolves are a very rough species in general.”
He blushed” I’m only reading it to help us. My brother thought it would help us. We’re fighting all the time and..well I don’t have to say it, you know. I understand you better now I guess”
” At least I know you give a crap now”
“Of course I do”
“You hate me following you”
“I’m not used to being so smothered but it’s your nature and you are obviously unable to contain it so I’m just going to try to get used to it because I do still want us to be together”
“It’s not like I’d just let you break up with me. I’d kiss you senseless and make you admit you were wrong.” He smiled. “Wolves mate for life, Lucius, we don’t know any other way and it’s hard being away from our mates, especially for an extended period of time. We get jealous and will mark what is ours so others know not to try anything.”
“I want to spoil you and be selfish with our time together, there will only ever be you for me no matter what. Anyway, go on, put that away then come back to me, I feel like cuddling, I’m an injured man you know and I need my mate.”
Lucius couldn’t help but smile. In that moment he didn’t know how he could think of them breaking up. His wolf annoyed the hell out of him but Julian was the only man for him. Lucius put the book back then laid down with his mate. He was also reluctantly admitting to himself as he laid down that he might just need Julian on jobs. He had been a key part of sending that demon back today and protecting everyone around the area. Maybe they might have still beat it but Julian had earned his right to come on jobs and Lucius knew he needed to get over himself and just let him.
~ The End